Friday, June 30, 2023

Finally Friday - Baseball Stadiums - Check!

Ray and I are resuming  our baseball stadium check list.   Bear with us.  It's a thing

So - Cleveland Guardians.  Yep.  Really fun and a lot of history.  (Sshhh - they used to be the Cleveland Indians. And there's still a lot of fans hanging on to that history)  

It's an  old team with a  lot  of  history. We respect that.  And the Guardians is now a  cool logo and team.  Nice stadium on a lovely May Day.  Gotta love afternoon baseball.  Gee, we love being retired. 
Check off another one, Ray
And Pittsburgh - another fun team and old stadium history.  The Pirates beat the Texas Rangers.  Everyone was nice to us even though we wore our Rangers shirts proudly.  Just a very awesome  evening. 
Yep - I'm glad we are continuing our tradition. I think  we've made it  to half  the stadiums now. 

And  with new pitch clock,  the games go faster.  Rah!

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Wednesday Whatever - The Guest by Emma Cline

 Whoa.  The Guest by Emma Cline is creepy good.  

Let's just say Alex is trouble.  

cover blurb -  Summer is coming to a close on the East End of Long Island and  Alex is no longer welcome. 

She drifts.  She's an old soul at age twenty two and has been playing men like an instrument.  But, maybe she's pushed some boundaries too far. Maybe she's pocketed a few too many things.  

She's desperate.  How does she manage to live an extra week on the island, hoping to go  to Simon's Labor Day Party and get back her lush (fake) life?

Who does she manipulate?  How good (i.e. bad)  is she?

This book is quite compelling and I admit I truly wondered  at Alex's backstory. What turned her into such a cold manipulating young woman?   

Great  writing. Great character. Quite an intriguing summer  read.  Thumbs up. 

Monday, June 26, 2023

Monday Moments - Daylight and Mercy

I got on a mission to complete the Atlee Pine thrillers by David Baldacci. 

 I've reviewed the first two in the series - Long Road to Mercy and also A Minute  to Midnight

 Now third  in line is Daylight, and yes,  maybe Atlee is making headway in finding out if her twin sister survived a kidnapping as a little girl. The name of the kidnapper - Ito Vincenzo leads to New Jersey and a connection between the Vincenzo family and a scheme against democracy. Peeling  back the layers  of deceit, lies, and coverups, Atlee finally discovers the truth about what happened to Mercy. (cover blurb)

You will be shocked along with Atlee. Baldacci  has quite the compelling heroine (or two!) and you ain't seen nothing yet.  Onward to book four - the grand finale. 

Mercy by David Baldacci - did Atlee's twin sister survive her abduction as a six year old? Did she ever escape her captors?  What kind of life did she find or what  troubles found her?

cover  blurb - The final leg of her long road to Mercy will be the most treacherous. Mercy left at least one dead body behind at some point in her life. What else will  Atlee find out? FBI, CIA, and other factions of government prove dangerous as Atlee sorts clues. Her mother, her real father, her other father - it's a convoluted tree of deception, alternate  identities, and surprises. 

This grand finale of the Atlee Pine series ratchets the tension higher and you'll keep the pages turning trying to keep up with Atlee. Whew! Quite the thriller. 

Friday, June 23, 2023

Finally Friday - Pittsburgh Patter

More from our May road trip.  Pittsburgh proved to be an interesting  small city. We enjoyed the Carnegie Science Center. A million kids were there since it was end of school year trip time.  Excited voices rang through the halls. We enjoyed the planetarium show, and they had a really cool miniature train  set up in a history section. 
We toured the USS Requin - a WWII submarine. Always interesting. Hard to fathom being on  duty in  that  tube and under the duress of war. 
A special robot  exhibit had  the  Mystery Science Theater  robots. (Shout out to Alex Cavanaugh)
In between  science exhibits, we strolled over  for  a noon  tour of Heinz  Field - the home of the  Pittsburgh Steelers and also the  University of Pittsburgh Panthers. All football!

 The Steelers locker room was pretty bare bone compared to Dallas Cowboys at Jerry World. 

