Friday, December 21, 2007

Looking for the end zone of milk and honey

I just suffered through the worst fantasy football weekend I've ever had. Knocked out of the playoffs in two leagues, both of which I was either in 1st place or had the highest scoring team in the league. It was like all my guys were fantasy football Jobs or something. Or more like the ancient Israelites wandering the desert, unable to find the end zone of milk and honey. It was horrible.


This came from a friend of mine regarding his Fantasy Football League (FFL) team. It pretty much sums up my experience both this year, and last. Except that I was neither in first place, nor had the highest scoring team in the league.

About 17 years ago or so I was invited by Steve S. to join a FFL. We used the USA Today stats and pencils and papers. Mostly it was guys from church. I helped start a league at the Wheaton College Physical Plant and we got some software (KKFL, I think). I moved to TN about 12 years ago. I played in a Yahoo! public league. Then I created a private league (the Red Headed League) and invited some of my new co-workers and some of the guys from Steve S's league. It became so popular, that a new league had to be formed (the Super Secret League). The RHL has 12 teams and the SSL has 8. To keep it interesting, each year, the bottom 4 teams of the RHL move down to the SSL and the top 4 teams of the SSL move up to the RHL. And the Winner of the RHL gets the Ryan Leaf Trophy. I'll get a picture of it later.

Past Winners of the trophy are:

Karl, Carl, Mike and Matt

Maybe someday I'll be a winner again. Yeah, right.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

blog update for the Steelers

I updated my previous post on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football to include the 2007 games.

They keep getting better.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Bit of This and That

It has been a bit since I've created an entry. So, here's another mix of random bits.

Andruw Jones got signed to the LA Dodgers for $36 million for 2 years. Not figuring signing bonuses, delayed payment, etc., that is $18 million a year. On average, for his last 11 years as a major leaguer, he had 573 At Bats per season. If he carries that over for the next two years, he'll me making $31,413.62 per At Bat. Hmmm. Where can I sign up?

I'm re-reading Louis L'Amour's The Walking Drum. Not deep, serious literature, but a fun, mindless historical novel. I had to go to the library to check out a copy, for the paperback version that I bought near Thanksgiving ended up in the toilet. Clean water, but it swelled the book. It pained me to throw out a book.

While reading it this morning, I came across a quote that I like...
There is power in the word whether written or spoke, for words can create image for those who have not themselves seen.

And then from Victor Nell in his 1988 book Lost in a Book ...
Books are all the dreams we would most like to have, and like dreams they have the power to change consciousness.

I've been listening to my mp3 player while raking leaves this weekend. Jethro Tull's Christmas Album. Dave Pegg's The Cocktail Cowboy Goes It Alone. Phil Keaggy's Time 2.

A good family friend passed away this week. She was my Sunday School teacher and I have very fond memories of her. I'll miss Betty Bromley, as many will. But through the sharing of that news, a school friend of mine contacted me. We haven't seen each other in about 25 years or so. We stay in touch through our parents. "Mom, so what do you hear from Alan? How are his kids? His folks?" Things like that. Thanks for writing, Alan. You're welcome. It was my pleasure.

And I can't end without a picture of my cute daughter...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom

Doing some of the things that she loves.

I'll try to find more photos to post later.

And remember, Dad is still older than you are.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thank you

It is the day to give thanks. But we should give thanks at all times and in all things. So, what am I thankful for this year? Hmm, where to start?

* I've got good friends, both real and virtual (read: online)
* I've got a new house (read: home)
* I've got a great family (read: family)

I could go on and on, but then I'd never get to the photos...

Comment on the food: Nhami (or for you English speaking peoples: Yummy)

Some of the 45 dozen or so cookies that were made the last few days...

Breakfast at Chez Aubrey...

My dad's plate at formal dinner...

And so you don't think that it is all about food, here's my folks...

And my brother and his wife...

And then me, my loving wife and kids...

Sure, there were other family at the dinner this afternoon/evening, but if I added them here, what would Angie blog about?

What did we do today? We ate. Read the paper. Watched the parades on TV. Played Thanksgiving Day Parade Bingo. Did laundry. Watched Football (American, for my foreign readers). Played Thanksgiving Day Football Bingo. Ate more. Ran to the store. Read some. Lazed around. Went to Angie's aunt and uncle's for dinner. Ate more. Played cards (Hearts, not Skat. Yes, it is a real game. See more info by reading Foster's Skat Manual). Came home. Taped CSI and then a rerun of The Office. Talked with folks about the punishments that they inflicted on my brother and I growing up. Laughed. Wanted to eat some more but couldn't. It was a good day.

Tomorrow we go shopping. Then put up the Christmas tree. Raking leaves will happen sometime over the weekend, I've been assured of that.

Saturday, out to the big bookstore in Knoxvegas. Then, celebrate Christmas while the family is all together.

Sunday will be church, then lazing around, watching football, eating, playing games, that sort of stuff.

Monday will include going back to work, school and home for our parents and brother (and his wife).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


So many things to blog about, so little time. Here's what's been occupying my time lately...

The new Eagles' CD, Long Road Out of Eden. A double disc that one of the best bands around released at Wal-Mart. You can't buy a regular CD for $11.88. Some very tasty music. I'm particularly taken with the song I Love to Watch a Woman Dance. A very well crafted song written by Larry John McNally. Other reviewers on the 'net apparently aren't as smitten with this song as I am. I don't compare it to any other song, I just like it. Overall, the guys in the band seem to want to have their political/ecological viewpoints heard. I don't agree with all of them, but it is nice to hear some quality music.

Wiki what? I've been learning some wiki syntax, mostly for the online Luser Game I play, but we're also starting to do some wiki stuff at work. I came across TiddlyWiki. It is a self contained wiki on a single page. I guess they do the scripting inside the page. Kind of nice, but some of the wiki syntax is not the same as what I would expect. TiddlyWiki is more of a click wiki, as opposed to hand coding. Not bad, just different.

If you've been keeping up with my wife's blog you'll know that the kitchen curtains are now in place. You're welcome, dear.

Tomorrow we will have a teenager in the house. I don't think that there will be that much of an attitude change. From anyone.

My folks are traveling across the US to spend a week and a half with us. Very nice.

I've also been playing with some CSS. I understand it, I just can't get my head wrapped around the location of the code inside the document vs. the location of the elements on a web page. But, I did revive the present that my brother gave to me a while back. It is a work in progress. I'm hoping to get some CSS happening and include the genealogy and US Civil War sections.

I'm in the final chapters of One Hundred Years of Solitude. It still is an interesting read. Thanks again, Tali, for suggesting it.

We worked on some music for Christmas at church orchestra practice last night. Angie selected some nice pieces for us to perform.

And I won one of my Fantasy Football games this last weekend. My brother won his game, over the clear leader of the league. The Aubrey boys are on a roll.

