Kaufmak and the Commitments (Or my New Year Goals)

Couple of things I just wanted to dash off here.  The first thing is that if the stars align and I get off my butt and do some quick researc I plan on doing two, count them two, marathons this year.  I’d love to do more destination-type races but that is a bit on the expensive side, especially when one considers the cost of some of the races and/or the destinations.  For example, getting to New York isn’t so bad, but finding a hotel on marathon weekend is a pretty difficult trick and the cost of the marathon is very expensive, especially compared to most races.  Then there is a pretty cheap race like the Newport, Oregon Marathon, topping out at $105 for late registration but getting to Newport is a major expense.  So I’m staying pretty local, Cleveland in the spring and Chicago in the fall.  A small marathon might be fun one day, but anything under 2,000 entries and there is a distinct possibility I could finish last.  I know it isn’t about where I finish, but come on! Last? I really couldn’t take that shot to the ego.

The other exciting idea that I had came to me while cleaning the video game shelf.  I have a lot of video games, many of which I haven’t finished.  In most cases it wasn’t because I wasn’t enjoying myself, but I either couldn’t find the time to keep at it or another game took my interest or I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it.  In some cases the games just got too damn long as well (I’m looking at you Super Mario Galaxy 2!)  Anyway, I just bought Halo Reach to complete my Halo collection and I decided before I buy another game I’m going to finish all of the games that I haven’t finished yet.  A couple of caveats: First, I won’t be finishing Harry Potter Years 5-7 until my son has read all of the books.  Lego does too good a job of staying true to the story and keeping the game play interesting.  Second, I’m not a 100% kind of guy.  When I say finish a game I mean the major storyline; not every side mission, bonus level and expansion pack.  I do find some of that stuff fun (Batman: Arkham City Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood) but it can also be distracting or repetitive (Assassin’s Creed: Revelations.)  I have no order in mind for this, but I would like to complete it this year, 2013.  I should also confess that I’m not what I would consider a gamer, per se.  Yes, I play games and enjoy them but if we were to meet online in some of these games, hmmm, most of these games, you would totally kick my ass.  So like most insights and reviews that I post here and at the other blog, these are the words of, at best, a fan and at worst a dilettante.

One last thing: I’ve sort of resolved this year to blog more.  I would love to do two blogs here and two blogs at Sox and Stuff, but we’ll see.  If I could average two blogs a week between the two that would be amazeablog! Even so, from the White Sox, running, Game of Thrones, the annual Phish musings and now video games, I think I have a great base for material to make a go of it.  Wish me luck.

comicguy

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Phish at Alpine Valley Night Two. 7/1/12

I try not to get greedy going to Phish shows.  I can’t see my personal favorites every time out.  I need to be open to the whims and wishes of the band and the energy of the show.  When the lights go down, I’m just along for the ride.  If I had to pick my favorite jam vehicles they are Mike’s Song and Tweezer, especially when played in the second set.  I’ve seen both in the first set and they can be great, but it is pretty much a guarantee that the songs won’t go off into a transcendent direction.  It’s great when I’m on a Phish run and I catch both, but now that I tend to see two shows a year (maybe a third if I’m lucky) I can get zeroed out.  Usually I get one or the other at a very least.  Having said all of that as preface, I REALLY wanted to see a Tweezer on the second night of Alpine.  I believe I tweeted before the show, “would it be too much to ask for a Tweezer that melts my face off?” or words to that effect.  Alas, I didn’t get my Tweezer.  I didn’t get a Mike’s Song.  I hate to say it, but I was kind of disappointed.

