Month: September 2013

Remembering Doc Watson

  I know when I’ve been inspired by a performer or a piece of music…I change the strings on my guitars. Since hearing a wonderful Tim O’Brien remembrance of the late Doc Watson, I’ve got brand new strings on two of my guitars.  It’s that good. Friday evenings I’ll often ramble through YouTube videos, starting with a musician I enjoy and seeing where the recommendations take me.  More times than not, I will find a video or two that opens up a new perspective on a well-known performer.  Such was the case last evening. I’ve always enjoyed Tim O’Brien, seeing him live most recently at this summer’s Red Wing Roots Festival.  But until I heard this video from a 2012 Kennedy Center performance, I didn’t know that Doc was his musical hero — although the news wasn’t much of a shock.  I believe it was Bill Clinton who said — when giving Doc the National Medal of Arts award — that every baby boomer who picked up an acoustic guitar tried, at some point, to …

Play Ball…and Bring Along the Puck

U.S. Cellular Field rises like an impenetrable fortress alongside the Dan Ryan expressway in South Side Chicago as fans walk over from the L train station.  After spending time at neighborhood friendly PNC Park, Coors Field, Wrigley Field, the new Busch Stadium, and AT&T Park in the past couple of years, I was reminded last evening that not all stadium architects and planners were thinking “retro is good” in the early 1990s – that is, unless you think the era we should pine for requires our designers to emulate the outside of Tropicana Field. To be fair, U.S. Cellular Field (then known as the “new” Comiskey Park) opened in 1991 a year before Baltimore opened the beautiful Camden Yards in 1992 and turned stadium design both backwards and forward at the same time.  But they still play baseball in both of them, and I’ve even seen a good game in Oakland.  So enough, already.  Play ball! Last evening I crossed the halfway point in my quest to visit all 30 major league baseball stadiums with …

Labor Day Grab Bag

What do empty nesting, Keith Olbermann, a day at the pool, good food, and Lee Daniels’ The Butler have in common?  They are all part of this Labor Day grab bag of (relatively) quick observations – because it is still summer and I don’t want to work too hard writing long blog posts! Hopes for Year 3 of Empty Nesting:  As of 6 a.m. on Saturday, our third year of “empty nesting” officially began.  Candice and I took Claire to the airport for her flight to California.  Andrew went back to school about 10 days ago (even though – as you can see below – he is also managing to fit in things not school-related). My hope is that Empty Nesting: Year 3 will be the first “normal” one, following our health problems of the first year and the rehab-focused Year 2.  After extensive rehabilitation and a few months of myofascial release, Candice is walking – and feeling – better than she has in five years.  In fact, she’s so positive about myofascial release that …