Tag Archives: baseball

Top ten list of silly minor league baseball team names

Greetings, readers. We haven’t had a top ten list in a while, which got Rebecca and I thinking about what would be a good topic for said list. Here is the one we have chosen. I watch quite a bit of baseball and sometimes the minor league teams can have some bizarre names. Here is my list of some of the silliest names in the minor leagues, in no particular order, except number 1 and 2.

#10. Montreal Canadiens. [The team is in Montreal, Canada. Of course they are going to be Canadiens.]

#9. Lehigh Valley IronPigs. [On Wikipedia it did give a short synopsis as to why that name was chosen and it made sense. I still think it sounds a bit goofy. It is not one of my favorites.]

#8. Hartford Bees. [As opposed to the old NHL’s Hartford Whalers, which made much more sense, the Hartford Bees just sounds like a name that was chosen at the last second. I will have to do some supplementary research.]

#7. Modesto Nuts. [Johnny Carson would have had a field day with this one. The area, I’m sure, is known for one or multiple kinds of nuts. But for a baseball team … when men are usually adjusting themselves at times, the team with the name Nuts is not a team I would want to play for.]

#6. Erie SeaWolves. [The more I say it the cooler the name sounds, but are there really wolves in the sea?]

#5. Greensboro Grasshoppers. [I know what this team was going for. They wanted a team name that began with the letter G. No one is afraid of the big bad grasshopper.]

#4. Los Angeles Dodgers. [Back when this team was in Brooklyn, the fans had to dodge the trolleys to get to the stadium, hence the name the Trolley Dodgers in the early years. Now that the team plays in the wide open spaces at Dodger Stadium, the name is more iconic than fitting.]

#3. Richmond Flying Squirrels. [When I first heard this name many years ago, I did not know that there was actually such a thing as a flying squirrel. Even with that knowledge, I still think the name is one of the silliest ones. Sorry Richmond.]

#2. New Orleans Babycakes. [Rebecca filled me in on what the origin of the name might be, with the area making King cakes and, she thinks, Baby cakes for Mardi Gras.]

Honorable mention. The Portland Sea Dogs. [I love Maine, as you all know, I’ve seen Hadlock Field, where this team plays, and it is a mini Fenway Park. Oops, I just gave it away, yes they are affiliated with the Boston Red Sox. However … do dogs swim in the sea? I think not.]

#1. Amarillo Sod Poodles. [This even made Rebecca chuckle. Okay, what is a sod poodle? I think a second grader could come up with a better name than that. Again, I’ll do some supplementary research. My view on a couple of these team names might change, but don’t hold your breath.]

There is our list for today. We hope you enjoy it and get a chuckle out of some of these names. If any of you want to set me straight, feel free to leave me comments. Until Sunday, when I dictate another blog entry using the speech recognition program, take care, have a wonderful few days, and happy reading.

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My summer off is busier than expected so far

Greetings, readers. So far, in this early summer off, about the only thing that has kept to plan is me resting my feet. I wanted to have about 100 pages written by now. Lol, there’s a chuckle for ya. Between appointments and daily errands, my first two weeks off have flown right by with not much getting done.

It’s making me angry. I so wanted to have a schedule in place to write, write, write. It seems though that every time I get ready, I either receive a phone call, text, or am reminded of an upcoming appointment that day. There is a small part of me that wants to hang a sign on the apartment door reading Don’t Bother Me Until September. Of course, I can’t do that; I can’t be that anti-social.

This morning as I was trying to wake up, I checked my Facebook, email, and Twitter and then discovered the computer was running slowly. A page popped up in big red letters claiming I had a virus. It was probably a scam, but I stopped what I was doing and ran my virus checker anyway. There went 20 minutes. Luckily, all seems to be fine.

Today is kind of an odd day. After work hours with Rebecca, my accountant and I have a meeting to go to, which could take the better part of the afternoon. Do you see my problem with productivity, readers?

