DelBloggolo

Friday, May 31, 2013

THE WANNA-BE-BANK & TRUSS CO.

It has been a while since I memorialized any visits made to THE WANNA-BE-BANK & TRUSS CO., so today I will thrill you with my latest adventure.

Now my visit was to take care of some paperwork that needed a notary, and to convert some loose change into cash, so I could feel flush and single once more!

Upon entering the place, I immediately look straight ahead for my favorite teller, who hides behind the teller wall and pretends she’s busy. You know her as Princess Pat of Foxwoods Points. I wave and proceed to the proceeds machine were the conversion of coin to cash miraculously transpire and I will be baptized in green currency with the backing of the U.S. Treasury.
Don't try to take Princess Pat's cake either!
Like the gas station before I came, this too is occupied by a woman who got there just in the nick of time to annoy and frustrate me with her speed of which she is conducting her transaction. When it is finally over, I move forward and deposit some change and wind up with exactly .05¢ more than I spent for gas to get there. Now I have to cash in the receipt for $22.05 from the teller and decide I will go to my old friend Pat.

Approaching the teller bank (The only thing I can seriously call a bank in there) Pat immediately slips her box of Bon-Bons under the counter and greets me with a smile.

“Is this a real bank?” I enquire.

Pat: “Where? Oh, well you want money, no?”

“Is it REAL money” I continue my inquest.

“Nooo, it’s Monopoly money, what do you expect?”

I hand over my receipt from the change machine and she asks me my account number. Being how I am married to one who is gainfully employed as a ‘platform’ person, she does all or most of my banking, so I don’t know the number. She can and does handle money very well, except when asking me for change of large bills, and her not having enough to cover it and so will leave me even shorter in the transaction!

“So how’s Bill? (Her poor beleaguered husband) I ask Pat, continuing my relentless pursuit of the truth.

She scrunches her face and looks lost. “Bill who”

“You know, ‘What’s his name?”

Pat: “Oh Him, HAHA!”

TLW with her greeting face
Giving up I take my cash and instead of feeling flush, I feel flushed., and so go visit TLW (The Little Woman) to get my papers notarized.

Once again I am greeted with a smile and TLW suddenly turns business-like.

“You have an appointment?”

Me: “Yes”

“How can we help you?”

Me: “I need these papers notarized.” (Just like I rehearsed all morning)

“Uh-huh, are you a member?”

One of the things that happens when I go to the Wanna-Be-Bank & Truss Co. is that I feel like a fish out of water. People see me and immediately warn TLW of my arrival, or at the very least look her way. They stare at her with pity as they should, being married to me as they wonder if I am there to buy her lunch. This is a precedent I started a while back and it is the question they ask whether it be 8:00 am, noon or 5:00 pm!

The lovely Cynthia being awarded for having to deal with me!
We go to the Notary, a very nice lady named Cynthia who notarizes my papers and suddenly I am arguing with TLW! What are we arguing about: my shopping for a printer and where I should look for it. Nothing major, no lawyers needed, but a “discussion” if you will.

But it seems that that morning I forgot to put on my wedding band and watch, they are items that I usually take off at night and don’t wear during the day if I don’t go anywhere, but when I do, I put them on. I’m not a fancy guy, never cared for jewelry but if I go places the wedding band in particular I will put on. Well wouldn’t you know it, one of the ladies at The Wanna-Be-Bank & Truss Co. mentioned to TLW that I wasn’t wearing it!



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Thursday, May 30, 2013

IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO SET A GOOD EXAMPLE


I always lead by example!
It has always worried me that I be remembered well. That people think of me as a sober person who tried to do good, set a good example, was helpful and above all serious. One thing we can’t have is a clown running around doing silly things.

Had a good Catholic education, in part.
Always clean behind the ears.
I often look back to the early years and the hardships my sisters and I endured growing up in Brooklyn, and even on the Island, and think, all that: should not go for naught.

Tried to communicate my goals in life

deportment is right up there, too!
Introspection is filled with self-recrimination and harsh criticism, that I should have done this or that differently. As a child my Mom always made sure my shoes were polished so that later in life I would have some self-pride. No matter how poor we were, we were always dressed cleanly, neatly and appropriately, Mom was a stickler like that. Often she would admonish me about NOT embarrassing her!

