Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Vacation Recap: You Can Stop Hating Me Now

Wow, now that’s what I call ‘resting up!’  Still, I’m glad I took another day (Wednesday) to get my shit together before starting my 2-day work week.

As you saw from the last two posts, I obviously got into town OK, save for the minor annoyances of fellow air travelers.  The folks picked me up and we went directly out to breakfast.  Upon returning, I unpacked and we set about setting about.  The weather was beautiful, and the Weather Stick was in its full, upright, “Glad to See You” position. 

We spent the night doing what we always do on my first night there… sitting on the porch, drinking the good stuff, and yapping like magpies about everything that’s happened to anybody, since our last visit.

Friday, the weather was much poopier, with clouds and threats of rain all day.

The Weather Stick is looking unhappy.

Friday afternoon, we went out to lunch, then on to visit the Pensacola Pier.  It’s always good to go for a walk after a big lunch.  Of course at my parents’ pace, it was more like a nice mosey. 
 As usually happens when we go there, I found some interesting things to photograph.
Mr. Blue Heron was working on his own fish sandwich.

Then there was this guy, who was wondering where the heron got the catfish.

The rains had really kicked up the waves in the Gulf, so there was a crowd of surfers having at it, just off the pier.  This is how you know you’re in Florida…

…Even the surfers are in the AARP.  I think that’s George W. Bush.  I guess he's tired of painting.

That looks like a screen cap from the first part of a Viagra commercial.

There are a lot of pelicans that fly around the beach, and they always crack me up.  They remind me of a squad of bad ass bikers cruising around.

In my head, I hear the old “Peter Gunn Theme.”  (And I apologize for the ancient reference.)

We returned home for a few hours to monitor the weather and pour a couple of pre-game drinks.

 As you can see from all those pier pictures, that it was pretty gloomy out.  We had spent the day worrying whether the rain would affect our trip to see the Pensacola Blue Wahoos baseball game, but after much examination of the weather maps, it appeared the storms would stay to the west until long after game time.

The last time I was there, we had a time-consuming mix-up at the snack stand, wherein I had requested “The Big Wahoo,” aka the biggest hot dog in the lands.  Instead (after 20 minutes of waiting) I was given some kind of fish sandwich, which was far inferior to the massive Pittsburgh fish sandwiches, to which I am accustomed.

This time around, I went to one of the satellite food stands, and finally acquired my prey.

Behold The Big Wahoo!

If someone could splice the DNA from The Big Wahoo with a Weather Stick, you’d probably get arrested for putting one up in Florida.  But I’ll tell you this… as hot dogs go, it was pretty damned good.

We had nice seats… second row, between third base and the LF wall.  They were almost exactly where we sat last year, only one section closer to the infield.  We were right behind the visitors’ bullpen area, which wasn’t so much “bullpen,” as it was “little pitching area squeezed into foul territory.”
 She must be the Southern League equivalent of “Annie” from Bull Durham.

While the Chattanooga Lookouts were warming up, their centerfielder airmailed a ball that sailed about 3 rows over our heads, whizzing by a guy’s ear and landed in an empty seat between two other dudes.  I guess that’s where their name, the “Lookouts” comes from.
Oddly enough, it wasn’t the guy with the rubber arm there.

The player was very apologetic, and came over to toss the “ear-buzzed” guy another ball.  (And this time, not at 85 mph.)

Once the game began, this was our view:
They announced it was a sellout, but I think a few people might not have shown up.  Or maybe they were all at the concession stand, waiting for a Big Wahoo that never arrives.

You have to love minor league ball.  The security is so lax, anyone can get run on the field.

You can see the grounds crew, rounding up the juvenile delinquents, for a mass tasing.

Actually, that was part of a promotion for a pest control company.  A guy in a bug costume came running across the outfield, being chased by every kid in the park.  I was only able to get my camera out and shoot in time to catch the very tail end of the spectacle.  But trust me, there were about 100 kids out there, chasing some poor guy who must be seriously reconsidering his career choices.

We ended up leaving the game around the 5th inning.  The ballgame was directly opposite the Penguins/Rangers playoff game, so we really wanted to get back and see that, even though we were getting cellphone report from the Pittsburgher who sat next to Dad. (They’re everywhere. You can't throw a dead catfish without hitting someone from The Burgh.) 

We probably should have just stayed for the baseball game, as the Pens went down in flames.  It was obviously because I wasn’t dressed for hockey mojo, so I was confident the Pens would rebound for Sunday’s game, when I would be wearing the correct jersey.  (Cue the ominous foreshadowing music…)

Saturday was kind of gloomy too, so we mostly stayed in all day.  I worked on fixing some things on my parents’ computers, like installing a new print cartridge, and finding some files my mom “lost.”

Seven seconds later, I was done for the day, and went on to start drinking beer, and awaiting Dad’s grilled steaks.  (Picture of which was in the preceding post.)

But seriously, it went just like this:

Dad: I spent 20 minutes trying to get this bastard in.  Here’s the cartridge.

Bluz: {Flick… Snap.} Done.

Dad: Fuck.

I’ll bring the back end of my fascinating adventures in the next post… The March of the Vacation Reptiles.


Deb K said...

I think your parents need to find more things to do when you get there to earn your board and keep. That is all. Not that I am jealous or bitter in the least.

bluzdude said...

This is reward for being a problem-free child.

Anonymous said...

I guessing the sturffer dude really does not need viagra. Exercise really does cure everything.

bluzdude said...

I'm guessing "sturffer" is a cross between a surfer and a Stoffer's Frozen Dinner.

Ettible said...

The Weather Stick makes me feel uneasy. There. I said it.

The blue heron is amazing, though. You won me back with that.

bluzdude said...

You want to talk "uneasy," you should have seen that heron spearing the catfish on the end of his bill, right after that shot. Catfish was already dead, but it was still unnerving.

Anonymous said...

Stud plus surfer equal sturfer...
Awesome heron picture...they might be your totem bird....this one signals an unexpected
Fishing trip.
Be Well good man!

Jessica R said...

That blue heron picture is amazing. Wow! And that creepy rubber arm man...

So sad we won't be making it to Florida this year. I'm just living vicariously through your posts. So thanks for that.

bluzdude said...

Glad to help!

I had a whole series with the blue heron. He was really working that catfish over, finally stabbing it with his beak and walking around with it, before flying off to eat it on the beach.