That's it, for now. More later, I'm sure.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I'm Scraping

I'm scraping the frost off of my car windows the last two mornings. The crispness in the air is wonderful. The trees are probably at their height of color.

I'm also scraping the bottom of the barrel in my Fantasy Football Leagues. I've been playing Fantasy sports for about 20 years, off and on. It started with Roto Baseball. Then my good friend, Steve S. asked me to be part of his Fantasy Football League. Every Monday and Tuesday, we would get the newspapers and do the old fashioned method of figuring out scores with a pencil and a calculator. Now days, I just get on the web and click a few times and I'm still in last place. It is now much easier to lose. I'm 3-6 in my 8 team Yahoo! league. I'm also 3-6 in the ESPN league that my friend Paul B. hosts. I'm twice as bad as I am good. My brother is also at 3-6, but I have about 100 points ahead of him.

Okay. He's really scraping.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


It has been a while since I posted a blog entry. The times that I've had an idea in my head, I haven't been near a computer with time to enter. The times that I've had time and access to a computer, I haven't had any ideas.

I've got both. Actually, I've got time and a lot of ideas, but instead of making each one an entry, I'll just put some of them out here...

I've been listening to my mp3 player at work a lot lately. I keep going back to a few albums. Warren Zevon's The Wind and Chuck Mangione's Fun and Games. The Wind was Warren's last release before he passed away 4 years ago. He worked on it as he battled cancer. Some of the lyrics are wonderful. From the song, Disorder in the House...
Disorder in the house
All bets are off
I'm sprawled across the davenport of despair

Disorder in the house
I'll live with the tosses
And watch the sundown through the portiere

And from the song, Keep Me In Your Heart...
Shadows are falling and I'm running out of breath
Keep me in your heart for awhile

If I leave you it doesn't mean I love you any less
Keep me in your heart for awhile

When you get up in the morning and you see that crazy sun
Keep me in your heart for awhile

There's a train leaving nightly called when all is said and done
Keep me in your heart for awhile

The CD was very starkly produced. If you listen, you can hear everything. Joking during songs, a missed note here or there, the sound of a man dying, but willing to go on with life.

On the reading front, I'm over halfway through with Gabriel García Márquez's 100 Years of Solitude. I have read that people either love this book or hate it. I don't know that I love it, but I find it very interesting. A new movie is being released next month based on one of his other books, Love in the Time of Cholera.

Game 4 of the World Series is being played tonight. Before the season started, a few of the guys at work put in their picks. I called a New York subway series. I was wrong. Just before the Series started, we revised our picks. I chose Colorado in 6. I'm half wrong. We'll see tonight if I'm all wrong. - Update - The Red Sox have swept the Rockies. I'm all wrong.

Since the sale of our house, we've been able to get back on track, financially. Our credit cards are paid off, there's some money in the bank, and we purchased some new furniture. An entertainment center and a computer desk/hutch. A nice, simple look in pine. They should be delivered this coming Saturday. After buying them, I went a different store and I think I found our new kitchen table. I want Angie to look at it, though. I took photos and described it to her, but...

I've also been playing with IRC, the Internet Relay Chat. Basically, it is an instant messenger / bulletin board / private messenger thingo. I use it to communicate with other players of my Luser Game, as my loving wife calls it. Thanks to Mitch and Tali for helping me understand the cryptic commands of the protocol. Late last night / early this morning we also looked at making Google Talk work with more than one user. Using a GoogleGadget, we were able to do it, but it was late and I know that I had other things on my mind. I'm sure that we'll try again.

Regarding the game, I now have something to mock her about. She received a book as a gift from her parents. It is a science fiction novel written by one of their doctors. I don't think that Angie's ever read any real science fiction. I'm guessing that it is okay, but she said that some of the alien's names started with a !. That will make for a nice audio book.

Today, at church, we celebrated the 33rd anniversary of the start of our congregation. A local women's trio, 2 or More, came and sang in service, then again after the dinner. I didn't stay around for the dinner or the program. I took Caroline home, thinking that she probably needed a nap more than she needed to stay in the nursery. We fell asleep watching an NFL game, and then I put her in her crib while I retired to our bed. It has been a while since I've had a chance to take a Sunday afternoon nap. I enjoyed it.

And the Title of this blog entry is from The Wind. I'll let you find the song that it came from.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Shameless Plug

This is a link to get you to the website so you can make an online donation to the Down Syndrome Awareness Group of East Tennessee. is a non-profit organization to assist other non-profits to more easily accept electronic payments. deducts 3% of donations to cover the transaction costs. This is as good (or better) than many credit card fees.

Remember to put Caroline's name in the Designate my donation and/or in the Dedicate my donation box(es).

When it asks for an email address to send a message to, please use: shccangie at yahoo dot com . You know how to do the anti-robot replace the at with an @ and the dot with a . thing.

On behalf of Caroline, and the other individuals and families that DSAG serves, thank you.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Off bass

On Friday we closed on the sale of our house. This has been a long 4-1/2 months. But, God has been faithful and has made resources available to us and saw us through.

It is much easier, at a closing, to be the seller. We signed a few papers, initialed others and then sat back and watched the buyer run out of ink in their pens. Twice. Not really, but you understand what I mean.

After the closing, Angie had to go to Best Buy to get some things for church. Since the Best Buy just happens to be next to Guitar Center, I went in there after we were done at Best Buy. Angie went to Jo Ann's fabric store. She bought something. I didn't.

I went in thinking that I might like to get an acoustic/electric bass guitar. I looked around the electric bass room. Some pretty ones to look at. But I like my current Fender. No need to change. But I thought that it might be nice to have an acoustic. So I looked. And played some. Here's what I looked at...

It is a Dean Playmate. Their price was about $200. Very much a Jumbo body. Uncomfortable for me, as the Precision that I play is much thinner. The sound was very tubby. Much slack on the strings, therefore much buzz. I really liked the feel of the neck, though.

The next one I tried was...

a Michael Kelly Club Deluxe. Their price was about $450. Workmanship was a little nicer. But still a tubby sound.

Finally, I tried ...a Fender Victory Bailey Signature. A much thinner body. The craftsmanship was super. Their price was about $900. A bit rich for my wallet. The sound was better, not as tubby, but I thought that it would cut through a bit more.

Now, to be fair, I did not run any of them through an amp, so I'm guessing that their tone would be different. But I thought that an acoustic bass might be useful for playing without an amp. I either had my expectations too high, or I'm just confused.

I'm not going to get one now. Maybe ever.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

What I'm Reading

About six or seven weeks ago, I blogged about Savoring Books. I thought that I'd post an update.

I read some Mark Twain. Witty. Pointed. Darn funny.

I've been reading Tolkien's Farmer Giles of Ham. A delightful story in which... You go read it. It is often combined with Smith of Wootton Major. I'm not planning on re-reading that right now.

