Phillies Save My Sunday

I never thought I’d say this during football season, but thank God for the Phillies. They saved what could have been an utterly dismal Sunday in Philly after the Eagles’ pathetic performance (more on them later). The Phils rebounded nicely from a poor effort last night to close out the series. Blanton delivered a stellar pitching performance and the offense (courtesy of Burrell and Rollins) finally showed signs of life. The Dodgers will be tough, but if the Phillies continue to get the pitching they got in this series, they will have a great shot. The offense still needs to pick it up more, though. Going into this game they had scored in just 3 of their 25 at-bats. Today they scored in three innings, so hopefully that is a sign of better things to come, though we still need to see more out of Utley and Howard if the Phillies hope to go deep. But today is a day of celebration. Tomorrow we can start thinking about the NLCS. Go Phils!!!

On to the Eagles. Obviously, they are not as good as I thought they were. They were looking good after jumping out to a 14-0 lead, but then they just fell apart. The great run defense suddenly imploded—of course it doesn’t help when the inept offense is keeping you on the field all game—but 203 yards rushing is just abysmal. Reid looks lost on the sidelines. Case in point: as if hearing the complaints from last week’s failure to throw the red flag, today he decided to blow a timeout on a useless challenge that wasn’t even close. On top of that, pass-happy-Reid has suddenly become Mr. Smashmouth at the goal line, as the Eagles were once again stymied from in close on consecutive running plays. Has Reid lost all confidence in McNabb’s ability to make something happen? Besides taking it out of his hands at the goal line, he almost never went downfield today against a vulnerable Washington secondary. Everything was in close: screens, quick hitters, etc.

One more thing, to the Redskins: it must be nice to have a reliable kicker. I remember when the Eagles used to have one. Obviously, 50 yards is no chip shot, but Akers has only hit one field goal outside of 40 yards all year. It’s looking eerily similar to last year when he went 2 for 10 on field goals longer than 40 yards. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming Akers for this loss, everyone deserves a share of the credit, but his output over the last two years is unacceptable.

At this rate it’s beginning to look like another long season: they are two games behind the third place team in the division, they’re 0-2 in the division, and 1-3 in the conference. It would take a huge winning streak to even get back into this thing, and I just don’t know if they have it in them. They should at worst be 4-1, but dumb mistakes and missed opportunities have cost them dearly. However, we can talk woulda, coulda, shoulda all we want, but at some point, you are what you are, and right now: the Eagles are a mediocre football team, and their record reflects it.

Writer, traveler, photographer, hiker, film/TV addict, amateur chef, casual gamer, and occasional tennis & saxophone player . . . in real life I do web design.

Posted in Baseball, Sports

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Devils Tower, Wyoming - August, 2017

Another prairie dog shot, this one in the iconic standing pose. Not as sharp as I would have liked, but not too bad for handheld at a 250 mm focal length.

#animals #devilstower #nationalmonuments #NorthAmerica #Photography #prairiedogs #roadtrips #Travel #UnitedStates #wildlife #Wyoming Devils Tower, Wyoming - August, 2017

There is a giant field beneath Devils Tower that is entirely covered with prairie dogs. I was so mesmerized by the little critters with their cute screeching noises that I almost forgot I was there to visit the tower.

#animals #devilstower #nationalmonuments #NorthAmerica #Photography #prairiedogs #roadtrips #Travel #UnitedStates #wildlife #Wyoming Devils Tower, Wyoming - August, 2017

This shot only features the top of Devils Tower, but I liked the variety of colors in the landscape.

#DevilsTower #Wyoming #NationalMonuments #travel #buttes #landscapes #photography #UnitedStates #NorthAmerica #RoadTrips #hiking #colors Devils Tower, Wyoming - August, 2017

A closeup shot of climbers scaling Devils Tower.

Pretty soon, climbing will no longer be necessary because, according to a sign I saw at the site, they are apparently installing an elevator to the top. Although it would be neat to see the top of the tower, I think it’s unfortunate that they are going to ruin its appearance with an elevator apparatus. I’m glad that I was able to see Devils Tower in all its natural glory before this happens.

#buttes #devilstower #hiking #nationalmonuments #NorthAmerica
#Photography  #roadtrips #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming #climbing Devils Tower, Wyoming - August, 2017

A view of Devils Tower from my hike around the base. This is the opposite side of the tower from the shot I posted yesterday. The black dots in the sky are birds.

