Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Of Scituate and thereabouts

In what I hope becomes an annual tradition, we once again celebrated America's birthday in Scituate, MA, which is fast becoming one of my preferred hang outs on the East Coast. We once again were very generously hosted by AK's grandparents.
Luckily, we got some good beach weather this year. Last year we were in Scituate on a fairly overcast and somewhat cold weekend. This year was a much different story. The weather was great - too great actually. A couple of us ended up with some pretty painful sunburns, and as of a couple of days ago, I was still peeling from the after-effects.

Just like last year's trip, we ate chilli on the first night and grilled on the second night. And, of course, we were treated both nights to an impressive display of flights in and out of Logan, like this British Airways Boeing 747 making a slow approach overhead.
The AK took us to a new beach this time, and although I may be biased because the weather was so much better this year, I liked this one much more than last year's beach. The day started off with myself and Ty Willingham losing a whiffle ball ala Wilson from Cast Away. Then ADB spotted either a dead jellyfish or a lost boob implant on the beach - we think it was a jellyfish, but we are not 100% sure.
Then there was the mandatory game of catch on the beach.
And lots and lots of swimming.

I even set aside time to talk local government with Berta, who is a legendary former member of the Town Planning Board. I think they should name a school after him.

Friday, July 10, 2009

You're the man Super Joe

The summer of 1996 was Villi Fuscillo - huuuuuuuge, Capital District, huuuuuuuge.

That was the summer of the Colorado Avalanche's first run to the Stanley Cup Championship, which culminated in a 4-game sweep of the Florida Panthers. Uwe Krupp's triple-OT goal gave the Avs a 1-0 victory and brought the first major championship to Colorado.

We had only recently moved to our first house, on Kodiak Road, the previous summer, and I remember watching the championship-clinching game downstairs by myself. The Avs had recently moved themselves, having relocated from Quebec, where they were known as the Nordiques.

The excitement of the playoff run that summer, which was marked by a huge 4-2 upset against the hated Red Wings in the Conference Finals, is the reason that I got into hockey.

Joe Sakic, who has been the Captain of the Avalanche the entire time they have been in Denver, retired yesterday. He was the face of the franchise back in 1996, and he continued to be our fearless leader through last season.
Super Joe is the Tim Eastman of hockey - he's just a good guy. He never showed up in the paper for having had an altercation in a bar, DUI, or sleeping around. Although he had opportunities to leave the Avs for more money elsewhere, he chose to stay. And he stuck it out during a couple of rebuilding years with the Avs.What I will always - always - remember Super Joe for is the moment he received the Stanley Cup from the Commissioner in 2001 after the Avs had just won it for a second time. That championship team was special because Ray Bourque was on it - the hockey legend who had never been on a championship team in his 20-year career.

As Captain of the team, Sakic was required to receive the Cup from the Commissioner, but as soon as he received it, he passed it to Bourque who was the first player on the team to hoist it. I don't think I have witnessed a more self-less act than that in sports.

Hopefully, hockey fans will get one more shot to see Super Joe in action. The 2010 Olympics will be in Vancouver, his home town, and Super Joe may play on the Canadian team.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Delays at JFK caused by...turtles?!?!

On Wednesday, air traffic at JFK was delayed for over an hour due to "runway contamination." Turtles in search of breeding grounds overran the tarmac and a runway causing flights, which required Port Authority workers to scoop them up in a truck and transport them away.
JFK is of course surrounded by the ocean and all other sorts of marshy grounds, so it's not entirely surprising that this occurred. New York City's other airport, located on the north side of Queens County, also had a man v. nature event earlier this year, as I'm sure you all remember. A US Airways Airbus struck two geese on takeoff and ended up in the Hudson River. Consequently, the City recently began taking out these dangerous beasts.

This follows another nature-related delay at Petco Park in San Diego. Last week, a game there was delayed due to an influx of bees.

Mother nature is pissed.