Fitbit IX – Week 44

A nice bounce back week put me back on the right side of the 30,000-step plateau.  Things got off to a slow start on Sunday, finishing 30 steps away from 3900.  Monday saw a very small increase, coming just 21 steps shy of 4000.  A trip to the mall for lunch on Tuesday left me just 29 steps short of 5400.  Wednesday saw a big drop, going down to 3600 steps.  The big Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday actually saw an increase, falling just 20 steps shy of 4200.  A trip down to West Lafayette on Friday saw a bit of a drop, coming 23 steps away from 3500 after the expected nighttime band practice was moved outdoors.  Danny’s Senior Day on Saturday was easily the best day of the week, garnering 9500 steps while traipsing across the Purdue campus.

Total steps: 34,072

Daily average: 4867.4

We Are, Once Again, #1

For the third season in a row, and the third season in program history, Purdue is the #1 ranked men’s college basketball team in the country.  Following their victories over #11 Gonzaga, # 7 Tennessee, and #4 Marquette while winning the Maui Invitational last week, the team moved up from #2 to take the top spot, becoming the first Big Ten program to do so in three consecutive seasons.

Their next big test will come in three weeks, when they battle Arizona, the current #2 ranked team, on a neutral court in the Indy Classic.  Hopefully they will retain their #1 ranking when I head to Mackey on December 21st to see them battle Jacksonville.

Book 52 (of 52) – After That Night

After That Night – Karin Slaughter

After That Night, the eleventh entry in Karin Slaughter’s Will Trent series, puts the focus on Dr. Sara Linton, who is testifying in a rape trial when the defendant’s mother, a former colleague of Sara’s from her residency, lets her know that there is a connection between this case and Sara’s own rape from 15 years earlier.  While Will and Faith start investigating off the record, Sara looks back to her past to see if she can find the connection while still maintaining her sanity.  What they find horrifies them: a rape club that has been ongoing for years.  Once they get the approval to turn this into a real case, can they turn their theories into proof and stop the rape club from the inside?

After It took me four plus years to read through the earlier books in the series, a new entry made it to the top of the pile rather quickly.  Slaughter once again leans on the crutch of having the villain have some sort of personal connection to the primary players in the investigation, something that was a hallmark of the early entries in the series.  At some point, you’d think they’d take a hard look in the mirror and ask some hard questions, like why is everyone we know a serial killer or rapist?

And there we have it, book #52!  For just the third time since I started this “52 books in 52 weeks” challenge back in 2010, I made it to the finish line.  Last year, I did it with just a couple of weeks to spare.  This time around, I’m a whole month ahead of schedule.  I should have little problem surpassing my personal record of 55 books, set all the way back in 2022.

Prolific Authors – 12 Books

Way back in December of 2011 (and again every other December since), we’ve taken a look at the authors I have read the most, dating back to high school.  This year, since I’ve far surpassed my reading output of any year on record, I thought it would be nice to take a deeper dive into those books I’ve read through October. Since our last check-in, I’ve read an additional 118 books, so there could be some movement over the past two years, but it’s time to take another look and see if my “favorite” authors have changed much in that time span.  Today, we continue with the two authors I’ve read twelve times, even with two years ago.

Christopher Golden

The prolific author first entered my bookshelf in 1998, thanks to a Buffy the Vampire Slayer tie-in.  Eleven more of those over the following seven years leave him here.

The Kept Woman – Karin Slaughter

Karin Slaughter

A New York Times best seller, Slaughter first crossed my radar in 2018 with the standalone novel Pretty Girls.  I followed that up with The Kept Woman, which, unbeknownst to me, was the eighth entry in the Will Trent series.  Since then, I’ve quickly caught up on that series while also starting her previous Grant County series.

2023 Final Standings

The 2023 college football season, and Danny’s marching band career, came to an end yesterday, after Purdue squeaked past the Hoosiers 35-31.  After winning the Big Ten West last season and making a New Year’s Day bowl game, this year’s 4-8 finish was a bit of a disappointment.  Yesterday’s game brought my total for the year to six games, a new high point.

2023 Team Records

University Won Loss Winning Pctg
Wisconsin Badgers 1 0 1.000
Syracuse Orange 1 0 1.000
Purdue Boilermakers 3 2 0.600
Minnesota Golden Gophers 0 1 0.000
Indiana Hoosiers 0 1 0.000
Illinois Fighting Illini 0 1 0.000

Prolific Authors – 9 Books

Way back in December of 2011 (and again every other December since), we’ve taken a look at the authors I have read the most, dating back to high school.  This year, since I’ve far surpassed my reading output of any year on record, I thought it would be nice to take a deeper dive into those books I’ve read through October. Since our last check-in, I’ve read an additional 118 books, so there could be some movement over the past two years, but it’s time to take another look and see if my “favorite” authors have changed much in that time span.  Today, we continue with the lone author I’ve read nine times, a decrease on one since 2021.

