Thursday, June 8, 2023

Dayton Dragons

The Chef and I enjoyed an evening watching the Dayton Dragons as they defeated the West Michigan Whitecaps 3-2 thanks to a 3-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning off the sizzling bat of Blake Dunn.  It's been a while since we've seen a game at Day Air Ballpark and a couple of changes were much appreciated.  First, the 25' (that's a guess) high netting around the stands now wraps all the way around the field preventing 100+ mile-per-hour line drives from spoiling your evening.  The chances to grab a foul ball are fewer, but that's a good safety tradeoff.  Second, the addition of a pitch clock really sped up the game, with our game clocking in at 2 hours and 19 minutes.  That's much nicer than the games that would drag out to 3 hours or more.

The funniest (or just perhaps the stupidest) comment I overheard from a nearby fan was "Why do they call them the Whitecaps?"  Well, let's see. The name West Michigan places it near Lake Michigan where they are lots of big waves.  Need I say more?

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

National Radio Quiet Zone

There are two "Radio Quiet Zones" in the United States, the largest, the National Radio Quiet Zone (NRQZ), was created in 1958, and is located primarily in rural West Virginia and Virginia as shown on the map below.  The other, Table Mountain, is located twenty miles north of Boulder, Colorado.  If you're looking for a place to disconnect yourself from the world, these would make good choices as any source of radio transmissions is severely limited to allow for government surveillance and research.  That pretty much means no cellular service and the closer you get to the center of the facilities, the more restricted it gets.  For example, near the center of NRQZ, gasoline-powered cars are prohibited, as their spark plugs generate radio interference, so only diesel-powered engines are allowed.  Read more at the link below.

Another shout-out to my buddy Nick for this tip!

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Spring House Park

I took the picture below of the field that sits at the southwest corner of Patterson Road and Grange Hall Road.  Extending south to Shakertown Road, it is the City of Beavercreek’s newest, and largest, park at 148 acres.  After receiving hundreds of name suggestions, the Beavercreek City Council named it Spring House Park.  It's still in need of quite a bit of new funding, so it might take a few years before the site is fully developed.

This land holds a truckload of happy memories for me.  My mother's brother Bud, his wife Jessie, and their nine kids moved to a house on this property back around the time I was born and we all knew it as "The Otto Farm".  For decades they would hold a family picnic on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, and it never seemed to rain, regardless of the forecast.  It was a day full of volleyball and basketball games, picnic tables full of fried chicken, potato salad, and such, my uncle using his tractor to pull us through their fields on hayrides, and cracking open-pit fires complete with burning marshmallows and S'mores.  

After they passed, the house was destroyed for firefighter training and the chicken coup and barn were taken down.  The property has been vacant for at least 25 years with almost nothing remaining I can recognize.  The gravel path seen below was the driveway up to the house and the rest Mother Nature took care of in her usual way.  

I can't wait for the day I can walk again on this land and recall all those good times.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Father's Day Love

I can hear Rodney Dangerfield's famous quote, "I don't get no respect!" when I spotted this rack of Father's Day cards sitting at the back of our Meijer store next to shelves of children's toys.  I really hope this was just a temporary resting place for these, eventually taking its place and being displayed proudly somewhere in the front of the store.  

In case you need to know, this year Father's Day is Sunday, June 18.  

Friday, June 2, 2023

French Toast

A few weeks ago I blogged on the delicious Cinnamon Streusel bread we bought at Costco and then Chef Elaine used it to whip up the couple of pieces of French Toast shown below.  That took my favorite childhood breakfast into another dimension of flavor.  I have since eaten through the entire two loaves of bread and will try my damndest not to buy another 3 1/2 pounds of it until fall begins.  

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Baby Mallards

It's baby duck season at the pond at Lincoln Park Pond and watching this mommy with her band of ducklings made me wonder if she had all girls given their feathers were all the same shade of brown like hers.  Not so I learned.  Male mallards start out the same but as they mature they develop their signature green heads and colorful plumage, all geared to make them attractive to the females.  The females maintain brown and grey colored feathers which helps them hide from predators before and after they give birth.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Best Doggy Bag

The older I get the less likely it is that I can eat an entire entree as was the case with the chicken sandwich pictured below.  But unlike most restaurants that use a cheap styrofoam clamshell, Copper's Hawk's "doggy bag" is not only a steadier aluminum container but they so nicely write the date and what's inside on the top, making it way easier to find in our refrigerator, which at times looks like we must shop in the "leftovers aisle" at the grocery store. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Garage Weatherstripping

While I tend to overlook many things, the garage door seals in the left-hand picture below were just too cracked and discolored to escape even my lack of attention.  I bought three new 9-foot PVC weatherstripping pieces, cut them to size, and nailed them in place with 1 5/8" white panel nails spaced 8 to 9 inches apart.   The hard part of this small project was carrying the weatherstripping, which can best be described as "floppy".  Just one more little home improvement project completed.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Creamed Chipped Beef

Chef Elaine cooked up one of my childhood's favorite comfort food and added a fried egg on top to make it even better and chives to make it prettier.  Also known as SOS (S$$t On a Shingle), it's a roux made with flour and melted butter, to which warm milk is added, and finally, dried beef and cayenne pepper then served on toast.  The recipe at the link below will verify how simple this is.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Submarine House

The Chef and I decided to have lunch at the new Submarine House on Dorothy Lane and were quite surprised to see the full bar, twenty beer taps, and patio setup shown below.  We both remember the Submarine House as a simple sandwich shop but now realize that in addition to those smaller places, they have six "Sports Bars" in the Dayton area.  I counted twenty-one televisions inside and another pair outside.  Waiting for a warm day to sip a cold one on that patio!