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My thirteenth summer was spent in Iowa with my grandparents. I wasn't particularly easy to get along with at that age, so it's not a surprise that my parents were willing to ship me halfway across the country on a Greyhound bus. While I was there I did pretty much the same thing I would have done at home. I haunted the library during the day and listened to baseball games on the transistor radio under my pillow at night.

Every time we have a humid, unsettled day like today, I'm taken back to that summer in my imagination. There aren't any specific memories (because, as I said, I didn't actually do much), but the feel of the heavy air is the same. The sky looks like it did then, but without the booming thunderstorms and the brilliant bolts of lightning. We don't get that sort of "real" weather in the North Bay very often.

Last night as I was getting settled and ready for bed, I could hear the rain beating lightly on the roof. Just to be sure, I opened the front door and took a few steps out onto the paving stones. Sure enough, those big Midwestern drops were falling from the sky. It we kind of beautiful, and kind of a happy memory. Probably the memory is happier than how I actually felt at that problematic age.


General Hospital: I went off on a little Twitter rampage after today's episode, because I don't like the fact that all eight people on the Haunted Star immediately recognized the Mystery Man. How could they know who he is if we, the longtime viewers and devoted fans of the show, don't? "Oh, it's you!" Really? It's who? I'm not against mysteries and cliffhangers and puzzles and riddles, but this feels like kind of a cheat. If those eight people knew him, I would certainly have known him. He can't be a Mystery Man if the only mystery is that it's a role that's been recast.

Baseball: As you know, I'm not a fan of interleague play. This attitude is nothing new, but I'm even less a fan now. The Giants have played four interleague games so far this season (all on the road; how is that fair?) and lost them all. Tonight it was the Athletics again, and this time it was 6-3.

That spoiled the major league debut of rookie starter Mike Kickham, brought up to take Ryan Vogelsong's spot in the rotation. Vogelsong is out for six weeks or so after being hit last week by a pitch that broke bones in his throwing hand. This is an unusual circumstance for the Giants, who owe a lot of their success over the last few years to the fact that they have gone through whole seasons using mostly the same five starting pitchers, without having to deal with injuries.

Kickham has been a menace to Triple-A hitters, and he did throw some quality pitches, but he lasted less than three innings. His mom gave him a standing ovation when he left the field, but it put a big burden on the bullpen, who had to cover the last six innings plus. It also puts the onus on tomorrow's starter, Tim Lincecum, to go deep into the game so the bullpen gets a rest.

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