So, yeah...I haven't been around for a while. No new posts. Hardly any comments. Baseball Dad darn near sent Mr Shoop out to look for me. Never fear...I'm OK, just lazy.
What have I been up to?
Here are some updates and highlights of the last few months for me
1. I was at the OSU vs USC game.
As an OSU alumni you don't get to pick which game you get to buy tickets for. They send you an application and tell you what game you get. Then you hope that they don't run out before they get to you and give you a refund.
Last year I got a refund. This year I got USC, the game of the year for us.
Here is a picture I took of OSU running out before the game. There really is nothing quite like the atmosphere at a big college football game. The horseshoe is large and loud. I'd trade 10 Browns games for 1 OSU game.
This was when most of us thought we would probably lose, but still had that hope. Around the middle of the 3rd quarter, we started to believe. In the middle of the 4th, when we were up by 5, I knew it was over. Sometimes you just get that feeling.
I KNEW that USC was going to go down and score and there wasn't a damn thing we could do to stop them. As a lifelong Cleveland fan you get to know that feeling very well.
I sat there in the stadium feeling that way and wishing that I didn't, as if somehow I was directly responsible. And it played out just like I thought it would.
Do I blame myself?
Yes...yes I do.
Here is a photo of one of USCs most famous alums, Snoop Dog. I think this was from last year. This year, Will Ferrell was there in full USC garb. He was lustily booed when shown on the scoreboard. Then they showed an old photo of him in an OSU sweatshirt and there was much laughing and pointing. Vince Vaughn was there and he was wearing OSU stuff. I like Will, but I'll take Vince any day.
Good times were being had by all. This was when we were still winning.
But still, a very good time was had.
Here is a photo that I stole off the Internet. I hope the photographer doesn't mind. It shows 2 USC players after the game. One who miraculously dropped about 1,000 lbs on his neck and lived to tell the tale.
The other a 14 year old QB with the ability to reach into my chest cavity and rip out my still beating heart.
2. I opened a few rack packs of Goodwin Champions
I liked the ones I've seen on Beardy's blog. They were in the store so I bought some, even though it seemed awfully expensive.
I got another card of a horse. What the hell is it with horse cards and me getting them?
Hey, at least I got the Sizemore mini. So I got that going for me.
A good card was pulled my me.
3. Grady turned 1
We had a little party on the big day with just Grady and us. Katie and I tag teamed up on a cake.
Here it is. That look on his face is about as excited as he got. Grady was decidedly unimpressed with the cake. He wasn't even a fan of the frosting. I don't know what the hell is wrong with the kid. I thought it was delicious.
We also had the obligatory big party with the family and stuff. My wife and I both forgot to take many pictures so here is one of him on his new birthday chair.
I was soundly berated by the girls in my office for failing to pick a theme for the party as well as for not having a "smash" cake...whatever the heck that is. Grady didn't seem to mind.
Much food was eaten. Many toys were gotten. Good times were had by all.
4. I went to the Metallica concert with my brother
It was my first Metallica concert. I got tickets off the bay. The seller screwed up. He had a BIN price but nobody had bid the day before the auction ended, so I just watched them. I checked the next day and there were 15 bids. I planned on using the BIN if it turned out there was a lot of bidding, but the seller took it off. I can't say that I blamed him. It looked sure to go past his price.
I ended up winning for about $40 less than the BIN. I know it's a silly thing to be bragging about, but we have to take our little victories where we can find them. Especially in Cleveland.
The concert was good, and could have been great, but...
The damn sound went out in the middle of "One", before the "melt your face off guitar solo". But, only on our side of the arena. The other side and the stage still had sound. You could hear it but it sounded like the guy upstairs from you was playing his stereo really loud. It took 3 songs before anyone up on stage knew there was anything wrong.
Hetfield stopped in the middle of "Master Of Puppets" when he got word. He talked to someone for a moment and told us that they would get it fixed in about 10 minutes.
He promised that they would make it up to us, and the band continued to play. It took about 8 minutes. They played 6 more songs after that. Maybe that's more than they planned, but I doubt it. So, for about a half hour our speakers were out.
The picture here is a giant coffin thing with lights that they lowered down from the rafters. 2 guys climbed on and they were carried up to fix the sound.
If this was the Speed Of Sound tour, one of them might have been the Dude.
A band called Lamb Of God opened. Musically, it was very hard core. The guitar players definitely had talent. The singer sang in that deep, straight from the pit of hell, type of voice that is impossible to understand.
My brother remarked that he could only ever make out 1 word, and sometimes the word "mother" in front of that word.
During their set I looked across the stage (the stage was in the middle of the arena with seating all around so there was no back of the stage) and saw a girl, dressed in black and in her early 20's screaming the lyrics right along with the sound.
I realized, not only are there people out there who can understand this, they are here to see Lamb of God, and Metallica is a throw in.
