June 18, 2014

Random sports stuff

Today, a number of sports thoughts that are too long for Twitter and not important enough for Facebook.

  • I don't personally care for televised golf, NASCAR, or UFC. I also don't feel the need to tell fans of those sports that they are stupid hipsters or what have you. Not sure why so many people feel that need with regards to soccer.

  • As much as I enjoyed the USA win over Ghana on Monday, I have to say they were lucky. Ghana clearly looked the better team, and they dominated every stat except the one that counted. In particular, Ghana's defensive strategy was apparently "Run right at the guy with the ball and take it away from him," and it worked all too well. Apparently there's no fear of the attacker dribbling around the defender. I suspect Portugal and Germany will take note of this. So now after having won that game by a slim margin, the US has to play two teams who are by consensus better than Ghana. That'll be fun. But I appreciate that they at least have a chance.

  • "LeBron James, four straight finals appearances but only two championships; will this affect his legacy?" --actual sports radio guy earlier this week. Answer: NO, SHUT UP. It will only affect his legacy for twits like you who have decided that only championships are good enough, and that losing in the championship round is somehow more shameful than missing the playoffs entirely. He's a first-ballot hall of famer whose career isn't over yet. If I could guarantee NBA fans that their team would make four straight finals appearances and win two championships for $20 (don't pay, you takes your chances), I'd collect all the $20 bills in America. Anyone who thinks LBJ is some kind of failure is a friggin' moron.

  • To echo something I heard on SportsCenter the other day: Tim Duncan is everything we claim we want our athletes to be: smart, talented, hard working, humble, does great charity work, modest, selfless. Yet he's dismissed as boring by many. Funny how that works.

Posted by Carl at 10:32 AM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2014

Beach Week 2013 (catch-up trip report #2)

Once again, pretty much just quick notes for my own reference.

89th Street beach access
If Duck is the go-to beach in even-numbered years, that leaves the odd years to hit everywhere else. We hadn't been to the Jersey shore in quite a long time, so we headed back to Sea Isle City. We found a tiny, modest house that was absurdly close to the beach (in fact you could see the ocean from the front porch). We were at the south end of the island, which made things a little less crowded, and gave us access to Townsend's Inlet Park, which had more room for fishing, and a "guided beachcoming" tour one morning in which people who knew about such things explained where all the different shells came from. Yet again, I proved a terrible fisherman.

We enjoyed ourselves, but on the whole this trip made me appreciate Duck more. The Jersey shore tends to pack more houses into the space, so everything feels more cramped and crowded. I'm also sort of over the boardwalk thing (though the kids enjoyed it tremendously, which makes sense). I will still probably want to come back every so often for nostalgia's sake, but it's no longer a first-choice destination.

Activities: Gillian's Funland in SIC was kind of a bust; the amusement piers in Wildwood or Ocean City look much better. We spent an evening in OCNJ on the boardwalk and had a blast. Also, we spent way too much money in one SIC arcade and got a rainbow wig.

Dining: we had a raucous seafood meal on the dock at Mike's Seafood. Primo Hoagies in downtown SIC makes us wonder why we can't get good hoagies back home. The definite pizza winner was Denunzio's on the SIC Promenade.

On the way out of town we drove south through Avalon and Stone Harbor, which look worthy of more exploration (on a non-weekend day). We stopped in Wildwood, walked on the boradwalk briefly, and found the location of the former Alva Hotel (and an old-timer running a parking lot actually knew what I was talking about). We took the Cape May-Lewes Ferry home, which maybe didn't save us any time, but was a tremendous improvement over the drive across Delaware on the way up, much more relaxing and scenic.

Posted by Carl at 05:15 PM | Comments (0)

Beach Week 2012 (yes that's right 2012)

Duck/Corolla 2012
Welcome back to the blog no one reads! In gearing up for our annual summer beach trip in a few weeks, I figured out that I hadn't done a trip report for either 2012 or 2013. Fortunately, between photos and Foursquare, I'm able to piece things together. So as much as for my own reference as anything else, I'm throwing something up here.

In 2012 we returned to Duck, albeit later in the year than I would have liked. We booked the same house as in 2010, but the rental agency asked if we'd switch to the other side because the owner wanted the "good" half for that week. We obliged, and it was a bit smaller, but altogether fine. We still had our dock (which had been partially rebuilt following storm damage) and the view of the sound. As always, fishing and crabbing was enjoyable even if it didn't yield much in the way of results.

Duck/Corolla 2012
A highlight of this trip was a wild horse tour in Corolla. They loaded us into the back of an open truck (with seats, fortunately) and drove us around the "4x4 beaches," up past Corolla where there are no paved roads and the horsies roam free. Those beaches look enticing if one had the proper vehicle and truly wanted to get away (though I found it odd how many people stopped at the first place you could pull up, meaning that stretch of beach was about as crowded as anything else in the Outer Banks). If you have a house up there, particularly if you live there year-round, you're definitely making a statement to society.

Dining: mostly familiar places, which were fine--Fishbones, Wave Pizza, the requisite trips to Outer Banks Brewing Station and Duck Donuts. We tried out High Cotton BBQ in Kitty Hawk, right near the bridge, and discovered the girls really liked it. We spent some time at a shopping center in Corolla and ended up eating at Bad Bean Taqueria, which was fine aside from being insanely crowded.

Consensus from this trip is that Duck is our favorite beach, and we'll come here in even-numbered years.

Posted by Carl at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)