Monday, March 31, 2008

796.357 -- Take me out to the ball game

"There is no sports event like Opening Day of baseball,
the sense of beating back the forces of darkness and the National Football League."
- Author George Vecsey in A Year in the Sun (1989)

The last few days around here have virtually centered on today's weather report. Although the Reds' website insists it will be sunny and in the 80s, everyone else has predicted cooler temps and at least some chance of rain.

It never really mattered though. Weather alone won't be enough to stop Reds fans. Matt just left a few minutes ago in fact, sporting layers of tshirts, sweatshirts, and a windbreaker, with two umbrellas and a bag of peanuts in hand.

The game doesn't start until around 2 p.m. today, but if you've ever been to Cincinnati in the Spring, you know that the game isn't the only attraction. Festivities commenced this morning at 9 a.m. with a pep rally and live music on Cincinnati's Fountain Square. The parade will start around 11 a.m., snaking through downtown Cincinnati and taking about 2 hours to finish.

After a quick bite to eat at one of the several downtown Skyline Chili restaurants, fans lucky enough to have tickets to the game will make their way to Great American Ballpark for the "opener of openers." (
As Major League Baseball's first officially recognized franchise, the Cincinnati Reds are historically awarded the privilege of hosting the first opening day of any baseball franchise.)

Circumstances beyond my control meant that Matt had to find another taker for my game ticket. I'm a little disappointed, but they'll have lots of fun. Plenty more Opening Days on the horizon.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

394.2667 -- Easter and related holidays

Some Easter-themed funnies for your viewing pleasure :)

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 14, 2008

628.535 -- Radon

I have to give a lot of credit to our Realtor (thanks Uncle Tom!) for warning us about the hazards of this toxic -- and scarily common -- naturally occurring gas. I'll let the Environmental Protection Agency summarize: "Radon is a cancer-causing natural radioactive gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. Its presence in your home can pose a danger to your family's health. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America and claims about 20,000 lives annually."

Scary much?

Bad enough just knowing that it's so prevalent (it contributed to the death of Dana Reeve), but how about finding out that the house you almost closed the deal on (pictured below) has an unusually high concentration of radon? Lucky we paid extra for the radon test! Before I tell you the level in the house, masticate on this, from the Global Institute for Energy and Environmental Systems:

"The average indoor radon level is estimated to be about 1.3 pCi/L, and about 0.4 pCi/L of radon is normally found in the outside air. The U.S. Congress has set a long-term goal that indoor radon levels be no more than outdoor levels. In keeping with normal radiation safety practices for minimizing all sources of radiation doses, AARST (American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists) recommends testing of buildings and taking action to reduce radon levels below 4 pCi/L."

The house in question tested at 14 pCi/L ... which stands for picoCuries per liter, by the way.

So we are now faced with renegotiating the original contract with this new consideration. Which, along with the fact that the 32-year-old house still has the original furnace and air conditioner, adds about $7k to what we'll have to put into the house.

Maybe this post should have been filed under 643.12 for home-buying how-tos!

The house in question. Cute, but deadly?

Friday, March 7, 2008

551.555 -- Snowstorms

Snow started falling early this morning, crippling the tri-state. While many were able to get to work, getting home may be a different story entirely. What's that you say? You want to know how many inches we have? So far, there are less than three inches outside my door. I can still see grass peeking through.

Yet schools, companies, even medical offices are canceling plans and closing their doors. The news was overrun last night with stories about quantities of rock salt, terrified citizens stocking up at their local grocery, and schools already closing in anticipation of today's blizzard-like conditions.

If we hadn't lived in the "remote tundra" of Northern New York for nearly three years, I probably would be in the same boat as the late-night, stocked-up, grocery shoppers. But I just can't get flustered over a few inches of snow.

Last February, our tiny town of Sackets Harbor experienced an honest-to-God blizzard. (That's my car, about three yards from the door to my house.)

The street in front of our house, three days after the storm. I've been told by people who haven't lived there that the road treatment system in New York is better than in Ohio. You can barely make out the road.

Matt's truck three days after the blizzard. Another great shot of the road -- still covered in snow after three days.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

006.7 -- On Blogging

Welcome, friends, to my first entry. (Technically, it's my second, but I'm back-dating it for sake of continuity.) As a librarian, I have developed a special affinity for the order that cataloging can bring to even the most disorganized life. Because of my job, a friend of mine suggested that I call this blog "Cataloging our Life." I think I like "Cataloging Life" a smidge better, but that's the reason for this post. This blog needs a clever name, and I'm too tired to think of one. Original ideas welcome!