The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

August 26, 2008

A Canadian and America's Pastime

PLAY BALL! (So to speak).

I was, ahem, thrown a curveball in the last week of my vacation when I was told that I would have to travel to the Chicago area to cover our city's baseball team.

I've covered them at times during the season at home, but I've never gone on the road with them. And due to a scheduling snafu, I'll be heading out of town later this week for about a week.

The first destination is Joliet, Ill., a suburb about an hour out of Chicago, where they play their final three games of the regular season.

Then I'll be travelling to Gary, Ind., for the first two games of the playoffs.

So instead of the home confines of home below...

...I'll be covering the team whose logos follow on the road (I'm not writing the team name here because fans could google the name and find this blog post).

I've been to Chicago a few times before to cover Stanley Cup final series. It's a spectacular city. Unfortunately, I won't be there except to land at O'Hare, rent a car and drive west to Joliet, then back east to Gary.

But, such is life. I'd rather be at home, but a road trip is nice every once in a while. It's always good to get out of your comfort zone and your natural environment and open your eyes to something new.

I wonder what kinds of team mascots await in these two cities? Our team's mascot (below) was voted the best in the league. I can only imagine what's in store in these two burgs in the Excited States.

So I'll be around, but I won't be.
I'll be motoring around the U.S. Midwest, covering a team almost entirely made up of Americans who play for a Canadian team in the lowest level of professional baseball.
I hope I hit .500 at least.


  1. Ah, a road trip! Well, kinda... gotta fly there first. Hope you enjoy it. It's been a while, has it?

    Take lots of pics and tell us all about it when you get home.

  2. PG:

    Are you kidding? I can barely remember to pack my passport, toothpaste, Polident (JUST KIDDING!) and other assorted and sundry necessities.

    The camera's staying at home. And I don't think there's going to be much to tell.

    Or at least that I can tell a general audience! Who knows, maybe a shapely barmaid will persuade me to stay there!


  3. Road trip, woo!!! I wish I was on a road trip.

    I think I just saw a spider in my office...

  4. Stace:

    I got supremely pissed off this week when our paper ran a story about a woman being bitten by a Hobo Spider...and the headline described the creature as an insect.

    My god, I said -- how can we make ourselves look so stupid?

    Do not crush that spider. Let him or her go on their merry way. Please. And remember -- they're arachnids, not insects.

  5. ... but that doesn't make them any less creepy.... AGH! If they show up in MY house, they better run for the hills and fast, or they are dead meat. I cannot STAND to live in the same abode (knowingly, that is) with spiders.

    You gonna trade one windy city for another?

    How come no pics? Geez, you take pictures of absolutely everything.... why not this trip? Could always show us the shapely barmaids that try to convince to stay dow there. Hee hee!

  6. PG:

    But that's the whole point! They ARE living all around you, whether you know it or not!

    So why not just live with them in peace? Why all the ArachAngst? It's goofy.

    You know the song...Everyone Knows it's Windy...I just might.

    I don't think I'd necessarily be focusing on taking pictures of the shapely barmaids, should I stumble upon any.

    However, you never know.

    My camera is staying at home, I'm pretty sure.

  7. Oh, I know they are all around me, and I know they are a good thing as they eat other bugs.... I just don't want to ever see them. They creep me out big time. And I know it's not a reasonable thing, but then phobias never are.

    I didn't think you went anywhere without your camera.... now it will feel rejected.

    That windy city is a lot more polluted and tons more crime than ours.... you sure you would want to trade?

  8. Finally some peace and quiet around here.

  9. I wish that you people would try to stay on the subject
    What did you do to deserve this?

    hey I think I saw a spider...

  10. Enjoy the travel! And wasn't it fortuitous that you did some spring cleaning before you had to leave town? It's like you knew that you wanted to come home to a clean place after a long trip.

    Chicago is a great city! Good luck with the team!

  11. PG:

    I'm like a dandelion seed, floating wherever the wind will take me...






    Unfortunately, barring me taking the wrong turn at Albuquerque, O'Hare is as close as I'll get to Chicago itself.

    MapQuest is a beautiful thing, however.

    No, I'll be out in the blurbs of the American Midwest. And now my spring cleaning will have to be delayed another week.


  12. I looooove Chicago! It's a shame you won't have time to just hang out and enjoy the city.

  13. Somehow I feel so lost in here. You grown to be stranger to me!

    Wot say?!

  14. Stop replying with 'Exactly' and think of something incredibly witty to say you lazy arse.

    cc MJ

  15. So... you're an airhead then?

    O M G! A man who actually refers to maps! You, sir, are a rarity. But then you're not really human either.....

    Guess travelling around space and time has shown you the need to actually know where you are going.

