Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Phils Go Green

I tuned into the Phils-Padres game tonight and thought the Phils looked a bit odd in their green hats. 


WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!


GREEN HATS??????


So I did some poking around and found this:





Very cool! A green energy baseball team!




Tuesday, April 29, 2008

On Newspapers

In a desperate, if misguided, attempt to bolster subscriptions, The Philadelphia Inquirer drops a free paper on my front walk each Sunday.  At least I think that's the motive.  Who knows.  No one from the Ivory Tower has let me in on why the free newspaper appears.  Maybe the paper delivery guy likes me. 


I have to admit I have used most of the papers as fire starters.  This past Sunday, I actually attempted to read it.  And I found that I couldn't.  I didn't have the patience to flip through the pages.  The text was too small and I had already heard or read most of what was in the paper.  Sitting at the dining room table I came to the stunning realization that I have moved so far from the media that made me want to be a writer and the my habit as a 20 something of reading 3 papers a day that I am basically unable to figure out what to do with a newspaper in my hand.


Then tonight come the stories about Buzz Bissinger losing it on Will Leitch of Deadspin while they were both on the Costas HBO show.  Bissinger is about the best writer going these days and I can't imagine him ever writing a word I would not want to read, but the man went nuts on Leitch, basically accusing him of dumbing down the written media through writing a blog.  Nothing Leitch writes is ever dumbed down, and Buzz was way off base here but the incident does give one pause.


I'll admit that I think it's news websites, blogs, personal websites, RSS streams and IMs that have destroyed my ability to read a news paper.  I think on that point Bissinger is right.  But I won't say that the content is dumber.  It may be more narrow, but it's also far more accessible.  I can read what i want when I want to.  And I can link and search for similar or opposing thoughts about the same topic.  I can put a single article in the context of the many and I can do it on mt phone, at my desk at work, or even as we all have done with a paper, on the toilet.


Some of the best writers around are guys like Leitch, who do it from a perspective that is just different than the mainstream media.  Others are folks with day jobs who post blogs for friends, family or the world as a whole.  Some, I dare say, are as good as Bissinger.  A lot of the rest is crap, but then so much of what we read and have always read in newspapers is crap too.


So I have to note the clay feet of one of my idols today and say that perhaps, in his fervent desire to hold onto the past, Bissinger has missed the talent of the present and the promise of the future.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weekend Wrap


  Emma Fertilizes 
  Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

Well it was a great weekend of baseball, yard work, wonderful food and relaxation.


John and his TAA Tigers ran their record to a perfect 6-0 on Saturday with a 18-6 win over the visiting Southampton Tigers.  John was 2-3 with a double and 3 RBI.  He played well at third, but is still trying to master the catcher position.  Grandma and Pop came over to see the game and headed back to Moorestown to help us welcome spring by getting the yard in order.


We did some streetscaping with hostas to dress up the side yard and the girls planted flowers by the back door and in the big flower beds out front.


Char made a great chicken parm dinner and we all slept soundly.


Today we did a lot of house cleaning.  In the process, we discovered that Emma has 43 pairs of shoes.  You can all begin to chastise me for spoiling her now, except that I've only bought ONE of those pairs of shoes.  It's the rest of the world that's spoiling the child!!!


With one eye on the 76ers game, I've been spending the night scanning and uploading photos from my high school days in preparation for our 20th reunion this fall.  I can't believe it's been so long ...


Well, it's late here in the East, so I am headed up to bed.  You all have a great week.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday Fantastic Four

We all wish we somehow were better or more complete people. Given that,


What four skills do you wish you had?


  1. I wanna sing.  All my life I've hummed along, or mumbled softly, or occasionally sang badly out loud.  i just wish I had pipes.

  2. I wanna dance, Dance DANCE!!!  My GF can dance.  Really dance. Well.  And umm I can't.  People tend to stare or occasionally laugh out loud when I dance.  I've taken lessons.  They went badly.  I need ability!

  3. I wish I could speak Spanish.  After English, more people speak Spanish in this hemisphere than any other language.  It would be cool to communicate with them.  Once again, I took Spanish in high school.  It went badly.

