RIP, paddle

It was a short, high ball, arcing toward my left shoulder.

Perfect opportunity … set the feet … cock the elbow behind me … wait, wait … lots of space … go for the spot, not the line … time to let it go … nice and easy … be sure to get on top of it.

There it is … no return … nice easy winner. Now get ready to serve with a chance to win the game.

Hold on … I’m pretty sure the handle isn’t supposed to do that.

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Football in the morning: Sept. 18

This was the time to hang back, let them walk ahead.

So Mix and I dawdled a bit, letting his daughter have a few minutes with her boyfriend after his football game. She rejoined us after he went to the locker room.

She’s a great kid, and while I’ve only met him once, when we all got together on my birthday, from what I understand his approval ratings are very high.

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Ahhhh … : Sept. 4

Hey, I remembered that guy.

That’s not something you usually say about minor-league baseball players, but the name of Buffalo’s first baseman against Worcester rang a bell.

Granted, LJ Talley jogged my memory because last year in New Hampshire, his name looked like U Talley on the scoreboard, setting off a discussion thread between Suzi and me that included, among others, a former head of the United Nations.

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Because of the vaccine

I finally saw “No Time To Die.”

Suzi and I went to the local theater with the plush, reclining seats, and since it was a matinee — we arrived just as the previews were starting — I enjoyed a pizza for lunch before the movie began.

I’m a huge fan of James Bond movies, and I enjoyed this one. Without spoiling the ending, I will say that it left me curious about what direction the franchise will take when the next movie comes out in another couple years or so.

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Casualties of play

There it sat — a big red rubber ball among the tall grasses … on the other side of the fence.

Maybe it was a misplaced kick, or a larger bounce than expected, but unless someone opened the gate to go get it (or climbed over the fence), no one was going to be playing with it for a while.

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Unfashionably fashionable

Suzi recently told me she had seen evidence that I was fashionable.

Since my usual sense of fashion consists mostly of asking if my clothes fit, match and are appropriate for what I’m doing, “fashionable” is not a word that usually describes me.

What can I say? Not everyone can pull off a Canadian tuxedo … in Louisiana, no less.

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End of a season … start of what’s next

It was a beautiful afternoon for a baseball game — sunny, bright and pleasantly warm — but I decided to switch from the T-shirt and shorts I had been wearing all day to a long-sleeve shirt and jeans.

After all, the midafternoon start would mean a finish early in the evening, so I figured it would cool off once the sun started to go down.

As it turned out, between sitting in shadows and a slight, but steady breeze, I was happy about the decision starting in roughly the second inning.

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Another way the world is just so different now

Once I decided in fifth grade that I wanted to play the trombone, we had the option of leasing an instrument or buying one.

If my memory serves, buying a trombone would have cost $300, so if we were going to do that, my parents said I had to commit to it. There would be no trying it for a couple weeks or months or whatever and deciding I didn’t want it anymore.

By the time I stopped playing after my sophomore year in college, I think my parents had gotten their money’s worth.

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A … slight miscalculation

I grew up in a small town.

“How small was it?!?!”

Small enough that cable companies didn’t think it was worth extending the lines to where we lived, so my TV experience was the three networks, PBS and an independent station we randomly discovered one night that eventually became the local Fox affiliate.

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A series of random observations (and baseball … and fireworks)

As Suzi and I stood by the rail, the fireworks went off behind the fence in right-center field.

The display had the usual excitement of the initial colorful explosions, followed by a series of small and medium bursts leading up to a finale that always looks like a last, desperate attempt to shoot everything off before someone comes to stop them.

Fireworks are among my favorite things, but I hadn’t seen them live in more than two years. Some things have happened in those two years — the obvious stuff everyone knows about, but other things closer to home.

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