Monthly Archives: June 2015

Still guilty after all these years

The Buffalo Wild Wings at Zona Rosa has a clock in a corner near the bar from Coors. The date on the clock lists the earliest possible birth date to legally drink, so today, it would display June 18, 1994.

Yesterday when I glanced over, it immediately hit me what happened on the date displayed.

No, it was not Game 5 of the 1994 NBA Finals, where the Knicks defeated the Rockets 91-84 at Madison Square Garden to take a 3-2 lead in the series. One more win and New York would win its first NBA championship since 1973 and its third overall.

It was not the victory parade through midtown Manhattan for the Stanley Cup champion Rangers, who won the NHL title for the first time in 54 years three nights earlier with a 3-2 victory over the Canucks in Game 7 of the finals.

I only wish I had remembered it for the two events I just mentioned.

Instead, like hundreds of millions across the world, I remember June 17, 1994 for a double murderer who wanted to take the coward’s way out and flee.

Orenthal James Simpson had the athletic ability few men possess. If you ever watched highlights of the living organism (he is not a man, as I will explain below) playing football for the USC Trojans or the Buffalo Bills, it was obvious. He should have become the first two-time Heisman winner when he was at USC, and he became the first NFL player to rush for 2,000 yards in a single season in 1973.

Off the field, Orenthal was a monster. Only his adoring public, his employers (the Bills, the 49ers, ABC and NBC, and the various movie studios which cast him) were willing to look the other way because he was a football hero.

On the morning of June 13, 1994, America woke up to the news that Orenthal’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman, a waiter at a trendy Los Angeles restaurant, had been brutally stabbed to death outside Orenthal’s mansion in Brentwood, an upper class enclave on LA’s west side.

Among the more respected celebrities who have called or currently call Brentwood home include Andrew Breitbart, Mark Harmon, Joan Crawford, Bea Arthur, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, Tom Brady and Gisele Bunchden, and Ronald and Nancy Reagan, who lived in the neighborhood from 1957 through 1981, save for the eight-year stint in Sacramento when Ronnie was Governor of California. Of course, the Reagans moved to a much more prestigious address on January 20, 1981–1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The Monday morning the case broke, I didn’t believe Orenthal did it, but I believed he had to be questioned. I had seen enough domestic violence cases escalate, and even though no such incidents had surfaced, I could belive Orenthal was certainly capable given his strength.

The next morning, any doubt I had about Orenthal’s guilt vanished.

It was revealed Nicole had made several calls to Los Angeles 911 complaining of violence perpetrated by Orenthal. It was ugly. Change that. It was grotesque.

For the next three days, I was hoping the L.A. police would catch the bastard. I was hoping Orenthal would soon be making his way to San Quentin and spending his time on death row, waiting to be strapped to the gurney. Or at the very least spend the rest of his life in prison, and if that were the case, he would be in the cell next to Charles Manson.

The day before the chase, Nicole was laid to rest. Orenthal was somehow allowed to attend, as were his adult children from his first marriage to Marguerite Whitley, which lasted from 1967 through 1979. Why?

Why was Orenthal allowed to attend Nicole’s burial in the first place? They had been divorced for two years, and it was well known the son of a bitch was an abuser. Second, the adult children had no business there. They had no relations, blood or otherwise, to Nicole.

Finally, on the morning of June 17, the LA Police Department and Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti confirmed what I had figured all along.

The prime suspect in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman was none other than Orenthal James Simpson.

Later that evening, as the Rockets and Knicks battled in the Big Apple, NBC cut to Tom Brokaw, who announced breathlessly that Orenthal was in a white Ford Bronco being driven by Al Cowlings, a teammate of Orenthal’s at USC and Buffalo. This was not cars racing down the freeways at over 100 miles per hour.

The pace was more like the speeds you would find on a residential street. It was nearly funereal.

The authorities were talking to Cowlings in an attempt to keep Orenthal from ending his life. They should have let the arrogant cocksucker shoot himself.

Orenthal was finally arrested at his home, which was now a crime scene.

I’m not going to go into the sham which was the trial. That’s best saved for October, which will be the 20th anniversary of the day a double murderer got off.

Hey Orenthal, still looking for the real killers? Just look in the mirror. You’ll find him.

Rambling nooner

It’s high noon in Kansas City, and I’m about ready to get the heck out of my hotel room and do something. There are a few afternoon MLB games, but my big action comes tonight at 7 when LSU and TCU square off for the second time at the College World Series. TCU won Sunday 10-3, putting LSU in the unenviable position of needing to win four consecutive games to reach the championship series, something it has never done.

