Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Everything I Consume: Midcentury and Innumeracy

These were two busts. I loved John Dos Passos' U.S.A. trilogy and this book is written in the same style. There are multiple narrators, profiles of important representative people of the times and chapters that are snippets of songs, articles and expressions of the time. He was very ahead of his time. While U.S.A. was filled with a compelling variety of characters this book is mostly about bitter old ex-radicals and their miserable life dealing with labor unions. I gave up after 160-odd pages.

I think my train was barely into Manhattan the day I started Innumeracy before I bailed on it. It was supposed to be about teaching important math concepts that average Joes, Joe Sixpacks, what have you don't know and are important in our daily lives. Well, we'll never pick it up when it's written this poorly. His jokes weren't funny either.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

New Speed Record

Check out the screen grab from my Garmin software. On October 17th I hit a maximum speed of 58.5 mph on my morning run. That's more than twice as fast as Usain Bolt was going when he won the 100 meter dash at the Beijing Olympics!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Celebrity Sighting

The Wife has become something of an expert about this Sarah Palin woman who's been in the news lately. A few week ago she appeared on CNN Headline News to give the Working Mother perspective. She was such a star they asked her back but she wasn't able to go on. Last night, The Wife was a person on the street for Entertainment Tonight. By a startling coincidence they had just interviewed her boss at her magazine and both people on the street were staffers. What are the odds of that? They also said they interviewed her in Times Square even though she is clearly across the street from Grand Central Station. Well, it's an easy mistake to make. The point is I'm proud of The Wife.

Last night, people started to call saying they had seen The Wife on Entertainment Tonight but when we watched it, she wasn't on! I guess they must re-edit the show during the day but New York gets the earlier version? It makes no sense to me. Luckily, our buddy JoEllen taped the show and sent us a copy. The Wife shows up at the 1:01 mark.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Everything I Consume: Pirate's Cove Mini Adventure Golf

The family spent a week in Maine last month and it was great: Acadia National Park, lobster every day, blueberry softserve, christian Oceanariums, Bar Harbor, alleged moose sightings and best of all, mini adventure golf. Well, maybe not best of all but still pretty cool. Gwendolyn and I got to take in two rounds at the fabulous Pirate's Cove course just outside of Bar Harbor. My hole-in-one on the fourteenth hole made me my daughter's hero for at least two days. And, in fairness, it was an awesome shot. My ball jumped two upward steps to fall right in the hole. After the game the Pirate's Cove people loaded us with booty, eyepatches, activity books and even a free game. I love that place. If you ever find yourself in Bar Harbor or Lake George or Brainerd you've got to go to a Pirate's Cove.

Here's a little movie of our family hijinks:

Friday, October 10, 2008


Remember what you were doing thirty-five years ago? I do. On October 10, 1973 Spiro Agnew resigned as vice-president and the New York Mets beat the Cincinnati Reds in the final game of the National League Championship Series. When my Dad came home that night he told me he was stopped on the street by a radio reporter to aks him about Agnew and he said, "I don't know about that but the Mets are going to the World Series!"

I'm not sure that story was true (he once told me he accidently wore my name card to work all day) but I've always liked it.

And I'm still younger than Willie Mays was that day. Stay free, Say Hey Kid.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

Goodbye Shea

Shea Stadium closed yesterday (in horrific fashion) but I have lots of great memories of the place. Dwight Gooden striking out 16 Giants, the group trip in high school on Flip-Flop Night (those were good shoes), a Jets game where I was so high up I was scared, heckling Sid Fernandez's abysmal hustle at a 1986 doubleheader and a glorious come-from-behind win from 1984 that was the best time I've ever had at a ballpark. Good times. I also remember the Dodgers winning a big game with a late home run and watching an entire game through a freezing misty rain to see John Rocker get a save. Anyway, here's a story from Deadspin's Shea memories page:

Bat Day. We were at a packed Friday night game in the late '80s, in just about the worst possible seats — upper deck, all the way out by the left field foul pole. The section was filled mostly with after-work drunks, but a few rows in front of us was a family, and in the first inning this little girl, maybe five or six years old, stands up and holds over her head a tiny piece of notebook paper on which she's written "Go Darryl!" or something like that. It was cute, but also kind of comical because the seats were about three miles from home plate and there was no way Darryl could have seen this sign without a telescope. So there's some laughter behind her, and then this one guy, just as a joke for his buddies, shouts "Down in front!" — as if this little girl and her miniature sign were obstructing his view of the action. But the girl hears him. She turns around, and cringes, and sits back down. The whole section starts unloading on this guy, which just makes it worse, because the little girl thinks they're booing her. Her dad puts his arm around her and says something, whereupon she bursts into tears. The abuse of this guy increases by a factor of about ten. Then a chant starts building in the section, and it takes me a minute to figure out what they're saying: "BUY HER SOMETHING! BUY HER SOMETHING!" So the guy leaves his seat, and an inning or two later he reappears behind the box where the family is sitting and taps the little girl on the shoulder. She turns around and with great ceremony he hands her one of those gigantic inflatable bats, probably twice as tall as she is. Her face totally lights up, we see her mouth the words "thank you," and the whole section just explodes.