On to other news, I heard that the Hawaii volcano is erupting again. I don’t know how serious it is but hopefully everyone will be alright. I saw pictures last week of the devastation with homes and cars ablaze. Let’s face it, when you live on an island, you really don’t have anywhere to run. Also this morning I saw a blurb about a minor earthquake during a major league baseball game. It didn’t mention anything about deaths, so it was probably a minor quake. Again, hopefully everyone is okay.

An R.I.P. goes out to a great actress, Margot Kidder, who passed away at age 69. She was far too young, if you ask me. She played Lois Lane in the movies with Christopher Reeve as Superman.

Lastly, Rebecca’s husband Darren’s book, Four’s a Crowd, which is based on my play Kimberly, is almost ready to publish. We will go live for sale in a week or two on CreateSpace.com, and then it will be available on Amazon. Darren has worked hard on it, and I worked hard on the play. We are both very proud of the final outcome and we think it is going to be a winner. Hopefully it puts us on the writing map. Keep your fingers crossed.

There is our entry for today. Rebecca and I will be back tomorrow with a new blog entry, possibly another short story. I won’t say for certain. I’m trying to get out of the habit of promising things I don’t deliver. So until then, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

Top ten list of things we might remember from our childhood

Greetings, readers. This top ten list was going to be a general list that anyone could relate to, but as the list got going, it seemed to get more specific to the time I was growing up. I’m 51 years old, so I think anyone around my age will be able to remember the same things.

#10. Mom or Dad would say, “Sorry, but we can’t do that. It’s a school night.” [There were many things I enjoyed doing, from playing ball outside to watching that 9:30 TV show, and there was always that cut-off time on school night.]

#9. Snow days. [During the cold snowy winters of the mid to late 70s, I eagerly anticipated each snow storm with the high hopes of those beloved snow days. I know we had to make up the days off from school at the end of the year, but to stay home, warm and cozy, was always fun.]

#8. Older cars and cheaper gas. [Back when American cars were big boats, with plenty of room and large gas tanks, no one thought anything of going for that long Sunday drive. Most big cars were fancy, stylish, and sounded cool. The cheapest gas I can remember was 40 or 50 cents per gallon. Yes that was more money back then, I know, but if you just look at the numbers compared to today you’d get a chuckle.]

#7. Saturday morning cartoons. [When I was a youngster, I could not wait for Saturday mornings. I would run downstairs, fill my cereal bowl, and plop in front of the TV to watch three hours of really good cartoons. The cartoons they make today are not nearly as entertaining to me and some Anime cartoons are quite violent. It is a pity that the Saturday morning cartoon is actually gone.]

#6. That disco craze. [The music of the 1970s was funk and disco. I don’t love all disco music, but some of my all-time favorite songs are from this genre.]

#5. Roller skating. [Before roller blading, there was roller skating. When I was a teenager, roller skating was just on the way out. There used to be a place called Sir Skate here in town that would do a whooping Friday and Saturday evening business. Lots of school kids could not wait to flock to the rink and skate the evening away to good music.]

#4. Going to a Friday evening movie or drive-in. [Many an evening was spent by me going to our local theaters and watching such hits as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the 1976 version of King Kong, Smokey and the Bandit, and of course, the original Star Wars. Ticket prices were cheap, as were the refreshments.]

#3. Baseball games on the radio. [This is more something of the 1940 and 50s craze, but I can still remember my mom listening to the Pittsburgh Pirates on the radio. In the mid 70s, one of our local TV stations starting showing the games and we began to watch instead of listen to them. My favorite radio announcer recently retired, the LA Dodgers’ Vin Scully.]

#2. Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw, John Chancellor and Johnny Carson. [I always associated certain times of my life with certain celebrities. Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show was one of them. I would always watch his opening monologue on Friday nights when I could stay up later. My three favorite news anchors were Tom Brokaw, Walter Cronkite, and John Chancellor. Today the world is so depressing I no longer watch the news. Sorry current news anchors.]

