Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Please Tell Me It's All A Joke

I got three things out of this video:

  1. Palin can't be trusted to do an interview on her own.  She needs to bring help for the hard questions.
  2. It's the journalists' fault for asking her questions she doesn't know the answers to.
  3. McCain chose Palin to generate 'excitement' in his campaign.  Wonder if he and Bob Dole are going to do a joint ad for Viagra?

Please tell me this is all a joke and McCain will announce a real, qualified running mate this week.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

2008 NL East Champs!


2008 NL East Champs!
Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

We were amidst the mayhem last night as the Phils brought home their second straight NL East Division Crown and then unfurled the banner on the field for the 45,122 Phans who got to watch it live. My brother Matt has a nice wrap up over at The700level.com, but I am going to give you the inside story.

My son John and I got a pair of $20 tickets in the 400 level by simply calling the Phils at 10 am. The seats were great. In the third row and on the aisle. We bummed around for a bit, watching college football and then decided we couldn't wait anymore. We packed some rain gear and the camera into the bag we always take to games (Fenway, Camden Yards, Yankee Stadium, CBP, some minor league parks) and headed over the bridge.


We stopped at Tony Luke's for cheesesteaks (somehow we missed Sarah Palin) and watched some of the Flyers game on the myriad of flat screens. Then we drove down to the park and wandered among the tailgaters as I explained the finer parts of the game of washers to John and declined several kind offers for beers.

After worshiping at the old bronze statues where The Vet used to stand, we headed into the game. The guard quizzed us about the books in our bag. I just shrugged and said, "Uhh rain?" Pointing at the sky. "Don't even SAY that four letter word here," he boomed. As we filtered in, we were each given a white hand towel emblazoned with a red Fiightin' Phils logo.  We wandered the first level for a bit, and then found a friendly guard to let us down toward the left field line to beg for some balls during the Nationals' batting practice.  The crowd was light this early, but Jamie Moyer got a nice hand as he headed out to the bullpen to get warmed up.  "He's older than YOU, dad," John enthused.

I chatted with a few other dads and the cops along the fence as John waved and called to the mostly stone-faced shaggers. These guys were playing out the string and not having much fun doing it. We didn't get any, and headed up the steps as the grounds crew got to work.  I grabbed a $6.75 plastic cup of Victory Hop Devil and we headed up the escalators to our seats.  As the ceremonies for Deaf Appreciation Day and various other pre-game time wasters droned on, I watched crews finish the infield, put up the Fox Sports banners signifying a nationally-televised game and the crowd start to fill The Bank.

An old lady bounced the first pitch and a teenager aced the second first pitch (two)? The national anthem was lustily sung by some choir and signed by several deaf folks.The starting lineups were read by a guy who won the chance to do it and he did it pretty well despite the nerves.  And then we waited.

Dan Baker encouraged us to wave our rally towels for the folks at Fox as they came live to Philly and finally cried, "Your Philadelphia Phillies," as the nine blue-hatted Phils sprinted from the dugout.

I'll spare you the play by play, since you probably watched.  I only had two moments of doubt all day.  The first came on the flare to center that JRoll sprinted out on and made an incredible sliding catch.  As he got up and rifled the ball into the infield, Shane Victorino lay on the field in obvious pain from his collision with Rollins.  "He broke his leg," the guy behind me mumbled, clearly a Phils fan of long standing, quite used to tragic ends to seasons.  Werth waved for the trainer.  By the time Charlie Manuel huffed and puffed out to center field, The Flyin Hawaiian was stretching and demanding to stay in the game.  The funniest moment of the game happened as fans encouraged Charlie in his race back to the dugout with the trainer.  The trainer won. The Phils ended my moment of doubt  by escaping the 8th inning with a lead.

John seemingly never had a doubt, watching each pitch carefully, swinging and twirling his rally towel, jumping at dancing at every playing of music.  He is too young to know the gut-clenching fear that comes of being a life-long Phils Phan. 

