Monthly Archives: April 2019
I finally ran out of White Castle today. 😭😭😭
I ate the last of the leftovers from Tuesday in my hotel. I ate White Castle for eight straight days–six in Columbia and two more days of leftovers in Kansas City.
I don’t know if I can eat another restaurant hamburger. As much as I love the Big Mac, it pales to sliders from White Castle, especially their impossible sliders, which are made from a plant-based material.
I’m going to miss the crab cake sliders and fried clams from White Castle. They’re gone after Saturday, since Sunday is Easter and Lent is over. They won’t be back until next February. I didn’t miss the opportunity to devour plenty of both.
I did not eat any other type of fast food in Columbia. After all, I can get Zaxby’s in Kansas City and Lawrence, Chick-Fil-A in Salina, Taco Bell and everything else in Hays, plus McDonald’s and Sonic in dear old Russell.
God I wish White Castle would open in Kansas City. You can spit anywhere in St. Louis and find a White Castle. That blows. I wish Raising Cane’s would leave and White Castle would take their place. I hate to rag on a Baton Rouge tradition, but when employees put their elbow in a vat of lemonade and film it for the Internet, I can’t patronize a place like that.
But here’s what baffles me: why the F**K is Dickey’s Pit Barbecue in Kansas City? Dickey’s should have been forced to shut down forever when a woman in Utah nearly died from drinking tea laced with lye. I’ve never eaten at Dickey’s, but it can’t be good. And I would never consider eating there in Kansas City of all places. 🥵🤮
White Castle would be far more popular in this town than that crap Dickey’s. And it would be a lot easier for me than driving two hours past Kansas City, although Columbia also has the lovely supermarket Schnucks, which I’ve found to be superior to Hy-Vee and Dillon’s.
Today was laser hair treatment number five. I no longer look like a grizzly bear with my shirt off–not that anyone sees it. But I hated looking in the mirror at all that hair. Hated it. It feels so much better to use a backscratcher and scratch all skin instead of half skin and half hair. Next treatment May 23.
I wasted much of my day at Buffalo Wild Wings (Shoal Creek, not Zona Rosa) playing trivia. But my last game is coming up and I’ll be out at 2030.
To iHOP or not to iHOP? Tomorrow is Good Friday and I probably shouldn’t indulge on the day of Jesus’ crucifixion. Then again, the rules about fasting on Good Friday have been flagrantly abused by most Catholics since 1967. Also, I will be in Hays Wednesday for a bunch of medical appointments. I can get iHOP on the way back to Russell.
My life is pretty boring. This blog post shows it.
National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman’s dream of a Tampa Bay-Nashville Stanley Cup Final is dead for another year.
The Lightning, who tied an NHL record by winning 62 games during the regular season, were swept in four straight in their opening round series by the Blue Jackets, who had never won a playoff series since entering the NHL in the 2000-01 season.
Prior to sweeping the President’s Cup winners, Columbus may have been best known as the place where 13-year old Brittanie Nicole Cecil was killed in 2002 when a puck off of the stick of the Blue Jackets’ Espen Knutsen hit Cecil in the head, causing what proved to be a fatal subdural hematoma. This incident prompted the NHL to extend netting high above the boards behind each net in an attempt to prevent another incident like this. Fortunately, there hasn’t been another incident like that in the NHL, but way too many people have been seriously injured and almost killed by flying bats and balls at Major League Baseball games.
MLB asked teams to extend netting to the far side of each dugouts, but most clubs, the Royals included, have refused. Fans are warned of the inherent risks of flying bats and balls when they purchase tickets, but they certainly don’t expect to leave the stadium on a stretcher, or heaven forbid, in a body bag when they enter the ballpark.
Back to the Lightning.
If you have read my boring blog, you know how much I hate the NHL having so many southern teams. I don’t think the game belongs in places where it is impossible to create an outdoor rink, with the exception of Los Angeles, where you need ONE (not two) teams in the United States’ second largest city.
The NHL keeps propping up the Coyotes because Gary Bettman LOVES Arizona for some weird reason and doesn’t believe for one second that a team would be better off in Quebec City or another Canadian city. The Hurricanes have struggled at the gate, and who in North Carolina watches the NHL when Duke and North Carolina are in the midst of the basketball season? The Panthers’ attendance is pathetic.
I followed the Nordqiues and Whalers growing up. I can understand Denver having an NHL team. I am angry because the Avalanche used to be the Nordqiues. Seattle should have a team, too, but not Quebec City? And now Houston will be getting a team.
