Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday Fantastic Four

Here's a movie-based question for this week:












What are the four best movie lines?


  1. "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."

  2. "If you build it, he will come."

  3. "I'll have what she's having."

  4. "Houston, we have a problem."

Have a wonderful and safe Labor Day weekend!


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Phinding Ways To Win

The Phils pulled out another one tonight 3-2 over the Mets, leaving only one game left for the potential 4 game sweep.


Jamie Moyer was solid in his 6 innings tonight, looking nothing like the guy who has given up 25 runs in his last 3 games.  Abe Nunez proved Charlie right AGAIN tonight, getting the start and playing 3B brilliantly.  Chase took the night off, but second base played a key place in the game, as Moron Marlon Anderson practically tackled Tad Iguchi at second, getting called for interference on a play that ended a game that might still be going on if not for the play.


In other good news, Lastings Milledge was injured on a Rollins fly ball and Burrell and Rollins homered as the Phils brought the Mets to their knees.


As I noted on Jody Mac's show today, I am back on the bandwagon and I am sorry I doubted the boys.  Whenever things look bleak, they find a way to pull back into it and tonight was no exception.  The Phils try to make it 5 in a row tomorrow at The Bank vs. El Duque at 1:05.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Chatsworth is Best -- At Something


  Sundown - Chatsworth Lake 
  Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

The tiny Burlington County crossroads of Chatsworth has been named to Adventure Magazine's 50 Best Places to Live.  Here's what they have to say:

Chatsworth, New Jersey
- Population: 1,364
- Median home price: $257,000
- The radius: Tiny Chatsworth is the unofficial capital of New Jersey's surprising Pine Barrens, a 3,000-square-mile (7,770-square-kilometer) spread of swamp-edged streams, stands of pine and cedar, and—in autumn—tracts of cranberries  (all that, just 37 commutable miles [60 kilometers] east of Philly). The best route is the 50-mile (80-kilometer) Batona Trail; while you're hiking, watch for the diminutive (less than the length of your thumb) Pine Barrens Tree Frog.

I have to say that I was stunned when I got this news today.  I lived in the town for three years and never would have considered it remotely possible that the town would be designated the best at anything except for perhaps "Best Cranberrying Village in the New Jersey Pinelands."  There are two part-time retail businesses and a motorcycle shop in town.  The post office is a trailer.  You can't grow a darn thing because the deer outnumber the people and eat everything.


But it is amazingly beautiful in its own way.  The people are down-to-earth and very nice.  Robin's Hot Dogs are the best around.  And as, the magazine notes, the hiking is outstanding.  (The part about it being withing commutable distance to Philly is crap.  Route 70 makes it a 90 minute trip during rush hour.)  Tens of thousands flock there every year for the annual Cranberry Festival in October.


Now I can say that i have lived in two different "Best" towns.  I am currently a proud resident of Moorestown, NJ, Money Magazine's 2005 Best Place to Live.  I have to admit that the remoteness of Chatsworth makes Moorestown a clear winner for me.  (That and the shops, neighhbors, parks, etc.)


Well congratulations to Chatsworth!


Monday, August 27, 2007

Thanks Alberto!


  Liar Liar 
  Originally uploaded by drwhimsy

I jkust want to take this moment to thank Alberto Conzales for the WONDERFUL birthday present he has given me and the nation by his resignation today.  The Liar General had trouble remembering his name when called before Congress, let alone details of a super-secret program to spy on ordinary Americans or the political machinations that went into firing the US Attorneys.


CNN reports that Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff will be nominated by The Shrub to replace Gonzales. ANYONE will be better than AG as AG, but what about Chertoff should give us hope he acn do better?  His super-organized response to Hurricane Katrina


Still the cupboard in the Bush Administration is pretty bare of talent in the second half of a failed, lame-duck administration.  I guess a former jederal appelate judge and prosecutor is about the best we could hope for.  Let's hope he is too bust cleaning up AG's messes to make any of his own!


