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Archive for April 5, 2010

Big Night

April 5, 2010 Leave a comment

So much to watch on TV tonight. What to do? We are 14 hours into the final season of 24, and tonight is the night FOX has chosen to broadcast two episodes back-to-back. It’s also the night of the NCAA men’s basketball championship game between Duke and Butler, now underway, but I haven’t gotten to it yet. For several years now (except when 24 wasn’t on a couple of years ago because of the writer’s strike), the Monday night broadcasts of the NCAA championship game and 24 have created an annual conflict, but the double 24 episode only exacerbates the problem. On top of that, it’s opening day of the baseball season, and the Mariners, rather than playing a daytime opener like most teams, are playing tonight against the A’s. The game would have just started 5 minutes ago.

Earlier today, Joel and I watched bits of two openers, on ESPN and ESPN2 — the Reds hosted the Cards and the White Sox hosted the Indians. We got to talking about whether it would be worth paying $200 ($180 this week, with a special opening week discount) to get the season’s baseball package on cable. Joel has paid the much smaller fee the last two years to be able to follow the games on the web, and last year I paid $20 or so to get the MLB app on the iPhone, which let me follow feeds of every game — not video, but pitch-by-pitch accounts in real time. The cable package lets you see TV broadcasts of every game except on Saturday afternoon, when there’s a blackout to avoid conflict with FOX’s national broadcast, and on Sunday evening, when there’s a similar blackout to avoid conflict with ESPN’s national broadcast. Joel pointed out to me that the Sunday blackout isn’t so bad, since games on Sunday nights are rare, but the Saturday blackout is an annoyance.

Then we remembered that there was a special first week promotion– the MLB cable package is free this week. We immediately switched from the ESPN games to all the other games being played at that time, to get a taste of what life could be every day if we buy the package. Marlins at Mets, Phillies at Cardinals. Rockies at Brewers, Tigers at Royals. Tigers-Royals meant an opening day matchup of Zach Greinke and Justin Verlander. Just think. I could be seeing baseball’s top pitchers every time they face off, and for less than a dollar a day. Maybe this isn’t a tough decision.

Meanwhile, what about tonight? How do I choose? And why am I writing this post instead? Better go.

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Categories: Sports, Television

Back Again

April 5, 2010 Leave a comment

How does a week go by with no posts? Sorry about that. I seem to be easily distracted these days, and it didn’t help that we headed to New York on Thursday night. I made a list of seven blog items that I didn’t get to. Now there are more. Maybe I’ll get to some of them tomorrow, as well as newer items.

As for our trip, there’s not much to report. We took the JetBlue red-eye to JFK, leaving around 10:00 PM and getting in around 6:15 AM Friday morning. The occasion of the trip was the celebration of my mother’s 90th birthday. Various family members arrived, we saw some of them Friday, saw them all Saturday. Gail flew back late Saturday night. Joel and I followed early Sunday (yesterday) morning, allowing us all to converge just after noon yesterday for Easter dinner at Bahama Breeze, in Southcenter mall near the airport.

Given my continuing fascination with upscale American chain restaurants, and with the Darden family of restaurants in particular, I need some time to write at length about Bahama Breeze. To my continuing astonishment, I’m a fan of the place. And I never wrote about our initial exploration of the fanciest of Darden’s restaurant suite, The Capital Grille. There’s one downtown that we tried on a Saturday night in late February, right after my return from one of my trips to Dallas. We need to visit again before I write about it. As for Bahama Breeze, I love their jerk chicken pasta: “Sliced jerk chicken breast, fresh asparagus and mushrooms tossed in a rich parmesan-herb cream sauce with bow-tie pasta.” They always have a fresh fish menu, with typically three fish options and a number of preparations to choose from. Yesterday I had the almond-crusted halibut. Plus I always start with some orange-strawberry drink that I can’t find in the on-line menu, so I can’t describe it properly at the moment. It’s good.

More travel at the end of the month, to DC and perhaps elsewhere. I hope to be blogging more frequently between now and then.

Categories: Restaurants, Travel