#5–There and Back Again

Hello again.  Well, I hate to say I told you so but the Surprise Rafters have begun to turn things around on a small scale.  We’ve won three of our last four games and have been playing better overall in all three phases of the game.  To be fair, we are still 7-18 and the “magic number” that eliminates us from playoff contention is six with only 25 games played in a 38 game season, but…small steps.  I have still been pitching in frustratingly close proximity to success but I feel like I’ve thrown the ball well the last couple times out so I guess I’ll just have to hang in there.

I’ve had a reasonably interesting week since the last time I checked in.  I finally got off my duff and got out around the area a little bit over the weekend.  The first place I went was the Boyce Thompson Arboretum about an hour from where I’m staying in Mesa.  The arboretum is run by the University of Arizona and consists of 320 acres of various plants and demonstration gardens.  While it was definitely different than any previous arboretum I have been to up in Minnesota where we actually have water (the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is absolutely gorgeous), there were some beautiful views and landscape arrangements that made the drive and the walking in the heat well worth it.  I also took in the Phoenix Zoo over the weekend, which was enjoyable as well.  As zoos go it was not overly large and we had the misfortune to be there on a hot day when most of the animals were lounging around trying to beat the heat and several others were off exhibit for various reasons, but overall a nice experience.

Other than my two little excursions, the bulk of my excitement has come from trying to put a dent in The World Without End and watching coverage of the recent election.  I was extremely happy to see Barack Obama win, but I was definitely in the minority on our team, as an approximate electoral map of the Surprise Rafters would look something like this:

While I was certainly happy to see that Barack won the presidency, I was almost as happy about my fellow Minnesotans passing an initiative to provide additional funds for conservation, parks and trails, and the arts.  Minnesotans were denied another ridiculous political figure, however, when comedian and former Saturday Night Live contributor Al Franken was defeated in a U.S. Senate race.  Well, I think that’s about all I have for you today but check back next week for another update and whatever else I decide to prattle on about.

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