Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Artifacts: The Easter Bunny is Out to Get You

In the old scrapbooks of greeting cards I found a couple of real gems.  There were a couple of little books that that came in envelopes.  You could buy these at a Hallmark store (or some other greeting card store) and put them in the mail.  (I wonder if you can still get these and for a reasonable price.)  This book and the ***other one*** are just adorable.  My heart kind of breaks with this one from Grandma, but it's so cute.  

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Memorial Day Weekend 2020

Tap, tap.  (Sound of a microphone being thumped.)  “Is this thing still on?”

Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything.  There hasn’t been anything to write about.  I’ve been posting a bunch stuff here for a while that I’ve scanned.  I have a whole bunch more, but I haven’t been able to work on getting it ready to post.  The good news is that I still have a job, but I’ve had to start coming in a lot earlier.  I haven’t been able to work on extra circular stuff during the day like I was before at night. 

This won’t be my usual Memorial Day post.  There was only one sporting event to cover this time.  There was no getting up before dawn to watch Monaco and hectically writing like a maniac to cover all of the racing and baseball this year.  This also won’t be much of a race recap either.  (Well, no change in quality control there.)  My heart just wasn’t in to do anything other than watch.  Note taking wasn’t going to happen.  So, this is really just a spring recap heading into summer.       

Where did we leave off?  Last time, I’d recapped NM State Men’s and Women’s Basketball seasons.  Aggie Baseball and Softball’s seasons were canceled.  Nick Gonzales got a nice pre-draft write up in Sports Illustrated.  I also previewed a currently non-existent MLB season.  Since then (actually, just this Saturday in a car service waiting room), I got to read SI’s Baseball preview, which I never found in the bookstore before it was closed down.  Too bad, the issue was pretty entertaining, especially the 2030 sidebars looking into the future (which I embarrassingly didn’t understand at first because I hadn’t read the title and thought they were mis-talking about current day baseball).  I did buy a pack of Opening Day baseball cards.  That was some wishful thinking.  If MLB’s owners and players can’t get their act together to play this year, you can bet I’ll have something to say about it.

I have watched some baseball in the interim.  I’ve seen several classic replay games on TV and over the Internet.  I’ve even watched a couple of simulated games, including a fun Dodger/Giant all-time all-star game played at the Polo Grounds.  I found out Willy Mays’ famous catch there was made at about 460’ from home plate in that cavernous centerfield making it even more spectacular.  Also, the bullpens were in the outfield and were apparently in play.            

My new work hours have allowed me to watch WWE on Fox on Fridays at home.  I’ve been able to see two of my favorites, Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss.  (The guys and the other women are okay, too.)  Professional wrestling is a sport you’d think would have to have a crowd in order to be entertaining.  I’m sure the wrestlers miss the fans and the big arenas, but they have been consummate pros being as over-the-top as ever.  It’s not as good without a crowd, but it’s been entertaining for what’s being presented. 

Fox has shown a few classic NASCAR races.  It’s been interesting watching how the rules and cars have changed over the years.  One older race was somewhat horrifying, as cars made full speed green flag pit stops.  The actual gem of this impromptu offseason has been, without a doubt, NASCAR’s iRacing shows.  There has been a level of sheer fun and joy with these computer races amongst the competitors.  Jeff Gordon and Clint Boywer need to take their comedy act on the road.  Admittedly, this virtual racing has had real world consequences for Kyle Larsen and Bubba Wallace (which I don’t want to get into discussing), but it’s probably good for NASCAR that they went back to real racing before people starting preferring the iRacing.    

NASCAR’s first race back last week was at the venerable Darlington track.  I watched the race with dad and Ron came over.  We all had a good time and it was a good race.  As I thought, the drivers really didn’t quite miss the crowd until Kevin Harvick won and remarked in his interview that it was dead quiet.  NASCAR has run some more races since on a compressed schedule, but I’ve missed them since they were on cable.  One cool revelation was the coverage’s use a drone camera, which has provided some tremendous shots of the action and the track.  I hope this doesn’t put the blimp out of business.      

