Friday, March 30, 2012

Heavyweight Weekend

Tomorrow night the heavyweight boxer I manage, Joey Cusumano, will enter the ring for his 3rd professional fight.The boys and I are taking a Limo up to Hamilton,New Jersey for the bout...and will remain at the venue to enjoy the rest of the card.

This week has been a whirlwind of details. First, there was a glitch in the medical clearance with the NJ Boxing commission. It seems Joey's eye exam for the pre-fight teat was never received.Each fighter undergoes a full battery of pre-fight medical to make sure they are fit and sound for the ring. I had to track down the report at Mercy Hospital in Philly and have it faxed to Jersey. Then, there was the issue of the NJ boxing and cornerman licenses. This had to be handled...along with some hotel details for the opponent and his manager. I also had to continue to peddle tickets for this fight to sell the package of same which I received from the Promoter. Then I had to make sure Joey allowed enough travel time to arrive at the official Weigh In by 3:30 today. Actually, a weigh in is not a big issue with Heavyweights. Nevertheless, he needs to be there and on time.

So, this boxing management gig has advantages and it can also be time consuming and frustrating.It is not all cigars,Champagne and tuxedos in Vegas. At this stage is is more like tap-beer and T-shirts in Jersey City. Once these details are squared is up to Joey to lace up his gloves and get busy. he has trained hard and well and we hope for a good result. His opponent, Lonnie Kornegay is a big tough kid who will come out banging. As long as Joey keeps sticking the big jab in Lonnie's face, and sets up the punishing right hand...things should go our way.

In the picture above, Don Elbaum is with Joey. He is the kid's "Adviser" and a boxing legend in his own right. I will likely do a post on him in the future...but Google his name and you will find some interesting reading.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Uniform Change

The out-fits for Olympic Women's Beach Volleyball have always been a big plus for male spectators. Not that these women aren't spectacular is just that other aspects of the participants are, shall we say, more aesthetically spectacular.
Sure, the prurient interest attendant to watching these matches can be criticized. Sure, my wife whacked me on the arm when watching that great Gold Medal match in Beijing when I commented about the Gold Medal tusch of one of the U.S.A. women.
Now it seems the 2012 London games will allow a less sexy uniform to "encourage participation from countries with more modest cultural beliefs."
My position is that since 1996 when the sport became an Olympic event, the athletes were wearing bikinis. Why fix it if it ain't broke....does Iran or Quatar really want to put a team on the sand wearing ankle length garments?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Can't Get There From Here.

The landing gear screeched down at about 1:20 A.M. Monday morning and I was home. It was a great trip. The thing about Telluride is the trip...hard to get to. I flew into Grand Junction Colorado Thursday night and met Glenn. We had a few beers, hit the racks early and set out for the 2 1/2 hour jaunt through high desert and into the San Juan range early Friday.The drive through the mountains and uphill has so many breathtaking views you could wear out your digital device and your digits.
We arrived at elev. 8750 on Main st. in Telluride and checked into the New Sheridan Hotel. This old joint has had a full makeover and restoration and is a luxury space in this old mining town turned hip ski mecca.
My friend Wight (featured in prior posts) has had a house in Telluride for 15 years. It was his 50th birthday weekend and Lehigh boys from around the country were converging to help him celebrate.
Wight and his lovely wife(also a Lehigh grad) did this thing right...hit the ball right over the fence. Friday evening they had reserved a Thai restaurant in town for cocktails and dinner. The food at Honga's Lotus Petal was fabulous and dining with Wight's wife,dad and sisters and a few of the boys was wonderful. We then returned to the historic "old West" bar at the Sheridan. This saloon is like a movie expect to hear spurs jangling and Colt revolver's being cocked. All that got cocked was the Lehigh crew....boozing at 8750 feet in altitude is an interesting scenario.
Saturday was huevos rancheros and skiing. The weather was sunny and 60...unbelievable.
The highlight of the birthday bash was Saturday evening. Wight and his wife rented out the historic Sheridan Opera House and booked Donovan Frankenreiter for the gig. Donovan is friends with Jack Johnson and another "surf rock" mellow musician and damn good in his own right. He and Wight have been tight for several years as well.
This party was a blast...featuring the Lehigh boys being invited on stage by Donovan to lend a voice to an Allmman Brother's cover: "Can't You See." I wish/hope /fear there is video of this facet of the night. Midway thru the party, being fueled by Mount Gay Rum,and being the guy who makes his living public speaking in Court, I took the microphone and gave a birthday toast to my friend of 30+ years...recounting some semi-off color anecdotes from college and paying tribute to the stalwart friend and man that Wight is.
Anticipating our condition, Glenn and I had booked late flights out of Grand Junction on Sunday so we had a chance to hang at Wight's house and watch some basketball and golf and visit with his family in a more subdued setting before our 2 P.M. departure.
A great weekend and memorable.... as a bonus,both Glenn and Wight are coming to Philly this weekend to go see my heavyweight Joey Cusumano in his 3rd pro fight on Saturday.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rocky Mountain High