  16. MMMMMMmmmmmm a whole week of watching blokes run around in JimJams :).. do they rub their balls on their inner thigh like in cricket to get the curve corret? lol

    AND THAT is an innocient question you dirty minded beasts lol


  17. Well, to you all who most recently commented to whom I have not responded:

    Well, here I am. Again, I'm not IN Chicago, I'm in what they call ChicagoLAND.

    It's nothing but suburb after suburb after suburb, joined by freeways that are always clogged and with nothing but mall after mall after mall.


    Right, well, but I AM in Joliet, which is, if I recall, home to the biggest, baddest ultra high security prison in all of North America.

    I'll try not to end up there.


    Huh? Not sure I get that, girl.


    Something more than exactly? Well, I'll take pictures and blog about it when I get home, but I have like a God-sized bed that is way bigger than a king-sized.

    I can sleep on it sideways and not have my feet or head hang out either side.

    I wonder what I'll do with all that space?

    And I have my own private spa tub off in its own room. Amazing. How unfortunate I have no one to share it with.


    Of course I'm an airhead.

    As far as maps go, well I MapQuested and I still took almost two hours to drive about 50 miles, although the rush hour traffic was horrendous.

    I just totally missed one exit and had to turn around, then I took two other wrong exits as I was trying to read the directions while travelling at about 400 miles an hour with a semi tailgating me.

    Toasty Warm:

    Well yes they DO do that, actually.

    And while technically you are correct that was not a filthy question, it did conjure up some rather naughty bits, doncha think?


  18. Party in WW's hotel room!

  19. MJ:

    It's BYOB. I'm sitting here being mesmerized by the faux fireplace that's in that jacuzzi room.


  20. Sounds like we could ALL fit in that bed and jacuzzi tub and still have lots of room!

    Like MJ says... party in WW's room! Wuhoo! And booze is a lot cheaper there and available at the local corner store.... what else could you want? ;-P

  21. Oh you women are so shallow and you're all the same!

    Take, take, always take!

    It's like Slam Bam Thank You Sam!

  22. Hey! We give as good as we take, buddy!

    Here we are - a bunch of your biggest female fans - offering to party with you while you are out of town and all you can do is complain!

    Does WW stand for "Weally Whiney" today??? I get the feeling you are none too impressed with the road trip so far.

  23. PG:

    Weally Whiny? That's excellent, really.

    In fact, it was all just a joke, really, intended to poke some fun at all of femaledom.

    These trips are not the glam, exciting things you might think.

    I'm in a hotel room, alone, in a nondescript U.S. Midwest suburb, watching TV until batting practice this afternoon and then the game tonight.

    However, I did notice that, by a wild coincidence, one of my worldwide businesses, Chris Industries, is just across the street.

    I'm going to take some pictures of it when my camera battery charges fully.

  24. Poke away, funny man.... poke away!

    I can imagine that it is pretty boring being on your own in a place you don't know, stuck in a hotel room except to cover the games.

    Oh, so you are an international business magnate and have kept us all in the dark by complaining about how broke you are all the time!

    Did you not say you were leaving your camera at home? (You did - the proof is second comment from the top.) See, I was right! You never go anywhere without it - it is permanently attached to you.

  25. How very cool! I didn't know that about Joliet. I thought the baddest prison was San Quentin (in California, I think). J would definitely be dragging my ass to check out the prison in Joliet.

  26. Is there an echo in here????

  27. PG x 3:

    Well of course I bring my camera everywhere. Haven't you noticed that's how I fill up my blog posts?

    With pictures and a few simple sentences in between?

    And there was no wild party going on in my hotel room...I musta missed it.


    Exactly! Now you're getting it!


    Well, you and he can go visit the Joliet prison. Me, I'm just trying to hit every toll station I can.

    On my way down here from Chicago, I didn't have the right change. What to do, what to do?

    So I got out of my rental vehicle, ran to the guy behind me and he gave me all his change (80 cents, I think).

    I threw a buck at him and got through. Who knows what he had to do...

  28. So then, your first comment was a lie..... trying to confuse us or what? I thought I knew you well enough to know that that camera is like another appendage and I was pretty sure you wouldn't amputate.

    Phhffftttttt.... I raspberry in your general direction....

    Well, we partied but you didn't show up - must have been a long game. Sorry we missed you. Or maybe we had the wrong room?

    Didn't you know Illinois is the land of toll booths? You better stock up on change for the next leg of your road trip... not everyone will be as nice as that guy behind you... don't want to read in your paper about a toll booth shooting down there. It's the US of A - everyone's packin' heat.

  29. By the way, did the Fish win?

  30. I second what Donnnnn said.


  31. PG:

    I have enough appendages, thank you.

    The guy behind me didn't have a choice. I think he thought it was a holdup and I was packing a .44 magnum or something.

    Besides that, where the hell did he think he'd be if I was stuck there with no change?