#1. Holidays at home with family. [Some of my happiest memories are at Christmas time as a child. I enjoyed big Christmas trees, lots of presents, Christmas carols and a great holiday dinner. In elementary school of course my favorite part of that time was the holiday break. Three weeks of no school. Back then, yes, it was called Christmas vacation. So sorry for not being politically correct. Lol.]

There’s my list. If anyone has a question, comment or wishes to add your list, please feel free to do it here.

Until tomorrow, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

Top ten list of Star Trek holodeck programs I would have if the technology existed

Greetings, readers. As a Star Trek fanatic and a holodeck episode lover, I started to think, just what programs I would create and save if I had use of a holodeck. In the Star Trek world, even though a person is in a small room, the concept is that holographic images are displayed and moved so that people are tricked into thinking they have unlimited space. Here’s my list in reverse order.

#10. A visit to any city I chose. [Maybe one day I would create Paris and sit to enjoy coffee in an outdoor cafe. The next day, perhaps Rome to visit the Colosseum. Or to Devils Tower in Wyoming.]

#9. Drive a car to anywhere. [Oh, what fun it would be to drive to Maine any time I wanted to.]

#8. My own baseball league with my own home team and personally designed stadium. [I could see the Pennsylvania Lumberjacks, perhaps.]

#7. A house with a virtual family. [This idea, I must admit, came to me after watching an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, “Real Life”, where the Doctor created the perfect family, but B’Elanna Torres thought that was too easy and changed the program. I would set it up so that I could control the weather and the type of home and furniture we had, but I would randomized how my family reacted to me day-to-day to be more realistic. I would not have the “perfect” family.]

#6. A train ride to anywhere. [I could ride an Amtrak in America, take a local in New Jersey, or hop aboard the Orient Express. Lots of intrigue and mystery there.]

#5. Take a virtual cruise. [I could set it up for any number of days I chose and for any destination. I could take a quick trip to the Bahamas, or a cruise around the world, stopping at all the wonderful ports of call. This one would have to be saved and gone back to. ]

#4. An airplane ride to anywhere. [I absolutely adore aircraft. I wish I could fly in them more often. If I only had an hour, I would take a prop pane ride from State College to Pittsburgh. If I had more time on my hands, maybe I would hop a jet and fly cross-country to California. I could sit in my virtual airplane seat, take notes, and type my stories.]

#3. To speak to any writer I chose and pick his or her brain. [I could share my limited amount of work with them and ask them to critique it. Hopefully they would be kind.]

#2. A day at the beach. [Imagine the warmth, the sand, the smell of salt in the sea breeze, and of course, the ocean. I could spend hours in this program.]

#1. Recreate a day at Bear Spring Camps anytime I chose. [I would have a few scenarios in this program with different kinds of weather, different times of the year, and, of course, the people I know from real-life Bear Spring, as well as computer generated fictional families. You would hardly ever get me out of that program.]

Honorable mention: Camping in a tent. [I’ve never gone camping in a tent before, but if there was one big enough that I wouldn’t feel claustrophobic in, it would appeal to me. To hear the crickets at night and have my campfire going would be soothing and peaceful. I love nature, especially crickets and the sound of birds.]

There’s my list. I hope you enjoy. Whether you are a Star Trek fan or not, please do chime in with your list, either here or in Facebook.

Until next week, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

Brrr, that was cold!

Greetings, readers. Today my hour at Panera came to an abrupt halt when, while talking to my girlfriend and gesturing with my hands, I knocked my full cup of cold water all over my lap. To most, that would just be an annoyance. To someone like me though, who suffers from a slight nervous condition and has a history of seizures, any sudden change in body temperature could cause problems.

Traci didn’t know what to do as I just sat there trying to catch my breath. It is a terrible feeling to know that you are sitting in a restaurant in soaking wet pants and can’t do anything quickly to make yourself feel better. I would have given anything for a warm-air hand dryer in the men’s bathroom. No such luck.