This Sportsman is bugging out of the Mid-Atlantic Urban wasteland and heading for the Rockies. My college buddy Wight is having a 50th Birthday and he has invited the whole crew to Telluride. Wight owns a home in this high altitude old west ski town and a bunch of the college boys are heading out to celebrate our friend's 1/2 century some skiing and the inevitable boozing that takes place when the Lehigh crew assembles. I have a new Blackberry so I may endeavor to post some shots while out there. In the meantime...clearing up the office and packing my ski gear.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lehigh Lacrosse

This program is certainly on the upswing. The Lehigh lacrosse team is off to a 7-1 start. In compiling this record they have beaten UNC,Army, Penn and Yale. This is a team reaching new levels of respectability. The partnership represented by this Logo allows alumni such as myself an opportunity to make donations that are specifically targeted to a program....not just deposited in a general students know, the fund from which Dean Wormer arranged an "honorarium" for Carmine, the mayor who didn't want:"No drunken riots in my town."
The team is now ranked #10 in the Inside Lacrosse D-1 poll....damn impressive. Riding on the upset of Duke, we Lehigh faithful would love to see some Lax success in the big NCAA Lacrosse tournament this May.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Office

When I am not in a duck blind, goose pit,or chasing grouse or pheasants or fish, this is where I spend the a lot of my time. I wish I could say that about my home...but in reality I am in the office handling my client's problems, or in court,or in the office preparing for court. You know, shotgun shells and food for the hunting dogs and Filson gear and nicely engraved over and unders cost money.....

Saturday, March 17, 2012

How 'Bout Them Engineers

Certainly, one historic upset. I am not much for College NCAA March madness as a general rule. When I was at lehigh, Winter Sports spectation was dominated by excellent wrestling. Watching grapplers in the famous "Snake Pit" of Grace hall.
But last night watch Lehigh upset NCAA powerhouse Duke....just fabulous. A group of shorter, non-scholarship kids, hustled their way into NCAA lore. One of my Law School friends is a veritable idiot savant of College basketball stats and history. He called me about 30 seconds after the final buzzer to express his amazement and state how thrilled he was to watch this colossal victory and how historic the win was in the annals of NCAA B-ball. facebook lit up with comments and my text icon was red-hot from the guys lauding our beloved Alma Mater kicking ass on such a National stage. Hell, if they can beat Duke in this tourney...who knows how far they will go.

Perhaps even more gratifying was a comment on the Bethlehem Police Blog...(Lehigh is in Bethlehem,PA) As follows: "And the Bethlehem police posted on their blog how classy the students were in their celebrations"

And the Police Chief stated:
"Standing at Morton and Adams, Bethlehem police Commissioner Jason Schiffer said, "They just pulled off the biggest upset in NCAA history. Let them party as long as they are not flipping and burning.""