I picked up Marjorie Rowling's Life in Medieval Times. A nice, semi scholarly and very readable on social history. I've read a few chapters, including: "Women and Wives" and "Townsmen and Traders." Nice.

I also picked up a copy of John Donne's Poetry (Norton Critical Edition, selected and edited by A. L. Clements). Donna Mo commented on my wanting to read some Donne by saying:
And let me know how you make out with John Donne!

Donna, I don't want to make out with him. There are too many reasons why. But he was a randy fellow. Elegy XIX: To His Mistress Going to Bed (sometimes referred to as Elegy XX). Very good writing. He was quite the punster in some of his other writings. I'll let you find them yourselves.

I've also been going through Walter Wangerin Jr.'s The Book of God. I'm still reading about the prophets.

I have been reading for the details. They are so important. A good friend of mine recently said:
If you give me a month, I can make you a whole new world. You can give me all my life, though, and I won't have finished the first person to live in it.

Creativity at its finest.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My wife supports me in whatever I do

Last night I'm sitting at the computer, scanning some things for a DSAG, checking emails and typing up some RolePlay for BattleMaster.

My wife comes over and says, "So how's your luser game going?"

"Just peachy."

"I'm so proud of you, you little warrior. Or whatever you are."

Then she pats my shoulder and walks away.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Boys and their Toys

It's Sonny (the nickname that my father had) and his playthings. The last photo is slightly disturbing. More Champlain artifacts...

Be a well dressed First Aid worker

Another in the artifacts from Champlain.

What sort of literature comes in a plain brown wrapper?

This page is representative of the rest of the book.

French mime artist Marcel Marceau dies

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Burn me Once...

When my folks were here a few weeks ago, they shared many different artifacts that they found at my grandmother's house. One of them was a small booklet titled:

of the
Village Of Champlain
New York

Some Historical Notes

Compiled by
Lawrence Paquette & Charles W. McLellan

Centennial Days
Saturday, Sunday, August 25-26

I have taken the liberty to reproduce (without permission) one of the articles here.

Education in Champlain

     The lamp of knowledge came to Champlain in 1792, with an Englishman, Michael Fothergill, as the first teacher. Four years later the first Board of Trustees was chosen, followed in 1797 by the first schoolhouse -- a log building near the railroad crossing on Oak Street.
     The second building was of frame, built a few years later on Church Street where the "locker plant" now stands. This was also used as a blockhouse during the war of 1812, ans was burned in 1814. The U.S. Government reimbursed the owners to the amount of $400.
     A brick building was built on the same site at a cost of about $1100. This building was 40 by 26 feet. It was sold by the School District in 1884.
     The Champlain Academy was erected in 1842, at the corner of Elm and Prospect Streets. It was a three story brick and stone building, 40 by 80 feet, and cost $5,200, including furnishings. Destroyed by fire in 1887, it was replaced at a cost of $11,000 by the building shown above, to which an addition was built in 1905. This structure was complete destroyed by fire in December 1940, the site now being occupied by the home of Mr. Carl Fresn.
     The new building was built in 1941-42 at a cost of $171,000, which is now the present grade school for our area of the Northeastern Clinton Central School.
     Consolidations of the many small school districts started in 1860; continued with the establishment of the Union Free School System in 1871 and the gradual expansion into our present Central School System.
     Notable among our early instructors are Dr. William Beaumont, who taught School in Champlain in 1807-10, and Jehudi Ashmun in 1815. Recent principals before Mr. Maher were Mr. Bacon, Marvin and Codding.


Dad had sometimes mentioned that when he was in grade school, the school had burned down. I didn't know the whole story. Since a picture is worth a thousand words...

I'm not sure how this photo ended up in my grandmother's house, but I'm glad that I have a copy of it.

The Scoop

I haven't posted an entry in a few weeks. Life has been busy. Sometimes a good busy, but busy.

Angie does such a good job keeping up with her blog, I often don't have much family type stuff to blog about. When an inspiration hits me, or I find some hook to use, I check her blog and find out that she's already written about it. Today, because she's busy with church things (special music practice, service order prep and then an informal dinner for the staff only), she won't have time to blog during the day. I'll scoop her.

This morning, at about 10:30am, we signed a contract for the sale of our house. A nice young couple had looked at it before, and then their circumstances were such that they made an offer on Friday. Things were inline, so we accepted. (There's a lot more legal mumbo-jumbo that went on, but that is the sum of it.)

So, in the coming weeks we'll close on the house that we lived in for 11 years. There were many good memories made in that house. And I hope that the young couple can make their own at the same address.

We're happy that it is in the final stages of the sale, and Angie and I both praise God for it happening. If you've been praying for it to happen, thank you.

So, I've got the scoop, I've got the contract, I've got a great wife.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Doing her part for the Army Air Forces

My grandmother (my dad's mother) was doing her part to help America during WWII. She was an observer for the Army Air Forces. She'd spend hours scanning the skies in upstate New York, looking for enemy planes.

My parents spent the better part of the summer closing up her house. They found wonderful things: photos, books, toys, cookware and such that my grandmother used, loved and kept.

This entry is about one set of items that they found. It is her wings and a manual. The AWS on the wings stand for "Advanced Warning Service." I only scanned two pages from the manual, but all of them were so ripe. These pages are just a representation.

There was also a First Aid Manual that might end up as tomorrow's post.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

End of August wrap up

Doug has been hounding Angie for photos of the Bristol weekend. Here's a link. The weekend was good. Read about it on Angie's blog.

On Tuesday, I took Edison to his orthodontist appointment. He's in getting his teeth cranked. I've read the Sports Illustrated and I've read all the Car and Driver magazines on previous visits. A few patients come in. Then one walks in. The women at the front desk rush around the patient. I only see her from the back, but then I hear her voice. A few minutes later, Edison comes out, just beaming.

"Did you see who that was, Dad?"

I ask the front desk women if all the stars come to Dr. H's office to get their teeth cleaned. Yes, as a matter of fact, they do. One of them asks if Edison would like to meet her. He grins a "yes."

They usher us back the hall. I push Edison's hair back down and remind him to be polite. Then, we're brought in to see her. Pat Summit. Around here, she's a legend. And she should be. She was very gracious and kind. She asked where Edison attended school and then commented that it was a good school. She shook our hands and answered a few questions about next year's team. She said that she's excited about the four new freshman girls that will be joining the team. That individual practices are going on, but that her staff is running those, but she watches when she can. She invited us to come out and see the team this year. All this while she was wearing a dentistry bib.

I didn't say anything stupid and Edison was very well behaved. What more could you want.

The folks are here for a few more days. Had to help dad get a new battery for their car on Tuesday. But, he's helped me with so much...

It rained last night.