The Bayou Bengals defeated Cal State Fullerton 5-3 Tuesday to stay alive, while the Horned Frogs fell 1-0 to Vanderbilt, which is waiting for the winner of tonight’s game tomorrow at 7 p.m. The other bracket final is set, with Florida and Virginia playing at 2 p.m. tomorrow. The Gators need to win to force a second game between the teams Saturday afternoon. The Cavaliers defeated the Gators 1-0 Monday.

I spent almost 10 hours at Buffalo Wild Wings yesterday. It was blissful during the evening, with Brittany Davidson, Raymie Lepetit and Rue Jean-Klapproth all on shift. They were so excited to see me, and I felt the same way about seeing them. Brittany was gushing over her July 11 wedding, as she should be. I’ve been invited to the reception, and I had better go, because I shudder to think how she would feel if I didn’t show up.

Raymie is leaving for a vacation to Costa Rica Wednesday. I haven’t been outside of Kansas City since last July when I drove to Omaha and Lincoln to raid Raising Cane’s chicken fingers, which was founded in Baton Rouge.

It isn’t the chicken so much as it is the toast and the sauce. MMMMMMMMM. If the CWS weren’t in Omaha right now, I might have slipped away today. Maybe a day trip there or to Tulsa is in order.

My trivia pals Dawn and Robert showed up at happy hour. That was another nice touch.

Liz is supposed to be working today. That will be an interesting reunion. She doesn’t like it when I’m away for long periods. I’ve got to enjoy the days I see her, because she’s moving soon to Colorado. I guess that will mean a few road trips west.

She isn’t the only one leaving. Lisa is moving to Chicago with Jeff very soon. Jeff showed up sans Lisa last night, because she’s in St. Louis for her brother’s wedding.

It’s going to get very hot starting this weekend. The mercury in Russell will be hovering near 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) consistently through at least next Wednesday. OUCH. This means if I want to do anything in Hays before my appointment with Crista next Thursday, going to have to do it very early to avoid the heat.

The Royals are rolling at the expense of the Brewers. Except for the ninth inning Monday when Kansas City reliever Greg Holland got shelled for three runs, Milwaukee has become beyond inept. KC won 7-2 Tuesday and 10-2 last night. More of the same on the way. The Royals had better take advantage of tonight and three games this weekend at home against a bad Boston team.

Not counting Christmas Eve and breaks during the playoffs, last night was the first night without an NBA or NHL game since early October. For those who don’t like baseball, there isn’t much choice in the sports world, especially on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, until August when NFL exhibition games crank up. The weekends have golf. And please resist the temptation to watch Wimbledon. I would rather get a root canal without anesthetic than watch tennis right now, especially women’s tennis.

(Relative) stranger in a not so strange land

My six-week estrangement from Kansas City ended officially just after 1 p.m. today when I passed the 110th Street exit on Interstate 70, officially entering KCK.  I checked into the Courtyard on Tiffany Springs at 1:35, and by 2, I was back at Buffalo Wild Wings. 

Jeremy Smith, the manager on  duty, was first to greet me. Tori Weber was behind the bar and she spotted me by time I reached the register. I wasn’t hard to miss today because I opted to wear my bright mango-colored shirt. The reason? Brittany Davidson, the bride to be, is working tonight. She loves that shirt.

The ususal cashier on weekday afternoons, Jenn Reilly, is on maternity leave. She was pretty close to due when I saw her last May 4. 

I”m here tonight, tomorrow, Friday and Saturday for sure. I am planning right now to go back for Father’s Day. I have to think that one over. 

I”m staying on my points at the Courtyard through Saturday. I could have used another 10,000 to stay Saturday night, but that would have been a waste, since Marriott gives you a free fifth night when you stay four consecutive nights on points. 

I really wanted to stay for Monday night and Buzztime’s The Pulse. But that would have been too many nights. I also have an appointment with Crista next Thursday. 

Just completed a Buzztime game where I got the last 14 questions perfect. Most ever for Countdown. 

Typical Wednesday afternoon. Some action, but nothing like I figure it will be tonight for the Royals-Brewers game on TV. I originally wanted to go to The K to watch the two games with Milwaukee in person, but I figured the company was much better at Buffalo Wild Wings. And it’s cheaper.  

