Salsa, super-powers, theWeez & other musings…

I made salsa tonight. Pineapple/Jalapeño Chutney actually. First time I made it, I didn’t know it was a salsa until we started dipping chips into it & repeating. Over. And over.

My favorite part of making salsa isn’t the chopping of the peppers, onion, or pineapple. Nope. That is an exercise of survival, mentally willing myself to keep all of my fingers where they belong as I crudely attempt to chop the choppees into manageable sized pieces.

My favorite part is the simmering. I get to turn the heat to a semi-lo setting, and stir when I want. The bubbles that appear in the liquid bring out smells that make my stomach jump in anticipation. The mess is too hot to eat, but the anticipation of dipping a chip into the mess & cramming it into my face brings with it joy unmentionable.

But I shall wait until tomorrow evening when salsa shall be consumed in copious amounts, accompanied by chile-lime marinated chicken & fresh tortillas. And there will be great rejoicing.


I think I might have a super-power. It isn’t flying. Or being made of steel. Or plasticity. Or invisibility. I think I have the super power of being able to sense ingredients that would taste good together in a recipe. The funny thing is I can taste the combo ingredients in my head. Without having to actually taste them. I am “low-keying” my super-power, as I do not know how to control it yet.


Baseball has to be listened to on AM radio. FM (& stereo) is wrong. I declare.


I was at the church office taking care of some bidness; I caught the movement of a person entering the office out of the corner of my eye. A glance. It was a beautiful woman that I didn’t recognize. And then she spoke, “Hi Daddy!”

Oh.

“Hi myWeez.”

My eyes water.

Spring Training is here! Or Opening Day is just around the corner…

I love baseball. It’s a metaphor for life. Here’s a few reasons I think so…

    -There’s no real ‘clock’ governing the time that each game will take. It’s over when it’s over. And not one minute earlier.

    -Everything and every player in a game matters; there are no insignificant roles, and no inconsequential people.

    -The very best hitters still fail 70% of the time, even when they’ve given everything they know how to give.

    -Self-sacrifice (the sacrifice bunt, sacrifice fly, and moving the runner over by grounding behind him) is greatly appreciated and vastly undervalued.

    -When times are hard with your team, its imperative that a fan looks for bright spots, the silver lining of the clouds if you will, rather than focus on the negative. Because what you look for, you’ll find.

    -Enjoying an ice-cold beer and ballpark dog at the park with your girl is one of this life’s truest enjoyments.

Part of my baseball on the brain comes with the advent of Spring training & the exhibition games have begun in earnest. The season is just around the corner.

The start of the season makes me feel both nostalgia and hope – from all the years of Spring training that I’ve experienced, the memories of listening to games on my little transistor radio, the baseball biographies (& fiction) that I incessantly devoured, (the Jackie Robinson story is still a favorite), and the series of old movies that I inevitably found a way to watch at this time of year, like “It Happens Every Spring”, and “Angels in the Outfield” – the original, though my kids loved the Disney adaptation.


My team, the World Champion San Francisco Giants, (that never gets old) won the 2010 World Series – something that had never happened in my life time. SF won series – hope deferred; hoping beyond hope that this would be the year. 2010 it was. Makes this year’s spring training more fun.


Spring training brings hope; to me it’s new life and new opportunities – a veritable clean slate. I ponder what I want to be true of me… less insistence on needing to be heard, to be right. To want to listen better, to understand. To speak my mind, in truth and love… to function at a ground-level in relationships rather than leaving them layered in unexpressed deep thoughts & feelings. To value what is truly important. To love well. Full of grace. Quick to forgive. Hoping the best. Celebrating life & relationship.


On that note, me & theBean aim to be at more Aces games – a lot more. We’re partnering with friends on some season tickets… should be finding out in the next little while when the joy starts.

