Jun 16, 2010

Dad At The Beacon

The Beacon Diner
Tamaqua, PA

Jun 13, 2010

Danny Salami

Daniel Nava
Boston Red Sox (2010)
The bottom of the second inning of yesterday's game against the Red Sox was not a fun time for Phillies starter Joe Blanton.  Former Phillies first round draft pick JD Drew led off the inning with a solo home run.  This was followed by three consecutive singles hit by Adrian Beltre, Jason Varitek, and Darnell McDonald.  This loaded the bases with no outs for the rookie Daniel Nava, who was making his first plate appearance in the big leagues.  Nava belted the very first pitch he saw to deep right field for a grand slam.

In so doing, Nava became just the fourth player in the history of Major League Baseball to hit a grand slam in his first plate appearance.  The first player to hit a grand slam in his first plate appearance was Phillies pitcher Bill Duggleby back in 1898.  It took 107 years for it to happen again when Jeremy Hermida hit a grand slam in his first plate appearance in 2005.  Third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff accomplished the same feat in the following season, and is the only other player besides Nava on this short list to have hit a grand slam in the first pitch that he saw in a MLB game.

Jun 12, 2010

I Met Her In A Club Down In Old Soho...

The Kinks (1970)
One of the greatest rock songs ever recorded is turning 40 years old today.  It was highly controversial and progressive for its time, and it probably still would be considered both of those things today.

It has been rumored that the song was inspired by Candy Darling, who was one of the inspirations behind Walk On The Wild Side by Lou Reed, but that isn't the case.  There's a few stories about the origins of the song, but the two that are generally accepted is that it's either inspired by a night that The Kinks manager Robert Wace spent with a transgender woman in Paris, or the fact that drummer Mick Avory spent a lot of time at drag clubs and transgender-friendly pubs in West London.  Either way, it's one of those songs that tells a story that grabs you from the opening line and keeps you paying attention and bopping your head from beginning to end.

My favorite version of this song is the studio version that appears on the Lola vs Powerman album, but this is the best live version that I was able to find on YouTube.  It's a stripped down version with just two instruments; Ray Davies on guitar and vocals and Gordon Edwards on piano.  Like many of the recorded versions of the song, it replaces Coca-Cola with cherry cola, but at least it doesn't cut off the end like so many radio stations did.

I met her in a club down in old Soho
Where you drink champagne and it tastes just like Coca-Cola
C-O-L-A Cola

She walked up to me and she asked me to dance
I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice she said "Lola"
L-O-L-A Lola

Well, I'm not the world's most physical guy
But when she squeezed me tight, she nearly broke my spine
Oh my Lola

Well, I'm not dumb, but I can't understand
Why she walks like a woman and talks like a man
Oh my Lola

Well we drank champagne and danced all night
Under electric candlelight
She picked me up and sat me on her knee
She said, "Little boy, won't you come home with me?"

Well, I'm not the world's most passionate guy
But when I looked in her eyes, well, I almost fell for my Lola

I pushed her away
I walked to the door
I fell to the floor
I got down on my knees
Well I looked at her and she at me

Well that's the way that I want it to stay
And I always want it to be that way for my Lola

Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
It's a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world
Except for Lola

Well, I'd left home just a week before
And I'd never, ever kissed a woman before
Lola smiled and took me by the hand
She said, "Little boy, gonna make you a man"

Well I'm not the world's most masculine man
But I know what I am and I'm glad I'm a man
And so is Lola

Jun 5, 2010

Strange Laundry: Ken Griffey Jr.

Jim Thome and Ken Griffey Jr.
Chicago White Sox (2008)
Future Hall-of-Fame outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. retired this week.  He will go down as one of the greatest hitter of all time, finishing his career with 630 home runs - fifth most of all time.  He will always be remembered as a member of the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds, he spent a short time as a member of the division champion Chicago White Sox in 2008.

Griffey was traded to the White Sox at the 2008 deadline where he played alongside another future Hall-of-Famer, Jim Thome.  In 41 regular season games, Griffey hit .260 with 3 home runs.  He had a rough ALDS, batting .200 and striking out in nearly half of his plate appearances.  The White Sox lost to the Tampa Bay Rays, who would go on to be beaten by the Phillies in the 2008 World Series.

Jun 3, 2010

Time To Play The Game

LCD Wrist Games
Tiger Electronics (1990)
Just about every nerdy kid in school had a video game watch in the early 90's, and every teacher hated them.  Looking back on it, I can see why it would be annoying to have one of your students staring down at his or her wrist and pressing buttons that make screeching beep noises, but they sure were a welcome distraction.

This ad from the back of a comic book was shared by Terrible2z on Flickr.  It shows the screens for seven different Tiger LCD Wrist Games that were available in 1990, including Batman, Double Dragon, Altered Beast, Robocop, WWF Superstars, Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania II: Simon's Quest.

Jun 2, 2010

Off The Beaten Path: Jimmy's Quick Lunch

Off The Beaten Path (WYLN TV)
Jimmy's Quick Lunch
The best hot dogs in the world, conveniently located on Broad Street in Hazleton.

Jun 1, 2010

The Wisdom Of Mr. Halpern

Sh*t My Dad Says
Justin Halpern
Comedy writer Justin Halpern moved back home with his parents and he started a Twitter account to share the things his father says around the house.  It is pure gold, and now it's been published as a book.

My favorite:
"I just want silence. Jesus, it doesn't mean I don't like you. It just means right now, I like silence more."  (December 3, 2009)