Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Newman Not One Of My Favorites...But These Two are Great

Nobody's Fool

The Verdict

These two movies are really worth finding at the movie store. I swear you'll enjoy these two Paul Newman films.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Shea Stadium Post-Mortem

They brought many past Met players back to Shea (Where they can turn a celebration into a funeral) yesterday to close out Shea Stadium. Thats Darryl Strawberry on the left, Yogi next to him, Gary Carter and old #10 is Rusty Staub who I got to autograph my Rusty Staub model ballglove in St. Louis (which was ruined in the flood of a couple weeks ago. #13 is Edgardo Alfonzo and next to him is Buddy Harrelson, shortstop of the 69 World Champs.

Darryl, again, Willie Mays and Gary Carter, again.

Mike Piazza and Tom Seaver

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Weekend Scenario

Phillies have all but clinched the National League East, so what is left is the wild card slot. So these are the possible scenarios:

Mets are 1 game behind the Brewers with two games to play. Mets have to win and Brewers have to lose today in order to have a final deciding game tomorrow. If both are in a tie after tomorrow there will be a deciding game between the Mets and Brewers on Monday. Best that can happen is Mets win today and tomorrow and Brewers lose both games. Go Cubs. Worst case is Brewers win today and we lose, thus we would be eliminated. Complicating factors is today's game may very likely be rained out, thus a double-header tomorrow. Also complicating factors is the Cubs playing their Iowa squad against the Brewers giving them a decided edge in the competition.

Lost in the hoopla is this is the last weekend of play at Shea Stadium, as the new Mets home, Citi Field will be unveiled next Spring. Never made it to Shea. Lots of memories as I have lived to see them play in 4 World Series.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Meat Loaf In Florida

I checked on Meat Loaf's Fall USA Tour and noticed no concerts in or around BFE, but he is going to be in Clearwater Florida, just up the road from BIG Meat Loaf fans Nancy and Mackenzie. Hey, we could rent the Floral Hall here in town or maybe an outside venue at the park. We could have Thrushwood cook "meat" and shuttle fans in from Seminary Estates. Ouch! Maybe not.

Anyway get your tickets soon before they are sold out, October 17, at the Ruth Eckerd Center. Tell him I said "Hi", and to Never, Never, Never, Never Ever stop Rockin'. Does that one picture mean Meat is a Mets fan?

Iowa Wesleyan College Bookstore

The old college has entered the 21st century. Was a time not too long ago the bookstore was in a ridiculously old little place just east of the dorms. Then it moved into the Student Center and evidently is open via the internet. Nice to see the progress. Now if only they hadn't remodeled West Side Tap.
For all of us IWC fans, graduates, and other groupies, buy your Tiger stuff and be cool.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shea Seats For Sale

With all the hoopla over Yankee Stadium's last days, somewhat overlooked is that Shea Stadium is about to host its last games ever, also. Now is your chance to buy two Shea seats for $870.00 plus tax. Believe I'll pass.

The Mets Might Tank Second Year In A Row

Looks like the Mets will lose out again this year. Last year they made history with a mind-boggling "el foldo" the last 17 days of the season. Well, Met's haters, looks like you could have fun agian this year, too. Stay tuned, and give us a break, Cubbies.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Ramblings

I had a pretty decent weekend:

1. Went over to Burgess on Saturday morning to take over some things left over from when I moved into the "dump" at BFE. I also took over Michael's 4-wheeler that had been in the basement and was not likely to be used again by its owner. Marvin and Janine have a grandson named Keegan and I understand he got some use out of it. Really happy the Blue Streak is bringing joy to a kid again.

2. Saturday afternoon neighbor Tim returned from Iowa with his new Harley so a couple of friends of his and a couple guys I know from BFE went riding. Beautiful day for a ride and we had a great afternoon of riding and stopping here and there for a beer and cigar.

3. I was being real smart with my flooded items. I lined a lot of the paper material along the rail of the back deck to warm up and hopefully be salvaged from the garbage. All weather reports had it clear both Saturday and Sunday so I didn't worry too much. I should have. Evidently Saturday night we got a nice shower which set back my salvage project.

4. Watched some football and kept tabs on my two fantasy football teams. Both won so I am doing well and close to 1st place. I am 2-1 with my "friends" league and 3-0 with the public league.

5. Texted Drew in St. Pete on the Bears. Guess I was properly and successfully insulting because I haven't heard back.

6. Took the convertible to G-Burg for a cruise and then came back on I-74 up to Woodhull.

7. Cleaned house a bit and put the garbage bags out along the street. Garbage truck just left and can't help but think a bit on that precious, memory-laden load they have.