More on Pittsburgh Monday - it was  quite a nice surprise - pretty along  the river and lots of character from old  bridges. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Wednesday Whatever - Hey Mom Memories

Happy Birthday Mom - she would be 91 today, but alas she passed at age 60.  Hard to believe.  Not many pictures of her around. 
This was her birth place. A modest farm in Indiana.  Obviously someone  took this picture in more recent years (not black and white days)
Here's dad, mom, David, Lori, and me on David's  wedding  day.  Mom was already ill from cancer but rallied  for this happy occasion. 
Here's a high school photo. Always rather solemn.  She loved  to read,  was good at sports, and an excellent baker. I can't imagine her at age 91 - she'd be teeny tiny little bird. 

Time is fleeting and the memories start to curl at the edges. 

Monday, June 19, 2023

Monday Moments - My Dad

My Dad.  Hey - it's always Happy Father's Day. I don't need a special day to salute this man.
He's my rock. He's my soul.  He is the best dad ever who cares so much, who still roots for me. What  can I say?  I am so lucky to have a dad who would edit term papers,  be there for the diorama, who came to all of my graduations, etc.  He's the best.   Now, at almost 92  - it's tough. We  have  to be there for him, but he's a pretty happy dude who watches Good Morning America and is up on pop culture.  He's always been funny!
Who knew that this little guy would have me, David, and Lori?  He'd have a  successful  career and truly touch a lot of lives.  

I enjoyed my visit in May and I'm planning the next one.  This man keeps on  ticking and kicking. He likes his sweets, old black and white classic movies. He can't hear crap,  the eyesight has faded, but he gets up every morning (well,  closer to noon), gets dressed, makes his bed, and  hobbles downstairs (!). 

He's My DAD and I love him very much.  Happy Father's Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, June 16, 2023

Finally Friday - Flight 93 Memorial

On our drive from  my dad's outside  of Philly to Pittsburgh, we stopped in Shanksville, PA the sight of the Flight  93 National Memorial.  We had a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, reminiscent of that  lovely September 11, 2001. Blue skies, sunny. An innocent Tuesday out  in the country. 
The memorial overlooks the flight path of United 93 as the  passengers fought  the terrorists and  knowingly caused the plane to crash and not head into Washington  DC for evil destruction.

A common field  one  day. A  field of honor  forever       These words enshrine the memory of the crew members and passengers - all  heroes on a tragic  day. 

 This Tower of Voices is a unique chime system in memory of those lost. 

I highly recommend driving  the Lincoln Highway through the countryside of PA and  stopping to  honor  the memory  of  that  solemn  day. The Flight 93 National Memorial  is well done and gives one pause to  remember and not forget a turning point  in history. Bring  a tissue. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Whatever Wednesday- Makers Mark

So, Monday May 15th, Ray and I were drinking Makers Mark at 10:30 am in Loreto Kentucky.  Gorgeous location in the middle of nowhere.  
Wonderful tour.  I loved the barrel cask  room
Grand finale tasting  was quite good
Fabulous facility with a lot of attention to detail.  The amount  of effort to make this product is amazing. So much is locally sourced and they keep it very environmentally friendly.  This history is impressive and the marketing is enviable. 
Oh yeah - Ray got to dip his own bottle. He's a Makers Mark ambassador for life.  We really enjoyed the tour and this part of Kentucky.  A big WOW!

Monday, June 12, 2023

Monday Moments - You Hurt My Feelings

 And now an artsy film review.  You Hurt My Feelings is really good. It's an old fashioned  talkie. Not a lot of action. Just  normal folks living life and  showing  emotions.  No,  Ray did not join  me for this one. 

Julia Louis Dreyfus as Beth is  a novelist with a book that's not quite clicking. She's a bit fragile and  she overhears her  husband, Don  (Tobias Menzies) talking  with a friend. He expresses that he's not sold on her  novel and this just cuts her  to the core. He's always  been so supportive and now she's questioning  life, her marriage,  and just everything.  

Poor Don  is not  aware of what  he's done and he's befuddled. What did I say? What did I do?  Their poor teen son, Elliott (Owen Teague) is caught in  the middle and trying to figure how what the heck is happening  in the family dynamics. 

