Monday, June 4, 2018

"Memorial Crawdads," memorialized

As Melvin has written, we saw some baseball over the Memorial Day weekend, starting with the Hickory Crawdads. We flew into CLT and drove to Hickory, North Carolina, where we started our trip with supper at the Blowing Rock Brewery. Tasty sandwiches, recipe book beer.

Noah Bremer throwing the first of 56 pitches, 10 of which would result in hits.

The 'dads, wearing uniforms depicting Washington crossing the Delaware, would lose to the Charleston RiverDogs 8-7. While we were at the ballpark, we sampled more local beer, this time from Catawba Brewing Company. More underwhelmingness.
When using the term, "craft beer," the modifier needs to signify more than the brewery has a small output; there needs to be some craft involved.
We finished the evening at the Crescent Moon Café, which restored our faith in malt beverages. I will finish recapping the holiday weekend after the jump (as folks used to say).

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

It Takes a Lot to Laugh...

Above L. P. Frans Stadium, with not a fighter jet to be seen

...it takes a plane to fly. After an appetizer at Yankee Stadium (a.k.a. Where The American Century Will Never End) a couple weeks back, Rob and I met in Charlotte for a five-game swing over MemorialVeteransFlagPatriotsDay Weekend. (Not to spoil future posts, but despite the efforts of Tropical Storm Alberto, we did see four games.)

We started with the Hickory Crawdads. I've found that what I remember about our trips, generally, is not the baseball. In fact, writing this four days later, I can't even remember the visiting team. What I do remember is the weird roaring noise that accompanied the singing of the national anthem. At first, I thought it was feedback. After thinking about it further, I still thought it was feedback. Slowly, it dawned on me that we were listening to a Virtual Fly Over—there were no jets, just a recording mucking up the (tuneless) performance.

And then, as suddenly as the jets "arrived," they were "gone." It was economical, anyway, and good for a laugh.

Friday, May 11, 2018

This Season and Next and the Year After That

In his season preview last year, Melvin wrote
"If everything goes more or less as planned, 2017 could well be the antepenultimate one of Baseball Byways. That is, by the end of the 2019 season, Rob and I might be able to say that we have been to all the active MLB and MILB stadiums."


Everything did not go as planned, most notably with our decision to scuttle the "Northwest Blackout Yo-Yo." We will reprise the antepenultimate season with three trips this season, described below with a general plan for the following two years.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Not Stove League

It's been 12 weeks since Houston won the World Series in an exciting seven game series. I have paid almost no attention to baseball since. Hypothetically, you might ask how I have entertained myself instead, but mostly that is a rhetorical device.

Ten days after the Astros' 5-1 win over the Dodgers, I saw Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World, a career retrospective, at the Whitney.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Keeping Score

I went to see the Mets and Dodgers on a "Free Shirt Friday" that I assume will be my one trip to Citi Field this year.


I kept score, as I generally do when I go to the ballpark by myself.


If you prefer a verbal description, I can provide that as well.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Goats Plus

I was eager last year to see the home opener of the Hartford Yard Goats' inaugural season. Construction delays and litigation, however, resulted in the team playing its entire first season on the road; there was no home opener.

In their sophomore year, Melvin worked out an itinerary of Goats plus teams I have seen but he has not, plus time for him to accomplish some work.

Dunkin Donuts Park, eight months before opening day
image courtesy of Google through Creative Commons license

Monday, July 24, 2017

The 2017 Trans-Appalachian Evidentiary Expedition


We cut a less destructive swath through Appalachia.

In contrast with my periodic and emotional responses to the dissatisfaction of blogging, Melvin wrote a comprehensive and well reasoned analysis earlier this year. I don't do Melvin's exploration justice, not even to this individual point, but he included the observation:
"On the basic level, independent of any possible larger issues, I think the blog can serve a useful recording function: here are some of the places we went, in the order we went to them, with some pictures. ...having all the trip-related experiences at least alluded to in a common place has an evidentiary value...."
In the spirit of that statement, and despite my resolution earlier this year, the following records with a minimum of narrative our recent trip south through the Mid-Atlantic states and the return through Appalachia.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Nothing to See

More free advertising
I'd love to tell you all about the Vent Haven Museum, the one and only true shrine of ventriloquism, but it would be a little lacking because of the place's strict policy forbidding the distribution of photographs. And, really, the visuals are critical. I have a bunch of alarming shots that I can show to myself, but you, my friend, are SOL—unless you go there yourself, which, really, I think you should.

So instead let's do a nonexhaustive recap of our tour of the Midwest last month, with a goodly number of legit pictures, just (barely) in advance of our trans-Appalachian epic.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mr. Happy Go Lucky

Free advertising for an album that's old enough to drink

As John Mellencamp sings on Track 5 of the 1996 album shown above, "This may not be the end of the world... but you can see it from here." Rolling Stone described Mr. Happy Go Lucky as "long on atmospherics, a dark-carnival collage of mad laughter and distant whispers." If that's not something for a blogger to aspire to, I don't know what is. They also called it "a little uneven but unrepentant," while No Depression called Mellencamp "wonderfully mixed up, unclear about who he is and why he does the things he does," all of which seems fitting, too. 

If everything goes more or less as planned, 2017 could well be the antepenultimate one of Baseball Byways. That is, by the end of the 2019 season, Rob and I might be able to say that we have been to all the active MLB and MILB stadiums. (Characterizing that moment in time as being "done" raises a slew of terminological questions that might get addressed at a later date.)

We start this year, fittingly, in Indiana, home state of this post's bard. Herewith the belated but ambitious season preview for 2017:

Monday, January 23, 2017

Dippin' Don'ts



Excuse me, maestro, at this point I have to interrupt... While this is hardly a political or news-driven blog, I feel obliged to weigh in on today's kerfuffle over Dippin' Dots, ballpark institution and onetime Ice Cream of the Future.

It transpires that new White House Press Secretary Julius Streicher Sean Spicer has had it in for the quasi-scientific quasi-dairy product for some years, calling it, among other terribly clever monikers, "The Ice Cream of the Past." This clash could have been avoided altogether had Spicer (or, indeed, anyone) heeded our observation from nearly three years ago—namely, that Dippin' Dots is no longer from the future not because it's antiquated but because we now live in the future.

Which anyone who has seen Idiocracy could have already told you.