Thursday, June 24, 2010

Travel - day #1

San Diego Airport – Thursday, June 24, 2010 – 6:00 a.m. Pacific time

The alarm went off at 4:00 am. No person should ever need to be up so early… at least not me. The airport shuttle arrived on time. No traffic and minimal hassle at security. For future reference, make sure you measure your carry-on luggage carefully. My bag was one inch over the limit and had to be checked - to the tune of $25.00. Thanks United Airlines.

Add the fact that after waiting in a long line I found that Starbucks was out of regular iced tea at 6:30 a.m. It’s been a little rough getting started. Oh well, things can only get better.
For some reason I can’t connect to the airport’s wi-fi…. So I’ll send this note later today.
Right now it’s off to Tampa via Denver! Almost there.

Denver Airport – Thursday, June 24, 2010 – 12:30 p.m. Mountain time

Got a beautiful view of the Grand Canyon and Rocky Mountains from above. There was even snow at the tops of many mountains. Hard to believe summer has arrived there yet.

Denver airport – We arrived 15 minutes early at gate 28 which gave me plenty of time to hoof it to my Tampa connection at gate 48… with an hour to spare. It was lunch time and my mind immediately went to one of my airport favorites – Auntie Anne’s pretzels. So I looked them up on the airport diagram and saw they were located – at gate 25! I was just there and didn’t think I had enough time to make the round trip. There was a cart nearby – the one that gives lifts to folks in need. Well, the driver saw that I was in need of a warm, juicy pretzel… so he offered to drive me there…. and back to the gate. Soon I was enjoying a delicious pretzel thanks to a great guy who has been driving carts at the Denver airport for the last ten years. Thanks for the lift!

We boarded the plane for Tampa on time and the cart pushed the plane away from the gate. But it soon became obvious we weren’t leaving anytime soon. The plane’s engines wouldn’t start and literally needed a jumpstart. The flight attendant explained that while the plane sat idle at the gate it used its available power for air conditioning, etc. And when it came time to start the engines there wasn’t enough juice left. I guess they brought in that pink bunny that plays the drums… because the engines were soon roaring and we set off to the skies. The flight attendant assured us that the engines wouldn’t shut down mid flight. Got to watch part of the movie “How to Slay Your Dragon” – I slept through the first part. (Had a lot of sleep to catch up on!)

Tampa Airport – Thursday, June 24, 2010 – 7:00 p.m. Eastern time

Stepped out of the Tampa airport terminal and the humidity enveloped me. Combined with the 90+ degree heat, it was as good reminder of why I moved from the East Coast to the west.
The shuttle to the hotel in St. Petersburg (3 miles from the stadium) took us across Tampa Bay. No signs of oil – yet.

After checking in to the Comfort Inn I ate a gourmet dinner of Hungry Howie’s pizza. You can’t beat a large pepperoni pizza for just $5.50! Ate half for dinner and put the other half in the fridge (high class room!) and saving it for breakfast tomorrow.

That wraps up day #1 of the tour. I travelled cross country with minimal inconvenience and am ready for a good night’s sleep. Goodnight all! -- end --

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers just confirmed with PFA. I'll throw out the first pitch at Comerica Park on Tuesday, August 10. Game starts at 7:05 p.m.

The Tigers rep writes, "We have a special 'Disability Awareness' group that is scheduled to be here on August 10, and we thought an appearance by you at that time would be very appropriate."

That brings the PFA tour to 11 stadiums across the country this season -- with 10 as yet unndecided.

FYI - I practice daily to try and perfect my pitching ability. I usually go to a neighborhood park and use the ballfield there. Or I have a tarp set up in my garage that serves as a target. Either way, my goal is 100+ pitches each day. So far, so good!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gone to the dogs

As mentioned in my previous post, I attended the Nationals vs. Padres game at Petco Park last Friday. That night they had a big celebrity -- a really big celebrity! -- throw out the first pitch.

The celebrity pitcher was escorted to the mound... took the ball in his mouth... sprinted toward home in full stride... then flipped the ball towards the plate. Quite a unique delivery.

A pitch for awareness? Not really. More like a pitch to promote his latest movie.

The star was a dog -- a really BIG dog -- the great dane who plays the lead character in the upcoming movie "Marmaduke".

Bet his training was ruff!