Quarterly Report #10

Ten quarters is two and a half years. Throw in the quarter where I blew off writing one of these, and I’m almost three years into writing this blog. My output last quarter was just under a post a day, and some of the posts I added weren’t more than a picture and a few words. But it’s clear to me I still enjoy doing this.

This quarter I quit drinking coffee, on the theory that I would sleep better at night if I cut back on the caffeine. And I also created an avenue for artistic expression with the teabag haiku thing that I do sometimes. I have fun with it, and that’s the best reason for doing it.

Last quarter I also didn’t eat at McDonald’s once, which is probably a good thing. I still overeat in other ways, and other fast food outlets may get a visit on occasion (darn you, Colonel Sanders) but on the whole this is a change that I’m glad to have made.

I also commented on some celebrity deaths last quarter, including Philip Seymour Hoffman and Harold Ramis. We all die eventually, and a classmate of mine from high school died very suddenly this month,too. I didn’t know her very well, but again it’s a reminder that we have to enjoy the time that we’re here.

And lastly, I contributed a few things to four other websites, so that cut into the things that I put here. But it’s all good, because taking a thought from my head and then sending it out to the world always feels great.

The next one of these will be in the heat of the summer. Until then….

On the radio


Today was a new experience for me. I spent the week brushing up on the rest of the National League’s Central division–since I could already talk about the Cubs in my sleep–and I went on the radio this morning to discuss the division with Steve Bortstein of Fox Sports radio in New Mexico. Thanks to the internet, I was able to listen to the interview after the fact, and can even present it here for anyone who wants to listen.

I enjoyed the experience, and will be happy to do more of it if the opportunity presents itself. Anything to share the game with those who are interested in it. And opening day is now less than a week away. I can’t wait for it to arrive.

Quarterly report #8

Wrigley and Pearl Jam--Awesome!

It’s now been over two years since I’ve been writing this blog. It’s been a time capsule of my life, and the more I do it, the more comfortable it becomes. As I sometimes do in this space, now’s a time to look back, and try to see what lies ahead, too.

I passed 1,000 posts here back in July, which I didn’t think would happen at one point. I had visions of going off and trying to work on a book of some sort, and maybe that will in the cards one day, but writing little posts like these and putting them online has an immediacy that writing a book wouldn’t have. So I keep devoting time and energy to this, because it does scratch some sort of an itch for me.

But I’ve also had writings appear in other places as well. I started writing a column at ThroughTheFenceBaseball, and I am very proud of the work I’ve done there over the past two seasons. The off-season hibernation will start soon, but I think there’s still a little bit more to say while the playoffs are going on.

I also started writing for FiveWideSports over the past couple of weeks, and I’m happy with the first few pieces I’ve sent them. As the college football season rolls on, I’ll keep writing about my Northwestern Wildcats. It will be nice to talk about a winner for a change.

I also had a piece appear on ChicagoSideSports, and saw my visions of a losing season on both sides of Chicago realized, in a way that I didn’t see coming. A run at the old record of 191 losses for both teams in a season would have been interesting, but breaking the record with 195 combined losses was more than I ever thought would happen. It was brutal.

I also wrote about the Pearl Jam concert at Wrigley Field back in July, including my first-ever appearance in Zisk magazine, which I really like a lot. I’m glad that they agreed to run my report on the concert.

I wrote lots of other pieces here, and I’m happy that I can take a small moment, or a trip to the ballpark, and put a few words about them here. And I plan to continue this into the future, as well. It’s too much fun to consider giving this up.

The next report will  be written during the bowl season, I hope. There will be lots of things to say between now and then, I’m sure.

A new outlet


I’m happy that FiveWideSports will be carrying some of my thoughts and writings, beginning with this piece that appeared on their site today. I’m still writing for ThroughTheFenceBaseball, and I have a piece appearing there today, as well. The writing is all Cubs and baseball-related, and a week from now their season will be done. Thankfully.

FiveWide is going to give me a chance to write about Northwestern Football and other sports-related things that interest me. I went into a winter’s hibernation of sorts at TTFB last year, and this new site will give me a chance to wander off the baseball subject from time to time. I doubt I’ll ever stray too far from it, though.

And then, as always, there’s this blog. That’s going to remain as my go-to for anything else that pops into my head and inspires me to write a few words. After almost 1100 posts over the course of two years plus, I’m pretty sure that well will continue flowing into the foreseeable future.

Another lost season


I wish that I had more productive creative muses than the Chicago Cubs. It’s such a draining and aggravating experience following this team. But baseball is my game and Chicago is my home and I  would rather eat my keyboard than become a White Sox fan. So here I am.

I ruminated again about how bad the Cubs have been this year on ThroughTheFenceBaseball. It’s like that old poem about gathering rosebuds: Bash your baseball team while ye may. Winter’s coming soon.

Link to a post on ThroughTheFenceBaseball


Yesterday brought a strange bit of baseball convergence, as the Atlanta Braves retired Chipper Jones’ number 10, while the Cincinnati Reds released Mark Prior. Ten years ago, in the first round of the National League playoffs, Prior got the better of Jones in game three, retiring him three times.But in the end, Chipper Jones is going to the Hall of Fame, while Mark Prior is struggling to make it back back to the majors.

I wrote this piece as a lamentation of sorts for the way it has been for Cubs fans since 2003. And I hope that one day these memories will be supplanted by something more celebratory. But for now, this is all I have.

Best of luck to Mark Prior as he moves on from here. I’d like to see him pitch again in the majors one day.

Link to a post on ThroughTheFenceBaseball


The Cubs had a bad April, and Edwin Jackson’s performance stands out because he hasn’t yet won a game. Theo Epstein’s first big free agent signing has yet to pay off, and I pointed this out in a piece now up at ThroughTheFenceBaseball.com.

I’m hoping for more positive things to write about as the year moves along–it now seems like the Cubs have a closer, at least–but we’ll have to see how it goes. It’s not looking too good at the moment, though.

Link to a post on ThroughTheFenceBaseball


I don’t have any intention of writing about all, or even very many, of the Cubs’ games this season. But if Opening Day doesn’t get the writing juices flowing, I’m not sure what else will.

I’m a baseball fan, and always will be. I write about the game for exactly that reason. It intrigues me, draws me in, and marks off the seasons like nothing else ever has.

Here’s the piece that I wrote about the Cubs and their Opening Day win in Pittsburgh. They lost tonight, but there will be months and months and months of games taking place, with new story lines developing every day. And I’ll probably write at least a few of them down, as the season unfolds.