Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Another Solid Ribbing Experience

Tonight I cooked the second set of ribs I bought when my local grocer had a buy-one-get-one-free coupon. Once again they were delicious!! The rub I've used since my first set of ribs continues to be tasty and work well. It has staying power.

So have you been reading about these 33 Chilean miners that are trapped 2,300 feet below the surface? It's incredible and you KNOW there's going to be a book and a movie about it. These guys are in a small room, with limited food and water and air being blown through three small four inch diameter holes. They've been there for almost a month and it's going to be up to four more months before a large enough hole can be drilled to haul them out. Some of them are going through nicotine withdrawal, so they are being sent the patch. No bean dishes though....they are trying to restrict internal gas issues. Seriously!!!

Anyway, they'll be down there for 5 months. FIVE MONTHS!! Holy crap. That's a long freaking time to be under ground.

Finally, not sure if you saw this story, but it sounds like something that could happen to me. Actually, I'm pretty careful NOT to hit rocks, but sometimes there are sparks on the tee box when I use my driver. Again, seriously!! The type of metal alloy in my driver combined with my swing speed and sand (I think) mixed in with the grass, causes some sparks. You can see them mostly in the evening when it's a little darker out. I haven't started any forest fires yet though!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm #1!! I'm #1!! I'm #1!!!

Every year for the past.....geesh, I don't even know how many years now, I have been the commissioner of my own fantasy football league: Sutton's Drunken Stupor League. It's good fun and a reason to get together and have fun with some buddies as well as trash talk throughout the year.

However, not once in those years have I had the first overall pick. There was a year where I WOULD have had the first pick, but that was the year me and the guy in the league with whom I did the draft selection decided to go in reverse order when picking. Nice. I was dead last and he was second to last. Irony sucks.

Anyway, this year I have the coveted #1 pick!! Very happy.

Today I was still tired from spending so much time at the bar on Saturday night because we couldn't get a damn cab home. I must be getting old.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Need a Job in Detroit?

This weekend I was in Utica/Sterling Heights/Detroit for yet another softball tournament. While the weather was very nice, the complex at which we played was pretty awful. We joked that we should have just taken batting practice in the parking lot of the Dave and Buster's outside our hotel. The infields were just about as hard. For the infielders like me, it made every ball an adventure. (Un)fortunately I only got about 2 or 3 balls hit at me all day, which is a bit of a surprise because in this organization, the pitches that are allowed generate more ground balls than in other organizations.

We won our first game 19-6 and really jumped on the team from Davenport, IA. In my first at bat, in the second inning, I took a pitch or two including strike 2. The pitcher threw me a knuckleball on the inside part of the plate and I tried to hit it to right field....but missed. No, I didn't miss hitting it to right field as in I hit it foul. Noooo, I missed the ball entirely!!! Yes, a swinging strikeout in slow pitch softball. After missing, I turned around and headed towards a completely silent dugout. What do you say to someone who has just done that?? "Good cut"? "Tough pitch"? "You were robbed"?? Ugh. Fortunately I got hits my next two at bats and we were winning when I came up for my fourth at bat. After taking a strike, I looked at strike three! Two strikeouts in one game!!!! Unbelievable. I went on to hit ok for the day.....6-11 I think, but really, who strikes out twice in a softball game? We lost the next two games due to lack of hitting and our tournament was over early.

With our tournament over, the night was free to do whatever we wanted and some of us wanted.....to watch the Bears. Unfortunately we couldn't find a bar in Detroit that was going to have it on, though two places did in fact tell us they were going to have it only to lie. It did get us one free round of drinks at Dave and Buster's though. Not that we needed it as we had played a drinking card game for about an hour that left us pretty hammered.

No, what we needed was a damn cab! And could we get one? Well, eventually, but it took over an hour the first time we needed one and two hours the second time. Can you imagine that in Chicago?? Hellzzzzz no. Anytime of day or night I can get a cab inside of 10 minutes. Just ridiculous. We were trying to be responsible by taking a cab instead of driving, but it seems like the metro Detroit area WANTS you to drive drunk.