It just wasn’t the strongest show, especially the second set.  What made the second set even more disappointing was the way the first set finished.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  The show started with a nice, easy Soul Shakedown Party, but then in a sign of things to come they went straight into Lonesome Cowboy Bill.  If you’ve been following along, the band has been resurrecting the songs from Loaded.  This is easily one of the weakest songs from the album and it had the feel of, “well we need to get this out of the way.”  The next four songs were good choices, including two personal favorites Gotta Jibboo and Dirt.  I like Jibboo in the second set, but it is still a fun song nonetheless.  I also like A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing and then we hit a bit of a lull.  Access Me/Meat/Frankenstein are about as far out of my favorite zone as you can get.  I tend to find Mike’s songs (not Mike’s Song, confusing I know) to be just…meh.  Well meh and weird.  Frankenstein is about the dullest cover the band does and Page coming out with a key-tar isn’t enough to make me want to hear it.  Then the set wrapped up with three just fantastic songs, Fee/Maze/Squirming Coil.  The Fee was particularly good.  It is a fun song when just played straight including perhaps my favorite Phish lyric, “have a cup of coffee and catch your breath.”  But after the song proper, a really melodic and spacy jam took place for about five minutes, just heavenly.  A nice tight Maze followed and then Squirming Coil.  Coil is about the perfect set closer.  I got to skip out during the lyrical part of the song and was back in plenty of time for Page’s outro solo.  As much as I like listening to Trey, over the last couple of years Page really seems to have settled in, taking ownership of certain songs and really bring more to the mix than he had previously.  After his wonderful solo to end set one I was ready for the second set to be magical. Not so much.

I think part of what got me a bit cranky about this show was my surroundings, namely the people surrounding me.  First there was a guy in front of me who would not shut up.  He talked pretty much throughout the show to anyone who made eye contact.  Unfortunately, I have an annoying habit of looking people in the eye.  He told me all about his job, places he lived and why Wisconsin, his home state is the best.  What was worse though was the constant talk about the set list, especially in the second set and how many songs he had predicted.  I’m not the biggest fan of Ghost but I knew if they played it, this guy was going to try and tell everyone he predicted it.  The minute the intro of the song started, I seriously considered leaving for the lawn.  The other folks that bugged me were the basic, faux hippie-type that give real hippies a bad name.  Really they weren’t even that hippie-ish except they were quite stoned.  Basically they mooched off of everyone in their immediate radius.  They bummed cigarettes from the guy (the talky guy, no less) in front; they took hits off the bowl from the people behind us and they asked me for sips of water throughout the second set.  The high point of my second set was when they decided to go chill on the lawn.

Besides the unwelcomed Ghost, I did like the selection we got for the most part, especially the beginning of the set.  The Crosseyed -> No Quarter pairing is excellent and I’ve really liked what the band has been doing with Light.  After Ghost, things pretty just petered out, really.  BOTT to Farmhouse to 46 Days didn’t really bring the energy up and the combination of Heavy Things and Joy pretty much killed any enthusiasm the crowd had.  I started making my way to the car during Julius and was glad to be driving before Meatstick finished.  Sorry, I just always saw that song as a gimmick and nothing has really dissuaded me from that idea.

As much as I hate to say it, Alpine Night Two for 2012 felt like the throw away of the 2012 tour.  It feels like we get a lot of those shows here in the Midwest, which is unfortunate.  Not always mind, but this show reminded me a lot of Toyota Park in 2009, another ok show, but it just didn’t have much going for it.  Unless you’re a completest you can skip this show.

Phish! Alpine Valley Night One June 30 2012.

I first came to Alpine Valley in 1996 for Phish’s first time at the historic venue. I hated it. The lawn was way too steep, the sound was pretty awful, and they triple parked us in the lot. It’s funny what 16 years can do.

I’ve got it pretty good now. I have a place to crash about 30 minutes away, a secret route to the venue, and almost always pavilion seats. On the rare occassion I don’t have pavilion seats the sound on the lawn has vastly improved over the last decade and a half. Not only that but I’ve been to almost every show Phish has played at Alpine so a certain nostalgia tinged with fondness (isn’t that all nostalgia?). I’ve come around on the place. It’s pretty much my Phishy home.

The first set was more of a rocker than anything else, starting with the bluesy My Soul, kind of a mellow start. The show kicked off proper with AC/DC Bag, but it didn’t deviate at all from the standard path. That is about the best way to describe the whole show really. At no point was I surprised, shocked or blown away by a totally new direction. It’s not to say it wasn’t good or that I didn’t like it; I did, really! I guess you could say I’m spoiled or that some of the shows I’ve seen have just been jaw dropping.* There was a lot of really tight playing which I’ve come to expect in 3.0 but that great exploration, the magic of the four or five song set has not really been around of late.

* Jaw-dropping Phish that I’ve attended? 11/16/94, 8/10/97, 8/11/97, 12/6/97, 8/14/2010 to name a few.