This ninety minute film is  tight with good acting. I won't give it all away, but thankfully, the duo do communicate and figure things out. It's a reassurance about a long time solid marriage that hits a rocky spot.  There's always ups and  downs, but this film touches on the nuances. 

Nicely done. It's a "little film".  

Friday, June 9, 2023

Finally Friday - Guardians 3

 Hey - finally caught up with Guardians  of the Galaxy 3.  It's ridiculous good fun. I won't even pretend to give the plot.  Hey - saving the galaxy again  - the title says it all.  It's irreverent. If you enjoy the Marvel Universe - this is light and very tongue in cheek.  Chris Pratt is great. Zoe Zaldana is always awesome. Dave Bautista cracks me up.  Vin Diesel voices  Groot and that's enough for me. His growl could read me the phone book and  I'm happy. 

Ray and I enjoyed a movie date as we catch up to real life after vacation. Indulge me - ha!

And have a good weekend!

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Whatever Wednesday - Corvettes Galore

As  we planned our  May road trip, Ray signed us up to tour  the Corvette Museum in Bowling  Green,  KY.  It  was quite wonderful. 
Lots of car history, beautiful vettes on  display, and various films discussed the design, styles, etc through the  years. 
Here's  the  restored  one millionth vette. It was a victim  of the sinkhole disaster, but was retrieved and put back into its original  glory. 
Ray has  had  a few Corvettes through the years. He's currently a Camaro man, but you never know when he might  decide he needs to  be rayvette again.  He  did say he  would pay for the  museum  delivery service. You get to  come  pick  up  your car, have  time  on  the track, and a full day of attention. Zoom . Zoom
Here's a view into the  famous sinkhole. Kentucky is full of cave systems. Alas, the Skydome area became a victim in 2014 at 5:30 am. The security footage shows part of the room collapse with eight  priceless Corvettes (including  the  1 millionth  and  1.5 millionth.)  Fortunately no one  was there  or  hurt.

Over  the course of time, all cars were retrieved but three were beyond  repair or replacement - just crumpled metal. Five cars were repaired or replaced thanks to donors and are on display now.

Corvettes are a unique vehicle - distinctive, fast, and a lot of bang for the pricey buck. We enjoyed our tour. 

Monday, June 5, 2023

Monday Moments

So - back from a two week trip.  Ray and I drove to PA with stops along  the way (those are future posts).  The key was my friend Helen's daughter Katie (age 30). Her marriage to Nick in Allentown PA brought together the gang.   Meanwhile, here's me with dad at  my brother's house.  Dad is 91-1/2.  Oh, he's a mess, but he's  our mess.   Always cold!
Me, Joanie, Mary Ellen, Lisa, Trish,  and Gita
Wedding cake - yum
The ladies again
The gang.  Brian and Lisa, Me and Ray, Joan, Jim, Mary Ellen, Trish, and Helen  and Dan. 

Such a lovely evening.  Beautiful vows and setting.  And then  so many laughs. Our gang is awesome. I have roots!  Ray dressed up and survived!  

Cheers.  Now gird your loins for a lot of travel posts.......are you ready?

Friday, June 2, 2023

Finally Friday

John Grisham has a sweeping saga in The Boys From Biloxi. Boyhood friends, Keith and Hugh, bond on baseball fields and become adversaries as adults. 

Biloxi is known for beaches, resorts, and seafood. On a darker front, the Dixie Mafia controlled gambling, prostitution, drugs, and more.  Keith's father Jesse Rudy embarks on a law career that leads him up the ranks to District Attorney. His vow to clean up the Coast is a pain in Hugh's father, Lance's, backside. Lance Malco is a formidable crime boss and Hugh follows in his dad's footsteps. Keith adores his father and follows the law path. 

As adults, after a horrific crime, Hugh and Keith meet in a courtroom for a shocking showdown. 

This story has good bones, but I found it easy to put down. It was written rather passively and did not engage me. I did get The Boys From Biloxi from the library and was glad I had not paid for it. Sorry, Mr. Grisham. I wish you had told the story with more animated dialogue and passion.