Education is important!
Dad made sure that I had a good work ethic. I always had to have a job from when I was 11 years old, and he stressed the importance of an education, earning a living and education being paramount to success. He too worried that I not embarrass him, and for some reason this was my parent's worry, and frankly, why I don’t know!

So I take myself very seriously, knowing how people perceive me is key to good relationships with the outside world. I married a very serious person from a very sober family, and so I fit right in. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t fool around, I mean: life is very serious, and so should you be!
Have a serious day!

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

HOW’S YOUR PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH, YOU RACIST?



After reading this blogue, I hope you will not inundate me with; “thanks” or “Well-done, Del Bloggolo”! Think of this as a public service to educate you as a reader, I am leaving you on the brink of cutting edge social awareness.


There is a Harvey Scott K-8 school that has taken on the ugly face of racism, and what better way than the insidiousness of a kindergartener’s lunch bag. Yes, those little brown paper sacks of social inequity that 5 or 6 year olds, all the way up to 12 years old are spewing!

The Peanut Butter Sandwich!

racism at its most delicious
It seems the principle of the Harvey Scott K-8 school: Verenice Gutierrez thank God has identified this horrific social injustice, identifying the peanut butter and jelly sandwich as racist!

Genius Gutierrez
“What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?” Gutierrez asked. “Another way would be to say: ‘Americans eat peanut butter and jelly, do you have anything like that?’ Let them tell you. Maybe they eat torta. Or pita.” Hopefully they will tell us that in English, too, so we really understand.

Of course we cannot stand there with just peanut butter and jelly, no there is the sexist grilled cheese sandwich, which I’m sure is an insult to women everywhere. (Cheese, follow me here folks) How about the ham and cheese, you anti-Semite bigot? Not to mention the meatball hero, you stereotyping buffoon.

I have to tell you, I was appalled that my mother made me into a racist, all those years consuming peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, not to mention grilled cheese, having to now hide my face in shame!
If we all join in together we can!

Gutierrez instituted "intensive staff trainings, frequent staff meetings, classroom observations and other initiatives," to help educators understand their own “white privilege,” in order to "change their teaching practices to boost minority students’ performance." The first day of the school year for staff, for example, the first item of business for teachers at Scott School was to have a Courageous Conversation — to discuss the 'white privilege' peanut butter and jelly conveys,

“Our focus school and our Superintendent’s mandate that we improve education  for students of color, particularly Black and Brown boys, will provide us with many opportunities to use the protocols of Courageous Conversations in data teams, team meetings, staff meetings, and conversations amongst one another,” wrote Gutierrez in a letter to staff.



Of course it shouldn’t end there, no there is still Apple Pie!

My impression was that the immigrant children in our schools were here to learn about America, to be assimilated and part of this culture, to learn and practice English. Once again I was wrong, it is to put the ridiculous together with the idiocy of over-liberalized boneheads that seem to be taking over. I think you all better be learning to say the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic or Espanol!



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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

CREEPING OLD AGE

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My salad days!
If you are over 65, you start to get a sense of getting older when people hold doors open for you, no one flips you the bird any more, and they are all passing you in the HOV lane! Young beautiful women are smiling at you without even initiating it, and you wonder: Why couldn’t I evoke THAT 10 years ago? Not that anything would have come of it, TLW (The Little Woman) would find out somehow.

With my back pain I went to this surgeon who along with medication recommended me to a physical therapist. A nice genial fellow who seems to know his business, ‘Joe’ gave me some exercises to work with and they seem to be helping. Just a few days ago, if I was down on the ground, doing something on both knees, I had to think about how I was going to get up again! Now, no problem, I get right up.

TLW has remarked how it was Monday I was doing something on the floor, and Monday I managed to get up, that is progress! She is now thinking about trying the exercise too. If she thinks about it, it counts as exercise for her, and she will get more limber, me on the other hand need to work hard.

The ‘equipment’ needed is a towel and a long belt. Two exercises are with the towel, to stretch out the muscles in the legs and butt, and the belt is for stretching the leg muscles. I have to do them twice a day and I do. I don’t know if I will be able to do the afternoon ones every day, but I certainly will try.

The issue that develops is that I have to count to 20 relax and count to 20 again, doing this 5 times with each leg. As you do this you can easily lose count, your mind can wander and you ask yourself if it is the second set or the third or fourth! Your hands start to hurt after the second or third session of doing these so you have to deal with that too. But the results, wonderful! I feel better already: and like I said, I can get off the ground the same day I got on it, if it is early enough in the day.

