Monday, January 31, 2011

Starting Them Right!

Thanks, Carrie for this link.  All babies should be brought into the world this way: wrapped in the love of Terrible Towels! (Yahoo!)

Now make sure they grow up with a love of Yankees baseball, hockey and the Rangers, and you have a well-rounded child (with no disrespect to basketball.  I'm just giving the child a foundation).

By the way, I'm considering a telethon for the Wilpons.  We could sing songs, like "Do They Know it's Baseball Season" and "We Are the World of the National League East" and other uplifting tunes - all to raise money so that the Beltrans, Wrights, and Santanas can put food on the table.

I offered to buy the Mets the other night.  I think I had about 80 cents in my pocket.  Chris Kaelin was not amused (but then again, he still think Yogi Berra is a Met).

Stay thirsty, my friends!

Stewart Airport

Stewart Airport is located in Newburgh, NY.  I've flown out of it, and have picked up passengers there.  Like Westchester County Airport near White Plains, it's a nice alternative to New York and New Jersey's big three of JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark airports.

The New York Times (HURRY before they go behind the dreaded pay wall!) brings us this article from Patrick McGeehan discussing Stewart Airport's lack of progress to become New York's true "fourth airport."

I'll give you a way Stewart and Westchester can both do better...bring flight prices down!  That's why, after I weigh all of the costs, I always wind up flying out of the JFK or LaGuardia.  Not that I don't try.  I enjoy using Stewart and Westchester.  They're generally friendly and comfortable airports and mucho convenient to Exit 55's home cave.

Of course, they also tend to be a little more susceptible to bad weather, especially Westchester.  I didn't fly until 1994.  I was 25 and heading out on a business trip to Chicago.  It was raining, and our flight was the first to be stopped...on the the hangar (they didn't have a big terminal yet).  So we sat...for three hours (so much for my plans to go see the Yankees and White Sox at "New Comiskey Park" that night).

Still it's nice to have the option of these airports.  Let's hope Stewart can become a stronger presence in the New York scheme.

Stone Cold Crazy

Let's start the morning with some Queen.  Great song - performed with James Hetfield and Tony Iommi at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert.  Of course, Hetfield is no Freddie, but that's not a knock.  Who is?

The year was 1992.

Friday, January 28, 2011

NBC No Longer Proud as a Peacock

Welcome to what is likely another addition of "Things Nobody But Rob Gives a (BLEEP) About!" with your host, Wink Morningdove!

Thank you, thank're too kind...

OK, I'll stop.  By the way, "Wink Morningdove" was the name of a game show host that I played in one of the old softball videos.  Wish those were on YouTube (or maybe not).

Anyway, it saddened me to see that, with Comcast taking over NBC Universal and turning them into NBCUniversal, one of the iconic logos is now gone.

Today means the death of the peacock.  It made its debut in 1956, an indication of NBC broadcasting in color (kids, we didn't always have color on TV). 

I guarantee most of my older friends know this:

The peacock would take a break from 1975-1979, before returning and living on...until this morning.  Now, we get this:
Inspiring.  Isn't it?  Yeah.

So far analysts seem to be unimpressed.

You want a history of the old logo, go here.  The old NBC Chimes, with sound files and more from their radio days are featured here.

Time marches on.

We return you now to your regularly scheduled day.

Remembering the Challenger

Twenty-five years ago today...

I was heading into my seventh period history class at Mahopac High School when I first heard the news. Like most, I was glued to the TV as soon as I could get to one. My dad was home from work and saw it live.

By this point, we as a nation (and I suppose, as the news media - though I wasn't a member in 1986), had begun to take the space launches for granted. They weren't going to the moon, so the missions weren't as "exciting." The first shuttle launch, in 1981, was impressive because it was the reentry to space for the US. I had just seen the shuttle on the launching pad in February, 1981 so I had an even deeper sense of excitement.

We pause to remember the Challenger Seven this morning, with the words that President Ronald Reagan spoke to the nation that night (and please leave the politcs out of it).

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Giants/Bills - 20 Years Later

January, 1991.  I was the Sunday-overnight DJ at Majic 105 (WMJV-FM) in Patterson, NY.  I finished off another fine night of playing the hits of Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston and so on before running home to get a few hours of sleep.  The Super Bowl (number XXV) was later that night.

It was the somewhat upstart Giants, who had just knocked off the two-time defending champion 49ers (oh did I love that one), against the K-Gun Bills of Jim Kelly, Thuman Thomas and Bruce Smith.  It seemed like the proverbial David versus Goliath.  I naively figured the Bills would win and, to be honest, I had no deep rooting interest.  I respected both teams (though probably preferred the Giants).

You probably know what happened.  Giants 20, Bills 19.  Wide right (ESPN New York by Ian O'Connor).

Bills fans, it's unfair to blame it on Scott Norwood.  Have Kelly or Thomas get five more yards and you win your Super Bowl.  He's no more to blame than Bill Buckner.

This one's for you, Giants fans.  Here's the last drive of the game.

By the way, that's the way to win.  Players carry the coach off the field.  Teams meet at midfield to hug and shake hands.  No orgy of stupidity.  Thanks to the Steelers for winning like that last week in Pittsburgh.  Classy.

Incidentally, John Clayton of ESPN picks his top 10 Super Bowl plays.  He puts James Harrison's 100-yard interception return at number one, Lynn Swann's mastery at number three (sorry, I always thought it was better than David Tyree's catch - as great as that was), and Norwood at number eight.  Check out the rest of his list.  All subjective, of course, so your mileage may vary.

Oh, wait.  There was debate as to whether we should celebrate Wayne Gretzky's birthday yesterday.  So maybe I'll just delete this whole post...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"The Great One" Turns 50

People all across hockey are celebrating the 50th birthday of Wayne Gretzky today, and with good reason.  Few people can claim bringing more people to a sport than the man dubbed "The Great One."

Incidentally, my father would reject that notion.  Jackie Gleason was also known as "The Great One."  The older generations would lean towards the man who made us know Ralph Kramden.

So to some, the question is: why is Gretzky's 50th birthday significant? Is it just a slow news day?

I can't say Gretzky made me a hockey fan.  My introduction to the game really began with John Davidson and the late 70's Rangers, was solidified by the 1980 Olympics and, more importantly, Mike Bossy, Billy Smith, and the rest of the early 80's Islanders during their run of four straight Stanley Cups.  It reminds me of my days hanging with my buddies around Austin Road Elementary School and watching whatever games we were given on channel 9.