  4. I wish I could sit still. I know I annoy people in meetings.  I am horrible to sit next to on a plane.  I need to get up and walk around every 20 minutes or so.  How can I fix this????

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

So Long Phoenix!

So Long Phoenix!
I am safely at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport after a rough night. Last night I became the third member of our four person team to get sick on this trip. I'm feeling a bit rough at the moment, but I am happy to be headed home. I'll see you on the other side!!!


Monday, April 21, 2008

Bored





I'm in a boring conference session here in Phoenix, but I am looking forward to posting later about meting Jim Morris, the former Major League Baseball player about wom the movie "The Rookie" was written. It was the best keynote I think I've heard.


More later ...


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Nice Place

Nice Place


Poolside at Desert Ridge

I'm on my own nickel here this afternoon at The JW Marriott Desert Ridge Spa and enjoying every moment of solitude the $35 spa fee bought.  The main pool and wandering river area are insanely busy with the Hask Family Reunion and our conference so I opted for the private pool here at the spa.


I've got a few hours to relax before work starts again. Maybe I'll take a nap!


Good Morning from Phoenix!

Good Morning from Phoenix!
Another Delco Guy is wide awake here at 6 am in Phoenix.  The Desert Ridge JW Marriott is a massive complex of rooms, spas, hiking and golf.  I've got some time to kill before the conference starts so I may hit the trails for a few hours. The room is good sized and the bed is comfortable, but the rather odd view of the far-off mountains over a vast decorated ballroom roof is not the best I've had.  The seared Ahi Tuna was excellent last night and I am looking forward to breakfast.


Have a great day!


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Cutting It Close!

Cutting It Close!
While I cut it a bit close, I am on my flight to Phoenix.  Hopefully my bags are on the Airbus 321 as well!


Enjoy the great east coast weather and I will post later from the desert!


Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Fantastic Four

Today is a rather busy one for me.  I have a funeral this morning, the UArts Presidential Inauguration, followed by a university-wide celebration.  Then I have some work to do before having to shoot over to a hotel to get changed for tonight's Gala


Following what I am sure will be a late night, I'm off to Phoenix tomorrow morning.


I'm feeling a bit frazzled.


In that spirit, here's today's Fantastic Four:


What were the Four Busiest Days of Your Life?


  1. Graduation from Cabrini - it wasn't enough that I had to struggle through a hangover in the sun, then pose for a million pictures, I then had to move out of my home for the previous 2 years and move into new digs.

  2. John's Opening Day 2007 - We went from baseball opening day to UArts Open House to a friend's child's birthday.  With 2 kids in tow!

  3. Today - It would be way better if I wasn't headed out tomorrow and could rest.

  4. Interview Day for BCC - 2001 - I started the day harvesting cranberries, interviewed for 3 hours in the middle of the day, harvested more berries in the afternoon and had to go to Cabrini for an alumni event that evening.  And get up the next day and harvest more berries.

Hope your day is good and that you enjoy the weekend!








Thursday, April 17, 2008

One Down!

One Down!
The Phils took care of their end of the Philly sport double-header today, downing the Astros 10-2 behind great work on the mound by Brett Myers.  Things are crazy down here in the stadium area with Flyers fans pouring in and Phils Phans celebrating.


Let's hope the Flyers can hold up their end of the deal tonight and go up 3-1 on the Caps tonight.


Took the Afternoon Off

Took the Afternoon Off
One of the major benefits of working in Center City is access to day baseball. Enjoy watching on your monitors gang.  I am in section 121!


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ch-Chh-Cha-Changes


  The New Valanni 
  Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

After a particularly intense meeting dragged on too late to let me get to John's baseball pictures yesterday, I decided I may as well stay put in the city and headed to the Grand Opening Party at the all-new Valanni.


The party was a lot of fun, with lost of small food to nosh on, flowing wine and free drinks from the kind folks at Jose Cuervo and Jason at PINK Vodka.  Everyone was there from regulars like me to Kinky Jen, DJ Jon Gill and a million people I have never seen in the place.  It was wild.  The GF and I enjoyed the evening.  Free booze is NEVER a bad thing.


