a collection of random thoughts and ideas from me, her, and sometimes us
Category Archives: random
It has been a long, amazing year that has taken us far from our blog for many a reason. And yet, in the past few weeks, we have both been saying that we should get back here. So, here we are. Highlights from the last year in one sentence recaps.
Ravens superbowl win – 1.3.13
A triumph for a long-time Baltimore fan, a tragedy for a long-time Steelers fan, and a truly bittersweet day for reasons that will not be detailed here.
Chicago – 5.13
Zack drove to meet me in Chicago for Memorial Day weekend (only people who know him really well will understand how that sums up so much!).
Toronto – 6.13
Continuation of our quest to see the Orioles in as many stadiums as possible and a perfect long weekend completely outside of our comfort zones. Plus, slowly it turns . . .
New addition – 8.13
The greatest thing that has ever happened to us arrived on 8.15.13. Still going strong, six months later!
Sad end to the season – 9.13
After last season, it was hard to see the Orioles not advance to the playoffs; rest assured, we are counting down the days to the 2014 season – 35 as of today!
Elon’s 125 – 11.13
I know what quasquicentennial means, do you?
Sad end to two seasons – 12.13
And again, after last season, it was hard to see Baltimore not make it to the playoffs but thrilling to see the Steelers try to one-up them.
Not prolific, but a recap no less. Now, on to 2014. We will try our best to do better.
I know I haven’t blogged in months but it’s crazy to me that earlier today people were complaining about standing in line to vote. It’s your civil duty to vote. Hundreds of thousands of people have died over the years for our democracy and people will complain about taking part in it. I am sure if they went to countries in the Far East or Middle East, they will feel the opposite.
You’ll stand in line overnight to get 50% off of a TV on Black Friday or the new version of the iPhone but you can’t wait an hour to do your civil duty?! Give me a break!
The other thing that fires me up is that people say they get intimidated at the polls. If you don’t talk or yell at the people outside the polling place, you won’t get in an argument and be afraid to cast your vote. Clearly it’s time to require valid IDs for everyone voting, they could control these things and the whole process better.
Anyway, that’s the end of my rant. Stand in line and read your ballot since you can’t use your phone and stop complaining.
I am honest to a fault and see the world in black and white. The gray area frustrates me. Right and wrong are so clearly evident. And yet, recently I have seen so many examples of people who seemingly have no moral compass at all. Those who, literally, drive on the wrong side of the road with no care for on-coming traffic. Those who ride the train in the morning without a ticket and see no difference between their action and stealing. Those who are lazy and unproductive simply because they have been able to get away with it.
As noted previously, I often sit and wonder where life will take me. I do so from the lens of working really hard to get to where I want to be. And I seemingly do so with others thinking I am “on a high horse” trying to make you feel small. Well, that is not my intention. I intend to live by a set of rules that clearly dictate, at least to me, what is in fact right and wrong, black and white, fair and unfair, and, most importantly, true and honest.
Maybe everyone can think as simply as me today. No middle ground, just two sides.
i’m a lover of bacon like many others. i wouldn’t say it’s my favorite food but a close second or third and can put it on everything. well at camden yards, at the jack daniels stand on eutaw street, they have bacon on a stick. it’s a slab piece of bacon that is grilled/smoked prior to ordering. once ordered by the customer, they get it out of the hot box and dip it in a vat of maple glaze. now, if you thought bacon on a stick was good, maple glazed bacon on a stick is even better. it’s not an every day item, but definitely an occasional snack. watch out, after i ate about half of the bacon, i nearly dropped the other of the bacon on the floor.
oh and it’s a little messy so make sure you get some napkins. i think i had maple glaze on my face until we got into the car. haha. for $5, it was a nice treat and not as expensive as i would expect for ballpark food. it’s meaty and delicious and with that being said, i’d give it an A rating.
