The All Star Break

Here we are at the All Star Break for the 2015 Major League Baseball season. I hate the All Star Break. It basically means three or four days without baseball. Sure there’s the All Star Game itself, but it’s not a real game. I might have wanted to watch this year if eight Royals had made the team just because it would be something different. But, alas, that didn’t happen, so it will be the same old same old. A bunch of guys going through the motions. And then there’s the Home Run Derby. That stopped being fun halfway through the first round of the first time it was on TV. When will they learn that home runs aren’t very exciting on their own. If they don’t change the score of a game, we’re just watching people practice.

I wish MLB would get creative and try something different. I would watch a skills competition like the NHL. They could race like we did when we were kids, start and end at home, but run in different directions around the bases. The could have throwing competitions, for distance and accuracy. That would be something to watch. Instead I’ll just catch up on my reading and my DVR and look forward to the real games coming this weekend.

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Some Thoughts On Wimbledon 2015

Wimbledon 2015 finished today. It was an excellent fortnight. Here are some thoughts I had about the tournament.
Serena Williams is amazing. Her match against Heather Watson was riveting. And while the result of the final was never really in doubt, the fact that her nerves were apparent somehow made her more likable.
Federer is old. I hate to say that since I have more than a few years on him, but it’s the truth. Having said that, he still plays an extraordinarily high level of tennis. Djokovic is the only player right now that is consistently better, which is amazing.
Tiebreakers are stupid. The Isner/Cilic match was the most entertaining of the tournament. It was suspended due to darkness at 10 all in the fifth set. It was a real bummer that Cilic won so quickly when they resumed the next day.
I still wish they showed more doubles on TV.
There was something wrong with the women’s rankings. Williams had to beat her sister, Azarenka and Sharapova before reaching the final. At least one of those should have been on the other side of the bracket.
The commercials make me think I’m not the target audience.
Djokovic is clearly the top of his generation.
It was nice to see some net play. I’d still like more. I remember when the court was worn near the net. Now everyone stays at the baseline. It was a smart strategy on Federer’s part. Too bad it wasn’t enough. It would have been nice to see him get one more.
I hope Serena wins the US Open to tie Graf and get the slam. New York will be rocking if that happens.

Star Trek

I just finished watching all three seasons of Star Trek on Netflix.  It seems to be becoming a tradition to record my thoughts when I finish a series, so here goes.

Star Trek was a really great show.  Not every episode was great, but every episode was trying for something.  I’d always rather watch people try and fail than play it safe and be boring.

William Shatner is actually a very good actor.  I can’t understand the criticisms.  Yes, he was often campy.  But, the show was often campy.  In three full seasons and a bunch of movies, there was never a time when his performance was out of place within the show.  A subtle, measured performance would have stuck out as inappropriate.  He nailed it.

Speaking of unfair criticisms, I enjoyed the third season.  People complain about it a lot, but “The Tholian Web”, “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” and “The Savage Curtain” are three of my favorites.  I mention “The Tholian Web” later, but Abraham Lincoln floating in space and the people with one black half and one white half are two of the other images that never left me.  As an adult, I can see that the messages were a bit heavy handed, but that doesn’t stop them from being entertaining.

As a kid, I completely missed the casual sexism in the show.  It is a bit jarring now just because the show was trying to be so progressive.  It’s hard to believe that even progressives had such views of women only fifty years ago.

Netflix has the versions with the updated special effects.  I have no problem with the idea of updating, but I wasn’t thrilled with the way it was done.  They only updated the scenes without people, so there was a clear difference between the updated scenes and non-updated scenes.  I found this distracting.  I was also annoyed during “The Tholian Web”.  One of the images that has always stuck with me from watching the show when I was a kid was the Tholian ships building the web.  In the new version, it looks completely different.

The best episode is pretty clearly “The City On the Edge of Forever”.

My favorite episode is “The Trouble With Tribbles”.

I love the relationship between Spock and McCoy.

Spock is, and always shall be, my favorite character.

I really wish Uhura had been given more to do.

I’ve always liked the theme music.  Must be the prominent horn.  It reminds me of Les Jazz Modes with Eileen Gilbert.

I think I’ll check out the animated series next, but I’m really looking forward to Next Generation.