30 more days til Opening Day.

pride rears her ugly head, taking stock of life, & other musings…

I know that I just personified pride as a ‘her…’ not really sure why, other than when I was typing the title, it just seemed so wrong to write “pride rears its ugly head…”

Mostly because my confrontations with pride seem to take on an almost other-person-ly interaction… as though my wrestlings with pride aren’t internal, but rather external, taking place in conversations with self that contain an element of shock; the same type of shock at turning the light on in the garage when you’re taking the garbage out, only to discover a rat. Not a little mousey-mouse, but a big rat. There’s a “WHOA!” element to that discovery, & something more than distasteful. Repulsive even.

That’s how I feel about discovering bastions of pride lurking within. I found her this time when I did something I haven’t done in many a moon: I slept through an appointment.

I take pride in being on time. I take pride in remembering people’s faces, names, & phone numbers. I take pride in being able to remember & keep track of my schedule, both in my head & on my iPhone. I take pride in being prepared for multiple scenarios in which I’d need an alternate route & directions to get where I’m going. I take pride in other people knowing I can do all these things, & like it when they talk about my preparedness, my memory, & my punctuality.

Hmm. Seems like I take pride a lot.


I hadn’t been feeling very good, most likely due to keeping an overloaded, breakneck-paced schedule for three weeks prior… so I thought I’d take lay down for a short early morning nap (which would fall conveniently after my even earlier morning devotion.) Which would leave me plenty of time to rest, then get to my 9:45 appointment. Except for one thing. I slept until 11.

I awoke in a stupor, which is a warning sign for me that the candle has been burned at both ends for too long… I looked at the clock… & couldn’t believe it. I had missed the appointment. Totally slept through it.

The self-flagellations began. Pride had been dealt a blow by my frailty, by weakness brought on by attempting to be superhuman. Ignoring my limits, ‘just this once.’

The worst part wasn’t so much that I had missed the appointment; it was how wounded & deflated my pride was. And how long it took me to get past it. (NOTE: the person who I had the appointment with was more than gracious, forgiving, & compassionate.)


So, being the melodramatic over-reactor that I am at times prone to be, I decided to take a complete inventory of my life. To measure, evaluate, & scrutinize my life, my calendar, etc.

And also to repent. For getting caught up in the greatness of me. For subtly & quietly feeding my pride, letting her grow, nourishing & encouraging her development. Asked the Holy Spirit to check me out, search me for areas where pride & other infestations of destructive self-absorption may be lurking. Silly me.

I feel better today.


Over the last few months, I’ve been doing my devotions & Journaling (the SOAP plan if you’re interested.) Usually I do the journaling on my lappy, but lately I’ve gone retro, & am using my old-fashioned pen & paper… a real leather-bound journal even. I love the feeling of the pen in my hand, & the tactile sensation & smell of the leather/paper combo.

Except today I couldn’t find My Pens. They’re mine because I purchased them special, just for me. I had placed them in My Spots (on my desk at work, by my sofa, & at theGiant Scofield table, so no matter where I am, I have a pen,) but there was no pen to be found.

No. Pen.

Pen thieves.


Playoff baseball, & this year I’m watching intently because My Giants are involved. My history with the San Francisco Giants has oft been one of great disappointment & frustration. The teams from the 70s & 80s were largely also-rans, though my heart didn’t care. I loved (& love) the Giants. The lineups from years back still fill my brain, remnants of radio broadcasts listened to on my very own transistor radio & the imaginary action I reconstructed as I hung on every word from Lon Simmons, Hank Greenwald, & the others…

I know its only the 1st round of the playoffs, & that the mighty Phillies are waiting for the winner of this Giants/Braves series… but my team is in it. So, hoping beyond hope, I watch the games intently, often through clenched eyelids, thinking that maybe, this will be the year.

It could happen.

Labor Day, baseball, & relationship

I spent the majority of this Labor Day, laboring. Had a killer work out, then went into the office during theBean’s 1st shift of the day. Don’t cry for me, Argentina – I am comfortable knowing that I have enough time in the day & week to do what I have to… & no more. And working on a ‘holiday’ isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds. It was so quiet in the office; not a creature was stirring.