    You guys should start a comedy troupe. Exactly!

  32. The bed sounds so big, you should of arranged a blob get to gether and we would of all come over lol


  33. Toasty:

    Well that might have caused a bit of a ruckus, don't you think?

    As I write this, up in the press box at Silver Cross Stadium, a three-inch-long praying mantis is staying very still but six inches from my laptop.

    And I forgot my camera at the hotel.


  34. ok, well give everyone ELSE a different address, so THEY wont show up LOL

    Oh I love the mantis things..... put it in your pocket as a pet :)


  35. whatchootalkinboutwillis?

    You are trying to be still and playing 'man-this' with something under your laptop that's three inches long?

    and you were going to take a picture of that?

  36. Toasty:

    Um, uh, er, um...ahem. I don't even know what state I'm in, let alone the address here.

    I'm somewhere in the Chicagoland area, that's about all I know. Maybe a GPS will help you all find me.

    Just set it for Spaceship Orion. My current spaceship has Texas licence plates, of all things.

    The praying mantis hung around for quite some time. It climbed my water bottle and waited for other insects to come along that it could ensnare and consume.

    When that didn't happen and I kept prodding it with my pen, it flew to the window ledge, climbed up high and later on, I saw it swirl down on to the field right behind home plate.

    I would have adopted it and brought it home to Canada, but it wouldn't have any of that.


    Yeah, well, you're a goober. Yes I was going to take a picture, but the man-this flew away.

    It really is quite impressive at three inches long and about an inch high. Amazing, really.

    Get your mind out of the gutter!

  37. "It really is quite impressive at three inches long and about an inch high. Amazing, really."

    If you say so.

  38. Wait til MJ sees this

  39. Donnnnn:

    Well, I can see I'm not going to get you off this Praying Penis rant you're on, so go on, go crazy.

    You and MJ both.


  40. Will ya look at the SIZE of that thing!

  41. Yeah, WILL YA!

    And it has antennae that are another three inches long! And its legs are also three inches long!

    And it just sits there, wavering back and forth, waiting for prey to come along...

    And then it snaps out those preying front arms and grabs its victim!

    And then it opens its wings, with a five-inch-wide span, and flies away!

    You're all twisted...

  42. Oh now it's FIVE inches, is it?

  43. It's whatever I say it is!

    Donnnnnn was right about you. I'm bringin' my camera to the game tonight and I'll hunt this incredible insect down for photographic evidence.

  44. Well when ya hunt it down, flick it to stun it and then post it in a chinky take away box to me, then I can feed it to me Chamelion who is called Brenda LOL


  45. Toasty:

    I'm not sure what a chinky package is, but will do. I'm sure there's a good reason your chameleon is called Brenda.


    Yes. Exactly.

  46. :) a chinky take away box is one of those little plastic airtight boxes that ya buy ya kung po chicken from the chinky in.....

    I do not know why our Chamelion is called Brenda.... except, she looks like how I imagine someone called Brenda would look LOL


  47. Étienne Boulay12:08 p.m.


  48. Étienne Boulay12:09 p.m.

    Et cinquante!

  49. Toasty:

    I've never known Brenda's who necessarily look like chameleons, but maybe that's just me.

    Etienne Boulay?

    Well, no doubt you are not the Canadian Football League player of the same name, but that's the only Etienne Boulay I know of.

    No doubt you are one of my more regular commenters, speaking in disguise.

    At any rate, bienvenue.

  50. Étienne Boulay hit cinquante!
    and it ain't moi.

  51. Donnnnnn:

    Etienne Boulay has already confessed. She's warped and she lives on the West Coast.

    Imagine my shock and surprise.

  52. praying mantis11:29 a.m.

    I have expanded to nine inches!

  53. Donnnnnn:

    Who's the nut? And what's this latest avatar?

    MJ the Praying Mantis:

    Well, it wasn't THAT big!

  54. So....? Did you remember your camera for yesterday's game? And did the mantis return so you could prove what you have been talking about????

  55. PG:

    Negative (I forgot the camera in my hotel room) and negative (the mantis never returned).

    And now it's on to Gary, Ind., tomorrow -- someone told me it's the murder capital of the U.S. -- where we'll be staying in a hotel that's attached to a casino.

    Good thing I'm not a gambler. But who knows, maybe there'll be another praying mantis there.

  56. There is a song about it from the Music Man..

    Gary, Indiana!
    What a wonderful name,
    Named for Elbert Gary of judiciary fame.
    Gary, Indiana, as a Shakespeare would say,
    Trips along softly on the tongue this way--
    Gary, Indiana, Gary Indiana, Gary, Indiana,
    Let me say it once again.
    Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana,
    That's the town that "knew me when."
    If you'd like to have a logical explanation
    How I happened on this elegant syncopation,
    I will say without a moment of hesitation
    There is just one place
    That can light my face.
    Gary, Indiana,
    Gary Indiana,
    Not Louisiana, Paris, France, New York, or Rome, but--
    Gary, Indiana,
    Gary, Indiana,
    Gary Indiana,
    My home sweet home

  57. Weren't the Jackson Five from Gary, Indiana?

    Donnnnn, I'd like to put in a request for "Ya Got Trouble" from the same musical.