It was a pretty bluesy set all things considered.  The aforementioned My Soul, Bag has a bit of the blues and the Stones’ cover, Let it Loose for certain.  A Kill Devil Falls, Sloth and Ocelot really kept the theme with what has become the standard for Alpine a very solid Reba.  Yes, BTW, I did catch Page’s flub at the very end of Reba but I can’t say that it ruined the song.  To the anal retentive types out there, get over it.  A few personal favorites also peppered the set, Runaway Jim and Timber.  Timber especially is a favorite ever since an fantastic version I saw in Deer Creek, again kind of rekindling hopes of that great launch into an exploratory jam.  At a 6:53 running time, not so much.  The set wound up with a fun Oh Kee Pa ->Suzy and I was happy, if not satisfied.

Kind of a fun fact, I started writing this blog at the set break.  Other than the small keyboard, it wasn’t so bad and kind of fun.  I wasn’t in the most social of spots so I was pretty much left to my own devices to think and type, type and think.  The lights went down and I was pleased to hear Backwards Down the Number Line, kind of feeding into my already nostalgic mind set.  It is after all a song about old friends and birthdays and remembering when.  I thought for a moment Carini was going to take off but then it went to the arena rock anthem, Wilson.  If there was a true crescendo to the set, it was Golden Age->2001->Rock and Roll, 25 minutes of just pure beauty.

The rest of the set was solid, but not many personal favorites, or better said there were songs that I really like, but  much better versions out there.  I’m thinking specifically of Piper and Harry Hood.  When I first encountered Piper it was a slow building song to a simple joyous release.  Now they seem to rush the beginning and it’s become a weird Poor Heartish version of Hood.  Speaking of Hood this version is…ok.  I mean I love this song, it is one of my favorites, on the dream set list for sure, but this one doesn’t enter the pantheon of great Hoods.  The set ended with Character Zero, which is an encore song really, so my feeling when they wrap the set up with some like this the band is pretty much saying, “we’re done.”  I made for the car and I could hear Good Times Bad Times coming out.  As with almost every show I’ve been to since 1998, missing the encore means I’m not missing much.

My Sweet Obsession.

This is a blog about Phish.  If you have no interest in such things, I suggest you move on at this point.  Thank you. 

 

 

Ah, summer weather in Chicago and Phish tickets on sale in the same week, a great convergence causing me to think of summer shows and getting closer to the mini-milestone of fifty Phish shows in my concert going career.  I’m well aware that I compared to many Phishheads that isn’t a lot of shows, but I do what I can, when I can.  I’m amazed at how each year I look forward to many of the familiar aspects of going to shows; the drive to Alpine Valley, seeing what folks are doing in the parking lot, and chatting up my fellow fans as we wait patiently (or not so patiently) for the show to begin. 

It’s during these pre-show discussions that I have become a bit self-conscious.  Most of the time we talk about where we’ve come from (I’m always amazed at the amount of heads from Minnesota), where our seats are for the next show, what song we think is going to open the show and what songs we’d really like to see.  It’s this last point that makes me feel like such a dork (like being a Phish fan isn’t a golden ticket to the dork club. Shut up.)  Every time we talk about what we’d like to hear that night my compatriots mention great songs like Mike’s Song or Ghost or Tweezer and on and on about great, jam vehicle songs.  Don’t get me wrong, I want to hear those songs too, especially Mike’s, but if you get right down to it, I have a dirty little secret when it comes to the song I most want to hear.  It’s not one of the more poppy songs like Strange Design or Heavy Things.  It’s not one of the more obscure songs in the catalog that make an appearance every tour here and there like Fuck Your Face or Icculus.  It’s not even a song I particularly like.  No, the song I want to hear may very well be one of the lamest songs in the Phish cannon.  I want to hear My Sweet One.

 My Sweet One is a little bluegrass ditty that appears on the 1990 album, Lawn Boy.  It’s recorded running time is, by Phish standards, a paltry 2 minutes 08 seconds.  There is nothing spectacular or inventive about the song.  It doesn’t launch off into crazy exploratory jams when played live and I would venture to guess that most fans couldn’t care less if it were played at all.  Yet it has become my holy grail.  Since about my thirtieth show or so it has been, according to my personal Phish Stats, the most popular song not played in the amount of shows I’ve seen.  It’s not like many of the songs on my missing list, songs that have been pretty much retired by the band.  Songs like Take the A Train or Big Ball Jam.  Those songs haven’t been played since 1994 when the venues started getting larger and reaching the crowd became harder.  What’s even more frustrating is that they pretty much play it at least once every tour, yet it never finds its way to the few shows I get to each year.    