My second moment of doubt came in the 9th, as Brad Lidge struggled for the first time in recent memory and there were 2 on with one out.  But we all know that Rollins got to Zimmerman's sharply hit grounder and Utley made the turn at second.

As the players mobbed each other and jumped up and down, John and I jumped up and down too, laughing and slapping fives with out 400 level friends.  I took some pictures and waved my towel and hugged my son.  Finally, after Pat Burrell unfurled the 2008 pennant, and most of the players were up on Phanavision shooting Domaine St. Michelle foam at each other, the crowd began to make its way to the parking lots.

As we walked down the ramp, the humid close concrete so reminiscent of The Vet, John turned to me and said, "This is the greatest night of my life, Dad!"

I can't top that.

On Paul Newman

Yesterday I got the news that Paul Newman died just before John and I left for the ball park.  It's not something I was ready for or the kind of thing you want to hear on a Saturday, or I guess any day for that matter.

Paul Newman played the kids of guys I easily identify with.  Guys with fast smiles, quick wit but a darker, more intense side.  There's a reason he played the hero in two film adaptations of Richard Russo's books, Empire Falls and Nobody's Fool.  He was dashing and cool, but a thinking man's star.  And, despite those devastating blue eyes, his on-screen relationships didn't seem to come easily to him.  He was, for all his star power, an everyman.

My favorite role is from Nobody's Fool, where he played Sully, the town handyman and 60-something teenager who enjoys his beer.  It's really Newman's first role that acknowledged his age and he is it with his usual grudging panache.  I'm also a big fan of his work in Absence of Malice, playing the son of a mafia boss who's just trying to make his way when he is accused of murder.  He does anger so well in this film and also brings a mis-cast Sally FIeld along to create excellent intellectuial and sexual tension.  My son knew exactly who Paul Newman was when I decsibed him as the voice of Doc Hudson from Cars.  Newman cut across three generations.

To me, his work as a philanthropist and supporter of liberal causes in addition to his business and racing interests go a long way to demonstrating that Paul Newman didn't just entertain, he worked to show us what we too could do with our talents if we just worked as hard as he did.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tomorrow Doesn't Matter

The Phils are NL East Champs!0927081841.jpg


Not Good

Shane is down in CF, it's 3-2 with a man on second and only 1 out.


Phils Up 3-1

0927081658a.jpg


Gramps Warms Up

Souderton's own Jamie Moyer gt a nice hand from the gathering crowd as he headed out to the bullpen to warm up for today's contest. The crafty veteran left-hander will need a good outing today. The Mets are winning and the breeze is blowing in here in South Philly.0927081520.jpg


Here In South Philly

The Nationals are taking BP and John is begging for a ball. There are a few hundred folks here for the 3:55 game. Roughly twice as many as are across the street at The Linc for the Temple - Western Michigan game.0927081444.jpg


Almost Gametime

In the never - ending run up to the beginning of the game, The Philadelphia Baseball Writers Of America made their 2008 season awards:


Brad Lidge - Mike Schmidt MVP Award Cole Hamels - Steve Carlton CY Young Award Gregg Dobbs -tug McGraw Good Guy Award Jamie Moyer - Dallas Green Special Achievement Award


Heading to The Bank

John and I are headed down to Citizen's Bank Park for the Phils vs. Nats today.  I was there back in March when the season got under way, and John and I will be there tonight as the Phils pop the Champagne and have some VO.

More posts later.  Enjoy the game.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Crime in Moorestown

Apparently this passes for crime in my town.

4:47 PM-Suspicious Person-Resident of Fernwood Rd. reported a male subject
apparently living in a tent in Pompeston Creek Park. Officers located subject.
Investigation led to arrest of subject on traffic related warrants.

Camping. 


Friday Fantastic Four

Ok - so many of you already know that I am not a good driver.  Some of you may have experienced it first hand.  For that I am, as the Catholic in me recalls, 'heartily sorry.' 

