Thursday, July 29, 2010

Trade News

It appears our Phillies G.M. Reuben Amaro finally extracted his head from his nether regions....the anatomical contortion which seemingly led to his trade of Cliff Lee. Now that Mr. Amaro can see the playing field once again, he has perhaps redeemed himself with the aquisition of Roy Oswalt from Houston.
As I mentioned in my opening day post, the Philadelphia pitching rotation had some serious issues. These issues were underscored with the team-wide batting slump that obtained thru much of June and after the All-Star break. Now it seems the offense has begun to fire...and we have a new solid pitcher to compliment the staff. We are chasing a hot Atlanta team and need the firepower off the hill to keep in contention. This is fairly big news for the Philly faithful.
Now, upon further reflection, one may notice that this transaction was completed today...Thursday...the same day that K.S. Legionaire was here in Philly...purportedly on a lay-over. A mere coincidence...perhaps...but maybe K.S. is a stealth agent- type who flew in to ink the contracts...why else was he sporting that business suit look on the plane? Parenthetically, consumer monitoring organizations here in the Delaware Valley report that regional sales of tortillas and frozen pizzas skyrocketed today.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chris Craft Dreams

Summers on the lakes of the Adirondacks involve all manner of outdoor recreation. When my wife and I vacation with our kids on Upper Saranac Lake we fill the days with canoe trips, swimming, hiking,waterskiing,kayaking,fishing and camping. We have been going to this jewel of upstate New York since 1981. I first went to the Adirondacks with my best friend from college in the Winter of 1981 to ski at Whiteface. The following Summer I had another gracious invitation to visit to Glenn's family on Lake Colby. Glenn( my Lehigh Buddy) and I were knucklehead Frat boy beer- swillers in those days and we thoroughly enjoyed his parent's hospitality on the lake. Days were spent on the dock fishing and swimming and boating. Evenings began with cocktails on the porch and ended with his mother's fabulous dinners and spirited wine- fueled conversations and games of Saranac Spades.
Glenn's family has had a house on Colby since the 1920's and their clan is steeped in Adirondack tradition. His Father lived in Manhattan but actually met his wife on Upper Saranac lake. They are celebrating their 50th Anniversary this Summer with a party at Whiteface Lodge. We will be attending this fete' to pay tribute to a couple that has become like family to my wife and kids and myself.
We have been going to the Lake since before we were married and have ever all 3 of our kids have been there every year since birth. Glenn ended up marrying one of my wife's best friends and they have 2 kids around the same age as ours so it all melds together famously. This Summer will begin with our 2 families camping on an island on Lower Saranac lake for 2 nights and then we will be at a house on Upper Saranac for a week.
This brings me to the purpose of the title and pictures....the boats. While Glenn and I jointly own a 1993 Glasstron 18 ft Ski boat which we keep at the Lake.. ..what I really lust after are the classic Chris Crafts from the 40's and 50's. Upper Saranac Lake has several residents that own fine specimens of these sleek mahogany vessels. When you are out in your modern fiberglass bowrider towing the kids on a tube or waterskis( my son on a wakeboard is pictured above) and one of these classic muscle -cars- of -the- water cruise by, you can only stare longingly and with appreciation of the exemplary style and performance of these classic wodden boats.
Most Chris Craft are powered by 6 cylinder engines and they really move...50 + mph. The powerplants produce a distinctive throaty growl, the lines are breathtaking and the wood is simply gorgeous. A few of the pictures above are of Upper Saranac boats. The one featured with the blue seats is the aptly named "Sportsman" model. I particularly covet that boat. Glenn's Dad has a 4 seater model that he keeps on lake Colby. It is beautiful...but it has been emasculated ...he installed an electric motor to comply with Colby motor restrictions.
The Point, a very exclusive and uber-pricey hotel on Upper Saranac, has a 28 foot Cris Craft that has twin 283's and seats 9. The Point staff takes the guests on cocktail cruises on the lake and it really is a treat to see this boat in is rumoured to be worth nearly $300,000.00.
Since I have 3 kids to put thru college and I do not really need or want the maintanence and up-keep headaches that a classic wooden boat engenders , I do not forsee satisfying my Chris Craft lust in the immediate future. I already have that issue with my 1969 442. So for the time being I will settle for the Glasstron.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dove Hunt Part II

