Sunday, April 29, 2007

Has Anyone Got A Light? Maybe Some Fireworks?

Yesterday Australia beat Sri Lanka to win the World Cup of Cricket, and despite living in a southern state of America I was lucky enough to see it happen... Well sort of! You see, there was this pesky rain delay causing the game to conclude later than anticipated. This, along with the rain clouds that caused the initial delay, meant that it was rather too dark to play cricket by the waning moments of the game. The umpires, in their infinite wisdom, offered the light to the batsmen (giving them the chance to stop playing because they couldn't see the ball!), effectively ending the game... or so we thought! Australia celebrated, Sri Lanka congratulated, and officials started to set up a presentation podium on the field... It was at this point (quite some time after the initial "taking of the light") that the umpires informed all and sundry (wides, no-balls... ah, no one will get that little gem of wit!) that the game was not over! Indeed, taking the light was only prolonging the finish of the game until the light improved (i.e. dawn!). So podiums were removed, players returned, and the game was played out in darkness (commentators had to watch their monitors to see what was happening, because they couldn't see the center of the ground!). It was a sad, but strangely fitting end to the tournament.

So, how did I get to watch this spectacle? The cricket club I'm a member of bought a subscription to a website providing a feed for all World Cup games, so I watched the final with a bunch of random Aussies, several Sri Lanka families, and other club members. It was a lot of fun, with friendly banter and much cheering! At the end of the game, each and every Sri Lankan supporter shook my hand and congratulated me... Truly good sports!

As for the fireworks, I went to my first baseball game this weekend! I watched Well-Manicured University (that's where I work), thump the visiting team and they provided quite a fireworks display after the game. It was a lot of fun as I went with my sweetie and her colleagues (she works with some interesting people!). However, the most interesting thing I got from the experience was the music... For those of you who haven't been to a baseball game (or haven't seem the film Major League), each batter or pitcher from the home team has their own piece of music played when they go out to bat or pitch. The mixture was quite eclectic, ranging from Irish folk music to rap, but the most painful was for our star pitcher named Price, who's every move was greeted with the theme from "The Price Is Right"!!!

This brings me to my musical question of the blog... What song would you want when walking out to bat? Personally, I would go with "Down Under" by Men at Work...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Blogs of Glory

I felt the need to contribute the the sibling blog-fest that is currently upon us! Okay, so only two of my siblings have actually blogged, but it's the best excuse I can come up with... If that's the best excuse I've got, imagine how poor the content of this post will be!

So as my oldest sibling gets ready to sail the seven seas (or at least shop them), my not so oldest whispers words of wisdom (and shows his age), and my not quite younger (but female) sibling trips the light fantasic (as in dancing... in checking the correctness of my terminology I discovered that the phrase has other meaning!), I sit here pondering Life, The Universe, and and how South Africa lost to Bangladesh...

Life can be fickle: We have two pieces of the same equipment in the lab. You can use either for an experiment, but you must stick to the same piece of equipment for the entire experiment. I was signed up to use one all of this week (as the other was out of order). Another person in the lab needed to finish an experiment they had started on the machine I was to use, and the broken machine has just been fixed, so I suggested she use the machine I signed up for and that I used the repaired machine. So yesterday the boss and I started work on the repaired machine... well we tried to start work, but the machine is still broken, or rather the part that was repaired is fine, but fixing it has just revealed another problem...

The Universe is unpredictable: Two weeks ago we started cricket season with a lovely sunny day and some entertaining and enoyable cricket. Last weekend we had a cold snap, resulting in freezing temperatures and no chance of play (mad dogs and Englishmen may go out in the mid-day sun, but no-one from the sub-continent will play in freezing temperatures!). This weekend? Rain is forecast...

So how did South Africa lose to Bangladesh? No idea!

As trivia seems to be a way to get comments on your blog, I thought I might finish with this:
What character, in which show, when told to "step up to red alert" replied...
"Sir, are you absolutely sure? It does mean changing the bulb."?
(JollyRgr, give the others a chance first!)

Sunday, April 1, 2007

My New Office

I have a new office. Actually, it isn't a "new" office, rather a pre-loved office. The senior postdoc in our lab has gone on to bigger and better things, and as I am now the senior postdoc in the lab (senior = only), I get the office.

So I have a huge desk, a comfortable chair, lots of shelf space, my own colour printer (we have a far better colour printer in the lab proper, but it is so slow that we've contemplated hiring an artist to paint out figure in watercolours, just to save time), and the rare chance to hide away from the hustle and bustle of the lab when I require.

In other news, cricket season has started! As the newly minted VP of the club I was pleased to see a good turn out for the first session, and we got in a couple of very entertaining games. My own performance was fair (for those who understand cricket, I am a leg-spinner and a bunny... for those who don't, this isn't some weird fetish), and I am learning more about my abilities on the field. As a bowler I have come to notice that the ocassional ball will be hit high and straight over my head, so a placed our best fielder on the boundary for the straight hit... When it came I yelled "catch it!" and turned to watch the ball sail effortlessly over the boundary, the fence around the ground, and the cars parked outside the fence... Oh well, there's always next week!