  58. Donnnnnn:

    Yeah, well, pulled this off the Web:

    GARY, Ind. (CBS) ― As it was before 2004, Gary, Ind., is once again murder capital of the U.S.

    CBS 2 Northwest Indiana Bureau Chief Pamela Jones reports police officers there had an especially busy 2005.

    Richard Chapman. Monica Bailey-Gilbert, her boyfriend, Anthony Hamilton and his friend, Leonard Thomason.

    These two murder cases helped push Gary to the top spot for murder rates among U.S. cities with populations over 100,000.

    Bailey-Gilbert's family is raising a reward fund to help find her killer.

    "We need to find these people before they hurt somebody else. It's horrible," said Norman Bailey.

    Here's the breakdown. As of Dec. 29 and 30, Gary had ended 2005 with 60 homicides -- up from 55 the previous year. It boils down to a homicide rate of 58.

    It means one murder for every 1,725 residents here. And it's not just a problem in Gary, it's spreading across northwest Indiana, with a combined total of 95 homicides for Lake and Porter counties as of Dec. 24.

    A more recent interesting piece is at



    I dunno, you're the Queen of the Web Scene, you confirm that's where the Jackson 5 are from!

    And look what happened to Michael...

  59. All right already. I've confirmed it.

    Now let's have some fun.

    *bounces up and down on WW's bed*

  60. MJ:

    No doubt you're wearing the green shorts and a paper bag over your head...while I'm trying to watch America's Top Model.

  61. I want the tranny to win, don't you?

  62. MJ:

    Ugh. I've switched to golf, where Canadian Mike Weir is leading in the final round...

    Is there ANY weirdness you don't know about?

  63. Mike Weir or Mike WEIRD?

  64. Never mind Mike being Weird.... this whole comment thingie is getting pretty weird.

    But certainly entertaining!

    Yes, the Jackson Five were from Gary, Ind. - and Mikey is the weirdest of the weird. He's my age. I used to like him when he was a normal black guy. Now I don't know what he is.

    Don't be a statistic.... stay in your hotel room when not covering the games.... and watch out for more praying man-this-es (what the hell is the plural of man-this???) but take your camera everywhere in case something interesting happens. Although, at the rate you are going, you'll forget it again anyway.

  65. PONYGIRL IS 69th!

  66. Woot woot! So I am.....

  67. MJ/PG:

    Have you two finished your little yak fest?

  68. geez, I pop in momentarily and look what I get... nothing but crap!

    Seems to me it's been you and MJ, with the occasional interjection from Donnn, who've been doing all the yakking lately.

    Harrumph! ((stalks away....))

  69. PG/MJ:

    Are you two kidding? I should just set up my own blogging service, just for you two!

    This is the new trend in blogging, it's the keep every post alive until it rots blog. :-)

  70. This place is like those chat lines that they advertise..
    "pick up the phone"

    if I see this on my phone bill I'm going to be so pissed off.

  71. Hey kids!

    Try this...

    Press the following numbers on your touch tone phone...


    It's Louie Louie!



    Strangers in the Night!

  72. Donnnnnnn:

    It IS just like that! I could have set up several different businesses by now.

    I have a captive audience of what, three?


    Hey, that's swell!

  73. ... at least you have an audience...

  74. PG:

    I have an audience of approximately three, give or take. I want to see you all do the wave!

    Well here I am in beautiful run down -- I mean, downtown -- Gary, Indiana.

    Actually, I'm not in downtown Gary. I'm on the outskirts, holed up in some dingy hotel room that's attached to a casino.


    After searing 93 F temps yesterday, it's really cooled off and grey here today.

    Only one more sleep til I go home!

  75. Be glad you missed the torrential downpour we had on Monday that flooded my basement - the window well filled up too fast to drain into the weeping tiles and it poured in around the wooden window.
    (Note to self: get that replaced with something that seals!)

    Today is 20C and sunny. Then it will be mid teens and cloudy when you get back and for the rest of the week.

    ((sigh)) I think summer is over...

  76. Did you know that I adopted that as my song? :)

  77. PG:

    Grey, sullen, cool...just like Chicago when I left it after a harrowing experience driving on the Skyway Xpress, barely able to see three car lengths in front of me.

    But home is where the heart is.


    I did figure that, actually. It's one of my all-time faves. Hope you're feeling fine with the twins.


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