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fantasy Football

Img_2567Well, the Delco Fantasy Football League (DFFL) held its draft today.  Nine of the ten team owners attended the live draft, held in Aston, PA.  The tenth team owner, Pete, participated via cell phone.  We believe he was probably playing with his cats and did not drink as much beer as we did.


There was no surprise with the #1 pick, as NFL MVP Ladanian Tomlinson went , followed by Steven Jackson. That put me on the clock at #3 where I took Larry Johnson.


Highlights of the day included me seeing Maria for the first time in years.  Shane is a very lucky man, though he did take kickers in consecutive rounds. Food and beer were plentiful.  The use of of the word "Phuck" was limited primarily to Pesotskis, with a sprinkling form others directed at Walklett


Hesse has a beautiful home and a great setup for the draft, with wireless internet, a bar, pool table and big screen TV in the basement.  We could not have done much better.  Thanks to commish #1 Goot and Commish #2 lil bro Matty (above right)for their organizational talents.  They may still be there figuring out the finances.


The 2007 Jersey Boys break camp looking to improve on their 10th place finish last year with the following roster:

                                                                                                     
PositionPlayerRound
QB1Drew Brees2
QB2Ben Roethlisberger11
RBLarry Johnson1
RB2Thomas Jones4
RB3Clinton Portis7
RB4LenDale White10
RB5Mike Bell15
RB6Michael Turner16
WRChad Johnson3
WR2Lee Evans5
WR3Anquan Boldin6
WR4Bernard Berrian12
TEJason Witten8
KOlindo Mare13
DSTBroncos9
DST2Cincinnati14

A few photos from the day are up here.  I'll keep ya posted on the standings!


Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday Fantastic Four

Here's one of my favorite questions:












Who are your four favorite fictional charaters?


  1. Jim Rockford

  2. Indiana Jones

  3. Curious George

  4. Ignatius J. Reilly

Books, movies, comics, wherever -- who do you connect with form the world of fiction?


Off the Bandwagon?

After yet another meltdown by the Phils bullpen yesterday afternoon, I am beginning to think that my belief that this is a season of destiny for the Phils may hve been simply a fool's hope.  This wild ride seems destined only to end like last year.  And the year before.  And the year before.  With no October baseball in Philly.


Yes I know that Chase Utley is scheduled for a rehab start tonight in Reading.  But so is Adam Eaton, who the phils are counting on to start a game in the crucial Mets series next week.  Just a week ago, we were hoping that Eaton's stint on the DL would last until next April, or forever maybe.  Now, with only Jamie Moyer left forn the Phils 6 man sprin training rotation, Eaton is a key to the playoff run.  Let's hope two weeks off have give hin a good rest and he can hold opponents under a .400 batting average.


We've also got to find the MIA MVP somewhere soon.


I'm headed to the park tomorrow and maybe next Tuesday to support the Phightin's, but losing 2 out of 3 to the Dodgers and getting bombed in the process doesn't have me real hopeful this morning.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Sad Passing


  Steve Nash and Eddie Griffin 
  Originally uploaded by Fashionable Male

Somehow we all knew that it would eventually end like this for Eddie Griffin.  Maybe the details of his death were not set in stone, but somehow you knew that his life would be tragically short, and that we would read of his violent passing in the paper one day.


Griffin was a wonder on the basketball court at Roman Catholic.  6'10" with explosive speed and a nice outside jumpshot.  He wasn't afraid to mix it up inside either and was capable of domination against high schoolers as well as playground foes.


I remember seeing him steal the ball from an opponent going up for a shot in a summer league game, go around a defender, take it coast to coast and slam it home behind his back.  It was pure virtuosity.


All I could say was "Jesus!"  Coach Dzik sat beside me and just laughed.


But all was not well with Griffin.  Teammates didn't have much good to say about him.  There were rumors out of Roman of dark moments, a horrible temper.  His one season at Seton Hall was marred by an ugly locker room fight.


