Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sign up!

The summer activities on the lake are getting lined up.

Have a fishing excursion with a fishing guide coming up in April

Have some of the ex-Atlanta crew coming in for a long weekend in June, with a potential guest appearance by the man known as Ren

My mother promised a trip to the lake this summer

Water levels are almost at full pool (normal) and the temp is now at 70 degrees so all we need to do is get the boat in the water and the season will be underway.

Need to schedule days out with lots of friends and family. Last year we had 23 individuals on the boat over the summer. Goal this year is for 35 (50% increase). Give me a holler and we'll compare calendars.

Tube, skis, wakeboard, wakeskate, hydrofoil. These are the toys...who wants to play?

Summer is here!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Manning Lake, NH

"There are places I remember
All my life, though some have changed,
Some forever, not for better,
Some have gone and some remain." - Lennon-McCartney

I have a place I remember, a place with only positive memories, a place that was taken away too early. Some twenty seven years before I was born, my grandfather Arthur G. Tribou, began building a log cabin on a little lake in New Hampshire. By the time I hatched this cabin had evolved and become a family retreat that was cherished by most if not all that visited. The lake's name is Manning Lake. It is a small lake, a little over a mile in length and about half a mile across and sits south of Lake Winnipesaukee in the little town of Gilmanton Iron Works.

In prepping for a visit with my parents this week I purchased a converter that takes slides and negatives and saves them off as digital images. Going through my father's slides (thousands) I found bunches of pictures from the NH cabin. Many pre-dated me. Here is a link to a photo gallery of these pictures: link

The memories are vivid. Rustic cabins all around, rowboats made of wood, stone fireplaces. The neighbors had some kids similar in ages to me and my brothers. I remember games of capture the flag but with army themes and play guns. There were great areas to play, under the sky-scraping pines, that included a tire swing, and a regular wooden seat swing with long ropes and extremely high swinging. One time, while up at the camp with my grandparents I was swinging and jumped off, as was the thing to do, while on the up-swing and landed and fell slightly. Who knew that having a Popsicle stick in your mouth while flying through the air out of control would be a problem. That stick caught the roof of the mouth back by the throat and put a pretty good indent back there. No blood thankfully, but it hurt to swallow for weeks. I never told my grandparents, my grandfather would have said something wise about a lesson learned but my grandmother would have likely disciplined me...harshly. There was nice built in horseshoe pits with Adirondack chairs for those viewing. The fishing was often good. Perch, pickerel, sunfish, catfish and if you were lucky, bass.

With my grandparents aging the family decided to sell the cabin in the late 1970's, much to the chagrin of the grandchildren. The buyers quickly converted the cabin to a year round residence, losing all the charm along the way. The lake became a sort of pilgrimage for at least one brother and myself. I have been back there once, in the 80's. Perhaps someday I'll find myself there again, to see if the lake and surrounding mountains are as magical as I remember.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

History in a closet

This week we took our family to visit my parents. Lately I've become somewhat nostalgic about my youth and a family log cabin we had in New Hampshire that was built by my grandfather back in the 30's. I've long assumed that buried in slides somewhere in my parents house there would be many photos of this cabin. So for this trip I bought a converter that takes slides or negatives and converts them to digital pictures. When I exposed the nighttime project to my parents I was surprised at the level of help with the digging. Luckily the filing and recording of each box (dozens of boxes) made the task easier.

I found lots of family and cabin shots that I will share in another post soon.

In this post I want to show what I found along the way, totally unexpectedly.

History sometimes exposes itself when you aren't looking. While browsing through hundreds, if not thousands, of slides I came across some gems from a couple of visits to Fenway Park in the late 50's and 1960. Many of the shots featured a pretty good player named Ted Williams. As I excitedly scanned slide after slide of Fenway shots my youngest daughter, who had taken to looking over my shoulder and had an interest in the family photos, kept saying things like "another baseball picture?"