That brings us to today, Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.  There was no F1, so no waking up early or having to worry about having the race spoiled.  (Hint: the guy leading after the first corner, Ste. Devote, is probably going to win.)  There was no Indy 500.  Instead, NBC was showing a replay of last year’s race with driver commentary and a retrospective of the history of the race, I think.  I didn’t watch.  It was too painful.  The race might happen later in the year.  They have to have fans for Indy; otherwise it wouldn’t be the same race.     

I was over at dad’s and we watched a few episodes of The Pacific while waiting for NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600.  That was rather appropriate for the holiday.  I’ll be honest, this race usually gets a short shrift from me in Memorial Day coverage.  It takes forever and normally isn’t that great.  It’s kind of an afterthought in motor sports this weekend altogether.  Monaco is a lousy race, but glamorous.  Indy has all the drama.  Charlotte is just sort of endless, like too much dessert after a good meal. 

There wasn’t a prerace, though I thought I saw one scheduled.  There were pre-race ceremonies.  They got to go racing for about a half hour before rain halted the action.  I’d been kind of expecting this and ended up going home.  Thankfully, the race did restart about an hour later.        

Today, I had little in the way of distractions in the evening, so I was nearly forced to watch the race.  The racing turned out to be pretty good.  After what should have been the final pit stop, Chase Elliott got ahead of Brad Kesolowski and cruised to an easy victory . . . except that there was an accident with two laps to go.  Chase pitted, while most of the other leaders didn’t.  This left Brad and Jimmie Johnson up front fighting for the win under a green/white/checkers.  Brad took it, but seemed to feel a bit bad for Chase, who finished third.  Chase, who’d gotten punted out of a possible win last week by Kyle Busch, was actually consoled by him afterward.

Frankly, this hasn’t been a good weekend.  Apart from my disappointment, Ron was out helping a relative whose house got burned down in a brush fire, and my boss spent his Saturday dealing with a data processing issue at work.  Who knows what the future will bring for sports?  I’ll provide more coverage and commentary depending on events.  I kind of needed a break from writing, but this is turning into a sabbatical.    

Monday, May 25, 2020

Artifacts: Mrs. Duck's Lovely Day

I got this big box of stuff after my mom's death labelled, "Jerry's Things."  It was a mix of actually important papers from school, a few artifacts like booties and old cups, my stuffed elephant (I've put him with my other stuffed animals), a bunch of scrapbooks with greeting cards (some of which I'll be sharing in the near future if possible), and this little book.  

I remember some of the books I had as a kid that I liked, but somehow, this was the only one that got saved.  I'm not sure why this one.  There were other ones I liked better.  At this point, I question why I scanned it.  Well, it's nicely illustrated.  I'm not sure I understand the theme of this mighty work, but it's a pleasant little story.  Enjoy.  

Bonus: I also found a couple of these little books.  These came with something I used to get every Christmas, a Life Savers book of candy.  The "books" contain several rolls of Life Savers and usually an ornament, in this case, little books you could hang on your tree.  The actual books aren't much bigger than the thumbnail pictures here and proved basically impossible to scan.  I found that out after scanning the covers, so I decided to post what I could get anyway.  Surprisingly, the text inside is readable.      

Friday, May 22, 2020

Artifacts: World Calendar pics

Here's some pictures from a calendar I received in the mail from a charity.  I literally can't believe the number of solicitations I get daily from charities.  I think my record was nine in one day!  I feel like I owe my postman an apology.

They send piles of stuff.  They all send personalized mailing labels.  I get greeting cards, pens, calculators, world/US maps, reusable shopping bags, and even a Dreamcatcher.  I looked up one organization that had sent me a particularly nice package.  They had a zero rating on a charity rating site.  You have to be trying to get a zero rating in order to get one.  In spite of their disclaimers about keeping donor information private, all of them clearly sell your address.  I've even gotten phone calls and I never put my phone number on anything I send.       


Anyway, here's some nice pictures I got from a calendar.  (I didn't send them any money.)

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Artifacts: Mesilla Valley Calendar Pics

The bank I work for produces a yearly calendar with pictures by the employees.  Here's a sample of pictures from here in Las Cruces, New Mexico and the Mesilla Valley.