All posts tagged: Random DJB Thoughs

Just Another Beautiful Day in Southern California

Not even ten hours – TEN HOURS – stuck in the Phoenix Airport on Thursday was going to ruin our last Family Weekend at Pomona College with Claire.  (Phoenix Airport motto:  “And you think our city has sprawl – just wait until you have to go from concourse-to-concourse in our lovely airport.  We’ll show you world-class sprawl!”) Yes, the time has come for the last of our family weekends during the college years.  We’ve made 7 of 8 over the course of the four years between our twins and their two schools. Some parents poo-poo the Family Weekend, saying they are only for freshmen parents who miss their children.  But we love them.  Why? Well, beyond the obvious of getting to spend time with Claire and Andrew, we get to meet and hear great professors talk about fun things. In the fall at Brown, our favorite was Fundamentals of Healthy Aging.  This year’s topic of choice at Pomona from Professor Joti Rockwell was entitled  Sympathy for the Devil:  The Meanings of Fiddle and Guitar Music …

Farewell 2014, Hello 2015

The end of 2014…time for reflection. As in the past, I’m taking to More to Come… to think about the year that is rapidly coming to a close, to be thankful for the wonder in my life, and to resolve to improve. The national and international issues seem almost overwhelming. Many commentators have focused on all the bad things that happened in 2014, and there were no shortages of options for those who take that approach.  Ferguson. Ebola. ISIS. I can’t breathe. Disappearing airplanes. Michael Brown. Eric Garner. Putin. Ukraine. Income inequality. Cynical politicians. Criminal politicians. Torture. Mid-term elections. Right wing fundamentalists posing as Christians. Robin Williams. Endless war in the Middle East. Those are just for starters. And then there was Dave Barry. I was tempted to lead with this photo of Claire and her friend Jason, with the title 2014: It’s Done – Stick a Fork in this Turkey! But then I recalled this picture I’ve used before in More to Come… and decided to follow this piece of advice. Nationally,  you won’t …

God, I Love the Wild Card

Fact #1: I love the wild card games in Major League Baseball. Fact #2: I’m glad the Nationals are not playing in these “win or go home” games. Last night saw the Kansas City Royals win a thriller from the Oakland A’s at Kauffman Stadium in 12 innings.  The K is a wonderful place to see a ballgame.  Tonight, I’m sitting on the couch waiting to see who will survive the National League Wild Card game and face the Nats on Friday night in the NLDS.  The game is at PNC Park – one of the great places to watch a ballgame. If you look over to the right-hand column of my blog, you’ll see a link to the name Joe Posnanski.  Joe is among the best writers about baseball, and it just so happens that KC is his home.  His post on last night’s game had some of the funniest lines I’ve ever read from a sportswriter. The first concerns the description of the bizarre double-steal attempt that went bad.   Here’s Joe’s description: The …

Score Book getting ready to go to the trash

This September 2014 call-up won’t make the postseason roster

I gave this September call-up several chances. But I have my limits. With tickets to three September games at Nationals Park in hand, I decided to break in my new Baseball Score Book to get it ready for the playoffs. The ring binder on my old score book had a “notebook malfunction” on our August road trip, so the timing seemed right. The idea of the September call-up is standard in baseball.  Rosters expand on September 1st  and promising players come up to the big club from the minors.  On losing teams these rookies get to play regularly to show they should make the ball club next year. On teams going to the postseason, like the Nats, the call-ups may provide an occasional day-off for a regular, but more often than not they fill specialized roles.  (Need a pinch runner, turn to the speedy Michael Taylor.) So I have now given my September call-up three chances.  If he was coming out of the bullpen, my score book would be 0-3 with about a 10.00 ERA.  …

