I LOVE Baseball

October 24, 2013 at 12:00 am | Posted in baseball, life | Leave a comment

Hey Ducklings,

By the time you see this, game one of the 2013 World Series will probably be long over, the winner being either the Boston Red Sox or the St Louis Cardinals. Anyone who knows me knows which side I’ll be routing for. But regardless of who wins the game, I hope for a good series, an epic back and forth with clutch performances and surprises from players you didn’t expect.

I love baseball. Let me restate that. In capital letters. I LOVE baseball. I love baseball some like some people love football… or cars.. or clothes.. or a lot of other things. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a stats guy. I cant tell you what David Ortiz’s OPS was in 2004 against Lefties. I’m not really a history guy either. With a few exceptions like Brooks Robinson playing 3rd base for the Orioles, thanks to my HS baseball coach for drilling that into my head, I couldn’t tell you who caught for who in the World Series in 1987.

But I love baseball. I love baseball like Kevin Costner’s character Ray Kinsella loved baseball. If you haven’t seen the movie, first off, go see it. Its brilliant and warm and amazing, regardless if you like baseball or not, second, I’ll give you a short synopsis. Ray is a corn farmer who on blind faith plows under his corn fields in order to build a baseball field, all on the command of a voice only he can hear. Ray faces scorn, ridicule and the possible loss of his family’s farm. I’m not going to spoil the rest, but trust me, its worth it. Plus it has James Earl Jones and Burt Lancaster, two acting heavyweights.

But the way Ray loves baseball is how I love baseball. Ray believes in baseball, that it can bring people together, connect people when they have nothing else they can talk about. I got that love of baseball from my Grandfather. He took me to my first game when I was 7, I’m pretty sure I still have the program in storage. We didn’t go often, but we watched together and talked about it often.  The last conversation I had with him before he passed away was about baseball in fact, who was being inducted into the Hall of Fame the next summer, as the announcement has been made after he went into the hospital. Cal Ripken and Tony Gywnn were the two going in. Ok, maybe I remember some more history than i thought.

So watching baseball and the world series, especially when my team is one of the participants, is special to me but also a little sad. I’ll cheer hearing him cheer next to me. But whether we win or lose i’ll still get the impulse to call him and talk about it, before remembering he isn’t there to answer. But baseball is eternal. No matter where he is, I know he’s cheering. And that makes me happy.

Supporting Small Businesses and Their Dreams – UPDATE!!

April 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Posted in food, life, work | Leave a comment
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So I’m learning a lot about starting a small business, what it takes, and the obstacles that can lay in your path. I’m learning its a lot of time and energy for sometimes not a huge amount of payoff. However, I’m also learning that I have amazing friends both in and out of the business field I am trying to get into. The latest evidence of that is my friend who operates her own website and sells home made soaps, balms, scrubs and other bathroom sundries. These are artisan products made by hand with love by someone who cares about them. For a limited time only, the Little Witch Soap Company is offering a special deal. From now until May 1st, for ever item you purchase, $1 will be donated to the CJ’s ResQ BBQ mobile food truck crowd funding campaign. This way you can help two great companies with simple order. Please help support small businesses, they are what makes this country great.

Thanks

Chuck

PS!! – Word has just come in from Little Witch, and through their sheer generosity, they have offered to double the first $1 of donations they plan to make due to their sales in support of the food truck. PLEASE go visit them and buy. You’ll be helping two small business and be getting great products in return!!

Making Dreams Come True – Update

April 1, 2013 at 9:27 am | Posted in change, food, life, work | Leave a comment

So, we are about ten days into the campaign to fund a BBQ food truck that will serve the capital district (and hopefully beyond) with yummy locally sourced BBQ and comfort food. The first days have been great but we still need your help. Please donate if you can or at least share the campaign with your friends and family. There are some fantastic perks avaialable and even if you dont live locally, we can certainly work something out to make it worth your while. Also remember you will be helping two people fulfill their dreams. Thanks.

http://igg.me/at/cjsresqbbq/x/2628763

Dreams, Making Them Come True, and YOU!

March 22, 2013 at 9:03 am | Posted in change, food, job, life, new me | Leave a comment

Ok, so it’s been more than a few days, but the time has come. As of about five minutes ago, the push to make a dream a reality has officially begun. My friend Jessica and I just launched our crowd funding campaign to hopefully raise enough cash to start our food truck and be able to start providing quality BBQ and home cooking to the Capital Region of NY and beyond. I know times are tough, but if you are so able, any you are able to contribute would be helpful. If you are unable to conribute, all I ask is that you forward and share the campaign with others. There are a bunch of great perks available for donating. And if you live outside the Capital District of NY, there may still be a way of getting you a perk, so dont let that stop you either.