Were there cabs at Dave and Buster's at 10:00 on a Saturday night? Nope. Were there cabs at Coyote Joe's in Shelby (look up the street view in Google maps 49442 Ryan Rd, Shelby, MI, United States)? Nope. LOTS of cars parked in both lots, but no cabs. So if you live in metro Detroit and you need a job, get yourself a cab license because they are few and far between.

The team we lost to in our second game (11-6) went 5-0 and won the tournament. Damn our bad luck with draws!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Mauling Zone

As you recall, two weeks ago LL and I were in the Poconos (much better than saying east of Scranton) visiting my buddy Joisey Ken, his wife and daughter. The lake house at which we were staying is about 75-100 yards off the water. You just walk down through the yard and then down a gravel road to the beach. Not a far walk and it's nice to see the fauna along the way. It's not well lit though, so in the evening you could use a flashlight but it's not absolutely necessary.

Anyway, on the night before we left the lake house, we spent some time in the water riding the jet ski and just hanging out. As it started to get dark, we loaded the jet ski on its trailer and started for the truck to haul it back up to the shed. LL decided she wanted to walk back up though as she was feeling a bit dizzy from bobbing in the water with her life vest on and from riding the jet ski. No problem, but I was going to ride with Ken to help him. A few minutes later we were all up in the house, beer in hand.

A few days later, Ken took a video of a big black bear walking through the front yard of the lake house. After Ken told me, I told Laura who stared at me in disbelief. "You mean I walked alone through the mauling zone??". It appears that she did. Funny to write about, but there really COULD have been a bear out there!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What a crazy day

Today I headed over an hour north to Zion, IL to play some golf at the Cornerstone Angels golf outing. The group brings fledgling companies in contact with private equity folks in hopes of obtaining funding. The course is links style and is near. if not on top of another, landfill. There are few of these around Chicagoland and it's pretty good use of the space, except that they are always elevated (so more windy) and don't have much in the way of trees (so even more windy). Sometimes there was a 2 club difference between what I would normally use and what I had to use when hitting into the wind. By the same token, I almost drove a 317 yard par 4. It was a nice outing and good fun, but not as nice as my outing on Monday.

With golf two days this week and Friday being cut short because of my trip to Detroit, I've been trying to squeeze work in on Tuesday, Thursday and then in the car while driving to and from the outings.

This morning I got a late start because a potential new client called me JUST as I got into my car in my parking spot and I needed to take notes. Then I ran into a traffic jam that worked around by getting off the highway and getting back on a little further up the road. A call to Ricardo ensued as well as a call from a banker. Then two of my golfing buddies called saying the directions on Cornerstone Angels website were wrong. Then another client texted saying he couldn't make an interview I set up with an accountant....a meeting set for 2 hours from then. And all the while I was trying to talk to LL to see how her day was going.

When I finally got to the course, I was looking to relax and hit the driving range to loosen up from the long drive. No luck. Even though they are in the middle of nowhere, they don't have a driving range. ARRRRRGGGHHHHH!!! Practicing some putts and chips helped me chill enough to have a nice, enjoyable round. Golf is the answer to a lot of ills.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Another First

Many of you know that I grew up in Naperville and you know that I love to golf. That said, I really didn't play many different courses while growing up. For the most part, I played the one park district owned golf course as I frequently worked for the park district as was able to play there pretty inexpensively (I recall $6 for 18 holes!!). So maybe it's no surprise that I hadn't play Naperville Country Club, until yesterday at least. What a beautiful course. The event that drew me there was for charity (Chicago Youth Programs) which does great work with helping at risk kids further their education and to have a shot at a real future.

Now for the pictures!

This hand pump is the logo, per se, of the club. Hopefully you can click on the picture and read the stone below.

Hm, a not very clear picture of a portion of the course.

Like many clubs, they have an iconic clock near the practice range and putting green. Membership there starts with an initiation fee of $45,000 followed up with a $750 a month dues charge and $500 a quarter charge for food. Yowza.

