Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday Fantastic Four

This week's installment of the Friday Fantastic Four can be a tough one for a lot of us who eat out a good bit.  It also can mak you compare great meals you have at home to the really wonderful restaurants out there.

What are (or were in the past) your four favorite places to eat and why?

  1. Grandma's house on Sunday nights for roast beef and mashed potatoes with amazingly good brown gravy and French-cut string beans.

  2. The Shipyard Brewing Company in Kennebunkport for a lobster roll and a pint of Old Thumper.

  3. Smith and Wollensky's on Rittenhouse Square for bone-in filet mignon, grilled asparagus and a glass of red Bordeaux.

  4. Joe's Stone Crabs in Miami for great crabcakes and the legendary atmosphere.

Honorable Mentions:

  • My back yard for crabs and beer with the family

  • CBP for a Schmitter and a Hop Devil

  • A food cart outside Fenway Park for a sausage and pepper sandwich

  • Mother's in New Orleans for Fried Oyster Po' Boys

  • Tony Luke's for a pork sandwich with shape provolone and broccoli rabe

  • Renaud's on Bienville in NO for great Creole

  • Mack and Manco's for Boardwalk pizza in Ocean City, NJ

  • Valanni at 1229 Spruce for braised veal shank and a Jack Daniels Old Fashioned

Enjoy the weekend!

Utley Says Uncle Charlie an "Awesome Manager"

  Utley Goes Yard 
  Originally uploaded by MattP33

In an interview this morning on Sportstalk 950's morning show, Phillies all-star second baseman Chase Utley said that manager Charlie Manuel "gets a bad rap" and is "an awesome manager."  Utley went on to say that he "loves Charlie and so does everyone else in the clubhouse."

Except of course Pat Burrell, who rode the pine again last night, watching Utley pace the Phils with 2 homers to an 8-7, 10th inning win to set the stage for the Mets series this weekend.  Jimmy Rollins was also 4-6 with the game winning hit.

Utley notably paused when asked about my proposal to give Charlie a new contract.  He finally stuttered to a response saying the Phils needed to win.  I'm expecting he will come up bigger than that at the plate this weekend. has the podcast up here.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Eventually It Had to Happen

An alert regular reader, Pat Coleman,  tipped me to the fact that in a column today, His Bloatedness, Bill Conlin actually makes sense for the first time since roughly the Carter Administration.  In today's missive, Jabba The Hut Conlin, his case that Charlie Manuel is actually the best crisis manager in baseball:

I think Charlie has been managing up a storm for more than a month. The worse the news, the better his survivors seem to play.

Now here comes the scary part.

I agree with Conlin.

This team plays its heart out for Uncle Charlie.  He wrings the most out of the paltry talent that comes . up from the minors.  He seems to have mastered the double switch.  He makes tough calls (sitting $13 Million Dollar Man Pat "The Bench" Burrell for rookie Michael Bourn).  He's realized the guys who bust it for him (Dobbs)and he's playing them.  The rest are forgotten (Helms).

As usual, Conlin gets him self all wrapped up in hyperble and arrogance and lses the basice thread of his argument, but I'll distill it for you:

If you had been told that at the break the Phils would have 3 minor leaguers starting in a week and that major portions of the bullpen would be injured and that rwo of the starters on opening day would be riding the pine with offensive stats that are, well, OFFENSIVE, you would have said the Phils were dead and out of it.

But miraculously, despite last night's ugly 9-6 pitching phuck up, the Phils are in the race. 

And for that Charlie deserves a contract.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Phils Keep it Up

I gotta say that I continue to be amazed that the Phils are still in the race and seem to be building toward a run at the Mets this weekend.  Despite not getting any production out of 3 of their big off-season acquisitions (Freddy '83MPH' Garcia, Wes 'John Russell' Helms and Rod 'Where is Chris Coste' Barajas), the Phils are right in this thing, just 2.5 games back of the Mets.

Yeah a lot of that has to do with the Mets positively SUCKING over the last 3 weeks, but the Phils could easily have done an el foldo after losing Myers, Gordon, Garcia and now Leiber to injuries.  They didn't lose Pat Burrell to injury, he's just lost.

So last night, they put up enough run support for a AA starter to get his second big league win in 3 starts and then turned it over to a AA reliever to hold it together for the 35,000+ Phans down at CBP.  The game left me feeling pretty good. 

Then I got in the CRV this morning for the ride into work, tuned in Sports Radio 950's morning show with Michael Bradley, Glenn Foley and the lovely Meredith Marakovits and caught their interview with Pat Gillick.

