Thursday
9:56am
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A 40 foot tall tree down the road from our place, being completely attacked and enveloped by Bittersweet vine.  When I die, I hope I am chopped down rather than slowly strangled to death.
photo: Baer Tierkel

A 40 foot tall tree down the road from our place, being completely attacked and enveloped by Bittersweet vine.  When I die, I hope I am chopped down rather than slowly strangled to death.

Wednesday
12:25pm
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Here in the deepest, steamiest depths of summer, with the Red Stockings dwelling in the cellar, our attention drifts back…back 100 years to 1914 when a baseball team known as perennial losers in their league (they had finished last in 4 of the previous 5 years) found themselves again dead last on July 4th in Fenway Park.   Then something happened.  They won a game.  Then another.  They began stringing some wins together.  And then some more wins.  Until by the fall they were in first place and won the Pennant!  And then went on to sweep the Philadelphia A’s in 4 games at Fenway!  And became known as “The Miracle Braves”.  Yeah, that’s right, tweren’t our Red Sox, it was the Boston Braves playing in The Fens in 1914 whilst their new stadium was being built further out on Comm. Ave.  The Red Sox had crapped out and had to watch the Braves clean up the second half at Fenway Park and win the World Series.  Whoa, my head is spinning.

Why am I waking up in the middle of the night with these thoughts?  Images in my head of 22yo Rabbit Maranville tossing to Johnny Evers and on to Butch Schmidt for a double play.  It’s because that Miracle Braves team that was on last place on July 4th looks a lot like the 2014 Boston Red Sox.

1914 vs. 2014: They were both in last place on July 4th.  They are both very young teams with a couple of anchor veterans.  The Braves had 4 starters under the age of 22, anchored by Johnny Evers (32) at 2nd and Joe Connelly (30) guarding The Green Monster in left.  The Red Sox starting lineup has had 5 rookies these past few weeks anchored by veterans Pedroia and Ortiz.  The Braves couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat (.250 team avg), the Red Sox are right there with them (.246 team avg).  The Braves were a team driven by pitching anchored by two 26 game winners “Seattle” Bill James (26-7) and Dick Rudolph (26-10) buttressed by “Lefty” Tyler (16-13) and Otto Hess (5-7).  At the break the Sox have “Lefty” Lester (9-7) and “Dick” Lackey (10-6) who have had been outstanding on the hill.  The Miracle Braves had a young infield with 3B Charlie Deal (22), SS Rabbit Maranville (22), 1B Butch Schmidt (27), and C Hank Gowdy (24).  The Red Hose have 3B Brock Holt (27), SS Xander Bogaerts (21), and C Christian Vasquez (23).

As the New England sweat drips down our heads and the mosquitoes buzz as we sit on the front porch listening to the radio call from our hometown nine, remember this people: it ain’t over, until it’s over.  Those last place pimply kids playing in Fenway Park 100 years ago were dead last on July 4th.  They woke up 3 months later on top of the world.  OK, twasn’t the Sox, but it happened, and it happened on our hallowed turf.  That shit runs deep.

Tuesday
10:51am
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We sat through an awesome 5 hour game in The Fens on Sunday.  Awesome because any day spent in The Fens, win or lose, beats a day pretty much anywhere else.  The great thing about The Sox stinking up their diamond is that there are always box seats behind home plate to be had by us Bleacher Denizens.  So we had a perfect view of the field.   And we really noticed how many mistaken calls the home plate ump makes.
This study by Columbia and Northwestern Universities show that nearly 20% of calls on balls/strikes are incorrect.  I’m not sure which is more startling - that Columbia and Northwestern are spending tuition fees to study this or that 20% of all calls are wrong!
On Sunday the pitchers threw 447 pitches, which means that *90* of them were called wrong.  That’s not just a blown call, that’s a stadium full of blown calls!  And that’s fucking ridiculous.
Every MLB park is fitted with Pitch Fx, which is an automated tool that identifies a ball/strike (that’s how we know the umps calls are wrong).  It’s time to eliminate the human factor in calling balls/strikes.  Keep a couple umps on the field for balks, did the batter swing, tags on bases, etc.  But let’s get the balls/strikes down from a 20% error rate by using technology that we already have in place.  Sweet jesus, some games carry 6 umpires.  There’s only 9 players on the field.  6 umpires?  What is this, the umpire employment plan?  6 umpires and we still get 90 blown calls each game? Yo Blue, it’s time to say enough.
90 blown calls in one game.  Every game!  If there’s an average of 400  pitches in a game, 161 game/year, that’s 12,880 blown calls per season for just ONE team!  Thirty teams, that’s 386,400 blown calls in MLB just this season.  Figure we live 77 years and that’s 29,752,800 blown calls in our lifetime.  And that’s not even considering our kids’ lifetimes.  WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?
29 million blown calls in our lifetime.  It don’t have to be.
p.s. And I didn’t even get around to talking about our 3rd Base Coach, Brian Butterfield, getting ejected in the 7th inning for arguing with the 2nd base ump about the fact that their pitcher was balking left and right….more blown calls! 
photo: Baer Tierkel

We sat through an awesome 5 hour game in The Fens on Sunday.  Awesome because any day spent in The Fens, win or lose, beats a day pretty much anywhere else.  The great thing about The Sox stinking up their diamond is that there are always box seats behind home plate to be had by us Bleacher Denizens.  So we had a perfect view of the field.   And we really noticed how many mistaken calls the home plate ump makes.

This study by Columbia and Northwestern Universities show that nearly 20% of calls on balls/strikes are incorrect.  I’m not sure which is more startling - that Columbia and Northwestern are spending tuition fees to study this or that 20% of all calls are wrong!