When Joe asked me how I felt after the first session doing that, I remarked that although I thought it was too soon to tell, I really can count to 20! At least I didn’t throw in the towel yet.


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Monday, May 27, 2013

MEMORIAL DAY

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I would like to take a different view of Memorial Day for a change. I’d like to give it a different perspective if I may. When my son passed away so many years ago, I didn’t find the time every year to celebrate, or to call friends and family and have a picnic or barbeque. I feel that memorializing him in thought word or deed was a solemn occasion, which warranted thanks that he was my son, and the pain of losing him.

Memorial Day is a solemn day, and we seem to be losing sight of that! When I look at the crosses at Arlington or Pinelawn National Cemeteries, I can’t believe how many times I have eaten and watched parades at the cost of the lives that lie under those stone monuments. It angers me to see the TV and newspapers filled with “Memorial Day Sales Events” like it is Christmas.

I remember seeing the flags in windows of the parents or wives who had lost sons and husbands in the Second World War in documentaries and wonder about celebrating. When Memorial Day rolled around in 1942, 43, 44 and 45, and all the years thereafter, did those families celebrate who lost loved ones? Did they mark it as a happy occasion? The Korean War, a stupid war we fought with little results and Viet Nam, a war with little gratitude, the dead long since, do their families celebrate or do they mourn?

It seems to me the time for patriotism being a happy event is the 4th of July, or Flag Day. We might even celebrate Armistice Day, but Memorial Day, just its name should send us a message that it is not a day to take off or start summer and going to beaches. These guys who lie in the fields of green.

Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.


We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

SECOND CHANCE

Cheez!

Tell his wife, too!

My eyes are open wide
And by the way, I made it
Through the day
I watched the world outside
By the way, I'm leaving out
Today

this is only part of the whole!
I just saw Hayley's comet
She waved
Said, "Why you always running in place?"
Even the man in the
Moon disappeared
Somewhere in the
Stratosphere

[Chorus]
Tell my mother,
Tell my father
I've done the best I can
To make them realize
This is my life
I hope they understand
I'm not angry, I'm just saying...
Sometimes goodbye
Is a second chance


Please don't cry
One tear for me
I'm not afraid of
What I have to say
This is my one and
Only voice
So listen close, it's
Only for today

I just saw Hayley's comet
She waved
Said, "Why you always running in place?"
Even the man in the
Moon disappeared
Somewhere in the
Stratosphere

[Chorus]
Tell my mother,
Tell my father
I've done the best I can
To make them realize
This is my life
I hope they understand
I'm not angry, I'm just saying...
Sometimes goodbye
Is a second chance

Here's my chance
This is my chance

Tell my mother,
Tell my father
I've done the best I can
To make them realize
This is my life
I hope they understand
I'm not angry, I'm just saying...
Sometimes goodbye
Is a second chance

[x2]
I see a resemblance!

Sometimes goodbye
Is a second chance


What’s this all about?

Why Anthony Weiner of course!

You remember Anthony Weiner, don’t you? That brave NY politician who was an anatomy expert and sent samples out to young ladies? He's running for Mayor of NYC!  Of course he denied it at first (The pictures) then had to admit it, since the photos hit the internet and the news media in general. Kind of crushed his hopes for public office you would think, no?

Well this is the same genius who sent the pictures that thinks he should be given a second chance. You know, everyone should be given a second chance.

Now I wonder: second chance? At what? Maybe he feels we have short memories, o maybe he didn’t capture his best side the first time. Maybe this time he would send his pictures to older women, women who would appreciate his physical attributes better than these young kids. I wonder if nose size has any correlation to other physical attributes?

Where does this guy get his nerve? Part of his job in public service will be to do what is moral, it is part of what the public expects and deserves. Every time I look at his picture I laugh at how stupid he was, yet I didn’t realize all this time how really stupid he actually is!

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

GETTING AND GIVING BACK

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Dr. Strangeglove
I recently within the last 4 months have had some back pain. The pain has been nagging and consistent.  It starts in the lower back and can radiate throughout the back. I went to the doctor: Dr. Strangeglove this month to complain some more, and take his mind off of politics and Obama Care. From talking about what is wrong with Obama to talking about my medical condition was a big transition. The good doctor decided on a second opinion so he could think about what is wrong with Obama again.