Gary Bettman sucks. He sucks. I hate that man so much. What does this man have against Canada? If he really had his way, the only Canadian teams would be the Maple Leafs and Canadiens. He wanted to keep the Thrashers in Atlanta before they moved to Winnipeg, but the NHL owners finally overwhelmed him. His hatred of Canada is the reason why the Coyotes will not return the original Jets’ records to Winnipeg and the current franchise.
Also, I’ve never liked Tampa sports teams, so that’s another good reason why the Lightning are gone from the playoffs. The Buccaneers are a division rival of the Saints. The Rays are a low-rent organization which would be the laughingstock of MLB if not for the other MLB team in Florida. I don’t like the Orlando Magic, the de facto NBA team of Tampa, either.
I don’t know what the NFL sees in Tampa to keep awarding it Super Bowls. I have heard mostly bad things about that city. If there is one place in Florida to host, just keep it in Miami. I am no fan of Miami, but it is preferable to Tampa for sure.
To me, Tampa is a coastal city like Miami, but reminds me more of Tallahassee and Jacksonville–redneck.
Speaking of rednecks, I saw one in a Taco Bell in North Kansas City yesterday. The guy had pigtails in the back of his hair, a huge gut hanging over his jorts, a tattoo of a white supremacist symbol on his left, plus tattoos on his neck.
I guess some people don’t give a crap about how they look in public. I hope never to encounter that guy or his ilk again, but I’m sure I will.
Good thing I did NOT leave for Kansas City after yesterday’s game, nor today. I have been locked behind the door of my room at the TownePlace Suites in south Columbia since getting back from the ballpark yesterday.
LSU lost 11-5, and Mizzou won its first baseball series ever against the Bayou Bengals. It was bound to happen. Paul Mainieri was in such a hurry to get out of the Show-Me State that the team left for the airport in their uniforms. Hopefully the team was able to fly out of Columbia; they had to fly into Jefferson City last Thursday due to runway construction at Columbia. It could have been much worse; they could have been flying commercial, which would have forced them to fly into St. Louis and bus 110 miles west on Interstate 70.
Mainieri’s club needs to get it together. The Bayou Bengals play Louisiana-Lafayette in New Orleans tomorrow night, then return to Baton Rouge to face Florida in a three-game series starting Thursday. The SEC race is halfway over, and the next 15 conference games will certainly determined whether or not there will be June baseball at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
Fortunately for me, I have enough leftover White Castle from the entire trip (I got more sliders than I paid for Thursday), although I need to grab another bottle of pop from my car. I am leaving tomorrow at high noon (or earlier) for the City of Fountains, where the local Major League Baseball outfit will not be. The Royals left last night on a road trip following their three-game sweep of the Indians.
April 15 is the day income taxes are due in the United States, but there have been many more famous (or infamous) incidents to occur on the date.
The Titanic sunk in the week hours of April 15, 1912. The Boston Marathon bombing was on April 15, 2013. And now the massive fire at Notre Dame de Paris (the proper term for Notre Dame Cathedral).
Then there was the disaster at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England, on April 15, 1989. It was the nadir of English football during a decade which saw many horrible incidents involving the sport which resulted in a five-year ban for England from all European competition and the near-banishment of England from the 1990 World Cup.
Ninety-six supporters of Liverpool, one of the iconic football clubs not only in England, but in all the world, perished when they were crushed against a fence at Hillsborough Stadium, the home of Sheffield Wednesday. The site had been chosen as a neutral venue for an FA Cup semifinal between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. Hillsborough should never have been chosen as a neutral site due to flagrant safety violations which were overlooked by the Football Association.
Liverpool is attempting to exorcise those demons on the 30th anniversary of the disaster by winning its first Premier League championship. (Liverpool won numerous First Division championships before the formation of the Premier League in 1992, but has never been to the top in the new era.) Jurgen Klopp’s men are in good shape, leading reigning champion Manchester City by two points with four matches to go.
England qualified for the 1990 World Cup, but it had to play all of its group matches on the island of Sardinia. When the Three Lions ventured onto the mainland for the knockout stage, extra safety precautions had to be undertaken. Nobody in the United States shed a tear when England did not qualify for the 1994 World Cup.
The good of April 15 includes Jackie Robinson’s MLB debut on this date in 1947 (and the subsequent retirement of his number 42 across all of MLB on April 15, 1997), the founding of General Electric in 1892, the introduction of insulin for diabetics in 1923, the opening of the first McDonald’s in 1955, and the third and final full day of my Baton Rouge trip last year.