#DevilsTower #Wyoming #NationalMonuments #travel #buttes #landscapes #photography #UnitedStates #NorthAmerica #RoadTrips #hiking Devils Tower, Wyoming - August, 2017

A lifelong dream sparked by 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' was finally realized when I visited Devils Tower last August--40 years (and many plates of sculpted mashed potatoes) after I first saw the tower on film. I had no idea as I hiked around Devils Tower that just two days later there would be a 40th anniversary screening of the film at the tower itself. Just missed it!

#DevilsTower #Wyoming #NationalMonuments #CloseEncounters #travel
#buttes #landscapes #photography #UnitedStates #NorthAmerica
#RoadTrips Deadwood, South Dakota - August, 2017

I chose to stay in Deadwood during my three nights in South Dakota because I was a huge fan of the HBO show and have always been fascinated with the Wild West. I thought it would be cool to walk in the footsteps of Deadwood’s famous residents.

The drive in to town was interesting, as I steadily climbed the Black Hills while passing “Bighorn Sheep Crossing” signs. I only had time to explore the main strip because I spent most of my visit taking day trips out of town, so it’s not really fair to render a judgment without having taken the time to fully check out everything Deadwood had to offer. Still, I found it to be kind of a disappointment, mostly just your average casino town, which isn’t really my cup of tea.

Nevertheless, I saw several points of interest during my walks around town, such as the spots where Wild Bill was shot and where his assassin was caught, the Bullock Hotel that was built by Seth Bullock after the events of the show, and a few establishments named after notable people and places such as Charlie Utter and the Gem Theater. The recreated “gunfights” in the middle of town were also neat.

#deadwood #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #SouthDakota #Travel #UnitedStates #wildwest #historictowns #blackhills #oldwest Mount Rushmore, South Dakota - September, 2017

This is a zoomed-in view of Mount Rushmore from a lookout point a couple of miles away on Iron Mountain Road, a scenic mountain drive that I highly recommend taking before heading to the monument. If you go south to north, you will drive through a tunnel that perfectly frames Mount Rushmore; makes for a memorable photo. This shot may not look like a panorama due to its more squarish shape, but it was stitched together from two different photos.

#IronMountainRoad #MountRushmore #nationalmonuments #NorthAmerica
#panoramas #Photography #roadtrips #Scenic #SouthDakota #Travel
#UnitedStates #mountains Portland, Oregon - August, 2017

The view from my apartment during my stay in Portland last summer.

#NorthAmerica #Oregon #panoramas #Photography #Portland #Travel #UnitedStates Yellowstone National Park - August, 2017

Yellowstone Lake, the largest freshwater lake above 7,000 feet in North America.

#yellowstonelake #nationalparks #NorthAmerica #panoramas #Photography #roadtrips #Scenic #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming
#YellowstoneNationalPark #yellowstone #lakes #water Yellowstone National Park - August, 2017

The Grand Prismatic Spring, one of Yellowstone's most stunning features, is the largest hot spring in the United States, and the third largest in the world. It's difficult for a ground-level photo to do it justice, but if you climb the hill visible in the background of this shot, you can get a nice bird's-eye view of its beauty.

#GrandPrismaticSpring #nationalparks #NorthAmerica #panoramas #Photography #roadtrips #Scenic #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming
#YellowstoneNationalPark #yellowstone #hotsprings #MidwayGeyserBasin Yellowstone National Park - August, 2017

Vertical panorama of the Dragon's Mouth Spring in the Mud Volcano area of Yellowstone. Pictures don't do justice to this remarkable thermal feature, but you can see how it got its name as smoke appears to shoot out of a gaping mouth.

#dragonsmouthspring #nationalparks #NorthAmerica #panoramas
#Photography #roadtrips #Scenic #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming
#YellowstoneNationalPark #yellowstone #hotsprings Yellowstone National Park - August, 2017

This is a portion of Hayden Valley featuring rolling hills. Hayden Valley is one of the two prime locations for spotting wildlife in the park (the other being Lamar Valley), and one of the most popular destinations in the entire park.

#nationalparks #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #Scenic #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming #YellowstoneNationalPark #haydenvalley #panoramas #hills Yellowstone National Park - August, 2017

This is Lamar Valley, one of the two prime locations for spotting wildlife in the park. The other is Hayden Valley. I saw wildlife in both locations, though Hayden Valley had much more.

#nationalparks #NorthAmerica #Photography #roadtrips #Scenic #Travel #UnitedStates #Wyoming #YellowstoneNationalPark #lamarvalley #panoramas
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