Sunday, March 29, 2009

pause for breath

So, continuing my weekend of excitement, Saturday was my fantasy baseball draft. (Non-sports fans may wish to skip ahead ... search for the words "parking lot".) This is the fourth year I've been in this league, I think. 25 players per team, $350 in auction money to use. $2 per transaction after 7 or so, I think, and the pot divided among the top three teams. In the past, it was AL-only or NL-only, alternating years, but this year, we had 12 people, so we did an MLB league. Roto scoring, but with a nice mix of categories: R, HR, RBI, net steals, fewest K, TB, AVG, OBP, SLG for hitters, IP, W, fewest L, SV, K, HLD, lowest ERA, lowest WHIP, K/BB. Lots of fun.

The draft tends to run quite a while because of the depth of the league: in the past, the late rounds dragged on because we had a shallow pool from which to draw. No such problem this time (for example, my 25th and final guy was Manny Parra).

But it would not be a normal draft. At around 6 or so, the power went out. Hey, just a blip, right? Well, no. It was the power in the whole building, so no more wireless connection. We pack up our laptops and move to the room with the most windows to finish the draft. (It actually went more quickly once most people were down to $1 bids, plus none of us wanted to run out of battery power. No problem for me, with power-saver mode – thanks, Vista – and a spare battery in my pack.)

So we get done around 7 or 7:30, most of the guys head out, and the rest of us go out to the parking lot. One says to me "Hey, that isn't your car, is it?"

yep. it's mine. That's never a good thing.

Flat tire, right front. (So at least I knew I hadn't driven down on it.) They jack up the car and put the spare on while I call Honda to see if I can get someone out here ... but it turns out there's just a nail in the tire, so I can probably get it patched and get back on the road, no need for a tow (the spare was fine). I cancel the service call, and two of the guys go on their way, while a third hangs out for a bit to see what to do.

We decide to head to BWW just down the road, so we can use the wireless to check for an AutoZone and check out the Pitt-Villanova score. It turns out there's one about a mile away, so we cash out and head down there to see if they can fix it for us.

Well, they don't fix tires, and unfortunately there wasn't another place open at that hour who could, but they did sell Fix-a-Flat. So I get a can of that, we jack up the car again and switch the tires, and in goes the magic glue. We head down the road a couple miles and check the tire: not so bad. I fill up the tire to 32 psi, and then it's time to decide ...

1. Head home Saturday on the previously-flat tire.
2. Head home Saturday on the spare.
3. Spend the night in Cincinnati, get up Sunday and get the tire fixed, then head home.

Obviously, the safest option is 3. However, Sunday's game tips off at 2:20. Odds of me getting to Indy in time for the game with a new tire? Somewhere between 0 and a very small number. (If necessary, I could have my friend stop at my place and pick up the tickets, and then I could meet them downtown. Assuming someone had a key. Otherwise, it would be exactly 0 chance.)

Also, I mentioned Cincinnati. And now it's 9:15 or so. There really aren't ways to get home from there without interstate travel, and on a spare?

So I pick #1. We decide on this plan: take 275 to my friend's exit and stop at a gas station. If the tire looks bad, we try to fill it; if it holds, repeat the process till I get home. If it looks good, I head home. Fortunately, that section of 275 is under construction, so going 50 was no big deal.

Paying attention to the tire was difficult, though, because Villanova was trying very hard to knock out my final Fracas team. Fortunately, the tire held out, even though the Panthers didn't. I send my friend on his way with effusive thanks and get back on the road.

Three hours later, I'm home. No problems at all from the tire, but driving all that way with my flashers on, waiting to feel the car pull to the right, well ... I was tired. Said hi to the cats, cleaned up, grabbed a snack, went online, and then off to sleep.

The alarm went off about 10:30 or so. I guessed correctly that I'd need to be ready by 11:30, but I also was still tired, plus I had a cat on my pillow, guarding my head, so we stayed in bed and listened to Prairie Home Companion for a bit. Got a call from ems, talked to her for a while, checked Facebook, confirmed travel plans, got cleaned up and ready to head downtown again.

Oh yes. The weather is now miserably cold and wet. woo. We go downtown, park in the garage (the wrong one, I could have put us a couple blocks closer), and head to the stadium. coldcoldcoldcoldcold.

We get nachos (I got a whole order this time and ate almost all of it, oh yes I did) and sat down to enjoy the game.

and wow. A great game for about 30 minutes, until MSU decided to pull away ... it's hard to describe what it was like to be in the Michigan State section, while maybe 30,000 fans are rooting for Louisville and maybe one-fifth of that are rooting for the Spartans, and watching the lead get bigger and bigger ... Louisville couldn't do anything to stop it. wow.

So after seeing all that, we spend the next hour or so figuring out how to get a car to the stadium to pick up people who aren't suited to two-mile walks in cold, windy weather (answer: don't know. we sure couldn't find a good path). Then it was off to Castleton BWW, where we figured we could find a seat and get some food. Of course, being Castleton BWW, the service was inadequate and the food was mostly right, but we did get seated immediately. There was this game on, you know.

And so now I've got to get a couple of new tires (unfortunately I was only about halfway through these), but hey, it could have been a lot worse.

Also, I need to sleep. Maybe tomorrow night.


  1. I guess your luck has worn off from the free tickets. A whole order of are so bad! It it was me I would have drove home on the spare tire at 80 mph hoping for the best.

  2. See, I looked at it the other way around. The tire could have gone flat on the interstate (well, not really, because I picked up the nail in the parking lot, but hypothetically), or on busy streets, or at night, or with no people around. Instead, it went flat at almost the perfect time ... and less than two days later, I have new tires.

    Driving on the spare would have been worse! At least the "fixed" tire would be somewhat rated for that speed. (Not that you should be driving 80 anywhere in the US. The days of "reasonable and proper" are long gone ... and yes, I remember when atlases listed "R&P" for speed limits out west.)

    I have not lost any weight this week. Guess those nachos are heavy. :)

  3. I feel like 80 MPH is reasonable and proper.

  4. You should rent a car that has the option to display your current mileage ... ask ems ...