I told Traci that I was going to go outside and sit in the sunshine while I waited for Rebecca. It did feel good and the sun dried me out a wee bit. I felt bad leaving Traci there by herself, but she insisted that I go outside and warm up.

I was lucky because the temperature was warm but the humidity was low. With a light breeze, it was quite comfortable sitting there on the bench. I’m very thankful it wasn’t a rainy afternoon.

Before meeting my accountant today, I had to come up to the apartment/office, change, and make sure that we didn’t forget anything before the meeting time. I must admit to you that my morning drenching did put me in a slightly surly mood, but I am feeling much better now. The meeting is over, the blog entry is being written, and all appointments have been changed until tomorrow. The best news of all is that I had no ill effects from Panera’s version of Niagara Falls.

My nail appointment has been moved until tomorrow for personal reasons and actually that suits me better. After Traci returns from an outing of her own, I might invite her up for decaf or go down to her place for a visit.

Well, there is my day. I am learning to take mild upsets with a grain of salt. Even with the water faux pas, I am going to have a good day. I have charged up my PS3 controller, and will play a little baseball or football until coffee hour.

Until Friday, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

Grand Theft Auto V … the most violent game I have ever seen

Greetings, readers. I watch some people play video games on YouTube. Many people, including my favorite YouTuber, Jeff Favignano, record these videos at least three times a week. One of the games they play is Grand Theft Auto V, as police officers chasing bad guys through the streets in cars. I was able to see the way it was played and liked this game. In the version with the police view, it is called LSPDFR (Los Santos police department first response.) It was quite intriguing. I was all set to buy a used copy of the game and try it. Then I found out how many mods you must have, updates, and other various rigmarole, and I concluded it was too technical for me.

I made the mistake of searching for other videos to see what else this game had to offer. I had heard that this was quite a violent game, but I didn’t know just how bad it was until last night. While I did not want to continue watching these videos, I wanted to see just graphic the game could be. Turns out, I was actually doing research for this blog entry. One unnamed gamer made several videos of his character with various rifles and machine guns, pumping bullets into anyone who moved. I noticed it was mostly woman. That person needs psychological help. Other violent atrocities included throwing a bomb at people, or throwing a molotov cocktail and watching people scream while they burn to death. OMG. Thumbs down to that one.

I was curious to see if there were videos dealing with sex in the game. There was way more content than I was expecting to find and I was horrified to know that children under the age of 18 can watch these YouTube videos. An example from the game is a young man in a fancy sports car picks up a prostitute, drives into a dark alley and then, in a first person view, the player gets to watch and listen to their character perform sexual acts. I believe there are three acts to choose from depending on price. The only good thing about this mod is that there was no complete nudity. Again, thumbs down.

On a gaming podcast, one of the people said that at least a player might not be out in the real world taking out their aggressions. That might be true. Personally, I believe it might have an opposite effect. People playing this game may see how easy it is to stab, maim, or kill and go out in the real world and try it. No, no, no. The more I watch these videos the more I hate this game. Not to be repetitive, but I will say if there was a version of the game that was only the police department, I might be interested in that. Besides that, this game is way too violent for me.

I’ve heard that GTA 6 is due to come out soon, and Lord only knows what that version will include. I think I am going to stick to baseball, football, and WWE wrestling games. They are much less violent. My rant about this horrid game is now over.

Just a quick update on what is going to happen in the next week and a half. There will be a blog post this Friday, and next week one on Wednesday and Thursday. I am taking a personal day on the 13th to perform a show for the folks at the Addison Court. There will be new pictures added in the picture gallery soon after the show is finished.

Until Friday, enjoy the next two days, take care and happy reading.

I am looking forward to spring and summer

Greetings, readers. Although here in central Pennsylvania this winter has not been severe by any means, I am looking forward to spring and summer. I am a warm weather person and always will be. Here are just a few of the things that I am looking forward to in the next five months.

