Author Archive

Scrapbook Saturday: September

September… The Concert Across America and a canceled Maroon 5 show. I guess that will teach me to not make logos before the shows actually happen.

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Book Review: Almost Perfect

Almost perfect is about the sacrifice that baseball pitchers and teams make for the perfect game.  Very, very few have ever done it.  Some perfect games turned into no hitters but didn’t end up perfect.  There are write ups on some close calls with the box score and why they didn’t end up perfect.  Unfortunately my Mets have never had a perfect game and have only ever had 1 no hitter!

For those of you are not baseball fans – a “perfect game” is when you have no hits or walks, hit by pitch, etc. as a pitcher.  A no hitter is just that – no hits.  But you could have walked a player or hit him with a pitch.  This book shows some of these no hitters and other “almosts”.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the book

The rich, poignant tales of major league baseball’s most hard-luck fraternity—the pitchers of its Almost-Perfect Games

From 1908 to 2015, there have been thirteen pitchers who have begun Major League Baseball games by retiring the first twenty-six opposing batters, but then, one out from completing a perfect game, somehow faltering (or having perfection stolen from them). Three other pitchers did successfully retire twenty-seven batters in a row, but are still not credited with perfect games. While stories of pitching the perfect game have been told and retold, Almost Perfect looks at how baseball, at its core, is about heartbreak, and these sixteen men are closer to what baseball really is, and why we remain invested in the sport. Author Joe Cox visits this notion through a century of baseball and through these sixteen pitchers—recounting their games in thrilling fashion, telling the personal stories of the fascinating (and very human) baseball figures involved, and exploring the historical American and baseball backdrops of each flawed gem.

From George “Hooks” Wiltse’s nearly perfect game in 1908 to “Hard Luck” Harvey Haddix’s 12-inning, 36-consecutive-outs performance on May 26, 1959 (the most astounding single-game pitching performance in baseball history) to Max Scherzer’s near miss in 2015, Joe Cox’s book captures the action, the humanity, and the history of the national pastime’s greatest “almosts.”
Joe Cox is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and is the co-author of multiple sports books, including Fightin’ Words: Kentucky vs. Louisville and Voice of the Wildcats: Claude Sullivan and the Rise of Modern Sportscasting. He lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Throwback Thursday: Tinted Windows 6/17/09

Headliner: Tinted Windows
Opener(s): Locksley
Venue: Highline Ballroom
Cost: $30

Setlist:

O-Town at the Wolf’s Den

Friday night O-Town made their return to the Wolf’s Den at Mohegan Sun. This was their 3rd time performing there, but my 2nd time seeing them since I had to miss one since I was in Jamaica with Hanson last year when they came through!  WFAN’s Mike Francesca was in the Den before the show and I was hoping to catch a glimpse of a Mets player, but spotted a Yankees pitcher instead.  At 7pm we were let in for the show and they had removed all the chairs from the floor and were allowing you to choose if you preferred to stand on the floor or sit around the upper edge of the venue.  I was the first to choose a seat and got one right in the corner by the stage.  The show started at 8pm and featured 2 new songs off the upcoming release that the guys funded by fans on kickstarter – reaching their goal in 7 hours and doubling it (or more?) once the campaign was over!

They started their set with their first single, Liquid Dreams and ended the set bookended with their biggest single – All or Nothing.  Mixed in were songs from all 4 of the albums (including the upcoming one) and a few covers as well.  During the cover medley, Trevor and Dan went out into the crowd – with Dan walking right past where I was sitting on top of the booths that were below me.  I hear Trevor gave someone a lap dance but I was too busy watching Dan to see what was happening on the other side of the venue!  They let us pick if we wanted to hear “Baby I Would” or “Suddenly” and the cheers led to them doing Suddenly.  Typically I do not miss Ashley Parker Angel at all at these shows, but for some reason on that song it was noticeable he was missing (It may have been my first time hearing it since he had left so it wasn’t the album version I am used to? Or I’m losing my mind. Both equally possible.)

The first of the new songs was called “Shady Business” and it is “autobiographical”  The second was called “After The Light” (or lights?) and I think they said it was going to be their first single and due out March 14th.

After the show, if you purchased a merch item you could get it signed and get selfies with the guys.  We made sure we were at the front of the line because snow was on its way and we needed to get home ASAP!  (Fan Girl Problems – we had figured they wouldn’t be staying after since they didn’t the time before and were all set to go right after.  Once we found out that they were staying after we bought merch without even giving it a second though – THEN remembered – oh hey, it’s going to snow. crap.)  I mentioned to Dan that we were hoping to get out before the snow and Jacob mentioned that he heard it was starting at 9 and they both wanted us to be careful getting home. (We made it home without incident.)  Erik didn’t talk to me much but decided that my selfie camera was dirty because the picture was coming out blurry so he wiped it off and tried again (and the results weren’t much better.)  Jacob gave me a big hug and thanked me for coming.  Trevor was last and asked my name and said it was nice to meet me. I teased and said “Oh, you’ve met me before!” and he looked up and said “Yes, you’re right. I have! Here I am just standing here with my head down…” and thanked me for coming. I thanked him for coming back and he asked if I has been at all 3 shows. I told him 2/3 because I was in Jamaica with Hanson the last time and he said that was a valid excuse to miss!

I got some video of the new songs, if you want to check out a sneak peak!

 

Virtual Race: A Christmas Story House

Race Title: A Christmas Story 5k
Distance:  5k
Company:  A Christmas Story House
Charity:  A Christmas Story House Neighborhood Restoration Project

Every Christmas Eve, I watch A Christmas Story at least once.  I turn it on and watch from wherever it is in the marathon and then keep watching until I’ve looped through and seen it at least once.  When I was looking for a Christmas-y race to enter, I knew that the 5k benefiting the Christmas Story House was the one for me – since I am also obsessed with actual locations of movie/tv show homes! I finished this one the day after Christmas – it’s a major award!