The pasta station from which I partook several times!

The foursome was sponsored by Leopardo Construction and I was invited by my good buddy Mark Fenton. To show you what kind of guy he is, he's been going down to Haiti once a year with his church to help build schools and housing for the last 10+ years. He's the kind of guy that you just don't want to lose touch with, even though our business relationship ended over a decade ago.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tough Losses

So this weekend we won our first two games by slaughter rule in 5 innings. Our third game was against the team that would end up winning the tournament and we hit great scoring 27 runs. Unfortunately, they hit pretty well too and scored 33 runs. Our defense made some key errors, myself included, and that proved to be the defense. Come Sunday morning, the other third baseman started and unfortunately he made some big errors, so I came back in again and made all the plays that came my way this time (5 or 6 of them). Even though we took the lead in the bottom of the sixth 15-11, we gave up 4 in the top of the seventh and couldn't even muster a hit in the bottom of the seventh (and yes, one of those hitters was me, which was one of my two batted outs for the weekend). In the 8th they only scored 2 runs and we had the top of our lineup to hit. We couldn't even push one run across though and lost 17-15. Damn. The drive home from Lansing was going to start a bit earlier than expected.

On the upside, our team never gave up in any game and battled back repeatedly. We had pretty good team chemistry which is not always the case on any team. There are two big tournaments left with this team and a few with my other team, including this weekend in Detroit. This tournament is one of the biggees for this softball organization (one of three organizations in which we play). Their biggest tournament is down in Orlando, in which we are already booked to play. Football is on TV, but softball is still being played!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Short Post

It's almost 11 p.m., which is almost midnight to my body which is on Eastern time since I woke up in Lansing this morning. Oh, that's right, I don't think I mentioned it, but I had a softball tournament in Lansing, MI this weekend. Actually it was in Potterville, MI, but it's close enough.

Details of the weekend to follow, but in summary we finished 5th out of 22 teams and we were not happy. We lost our last game 17-15 in extra innings, so that might be part of it.

Anyway, I hope you had a great weekend! Charity golf outing for me on Monday and then another golf outing on Wednesday before another softball tournament this weekend. It's going to be a busy (but fun) week!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Unexpected busy-ness

Today I knew was going to be a busy day, but I was up late last night after a 2 1/2 hour practice in the burbs where I had to fight construction traffic to get back. The morning came too early, but such is life.

After a shower and my Starbucks, I flipped on my computer which I turned off for the first time at night since coming home from Jersey. A new anti-spyware software started running. Odd. I didn't download any new software. Oh, and it found a threat. Hold on a minute. Cancel. I don't want this program running. Where did it come from? Let me get on the internet and see what's out there about it.

Can't get on the internet. "Do I want to run the anti-spyware program to determine the problem?" NO! CNTRL-ALT-DEL. I'll pull up the task manager to see what's running. "Access denied". Screw that. MSCONFIG. "Access denied". Unbelievable.

If you remember I had all sorts of trouble updating my IPhone to the new software. While doing so I disabled my firewalls and such to facilitate the process. Apparently I picked up this virus in the interim. Fortunately I have "a guy" around the corner from my house and I was headed to the burbs to meet with a client, so I dropped off the computer and by the time I got home, it was fixed.

The day's events made the evening charity wine/pizza party a much more welcome event than originally anticipated.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A busy day

Today was one of those just crazy days from the get go. Even though I got up at 7:30, I still couldn't get into the office before 10. There was just too much going on at home to get there as early as I'd like, everything from resetting a rat trap (an entry for another day) to packing my lunch to getting my softball gear to the car. BUT, I finally made it to the office and spent some time with Ricardo. Since my shoulder surgery, I haven't been going in as often because Ricardo was working at a client often and I had rehab 2-3 days a week. Now that he's on a more regular schedule and my schedule is getting normalized, I'm going to try and get in there more often.

