Facebook Really Wants to Know about the New Person in the Photos

I uploaded a pic from our day hike to Facebook and it immediately recognized Kate in the picture. But it wasn’t so sure about the new little person. Facebook wants to know: who is this?

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A Day Hike at Ralph Stover State Park, Along Tinicum Creek

With my yearly dividend check from REI, I purchased AMC’s Best Day Hikes Near Philadelphia: Four-season Guide to 50 of the Best Trails in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Kate and I flipped through it and thought today would be a fine day to introduce the baby to Ralph Stover State Park in Bucks County.

The creek is dammed up to produce Lake Nockamixon. The flow from the dam procedes through north eastern Bucks County before emptying into the Delaware River. But, just a few miles west of that confluence, lies a gem of a park. The creek forms a gorge and warm water fishery that Ralph Stover State Park encompasses.

The park provides opportunities for rock climbing, fishing, and picnicing. There are a number of trails, including a path to a vista with excellent views of the gorge that are, rather surprisingly, accessible even with a baby stroller. All in all, this was a good time.

Slideshow of all photos.

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Favorite Photos of Grandfather and Baby

A lot of pictures have been taken over the course of Lucy’s nearly 7 weeks of life. And of all the photos taken, these are my two favorite pictures of grandfather and baby.

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A Sleepy Saturday Morning with Lucy and Mr. Bee

Momma is out getting a mani/pedi with Aunt Anny – cashing in her Mother’s Day present. That leaves Little Baby Lucy Rose, daddy, and The Amazing Mr. Bee, the orange talking cat. We’re just listening to some music and snoozin’ together.

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Philadelphia, Numbers, Baby, and Baseball

Lucy was born on a day Roy Halladay pitched. I was feeling pretty confident going into the operating room that day. I figured, hey, Halladay is pitching this afternoon – what could possibly go wrong? (I figured the worst case scenario was that I miss I no-hitter.) As we all know, it turned out well and my daughter was born on 4/7 and weighed 7/4. Get it? 4/7 and 7/4? And what would a discussion about baseball, superstition and numerology be without adding 4 and 7 (or 7 and 4) and getting 11? What about the number 11? Well, the Phillies won 11-0 that day, on 4/7 and the baby weighed 7/4. The stars were indeed aligned, one might say. Plainly obvious, right?

On her first day home she and I spent the afternoon on the couch snoozing, watching the Phillies. Unfortunately, it was Joe Blanton, the Joker Ace, on the mound. So snooze we did (out of self defense). As you can tell, she and I are all about baseball together already.

Well, here we are at 5 weeks and change and tonight Lucy made it to her first professional baseball game at Cambell’s Field, where we saw the Camden Riversharks play the Somerton Patriots, of Bridgewater, NJ. Kate and I have been fans of minor/independent professional baseball for some time and Lucy was introduced to it tonight.

What’s not to love about minor league baseball (MiLB)? Cheap tickets, cheap parking, a family-friendly atmosphere – and if you hand someone a $5 bill for a hot dog and a soda, you get back change. At the risk of sounding totally cliched, it is baseball as it outta be.

I’ve seen MLB in three stadiums in my life — Vet Statdium and CBP (Phillies), and where ever it was that the Seattle Mariners were playing in 1997. As far as MiLB, I’ve been to see the Reading Phillies (AA), the Lancaster Barnstormers (Atlantic League), and the Camden Riversharks (Atlantic League). Kate and I would love to expand the list of MiLB parks we’ve been to, hopefully this summer. The amazing thing is, besides having a MLB team with the best record in baseball stationed in Philly, there are numerous professional baseball teams within 1-3ish hours or so of center city. I was talking to Kate about this and I think I rattled off 10 right off the top of my head.

I’ve had a little time to do some research, and I’ve compiled a list of local professional baseball teams. If you are from the Philly area and like baseball, there are a lot worse ways to kill a Sunday afternoon than spending the day at a minor league ball park.

We’re thinking the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies – AAA) might be next on our list. What do you think?

NJ

Camden Riversharks – Camden, NJ (Atlantic League)

Trenton Thunder – Trenton, NJ (AA – NY Yankees)

Somerset Patriots – Bridgewater, NJ (Atlantic League)

Newark Bears – Newark, NJ (CANAM)

Lakewood Blue Claws – Lakewood, NJ (A – Phillies)

NY

Brooklyn Cyclones – Brooklyn, NY (A – NY Mets)

Hudson Valley Renegades – Fishkill, NY (A – TB Rays)

Long Island Ducks – Islip, NY (Atlantic League)

Rockland Boulders - Pomona, NY (Atlantic League)

Staten Island Yankees – Staten Island, NY (A – Yankees)

DE

Wilmington Blue Rocks – Wilmington, NJ (A – KC Royals)

PA

Harrisburg Senators – Harrisburg, PA (AA- Washington Nationals)

Altoona Curve – Altoona, PA (AA – Pittsburgh Pirates)

State College Spikes – State College, PA (A – Pittsburg Pirates)

York Revolution – York, PA (Atlantic League)

Reading Phillies – Reading, PA (AA – Phillies)

