Tag Archives: Chicago Cubs

Rust never sleeps …

Learning is akin to the old adage about rust. It never sleeps.

The knowledge acquisition process sees no rest, either: it never stops, never stalls, never slows. We are perpetually in learning mode. The switch is never flipped to the ‘off’ position. Sure, you can’t ever be quite sure where all this classroom (and school of hard knocks) work will take you – but usually it’s somewhere good.

March 21, 2016

Ellen/Reid: Reid, wow, it sounds like your grad school experience is winding up in a really good way. I think both your mom and I, or at least me, wouldn’t mind attending the graduation so let us know when DePaul schedules the ceremony. Walking onstage to collect your diploma would be a fitting way to wrap up your school work. We need to be there to recognize your success – plus, we can head to one of those nice Chicago steakhouses and maybe catch the Cubs or the White Sox. All this, Ellen, just when you’re cranking up the post-graduate work in St. Paul.

My own students have kind of stepped onto a good thing. A good friend of mine in my golf group, Jack Blackham (she’s a Brit and is the one who got me following the Liverpool Reds), somehow put me in touch with a small suburban newspaper, the Mint Hill Times, that is sorely in need of writers. When I talked to the publisher, I asked if my students would be candidates for writing positions – and she was just thrilled at the prospect of hiring them as freelancers. So my guys are gearing up to submit story ideas and buff up their writing skills. It’s kind of exciting for them to have some solid prospects to earn a few bucks and get some bylines. It should, in theory, all come together sometime in the next 10 days to two weeks.

Went to an incredible series of short outdoors films last night with Kitty and Tom Bohr. The films were winners from the Banff Mountain Film Festival. There must’ve been 8 – 9 films shown, including one about four Texas A&M students who rode wild mustangs from Mexico to the Canadian border as a way to show the plight of these wild horses, some 50,000 of which are being held in government pens pending final disposition for them. It was such a good film. Heartwarming and touching. You can look it up: Continue reading


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We know the name won’t be Louise or Claire …

I’ve tried on end to guess the name of the girl Ellen and Tim are expecting any day – or moment – now.  Louise? Not close. Claire (Ellen said that was a name that was considered so score one for Papa). As usual I’m off the mark as I am on so many other things – stocks, the weather, Cub games.

But the name won’t matter as long as my new granddaughter and Ellen come out of the delivery process in good shape.

We’ll know soon.


April 6, 2015

Ellen/Reid: Thanks, Reid, for resurrecting the trip to Chicago. Really looking forward to it. The plane ticket will be secured today and I’ll bump the itinerary to you ASAP. I thought about coming in Thursday night since I have Friday off but will likely wait until Friday to jet in. So watch for something soon.

Emma scarfs down some ice cream. She and her Papa will get to know the business end of a spoon and a bowl(s) of ice cream when I visit next month.

Emma scarfs down some some of the good stuff. She and her Papa will get to know the business end of a spoon and a bowl(s) of ice cream when I visit next month.

Ellen, your time for the-girl-to-be-named-later is closing in. Geez, by the time you get this she could already be with us. It’s so exciting. People have asked if I’ll be there for the delivery but this time around it does make more sense to let the dust settle, so to speak, before heading up to Minnesota. I’m trying to guess her name but am totally stumped as to what you and Tim have selected. Her name won’t start with an ‘E’ since Emma has already claimed that. I haven’t checked out what the more popular names are for girls are in the past couple of years. Louise? Nah, too old school.

Continuing to thumb my nose at the HOA garden Nazis by planting a round container with Romaine lettuce. Will augment that today with a container tomato and some basil purchased on Saturday night. The high and mighty have said nothing more about the ‘hearing’ that was supposed to be held about my garden pot crimes. Perhaps they’re marshaling their legal forces. The Charlotte Observer ran a story about how perfect container gardening was for those of us in condos and smaller spaces. Touche. People put moronic styrofoam Easter bunnies and gigantic eggs outside their front doors this week, but the betting here is that the Forces of Evil let those slide. I didn’t know a few heads of lettuce was a felony.

I pulled the plug on my pickupyourpath.com group on Meetup. Only five people joined and I did a lackluster job of promoting it and posting pics and such. It was ill-fated from the start. It also cost me $20 a month to host the site and given that I wasn’t doing much to stir the pot, it was time for it to go. Herding the cats in my Golf for One group is plenty enough site management for me.

Played twice this weekend. Walked a muny early, early, early Saturday morning with my friend Todd from work and just kind of slapped the ball around. Our rounds are mostly about gabbing about work and liberal politics. The worst sort of golf is when you’re not taking it terribly serious. And the results show. Played yesterday on a fine track called River Hills with my friends Sondra, Jody and Jen. Hit the ball much better but still made bonehead decisions which cost me shot after shot.

Sondra, Jody and I couldn't score tickets to the Charlotte Knights game on a gorgeous Friday, but vendors still sold us 'dogs and beer through the bars - all with a full view of the field. Nice.

Sondra, Jody and I couldn’t land tickets to the Charlotte Knights game on a gorgeous Friday, but vendors still sold us ‘dogs and beer through the bars – all with a full view of the field. Nice.

Sondra and Jody and I rode the train Uptown on Friday night to watch the local team, the Knights, clobber the White Sox. But since it was a sellout, we perched outside the fence in right center field but still have a full view of the field. What was really hilarious was that the beer and hotdog vendors walking inside with their trays strapped over their shoulders were only too happy to sell brews and ‘dogs through the tall black fence. We’d push cash their way and they’d deliver the goods. It was a warm beautiful evening to watch the game (more people watching that baseball watching). We rode the train back south to a biker bar called McCoys

We had a great time at McCoy's - half the fun is people watching, including these two.