I get distracted too easily and I am just generally bored with the whole thing.  Nevertheless, since I drive about 10 hours a week with commuting and kid stuff, I have some coping mechanisms.

Sooo ...

What are four things you like to do while you drive?

  1. Listen to audio books.  Right now as an homage to Matt's trip to Vegas, I am listening to Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.  It's a classic and Ron McLarty is a great voice for Thompson and Oscar Acosta.
  2. Talk on the phone.  Yah I know I shouldn't but I most DO use my Bluetooth headset, so it's not SO bad.
  3. Look for photo opportunities.  That CR-V swerving to the side of the road ahead of you might just be me reaching for my camera to shoot a sunset.
  4. Listen to sports talk or NPR.  I don't have an iPod or iPhone and I have given up on commercial radio for the most part, so this is my last resort.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Good News

Michael Bradley led off The Jody Mac show on 950 ESPN today here in Philly by saying that Jody should be back next week for the Phils playoff run.

Jody has been home in South Jersey recovering from an August quadruple bypass, so it comes as great news to get a message from him reporting a 20 pound weight drop and to hear he's headed back to the air soon.  I can't imagine the big guy not running out to sneak a smoke on breaks, but he'll have to or risk the wrath of his wife and daughter is my guess.



Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nearly Finished


Nearly Finished
Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

The Philadelphia Mural Arts project at Vetri on Spruce St. near 13th is nearing completion. While there was virtually no activity on the project for August and the early part of September, a team of artists has been working each day to finish the food-related mural.

The horizontal concrete repair appeared last week and I would imagine the artists will go back and touch it up after they complete the top center section. it's been very interesting to watch this mammoth work unfold across the 3 story wall that I see each day on my way home.

I don't know what I'll do when it's done!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

We Saw This Coming

Microsoft has apparently gotten so unhip that they hired Jerry Seinfeld of all people to do commercials that make them seem hip.  You know.  The guy who used to be on TV? 

Apparently Paul Reiser was booked.

Now, in the most unshocking development in the history of Microsoft bonehead deals, the software giant is pulling the ad campaign after only 2 ads were produced. No wonder Vista costs so much.

The I'm a PC ads are much better than the Seinfeld stuff, but not nearly as slick as the Mac-PC ads.  Oh and they were made on a Mac.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sigh

Its a nice afternoon.  I'm reading a book and watching the Ryder Cup.  Some ice water and graham crackers are nearby.

Very relaxing.

Except that I am forced to resist the urge to stick the leaf blower up the operator's ass.  It's been a frigging hour lady.  The leaves have surrendered!


Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Night In Philly

Another Delco Guy and friends are on the loose in the city. We started at the excellent $4 happy hour at Valanni and are now at Monk's where the beer is way more expensive but oh so much better.
Hope you're enjoying your evening!
0919081945.jpg


Friday Fantastic Four

Today is the last Friday of summer and I'm looking back at the most relaxing 3 months of the year - NOT - and seeing a few things I didn't do.  I'll bet you have a few things that were on the summer list that you have not crossed off yet.

Soooo ....

What are four things that you wanted to do this summer that you just didn't get to?

  1. Do some real writing.  I always tell myself this is the year that I finally stop playing with characters and scenes in my head and start really writing again.  I said it about this summer and once again I have nothing written as the leaves begin to fall.
  2. Get the bike out and get back into shape.  Yeah.  Still need to get that tire fixed.
  3. Go to LBI for some chowder from The Gateway.  In fact, this is the first summer since I have been going there that I didn't set foot on LBI at all.  This year I think I'll go to Chowderfest.
  4. Take the kids to the Safari at Great Adventure.  We dis lots of great stuff this summer, but somehow didn't make it here again.

Have a great weekend!




Thursday, September 18, 2008

Working From Home

I'm taking a 'coffee break' while working from home today.  I have been having some troubles with my eyes due to the incredible ragweed season we're having here in South Jersey and a day where I can work in a dark room with no contacts in is a big help.

