We aren’t the champions…just yet!

I have no idea what has happened today, but after weeks of having a steady total of 20-25 views on a day, today, with 3 hours still to go here in the UK, its currently on 84! I have no idea why, nor do I know if it might actually make the century, but I will have to wait and see.

So fine, lets do a posting of no interest to my predominantly US based readers lol! 😛

I’ve just noticed that my last posting concerning what we Brits (and indeed Europe as a whole) call football, or soccer to my North American friends, I mentioned that Huddersfield were in the play offs for a position in the top league here in England. Well, remarkably, they made it, and are playing in the Premier League this year. The amusing thing is, that all the experts forecast, what I assumed quite rightly, that they would be instantly relegated, and all the tables forecasting the season said they’d be bottom, and win 3 games, or less this season. Well, here we are, just over a quarter of the way through the season, and they’ve won 4! Yes, even beat the might of Manchester United, ooh! Exactly halfway in the table at this moment, 10th out of 20!

No, I’m not saying they’ll stay there, I’m not even saying they will stay up, and I’m not really going to care one way, or the other, whatever happens! But yes, a little bit of local pride, and a lot of debunking of so called experts just amuses me. And yes, I can say with absolute confidence that you wont get me anywhere near a game!

In truth, my main effort, whenever they’re at home on a Saturday afternoon at 3.00, will be to get home before all the crowds get out of the game, and into town. Last night, I made it, just. They were literally just coming up the street towards town as I passed them on the bus heading home, phew!

As per the title, no they arent going to be champions, but I suspect, in truth, if they’d been offered not being relegated at the start of the season, they would have snatched your hand off! So…?

Oh fine, a little bit of Queen tonight. I suspect the station cat is likely to be the only champion in Huddersfield lol! Still…

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These are the days of our baseball

Yes, I know, it only seems like yesterday that all the fuss about the Cubs winning the World Series, and now we’re about to start the new season. Well, technically we are, but…fine, the regular season doesnt actually start until April 2, but the pre season stuff starts on Wednesday, with one match between an MLB team, and a college team, but then its baseball, non stop (almost) for about 250 days, depending on how far the World Series goes. If it goes to Game 7, like last year, it will be 252 days!

As I say, almost. There is a 1 day break before the All Star game, and a couple of blank days after that to cope with. Its also likely that the first day after the end of the regular season might be blank, unless there is a play off game to decide a title, or wild card spot. And of course, if all play off series dont go to the last games, we might end up with a blank day there, but you get my drift!

I know, hardly anyone, if anyone plays in all 162 games. A few might get close, someone might do it, but on the whole…no! But the amount of travel these people, and the staff make in a season, frightening stuff. Even more so for teams a long way from anyone (like Seattle, for example), though of course coast to coast trips get planned to minimize the mileage as best they can.

The irony for me is that this year, the matinee games wont be as easy to watch as they have been in recent times. Working until 7.00 means that by the time I get home, the 1.00 (or so) ET games that ESPN tend to show will be 2/3 over by the time I get home. Ah well, the money is handy, but…

At least this year, I will get to some live baseball, in my beloved Dodgers stadium. Definitely going to 1 game in May, and if I can afford the time, and money, well, I might fit in 2! Snag is, one of those series is the Cubs, and I suspect that will be sold out before I get the chance. They play Miami, which definitely appeals, given they are managed by the former manager of the Dodgers! The one sad fact this year, Vin Scully will not be in the commentary box, and even if I dont get to hear him at the stadium, its going to be weird. Oh, and I have no idea whether where I will be staying will have the channel that covers the Dodgers games. Fingers crossed, but…

September, I have no idea if I’m getting to Fenway, or not, depends on what Kate has planned, and that will be top secret until I land at Logan Airport! Wont be the same without Ortiz hitting the ball miles, anyway.

Who will win it all? Who knows? One thing is for sure, we’ll find that out at the beginning of November, probably! Still hard to believe I saw a World Series game live, if only on TV. Cant see me doing it this October unless a very wealthy person falls for my charms lol!

OK, the video. That haunting last video that Freddie Mercury made with Queen.

Can anybody find me?

…Somebody to love! Yes, its that day of the year, but given my age, my looks, and my desire to be tied (romantically at least) to someone now, I suspect I’d make a lousy partner/wife, anyway! Oh fine, other types of being tied by/to someone might be seen in a whole different light! 😉

So yes, in that sense, I probably dont want to find anyone to love, but you have to try, I guess? Some dominant to control me, now that might be of more interest! Even more so if they let me live out my robot fantasy, or maybe took it a step further. I guess in my dreams, being programmed to be the perfect Stepford wife would be heaven! I know, I know, but…

Equally, I have been told a number of times, and I guess it might be true, there is someone out there for me. But in truth, about a month away from reaching 59, I’m beginning to doubt it now. And even if there is, would I make good wife material, after so long being an independent lady, doing as I wish, hmm? Oh fine, I’d enjoy way too much being ‘rebuilt’ as perfect housewife material, but though that might happen in fiction, in reality is a whole different thing!

