Is It the Beagle or the City?
We have had surprisingly little trouble meeting new friends here in town, and I have many times wondered if it has more to do with the friendly outgoing nature of the people in Austin, or the friendly outgoing nature of our beagle constantly in tow that brings smiles to the faces of all whose laps he jumps onto.

Today, for instance, we ended up sitting outside on the patio at a German bar/restaurant Easy Tiger downtown with Baxter. A while later, another couple with a beagle sat near us and we instantly struck up a conversation and hit it off very quickly. (Baxter even had some good old fashioned male-on-male sex with the other beagle!)

I can honestly say that Lauren and I never randomly went out to a bar or restaurant in Minneapolis, met some strangers, and exchanged business cards with plans to meet up later on. Yet it happens like every couple weeks here!

I am pretty sure it’s a combination of Baxter being a great conversation starter in what has to be the country’s most dog-friendly city, plus Austin being a city of thousands of newly-relocated couples who don’t know many other people.

Twins Historically Horrible. Like, Worst Team in Baseball History Horrible. Seriously. I’m Glad They Can’t Have My Money This Season.
I know I complain a lot about the Twins, but this time it is justified. They have NINE HITS in their last four games coming into Sunday. That is the all-time worst four-game stretch in MLB history. I swear to God I could have done better myself. If the Twins would give me the chance to prove myself I would take them up on it. A team of Ryan clones could have blindly flung a bat and made more contact. The Twins current run is so horrendous that if a Black Sox type of team were being paid by gamblers to throw four games, the law of averages would tell you that they would still get more than 2.3 hits per game even if they were trying to fail. A little nubber in front of the plate can be a hit, after all. I think the team is dreadfully bad, but to have this abysmal streak there has to be just a ton of bad luck involved too. Every break is going against them in addition to their suckiness.

They wouldn’t have even scored a run in their past five games had Mariners’ reliever Matt Wilhelmson not stupidly thrown to second base instead of home plate on Friday night. Everyone is down on the pitching, but I’m more upset about the hitting. I’ve always said for years that I could withstand a crappy team as long as they played some tight, high-scoring games, like 10-7 or 9-8 type of games.

Some are trying their damnedest to find a silver lining in the Twins’ worst start in team history, such as cheap ticket prices for the remainder of the season and high future draft picks. But I’m not sure that the Twins incompetent front office could make good use of a #1 or #2 draft pick. I would probably take advantage of the cheap tickets due to Target Field still being one of the greatest stadiums in the league, but I promise I’d be booing as the team ran onto the field.

All that said, I am still watching every game I can, and just made definite plans to see the team play the Rangers over 4th of July weekend when Colin is in town. Why do I keep torturing myself?! I don’t live in Minnesota anymore, I shouldn’t dwell on this! But it is ingrained in me to hate every other team. I think if the Astros’ games weren’t blacked out on MLB.TV, I could stand to cheer for their underdog team of misfits + Carlos Lee.

Here’s the only thing I can come up with that puts the Twins miserable start into some perspective. The Charlotte Bobcats this year went 7-59 in the NBA, which isn’t a great comparison because NBA teams more typically have extreme seasons. Regardless, the Twins would have to lose their next 39 games to match the Bobcats season.

Pictures from the Past Week

Lauren and I touring the Austin Beerworks Brewery, just a mile from our apartment. The Hot and Cold Liquor tanks were colorful.
Lauren and I managed to edge out Rob and Elizabeth in a game of bean bags at the Pour House on Friday night.
Baxter typically isn’t allowed to ride up front, but he was so hot in the 95-degree weather today that he needed the extra AC coverage.