Bill Simmons Post – SNL at 40‏, by Chuck Strom

Here’s a good Bill Simmons piece on the SNL 40 special:

http://grantland.com/hollywood-prospectus/ready-for-prime-time-the-giddy-brilliant-and-ok-somewhat-bloated-snl-40/

I actually managed to catch most of it last night, though I wasn’t even aware it was on until partway through. The one comment I would add is that Paul Simon’s appearance at the end was a little dispiriting. His voice sounded . . . → Read More: Bill Simmons Post – SNL at 40‏, by Chuck Strom

Prelude to A New Season: the SF Giants 2015 Fan Fest, by Chuck Strom

With the glow still fresh from the San Francisco Giants’ recent championship, there was no question that I would attend their Fan Fest last weekend. I took both of my daughters with me, and I looked forward to seeing its attractions and avoiding the autograph lines, having spent the previous two Fan Fests standing . . . → Read More: Prelude to A New Season: the SF Giants 2015 Fan Fest, by Chuck Strom

An Established Routine: The 2014 Giants World Series Trophy Tour, by Chuck Strom

2014 World Series Trophy

The triumphs of ancient Rome were something of a victory parade on steroids. Usually celebrated after a major conquest, they were long processions that included captives on display and soldiers of the victorious army marching and singing salacious songs at their leader’s expense. In the midst of the procession, the . . . → Read More: An Established Routine: The 2014 Giants World Series Trophy Tour, by Chuck Strom

Monticello: Thomas Jefferson’s Mountaintop, by Chuck Strom

If I could choose any stone to have over my grave, my pick would be Thomas Jefferson’s. His is an obelisk, and his epitaph reads as follows:

HERE WAS BURIEDTHOMAS JEFFERSONAUTHOR OF THEDECLARATIONOFAMERICAN INDEPENDENCEOF THESTATUTE OF VIRGINIAFORRELIGIOUS FREEDOMAND FATHER OF THEUNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

This is as noteworthy for what it leaves out as . . . → Read More: Monticello: Thomas Jefferson’s Mountaintop, by Chuck Strom

A Free Man In An Unfree Society, by Chuck Strom

Church of The Holy Cross, Stateburg

The town of Stateburg, South Carolina, looks ordinary at first glance. It is just north of Highway 76 about halfway between Interstate 95 and the state capital, Columbia, and most travelers would not think to stop there without prior knowledge of the place. Like many small towns on . . . → Read More: A Free Man In An Unfree Society, by Chuck Strom

The Imitation Game: It’s Not Always Good to Be Ahead of Your Time, by Chuck Strom

Last Friday I saw The Imitation Game, the recent movie about British mathematician Alan Turing and the breaking of the German Enigma codes during World War II. It has been out for a while, but it was released only recently in my part of the world. It was panned a bit in The New . . . → Read More: The Imitation Game: It’s Not Always Good to Be Ahead of Your Time, by Chuck Strom

Had Them All The Way – Giants Win Game 7, By Chuck Strom

Concrete Baseballs

Middle relief pitching is perhaps the least glamorous position in all of sports. Those who make a career of it rarely win lucrative contracts, at least by major league standards, but they can be as crucial to success as anyone else on a baseball team, particularly in October. No one has demonstrated . . . → Read More: Had Them All The Way – Giants Win Game 7, By Chuck Strom

The Series Moves to San Francisco: Some Observations, by Chuck Strom

Concrete Baseballs

Today is a travel day, and after two games the teams look as evenly matched as I had anticipated. This seems a good time to don my manager’s hat and make some observations.

Madison Bumgarner is the most dominant pitcher still throwing in October. Especially if he faces Royals pitcher James Shields . . . → Read More: The Series Moves to San Francisco: Some Observations, by Chuck Strom

The Even-Numbered Magic Continues: Notes on the 2014 World Series, by Chuck Strom

Ryan Vogelsong

It has been fashionable among San Francisco Giants fans, myself included, to talk about the magic of even-numbered years, as if deep playoff runs were somehow ordained by the ones digit of the annual Christian calendar. Up to now, I had not taken the idea seriously even while repeating it, but with . . . → Read More: The Even-Numbered Magic Continues: Notes on the 2014 World Series, by Chuck Strom

Time Again For October Baseball, by Chuck Strom

National Anthem

When I grew up, the prospect of seeing the San Francisco Giants play in October seemed outside the scope of reality. In 1971, at the tail end of the Mays-McCovey era, they lost the National League Championship Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates in four games. I was eight years old at the . . . → Read More: Time Again For October Baseball, by Chuck Strom

Great Piece in Grantland

Charles Pierce is one of the best sportswriters in the business today. He was at PNC Park last night, and he is also right on the money on the NFL.