They tried to get him to answer the questions, but the wily 71 year old GM is a slippery sucker.  New contract for Charlie?  "People are making too much of that.  We don't do deals in season.  We'll address that later."  When will Gordon and Myers be back?  "People are making too much of that.  Maybe after the All-Star break.  Maybe before.   Gordon who?"  Will he make a deal for a pitcher?  "No pitchers out there right now.  We're trying."  How come the Phillies never make a mid-season deal to get over the hump?  "Everyone here is committed to winning from the owners on down."

Jesus.  i thought they were interviewing Ed WadeFirst, you can do a contract any time of year.  I know he sounds like the village idiot and he makes some head scratching moves some nights, but this team plays for Charlie.  He should get a deal now.  Second,  What's the real deal on Myers and Gordon?  what was the set back this week?  Why was the rehab pushed off for Myers?  Has anyone even SEEN Tom Gordon lately?  Third, there ARE pitchers out there.  The Tigers just dealt Mike Maroth.  Mark Buehrle is on the block.  It's time to part with Carlos Ruiz and Aaron Rowand to get Buehrle on the mound here next week.  Finally, Pat, take the party line and stick it.  The owners don't care about a pennant if the seats are filled.  We know that.  We have lived through this 30 year regional sports nightmare

Don't tell us you're committed to winning.   Do something about it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Buddy!

  John the Cat 
  Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

It's hard to believe that it's been 7 years since that stormy, muggy June night that John made me wait until 6:26 am until he was finally born.  I vividly remember that even before he was out of the womb he was screaming and crying, begging for food.

After he was fed and cleaned up, he settled down a bit and has been a great kid for the last seven years.  He loves baseball more than anything and is big fan of the Yankees and SportsCenter.  I had a great time coaching him on the Marlins this year and on the Orioles last year.  I hope he never loses his love for the game.

John is a fun kid and enjoys his classmates and especially gym class.  he is a smart guy and had a good year in first grade.  Like me, he is a bit quick to anger and more than a little rambunctious.  I am sure he will always be a bit of handful for his teachers.

I have alwyas loved that John wants to be a part of everything and is eager to help me whenever he can.  Most of the projects I have done around the house have been completed with him at my side.  It's a great thing!

John is loving and sensitive, and is especially good with his little sister Emma.  I am proud of the moments that he shows her special attention and caring.  I hope that they are always as close as they are now.

I had a great day celebrating your birthday with you today, John and I look forward to our part in Moorestown.

Happy 7th Birthday Buddy!!!!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Back In The Swing of Things!

Img_9616 Sorry for the long absence, but we've been on the road! 

Some photos of Emma getting us back into the normal cadence of life are up at my Flickr site.  She had a good time yesterday, hitting the ball off the tee in the back yard.  John got into the act a bit, helping her refine her swing a bit.  It was hilarious to watch it!

We are back from our trip to the center of all that is Mouse.  Disney was HOT.  I mean weather-wise.  They made lots of jokes about deodorant testing.  It wasn't funny.

We'll have a full wrap up of the Disney trip and some photos up later in the week.  Today is a rest and recover day.

We're looking forward to John's birthday tomorrow, but it will be a low-key affair with just a few of use getting together on Wednesday to celebrate.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Heading Out

After a day of travel and lounging by the pool, we're on our way across the street to see the Magic Kingdom.  A few observations:

  • They have a thing down here called a Super Target that's a dross between a Target, a Wegman's and a beer and wine super store.  Incredible what you see there at 10pm on a Monday!

  • Some people should not wear bathing suits.

  • Some people should wear LARGER bathing suits!

  • Southwest is a really great way to get from there to here.  Nice people and a whole lot of fun!

  • People really do come from all over the world to See The Mouse.

See you later!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Heading to See the Mouse!

  Fireworks over Disney World Castle 
  Originally uploaded by BScythe

The family is still slumbering, but I admit I was too keyed up to sleep.


We leave for Disney World in a few hours!!!

The kids are very excited and so am I.  We will provide regular updates and photos.  We're hoping to see some manatees and go to Sea World in addition tot he Disney parks.  John also wants to get to Universal.  We'll see what all we get in.

The Southwest fare was good, Starwood points pay for the room, but god the park tickets are expensive!!!

Photos from yesterday's Pesotski Father's Day Crab Fest are up on my Flickr site.

Have a great week!


