A Little Bit of This and a Little More of That

Well, the ‘Piggies are on the road again after a truly disappointing homestand, so it’s time to veer off-topic again — at least somewhat.

You’ve all seen those cute little carts that tote people back and forth from the parking lots to the front gates, right? It’s but one of the fan-centric things the good folks in the front office do. Even though there are handicapped spots close to the West Gate for people with special license plates and mirror hangers, the carts are a godsend for older folks who may not qualify for official handicapped status yet but who might find the long walk up that hill more than they can handle.

Well, I visited SteelStacks today and discovered that the parking lot usually reserved for handicapped folks was one of several being paved. Signs directed us another block or two down the street to another lot. Unfortunately, the good people at Artsquest aren’t as enlightened as CCP staffers when it comes to transportation. No little carts.

There’s no question the other lots need to be closed for paving. It’s a good thing, really. But some thought should have been given to people who will find that walk difficult, like me, or impossible. (I have peripheral neuropathy, as well as a bad disc in my back that pinches a nerve going down to my left leg. When I walk more than a block, my leg gets numb and then begins to hurt, getting progressively worse as I continue walking. That’s why I rest from site to site at Musikfest and need a chair when I volunteer there.)

Tell you what: Jeff Parks, if your folks get a car or some other type of conveyance to help people get from the parking lot to the SteelStacks front door — and maybe continue on to the Banana Factory, too — I will volunteer to be a regular driver 3 days a week, for a full 8-hour shift.

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Maybe it’s my German heritage, but I find the recent wave of celebrity sextings appalling. This time, of course, it’s television personality Geraldo Rivera, whose age — 70 — makes it even more scandalous. You remember Geraldo, the guy who broke down the wall on live TV nationwide hoping to find Al Capone’s lost treasure, only to come up empty-handed.

I’m 60 and I wouldn’t dream of sexting anyone, even though I’m no celebrity and I’m certainly not in the kind of shape I’d need to be for anyone to care. I enjoy my privacy — sometimes too much. I know I’d rather hang out and read or do something on my own than go to a party, unlike 30 or 40 years ago. But celebrities, used to being in the public spotlight all the time, are apparently different, some to the point of having nothing to keep private at all.

Fine. My request, then, is directed at the tabloid press. If you want to tell us all about it, fine. But please, spare me photographs! I don’t want to see it, and I’m fairly certain my daughter doesn’t want my grandson to see it in the checkout line at the grocery store. Yes, it probably sells newspapers. But if you’re that desperate to find a way to keep readers and stay in business, perhaps it’s time to fold up the tent and find another line of work. (And I was a newspaper journalist for 26 years.)

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And finally, back to the IronPigs — specifically, the problems the Phillies have created, once again, for a team that looked to be on its way to the playoffs for the second year. After squeaking by Columbus 2-1 in the last game of the home stand on Sunday, they lost again last night, 3-1, to the Rochester Redwings.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but they’ve won only 1 game out of the last 10 played. They’ve gone from second place in the North Division standings and just 2 games behind Norfolk for the Wild Card playoff spot to third place in the division and 4th place in the Wild Card spot.

Is it a coincidence that everything began to unravel after centerfielder Jermaine Mitchell was released (and quickly scooped up by the Minnesota Twins, whose AAA Rochester Redwings have soared since Mitchell joined them)? Is it a coincidence that things got worse since the Phils’ grand experiment with Cesar Hernandez in center field? No, and no.

Mitchell was a good centerfielder and made a lot of catches for the highlight reels. More importantly, he was the offensive spark plug in the leadoff spot. We could have used him for the playoff run, to be sure; the bats have quieted lately. Ironically, the Philles could have used him too. Ben Revere went down with an injury soon after Jermaine’s release, or else he could be playing centerfield in Philly.

As for Hernandez, his centerfield play has been, well … godawful at times. Like the game in which he made 2 of the ‘Pigs 3 errors before there was even an out in the first inning! He tries, and his speed helps. But the biggest problem, he readily admits, is balls that go over his head. As for offense, who can think about that when they’re up to their a** in alligators trying to learn centerfield? His hitting has gone from torrid (in one two-game series he went 8-for-9) to MIA.

With J.Mitch, what’s done is done. Too late for a recall. But it’s not too late to end this foolishness with Cesar and get him back where he belongs, at 2nd base. Then he could go back to being Mr. Magic instead of leading the team in errors (11, tied with 3rd-baseman Cody Asche). Hear that Reuben?

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  1. #1 by e cig reviews on May 26, 2014 - 2:06 pm

    First of all I would like to say excellent blog!
    I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing.
    I’ve had trouble clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there.
    I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the
    first 10 to 15 minutes are lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or
    tips? Thanks!

    • #2 by Jim Laubach on June 2, 2014 - 10:54 am

      It got to be routine for me after 26 years working on deadline for newspapers. There simply wasn’t time to “center yourself and clear your head” before you wrote anything! But I know, that’s a difficult way to learn the lesson. I’d suggest, first of all, that you have your own space where you can write without interruption. That means leaving your cell phone somewhere else and posting a huge “STAY OUT!!!” sign on the door! Make sure your desk is reasonably clear of clutter and you’re sitting in a comfy chair. Wear clothes you feel most at-home in; even ditch the shoes if you like.

      Now for the real hard part, the actual writing. What do you want to say? Often you can say it long before you can write it, so talk out loud if it helps. Remember the 5 Ws: Who, What, When, Where and Why? Who’s doing it, what are they doing, when are they doing it, where are the doing it, and why are they doing it? “The Rotary Club will sponsor a Scholarship Night from 6-10 p.m. Saturday at the Hilton ballroom to benefit its Education Fund,” for example. A simplification, yes. But it’s a start, and everything builds on that. My point is, What’s the Point? When you know that you can hone in on it, no matter how complex.

      I will admit that this has become increasingly difficult for me these days. Because of a number of chronic illnesses — diabetes, Sjogren’s syndrome (an autoimmune disease), Fibromyalgia, asthma, etc. — I’m on a number of medications that affect my concentration, my ability to focus and my memory for vocabulary at times. I can’t tell you how many times I’m in mid-sentence, either in my writing or in a conversation, and either lose my train of thought entirely or simply can’t remember a word that want to use. Hopefully that isn’t a problem for you, and never will be!

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