After the office, I headed to Naperville to see my folks, then to softball practice in Westchester from 7-9:30. We have a tournament in Potterville, MI this weekend and the practice was pretty good for getting a bunch of reps in. Hopefully we're ready!!

Getting old is tough. My niece is getting older. In fact, she just turned 11. Did I remember her birthday? Nope. Nice. What a great uncle. Ugh. In my defense, I thought it was in September as opposed to August. The day was right, but the month was off. Now do I make up for it by getting her something BETTER than I would otherwise, or since it's late and it's already special by being the only gift she'll receive that day, do I just go for the same level of gift? Interesting thought.

Finally, I had a meeting at my church on Tuesday and took these pictures prior to mass after my meeting:

The donor plaques for our church restoration are finally up!! There are four of them, two on each wall at the main entrance.

And there I am! Whoopee!! Kind of cool to be able to see my name there for all time as someone who contributed to the great renovation work done in the last 5-6 years.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sign Language

So Joisey Ken has a baby girl who is 16 months old (I think, maybe 18 months). Anyway, she can say various words and seems very bright. While Ken and I were golfing, the gals took her shopping and on the way said they would get ice cream afterwards. When they got back into the car, the youngster said, "Ice cream?" How freaking cute is that??

Ok, I just realized I've referenced their daughter by her name several times already in my blog, so I'll stop avoiding typing "Stella". Not sure why I felt the need for secrecy all of the sudden, but I didn't want to offer up the information. Anyway, I think it's fine now, but if it's not Joisey Ken will send a squad after me I'm sure.

Stella happens to know sign language, of sorts. She can communicate with gestures using her hands if she: wants a bath, wants to sleep, wants a drink, wants more....and I'm sure some other things too. What a smart kid!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's NYC time!

But first, two pictures of Lake Wallenpaupack:

Not the greatest pictures, but you get the idea: it's a good sized lake.

One final note, Joisey Ken called me this morning to tell me about one final event at the lake. After seeing some odd looking scat in the yard (not deer or dog) and surmising it might be a black bear, Ken actually saw and videotaped a black bear in the yard!!! If I get the video, I'll post it.

A picture of NY I believe as we're crossing a bridge.

So this is the show we saw on Friday, which we were able to do because 1) Ken drove us back to NYC 2) we had early check-in at the hotel which they actually honored 3) I knew that we didn't have to wait in the huge line in Time Square for discounted tickets. There's another location in south eastern Manhattan, just a short train ride away, so it took us less than 45 minutes or so to get discounted tickets. Sweet.

Some pics from the theater.

It was a little more intimate than many theaters including the one we visited on Saturday.

Yes that's right, we saw another show on Saturday! LL was a good sport about spending five days with my buddy and his wife, so it's the least I could do.

The curtain call at Promises, Promises. Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth are in there somewhere.

Though I got warned about taking pictures before the show (me specifically because I wanted to take a picture of this magnificent chandelier), the picture nazis must have left by intermission as pictures then and later were fine.

When we left on Sunday morning, our cabbie offered us a ride to Laguardia for $25 cash and he wouldn't run the meter. Done and done!! I'm pretty sure we came out ahead.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I'm back baby!!

Wow!! I missed writing my blog for the last week. You'd think it would be a welcome reprieve, but it really isn't. I enjoy my time writing and as I've mentioned, it's a personal journal for me so writing is recording who and what I am at a daily level.

So what happened??

Well, first, last weekend, my buddy Don was in from L.A. for a street fair in my neighborhood and when he comes to town it's usually my one trip a year into a gay bar.

I'm secure enough with my masculinity to go to a gay bar, but it helps if I have at least one gal with me. In this case, I had three! It was kind of funny actually as there seemed to be a fairly large open area around us while the rest of the bar was wall-to-wall gay guys and gals. Don, if you couldn't tell, is on the left with Gina and MJ* next to him with LL on the far right. Don was recently on Late Night Liars (a game show) and he won something like $11,000!! That was 8 weeks ago and he hasn't gotten the check yet! Bastards.