We had a great time at McCoy’s – half the fun is people watching, including these two.

that’s right along the rail line, so we spent the next couple of hours listening to live music and watching bikers in my age category. I’ll get my bike there in pretty short order. Hope to order new, and louder, Vance & Hines pipes this week.

My class on letters atCentral Piedmont Community College is done. It looks like there will be a repeat in the fall but hopefully there will be more than three students although the three I had were really good. I’m also on tap to teach a general writing course and am really excited about that. To teach is to learn twice.

Love, Dad

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A little apple that didn’t fall far from the family tree …

Students in my letter writing class must be weary of my incessant yammering that, by and large, letters (mine or others) are generally about the mundane goings on in daily life. Look no further than today’s example.


March 10, 2015 Ellen/Reid: The birds seem to know something about the onset of decent weather the past few days. They have become especially active now; the blue birds flit in and out of the nesting box and up to six red cardinals jockey for spots at the feeder. They don’t seem particularly aggressive but they appear to have established some pecking order for the sunflower seeds because no sooner does one leave than another zooms in to take its place. Man, I am really glad for temps in the 60s and 70s. It’s just uplifting after such a dreary winter.

Emma (left) laps up her ice cream with, as Ellen says, the "big girls." That she likes ice cream shows this little apple hasn't fallen too far from the family tree.

Emma (left) laps up her ice cream with, as Ellen says, the “big girls.” That she likes ice cream shows this little apple hasn’t fallen too far from the family tree.

You guys are basking in relative warmth, too. Nice to see Emma (The Diva) out taking her dolls for a stroll. She’s cute in her shades. Residents on both sides of me are wrestling with the aftermath of frozen pipes. The guy next to me had his garage ceiling torn out where water had obviously leaked through from his kitchen and some major league dryers were at work for days and days to get rid of the moisture. He’s trying to sell his place and the water damage won’t help. The young woman on the other side had a pipe burst in her garage wall. Her repair work seems to be done. I guess there are some pluses to living in the middle unit. My problem is with the hated HOA Continue reading

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Book the Bridger: July 24-30, 2011…


Okay, you saw this aerial view of the Bridger Wilderness a couple of weeks ago. But it's the best I have. Beautiful, but moderate, terrain.


A couple of posts ago, I said the Bridger Wilderness in Wyoming is my favorite place in the Lower 48.

I wasn’t kidding.  And now, you have a chance to see if I’m right.

Featuring six nights in the backcountry from Sunday, July 24 through Friday, July 29, 2011, I (and I hope to enlist Reid’s help as co-organizer) am assembling a backpacking trip in the Bridger for eight to 12 souls who are game for a wilderness experience.

We assemble in Pinedale, WY and hike the Northern half of the Bridger.  We will walk 3 – 5 miles per day (two to four hours) over moderate terrain.  I’ll pull all the food together (everyone carries their share).  Maximum altitude is probably 11,500 ft.  Any adult who is in moderate shape can handle this trip.  Incredible vistas.  Lots of good fishing, including Golden Trout in some high-country lakes.

If you’re interested, e-mail me or respond to this post.  It is an incredible place.


Here is today’s letter to my mom.

October 8, 2010

Mom: Last night I watched the Nebraska-Kansas State game and not a whole lot has changed.  When the going gets tough for NU, I turn the channel or get up and walk out of the room or just turn the TV off.  I’ve always been that way and probably will be forever.  Your other son is exactly the opposite in that you can’t pry him away from the tube.  But there wasn’t too much anxiety since Nebraska rolled all over K-State.

Been also watching the baseball playoffs and none of my teams – the Twins, Tampa or Cincinnati have done worth a darn so far.  Since Ellen lives in Minneapolis/St. Paul I sent her a message on her phone about the game, and she wasn’t even aware there was a game.  She’s just never been into those kind of sports.  Of course Reid follows the Chicago Cubs, and they will never amount to anything ever.  Cubs players are already on an extended vacation.

My tomato is at the end of its useful life.  The growing season here is rapidly drawing to a close although there are some little red tomatoes that just need a couple more days of ripening and they’ll be ready.  Down in these parts they fry green tomatoes (I’ve done it and they do taste good) so that’s how the remaining non-ripe tomatoes will end up on my plate.

One of my favorite neighbors, Mike, moved out yesterday.  He’s moving to San Antonio and he was a good guy.  He worked at the bank, too, and was a dedicated Harley rider.  In fact, he sent me a message this morning that he kept his bike out of the moving truck and is riding all the way to Texas.  Good for him.  That would be relaxing and fun.  Maybe some day I’ll haul my Hog out of the garage and ride out to Grand Island to see you guys.  That would be a lot of fun.

Things are going okay at the bank.  It’s a stressful time, what with all the foreclosures and stuff like that.  It’s tough on people to deal with, and I don’t mean those of us who are workers but the folks who are losing their homes.  It’s really hard to watch some of those things go on.  We’ll help them when we can but some are just too far gone.

I’m baking chicken in the oven tonight along with some Idaho potatoes.  I’ll dust it with a little flour laced with some spices.  I seem to have fallen into a rut where I cook chicken one night, rice the next night, tacos another night, and pasta the other night.  It all tastes okay but I need to expand the menu a little bit.  Hope your food tastes pretty good.  You sure wouldn’t want me to be cooking for you guys.

Well, that’s it from Charlotte.  Be good, stay warm now that the weather is cooling, and I’ll talk to you before much longer.  Have an ice cream cone for me.

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