But in fact, I hated Gretzky and those Edmonton Oilers.  Mark Messier?  Grrrrr.  Grant Fuhr...Glenn Anderson...Paul Coffey...Jari Kurri.  Oh dear God, how I remember them.  They beat the Islanders and they became the gold standard.  Of course I hated them (but man I respected them).

Then of course, the Rangers picked up the Messiah, which really should be Messiers' title with the Rangers now.  I mean, he's got that "Chuck Norris" thing going for him.  We know how the story goes from there: Messier, Leetch, Richter and Graves (along with many of the old Oilers) helped bring nirvana to New York in 1994 and, I believe, the sport hasn't been the same again. 

Oh it's still great, no doubt about it.  It's just different now.  We watched two big labor battles (including the loss of an ENTIRE season).  We saw the NHL, desperate for eyeballs, go to the shootout (OK, who wants to say it's a good thing?).  Probably, most notably, we've seen the NHL receive an Ellis Island-worth of European players.  Again, good or bad?  There are varying opinions - longing for the day when the NHL was made up of purely Americans and Canadians, with a few outsiders.

It's like everything else.  Sports change.  The days of the organ player and crowd noise being the only sounds you heard are long gone.  Now we need to clap along to goal songs and do stick salutes and other "fan friendly" measures.  The evolution continues.

That's why we celebrate Gretzky's birthday.  Despite the way I disliked him so much, few have dominated a sport like him (but still...Babe Ruth...Michael Jordan...Pele...Jimmy Johnson...shall I go on?).  He was amazing to watch, and truly was (and is) a great ambassador for hockey.

"Seinfeld" 200 Quotes

A nice flashback to a time when "yada yada yada" was more than acceptable.

OK, that's 100 quotes.  Now onto part two.

These pretzels are making me thirsty!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Interesting Comments by the Cash-Man

Brian Cashman spoke at a breakfast hosted by Mike Francesa this morning in Manhattan.  Cash Money had some interesting things to say that, while not necessarily surprising, still will leave some ripples in the waters of Yankees Universe.

Chad Jennings was there, writing on the Yankees' blog at Lohud.

And thanks to Exit 55 correspondent (and extremely beautiful person) Carrie, it appears Cashman is now backpedaling just a tad regarding the comments about Derek Jeter heading to the outfield (via the Daily News).

By the way, do we need a pseudonym for Carrie?

Anyway, while everyone else wrings their hands over this, I'll simply say that there's nothing to see here, folks.  It's clear the Yankees are - at best - the second team in the AL East, and maybe the third best in back of Boston (the clear number one) and Tampa Bay.  Plus...the Blue Jays aren't terrible, and the Orioles are improving.

Just sayin'

A Reminder That Bowlers Can Have Off Days

You might know that I was the captain (OK, co-captain - my friend Rob Ellsworth would prefer that I don't forget him) of the 1986-1987 Mahopac High School bowling team.  I have said, on many occasions, that I was not the captain because I was a great bowler.  Or even a good bowler.  I think I was just a good leader, and that's why the late Dan Veglia gave me that honor.

I never appeared on TV to bowl, though.  But Carrie told me about perhaps the worst TV bowling performance ever.  The meanies at ESPN won't let me embed it, so head over to this link at Deadspin to get some background before you proceed to the video.

The funny thing is - people think this ROCKED!  And I guess it did.  I'm laughing at it and hey, why not?  If the bowler, Tom Daugherty, can laugh at it, why can't we?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

YOI! The Terrible Towel

Today would have Myron Cope's 82nd birthday.  So...oh, wait, what's that?  Who is Myron Cope?


Clearly yinz knowz nothing about the Stillers.


Myron Cope was a sports journalist; a fine writer whose work appeared in Sports Illustrated and elsewhere.  That would have sufficed for a fine career but in 1970, he joined the Steelers and began a 35-year run in radio, working first with Jack Fleming and then with Bill Hilgrove (and Tunch Ilkin).  To say that Cope was colorful would be putting it, let's just say, mildly.

We need a little audio (with video)...

But today, on this AFC Championship Sunday, we pay homage to Cope's greatest creation.  The one that EVERYONE now uses.  The Terrible Towel!

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Blog 'n Gold) serves up a tribute to Cope, complete with the reminder that his last broadcast was a loss in the AFC Championship Game...on his birthday.

Feh.  Or double YOI!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Here We Go!

Steelers fans love making songs to support their teams.  Most are, frankly, beyond dumb (keep in mind I'm not exactly a rah-rah, pep rally, championship parade kind of guy). If you wish to listen or download any of them, you can find most of them here, here, and here.

The classic "Steelers Polka" is one of the best and, of course, "Here We Go."  Now I have an especially emotional response to that one because Sean and I danced around when the Stillers made the first Super Bowl of his life, in 2006.  So yes, I love that one.

We often played it on "The Press Box."  This is newest version, in time for the AFC Championship.

That’s It, Jets…Keep Talking…

After a quiet week of respect between the two AFC finalists, that jack wagon Antonio Cromartie opened his pie hole, going to an old notion: attacking Hines Ward.

Whatever.  I'd worry a little more about Mike Wallace, but that's just me.

Hard to argue with what Gang Green has done.  The talking just makes them an easier target.  If they win, they’ll never pipe down.  However, most football fans will take more delight in watching the Jets go down, should the Steelers beat them tomorrow.

I have too much respect for the Jets (and any opponent) to start talking crap about them, so I won’t.

The Jets were my dad’s team.  They are my brother’s team (though we haven’t spoken about the game as of today).  I say everyone just shut up and play ball.

Yet I know this – since last weekend I’ve received a few texts and emails begging for a Pittsburgh victory.

Again, whatever.  Let’s kick this thing off and with any luck, an unnamed landmark in New York will be decked out in a Terrible Towel.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I Love LA (The Trip, Part 2)

California 2010 - Carrie's Camera 119
Day 5, Saturday: We began our final few hours in San Diego at Broken Yolk Café for a reprise of our Friday morning breakfast.  It’s funny how little reviewers know.  I had read a few negative thoughts about the Gaslamp location of the BYC, but they were simply wrong.  The place is clean, the food is great, and the service was fine.