First, baseball season begins in April. Although the 162 game season can get a little tedious to watch every day, I love opening day, the first few weeks of the season, and the playoffs. I will be glad to watch the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies once again.

At the end of May is the start of the summer season. The swimming pools open, and my favorite race to watch, the Indianapolis 500, takes place Memorial Day weekend.

In June, is Father’s Day, and that holds a bittersweet memory for me, for my mother passed away on Father’s Day 2003. I always mark the occasion by going to the gravesite to put flowers down and spend time with both of my parents – my father passed in 2008. As a child, June also meant the end of school. I would savor every minute between June 10th and early September. Can you tell I didn’t like school very much?

July is my birthday month, and even today I will treat myself to something special, like going for an ice cream or by going to a restaurant that I rarely go to. One year it was Meyer Dairy, which reminded me a lot of those wonderful evenings at Rummel’s Ice Cream Shop in Maine.

Speaking of Maine, in August is my usual trek up north for a week of fishing, boating, and sometimes swimming. It has to be a really hot day for me to jump in the lake.

Also in mid-July is the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. I have fun walking through the cool mist fern display which really feels good on a hot humid July day.

Before you know it, it is mid-August again and summer is winding down. I wait all year for these five months and boy they sure do go quickly.

This entry is the 488th one I’ve written and published on this blog. As we approach it, I guarantee you, my readers, that #500 will be a spectacular entry. The topic has not been chosen yet, but I can promise you that I will not just be talking about the weather. Until next Wednesday, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

Another hodgepodge day

Greetings, readers. It is a partly sunny Friday afternoon, but it is cold outside. I’m glad to see the blue sky here and there, but I could do without that wind. As I get ready to make my weekend plans, there is something I want to do with someone at 3:00, and when I get home I intend to write. My new short story is going well and I am psyched about that. This morning for the first time in a long time I actually felt like I was in that zone that I love to be in. It is as though I am seeing what I am writing as if it was a movie.

To another topic, my blog entry from yesterday was well received – no negative comments. I understand that I could have taken a shovel and bashed the hell out of Donald Trump, but I chose to play it a little bit safe and that is okay for now. I will see how I feel about that as the general election gets closer. Am I going to write blog entries about Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, the frontrunners in the Democratic party? Not as of this moment, but you never know.

In cool news, I noticed on Facebook that today is Alan Alda’s 80th birthday, so happy birthday to him. M*A*S*H was one of my favorite shows. Also, I saw yesterday on Facebook that the DeLorean car company is going to resume production for the first time since 1982. Thumbs up to that.

Yesterday also marked the 30th anniversary of the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger. I have watched many documentaries dealing with that disaster and if NASA had listened to the expert who said it was too cold to launch, those wonderful folks would still be alive. We’ll chalk that up to another tragedy that didn’t have to happen.

Finally, in this hodgepodge blog entry, I can’t believe that pitchers and catchers report to spring training a month from now. It seems like the Kansas City Royals just walked off the field after winning the World Series. It is true I guess that baseball has the shortest off-season, so I shouldn’t be surprised. It would not amaze me if in 10 or 20 years baseball was played year-round in the United States in a brand new league. There are plenty of domes and stadiums down south and out west to make a second baseball league a viable prospect in cities that don’t have major league teams now.

Well, there you have it, these are my thoughts on my day. We’ll be back next week with at least two new blog entries. Until then, have a fantastic weekend, take care and happy reading.

Weather, sports and games

Greetings, readers, from wickedly cold State College, Pennsylvania. As a friend of mine from Canada pointed out to me yesterday, minus 2 degrees at 7:30 this morning is nothing; he has minus 30 something. It has been several years since central PA has experienced this type of brutal cold. In one word: Brrr. Luckily, not too much snow fell with this last storm. As I understand it, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York City got hit much harder. We escaped with an inch or two .