I go to a surgeon who is part of a large group. The reception room is loaded with bored people waiting to be told to come back again and wait some more. There is a glass-enclosed counter that houses office staff and a certain Mrs. A. Tilla. Now Mrs. A. Tilla is in charge of the poor ladies that have to feed their families and lets them know it. She is busy berating one of her minions, who has a question and seems like a nice lady. The poor woman catches my eye and I roll mine, in sympathy. She smiles.


Mrs. A. Tilla: “CAN I HELP YOU?"

“Eight o’clock, Dr. Sterling.”

Handing me a bunch of papers, she says:
“CAN I HELP YOU?"
Mrs. A. Tilla:  Fill these out. Make sure you fill out THIS  form first. Then bring it to me and your insurance card and your license. BUT MAKE SURE TO FILL THIS FORM OUT FIRST!”

I take her forms and put the one she wants me to fill out first on the bottom of the pile. Her attitude required me to have small victories even if I am being silly. There is a lady next to me watching the TV that is so loud, TLW (The Little Woman) called me from home and asked if it was possible to lower the volume! I comment that there wasn’t this much paper work when I applied for college!

As I search through my wallet and find not one but two insurance coverage cards and decide that maybe I should bring them both up and let Mrs. A. Tilla decide which one she needed.

Mrs. A. Tilla: I have TWO cards here. Looking at me with a look of anger she says: WHY DO I HAVE TWO CARDS????

“BECAUSE I HAVE TWOOOOO CARDS!”

Mrs. A. Tilla: “OH! Then I’ll take THIS card.”

One of her other assistants sees all this and very sweetly says to her: “No, that one is a dental insurance card.”

Mrs. A. Tilla: “OH! My assistance says I should take THIS card, handing me back the other.”

“Yes she did, thank goodness SOMEONE knows!”

Her look never changed, that Mrs. A. Tilla, what a Hon  ey.




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Thursday, May 23, 2013

OUTSTANDING!

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Years ago I had a guy that worked in my group under me. He had a dynamite portfolio and it impressed me enough that I hired him. Well it turns out it wasn’t: all his book and I sat him down one day and had a word with him. I told him his work was ‘outstanding’ which took him by surprise. I told him that ‘outstanding’ meant: ‘outside’ like in ownership of his job. He was fired and confused.

Recently on my foray into Chicago, my two sons and I took one day off from the ballgames and decided to sightsee the great city. One of the places I suggested to my sons was the Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower. It is 103 stories high and was within walking distance of the hotel. 



As we entered the building, there is a long prescribed path to the elevators, and along the way interesting facts about the building and people in the makeup of the structure.  As we progressed along the line, there was a sign with Oprah Winfrey’s picture that read something to the effect that the building was as high as so many Oprahs to reach the 103 stories. #1 Son, ever the comedian wondered out loud: “I wonder how many Oprahs wide it is?”

On the observation deck is an extension of the building made of clear plastic! The ceiling, walls and floors are all made of clear plastic and when you stand in it, you feel like you are standing in air, next to the building, 103 stories high!

You are: Outstanding!



Since #2 Son was a little skittish about it, I decided to convince him to take a step onto the deck and get the experience of a lifetime. He was game, after all the little kids were standing there and the parents (all cowards) stood off to the side! But behind me, watching #2 Son was a lady, laughing hysterically at him as he built the nerve. I didn’t see her go out there.

WHO’S PAYING FOR GRANDPA?


Leaving the bar after the Cubs/Mets game in Chicago, my sons and I headed toward the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) Red Line station at Addison, for the trip back into the center of Chicago and our hotel. The crowds had dissipated somewhat and so had our thirst.

The CTA has a system of cards that one purchases from a vending machine, where once you purchase, you can then stick it into the turnstile and it records so much money off it and allows you to pass through. This is an efficient system, which I tried to improve in my dotage.  How? Do you really want to ask? OK, I’ll tell you.

What you do is attempt to use your hotel key, that little card with the stripe that allows you to enter your hotel room. It is a nice working key for the duration of your stay, but it does not work on Chicago turnstiles owned by the CTA!

It seems it all happened while standing on the corner outside the station as I searched for my card, frantically, while #1 Son is watching. He suddenly spots what he thinks is my key and says: “There it is!” I believe him and hold the key until I get to the turnstile, where I attempt to stick in the card. Now I’m not blaming #1 Son, I should have looked myself, but his word is good to me.