Yet with breakfast done, we grabbed our bags back at the US Grant and walked to the Santa Fe train station (pictured above) where Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner was waiting for us.  We grabbed two seats upstairs (staying away from the rambunctious kid that stood behind us as we boarded) and made sure to sit on the ocean side of the car.  Unfortunately that also meant we were riding backwards.

Still the view was beyond spectacular (especially up through the Oceanside area).  For me, an unexpected highlight was pulling into Anaheim and seeing The Big A (home of the Angels…which really isn’t in Los Angeles, despite what the team wants you to believe).California 2010 - Carrie's Camera 125
It wasn’t log before we pulled into Los Angeles where a new batch of passengers joined us.  Our station was still about an hour away, but we soon pulled into Moorpark, where Carrie’s second cousin Mel* was waiting for us.

*At least I think they’re second cousins.  That’s what I remember being told.

Regarding the train, I’m sure many of you are amazed that I – lover of the American road – willingly rode the rails.  It was a very nice experience.  It allowed Carrie and I time to explore the train a bit (see the dining car and change seats every now and then), and otherwise just stare out the window.  A nice time for talking also.  Sure, I would have loved to been in a car cruising up The Five, but it wasn’t meant to be.  I only wish Sean could have been on the train because he’s such a railroad kid, but he’ll have his chance.

Mel drove us to his house where wife Helene and daughter Renee awaited (along with Lady the dog).  They would then whisk us away to Malibu for the stunning ocean view, and a cup of coffee at Starbucks.  This gave us all a chance to get better acquainted but we needed to return to their house for a pizza party (in honor of…gulp…us).

Well, mostly Carrie.

Oh, one thing.  The Steelers played the Ravens during this stretch, so I followed it as best as I could via Carrie’s smart phone (one other thing…Sprint sucks.  Just sayin’).

Renee’s fiancée Robb (yes, two “b’s”) came along and we talked sports all night.  Among those I met were Mel and Helene’s son Adam, along with various other family members.  Adam and his wife have three sons, and their oldest Jacob (hope I spelled it correctly) hung around the house quite a bit over the weekend. 

They’re big New York Giants fans out there!

We crashed on our comfy Aerobed and thought about how to spend our time around the LA area.

Day 6, Sunday:  Nothing like beginning the day with an amazing brunch made by Helene.  But with Renee being a bride to be, she and Helene went off to a bridal show, while Mel, Carrie and I made our way to Hollywood.  Mel was hardly interested in doing such a thing, but was a wonderful tour guide nevertheless.
There had been some debate among the family.  “Hollywood is overrated.  So touristy” was the popular opinion.  And what’s the problem?  Then there was a discussion that the evening’s Golden Globe Awards were being held there, but I found that they were in Beverly Hills, so that was that.  In the end, Carrie and I did as we wished, and touristy be damned.

What I’ve figured out (a long time ago) is that I don’t travel like most people.  I don’t mind the tourist areas.  I also don’t mind being unique.  I don’t mind driving to the Mexican border just…because.  I like driving around and seeing things.  Carrie and I really seem to blend well in this regard.

So spending an hour or so in Hollywood to see the handprints and the stars was fine with me.
California 2010 - Carrie's Camera 160
California 2010 - Rob's Camera 156
Even these guys wanted to watch over us (and their star)
California 2010 - Rob's Camera 158
California 2010 - Carrie's Camera 164
And yes, we took pictures of the Hollywood sign:
California 2010 - Carrie's Camera 169
We’re tourists.  So?  We even drove to Hollywood and Vine (I had always heard about it) and, to be blunt, there was nothing there (OK, we saw the Capitol Records building, but that’s about it).  So we kept driving though LA, with the idea of stopping at the Santa Monica Pier, but traffic kept us from doing so.  We moved back towards Malibu for a really nice small lunch.

That night, we hit In-N-Out Burger (seemed like a thing to do) for dinner, then joined Renee and Robb for dessert.  We called it a night, ready for our final day.

Day 7, Monday: I could feel the end of vacation blues leaning towards me as the day began (and those pangs would get stronger as the evening wore on).  Mel and Helene were so kind that they allowed us to drive their car for the day, allowing us time to return to Santa Monica so that I could…finally…stick my feet in the Pacific!
California 2010 - Carrie's Camera 209
We walked Santa Monica Pier, the honorary end of the legendary Route 66 (though not the actual end) and made our way over to Beverly Hills.  For the record, while Greenwich is the smaller sibling of Rodeo Drive, there’s still a similarity.  Beverly Hills is still more overwhelming though.

After that, we worked our way through the traffic on The 101 to have lunch at Philippe’s The Original, home of the original French Dip sandwich (and really good chili too!).  The lines are long, and a nice patron was kind of enough to take a picture of us.
California 2010 - Rob's Camera 206
Really good food.  My god, we had some terrific culinary experiences on this trip.

We followed that up by trying to see some of the famous sports sites.  We started with Dodger Stadium, which was only about two miles away.  Should be easy to take a picture, right?  Yeah, not so much.  Dodger Stadium might be the most inaccessible place I’ve ever driven by.  Because of its location in Chavez Ravine, the stadium can’t be seen from any road.  Not that I didn’t try, but a guard shooed us away at one site, and all other gates were closed.  So I got a picture of the light tower.  That’s…about…it.  I see on their website that there’s a tour.  Maybe next time…

I eased that pain (not really, I think we were both baffled) by driving the Arroyo Seco Parkway, the first freeway in the US.  It opened in 1940 and is interesting to drive.  It also leads to Pasadena, where we followed the signs to the Rose Bowl.  The Steelers won Super Bowl XIV there in 1980.
California 2010 - Carrie's Camera 229
We moved from there to downtown LA, where we found the LA Coliseum (site of Super Bowl I, first home of the Dodgers, and where the Olympics were held in 1932 and 1984…and many other events).  The LA Sports Arena was right there also (one time home of the Clippers).  We also saw the Staples Center, home of Kobe.

And the Lakers.

Our driving day ended there as we made our way back to Thousand Oaks to begin saying our good byes and head to the airport.  Mel and Helene were so gracious to chauffeur us to LAX for our departure.

As for LAX, at least in the Jet Blue terminal, there’s the good (a super short security line) and the bad (smells like cigarettes and there is almost no food).  We are at a seafood place that was OK, but seemed to magnetically pull money out of our pockets.  Yep, gotta love airport prices!