Luckily I have a lot of writing I can do here at my desk where the monitor is nice and big and I can take breaks, etc.  With gas prices being what they are and the new toll increase to get over to Philly each day, I could sure get used to working from home a bit more often, but the reality is that when you have 10 plus people to supervise and a million meetings to attend, it's just not something you can do all that often.

I find I need to actually sit at the desk adn not lounge on the couch, both for the larger monitor and the temptation to do things like flip on the TV or become otherwise distracted.  Wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt is a benefit too!

Have a good one!


Monday, September 15, 2008

Birds On The Big Screen!

While the image on the screen in this photo is not a good omen, we're here at 3447 with a 20 foot big screen TV for Eagles-Cowboys on Monday Night Football.
I've got the Birds 24-17 tonight with BWest scoring late in the 4th to break the tie.
Go Birds!!!0915081958.jpg


This is Art School

In case you ever wondered, this photo about sums up what it's like to work at a university that teaches artists.
0915081007
What you are seeing is a 'crit' or a critical review of one's peers of a sculpture project.  The sculpture in this case consists of an 18 inch diameter tree, sawed into four sections that are each four feet long.  The log is tethered to a TV set by red yarn.

In case you're wondering, I have NO idea what it's about.

Shockingly, it's not the most abstract thing iIve seen here this week.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Fantastic Four

2021083791_81d7773bfeI cut the grass yesterday after work and chopped up the leaves that had already fallen.  It was another  one of those activities that reminded me that fall is here and the fun of summer is gone for another year.

Thus, we have an autumnal Friday Fantastic Four.

What are four things you like to do each fall?

  1. Go pumpkin picking
  2. Sleep with the windows open
  3. Shoot pictures of fall foliage
  4. Watch playoff baseball

So what things do you like about fall?  I've got plenty of honorable mentions - let's see how many you come up with.

Have a great weekend and GO PHILS!


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Congrats Lil Bro!

Just a quick note to congratulate Matt on the amazing makeover that Power Window and Siding are doing on his place.

In removing the old white asbestos siding and the home-made but tired black and white shutters and replacing them with insulated beige 6" vinyl siding and green shutters, Matt has made his place the envy of the neighborhood. 

Nice work!



Sunday, September 07, 2008

DFFL Football Underway

The Moorestown Quakers take on Gimpy's Regulators squad today.

Here's my starting lineup and the points projected:























     
Points
Pos
Player
Opp

Projected
QB
(Cin - QB) P
@Bal
15
WR
(NYJ - WR)
@Mia
8
WR
(Car - WR) P
@SD
6
RB
(SF - RB)
Ari
13
RB
(GB - RB) P
Min
11
TE
(SD - TE) P
Car
8
W/R
(Bal - WR)
Cin
5
K
(Jac - K)
@Ten
9
DEF
(Min - DEF)
@GB
10
Total    
85


Let's go Quakers and Birds!!!


Sunday Morning Breakfast

2835434817_039d3bf1ff_m The GF wanted me to make breakfast today and she was hungry NOW, so I had to whip something up  pretty fast.  I've also been feeling like I need to take a bit more control of my health, so i wanted something good for me.

So I ended up making waffles infused with raspberries and covered in a blueberry-raspberry champagne sauce.  The sauce was a little thick and tangy, so I cut it with orange juice and added a bit of honey for sweetness.

I served the waffles covered in confectioner's sugar with a good-sized mimosa to get football season started right.  (Kids are at mom's).

Not bad for 15 minutes.  And I got to use three different kitchen appliances!


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Waiting for Hanna


Summer's Over
Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

If this blog entry had a song playing in the background, it would be BIlly Joel's "Famous Last Words." I've stacked the chairs for the fall and the leaves are starting to cover the patio. Football starts tomorrow and the Phils are playing the Mets with the Division on the line.

School has started and the mornings are a bit cooler each day. Summer has indeed come and gone.

