This afternoon we went to the first baseball game of the year! The season doesn't start for another 2 weeks; this was an exhibition game between the Durham Bulls and the Tampa Bay
Devil Rays, for whom the Bulls are the AAA team. That made it a really fun game especially since a bunch of the Bulls were called up to the Rays over the winter, so there were fan favorite players on both teams.
We were expecting the Bulls to lose, and our expectations were met. Though we were pleased that the Bulls put up a respectable opposition, and came close to tying it up a couple of times. The final score was 9-6, Most of the damage was done in the disastrous second inning, when the Rays scored 6. The Bulls just weren't able to recover from that.
It was nice to see a major league team, and their mascot came too! The Rays' mascot, "Raymond," is a Dr. Seussish character with a big moustache. He and Wool E. Bull both participated in the game where the mascot races a small child around the bases. This time the child was particularly young and Raymond did a cute running-in-place move to let the kid get ahead. Unfortunately we were on the first base side, and Raymond stayed on the third base side near the Rays' dugout. So I never got close enough to take a photo.
Sometimes crowd-watching is just as much fun as the game itself. Today we had a couple of characters sitting near us. A woman who sounded like she'd never seen baseball before spent the game asking her male companion all kinds of questions, which was cool that she was showing an interest in the game. Less cool was when she got up and asked a man sitting nearby to stop waving his arms because she couldn't see home plate! Her companion kept asking her not to, but she insisted.
Also amusing was a little girl who got up in the seventh inning and started cleaning her seat with handi wipes. She spent two whole innings methodically rubbing down the entire chair -- arm rests, behind the back, everything -- using about a half dozen handi wipes. Finally she seemed satisfied with the chair's cleanliness ... and then moved to another chair where she sat for the rest of the game. I still cannot figure that one out.
We sat in the sun and even though we used sunscreen, both of us ended up with a touch of burn. We have some nice "after sun lotion" from Burt's Bees which I've been applying liberally. And, this evening we reached a decision on a new TV purchase. I was in no hurry to upgrade to HD, but our old TV has been sporadically emitting a high-pitched tone that ranges from "annoying" to "painful and headache inducing." It's been getting louder and more frequent of late, so it looks like time to replace the TV. We're looking to get something smaller and energy efficient rather than a ginornimous set.
We stopped into Best Buy before the game to see what the different kinds of HD look like -- we'd really never looked into this before, because we weren't planning to replace the CRT and I didn't want to know what I was missing -- and I learned a couple of things. First, the salespeople who ignore me when I'm looking for computer cables descend en masse when I'm part of a couple browsing TVs. Second, the best way to get rid of salespeople is to ask them technical questions they can't answer. Every time they try to make a sales pitch, ask another technical question. It drives them off fast.
My questions weren't even that hard, I didn't think. Just things like, "this one says it's Energy Star compliant, is that Energy Star 4.0?" Or "do you have a spec sheet which says how much power this model draws when in use?" The first salesman kind of offended me actually, because when I asked about Energy Star, well first of all he gave me a blank look. Then when I told him there was a new stricter standard that was going to take effect on May 1, and would this particular tv meet the new standard, he laughed and said "don't worry, they're not going to take it away!" Thanks for that, but I want to know about Energy Star because I want a more energy efficient home. Asshole. Then when I asked if he could find out the power consumption, he didn't even offer to look at the spec sheet, just said no and fled. It's pretty obvious that we can find out more searching online ourselves. My reading indicates that the least efficient TVs (plasma screens) can use 6 times more power than the most efficient (LEDs), so it's not a trivial concern.