That carried us, technically, to…

Day 8, Tuesday: Our flight was a red eye, departing just after midnight in the east.  I was exhausted and expected to sleep clear back to New York.  But…no.  It doesn’t happen often, but I battled a touch of claustrophobia.  My breathing was irregular and I just couldn’t get comfortable.  Around 3:00 AM, I couldn’t take anymore and had to stand up – which meant waking Carrie and the girl on the aisle.  While I love looking out the window, this could mean that I should sit in the aisle seat.

Back in New York we grabbed our bags and got a taxi back to Brooklyn, where we both fell asleep.  I cam back to Mahopac on Wednesday and the trip, this amazing experience, was over.

California Dreamin’ (The Trip, Part 1)

California 2010 - Rob's Camera 200
Four days have passed and I wish I was still there.  I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed it, considering I’m such a New Yorker/East Coaster.

It’s been a while since I’ve really traveled.  I’m not sure I put our camping trips in that category.  Traveling, to me, involves a bit of effort.  Driving from Mahopac to Richmond, or even Maine, can qualify.  But anything that involves flying?  Yep.  Now you have a party. (Last flight?  Naples for the Greenwich game in November, 2007)

So let’s break it down, shall we?  To do so, let’s go back to the beginning.

Pre-trip: Ah, the usual.  Packing.  Preparing.  Over-packing.  Over-preparing.  That’s how I roll, I guess.  Right up until the minute I left my house to get on the train to go to Carrie, I was still changing my mind.  The sweatshirt I brought with me, for instance, was grabbed literally as I was walking to the car.  Of course, this means the possibility of bringing too much (which I did).  Still, moving through Metro North and New York’s subway system wasn’t too bad, as I had a large suitcase (granted, with flowers all over it – had to make do with a borrowed one) and a backpack.

In Brooklyn that Monday night, Carrie and I grabbed a dinner of Chinese food, watched just a little of the BCS National Championship, and went to sleep – prepared for an early start.

Day 1, Tuesday: The alarm went off around 4:30 AM.  Both of us shot up, showered and were ready to hit the road.  Carrie had ordered a taxi, with a promise that they would charge us $25 to go to JFK.  He was to show up at 5:45 AM but he was waiting when I strolled out at 5:30 to go get breakfast.  So we were off, and he overcharged us ($30).  Guess we won’t use them again.

At JFK, all went well.  Security was very crowded (shocking!), but otherwise Jet Blue’s Terminal 5 (T5 to those in the know) was very nice.  As for the flight…nothing spectacular (that’s a compliment).  Jet Blue knows what they’re doing.  It’s a bummer that in this day and age they charge for everything (except bags and a snack), but that’s life.

I watched “Caddyshack” (trying to not laugh out loud) and listened to music on XM Radio.  Finally, just after 11:00 AM Pacific time, I began to see the Pacific Ocean in the distance (first time for me!).  We touched down around 11:30.  Off the plane, and onto the bags, and…wait… a voicemail.  My credit union left a message saying there was a problem with a deposit that I sent.  Fortunately (you have no idea how fortunate it was) it was resolved quickly, and we were soon off cruising in our little Kia that we rented for the day.

I highlighted some of the early portion of the trip here.  We had a great lunch and drove around, crossing the San Diego-Coronado Bridge (stunning), riding along the Silver Strand, and heading to the Mexican border before coming back north.

We pushed ourselves for the first day, making sure that we didn’t fall asleep at, say, 7:00 that night (which would have been 10 back in the east).  This was a conscious decision, with me continuing to drive up “The Five” (freeways use “the” in front of numbers out there).  Perhaps our favorite moment of the evening was looking at the enormous, rather opulent Mormon temple that could be seen glowing near the highway.  We stopped to have a look, and would have gone inside had there not been an event going on.  (Of course, no disrespect is intended…we were fascinated)

We had a decent dinner across the street from our amazing hotel (Yard House…opening soon in Yonkers), and I think we crashed around 10:00.  The whole time, I worried about our little Kia, as I refused to pay $30 a night to have the car parked at the hotel.  So I found a street spot a few blocks away, and the homeless folks simply ignored it.

Day 2, Wednesday: Carrie had a few hours before she needed to get to her first event at the conference she was attending, so we began with a HUGE breakfast at Hash House a Go Go, where we had…I kid you not…a bacon waffle
California 2010 - Carrie's Camera 097
A bit decadent, no?  Time allowed us to explore a little more, but we had a lunch to get to in the Gaslamp District at Sammy’s Wood Fired Pizza.  Carrie and Deb (the lunch organizer) were nice enough to ask me to join her peers for the meal while they talked shop.  Nice people, all.  After that, I was on my own for a bit.  To be honest, my feet (always an issue when I travel) were OK with just sitting for a bit.  Carrie and I met up after and I joined her for a reception, after which we snuck off to do some exploring.  We checked out Petco Park, home of the Padres, and stopped off at Fred’s Mexican Café for a drink. 

Day 3, Thursday: For the first time, I was really on my own.  It was during this time that I broke my rule of traveling:
Always try to eat at places that can’t be found in our home area.
Subway.  Fail (though I’ve never had breakfast there before, and it was OK).  There were places that I’d like to try but just didn’t want to do it without Carrie.  It just didn’t seem right.

So I strolled back to Petco Park with my cheap Subway breakfast (“Cheap” being the motto of this trip).  Petco opens their outfield area for what they call “Park at the Park” – featuring a youth baseball field, open space, the Tony Gwynn statue, and, yes, access to the baseball stadiums’ bleacher seats.
California 2010 - Rob's Camera 033
In fact, I was able to walk right down to the outfield fence.  Very cool.  More parks should be this fan-friendly.

Thursday also afforded us the chance to go visit the Old Town area via the very accessible and affordable trolley system, and return to the Mexican border where we walked through the outlets.  Amazing how close we were without crossing (neither one of us had passports with us).

Day 4, Friday: I wrote some notes about everything up to this point in a previous post.  This was the day that I expected to be alone the longest.  I thought that perhaps I would go scope out the touristy Seaport Village area and investigate the USS Midway (which I simply couldn’t fork over the $18 to go on…and didn’t want to do so without Carrie).  San Diego, as you can imagine, is very proud of its military and, primarily, Navy history.  To the many sailors that I saw (and a few soldiers as well), thank you so much for your service.  That same gratitude is extended to the veterans that I saw as well.

By this point, my feet had almost had enough, but I pressed on.  After my stroll along the water, I decided to look for Balboa Stadium – the first home of the Chargers when they came to San Diego.  It took some effort, but I found it out behind San Diego High School (which, it should be noted, made me just a tad nervous to be walking around).