Who knows, maybe that old Hollywood story will happen for me in May, find someone, fall for them, and they’re prepared to go through the paperwork, and everything else to make me the perfect California wife, oh I wish! But having been there for a total of five and a half weeks before, and nothing happened, I dont believe this time will be any different, but we will see, I guess?

Oh fine, I’d still prefer to find a mad scientist who’d turn me into a robot, but if the chance arises…?

Right, video, some Queen. No prizes for working out which song, mind!

Is this the real life, is it just fantasy?

OK, we’ve had far too much of me, and my job hunting, and apartment hunting of late, so lets do something different tonight?

I don’t generally game a lot, other than the odd silly game of 8, and 9 ball pool, on Miniclip, and thats about it. In the dim, distant past, early this century, I did do a little more, but even then, I dont think Tiger Woods Golf, or World Snooker games ever came close to the edge of cutting gaming. Maybe they do nowadays, I’ve no idea. If I say that the last Tiger Woods game I bought was 2005, much the same for any games in fact, and you get my drift.

But yes, as someone with great attraction to all things technical, and virtual, there has always been one thing of interest to me, that I’ve never tried, and thats those virtual reality gadgets. Me, I’m old enough to remember when it first came out, had all the hype going, even in a movie, but saw it pretty much die a death. Why? Possibly because of the cost, possibly because for ‘ordinary folk’, it wasnt available in many places, and where it was, it was horribly expensive, and as a ‘Good Yorkshire Lass’, I’ve never been one for spending money wildly. Oh, alright, in that sense at least! Anyway, the hype died down, VR pretty much disappeared, and I thought that was that.

However in the last few years, it seems to have been revived in a big way, and seemingly, in the near future, people will be able to enjoy a virtual world at home. Gaming lovers, celebrate, I’m sure it will be an amazing experience! No, I have no plans to get hooked on gaming in that sense, most of the games created for it, are pretty much not my thing. And besides, even if I was, its still probably an expense I couldnt justify for myself.

But at the same time, would I love to put on those goggles, put on a VR suit, and find out what life is like in the virtual world, you bet I would! Well, if they want to create an experience where a mad scientist transforms you into a robot, then that would be heaven, but anyway…not likely to happen, and besides, you might struggle to convince me to come back to the real world if that was on offer lol!

Yes, this is tactical planning. The likelihood of me getting the chance to enjoy the VR experience in Huddersfield, unless I buy it for myself, must be virtually nil. But why do I think that some designer, testing company or something similar would be in the LA area (there, pretty much all of October), and in the rash chance that they want to make my dream come true, then let me know, and let me discover what the virtual world is like, even if its only for a short time, please! In terms of what I get to enjoy, I dont care. If its a game situation, I probably wouldnt last long, but I guess it can always be reset, for a little longer?

Personally, if someone wants to devise a situation where I’m in a mad scientists lab, for whatever reason, then yes, would be heaven. Even more so, if something interesting virtually happened to my mind and body! But in all honesty, before I get too old, I just want to see what its like. So, if someone reading this can arrange it, or know someone that can, then please let me know. Only want it once, unless you want to offer more, in which case, I wont say no!

Right, the video. As can be gathered, there is a clue in the blog title. Its not the video though, its a live version, though the intricate middle section isnt performed live, as such. Oh, and another good reason for it, its Freddie Mercury’s birthday, he would have been 69 today, if alive. He was never going to make it this far though, lets face it.

Another one bites the dust

Yes, despite the headline, this is a horse racing story, but it is US racing.

To be honest, the only strict connection between racing, as I know it in this country, and in the US, is that involves horses. Over here, the longest continuous spell of racing at any one track, is 5 days. In Ireland, I think Galway is actually 6 days, or was at one point, but thats it. In the US, tracks race pretty much non stop for months on end!

Fine, thats on dirt (as the US calls it), or all weather surfaces (as we Brits call it), so I guess the tracks can stand it? Also, over here, horses are trained all over the country, whereas in the US, as much as I can gather, most of the horses are stabled at the race tracks? Due to the amount of times they seemingly run, many horses in the US run on various ‘supplements’ to enable them to survive their regular running rate.

Most of the US racing we see over here is pretty low grade stuff, to be honest. I’m not saying that some of ours (especially our all weather stuff) isnt pretty awful stuff too, but anyway…

But seemingly, in the US somewhere, they must have better grade racing, we just dont use it for betting fodder!

One thing both do have in common, is something called the triple crown. In the US, its the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. No horse has achieved the Triple Crown since 1978, and its not hard to see why. Again, this year, California Chrome won the first two, then came up short in the Belmont. It is the race that seems to catch them out, its longer than the other two, and presumably the stamina issues show up? Not helped by the fact that all 3 races are within a 2 month span!

The triple crown over here, hasnt been won since 1970, but that is as much that horses, even if they win the first 2 legs, have more important targets than the third leg in September. Also, our first race is over a mile, the second over a mile and a half, and the last, an extended mile and three quarters! So, finding a horse who is fast enough to win over a mile, and have the stamina to win over a mile and three quarters… Also, as I say, in the old days, these sort of horses had little other challenges to go for. Nowadays, with major races worldwide, at their feet, why risk it?

