One “Ninth” That Didn’t Happen, One That Did

April 6, 2015

Kentucky’s run to its ninth national basketball championship came up short Saturday night as Wisconsin got revenge for last year’s Final Four loss to the Cats. So the season ends with a record of 38-1. All season, Kentucky had shown its vulnerability with occasional poor performances. It would have taken just about a perfect game to beat the Badgers, and it didn’t happen. Wisconsin will face Duke tonight for the title. I’m looking forward to a great game.

The Blue Jackets have won a franchise-record nine games in-a-row with Saturday’s victory over visiting Pittsburgh. Another hat trick was recorded (this time by Nick Foligno), which is becoming a common occurrence.

Basketball Wrapup

April 3, 2015

The Kentucky men are 38-0 heading into tomorrow night’s national semifinal against Wisconsin. This is a rematch from last year’s Final Four, won by Kentucky in a close game. I look for it to be close again this year. The other semifinal pits Michigan State against Duke. All four teams are lead by legendary coaches, any of whom could win it all. Looking ahead, there are interesting possibilities for the championship game. It could be an all-Big-Ten final, or it could be a Duke-Kentucky matchup, one of the all-time great rivalries in the sport.

The Ohio State men ended the regular season on a sour note, being routed at home by Wisconsin. After a mediocre Big Ten tournament performance, the Buckeyes did manage to beat Virginia Commonwealth in the first round of the NCAA, which was a mild upset. But then OSU was no match for Arizona in the second round. With several graduations and D’Angelo Russell likely turning pro, the team will look a lot different next year.

The Ohio State women had a nice run in the Big Ten tournament, going all the way to the championship game before losing a close one to Maryland. The Terps joined the league this year, and have yet to lose to a Big Ten opponent since. They were a #1 seed in the NCAA, and made the Final Four.

The Buckeyes were a #5 seed in the NCAA. Their second-round game was in Chapel Hill against North Carolina. After trailing by 20 in the second half, the Bucks made a game of it before losing on a last second shot.

The Kentucky women knocked off South Carolina in the last game of the regular season, denying the Gamecocks an undefeated regular season. In the SEC tournament, the Cats were unable to get past Tennessee, which is a common problem. In the NCAA, Kentucky was given the #2 seed in the east, despite 9 losses. But in the second round, the Dayton Flyers beat the Cats in Memorial Coliseum in a wild one, 99-94. Dayton went on to rout Louisville in the regional, and gave Connecticut a good game early before losing by 21.

March Wrapup

April 3, 2015

It looks like winter has finally left us. I think we probably had over 30 inches of snow vs. a normal of about 12. A 17-inch snowfall on March 5th was a big chunk of that. As I type this we’ve had about 4 1/2 inches of rain in storms over the last couple days. Flooding is a problem in a lot of places around the state.

Lexington GlobalTuner #2 is back online after an absence of several months. The serial interface between the controlling computer and the IC-706 had failed and had to be replaced. You can visit here: http://www.globaltuners.com/receiver/406/

With last night’s come-from-behind shootout win over the Islanders, the Blue Jackets have won 8 in-a-row. So, it looks like Columbus will finish above .500 but out of the playoffs. One can only hope that they will pick up where they left off when the new season starts in October.

For several years I read articles for the DX Audio Service, a monthly audio magazine sponsored by the National Radio Club. After producing the magazine for 30 years, Fred Vobbe is stepping down as editor. We’ll all miss the publication, but Fred deserves a lot of credit for spending thousands of hours in production of something that informed and entertained radio DXers, including many who are vision-impaired.

February Wrapup

March 1, 2015

Well, this has certainly been a tough winter for keeping this blog up to date. Being retired, it’s not like I don’t have time. But I just seem to get absorbed in projects, and it “feels” like I don’t have much spare time.

Speaking of winter, it’s been a pretty cold and snowy one around here. We had 12 inches of snow on the ground a couple weeks ago. With a lot of cold weather, the snow pack has been slow to melt. But it’s getting there.

I’ve been busy going through a lot of the old antique radio equipment I’ve collected down through the years. Even though much of it doesn’t work, at least it looks “organized” now, rather than sitting in piles. I should take some new pictures around the shack.

It was an interesting month in amateur radio. There was a major DXpedition to Navassa Island, and a friend of mine was a member of the group. I worked them on 15-meter single sideband. I found out that I finished #4 in North America (in my operating class) in last July’s International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) contest. I got back into radio-teletype contesting yesterday in the North American QSO Party and had a big time as the bands were in good shape.

The Blue Jackets stayed below .500 during February, and have been out of the playoff race for awhile. The club has made some trades. Management indicated that it would not trade away draft picks, and so far it has not. So there is clearly an eye to the future. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has just returned from injury.

The Kentucky men are still undefeated with two games remaining in the regular season. For the other college teams I follow, conference tournament byes may be tough to come by.

The Ohio State women have been a pleasant surprise. The Buckeyes went 6-2 in February and are tied for third in the league.

The Kentucky women went 4-3 in February with the three losses in a row. The Cats are 9-6 in the SEC and wrap up the regular season hosting South Carolina later today. The Gamecocks are #2 in the country and need the win to finish unbeaten in the SEC. The Cats lost in Columbia earlier in the year.

The Ohio State men were 3-3 in February which puts them in sixth place. Thad Matta teams often finish strong, so it would be fun to see this team make some noise in the Big Ten tournament. Freshman D’Angelo Russell has had a great year and is probably off to the NBA.

Lexington Radio Shacks

February 9, 2015

I went out this morning to “make the rounds” of the local Radio Shacks, looking for clearance sales. Here is what I’ve found out. This may be old news to a lot of you as even WLAP Radio is reporting about the local Radio Shacks.

