July 08, 2008

Everything's coming up Milhouse!

Somehow this Simpsons quote always pops in my head when I'm in an especially good mood. Here's why:

  1. There's a good chance that I will have two (2!) scholarly papers in the works before I leave Los Alamos next month

  2. I gave a talk today on my research and it went really well - I got many compliments from the people in the know. I think I've done as much (if not more) on my thesis work in the past 3 weeks here than I had for the previous 3 months

  3. Even though my stay here isn't halfway over yet, I feel like I'm on the home stretch now. I can't wait to see our new apartment, our dogs, and especially my awesome wife!

  4. I had a blast hanging out with old friends Erica and Tim up in Colorado over the holiday weekend. We did 4th of July stuff and visited Rocky Mountain National park, which was pretty awesome. I added some pictures to my flickr page

  5. I got some good beer up in Fort Collins - Hooray for New Belgium brewery! I bought a sampler 6-pack and found that while Fat Tire is their most famous beer, I actually like their other options better. So far I think I like their Trippel ale the best

  6. Last, but by far not least, the Cubs traded for RICH HARDEN! ZOMG! We also picked up Chad Gaudin for bullpen help / Harden insurance / Cajun cooking with Riot and Fonty. It cost us Gallagher (a valuable asset, but I don't think his ceiling is higher than a #3), E-Pat and Murton (spare parts, as far as the Cubs are concerned at least), and a lottery ticket catcher prospectzz in Josh Donaldson (who is blocked by Soto anyway). Big props to Jim Hendry.

    That said, there are some worries, the biggest of which is Harden's health. He's put it together so far this year but you never know what will happen. Apparently his velocity had dropped over his last few starts, and maybe he's going through a dead-arm period....just so long as he doesn't actually get injured we should be cool. This deal is the very definition of a high-risk/high-reward trade. If we have good Harden in September/October....wow. I'm also worried because Beane is such a smooth operator - maybe he knows Harden's arm will fall off. The Cubs did apparently look at his medical records though, and Billy Beane is not invincible. It's still hard to imagine getting the best of him in a trade though. If E-Pat and Murton play they are improvements on several of the A's anemic offensive players

I've been meaning to put up some book reviews for the past several weeks...now that things have died down a smidge at LANL I might post some this week...but we'll see what happens