Here in the Philly / South Jersey region we're waiting for the remnants of Hurricane Hanna to bring soaking rains and gusty winds, with power outages and tree damage likely. At least that's what Doug Kammerer says. It's warm and still and sticky here now thought, with just the deepening gray clouds portending a rough afternoon.

This is always a time of year that I get a bit morose. Perhaps it's because the Phils have always faded by now, or because The Eagles just haven't ever gotten it done. The weather changes have something to do with it as well, but somehow I think it's something deeper, something that has to do with the slowing down that happens in fall.

It's really one of the best times to live here. The humidity is much lower, the temperatures are cool in the morning, but not the brisk, nose-running cold that comes in November. You can pick apples at the local farms, or drive out to the pines and watch the sunset, or sit at a sidewalk table at a restaurant wearing a jacket.

The craziness of the holidays is just around the corner, so take a minute and slow down for a stretch.


Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday Fantastic Four

It's back to school time again so we've got a stuck behind a yellow school bus belching soot theme today.

What are your four favorite memories of school?

  1. Sneaking girls into St. James
  2. Lock-Ins
  3. Creating a 'club' in disused vestibule at Walden
  4. Creative writing class

So think back and come up with those moments you really liked out of yourdozen or so years in school

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

2008 DFFL Draft Party Review

The boys were back in town last night as Hesse hosted the Second Annual Delco Fantasy Football League Draft party in the luxurious basement of his estate in Aston.  I'm not kidding about the luxurious part.  If I had a basement with a bar, pool table, big screen TV, touch screen computer, wireless access, and comfortable seating, no one would ever see me.

Some notes from last night:

Shane outdid himself with the pork, confirmin2824648729_7123bbd89dg our decision that we should let him stay in the league despite the taking kickers in back to back rounds problem last year.  The pork was tender and pulled into perfectly-sized chunks, with just the right amount of smoky flavor and spicy bite.  I had 2 sandwiches.  Shane's better half Maria, who thankfully does not share his Chicago Bears disease, improved on her meatballs of last year with an excellent offering in tangy tomato sauce.  I had one of these in between the pork. 

The dessert course of brownies and pound cake with berries and vanilla vodka whipped cream was a bit high brow for this group, but it was needed around the 10th round due to my brother Matt's lengthy deliberations on his picks. 

Mark got us some cases of Sammy Oktoberfest, Yeungling and Yeungling Light.  I like my beer a bit warmer than average, but 90 degrees is a bit outrageous there Mark.  Thankfully, Hesse had thought ahead and there were frosty mugs that brought the beer temp down to 80.  Despite Shane's 7th round scare, the beer did last the whole evening.  Some kind of loaves and fishes thing apparently.

I think it's so sweet that Hesse and his beloved have named their tiny little yapper poodle "Shane."  It's so sweet and appropriate.

Much props to the guys who were using looseleaf notebooks and paper draft guide magazines.  Gotta love the old school!

Apparently Walklett's draft guide magazine was missing the QB section.  Jason Campbell as a starter?  Really??? 

Pete's cats make an awful sound when they get near his computer.  Cats are hereby banned from future drafts.

Congrats to everyone in Arizona for discovering the existence of the internet in round 5 so that Matt didn't have to use his precious iPhone minutes to keep Pete in the loop.  Then we got to listen to Matt and Goot bitch at each other about getting out of the spreadsheet.

Apparently we now know how Matt got though high school.  Anyone catch the late round cheat sheet written on a tiny piece of notebook that apparently went seven deep on the WR chart for him?

We need bigger stickers next year.  Old people like me Claffey can't see that far.

Chris from Regulators has all but obliterated Shane's 2007 drafting mysteries in my mind with his 'double pick' strategy.  First, the 'Double Jones pick' in round 3/4 and then the 'if you can't pick one good TE, why not pick 2 average ones' in round 11/12 left me and some others scratching our heads.  See ya in Week one there, bud!  Care for a side bet?

