The Massacre in Lancaster

The following is a guest blog written by Brother X:

Brother X_Earl

You’ve heard of the Thrilla in Manila and the Rumble in the Jungle on May 16th you can see the Massacre in Lancaster.  A BATtle of brothers not seen since Cain and Abel will take place. Earl the Pearl Paulson (the local favorite) will challenge infamous sibling Donald “Duckie” Paulson (better known to blog readers as Brother X.) to a baseball hitting contest at Clipper Magazine Stadium in down town Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Readers are invited to see these two sexagenarians swing it out. It may turn into the disaster in Lancaster.  Here is the tale of the tape:
Earl.                                Bro X
66          Age                    64
5’11”    Height                5’6″
28″         Reach                26″
Hips   Major ailment     Cataract’s

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Tourist Traps

Kinky BootsKathleen_Earl_Vera_Linda

Another month, another trip to New York. It seems I do more things in New York since I moved out than I did when I lived there. Last night, I went to a Broadway show, Kinky Boots. I never used to go to Broadway shows, unless somebody had an extra ticket that they were giving away. I’ve gone to a few off Broadway shows since I moved to Lancaster, but now, going to a real Broadway show, I’ve finally stamped myself as an official tourist.

At least I’m not planning visits to the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty any time soon. And I haven’t ridden the double-decker sightseeing bus, yet, or taken a Hansom cab ride. When that happens, I’ll really be considered a tourist. I just bought a Smart Phone, and now I have to make sure I resist the urge to take selfies at New York landmarks, like Radio City, bagel shops, and pizza places.

Like usual, I’ve got a lot of things planned for this visit. On Friday, I’m going to see The Mavericks at Town Hall with Maria. This is the third time we’re going to see them. How many more times before I’m labeled a groupie?

Tonight, I went out to dinner with people I worked with at Cyber Medical back in the 1990’s. We laughed so much tonight, it was just like it used to be when we were all working together. No wonder that company went out of business.

In addition to seeing Kinky Boot this week, I also plan to see a lot of cowboy boots, too. I’m going to a Country Western Dance on Saturday. I don’t dance much anymore, but the main purpose of this visit, like all my visits, is to see old friends, and I have plenty of old Country friends and some are still willing to risk injury to their toes by letting me waltz them around the dance floor another time.

On Sunday, I’m going to dig even deeper into my past. I’m going to visit with one of my best friends from when I was a kid in South Ozone Park, Tommy Powers. I was Tommy’s Best Man when he married Lydia 40 years ago, but I’ve only seen them a few times since then. So that should be a real blast from the past, especially since my ex-wife Ginny will be there. I haven’t seen her since 1991. That reminds me of an old Woody Allen line. In his stand-up routine, he said, “I saw my ex-wife the other day but I didn’t recognize her without her hand out.”

Of course, I’m only joking. I would never say anything bad about my ex. She still has lawyers on speed dial.

Well, I hope the next 4 days are as much fun as the last 2 have been. Now, though, it’s time to go to bed. This city may never sleep, but I need my 8 hours. I’ve got a lot of New York to see tomorrow. One thing I’ve learned, though. New York may have thousands of famous touristy things to see, but it’s the people that live there, who make me keep coming back.

Peace & Love, and all of the above,

Earl

 

The Play is the thing

Chantal Sutherland - 21

I bought so many tickets to 2015 Lancaster Barnstormers games that I get to throw out the first pitch at one of their games and take batting practice with the team at another. I love the way that Lancaster makes me feel like a big fish in a small pond. This is a great opportunity for me. The only problem is that I suck at both pitching and hitting. Plus, I will probably be standing in front of a few thousand Barnstormer fans, and some friends, and I want to do well, but I don’t have any experience. I only played Cub Scout Softball as a kid. I never actually played hardball. So, I need a lot of practice.

 

It’s winter, and there is snow outside. So, I set up a little infield in my kitchen, and I pitch into a spring-loaded net in the laundry room that sometimes bounces the ball right back to me. They don’t all bounce right back to me, though, and sometimes even when they do, I miss them. So, I keep a big bag of tennis balls on “the pitcher’s mound” and I keep pitching until all the tennis balls are gone. Then I go around looking for them. Rarely do I find them all, so I wind up buying more every so often.

 

In an unsolicited testimonial, I have to say that those Penn brand tennis balls are worth the extra cost. They bounce well. The ones from the Dollar store, don’t bounce worth a damn. They always scoot under my glove. I no longer have the cat like reflexes of my youth, so I now require tennis balls with the most bounce.

 

I also bought a Hit-a-way thingee to let me practice my batting, but that has to be set-up outdoors, so I can’t use it until spring. I managed to jury rig a set-up that lets me swing at a stuffed sock hanging from the ceiling, though. I’ll hit that thing about 100 times a day – 50 right handed, and 50 left handed. It probably sounds like I’m beating a rug to death. I wonder what the neighbors above me think. I’ll be glad when spring gets here and I can take this “batting cage” outside. I figure that not having to worry about accidentally letting go of a bat and sending it through the television screen should really open up my swing a good bit.

 

The rotating of my hips while swinging the bat, is actually helping my arthritic hip regain a little more range of motion. It dawned on me, while pitching in a “virtual close game,” that playing is actually the best thing I can do to achieve better health.

 

I recently read a book called Play by Stewart Brown, M.D. He stressed the crucial importance of playing for both children and adults. It’s good to know that I am finally ahead of my times in something.

 

Peace and Love, and all of the above,

Earl