His NBA career never lived up to the potential.  There were car wrecks, problems with teammates and stays at Betty Ford and mental hospitals.  The Twolves cut him this year after finally deciding that it wasn't going to get any better.


The lights appeared to be going out on Eddie Griffin's life.  I remember thinking that maybe he would get it together this summer and play again, but it was not meant to be.


After medical examiners had to use dental records to identify his remains following the train wreck that ended his life, his lawyer spoke with uncharacteristic bluntness for an attorney:

"Eddie was a wonderful, gentle soul, but he was an alcoholic," Rusty Hardin, Griffin's attorney, told the Houston Chronicle. "Alcohol always got in the way. The one thing the Rockets didn't know and none of us knew was the extent of the problem. It's really tragic."

Alcohol and depression are a tragic combination.  They rob the world of great people every day.  My heart goes out to those who knew Eddie Griffin well and I hope they remember him as I do, smiling and laughing, giving teammates high fives after a summer league game.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Night In Camden


  Fireworks and the BFB 
  Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

There aren't many times when some says that they had a great night in Camden, but we sure did last night!


John, Emma, the GF and I headed over to Camden last night to catch a Riversharks game at Campbell's Field in the shadow of the Ben Franklin Bridge on Delaware River Waterfront.  We saw a Sharks win, fireworks and John got to run the bases.


6,810 South Jerseyans turned out to see the show and I didn't see many disappointed folks.  The minor league teams sure know how to entertain fans, with contests, a merry-go-round (Emma loved it!), three different mascots and a lot of fun.


We had great seats right behind home plate, but not the greatest for photos.  Still, I got a few and they are up.


Coincidentally, we met Bob Nehring, the Sharks' Director of Group Events this morning at Wawa and he was a really nice guy and seems genuinely happy that we had a good night at the park .


Get out to a game before the season ends!


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Another Summer Slipping Away


  Late Summer Back Yard 
  Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

Is it just me, or did you wake up this morning feeling like fall was nearly upon us?


Yesterday's sticky heat was swept away in last night's storms and there is a coolness in the air this morning that we have not felt in the Philadelphia area since May.  Fall is almost here.


August is a month that has some of the summer's hottest days, but also often has morning that force us to realize that the days of falling leaves and yellow school buses are bare days away.


When I was a child, we were often in Maine during the last weeks of August.  Nearly every morning was crisp and fall-like and the afternoons barely touched the 80s.  We usually got home just a few days before returning to school.  The coolness of this morning reminds me very much of the bittersweet feeling I used to get as the days of August drew closed in the col mooring stillness of Cape Porpoise.


Have a good weekend!


Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday Fantastic Four

As we get set for the weekend, we've got a fun top four list for today












What are the 4 best high school-themed movies?


  1. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

  2. Dead Poet’s Society

  3. The Breakfast Club

  4. The Basketball Diaries



 Honorable mentions:










  • Grease

  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High

  • Weird Science

  • Varsity Blues



Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Moved

Hello y'all. if you have not figured it out at this point, my blog has moved to my new site. I no longer update this blogger site. I'll see you over at the new place.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

In Gettysburg


  East From Cemetary Ridge 
  Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

I'm in Gettysburg, teaching a class to new college admissions counselors and new high school guidance counselors.  I have not been here since I was in grade school and it's startling how much fades away from your memory in 20 years.


My dad is a Civil War buff. No, not like the guys who get all dressed up and pretend to shoot each other at mock battles.  His version of being a Civil War buff involves reading weighty books about when Hill's Corps flanked Delbert's Division in Nowheresville and then watching the author talk about it on TV.  Oh and dragging his kids to every Civil War battlefield within 6 hours of Brookhaven.


Somewhere in the last few decades, I lost the details of our trip to Gettysburg.  I'm glad I had the chance to spend some time yesterday wandering around the area of Pickett's Charge and driving the rest of the park.