SInce I don’t have work to do and I’m staying close, I can take this pretty late. I’m guessing at least 10. 

Golden boys

For most of my life, the Golden State Warriors have been an NBA backwater.

As of 11:58 p.m. Eastern Time last night (10:58 Central, 8:58 Pacific), the Golden State Warriors are NBA champions for the first time since Gerald Ford occupied the White House.

The Warriors wrapped up the championship in Cleveland with a 106-97 victory over the Cavaliers to take the series 4-2.

Golden State won 67 games, the most in franchise history, during the regular season. It was pushed by Memphis in the second round and by Cleveland in the Finals, but each time, the Warriors erased 2-1 series deficits with three consecutive victories, each time winning two games away from Oakland, where the Warriors were an incredible 48-5. Do they really want to move back to San Francisco, even though this new arena is supposed to be the most modern on earth when it opens in 2017?

It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work by owner Joe Lacob, who bought the franchise in November 2010. Lacob loves basketball, having grown up near Boston and once owning a minority stake in the Celtics. His enthusiasm and business acumen were sorely needed by a franchise which most of the time was a doormat, and at others, a total joke for most of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. The only time the Warriors rose from their perennial status as a punching bag for the Lakers and other Western Conference powers was in the early 1990s, when they featured hte dynamic trio of Chris Mullin, Mitch Richmond and Tim Hardaway (Run TMC). But even then, Golden State could not get out of the second round.

After winning the 1975 NBA championship with a stunning four-game sweep of the Washington Bullets, the Warriors had the NBA’s best record in 1975-76. Instead of a return to the championship round and a match with 1974 champ Boston, Golden State was shocked itself when it lost the Western Conference finals in seven games to the upstart Phoenix Suns, losing game seven 94-86 at Oakland. The Warirrors lost in seven in the 1977 Western Conference semis to the Lakers in a series in which the home team won every game.

Then the bottom fell out.

Rick Barry, the centerpiece of the Warriors–with a brief detour to the ABA–since their loss in the 1967 championship series to Wilt Chamberlain’s 76ers, was wearing down. Clifford Ray’s effectiveness in the low post was declining. Robert Parish, a 7-foot-1 rebounding and shot blocking machine from tiny Centenary College in Shreveport, was a rising star, but the Warriors would soon blow that one, too.

The 1979-80 Warriors were the worst team in the NBA at 24-58. With the number one pick in the draft that June, they selected Purdue center Joe Barry Carroll, an All-American whom Golden State believed was the next Chamberlain, the next Nate Thurmond, the next Clifford Ray. That made Parish expendable, and he was shipped across the country to Boston, where Lacob must have been a very happy man.

Indeed, the Celtics won the 1981 championship with Parish in the pivot, providing the defensive ace Boston needed to compliment the offensive prowess of Larry Bird. Meanwhile, the Warriors were in the midst of seven losing seasons out of eight, bottoming out at 22-60 in 1984-85.

The Warriors made the playoffs in 1987 and stunned the Jazz in first round, but lost in the second round to the eventual champion Lakers. Golden State made the playoffs four seasons out of six between 1988-89 and 1993-94, but big time trouble was lurking.

In 1996, Golden State became the laughingstock of the NBA by dumping its iconic blue and gold palette and replacing it with a character who looked like a 1990s update of the old cartoon Voltron. I laughed so hard at how terrible the new logo looked, and for that reason, I vowed to never root for the Warriors as long as they wore this hideous uniform.

On December 1, 1997, the Warriors showed they were beyond hopeless.

That was the day when the volatile Latrell Sprewell choked coach P.J. Carliesmo during a practice. I was never a fan of the overbearing Carliesmo, who could belittle someone so badly Bobby Knight would blush. However, I also firmly believe nobody has the right to physically assault and choke someone without provocation. Sprewell was 100 percent in the wrong.

Sprewell was suspended for the remainder of the 1997-98 season without pay. I felt that was too lenient. He should have been fined at least another $2 million, and his suspension should have been for at least 164 games–the equivalent of two full seasons–with reinstatement solely up to then NBA commissioner David Stern.

I didn’t shed a tear when Golden State went 19-63 in ’97-’98 and ’99-2000, and 17-65 in 2000-01, then 21-61 in 2001-02. Golden State was getting what it richly deserved for Sprewell, for Carliesmo, for those disgusting uniforms.

