A Road Trip Through Texas: Day 4

I spent the day at the Dallas Zoo. It’s only the third zoo I’ve ever visited! And it’s also the largest in Texas.

I spent more than three hours exploring the zoo. By the time I finished I was pretty tired. I was lucky it didn’t get too hot during the day.

They let you feed the giraffes! I imagine this may be fairly common in zoos, but this guy was getting ALL the treats! The others were fine eating off the trees or the grass.

They also have seven Galapagos Tortoises! But I’m a little disappointed because a child threw a plastic wrapper into their enclosure and then one of them ate it immediately. Like, that’s unacceptable.

I was there fairly early after the zoo opened, and many of the animals were sleeping. ūüėā I also just want to sleep out in the cool morning sun. There were a ton of snakes and reptiles.

These two did not budge for anything. Just another day relaxing in the water.

After the zoo my brother decided to join me for the Astros-Rangers game. I’m a little flabbergasted by the team getting a new stadium. This one was only my third MLB stadium, and I thought it was quite nice. Though we were freezing as there were strong wind gusts the entire game.

The Astros lost. But the beauty of baseball is they play again today.

After the day I decided for sure to just stay here in Dallas for the remainder of my trip. My initial plan was to go to San Antonio on Wednesday (today) but I’ll hold off because the things I want to do in San Antonio can be done in a three day weekend whenever I want to.

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2017 Reading Challenge: Game of Shadows

I know what you’re thinking. You have never heard of this book. Not surprising. It’s about a company that provided elite athletes with steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs right around the turn of the century. If there is any sports fan deep inside you, then perhaps you might find this book worth reading.

If you’re curious at all to learn more about one of the other things I’m immensely passionate about, then give this video a watch! Baseball is way more important to me than most people realize, and that’s exactly how I want it.

This was the fifth book I read for my 2017 Reading Challenge. It fulfilled the requirement to read a book about baseball.

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Some Randomness About Moi

Today is Saturday and sometimes I just don’t feel like wasting what I think are great ideas for posts on weekends. Even though other times I try writing posts that I anticipate many people will at least read because of the topic. So in reality, this is me being a little lazy. Hehe.

Anyway, last year sometime I wrote some awards posts and at least once published a post of random facts. Well today I wanted to do that again because we’re all friends here, right? *crickets* I guess I’ll start listing them before you run away from me.

1. I have crazy dreams. I’m not kidding. I’ve been the writer for a dinosaur movie. I’ve met Jennifer Lawrence. I’ve played baseball in front of thousands of people in an open field in the middle of nowhere. (did I experience¬†Field of Dreams?) Oh, and I’ve also been chased by an old lady with an ax who was definitely out for blood. And I’ve also dreamed about meeting other bloggers, but I can’t say who because I may or may not have already told them and what if they think I’m crazy and get scared? Nah. Not dealing with that.

2.¬†I suffered two injuries last year as a result of my training. I’ll now likely forever have two bad wrists and a bad shoulder. But I wouldn’t change anything after that 365 pound bench! I also have a bad back that randomly acts up after months of being okay.

3.¬†I’ve never seen a single episode of¬†Game of Thrones.¬†I know people are obsessed with the whole series, but I’ve never felt the need to join them. I highly doubt I’d be interested in the TV series, slightly more likely I’d be interested in the books. Slightly.

4. I might have a need to be famous. I think if people got a taste of the real me that I’d have more friends and people to interact with on a regular basis. My goal in life is to become Vine famous. Or on YouTube. Or WordPress? Seriously, no blogger has any idea what I’m like in person and that’s no good. Honestly, I imagine that many of you would want nothing less than to never meet me. BUT I know several of you would be great acquaintances. I’m imagining a meet up in which we meet in a sports bar (no need to be formal) and we end up having a small crowd of people around us cause we’re so damn interesting. And I’d be the only guy in there who knows anything about the sporting event taking place at the time.

5.¬†I love Twitter. It’s the only social media site I really use besides this. I have Snapchat and occasionally use it, but the people I’ve added on there are just not interesting. I originally started using my Twitter account once I finished writing my book, but now I do not ever tweet about books. Okay, very rarely. My book stuff can stay on WordPress. I’d tell you to follow me over there, but I”m telling you now that I won’t follow you back if all you tweet is #amwriting or #amreading or something similar. I have no interest in that stuff. I mostly tweet about sports because they’re way more important to me than books. Find me here.

That’s it! One day I’ll do an Ask me Anything post and see what kinds of questions people might want to ask, but that isn’t today. So what do you think of my randomness? Maybe you’ve had some crazy dreams too? Or maybe you’re interested in my Twitter rants? Or better yet, you want to come down to Texas and buy me food?

If you comment, then I want you to tell me a random fact about yourself. I won’t reply if you don’t. Ha!


On this day in 2014 I published Are Bookmarks Dead?. The most popular post in the history of this blog. By far. And chances are you’ve already read it. It still usually gets a Like or a comment each day and I remember writing it just to get the idea out of the way because I thought it was stupid. I guess the only stupid one around here is me. So take a look if you haven’t already!

 

Today is Super Bowl Sunday…Who ya Got?