So, that's the wrap up for the end of August. Life is still good.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Savoring Books

From Merriam-Webster's website, I find that a definition for savor is:

2a :
to have experience of :TASTE b : to taste or smell with pleasure : RELISH c : to delight in : ENJOY

I've enjoyed reading for many years. Sometimes I read just to finish a book, though. "Well, it was a gift, I should read it." "It has been at the top of the bestseller's list for 2 months. I should read it." "So-and-so said that it was a must read. I should read it." That shouldn't be the reason to read. I'm trying to learn to put a book down when it isn't worth reading. I should have learned that before. Richard Grindal's Tartan Conspiracy comes to mind, as does Thomas Hoving's Masterpiece. Thomas Hoving has written some very nice books, but Masterpiece is not one of them.

Today I finished reading Malba Tahan's The Man Who Counted. What wonderful story telling. "Details are story-material," a friend recently said. There are fantastic details in this book. Not details like in Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose (the description of the cathedral door was overkill), but details that flesh out the story. That make it a fun read. That make you want to savor it.

Malba Tahan's book is very readable. No, it isn't only a math book, but you get a lot of math in it. If you like number puzzles, then this is for you. You've heard some of them before. And others are fresh, even though they were written many years ago. The book is so readable, I might have been able to read it at one sitting, had I not been sick this past week and fallen asleep with it in my hands. I'm glad it took me the whole week. I was able to savor it.

Instead of reading the next few books that I've selected for myself I'm going to try to read chapters of old book 'friends.' I've started to read the chapter about Tom Bombadil from Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring. I want to read essays by Mark Twain. Not a whole book of them, just some. I want to read some short stories by O. Henry, particularly The Ransom of Red-Chief. My father-in-law loves it. I've heard him retell the story 3 or 4 times. But I've never read it. I want to read the poetry of John Donne. To enjoy it.

Right now, I'm going to be finishing Walter Wangerin, Jr.'s The Book of God. I just finished the part where King Solomon dies and then it goes into the Prophets. I reread the first few pages of the book tonight. Good details. Good storytelling. I'll be savoring that one for a while.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

No Bake Cookies

The other day, Angie made some No Bake Cookies. They were the best batch that she made in quite a while. Just the right consistency. Fantastic.

My Life is Good.

Thanks, Angie.

I love you.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bass Guitar

I play bass guitar. I'm guessing that I first picked up a bass guitar in about 1976. I had played cello since the 4th grade, then I learned upright bass in junior high school. Then I filled in on bass guitar for a few musicals. Thank you, George Slosson. I changed high schools at the beginning of my junior year. The new high school didn't have an orchestra, but did have a great stage band. I did play cello on one cut of an album that we recorded in the Phoenix area. My senior year, I got a Kay bass guitar. It was a Precision style. It wasn't that good, but it was mine. I put it too good use that year. We played a lot of shows, at the Officer's Club on Ft. Huachuca, Tombstone's Centennial Ball, Arizona State Fair, HS productions, weddings and the like. Thank you, Coach Klein. That was some of the best musical training a person could get. Then to college, where I played in the B Jazz Band. Then off to other places. I've been in quite a few pick up bands. Practice, do a gig, split. Don't practice, do a gig, split. I moved to Illinois in the mid 1980s. I played with the church youth choir. Then I found a 1983 Fender P bass. I think that it was in a music store on 95th Street. Great price. It was mine. It was a nice bass. That's how I met Angie. Playing bass. She was the piano player/musical director for Community Christian Church, a new church plant in Naperville, IL. Doug played guitar. Doug asked me to join the band. But that is another story. I had that bass until about 2000 or so. Then it was stolen. From church, no less. The insurance company replaced it, sort of. I had some custom work done to it, and it was rather unique. They don't make them like that any more. So, I got another Fender. California series. It is a combo of a P and J bass. I like it.

Start edit. Yes, I still play. Our church has two bands. I'm playing for both of them. One is more "Gaither" oriented, but getting in the 1990s now. Brass and woodwinds, piano, keyboard, acoustic and electric guitars, drum kit, but still reserved. The other band, the "Acoustic Band" features more of a Hillsongs feel. Acoustic and electric guitars, piano, keyboard, drumkit. But it has a rockier feel. End edit.

I found a few videos on YouTube featuring bass players. Here they are in no particular order. But the order is... Bill Clements (the one handed bass player), Tony Levin (improv with Phil Keaggy and Jerry Marotta), then Victor Wooten (Amazing Grace).


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Short story

I wrote this short story back in high school for a creative writing class. That was either 1979 or 1980. It was published in the high school literary magazine, Andromeda, in 1981. I rediscovered it last night while looking for my copy of The Lord of the Rings.

The Quota

The mobile guillotine slid down the street. The metal sluices shined in the early morning light. The police had to get their weekly quota, and they were still 237 short. If they didn't make it, the force made up the remainder.

The guillotine was used for such offenses as jaywalking, spitting on the sidewalk, and other misdemeanors. It replaced the chamber--quicker, cleaner, and generally more efficient.

Its photo-electric eye spotted someone leaning on a sign. It sped up to the loiterer, told him the charge, and asked him to lie down flat. The culprit, knowing that he had no other choice, lay down and it was over in an instant. The head was put into a collection box on the corner, and the body dropped into a incinerator nearby.

"Only 236 more," screeched the voice speaker in the police lounge.

"God Bless! Its Thursday and 236 more to go by Saturday midnight," gruffed the commander. "We haven't been this far behind since that one week in '93."

"Yeah, think maybe we could pick some of 'em up, Binky, huh?" asked a sergeant of his commander.

Binky slowly smiled. "Yes, yes. It looks like we'll have to get them one way or another. Too bad."

The electronic listening device sent this and all other conversations to the main computer. It was listened to and then sent to the data bank for police corruption.

After listening to it many times and analyzing voice inflection and sincerity, the computer commissioned a force of guillotines to the station.

Listed in the file for the weekly quota: "Due to the abundance of criminals this week, there will be no need to send out the mobile guillotines next week."

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Not a Fan of the Fan, but a Fan of the Man

Here's a story about my ceiling fan. There used to be a light fixture. It came with the house, but it wasn't quite us. So I took it out, with the intention of putting up a ceiling fan that we bought at Lowe's some time ago when they matched the price of any Home Depot sale. We got fans. And a light kit. And bulbs, and stretcher bars that you hang the fans on. One for the office area and a very cute one for Caroline's room. Thinking that having had them for about 2 months and not putting them up wasn't a good use of resources, I was determined to install the fan for Caroline's room on Saturday. One thing lead to another, schedules got weird, mowing had to be done. Okay, maybe not Caroline's room, because that is her only source of light. I'll do the office one. We were to be over at Jim and Nancy's for dinner at about 6:20pm. Angie leaves with Caroline at about 5:40pm. Not quite enough time to get started, but I start to pull together tools, step stool, etc. I come home with Caroline and get her bathed and in bed by 9:00pm. I'm tired, but got to get it going. I take down the light fixture. Here's what I have...