Here are some pyrotechnics going off without Hetfield in the vicinity. That's a good thing.
Some of the band shirts I saw at the concert:
Lamb Of God
Alice In Chains
and a band I haven't heard of before (but is apparently very popular called "Affliction". I hate to judge but everyone wearing this bands shirt looked like a roided up tool box.
At the end a bunch of big black balloons (say that 5 times fast) were dropped onto the stage. The band played and kicked them into the crowd. Kirk Hammet, with his tiny chicken legs, could kick them least far.
Best moment: The begining of "Sad But True"
2nd Best: Getting there and finding out that the first row in our level was row 15, and we were in the 2nd row, not the 16th.
Good times were had by me and my brother
5. I went to a few Tribe games with my wife and friends.
It doesn't really matter which ones. Ballgames are ballgames and there are no bad ones to go to. I'd much rather go when the Tribe is winning, but I still love going, even in a crappy season like this one was.
One of the more recent games was dollar dog night. I ate 7. Stadium mustard only. My friend continues to embarass me by putting ketchup on his dogs. I love him anyway.
At least he doesn't take his glove, like the guy in the Flomax commercial.
At one of the games they were giving out left over bobbleheads. There were 3 possibilities: Sizemore, Choo, and the infamous Ricky Vaughn bobblehead. All you had to do was stand in line for about 5 minutes and fill out a piece of paper (which I'm sure has somehow added to my ever increasing amount of spam email). Then you had to roll some dice to see which one you got.
1-4 got you Vaughn. 5-8 got you Sizemore. 9-12 got you Choo.
I asked the fella how they came up with that system. He said (and I'm crapping you negative) "we just wanted to give people an even chance for all 3."
I didn't explain anything to the young man. Would you have? Do you think it would have mattered?
Anyway, I made my wife wait with me and we came away with the Vaughn and the Choo (probability and statistics be damned).
Yes, they kick as much ass as they look like. The Choo is some kind of 80's thing. He's dressed like Sonny Crockett and is standing on a Simon Says. Nobody said it had to make any sense.
And has there ever been a bobble that looked less like the guy it's supposed to be?
Really, does that look like a guy named Shin Soo Choo?
I don't think they set out to make the Choo at the Bobblehead factory. I think they greatly overestimated the "bad hospital drama" appeal to the bobblehead collecting masses and ended up with a giant supply of this guy:
Now look at that and tell me I don't have an Eric Dane bobblehead in a Shin Soo Choo box.
Anyway, I love ballgames. Good dogs were had by all and good bobbleheads were had by me.
6. CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee got on a collision course to meet in the first game of the World Series.
It's not a sure thing but it's likely (The NY/LAA game is still going as of this writing). This vexes me.
Bad times will be had by Mark Shapiro if I ever get my hands on him.
7. I went to NYC with some buddies
I think I already mentioned this in a past post. But I found on my phone the 3 solitary pictures that I took while there. One of them was the inside of a Dunkin Donuts at around 5:30 in the morning the first night we got there. It isn't very interesting, but I think the guy selling the donuts found us amusing.
The other 2 are here:
The first one is the sign outside the coolest bar in the city, which puts it high in the running for coolest worldwide. It has a walkway to an open courtyard between buildings and the bar is in the back, away from the sidewalk. All of the lights are red. All of the beer is Belgian and is on tap.
I'm a BIG fan of Belgian beer. Those monks sure know how to brew it. If you are ever there, I suggest you stop by. If I knew where it was I'd tell you.
The second picture was at a bar we went to later. There was a live blues act playing. It was phenominal. What possessed me to take a picture of my beer, I'll never know. But, as you can see, I was still in full belgian beer mode.
Good beer was had by all.
8. I downloaded the new Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains CDs.
Good tunes were had by me
9. A Turk Off challenge was issued and accepted.
That's right, Beardy and I will be Turking Off against each other again in the very near future.
This time around we are Turking 2006 style. The scoring has yet to be finalized, but I hardly see how that can possible matter. He stands very little chance.
Get your wagers in soon. This thing can start at any moment.
Good Turkey Red will be had by us.
10. I Am Joe Collector continued his group breaks
Good cards were won by me.
But, more on that later in it's own post.
11. The Tribe hired a new manager
This also deserves it's own post and thoughts. Suffice it to say, I'm not disappointed. Out of who was available, this is the guy I wanted.
A good new manager has been gotten for me.
12. The Browns continued their downward spiral into the depths of utter despair.
Worst. QB. Ever.
Bad times are constantly being had by all of us.
13. I tried to make up for a month of nothing in 1 ridiculously long and goofy post.
Good times were had by all who read it (I hope).
Don't be too hard on me. Sometimes I can either blog...or I can do this:
This wins every time.
Speaking of which, I'm going to go do some of that now.
I'll be back sooner rather than later.
Fred C. Harris and Brendan C. Boyd
5 weeks ago