Monthly Archives: June 2006

I fear no werewolf nor wanton women….

..because I ate the garlic fries at Pac Bell SBC Park ATT Stadium here in San Fran yesterday, and like tithing to the United Way, they ARE the gift that keeps on giving…

I’m glad that my wife and I have already had all the children we wanted because I’m thinking that these fries could replace norplant..whooooweeeee.

This is ballyard #30 in my quest to see every Major League baseball stadium*. My friends and I keep several categorial rankings re the ballparks we’ve visited (stupidest view even though they could have had the best view – Shea Stadium, meanest ushers in the free world and possibly any of the Serbian countries – Philadelphia, tightest security – Texas Arlington) and I’m definitely going to have to rank this one (Giant’s stadium) as the park with the best view.

I realize I am badly marring the view by appearing in the picture, but I wanted to show innocent children and naive future ballpark denizens that an innocent looking basket of fries can secretly pack the punch of an invasive army of tapeworms all loaded with garlic pepper spray. The fries are tasty, but I almost vaporized a pack of Brownies by breathing in their general direction.

ATT Park is easily in my top 5 places to watch a major league baseball game.

*I refuse to visit the horror-show masquerading as a baseball park in Minneapolis.



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Livin’ large on the left coast..

I’m on my annual baseball trip with several other protracted adolescents who are chronologically around my age. Today we will be seeing the Giants play at the field pictured above.

I’m not sure who the team was honoring when this picture was taken, but she appears to be quite special…..

Friday, we’ll be mingling with thousands of empty seats at an Oakland A’s game.

Over the years, we’ve been to nearly 30 different ballparks, some of which don’t even exist today. This trip, I’ll be adding Pac Bell, Oakland Stadium and the ballpark in Seattle on my list.. These stadiums all have some corporate official name (including a new name for Pac Bell) that I try not to learn..

Last year when the ‘boys’ went on the trip, they visited the new Philadelphia stadium. Sadly, for at least me, I was recovering from some rather major surgery and had to miss the trip for the first time. I was told that the new Philly stadium was most excellent. I’m sorry I didn’t get to go so that I could erase my memory of Veteran’s Stadium, a circular artificially turfed bland-o-sseum where an unfriendly usher actually told me that it was against major league rules to take pictures at a baseball park..

I’m thinking this year’s experience is going to be a lot better..


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Passion is no ordinary word

The news that Peter Gammons, ESPN baseball analyst, is in the hospital “resting in intensive care after undergoing an operation to treat a brain aneurysm” hit me hard this morning. I don’t know Gammons personally, but I’m a baseball fan, and if you’re much of a baseball fan, you ‘know’ Gammons.

The reason that Gammons is special is the same reason that the music teacher in Mark Rose’s post about Stravinsky is special. Gammons, like the teacher in Rose’s fine piece, cares enough about ‘his’ subject to be able to communicate that passion to others.

People who are lucky enough that their passion and their vocation coincide really are the luckiest people in the world. Keith Richard’s continued survival is testimony to this fact. Those people will be successful regardless of monetary or material renumeration, and they will pass on many blessings to those around them (unless they are highly successful bank robbers in which case they might be a little higher on the accrual end than the debit end).

My dad died twenty years ago. He was an art teacher like the teacher mentioned in Rose’s piece. In his Art Appreciation course, he knew that the majority of the people in that classroom were there because they HAD to be there. I took the course because I always wanted to see my dad at work. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

To this day, people, who find out that I am John Hutcheson, the son of the art teacher at David Lipscomb many years ago, come up to me and tell me that they were enriched more by that class than almost any other course they took, because he gave them a gift: his passion for art, and an appreciation of something that previously had been little more than decoration.

So, happy recovery Mr. Gammons…and dad, I still miss you.


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Rush Limbaugh takes over Kleinheider’s old blog

Hard Right?

Limbaugh is reportedly also interested in Kleinheider’s cell phone package.

I guess he didn’t want the ditto-heads to know….

Update: June 27th – The more I thought about this story, the more I have to wonder why the police aren’t spending their time pursuing more hardened criminals….


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Wait, don’t tell me..this post is all about….

I’ve already forgotten …..

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But I don’t wanna skate to Stryper, or Why don’t you just throw in some klezmer music and maybe this will all go away..