this is one of the several new food selections at oriole park at camden yards. next time i might try the crab and mac ‘n cheese hotdog. we also setup a meeting with some of the other partial season ticket holders that sit in our section to try out the new dempsey’s bar. they tried it and although they enjoyed it, they had a really long wait for some carry out soup. i am sure it will get better as the year continues though. @rsharrow had a picture of the new bar on his instagram account last night. it looks pretty good.
have you tried any of the new food selections? beer can chicken, perhaps?
ps… do they have bacon on a stick at the renaissance festival? i’ve never seem them there. guess i was too busy looking at the turkey legs and steak on a stake.
a few weeks ago after baseball promotions came out for all of the local teams, my buddy and i circled the april 14th bobblehead night for strasburg of the nationals. everyone who follows baseball knows that he is a flame thrower and has really brought the fans to the stadium. well, as time went on, he found out that he couldn’t make it so bee said she would go with me. she’s really gotten interested in baseball the last few years now that we have a partial season ticket package to the orioles and i think it makes her happy to see me doing something i enjoy.
since the game didn’t start until 4:05, we decided to do something else we enjoy, check out some great art and with one of my favorite artist’s having a special display at the national gallery of art, we made the trip down earlier in the day. not to mention, we had to get to the stadium early to ensure we got one of these prized bobbleheads. so anyway, we got down there and checked out the Picasso drawings exhibit. the detail and intricacies of his works are incredible and something i really appreciate about his work. the variety of this collection was also large and spanned several decades. there were many different techniques and not just the usual cubism or blue period drawings that one might expect. the detail on some portions of the work versus the other pieces make you wonder what he was thinking or if he was working on his early skills. unfortunately, i didn’t take any pictures in exhibit to post and one guy got yelled at for being on his phone so i didn’t want to be that guy. as we finished with the Picasso drawings, we walked through some of the Degas, Monet, and some Rodin. we didn’t get much time after that to move through many of the other exhibits and there were a ton of people checking out the japanese scrolls exhibit, but we didn’t want to wait or really have time. after we left, we stopped by potbelly for a quick bit to eat and then headed over to Nationals Park to take in a ball game. ps… you can see a full size version of the thinker at the BMA and you won’t have to leave baltimore.
this was bee’s first trip to nationals park and my first one of the season. i made a couple trips down last year to see the orioles play as well as one game against the braves when her dad was in town. once we got there and got our tickets, we waited in line for about 20-30 minutes. we probably could have gone in earlier via the centerfield gate, but didn’t want walk around. plus we were calming down from almost blowing through a red light that i never really saw. those stoplights on the right and not in front of me get me every time. that’s neither here nor there but needless to say, we had a good time after not getting in an accident. we got to see edwin jackson pitch a great complete game. hopefully he signs with the orioles next year. we liked the open air feel of the stadium and the different food selections they have. we got some nachos and a couple free sodas. after the game ended, we went over to bee’s father’s favorite pizza place in rockville. when we called him about it, he recited the phone number exactly even though he now lives in nebraska. giuseppe’s makes a really tasty pizza and has a great crust. it’s more doughy then any other local pizzas that i have had. we left full, happy, and with a burnt roof of my mouth. all in all, we had a great day. enjoyed several of our favorite things to do and even ate some pizza.
as you probably know, i am a big orioles and baseball fan and with the 20th anniversary of camden yards coming up, my wife got us opening day tickets for christmas (or was it my birthday…). anyway, i’ve been to opening several times as a kid and my buddy dan and i went last year. this year, it was bee, myself, my dad, and dan and his dad. well, needless to say, we had a great time.
with all the new renovations to the stadium, we got down to the stadium early around 1230/1245 to take in the events. first we talked around the stadium on the outside to see the brooks robinson statue since we hadn’t been down that way since it was installed. with all the crazy people at pickles we stayed on the other side and took it in from afar. as we got into the eutaw street gate, we saw the new gino’s stand and the patio area above centerfield. we made our way from there to right field and watched some batting practice and then went over to left field and took in some more BP. i just missed a ball by a split second. guess i should have had my glove on instead of keeping it in our bag. haha.