The Warriors made the playoffs just once between 1994-95 and Lacob’s purchase of the franchise. In 2007, Golden State stunned top seed Dallas in the opening round of the playoffs, but didn’t return until 2013

With Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in their primes, with Draymond Green coming on, and with veteran savvy from Andrew Bogut, Harrison Barnes, David Lee and Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, the Warriors aren’t going anywhere.

Cleveland gave it their best, but when Kyrie Irving fractured a kneecap in overtime of game 1, the Cavaliers knew that it was LeBron or bust. King James did his best, but he no-showed for most of game 6. By the end of the third quarter, it was obvious the Cavaliers would not be going back to Oakland.

And Cleveland’s wait for a championship continues. And I don’t see it ending before next June at the earliest. I don’t see the Indians getting back into playoff contention this season, and the Browns will be lucky to win more than four games.

Team Brittany

My dear friend Brittany Davidson will be marrying her sweetheart Zack July 11 in St. Joseph.

Their dream honeymoon? It isn’t Aruba. It isn’t Cancun. It isn’t Waikiki Beach. It isn’t even Paris.

It’s Cincinnati.

As in home of the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star game.

Brittany is the biggest Kansas City Royals fan I know. It figures, since she has spent most of her life in western Missouri, either in St. Joseph at Central High or Missouri Western, or Kansas City.

She and Zack would love to be at Great American Ballpark July 14 for the All-Star Game, where it looks like at least six members of the starting lineups will be members of Ned Yost’s club.

Please follow this link to vote for Brittany and help send the happy couple to the Queen City!

http://fantasticallstar.foxsports.com/profile/?id=445

Thank you!

LSU rallies

Maybe I spoke too soon. LSU has cut Fullerton’s lead to 3-2, and it has two on with nobody out. The Titans are going to make a pitching change, pulling starter Kyle Seabolt.

Even if the Bayou Bengals win, it’s still a long way back. They would have to defeat Vanderbilt or TCU Thursday, and then hve to beat the other Friday and Saturday to reach the final. But a victory today would at least allow LSU to finally get the TD Ameritrade monkey off its back, where it has yet to win.

Lot of baseball left.

Not a favorite flashback

The first inning from Omaha this afternoon had to make a few LSU baseball fans, and one former LSU baseball media relations assistant, have a Groundhog Day experience.

Fullerton scored three runs in the bottom of the first off of LSU ace Alex Lange. If the Bayou Bengals cannot get it together, they will be on a plane tomorrow morning heading back to Baton Rouge, their 2015 campaign ended, and with it the career of many LSU starting position players.

Let’s go back 21 years to the Groundhog Day experience I referred to at the start.

The date: June 5, 1994. Eleven days after my graduation from Brother Martin High School. Exactly one week before O.J. Simpson (allegedly) murdered Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Nine days before the New York Rangers won their first Stanley Cup since 1940. Seventeen days before the Houston Rockets won their first NBA championship. Sixty-eight days before the beginning of the 1994 Major League Baseball strike, and 91 before Bud Selig canceled the 1994 World Series. Less than three months before the son of a former NFL quarterback made his collegiate debut for the Tennessee Volunteers.

I had no clue about the Internet. I had no clue you could communicate electronically via e-mail. I certainly didn’t have a cell phone. My dad always told me to take plenty of quarters in case I had to stop at a pay phone. Yeah, do that as a not quite 18-year old white kid in the middle of New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward.

I had yet to attend an LSU baseball game in Baton Rouge. Up until then, the only LSU games I saw were at the Superdome in the annual Busch Challenge, renamed the Winn-Dixie Showdown in 1993. I knew Bill Franques was the media relations director for LSU baseball. I had no idea the voice I kept hearing on the radio broadcasts of LSU baseball away games with Jim Hawthorne was his.

LSU bowed out of the College World Series June 5, 1994, another typical hot and humid Sunday in the Crescent City.

No, check that. They Bayou Bengals were swept away from the CWS by an F-5 tornado (the Enhanced Fujita scale didn’t come around until Greensburg) named Call State Fullerton.

Titans 20, LSU 6.

Just one year after winning its second CWS in three seasons, one year after freshman Brett Laxton struck out 16 Wichita State Shockers in a three-hit shutout in the championship game, LSU went “two-and-barbecue” in Omaha for the first time in what was the Bayou Bengals’ seventh appearance.