So, got to put up a fan brace bar. My boss is overkill man, when it comes to construction. So, I got the Super Fan Brace. See below.

There was a stamped metal fan brace already installed. I can take that out. Wait. Notice the air vent just beyond the hole in the ceiling? You know how all modern construction is usually set at 16" to center studs? Except when they use 24". Like this house's ceiling joists. Great. The stamped metal fan brace is nailed into the joists, a little over 11" away from the hole, in a 7' ceiling. I fight with a claw hammer until midnight when I declare victory. The old brace has been defeated. I'm too tired and frustrated to continue.

Sunday afternoon, I resume. The instructions call for the blue wire to go to the blue wire, black to black, white to common, ground to ground. Except that I don't have a blue wire from the house. Only on the fan. I read and re-read and re-read the instructions. I've got it figured out.

Light kit goes on, just fine.

Then I need to change out the rotary dimmer. I've been doing all this work with the light switch turned off, but the breaker on. Spare me the lectures. I've heard them. Tonight. Twice. I go to the breaker box, turn off the dining room, because that is where the light is. Nope. It is on the Living Room circuit. Know how I found out? Zap! I then turn off the Living Room circuit, finish changing out the switch. Ah. The fan works. The lights don't. I start taking it all apart, checking the wires carefully. I disassemble the whole thing. It looks right. I call Jim, the best father-in-law in the US. (Runner up might be my dad to Angie, but I don't get to decide that.) He comes over. Looks at it. "Well, here's your problem, blue should go to black and black should go to black and white should go to white and bare should go to ground." And he said it in a way that didn't make me feel more foolish. He taped them up, we tested things and they work. He then handed me fan blades and screws and stuff.

Jim's a good man.
Thanks, Jim, for everything.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


Over the last few days (mostly evenings), I've been chatting with my friend, Tali, in São Paulo. The conversation winds from school studies, to family, family vacations, food, friends, music, movies, and books.

She introduced me to a few new (at least to me) authors. Malba Tahan. That's Tali's great-grand-uncle. Another author is Gabriel García Márquez. He wrote One Hundred Years of Solitude. The third author that she mentioned was João Guimarães Rosa. I've already ordered one of Malba Tahan's books from a neighboring county library. I look forward to reading it.

Yesterday, Tali said that she read two books in five days. "It was good for the soul." Reading is good for the soul.

It made me review what I've been reading recently. Here's what I've read in 2007...
  • Dan Patrick's Outtakes
  • Bruce Nash and Allan Zullo 's Baseball Confidential
  • Harry Shearer's Man Bites Town
  • Mike Greenberg's Why My Wife Thinks I'm An Idiot
  • John Mortimer's Rumpole and the Reign of Terror
  • James Lincoln Collier's Rich and Famous
  • Elliott Roosevelt's The President's Man
  • Alan Ross's Echoes from the Ballpark
  • Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone's Warmly Inscribed: The New England Forger and Other Book Tales
I'm just finishing up Murders' Row, a collection of original baseball mysteries, edited by by Otto Penzler. I'm also slogging my way through Alberto Manguel's A History of Reading.

I should probably move away from the lighter fare and dig or re-dig into some meatier books.

Thank you, Tali, for having this discussion with me. Now, if I can just get Angie to read The Hobbit.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Twin Sons of Different Mothers?

Caroline's Art

In the past few weeks, Caroline created some art at Parent's Day Out.

Here they are without comment, except to say that the gray blotches are where the wet paints warped the paper and the scanner picked them up as shadows.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Music I've been listening to lately

For Father's Day, I got an mp3 player. Just a simple 2GB Sansa. It works very well for music.

So, I thought I'd let you in what I've been listening to lately...

Right now, it is Robert Randoph and the Family Band. rocks for this sort of thing. I couldn't tell you exactly which show. March 6, 2004 in New Jersey, I think. This is RRFB's Official Site.

I also synced up some James Gang. Joe Walsh. Jaco Pastorius. Paul Shaffer. Michael Omartian. Steely Dan. Boston. Bill Watrous. Fairport Convention. Chuck Mangione. Will Ackerman. Hem. And a few others.

Yes, this music entry is link heavy. I did manage to stay away from Wikipedia, though. All links, except the first, point to the official site for the musician(s).

Blast from the Past

This was probably taken in 1989 in the Chicago are. That is the Don White Trio at some gig. More photos of Don and friends can be found at Doug's photo gallery. Do things really look better in color?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Real Life is Good

I play an online game called BattleMaster. My friend and coworker, Bill, turned me on to it. It is a team-oriented browser game merging strategy and roleplaying. I've been playing it for about 8 months now. Angie calls it "your luser game." Actually, I jokingly call it that.

One of the absolutes in the game is: Real Life comes first. You miss a turn because you had to study for finals, no problem. Sick? take a few days. Gone on holiday? No problem (my paraphrase).

About a month ago, a new character emerged in our realm. She was from the game region that my main characters were from, so I strike up an in-game conversation. There are mechanisms for being anonymous in the game. So, I had no clue who was on the other end of the ether. I try to be a good gamer, offering to help. We have some game mechanic exchanges, then it turns into a bit of a Role Play (RP). No, nothing weird or strange. Just two players in a game interacting. Because the game has time and space constraints (you only get so many hours a turn and characters can be in two different regions), to effectively RP, it is good to have the two characters in the same region at the same time. With wars happening and armies moving about, it is sometime difficult to accomplish this (see why Angie calls it a Luser game?). So, in game, Willem and Ilya make arrangements to meet in Menedor.

Conan O'Brien (in a nerdy voice): “Fear not, Gandalf is on the way!”

The player of Ilya is named Talita. I call her Tali. She lives in Brazil. São Paulo. Near where the Fifes live. Well, near is a relative term with 18 million people in the metro area. It was suggested that we collaborate on a single document, each having editing rights. We spend some time working on this. Remember, RP is generally done in real time. Coordinating the editing and posting in game presents a problem. We can't make deadlines. Why? Real Life. Her dog is not doing well. I think the phrase "puking all day" was what she used. The dog still isn't doing well. Two different timezones. Her grandma called. "Excuse me, my grandma's on the phone." "I've got to give Caroline her bath." "My boyfriend's taking me to the movies." (That last one was Tali.) Real Life says spend time with your family. "I'm really tired and didn't get my nap on Sunday. I've got to go to bed." (Me). Real life.

