Friday, June 30, 2006

Tour de BK

Well, I'm packing my 12-speed in the ol' VUE and bringing it with me to the Jersey Shore this holiday weekend. Considering I spent the Memorial Day holiday confined to my apartment and writing songs (which came out pretty good), I feel the need to enjoy the outdoors this extended weekend.

Before I take off on my first ride of the summer, however, I must get a flat rear tire repaired. Once that is done, I hope to be on two wheels early tomorrow morning...and I'll get to ride over the new Mantoloking Bridge. Woo hoo!

So forget about a Lance Armstrong-less Tour de France that has already been rocked by a doping scandal. The Tour de BK is where it's at in '06!

Here is my route, which starts after a transport by car to a shopping center near the Brick/Silverton, N.J., border:

Of course, I'll only be going on this bike ride if my head stops feeling woozy from a self-inflicted coffee cup wound I suffered while walking in my front door this afternoon. I had my travel mug in my right hand and went to shoo away a buzzing insect flying around my head...well, I clocked myself on the front, right side of my head with the top edge of the mug and sliced some skin off.

It's not quite as bad as the time I hit my head with great force on a beam in Rider's Alumni Gym during a basketball game, but it was bleeding pretty good there for a few minutes until I patched myself up.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Happy Birthday, Katie

As I mentioned in my previous post about the flooding near me, today is my friend Katie's birthday. Well, actually, there's only about an hour left of it.

Anyway, I decided to write her a little birthday song a la "Happy Birthday, Lisa" from "The Simpsons."


Anyone know where I can buy a submarine?

UPDATED - June 29, 2006; 7:30 a.m.
The above graphic is from the National Weather Service's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service shows the current level of the Delaware River in Trenton, N.J., and its projected level within the next couple of days.

As you can see, the Delaware is currently over what is considered flood level, which is set at 20 feet. Even though the worst of the rain and storms have moved out of the area, flood water from areas in upstate Pennsylvania and New York are expected to spill into the Delaware and cause it to rise to as high as 25.1 feet by Friday morning.

Why am I going on and on about all this? Well, the Delaware is between my home and my job...which is why it took me an hour and 40 minutes to make what is about a 13-mile trip this morning. And I expect it's going to be worse the next couple of days.

Of course, it could be worse. I could live by the Delaware and have my dwelling submerged in flood waters like so many unfortunate people in this area and in the Northeast in general, at this point.

Hmm...I guess I shouldn't be complaining.

One other comment, though...Happy Birthday, Katie!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"Spider-Man 3" is going to be the best movie...ever

While this weekend may belong to "Superman Returns," it is the teaser trailer for next year's "Spider-Man 3" that has blown me away.

If you haven't seen the teaser for Spidey 3 yet, watch the embedded YouTube movie below or click on the headline above to choose which QuickTime version you want to see.

But this movie is going to costume, alien symbiote, Sandman, Harry as a quasi-Green Goblin, Peter Parker/Spidey turning to the dark side (with the help of the alien symbiote), and the expected birth of Venom near the end of the film.

Woo hoo!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Rider's Kevin Barry makes successful debut vs. Yankees

Former Rider University pitcher Kevin Barry made his long-awaited major league debut for the Atlanta Braves Monday night by pitching three scoreless innings of relief against the New York Yankees at historic Yankee Stadium.

The 27-year-old Barry, who graduated from Rider in 2001, was promoted by Atlanta from Triple-A Richmond when reliever Phil Stockman went on the disabled list with a strained hamstring on Saturday. The 6'2", 235-pound righthander was 3-4 with a 3.26 ERA primarily as a starter for Richmond this season, striking out 63 while walking just 27 in 77 1/3 innings over 15 games.

As Atlanta starter Tim Hudson struggled early in Monday night's eventual 5-2 win by the Yankees, Barry started warming up in the Braves' bullpen four different times before finally making taking the mound in his first major league game at the start of the bottom of the sixth inning.

After walking leadoff hitter Johnny Damon on five pitches, Barry retired Miguel Cairo on a sacrifice bunt that moved Damon to second. Derek Jeter then grounded out to shortstop, moving Damon to third with two outs. But Barry stranded the runner by recording his first major league strikeout when Jason Giambi whiffed at a 2-2 fastball.

In the seventh, Barry retired Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada on a couple of pop-ups before Andy Phillips stroked a triple high off the center field wall. Again, Barry stranded the runner at third as Bubba Crosby hit a grounder back to Barry, who made the play to retire the side.

Somewhat shockingly, the Braves sent Barry out for a third inning of work. Melky Cabrera started the eighth with a line drive single to right, but Damon fouled out, Cairo flied out and Jeter grounded into a fielder's choice to end the inning.

A two-time Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference pitcher of the year, Barry went 20-12 during his college career, recording a Rider single-season record 91 strikeouts in 2001. He graduated with a school record 262 strikeouts.

Barry was originally selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 15th round of MLB's first-year player draft after his junior season, but became the first Rider player to return for his senior year after being drafted. In 2001, he was selected by the Braves in the 14th round.

Kevin Barry's Career Minor League Statistics

2001 A-Jamestown 0.86 29 12 31.1 14 18 54 
2002 A-Myrtle Bch 2.52 47 26 50.0 37 14 14 17 67 
2003 AA-Greenville 44.95 51 56.1 54 36 31 32 68 
2004 AA-Greenville 0.73 20 24.2 15 10 31 
2004 AAA-Richmond 2.52 30 35.2 25 15 10 25 40 
2005 AA-Mississippi 1.23 7.1 
2005 AAA-Richmond 2.85 32 79.0 60 28 25 44 73 
2006 AAA-Richmond 3.26 15 12 77.1 73 33 28 27 63 

Friday, June 23, 2006

Phillie Phanatic... Rider!