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Just a quick post to wish a happy Father's Day to all the dads out there and to thank them for all that they do fpr their sons and daughters.  Here in Moorestown, we will be holding the Pesotski Family Annual Crab Fest.

Matt, Kevin and I will be cleaning the crabs, The girlfriend and Carin will be steaming them and we will all be eating them.  Grandma will be playing with the grandkids and "Pop" will supervise all activities.

This tradition is my father's revival of crabfests that my grandfather used to do occasionally each summer.  He loved his crabs and beer, and I can remember several nice afternoons that we all spent in his backyard enjoying the still-hot crabs.  Back in the day I drank orange soda, but today we'll hoist a few Genny Cream Ales as tradition holds.

My dad deserves the credit fo keeping this going.  No matter what we are all doing, he makes sure to let us know how important it is to him.  It's our Father's Day gift to him and I know he appreciates it.

It will be hot, but the AC is already cranking and the beer will be cold.  I'll try to get some phots of the festivities up later tonight.

Happy Father's Day!


For various reasons, this thing was written on dialup.  Do you have ANY idea how friggin' slow dialup is?????  Jeez!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Fantastic Four

This week's installment of our regular feature is bit bit more personal and thought provoking.  I'll understand if you don't participates publicly, but at least give it some thought.

Name four things you would like to change about yourself or your life:

  1. I'd like to get into better shape.

  2. I need to figure out how to save some money.

  3. I have to get to the dentist.

  4. I want to spend more time with my children.

Honorable mentions:

  • Buy a nice house with a large yard

  • Finally write that book

  • Figure out my next step

Anyway - whatever you decide to do, think about your life a bit today!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Another School Year Ends

  Dress-Up Relay Race 
  Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

It's hard to believe that John's last full day of first grade is today and that Emma finishes up her school year today as well.

John's had his ups and downs this year, but it's mostly been a very good first grade experience for him.  He is in reading enrichment and doing very well in math, but struggles with 'chattiness' and his 'social nature,' especially with the ladies.

Hmmm.  Where's the problem?

Emma learned all of her letters and numbers this year and absolutely ADORES her teacher Miss Terri.  She will be very sad going back to Kindercare next year, but not being with her 'special friend.'  Emma also managed to learn how to use the potty and has been wonderfully behaved a ll year.

We've got a busy summer planned, with trips to Disney World, Maine, Rhode Island and Boston planned, along with our regular roster of back yard parties and gatherings.

We'll keep you posted with stories and photos all summer long.  Lots of new photos of Field Day and our other adventures are up at my Flickr site.


Monday, June 11, 2007

Day In Baltimore

Well we had a great day yesterday in "Charm City."  We had a few good beers, caught the Img_7873 O's 6-1 loss to the Rockies and toured the Inner Harbor.  It was a very full day and we were all quite tired when we returned home last night.

Talking to some O's fans from Dundalk, I was struck by how much things have changed for that franchise in the 5 years since I used to go down there every weekend.  They were always fun to watch and I never saw a game that wasn't sold out in the 5 years I had season tix to the O's.  Yesterday, on a great day, they drew barely 35,000.

The guy sitting next to me with he dad and 2 daughters said simply, "We don't get here much anymore.  We're tired of the losing."  He put the balme squarely on Orioles owner Peter Angelos, who has long been hated byt the Orange Faithful. 

On a day when they were giving away nice bobbleheads of hometown Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr, I was left to wonder if even The Ironman could turn things around for a team that has't won since he was at short.  Seems like there may be a plan afoot to make that happen.

Some of the highlights of the day were Emma falling asleep on daddy for innings 3-7 and John experimenting with the camera.  He's getting the hang of it, but he uses his left eye, which none of the rest of us do.  not sure what that is about.

I put some photos up on flickr.  I hope you enjoy them!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunday Stuff

While 'lil Bro recovers from rabies shots at the CoreStates Championship err the Philadelphia International Championship, the kids, girlfriend and I will be headed South.

We're taking in inter-league baseball as the Orioles take on the Rockies at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.  There will be great beer, crabcakes and a family-friendly fans.

We will have photos and notes up later.

In case you were sleeping, a near-miracle occurred last night as Jon Leiber pitched a 3 hit, complete game shutout.  Outstanding work picking up for Freddy "15.43 ERA" Garcia, there Jon!

Enjoy the cool weather!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Tough News

I got an email yesterday from an old friend.  A guy I worked with for six years back at Widener but have not seen in a while.  He was one of a number of us hired  right out of college at the W and we all stuck together.  He married a great girl,has three great kids and has gone on to substantial success in his field.

