Thursday, September 29, 2005

5 Hours Or Less: Cooperstown, NY

I consider myself a passing baseball fan. In season, I occasionally check out the standings or the box scores. I enjoy going to Paw-Sox games every once in a while too. That being said, a trip to the Baseball Hall-Of-Fame makes for an extremely enjoyable weekend trip. Even if you had no interest in baseball, I am sure you could find something to do.

The car ride there (and back) is straightforward and quick. From southern RI, we took I-295 to Rt. 146 to I-90. A short jump on I-88 to Rt. 20 takes you to Rt. 80 and a straight ride into Cooperstown.

Once you get away from Worcester, the scenery improves as the hills start to rise out of the western horizon.

Our choice of season couldn’t have worked out better. We opted to take the day off on Friday so we headed out early. This gave us two nice crisp nights and two bright sunny days.

My wife and I were the first to arrive. We still had an hour or two until we could check in to our B&B. As such, we decided to stop at the Farmer’s Museum on the way into town. It seemed like it might be a good time killer. It wasn’t. It took all of 30 seconds before we realized it was $11 per person to see someone’s old barn.

On our way back out the door, my wife stopped to look through the tourist brochures. One of the things she picked up was a brochure for the Fly Creek Cider Mill. Apparently, this little gem is the last of nine mills in the Cooperstown area. The peaceful and serene atmosphere was worth the trip.

We must have spent $3.00 in quarters feeding the ducks and chickens. We had any imaginable apple-based product available. All in all, we had a great time at the mill.

We met up with the rest of the family and worked out where we were going to eat dinner and called it an early night.

Early the next morning we got up, ate breakfast and headed for the Hall-Of-Fame. Actually, as a point of clarification, Cooperstown is home to the Baseball Hall-Of-Fame, Museum and Library. We headed into the museum and took a look around. Its amazing how short a time baseball has existed. The museum is arranged in chronological order and has some memorabilia of the greatest players in baseball history.

It was interesting to see the sport evolve. The little facts of the sport are most entertaining. Apparently, it used to be considered an out if you caught the ball on the first bounce. Also, currently, it is against players to fraternize with players from the other team. That same rule also prohibits players from being in the stands while in uniform.

We moved through the museum in about 3.5 hours. I’m sure a huge baseball fan would be able to spend a very long time in there, but for the average attendee, half a day would be sufficient to see the museum. At that point, we had just enough time to go through the Hall-Of-Fame before lunch. I don’t know what I was expecting to see in the Hall. In reality, though, the Hall is just that… a hall. It consists of a long narrow room with plaques mounted on the wall for each player. I think an accurate analogy is that the Hall-Of-Fame is an really inefficient (room sized) book of notable people in baseball. I almost think it would be cooler if they had some sort of register of all professional players that ever played the sport with some notes or stats or a signature from each one.

All in all, it was a great weekend. We skipped the library and did a bit of overpriced baseball-related shopping. We ordered in for pizza and watched ‘A League of Their Own’ on TV. There was plenty of other stuff in the area that sounded like fun. We just didn’t really have the time. Fortunately, this is only a five hour drive (or less).

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Movie News: It feels like someone hit me on the head with a wrench

Oh my frikkin god! I just found out something that completely blew my mind out of commission today. (That’s pretty bad considering that its only 9:00. Anyway, here it is…

They are making a ‘Three Stooges’ movie!

By “they” I mean the (in)famous Farrelly Brothers. Yes, those champions of comedy who brought us ‘Dumb & Dumber’ and ‘There’s Something About Mary.’

Ok… Try to focus your thoughts… Breathe… Breathe… Ok.

Now, I don’t really know what to think about this. Generally, I like the Farrelly Brothers comedy style. I don’t particularly like their casting choices, but that is a different issue. The biggest thing that is screaming in my brain is the question, “Why?” Why would they make a movie that couldn’t possibly succeed?

I feel confident making that statement for a couple of reasons. First, there will be the purists who refuse to even accept Shemp, Joe or Curly-Joe as true stooges. These people will surely be the loudest critics.

Then, there are the people who have never watched The Stooges. This may be due to the fact that they were born after 1970. It may also be due to the fact that Vaudeville-style slapstick humor went out long before 1970.

Finally, there are the people who just don’t understand Stooge comedy. These people have seen several episodes. They may even have chuckled a few times at a slap or a poke. When it finally comes down to it, though, they just don’t get it.

With all that opposition, the only people you will have left who want to see this movie will be single white males, aged 30-50. So, to summarize, the Farrelly Brothers are make a movie for all those sad lonely guys who eat alone in their apartments with all the lights out watching TV and playing computer games. On a plus note, the DVD sales/rentals will be through the roof.