– Chuck Strom

http://grantland.com/the-triangle/baseball-playoffs-mlb-roger-goodells/

The Temple of NASCAR, by Chuck Strom

Earnhardt’s #3

When I tell people that I visited the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC, they often say, “I didn’t know you were a fan.” Sometimes, they ask why I went there at all. Part of their skepticism, perhaps, comes from knowing that I don’t follow NASCAR, and I usually care little . . . → Read More: The Temple of NASCAR, by Chuck Strom

The Biggest House in America, by Chuck Strom

Biltmore Front View

If you like HGTV or just can’t get enough of seeing how other people live, the Biltmore Estate is an essential place to include in your lifetime travels. Completed in 1895 by George Washington Vanderbilt II near Asheville NC, it has 250 rooms and 178,926 square feet of floor space. It . . . → Read More: The Biggest House in America, by Chuck Strom

A Triple A Baseball Team, A Major League Ballpark, by Chuck Strom

Charlotte, NC has the triple-A baseball farm team for the Chicago White Sox, the Charlotte Knights. This year they opened BB&T Ballpark, and it was one of the priority items on my list to visit on my tour of the East Coast. Rather than explain too much, I will let my pictures speak for . . . → Read More: A Triple A Baseball Team, A Major League Ballpark, by Chuck Strom

Six Hours In Charleston, by Chuck Strom

Prioleau House

This summer, my brother Roger and I spent six hours in Charleston, SC as part of a two-week vacation on the East Coast. Having scheduled visits to the Civil War battlefields of Gettysburg and Antietam, it seemed right to squeeze in a tour of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor where the conflict . . . → Read More: Six Hours In Charleston, by Chuck Strom

A Visit With Frank, by Chuck Strom

A few weeks ago I happened to be in Palm Springs, CA with a couple of spare hours, so I paid Frank Sinatra a visit. For those unfamiliar with his life, he made Palm Springs his permanent home in the 1950s, so far as it was possible for someone whose career required a nomadic . . . → Read More: A Visit With Frank, by Chuck Strom

Another Year, Another No-No, by Chuck Strom

Tim Lincecum on Opening Day

For those of you who don’t follow baseball, I am happy to report that San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum pitched his second career no-hitter against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday. At 112 pitches and only one base-runner allowed, this no-hitter was a model of decorum compared to . . . → Read More: Another Year, Another No-No, by Chuck Strom

Heroes and Comics Night at AT&T Park, By Chuck Strom

Stan Lee is 91 Years Young

Just over a week ago was Heroes and Comics Night at AT&T Park. The highlight of the evening’s pregame festivities was the appearance of Stan Lee, creator of Spiderman and most of the rest of the superheroes of Marvel Comics. Ninety-one years young, he came out to the . . . → Read More: Heroes and Comics Night at AT&T Park, By Chuck Strom

Happy Birthday at the Ballpark, by Chuck Strom

Madison Bumgarner

My daughter Jillian turned 16 just over a week ago. The day coincided with the San Francisco Giants’ first Orange Friday game of 2014, complete with a fireworks show afterward, so we naturally decided to go to AT&T Park to celebrate. The Giants had started the season reasonably well, winning six of . . . → Read More: Happy Birthday at the Ballpark, by Chuck Strom

San Francisco Giants Fan Fest 2014: Success This Time, and Worth the Wait, by Chuck Strom

At the O’Doul Gate

At the 2013 San Francisco Giants Fan Fest at AT&T Park, I waited the entire day on the field for an autograph, left empty-handed and resolved never to do that again. This year, I had my daughter Jillian with me and didn’t want her to endure such a frustrating and . . . → Read More: San Francisco Giants Fan Fest 2014: Success This Time, and Worth the Wait, by Chuck Strom