Fullerton was eliminated in its next game by Florida State, but it was just ramping for what would be a dominating 1995, which saw the Titans steamroll its way through the season, including four games of the South Regional at the old Alex Box Stadium, on their way to their third national championship under Augie Garrido, joining titles in 1979 and 1984. Garrido actually left Fullerton from 1988 through 1990 to coach Illinois, but came back in ’91 when Larry Cochell, Garrido’s successor, left for Oklahoma.

LSU did not recover in 1995. In fact, it got worse for the Bayou Bengals. They started the season ranked #1 in all the major polls and ripped off a 31-4 start (8-1 in the SEC) through April 12, but then the bottom fell out.

LSU lost four of its five series vs. SEC West teams, lost twice more to Alabama in the SEC West division tournament (I’ll explain that another time), and then the Bayou Bengals were shelled for 31 runs in two regional games vs. Rice to bow out.

It got much better in 1996. LSU rebounded to win the national championship, won another in 1997, and came close to a third straight in 1998.

As for 2015, it doesn’t look good. LSU is down 3-0 in the bottom of the 2nd.

Sports mania Monday

I have not left my house today. However, that’s not to say it has been boring.

Far from it.

There has been so much going on in the world of sports, more than usually happens on a Monday, especially during the summer. It’s expected in the fall, since there’s a Monday Night Football game, the highlights of Sunday’s NFL games run non-stop on ESPN and NFL Network, and many college coaches hold their weekly press conferences on Monday, including LSU’s Les Miles.

Bud Black became the third National League manager to lose his jpob when he was axed by the San Diego Padres at 2 p.m. (noon in San Diego). The Padres were expected to contend in the NL West despite the presence of the World Series champion Giants and the Dodgers having the game’s best pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, plus a star-studded lineup, but the Swinging Friars are one game below .500, and the only reason they’re in third place is because the Diamondbacks and Rockies are pathetic, although not as poor as the Phillies and Brewers.

Milwaukee was the first team to fire its manager this season when it sacked Ron Roenicke May 3. The Brewers were 7-25 at the time, and they are still struggling at 24-41 following tonight’s loss to the Royals.

Two weeks following Roenicke’s dismissal, the Marlins canned Mike Redmond only minutes after Miami came within one out of being no-hit by Atlanta’s Shelby Miller at Marlins Park. The Marlins were expected to give the Nationals a run for their money in the NL East this year, but right now, the only thing keeping the fish out of the cellar are the woeful Phillies.

Not long after Black lost his job, Vanderbilt completed a stunning comeback in the College World Series, scoring three runs in the bottom of the ninth to down Cal State Fullerton 4-3.

The game game began last night, and the Comoodores had no answer whatsoever for Titan ace pitcher Thomas Eshelman. Fullerton went ahead 3-0 in the fifth, but in the bottom of the sixth, the heavens over Omaha opened up and rained down hard enough that Noah would have needed his ark. The NCAA declared the field unplayable and ordered the game suspended until 11 a.m. today.

Only the game didn’t start at 11 a.m. The NCAA was forced to backtrack when the rain kept coming, and the start time was pushed back three hours.

Reigning national champion Vanderbilt scored in the bottom of the sixth when the game resumed, but the Titan bullpen shut down the Commodores in the seventh and eighth.

Zander Wiel, who doubled home Vandy’s run in the sixth, started the ninth with a double. Two batters later, Bryan Reynolds singled him home and the ‘Dores were within one.

Vandy’s next batter was freshman Jeren Kendall, a left-handed hitter.. Fullerton had left-handed relief ace Tyler Peitzmeier on the mound. Peitzmeier came into the CWS having limited left-handed batters to a .208 batting average this season.

So what does Kendall do? He jerks a full-count fastball into the Titan bullpen in right field. Game over. Vandy into the winner’s bracket to face TCU, Fullerton to play LSU in the second loser-leaves-town matchup.

If the Bayou Bengals fail tomorrow, the SEC will be down to two, both from the East, Florida and Vandy. Arkansas lost 4-3 to Miami to bow out 0-2. Right now, Virginia and Florida are locked in a 0-0 battle in the bottom of the sixth. It’s after midnight in Charlottesville and Gainesville, so I wonder how many people are still watching.

The Stanley Cup will not be returning to Florida. PRAISE JESUS.

The Blackhawks wrapped it up tonight in Chicago, blanking the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0. It’s Chicago’s third Cup in six years after not winning it for 47 consecutive seasons from 1961-62 through 2008-09. The Blackhawks also clinched the Cup at home for the first time since 1938. They won it on the road in 1961, 2010 and 2013.