For the last several weeks, throughout our series “GOD – the Holy Spirit,” I’ve been ruminating on something that my friend Morris Chapman said. Long ago in a place far, far away, Morris was playing the piano & ‘freelancing’ lyrics… & he sang something like, “LORD, I don’t wanna just seek Your hand, I wanna seek Your face…”

That line has stuck with me for years… & reminds me that what I need, what changes me, my life, my heart, & mind is relationship & fellowship with God. And that God would dwell with me… ala Revelation 3:20…

It’s easier to seek His hand… to come to God with a wish-list or a ‘Christmas list’. With the “I wants” & “I needs” clearly marked. in hand…


Baseball to me is like good poetry. And I love the SF Giants… not because they’ve won a World Series in my lifetime, but just because. I fell in love in 1973, & have been smitten ever since. For better or for worse…

My Giants started the day 1 game out of the lead in the NL West… which leaves me hoping beyond hope that maybe This could be The Year that my Giants win it all. If they make the playoffs, we’ll see how it goes. I like their pitching, & am pleasantly surprised at the recent binge of clutch hitting.

Ahh.

I’ve been alive long enough to see the world change, & baseball with it. There was a time that the following quote by Jacque Barzun may have been true:


Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball

I don’t think so anymore.

The pace of the game, subtle nuances that escape all but Vin Scully, the unwritten rules, & a 162 game season so rudely interrupted by the start of America’s real national pastime, football, have all combined to relegate baseball to a 2nd tier sport that slips year after year towards the brink of obscurity.


I’m on a study binge; kind of fun, as my study binges usually happen on the verge of something big for me & mine. Currently reading through When The Spirit Comes in Power.

Green Stuff, Hezekiah, a new coffee gadget, & other musings…

Last week, theBean decided to try to cook a couple more times than usual – & found her inspiration in the Rachael Ray magazine. This has meant trying to marry the ‘adventure’ of new foods (& familiar ones prepared in the not usual way,) with being economical & wise with the food budget. (Cause really- is it really gonna break the recipe to not use the organic ingredients? Really? But I digress.)

Normally, I’m not a big fan of change when it comes to food – & I must admit that I have been known on occasion to resemble the proverbial stick in the mud. However, it’s amazing what a good attitude & a ‘setting of the will’ can do. And the meals theBean is creating have been amazing. Last night we had Jalapeño Bacon Avocado Burgers, with a cheesy-Jalapeño ‘sauce’ (the ‘ ‘ around the word sauce are because I have no idea what it really should be called. It was sauce-like. But thicker. Saucy even, about the consistency of ketchup, but white. Ish.) Between the burger & the sauce was Green Stuff. Cilantro. Diced avocado. Not sure what else.

I’m not usually a fan of Green Stuff (other than lettuce & broccoli,) but I set my will to eat the food, & I didn’t taste the Green Stuff, at least in a negative way. You know what I mean – like when you taste a food & just wait for the punch line… the moment when the ‘yuck’ taste hits the taste buds & one has the OK to spit the food into the trash. It never happened. I must be growing. Hmm.


Got to watch a great Giants/Dodgers game last night. Not a pitchers duel, or a great performance by Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum – but a victory for the Giants. Over the Dodgers. And Giants victories over the Dodgers are worth about 3 regular victories in my mind.

Brother got an Aeropress. I think it was for his birthday last week. More than just Another Novelty Coffee item, it makes a great cup of coffee. And is fun to use. And easy to clean up after using. Unlike my French press, which is so messy that I have to psych myself up to actually make coffee in it. Not that the coffee in the French press isn’t good; the mess is a big deterrent. And there aren’t many sights (& smells) worse than finding the still-messy French press 2 weeks after the last time it was used. Trust me on that.