8. Looking forward to the debate on Friday night. Just wondering why they would schedule it on a Friday. People heading out to have fun after the work-week, football games, travel time for some. You would have thought any other day of the week would allow more people to view it. Ah, maybe that's the reason.

9. Becoming used to the idea that perhaps the Mets won't make it again this year. Their bullpen really sucks and without someone stepping up and taking control, we just haven't got what it takes. We are still the wildcard team but with a week to go (and playing the Cubs 4 times) I am not optimistic.

10. Mowed the yard yesterday and saw my first BFE snake. One snake in a summer is damn good. I didn't scream but I did a heeby-jeeby dance to get away from it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Congratulations to the Cubs fans who are celebrating their second straight Division championship. But, as you are aware, that is the easy part.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Flood of September 2008

After 4 days of rain the sun came out in BFE. Unfortunately, my basement was flooded at some point and most, if not all of my personal "stuff" accumulated over many decasdes was lost. Old family pictures, all of my Mary Davis Home things, my personally autographed Rusty Staub ballglove, my mothers daily diary (very fun reading), my parents books, funeral registries & personal things, graduation diplomas from IWC and Iliff, grandson Michael's books I read to him and his shoes that lit up are all gone.
The funny thing was they were in plastic totes and on pallets. Forward thinking, right? Well, doesn't mean much if it gets high. I got rid of a lot of things during the move from Chambers Street in March, so basically, all this stuff was pretty important. Kind of sick about it, but not much one can do about it.
Just going to get garbage bags and pitch, and try not to pay too much attention to the history, joys, sorrows and "life-living" that it all represents. But mostly I am sorry that my kids and their kids have lost a trove of 'family' that can't be replicated or obtained through Ebay. It is a tangible progression of the Blythes' that is lost. Sorry kids.

Been Thinking About a New Bike...What Do Ya Think Of This One?

Wearable Motorcycle called Deus Ex Machina is designed by Art Center Pasadena student, Jake Loniak. The rider can step in and strap the bike on like a full-body suit and its capable of cruising 75 mph.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Movie Recommendation

Brendan, this recommendation is mostly for you. "In Bruges" stars Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleason and Ralph Feinnes. It is your type of flick, edgy, with humor, some violence and about killers (hit men, actually) with a strange but unflinching sense of morality. It is tough at first because of the strong English and Irish accents, but once you get the cadence, it is easy to follow. Hell, put the subtitles on if you have to. I think you'll like it - I did.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Sun Comes Out

After 4 days of rain the sun peeked through the clouds in BFE. My basement was flooded as were many around the area. Many items were ruined that survived a previous flooding in the Spring. I got a couple of pallets from work and put boxes on them thinking they were safe, but as was explained to me, the flooding came from the drains when they couldn't handle the water. Anyway, this week I will be bringing boxes up and tossing ruined stuff and hoping to save as much as I can. Just less stuff my kids have to go through when I check out.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Useless Baseball Fact

The Cubs have had 12 no-hitters in their existence.

The Mets have had 0 no-hitters in their existence. Granted, the Cubs have
been around forever, but the Mets have always been known for their pitching, with aces like Seaver, Gooden, Koosman, and Cone.
By the way, Met pitchers traded away have pitched 56 no-hitters. Congratulations to Cubs fans for their 12th no-hitter yesterday by Carlos Zambrano.

Hummingbird Friend Returns

I have been getting "Critter" pics from Florida, so I thought I would display more pictures of my hummingbird friend who came back yesterday morning. I just have a cheap point-and-shoot camera and kind of surprised it does a good a job on this little guy.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Beach Fauna

These little guys littered the beach this past weekend. Not sure what they eat but they dig holes in the sand and climb in. They look like spiders so I guess they are sand spiders. Anyone have any more info on them? And they weren't there when I was in July, so perhaps they are snowspiders.

Nice Weekend On the Beach

Received some pics of Sunset Beach in Florida where Nancy and Mackenzie visited this past Saturday. Guess they were still getting some waves from Hurricane Ike, but otherwise very nice. The hurricane also churned up some interesting shells and other items from the ocean floor.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Football Is Back!

Last weekend when the weather was so great and everyone was still outside football was an afterthought. But this weekend, having rained for the third straight day, football will be fun to watch and am looking forward to it.
My fantasy football team, the Dirt Dawgs kicked ass last week, even with Tom Brady going down, and hope for a repeat today. Here are some of my players: picked up Kurt Warner for QB, Hines Ward, Marion Barber, Reggie Bush, Jason Witten and Lee Evans.

