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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Back in Session

August 26, 2014

My apartment here at The Quarry on the northwest edge of Columbus, Ohio is a nice place. I'm happy with it, though it has some oddities, not the least of which is the downhill slope of my kitchen. It's like an especially evil golf course, particularly when it comes to my refrigerator door. One it opens to a certain point, whammo, it's going to open all the way unless I do something to stop it. If I close it, once it reaches a certain point it will go ahead and close on its own, like a long putt that takes the briefest of pauses on a ridge before rolling on toward the cup.

The fall semester at Ohio State begins this week, and it's been interesting to see the evident increase of college-aged people here at the Quarry and around the area in general in northwest Columbus. This past Saturday I swung by the Quarry Market to pick up some dessert for Brooks Jarosz's cookout. On my way out I walked past a rather stunning college-aged looking girl with standout looks and attire appropriate for high 80 degree weather. Not too shabby. The New Jersey front license plate on her told me she was likely in town for school. That works for me.

And, considering the life I've lived, something like that has to be pretty impressive to stand out to me anymore. Five years in Tampa in your mid-20s will do that to you. Well, at least it did for me.

The influx of gorgeous women aside, and there are plenty here even when OSU isn't in session, it will be interesting to see how Ohio State being back in full swing affects things like traffic and crowds and festivities and what not. Part of the strength of this city is the volume of young people with good ideas, which helps to give this place the progressive edge that helps it to succeed where other large cities in Ohio fail.

From a sports standpoint, there are friends/family down south who have ribbed me about becoming an Ohio State fan in a joking-but-not-joking type of way. The reality is that I'll always be an SEC fan first and foremost, but if the Buckeyes do well while I'm here, that's great as well.

I will be pulling for Ohio State when they host Virginia Tech one week from Saturday in a night game I'll attend in person. And, yes, I'm going with a girl I know who's a Buckeyes fan. She actually bought me an OSU shirt to wear to it, and I know friends of mine will read this and bristle, but it's not like I'm going to flip and start pulling for the Big Ten. Plus, I'll be there as a neutral observer for Draft King, so I won't become an overnight homer for my new city's school.

It was fun this past Friday night to watch my high school alma mater, Father Ryan, beat Overton in their high school football season debut. It's not the same as when I was doing color commentary for the games in 2011, but at least it allows me to keep track of the team from hundreds of miles away.

I will be back in Nashville in the near future, perhaps as soon as this weekend, with the upcoming birth of my nephew Benjamin. My sister-in-law, Jenica, is due on Sunday, but Benjamin could be born any day now. So that should be a good time.

The marathon on FXX of all 552 episodes of The Simpsons has been impressive. My U-verse DVR is spacious, particularly compared with the junk that Comcast Huntington offered (at a higher price with fewer channels, most of which weren't in HD until the end of last year), but even its limits are strained by the volume of episodes on the docket. I've watched some great ones already, some I hadn't seen since their original airing, which in some cases was nearly 25+ years ago. I know, it's hard for me to believe, too. But the presentation has been excellent, save for the stretched-screen style that creates a fake HD look.

To be fair, I prefer that to the "mirrored" look that can be incredibly off-putting, but black bars on either side (like they use on some shots where stretching it wouldn't work) would be strongly preferable, particularly on the non-HD FXX channel. No dice on that, but still this is one of the all-time great TV marathons and they are handling it very well.

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