Jun 25, 2013


Lucie Byron (Luchie)
Absolutely brilliant comic that I relate very strongly to.  Check out the rest of this work, as well as all of Luchie's other comics, on Tumblr.

Jun 24, 2013

Before Hells Bells Ever Rang

Trevor Hoffman
1993 Topps - Card #572
Twenty years ago today, one of the most dominant relief pitchers in the history of the game was traded by the Florida Marlins to the San Diego Padres.  At the time, it was seen as little more than a part of the Padres salary dump.  Throughout the summer of '93, the Padres traded Roger Mason to the Phillies, Fred McGriff to the Braves and Gary Sheffield in this deal to the Marlins.

These deals were highly criticized at the time because it was obvious that it was a purely cost-cutting move.  The Padres traded away their best and highest paid players and the general consensus was that they didn't get much in return.  The only prospect that looked like they might develop into a star player was Melvin Nieves who came from the Braves, and he really didn't pan out.

Trevor Hoffman wasn't really considered much of a prospect.  He was originally drafted as a shortstop by the Cincinnati Reds in 1989.  He was converted into a pitcher in their minor league system, but the club left him unprotected during the 1992 Expansion Draft, and he was taken by the Marlins with the 8th pick.  Dad and I were living in Boynton Beach at the time, and we went to quite a few Marlins games in their inaugural season, so we got to see him pitch twice before the trade.  On May 19th, 1993, we saw him come into the game in the 8th inning against the Phillies, and a few weeks later on June 11th, he pitched the final two innings of the Marlins 11-3 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The future closer would go on to spend the next 15+ years with the Padres before moving on to spend the last two years of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers.  He retired after the 2010 season with a remarkable 601 career saves (second only to Mariano Rivera for most of all-time).  He was a seven time All-Star, and an almost certain induction to the Hall of Fame.

Jun 16, 2013

More Drive In Announcements

Man Of Steel and The Hangover 3
Laurel Drive-In - Hazleton, PA
I've been going to the Laurel Drive In for over 20 years.  The first movie I've ever watched here was The Karate Kid II when it was a first-run feature.  I love this place.  It's open 7 days a week during the summer, the food is pretty awesome and very reasonably priced, plus you get to see two movies for $7 without having to deal with people screaming or using their cell phone in the theater.

However, despite all of this, one of the most enjoyable parts of the Drive In is listening to the owner's announcements.  He really gets excited about the cheese in his nachos dispenser, and I think he likes to scare the hell out of everyone when he announces the intermission.

I shared a recording of his announcements a couple of years ago, but that was during Opening Weekend when they were operating on a limited menu.  This recording is a compilation of his announcements from last night's screening of Superman: Man Of Steel and The Hangover 3.

Jun 15, 2013

Public Square in the 50's

Public Square and Market Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA (1953)

Jun 12, 2013

Take A Peep At This

Peeps & Company
Sands Bethlehem Casino - Bethlehem, PA
There's a store in the mall attached to the Sands Bethlehem Casino dedicated to Marshmallow Peeps.  I guess that shouldn't have surprised me too much considering the fact that they're made by a company called Just Born who have their headquarters in Bethlehem, but it was still something I didn't expect to see.

The store is filled with Marshmallow Peeps, Mike & Ikes, Peanut Chews, and other snack foods and merchandise inspired by the products produced by Just Born.

I didn't buy anything because I didn't want to have to run all the way back to the car or hold a bag through the whole concert, but this t-shirt was pretty tempting.  I love the equality sentiment that's being expressed here, but I'm even more amused by the idea that we're all filled with marshmallow fluff.

Jun 11, 2013

An Extra Terrestrial Served On A Pile Of Reese’s Pieces

Far East
Sands Bethlehem Casino - Bethlehem, PA
We stopped here for something to eat before the Billy Idol concert.  I didn't see any space aliens on the menu, so I'm guessing that the word at the end was "etc" before the last letter broke off.  ET or no ET, this is a pretty darn good place to grab a bite to eat.

My wife had the sesame chicken with white rice and an order of seared tuna from the sushi bar, and I had a bowl of Roast Duck Ramen that was a lot larger than I was expecting, especially from a restaurant in the food court of a casino.  Everything was delicious!

Jun 10, 2013

It's A Nice Day To Start Again

Billy Idol
Sands Bethlehem Event Center - June 9, 2013
There aren't many artists whose music I enjoy more than Billy Idol and I was extremely happy that we had the opportunity to see him live in concert.  Angie even caught a guitar pick at the end of the show!

I'm deliberately mindful to not experience concerts through a camera lens, but at the same time, my memory is kind of lousy so I want to make sure that I have something that helps me to remember that we were there.  In retrospect, I think that I took way too many pictures during this show.

Here is the setlist from the show.

Jun 5, 2013

The Turning Point

John Mayberry Jr. hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 11th inning to beat the Marlins 7 - 3.  Let this be the turning point for the Phillies this season.

Jun 1, 2013

What's New, Mr. Governor

What's New, Mr. Governor
WVIA (May, 1973)
When my dad was a kid, he was one of the students who was invited to speak with Governor Milton Shapp on WVIA tv.  He's the one wearing glasses on the far right.  He's as big as the governor, and he looks a lot older than the kids around him, but he's really not.  He had just turned 14 years old a few weeks before this photo was taken.

I found the photo last year when I was cleaning out my grandparent's attic.  It was in a manila envelope with this signed letter from Governor Shapp, which is how I was able to tell where and when it was from.  It also gave me a starting point to see if I could find anything on newspapers.com.  From there, I was able to find another photo of my dad on the show and a tv listing that shows when it aired.

It looks like Dad's appearance aired 40 years ago today, on June 1st, 1973.  This was a Friday evening in the summertime, which is a pretty rough timeslot.  He also had some stiff competition from Bert Parks and Young Dr. Kildare.

I keep meaning to ask him if he remembers anything about this show.  Hopefully I remember to ask next time I see him.