The link to the campaign is:
http://igg.me/at/cjsresqbbq/x/2628763

CJ's ResQ BBQ

CJ’s ResQ BBQ

Thanks
Chuck

Whirlwind Weekend – 2/16-2/17/13

February 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Posted in life, snow, sunset, weekend, winter | 1 Comment

So, as many of you know I had kind of a busy weekend this past weekend. I’ve sang most of my life, albeit mostly during karaoke nights at the local bar or pub. But after watching last season of The Voice, I got it in my head, that I would try out for this season. It was at the very least a way to say “I did it”. I had been mulling and tossing songs around for a couple months and only on Thursday or Friday really settled on the two acapella versions of the songs I would have prepared. So I got up Saturday morning and headed out, beginning a 34 hour stretch that would end the following night.

I started out about 10 am, heading out from my house, jumping on 87 south and heading towards NYC. About two and a half hours later I arrived, thankful for easy traffic and clear sailing. Having parked just a few blocks from the Javits Center where the auditions were being held, I arrived at about 1pm. After finding the line to enter (I had signed up for the 2pm auditions) I walked to the end of the line and began the waiting process. Now I was fully aware there would be waiting, I had talked to a friend who did it last year and told me as such. It still was a LOT of waiting.

Just around 2pm, the line began to move. Thankfully those who were not actually auditioning were not allowed inside unless the person auditioning was under 18. This cut out at least half the people who had been in line. So getting inside didnt take too long. Then of course you got to check through security, which actually was pretty smooth as well. All in all, it was pretty well organized. So anyhow, after getting through security, you got to stand in another line. This was so you could actually be checked in and registered. You then were directed around the room to sit in a row of chairs in one of 8-10 sections. Honestly, I dont remember how many there were, it was only 2:30-3pm and my brain was already starting to mush.

Each row of chairs was 14 long and it became clear these would probably be the people you would be auditioning with. Yeah, no solo auditions, which makes sense. ow on earth could you do that many auditions in one day if they were one at a time. So groups of us watched as row after row were stood up and marched out of the main area and off into some back hallway. A joke was made that this was actually a facility for making Cybermen. I because cautious.

After I had lost track of time due to my cell phone dying, we were finally rounded up and marched out of the main area and into the aforementioned back hallway. There was still no sight of Cybermen, although every staff member did have on a headset, so I did not let down my guard. My hope of the Doctor crashing in began to fade. Then there was more waiting and standing. Thankfully I met a couple nice folk so there were people to talk to. We were then herded down a few more hallways until we were lined up outside a small room.

After watching folk exit adjacent rooms, we knew we had finally gotten to the last stage of our journey. Each of us would get about 45 seconds, or enough time to do a verse and chorus of one of the songs we had prepared. We then all went in to meet the producers who would decide our fate. Out of 10 of us in the room, 1 girl was asked for a callback, and 1 girl got a maybe. I wasn’t the best in the room, but I was happy with my performance. After being dismissed, I headed outside, pulling out my phone with it’s limping last few minutes of life. 6:30pm. Roughly six hours after arrival, I was out and on my way.

Since Nikki was up in VT hanging with friends, I had made plans to head to RI to see my friend Jenn. So back in the car I go and head out onto the highway heading northeast. Traffic from NYC to the CT border sucked. It was slower and more congested than I thought it would be for 7pm on a Saturday night. Of course, I’m not sure what I expected but it was something other than that. After getting out and up to highway speed, the rest of the trip went pretty well. There was a few snow flurries, but nothing earth shattering.

A little over three hours later, I arrived in Warwick RI. Jenn had decided to go to a LARP game in CT, so I decided to go right to the hotel I was staying at. I stopped at a convenience store first and picked up some microwave burritos and a bottle of water. Dinner of winners right? I checked in and went right to my room and crashed, only getting up when the microwave went off. There was something on tv but i don’t rightly remember what it was. 13ish hours after leaving the house that morning, i was tucked in and crashed. Sort of. My legs were so tired and sore, they spasmed half the night. Good times.

The next morning I wake up and look out the window. It had snowed the night before, but it was only a few inches. So i got my stuff together, checked out and headed off. We hung out a bit at her house before heading out for lunch. Jenn brought me to a place called “Ted’s Montana Grill”. My short review, if you have the chance, go. Its really good. Anyhow, after that we headed off to buy seafood for me to bring home and then back to Jenn’s to hang for a bit more. Around 5ish, I decided to head out so that I would be home when Nikki got back. Three more hours in the car.

As I drove home, the wind began to pick up, to the point it was pushing my car around by the time I made it back to NY, pulling up to my house just after 8pm Sunday. I ended the day with some McDonald’s drive through and watching tv on the couch. Thirty four hours after leaving the previous morning, I was back home.

As I drove home, there was a gorgeous sunset to my west as I headed up 146 out of RI. I absolutely did NOT take this picture while driving. That would be irresponsible.

Sunset driving home

Sunset driving home

Stats for my trip:
Hours driven –  ~ 10
Miles driven – ~ 550
States driven through – 5
Tolls Paid – $23.56
Time waiting to audition – 6.25 hours
Time Auditioning – .002 hours

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