Over the last week, I’ve been reading in Isaiah, 2Kings, & 2Chronicles – today was the ‘perfect storm’ – all 3 passages I read dealt with the same story & events: the Assyrian threat against Israel & King Hezekiah, & Hezekiah’s response. (FYI: the passages are Isaiah 36 & 37; 2Kings 18 & 19; & 2Chronicles 32.)

What really jumped out at me was the Assyrian attempt to incite Israel to leave their land (God-given inheritance) through threats, fear, & intimidation. Threatening all sorts of mayhem. Promising that they (the Assyrians) would do such damage to Jerusalem that there would literally be nothing for the Israelites to eat except their own waste & filth. Trying to intimidate the masses with booming broadcasts of doom & gloom to all within earshot. Writing letters to the king, detailing the coming destruction.

And Hezekiah’s response? He took one of the letters he’d received & went into the temple. There he laid the letter out before the LORD & prayed:

Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: “O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. Incline your ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire. For they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. So now, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the LORD.”

And the LORD delivered Hezekiah & Israel.

I felt gently convicted… knowing that my response to real/perceived lack, threats of doom & gloom, & even the unknown, can be to worry. Be anxious. To run through all the potential bad things, worst case scenarios, that could happen.

Hezekiah prayed. Reflected on God’s promises for provision. Protection. Hope. Deliverance.

In my minds eye, I get the picture of Hezekiah in the temple, kneeling before the LORD with the threatening letter on the ground in front of them – & Hezekiah crying out, “LORD, have You READ this? Have You heard what they’re saying about us? About YOU? What are You going to do about this?


God hears. And responds. And He still does today.

musings on a quiet Friday…

Woke up this morning with a start. I think I was responding to something in a dream, a dream that faded as quickly as my eyes opened. My heart thumped & raced for several minutes as the adrenaline push kept me on ‘high alert’ status, while I talked myself down to calmness, reminding self where I was.

Fun way to wake up. Reminds me of the days when our big kids were oh-so-very-little, & they’d sneak into my room on tip-toe, trying to make it to mom’s side of the bed, trying not to wake dad. As if.

Then they’d poke theBean in the arm with their poky little fingers & whisper (ever heard a 3 year old whisper?) Which of course would wake theBean in a fright, (like when we watched the oh-so-suspenseful The Count of Monte Cristo & the over/under of theBean surprise-screams was 10. And anyone who knows her always takes the over. Always.) Which then would wake me in fight/flight mode.

Yeah. It was kinda like that.


Planning my 1st trip to catch some Ace-ball this coming Wednesday – the first day game of the year. TheBean got the day off from work, so she & I, Brintus & Meekus, will be soaking in the rays & enjoying baseball. Hmmm. Can’t wait.


This last week, my dad’s aunt passed away. Which meant that Tuesday was a family graveside ceremony & Thursday was a public memorial. Which meant time with family & friends, many that I haven’t seen in a while.

Which makes me see the benefit of a family reunion. Never thought I’d be contemplating putting one together. But I digress…

Standing graveside, I wept. For so many reasons. When someone you’ve known, & has known you for every day of your life passes, there is a shaking, a bit of a tearing, in the fabric of life, as though a well-loved & favorite pair of pants develop a significant rip along a seam, a seam that can be patched, but that will forever be different & less-than-whole.

The woman I knew as Dottie, my Grandpa Locke’s sister, & her husband Bruce had been the ones that had prayed with my parents 40 years ago, & had led them into relationship with Jesus Christ, an event that has forever shaped our family & altered my destiny.

Thinking of the influence of one person on another, & the long lasting & multi-faceted ripples that touch so many unforeseen people & places. Makes me want to be a better man.


I hear people apologize for crying all the time, as though the revelation that GASP! their emotions have moved them, & surfaced in the form of tears is a violation of an unspoken social contract.

