Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chapter MMMCCCXCVIII: In which he reflects on the vacation that was....

Well, after a few days away from ye olde salte mines, I get to wander back to the land of the worker bees tomorrow.

It's been a restful few days. I mentioned in a mobile post Sunday that I'd wandered to Iowa, but I neglected to mention that I hung out with some tremendous people, whose words have served to entertain and enlighten since I began reading other blogamathings. It's odd to put a face with a name I've read (and chatted with) for nearly seven years, but it's something that this shy kid from East Tennessee was pleased to have done.

Rob, who blogged for a while at Uncouth Sloth, and who still writes for Goat Riders, from time to time, is one of the first writers of Cubs blogs I started reading on any kind of regular basis. Rob's view of the Cubs was very similar to my own, and he and I began an off-and-on correspondence about the team that's lasted as long as any online friendship I've made. It was truly a pleasure to get to hang out with the man.

Troy, whose work I read originally at Gooseneck, and who blogs over at the Bigfoot Diaries, is a helluva guy whose blogs I've continually pointed out as closest in tone what I try to do here. Troy's also a Cubs fan, whose views on football and hockey are also of tremendous interest to me, and in whose relative backyard we wandered, as we got together in Des Moines, Iowa.

And Matt, who blogged for a time at Hawspipe, is another guy I've talked with in the past. It was very cool to get meet Matt, as well.

There had originally been plans to try to make it up to the Philadelphia area, and the Cleveland area, to meet bloggers up there, as well. Financing was one thing, and timing was another. I still want to get up that way to meet those fine folks, and catch a baseball game or two with them, as well.

A few other notes from the vacation:

  • I arrived mid-Friday afternoon. After parking, I wandered around downtown, and saw the lights for Principal Park off in the distance. One of my favorite bits about minor league baseball is how it fits into a community so much more easily than does Major League, anymore. The Iowa Cubs were part of that laidback atmosphere. I recommend the town on that basis alone.
  • The I-Cubs were 2-1 in the 3 games I attended. They split the surprise (for us) double header Friday, and won Saturday.
  • If you find yourself in Des Moines for a weekend, I highly recommend the Court Avenue Brewery, where we managed to find ourselves three times over the weekend (once, in part, because one drawback to the town was kitchens rolled up their sidewalks earlier than I'm used to). Try the Honest Lawyer IPA....
  • If I had a free afternoon, I think I could have a helluva time at El Bait Shop. Dozens of beers on tap, and many, many more bottled. We wandered in here after the Saturday night Iowa Cubs game (where Jeff Samardzija did all he could to hand the visiting New Orleans Zephyrs the game they'd been leading 4-0). We arrived roughly 10 minutes after the closing of the kitchen, which was disappointing. I coulda stayed in there for hours.
  • But, we were starving, which was something of a theme. Johnny's Hall of Fame similarly closed the kitchen on us Friday, which led us to finding a hot dog/gyro stand. I told that man he was my boy, because he had bratwurst. And truer words, I may never have spoken. Unlike the other eateries in question, he did not have a website, of which I am aware.
  • Rob has his thoughts on the weekend here, and Troy has his here. Pleasure to meet both gentlemen.
  • I drove through several major cities in my travels, though none stressed me out nearly as much as driving through my old Nashville haunts, oddly enough. A sudden, blinding rainstorm had much to do with that....
  • Speaking of blinding rainstorms, as my driving wound down for the night Thursday, I found myself staring directly at the sun as a heavy rain fell....Difficult driving....
  • Not much done on the home front since my return. I just wanted to take it easy. I got the odd urge to watch episodes I-III of Star Wars, mainly because I don't think I've seen them since episode III came out. Verdict, after not having seen for probably 5 years...I don't hate episode I, though Jar Jar, Midichlorians and Jake Lloyd are all insulting. Episode II is the real trash of the three first episodes. Episode III? Watchable. I kinda dig it, actually.
  • Wandered to Chattanooga today, where I took advantage of the 50% sale on Criterion movies at Barnes & Noble (Wages of Fear, and Rashomon). Also took in Predators, which I liked.
Anyway, I return to work tomorrow. There are changes coming at the workplace. Don't know how permanent they are, but we'll find out soon enough....


Blogger gooseneck said...

Tommy it was great having you in Iowa. Thanks for the kind verbage, and for wrapping the weekend up in perfect word form. You have a gift for that, which is one reason I left that for you. (Ha!)

Hope work is good to you, my man. Hopefully next year we can make it down Tennessee way.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since it is the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.............................................................

4:04 PM  

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