Sunday, 26 June 2005
Moving up to the majors
So, I've changed my mind since my last baseball post. Despite my initial resistance, I've succumbed to following the ups and downs of the major league team in town.
We did attend a Potomac Nationals game and it was an awesomely fun afternoon, as expected. And I do expect we will go back to another game of theirs before the summer's out. But there are difficulties in paying attention to a minor league team versus a nearby major league one:
Press coverage - You have to work to find out how the minor team is doing, whereas the major team's fortunes get mentioned every half-hour on my morning commute, and on the front of the morning paper's Sports section, and in every broadcast of the local news, and on ESPN, and so on and so forth.
Catching a game - I can't watch the Potomac Nationals' games anywhere on TV, and their audio feed does not work on my Windows Media Player 9 (OS X). So the only way to catch them is to attend a game or just check the box scores after the fact, which is frankly just not as fun. Whereas the Washington Nationals can be heard much of the time on two local stations and can even be seen now and then on the local UPN station.
Not to mention the extra enticements offered by the Nats over the "P-Nats" (no, really, that's what their shorthand name is..):
Better baseball: The minor league game was fun, but there weren't many balls that made it beyond the infield for either team. The major league has wider-ranging action, at least based on my small sample size.
We're winning! The Nats are leading their division and are 13 games over .500 even after their loss today. And this is their "inaugural season", to boot. Way cool. (The P-Nats are at 2 and 3 for this part of the season.)
Plus, I've been fortunate enough to acquire gratis tickets to a couple of games via my place of work - they have some prime seats near the Nats dugout, and the stadium is Metro accessible so it's not as much of a hassle as I had expected. We've been to a game in person once, and plan to go again very soon (a night game this time, the day games can get brutal when you're sitting in the direct sun).
And so, I find myself in (incredibly) rare agreement with right-wing hack Charles Krauthammer, who wrote in April:
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The Washington Nationals are born. I do not know a thing about them. I do not know a single player on the team. I have no residual allegiance to them...
But it is a new home team. And I am a bit curious. So I'm listening to their second game, a come-from-behind win in which no-name center fielder Brad Wilkerson hits for the cycle. Next day, a nifty comeback: Jose Vidro hits a game-winning homer in the 10th.
I'm beginning to ask the Butch Cassidy question: Who are those guys? Then another comeback, another game-winning dinger, this time by Jose Guillen, a refugee from the Anaheim Angels, shipped out after, let us say, an altercation with his manager. And then yet another surprise victory against the fearsome Atlanta Braves, a ridiculously impossible comeback with two outs in the ninth.
Presto. ... I begin to care. I want them to win. Why? I have no idea. I begin following day games on the Internet. I've punched not one but two preset Nationals stations onto my car radio. I'm aghast. I'm actually invested in the day-to-day fortunes of 25 lunkheads I never heard of until two weeks ago.
This is crazy. I've relapsed, and I like it so much I've forsworn all medication.
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Thanks to Anita and Glen for the unsolicited encouragement on getting back in the game... and thanks to Lyn for the prodding and setting of a good example, no matter what her temporary weblog is called at the moment...
Been trying out Markdown for making post-writing even more trivial. HTML is easy to write, but it is tedious. Markdown removes a little of the drudgery; I'm liking it.
Going to be making some minor changes here and there with the outdated template and the suboptimal formatting of posts. I also plan to implement categories & maybe even tagging for posts too. (Thanks to Anita I have two tags in the wild specific to me, even.. coool. :) )
Favorite spam subject of the moment - "your id has been revoked". The message didn't mention anything about my ego...
"Old QuickTime"? Restart before you reinstall
Planting a quick Googlable note for any Mac users who run into the same error I did:
I recently updated to OS X 10.3.9, then took Software Update's advice to further get the Java update for 10.3.9, QuickTime 7.0.1 and the two Security Updates. (Maybe doing those simultaneously triggered this problem, I don't know.)
Upon restart and login, I saw an AppleScript bounce in my Dock named 'QuickTime Startup', which triggered a big dialog box saying:
Please upgrade to QuickTime7.0 or later.
The script failed, and I clicked OK to continue. Running QuickTime Player brought up the same error.
Googled around & found nothing (even on MacFixit). Searched Apple's Support area, found zero mentions of either exact phrase in the error.
Decided: fine, I'll downgrade to QuickTime 6.5.2 again, then maybe install 7.0.1 anew. So I downloaded both installers. Then I thought: oh, gee, just in case I'll restart one more time. After I did that, the problem disappeared completely and QuickTime worked properly from then on. So, try restarting once more before doing anything drastic.
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