So in all honesty, I wouldnt be surprised, if Nijinsky, in 1970 doesnt become the last to do it.

Oh, and fine, I’m trying to ignore it, but it wont go away, the football/soccer World Cup starts on Thursday. Much though I’d like to avoid it, with my job, its hard to do. With luck, it wont get mentioned again. Thankfully I miss the build up to the first of England’s matches on Saturday, I’m off to the Postmodern Jukebox concert in Manchester. The other two matches, hmm…

The video, for California Chrome, and all those who tried before him, a touch of Queen

Facebook friends

So admit it, well, those of you on Facebook at least, which seems to be most people nowadays, how many of your friends there do you actually know?

My own personal account has about 100 friends (roughly) on it, and in all honesty, I’ve actually met, and know about 50% of them. Mind, a lot of the make up on that are people involved in either supporting, or being part of the Irish Cricket set up, which is fair enough, I guess? But would I know most of those, if they passed me in the street, or I met them at a Cricket match, no chance!

But I dont mind being ‘friends’ with them, we have a common bond at least.

Fine, when I started publishing my stories, I set up a Facebook account for Merry Brooks, as much for a publicity machine, as anything else. So alright, I use it as an opportunity to ‘like’ many things Kansas, and indeed, Kansas City, despite it being just over the border, or the sports teams are at least!

No, she doesnt have a big friends list, currently 14, I just checked. Of which I have good online knowledge of…7! There might be one or two others I know, but just dont recognise the name of, but…So yes, I occasionally get the odd friend request, and just tend to approve them. So if you want to friend an author, feel free. Just dont send me games requests, or poke me, or anything like that, or you wont be a friend for long!

The best one though, in a truly wonderful sense, happened a few days ago. I checked it in the morning, and there it was a friend request. So I click through to see who it is, and its a Mary Brooks. Good name, I must say! 🙂 Unsurprisingly, approved. So I look at her details, guess where she lives now, Cherryvale! Wow! So, for a few moments, I assume its another fan of the lovely Louise, but on reading more, that doesnt seem to be the case.

If I get to Cherryvale next year (fingers crossed), I must so try and make contact with her, even if Merry Brooks isnt my real name. I guess she knows that, the avvie is a bit of a give away on that front somehow! But all in all, meet her or not, having a friend named Mary Brooks, from Cherryvale is just the most wonderful thing that could happen for me.

I did send a message to her, asking if there is any connection, or if there are any comments around town about her name, but she hasnt replied yet. But hopefully…

The video, well something that seems apt for Facebook at least

That David and Goliath moment

Or it could also be called, the beauty of British sport.

Over in the US, all the big 4 sports are franchised, no one else gets a look in. So yes, in theory in baseball they talk of little teams like the Baltimore Orioles making the playoffs, but in all honesty, any MLB team is pretty much a money making juggernaut by most standards, but agreed, compared to the Yankees, or the Dodgers, well maybe they are a minnow, but in a true sense, no.

You could say some sports over here are pretty much franchised, Cricket has its 18 first class counties, Rugby League has its Super League, and they are the giants. But in the old days of cricket, and even now in Rugby, the minnows get a chance to bloody the nose of the big boys. It may not happen often, but it does. Of course for me, talking International Cricket, that wonderful moment when Ireland beat both Pakistan and Bangladesh in 2007, and even more so, England in 2011 were truly precious.

And then we come to football, or should I say soccer, for my American friends. I know that the Premier League gets shown on TV over there, I’ve seen it myself, so I know. Thing is, thats probably all that most of them know, and in all honesty, interest is probably limited to a few of those teams. But, we have 3 leagues below them, and in 2 cups every year, the minnows get the chance to bloody a few noses, before letting one of the big boys win the cup. Except…

This year that plan hasnt played out. On Sunday, we have the final of the League Cup, and not one of the giants will be sighted. Yes, there will be a Premier League side there, but its Swansea, not any of the big names. Lets face it, unless you’re a UK footy fan reading this, how many of their players could you name? But thats not the high point of this story, far from it, and what makes this so precious to me, is the other team. 3 Leagues, and a different financial world below them, sit Bradford City in what is called League 2. Actually its the 4th level of football, but technicalities like that dont really matter in the big money world of sport, lets face it. After all, Baseball claims it holds the World Series, but only 2 Countries (barely, with Canada) get the chance to win it.

Yes, incredibly the ‘might’ of Bradford City have knocked out 3 Premier League sides on the way to the final, and on Sunday, they head to Wembley for the final. No, I dont expect them to win it, but then again, no one expected them to beat Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa either! I cant say that I follow them faithfully, but when I was growing up, they were my ‘local team’ so I suppose I’ve always had a soft spot for them, even if I have no interest in the game. But yes, I have an old Bradford City shirt (circa last century, end of), and will be wearing it on Sunday at work, for all the good it will probably do them. But, you never know… More importantly for the club, the money this has all brought in will help the club finances dramatically, and that has to be a good thing.

Good luck Bradford, have a great day, win or lose.

The video, well it will probably play Sunday for one team or the other, and it should be Swansea. But you just never know… 😉