Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for July 17th, 2012

Second Blog-i-versary . . . Some Quick Hits

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Folks, my second “blog-i-versary” passed on July 10, 2012, without comment, mostly because the weather in Wisconsin has been extremely hot.  While I’ve continued to blog here and there, certainly this hot and humid weather we’ve had — which has destroyed crops, damaged lives, and caused all sorts of financial problems, as our 2012 summer is being compared to other, difficult summers like the summer of 1988 and worse, the “Dust Bowl” summer of 1936 — has gotten in the way.

That said, I’m very pleased that my blog is still here, two years after I started it (two years and a week, to be precise).  I hadn’t anticipated this, but I suppose this blog still being in existence shows a good side to the Law of Unintended Consequences after all.

Here’s a few quick hits as to what’s going on right now in Wisconsin, aside from our dreadful weather:

Last night, the Milwaukee Brewers dropped a heartbreaker, 3-2, to their arch-rivals the St. Louis Cardinals.  Particularly troubling in this loss is the fact that the Brewers led, 2-0, in the top of the ninth; closer John Axford got the first two outs (though both were long fly balls caught close to the fence, meaning both hitters nearly hit the ball out of the park rather than made these long, loud outs), then loaded the bases.  Eventually, three runs scored, and Axford was removed from the game; Kameron Loe got the last out.

So, what happened to the Brewers in the bottom of the ninth?  The hitters put too much pressure on themselves, that’s what.  Corey Hart, who’d hit his 17th HR of the year earlier in the game, went to a 3-2 count before striking out.  The next hitter, Rickie Weeks, took a few pitches, but also ended up striking out.  And Martin Maldonado — well, he didn’t do anything, either.  So the Cardinals closer, Jason Motte, got the three outs he needed, while the Brewers closer, Axford, was wild in and out of the strike zone and didn’t pitch effectively.  Now, it looks like Axford may have been removed from his job as Francisco Rodriguez (K-Rod) has 19 holds and 1 save, and has looked far better than “Ax,” and no one can blame Brewers manager Ron Roenicke for wishing to try someone else at this point.

Oh, yes — the guy who started the game, rookie pitcher Mike Fiers, pitched extremely well (again), but didn’t get the win due to Axford’s meltdown.  (I like Axford a great deal, and believe part of his troubles with command of his fastball and breaking ball come down to the usual problems relief pitchers have from time to time.  But I have to call ’em as I see ’em.)

Otherwise, I’m continuing to work on AN ELFY ABROAD, and have some reviews planned this week at Shiny Book Review for Stephanie Osborn’s third book in her “Displaced Detective” series, and for Rosemary Edghill’s VENGEANCE OF MASKS . . . I may even review another book on economics, to keep my hand in the game.  So stay tuned.

Finally, I played a concert with the Racine Concert Band last Sunday; for the record, I played second alto saxophone, and didn’t have any solos, though I did have a few good parts.  I was glad I was able to play the concert despite the heat and humidity; the crowd at the concert (which was free, as it always is) was a bit diminished, possibly due to the heat, but we still had a couple of hundred people there and that’s encouraging.  This was my fourth service for the band this year; I have a few more planned later this month and into August, though I hope to be playing clarinet at that time (I say “hope” because originally I’d been scheduled to play my clarinet on the last concert).

But whether I’m playing in the group or not, if you live in Southeastern Wisconsin and love free, live music, you owe it to yourselves to get out to the Racine Zoo and take in the Racine Concert Band.  Concerts are at 7:30 p.m. on Sundays in July, and are at 7:00 p.m. on Sundays in August through August 19.  There’s a wide variety of music, including marches, show tunes, light operas/operettas, and more — and best of all, it’s free.

Now back to our regularly scheduled sweltering, already in progress.

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 17, 2012 at 5:28 pm