our seats were in section 13, which is different than our partial ticket plan but still under cover. and boy was it windy under there. there was probably at 10 degree difference from the sun to the shade because of the winds that were whipping through the stadium friday. many of the renovations to the stadium looked nice and well done. can’t decide yet if i am fan of the new lower wall in right field. it’s kind of like when they moved home plate so they could add more seats to the stadium. guess we’ll see how it plays as t he year goes on. as the festivities went along and all the players got introduced, it was great to see markakis and wieters be presented with their well deserved gold glove awards. nick should probably have 2 or 3 by now, but you can’t argue giving him one for having an error-less season and playing more than 150 games in RF. the new rules in voting for gold gloves as probably helped make this possible finally.
the game turned out to be a great one too and arrieta pitched a gem. i knew the orioles would win. they have one of the top 3 win/loss records on opening day in all of major league baseball. i’m pretty sure the only boo’ing on the day was when kevin gregg was introduced. poor guy. then again, they might have boo’d troy patton too for letting up a 2 RBI home run in the 9th in. no one boo’d the caped crusader, er, field trespasser though as the baltimore police laid a nice tackle on him. we also missed it because we were in the concourse at the time when a police officer came running by us and down the tunnel.
all in all, it was a great time at the yard and a fun way to spend the day with some family, friends, and new comers to opening day in baltimore, aka a statewide holiday!
well that’s what i am thinking and i don’t have a. 44 magnum in face like the guy in dirty harry. yes, me and millions of other people went to the local gas stations and convenience stores and bought a mega million tickets. the biggest jackpot ever! over half a billion dollars! a couple of us from work all threw in a few bucks each today as well earlier in the week (as well as the extra tickets i picked up for myself on the way home).
not sure what i would do with all that money but i’m sure i would buy a piece of the orioles and ravens. haha. so here’s to hoping that tomorrow, we wake up rich in more than one day. guess we will find out.
what would you do with all that money anyway? do you play the lotto or do you not like it?
last night after the circus, bee and i made it over to victoria gastro pub for the first time and it was fantastic. i am sure every other blogger in HoCo and the surrounding region has written a blog about the food so here’s my perspective.
we lucked out when we got their around 6 pm and didn’t have to wait which is unusual since the other few times we’ve tried to go the wait was more than 30 minutes. we ended up sitting out on the heated patio and had a nice time. it was actually warmer out there then it was inside the restaurant.
we started out with the duck fat fries and as i’m sure you’ve heard, they are fantastic. they are rich and deep tasting and the roasted garlic aioli really makes them. not over garlic-y like some things can be. we tried them with ketchup as well and although they tasted good, stick with the aioli.
i got the black angus burger and removed the pickles. i only really like pickle spears, not the slices. normally, i am a ketchup and mustard kind of guy on my burger but just stuck with the aioli as it comes. it was juicy and delicious as all of the pieces worked together to make a great burger. the sweet paprika fries that i got were good, but weren’t as good as the duck fat fries and were slightly overcooked. i didn’t let it ruin my meal though. haha.
bee got the lobster grilled cheese with the spinach salad as her side. at one point in our relationship, we ate grilled cheese every friday night and enjoy a grilled cheese whenever possible. this was probably the fanciest grilled cheese she has had and from all accounts, it was fantastic. how much better can you get than brie and lobster to make a grilled cheese? apparently the spinach salad was also really good. she was a member of the clean plate club at the end of the dinner!
certainly check out VGP (for short) for yourselves, but we will definitely be going back as there were several other menu options that looked great as well as a large brunch menu on the weekends. you can see the menu for yourself on their website.
zp, being the phenomenal person he is and knowing that it takes very little to make me truly happy, has been introducing me to all the things i did not do as a kid. upon learning that i had never been to the circus, he bought the tickets and prepared me for the best day ever. fifth row end seats so i did not have to touch anyone and was close enough to be amazed and far enough to not be overwhelmed. the circus was amazing and far exceeded every thought i had of it. it was the greatest show on earth and just as magical as i had hoped.
what did we see today, you wonder:
- clowns – colorful and full of energy. and really good at playing off mistakes vs. making mistakes on purpose. incredibly entertaining. and colorful (oh wait, i said that once)
- elephants – adorable. well behaved. and they did such a good job at holding trunks to tails.
