Week(s) at Camp

Seemingly away from civilization for the past week, I have thought of many things to write about and upon but have not been able to take the time.

For those not in the know I have been working at Isanogel Camp outside of Muncie. I have accompanied a man by the name of Steve, who has downs syndrome.

The camp is a branch of Hillcroft Services, a mental health organization that I have had the luck to stumble upon.

The experience is more than can be put into words but helping people with what we consider as everyday functions; eat, bathe, etc. is very enlightening and leaves you with a melancholy feeling that cannot be described.

There is much more to say, I can say, but I will write in much more clear detail about the experience.


Dark Knight's hilarity

Last night I had the privilege, as my mother has said, to attend the Reds game with my comrades and counterparts from the FCBL.

The game was exciting thoroughly until the disappointment that ends most every Cincinnati sports event. I had a good time, got no trades done and made it out of GAPB without giving the organization any more money.

Today I am planning on seeing The Dark Knight, which has gotten rave reviews throughout the land and should be the choice view of the summer.

I am also working on a few things for the Star Press including one blog entry that details the changes at the fair, which WOULD include this statement, but I do not have the grit to send it in.

Yes, the scene is a bit more quiet now, the animals and their overseers have disappeared and I’m left with the fair’s more modern pieces of Americana; the midway, the shake-up stands and the teenage stroller pushers.

I mean seriously does that offend you? It sends a shot of adrenaline into my blood stream, fashioned from its hilarity and whit.


A few choice photos



Last night was one of the greatest scenes of athleticism I have ever seen.

Josh Hamilton offers came through my phone from my fellow FCBL owners as fast Hamilton placed balls 500 feet from the plate.

I sat in awe, mouth gaping open watching the heroic feat as it unfolded in front of me. To think that someone could hit 28 HR in one round would be only a dream, one that Hamilton himself claims to have had.

The night did not end as it seemed it would, as Hamilton was all tuckered out at the end allowing Justin Morneau the opportunity to win, even though Hamilton will be the one remembered from this night for years to come.

"Oh My Josh," ESPN had as its headline last night after the first round echoing the same reaction as the fans that sat watching what seemed to be the second coming for a few minutes.

Today I am going back to the fair before checking in for the night to watch the All Star game I have been complaining about.

One thing is for sure however, Hamilton won't be hitting 28 HR tonight. :(

Oh and read my blog.


Served Fresh Daily: my first fair blog post

First day at the fair and here is the inaugural post from the Delaware County Fairgrounds.

I hope to get a feed or a way of automatically getting my posts up as soon as I can on here.


I'm officialy ready for the disapointment of football

Simply put, the Reds are done again before the All-Star break.

I will not watch anymore, I will not watch anymore. . . .


Fair weather fan

Tomorrow marks my first day of covering the fair from one angle or another.

Taking the plunge into something that is new to me should be fun but yet I hope it will be an entertaining project that showcases how much I enjoy just mingling and learning stories that I can in turn put on paper, so to speak.

I will place a link on this site to my fair blog, which at the present time is still unnamed but not without a significant effort my myself and my colleagues.

AND now on to the fair. Well, dinner then sleep then the fair.



Brennaman vs. Cubs

According to Hal McCoy Marty Brennaman the voice of the Cincinnati Reds will have added security tonight in Chicago and throughout the week. This comes as a result of the fallout from Cubs fans in regards to Brennaman's comments calling Cubs fans "the most obnoxious in all of baseball" after they threw a dozen baseballs on the field following an Adam Dunn home run April 17.

(Hal also scooped ESPN by about 10 minutes on the Cubs trade; they acquired Rich Harden from A's)

This comes in a long line of conflict between Cubs fans and the outspoken-long-time broadcaster. According this site some 'people' took it upon themselves to edit Brennaman's Wikipedia page adding a fake death that took place on this date, the opening game of the Reds series against the Cubs.

Lifting my opinion from this matter, the fact that there has to be more security for Brennaman shows a lack of confidence in the actions of Cubs fans. I would have to say that their fans tend to be more raucous and outspoken. I don't specifically see this reflect in loyalty as I consider fans from baseball cities like St. Louis and New York to be much more loyal and knowledgeable in terms of baseball and have had a much better history of winning.

This should make for an interesting series to say the least.

Fair Froth

On my mind today is not what is on my plate as the Reds open a 3-game series against that one team, for the life of me I can’t say because of hatred that continues to mount.

And also I am having difficulty getting a hold of sources for a story I should have finished. But in essence it is a timeless piece and can run at any time.

Also on my mind is the Delaware County Fair, which will fill me with activities to enjoy as well as report upon. I will have my own blog and will post something at least once per day next week and will get started as soon as tomorrow.

Apparently the editors were happy with my stories last week. One was about underage drinking and another about thrift stores and consignment shops.

I have to come up with a name for my fair blog, if there are any ideas floating out there feel free to let me know. (who am I kidding no one reads this thing anymore).