Crying, weeping, happen because of the circumstances of life. Joy. Grief. Disappointment. Fulfillment. Hope. Loss.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 ESV


More coffee, & I contemplate the spectrum of experience this week. Aunt Dottie’s funeral & memorial Tuesday & Thursday; & Matty & Nicole’s wedding Saturday.

I’ve known Matty since he was about 9, when his world revolved around Batman, baseball, & cheese & crackers. (Now that I think about it, not much has changed… ) The joy I feel at my friend stepping into this marriage relationship, especially with someone as wonderful & incredible as Nicole, brings tears to my eyes.

Seems that tears will always be a regular part of the human experience, especially where your life touches & is touched by others in meaningful & significant ways. Which means being vulnerable. Risking. Persevering. Stretching. Hoping. Repenting. Forgiving. Living life well.


Gymnasium is calling, singing the siren song of the Kettlebell.

I’m coming, I’m coming!

thursday night…

One of the by-products of the killer kettlebell workout from yesterday, which was also accompanied by a couple miles of extra running up & down Disc Drive, is that I am sore. Really sore. Wake-yourself-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-rolling-over sore. Sigh.


As the ALCS plays out in front of me, I’m realizing that this is officially the least amount of baseball I have ever watched, over the season, on TV. The plus side is that having the Aces in town meant that I got to see more games in person.


Re-discovered an early 80’s movie The Philadelphia Experiment. Last saw it as a high school sophomore. Took me back in time.

Which reminds me: that may be why I love to watch old movies (old to me mostly means 40’s, 50’s & 60’s) – watching them takes me back to the 1st time that I saw them. Almost like time travel… except safer. And without a DeLorean.


Socks have become increasingly important to me.


Fresca. Get it.


Great talks with EdieVegas yesterday. He’s in grad school studying a developing branch of Historical-ness. Love that guy. He’s living one of my dreams – pursuing a graduate degree in History. Heavy sigh.


Is there anything that you CAN’T put Tea Tree Oil on?


A nap is one of the best gifts that you can give yourself. Good news: I’m a giver! Perhaps tomorrow I shall nap. We shall see. We shall see.

Good night now!

Friday musings…


Sitting at the completely clear & clean kitchen counter, coffee nearby, preparing for blog-age is one of my favorite things. Esp. on Fridays, which is my day of rest…. I love it. Along with brown paper bags, wrapped up with string of course…


I’m really, really looking forward to my first Aces game – hopefully 4/18… Preliminary weather report: High of 68F, low of 40. No rain, light wind.

So say we all!


Life is simpler without having to put up a pretense to try to impress others. It’s at least less work. I want to “be comfortable in my own skin,”… I think that’s how Bono put it…


As background, I occasionally have blood sugar issues – when I don’t eat often enough, or don’t get enough protein, my blood sugar plummets, as does my outlook, mood, demeanor… you get the picture.

On that note, kids are funny. And pretty quick learners too… we were having an interchange with theWeez about a particular series of choices she made that resulted in us needing to have a “Talk.” Obviously, didn’t fully appreciate how the “Talk” was going, & further, had issues with the method of Presentation that I had chosen. But rather than take it up a notch & try to argue, bluster, or complain, she just said:

“When was the last time you ate? You should eat something, & then we can talk…”

Nice.


Easter is this Sunday… I’m looking forward to it – the story of redemption never gets old. And I never want to just go on ‘auto-pilot’ & mail it in either, just because its Easter. May I never lose the wonder…


NOTE: No rocks were thrown during the writing of the following paragraphs…

Easter, along with Christmas Eve, seem to be times where churches are more prone to troll for newbies using the “Be Our Guest” scene from the Beauty & the Beast Disney film… where we put our best on, place our best foot forward, with the best music, best speech, & best egg hunt for the kiddies. All in the space of 70 minutes… & just in time for the next best service.