Regular readers will know that Valanni is the spot I hang out at in the city when I don't have kids to care for or games to attend.  It's always been a fun spot with excellent food.  Last Fall, owner George Anni leased the space next to the 40 seat restaurant and began renovations to double the size of the restaurant and bar.


The renovations are complete, the new beer taps are flowing and the menu has been re-done.  There's a party room in the back and 2 more bathrooms and you can't turn around without running into a new staff member.  The matte black, faux-gator flooring is chic, the brushed aluminum chairs are beautiful (but rough on the back), and the decor is Stephen Starr like.


Change is rough on regulars of bars and restaurants.  We come there because we lie the place the way it is, we're not looking for anything new.  But Valanni had gotten a little shabby and it was time for renovations.  The size was a problem too, with the bar crammed at happy hour and no place to host a group gathering.  Anni saw that he had to adapt or die and like most restaurant owners, he saw bigger as better.


I love with the physical changes.  I am sure Chef  will make the new menu zing.  The new staff will take a bit of getting used to.  Long-time bartender Laurentiu Muras has moved on to open his own place over near Rittenhouse.  Alex is headed back behind the bar.  Staff turnover always happens as spring turns to summer. 


All in all, it's still a great place for a meal, but we'll have to see how comfortable the bar is after the newness wears off.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Again I Say: Bring Them Home

This morning, on my way home from shopping at Wegman's for breakfast stuff, I was transfixed by a story on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday.  Sipping my $1.49 caramel coffee with non-fat half and half driving down Moorestown's near-perfect Main Street, I was brought to tears by the story of a young mother whose son will grow up fatherless.


The story introduced us to Altoona, Pennsylvania's Suzie Fetterman, and her six month old son, Mason.  Mason's father and Suzie's fiance Michael Hook was a month from coming home when he was killed last August in a helicopter crash in northern Iraq.  He was 25.  Suzie and Mason are state-side casualties of this war, a woman who never intended to be a single mom and a boy who will have a community to support him, but no dad.


He'll never have his dad play catch with him.  He'll never feel his father's scratchy beard on his soft cheek when his father kisses him good night.  He'll never have dad carry him to bed after he fell asleep watching a Phils game.  He'll have a flag and a picture and a mom who loves him.  But he'll never have a dad.


Over 800 children will never know their mom or dad due to the ongoing conflict in Iraq.  We're over five years in, over 4000 Americans dead, and nothing accomplished that is worth their sacrifice.


It's time for the heroes to come home.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Rest for the Weary

Rest for the Weary
There is nothing better following an afternoon of planting and gutter cleaning than having a good beer. In this case is an Ommegang Witte that has been cellaring for two years. Thanks to Mark McFadden for the gift!  Not a bad way to end a good day!


Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday Fantastic Four

I spent some time at home yesterday and thought about all the things that make it 'my' space.  In that vein, a home-based Fantastic Four for this week:


What are your four favorite things about where you live?


  1. The location - I love Moorestown.  I like the downtown area, I like the proximity to the kid's schools and to Philly.  It's just plain beautiful at times.  While I am looking for a new place and want to stay I know I may need to give this up to get something larger.  That's kind of hard to deal with.

  2. The back yard.  Almost 1/3 of an acre of grass and trees for the kids to play and me to relax.

  3. Big windows - looking out on the back yard!

  4. The patio - it's old and cracked and broken, but it's a great place to grill or picnic, or just to enjoy a book and the nice weather!

So what's great about the place you call home?


Everybody have a great weekend!


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Updates

It's been a while and I'm getting questions so here's a whirlwind update.


John
John and his Tigers are 2-0, he's 6-7 on the year, but really only has one great hit so far.  I need to get him to the batting cages to teach him to follow though on his swing.  Right now his swing stops when his bat touches the ball.  He's doing very well in school, can write almost all the cursive letters and is SOOO tolerant of his loving little sister.