Am I mentally ill? I don’t like Tiger Woods. I don’t watch Game of Thrones. I don’t watch the Olympics. I don’t like Michael Phelps. I don’t like Serena Williams. I’d rather watch English football over American soccer. I’d rather a Canadian team win the Stanley Cup.
I guess I am not normal. Sorry.
The Masters teed off at 0630 (0730 EDT) this morning in order to beat anticipated heavy rain in Augusta. I was not watching.
Why bother? Tiger Woods is going to win and every talking head and writer is going to pee their pants and drool all over themselves about Tiger being the greatest golfer who ever walked the earth.
Francesco Molinari would win his second major in less than a calendar year if he holds on. But if you want to read about it, I suggest finding an English-language version of an Italian newspaper, because all the coverage from American journalists will be about Eldrick Woods and his greatness.
Tiger is one reason why I do all I can to avoid watching SportsCenter these days. Tiger is part of a privileged class that can do no wrong. The class also includes Tom Brady, LeBron, Serena Williams, the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Warriors, Alabama football and Duke, North Carolina and Virginia basketball. ESPN doesn’t give a crap about the NHL, so nobody is listed here, although NBC is strongly biased against the Canadian teams (especially the Canadiens–you can figure out why) and in favor of the Rangers, Flyers, Capitals, Kings, Ducks, Golden Knights, Lightning and Panthers, even though the last team in that list sucks most of the time.
Tiger is a great golfer. I won’t deny it. However, I get nauseous whenever he is referred to as the “Greatest of All Time”. No. Not for me. The problem is people today have ridiculously short memory spans. I bet many people under 40 would have no idea who Jack Nicklaus is, even if they watch golf regularly. On the other hand, someone who couldn’t tell the difference between a golf ball and a tennis ball knows about Tiger Woods because he’s been forced down America’s throats for over 20 years.
I don’t begrudge anyone who is a member of Augusta National. Good for them. Congratulations on your success. However, I have no earthly desire to join a country club of any kind. Not my thing.
LSU and Missouri wrap up their baseball series at 1200. The home team won yesterday 4-1, its first win over LSU in Columbia in eight tries, and just its second in 17 games all-time. It was bound to happen sooner or later.
I recall LSU won seven consecutive series vs. Arkansas when the Razorbacks joined the SEC in 1992 until the Hogs finally broke through in 1999. Arkansas swept twice within four years (2001 in Fayetteville, 2004 in Baton Rouge).
However, my stay in Columbia is not over. I’m not departing until Tuesday. I have work that has to get done tonight and tomorrow, and the rest must be wrapped up by 1200 Tuesday so I can make the two-hour drive west to Kansas City. It also means more White Castle. I had waffle sliders for breakfast. Great as ########################################################################
Max Scherzer’s number 31 was officially retired before yesterday’s game. Of course, the honoree was with the Nationals in Washington, so his parents accepted the honor.
The Royals must have been stuck on stupid when they did not draft him #1 overall in 2006. Instead, they took Luke Hochevar, who was drafted #1 overall by the Dodgers in 2005, but did not sign, so he spent time in an independent league before re-entering the draft in 2006.
The 2006 draft was the last act of Allard Baird as Royals general manager. He was fired the previous week and Dayton Moore was hired as his replacement, but Baird was allowed to conduct the draft. Had Moore been in charge, it may have been very different.
Scherzer would not have been with the Royals right now, because he would have been too expensive to control. However, he would have come to Kansas City quickly and allowed the Royals not to spend a lot of money on Gil Meche, and maybe Zack Greinke would have stayed. Who knows. But Hochevar definitely was a big-time miss when Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw were available.
Speaking of the Royals, maybe they need to play Cleveland more. They have beaten the Indians 8-1 and 3-0 so far and can sweep the series today. Prior to that, Kansas City lost 10 straight, getting swept in three by the Tigers and four by the Mariners.
As I drove to Columbia Thursday, I got a glimpse of the upper deck at Kauffman Stadium during the game. I estimated there were maybe 80 fans in the entire upper deck. Attendance has slacked off since the 2015 World Series championship.
The Brewers were swept in Anaheim by the Angels, but can sweep the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine today. That’s baseball.