DNCE at Oakdale

When you save a date for a review on the blog and then the show ends up canceled…  DNCE was scheduled to come to the Oakdale on Thursday night and 6-18 inches of snow was also scheduled to come to town on Thursday day.  I had been hoping the show would be postponed so I would get the best of both words – I wouldn’t have to try to get to the venue in the snow and also so that I wouldn’t have to miss the show either… I guess canceled with refunds is ok.  It sounds like they’re hoping to come back this way so hopefully it ends up happening!

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Scrapbook Saturday: August

August – medal packing at Hogwarts Running Club (I think this was August, I really can’t remember) and Matt Nathanson / Phillip Phillips – the show I left early because I was bored out of my mind!

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Book Review: I Love You with All My Butt

I love you with all my butt is a book of doodles created from interesting phrases that were said by toddlers.  It’s hard to really write a review of this book because you have to kind of read it and see if yourself to “get” it, but trust me, it is full of hilarious phrases and imagery inspired by toddlers and I guarantee you will have at least one chuckle while reading it!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

scraps of accidental poetry. And we turn them into books.

Martin Bruckner is an artist and father who not only recorded the sayings of his daughter, Harper, but used each as the inspiration for a work of art. After posting them on social media, Bruckner became the artist that other parents sought out to transform their own children’s funny words into artwork. Collected here are 100 mini-posters of pure delight, a marriage of the children’s surprising wisdom and the artist’s nimble style, plus the occasional backstory that amplifies both.

Every parent will recognize the spirited declarations of personality—“I’m training to be a wolf.” The endearing mangling of language—“Mommy, I don’t need your mouth to talk to me right now.” The creative mixing of metaphors—“I need a tissue to wipe my feelings.” Those precious, heartbreaking outbursts without guile or filters—“I only love you at the toy store.” Illustrated with sweetness and whimsy, each is a window into the irresistible innocence of childhood, even if the sentiment is “Dad, please wipe the bum of this beautiful princess.”

Throwback Thursday: Kris & Adam Today Show 5/28/09

Headliner: Kris Allen & Adam Lambert
Opener(s): NA
Venue: The Today Show
Cost: $ 0

Setlist:

 

 

Book Review: Dead Gone

Dead Gone follows rookie detective Tom Lange on his first case. A woman is found floating in the water and the only identifying marks on her is a tattoo.  Tom posts about her on a website that allows the public to post tips and a friend thinks she knows who the woman is.  Tom meets with her and thinks that he has IDed her but can’t seem to figure out who did it or why.  Meanwhile, there are a few other conflicts going on in Tom’s life that are distracting him from giving his all to the case.  His neighbor Alicia shows up on his doorstep wanting help when her boyfriend is abusing her. Tom tries to get her to press charges, but the two seem to work things out instead.  Tom’s brother, Nick, also keeps pulling him away because he is dealing with a major gambling debt and is getting beaten by the guys he owes.  His partner, Blythe, is not happy with how he is handling the case and he as two strikes against him as far as she is concerned, and one more and she is going to ask for him to be reassigned.

A lot of people say this book is one that you can’t put down, but I seemed to have the opposite problem – I kept falling asleep while trying to read it.  The story was good but didn’t grab me like I had hoped and all the distractions in Tom’s life were a distraction to me as well – I just wanted to know more about the crime that Tom was investigating.

There is quite a twist at the end and I can’t say too much else about my thoughts on the story without giving some things away and I don’t want to do that.  If you like mysteries and thrillers this is a great story, though a bit on the long side if you want to read something in one afternoon or day.

I received a free e-copy of the book in order to write the review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

A GRIPPING THRILLER WITH AN EXPLOSIVE ENDING BY BEST-SELLING AUTHOR T.J. BREARTON.

A woman’s body is found floating in a sultry Florida mangrove. She has no ID and there is no indication of cause of death.

Who is she? Why was she murdered?

Rookie detective Tom Lange couldn’t have got a more difficult first case. The only thing he’s got to go on is the woman’s butterfly tattoo. His boss, Lauren Blythe, piles the pressure on and the medical examiner won’t tell him what he needs to know.

Meanwhile Tom’s neighbour Alicia has an abusive boyfriend who Tom clashes with in a way that will have far-reaching consequences.

The body leads Tom on a trail of seedy clubs, narcotics, and danger which is close to home.

In a tumultuous ending with a massive twist, Tom’s world is turned upside down.

You’ll be gripped from start to heart-stopping finish in this untputdownable detective mystery from T.J. Brearton.

If you like Jeffery Deaver, Linwood Barclay, Lisa Unger, Gillian Flynn, Rachel Abbott, or Mel Sherratt, you will enjoy this compelling book.

THE DETECTIVE

Tom Lange is a brand new agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. That agency is a state bureau investigating violent crimes, police corruption, with a governor protection unit and top-notch forensic laboratories. The only family Tom has left is his brother Nick.

THE SETTING

Southwest Florida in April. The dry season ending, the heat and humidity building. In Naples, many people are leaving the region for cooler climes. The landscapers are out daily, cutting back the surging vegetation and a steady breeze comes from the gulf coast. Rookery Bay, a nature reserve of a hundred thousand acres teems with wildlife, threaded with brackish creeks. The Everglades stretch all the way across the state to Miami, choked with alligators. Tampa Bay pulses with the nightlife. Naples is one of the wealthiest cities in the U.S., but despite its concentration of millionaires, the region knows poverty, homelessness, drugs, and crime.