Kelly and I wanted a bit of a “last hurrah” before the baby came in July, so early in the spring I reserved a cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains.
The weather was so-so with rain often, but enough sunlight and wonderfully cool temperatures to make it all very spring-y. We didn’t have any serious plans early on, save for relaxing and making pancakes and looking for bears. Soon after I made the reservation, Doug suggested that I try riding from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountain Nat’l Park to the tip-top of Clingman’s Dome – some 5,000 feet of climbing in a single 20-mile bike ride. This was initially met coolly by Kelly, but after a few heart-to-heart discussions, she agreed to let it go off.
Love this photo from Michelle over at Consuming Louisville. Perhaps I’m just pining for baseball?
Brace yourselves for massive cuteness!!! Bocephus J. Honeycutt III curls up with the Kelly-Belly.
Lotsa wind on Sunday, as you might have heard. Kelly and I had a day planned that got slightly crazy and ended with us snapping photos and biking around our tree-lined and tree-felled neighborhood, returning home to a darkened abode. More after the jump.
With 11″ of snow on the ground, we set off on Saturday with a couple of sleds (thanks, Gerstle!) and had some snow-nannigans. Pictures were taken and now appear in the 2008.03.08 – Sledding! gallery.
Opening day at the new and beautiful Jim Patterson field. More photos in the gallery.
Admission is free to all regular season games. Learn more.
Our first good snow of the season, and it’s 4 inches deep. I took advantage of the great light and beautiful muted sounds and shot some stills – which you can find in the 2008.02.11 – A Winter’s Eve gallery. I might be able to make it to work tomorrow…
Flipping through the photos after I got back in from the storm, I realized that I had completely forgotten about our little Rock Band get-together last month. It was a ton of fun and made for some great rock-photos.
Check ‘em out in the 2008.01.12 – Rock Band gallery.
While desperately searching for some Fantasy Baseball advice this evening, I stumbled upon a magnificent thing: The Library of Congress’ News from the 1910s photoset at Flickr.
Of particular interest were the large number of baseball-related photos from that set.
You see, I’m currently reading Eight Men Out – one of those must-read baseball books that I’ve never-read. It details the fixing of the 1919 World Series (“Say it ain’t so, Joe! Say it ain’t so!”), and baseball of that protean period is truly fascinating. Played in parks that Single-A ballclubs would snub today and attended by men in suits and snappy bowler-hats. Rough and tumble men with weathered faces and hard hands who played for peanuts. One of my favorite photos is seen below: People choking the streets in NYC to see a telegraph-fed “play-o-graph” of the 1911 World Series. That was the sports bar of the day!
In many ways, though, baseball hasn’t changed much since then. It is a uniquely American game, and thus captures our attention like few other things. Iconic, beautiful.
The early days of baseball were played in lots that would make most high-school coaches grumble. Glorified sandlots with fences. But it had reached most Americans by this time, even if on an average American would only see a game once every 30 years. There was nothing else like it. It was raw, crude by today’s measure, but in those sandlots and in that violently slow game, American found it’s pastime.
Can you tell it’s almost time for Spring Training to begin?
Link found over at BaseballMusings.com.
I don’t know when Kelly and I decided to start baking bread, but I think it was while watching the splendid Stranger than Fiction in which Maggie Gyllenhall plays a baker to Will Ferrell’s IRS agent. We discussed it later, and figured that, you know – it’s just water and flour and some yeast. How hard could it be? It’s not, really. Chatting with Mom during her annual New Year’s Day Black-Eyed-Pea Party, she told me that she used to bake all the bread we ate as kids, so I hit her up for some bread recipes, which I promptly left at her house…
Later: Kelly made some delicious, if dense, whole wheat bread that we ate with a red sauce I made from scratch (thanks, Mario Batali) with onions and carrots as a base and healthy dose of thyme. Later, while Kelly was off doing god knows what, I cooked up an Indian-inspired dish of shrimp and chicken in a simmering sauce (bought at Target… shut up, it was delicious). I also took advantage of the wonderful Southeast Asian cookbook I was gifted by my Malay boss (and fellow food nerd) in that I made some naan (Indian leavened flatbread). It was delightful. Also delightful – having the time during these long hard days of winter to spend the time to make your own food!
Last night, Kelly and I did another little dinner tango – she made Butternut Squash and Apple soup and I went to town on some Rosemary bread. They both turned out great!
Bread is a simple thing, and perhaps that’s why I’ve enjoyed it so much – it’s a little like making your own beer. There is a bit of simple cooking, a bit of waiting and then a couple hours later (or weeks, in the case of beer) you might have screwed the whole thing up. But, like homebrewed beer, the first loaf will be the best you’ve ever made.
The Rosemary bread I made turned out to be pretty delicious – though there are a few things I’d like to do better. I need to slice the top of it to make sure it doesn’t “mushroom” in the oven, and I’d like to find a way to get a thicker crust. Cracking that oven open to see the golden, brown and delicious (GBD) loaf is worth it all! Also, bread is just pretty sometimes:
StrictlyNoPhotography.com – “Photo-sharing for pictures taken where you are not allowed to take them.”
Linked to by a MeFi post a few days ago, I realized I had a little trove of “unauthorized” photos from my and Kelly’s trip to the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art (during our trip there for the 2005 Chicago Marathon). At the time they were displaying a large collection of artist Dan Flavin‘s works – especially his work with fluorescent lights ( more of his work here). The installation of these pieces by the MCA were just fantastic – no lights except for the art and in rooms with various wall and floor textures. Amazing stuff!
I uploaded a few shots and one of them was selected as photo of the month. Yay!