In a prior post I referred to our upcoming Dove Hunt on opening day. I also referred to the field of Sunflowers we plant...or rather the Farmer plants for attract the Doves. Teddy, one of the Club members was down at the farm yesterday and sent me these photos of our Sunflower patch. The field is filling in and growing nicely as one can see. Some of the fine ladies that sometimes stop by may exclaim: "Ooohh how pretty." Indeed it is a very pretty field at this time of year.It is very tranquil and a nice spot to sit for an hour or so.
Remember that just about 5 weeks from now this will be the killing field. Cries of " mark" will be followed by the report of a shotgun and a tasty dove spiraling Earthward. One of our dogs will scamper after the downed quarry and fetch same back to the shooter with a wag and a bark.
In my prior post you may also recall a reference to Ned's daughter...the up and coming Sportswoman. He sent me this picture of her during last years dove hunt. can shoot with us anytime.( also featured in this picture and is the subject of a prior post.)
Lastly, a picture of the Clubhouse on the Farm. The house and farm date back to 1749 and are now under Conservancy ownership. Our Club leases the farm,house,and hunting rights and "the farmer" leases the farming rights. The Clubhouse is well appointed and will be the subject of a future post. The last photo is looking from the Clubhouse down the Farm road toward the fields.
I am excited for Opening day...but have a great trip to the Adirondacks to enjoy first.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Comments Award

K.S. Anthony, the wordsmith,academic, nocturnal tortilla procurer and incurable romantic, from the Blog "To The Legion Of The Lost Ones" has recently dumped an assignment in my wheelhouse like a junior year teaching assistant punishing an errant Frat boy for missing a Lit. 101 requirement. It seems he received the accolade: "Super Comment Award" from some saucy wench of a fellow Blogger...and part of the deal is answering a few probing queries and then forwarding them on to others. He downstreamed these interrogartories to Maximinimus, Admiral Cod and gents of that stature. Hence,I feel I slipped into tall cotton , or it was a mistake,when he launched them my way. I referred to this sort of chain as not unlike one of those " Snopes- exposed Republican e-mail rants about Pell grants for terrorists" when I commented on his site.
Nevertheless, I am going to dutifully comply...if for no other reason than I have not conjured up anything to blather about and bore you with this day. Summer is a slow time for hunters...and while I am percolating a post about a lesson in hunting preparedness my Grandfather taught me...and how I hopefully taught it to my is not ready yet. So without further garrulousness, I will carry out the directive and answer the questions. I am supposed to thank the person who gave it to uh...Thanks.
1. Why do you Blog?
It just kinda happened. I started with a goal of talking about hunting, horse racing and related outdoor topics...but it has expanded. I now think I have kept up with it to try and recapture the literary voice I used to posses before the strictures of my professional writing completely eradicate same from my arsenal.
2. 3 Best Memories
The birth of my son and two daughters.
3. If you had to change your name....
Bruno Walter Grozniak ( Anyone get that reference??)
4. 5 Things I could not live without.
Shotgun Shells, my smokin' hot wife, Rum, my kids, jeans.
5. 4 Best Books I've read
The Sun Also Rises
Painted House
Lord of The Rings Trilogy
Master & Commander
6. Unique and interesting fact:
Certainly whether it is unique and interesting is for my small and deeply disturbed following to decide but....
When I was 12 years old I won a Gold Medal in Judo in a local division of the Junior Olympics and followed that with a Bronze at the East Coast regionals.
7. Love best about myself? Ahh....the narcissist question...
I love best my ability to make all 3 of my kids laugh so hard they choke, gasp and have tears in their eyes.
8. Best Movie ever made?
Hell that is a lay-up...a hanging curve ball....the type of question that is so easy that at Lehigh when we encountered such a query on a test we called it "Breast Feeding."
Caddyshack II...just kidding
Oh you wanted BEST movie....The Godfather...
9. Change Places with someone?
Either Sir Richard Burton...see earlier post on him as to why....lots of sex ,drugs, sports and adventure or
C.J. Costabile...he scored the winning goal 5 seconds into overtime to give Duke it's 1st national Lacrosse matter where life takes that kid or what it has to offer...he always has that....
OK...Now I have to pass this roll.....
Man of the 50's-James..Because we all want to know his answers and he always seems to be already following the Blogs I discover that interest me.
Woman of a Certain Age/Jules-She is a Junior High and High school buddy of mine and fellow recipient of "Best Sense of Humor" award when we were in Hall of Fame for Welsh Valley Junior High..also an Ivy League grad( I am not), fellow parent and fellow student of German...and a great writer.
Let The Tide Pull Yer Dreams Girl-'Cause she is a fellow Steeplechase fan.
Finally.... Tin Tin of Trad...cause I owe him a shipment of Schweppes Bitter Lemon and this will add insult to injury.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sportsmen's Catalogue