Let’s step back in time (picture via  The Chargers played here from 1961-1966
Now, let’s step ahead to 2011:
California 2010 - Rob's Camera 115
That’s it.  Same place.  Now a high school field and very inaccessible.  A gate was open, and I was able to step in quickly, but there didn’t seem to be any way to go walk around the track or, heaven forbid, step on the turf.

I went back towards the trolley, where I had some Jack in the Box (probably haven’t eaten at one since they were in New York in the 70’s) and met up with Carrie for an afternoon and evening of shopping, walking (oh my aching feet) and dinner.  Let me just say that I will gladly hang out with Carrie’s friend Phyllis anytime.  She loves music and has a fun, quirky, honest way about her.  The three of us had a nice dinner.  Just talking and laughing.  Very cool.

Sadly, that all but ended our San Diego portion of the trip, as Saturday would begin with us boarding a train towards Los Angeles.

We’ll go from there…

Stuff...Linky Dinks for a Snowy Friday

Yes, I'm clearly back in New York.  I'm not sure we'll see any grass around here until April...maybe June.

It's winter.  It is what it is.  But I'm sick of it already.

Richard Sandomir in The New York Times says we're a bunch of losers around here.  Think about it.  The Knicks...1973.  The Rangers?  Fifty-four years of futility.  Then nirvana.  Seventeen since.  The Mets?  I'll let that one go right there.  Too easy.  Islanders...Nets...and unless they win Sunday, the Jets.

Of course, the Devils have three Cups to their credit since 1995, the Giants have three Super Bowl wins since 1987, and then there are the Yankees.  I think those shiny 27 rings kind of make up for the rest.

So to sum up: we're not Cleveland.

Jon from R-VA comes to us with two Vintage Richmond offerings.  The first is right up my ally.  A postcard of the Belvedere Street toll plaza on the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike.  Ah, I remember it well.

(right about now, Jon - always the wise one - is saying "I knew Rob would post a link to that's like leading a camel to water.")

The second one is a poster for a Lou Rawls concert on this date in 1967.  What intrigued me about it is how, to me, the poster looks nothing at all like Rawls.  It looks, well, it's a cartoon.  Let's leave it at that.

Tom Hoffarth explains why Carrie and I saw so many construction trucks driving around Chavez Ravine on Monday.  Eventually I'll get around to writing about how impossible it is to see Dodger Stadium - even from the outside.

Lastly, Tom gives us the announcing rundown for March Madness, with lots of TNT/CBS symmetry.  Unimpressed is a good word for it.

I'll be calling Greenwich and New Canaan hockey tomorrow night on WGCH.  Pregame coverage begins at 6:05 PM,  Chris Kaelin and Sean Kilkelly will help me sound good.

(oh...and go Steelers!  Just in case I don't say it before Sunday.)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Greatest Hockey Player Ever?

Ah, the age-old question.  Now to me, I came up with my answer quickly to a poll on The Hockey News website.

The choices were:
- Wayne Gretzky
- Bobby Orr
- Mario Lemieux
- Maurice Richard
- Gordie Howe

There was also an option for “other.”  As of now, Gretzky has a 49% to 20% lead on both Orr and Lemieux.  I voted for Gretzky, but to me, it’s a lot closer between Gretzky and Orr than anyone else.  For those who didn’t know, go read up on Orr.  He invented the idea of a defenseman being a scorer.  He redefined the position.  He brought hockey into the 70’s with a boom, and scored its most famous goal (I know many want to give that honor to Stephane Matteau, but let’s be real).

By the way, I would also include Mark Messier in the discussion of greatest ever, and he is most certainly the greatest leader, but alas he just misses out.

So while I voted for Wayne Gretzky, I can’t argue – ever – with anyone calling Bobby Orr the greatest player in hockey history.  In fact, in Boston, he’s a saintly figure…

Danny Wood...Wood...

Thank you, Joe Theisman.  Just thank you.  A thousand times, thank you.

What can I tell you?  I'm 42.  Generally, I act like I'm 42.  But I still have a youthful spirit and heart that is sometimes 12.

Richie Spezzano

Not quite a few weeks ago, I linked to a story by Dave Fierro in the Greenwich Time on Rit Spezzano.  Well Rit's dad, Richie, has been profiled by Wetaskiwin Times in Canada.

From the Time to the Times.  Like father, like son indeed!

For the record, Richie's a pretty calm guy.  I'm sure he can rev it up for coaching hockey, but if the article gives the idea that he is some kind of obnoxious hockey dad, then I would say it's inaccurate.  But maybe I should let Rit have a say in that (or sister Meghan).

Anyway, some happier hockey news to share.  At least I think so.

Brian Macken

The Greenwich hockey family, and the overall community, has lost one of their own.  Brian Macken was only 19 years old (Greenwich Time).

As of now, the Cardinals have a game on Saturday night at home against New Canaan.  Chris Kaelin and I will have the call for you on WGCH.

Back from Cali

So, um, yeah, it's, err, great to be back in New York.  I want to do some kind of travel blog to go through the trip, so I'll hope to do that soon.  Got things to catch up on in the mean time.  Lots of real life stuff.

I've loaded the California pictures on Facebook, and Carrie has most of hers up as well.  LOTS of sign pics for my road enthusiast friends.

California was, in short, an amazing experience.  My end of vacation blues were palatable.  I had a great time, met great people, and traveled with a wonderful companion.  Truly the only down side was missing Sean.  OK, and the blister on my feet (along with the usual flat foot pain).

Rumor has it the Steelers are playing for the AFC Championship...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Staying Classy in San Diego

(I tried to upload a few pictures but, of course, the Blogger editor is being cranky.  So *sigh*)

Greetings from the lobby of the US Grant Hotel in the wonderful city of San Diego.  It's heading towards 80 degrees today, and I'm wearing shorts, a T-shirt, and flip-flops.  I know it's 19 back in New York.  I apologize.  I'll rejoin the suffering next week.

Sadly, I discovered, but was not surprised to find out, that NONE of "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" was shot in this city.  Not...a...drop.  Virtually all of it was shot in Long Beach.  Thus I can't go to the spot where Ron takes Veronica to have her "drink in" San Diego because "it always go down smooth."  This is the same moment that Ron tells Veronica the history of the city.  Naturally, it was discovered by the Germans...