Suddenly this lady who works for the CTA is laughing herself silly as my card is being rejected! I wonder why she is laughing so hard and at who, but boy, it sure is annoying. She finally comes over to me and I realize what has happened. #’s 1 and 2 sons are already through the turnstiles, and now they are laughing at me!

“You’re using your room key!” says #1 Son.

“HAAAA HAAA HA! WHO”S PAYING FOR GRANDPA? HAAAA HAAAA HA!

Now it was bad enough that she called me ‘Grandpa’ but the biggest pain to me was: I WAS USING THE HOTEL KEY FROM MY LOS ANGELES STAY A FEW WEEKS AGO!


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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

WAIT A MINUTE, IS THAT… !?!?

Harry Caray
“Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd;
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don't care if I never get back.
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win, it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,
At the old ball game.”

This past Friday the first full day in Chicago, my 2 sons and I went to the first of two ball games at Wrigley Field. If there is one truism it is that you don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy Wrigley Field. In fact the Cubs fans at Wrigley will attest to that! They have had few winning seasons in their 100 years or so in the league.

It was a beautiful sunny Friday, and as we entered the 100 year-old ballpark: the field with its wide expanse of green grass trimmed off with the ivy walls that adorn the outfield, a real sense of ‘happy’ takes over as a baseball fan. There is no other place like it. That goes for the fans too. A resolute lot of middle Americans who die for their team, living and dying on each pitch just like they do in New York, had very little to cheer for that day.


Known for the Harry Caray seventh inning stretch of his rendition and lead in the baseball hymn: ‘Take Me Out To The Ballgame’, a 1908 Tin Pan Alley song by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer which has become the unofficial anthem of baseball I along with everyone else sang along.

After another glorious victory by my Mets, we along with 40,000 others filtered out of the stadium and into Addison Street. We decided we would go to a bar and wait the crowd out that was heading toward the Red Line of the Chicago subway system.

#2, #1 and Sandy Aulderson, GM of the Mets!
As we passed through bar after bar in the crowded street, something catches my eye. There standing on a corner speaking with a few Mets fans is this guy, tall and very distinguished looking, who if you look at him would think he was a Dodger fan with his laid-back appearance and he had a steely manner. My small mind starts to go through my unknown file (people I can recognize but have never met) and see the name and face come together. WAIT A MINUTE, IS THAT… !?!?
But I’m not sure and I do another take and think: “Yeah, that’s him, its gotta be!”

Touching his arm I say: “Aren’t you Sandy Aulderson??!! Hey guys, come back here, look who it is! It’s Sandy Aulderson, GM of the New York Mets!” Would you take a picture with my two sons, I raised them to be Mets fans all their lives!”

The man was extremely gracious for this old fool and my boys got the time of their life, especially #1 Son who lives and dies the Mets. This should make up for the Apodaca autograph he missed at his junior high school once.


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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

MOTHER TLW


Mother TLW
The other night at dinner I got an ear full. It seems that TLW (The Little
Woman), as part of her job teaching little heathens the way of God, has to also attend the rite of First Holy Communion.

It is up to her to police the aisles of the church, discouraging parents from taking pictures during the ceremony and making sure the little second graders don’t smoke during Father’s sermon.

As I eyed my chicken with mustard sauce, TLW began.

“Now these parents come in 20 minutes to a half hour late, during Father’s sermon! And they parade down the center aisle as Father is giving his sermon!”

Me: “Well some of them sleep late.”

“And I’m suppose to stop them! I’m suppose to stick my hand out and say: NO! Some of them just get up during the ceremony and got to the toilet! One woman got up twice with her kid, sitting in the third row!”

Me: “Sometimes ya gotta be tough!”

“And they have these big long lenses and they stand up blocking everyone’s view behind them while taking pictures!”

I shave for dinner every night!
Me: “Probably with a big tuckis too!”

“And I’m suppose to tell them they can’t take pictures! Oh! The long lens: sticking it out there, swiveling and what not. You’d think I was a nun!”

Me: “Well I KNOW how that goes!”

“Yes you do, you remember when the nun yelled at you for taking a picture after she told you not to.”

Me: “Yes, one of my prouder moments!”

“Next year is my final year, I’m retiring. I always said after 20 years I’m gone.”

Me: “That is longer than most popes last!”