Lancaster Barnstomers – Lancaster, PA (Atlantic League)

Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs – Allentown, PA (AAA – Phillies)

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees – Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA (AAA – NY Yankees)

Williamsport Crosscutters – Williamsport, PA (A – Phillies)

MD

Southern Maryland Blue Crabs – Waldorf, MD (Atlantic League)

Aberdeen Ironbirds – Aberdeen, MD (A – Baltimore Orioles)

Bowie Baysox – Bowie, MD (AA – Baltimore Orioles)

Delmarva Shorebirds – Salisbury, MD (A – Baltimore Orioles)

Frederick Keys – Frederick, MD (A – Baltimore Orioles)

Hagerstown Suns – Hagerstown, MD (A – Washington Nationals)

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More Old-Timey Baseball at the Smith Civil War Memorial

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Lucy Rose Kelly Hertzog

Lucy Rose Kelly Hertzog was born on April 7, 2011, at 1:51pm, weighing 7lbs and 4ozs. She measured 18.5 inches long.

Too many words, so a few pictures.

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Baby Buritto

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Opening Day of Trout Season, Along the Wissahickon

Wissahickon Creek forms one of the major water sheds of Philadelphia. Rising in Montgomery County near Pottsville, it runs about 23 miles, passing through Philadelphia before emptying into the Schuylkill River at the south/east end of Manayunk. Like many other features in the area, the name of the creek comes from the Lenape language, and means “catfish creek” or “stream of yellowish color”.

 Wissahickon Creek: Trout Season

Much of the creek now runs through or near parkland, with the last few miles running through a deep gorge. The area can be quite picturesque and has been a source of inspiration for artists for a dozen or more generations. Today, the gorge is part of the Fairmount Park system. The Wissahickon Valley is known as one of 600 National Natural Landmarks of the United States.

I picked up my buddy in Roxborough, drove a few blocks, parked the car, and followed a trail down to the creek at the bottom of a hill that started in a dense urban area. The first spot we got to was essetially a text-book area of “where to catch trout a few days after stocking”. It was a nice, wide, deep pool of slow moving water with a riffle on either end. We got there at just about 8am, when the season technically starts, and found the this spot already surrounded on all sides by eager anglers in waders.

I was pretty excited for my first non-ice fishing experience of the season with a new ultra-light rod I bought that was appropriate for our pursuit this day. Before I could finish getting a swivel and a lure on my line, my fishing buddy immediately landed three nice trout and dropped a 4th before being able to unhook it and release it himself. The crowd assembled, looking like serious pros in their waders and such, were probably a bit taken aback by the newcomer on the scene. I got my line in the water, but unfortunately, given the crowd, ended up in a spot I would not have chosen myself. On pretty much any other day, one has their choice of locations along this creek, but opening day draws large numbers, like anywhere else.

The bite turned off for my friend as quickly as it turned on. And, in my location, without the aid of waders, I was skunked for the first hour, but I didn’t really care. I took the opportunity to take in the quiet and the fresh, cold air that is still lingering late in the region. It is hard to get frustrated when surrounded by the natural beauty of the Wissahickon Gorge.

As the morning advanced, and the first few lucky souls started to aquire their limits, some space opened up and we found a much more clear area a few dozen yards down the creek. I did a little climbing over some rocks and through some brush and quickly homesteaded an area along the creek with a clear shot to a good 20 yards of open space on both of my sides. While I had what might have been a brief opportunity to fish in a lane wider than a two yards or so, I concentrated on a slowly moving pool of water in front of me, throwing a rooster tail about a dozen times into the water. While doing so, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a submerged tree trunk off to my right and decided to target the sides of it, in case any fish were resting who might have been avoiding the riffle flowing by the far bank.

I cast out to the end of the trunk and slowly reeled the line back in along the side of the felled tree, let the lure drop towards the bottom, then reeled again. On this, the first cast along the tree trunk, I felt a tug. And then the line went taunt and the movement of it took on a motion independent of my reeling or the movement of the water.

Fish on!

 

Last season, the action started slowly in the spring for me. It was a great feeling to reel something in a few hours into my first outing of 2011, especially since this was the first opening day I’ve been to since I was a kid. Hopefully, this first day’s luck is an indication of my luck for the rest of the year!

Trout, Wissahickon Creek

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Athletic Baseball Club of Philadelphia vs. Elkton Eclipse

I dropped by a make-shift 19th century baseball field in Fairmount Park on Sunday to catch my first game put on by the Mid-Atlantic Vintage Baseball League, a contest between the Athletic Baseball Club of Philadelphia and the Elkton Eclipse of Maryland. The league uses rules that were in effect in 1864, and equipment and uniforms to match the era. The league boasts 17 affiliates in PA, MD, NJ, and NY, with two Sunday games per month during baseball season. These fellows might not get paid much, but they certainly put in an effort and put on a great demonstration of how baseball was when it was confined mostly to sandlots and public parks. Upcoming matches are on April 24 and May 2.

 

(PHL) Athletics slugger slams the ball
Elkton Eclipse await next some swings
Pitcher chats with umpire
Umpire watches the action

[slideshow of all images]

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