Then my trip out east started with an early morning flight on Monday. LL and I were troopers and got to the airport early for our 7:50 flight. Everything went well and Joisey Ken picked us up at Laguardia before heading to his in-laws lake house on Lake Wallenpaupack.

One of our first stops, by chance, was this bagel shop to get a Taylor ham, egg and cheese on a bagel. They are sooooo good. I actually ate two of them that first day and then had another on Friday on the way back to the airport. Yum! For future reference, Jessie's is off of 87 near Sloatsburg on HWY 17 north of the Dunkin Donuts. They don't have their own bathroom, but that's ok.

Here's the highway sign for Lake Wallenpaupack. There's an interesting Wikipedia entry on the lake, so take a look.

Here's Joisey Ken with his daughter on his shoulders, Dawn his wife, Charlie their dog, LL and me. We're out on the deck to the house, which use to be a bed and breakfast and sleeps something like 15 people. In fact, after we left on Friday, they were having 12 other folks up for the weekend. It's a nice, quiet place for some R&R though we take the jet ski out and made some noise!

Time at the lake house is measured by meals and on Thursday I made these bad boyz. They looked awesome and tasted only ok. I really thought they would fall off the bone, but they weren't quite there. Not a bad second effort, but something wasn't right. Next time!!

There is always hijinx at the lake house as well. This bad boy that Ken is holding is a potato cannon. You stuff a potato in one end and put a little butane or something in the other end, close it and hit the igniter. It shoots the potato....geesh, well over 50 yards, so I'd say closer to 100 yards. Pretty crazy. Now to just find a practical application......

You may not be able to see them too well, but a doe and two fawns wandered through the grounds of the lake house. Very cute.

After two rounds of golf, one trip to the spa (for LL), some time on the jet ski, helping to unload and install one washing machine and way too much food being eaten, Joisey Ken dropped us off at Club Quarters near Radio City Music Hall where we spent the weekend in NYC. More on that tomorrow.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Possible silence...or at least a low roar

This weekend was filled with softball, as usual as of late. The team was playing in Crystal Lake which is about 75 minutes away, so I was gone from 8:30 to 8:30 on Saturday as we went 3-1 and then had to be back out on the fields at 9:00 on Sunday morning for our 10:00 game. The game was delayed a bit by rain and lightening, but we played and unfortunately lost (to the same team we lost our first game to). So we went 3-2 and out of 18 teams, I think we finished tied for 6th. Not bad, but we could have been better. The drive home, due to traffic accidents and festivals, took about 2 hours. Ugh.

Don't worry if I'm late or miss a day posting this week. There's nothing wrong. Just a little R&R. I know, I know: R&R from WHAT? Well, granted, I live a more relaxed life than most, but it's still nice to get away for a bit. Hopefully I'll be able to upload pictures. More info on where, later.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

New Theory

As information comes to light, even the best of minds (maybe ESPECIALLY the best of minds) refine their theories to accommodate that new information. The big bang theory didn't just come out of nowhere; it was refined after science revealed the universe was expanding in all directions. By the way, I'm not sold on the big bang theory, but that's another entry entirely.

Similarly, I've refined my poison ivy/new detergent theory. The most prominent rash sites on me are on each leg above the ankle but below the knee and the back of my neck: exactly where I put sunscreen while golfing. But I also put it on my forearms, which is where more subtle bumps have begun to appear.

On the very hot day in question, I took a shower after the first round of golf because it was so hot and because we had time. I'm not sure if I had been exposed to the ivy at this point or not, but it doesn't matter. The shower was more to cool off from the heat and humidity as opposed to cleaning dirt, so I wouldn't have made a huge effort to soap up my legs to get them clean.

The sunscreen becomes important though because I use SPF 15 and reapply it throughout the day. You see where I'm going now? I put sunscreen on my legs, forearms and the back of my neck and then would reapply it later on, spreading the oil from the poison ivy to those other parts of my body.