I’m still seething over 2004, when the Calgary Flames gagged away a 3-2 lead and lost in seven to the Lightning. Calgary lost game six at home when Martin St. Louis scored for Tampa 33 seconds into overtime, and of course, the Flames’ goose was cooked back in Florida two nights later.

Even worse than the Lightning winning it, they got to keep the Cup an extra year, thanks to the lockout which wiped out the entire 2004-05 season. And then it got stupid when the Carolina Hurricanes won the Cup in 2006 over the Edmonton Oilers. I still wonder how many people in Raleigh-Durham can name all 30 NHL teams. Probably not many.

The Women’s World Cup featured four matches from Canada today. The host nation choked away what looked like a sure victory vs. the Netherlands when the Dutch scored in the 87th minute to forge a 1-1 draw. The Netherlands are a superpower in men’s association football, but the women’s program lacks far, far behind.

That’s not uncommon for one gender to have a strong association football team and for the other to be lagging. The men are far ahead of the women in England, Italy and Spain in addition to the Netherlands, while the United States, Canada, China and Japan are the opposite.

The are only two countries where the men and women are on equally strong footing.

The most obvious is Germany. Deutschland won the Women’s World Cup in 2007, it has won the men’s Cup four times (including 2014), and I would bet my bottom dollar it will beat the United States if and when the countries meet.

The other country with futbol equality is Brazil. It lost the 2007 women’s final to Germany, and it still has one fo the strongest men’s squads, the implosion at the end of the 2014 World Cup notwithstanding.

Virginia has broken the scoreless tie with Florida in the bottom of the sixth. The Gators have not been behind very much during the NCAA tournament, but the way they’ve swung the bats, it’s next to nothing.

Have a good night and pleasant tomorrow.

Avoiding the heat

The heat is still as intense as it was earlier in the week on this Thursday afternoon. Thankfully, I’m inside my air conditioned basement, which is colder than the main floor of the residence at 1224 North Brooks.

I left for my appointment with Crista before 8. I rarely do that. Most of the time, I’m scrambling to make it there for 9. Today, though, I wanted to get my things at Walmart and get out before it got hotter. I did just that, getting in and out in less than 15 minutes.

I had some extra time after getting out of Wally World, so I opted to get back on I-70 and take the last Hays exit, which passes by the outer edge of the Fort Hays State University campus, notably Gross Memorial Coliseum. I had 20 minutes before I had to be at High Plains Mental Health for my appointment, and I really did not want to fight the red lights on Vine Street (US 183), the main north-south artery in Hays.

I almost paid the price. Literally.

As I passed 41st Street on the US 183 bypass, I saw a Kansas Highway Patrol car going north. He pulled up and then turned around. Now he was right behind me going south.

I was scared to death that once I crossed the overpass near the Bickle-Schmidt sports complex, he would pull me over and give me a tcket, either for following too closely–a yellow Mustang was in front of me–or for speeding. I dropped my speed to 55, the speed limit, after the patrol car turned around, but he may have caught me between 60 and 65 before that.

Fortunately, I was not the motorist the trooper was after. The yellow Mustang was pulled over after it turned left at the bottom of the overpass. I felt a bit tight in the chest right as I passed Gross Coliseum–home to the Class 3-2-1A state wrestling tournament–but once I got to the turn at Main Street, it was all better.

There really wasn’t much to report this week with Crista, since we met last week. However, the traffic incident provided some conversation, as did Hope Solo, LSU in the College World Series, and Brittany Davidson’s upcoming wedding reception. We’ll meet again on June 25.

Nothing on. What is on a Thursday afternoon in June? Watching the Shark Tank episodes I recorded last night, plus a TV movie starring one of my favorite actresses, Daphne Zuniga, who played JoBeth Reynolds on Melrose Place and Victoria Davis on One Tree Hill. Daphne was outstanding in the role on OTH, playing the perfect foil to Sophia Bush’s Brooke Davis.

Melrose Place, which debuted in July 1992 as a spinoff of Beverly Hills, 90210was one of those trashy shows you didn’t want to admit you watched, but couldn’t stay away from. Marcia Cross, who went on to great stardom as Bree van de Kamp on Desperate Housewives, played psycho killer doctor Kimberly Shaw, who appeared to be dead in a drunk driving accident, only to come back and terrorize everyone. Two other female stars went on to bigger and better things after Melrose: Courtney Thorne-Smith, who went from Allison Parker to a co-starring role alongside Jim Belushi on According to Jim; and Kristin Davis, who went from a manipulative woman who drove a wedge between Throne-Smith’s Allison and Andrew Shue’s Billy to Charlotte York, by far my favorite of the ladies of Sex and the City.