I was cruising around blog-land attempting to see all the things wrong with me (I consider myself somewhat progressive and, GoDfrey Daniels, I attend the Episcopalian church). Apparently I’m aligned with terrorism, besieged with unnatural desires, and just an ass for not believing that WMD still exist in Iraq*.

Anyway, I was fascinated by a post on Terry Frank’s blog which claimed that a skating rink in upstate New York was being investigated by the NY Department of Human Rights for designating part of Sunday afternoons as ‘Christian Skate Time’. I was thinking that SURELY this was one of those snopesian urban legends based on some kind of misunderstanding.

I started googling the story and kept finding ‘family value’ blogs expressing outrage at the investigation, and I kept wondering if this story was like the Gertrude Stein quote about Oakland, ‘there’s no there, there’.

Surely a story this ridiculous would get more play in blogs and media other than the family values circuit. Lo, and behold, Terry appears to be right. Terry has done some more digging on the story as well.

Newsday, the major newspaper for Long Island, picked up the story last Frday. It seems that an over-zealous bureaucrat really has filed some sort of complaint regarding the privately-owned skating rink. Advertising that Sunday afternoons from 2:00-4:00 will be Christian skate time (Christian music will be played – can you really skate to Jars of Clay???) apparently discriminates against those people who don’t consider themselves Christians. The skating rink is not funded in any way by taxpayer dollars of any sort and they are not limiting admittance based on spiritual belief.

Your typical Rob Zombie fan probably will stay away from said roller rink during the designated hours. The owners of the rink have already changed the name to ‘Spiritual Skate Time’, but I’m guessing they won’t be calling the alt-believers to pray four times a day with what passes for pop music in mullah-ville.

I still wonder if I’m missing some vital part of this story. Regardless, here is my prediction: This investigation won’t go anywhere. Pillar and Amy Grant will blast forth from the mighty speakers and taxpayer dollars will be wasted in other ways yet to be imagined by the progressive likes of people like me.

*Standard progressive disclaimer: Saddam is a bad man. A very very bad man.


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Beyond ‘cutie’ – Mothership BBQ brings out the funk

When I was a kid on trips with my parents, my mother non-stop would be giving us a running commentary on all the things that we were seeing. Every mile or so, something on the side of the road would grab her fancy, and she would say, ‘Isn’t that the CUTEST thing…..isn’t THAT the cutest thing..(ad more infinitum than a room of math majors with pocket protectors can imagine). At some point on every trip, I wanted to scream..’WOULD YOU PICK ONE DAMN THING AS THE CUTEST, and CALL IT A FREAKIN’ DAY!!?’. The fact that my father would turn me into something that would make roadkill look cute kept my mouth shut. To this day, when I hear the word ‘cute’, I shudder like a kid taking a leak in a cold swimming pool (I’ve read about such activity).

The point of all this is that despite a local bbq chain’s name to the contrary, there’s nothing cutie about barbecue. Barbecue in the south is as serious and sectarian as a room full of Church of Christers staring at a room full of Southern Baptists both wondering what the other was doing there. Depending on where you are in the state of Tennesse, barbecue sauce is vinegar based, molasses based or hot-as-hell based. I’ve known people who have driven to Elizabethton from middle Tennessee just to eat at Ridgewood. Anytime I’m near Memphis, I take the trek to Interstate Barbecue.

In my humble opinion, until now, the best barbecue in Tennessee has been on the outer edges (Tri-Cities and Memphis). Nashville has had some good bbq joints: Hog Heaven, the original Cantrells on Cleveland and McFerrin, Pop’s on 28th across from Swetts and Mary’s right down the road on Jefferson. Nashville now has an entree into GREAT BBQ. Mothership BBQ rocks the party and pulls the pork succulantly (you can’t legally talk about bbq without using the word ‘succulant’.

The Knucklehead (proprieter Jim Reams) understands that you don’t have to bring the heat cayenne style to the table. His pulled pork is not dried out and it won’t burn your mouth. Any ‘cue that retains the smoky flavor with a sauce that emphasizes the meat rather than overpowering the meat works for me. The pulled pork at the Mothership does all this and more.

I had the pleasure of consuming some of Mothership’s finest alongside the trinity (Aunt B, Coble and Sarcastro). Does it get any better than that in our city? Great barbecue with three of the most frightening minds in blog-urbs..

Good times. Go to Berry Hill and board the Mothership. It’s more than worth the trip (and even if you don’t have to use the ‘facilities’, check em’ out anyway).


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