Observations from the road: The “prairie” edition

Having been warned that we will lose cell and online coverage as we enter the mountains portion of our trip over the next couple of days, I’m writing my next set of “Observations from the road: The prairie edition” from my outpost here on the front porch of the historic Fort Peck Hotel in Fort Peck, Montana.  (The beautiful and flat part of Montana, as their website describes it.) You can catch earlier parts of the “Observations” series here (the Central Time edition) and here (essentially the Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana edition). Fort Peck dam was built in the 1930s as a WPA project, and this building was originally constructed to house the workers.  It was converted into a hotel in the 1930s, and has served sportsmen, patrons of the Fort Peck Summer Theatre Playhouse, and wayward travelers like Claire and me ever since.  The rooms are small and simple but the lobby (where I wrote last evening’s post) is down home and friendly with a well-stocked bar.  The only disappointment was that the dining …

Observations From the Road (The “Central Time” Edition)

Claire and I were driving through the heart of Central Minnesota today when the Pokey LaFarge paean to Middle America – Central Time – popped up on the iPhone playlist. Yet another omen! The Missouri is my right arm, the Ohio is my left But I’m livin’ on the Mississippi River where I like life the best I don’t mind the west coast, and I don’t mind the east coast Oh, baby, but I ain’t gonna live on no coast. I’m just a plain ole Midwestern boy, Getting by on Central time So thanks to Pokey’s reminder, here are a few (more) observations from the road – in the Central Time edition. Some oddities really are worth seeing – We went an hour out of our way today to see the largest ball of twine rolled by one person, and it was SO worth it.   As the great post on the Roadside America blog puts it, “One runs across more than a few balls on the obsession landscape…But special tribute must be paid to the Mother of the moss gathering …

You Want Nutrition, Eat Carrots!

Here we were, just two unsuspecting East Coast types, stopping off in Madison, Wisconsin, for a short two-hour visit with Claire’s college friend Kyra and her father Dennis, followed by lunch along State Street. Why we even went for a hike on the beautiful trail around Lake Mendota off the Union Terrace. We were feeling very righteous. Then, we met Ian’s By the Slice Pizza. And Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream. And tonight in Spring Green, we met Phil and his wonderful selection of local beers at Arcadia Books cafe. Oh. My. Goodness. These folks put cheese on ANYTHING. Claire, of course, had to try the Mac and Cheese pizza.  As she noted, it was ONLY one slice…but it was a slice of pizza WITH pasta on top. Then we ran into the Serious $&@! – you don’t believe me, just check out the sign below. We can’t say we weren’t warned. And here at Arcadia Books – a wonderful book store/cafe in Spring Green – I’m working on a Moon Man Pale Ale from New Glarus …

Just What is the BBVA Compass Bowl?

I called my father – the long-suffering Vanderbilt alum – earlier today to celebrate the fact that the Commodores were in their third straight post-season bowl game. I believe I noted that the “end of the world was near.” For a family that grew up watching Vanderbilt football, having a successful football program does bring worries about the balance of nature being seriously out-of-whack. My father always referenced the 1945 Alabama vs. Vanderbilt game as typical of what a school that – how shall we say this delicately – cared somewhat more about academics than the rest of its Southeastern Conference brethren had to deal with on a season-by-season basis.  According to family lore, Alabama had stockpiled players in ROTC in 1945 as the war effort was winding down.  The result:  a 71-0 shellacking.  To this day, I have never heard my father root for the Crimson Tide.  (For those who join us in our feelings toward Alabama football, I recommend Brian Phillips’ hilarious take on Nick Saban’s Nightmare following the Tide’s “upset” loss to …

Two Modest Milestones

This week I passed two modest Internet milestones:  More to Come… welcomed the 4,000th visitor and I reached 100 “friends” on my Facebook page. Stop laughing… I take the blog milestone as the more satisfying.  My children won’t even let me friend them on Facebook, so I don’t put a great deal of effort into rounding up friends or in keeping my status updated.  (My most recent status update is from last Tuesday when I said I was ready for more news about the game of baseball and less (or no) news about A-Rod.  I still feel that way, so why change.) More to Come… is much more like writing letters to friends.  The blog now averages almost 25 readers a day, which is fine with me.  And occasionally someone picks something up I’ve written and spreads it around, which is nice recognition as well.  That actually happened today, although the link was to a slightly altered version of my recent Readyville Mill post that was also posted on the blog at PreservationNation, the National Trust web site.  Mike …