Gettysburg the town is a mix of a pretty downtown area that has had a revival in the last few years and an older, less attractive area that appears to have been left out of the money brought by thousands of tourists. Thankfully the area was spared a slots parlor earlier this year, when the ill-conceived idea was vited down.


Just south of town, the rolling countryside hosted the bloodiest three days in American history and yesterday, looking across Bryan's Field toward Seminary Ridge, i could feel the echoes.  One one hand, the immensity of the battlefield if breathtaking.  On the other, the intimacy with which these men fought and died is simply stunning.   


In Pickett's Charge, perhaps the best-known military maneuver in the Civil War, a wall of Southerners a mile wide emerged from the treeline and jogged across a gently rising field toward Northern lines in a last desperate attempt to save their idea of independence.


As they crossed the Emmitsburg Road, the Southerners began to take fire.  As they reached the sharper rise near an angle in the Union line, the Confederates drew withering cannon fire of grapeshot and cannister.  Yet still they came.


Had they made it, the Union line would have been broken, history likely changed.  But they fell just yards short and left their dreams and their futures on a hillside beneath a copse of trees.


For the first time yesterday, I realized that these men were usually just feet from each other when they died.  Usually could see the anger and fear.  Usually knew that they were not going to live to make it home.


I'm going to head back over for an hour or so this morning and take a look at the cemetery, but I don't think it will move me as much as the echoes yesterday did.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday Fantastic Four

 


What are your four favorite websites and why?












  1. philly.com – my main source of news

  2. flickr.com – love the photos, love the community

  3. the700level.com – good Philly-based sports commentary site

  4. my igoogle page – love the customizable features

Honorable mentions:








  • D3hoops.com – small college hoops rock

  • My blog of course!

  • Jayski.com – nascar news

  • IMDB.com – for when you have that “wait wasn’t he in …” moment

I'll be interested to see what you all do online!


Have a great weekend!


Thursday, August 09, 2007

You GOTTA Be Kidding Me

Every year The Sporting News (yes apparently they are still in business) publishes a list of the top sports cities in the US.  This year's list is out, and Philly is 9th.  That in and of itself is a total and complete travesty of a mockey of a sham.  The fact that LA and Phoenix are rated above Philly is it coup de grace however. 


Here's the list:


1. Detroit + Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti
2. New York
3. Dallas-Fort Worth
4. Chicago + Evanston
5. Los Angeles
6. Boston
7. Denver + Boulder
8. Phoenix + Tempe
9. Philadelphia
10. Minneapolis-St. Paul


First on LA.  This city is so pathetic a sports town that they can't even support an NFL team.  The Clippers?  Yeah it's nice they have a minor league hoops team and all, but they are pathetic.  No one besides Jack Nicholson actually goes to Laker games and Dodger fans catch innings 4 though 6 between drinks and dinner.


Yeah I guess you can count USC as a pro football team, but they should be playing aginst all the rest of the teams who pay their player and not against Cal and Oregon.


Don't get me wrong.  I love LA.  Well.  No.  Not really.  I love Laguna and Malibu.  I atcually don't like LA all that much.


But to even think about LA as a sprots town, let alone ahead of Philly is mindless.


Phoenix?  Ok the Suns are cool.  You can catch a hockey game if you want to get a bet down.  Their NFL team is only marginally better than not having one at all.  They've got a good young baseball team and ASU football, but we have to top them in terms of marquee palyers and fan support.


Here's my top ten:


  1. Philly

  2. NYC

  3. Boston

  4. Detroit

  5. Chicago

  6. Denver

  7. Dallas

  8. Miami

  9. St, Louis

  10. Indy

We've got great stadiums, incredible college hoops, top notch pro franchises and the best fans in the nation.  'Nuff said.


What's your list?


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Breaded Pork Medallions and an Italian Red

I had a nice relaxing dinner at home last night with the GF.  She had the day off and boy, did that work out for me, as it gave her the time to put together a really great meal! 