We've started IM'ing using GoogleTalk. I never thought I'd be a fan of the IM. Angie can whip around in about six of them at one time. I'm still learning. The conversation drifted away from, "So, what's Willem going to say or do now?" to, "what did you have for dinner?" to "I can't RP tonight, I'm taking Caroline to her first ballgame." With an explanation of why we went. It turns out that Tali's aunt has Ds as well. Somewhere in there, I introduced Tali to Angie's and my blogs. She's seen us and read of our quirks. The conversation last night turned to her flog. Photolog. (I didn't know what it was, either. See, this is a learning experience for us all.) She showed me a picture of some of her family and friends during a post-Christmas vacation. Then she showed me a picture of her grandmother. Her mom's mom. Her aunt's mom. She passed away a little over two years ago. She had some of the kindest eyes that I've seen in a person. Then for the next hour or so Tali and I talked of her grandmother, and how she started two schools for exceptional children, like her daughter. When she did this in the 1970's, there was only one other school like that in São Paulo. She wanted to make a difference. And she did, because no one else was. I told her some of Caroline's story and pointed her toward the YouTube video of Caroline. She was moved by the video and commented, "It'll just keep me smiling for a long time^^"

When Tali stopped the RP chat to spend time with her grandma on the phone, it made me realize even more that Real Life is important and good. When she stopped the RP because Alex (her boyfriend) wanted to spend time with her, it reinforced the grandma call lightbulb moment. Real Life is important and good. Savor life for what it is at the moment. Sometimes you don't get a second chance with moments like that.

I put it into practice yesterday when Bill came through the office asking if I wanted a brownberry cherry tomato. I said no. I don't like tomatoes. But I chased him down and ate it. It was mostly good. Is that a great example? No. I took a walk with Angie and Caroline last night after grilling salmon steaks. Better. Having Edison say, "I love you, dad" when he called from a church youth group outing was very nice. Having a new friend in cyberspace is also nice. Not as nice as the cheesecake pie Angie made on Saturday, but still very nice. :)

Real Life is Good.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Caroline's First Baseball Game

Last night I took Caroline to Smokies Park to see the Tennessee Smokies host the Mobile Bay Bears. The evening was hosted by Marvin, Ray, Mark and a few other CVS managers and employees. For a few years now, they've been involved with local charities. This is the second year that they've taken some of the DSAG families to the ball park. We had excellent seats. Marvin and crew really took care of the DSAG families. Caroline had a great time. The Smokies lost, 10-3. We saw an inside the park home run. Actually, the scorer listed it as an error. I don't want to tick off the purists, but when a player hits the ball and it doesn't leave the playing field and the batter makes it safely around all four bases, it is an inside the park home run. We stayed until the last out. This is just a nice photo from the game.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Happy Birthday, Steve

Happenings in History for July 06:

1747 John Paul Jones naval hero ("I have not yet begun to fight")
1796 Nicholas I Russia, Tsar (1825-55)
1818 Adolf Anderssen Prussia, world chess champion (1851-66)
1884 Harold Vanderbilt NY, America Cup (1930,34,37)/inv contract bridge
1918 Sebastian Cabot London, actor (Mr French-Family Affair)
1923 Nancy Davis Reagan NY, 1st Lady (1981-89)
1924 Robert M White pilot (X-15)
1925 Bill Haley Mich, (& the Comets-Rock Around the Clock)
1925 Merv Griffin San Mateo Calif, TV host (Merv Griffin Show)
1927 Janet Leigh Merced Cal, actress, She's in the shower (Psycho, Harper)
1927 Nicky Hilton heir to his father Conrad Hilton's vast international hotel chain.
1927 Pat Paulsen comedian, presidential candidate (Smothers Bros Show)
1932 Della Reese Detroit, singer/actress (Della Reese Show, Royal Family)
1937 Gene Chandler [Eugene Dixon], Chicago, rocker (Duke of Earl)
1937 Ned Beatty Lexington Ky, actor (Deliverance, Repossed, Network)
1945 Burt Ward LA Calif, actor (Robin-Batman)
1946 Fred Dryer Hawthone Calif, NFLer (NY Giants, LA Rams)/actor (Hunter)
1946 Sylvester Stallone NYC, actor/director (Rocky, Rambo, Cobra)
1949 Shelly Hack Greenwich Ct, actress (Tiffany-Charlie's Angel)
1954 Allyce Beasley Bkln, actress (Agnes Dipesto-Moonlighting)
1959 John Keeble rocker (Spandau Ballet-True)
1959 Steve Aubrey brother (Aubrey family)

Deaths which occurred on July 06:

1189 Henry II King of England (1154-89), dies at 56
1415 Jan Hus burned for heresy by the Church at Constance, Germany
1535 Sir Thomas More executed in England for treason
1971 Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong jazz musician (Hello Dolly), dies at 70
1980 Gail Patrick actress (My Man Godfrey), dies of leukemia at 69

On this day...
England's King Richard III crowned
1687 Newton publishes "Principia"
1699 Capt William Kidd arrested in Boston
1776 Dec of Ind announced on front page of the "PA Evening Gazette"
1777 British Gen Burgoyne captures Fort Ticonderoga from Americans
1785 Congress resolves US currency named "dollar" & adopts decimal coinage
1798 US law makes aliens "liable to be apprehended, restrained,... &
removed as alien enemies"
1885 1st inoculation (for rabies) of a human being, by Louis Pasteur
1886 Horlick's of Wisconsin offers 1st malted milk to public
1892 Striking steelworkers in Homestead, Pa fire on scabs, killing 7
1894 Cleveland sends 2,000 troops to Chicago to suppress Pullman strike
1903 George Wyman arrives in NYC by motorcycle 51 days out of SF
1908 Robert Peary's expedition sails from NYC for the north pole
1912 5th Olympic games in Stockholm opens
1919 British R-34 lands in NY, 1st airship to cross Atlantic (108 hr)
1924 1st photo sent experimentally across Atlantic by radio, US-England
1928 1st all-talking motion picture shown, in NY (Lights of NY)
1932 1st class postage back up to 3 cent from 2 cents
1938 NL beats AL 4-1 in 6th All Star Game (Crosley Field, Cincinnati)
1944 170 die in a fire at Ringling Bros Circus in Hartford Conn
Nicaragua becomes 1st nation to formally accept UN Charter
1945 Pres Truman signs executive order establishing Medal of Freedom
1953 J Churms discovers asteroid #1701 Okavango
1957 Harry S Truman Library established in Independence, Missouri
1958 Alaska becomes the 49th state
1960 Dr Barbara Moore completes a 3,207 mile walk from LA to NYC
1964 Beatles' film "Hard Day's Night" premiers in London
1965 Rock group "Jefferson Airplane" forms
1971 White House Plumbers unit formed to plug news leaks
1976 Soyuz 21 carries 2 cosmonauts to Salyut 5 space station
1978 Israeli jet fighters swooped over mostly Moslem West Beirut
1983 Fred Lynn of Angels hits All-Star game 1st grand slam (AL wins 13-3)
1989 After 9 years, WHOT (Bkln pirate radio station) is busted by the FCC
1989 US marshals & FCC sieze pirate radio station WHOT in Brooklyn
1990 "Jetson's the Movie" with Tiffany, premiers

Info taken from ANYDAY

The good old days, when Cornflakes were new...