So now I think the laundry detergent is NOT to blame for any rashiness I may be experiencing. It seems to have just be transference by sunscreen that spread the nastiness.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


Is that a word? Itchiness. I guess and I think I even spelled it right since spell check didn't correct it.

Two weeks ago Thursday, I played golf over in the Quad Cities. We played 36 holes and only occasionally had to venture into the woods to retrieve a misguided shot.

The following Tuesday, while taking off my socks after softball, I noticed an inflamed ridge on the back of my leg just above the ankle. It was in a straight line and while it may not have been poison ivy, it was definitely something that did not agree with my skin. Two more lines, much smaller in size, appeared a day or two later on my other leg. Then a spot here and a spot there on my legs. I read up on poison ivy and such and it's not contagious or spreadable once you are no longer in contact with the oil from the plant, but it often shows up a week on longer after exposure if you haven't been exposed to it before (I don't remember ever having poison ivy). It also tends to show up in streaks.

Just the other day, a rash appeared on the back of my neck! Well what the heck? I'm sure I didn't have my neck in the woods looking for balls. The culprit for this latest event might not be any plant at all, but instead some new laundry detergent that I decided to try. It's Tide with some kind of bleaching agent. The neck rash appeared after my cleaning lady had come and done the laundry, including washing the bed linens and pillowcases...right where I lay my neck of course. My arms and legs have started to get much smaller bumps, but nothing all that noticeable.

So this morning, before going golfing again, I washed my linens and some clothes in a different detergent and picked up some hydrocortisone to put on both rashes to reduce the itching and swelling. So far so good, but it's quite annoying and I hope it's gone by next week when I'm visiting Joisey Ken!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Much Shorter Entry Today

....still related to this weekend though. Yes, I had some not-very-good-for-me food this weekend, mostly due to the sodium content. Sunday evening it actually started to impact me as I was feeling a little....uneven. Not dizzy, but not right. Plus my ear was ringing like crazy. All is back to normal, or close to it, today though and I'm even down 2 pounds below my drivers license weight! Three more pounds and I'll be where I feel I should be all the time, which would be 15 pounds lighter than in March (or February, I'm not sure).

When you play softball, the guys rip on each other for all sorts of things. If you consistently get hurt, you're "made of glass" or suffer from "vaginitus" and it only gets worse from there. Sometimes it's pretty funny stuff. Saturday during batting practice, after our tour of Troy, I came up with a pretty funny remark that stopped the BP session while everyone enjoyed a good laugh. From my pictures yesterday (I think), you could see that Troy has quite a few mobile homes, which is an oxymoron in my mind because they really aren't mobile at all without a whole lot of effort. They are MORE mobile than a real house, but not by much.

Anyway, I picked out a guy on the team who has a good job and wouldn't be considered to be white trash by most people I think and said, "Hey Jimmy. You're white trash; how much does one of these mobile homes go for?" Just out of the blue. While someone else was hitting. It was pretty damn funny. Jimmy took it in stride. Later on that evening, Benny Baseball asked me where I got my Bears shorts because he likes all things Bears. I responded Sports Authority and somehow he mentioned Walmart. To which I replied, "I can't shop at Walmart because I might run into Jimmy."

Good times even while getting crushed in softball.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Weekend as Promised

So it was a tougher end of the week and weekend than normal. Tougher in the sense that I just didn't get enough sleep. Wednesday and Thursday ESDNM was in town and Tuesday night was my usual late softball league night. Friday around noon, LL and I headed down to Troy Illinois, about 20 miles north east of St. Louis and checked into the hotel my team was staying at, the Super 8 right off the highway. For future reference Joe, stay at the Holiday Inn Express right next door Joe, much nicer.

Anyway, since our first game wasn't until 3 on Saturday (an unusually late start), we decided to hit the St. Louis Cardinals/ Pittsburgh Pirates game and see their new stadium. Unfortunately, there was a 2 1/2 hour rain delay so the game didn't start until 9:30. LL and I haven't had the best of luck with baseball games. Two of the games have had long rain delays (one was rained out) and the third game we were in the last row on the lower level at Wrigley, which are awful seats as it turns out, but there's no chance of getting wet.