I'm going to make a sweepingly broad generalization, but here I go ... Gosh, Italian women can cook.  I don't think that there is any coincidence that I have gained about 20 pounds since my divorce 18 months ago.  (The Ex, obviously, was NOT Italian.)


The GF created a nice evening with seasoned, breaded pork medallions that were both tender and flavorful.  They were nicely complimented with grilled corn and sauteed potatoes.   I added a bottle of 2004 Stella & Mosca Cannonau Sardegna Riserva, a Sardinan red made from the Grenache grape.


I capped off the meal with chopped cherries on Turkey Hill Chocolate Pretzel ice cream.


Not a bad night at all!


hat tip to Heidi for her inspiration to me in getting me to write about food!


 

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Summer Blogging

Img_0383 Damn it's hard to keep up a blog in the summer.  With the various vacations to Orlando and Maine, NH and Newport as well as business trips to DC, Florida and the Big Easy, I just have not been home much.


When I have been here, I have been all about trying to spend some time with the little ones in between piles of laundry.  Yesterday John and I got the chainsaw out and headed over to Carin's new place in Swarthmore to teach Kevin a thing or two about clearing brush.  All I am saying is that I would have cut more stuff down if Carin had let me.


Today we're taking it easy a bit before heading over to see my cousin Patrick who is in town with his new fiancee Audrey.  Everyone is looking forward to it, but a day at home would have been just what the doctor ordered.


On tap for the week is a full week in the office (my first since oh, Memorial Day), the Phils game with Dan and Mary Ann and a party at Carlo and Anne's on Saturday.  Somewhere in there I need to get the grass cut.


Life is normal and boring right now, but I have a few things on my mind that I will be posting about soon.


Try to stay cool!


Friday, August 03, 2007

Phillies Injury Update

In a move filled with sublime irony, the Phillies today placed Rod "5 Hole" Barajas on the 15 day DL with a stained groin. 


We sure know he didn't hurt it blocking the plate.


Barajas' injury brings to 9 the number of Phils on the DL:


















R. Barajas C Aug  3 15-day Right groin strain
R. Madson RP Jul 30 15-day Right shoulder strain
S. Victorino RF/CF Jul 30 15-day Right calf strain
M. Bourn LF/CF Jul 30 15-day Sprained right ankle
C. Utley 2B Jul 27 15-day Fractured right hand - out 3-6 weeks
J. Lieber SP Jun 21 60-day Ruptured tendon in right foot
F. Rosario RP Jun 16 60-day Right shoulder strain
F. García SP Jun  9 60-day Sore right shoulder
S. Mathieson SP Apr  1 60-day Recovery from right elbow surgery

In addition, Tom Gordon may be headed back to the shelf.  A day after his first appearance in 2 months, Gordon was unavailable with tightness in his right shoulder.  Plus the newly-acquired Kyle Lohse took a seat after 29 pitches yesterday after being hit with a line drive.


Lovely.  Just Lovely.


Friday Fantastic Four

What are your four favorite automobiles and why?


  1. Jim Rockford’s Gold 1974 Pontiac Firebird - the best TV character ever written

  2. Dale Jarrett’s red white and blue #88 Ford Quality Care Taurus - great paint job and great driver

  3. 1994 Red Ford F-150 – my first new vehicle

  4. Bandit’s 1977 Black Trans Am - who was cooler than Bandit?
   

Honorable mentions:  



Enjoy and have a good weekend!  Here's a great site for some inspiration.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Great To Be home

The place is a mess, but I can't tell you how happy I am to have spent the evening with my kids and to now be collapsed on the couch watching the Phils.


11 states in 12 days is a bit much.  Last night on my final night in The Big Easy I got take out from Mother's and read a book.  Yes you read it right.  No kids, no GF, and I skipped Bourbon Street.


I will post a full New Orleans Update tomorrow, but let's just say that evidence of Katrina's wrath is everywhere.


Talk to you soon!