There are 5 stores in Lexington according to the Radio Shack web site:

West New Circle Road next to WalMart – not closing, no clearance sale.

Eastland Shopping Center – not closing, no clearance sale.

Hamburg – closing. Entire store is 30-70% off. Most items are 40% off. I spent about $50 today. As of this morning, this store is pretty well stocked so if there is a particular item or items you want, this store may well have it.

Most of you are familiar with the “parts drawers” where they keep small parts (resistors, capacitors, connectors, light bulbs, etc). I opened every single drawer. Still pretty good stock.

Since Hamburg was so well stocked I did not continue on to Fayette Mall or the store on Nichols Park and Man O’ War. But I understand both of those stores are closing.

I’m not an expert in commercial real estate but it looks to me like it is the “high rent” stores that are closing. Over here in my neighborhood (the low-rent side of town) we’re still good-to-go :-).

The man working at Hamburg is the assistant manager at the store in Richmond. He says that store is staying open. The Nicholasville store is closing or has already closed.

20-0

January 31, 2015

As January winds done, the Kentucky men are still undefeated. Their 20-0 record is good for their third-best start ever. Tonight the Cats will entertain Alabama.

The Blue Jackets are two games below .500 going into tonight’s game at Tampa Bay. I really don’t think Columbus has a shot at the playoffs, but a really long win streak could get them back into the picture.

After a second loss to Iowa, the Ohio State men have run off three wins in a row, including this week’s 80-56 rout of #16 Maryland. D’Angelo Russell may be the best freshman in college basketball this year. At 6-3, the Bucks are tied with Michigan and Maryland for second place in the league behind Wisconsin which is 7-1.

The Kentucky women had a heartbreaking home loss to Tennessee this week, 73-72. The Cats had several chances for a game-winning score. At 5-3, Kentucky is far behind Tennessee and South Carolina who are still undefeated at 8-0.

National Champions

January 15, 2015

Ohio State took care of business Monday night in North Texas, winning the college football championship 42-20 over Oregon. There are so many sidebars to the game: the Buckeyes being led by their “third string” quarterback, Cardale Jones, who was starting in his third game. Ohio State’s defense was suspect early in the year, but they held Oregon’s high-powered offense to 20 points. And, I would not have given the Buckeyes any chance of winning after turning the ball over 4 times. But it ended up being a decisive win by a team that had been considered by many of us to be “a year away”.

I’m not quite ready to stick a fork in the Blue Jackets, but their playoff hopes are getting dimmer by the day. ┬áColumbus is riding a three-game losing streak after an awesome month of December. They will need another winning streak like December to get back in the hunt.

The Ohio State and Kentucky men had big wins Tuesday, routing Michigan and Missouri respectively.

 

 

A Rough Weekend

January 12, 2015

The UK women went to South Carolina yesterday to take on the #1 ranked Gamecocks. It ended up being an emotional day, and the Cats fell just short. Janee Thompson was involved in an unfortunate collision and broke her leg and dislocated an ankle. Coach Mitchell was tossed after a horrible no-call after UK had stolen the ball under the basket with time running out for a comeback. Janee is lost for the season, but Bria Goss may be able to play again in the near future after being out most of the season with an injury.

Columbus lost in Toronto Friday night, but still collected 4 points on the four-game road trip. But the current home stand started off on the wrong foot in a 5-2 loss to the Islanders Saturday night. The Jackets need to beat the Canadiens and Rangers this week before heading out on the road again.

After the nice road win in Minneapolis, the OSU men traveled to Bloomington and didn’t play as well in a 69-66 loss to the Hoosiers. So the Bucks are 2-2 in the league.

The UK men were taken to overtime yet again. This time it was double-overtime in College Station before the Cats came out on top 70-64. Kentucky is still ranked #1 after Duke lost. Virginia is still undefeated, but they too have had some close calls.

A Big Night

January 8, 2015

Lots of sports action last night, and close nail-biters.

The Kentucky men seem to only play well against tough competition, and slack off a bit against middle-of-the-pack teams. Last night Ole Miss visited Rupp Arena, and took the Cats to overtime before losing by 3. Earlier in the year, no more than 70 points had been scored against Kentucky. The Rebels shattered that record even before the overtime. In OT, both teams shot free throws poorly, leaving the game up for grabs.

Ohio State went to Minneapolis and pulled out a nice road win over the Gophers in overtime. Amir Williams missed an easy shot in regulation that would have won it. But the Buckeyes prevailed in the overtime in which neither team shot particularly well.

Last but not least, the Blue Jackets went to Dallas and stormed out to a 3-0 lead before the Stars rallied to make it close. But Columbus prevailed 4-2. The Jackets are now above .500 for the first time since early in the year.

“Won, not done”

January 6, 2015

The tee shirts around Ohio and Oregon say “won, not done” after New Year’s Day’s first-ever college football playoff semifinals.

Oregon broke open a close game to beat Florida State 59-20. FSU had some unbelievable gaffs that allowed the Ducks to take command.

In the nightcap, Ohio State overcame a couple first-half turnovers to beat Alabama 42-35. The Tide had a 21-6 lead at one point, and it might have been tempting to turn off the TV. But the Buckeyes put up a quick touchdown, then another, to make it close at the half. Some great interceptions in the second half led the good guys to the win.

Can Ohio State beat Oregon? The Oregon offense is a monster and I expect they will score a lot of points. But the Buckeye offense isn’t too shabby. So it’s probably a high-scoring game. If OSU can keep it close, a little fourth-quarter luck will make the difference.


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