If you're a fan of TV's "Man v. Food", then you will appreciate that Carrie and I have visited many of the sites that Adam Richman (from Brooklyn, of course) went to.  Check the travel guide here.  We ate at the Broken Yolk Cafe today (though not the one featured in the show - this one was within walking distance of the hotel).  I had an insanely good omelet, with chorizo sausage and cheddar cheese inside.  Just crazy good.

Phil's BBQ should be illegal.  Their El Toro sandwich was a site (and taste) to behold.  The BBQ sauce was beyond good (and it had a spicy kick to it).

I'm proud to say that, in both cases, as Adam Richman is known to say on "Man v. Food", man (and woman) WON!  If you know the show, you'll get the reference.

We moved around the area on the seamless light rail trolley system.  All you can ride for five bucks!  We visited the Old Town section, where California was supposedly founded.  We also rode to the very end of the line, at the Mexican border.  It's beyond fascinating to see the border life in action.  As we walked the outlets of San Ysidro, just beyond a wall was Mexico.  I know I wrote about that on Wednesday, but I remain intrigued.

As I write, Carrie is moderating a session on social media.  I wish I could have stayed and watched but I'm not an attendee of the conference, so no dice.  I don't want to press any luck, so I've laid low.  Maybe I'll go to Sea World and take my pants off or something (again, an "Anchorman" reference).


Off to LA tomorrow for a few days.  Still more fun to be had here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm in a Glass Case of Emotion!

Well, I'm in San Diego, home of "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" (and thus the title of this post is a line from the movie).  We arrived yesterday morning (2:30 back in the NYC) and spent the day touring the area.  I feel like I've put on 50 pounds from the insanely good food I have eaten already.

Of course, me being me, and Carrie being a great traveling companion, we drove to the Mexican border, knowing full well that neither of us could go.  That is, we could go, but we couldn't come back.  So we went, bought Slurpees from the 7-11 nearby, and were amazed at how, through this big wall, was Mexico, just going on with it's day.

Other typical things: we made sure to drive past Petco Park (home of the Padres), San Diego Sport Arena (former home of the San LA Clippers), and Qulacomm Stadium - once known as Jack Murphy Stadium.  The Padres used to play there and the Yankees won the 1998 World Series there.  It's still home to the Chargers, and has hosted the Super Bowl.

Plus I saw Balboa Stadium from the plane.  It's now the home of San Diego High School but it was the first home of the Chargers when they came to San Diego.

We just had fun driving around. Her spirit of joining me for such silliness is just one of the many cool things about her.  And the thing is: she encourages it!  She likes doing it.  Amazing.

The time difference made for a lot of exhaustion but I was proud of us for hanging in there until about 10:00 last night - having been up since 4:45 AM (1:45 Pacific time).  Oh, speaking of the Pacific, this is my first visit to the left coast.  Pretty cool, I tell you.

A few thoughts.  The flight was good (gotta love Jet Blue).  I saw the Rockies from the plane.  South Dakota was barren, and buried in snow.  California was stunning from the air (and where I got my first view of the ocean).  San Diego is very pleasant overall (one guy said to us out of the blue: "you look perfect together").  San Diego also has an an overwhelming amount of homeless people.  That is beyond sad, of course.  The weather is everything that people have always said.  Not too hot.  Not cold.  Just nice.

And I haven't heard a single car horn.  I'm not kidding.

There are lots of pictures to upload.  There are already lots of stories to tell.  I will tell you that, despite the current status of life, this was to me a possibly once in a lifetime experience, and I'm thrilled to be here.

We'll catch up when I have more time!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Rit Spezzano

Nice work by Dave Fierro of the Greenwich Time, who wrote this update on Rit Spezzano.  I think I can be justified in calling Rit a friend, and I definitely call his dad, Richie, a friend.  Richie, Chris Kaelin and I all had dinner together last night.

Rit is having a blast playing hockey in Canada.  I can tell you from first-hand experience that he's a great kid and a good player.  The Spezzano's did a wonderful job of making people aware of Matt Brown, and making sure to take action on behalf of Greenwich to support Matt's recovery from his on-ice injuries.

Rit is worth rooting for.

The Sickness in Arizona

The attack that left Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords stunned me.  At least yesterday.

Today I'm pissed.

Let's start with the fact that too many in the media announced Giffords' death, which as we found out, was inaccurate.  Crap, I even popped one of their links on my Facebook page (since deleted).  OK, bad enough.  We (the media) need, once again, to look in the mirror and get the story right instead of fighting to be fist.

Today, she's fighting and communicating.  Truth is, I don't even know what party she belongs to.  I frankly don't care (I just Googled her...she's a Democrat).  Just get well, and soon.  May whoever is in charge of this world look over her.

PS - I don't care about the politics.  I don't care about Sarah Palin's so-called role in this (not that it isn't a legitimate question).  I'm more concerned that, as of last check, nine people are dead in a totally random fashion.

So let's ask the question once again: how does this happen?  How does a nine year-old die?  HOW?  To quote a current common abbreviation (thus sparing me of writing the word): WTF?  It turns out the child was the granddaughter of former Phils' and Yankees' (and Mets') manager Dallas Green.  That's just an FYI.

Watch this, and try not to be sickened.

I need one of you good religious folks to explain this to me.  I don't care what religion you believe in.  Make me understand things like this from "God's" point of view.






And I'll stop there, because I feel a rage that would simply leave verbal carnage all over this blog.

I'm going to return to packing for California and watching football now.

Jim Joyce

We all remember the storm that struck after Jim Joyce blew the call on the 27th and final out of what would have Andre Galarraga's perfect game last year.  Amy Nelson updates the story for ESPN's Outside the Lines.

I know it went against my usual, traditional wisdom, but I still wonder if Bud Selig should have overruled the call.

I've ripped umpires, but few have ever "manned up" like Joyce.  People threatening him and his family need to get a grip.

Friday, January 07, 2011

This is a Pregame Speech!

Check this out.  This is Lance Guidry, the interim head coach at Miami University of Ohio (you know, Big Ben's alma mater).

Damn!  That's downright Rockne-esque.  That's almost out of a gospel revival!  I love it.

Plus, they went out and won.  Hire him full-time!

Greenwich Cardinals Hockey is Back on WGCH!