I have some great ideas to go with for next week especially but there are many more that I hope to stumble upon whilst at the DC fairgrounds.


All Star Snubs

I know, i know more baseball news but it has to be said.

The MLB All Star game went to a fan voting process a few years ago to give YOU and I more say in the process. In that time the All-Star balloting has become a popularity contest with the largest markets putting their players on the teams, while leaving out the best players at certain key positions.

This year brought the idiocy and hypocrisy to the forefront. NY, Chicago and Boston teams fill up the lineups yet only the Cubs are in first place. And while the Cubs are in first place their fans decided to vote for two of their outfielders that: A. are blatantly not the best at their positions in terms of hitting and B. not good defensively. Teamed with Ryan "I don't know what position I'm playing" Braun in LF, this should make for a 3 stooges episode reincarnation of an National League outfield.

And while we're on the topic of the CUBS it is interesting how the bias stretched to perhaps the most important position in baseball, seeing that Geovanny Soto will start over Atlanta's Brian McCann, the best catcher in the NL, and heads and shoulders better defensively than Soto. Amazing.

And in light of another blown save by Kerry Wood, what does Clint Hurdle do? He invites Wood to the All-Star game, and why not all his buddies are their including Aramis Ramirez, another knuckle-headed defensive baseball player who in his time would struggle to get weak grounders to first with a fish net and rocket launcher.

But again the Cubs sit in a large market, are in first place (for the time being), are shown on ESPN every week when the BoSox aren't on, and have A LOT of knuckle-headed fans pulling for them; ones that dismiss 100 years of history to act like buffoons at on the road any ballpark they see fit whenever their beloved-overpriced-early-season-wonder-of-a-team rolls in, only to have their brains beat out most of the time. (i.e. 20-26 on the road)

I will not rant about the American league because I don't care if they win. But for the most part they got at least their OF right. And they have better players to choose from and they actually have most of them starting at their respective positions.

NL lineup for 2008 All-Star Game

C Geovany Soto, CHC

1B Lance Berkman, HOU S/L

2B Chase Utley, PHI L/R

SS Hanley Ramirez, FLA R/R

3B Chipper Jones, ATL S/R

OF Ryan Braun, MIL R/R

OF Kosuke Fukudome, CHC L/R

OF Alfonso Soriano, CHC R/R

My Lineup would be:

C Brian McCann, ATL

1B Lance Berkman, HOU S/L

2B Chase Utley, PHI L/R

SS Hanley Ramirez, FLA R/R

3B Chipper Jones, ATL S/R

OF Ryan Braun, MIL R/R

OF Ryan Ludwick, St.L

OF Matt Holiday, COL.

The subs are a joke as well but I don't even want to get into it because I'm fed up with it. All Star voting should not be in the hands of the fans.

And before you say it, I am not mad that only one Red made it to the All-Star team, I could care less. However Brandon Phillips is much better than at least 5 of the 2b's who received more votes in the NL, including Mark DeRosa. You've got to be kidding me.


What the Reds are looking at

And here we find the Cincinnati Reds at 39-47, past the halfway point of the year and 11 ½ games out of first. The season is not over as the Cubs continue to falter and in general the National League shows its inferiority to the American League.

The Reds pitching has been a quiet surprise at times, while disappointing also. Aaron Harang leads the charge as the most disappointing starter this side of Bronson Arroyo, who I wasn’t counting on as much anyway. Homer Bailey can be added to this list as well.

Edinson Volquez seems to be the find of a generation even though Josh Hamilton is equally impressive out West. Johnny Cueto seems to be coming around more and more and seems to be a lock in the rotation for the next 10 years.

Relief pitching has been OK. There seems to be more stability with a hammer in middle relief, Jared Burton. And with closer Francisco Cordero the Reds have a nice 1-2 punch. However David Weathers has struggled and aside from the 8 and 9 inning guys the Reds do not have good bullpen by any measure.

On offense, it has been interesting, to say the least. Consistency is something that can attach more to the policies of a Washington decision maker, than to the Reds offense.

Going down the lineup it screams inconsistency and just bad decision making by GMs. Corey Patterson should be gone and should not be on this team. Jeff Keppinger has been the most consistent offensive producer. Junior Griffey has been disappointing as a 3 hitter and seems destined to live in the 3 hole for as long as he is on this team. To me, he is a 7 hitter at this time in his career, on this team. No more, no less; if you can get less.

Dunn is always inconsistent and his lack of contact is hurting the team. He also seems like Pedro Cereno in Major League, as he is afraid to swing the bat for fear of “killing gnats.” Phillips has been ok but is not improving, as he has plenty of improvement room at the plate. He unlike Dunn does not take a pitch and often swings at the first pitch he sees, ruining rallies, killing spirits and slowly adding to a 8th straight losing season.

Encarnacion; more inconsistency from a player that has one of the highest ceilings on the entire roster. Seems lost and uninterested at the plate oftentimes but has the ability to hit game winning homeruns on command. Ross. . .I am getting sick to my stomach as I didn’t realize the poor structure of this roster.