Nobody Important Does Chapin

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Springsteen Does Chapin

More Beer...

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OK Thats it on Harry. If you're not hooked you don't have a heart and soul for music.

Whew! Glad I Got That Out of My System.

New song my daughter likes.

"I saw harry in st louis once. wow is the only word i can come up with express his concert. he was truly one of a kind. i sure miss his music."

"I saw this poet/genius 32 years ago when I was a college freshman. I had yet to experience the pain and loneliness Harry sang about in this song. I only knew that the song and the singer were beautiful. Now, at age 51memories like those of being in the prescence of lyrical genius, if only for a little while on that bitterly cold night so long ago, that sustain me against the loneliness of middle age. I miss you Harry . - A big ole friendly girl."

" Don't know how true this is but I had heard that Johnny Carson invited Harry back the next night after he first performed on The Tonight Show - an encore if there wever was one. Never happened prior to and since. "

"If any place is a better place to be, then I hope Harry is happy wherever he is. His music touches my heart and soul to this day."

"ah reading all your comment where you're having the chance to meet one of the greatest artist in the world, really makes me sad ! i wish i had the same chance, i mean ? im only 15 and i never had a chance, so when i read about you having tickets, i'm really misserable! i would do anything to have that chance ! but unfortunately .. he dies :'( it really makes me sad, im sitting with tears in my eyes everytime i hear one of his songs, i can give him anything but my love and my tears to his music.."

"When you sit alone late at night, and you feel the world is filled with too much emptyness it is comforting to know that someone else knows how you feel. Thanks Harry, the world is a bit better because of you."

I know "A Better Place To Be" is a repeat. Its worth hearing again, and again, and again...

All Kinds of Heroes

There are remarkable people who walk among us. Many of us do a lot of talking, but there are some who do more than that: they "do". My son Brendan who does two tours overseas and except for occasional periods of boredom does so without complaint. He has hinted at some of the things he has seen and I know it works on him, but he keeps quiet and gives the shoulder shrug and says its no big deal.
Another is Pat Johnson who I worked with at the Mary Davis Home for 27 years and took the early retirement when I did. She is surrounded by her two daughters, and 4 grand kids, lives in a nice nice newer house in Knoxville and could slip into a pretty fine comfortable lifestyle. But without fanfare, this 60+ year old little lady signs up for disaster relief and spent quite a long time helping after Katrina hit in Louisiana, and signed up again for Hurricane Ike. She is presently in Texas working at a shelter and doing whatever needs done to help the victims.
She has more guts, fortitude, and courage than I, and I salute her this morning. Good luck, and best wishes, hero.

Friday, September 12, 2008

2008 Is Better For Mets Fans Than 2007

I have said all year that if the Mets can't do it, then I hope the Cubs can. Well, with 16 games left the Cubs AND Mets both are in 1st place in their respective divisions and barring another historic collapse by the Mets will probably meet in the playoffs. In the final week we play 4 games with the Cubs so the end of September will be pretty fun.

This is the anniversary date of the beginning of the end for the Mets last year. With 17 games left we had a 7 game lead. Virtually insurmountable. However, we choked in epic proportions and ended up not only losing the division lead but the wild card as well. That ain't gonna happen this year. We are conjuring the baseball gods here in BFE and will be sacrificing wasps and crickets* in a nightly ceremony to cleanse our baseball souls of the foul putrid stench of last year, and usher in a bright sunny future for the best baseball team in New York.

* I got stung by a wasp two days ago so I will attempt to apprehend some rain-soaked SOB's as retribution for my pain. Also, here in BFE crickets profligate like rabbits. I walk in the yard and feel like Moses parting the waters as the little critters jump away.

This is the brother of the bastard that got me Wednesday.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Best Invention of the 21st Century

I'm not sure what this product is competing with: ipod, mp3, HDTV, Smart car? The absolute best invention of this new century has got to be this combination of sugar and cinnamon for breakfast cinnamon toast. And look at the price! Nancy got this for me up in the Cities somewhere before she left and I've got to tell you, when that baby gets low, we are going on a mad dash for more. Anyone ever seen this anywhere else, perhaps closer to BFE?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Labor Day Parade

Kenzie, I thought you might like to re-visit the sights and sounds of the Galesburg High School's marching band and Flag group.