GHS Hockey
PT Prins of New Canaan High School, # 20, center, gets checked to the ice by Craig Macken, # 27 of Greenwich High School, right, as GHS goalie Ricky Piper, left, looks for the puck during second period action of hockey game between Greenwich High School vs. New Canaan High School at Hamill Rink, Byram, Thursday night, Dec. 23, 2010.
Photo: Bob Luckey / Greenwich Time

Finally, after some clarifying, I can announce WGCH’s hockey schedule for 2011.  We will be covering five regular season games (and hopefully playoff games as well, though the Cards have to keep up their end of the deal).

So here’s our broadcast schedule:

Sat, 1/22 - at New Canaan - 6:20 PM
Sat, 1/29 - vs. Trumbull - 7:45 PM
Sat, 2/12 - at Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe - 7:30 PM
Mon, 2/14 - vs. Staples/Weston/Shelton - 6:45 PM
Mon, 2/21 - at Norwalk/McMahon - 6:00 PM

I know, I know…just five games.  Now let’s look at it from the plus side.  It’s simple, really:

It’s better than nothing.

As usual, each broadcast will begin with at least a 10-minute pregame show, anchored by your friend, my friend, Sean Kilkelly.  However, in the case of January 22nd, a 6:20 faceoff means that we’ll likely open up our broadcast at 6:05 PM, as there’s no point in heading to our network programming for a mere five minutes.  So that’s more for us!

I’ll call the play-by-play (I think it’s…GASP…my 13th year).  Sadly, my partner for the previous 12, John Spang, isn’t likely to be with me in the booth but is hoping to visit us occasionally.  I will miss John’s wit and wisdom, as well as his demeanor.  He became my broadcast partner, gave my incredible insight to the game of hockey with his knowledge as an official, and became my friend.  I’m hoping we get him back on the air sooner rather than later.

That being said, Chris Kaelin will step up to the chair as my partner in crime.  Chris called a few games with me last year, and he’s already shown himself to be solid.  That’s the great thing about our crew on WGCH – when one of the guys can’t join us, we have somebody else, and we’re all friends.  So I’ll miss John and am looking forward to working with Chris.

As of this moment, I’m not sure we’ll have an interview person/between-the-glass person.  We’ll see.  I know Paul Silverfarb has offered his services, when available.

I’m glad that we’ve got Cardinals hockey back on the air.  Now…if we could just work on basketball, and Brunswick hockey, and Cardinals baseball…

Thursday, January 06, 2011

In the Mood for Some "Heart and Soul"

The song that got it all started for me, and turned me into a life long fan.  I saw the video one night on NBC's old "Friday Night Videos" in early spring, 1984, and the music sucked me in.

We didn't have MTV at that time, so I taped "Friday Night Videos" every week, and watched it every Saturday morning.

Eventually I would buy the album (Sports, of course) on cassette (I think it was at Record World in the Jefferson Valley Mall).  I would wear it out.  I would buy the record (yes, kids, vinyl).  I would buy the CD...and the remastered CD...and the Original Master Recording CD (to go along with the Original Master Recording vinyl record).

Yep.  Memories.  Ladies and gentleman, Huey Lewis and the News!

Warm Thoughts

Just saw this from Pete Dougherty, in his Sports Media blog on the Albany Times-Union website.

I'm not in love with the idea of starting the season on a Thursday, or playing on March 31st, but it does bring a smile to my face.  I also don't like - at all - how ESPN has taken Opening Day (to me, a holiday - my real first day of the year) and bastardized it.  However nobody should be surprised that our major sports leagues - worldwide - have allowed TV to dictate.


Baseball is coming!  Now what that means for the 2011 Yankees is anyone's guess.  Plenty of offense, and a rotation that consists of CC, Hughes, and...and...ugh...

Right now, the Bombers are, to me, the third best team in the American League East, in back of Boston and Tampa Bay.  They've got some work to do.

(Haters, please reread that last paragraph again.  You will notice that I do not live with "pinstripe-colored spectacles" on.  I simply don't drink the Bronx Flavor Aid.)

Pitchers and catchers are just over a month away from arriving.  Spring is coming!

More Radio Changes on the NY Sports Horizon?

From Bob's Blitz this morning comes word that ESPN New York (WEPN, 1050 AM) may go after Joe Benigno from WFAN when his contract expires.

Read more here.  That's all I've got to say about that.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

After Sanchez, We Have Ocho-Whatever

In my last post, I wrote about the class of Mark Sanchez, who showed grace when faced with a dying boy’s wish to meet him.

That brings us to Chad.  You know him.  Chad Johnson.  Or Ocho-stinko.  Or whatever.

How about simply calling him “Jack Ass”, and moving on?

I’ve had literally shouting matches (especially with my friend and WGCH colleague Chris Erway) about Chad.  Chad, the supporters say, has never done anything bad off the field.  He’s funny and charming, especially in commercials.  His touchdown antics are good for the NFL.

When I read that Chad isn’t thrilled with the thought of his head coach Marvin Lewis returning, it again reminds me that Chad is the worst kind of athlete: “Me first.”

A few quotes (coming via Sporting News Radio and transcribed by Sports Radio Interviews’ Eric Schmoldt):

On Marvin Lewis coming back as coach:
“I have nothing to say about that. I’m not the owner of the team. My hands are out of that situation. The only thing I can remember, as of right now, about Coach Lewis, is Coach Lewis throwing me under the bus. When it was time to play the Chargers, knowing that I was hurt. That’s the only thing I can remember at this point.”

On whether he’ll be able to coexist with Marvin Lewis next year:
“I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t know. To say some of the things that have been said in the past, for some reason, when I was especially down. When you look for support, it’s always got to come from the one higher up. For the one higher up to say the things he said, it’s really hurt. I don’t see myself really feeling [that].”

Can anyone shut the (bleep) up anymore, or is this the era of “Schumer” where, like the senior Senator from the great state of New York, nobody can resist the power of a microphone?  Could Chad maybe – JUST MAYBE – do things “in house” with the Bengals and “man up” to Coach Lewis?

No, and no.

Again.  Chad Whatshisname is the worst kind of athlete.  Maybe he doesn’t have the rap sheet of others, but he’s a selfish guy who should follow the lead of others, and keep his problems out of the media.

He’d piss me off if he was on my team.  Thankfully, he is not.

Mark Sanchez and Aiden Binkley

(Aiden Binkley and Mark Sanchez.  Photo Courtesy of ESPN New York and the Binkley family.)