It seems to be more designed for a christian culture than for one of pre-christians… to attract christians from other churches to come & see. I ponder consumer-church… Hmmm…

END NOTE


I was asked out on a date, for tonight, by theBean. Don’t know where we’re going – it’s a surprise. I’m going to do my best to make myself extra pretty… :)

confession, & other thoughts…

Last week, I was doing some studies on what it means to REPENT… &, as often happens, I got lost on a rabbit trail, & spent some time chasing something that was connected loosely to what I’d started with. It was the word, CONFESS – (You can read the verses I was reading HERE & HERE)

I unexpectedly discovered that I have a very, very negative association, a nasty feeling in my belly, around the word confess… maybe its because I have watched too many “cop” shows, where “getting a confession” is something that the good guys do to the bad guys, often under duress. The threat of pain &/or punishment, emotional manipulation, & even downright blackmail are all fair game in the pursuit of a confession. And when a confession is finally worked out of the “perp”, they’re left as a broken, weak, vulnerable mess.

Transfer this context to the scriptures – & the instruction we’re given to ‘confess our sins to one another,’ & that a part of repentance is the confession, the owning up to our sin, our wrongdoing. I found myself thinking, “if confession is like what I’m associating it with, it doesn’t go along with what we know of God & His nature as revealed in the Scriptures & in the person of Jesus Christ – meaning, He is always, now & forever, a predictably good God – & doesn’t put us through torture, torment, & blackmail in order to sweat a confession out of us.


So when I was chasing the Rabbit of Confession, I decided to take a look at what words the Bible writers used to get a better picture of the intended definition for confess in the original language.

And the definitions for confess, with the deluxe Strong’s Concordance Word # next to each:

ἐξομολογέω – exomologeō – CONFESS: G1843 – to confess, to profess; acknowledge openly and joyfully; to one’s honour: to celebrate, give praise; to profess that one will do something, to promise, agree, engage…

ὁμολογέω – homologeō – CONFESS: G3670 – to say the same thing as another; to confess, to admit or declare one’s self guilty of what one is accused of; to profess; to declare openly, speak out freely; to profess one’s self the worshipper of one; to praise, celebrate…


To acknowledge openly & joyfully… my sins? To celebrate… where I’ve blown it? How could I do that? And why would I? Hmmm.

I let what I’d read sink in, & really meditated on it for several days; still, I couldn’t come to grips with what this might mean, what it would look like, lived out in the context of my life, as I would REPENT, ask God to change my thinking & to transform me…

And then today, a light bulb went on.

Confession goes hand in hand with repentance – & can be celebrated, acknowledged openly & joyfully, not because our sins are so great & legendary that they’re to be celebrated. Not at all – sin ends up in death & destruction. Always. Every time. And there’s nothing to celebrate about that. BUT…

There IS something to be celebrated in the freedom that comes from confessing as a part of our repenting… from bringing sin & wrongdoing into the light . When I confess to God (& to another trustworthy, faithful person) I am not being self-deprecating; I’m agreeing with God’s assessment of sin. And by bringing it to the light, I also bring it to the One person who is able to forgive me of my wrongdoing, & who has promised in His Word to not only forgive me, but to purify & cleanse me from all unrighteousness.

Hmmm. So I’m starting to get it. I think. I just know that my belly doesn’t hurt anymore.


And in other thoughts… in some ways, I can’t wait for baseball season to start already. I can only hope that the games will provide a welcome distraction from the daily barrage of accusations/revelations/discussions about PEDs, steroids, & HGH. Still, I’m not holding my breath.

Sigh.

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you… Woo woo woo.

What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson? ‘Joltin Joe’ has left and gone away? Hey hey hey. Hey hey hey.

Day 3

Started the morning with some link sausage & eggs, covered with whipped cream. Either my taste buds are wacky now, or I’ve discovered one of those little joys of how certain foods go well together, even when they may not be usually paired together. Went to my 1st solo appointment with Chuck – hit the ground running (ok, talking) & really enjoyed the conversation… it really was a time of ‘connecting the dots’ for me – esp. in light of the EHS materials that I’ve been going over for the last while.