 I know to many, including many Phishheads this is just a silly concern, “Go to the show, have a good time, don’t think about your stats,” they say and for the most part I do.  Yet in the back of my mind I keep thinking, “come on…just one little song…just My Sweet One and I’ll feel much better.”  If it doesn’t happen in the first set I’m pretty certain that I’ve gone another show without seeing that damn song.  This has led to a couple of embarrassing moments, most recently at Toyota Park in 2009.  I thought when I heard Paul and Silas kick in that it was My Sweet One and of course cheered wildly.  It’ sad really that I would cheer wildly for Sweet One in any case, but the confused looks I got from the folks around me indicated that when my ship finally comes in I will be the only passenger.  I have noticed in recent tours that the band will play songs that fans make signs for like Funky Bitch or Ha Ha Ha.  But those are decidedly better songs than Sweet One (well Funky Bitch anyway) and again the sad fact that I care at all, let alone enough to make a sign for such a lame song is a bridge I just can’t cross…yet. 

 So I go into another tour, excited to see all of my favorites, hopeful to see some breakouts and some new stuff and wait to see a song that only matters to one person in the arena, me.  If you’re at Alpine Valley and My Sweet One gets played, look for the guy who is going a little too crazy for a pretty lame song.  That will be me, feel free to say hi and try not to show too much condescension. 

A thousand words about #phish by @JPosnanski (UIC Night 3.)

I was in Chicago to watch the band Phish perform the last of their three shows at the UIC Pavilion. I must admit that I’m not much of a music fan, except for Bruce Springsteen, which is what kind of led me to check these guys out. See, I love Bruce. Whatever Bruce puts his stamp on, I feel pretty confident that it is worth my time to check out, so after “The Boss” played three songs with Phish* at Bonaroo in 2009, I had an itch to go and see these guys, if for no other reason than to see why so many people seemed obsessed with them, the way I am with Bruce. What I found was shocking to say the least.

*For the love of god do not call them “The” Phish. Phishheads hate that. I’m not sure why exactly, but they really do.

I’ve seen Bruce a whole bunch of times. Each show was great, a little different each time, but enough of a familiarity with songs that I grew up with in Ohio that I can’t imagine going to a Bruce concert and not seeing at least most of those songs. I mean, come on, a Bruce show without Born to Run? Perish the thought. Anyway, as unique as each Bruce show was, that is nothing to what the fans of Phish expect, and it is an expectation wholly embraced by the band. They make it a point not to repeat songs, not too often anyway, so their fans can enjoy a different concert three nights in a row. What’s more is, even if you’ve seen Bathtub Gin ten times, it’s never played the exact same way twice. I’m not even sure how many times I’ve seen Thunder Road, but the guy next to me at the Phish show had seen the aforementioned Gin (that’s Phishhead shorthand) thirteen times and he felt that the one from 8/17/11 was below average, not bad mind you, but compared other versions, especially the 12/6/1997 version he had seen, it just wasn’t as good. Can you imagine? I’ve seen Badlands about 3 or 4 times, but I don’t know which version was my favorite. I even need to look at my ticket stubs to see which dates I saw Bruce. Even so, the guy (a pretty old guy, all things considered) was going to listen to the show later to really critique it, but he was sure that the Gin just wasn’t that great. I have to say, seeing how it was my first I thought it was pretty good.

This leads me to an amazing aspect of Phish: the stats. Oh how these people love their statistics. A set list is one thing, but these folks know what is rare and what has been overplayed. They look up to see how long it has been since a certain song was played, whether a song was new, and share that information immediately over Twitter. The only place where I’ve seen more smart phones being used at a live event is in the press box. These fans cover Phish like the best beat writers in the business. It had been 1,249 shows since Colonel Forbin opened a show 11/3/1989 was the last time that happened. Another song, Weigh, hadn’t been played since last year, a gap of 31 shows. In the second set the band played Sleep, which it hadn’t done in 105 shows, and on and on. If you go over to Phish.net or Phishstats, you can see a listing of every song, every time played. It is just mind boggling to think about. Consider: I saw the 306th playing of a song called “Tweezer” the 387th version of “Run Like an Antelope” and the 434th version of “Golgi Apparatus.” I don’t know why these numbers are so much fun, but I love it.

