Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

The season for that great American pastime, baseball, is well underway for the year. The reason I chose this day, April 9 to talk about baseball and post quotes about it, is that it is the anniversary of the Colorado Rockies first home game and first victory, 11-4 over the Montreal Expos. I have a sister who lived in Denver for a while and was a huge Rockies fan. So, Elaine, this is for you.

According to Wikipedia, the history of baseball in the United States can be traced to the 18th century, when amateurs played a baseball-like game by their own informal rules using improvised equipment. The popularity of the sport inspired the semipro national baseball clubs in the 1860s. The first team to play baseball under modern rules were the New York Knickerbockers. The first game under the new rules was played in 1846. The old story of Abner Doubleday inventing the game is, alas, likely no more than a myth.

Today baseball is a multimillion dollar sport, will millions of rabid fans. According to statistics from a year ago, the team with the lowest net worth was the Tampa Bay Rays, worth 625 million dollars. The average player’s salary was 4.25 million dollars. The average spending for a family of four at a major league game was $212. As someone not that into sports, I find these figures astounding.

I did enjoy minor league baseball in my youth, rooting for the Rochester Red Wings, my home town team. It was a way to spend quality time with my Dad, and to wheedle popcorn or peanuts or occasionally a hot dog from him. If I recall, we paid less than $3 for general seating at that time, and probably a buck extra for the hot dog. It was cheap family entertainment back then!

baseball-glove-bat

Anyway, here are some quotes about baseball.

Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal.–George Will

Some say our national pastime is baseball. Not me. It’s gossip.–Erma Bombeck

Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is.–Bob Feller

There are only two seasons – winter and Baseball.–Bill Veeck

Baseball is a game of race, creed, and color. The race is to first base. The creed is the rules of the game. The color? Well, the home team wears white uniforms, and the visiting team wears gray.–Joe Garagiola

In baseball you have individual responsibility, and if you fail it, you get an error. But at the same time, your focus is on the common goal of the team to win. This is part of what resonates with people about baseball. This is how they would like society to work.–Jed S. Rakoff

Ninety percent of this game is half mental.–Yogi Berra

A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz.–Humphrey Bogart

No matter how good you are, you’re going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you’re going to win one-third of your games. It’s the other third that makes the difference.–Tommy Lasorda

Baseball is an allegorical play about America, a poetic, complex, and subtle play of courage, fear, good luck, mistakes, patience about fate, and sober self-esteem.–Saul Steinberg

Play ball!

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at http://www.quotelady.com.

Happy Birthday, Internet!

Happy Birthday, Internet!

April 7, 1969 is considered to be the symbolic birth of the Internet. It is the day the first Request for Comments about the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), was published, outlining just how computers would talk to each other over a host to host network. The system originally consisted of only four IMPs (Interface Message Processors) the University of California at Los Angeles, the Augmentation Research Center at Stanford Research Institute (which would later become NIC, the Network Information Center), the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah’s Computer Science Department.

From this small beginning the Internet grew and developed until it’s hard for many of us to remember how we ever got along without it. It’s hard to imagine any business nowadays without a Web page, or communicating with distant friends or family without email or Skype or texting. We do research, keep in touch, do shopping, follow the news, create blogs – the Internet is pervasive in our lives.

For some reading this, you will not be able to remember a time without the Internet. For other older folks like me, you can remember not only before it existed, but the excitement of being able to access distant databases over a 300 baud modem. How far we have come! Without the Internet it would be much harder for me to keep in contact with my family across the country, or my friends who live all over the US and Europe and beyond – or to do this blog!

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Here are a few quotes about the Internet.

The Internet is the world’s largest library. It’s just that all the books are on the floor. ~John Allen Paulos

Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use the Internet and they won’t bother you for weeks. ~Author Unknown

We’ve heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true. ~Robert Wilensky

The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had. ~Eric Schmidt

First we thought the PC was a calculator. Then we found out how to turn numbers into letters with ASCII — and we thought it was a typewriter. Then we discovered graphics, and we thought it was a television. With the World Wide Web, we’ve realized it’s a brochure. ~Douglas Adams

The Internet is an important cultural phenomenon, but that doesn’t excuse its failure to comply with basic economic laws. The problem is that it was devised by a bunch of hippie anarchists. ~Thomas Nolle

The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow. Bill Gates

I think that the Internet – and I do love the free flow of ideas on the ‘Net – is like the wild west of the information world. Vince McMahon

As a source of innovation, an engine of our economy, and a forum for our political discourse, the Internet can only work if it’s a truly level playing field. Small businesses should have the same ability to reach customers as powerful corporations. A blogger should have the same ability to find an audience as a media conglomerate. Al Franken

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at http://www.quotelady.com.

National Deep Dish Pizza Day

National Deep Dish Pizza Day

Today, April 5 is National Deep Dish Pizza Day. Deep dish pizza is sometimes also called Chicago style pizza, as it seems to have originated in that city. Here’s what Wikipedia says about it: “Deep-dish pizza is baked in a round, steel pan that is more similar to a cake or pie pan than a typical pizza pan. The pan is oiled in order to allow for easy removal as well as to create a fried effect on the outside of the crust. In addition to ordinary wheat flour, the pizza dough may contain corn meal semolina, or food coloring, giving the crust a distinctly yellowish tone. The dough is pressed up onto the sides of the pan, forming a bowl for a very thick layer of toppings.”

