Tag Archives: Pittsburgh Pirates

Sunday evening blog tentatively set to begin again October 6th

Greetings, readers. Yes, folks, it has been too long now not having two blog entries up per week. If the truth be told, I was going to wait until football season was over, but I think I shall try to sneak in an entry on late Sunday afternoons or evenings. My readers have come to expect two blog entries a week and as you know we aim to please.

For those of you who follow me on Facebook you will know I am trying to shake a cold right now. I just got finished telling Rebecca that I feel perfectly fine but sound very stuffy. If I hadn’t felt terrible two days ago, I might have actually called this an allergy attack. Remember it is fall here in central Pennsylvania. Happy second day of fall!

It is a gorgeous day here, nary a cloud in the sky. The new building next door is being worked on in earnest. They have five stories complete on my end of the building and four stories on the end closer to Beaver Ave. Completion date is set for next August, so quite soon the plumbing, lights, and the electrics will have to be put in. That means that the outside of the building must be completed first. It seems like only yesterday they were using the jack hammers to excavate for the foundation.

I saw a marked improvement in the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend though they lost. Mason Rudolph was a wonderful young quarterback and I’m hoping he gets his first win this Monday night at home vs the Cincinnati Bengals. Other NFL surprises are the Buffalo Bills and the Washington Redskins. The Bills are 3-0??? And the hapless Redskins are 0-3. I think Redskins’ head coach Jay Gruden will be ousted if he loses to the New York Giants on Sunday.

In other sports news, the baseball playoffs are just around the corner. The Pittsburgh Pirates will not be in it, so I’ll take a quick glance to see if there are any other teams I am interested in rooting for before investing my time.

While watching NFL football, I have seen advertisements for new and returning TV series’. I’ve got to tell ya, I can’t say that I am truly dying to see any of them. If I really wish to see something there is always that beautiful invention called On Demand. With my new writing project now well under way (yay!) I think I shall watch TV catch-as-catch-can on Demand. I love Xfinity and its cable box.

Continued prayers go out to all who need it.

That’s all the news from here. Until next Wednesday, have a good week, take care, 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.

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.

Top ten list of my favorite World Series

Greetings, readers. Here is a top ten list of my favorite World Series that I have watched over the years. I don’t watch sports as much as I used to but I still watch the World Series. Oh, how I love that best of 7. Here we go with the countdown, plus two honorable mentions.

#10. 2004 Boston Red Sox vs St. Louis Cardinals. Red Sox won 4 games to 0. [Although they didn’t clinch at home at Fenway Park, the Red Sox won their first World Series since 1918.]

#9. 1986 New York Mets vs Boston Red Sox. Mets 4 games to 3. [Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner still has not lived down his Series losing error.]

#8. 1980 Philadelphia Phillies vs Kansas City Royals. Phillies 4-2. [I vividly remember watching Tug McGraw get the final strike out and jumping for joy.]

#7. 1977 New York Yankees vs Los Angeles Dodgers. Yankees 4-2. [Reggie Jackson’s classic 3 home run game on just three pitches was in this series.]

#6. 1969 New York Mets vs Baltimore Orioles. Mets 4-1. [I was too young to watch this, but I heard many stories of the miracle Mets.]

#5. 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates vs Baltimore Orioles. Pirates 4-3. [I was just old enough to remember my mom and I going crazy when the Bucs won it all under manager Danny Murtaugh.]

#4. 1975 Cincinnati Reds vs Boston Red Sox. Reds 4-3. [I still remember Bernie Carbo’s classic home run at Fenway Park.]

#3. 1976 Cincinnati Reds vs New York Yankees. Reds 4-0. [The big red machine swept the mighty Yankees.]

#2. 1985 Kansas City Royals vs St. Louis Cardinals. Royals 4-3. [The Kansas City Royals’ one and only World Series victory. Though they have been fantastic the last couple of seasons, so far there has been only that one World Series triumph.]

#1. 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates vs Baltimore Orioles. Pirates 4-3. [My teenage years were my favorite time to watch sports. Being a Pirates fan, I enjoyed watching them come back from being down 3 games to 1 to win the series 4 games to 3.]

Honorable mention #1. 1993 Toronto Blue Jays vs Philadelphia Phillies. Blue Jays 4-2. [Joe Carter’s dramatic 9th inning home run won the Series at home.]

Honorable mention #2. 1974 Oakland A’s vs Los Angeles Dodgers. A’s 4-1. [A’s won their 3rd consecutive World Series, cementing the nick name, Dynasty.]

That’s my list. Hope you enjoy it. Chime in on Facebook or here in the comment section with your favorite World Series.

