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Showing posts from July, 2011

The Orange Whip

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I had a few of these this week. It's a local favorite, an awesome IPA that I know better than to try to describe why it's so good. Trust me--or, trust the beer experts at beeradvocate.com--they agree...

Now I'm here...now I'm there

So my friend PaulBe asked me how useful I find the check-in features of certain social media sites. We swapped a few messages about it and he laid down the gauntlet for me to share my thoughts here.

I use two check-in services: Gowalla and Facebook's Places. Let's start with Gowalla, which may be something of a Betamax to Four Square's VHS. I went with it, however, after reading this and deciding that it suited me as one who travels place to place more than interacts with friends at, say, a local coffee shop. Further, I really have no interest in competing for mayorships, or even being in one particular place more or less than someone else, which seems to be more of the goal with FS. I'm mostly more interested in recording where I've been, especially places outside of my local community, and Gowalla serves me well in that regard.

One thing I wish Gowalla (and for that matter, Places) offered would be a report of some kind that shows when I was where. For example, I…

MiLB’ing around

I wrote this while en route to a couple of West Coast baseball games, when the Dodgers and Angels were both home this past weekend. When planning this trip, the thought did strike me that it might be fun to catch a Minor League game in southern California. I've only been to about a dozen minor league games, and that includes a bunch to my local team, the Hudson Valley Renegades, a short-season Single-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. I've been sticking to games “in the area”, and have seen two AAA venues, three AA ones, and the aforementioned Gades at the Dutch.

The current trip was about me getting to all of the MLB parks. I have no such aspirations with Minor League ball. I do, though, have some interest in seeing all of the Yankee affiliates (with a few visits to Trenton and Scranton Wilkes-Barre under my belt already), and I have strayed here and there to get to the games in New Britain, CT; Allentown, PA; and Binghamton, NY. With AAA and AA Yankee games seen, a trip to s…

A whale of a tail...tale?...no, tail...

This is one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time. As mentioned in one of my posts over the weekend, I had this LA excursion planned since the MLB schedule came out. But, LA is kind of a hike from New York, so I stretched the trip out from a weekend to five days. I added a few stops to the itinerary, including a whale watch trip out of Dana Point, about 75 minutes south of LA.

We were only a few miles out when we spotted our first whales, finbacks. But, the captain was told of a blue whale sighting and took us to where it was reported. We saw a few, following them around for a bit. I haven't finished going through my pictures yet, but felt compelled to share this brief clip I was so fortunate to see.


Nothing short of extraordinary, in my opinion. Then again, there's nothing short about these critters, is there? Six or seven (including a cow/calf pair) were observed this past Sunday morning. One surfaced just in front of our stationary boat, remarkably audible, as…

It's all relative

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In addition to checking two more stadiums off the list, another goal of this brief SoCal trip was met when I got to meet my cousin Frank. He's my fifth cousin, once removed (5C1R), which means our first common ascendants are my fourth great grandparents and his fifth great grandparents. The father of my fourth great grandfather on this line is Johann Carl Wagenhorst, who arrived in the colonies in October 1772. This is the same ascendant as shared by another 5C1R who I met back in February. Are these two 5C1Rs related? Certainly. Siblings? Nope, not these two. They're third cousins.

A 4C2R of theirs will be interested to learn some of the family history we discussed. Further, a third cousin of mine, and coincidentally a 5C1R of theirs who I expect to meet in the coming months, will be as well.
While we joke about the specific relations, there is no denying the effort we've put into our genealogies. We've shared data, discoveries, pictures, resources, and have bonded i…

Dodger Stadium

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So here I am at Dodger Stadium. Yes, another round of SoCal baseball is on the docket for today. I had this weekend circled on the calendar as soon as the MLB schedule came out, as it is the only one this season where the Angels and Dodgers are both home. I was treated to a great game yesterday that ended with Rally Monkeys and a walkoff homerun. I can only hope for some of that excitement today.

It's a nice day now, but I'm sure the heat will set in later. Wouldn't expect much different from a ballpark that's been around over 50 years, with something like a total of 10 or 11 rainouts. It's also one of the oldest ballparks (with only Fenway and Wrigley older)--rather amazing when you think about it.

After this game, I will have three teams left to see: the Astros, Padres, and Diamondbacks, all of whom I will try to see next year (although this will necessitate a drive or flight between San Diego and Phoenix). Then, it will be a matter of getting to the new ballparks …

Angel Stadium

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So here I am at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. I have a phenomenal seat in the row behind the visiting team dugout, right in line with the first 'L' in 'Baseball' painted on its roof. I am pecking away furiously because the phone will be put down while the game is going on--this is a pay-attention seat, as bats and balls could well fly this way.

The seat was somewhat expensive, but very fair. It's not the kind of ticket I would buy for every game, but who knows if I'll ever get here again. The food was fairly priced, as it was under $10 for a tasty brisket sandwich. Beer, though, was a ripoff at $12.

My attendance at this game means that I have now seen every AL team play at home (although I still need to see the Twins and Tigers play at their new ballarks). That brings me down to four teams I haven't seen play a home game, but that will change to three tomorrow....

With the Yankees finally winning a series against these guys, it will be a little easier to do wh…

Ahhh, telecommuting, how I miss thee

Sometimes I take for granted the advantages of working from home. Sure, there is the missed social interactions, free coffee, and general structure of a day in the office. But, hey, if I'm an early riser and can get a grand jump on things, more power to me, right?

Anyway, I headed to the city today for a business meeting with colleagues. This meant a long train ride into the city. Here are some things I never endure when my commute is from my kitchen to my office down the hall.

1) I never need to sprint the equivalent of seven football fields to catch a train (loyal readers may recall my rant against my second most local train station), in any weather, let alone summertime heat and humidity.

2) Nobody ever sits behind me gabbing on her cell phone for most of the 90-minute ride.

3) Nobody ever sits right on top of me, wearing a trench coat or some equivalent, again, let alone on a hot and sticky day, which of course produces some, nice, noisome body odor.

4) Never do I have to he…

Happy birthday, Mom

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Cute kid, eh? Well, it's not about me. Today would have been my Mom's 75th birthday, but thanks to pancreatic cancer, she hasn't seen the last 15.

I mentioned awhile back a picture I was dying to get my hands on, one of my mother holding me in her outstretched arms as an infant. This is not the shot I had in mind, though it's a pretty nice backup. I just hooked up my old film scanner so that I could upload it. I'm on a new computer and haven't installed much photo touch-up software yet, but this shot really doesn't need much--I thought it totally post-worthy as is. With few pictures of her in my possession, and exceedingly few of us together, preserving them all is a certainty. I'm just glad to have some.

Miss you, Mom. RIP.