The other aspect of this concert that really spoke to me really got me where I lived, was its reference to the music of my youth. As many of you know, I grew up in the 1970s and that’s where most of my musical knowledge and appreciation stems. Believe it or not, I’m aware of other musicians besides Bruce and there is something about Phish that reminds me a lot of those bands back then. The trippy light show, the really long songs, even the beards that two of the members have all made me think of the first records I ever owned, things like Nazareth, Bad Company and Triumph.* When they launched into a cover of “No Quarter” I was transported back to my parents basement when songs about warriors and lands unknown meant something to me, I mean really meant something to me, like a bustle in my hedgerow. The other thing about the 1970s early 1980s and Phish that struck me was that it reminded me why I was never cool and am lucky to be doing the job I’m doing and have many fans, actual people who shout at me at airports. Phish played a song I only knew well after it was released, “Crosseyed and Painless” by the Talking Heads. Cool people knew about the Talking Heads, I was lucky to know Queen. See, that’s what musicians and artists do that I never did, they know cool music, cool movies and all of that stuff. I was just obsessive about Duane Kuiper. Throughout the set they kept on quoting “Crosseyed” and that was just a reminder that these guys really got into music much more than I ever got into anything.

* I’ll never understand why more people didn’t get into Triumph, I loved Triumph.

I’ll admit Phish wasn’t my thing. My friend Michael Schur, @kentremendous to all you twitter folks, executive producer of the best show on television, Parks and Recreation, actually laughed at me for going and asked if I was afraid of a random drug test. But I’m glad I went; it was something new, yet it reminded me of so many great old things that I can honestly say I enjoyed myself.

A Phish Concert. By Cormac McCarthy (UIC Night Two.)

He got off the train into the humid twilight. He was on the near west side of his city. The city he called home, the city that worked. No one was working now. The corners were patrolled by cops and vagrants alike, both had malice and disregard in their eyes. The old man made his way past them as quickly as he could. His feet ached from the night before, yet he returned to the pavilion for another night of music, dancing and darkness. He walked into the security line up and waited for his turn.

Raise you arms the guard said.

The old man did as he was told. The guard grabbed him, groped him and pushed him through to the next check point. His ticket was scanned by the blood red light and he entered the arena. It was a desperate place. A girl with vacant, dark eyes crept by asking for molly, acid, anything. She was so desperate she stole a sip from a passer-by’s beer. He slapped her, making her sprawl on the ground, still crying, begging for drugs. The old man walked away.

He slid his way on to the general admission floor. The old man was able to move up close to the stage, getting strange looks from the younger fans, knowing nods from the older ones. A boy in a dress was starting to cry, peaking too soon on the acid he took before the show. Others were drinking, two-fisted, on overpriced Fat Tire Beer and watered down margaritas. One girl with dirty dreadlocks that smelled like earth was vomiting. It took awhile but two guards came over and dragged her away. The old man sat down on the cold floor.

As it got later, the crush of bodies became more and more intense, eventually the old man had to stand or else he would have been crushed.

Pick the Opener? A young man with a beard said.
No, the old man said.

The next forty minutes seemed to last a life time. His feet already hurt. The smell of bodies was strong and the talk and laughter were too loud. The old man desperately wanted the lights to go down and the music start, so he could feel release and forget.

The darkness finally came and the band walked out to an enormous cheer. A blaze of lighters and cloud of smoke rose before one note was struck. The band seemed confused, befuddled by the signs and shouts for songs that they long ago forgot how to play. Then they started; Dinner and a Movie, a simple song from a simpler time. When they played Ha Ha Ha the old man almost felt like it was a joke about how his dating life went; dinner, a movie or show, then laughter, sometime wicked, sometimes pitying, always hurtful. The Chalkdust Torture fit the old man’s mood perfectly, rage, peak, and almost drove him mad. The younger fans were pleased by the choice of Mexican Cousin, but the old man was unmoved. He always found the song to be a cheap Jimmy Buffet knock-off and he’d be damned if he’d cheer for it now. Walls of the Cave did nothing for him. It is a fine song, and was well played but it did nothing for the old man.