LSU and Missouri will do battle on the diamond on a windy evening in Columbia. The ball might jump out of the park, just like it has in Lawrence, where Oklahoma State hit EIGHT home runs vs. Kansas through six innings.
I committed a serious error today. One which cost me $77.
I accidentally locked my car keys in my trunk at the QuikTrip. I got out of my car to retrieve something from my trunk, and I accidentally hit the lock button. When I closed the trunk, I realized I had just gone stupid.
It took an hour for everything to get cleared up and for me to be on my way.
It’s not the first time I’ve had automotive adventure on an LSU baseball road trip.
Two years ago, I drove from St. Louis to Lexington on a flat tire. Fortunately for me it was a rental vehicle, so Avis replaced it in Kentucky and I drove that one back to Kansas City.
Last year, the first rental car from Hertz in Hays did not have a working air conditioner. Had to return it and wait for a replacement to come in, which didn’t come until two hours later.
Missouri’s baseball stadium is just west of the football stadium. The Tigers’ indoor practice facility sits behind right field, and the outdoor practice fields are behind left field. Mizzou’ s bullpen is behind the left field fence, but the visitors’ pen is in foul territory down the right field line.
The infield is artificial, but there is grass everywhere else. Kind of surprising since artificial turf has made serious advancements over the past two decades. Missouri’s football stadium has artificial turf, one of five in the SEC (the others are Arkansas, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt).
That’s all for now. Game about to begin.
I couldn’t help but feel guilty and nostalgic driving to Columbia today.
Of course, it’s Columbia, Missouri. If it were Columbia, South Carolina, I would have had to have left on Tuesday to make it there in time.
LSU plays Missouri this weekend, the third time the Bayou Bengals have visited Columbia since Mizzou joined the SEC in the 2012-13 school year. LSU is 6-0 in Columbia, with the series in 2013 and 2016. Last year, Mizzou defeated LSU in the second game of the series in Baton Rouge, its first win ever over the Purple and Gold Tigers.
The Bayou Bengals lost to Southern Tuesday, just the third time the Jaguars have defeated their cross-town rivals in baseball. Southern won in 2001 and 2005 at the old Alex Box Stadium, but this was the first time the Jaguars defeated LSU at their home park, Lee-Hines Field, in north Baton Rouge.
My dad wanted to go on this trip so bad, but he has been battling a terrible infection. He wasn’t sure he would be able to make the nearly six hour drive from Russell without something happening.
My gut was churning from Russell to Lawrence with guilt. I wish he were with me. I called home when I stopped in Liberty to get my car washed. He told me it would be okay, although he wishes he wasn’t having these episodes.
The nostalgia part comes from last year’s trip to Baton Rouge, which happened to be the same weekend as this year’s trip.
Last year, it was more about seeing everyone I had not seen in ages–Brenda, Dorinda, Dan and Lisette Borne, Bryan Lazare, Kent Lowe and others–than it was about LSU’s performance vs. Tennessee. Of course, it was a much happier return to Russell after the Bayou Bengals swept the Volunteers, with Daniel Cabrera’s three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning in the Sunday game being the final play of the series.
This will be pretty much a repeat of 2013 and ’16. I’ll have fun watching baseball, but most of my down time will be spent working in my room for stuff which needs to be done for Monday. It has to be done.
One of the best things about Columbia: WHITE CASTLE!
Columbia is one of only two SEC cities with White Castle. The other is Lexington, not surprising since White Castle’s corporate headquarters are an hour north in Cincinnati. I got hooked on White Castle when I stopped near Louisville on the way out of Lexington.
Of course I had to stop there on my way in this evening. Great decision.
White Castle has introduced a crab cake slider for Lent. YUMMMMM! It also has clams, and those are good, too. I think I’ll have to go back for more tomorrow. I order A LOT of sliders tonight. That means I’ll have plenty of leftovers Saturday and maybe Sunday. Sliders for breakfast? Not the first time.
The Masters is this weekend. Tiger is playing, so tickets at Augusta National are running much higher than they did for Super Bowl LIII, which was played in Atlanta, 145 miles west of Augusta on Interstate 20. Five thousand would have bought you six to eight tickets to see the Patriots beat the Rams in February. Five thousand might not get you into the gate at Augusta National this weekend.
Not that I want to visit Augusta National. If I had a choice of any golf course in the world to visit, it would be St. Andrews, where the game was born. To me, The Open Championship is more prestigious than The Masters, the same way Wimbledon is more prestigious than the others in tennis.