My Cabela's Master Catalogue arrived yesterday. This hardcover tome is a 1270 plus page resource for everything a Sportsman or Outdoorsman could need or want.I am always reminded of a little General Store in the Adirondacks that features a sign in the front window which reads:" If we don't have don't need it."
This bold statement is perfectly applicable to the Cabela's Catalogue. A hunter can find 30 or 40 types of gloves for Waterfowling or Upland game hunting in all weather conditions and in numerous camo patterns. The pages contain every type of wader and waterproof boot for duck hunting or fly-fishing. There are countless selections of hiking and hunting boots which will fit your need regardless of whether you are hunting Grouse in Sullivan County PA or chasing Elk in New Mexico. Need a Camo Balaklava in Max HD camo it. Any kind of hat in any camo pattern or blaze orange lives in these pages. Need a wall tent and a collapsible tin stove to heat it? it. How about a gun rack for your ATV? it. Shoes for sailing,fishing, or 'em. Jeans, camo and denim...polo shirts...archery hunting supplies...a gun safe...platform for your Lab to sit on on your duck boat....lay-out blind for goose hunting....pop-up blind for deer or turkey hunting...goose decoys...turkey calls...camo pattern burlap...replacement boat seats...canoe's all there.
I hate to admit it, but Cabela's has really eclipsed L.L Bean in the realm of hunting and fishing outfitting.
Trolling thru some of the blogs I follow one can see frequent reverential references to J. Press or Brooks catalogues and the like. The flimsy menu of blazers, button downs, and bow ties contained therein are light work and flummery compared to the 5 lbs hard cover behemoth containing a vast banquet of gear that Cabela's slings out to the select hunting faithful.
The Tradsters and Preps hyper each other into a frenzy over madras,monk straps and mohair. Sportsmen salivate over a new full rig of flocked -head big foot goose decoys or a
wading jacket in new duck blind camo pattern or new Ducks Unlimited logo mud mats for the truck.
The beach babe over at Summerzaverb often refers to her hopes that UPS does not show up with her giant order of prep-wear when her Husband is home...I have a similar problem when a big Tyvek envelope shows up at my house emblazoned with Cabela's distinctive trade dress.
I'll come home from the office and my lovely Wife will yell from the kitchen, with an affectionate tone of sarcasm,..."There's a Cabela's package on the front porch...I guess you needed some more hunting crap huh..!?!"

