Tuesday, June 30, 2009

RIP - Tiger Stadium

Urban Planning alert!

This is one of my pet peeves. Not only because I think that more than any other sport, Baseball is enhanced by the qualities of a historic venue but also because I can't stand to see waste.

Tiger stadium, in Detroit, was home to the Tigers baseball club for eons, at least until the new luxury suite packed Comerica Park was built 10 or so years ago. Since then, Tiger Stadium has been on shaky ground as Detroit city leaders and historic preservationists squabble with what to do with the empty park.
Cold winter day in Michigan, and Tiger Stadium, aka "The Corners", awaits its fate.

Spring day, and still no news... Ideas run the gamut from the typical Detroit philosophy of, "just leave the blasted thing there to rot, we don't have the cash to do much else", to "why not preserve the infield seats and the playing surface itself, and use it as a municipal ballpark, with maybe a museum space or..."

In the meantime, the interior of the ballpark is gutted and sold at auction to souvenir seekers and baseball fans around the world. Even the seats...
Red and blue folding back seats all but gone, the interior is strangely colorless, but for the playing surface, which still looks like it could have a go at a game with just a bit of chalk.

The decision is finally made...throw the conservationists a bone, and give them an insurmountable fundraising objective to meet, and the park may live on as a municipal facility with reduced capacity, much in the mold of the original Navin Field. The outfield bleachers and scoreboard are removed first.
Sure is nice to fly the colors one more time over the park, but shouldn't that flag be at half mast?
Not quite as homey as Navin, but certainly more financially manageable to the city, the fully encircled park is reduced to the infield configuration as proposed...now all that's needed is the cash.

But of course, the cash would never come. This is Detroit after all, and cash for projects like this doesn't come easy...just ask the folks who want to save the Detroit Yacht Club. Regardless, in any city when a ball club moves on, the facility left behind is generally doomed. That's not really a bad thing if the facility is poorly conceived in the first place, like the late Veteran's Stadium, or the soon to be nuked former home of the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Stadium. It is a heart breaker when the lost park is one with so much history.

Ebbets Field in 1960, Shibe Park in 1976, Comiskey Park in 1991, ...now Tiger Stadium, and soon, Yankee Stadium. What's next? Fenway Park? They tried that already and all of Boston almost had a stroke.
Wrigley Field?
Luxury suites aren't everything, owners. All because ownership of a team with a modern park makes 100 million a year, and all you make in your shabby little Wrigley Field is 80 million, doesn't mean you should strip your city of the value of 'Place'. The difference between 100 million and 80 million in profit isn't 20 million...it's greed.
There's a bicycle tie-in here too...this thread spells out what's in my head to all of you who have no idea what I'm talking about when I buy a 20 year old steel bicycle frame on eBay, and explains why I scoff at the carbon fiber wonder-bikes so prevalent today. When I ride, I want to feel a warmth from down in my gut that I can only get from a lasting machine with undeniable quality and strength. When I buy a bike, when I buy a car, when I buy a home, when I buy a pair of pants or even shoes, I'm looking for that warmth. I'm looking for 'Place'.
*pictures from Wikipedia


Dwarfs of the world, unite!

Monday, June 29, 2009


Downtown Jacksonville - June 26, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

1990 GT Team Avalanche

Picked up this little guy on the ol' fleabay. 1990 Team Avalanche. Tange Prestige Concept tubing, Prestige fork, GT stem, all painted to match in a very early 1990s splatter paint scheme so prevalent in bike styles and graphics of the day. Frame came with a Deore XT U-brake also, along with the GT seat post clamp and the appropriate cable routing doo-dads for the u-brake. I think I'm going to build this sucker with period Deore XT stuff, including thumb shifters. And then...I'm actually going to use it on the trails! Should be a hoot...until all my friends get pissed off waiting for me even more than usual!

How I got it...

NOS Deore XT headset installed, and cleaned up. I'm going to spend some time resetting some of the peeling decals and get it ready for buildup next. Also give the old beast a good wax job.

Ready to go! Old School is a term tossed around too much today...but I think it really fits here. I feel like I'm walking around the sales floor of University Bicycle Center back in North Tampa whenever I see it in the shop!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tsali - May, 2005

The road to, and the biggest dead bug in the universe!

Ubiquitous Truck-in-picturesque-spot pic.

Benchmark!...same rules as "Punchbug"!

Entering 2005...12 years old, The Utes does a lot of this. He's a good man.

Now thasa fire!

Knees bad? Play Frisbee!

Nothing wrong with your knees? Play Frisbee!


Matt has a new friend! See what happens when you play with the junk, kids?

Fire, sweaters, eating, booze. Check, check, check, and check!

Matt and Brett.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tsali - October, 2002

Prepping the feets for a cold trip.

Hardwood floors in the old apartment needed work.

Actually, fire up the wrecking ball...the whole PLACE needed work!

Utah is set for the drive, and all aboard are ready for the luxury of a tent after life in the s#%$@-box apartment!

After the drive, a tasty meal. We were the first ones to the site, and Kristen and Utes held down the fort while I went for fire-wood and some refreshments.

Refreshments! The "Wall of Shame" begins!


The motor home!


NOC still has green leaves in spite of the cold temperatures.

Kristen and I spent a day at the Fontana Dam...part of the TVA system.


The water was low.

"Take the picture already!"

"Hold on a sec fellas...I just need to completely rebuild my drive train before we go..."

"This piece is supposed to be in there, Gary" Says Paul...Gary pulls on his goat in deep thought.

Ready to Ride!

Utah has little fish heads on his noggin, like bunny ears!

Killer Whale head on this side. One of the toys from the PiƱata that one of the crew had brought for drunken entertainment.

Inflatable hands.

The Halloween Peep slaughter begins.

Progress on the Wall of Shame. We got too pickled to take anymore pictures of it after this one.

Tent Warmer

Under his blankie.

Nantahala Village for breakfast.

After the NOC menu went to hell, this is the place to eat.

Damn fine grub!

The drive out on 19. I had twisted my ankle badly on the last ride of the weekend and driving was not a comfy experience.

A stop by Vogel State Park on the way home...