another misAdventure

"We are all of us living in the shadow of Manhattan."

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ellen!

A quick post before we go out to dinenr to celebrate.
Spent the day packing up more stuff at my mom's house. More later. (but when?)

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Saturday, March 22, 2008


I picked the wrong two 16-seeds.

It's NCAA tournament time, and pretty much the only interesting four days of the college basketball season (which is four days more than the NBA season has - sorry, I'm not a basketball fan).

So, I have a couple half-assed theories on the NCAA tournament:
  1. 1. Every year, two #12 seeds beat the #5 seeds in the first round.
  2. 2. Every year, three of the found #9 teams will beat the #8 seeds.

This is pretty much just observation, but it holds true most of the time (theory #2 fell a bit short this year). And, they seem to have some supportable reasons:
  1. 1. Seed #12 tends to get the best of the small-conference teams. On the other hand, #5 seeds often are teams from big conferences that have good records but the team is on the downtrend. Records too good to drop lower, but not good showings of late that would pull them into one of the top four seeds. So, the small-conference team has the momentum, the team chemistry, but no one treats their conference seriously. Note a lot of this argument can also hold for #11 vs #6, a bit less for #13 vs. #4, but they happen (as seen this year).

  2. 2. On the other hand, the difference between #8 and #9 seeds is negligible. Could have gone either way. But now the #9 seed has just a little bit to prove, so they ride that incentive.

The big problem with my #12 vs. #5 explanation is that it fell apart this year. Two #12 seeds beat their #5 opponent, but they were exactly the opposite ones from what I was expecting.

Villanova isn't from a small conference. There were a bubble team, the kind that often gets seeded a little higher like #11).

Western Kentucky is from a small conference, but Drake is from a mid-major, not one of the classic major conferences. They were convincing enough that they got a bit higher seed than mid-major winners usually get.

The #12 seeds that fit my model exactly are the ones that lost.

Oh well. I'll be interested through tomorrow (especially when we get the two second-round #12 vs. #13 games), but then it will be baseball time.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

That Was Fast

OK, I linked the listing for my mom's house in the previous post. It's been on the market maybe four days.

We got an offer this morning.

We counter offered.

They accepted our counter.

House is sold -- at least provisionally.

Maybe we left money on the table since it was done so fast, but it's taken care of. Now I've got to decide when I'm going back to pick up some more stuff, because I have about a month to finish clearing the place.

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OK, if you ever wondered what my mom's house in Missouri Valley looks like, here's your chance:

Not here, but you can see the listing for it, which has pictures outside and in.

And Ellen (with Rachel, Brian, Nicole, and Beth) did a terrific job getting things cleaned up, because it certainly didn't look that good when I left a week ago.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Return of the Keys

Minor things make me happy.

For the past few months, I've been carrying one key, occasionally two. The one key would be the "Valet" key for my car, the one designed to be given to valet parking and that can't open the trunk. (The second was a house key, that I often didn't carry because there was rarely no-one at home).

I didn't have the remote lock/unlock fobs.

The story goes back to last summer (or maybe spring, almost a year ago). Ellen was driving this car regularly then. She was returning from work at Marionjoy late one night, stopped at a Jewel on the way home for some groceries, and when she got back to her car she couldn't find her keys -- though she'd obviously driven there. She had to call me to bring another key to the car so she could get home. Couldn't figure out where the keys had gotten to.

The second set of lost keys were after I took the car for daily use. When my mom died, I rode to Missouri Valley with my brother. Ellen and the kids drove over the next day -- some in Ellen's VUE and some in Ryan's car. Ryan didn't have an I-Pass for the tollway, though, so Kalen got my keys and retrieved my I-Pass. That would be the last anyone knew of what happened to those keys.

So, since then, months with just the valet key. I was just on the verge of breaking down and ordering a new remote fob and key from the Saturn dealer.

Last Thursday, Ellen got an envelope in the mail from Jewel -- with her long lost keys. No explanation, but we figure they must have been dropped in the store and then kicked under the cash register stand or maybe under shelves. That store must have been doing either some deep-cleaning or remodeling, found the keys, and connected them to Ellen through the Preferred Customer Card tag on the keys.

Last Friday, on our way back to Iowa, Ellen and I were reshuffling things on the console of her car -- making room for drinks, I believe, with our dinner-on-the-fly. She opened a compartment that she doesn't use much and -- there are mykeys. When they got tossed in there we're not sure. I may even had been asked where to the put them at the time and decided to put them in there. Then everyone involved totally forgot.

OK, It's a stupid little story, but I'm glad to have my keys and my remote fob back. It's a little nicety, and made ... well, not really made my day, but made that hour.

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Happy Birthday, Kalen!

Happy birthday, eldest daughter! She turns 1A today (at least the way I normally count my age).

Three quick posts, but I wanted to make sure this one was on top. Wish Kalen happy birthday at her blog (though I don't know whether she'll get to it until tomorrow, unless she nabs Cody's computer).

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It's Later than I Think

I totally forgot daylight saving time last night/this morning. I thought I was waking up at a nice, reasonable time to get some things done, after 8 hours of sleep. I got an hour into the day before I realized it was almost 10am, rather than 9am.

I was reminded by reading the comics. Both Arlo and Janis and Blondie have daylight saving time jokes today. At least, those are the only ones I've seen so far.

Bob says "Hi!".

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RIP, Elaine

My mother-in-law, Elaine Waterhouse, passed away yesterday.

Alll three of her children were with her at the time, and her passing was peaceful, though sudden (or at least, not at all predicted earlier in the week).

And, again, that's all I have to say about that at the moment. We were already in town here in Missouri Valley as we were dealing with stuff from my mom's estate.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Gary Gygax, RIP

Gary Gygax has passed away.

I don't really have anything to add to this, other than noting the amount of enjoyment I've gotten out of the various incarnations of D&D over the years.

This news I got from Mike Norton's blog, though it's probably all over a bunch of Yahoo groups I read (but can't get at right now).

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ryan!

It's heading into birthday season, and Ryan is first up. Happy birthday, Ryan.

My youngest is officially 21 today, but his siblings aren't here to take him for a drink.

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