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Most of y’all know of my great interest in all things books. That’s pretty obvious based on what I blog about. But I don’t think hardly any of y’all know about my love for sports. I’m not going to tell you about my playing days, because that’s not why I love sports. I love sports because I can’t remember not. I remember watching the final of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World. Cup live. I remember watching game 7 of the 2001 World Series live. I remember watching the Red Sox end their World Series drought live. I remember watching the greatest tennis match of all time in 2008 at the Wimbledon final between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer live. And I remember watching the Texans win their first ever playoff game in 2012 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

See, there are so many more sports moments I could name, but these stand out for me. And I know more than any person I know. Basketball. Baseball. Football. Tennis. I know all of it. So obviously I’m interested in today’s Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. I’ll be right there watching with the other 110 million people in America, or however many viewers the game ultimately draws.

Here’s my take, though I won’t be making a game prediction. The Seahawks were outplayed more than three quarters of the NFC title game. Their offense didn’t hardly do anything besides Marshawn Lynch. Russell Wilson struggled against a Packers defense that’s been in the middle of the league during both the regular and postseasons. But that’s to be expected. No one ever said the Seahawks had a high flying offense.

And now you have to take into account the fact that the Seahawks secondary is banged up. Three starters are injured, though all will play today. The consensus has been that none of the injuries are serious, but could it affect their play enough to give Brady and co. a shot a the title? That, we won’t know until the game begins.

Lastly, we have Brady playing in his sixth Super Bowl. Sixth. He could become the third quarterback of all time to win four rings. I’m not rooting for either team, but I’d say I’d rather see a guy become the third QB to win four Super Bowls rather than a team be the first to repeat in a decade. But that’s just me.

Who ya got in today’s game? And don’t say either team just because you might be from their city. Give me some analysis.

Amazon’s List of 100 Books Everyone Should Read: #44 Moneyball by Michael Lewis

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Hey look, I’m not waiting months to get my 2015 reading off the ground. I actually started this book last year sometime and I would read and then not and then read. Anyway, I finished it last night and I have some things to say. Remember guys, with the books from the Amazon list I’m just telling you what I think and I’m not going to tell you detail after detail from the books. These aren’t reviews.

This was the fifth book I’ve read from the list since it was released about a year ago. I’m hoping to get a few of these under my belt before this year comes to an end. Now onto the book.

Moneyball

This book follows the 2002 Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball. Hopefully some of that sentence rings a bell. Michael Lewis followed the team to get a look inside Oakland’s unorthodox manner of building a professional baseball team. Stats like batting average and stolen bases and runs batted in (RBI) were no longer valued as they had been for all of baseball’s long history. Instead Billy Beane and his staff focused more on on-base percentage (OBP) and sabermetrics. In short, sabermetrics are the statistical study of in-game baseball activity.

During the course of the 2002 season the Oakland Athletics set an American League record of 20 consecutive wins while having the second lowest payroll in all of baseball. They were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

My Thoughts

Wow. Just wow. I have to admit that I saw the movie adaptation of this book long before ever picking up the book. Chances are that you have too. Brad Pitt. Jonah Hill. Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominations. Yeah. Anyway, so I thought I knew a good bit about the book. Wrong. I knew nothing.

Michael Lewis tells you about the origins of sabermetrics. And how Bill James (a pioneer of sabermetrics) originally wrote for an audience that didn’t exist. No one cared about sabermetrics because they’d never heard of such a thing and figured that baseball people knew what they were doing. It tells the reader a whole lot about how the Oakland Athletics drafted players that were not on other teams’ radars or were heavily undervalued. Lewis puts you in front of these players who sometimes don’t understand why the Oakland Athletics have such interest in them (because no other team does).

But the greatest aspect of this book is how well Billy Beane is described. Billy Beane is the general manager of the A’s and the main subject of the book. See, in the movie we get to see him work his magic during the course of the 2002 season. But in the book we learn so much more. We learn about his playing career. We learn that he was drafted out of high school in the first round and expected to be a Major League outfielder in short time. We learn that he didn’t pan out and ultimately quits baseball to become a scout. The movie is only able to give you snippets of his life prior to his role as the GM.

When the book was originally released in 2003 Billy Beane was the joke of all jokes. Everyone thought he wrote the damn thing to make himself out to be some genius. To make himself out to be smarter than every executive in baseball. But that’s not what I take away from this book. I see a man passionate about his work who refuses to accept mediocrity in its execution and results. And he also didn’t write the book.

All in all, this book far exceeded my expectations. Every baseball fan should read it. I have it ranked as #18 on my list of the best books I’ve ever read. And oh by the way, sabermetrics are used by every baseball team in Major League Baseball today.

The movie is also titled Moneyball.

PS: any newcomers to my blog can check out what I thought of¬†The Fault in Our Stars,¬†The Diary of a Young Girl, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and¬†Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; also from the Amazon list.

Characters and Their Sports

I’m not talking about characters and their favorite sports to watch, I’m talking about characters and the sports they’ve played at some point in the past. I know not every genre does this, but it seems just about every detective novel I read the MC has played a particular sport at a younger age. I don’t see anything wrong with this, but I’m wondering if it’s just what I read or if it’s a bigger thing.

The two sports I know some of my favorite characters have played/participated in are baseball and boxing. I can think of one character who was a minor league baseball player until injury ended his career. And another character who was the top amateur boxer in his state. Maybe you’ve even read or written a character who still plays a particular sport? I haven’t seen that because after all, how many people are still playing a sport after being done with school.

Have you read or written characters who have played sports?