Yesterday he told all his friends he has MS.  He is stepping down from his current position and in his words, "pursue a different life path."

I'm pretty crushed.  He's my age, has kids and a great job.  He has dealt with this terrible disease as long as he could privately, but now it has forced him to let us all know.  He was always the toughest competitor, the nicest guy and the most interesting person around.  None of that has changed, but MS has forced a concession and I know how that must feel.

I'm not naming him here because he has a pretty high profile position in his field.  He's one of the best.  He told me, but did not say, "Hey! Go post this on your website."  I'm respecting his privacy until the news breaks more widely.

I know he will be successful in his next phase of life.  He always has been.  I just wish this choice hadn't been made for him.

Big guy, my best to you and the family.

Please Join the Movement.  Donate Today.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Friday Fantastic Four

  Grandpop in His Garden at 3447 
  Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

This week's topic seems silly, but we want a bit more from you than just a list.  A little detail to explain why or show something of your self is REQUIRED!

What are your 4 favorite fruits and vegetables?

  1. The heirloom tomatoes that my grandfather used to grow in his backyard.  Sliced with a tiny bit of salt or a little sugar even!

  2. Bananas -  I try to eat one every day.  Not too ripe and not too green.  With a glass of OJ before my coffee!!! 

  3. Asparagus – brushed with a little olive oil, then grilled with salt and pepper.  Perfecto!

  4. Starfruit – this stuff is cool!  Crunchy, tart, sweet, fun to eat!!!!!

Honorable mentions:

  • Good pineapple, freshly sliced

  • Concord grapes – sweet just inside the skin and tart in the middle

  • White peaches – once again from my grandfather’s tree which my sister cut down

  • Strawberries

  • Blueberries – fresh from the bush in the morning with the dew still on them!

  • Limes – In margaritas – just the juice though!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Lgpp0590 I got a instant message from my brother yesterday.  That isn't unusual.  We IM off and on a few times a day.  Usually it's about sport, or blogs we read, or family stuff.

This one was a bit more serious.  It simply said:

Headed to the hospital

I typed a flurry of IMs back. He noted that he had been awakened in the night by a bat flying overhead and had a mark on his arm that might be a bat bite.  He was worried since bats can carry rabies and there are a bunch of really horrible images on Google of what happens when you let a bat bite get out of hand,

I knew he was really worried when he took me up on my offer to meet him at the HUP Emergency Room.

We waited in a fairly hideous room among the sick and mangled of Philadelphia while the gears and cogs of Penn Health processed Matt (hearafter called Batman).  We were impressed at the huge custom-built fish tank and its dozen or so inhabitants that must cost a pretty penny to maintain.  Ahh health care costs are not always paying for tongue depressors!

Eventually we were ushered through a warren of piles of paper, desks and down a hallway to the medical care area.  Matt's Batman's nerves were soothed by the free wireless network that Penn Health provides for patients and others who wait with them.  After about an hour of squatting on the floor i was offered a filthy chair which a nurse helpfully draped with a sheet.

While the friendly, if quirky nurse practitioner wasn't sure that it was a bat bite, and in fact was pretty sure it wasn't, Matt Batman still needed to drop trou and take a few rabies shots in the butt and arm.  He doesn't react quite as badly to needles as I do, but he does turn the same shade of green.

One of the light moments was when the health care provider realized we were brothers and not 'special friends' as she had been assuming. 

Matt Batman was pretty shaken up by the whole thing but made it home ok. 

Ok until the BAT CAME BACK. As soon as it got dark last night, there was the flying rat, back torturing my brother and his roommates.  You'd think 3 guys with college educations ... nah I won't go there.  Oh yeah and he also had to tell his girlfriend she needed shots in the butt too.  Good times!!!

Hopefully the bat eradicator can fix the issue today and Matt Batman can rest easy.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Gift Giving Opportunity

As you may have noticed, it is currently June 5th, wich means you have only 12 shopping days left to buy my Father's Day present.  While my ex wife co-parent probably would not agree, I am nominating myself for Father of the Year and deserveto be rewarded properly.  Since my kids are too little to do much shopping on their own, I've got a few ideas for you all!

  • Samsung's Deluxe Q1 Ultra - This thing is HOT!!!!  An ultra mobile 800mhz wireless computer with full keyboard and 7" screen.  A STEAL at only $1200.

  • Apple iPhone - this is probably the convergence product that would break what my lil Bro calls my "PC brainwashing."  It's pricy, like everthing from Apple, but I am guessing that when Paris gets out of prison, she will be ditching the Sidekick for one of these and I want to be right there with her.