We stayed through the delay and the first 7 innings, which was about 11. Here are some pics!

Here's their tribute to Stan "The Man" Musial outside the stadium. Very nice. This security guy in red would NOT move.

One of my favorite players (and ex-Cub) is Lou Brock. He's one of the players honored with a statue outside the stadium.

The Brock plaque.

From inside the stadium much later, here's a picture of some of the statues outside the stadium.

Inside the stadium, this is the view from the stadium from across the field from where we waited out the delay. We were on the second floor just to the right of the foul pole. Then we watched the game from the upper deck from the foul side of the pole.

And here is the view from our seats. Yes, that's a Cubs fan wearing a Mark Pryor jersey! Ha.

Look at that awesome scoreboard. They even put up the doppler radar map of the rain in the area during the delay. They showed the Braves/Reds game live during the delay too (Cards and Reds are battling for first place). Suck on that Wrigley. Yet ANOTHER stadium that's wayyyyy freaking better than Wrigley.

Oh, here's a pic of the scoreboard with the doppler map on it. Ha!

And here's another reason why it's better. During the rain delay, just ONE of the areas you could go sit and hang out was this very nice, comfortable area.

Another reason the stadium is better is this beast. A hotdog wrapped in bacon! Yes!!!! Look at those toppings!!!

The Grill in action.

The one stand with these dogs. See the big pot of beans. Awesome.

The finished product. LL and I split it because we wanted to try this other awesome sandwich...

...this bad boy is a Bratzel. It's a bratwurst wrapped in pretzel dough. Soooooo goooood.

So Saturday morning we decided to drive around Troy before batting practice. We saw this outstanding scene of Americana.

Just down the street was this place. A bit scary.

On our way back to the hotel to get ready for batting practice, we were stopped at a red light on the edge of a bridge where the exit/entrance ramp from the highway come up right outside the hotel. As we stop at the red light, the car in front of us (a black Jaguar) had just gone through. But they were going slowly and erratically. This next picture is awful because of the sun, but the car hit the sign on the right which is anchored by sandbags and knocked it down.

So then this car meanders through the intersection into this construction area on the other side. She goes down into where they are going to be widening the road and have it dug out, but haven't filled it in yet, so it's filled with water from the night before. Instead of backing up, the driver keeps going and is now up past the tires in mud and water.

Immediately I thought the driver had had a heart attack or something, so I pulled through the intersection and parked near the dug out road and hopped out of the car. I told LL to dial 911 and ran up to the car. Inside I found a woman, mid 60's I'd say, sunglasses on but askew, with her head bobbing slowly and unresponsive.

Then I saw the bottle of Smirnoff in her lap. She was drunk. Ugh. The car was in the mud and water and the driver side door was just a few inches from what would be the new median for the road which would prevent me from opening the door. Fortunately the window was rolled down, so I figured out a plan of attack. I told the woman to not touch or do anything while I reached in and put the car in park. This part worried LL a bit from her vantage point by my car. I was ready to side step with the car if she accidentally hit the gas though, so I was hoping to be ok.

So I reached in, without incident, and shifted the car into park. Success!! Then I took the keys out of the ignition and put them on the roof of the car, out of reach of the driver. The problem wasn't solved, but the danger was abated. A few minutes later the cops pulled up and started to take action. When they removed the bottle from her lap, they also found some pills. Not good. Later, because the door was immobile and no one wanted to get their feet wet in the mud, the EMT's pulled her out the driver side window. Then a tow truck came and pulled the car out. Quite the morning.

Here's a picture of the scene with the EMT and police there but after we pulled into the hotel lot, which is where I took this picture from.

We took BP, won our first game 13-3 and lost our second 17-1. Sunday morning we led 11-1 after two innings, but lost 15-11. Ugh. A short softball weekend unfortunately.

And this is just a random flower from our street. I love these!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Lots to write about...

....and I have pictures!! And I'll make that post in the morning. I'm beat.