Here are a couple of shots I found, more can be found here: link to album

The photographer for all these shots was my father, Art Tribou.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Love Affair with Fall

Most (almost all) people seem to have a love affair with fall and the end of summer. Doesn't matter where you are, warm climate, cold climate, people always say "I love this time of year" as soon as the temp drops a bit sometime usually in September.

I hate it. Passionately. Never have liked Fall. To me it is the sign of death. Summer is when people are alive. Baseball is alive in the summer. Grass, trees, plants of all kinds are alive in the summer. Fall kills all of that. Yeah yeah, football. Football has never been my favorite sport. Never will be. Cool weather. Yep, something to root for for sure. Enjoy throwing on layers of clothes, nothing like a layered top to make you feel comfortable, not.

Leaves turn color! Yeah! Makes me think of the scene in the Steve Martin movie The Jerk - "The new phone book's here, the new phone book's here!" The leaves are dieing actually.

Everybody generally hates winter, unless you ski or play hockey or something but doesn't Fall signal that winter is coming sooner rather than later?

I always thought it was weird how people love fall. If they had said spring I would understand. Spring is the rebirth of things that died in fall. I just don't get it.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Weirdness of the 2011 Baseball Season

Weird. Not because the Sox and Braves, both teams I root for, failed miserably down the stretch.

Weird. Not because Tito Francona, the most successful RedSox manager of them all, was not talked out of leaving the dysfunctional clubhouse for good yesterday.

Weird. Not because I'm now rooting for the Brewers to win it all.

Weird because of numbers.

I didn't get the mlb package on cable this year. Not sure why, just didn't or never got around to it. Saved me from screaming at the tv in April for sure. Saved me again in September. No matter. To keep up with the Braves and the Sox I often would check their scores on the internet while reading, posting, whatever. I use ESPN's scoreboard. Both teams are listed in my profile as favorites so their scores show up at the top of their respective leagues.

I'm guessing at least 10 times, probably more this season I found myself looking at the same score for both the Sox and Braves. If the Sox were up 3-1, the Braves were too at the same time. Once or twice is cool, interesting. This summer I swear it was often. Not just once in a game. Using that same example, the Sox might score a couple more and be up 5-1. A few minutes later I'd notice the Braves up by the same score. Weird. Wednesday night's games reminded me a bit of that. I had both the Braves and the RedSox games on the tv, flipping hundreds of times between them. Yankee game running on espn3 on-line live feed. Sox up 3-2, Braves up 3-2. Even the Yankees and Cardinals got in on the action for a while when both were up 7-0 in their respective games. Odd. Weird. Of course none of those scores held, only the Cardinals actually won their game.

Weird how Carl Crawford apologized a week or so ago for his season (before it was over). Was exchanging thoughts with some co-workers and spurred me on to look up some numbers during lunch. Check this out:

Here is a fun fact on Carl Crawford:

If he hit .250 in April instead of the .155 he put up his season total batting average would have been .273 - not so bad, not up to the $$$ spent but not terrible.

That difference? 9 lousy hits, in 24 games, one hit every 2.6 games more than he had.

Another fact- Crawford hit .296 with an .821 OPS in games Sox won and .201 / .526 in games they lost.

Me thinks Tito ain’t to blame.

Know what the difference between hitting .250 and .300 is? It's 25 hits. 25 hits in 500 at bats is 50 points, okay? There's 6 months in a season, that's about 25 weeks. That means if you get just one extra flare a week - just one - a gorp... you get a groundball, you get a groundball with eyes... you get a dying quail, just one more dying quail a week... and you're in Yankee Stadium.
-- Crash Davis

I looked and looked for some split stats to give hope on John Lackey…still looking.

Here is a stat that will amaze you : first batter in the game against lackey in his 28 starts hit .423 this year. In all - leadoff batters for all innings – they hit .318. He was always in trouble.
Lackey was 11-1 if the Sox scored 6+ runs for him, 1-11 if they did not.

Weird. Just plain weird.
Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WIW : What-if-Wednesday

What-if the 1978 Sox win the one game playoff with the Yankees?