“Then this father came up to me: he was the father of my worst behavioral student and shook my hand, thanking me for helping his son! Then there was this old Italian man, who stopped me.”

Me: “An old Italian man stopped you?”
Old Italian Man

“Yes, to complain. He saw a crying room and said: ‘Why you no tella the parents there was a crying room? Then we wouldn’t have a all those crying, noisy brats. I tella you why, becausea you were afraid, that’sa why.’ Sure, I’m a policeman, teacher and nun standing on my swollen feet from California!”

Me: “Well I’m sure Jesus still loves you!”






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Monday, May 20, 2013

GOING TO THE TODDLIN TOWN!


Chicago, with its broad shoulders will need them as my two sons and I descend upon the city for a ballgame or two, and a little sightseeing. By the time you read this I will have returned and writing tomorrow’s blogue.

This is more a mission for me, as I try to visit as many major league parks as I can before I pack it in. Having been a baseball fan all my life, I was born across the street from Ebbets Field a long time ago, the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers: (They lost that day and set the stage for the rest of my life) I have loved the game ever since.

One of the things I love about baseball is the difference of the playing field from stadium to stadium. Each arena has different configurations and dimensions once you pass the infield.

It is the old parks I love in particular, bringing back memories of my childhood and that grand old stadium on Flatbush Avenue. You can center your focus on a small part of these old ballparks and it will carry you back to a small section of Ebbets Field, and the nostalgia.

Of course this mission is somewhat a suicide mission since I will be watching my dysfunctional but beloved team, the New York Mets. They are taking on the Chicago Cubs the weekend I am going and so I am resigned to the fact that they will be playing in the enemy’s playpen, so they will probably get shellacked. That is OK too, since it is baseball, and a new place to view it instead of the TV.

I am a fatalist when it comes to the Mets and if you look at their record you would understand. I get comfortable with them losing before they even start the game so the outcome isn’t such a disappointment when the game is over. This is a distinct advantage over Yankee fans, who will be disappointed about 60 to 65 times a year while I will never be disappointed, and will be pleasantly surprised about 60 to 65 times a year.

Wrigley Field, which was built in 1914, will be playing host to Major League Baseball for the 100th season in 2013 - and to the Cubs for the 98th year. It is the second-oldest ballpark in the majors behind Boston's Fenway Park (1912), that I visited a few years ago.


The Friendly Confines Originally known as Weeghman Park, Wrigley Field was built on the grounds once occupied by a seminary.

To quote the Chicago Cubs website:
  • Weeghman Park was the home of Chicago's entry in the Federal League and was the property of Charles H. Weeghman ... the club was known as both the Federals and the Whales.
  • The cost of building Weeghman Park, which had a seating capacity of 14,000, was estimated at $250,000 ... the infield and outfield consisted of more than 4,000 yards of soil and four acres of bluegrass.
  • The first major league game at the ballpark took place April 23, 1914, with the Federals defeating Kansas City 9-1 ... the first homer in ballpark history was hit by Federals catcher Art Wilson - a 2-run shot in the 2nd inning off Kansas City's Chief Johnson.
  • When the Federal League folded for financial reasons after the 1915 campaign, Weeghman purchased the Cubs from the Taft family of Cincinnati and moved the club to the two-year-old ballpark at the corner of Clark and Addison streets.
  • The first National League game at the ballpark was played April 20, 1916, when the Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 in 11 innings ... a bear cub was in attendance at the game.
  • The park became known as Cubs Park in 1920 after the Wrigley family purchased the team from Weeghman ... it was named Wrigley Field in 1926 in honor of William Wrigley Jr., the club's owner.

The Wrigley Field bleachers and scoreboard were constructed in 1937 when the outfield area was renovated to provide improved and expanded seating ... the original scoreboard remains intact.
  • The score-by-innings and the pitchers' numbers are changed by hand ... the numbers signaling batter, ball, strike and out, along with "H" and "E" to signify hit and error, are eyelets.
  • No batted ball has ever hit the centerfield scoreboard ... two baseballs barely missed - a homer hit onto Sheffield Avenue (right-center) by Bill Nicholson in 1948, and one hit by Roberto Clemente onto Waveland Avenue (left-center) in 1959.
  • One of the traditions of Wrigley Field is the flying of a flag bearing a "W" or an "L" atop the scoreboard after a game ... a white flag with a blue "W" indicates a victory; a blue flag with a white "L" denotes a loss.

