Monday, July 28, 2008

A year ago today

A year ago today I submitted my first article for associated content. It was a short article on the Houston Astros trade with the Tampa Bay, then Devil Rays. The deal included Ty Wigginton and Dan Wheeler. The article was published two days later on July 30. Here is a link to the article.

Currently my writing is in a bit of a lull, but I'm sure I will come out of it with a bunch more articles. Over the year I ended up publishing 104 articles with over 54,000 page views on Associated Content.

Over the year my writing expanded over to, Hubpages and this blog. Here is to a year in the writing life.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Reading Day

Today I woke up about 4:45 in the morning to go and do some volunteer work. When I got back home I ended up with baby duty as my wife went in to work a few more hours. Between spending time watching my daughter I was able to get some reading done. I finished a book on leadership I had been reading and then I read a book by a friend of mine. I would have finished a third book, but I couldn't find it. I have a bad habit of starting a book and then putting it down. Then life happens or I start another book.

The book I read was "Ravings From A Sane Man" by C.L. McGown. C.L. is originally from Weirton, West Virginia and I have known him for over 18 years. It was neat to read a book that has roots in the state I live in and also written by someone I know.

I learned a lot about C.L. from reading the book. Whether you agree or disagree with his point of view, C.L. shares a lot of them with the reader. He does so in a humorous entertaining method. The book is a quick read broken down into short quick chapters. More information on the book and how to get your copy is available here.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Saved a lot on a car repair..

Last Friday the cable in my drivers side power window on my car broke after a morning stop at McDonald's. The end of a very good morning. I mean I was out of the house and on my morning commute with enough time to hit the drive-thru. Then there was a weird a sound and my car window would not go back up.

Saturday, I took it to my local mechanic. He explained what had happened and told me I would need to go to a dealership. He's a great mechanic and gives lots of free advice. So, I went home and called dealerships in three states. Of course no one could do it over the weekend. I did get a quote of $560. Ouch! $410 dollars for the part and $150 to install it.

I found on the web I could get the part for $88 including shipped to my door. A friend of ours recommended another mechanic and I was able to get it done for $80. $168 is a lot better than $560. Hmm...I knew there was a reason for not wanting to go to the dealership.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Cleveland Indians first half dissapointment

Since this is the first weekend after Major League Baseball's All-Star game, I thought I would blog about some of the teams that have been major dissapointments so far in 2008. One team that jumps out at me is the Cleveland Indians. Last year the Tribe won the AL Central by 8 games. The lost out to the World Serries Champion Boston Red Sox. Here is a link to my article previewing the Indians in the playoffs last fall.

Currently the Tribe is 42-54 and in the cellar of the AL Central 12.5 games behind the Chicago White Sox. The Tribe did trade away CC Sabathia, who went 19-7 with a 3.21 ERA last season. Fausto Carmona has been battling issues and is 4-2 with a 3.10 ERA but hasn't pitch since May. Last season Carmona went 19-8. Cliff Lee is a bright spot for the Indians returning to form this season with a 12-2 record and 2.31 ERA.

Sizemore's average is down this season batting .272 but his power numbers are up with 23 home runs, he only had 24 last season. Martinez isn't batting .301 this season or having the numbers he hit last season. Travis Hafner also hasn't played since May.

The Tribe are having ac disappointing season due to injuries and management has turned away from this season trading away CC Sabathia. A move the Tribe used to add some talent on the farm. The Indians may not have a winning season this year but they should be in the mix next year with Carmona and Lee in their rotation.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Review of Nationals Park

Last weekend I was able to go to three games at the Washington Nationals new ballpark in Washington. DC. The stadium is nice. Washington has done a wonderful job with the stadium and the area surrounding the ballpark. The first night we had nosebleed seats, the view was good. You could see the whole field. The next two games we had lower level seats and they were even better. They had a fireworks show after the game on Friday. I have to say I have seen nicer firework shows after minor league games but it was a nice diversion. Saturday they showed a movie after the game on the big screen located by the scoreboard opposite the third base side. I thought this was pretty clever idea. It also gave a chance for fans to do something while the crowd thinned out. They also have a playground for children which was closed on Sunday. They also have a shaded playstation area as well. The ballpark is great. Ticket prices are more expensive than at nearby Camden Yards in Baltimore. Also food and drink inside the stadium was very expensive even for stadium food. Beers were $7.50, bottled water was $4, we had a BBQ dinner Friday night that was $34 for two. Saturday we had cheese steaks for $8.50 a piece.
All and all a good place to see a game but bring plenty of cash.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

July Update on Beau Torbert

The summer is moving along. I wrote an update of Beau Torbert in June so keeping with that I am writing an update for July. The Sioux Falls Canaries won the first half North Division title in the American Association. So Beau and the Canaries will have playoff baseball! Beau Torbert has played in 52 games and is batting .299. He also has a team high 13 home runs and a team high 46 RBIs. He has also scored 37 runs and hit 9 doubles and a triple.

Beau will probably be named an All-Star in the American Association. Torbert is showing a lot more power than he showed while he was in the Astros organization. Beau also continues to hit the ball very well.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Fourth of July Weekend

Sorry no late night rendezvous scheduled with any blond, 80's pop topping, sex symbols at their crib. My wife would frown on those arrangements, even if honestly I was just going over there for free food and drinks. Like wise my wife isn't jetting over to visit a rocker in Paris for the weekend. Of course I'm sure my wife would only do that to hook me up with some free concert tickets.

Well my wife and I don't live those kind of lives but if you read the sports pages or the tabloids apparently some people do! I wonder is there a difference between the sport pages and tabloids anymore? Of course, even if I wanted to live that kind of lifestyle, assuming I would be able to get through every one's security, it wouldn't work out. My luck would have me stuck at home with the kids while my wife went on her rendezvous!

No, my real Fourth of July weekend will be a lot quieter. A trip to Washington, D.C. to see the fireworks with my family. A cookout on Saturday and a day of rest on Sunday before another work week. Hopefully, the weekend won't produce any tabloid stories from my family.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

June: The Month of Death

Maybe not but it did same to be that way. The month started out with Doug Thomas passing away. Unfortunately, the funeral information was not forwarded to me. I would have liked to attend his funeral, he was a great man. Then a friend of my wife's dad died. Which started our 2 funerals in three days weekend. A small service but a tight family. Then "Bobbie" Miller's memorial service on Monday. There was a large turn out at St. John's for this service, even for a Monday morning service in the middle of vacation time. Bobbie deserved a big turn out. She did so much for so many people and for the church. St. John's kitchen was really her kitchen. It was odd being in the fellowship hall afterwords with the food. I kept sensing she would pop out of the kitchen with another tray of food...