- tigers – not my favorite, by far, but they were synchronized.
- stilt walkers – they glow in the dark. really, does it get any better than that?!?
- acrobats and tight-rope walkers – their coordination, speed, and focus on what they are doing with every light-up toy and sound going on in the background is amazing. and they are really good at what they do.
- cross-bow man – they set him on fire and shot him across the arena in the dark. and there were fireworks. and then they made him not on fire with fire extinguishers (not as fancy or cool as you think it would be). and then they gave him a new cape and he ran into the center like it was no big thing to have just been on fire. kind of wackadoodle, thought provoking, and REALLY stunning all at the same time.
- jugglers – they were juggle-tastic.
- aerialists – one of those things that always make me sit with my mouth hanging open. they as so strong and delicate all at the same time.
- the strong men – whether or not the log they carry is “that heavy,” you cannot fake them lifting eachother or four other people and twirling them around in a circle for what seems like a really long time.
- horses (and mini horses) – they pooped in the three-ring circus. and, the circus workers were really adept at cleaning it up very quickly. also, just for the record, they are mini horses, not baby horses.
lots of kids at the circus today and they didn’t even bother bee. well, other then the one that kicked her in the back, LOL. as a child, she never went to the circus so we have been fulfilling all those childhood activities one at a time and the greatest show on earth was in town so we went and saw the clowns. this circus show was themed “fully charged.” lots of lights and excitement as well as the standards. sadly, the clowns didn’t pile out of a car like you would see on any circus show/movie. of course, the guy flying across the arena on fire made up for it. funny how the simple things in life make her smile for days at a time. or a $12 snowcone in an elephant shaped mug, haha.
it seems like in every major sport these days, there is a large mistake by the officials on a regular basis. granted referreeing isn’t a perfect science and there is only a split second for you to make the decision, but it seems like the obvious calls are being missed and therefore games are being changed because of it. take the syracuse vs. unc asheville game the other night in the second round of the ncaa tournament. an inbound pass goes in and doesn’t even hit a player on unc-a and the ref gives the ball back to syracuse. now granted, this might not have changed the final outcome, but it changed the game at that moment and with such little time on the clock left, there was no way the team could recover. maybe they should have called a foul on unc-a as both players went after the loose ball. as well, in the same game, there was also a shot clock violation that didn’t get called. i didn’t see if that got overturned by replay, but the officials have replay on the court so why not use it when the play is crucial to the game.
The NCAA Coordinator of Officials, John Adams said,
“I’m not going to alibi for the gentlemen in the game. They work their butts off. When you see this call, it’s either a foul or you give it to the other team that didn’t knock the ball out of bounds.”
“He didn’t get it right.”
having umpired baseball for parts of 13 plus years, i know that you can’t be right all the time but a play that like needs to be overruled by the officials. when there is more than 1 official on the floor, you need to get together and make the right call. just now at halftime of the murray st/marquette game, there was a clear walk as the player scored at the buzzer and it counted. unbelievable. it’s not just now and it’s not just basketball. i’m sure every major sport this year had has their fair share of screw ups and i’ve even screwed up before, but it appears to be happening more and more on the national stage, which isn’t good. you never want to put yourself in the game and make a call that can change a game like that.
remember the perfect game that armando galarraga (who is now in orioles camp) had a couple years ago when jim joyce blew the call at first? he later apologized for screwing up the call, but it doesn’t go back and fix the wrong and change history. how many perfect games have there been, ever? 20, in over 100 years.
if you are going to let the players play, let them play. ultimately, you need to be consistent, whether it’s good or bad. be consistent and don’t put yourself out there to make a critical call in correctly. it’s a shame things have been so bad lately, but hopefully it changes so it stops affecting the game adversely. literally, for the love of the game, they need to be better.
you can see the play in syracuse/unc asheville game on youtube.