Virtual Spider to Play With

Kenzie, my daughter, hates spiders. I mean the blood-curdling type scream at the mere sight of one hate. Never mind how close or far away it is. Therefore, I present the fun and harmless variety to play with on your computer. Enjoy. The only thing I wish it had was a shoe to stomp on it. Wonder where she gets her fear of spiders?


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Stearman Weekend Ends

Galesburg's hosting of the Labor Day Weekend Stearman Fly-In ended once again with mixed news. The total number of planes was down, under 100 for the first time since 1993. 88 planes showed up and it was thought the weather (hurricanes) and gas crisis kept the numbers down. Also announced was a drive to build a Stearman Museum by 2010.
By the way, in the front seat of this Stearman is my friend and former Knox County Academy teacher Matt Warnsing. He now teaches at Nielson. This is what he wrote: "Every year 5 Stearman Pilots take up 5 lucky staff members from Nielson. I was lucky enough to go this year. This picture was taken from the ground. I thought it was pretty cool." Cool, indeed.

Register-Mail reporter Michelle Anstett takes a spin in a Stearman.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Missy Being Missy In BFE

Missy Marie Maru has always been dutiful, loyal and watchful with her family. As the family has gone on to other places she stays with me and continues to be a wonderful watchdog (when she can hear or see), a faithful companion (when she is not asleep) and a shadow on clear and cloudy days.

Health Update: The sore on her side that alarmed me a bit is gone. It may have a been a bug bite, bed sore (she sleeps a lot), or other inflamation that healed. Her appetite remains on the ravenous side, so regardless of her expiration date, she is strong, frisky and doing well in BFE.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Hey Kenzie & Brendan

Seems the world's deadliest spider was found in some bananas in Great Britain. Mackenzie I know how fond you are of spiders. This one certainly looks the part: if you are the baddest guy in the world you gotta look mean and nasty. And Brendan, be sure to check out what you buy when you have your leave in England.


Commercial Sunday #8

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Good Day's Ride

The brain trust figuring out our route. Notice I am no where to be seen.

Disembarking at The Gallery for lunch.

Pick pretending he is young enough to handle one of these sport bike thingies.

End of the ride and saying goodbye.

About three years ago Stewart and I rode up north to meet Pick Foster in Fulton before heading off to areas in Iowa and Wisconsin for a nice day-long bike ride. We wanted to ride with him again so Stewart set this up for today. We were joined by Pick's son Ben and we met in Princeton. From there down to East Peoria along some scenic back roads and back up on the other side through Chillicothe. I couldn't retrace that route if my life depended on it, but thankfully others took the lead. It was a good ride and when the sun was out warm and comfortable, but when it hid behind the clouds most of the afternoon it got cold.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Next Time You See the MGM Lion

Did you know that the day after filming the famous MGM lion roar, this beast killed his trainer and two assistants? Learned this from Factropolis.com.

Can You Find My Frequent Friend?

Look in the lower right hand side of the potted plant.
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See the little hummingbird? He stops by almost every day.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

FOR BRENDAN and Others Who Love Music

My son is a little like me. Its ballads and sadness and stories we like in music. One of the greatest if not THE greatest storytellers was Harry Chapin. Some may know him as the guy who wrote and sang "Cats In The Cradle", a song I think is actually one of his lesser works. I had the pleasure of being introduced to him in college by a girlfriend. I will always appreciate Pam for this introduction.
In 1978 or 79 I went to see Harry in concert (with another girlfriend) in Davenport. I think this was at the Masonic Temple. Not sure, but I was sure nervous getting there. It was a great time and midway through the concert a storm knocked out the power. I recall Harry asking for all the kids to come forward and he gave them flashlights, and he sat on the stage in front and did an acoustic till the power came on again. Outstanding. It has been 27 years since his death in a senseless car accident on the Long Island Expressway in 1981. I was watching the evening news when his death was announced. I cried some and spent the rest of the night listening to his albums.
He was a true musician, artist, activist, philanthropist and writer. He was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Half of his concerts were free to promote the WHO (World Hunger Organization). He also represents the guitar on my lifeline tattoo.
Funny. Through all the statges of my life Harry has been there, ready and willing to tell me that if I am lonely, its Ok, others are too. And If I'm on top and thankful then that's Ok, too.
For those who have never heard Harry, let me offer this introduction. May it last as long as mine...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Pictures of Waves Along Florida's Gulf Coast

In the same tradition as standing on the front porch watching for tornadoes, Nancy went to the beach yesterday and took some pictures of the waves. People were told not to enter the water for fear of swells (that portion of water that is sucked back into the Gulf) but many surfers showed up to take advantage of the large waves.