Yeah, so Rider University is holding its Alumni Reunion this weekend and the Phillie Phanatic paid a visit for an hour during a welcome reception this evening. My job was to serve as the Phanatic's escort and to make sure he and "his friend" had everything they needed, especially water.

Apparently, though, part of my duties involved the Phanatic throwing a wrapped strawberry shortcake ice cream bar at me and hitting me square in the nuts with it. Thankfully, he didn't throw it that hard...and it was half-melted ice cream so it didn't do much damage. I'm just grateful it was wrapped and didn't explode on impact.

But the Phanatic was great, as usual...the best damn mascot in sports!

The pic above was taken with my cell phone so I could send a mobile post. Here are some more pics taken with my digital camera (the first one is me with the Phanatic)...

And a movie...


I went to a Wendy's to pick up a bite to eat for lunch today and saw this in the parking lot...
McDonald's truck parked in Wendy's parking lot, with driver eating lunch inside.
I looked inside the Wendy's and it appeared the McDonald's truck driver was enjoying his meal.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Beach-y weekend

Well, I made it out to my ol' stomping grounds of Ocean County, N.J., this weekend and saw the Atlantic Ocean for the first time this year (not including seeing it from a plane). Above is a picture taken from the boardwalk in Seaside Park, N.J., looking at Funtown Pier in Seaside Heights.

Prior to my stroll on the boardwalk, I got a haircut...but that didn't come easy. My barber took a walk-in customer while I was waiting for him to take me. Apparently, he didn't realize I was there for him and the walk-in guy made himself comfortable in the chair while my barber was cashing out the customer he had been working on. I let it go and decided to say something after he was done with the walk-in guy because there was nobody else waiting at that point. But my barber got all chatty with him and then four people walked in the door, including a guy with a kid, who my barber took after he finally finished with the walk-in customer. I walked out while giving him a WTF? look and drove across the street to a Wawa for some coffee. About 10 minutes later, I called back and got everything taken care my hair is REALLY short now. Actually, you could say I don't have hair on top of my head right now...but it'll be back before you know it.

The other "beach-y" part of this weekend? I'm going tonight to a show featuring my friend, Christian Beach, and Michael Ferentino at SICA in Long Branch, N.J. More about the show can be found here.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Depressing...yet optimistic forecast for my demise

Life and death are subjects that fascinate me. Life is so valuable...each one of us gets one chance at it. And, yes, it sucks that one day it's going to end for all of us.

As a child, I used to think about death all the time even though none of my loved ones have yet to pass away—only members of my friends' families and co-workers, etc. For some reason, though, I experienced many sleepless nights thinking about death. My childish imagination conjured up hopes that in the future, technology would exist to eliminate natural death.

But then I would think about immortality...eternal life. And that's when I would think to myself, "Holy crap! That would be SOOOOOO boring." And, of course, you have the problem of the Earth getting caught up in the expanding Sun five billion years in the future (according to a 2005 episode of "Doctor Who"). At the age of five billion, there's no way I'm packing up and moving to another galaxy.

So, in the end, death is a much better alternative than immortality. Of course, this also means that I hope there isn't an afterlife of some sort because that will lead to the same problem. Eventually, even Heaven is going to get boring. I mean, if there is a Heaven, I doubt there are concerts...and movies. How can you call a place Heaven when there are no Peter Gabriel, Ben Folds or Mike Doughty concerts? I would rather be, as Ben Franklin once wrote, simply food for worms.

Anyway, I came across a site called, which asks you some questions about your lifestyle and family history, and tries to calculate a likely age for natural death based on the responses.

According to, I will die at the age of 74. And you know what? I'm totally down with that. That's a good age to go, I think. I definitely don't want to go deep into my 80s, when I'll probably become a helpless shell of a human being.

And I'm not saying that anyone in their 80s and beyond is helpless...I'm just saying I probably will be based on the fact that I feel a little helpless sometimes now...and I'm still a few weeks away from hitting 35.

But in those remaining 39 years or so, hopefully, the Phillies will win at least one more World Series and the Eagles will finally win a Super Bowl. That's all I ask.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

20 years of Peter Gabriel fandom

I was wasting time on YouTube and searched for some Peter Gabriel videos. I happened to come across a couple of clips of his performance at the June 15, 1986, finale of the Amnesty International Conspiracy of Hope Tour at Giants Stadium...a concert I attended. I was with my sister on the field and not that far away from the stage...I mean, we were close enough for a guy five feet away from us to hit Joni Mitchell's guitar with an ice cube he threw while she was performing.

But I digress...

Even though I was familiar at that point with PG and knew he used to be the lead singer of Genesis, I wasn't the PG fanatic I am today. I became a convert when PG closed out the set on that hot June day with an impassioned, hypnotic peformance of "Biko."

Unfortunately, the PG clips I found of that day do not include "Biko" or "Shock the Monkey." However, they do include an early live version of "Red Rain" (the album "So" had just been released) and the incredible "San Jacinto." PG opened with "Red Rain" so that video captures the very first moment I ever saw him play live...and, to paraphrase the Beatles, "it was 20 years ago (almost) today."

"Red Rain"
Amnesty International Conspiracy of Hope Tour
Giants Stadium - June 15, 1986

"San Jacinto"
Amnesty International Conspiracy of Hope Tour
Giants Stadium - June 15, 1986

Saturday, June 03, 2006

A test audio post

This is just a test to see if my AudioBlog posts show up in my newly created RSS podcast feed. Don't bother listening.
this is an audio post - click to play

UPDATE: After a slight delay, this did make it into the podcast feed...I love FeedBurner!