The rest of the set was a run through memory for the old man. Runaway Jim and Foam were fast but the next swing in mood was after the stale comedy of I Didn’t Know. Ocelot and Ginseng were paired and mellowed the crowd and the old man. He decided to look back from the stage when the lights shined. All he saw was a sea of sunken eyes, slowly pulsating, desperate. All started moving in a rhythm to the Wedge and then chased the magic of Limb by Limb. The old man tried to dance like he did when he was young. It just made him feel broken tossed with the salad and baled with the hay. The Rolling Stones’ Let It Loose ended the set. Page Mcconnell sounded brilliant. His voice was soulful and almost made the old man weep as he thought of all the past shows, past loves, and past life.

The old man thought about leaving the floor to find a bathroom, but he decided to sit on the floor. People stumbled by him, drunk, stoned and vacant. Balloons fell next to him. No one felt the need to throw them without the music. The old man waited.

The second set opened with Mike Gordon pounding on his bass with fury. Distorted sound erupted and Down with Disease began. It has always been the old man’s favorite song. It often went to a dark place and it did not disappoint. The stage was bathed in red and the music was like a thunderstorm.

Harpua. Harpua, a fan yelled.

The old man slapped him across the mouth. Blood, spit and teeth spilled onto the floor.

Harpua is a myth.

The old man enjoyed Twist and Backwards Down the Number Line, but wished that both went further, deeper, darker. Theme From the Bottom had always been a break within the set for the old man, and he didn’t feel any different now. The cover songs, Golden Age and A Day in the Life were unexpected but welcomed. The Beatles were always welcome. You Enjoy Myself ended the set like it began, though not as dark. The vocal jam haunted the old man. The screams of the band made him think of a lifetime ago, when screaming mattered. When the band came out for the encore and played Heavy Things, the old man knew his time was up. He pushed toward the back of the arena and waited. Slave to the Traffic Light was another favorite, but the old man was already thinking of the real traffic lights, green, yellow and red. He moved closer to the exit. Rocky Top was never for him, though he liked the song. It was just sung for someone else. The old man left. He walked into the darkness, boarded the train. He thought about the concert and realized it was the forty-fifth time he had seen phish. Why?

Well, I Did Call it Lazy.

DON’T CALL IT A COME BACK! Ok, so it’s been awhile. What can I say? I’ve been busy. Nothing too crazy, but I’ve really put in an effort toward the dissertation and progress is slow, but there is definitely movement. It may not seem like much, but I think about the dissertation daily and have put in work almost every day for a month. I wish the amount of work that I’ve put in every day was enough to move the needle further, but as it goes it looks something like this: A huge chapter has been split in two, one of which is completely formatted and done. The other half of mega-chapter is almost done, but I’ll double back to that as soon as I am able. The World War II chapter is almost done, basically I’m bolstering my secondary sources and putting them into the chapter where appropriate. That process is much more tedious than I could have imagined, but it’s moving along. Finally, the last REAL chapter is on deck. My introduction and conclusion will need work, but I’m going with the advice give to a fellow advisee about the conclusion, short and to the point. All things considered, yes I hoped to be done sooner, but I swear I see the end. Of course I thought I would be done years sooner, but that is another story for another time, like never. Honestly, I can’t say I would change anything, the things that slowed my progress down anyway. I’ve been very active in my kids’ lives, I’m working at a job I truly enjoy and I’ve done a number of fun things that, on the balance of things were worthwhile and healthy. Anyway, it is going to happen.

Speaking of the job, probably the biggest surprise that I’ve encountered while working as an advisor is that I really like what I’m doing. I get to have interaction with students, help them, in a way teach them and best of all build relationships with them. The number isn’t great, but there are a few alumni who stay in touch, who I’m getting to see continue on and I feel, in a very, very small way that I helped them achieve their goals. It is a pretty good lot. If I could make one change, one addition, I’d be teaching at least one class a term. That would truly be the icing on an already pretty good cake.

Finally, I have been working on the blog, just behind the scenes. After the summer and the White Sox blogging, a break was inevitable I’m afraid. Having that deadline that impetus to writing something one a regular basis was great for output, but when it was all over I really wasn’t in the mood. Anyway, I feel like I owe my loyal dozen of committed readers a White Sox wrap up, which I kind of already started with my friend AJD. After that I’ve got something Phishy in the works, again something that I actually have been sorta kinda working on and finally before spring training and the turtle’s roar, I’ve got a really fun project for the White Sox again, enough to keep me going anyway.