Saturday, September 29, 2007

Go Cubs Go!

Well, here we go again. The Cubs have made the post season as champs of the Central Division of the National League. I'm happy that the pressure is off and we can spend the weekend being miserable about Notre Dame and the Bears and not worry about the Cubs. . . until Wednesday when we open our post season in Arizona against the Diamondbacks (When did Arizona get a team and what's with naming teams after states instead of cities?)

I'm happy but reserved. I've been down this road before (84, 89, 98, 03) and ready for a World Series. While the Cubs record isn't that impressive, they have the 2nd best record in baseball since June 1. Who cares about how crappy they were in April/May. Lou was still putting the team together back then. What's important is how well you are playing in the fall and the Cubs look ready for the post-season. Unlike the Mets who have put up perhaps the biggest fold job in the history of baseball. That would be great since we still owe them for 1969.


Finally, thanks to DR Ware who ordered and received my book from Amazon. Let's all follow his (her?) fine example!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Notes from Chicago

As most of you know we are spending the fall in Chicago while Enee endures hurricane season in Luperon by herself. This is a great time to be in the best city in the galaxy - Cubs are in a penant drive, Bears are playing, weather is spectacular, and daughter Leah and her husband Jason are in the final stages of their marathon training. LOTS going on.

Last Thursday I had the unique pleasure of sitting in on a meeting at Fermilab where my daughter made a short presentation. She is finishing up her PhD research at Fermilab - the world's largest particle accelerator. Many years ago she would sit in on my physics lectures to my high school students when she would have a day off and I didn't. I'm sure whatever I was saying just sounded like a string of sounds to a third grader. That's how I felt in her presentation. I also was treated to a tour of the detector from which her data has come. It was somewhat disassembled so we could actually crawl around inside of it. The picture shows Leah and I in front of some detectors that she built while at Indiana U. that are now a working part of the BIG detector at Fermi.

It will be sad when they turn on the new machine at CERN in Switzerland which will instantly make the Fermilab machine obsolete. Along with this, we'll see the best and brightesst high energy physicists migrate to Europe. Once again, the USA drops the ball when it comes to leading in fundamental research.

OK, let's get to what is really important. THE CUBS! As of this writing the Cubs have a 2.5 game lead over the Brewers with 7 games left to play. Think of it this way - if the Cubs go 4-3 in their last 7 the Brewers will have to go 7-1. Ain't going to happen. This morning we got on line and snagged 4 standing room only tickets for the first home playoff game. Maybe this is the year. I hesitate to get too excited having had my heart broken in 69, 84, 89, 98, and, gulp 03 (5 outs away from the world series). I'd just like my team to win the series once. That's all. We should just get a turn. Next year will be 100 years since the Cubs were champs. This HAS to be the year.

I went to the Pittsbugh game by myself on Friday and got a ticket up in the bleachers. Good fun and the Cubs won 13-8. Woot! Yesterday we all went to the game having gotten tickets from good old nephew Brian and another win ensued! Wrigley Field still looks great and you just can' beat hanging out with about 50,000 really happy people. Today is the last home game and we are watching from the comfort of Leah and Jason's living room. Later today is the Bear's game. Like I said, fun times in Chicago for a sports fan.

Finally, as I walk around Chicago, the city I most love, I see how it has changed and how it has not. The conductor no longer calls out the stops on the El...there is no conductor and the stations are called out by a computer voice. But the El SMELLS the same and I love it! Cub tickets are impossible to get and if you do find one they are very expensive. But the team doesn't suck and the field itself is still the best ballpark in the country. (Notice how the 'new' parks in the league are intimate, downtown parks...where'd they get THAT idea?). The first bar I ever walked into in Chicago, Bernies - right across from Wrigley Field is still in business. It's way different that the little neighborhood watering hole that it was in 1972 but Will - best man in our wedding in 88 - is still the big man behind the bar. Great to sit and talk with Will a little. There's still a Daley as mayor and still lots of politics. If there is ever a day with no real sports news you can always read up on the latest at city hall for some free entertainment. And best of all is spending oodles of time with my daughter Leah and her husband Jason. They have graciously allowed us to bunk with them during our stay and it has been really fun.

No big news out of Luperon. Enee is in good hands with the crew of Bellagio and hurricanes are still staying away.

So, like I've been saying - I love every place I am and miss every place I am not.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sailing Again. . .

Chicago Sailing

(click on the picture to see the entire album)

. . . in Lake Michigan! Yes we are actually up north for a bit and as such had a beautiful day on good old Lake Michigan aboard Muhaby, Brian and Deborah's Catalina 34. A perfect boat for Lake Michigan. We reached out and back in 10-15 knot winds and 1 foot waves. Nice. The Chicago skyline is as beautiful as ever. AND the Bears won!

So we are enjoying some days in our favorite city in the world, Chicago Il. and will be heading back to Enee later in October to resume our trip. Enee is safe and sound in Luperon. No tropical depressions on the horizon for now.