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Brace of Hunting Dogs

On the left is Archie. He is named after "Archie Goodwin" from the Nero Wolfe books written by Rex Stout. He has been featured before. He is an excellent upland game dog....just kicks ass on pheasants,grouse,woodcock etc. He loves the goose pit and dragging downed honkers 40 or 50 yards over corn stubble or soybeans to my waiting grasp. Arch is 10 now and slowing down in the field...but still a loveable energetic knucklehead around the house. He won't let me out of his sight.
On the right we have the new addition: Genna. She is one year old, sweet as can be and just mad for retrieving.She is very eager and obedient. We are working on duck dummies and bumpers. In a few weeks we will move training down to the Farm for retrieves out of the duck blind and to get her used to riding in the boat.She should be locked and loaded for Waterfowl Season in October.
It warms the heart when you walk through the door after work and are greeted by these two faces.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Trump Chump

Never been a big fan of Donald. I always thought his book "The Art of the Deal" should have been titled: " Inherit a Ton of Dough." Deal schmeal...and that not get me started on that mess.
Now his sons are stirring controversy for Sportsmen. It seems these two trust fund wankers went on safari and killed a laundry list of African species...including an Elephant. The photo circulating on the web shows one of Donald's issue holding a tail he just cut from said pachyderm. He defends his actions saying the meat was donated to the villagers. Maybe so....
I just cannot understand wanting to shoot an Elephant...are they not endangered in many areas? Sounds like rapacious trophy hunters in my book. I cannot endorse or defend trophy hunting in this vein. We'll see what furhter info is tweeted or hits TMZ.

A Must Have

This book should be on the shelf of every Sportsman or Outdoorsman. Concise, well written and incredibly comprehensive, you may find this at a Flea market for cheap or on Amazon. Within these pages one finds information on everything from chokes and gauges of shotguns and rifle ballistics to camping tips, boating,fly-fishing,first aid,wild life identification,rods, reels,survival,decoys,knots,scopes, archery,tents,saws,campers,canoes,State resources,maps,GPS. All the chapters have good diagrams and schematics and text. This is a tome about which one can rightly say: " If it does not have do not need to know it..."

Monday, March 12, 2012

Game Freeze

While I did not shoot many ducks or geese this was actually a miserable season all over the "Delmarva" region, I did harvest some birds and put a few in the freezer. The problem with wild game is if you leave it in the freezer too long, even well packaged, it tends to freezer burn and lose the unique flavor of game. So this Sunday I decided to make Cassoulet and use up some of the last duck breats.
I had already made confit from some goose legs...really the only thing you can do with the rangey tough legs of a 3 or 4 year old bird harvested on its 3rd Southern migration.
The confit, along with some Wood Duck breast and some store bought Kielbasa made for a delectable game stew in the French vein.

The procedure is fairly simple:
Cube the duck breats with fat on....render it on meduim flame in an oven proof Dutch oven style vessel(I have Le Crusette.) When the fat is melted, remove the meat. Add 2 diced onions to the fat and saute until just caramelized, de-glaze with some white wine, then add 3 or 4 cloves of chopped garlic, fresh Thyme, ground pepper and about 2 cups of game stock or chicken stock.
Simmer for a few minutes then add 2 cans of drained diced tomatoes, 4 cans of white beans, return the duck meat to the pot and drop in the shredded goose confit. Add the cubed kielbasa and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover the top with a mixture of fresh made coarse bread crumbs mixed with chopped fresh parsley. remember to place the bone from the confit in when it goes in the oven...this adds another level of flavor and richness.
Then put the pot uncovered in a 350 degree oven and cook for about 1/2 hour. Remove and let cool a bit on the stove top. With tongs, retrieve the bone of the goose leg.
Serve with a fresh salad of butter lettuce with mustard vinagrette, fresh crusty bread and a Cotes de Rhone or Pinot Noir and dinner is ready. We enjoyed this last night with my family, my mom and a guest...rave reviews....delicious.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Vonn-derful that post title reads like a bad Daily News headline. Nevertheless, this All American vixen is dynamite on the slopes and generally just hot. The lovely Lindsey Vonn just became the first U.S. skier to win four overall World Cup titles. This is a major achievment. All that athletic talent and dazzling looks as well...ouch.
You may recall I posted about Vonn in 2010 when writing about the Vancouver Winter Olympics. She has continued her success on the slopes since then and reaching this milestone in World Cup Ski racing is phenomenal.
Sadly, we in the U.S. have a really hard time following these feats. Very little World Cup skiing is televised. It is not really covered in print news. I remember as a kid watching Wide World of Sports and February and March Saturday afternoons seemed to always feature some exciting ski races from Europe...the famous Hahnenkam for example. Not so today. Whether we watched on T.V. or not. Vonn's triumph warrants our salute.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Another One Goes Down hard

