Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Baseball Radio Silence

End of October, and I'm wearing my "Take October" Royals Championship pullover, but it's the Cubs and Indians in the World Series this time around. Just a handful more games and the lights will go out on Progressive and Wrigley Fields, and then.....the OFF-season. 

Of course my baseball radio fell silent weeks ago, as did the the soothing drone of the announcers....we are lucky in Kansas City to have such a good group of baseball guys whose congenial voices and spirited play-by-play brings comfort and tidings three hours a night, on many, many, MANY nights throughout the six-month season. I enjoy all of them, but the city has a special treasure in Denny Matthews, the colorful, crusty veteran (Hall of Famer) with the old-school voice, doling out dry wit in a calm, understated manner:   

""The horse is out of the barn and may well be down the road."   

"When the knuckler isn't knuckling, it's a long afternoon for the pitcher"

"Talk about burping up a game..."

"That dreaded sound of baseball vs. cup."

"The bottom of the fifth is gone ... and I would imagine a lot of fifths are gone after watching this."

"The Royals are playing like a buncha wet noodles"

"The scoreboard urging all the spectators to make noise. I would prefer a hit."

"Well it's over, and we hope we never have to see that again."

I miss all the little audibles that make baseball such a rewarding aural sport....the lithe sound of the ball hitting the catcher's mitt when a pitch doesn't get hit----and the satisfying THWACK of the bat when it does. The organ firing up at intervals, sometimes in staccato bursts, exhorting the crowd to clap in rhythm. On many a summer evening, while cleaning up the supper dishes...running an errand in my car....on many a Sunday afternoon, sweeping off the deck or more likely, lying on it, the air is permeated by the soft sing-songy backdrop of "Let's Go Royals", the heartening solidarity of some 30,000 fans, traveling by the miracle of sound waves from the stadium right through my AM radio speaker. Eventually the chants give way to the on-going hum of muffled chatter, hoots, hollers, whistles, and the occasional roar that lets loose at a heart-pulsing juncture.

If it's an away game, the crowd ebullience confuses me. I have to keep reminding myself we're not at home and that a cheering crowd is a bad thing. But away games introduce new quirks to the soundscape. When we're playing the Indians, they bang a drum incessantly--usually when they're beating the pants off us, which drives me crazy. I'm always VERY interested to hear what the organs at other ballparks sound like. I'm impressed by the rollicking carnival whompin' I heard coming out of.....dang, was it Wrigley Field or Comerica Park?....shame on me for not remembering. That will be a goal for next season --to rate the baseball organs at stadiums within the American League...and those few in the National League when we have interleague play. I'll publish my findings.

In the meantime....the sun sets earlier each day, and it's almost Halloween....which means another World Go Cubs!....before all the ballparks go dark for the long winter.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

My Birthday continued ---Wrap it up already!

Well, that didn't go as planned. I started live-blogging my birthday on the here it is 18 days later.....and I'm watching Cleveland vs. Cubs in the World Series. Go Cubs! Yeah, I ran into a few interruptions I admit......

...but it was a good birthday. A drive out to western Kansas is always the best present I could ask for, so I can be seeing this......

     By nightfall we were listening to the old highway songs....

     During my time out there, took a nice long walk around the town with my bro and daughter....

     Mmmm......wide open spaces.......

   A favorite vantage point.....lying flat on my back in the school yard like a hobo. On two separate occasions, a 12 year-old boy came running over to ask, "are you okay?"  Maybe his friends dared him.

The old shop building behind my mom's house is a great sun-catcher.

   But soon enough it was time to haul back to KC.....

Always seems like we lose the sun once we head back east......

Friday, October 7, 2016

Live-blogging my Birthday---It Continues

Wow --I'm looking at 1:18 again----12 hours after I started this.  I'm leaving town for Ness over an hour late. Right on schedule.  

Live-blogging my Birthday --Mid-morning

 At present I'm packing to go to Ness today, but early this morning I was creeping outside my daughter's sorority house. What compelled me to hit the road at rush hour, get stuck in a horrendous traffic jam and make a 90 minute round-trip to Lawrence?  My younger daughter needed to borrow a dress from her big sister for homecoming. And since I'm leaving town, this was my only chance to fetch the dress.

After procuring the garment, I went ahead and drove my daughter to her first class--which just happened to be in a building on a part of campus that was actually accessible to motorists---while dodging myriad college students sleep-walking to class. Not such a bad way to spend a birthday morning.

Around noonish I'll head back to Lawrence again, pick up daughter who will be finished with classes, and we'll head on our merry way to Ness City.  

Live-Blogging My Birthday--It Begins

It's 1:18 am. I'm 53 now. I made it! This far......Way to go, me. All that risky stuff I used to do----walking across sky-high railroad trestles, swimming in rain-swollen creeks,  my years of bronco-busting out west....none of it kept me from reaching this milestone!

So now, here I am, live-blogging my birthday at 1:00 in the morning. Next up:  I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Embracing the pumpkin

Every day I get asked by the many people (in my head) who are dying to know--what am I waiting for? When am I going to embrace the pumpkin?

To which I reply,  "when the sky turns...when the leaves change...when the woolly larva emerges from the ovum...."

Look, I love pumpkins as much as the next guy. I totally want a pumpkin fair in my town, with a towering pumpkin pyramid, as seen above. I just think that to keep pumpkins special they are best kept in their place, and in their time. We all know how the seasonal infusion of pumpkin matter into everyday products can get out of hand.

For example, here are a few pumpkin products I'd rather not see:

Pumpkin Smoked Bacon---
--Mmm..good......yes, one bite conjures up that back-yard flavor of the rind left behind

Pumpkin Smoothie ---
--A physiological mechanism known as the "gag reflex" makes it hard to keep this down. Effective as a topical salve though

Pumpkin Shampoo --
--Natural extracts and all,'s really not that great to smell like a pie

Pumpkin Mayo---
--Just because you can add anything to mayonnaise nowadays, doesn't mean you should

Pumpkin Fresh Bathroom Cleaner--
--Only if your name is Mrs. Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater

Pumpkin Slaw--
--No matter how you dress it up, it's still just pumpkin guts

Pumpkin Soda--
--What are those specks floating around in there?

Pumpkin Brownies --
--That sounds kind of good, actually

Saturday, October 1, 2016


October, ya dig?
Mother Nature wears a glo-fro
I'm throwin' down like a mofo

The month of my increasing power----
before it all goes to hell.