Sunday, July 01, 2012

A night at the ballpark

Friday found Madame X and me in Des Moines, where that night we took in an Iowa Cubs game. We received some special perks in consideration for my writing an article on Red Faber for the team's annual yearbook. Ellen and Adam joined us to round out the foursome.

The evening included owners' tickets in the front row at Principal Park (thank you, Michael Gartner), where we were closer to home plate than the pitcher was.

During the second inning, Deene Ellis, long-time radio voice of the I-Cubs, interviewed me about Red, whose last two seasons of minor league baseball were in Des Moines (1912-13). 

It was a fun game. It included a massive home run by the Cubs' Josh Vitters -- all the way over the Cub Club in left field, where we had enjoyed dinner -- dominant pitching by Iowa's Rodrigo Lopez, one ejection and even a bench-clearing non-brawl. After the home team's 7-0 victory over the Astros' Oklahoma City club, the I-Cubs hosted their Friday Night Fireworks.

We won't be in the front row the next time, but we're looking forward to another summer evening of pro baseball in Des Moines.

Dinner in the Cub Club

Texting a photo to a friend, to PROVE we had great seats

Madame X, Ellen and Adam

Our new camera does well with high-speed action. The ball is a blur as it reaches the batter.

The beginnings of the confrontation between the teams. Oklahoma City RedHawks Manager Tony DeFrancesco (No. 11 in red) left the third-base coaching box to confront an Iowa infielder after an Oklahoma City batter was hit by a pitch.

Not much going on. Probably half the players wondered why they were out there.

Oklahoma City RedHawks Manager Tony DeFrancesco gets in his last words on the long walk to the clubhouse door in the left field corner. Of course, the Iowa fans let him hear it the whole way.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Following in Uncle G's footsteps

 Our 3- and 5-year-old granddaughters ran the Junior Gallop 1-mile today as part of the Grandview Gallop in Dubuque. Both girls looked pretty cool in their 'shades.' Both finished the race. The younger one was the final finisher, but she ran and walked the entire distance -- with constant encouragement from her Mom and baby sister (in a stroller).

By being the final finisher, Lise upheld a tradition of sorts. Twenty-two years ago, when her Uncle Greg was 3, he was last runner in a 1-mile youth run as part of the Paper Chase. His Dad accompanied him on that jaunt. Despite his father's concerns about conflict of interest, Greg made the front page of the next day's Telegraph Herald. Undeterred by a last-place finish, Greg years later was part of a high school state championship team. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Happy birthday, Lise!

We had a fun evening a few days ago when granddaughter Lise celebrated her third birthday. Her older sister did a great job of letting Lise have the spotlight on her special day and her younger sister, well, she slept through most of it.

 Chocolate birthday cake and ice cream was a big hit.

 Baby sister woke up in time to take in some of the festivities.

 Lise seemed to enjoy the cards as much as the presents. Older sister was
ready to help with any hard words.

The highlight of the evening was the present of a play kitchen.
A game of "Restaurant" spontaneously broke out.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Music video

I spent way too much time putting together this video from the "Rockin' into the Night" session Tuesday night at the American Society of News Editors conference in Washington, D.C.

It features Sonny Curtis, an original Cricket and prolific songwriter, and Jim Peterik, whose first hit song was "Vehicle" by the Ides of March. Peterik also wrote hits for Survivor ("Eye of the Tiger") and .38 Special ("Hold on Loosely").

The video runs 5 minutes. Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mug shot

I used a vacation day Tuesday to work on a freelance project, which took me to Madison. After a day of interviews, I checked in with the Andy and Josie Family. Uncle G made a cameo appearance. Granddaughter Elsie, 22 months, was the star of the proceedings. I suspect she's had her photo taken before.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


 I don't recall ever installing the backyard play equipment before the official
arrival of spring. However, with record-setting warmth this week, all was made
ready today for a visit by our two oldest granddaughters.

 The slide is also a fun diversion.

 March Madness has nothing on an exciting game of tossing
a wadded-up piece of paper into an ice cream container.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Auto show outing

Madame X and I decided to take a brief Sunday outing and visit the Dubuque New Car Dealers Auto Show at the Grand River Center, and we invited the older two granddaughters to come along.

 Those are the granddaughters at left and right.

 The popcorn machine at the concession stand was out of order, but a soft pretzel
was an acceptable snack substitute.

This was the only BMW at the show Pop might be able to afford!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Happy Lunar New Year

 Madame X and I on Saturday attended the Lunar New Year celebration at Divine Word College in Epworth, Iowa. Divine Word, primarily a seminary for missionary priests-to-be, has a large contingent of international students -- most of them from Asia.

We are members of the Divine Word FAN (Friends Across Nations) Club, matched with a couple of students -- Joseph from Uganda and Yen from Vietnam.

Though the celebration welcoming the Year of the Dragon is special for the Asian students, no Divine Word student was excluded. The program started with an African drums number, with our friend Joseph (far left, photo below) playing a key role. (He returned to this stage for another number, when this photo was taken.)

If was an enjoyable evening of great food and fun entertainment.