Monday, December 3, 2018

A Ballgame with George

One summer, while living and sweltering in the Washington, D.C. suburbs, we decided to escape the city for an evening. We drove out on a Friday after work to see the Baltimore Orioles' single-A affiliate, the Frederick Keys, about 45 minutes to the northwest. Thought it was a little strange that there were metal detectors set up at the gate (this was a decade before the 9/11 attacks). Had there been a threat of some kind, we wondered? Inside it became more surreal, as we saw a bunch of uniformed, armed officers on the roof of the small ballpark.

Long story short, the late President George H.W. Bush, a serious baseball fan and former college player, was stopping to take in a game on the way to a Camp David weekend. We'd headed out to get away from Washington for an evening, and instead it had followed us. He was escorted in, waved to the crowd, threw out the ceremonial first pitch, sat somewhere in the seats above us, and signed a few baseballs that fans tossed up to him during the several innings that he was there. I'd like to say there's more to the story, say the offer of an Assistant to the Assistant Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce position (declined) or an invitation to a state dinner (accepted), but will have to settle for having garnered this brief, baseball-related anecdote to tell on the occasion of his passing.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Road Trip!

Having recently finished a dense, serious-themed novel, I'm relieved to have come across Not Tonight, Josephine: A Road Trip Through Small-Town America. It's a breezy, sleep-in-the-minivan travelogue by George Mahood, the same 20-something (?) bloke who'd traveled the length of Britain by bicycle, borrowing everything except his Union Jack shorts from kind strangers. In this adventure from sea to shining sea, and back, he and a mate, and later he and his girlfriend have to learn to drive on the right, ignore the squalor of shoestring-budget travel, and avoid getting worked over (or PG-13 words to that effect) by small-town mechanics who can spot their desperation a mile away. Both Mahood and his reader are rewarded with a cracked-windshield view of the quirks and foibles of the back roads, rest stops, and kitschy tourist attractions of America, through the fresh eyes of a raconteur who is mostly glad to be here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wait's Law of Classical Music

All classical music compositions can be transitioned, at one or more carefully chosen moments, into the "Mister Ed" theme song.


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