Jerry Hairston Jr. has been times better than the other junior, and has been one of the nicest surprises of the season.

What to do now.

The lineup is full of inconsistent left-handed bats. Acquiring a right-handed hitter would be a goal of mine if I ran this team. Targeting someone like Alex Rios would be something the Reds might have looked into, but might get a better price tag on after a less than stellar season.
You have to wonder if Hairston Jr. can fit the bill as a leadoff hitter, as he has been good this year. His age plays a factor and the fact that he hasn’t been successful with any degree of consistency, hence the journeyman tag. I’d like to see Phillips draw more walks and be more patient, giving him the ability to be a leadoff hitter but it seems at this point in his development he is unable to look at more than 2 balls. But perhaps he can, look at the comparison of what Aramis Ramirez is doing this year.

No. 2
Keppinger is a lock for the two spot. Period.

No. 3

At this point Joey Votto has been the most consistent hitter and he deserves to be the no.3 hitter. However Jay Bruce is a natural born no. 3 hitter and with a bit more maturity, perhaps by this time next year, Bruce will fit this spot just as well as some of the best in the game.

No. 4

If not 3 for Votto, here is the perfect fit. Imagine Bruce then Votto for the next 15 years back to back, it gives me goosebumps.

No. 5

Ideally E. Encarnacion is the No. 5 hitter and has the potential to be the No. 3 as his ceiling has not been reached. I look for him to settle down the rest of the way and hit close to .280/.360/.530 with 28 HR and 75 RBI. He will break out. . . he will break out. . .

No. 6

Encarnacion can fit well here if the Reds do not address their right-handed bat dilemma. Like I said a trade even at the deadline for A. Rios, although the Reds won’t be buyers as much, or

No. 7, 8

Catcher needs to be addressed and I don’t mean signing Bako longterm. I mean by way of trade during the deadline or offseason as there isn’t much on the free agent market and to be honest there isn’t too many catchers out there that are that impressive. I still say the Reds make a move at Jeff Clement in Seattle, C. Iannetta in Colorado or even Gerald Laird in Texas.

I look for the

A lineup like this would be appealing, IF a lot of things happen however.

1. J. Hairston jr.
2. J. Keppinger
3. J. Bruce
4. J. Votto
5. A. Rios – This can happen.
6. B. Phillips
7. E. Encarnacion
8. Catcher
9. Pitcher

News of the weird, Reds Lose

More great news this morning starts in the motherland where one fish may have been so upset with the Euro Cup final that he took his own life.

Jumping back across the pond a woman crashed her car into a now, not-so-convenient store before getting out and buying a six-pack.

Starbucks is closing 600 stores. That’ll teach ‘em for selling $6 cups of coffee. And lastly in the Hoosier state, Lafayette more specifically, a boy suffered burns after he ignited the body of a dead deer.

Last night we and by we I mean Andi, Mike, Kyle and I went to the Heorot, yes, I know again. We hung out for a while before heading back to the apartment to discuss movies, politics, language, Americanism and the size of our apartment.

This morning I awoke with baseball on my mind, as the Redlegs failed in extra innings last night. Tonight is the rubber match of the 3-game set at GABP against the Pirates.

On the mound tonight is Darrell Thompson who I am optimistic about as a good 4 or 5 starter when everything pans out for everyone else.

I think I’ll post about what the Reds need to do, seriously. Stay tuned.


Weird News, Trip I Should Have taken

Moe, a toilet-trained chimp is missing in a Calif. forest, while a man was arrested for walking around in questionable gear.

Some weirdos went skinny dipping in a reservoir and the city is taking action. Some woman had her house destroyed and is suing because it was the wrong house.

The trip I should have done.

Today I was reading a story about the lack of criticism from Sharm El-Sheikh on Robert Mugabe the ‘new’ president of Zimbabwe.

However as I began reading my attention slipped to just focusing on Sharm El-Sheikh, a city on the coast of the Red Sea, near Mount Sinai, in Egypt.

Rewinding back 3 months: There I was running down the escalator to make it to the eastbound Central Line train to Tottenham Court Road, in London.

As I hopped over a suitcase, three kids and a bum with a Tesco bag full of belongings I bended right and just missed the doors as that nice lady chimed: “Please do not obstruct the doors,” in North-London draw.

So I stood watching to train fleet from me as I waited for the next one that, according to the overhead illuminated board, would be here in two minutes.

Then, there it was: an advertisement from EasyJet for £99 roundtrip flight to Sharm El-Sheikh, the jewel of the Red Sea.

I thought how neat it would be to go to Egypt for a weekend or one of my weekend trips, but never thought of flying to Sharm and then taking a train or bus to Cairo, where I really wanted to go.

Gosh, why didn’t I book that as I look at the pictures now and as I discover that in addition to the only $200 flight, there is a bus via Super Jet Bus Co. that costs only £6.

Woulda Shoulda Coulda. Bollocks.

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