I was rooting around tonight for scores and stuff to get me out of a bad mood when I saw a link to an article by Rich Cimini on  Please read it and come back when you’re done.

Aiden Binkley was 11.  ELEVEN.  Somebody explain that to me – that a young boy is dead at 11 from cancer.

We’ll return to that in a moment.

First, to Mark Sanchez.  Jets fans are going to complain about him occasionally.  They’ll bemoan an interception, a fumble, and something else.  He’ll perhaps screw up somehow in the spotlight – either on or off the field.  Yet in this year (really, more than a year) of Jets’ miscues (Rex, Sal Alosi, old Brett Favre texts and on and on), how about taking a moment to recognize how terrific the organization was to this young man?

Most of all, Sanchez.  Here he is texting the kid.  Calling after the victory over the Steelers.  Asking if he could come over to visit.  Amazing, and I’m sorry – maybe I should be more of a skeptic – but I don’t think any of it is fake.  I think Sanchez and the Jets felt they were doing the right thing, and not looking for publicity.  If I’m wrong, then fine – well played.  I don’t think I am.

Now back to Aiden.  We’ve had this talk around these parts.  Somebody is going to tell me that Aiden was needed by some mystical power somewhere else.

Bull crap.  A family is heartbroken.  Parents aren’t supposed to bury their 11 year-old.  Two brothers aren’t supposed to be devastated by his loss.  This isn’t supposed to happen.

From a very personal (fine, call it “selfish” if you want) perspective, this story both broke my heart and pissed me off.

I don’t even know know what more to write.  It would simply be too dark.

My condolences go out to the Binkley family.  Thanks to Rich Cimini for telling the story, and to Mark Sanchez and the Jets for giving a dying kid a dream come true.

And again, somebody explain to me how anyone can allow this to happen.

Just In: Alomar and Blyleven Elected to Hall of Fame

It has been just announced that Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

I don't have a big problem with Alomar, and I'm not going to cry over Blyleven.  Still, I think the Hall continues to get watered down.

Joe Posnanski must be thrilled.

Word is Jeff Bagwell, Mark McGwire, and Rafael Palmiero did not get even 50% of the vote.

Congrats to the new members of the Hall.

San Diego, Agree to Disagree

Just getting ready for San Dee-ah-go...

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Heatles?

This name has been making the rounds quietly for some time.  LeBron mentioned it in an interview last night.  It was picked up by the World Wide Leader and hit the big time.

The Heatles.


Rick Chandler via NBC Sports plays along.

Google away for more examples of Photoshop shenanigans.

What a Voice!

I abhor homelessness.  It makes me beyond sad.  It also angers me to no end because I simply don’t know whom to trust.

And given the economy…yeah.

I saw this video bounce around a few places today (you know, it’s viral).  This guy has an incredible voice, and quite a story.  I bet he finds a job…quickly.

Can his name REALLY be Ted Williams?  Unreal.

Anyway, I wish him well.  It’s a cold, brutal world.

Comments Meant to Be Off-Air Can Get One in Trouble (or simply be silly)

We often laugh a lot during commercial breaks, be it during our game broadcasts, or back when we were still doing “The Press Box”, or whatever.  I often said that a webcam could be quite funny.

Still, I would worry about not saying anything stupid while in break.  Yes, we know to treat any microphone as “hot” (meaning, it could be live) but still, sometimes foolish things are said.

That brings us to last night’s Orange Bowl between Virginia Tech and Stanford.  The game was a blowout.  You could watch the game live on ESPN or on the internet at ESPN3.  And, well, I’ll let Deadspin take over from here.

Windin' your way down on "Baker Street", Gerry Rafferty Dead at 63

It was in early 2009 that I spotted a note that Gerry Rafferty had disappeared.  Thankfully, by February, he was supposedly doing very well (though it took me until September to note it).

Today, while having dinner, I heard Sue Guzman, a radio colleague from the Pamal group in Beacon (she was on WHUD at the moment) report that Rafferty had died.  His Wikipedia page says he died of liver failure

The Guardian of the UK offers a proper, albeit brutally honest obituary.  NPR includes an audio remembrance

Rolling Stone has an old article from 1978.

Of course, there are three songs that Rafferty will be remembered for in the overall public conscience…
From Stealers Wheel with boyhood buddy Joe Egan came the iconic (thanks to Reservoir Dogs) “Stuck in the Middle with You.”

That made Rafferty seem to be a one-hit wonder, which is a shame given his talent.  Yet Rafferty was never truly confident with his musical ability, and the music business was often difficult for him to deal with (presented well in “Sign on the Dotted Line”).  By 1978 he was a solo artist, and made a wonderful album called “City to City.”  The simple addition of a saxophone solo (by Raphael Ravenscroft) helped Rafferty cement his legacy with “Baker Street.”

Also off “City to City” came Rafferty’s last hit (ensuring he wouldn’t be a one-hit wonder after all).  “Right Down The Line” can sum up everything about love pretty well.

“Baker Street” has admittedly always been one of my favorite songs.  Combined with “Stuck in the Middle With You” and “Right Down the Line”, it was enough to make me want to find more of Rafferty’s music.  I bought a compilation called “Clowns to the Left, Jokers to the Right, 1970-1982” at the old Virgin store in Times Square.  I’ve listened to it countless times, along with “City to City” and other works. 

Part of his lack of commercial success was due to his reluctance to tour and promote his music.  As such, many know his music, but never knew his name.  And sadly his inner demons, including heavy drinking, led to today’s news.

Monday, January 03, 2011


I had a different lede written here, and deleted it.  Just trying to do things better.  Always learning.

For the second time in two weeks, I took a long weekend hiatus from the blog, the Book (face), in fact from the computer in total.  Carrie and I welcomed 1/1/11 at her place, and I probably owe her better, though she said she enjoyed the quiet night.  We'll work on that.  I have to get over whatever my problems are, I guess, and lighten up.

That being said, it was a nice night of college football and food, along with lots of laughing.

Back to the hiatus.  I found it good and much needed, and will continue to do so.  I was even home Sunday morning for a bit, and went nowhere near the computer.  Of course that means there are a lot of emails and such to catch up with, but it can wait.  I figure true emergencies will get to me via phone, right?

So nobody heard from me online.  No Facebook posts via my cell phone.  No tweets.  Texting, phone calls, and face-to-face were the ways to get hold of me.  And even then, various texts went unresponded to.

Not exactly ground-breaking, but I still thought it was good.  It's a start.