Contrary to most Sox fans, I don't have nightmares about Bucky "Bleepn" Dent hitting the homer that broke the 1978 Sox collective backs on October 2nd, 1978 to propel the Yankees into the playoffs and the RedSox home as losers. My initial memories are of Yaz popping out to Nettles at third to end the game. I can vividly see the pitch, the swing and the jump for joy by Nettles after the catch as his teammates congregate around him.

The game was every bit as critical to the RedSox Yankee rivalry as the Pedro throw'n down of Don Zimmer and Aaron Boone's 12th inning bomb. 1978 was the first Sox team in my world of following baseball that could hit with anybody. The team was "built" to play in Fenway and it showed in the lineup and the stats.

Burleson, Remy, Rice, Yaz, Fisk, Lynn, Hobson, Scott and Evans (except Dewey didn't start this day but was used as a pinch hitter). Four guys over 20 homers (pre steroids) with a couple more in the high teens. This lineup had power, grit, experience, youth, it had all you would want.

To go with that lineup the Sox had decent pitching, led by 23 year old Dennis Eckersley who emerged as an ace, going 20-8 with a 2.99 ERA and 16 complete games. Luis Tiant was now 37 and contributed a 13-8 season with a 3.31 ERA. Free agent signee Mike Torrez was 16-13 with a 3.96. Unfortunately Tiant and Eckersley had pitched the prior two days and the rotation down the stretch didn't go much further than those three. Bob Stanley made a rare (at that point) start a few days prior but they were working off a three and a half man rotation down the stretch. Torrez was that only one able to go that fateful day against Cy Young winner (soon to be) Ron Guidry.

The game was rather quiet early, with the Sox capturing the lead on a first pitch homer to lead off the second inning by Yaz. The Sox added a second run in the 6th inning when Jim Rice singled in Burleson who had doubled to lead off the inning and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Remy. With a 2-0 lead through 6 the Sox looked great. The Yankees had only managed two hits against Torrez, a double by Rivers in the third and a single by Piniella in the 4th.

The top of the 7th changed history for Mike Torrez and Bucky Dent. A one out single by Chris Chambliss followed by a single by Roy White put the Yankees in their first real threat inning. Jim Spencer flew out to left for the second out and it appeared the Sox would get out of the inning with the weak hitting shortstop Bucky Dent coming to the plate. Dent hit .247 with 40 homers in his career. None more important than the one he hit in the 7th inning that day. His shot, a true Fenway wall shot, gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead. The bleeding wouldn't stop there. Torrez followed that with a walk to Mickey Rivers ending the pitcher's day. Mike Stanley came on in relief. Rivers promptly stole 2nd base and scored on a double by Yankee captain Thurman Munson. The Yankees led 4-2.

In the top of the 8th, the Yankees added to their lead with a solo homerun by Reggie Jackson off of Bob Stanley. Going to the bottom half of the 8th, the Yankees held a 5-2 lead and coming in to pitch the last two innings, closer Goose Gossage. Jerry Remy welcomed Gossage with a double to right before getting Jim Rice to fly out for the first out. Yaz came up and singled up the middle scoring Remy to make it 5-3. Back to back singles by Fisk and Lynn produced another run making it 5-4 through 8.

With one out in the bottom of the 9th, Rick Burleson drew a walk from Gossage. Remy followed with a single advancing Burleson to second. Rice flew out to right, Burleson took third on the out. Runners at the corners with Carl Yastrzemski coming up to bat with two outs. Flash back to my memories. Yikes, still painful.

But what if Yaz hadn't popped out, what if he delivered a game winning double driving in both Burleson and Remy? What if it wasn't necessary? What if Bucky Dent never gained the notoriety with that homer? What if Bucky had remained an anonymous and unimpressive shortstop with no great claim to fame over his career?