It’s a beautiful sunny day out today and it looks like it could be in the upper 70s. Looks can be deceiving. After the work hours are over today at 3pm, I’ve decided I’m going to stay inside and keep warm. I should take a walk and get some sun, but I think comfort will win out.

I was up early this morning over at Panera cafe, doing some reading for a friend of mine which I had put off for way too long. His topic is not quite over my head, but it’s close. It makes the task of editing  doable but tedious. I should be ready to have our meeting by Friday, weather permitting.

Last evening, after I got back from seeing my friend Jim at Denny’s, I played a game of Madden football, and there was a real-life sports news ticker on the bottom of the screen. I saw that the NFL commissioner is thinking about making some rule changes that may include getting rid of the extra point. I say: Why? I have seen games won and lost on a missed extra point. Certainly the PAT is often automatic, but every once in a while … I hope the commissioner leaves well enough alone.

While I am on sports, it’s hard to believe that baseball catchers and pitchers report to Florida and Arizona in about five weeks. Yes, spring training is almost upon us. I’ll certainly be rooting for my Pirates once again.

Lastly, my best friend, Dave Trost, invited me to play a Facebook game called Criminal Case. It’s highly addictive and is actually good for my ailing brain. You have to solve puzzles by clicking on items in a scene from a given list, and at some point those items are used as evidence against the bad guy. It’s amazing, I’m already much quicker at completing each screen. Yay for engaging the brain. I might not be reading a 300 page novel, but anything to get the brain synapses going is a start.

If you have warm weather, enjoy it and be glad. I hope everyone has a good day, take care, and happy reading.

The Show – MLB13 vs MLB12

Greetings, readers. This is my second, and possibly final, report card on MLB13: The Show. As usual, OMG I love it. However, there are a few things, much to my dismay, that I either don’t like as well or fail to see any significant upgrade from last year’s version.

First off, and to me most important, is the replacement of Dave Campbell with Steve Lyons. As I mentioned in my previous blog entry on this topic, I believe the franchise was going for someone more youthful – just my personal opinion. For someone new, it seems like Steve was not allowed to bring his own personality into the game by receiving new lines to say; when playing the game, I hear Steve saying some of Dave’s lines almost verbatim. I would have preferred that the writers come up with a different way to say the same thing.

The lines of dialog this year seem to be more repetitive than in years past. Especially in beginner’s mode, where there is lots of computer assistance in the defense. The same situations come up with the very same dialog supplied. I briefly tried the next level the other night, with less computer assistance than I was used to, and noticed that the more errors I committed, the more play specific dialog was used. For example, “Oh, the catcher just threw the ball into center field,” an error which would almost never happen in computer mode.

The graphics are as good as they are going to get with current PS3 technology. The faces and stadiums look the same as last year. There were a few changes to details, like fireworks displays after a homerun or a home victory were moved from being shot into the sky to the stadium’s Jumbotron, but graphic-wise it looks the same. When the PS4 comes out in a year or so, I will be very interested to see whether or not the graphics and all the subtle nuances will have substantial improvements. Obviously, there is only so much realism you can put into a game. This is not Star Trek holodeck technology we are talking about. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

MLB13’s biggest gold star, which 12 did not have, is to load up your favorite teams in the appropriate brackets and do the playoffs without having to play a full season. With newer camera angles, more exciting music, and a brief shot of the pre-game team’s line-up announcements, I was more than happily surprised at that part of the game’s realism. I watched a few YouTube videos on this game and learned that the online features and the Diamond Dynasty mode have also been improved. I must admit, I have only tried Diamond Dynasty a few times and I don’t play online, so I really can’t make a fair judgement. If any of my readers are avid online gamers, please chime in with a comment.

MLB13: The Show … I’ll say final report card grade: A-. Though I didn’t blog about it at the time, last year I gave MLB12 a grade of B+. I gave this year’s version the bump up because of the post-season mode, which is actually my favorite part of real baseball.

Until next time, have a great day, take care, and happy reading.