Lenny Dykstra....Nails...chewin' tobacco spittle dribbling down his chin, uniform covered in dirt from slide into 2nd base or a diving catch in Center Field. I saw him play as a Met in 1986 at Shea when he dropped a home run into the Bullpen against the Astros. My College buddies were Mets fans and took me to the NLCS game.I knew he was a Helluva ballplayer.

Fast forward to 1993. Nails had one of his best seasons. He was now wearing a Phillies uniform and was a spark plug to this exciting National League Champion team. He led the league in walks, hits and runs, and at-bats and was 2nd in MVP voting. He hit 4 home runs in that '93 World Series. We loved him here in the Quaker City.
But Nails was also the knucklehead who was driving drunk on a country road out my way when he crashed and injured himself and team catcher Darren Daulton. He was the ugly American who refused to remove his ball cap in an elegant restaurant in Paris, berated the Manager who asked him to take off the hat, and proceeded to order $1500.00 bottles of wine and swill them like Yoo-Hoo.

This week Lenny is wearing an orange jump-suit and is in State Custody in California. His post baseball behaviour and business dealings have been reprehensible to say the least. His troubles are not over either as he still faces Federal charges regarding his Bankruptcy and selling or disposing of assets after filing. He tanked businesses and lost investor money and defrauded many. Life outside the ballpark was not so easy huh?

It was sad to see the picture of Lenny having the handcuffs slipped on his wrist.It is sad to see Nails in a state issue orange suit. I would rather picture him in dirty Phillie's pinstripes with a big wad o' chew pawing the dirt in the batter's box.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Kite Flying

Not exactly a sporting pursuit...although apparently in Afghanistan they have fighting kite with ground glass glued to the strings to try and cut their competitors loose. But flying a kite is fun as Hell with your two cute daughters on the beach( my son was not even born yet.) This photo is circa 1996 on the beach in Bay Head,NJ. It was an early evening in late August. The wind had picked up and my wife and I grabbed the girls and a kite, walked to the beach and commenced flying. The girls squealed with delight as we launched the kite and soared it high above the surf. You can see the kite string and handle in my daughter's hands. These are the memories that sear into a parent's mental archives to be trotted out when things seem instant smile.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Soldier Hunt

When I am not hunting waterfowl or other game, I can often be found scouring Flea Markets and Antique shops stalking these WWI toy soldiers. They were manufactured by two companies: Manoil and Barclay.
My collecting began at about the age of seven when my parents, both antique hounds, bought me a soldier for about 25 cents one day to shut me up when I wanted to leave a Flea Market. What was at that time a pacification became a collection. These items now cost quite a bit more than a quarter....if you can find them.
One of the benefits of my litigation practice is that I go far afield to various Courthouses all over PA. On the way back to Philly I can stop at antique and junk shops around the Commonwealth to try and find a piece for my collection. The two American companies pumping out these "dimestore soldiers" thrived in the 30's, cut production during WWII and then faded in the late 40's and 50's when plastic soldiers became cheaper and more popular.
When I met up with ADG of Maxminimus, we discussed our shared obsession with toy soldier collections and I have been meaning to post about my collection. The pix are not very high quality...but you get the idea. The display is in my living room atop a family heirloom piece of furniture that used to sit in my Great Grandmother's "parlor"...a fitting pedestal for these relics of past play.