While looking for some genealogy information in an old newspaper (circa 1910), I came across this advertisement...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Genealogy Humor and Animal Crackers

Yeah, that should catch your eye.

Years ago, I found a great parody piece of The Empire Strikes Back. The Modern Humorist site produced it. Very funny. And not edgy.

Warning ... some of the other humor at the Modern Humorist site is quite edgy (read: rude). I gave you fair warning.

And now to the Animal Crackers. Caroline (and Angie and I) have taken quite a liking to Stauffer's Animal Crackers. My aunt Shirley sent a container of the mini crackers. Caroline will say, "Baby Crackers, Baby Crackers!" We indulge her.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Last post was a short trip down a very cluttered lane.

This one will be much (c)leaner, I promise.

This morning on the way to work, I heard some babbling radio psycho(therapist) discussing school lunch boxes. So I started to think about the lunch boxes that Steve and I used.

Mine was ...
Steve was much cooler. He had ...

We took them to Beekmantown Elementary School ...

That's all.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Eclectic Music - Part 1

I have some diverse tastes in music. I like classic rock, fusion jazz, Gregorian chant and a lot of stuff in between.

Yesterday I listened to the Yellowjackets self titled CD. I first heard of them at a Glad concert back in about 1986 or so. Their sound guy was playing it before the concert started. I had to go find out what it was. Now I know. Then, after lunch, I put on Asleep at the Wheel's Greatest Hits "Live and Kickin'". I was introduced to them at NAU in the early 1980s. It is funny how one remembers music and how it relates to a specific time or event. Similar to aromas, but with your ears.

Right now I'm listening to Chuck Mangione's Fun and Games. My brother got Feels So Good on cassette when it came out in 1976. He played it on a red cassette player. Steve introduced me to some other music, whether he realized it or not. Yes's Fragile, Frank Zappa's Hot Rats, Santana's Caravanserai, The Carpenters, Wings. Most were played on the Philco monster piece of furniture in the living room.

His first rock concert was Blue Oyster Cult. I think that Angel opened for them.

My first rock concert was Emerson, Lake and Palmer. SUNY Plattsburgh. I recently found a review of that show. Similar to what I remember oh those many years ago.

After moving to Arizona, the local FM station, KTAZ, was on on a tape feed, 4 hours of rotation. You could hear The Knack and then Little River Band and then KC and the Sunshine Band and then Donna Summer. 4 hours later, you'd hear it all over again.

Tim M., introduced me to the James Gang. Joe Walsh. What a guitar playing wizard. He also introduced me to Styx, Kansas, The Tubes and Billy Thorpe.

My senior year in high school I was playing bass for the Show Band. We were a working band, usually 2-3 gigs a months. We'd do shows at the Officer's Club at Ft. Huachuca mostly. We had 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, 6 saxes, a rhythm section and about 4 vocalists. We did play the Tombstone Centennial Ball. That was fun. Lots of Chicago, The Association, Earth, Wind & Fire. That sort of stuff. Was introduced to the music of Maynard Ferguson. Not just his disco remix hits, but the older, late 1950s and early 1960s work.

Dan and Jeff M. played some 2nd Chapter of Acts. Mansion Builder, I think. Keith Green started to show up in my album collection as well as some Phil Keaggy.

On to college, it was more of the same, making new friends, and being exposed to their tastes in music. Paul T. liked The Cars and the Eagles. Jeff W. liked anything New Wave (Devo, B-52s) or Punk (Vom). And Jethro Tull. Steve O. (who was my roommate for my sophomore year) opened my ears to Bill Watrous, The Doors, Saint-Saëns Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Crack the Sky, Starcastle, Brian Eno, Fred Frith, and more.

I saw Doc Holliday and Loverboy open for April Wine at NAU. Yes, I sunk to a low there. But, my wonderful wife, Angie, also admits to having seen Loverboy in concert.

But this post wasn't supposed to be about concerts. That can be another post - who I've seen and who I'd like to see.

As I finish this portion of the post, I'm listening to Little Feat's Waiting for Columbus.

I should get back to work. I'll be back to link in some more of the bands later.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football

Updated to include the first of the two 2008 games.

I put this together sometime last year. It came out of a conversation with Ron, one of my vendors. I now post it for Mike and Barry, two Steeler fans.


Monday Night Football - Pittsburgh Steelers
Winner First, Home team in CAPS

Nov. 2, 1970 PITTSBURGH 21, Cincinnati 10
Oct. 18, 1971 KANSAS CITY 38, Pittsburgh 16
Nov. 5, 1973 PITTSBURGH 21, Washington 16
Dec. 3, 1973 MIAMI 30, Pittsburgh 26
Oct. 28, 1974 PITTSBURGH 24, Atlanta 17
Nov. 25, 1974 Pittsburgh 28, NEW ORLEANS 7
Nov. 24, 1975 Pittsburgh 32, HOUSTON 9
Oct. 4, 1976 MINNESOTA 17, Pittsburgh 6
Sep. 19, 1977 PITTSBURGH 27, San Francisco 0
Oct. 17, 1977 PITTSBURGH 20, Cincinnati 14
Oct. 23, 1978 Houston 24, PITTSBURGH 17
Nov. 27, 1978 Pittsburgh 24, SAN FRANCISCO 7
Sept. 3, 1979 Pittsburgh 16, NEW ENGLAND 13 (OT)
Oct. 22, 1979 PITTSBURGH 42, Denver 7
Dec. 10, 1979 HOUSTON 20, Pittsburgh 17
Oct. 20, 1980 Oakland 45, PITTSBURGH 34
Dec. 22, 1980 SAN DIEGO 26, Pittsburgh 17
Oct. 26, 1981 PITTSBURGH 26, Houston 13
Dec. 7, 1981 OAKLAND 30, Pittsburgh 27
Sep. 13, 1982 Pittsburgh 36, DALLAS 28
Oct. 10, 1983 Pittsburgh 24, CINCINNATI 14
Oct. 1, 1984 PITTSBURGH 38, Cincinnati 17
Nov. 19, 1984 NEW ORLEANS 27, Pittsburgh 24
Sep. 16, 1985 CLEVELAND 17, Pittsburgh 7
Sep. 30, 1985 Cincinnati 37, PITTSBURGH 24
Sep. 15, 1986 Denver 21, PITTSBURGH 10
Oct. 13, 1986 CINCINNATI 24, Pittsburgh 22
Oct. 29, 1990 PITTSBURGH 41, L.A. Rams 10
Oct. 14, 1991 N.Y. Giants 23, PITTSBURGH 20
Oct. 19, 1992 PITTSBURGH 20, Cincinnati 0
Sep. 27, 1993 Pittsburgh 45, ATLANTA 17
Nov. 15, 1993 PITTSBURGH 23, Buffalo 0
Dec. 13, 1993 Pittsburgh 21, MIAMI 20
Oct. 3, 1994 PITTSBURGH 30, Houston 14
Nov. 14, 1994 PITTSBURGH 23, Buffalo 10
Sep. 18, 1995 MIAMI 23, Pittsburgh 10
Nov. 13, 1995 PITTSBURGH 20, Cleveland 3
Sep. 16, 1996 PITTSBURGH 24, Buffalo 6
Oct. 7, 1996 Pittsburgh 17, KANSAS CITY 7
Nov. 25, 1996 Pittsburgh 24, MIAMI 17
Sep. 22, 1997 JACKSONVILLE 30, Pittsburgh 21
Nov. 3, 1997 KANSAS CITY 13, Pittsburgh 10
Oct. 26, 1998 Pittsburgh 20, KANSAS CITY 13
Nov. 9, 1998 Pittsburgh 27, Green Bay 20
Dec. 28, 1998 JACKSONVILLE 21, Pittsburgh 3
Oct. 25, 1999 PITTSBURGH 13, Atlanta 9
Oct. 29, 2001 PITTSBURGH 34, Tennessee 7
Sep. 9, 2002 NEW ENGLAND 30, Pittsburgh 14
Oct. 21, 2002 PITTSBURGH 28, Indianapolis 10
Dec. 23, 2002 Pittsburgh 17, TAMPA BAY 7
Nov. 17, 2003 SAN FRANCISCO 30, Pittsburgh 14
Oct. 10, 2005 Pittsburgh 24, SAN DIEGO 22
Oct. 31, 2005 PITTSBURGH 20, Baltimore 19
Nov. 28, 2005 INDIANAPOLIS 26, Pittsburgh 7
Sep. 18, 2006 JACKSONVILLE 9, Pittsburgh 0
Nov. 5, 2007 PITTSBURGH 38, Baltimore 7
Nov. 26, 2007 PITTSBURGH 3, Miami 0 *
Sep. 29, 2008 PITTSBURGH 23, Baltimore 20
Nov. 3, 2008 Pittsburgh __, WASHINGTON __ **