On Sunday the pitchers threw 447 pitches, which means that *90* of them were called wrong.  That’s not just a blown call, that’s a stadium full of blown calls!  And that’s fucking ridiculous.

Every MLB park is fitted with Pitch Fx, which is an automated tool that identifies a ball/strike (that’s how we know the umps calls are wrong).  It’s time to eliminate the human factor in calling balls/strikes.  Keep a couple umps on the field for balks, did the batter swing, tags on bases, etc.  But let’s get the balls/strikes down from a 20% error rate by using technology that we already have in place.  Sweet jesus, some games carry 6 umpires.  There’s only 9 players on the field.  6 umpires?  What is this, the umpire employment plan?  6 umpires and we still get 90 blown calls each game? Yo Blue, it’s time to say enough.

90 blown calls in one game.  Every game!  If there’s an average of 400  pitches in a game, 161 game/year, that’s 12,880 blown calls per season for just ONE team!  Thirty teams, that’s 386,400 blown calls in MLB just this season.  Figure we live 77 years and that’s 29,752,800 blown calls in our lifetime.  And that’s not even considering our kids’ lifetimes.  WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?

29 million blown calls in our lifetime.  It don’t have to be.

p.s. And I didn’t even get around to talking about our 3rd Base Coach, Brian Butterfield, getting ejected in the 7th inning for arguing with the 2nd base ump about the fact that their pitcher was balking left and right….more blown calls! 

Wednesday
10:15pm
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Thursday
11:21am
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There’s really nothing bettah than yo family.  Damn, I love ‘em so much!
photo: Baer Tierkel

There’s really nothing bettah than yo family. Damn, I love ‘em so much!

Sunday
2:21pm
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Fenway Faithful!
photo: Baer Tierkel

Fenway Faithful!

Friday
4:39pm
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Ebenezer White died today, back 1733…Who were you Ebenezer?  Looks like your family family and friends pooled their dough for a plot just down from ‘ol Nathaniel Dickinson…but had to carve a stone themselves from their fields.  Rest on my friend, I’m here with you today.   (at Old Hadley Cemetery)
photo: Baer Tierkel

Ebenezer White died today, back 1733…Who were you Ebenezer? Looks like your family family and friends pooled their dough for a plot just down from ‘ol Nathaniel Dickinson…but had to carve a stone themselves from their fields. Rest on my friend, I’m here with you today. (at Old Hadley Cemetery)

Friday
9:57am
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2014 Amherst Invitational ULTIMATE Tournament

This weekend the ARHS Hurricanes will take on 30 Ultimate teams from across the country!  It’s such an awesome way to spend a weekend.  If you haven’t some out and seen Ultimate played, head on over to the ARHS fields on Sunday and watch the Finals - Boys at 1:45 and Girls at 3:30.  Ultimate is the fastest growing sport in the world with over 5 million competitive players.  It’s so beautiful to watch - takes the best of Soccer, Football, and Basketball.  There are no officials, the teams self-officiate - the way all sports should be!

Check out these great clips of Ultimate play from last year’s tourney!

Thursday
12:21pm
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Nathan Deal, Governor of Georgia, just signed a bill that makes it legal to bring your guns into bars, churches, and schools.  Because churches just weren’t safe enough.  And schools will now be so much more safe with more guns in them.  And bars?  The only thing missing from a night of heavy drinking is easy access to your pistol.  Oh Georgia, my home state, will I ever see you again?
photo: Baer Tierkel

Nathan Deal, Governor of Georgia, just signed a bill that makes it legal to bring your guns into bars, churches, and schools.  Because churches just weren’t safe enough.  And schools will now be so much more safe with more guns in them.  And bars?  The only thing missing from a night of heavy drinking is easy access to your pistol.  Oh Georgia, my home state, will I ever see you again?

Monday
4:20pm
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The Admiral in good ‘ol Asheville. So good.

A completely shady-looking, dirty cinder-block dive bar on the outside.  Warm goodness on the inside.

Their motto? “The best thing next to BJ’s!” (As it’s located next door to BJ’s Autobody Repair).  

Sunday
5:41pm
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Sweet country out in Western North Carolina….
photo: Baer Tierkel

Sweet country out in Western North Carolina….

Saturday
6:58pm
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Even the shipping container graffiti has style in Asheville…
photo: Baer Tierkel

Even the shipping container graffiti has style in Asheville…

Thursday
11:14pm
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Before the floor fills up, Asheville gals dancing to country bluesman Cedric Burnside (R.L.’s grandson) at Root Bar #1.
photo: Baer Tierkel

Before the floor fills up, Asheville gals dancing to country bluesman Cedric Burnside (R.L.’s grandson) at Root Bar #1.

Thursday
8:03am
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Mix of 100 bands from this year’s SxSW….

(Source: Spotify)

Friday
12:03pm
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Caracas is getting crazy.  This is a video of National Guardsmen shooting tear gas canisters into residential apartments.

Amazing that the US media is not covering this story. Here is some coverage of the last day from the local blog CaracasChronicles:
http://caracaschronicles.com/2014/02/20/the-game-changed/

Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries onmotorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods, shooting at people and  storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting.

People continue to be arrested merely for protesting, and a long established local Human Rights NGO makes an urgent plea for an investigation into widespread reports of torture of detainees. There are now dozens of serious human right abuses: National Guardsmenshooting tear gas canisters directly into residential buildings. We have videos of soldiers shooting civilians on the street.”

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SweetMojo by Baer Tierkel in Amherst Massachusetts


In my head...