Michael Jan Friedman

Known primarily for licensed works, Friedman first entered my world in 1990, thanks to a trio of Star Trek: The Next Generation novels.  There were another two in 1992 and then he reappeared in 1996 with another trio of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman tie-ins.  That was it until he reappeared on my radar in 2021, with yet another Next Gen entry.

2024 Hall Of Fame Ballot – The Newcomers

On Monday, the BBWAA released their ballot for the Hall of Fame class of 2023, with the results of the vote are due to be revealed on January 23rd, and induction taking place July 21st.  With Scott Rolen as the sole electee last year, the new ballot contains fourteen holdovers along with twelve newcomers.

Yesterday, we looked at the returning candidates.  Today, it’s time to look at the newcomers and who see may be thankful come January.

Jose Bautista

The long-time Blue Jays slugger will likely get enough consideration to stick around on the ballot, but has no real chance at induction.

Adrián Beltré

Beltré finished his career with 3166 hits, 477 home runs, and 5 Gold Gloves at third base.  He is the closest thing to a shoo-in we’ve seen in years.

Bartolo Colon

The all-time wins leader, with 247, among Latin American pitchers, Colon will end up on the outside looking in, thanks to a 4.12 career ERA and a PED suspension in 2012.

Adrián González

The first overall pick of the 2000 draft, González put together a very fine career.  Just not one that will get him to Cooperstown.

Matt Holliday

Again, Holliday had a very fine career, although he will get dinged for part of that career taking place in Colorado, but I don’t see him getting in.

Victor Martinez

If he spent his entire career playing against the White Sox, he would be a first ballot, all-time great.  Unfortunately, he had to play against the other teams as well, which means he has to “settle” for having a very good career, but not a Hall of Fame career.

Joe Mauer

One MVP award, three Gold Gloves, and three batting titles, as a catcher, make me think Mauer will eventually find his way to Cooperstown, but he may need to wait a while.

Brandon Phillips Continue reading →

2024 Hall Of Fame Ballot – The Holdovers

Monday, the BBWAA released their ballot for the Hall of Fame class of 2024.  The results of the vote are due to be revealed on January 24th, with induction taking place July 21st.  Scott Rolen was elected in last year’s voting and Jeff Kent fell off the ballot after reaching the ten-year limit, leaving fourteen holdovers along with twelve newcomers.

Let’s take a look at the returning candidates today before moving on to the newcomers tomorrow.

Bobby Abreu
Years on ballot: 4
2023 Percentage: 15.4

After falling off the year before, Abreu starts moving in the right direction again, but has a long way to go.

Carlos Beltran
Years on ballot: 1
2023 Percentage: 46.5

A decent debut for Beltran, which may have been even better had he not been tainted by the Astros cheating scandal.

Mark Buehrle
Years on ballot: 3
2023 Percentage: 10.8

After nearly falling off the ballot in his second go-around, Buehrle bounced back last year but faces an uphill climb if he is to make it to Cooperstown.

Todd Helton
Years on ballot: 5
2023 Percentage: 72.2

After falling just a few votes short last year, Helton should be a lock for election this year.

Torii Hunter
Years on ballot: 3
2023 Percentage: 6.9

Despite a small increase from the previous year, Hunter once again had the lowest percentage of the vote while remaining on the ballot.  Things do not look good for the long-term prospects of the former Twin and Angel.

Andruw Jones
Years on ballot: 6
2023 Percentage: 58.1

If voters were to stick to his first eleven seasons, Jones looks like a shoo-in for the Hall.  His last seven seasons, though, were so bad that it makes it hard to consider him.  After crossing the 50% plateau last year, he is trending in the right direction, but doesn’t have all that much time left.

Andy Pettitte
Years on ballot: 5
2023 Percentage: 17.0

Continue reading →

Book 51 (of 52) – Dark Corners

Dark Corners – Megan Goldin

When the FBI turn to Rachel Krall, a famous podcaster, to help them track down a missing travel influencer, she finds the next topic for her hit show.  She goes undercover at an influencer convention, learning the ins and outs of the strange world while tracking down clues about what might have happened to the missing Instagram star.  When the man responsible for the disappearance finds out about Krall’s involvement, he sets his sights on her as well, hoping to clean up a year’s old mess.

Megan Goldin’s Dark Coners brings back her podcasting character from The Night Swim, teaming her up with an FBI agent/love interest.  While the twists and turns could be seen from a mile away and the ending felt a little rushed, this was another solid outing from her.