Nov 23

Punches on ice

So many leftovers. Somehow they all made it into the refrigerator, which is, right now, more full than it has been since we moved. It’ll be a week of turkey and sides for me, and no complaints.

Today we went across the river to catch a hockey game. It was the homestanding Flyers and the Rangers, which drew a large crowd all their own. There was almost as much red, white and blue as black and orange at the Wells Fargo Center.

And the Rangers fans went away happy. They’re team won 3-1.

I might be bad luck for the Flyers. They’re 1-2 when I am there for a game. The win was in … 2007.

We’re there for Gritty, basically.

After the game, I ducked back in from the concourse to see what was happening with everyone walked away from the rink. Those video ribbons, it turns out, go all the way down to the ice. I wonder why. Aside from maintenance, what would be the purpose? And why lower it after a game?

On the way back home, we enjoyed splendid views of the sunset.

After which we started on the leftovers — didn’t make a dent, really — and eased into the second half of this lovely long weekend.

Oct 23

It him 5K

We had a lovely weekend, thanks. There was supposed to be rainy weather, but it held off for the most part. It was sunny and cool yesterday. I spent part of the day working on yard stuff. We watched a bit of football, and I did some school work. There was more of that today, and there’s class tonight. I have to lecture doing the NLCS. Playoff baseball and my class.

I have to talk about media and identity and a potential World Series clinching baseball game all at the same time. I’m going to have a word with Major League Baseball about this.

The highlight of the weekend was on Saturday morning.

We went across the river and did a 5K with Gritty. No, not this guy. This is one of Gritty’s little helpers, I guess.

Here’s Gritty, and someone currently turning into the beloved mascot, apparently. The Flyers have an icon on their hands, and this is a fundraiser run. But it isn’t one where you set out to set a new record. There were stops like this, where people were singing karaoke with Gritty.

There was also a long jump stop, and an egg race. You could also take a break to do a little ribbon dance. It was a festive and family sort of event. This was my lovely bride’s favorite stop. Listen to the freeway.

I passed these guys early on in the run. Here they are finally making their way to the finish line. Not bad for all the difficulty they seemed to have being able to see.

I call this my Kennedy pic. If only I had it in silhouette. All those people in the background, the mascot’s handler in his suit. The two of them walking, in deep talk about some important state secret. Gritty flashing a subtle peace sign to the camera, but intent on the conversation.

This one, I turned into a phone wallpaper.

Now I have to get back to it. Slides to prepare, clothes to iron, Gritty poses to work on, etc.

Aug 23


Light day here, as most of my hours were spent on preparing coursework. Canvas! Where all the fun is had! It’ll probably be a light week all the way around because I’m not hardly done with all of this prep work. Classes start next week, though, so there’s some stress and relief in that. Will I hit the deadlines I’ve imposed upon myself? And if I don’t, somehow, hit those deadlines, will I have a backup plan?

There’s always a plan. Thankfully, though, they don’t get used a lot. Nothing a good solid 96 hours of concentrated attention and angst can’t address.

This evening, though, we went to Philadelphia. It was $20 ticket night at Citizen’s Bank Park and The Yankee is demonstrating her secondary fandom. Her beloved Yankees aren’t very beloved at the moment, so there’s the wildcard chasing Phillies.

The home team is hosting the Angels, and perhaps the greatest player of any generation, Shohei Ohtani. This is what you need to know. At Phillies games they pipe in bell noises when the good guys hit a home run. There were five tonight — Harper in the 2nd, Schwarber in the 3rd, Bohm in the 6th, Stott in the 7th and Turner in the 8th — so there was a lot of bell ringing. An almost standard night for a team that leads all of baseball in August home runs.

We also saw a successful squeeze play, a triple and watched the great Ohtani go 3-5, and get thrown out trying to steal third base.

It was a lovely night at the old ballgame as the home standing Phillies beat the #Angels 12-7.

We didn’t think the first thing about dinner. It was about 10 p.m. when all of the runs were put on the scoreboard and we made a shortcut out of the parking lot. Through the power of the Internet and cell signals I found the one restaurant between here and there that was still open at that hour on a Tuesday night. It was a sleepy little, brightly lit restaurant and bar with Formica countertops and giant flat screen TVs.

Outside were a man and woman and, though we didn’t hear it, one of them was apparently trying to get the other to do something that was no good. Of course this woman came in for a beer in her pajamas, which she pointed out to us all. The young bartender took our order since no one else was working in the front of the house. They offered sandwiches and a burger, so we got steak sandwiches. They hit the spot. The other four or five people that came in all knew him and one another. Truly a neighborhood joint. Just as we were leaving — cash only, and now I have three dimes and that felt weird.

What do you even do with these things anymore?

Some other baseball fans came in for their late dinner. The only restaurant open for miles around.

And most importantly, I guess, the Phillies are 2-0 when we’re in the stadium. There’s another $20 game opportunity coming up next month. Because it is easy to get in and out of there, we’ll probably go back again. And now we know when the kitchen closes, and just how casual the dress code can be.

Aug 23

A casual sports Friday

My in-laws arrived last night, as planned. They got in late in the evening and we had a nice casual day of it today. They are lovely guests who thoughtfully don’t over-pack, which helps me out when I carry their luggage to the guest room.

Since it was dark when they arrived, they received the full tour today. The cats, who spent a few weeks with them earlier this summer, were also happy to see them, because more pets, more play, more treats.

My father-in-law tossed around a football for a while. The big guy still has some zip. It was great fun, that little game of catch.

We took in our first Phillies game this evening. The hometown good guys started a guy who was 0-3, and the visiting Minnesota Twins, who no one really likes anyway, started a struggling former Cy Young Award winner in Dallas Keuchel. Philadelphia gave up two runs early on solo home runs, but the Phillies put six runs up in the bottom of the second, knocking Keuchel out of the game. Everything after that was perfunctory. The home team put runs up in the bottom of the fourth, sixth and eighth. The Twins finished with an outfielder on the mound, and the weekend series started with a 13-2 win for the home team. Cristopher Sanchez went six innings and got his first win of the season.

Here, I think, is what is important. It was easy to get into the sports complex area. We parked right across the street from the venue, so getting in was no problem. It was a very short walk to our lower deck seats. It was easy to get out, even if it took two tries because of a weird merge.

These days, all of the major venues are pretty good. Citizens Bank Park opened in 2004. If you have a good venue and a good product, the thing that will get you to come back, or the thing that keeps you away, is convenience.

And, tonight, it was easy to cross the bridge, get to Greenwich Island, and get out again. A good time, as the cliche goes, was had by all. Except the Twins, and nobody really likes them, anyway.