However it could have been different, imagine that it had been...the Sox advance to play the Royals in the ALCS. Their 100 wins is the first time they achieved that total since 1946. The Royals were the winners of the AL West with 92 wins for the year and not a single regular player hitting over .300 and led by pitchers Paul Splittorff, Dennis Leonard, Larry Gura and Rich Gale. The Mad Hungarian, Al Hrabosky was their off-center closer.

I envision, in this alternate world, the Sox beating the Royal much like the Yankees did. After disposing of the Yankees, they would have had Eckersley and Tiant ready to pitch the first two games and come back later in the series if necessary. The Sox would have gone into the World Series to face the Dodgers just three years removed from their epic loss to the Big Red Machine in '75.

It would have been great to have the Dodgers in Fenway for the Series. The Dodgers opened with Tommy John (yes, there is an ex-player named Tommy John, imagine that), Burt Hooten, Don Sutton and Bob Welch. The Dodgers were known for their starters as well as a lineup consisting of Davey Lopes, Bill Russell, Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Reggie Smith, Dusty Baker, Lee Lacy, Rick Monday and Steve Yeager. They were a well balanced team and would have provided a good matchup for the RedSox. I believe it would have gone 7 (didn't all Sox series in the 1900's go 7?) with the Sox finally breaking the curse of 60 years (not yet named the curse of the bambino).

The excitement, accolades and revenue brought about with the championship would have spurred team management to do whatever it takes to keep the nucleus together.

They would have signed Fisk and Lynn instead of letting them go as free agents. There could have been more winning seasons and chases for the championship into the early 1980's. That's my what-if and I'm sticking to it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9-9 weekend ; visit from two old friends

I've planned for and anticipated this weekend for a long time. Two old colleagues and friends were arriving at the lake for a weekend to relax and hang out.

Both arrived by 6:30 or so Friday night after long drives from opposite directions. John from North Carolina and Dave from the panhandle in Florida (John's brother from the Atlanta area also joined us on Saturday). The first night we feasted on lobster rolls! We didn't catch them in the lake nor did they arrive after a long flight from New England but these crustaceans were found at the local Publix. Sam and I picked them out, had the nice staff at Publix cook them for us (saving that hard to remove smell from the lakehouse). I shelled the meat from them and let it chill during the afternoon before their arrival. We got uncut hot dog buns from the Publix bakery (good advice from my mother recently) and center cut them the way a lobster roll should be (see the image in the banner above). Buttered sides were nicely toasted before adding the mix of celery, lemon juice, mayonnaise, salt and pepper served on shredded lettuce.

I am quite particular about lobster rolls. We discussed it while we ate. There is a bar/restaurant near work that a group of us occasionally go to that is a seafood place. I get the lobster roll. Disappointment follows every time. They serve the meat in a mayo, no nothing except a cup of melted butter off on the side. Waste. Legal seafoods opened in Atlanta a few years ago. For a $20 lobster roll (with fries) it is ok. Good amount of meat but they tend to go WAY overboard on dill seed. Kinda ruins it. Otherwise good roll but nothing like the way it needs to be done. Some great John-cooked meals were included. Breakfast on Saturday was awesome led by great hashbrowns and a terrific omelet. Saturday night Dave and John prepared rib-eyes for everybody. To say they were flame broiled is an understatement. I was told that it was the coating of butter on the steaks and that it would burn off :)

The time on the water was documented with cameras (will post in media section and waterblogged blog later). Time spent around the fire pit rehashing old stories and remembering co-workers was great. Throw in (pun intended) some horseshoe games and killer rock band jam and the weekend seemed to go by too quickly.

Some new memories were made for sure. John's aggressiveness on the jet ski, both John and Dave trying the hydrofoil, the cooking, and the singing and guitar play in rockband.

Thanks to John and Dave for making the trip! Great times and I look forward to the next time.

Oops, forgot to tell John NOT to pull rope to chest in moment of panic

...because bad things can happen. I like to call this: "John's one hand handstand"

I believe the song was "Eye of the Tiger"

to quote Bruce Springsteen - "C'Mon Rise UP!"

Time on the water can be so relaxing, look at Dave just about to lay down and take it easy for a while