The best team name goes to Mark hands down this year with "Barely Legal Teens."  The FBI will be by to check your computer later today.

By a unanimous vote I just took, Matt will be required to wear a Dallas Cowboys jersey at all future leage gatherings, as he took both Tony Homo and Nick Fuck.  

And the night was made complete by Maria's appearance and insightful draft analysis. 

Photos are up here!

Thanks to everyone for a great time.


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Palin Pregnancy

At first I thought it was kinda sad that the media was jumping all over the fact that John McCain's new539w VP choice, Sarah Palin,  has a 17 year old daughter who is pregnant.

The I read Howard Gensler's column today in the Daily News. 

The whole thing is worth a read, but if you have ADD like me, here are the two relevant sections:

Bristol, Palin's 17-year-old daughter, left high school for months (possibly as many as five), reportedly after contracting mononucleosis.

(Her friends were not allowed to visit her, which skeptics could view as suspicious. But it's also explainable as mono is very contagious. But her presence home would also be equally dangerous for her allegedly pregnant mother.)

Five months? Mono?

Worst. Case. Of. Mono. Ever.

and then ...

In April, reportedly 36 weeks pregnant, Palin flew to Dallas to give a speech. Before the speech, she began to leak amniotic fluid. Tough Alaska moose-hunter that she is, she gave the speech anyway. She called her family doctor, who is not an OB-GYN, who allegedly told her it would be OK to fly back to Alaska. For the record, there are hospitals in Dallas.

Having given up the governor's private plane, Palin flew commercial, not telling Alaska Airlines that she was in labor and that her water had broken. No airline personnel seemed to note her as a woman about to give birth.

Her looooong Dallas to Alaska flight had a stopover in Seattle. There are also hospitals there.

Besides being friggin' hilarious on one level, it's just sad that McCain passed over perfectly capable women with significant experience for Nanook Sarah Palin.  I am sure Olympia Snow and Christie Todd Whitman are really supportive of Ms. Palin, her scandals and her daughter and the husband with a DUI and her soon to be granddaughter.  

In a related story, Mc Cain says that Sarah Palin was thoroughly checked out ahead of time.  Except for actually going to Alasksa.  Hmm.


Monday, September 01, 2008

Fantasy FB Geek

Well the Delco Fantasy Football League holds its draft tomorrow night at Hesse's house in Aston.  Here are some great photos showing last year's festivities.  I've been trying to get ready and improve on my 8-6 4th place record last year.  I just missed the playoff by a few points to Goot and I can't let that happen again.

So I have been geeking it up each night, doing fantasy drafts over on CBS Sportsline.  I got my spot, #9, and the guys were really into it, so I think it was a good test.

Here's what I ended up with on this Labor Day:

PosRoundPlayer
QB4 (#40)Palmer, Carson (QB CIN)
RB1 (#9)Gore, Frank (RB SF)
RB2 (#16)Johnson, Larry (RB KC)
WR6 (#64)Jennings, Greg (WR GB)
WR7 (#81)Galloway, Joey (WR TB)
TE13 (#153)Smith, L.J. (TE PHI)
RB-WR3 (#33)Bush, Reggie (RB NO)
K10 (#112)Folk, Nick (K DAL)
DST8 (#88)Vikings (DST MIN)
RS12 (#136)Young, Vince (QB TEN)
RS14 (#160)Foster, DeShaun (RB SF)
RS5 (#57)Stewart, Jonathan (RB CAR)
RS9 (#105)Norwood, Jerious (RB ATL)
RS11 (#129)Curry, Ronald (WR OAK)


If I can get 3 of the top 30 or so RBs and Carson Palmer, I'll be thrilled.  I'm a bit light in WR, and TEs went crazy fast in this draft, but I think it will be a bit different with the Delco Boys.  We'll know for sure tomorrow night.

Everyone enjoy this last unofficial day of summer.  For all of you fantasy guys drafting tomorow, good luck!