* Lowest Total Score MNF to date
** (game not yet played at time of update)

Total Won Lost Percent
----- --- ---- -------
Home 25 22 3 0.880
Away 33 14 19 0.424
All 58 36 22 0.621

Longest Win Streak = 6 (1992-1994)
Longest Lose Streak = 5 (1984-1986)

times Pitt.
Opponent met W-L Percent
-------- ----- --- -------
Cincinnati 7 (5-2) 0.714
Houston 5 (3-2) 0.600
Miami 5 (3-2) 0.600
Kansas City 4 (2-2) 0.500
Atlanta 3 (3-0) 1.000
Baltimore 3 (3-0) 1.000
Buffalo 3 (3-0) 1.000
San Francisco 3 (2-1) 0.667
Jacksonville 3 (0-3) 0.000
Cleveland 2 (1-1) 0.500
Denver 2 (1-1) 0.500
Indianapolis 2 (1-1) 0.500
New England 2 (1-1) 0.500
New Orleans 2 (1-1) 0.500
Oakland 2 (0-2) 0.000
San Diego 2 (1-1) 0.500
Dallas 1 (1-0) 1.000
Green Bay 1 (1-0) 1.000
L.A. Rams 1 (1-0) 1.000
Tampa Bay 1 (1-0) 1.000
Tennessee 1 (1-0) 1.000
Washington 1 (1-0) 1.000
N.Y. Giants 1 (0-1) 0.000
Minnesota 1 (0-1) 0.000

By Decade:
games W-L Percent
----- --- -------
1970s 15 (10-5) 0.667
1980s 12 (4-8) 0.333
1990s 19 (14-5) 0.737
2000s 12 (8-4) 0.667

By Month:
games W-L Percent
----- --- -------
Sep. 13 (6-7) 0.462 +
Oct. 22 (16-6) 0.727 ++
Nov. 16 (12-4) 0.750
Dec. 7 (2-5) 0.286

+ Pittsburgh had a 4 game L streak in the month of Sep.
++ Pittsburgh has a 9 game W streak in the month of Oct.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Some Food That I've Loved...

I love food. I like the way it tastes, the way it is presented, the way it smells. I don't gorge myself on it, I just like food. I like the food that Angie makes. I like the food that my Mom makes. I like comfort food. I like some restaurant food. So, I'd like to share a few photos of food and perhaps a few comments about them. No fancy alignment for the photos, just some good food.

This is a Michigan and fries from The Homestead Restaurant in Chazy, NY. I was up in Clinton County two years ago with Mom and Dad, Steve and Bettie (brother and sister-in-law). What's a Michigan? Here's the answer. Toot and Tellums, Nitzi's, Clare and Carl's. Those were the places to go to get a Michigan. I remember Toot 'n Tellums having a great selection of pies. The Homestead Restaurant also has some good ones. Mom had the lemon meringue. I think that I had chocolate pie. Someone else had butterscotch. Bettie?

We went to Arnie's Restaurant in Plattsburgh, with Jack and Janet for some pizza. I ordered bacon and onions. Too much onion.

Here's Steve getting a slice.

Then it was to Jack and Janet's for an evening of stories and ice cream.

We also got some apple pie from Rulfs Orchard. I've got photos, but so do they. We shared it with my grandmother. She like it. She also made some great Michigan sauce. Angie's learned from my mom. Three generations of great sauce makers. Can't beat that. My grandmother was a great cook. Actually, both of them were, but we lived closer to Grammy Aubrey, so we ate more of her food.

Then it was time to fly home from Burlington, VT. The folks took us over and we ate at the Parkway Diner. A real diner.

We had lunch and breakfast for the noontime meal. The Blueberry pancakes and bacon are mine. Mom had soup and a sandwich. Dad had pancakes and a malt or a shake. He always gets a malt or a shake (if they don't have a malt). If the spoon can't stand up, then it doesn't get full points on the George-ometer.

They were having a jazz festival while we were there. I found a hole in the wall place that served gyros. Very good. I don't have photos of the food handy, but it was very good. Another diner the next morning because storms on the east coast shut down airports, so we had to stay for the night.

All that, and more, two years ago. I still remember the sights, sounds, tastes and conversations.

But it was good to get home.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Unidentified Baseball Player

I was perusing ebay and came across this auction. It is described as a cabinet photo of a 1900's baseball player. The photo mount is labeled "Blair and Webber Plattsburg". Don't know if it is Plattsburgh, NY or Plattsburg, MO. Here are the photos. It is not my intent to 'steal' these from the seller, I just didn't want them to get lost to the ether when the auction goes away.

Edit - for those of you who don't like to read the comments, I've been informed that the location is NY. Blair and Webber still has a studio on Peru Street in Plattsburgh.