Speaking of Sex and the City, I watched the first episode of that show with my dad in a hotel in Cape Girardeau, Mo. We were returning from the 1998 College World Series and drove from Omaha to Cape Girardeau, where we stayed overnight before completing the return to Baton Rouge. I actually had the entire DVD collection of Sex and the City in Louisiana, but it was flooded by Katrina.  I saw the first Sex and the City movie in theaters and have the DVD, and I have the second on Blu-Ray, although I have never watched it. How strange is that?

Game 4 of the NBA Finals are tonight in Cleveland. Not sure how much I’ll watch, but there are only two Shark Tank episodes on CNBC tonight at 7 and 8. I have an appointment with Dr. Patriarca at High Plains tomorrow at 9, so it’s likely I’m going to bed early. And probably tomorrow night as well.

Hot times

I left the house this morning for the first time since getting back from Beloit Saturday. I had to go to Hays for an eye exam with Dr. Jones. It had been scheduled since my previous appointment in December, so I knew it was coming and I was ready for it. Got my work done for the papers last night so I didn’t have to worry about it with my eyes dilated.

I really didn’t feel like going anywhere in the heat, and since I didn’t have to Sunday and Monday, I didn’t. I left early this morning so I could get everything done before it got too hot, and also to avoid having to go in with my eyes dilated. Besides, I’ve got back-to-back appointments at High Plains Mental Health Thursday and Friday, so I’ll be in Hays regardless.

My eyes are fine. I’m thinking seriously about switching to daily use contacts. Right now, I’m changing them every two weeks. I have to weigh the costs.

I stayed up too late last night and this morning to watch the end of the Texas A&M-TCU baseball game. The Horned Frogs won in the bottom of the 16th to clinch the final spot in the College World Series. The game lasted over six hours and was the second longest super regional game since the NCAA went to the four-team regional and super regional format in 1999. .I’m not making the same mistake tonight.

TCU plays LSU Sunday at 2, with the other game in that bracket Cal State Fullerton vs. Vanderbilt at 7. Saturday’s games are Virginia-Arkansas at 2 and Miami-Florida at 7.

The official high in Russell today was 96 degrees (35 Celsius), the hottest so far of 2015. The century mark cannot be far off. If it doesn’t happen tomorrow, then I give it until June 21, Father’s Day, and the first day of summer.

When I was waiting in Dr. Jones’ office today,the TV was tuned to The Weather Channel. I noticed the record high for Hays was 105 degrees in 1988. It reminded me I was in Russell with my family on June 9, 1988. It was the last day of our four and a half day visit to Kansas, where we stayed at 1224 North Brooks. On that last day of the trip, we ventured to Lucas, 33 miles northeast of Russell, to visit my great Aunt Sharon. Her children, Alan and Kala, were in town with their families as well.

In 1988, the building which is currently the Mexican restaurant in Russell was a Dairy Queen. There was a Fina gas station at the corner of Wichita and Fossil. There were two grocery stores, Klema’s and Boogaert’s, which was at the corner of Fossil and Eighth, not too far from Russell High. The A&W restaurant and McDonald’s were in town, but no Sonic, and Meridy’s was under different ownership.

Today is the 30th anniversary of the Lakers’ victory in the Boston Garden which clinched the 1984-85 NBA championship. It marked the first time the Lakers defeated the Celtics in a playoff series after going 0 for the previous 11, including the 1984 championship series. Boston won the first game of that series 148-114, and the experts thought the Celtics were going to romp. But Los Angeles won four of the next five games, and the only one Boston won came when Dennis Johnson hit a lucky shot at the buzzer. The 1985 Lakers are often forgotten, thanks to Magic Johnson’s sensational Game 6 as a rookie in the 1980 championship series, as well as the back-to-back championship teams of 1987 and 1988. But to finally shake those demons had to be sweet.

Tomorrow doesn’t promise much. I got my work done for the Russell County News tonight, so I don’t have to wake up so early to get it done. I’m thinking about a trip to Salina for Buffalo Wild Wings and trivia. I’ve been away too long. But will it rain? And I have that 9 a.m. appointment in Hays Thursday.