Just drop me a note and I will let you know where to ship these babies!  i'm really looking forward to it!

Have a good one!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Heading Back To Cabrini

Mansion_front009 Last night I headed back to Cabrini for my 15th reunion, a poorly promoted, but nicely-executed dinner for the 12 or so members of the Class of 1992 who decided to gather.  It was a pretty pathetic showing, but still a fun time.  Four members of the Loquitur 1990-91 Editorial Board made the trip, and three of us live within five miles of each other here in South Jersey.  Carlo "The Chief" Iacono, Jen Morrison Naddeo, Managing Editor, Frank Emmerich, Photography Editor and myself were there representing the '92 paper people. 

Traveling the furthest for the festivities was Mary Shimkus Keinz, who was in town from Utah.  Jacqui Ricci Seeton came over the bridge from NJ.  Kathleen Finerty Sardi also made an appearance with my first college roommate and her husband Marco Sardi.  Aside from the silver gilt hair, Marco hasn't changed a bit and it was a pleasant surprise to see him.

Also in attendance were my girlfriend, who spent a lot of time talking to Carlo's wife Anne.  Dr. Angie Corbo, Class of '90,  is Frank's better half.  We also enjoyed the company of Lisa Lipar Schweitzer and Trish Greib, Class of '93, who were escaping kids and husbands for the dinner.  Bob Walter, '05, made us all laugh when he introduced himself as 'young.'  Dude, when you're trying to hit on somewhat older women, avoid noting the age difference.

A few of the faculty and staff dropped in.  Doc Girard held court as usual.  Marilyn Johnson hasn't changed a bit.  Toni "I am busy ruining this college" Iadarola didn't bother to stay for dinner. I enjoyed my conversation with Nancy Costello about how I was struggling with the place that Cabrini has become and what it did to John Dzik.  I'm not sure she understands, but I wasn't really tying to articulate it very well.

A couple of thoughts came out of the visit. 

First, the mansion, designed as by Horace Trumbauer is a wonderful building and setting, but is being severely neglected.  The floors are warping, the fixtures are aging badly and the basement is taking water.  They need to do something fast before the centerpiece of the campus falls into ruin.

Second, the turnout was a tragedy.  I'm not sure if it was because it was poorly promoted, or because so many of the alums remain disaffected, or because it's not a particularly interesting dinner, but 25 people for a reunion dinner was awful.  I hear the young alumni beef and beer on Friday night was better attended.  Perhaps more folks went today to the mass and breakfast.  The Mansion event used to be the signature event of the weekend and it has obviously fallen off to the point that it needs to be revitalized or scrapped.

Third, it was pathetic that the college's president didn't stay for dinner.  Jolyon Girard was left to make  a brief statement that Toni Iadarola had left for the night.  One can only hope the college will survive until she leaves office.

Fourth, we all had some fun.  Both last night and 'back in the day.'  While I know it got old for the spouses and guests, we all had a great time reminiscing and telling stories about our youthful indiscretions.   Thankfully Marco was gentle in his story telling and my girlfriend if very accommodating!

Finally, I wandered through the mansion and realized how much I missed seeing some people.  John Dzik should have been able to be there, but I don't think he feels welcome anymore, despite his status as an honorary alum.  Denise Edwards was never far from our thoughts and I wish we had not lost her back in December of 1992.  The House 7 Mafia was somewhat represented, but we need to do our own thing I think.

All in all, no one has changed much.  We were good friends back then and we easily let the years melt away and slipped back into that mode.  We were most interested in talking about our kids and how wild we used to be. Our kids are all wonderful and we were wilder than we wanted to admit.

See you all in 5 years!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Friday Fantastic Four

Yet another installment of the Fantastic Four lsit.

This week's topic:

What are your Four Favorite Beach Memories?

  1. Summer of 2001 - Surf City - Dipping John in the ocean for the first time.  He hated it.

  2. Spring 1988 - Wildwood and a Pathmark co-worker

  3. Winter of 1999 - Driving on the beach in Daytona

  4. Fall 2006 - Walking on the dark beach - Surf City

Honorable mentions:

  • Escaping the craziness of The Great American Baseball Trek IV - Daytona 1994

  • Seeing where Jim Rockford's trailer was parked in Paradise Cove - Malibu 2005

  • Sand Crabs in Duck, NC - 1998

How about your faves? Childhood?  Hooking up?  Pristine silence?  Let us know!