That’s the beauty of St. Andrews. ANYONE who pays the greens fees can play. Same with Carnoustie, another Open Championship course in Scotland. Augusta National? You’d better have a friend in a VERY high place, or you’re out of luck.
Tiger ended the day 2-under par, four shots back of co-leaders Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka. Koepka has won the last two U.S. Opens and last year’s PGA, and if he wins the green jacket, he will enter the exosphere of major championship domination, occupied by only Tiger and the Golden Bear. Phil Mickelson, who turns 49 later this year, is 5-under. The oldest champion at The Masters was none other than Jack Nicklaus, who won it at 46 in 1986.
It’s getting late. I didn’t get enough sleep last night (or the night before), and the effects of all that time on the road is taking its toll. Have a good night and a pleasant tomorrow.
I am not dead. However, I went into yet another Howard Hughes phase during the last three weeks. Inexcusable.
March Madness is over. I was ready for it to be over before the first game was played. It was a miserable time in the Sunflower State, with Kansas State losing its first game to 13-seed UC Irvine and Kansas getting dump trucked by Auburn in the second round.
I couldn’t complain about LSU. I had a bad feeling my alma mater would have lost to Lipscomb had it held on to beat Maryland. Then the Bayou Bengals almost blew the game with the Terrapins but survived.
I confess I watched zero seconds of the Sweet 16 game with Michigan State. Had a bad feeling. The final score–Spartans 80, Bayou Bengals 63–validated that feeling. Now LSU is losing Naz Reid, Skylar Mays and Tremont Waters to the NBA. Will Wade may somehow keep his job, but I fear next season might be a long one in Baton Rouge.
I was angry Auburn made the Final Four, because one of their jackass fans who lives in Baton Rouge, Tex Morris, called Sean Payton a “crybaby” on social media following the NFC Championship Game, then told me he’d block me when I disagreed. I was angry Virginia made it, because it is the definition of an elitist school. After all, Thomas Jefferson founded the place.
Since last Saturday’s Auburn-Virginia game couldn’t end in a double forfeit, I was glad the Cavaliers won. The lesser of two evils in that case. Right now, Auburn is at the top of my hate list in the SEC. I never thought a school would eclipse Alabama and Ole Miss as to how much I hate them, but Auburn has, thanks to Mr. Morris’ asinine comments about Mr. Payton. What, Tex, was Sean supposed to be happy and let it go? The Saints got screwed out of a Super Bowl berth. Yeah, let it go. Easy for you to say.
Auburn was not my favorite stop on the SEC circuit. It ranked barely above Oxford and about on the same level as Tuscaloosa and Gainesville. No thanks. Auburn and Kansas State are a lot alike–agriculturally-dominated universities in small towns 50 miles from the state capital with horrendous traffic on football game days and a inferiority complex. The only difference is Auburn is a football school with occasional success in basketball and K-State is a basketball school with occasional success in football, the beatification of St. William of Snyder notwithstanding.
Candace Rachel, the outstanding editor of the Plainville Times, texted me during Monday’s game saying the announcers were biased towards Virginia. I agreed.
College basketball announcers love the ACC. Greg Gumbel and everyone who was on the CBS selection show March 17 drooled over the ACC getting three #1 seeds. I’m sure many were crying when North Carolina lost to Auburn in the Sweet 16 and Duke lost to Michigan State after the Spartans ousted LSU.
I did not watch much of the game. And no way in hell I would watch One Shining Moment. It was nice at the beginning, but it’s played out now. And don’t get me started on Jennifer Hudson’s version following the 2010 tournament (the one where Duke barely beat Butler in the final). If I had watched it live, I might have melted down. It sucked. BIG TIME.
CBS had the right idea in 1983 when they used Christopher Cross’ All Right for the highlight package following North Carolina State’s stunner over Houston. I don’t care what happens between now and the end of time, but Jim Valvano’s Wolfpack taking down Phi Slamma Jamma in Albuquerque will never, never, NEVER be surpassed. Too bad it was too late for me to watch.
The first final I watched from beginning to end was Louisville over Duke in 1986. That year, LSU made the Final Four as an 11-seed before losing to the Cardinals in Dallas. The Blue Devils eliminated Kansas in the other semi. The last final I watched from start to finish was Kansas’ win over Memphis in 2008, although I did see Josh Hart’s game-winner for Villanova over UNC in 2016 after missing most of the first 30 minutes.
College basketball is done, at least as far as games go, for seven months. I’m not counting down the days.