The original vines were purchased and planted by Bill Veeck in September 1937 ... Veeck strung bittersweet from the top of the wall to the bottom, then planted the ivy at the base of the wall.
  • The bleacher wall is 11.5 feet high ... the basket attached to the wall was constructed in 1970.
  • Ernie Banks' uniform No. 14 and Ron Santo's No. 10 are imprinted on flags which fly from the right field foul pole ... Billy Williams' No. 26 and Ryne Sandberg's No. 23 fly from the left field foul pole.

Wrigley Field added lights in 1988.
  • The first night game took place August 8 against Philadelphia, but was rained out after 3 1/2 innings.
  • The first official night game occurred August 9 vs. New York, when the Cubs defeated the Mets by the score of 6-4.
  • In 2009, Wrigley Field will be celebrating its 22nd year of playing host to baseball under the lights.


Wrigley Field has also been the site of numerous construction projects since Tribune Company purchased the Cubs in 1981.
  • New office space was created and old offices refurbished in the administrative area behind home plate in 1981-1982, while the ticket office was built directly behind home plate in 1983.
  • During the winter of 1984, a new home clubhouse was completed under the third base stands ... the visitors' clubhouse was renovated in 1990.
  • In 1989, private boxes were constructed on the mezzanine level, formerly occupied by the press box and broadcasting booths ... a press box and broadcasting booths were constructed in the upper deck directly behind home plate ... other improvements included a food court in the upper deck.
  • Following renovations in 1994 and 1995, there are now 63 private boxes.
  • An elevator was added to the third base concourse in 1996.
  • Following the 2005 season, the Cubs expanded the bleachers, adding a restaurant in the batter's eye and a window to Sheffield Avenue in right field.

And so the best part of the whole thing will be I am sharing a brew with two guys I truly love!


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Sunday, May 19, 2013

WHERE ‘S THE COURTESY?


I’m starting to have an urge to kill stupid drivers. Not only are the drivers stupid, they are discourteous to other drivers as well.

Getting up and down to Purchase, NY recently, I had the chore of dealing with nothing but morons, imbeciles and just your ordinary plain stupid dumb ass drivers.
Remember him?
 
For instance, I get on the Hutchinson River Parkway, and what do I see but this jackass riding the line. He then gets back into his lane and as he does I start to pull up and at the last moment he jumps in front of me without a signal! If I wasn’t suspicious of his intent I could have easily hit him.

Then you have the road rage and it never fails, two expensive cars are racing in and pout of traffic, one chasing the other on his tail in stop and go traffic! If they don’t hurt someone innocent, and just kill themselves I’d have no problem with it.

There's a dumb ass in this group!
Ok, that is not enough for you? How about you are exiting a highway with everyone and his brother or sister. The exit line is a half mile to a mile long, some low-life, as you are about to exit cuts in front of the line. All that waiting and patience, let alone courtesy you just showed was for nothing!

But my favorite imbecile is usually riding the HOV lane, at 20 mph, right in front of me! The traffic I was trying to avoid is passing me, because dopey in front of me is doing 20 mph. The urge to pull up to him, stop him and choke him until he turns red, and spits blood is very real, especially when I also have to go really soon!

Just saying.

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

THE FLORAL KNOCK


It was late Sunday morning, Mother’s Day and TLW (The Little Woman) was in her recliner, dozing off in the cast of the sun that shone through the sky light in the den. As for me, I was doing a crossword puzzle and waiting for #1 Son to make his customary call for the holiday before we would set off to visit Mom.

Looking up I see a dark blue panel truck pull up in front of the house and a panel door from the back swing open.

“Toots! I think there is someone here for you!”

“Who?”

“I don’t know, we haven’t been introduced yet.”

“So how do you know it’s for me?”

Putting all my clues together I had come to a conclusion, wild as it was, and began to give them to TLW.

“Well, it’s Mother’s Day, you haven’t herd from #1 Son yet, there is a driver coming to the door and holding flowers in her hand. Yes, I think it is for you, at least I’m sticking to that theory until proven wrong.”

Pushing out of her chair she heads to the front door and exchanges pleasantries and takes in the flowers.

“Hmmm… There’s no card with the flowers!”

“No card! Did you look around some more?”

“Yup, no card!”

“Oh! I that case, they are from me!”

“Right.”

I didn’t think she would buy it.

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