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NCAA baseball playoffs are here! Louisville's hosting a regional, and probably a subsequent super-regional, having started as the national #2-ranked team and seeded at the top of the four-team bracket. The Cards beat Western Michigan 6-1 yesterday, and are currently whipping up on Ohio State 14-0 in the top of the 7th. The game's seen a couple of delays, it being a rainy and sometimes stormy day here.

The playoff setup is double-elimination. Western Michigan lost to the Cardinals yesterday to to Wright State today, so they're heading home. Ohio beat Wright this afternoon, putting Wright on the ropes. Unless something nearly historic happens in the next six outs, they'll play again at noon tomorrow and the winner of that game plays Louisville at 4 tomorrow afternoon.

Vanderbilt, last year's College World Series runner-up and 2014's champion, got hammered this afternoon, losing 15-1 to Xavier. Vandy was playing under a figurative cloud - a talented freshman pitcher drowned on a fishing trip early this week. I can't take any joy in their misfortune, but my feelings won't be hurt if they're eliminated in tonight's second game - they are consistently very good, and Louisville would likely face them in the next round of games.

Muhammad Ali died last night. If Louisville can be said to have a favorite son, it's likely him. I was out with some of the cohort when the news came in, and a very noisy bar got quiet in a hurry. Flags at city buildings are at half-staff this weekend.
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Good grief, this fucking week.

The week kicked off with a misunderstanding that could have cost me some friendships.

Then it leveled off for a couple of days.

And then Thursday showed up. Woke up to a text from a dear friend, telling me that her husband had had a mental inquest warrant dropped on her a little while ago. This, of course, is not good. And I'm having some problems seeing the justification. He's emotionally manipulative (and, well, yes, takes one to know one), and I can't see this as anything but an attempt to hurt and/or control her.

Five hours later, we learned that Prince was dead. 2016 keeps on taking the best ones we have.

Three hours later, the first of two finals for the semester and I don't feel good about it at all.

Fuelling up this morning, "Highwayman" came over the store's PA speakers, and I kinda felt a little better.
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This afternoon, Glenn Frey died. In the past few days, we also lost David Bowie and Alan Rickman. Just bam-bam-bam. Enough already.

I saw the final Bowie album, Blackstar, pop up on my iTunes header and put it on a mental to-listen-to list; two days later, he was gone. Having bought and listened to the album a couple of times, my respect for Bowie has only grown. It's clear as anything a goodbye to his fans, and it is a damned good piece of work.

Rickman will always be the incomparable thief, Hans Gruber, for me. I love him as the Sheriff of Notthingham and Alexander Dane, of course, but Gruber ... just an incredible villain.

I joined a gym. HSC's fitness center is nice, but its hours and mine just don't line up all that well. Just walking/jogging for now; when I'm less huge, I'll move on to other activities.
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Last night, over on the G+ wasteland, I saw some comments on a kerfuffle involving this year's Hugo Award nominations. Short form - a couple of dudes got nominated and some other people think there's been ballot-stuffing or the like.

The dudes in question are Larry Correia and Theodore Beale, the latter writing under the pen name Vox Day (OMFG AREN'T I CLEVER NO ONE WILL GET MY CLEVER WORDPLAY ON BEING THE VOICE OF GOD). I've read only a little from each of these fellows, about enough to be comfortable in not wanting to read more. The borrowed copy of Correia's Monster Hunter International failed the 100-page test, and failed it spectacularly; occasional dives into his online presence haven't improved my take on him, and he was an utter dick at the one face-to-face encounter I've had with him. Baele's not a good writer by any means; well, his grammar's pretty good, but that's about it. Assuming he's not engaging in some kind of long-form trolling or performance art, his blog posting indicates that he's a pretty terrible human being as well (but has occasional reasonable economic ideas). John Scalzi refers to him as Racist Sexist Homophobic Dickweed (RSHD), and I can't find it within me to disagree.

Whether or not the nomination process was gamed doesn't affect me at all, and I'm not sufficiently outraged to buy a WorldCon supporting membership just for the privilege of voting against these guys and for some of the good stuff I've read in the past year (like, Charles Stross's very good and very creepy Equoid). There is no shortage of material out there for me to read or view, and I can continue to vote with my wallet.

That's easy enough to do in many, many cases. Take occasional whipping boy Orson Scott Card. He's a dreadful homophobe, and a disingenuous coward, and seems to be able to only write variants of one story. Makes it easy to not support him in any way. (Disclaimer: Yes, I saw the Ender's Game movie, and it was terrible, and I donated twice what I paid for the tickets to anti-bigotry organizations after seeing the movie.) On the other hand, there's Bryan Singer. I like Singer's movies, and I'm looking forward to Days of Future Past. Singer's long been known as a chickenhawk, and of late, some very unpleasant accusations have been made against him - Google's right over there, should you want to know more. I'll see the movie. I'll probably watch The Usual Suspects again. But if these accusations prove to be true, some part of me will probably be a little bit conflicted.
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So, this day.

During the afternoon Fantasy Craft game, I heard about Philip Seymour Hoffman's death, apparently due to a heroin overdose. I like Hoffman's work - he was menacing as all get-out in Mission: Impossible 3, and for cinematic whiplash, I'll watch him in Capote.

The game itself? Okay enough, but was lessened by a player overthinking just about everything. The other players did what they could, and we had fun, but ... well, what can you do.

Ben P and Chris M came over to watch part of the Super Bowl after gaming wrapped up. This is maybe the worst SB I've ever seen. Denver cannot get things together on either side of the line, and Seattle is just running away with the game. With two minutes to go, it's 43-8. Unbelievable. So much Manningface tonight.

An adventure began on this night, a few years ago. Started simply enough, an invitation to dinner. Things quickly got out of hand, and the next 90 days were a whirlwind. It ended poorly, but appropriately. And, in the long term, I won. I was reminded of who I was, and who I still am.

Loss

Sep. 26th, 2006 06:50 pm
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John Ed Pearce died yesterday.

http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/15609275.htm

Damn.
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We've lost the Crocodile Hunter.
Just a handful of days left at this apartment.  All the packing and cleaning in the world is on my agenda for today.  The track on my model railroad is being glued down so I don't have to reassemble the layout at the new place.  Books are boxed.  I'm probably going to have a hundred pounds of trash out of my bedroom.

Locals - I'm going to be calling on you for help Friday evening/Saturday morning.  I'll move scads of boxed stuff and small furniture on my own Friday morning and afternoon, but the couches and some of my bookshelves are going to require assistance.  Compensation in pizza and good moving karma.

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