Happy “pretty good” Sunday

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For “Super Sunday” there’s church in the morning, “Sexapalooza” in the afternoon and the “Super Bowl” in the evening. Ah, life in Columbus – can’t beat it!

Judy and I joined Weight Watchers but I’m struggling a bit. How many “PointsPlus” is a pint of Barley’s Christmas Ale? Or how many activities points is pushing a toddler around at high speed in a red push car? I think “ah, these are problems to have”. Since we’ll be home for “the big game” today anyway I may make the nachos recipe that WW texted. And, yes, I will be taking a picture of them. So there!Actually, two out of three isn’t bad. We woke up much too late for church, the snow is really dumping outside (again) and I don’t think there’s stroller parking at “Sexapalooza”. We’ll go some other year – when Judy and I are older we’ll make the kids go “eeeeew”

Tommy's red car

The red car in question

It’s a beautiful snowy morning in Columbus today. Perfect day to spend the day chasing my toddler around the house and spend the night chasing my wife around the house. See? Who needs “Sexapalooza“?

Update: I’ve learned something else today as well: never publish a blog post with a toddler tugging at your belt. It won’t turn out well!


Columbus Diary #001

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I’ve been know as being pretty stiff-necked under normal circumstances but today the description is particularly apt. Yesterday afternoon my dermatologist took three pre-cancerous lesions off my skin – two on my neck and one on my back. This is both better and worse than it sounds: better because it’s cheap insurance against a worse outcome and minimal surgery; worse because it’s right on the border of “carry on” and “better slow down” wounds. For example, my start-stop attempts at steady workouts are fixed on “stop” for the next two weeks. It feels like a stiff neck…until I move. Only then do I get a rather painful reminder of the larger magnitude of work that has been done. This is in contrast to my last mis-adventure: the thoracotomy. There the combination of lack of lung capacity and large wounds in my side were a persistent reminder of my unwell physical state.

State of the League event at Crew Stadium

State of the League event at Crew Stadium

Yesterday was the “State of the League” event at Crew Stadium with the MLS Commissioner Don Garber, Columbus Crew President & General Manager Mark McCullers, and Columbus Crew Owner Clark Hunt. I was invited by virtue of my season ticket which, it turn, I have by virtue of my wife (who knows me all too well). Each person gave a short talk that was surprisingly informative. Then came the “Question and Answer” period; were these questions penalty kicks they would have floated over the goal. They didn’t come close to answering my questions but, to be honest, I didn’t expect them to be that bold.

My Questions

  • Did the MLS front office have any involvement in arranging Brian Ching’s return to Houston?
  • Did they “facilitate” at all the return of Eddie Johnson prior to Dec 23, 2011?
  • How is MLS – SUM relationship playing out? Do you think this will be a long term arrangement or will MLS bring marketing “in house” sometime in the foreseeable future?
  • When choosing an expansion location is it more important that the market be large even if soccer hasn’t been particularly successful (e.g. Minneapolis, Phoenix) or is it more important that the soccer team is successful even if it’s a smaller market (e.g. Charleston, Orlando).
  • Do you think oblique hints of the Crew leaving Columbus hinder marketing the club?

Again, I don’t blame them for not answering these questions. Hell, even the press doesn’t ask questions these sharp. Speaking of which, there were some pointed tweets about the press not being invited. I suspect that had something to do with there being only one table of free food.

Our Hero?

Upon reflection, this is the second time medical mayhem has been followed by a Crew event. The first official outing after my stay in hospital last year was to a taping of “Crew Xtra“. Both then and yesterday I was in pain and not myself; I shouldn’t wonder if my fellow Crew fans are beginning to think of me like Colin from “The Brittas Empire”.

Flickr Set: Colorado Rapids v Columbus Crew

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A new set from my Flickr account: pictures from the recent MLS playoff game between the Colorado Rapids and the Columbus Crew.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Painting the corners (then watching them dry)

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There’s been a flurry of comments about umpire Joe West’s complaint about the Yankees and Red Sox dragging out the length of games.  I must admit I was biased in Mr. West’s favor.  After all, I’m interested in watching baseball not players adjusting their gloves or scratching their nuts.

Tonight the Yankees played the Texas Rangers and were rained out in the 7th inning.  While waiting for the game to restart I flipped over to the Rays-Red Sox game; a picher’s dual tied 1-1 in top of the ninth.  It seemed to me like the game was dragging.  Suddenly, I remember what my old boss used to say: “Metrics, you need to support your idea with metrics”. So as Carlos Peña approached the plate I decided to time how long it took Jonathan Papelbon from receiving the ball to the time he set for delivery.  Here are the results.








it took 4:44.4 minutes for Paplebon to walk Peña.  This doesn’t seem too bad for a walk until you realize that 4:05.7 was Paplebon dancing around the mound.  Five minutes for one batter to walk was enough to kill my interest in a tied game –imagine what it does to the casual fan.

It’s time for the umpires to get tough.  No more time-outs to batters unless the fly is undone or their shoe comes off.  And, if necessary, a shot clock in center field should clock down 12 seconds for the pitcher to deliver to the mound otherwise it is a ball.  That would restore some sanity to the game.

*   For some inexplicable reason, Umpire Brian Gorman granted time after Papelbon came to the set position.

UPDATE: Ken Levine, who does baseball post-game for the Dodgers and has an excellent blog, made a similar posting at the same time I posted this.  Great minds, etc.

St. Patrick’s Day 2010

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Normally I stay in for “Lae le Padraig” as it is “amateur night”. However, this day was also the CONCACAF Champions Quarterfilnal game between the Columbus Crew and Toluca. So, out I went…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “St. Patrick’s Day 2010“, posted with vodpod

Click on any of the pictures for more information.

Crew Rally

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Crew Rally
Originally uploaded by tlillis4

This picture doesn’t look like much – it really isn’t much of anything. This was taken at the Columbus Crew rally at Easton Town Center. And, yet, on a personal level this picture is very important. This is when I started being “in sync” with Columbus

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