Personally, I have never had a deep dish pizza, but I do love regular pizza, especially thin crust. Being a transplanted easterner now living on the west coast, I am fussy about my pizza. It can be very difficult to find really good pizza in the Pacific Northwest. I think it has to do with the sauce, which is somehow never as good out here. I am also a very traditional pizza eater, preferring pepperoni to anything else. In fact, one of the ways you can tell someone born in the Pacific Northwest is that they eat Hawaiian Pizza, which is topped with Canadian bacon and pineapple. (If you could see me, I am currently making the sign to ward off evil.)  🙂

Perhaps you never thought there might be quotes about pizza, but here are a few.

SnoppyPizza

I think of dieting, then I eat pizza.–Lara Stone

I’m an emotional eater. If something’s worth celebrating, we’re going to grab pizza. If it’s going bad, girl, pass me the chocolate. Gotta keep it in check!–Laurieann Gibson

Those pizzas I ate were for medicinal purposes.–Amy Neftzger

There’s no better feeling in the world than a warm pizza box on your lap.–Kevin James

And I don’t cook, either. Not as long as they still deliver pizza.–Tiger Woods

Pizza makes me think that anything is possible.–Henry Rollins

Ideas are like pizza dough, made to be tossed around.–Anna Quindlen

You can’t go wrong with pizza, unless it’s terrible pizza.–Andy Kindler

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at http://www.quotelady.com.

Virgil “Gus” Grissom

Virgil “Gus” Grissom

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Virgil Ivan “Gus” Grissom, one of the original NASA Project Mercury astronauts. He was a United States Air Force pilot was the second American to fly in space, and the first member of the NASA Astronaut Corps to fly in space twice. He was born in Mitchel, Indiana in 1926, and fought in both World War II and the Korean War. In April of 1959 he was accepted as one of the original seven Mercury astronauts. His first flight in July of 1961 was a sub-orbital that lasted 15 minutes and 37 seconds. His second flight in 1964 was with John Young as a two person team in a Gemini capsule. This flight made three revolutions of the Earth and lasted for 4 hours, 52 minutes and 31 seconds.

Of course the reason we remember his name today is the tragedy that struck him, Ed White and Roger Chaffee. During a test of the command module for Apollo 1, there was a fire, killing all three astronauts. I am old enough to remember that day and how sad it was.

As a bit of trivia, for those of you who remember older British television, Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirds characters were named after the original Mercury astronauts – Scott Carpenter, John Glenn, Virgil Grissom, Gordon Carpenter, and Alan Shepard.

Below are a couple of quotes by Grissom, and also by others about the wonders of space.

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The entirety of a speech given by Grissom to the employees of General Dynamics, builders of the Atlas rocket. “Do good work.”

If we die we want people to accept it. We are in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us, it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life. Our God-given curiosity will force us to go there ourselves because in the final analysis, only man can fully evaluate the moon in terms understandable to other men.–Gus Grissom

There is a clarity, a brilliance to space that simply doesn’t exist on earth, even on a cloudless summer’s day in the Rockies, and nowhere else can you realize so fully the majesty of our Earth and be so awed at the thought that it’s only one of untold thousands of planets.– Gus Grissom

Astronomy compels the soul to look upward, and leads us from this world to another.–Plato

Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would create new religions overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television.–Paul Hawkens.

To be able to rise from the earth; to be able, from a station in outer space, to see the relationship of the planet earth to other planets; to be able to contemplate the billions of factors in precise and beautiful combination that make human existence possible; to be able to dwell on an encounter of the human brain and spirit with the universe – all this enlarges the human horizon…–Norman Cousins

Forget scientists. The next space launch we should send up painters, poets and musicians. I’d be more interested in what they discover than anything that takes place in a test tube.–James Razoff

When I first looked back at the Earth, standing on the Moon, I cried.–Alan Shepard

Space isn’t remote at all. It’s only an hour’s drive away if your car could go straight upwards.–Sir Fred Hoyle

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at http://www.quotelady.com.

All Fools Day

All Fools Day

No one really knows where April Fool’s Day came from. Some think it was from Roman times, but there is only speculation about why this should be. Personally, I like this story best, even though it is made up by Joseph Boskin, a professor of history at Boston University. “He explained that the practice began during the reign of Constantine, when a group of court jesters and fools told the Roman emperor that they could do a better job of running the empire. Constantine, amused, allowed a jester named Kugel to be king for one day. Kugel passed an edict calling for absurdity on that day, and the custom became an annual event.” (from April Fools’ Day: Origin and History on infoplease)

It is now a time for practical jokes, but likely its origin was a bit more serious. In olden times, it was a jester’s job to use humor to keep things in perspective, and to call the leader on poor decisions. It was actually a dangerous job as anyone who stands up to a king is not likely to have a long life. In many ways, jesters were doing the same job as prophets in Jewish history, speaking for the common folks against the rulers.

I’m not going to play any pranks, but no fooling, here are some quotes on April Fool’s day and foolishness in general.

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April Fools Day is the one day of the year that people critically evaluate news articles before accepting them as true.–Rudro Chakrabarti

April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.–Mark Twain

The first of April, some do say
Is set apart for All Fool’s Day;
But why the people call it so
Nor I, nor they themselves, do know,
But on this day are people sent
On purpose for pure merriment.
–Poor Robin’s Almanac

I’m not denyin’ the women are foolish; God Almighty made ’em to match the men.–George Eliot

It’s better to be thought of as a fool and to surprise people once in a while than to be thought of as a brain and to let people down when they need you the most.–Julie Melanson

Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans: it’s lovely to be silly at the right moment.–Horace

We’re fools whether we dance of not, so we might as well dance.–Japanese proverb

The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.–Will Rogers

A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.–Roald Dahl

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at http://www.quotelady.com.