Saturday, February 26, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
We were interviewed by an Arsenal crew before the game but the audio was not included. We did not expect the video to make it onto TV... but there is a 30 minute weekly show called Arsenal 360 shown here in the US on YES (the Yankee baseball channel) and no-one was more surprised than me when I spotted "Tiger".
More importantly, let's not forget that the Gunners won 2-1, with late goals from Van Persie and Arshavin. A very memorable evening in north London with 60,000 fans singing and chanting practically the entire game.
View from the North Bank during the second half. Bendtner and Arshavin had replaced Walcott and Song at this stage. All the goals were scored down our end.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Did Jerry really sell his soul when he fired Landry and won those three Super Bowls back in in the early 1990's? Was it a mistake to have a roof on the new stadium, meaning you know who cannot always see His favorite team? Certainly the elements conspired against the big game. The weather the weekends before and after was perfect but during the days leading up Super Bowl Sunday we had a mini ice age and so may things went wrong: parties cancelled, stadium entrances closed (due to ice falling off the roof), temporary seats not complete. The latter was the worst. Imagine shelling out several thousand $s and not being allowed to see the game live. What a fiasco.
I am not sure if it was Jerry's fault or the NFL. Apparently the League takes over all aspects of the stadium in the weeks leading up to the game. We got to see NFL flexibility at work when we stopped by the stadium the week before Super Bowl Sunday and attempted to snap a photo. Some heavy handed NFL security thug was quick to jump in front of the camera and remind us this was against NFL policy. This never happened when Jerry was running the show, although Jerry might have charged for the photo... At least the game itself was great and the right team won.
I met some Packers fans straight out of Wisconsin at a McDonald's the Friday before the game. They did not complain one iota about the weather and I felt bad trying to craft a Chamber of Commerce type answer to their question "What is there to do in Irving"? They did not wait around for an answer... Some lug nut in an SUV was spinning his wheels in the McDonald's parking lot and they all rushed out to help him get traction. I was ready to leave him stuck. Cheese Heads are really nice people.
The weather did not ruin everything. The kids had four days off school due to the ice and got to go sledding when the snow came. The hardest part was finding a hill when all we have is prairie.
And a couple of neighboring kids got to perform that most celebrated of all Texas sports (not football) but would you believe - pond hockey? For about 30 seconds my head was back in Connecticut...
Sunday, February 6, 2011
It was great entertainment value and the arena was packed. Some small rodeo's do not have the full complement of events but the FWSS&R had 'em all: bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing, bull riding... and even chuck-wagon racing, which comes as close to Ben Hur style chariot racing as you will see. My favorite is the tie down roping:
I think this guy was done in about 13 seconds, there are video's on Youtube where the times are under 7 seconds. Remarkable horsemanship and roping skills. We seen one contestant who had roped the calf but was having trouble because the horse was not keeping the lariat taut; the cowboy signalled to the horse to back up. The horse obliged, tightening the rope around the calf's leg and thereby subduing him a bit and the cowboy was able to complete the job. We have had fun since running the beagles around the living room and practicing this maneuver.
The next favorite part of the FWSS&R is the actual stock show. Families from all over Texas spend the year getting cattle, pigs, horses, sheep, chickens etc. ready for judging and spend days hanging around the pens getting their animals to look their best. There was more combing and blow-drying going on than backstage at a Broadway show. The Longhorns had already come and gone but there were plenty of Herefords, Brahman's, Jersey, Holstein and so on... We were there in time to see the sheep judging and a couple of sheep being sheared.
Now magnify that cacophony by about 500. No wonder there are city ordinances about raising chickens. At 6am, this would cause civil war in some neighborhoods.
We had a great old time. Next year we might go on a week day and avoid some of the crowds. It certainly blows the Texas State Fair away. It is more about agriculture and family oriented - the Texas State Fair is basically a giant midway and expensive to boot.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
The front last night brought some form of wacky precipitation that was neither hail, sleet nor snow. All I know is that left abut an inch of ice on the roads. We had the oak trees out front trimmed on Saturday and I cannot decide if the timing was good or bad. The ice / snow last year wreaked havoc on their limbs. Time will tell...
Our office delayed opening until 10am. Then at 11am, they announced the office would close at noon. I think if I had risked driving in, I would have been upset at going in for a measly two hours. Fortunately, I stayed home and enjoyed the Gunners 2-1 come from behind win over the Toffees.
And one last weather related note (sort of): congrats to the Red Storm (Redmen) of St. John's, who knocked off the # 3 ranked Duke Blue Devils on Sunday. Another huge step in right direction for the Redmen.
Paris Horne (l.) and Justin Brownlee celebrate as St. John's upsets No. 3 Duke at The Garden.
Photo courtesy of Sipkin / News, NY Daily News