Emma
Emma has been getting into the swing of spring.  She wants to plant some flowers this weekend.  We had a great time playing at the playground yesterday during John's ball game.  She has been telling a few stories about bullies at school.  I gotta check out whether that is the creation of a 4 year old's fertile mind or a real issue.


Work
Crazy busy this time of year with so many students wanting to come to UArts and the economy in shambles.  Internally we've got an energetic new president with a change agenda.  I love it and him, but it's a bit much some days!  I've got a bit of travel coming up this month and next, so look for some pictures!


Love
The GF is wonderful and we had a fun time last weekend out with Dan and Mary Ann.  We're skipping the UArts Gala because I am on the road and she's got a new dress she's dying to wear, so If you have a formal even you want reviewed, send me an invite!  Her new job is wonderful, but like anything new has had a few surprises!  The house hunt continues.


Family
Mom's eyes are great after her surgeries.  She sees better than the rest of us and I still do a double take when I see her without glasses.  Dad is recovered from his health rough spot over the last month and is working on the taxes.  Matt and I enjoyed the Phils' Opener last week and he is preparing for his GF to move in next week.  Carin, Kevin and the kids are all good, though busy with soccer and school and spring bugs.  We hope to see them this weekend.


Friends
I know I will see you all again soon.  It was great to see some of the Cabrini guys and Bryen and Harry at the opener.  Thanks to Enrico for memorializing it for all of us.  I'm not headed back to CBP until May 2.  Unless you've got a ticket for me....


I'll try to get a few more posts up soon!


Saturday, April 05, 2008

TAA Opening Day

TAA Opening Day
John went 2-2 in Thursday's pictured scrimmage and he's ready for today's Opening Day ceremonies in Tabernacle. Following the parade and home run derby, John and his Tiger teammates take the field for their first real game of the year against the Dodgers.


He's not the best kid on the team this year, but hopefully he learns a lot from the older kids and coaches and keeps getting better as the season goes on!


Friday, April 04, 2008

The End of an Era


  Le Bec-Fin 
  Originally uploaded by sweetgoddess71

Apparently the magic has run out at Philly's 5-star Le Bec FinChannel 6, WPVI-TV is promoting a "blockbuster" announcement on the Georges Perrier attraction that started the restaurant revolution on Philadelphia.


Philly.com is reporting that the story is that the Walnut Street flagship will likely close.  Recent reports have noted fairly small dinner crowds and the end of the $100 price fix lunch.


I've never had dinner there and I am sorry to have missed it, but the lunches were something very special!


UPDATE


Le Bec Fin won't close, but Perrier will acknowledge that restaurant dining has changed.  He's giving back his stars, going to an a la carte menu, dropping the lavish table trappings and shooting for a younger crowd.  Lighter fare will also be part of the overhaul.


The last time Perrier did an overhaul, he spent $1 million to re-make the Center City jewel in his restaurant crown and became the only chef ever to win back a lost star from Michelin.  My guess is that this set of changes will be less successful, but will save the Perrier flagship.  I'll try to get there soon to let you know first hand how the changes come off.


Friday Fantastic Four

Ok all - today is a typical early spring weather pattern for the Philadelphia region, thus a rain-related Fan 4 today.


What are your four favorite things to do when it rains?


  1. Read

  2. Watch sports from areas of the country where it isn't raining.

  3. Do a little work in the bedroom.  Ahem!

  4. Surfin

Everybody have a great weekend!


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Opening Day Photos Up


  Opening Day Pre-Game 
  Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

While the day ended badly for Phils fans as Tom "gasoline" Gordon blew up, surrendering 5 runs and losing the opener for the Phightins, it was still a fun day.


All the photos are up here.


Matty and I had a great time in the parking lot for the pre-game, hanging with some of Philly's pre-eminent sports bloggers, Enrico and Meech plus Coaches Rowe and Mack and a bunch of others.  We enjoyed the festivities, stayed dry during the game, and headed to McFadden's for a post game of Jody Mac and Mr. Greengenes.


It was my third straight Phils Opening Day and I still have not seen a win.  One of these days...