Finished up & had to process – lots of processing – lucky for me, the gym was open, so I went in & ran around for about an hour, shot some hoop, & checked out the ‘weight room;’ decided “No Thanks!” on the weights & shot some more. It was sweltering in the gym – which is almost the perfect atmosphere for what I was doing.


After getting cleaned up, theBean & I went to WalMart to return some defective hair product, then headed back to our favorite spot that we’ve discovered so far: the Starbucks @ Kent Square. TheBean picked up a magazine or two from the VTU student union building, & I dove back into A Long Obedience… We hung out outside until our parking stub had to be re-validated.

By that time, we were pretty hungry; & I was craving wings – & thought that I’d seen an ad for a Buffalo Wild Wings somewhere in Blacksburg. We didn’t know for sure, but were both feeling pretty adventurous – & decided to try & deduce where a Buffalo Wild Wings SHOULD be, & then go find it. We both agreed that the best place for such a business would be in close proximity to the campus in order to take advantage of the ‘locusts’ – kinda like you see around the UNR campus.

So, we had a plan, & a general idea, & started driving. Did a couple of switchbacks & U-Turns, & found a street that looked promising – boom. There it is. Total search time: 10 minutes. Nice. We are awesome.


The first night, we’d gone to Salem to catch a Carolina League, “High” Class A baseball game; tonight we wanted to try something different, a trip to Pulaski for a Rookie League game. Drove about 20 minutes to the I-81 exit, & then drove through town, looking for the park where the game would be held. It was only 6 p.m. but the streets were totally barren, like everyone had been raptured but us. Nothing & no one anywhere. We drove for about 30 minutes looking for the park, driving up & down insanely steep hills, through neighborhoods that made me wish I warn’t so ‘city-fied’. Finally, we found a service station, & a nice guy named Doug that pointed us in the direction of the park. Took 5 minutes to get there.

All I can say is that Calfree Park, home of the Pulaski Mariners, is as far from the Salem experience we had, as is the east from the west. Wow. For theBean, who loves people watching, we entered a gold mine. It was “Halloween In August” night at the game, which meant lots of people dressed up in all sorts of costumes, with a Mayberry flair (& I mean that in a good way.) Other highlights from the night:

  • There was 6 feet difference between the general admission seats & the box seats.
  • One of the “Reserved Box Seats” was called the “No Red Sox” Box. No fans of the Sox were allowed inside it.
  • The ball game seemed to be a social highlight, so there was all kinds of strutting going on, from the teen girl squad, to the pseudo-jock crowd, to the good old boys, to the ‘looking back at the glory days’ group – pretty amazing. (Again, a gold mine.)
  • The announcer (& press box crew) took every opportunity to show off their ability to use technology (sound effects, including some from movies, & music) to poke fun at the other team – the Bluefield Orioles. For example, one of the guys (the oldest players are 21 & 22; some are 17 & 18) had a Giambi-like mustache; whenever he came to the plate, the announcer would play the Magnum PI theme song. Priceless. And for a strike out? Wayne & Garth saying “Schwing!”
  • The two 10-12 year old boys behind us had a running commentary going on – think Opie meets the Dukes of Hazzard. Then they got onto the topic of which one of them was “sexier” than the other. Finally, one of them said, “I am soooo sexy, that I’ve got two middle names. Sexy & sexy.” I lost it when they then fought over which one had the sexiest mother.
  • TheBean, in her people watching, had a couple of gems as well; she asked, “Are these people all related? Because they all look alike. Especially the small noses…”

    Good times. The home team lost a pitchers duel (2-0) but it was a great experience. Again. We’ll probably catch at least one more game while we’re here… probably in Salem.


    Ended the night with Double Cheeseburgers, 47 Pound Rooster, & the Office. And some deep talks. Very nice. Here’s some pics.