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Friday Night's Fight

Photos courtesy of
In an earlier post when I was lamenting the Flyer's loss in the Stanley Cup Finals, I referenced a line from one of my favorite films. If you have not seen 'The Pope of Greenwich Village" you are missing a great story and great performances by Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts. In the movie, Eric Robert's character "Paulie" goes "in on a swindle" and buys a racehorse. The horse runs at Monmouth and loses by a nose. On the car ride back to Manhattan, Rourke's character, "Charlie" tells Paulie that they should get a copy of the photo finish picture and have it blown up poster size.
Paulie had only bet on his horse to Win and thus lost significant cash with the second place finish. He was slumped in the passenger seat feeling morose. His response to Charlie's suggestion about the photo is: " I don't need no picture."
This vignette generally encapsulates my feelings about the KO of my boy last Friday in Atlantic City. However, Philly Keith sent me these photos and I decided to share them with my "small and deeply disturbed following. "{As an aside I'll send some Tastykakes to whomever can tell me what character and what movie that quote is from} They are good pictures from a technical perspective. To this Sportsman, that is all that is good about them. Well, they do show Butler getting in a body-shot...which was a central tenet of the fight stratgey...a strategy that flew off the Boardwalk when Butler got cocky and went a-head-huntin' after knocking Guzman to his knees in round 1.
"Philly Keith" has a wonderful website about Philadelphia boxing and boxers and does a great job.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Boxing Report

I regret to report that Butler got KO'd in the 2nd round on Friday nite. More precisely,he got knocked down and thought he was going to get an 8 count and continue the bout. However, the Ref. said no and stopped the fight.
Butler knocked the opponent to 1 knee in the 1st Round and it looked like he had the match in hand. My analysis is that when he knocked Guzman down it made him get overly aggressive and caused him to forget his stratgey and game plan. This lapse left a window open for Guzman to deliver a punch that knocked Butler off his feet.
This result is a set back...but I believe it has an ancillary benefit of teaching Butler a lesson and taking him down a few ticks on the Cockiness meter.
The good news is that after a full medical exam and CAT scan,Butler is fine. He is however very pissed off at himself for losing.
Stay tuned...onward and upward...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Boxing Update

Tomorrow night the boxer I manage is scheduled for a 6 round bout against Manuel Guzman. The fights are being presented at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The card features a title bout wherein Philadelphia favorite Mike Jones is defending his NABA/NABO title. My fighter, Ardrick Butler, is on the undercard and unfortunately his bout will not be on the Showtime Cable Broadcast. Nevertheless, this is a big night for Ardrick as it is the biggest venue in which he has fought and it is a big event. He will get great exposure and experience...and hopefully a KO. He has been training very hard. I believe the strategy his trainer has for this fight is perfect and he has Ardrick well prepared.
My wife and I will be attending along with 2 other couples. We are spending the weekend at Ceasar' in addition to the evening of boxing...we will enjoy the roof-top pool, the Spa and Ceasar's Beach Club...and certainly some dice will be thrown and some time will be spent at Black-Jack and Poker.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Another Famous Sportsman

Sir Richard Burton: World renowned explorer, fencer,traveler and writer, linguist, and soldier. He brought the erotic arts of the Far East home to England. He was an accomplished falconer and was expelled from Trinity College for attending Steeplechase Races in violation of College rules. He was a true 19th Century Sportsman...who certainly led a uniquely exciting life.
One can see some of his exploits in the Movie "Mountains of the Moon" and read one of several biographies to enjoy accounts of his myriad adventures.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Independence Day

Thomas Jefferson wisely stated: "The Democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."

"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes."

Here in Philadelphia a room full of bold and angry Colonials elected to cast off the mantle of a corrupt and distant Government that was imposing,amongst other injustices, unduly burdensome taxes on the population. Philadelphia saves a special embrace for the 4th of July because of the events which took place here.
Perhaps we all need to heed Jefferson's words and remember the ideals of our Founders...not only tolerance and freedom...but fiscal responsiblity.

As we celebrate this holiday weekend, reflect on that which makes our Country great...and realize that absent our vigilance as individuals, it will erode and slip away.