Month: June 2013

The Muscle Shoals Groove

The man in front of us in line said it best.  “After several days of watching a documentary or two a day with a heavy or depressing theme, I’m ready for some music.”  I knew what he meant. Saturday evening Andrew, Claire and I had attended an excellent documentary as part of the AFI Docs festival at the American Film Institute Theatre in Silver Spring. Titled Blackfish, it chronicled SeaWorld’s treatment of their killer whales. Here’s the synopsis: When SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau was mauled to death by a “killer whale,” the tragedy was dismissed as a freak accident. In actuality, it was one of many such violent incidents between well-meaning trainers and wild orcas, the main attractions at marine parks all over the world. Utilizing astounding rare footage and candid interviews, BLACKFISH takes an unflinching look at the disturbing practices that keep such places in business and the corporate-led efforts to protect this highly profitable industry. It was an important film…but when Candice and I stood in line on Sunday waiting to see Muscle …

A Great Week for Ballparks

In my bucket-list quest of visiting all 30 major league ball parks, this week didn’t really move the needle…but it was a great week nonetheless. Two cities and two ballparks.  That’s the way I like to travel. Last Tuesday, I was in Denver wrapping up a set of meetings, and joined some colleagues at Coors Field for a Rockies vs. Nationals game.  Yes, my Nats were in town! This was my second visit to Coors Field – which means I didn’t get to check off another park from my list. But while the outcome was disappointing (the Nats lost this game, yet won the series), I did get to catch a wonderful Coors Field sunset over the Rocky Mountains.  Few stadiums have better views, and all of us – Nats and Rockies fans alike – marveled in the sunset. Then on Friday, I was in Boston.  Those of you who know the schedule will say, “Hey, weren’t the Red Sox playing the O’s in Baltimore this weekend?”  Well, yes.  (I am actually catching the last …

Happy Father’s Day, Tom Brown

This morning, our Sunday Forum at St. Alban’s Parish involved readings about fathers.  I decided on the spot to read a portion of a post I wrote  in 2010 on More to Come… on the occasion of what would have been my parents’ 60th anniversary and days before my father’s 85th birthday.  The original post was primarily about my father, and it seemed appropriate for Father’s Day. So here’s what I read in honor of Tom Brown.  (And yes, I teared up at the end and was thankful that Andrew and Claire were out in the hallway and weren’t embarrassed by their dad). My Mom was generally considered to be a saint, and dying at a relatively young age from cancer only cemented that view in all our minds….My father is a bit more complicated…which also makes him very interesting. Mother once described my father as having a mouth “always turned up in a perpetual smile” but apparently it wasn’t always so.  Several years ago Daddy sent us some thoughts he had written while on …