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

My final review for MLB14 The Show, the PS3 version

Greetings, readers. I have had this delightful game since the second week of April. It came out April 1st, but after several attempts at downloading the game from the PlayStation Store, I gave up and bought a copy from Best Buy. After playing around with the game as much as I could, I’m now ready to make my report on its pros and cons; what I like, love, and hate about the game.

Let’s start with what I love about it. Last evening I played a game in the now defunct-in-real-life Herbert H. Humphery Metrodome, which could be found in the classic stadiums section. And I swear the creative people made it look even more realistic than last year. Attention to detail and nuances was going to be their big thing this year, especially on PS3. Other classic stadiums that I love are Shibe Park in Philadelphia and Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York.

I also love the new feature this year that with a push of a button you can control one player in any mode, not just the Road To The Show mode. To my amazement, the only position I can play with any kind of proficiency, besides pitcher, is third baseman. I wouldn’t say it is easy, but basically I get the ball and throw it to first base. A lot of the throwback uniforms are also excellent and will fit into the love category. Such uniforms include the old Washington Senators, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the black and yellow Pittsburgh Pirates away uniform from 1979. Love it!

Now to my likes. This is kind of a grey area folks, because I truly love this game. Let’s see, what do I just like about it? They kept all of the fictitious minor league stadiums. As well, they did not get rid of Season Mode. I will tell you, however, it took several days for me to find Season Mode. To give a little extra space to fit in something else, they now offer only five fictitious umpires; I have been trying to figure out which names they have dropped and so far cannot do it. Another big plus is that the umpire will occasionally blow a call if you toggle on the features that make the calls variable; it adds to the realism of the overall baseball game experience. Also, each home plate umpire has his own unique strike zone. So don’t think you can learn to pitch and always have it hit a strike.

I also like the fact that you can choose what weather you will play in during a franchise or season game. In previous years, it was randomized in those modes.

Now what I don’t like so much about the game. Even though the announcing is still one of the most awesome of any video game I have ever played, a few comments by Eric Karros are just too negative in spots for my taste; especially if a younger child was the one playing the game. Matt Vasgersian is top-notch as always, as is Steve Lyons. Another dislike is that they fade to commercial every half inning, including the 7th inning stretch. I wish they would stay “on-air” for the song “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” I think it would add to the ambiance of the baseball experience. I do not like the choices of music on this year’s game. I don’t find the music awful, I think that MBL12 and MBL13 chose better songs. This is a minor point for me because I play the game, I don’t listen to the music.

Now for my final ratings. Gameplay: a good solid 9 out of 10.

New features: on the PS3 version which I own, I am going to have to say only 7.5 out of 10.

Broadcasting: an 8, mostly because of Matt Vasgersian. He carries the team.

Ambiance: such as new Jumbotrons and up to date expanded stadiums, a full 10.

FINAL SCORE: a very good 8.6

Well, there you have it. Please do chime in with your comments and your ratings if you wish to.

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

Phew!!! It is hot outside while I go about my daily routine

Greetings, readers. As a great person once said, be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. I am a warm weather person as many of you know. Here in State College, Pennsylvania, over the last two and a half days, we have gone from a frost advisory to today’s high of 86 degrees. Hence, today’s title. I promised myself months ago that I wasn’t going to complain and really I am not. However, a couple of low humidity mid-70s days would have been nice to get acclimated to the warmth.

Just the other day, at the local drug store, I picked up my pocket-sized 2013 season schedule for the local single-A baseball club, the State College Spikes, who are now affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals’ MLB team. For the past four or five seasons they were linked to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

On to other news, about my new book from the first year of my blog, called Greetings, Readers. Rebecca has been putting in our selections of blog entries into the formatted template, and so far it appears as though this upcoming book will be by far the one with the most pages. Camp books 1 and 2, oddly enough, both wound up about 77 pages of text. Rebecca is nowhere near finished inputting and is already on page 59. I’m not certain whether bigger will equal better … time will tell.

The other day was Rebecca and her sister’s combined birthday party. I was invited to the festivities and had a lovely time. Domino’s Pizza was served, which was delicious, and it was a lot of fun seeing Rebecca’s family.

Lastly, I’m not sure whether I mentioned this on the blog or not, but I am planning a memorial for a late friend of mine. I have been met with slight resistance here at the apartment building and I do have an alternate place to hold the lip-sync/air guitar performance. Rehearsing has been less than stellar, I must admit. Even though the motivation is there for Erin, my heart just doesn’t seem to be in it.

That’s it for now. Stay cool if you are in the heat wave, take care, and happy reading.