Tuesday, August 07, 2007

MacGuyver's Archival Glossary: Exhibits

Definition -- A curious and rarely rewarding affair in which you are asked to do one of three things:

a) fill a large, inadequate space with few items, and to avoid too much text;

b) fill a tiny, inadequate space with many items, and to avoid not having enough text;

c) fill a hopeless space with a sad collection, where no amount of text will save you.

If your institution has none of these problems, you may continue to laugh derisively at the misfortunes of others. I know I do.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Baseball Geekery

Thanks to Brave Astronaut, who runs the Order from Chaos blog, my long-dormant interest in baseball trivia is being slowly reawakened. So to "celebrate," here's a small quiz for you to consider. The first question is a softball -- no pun intended -- and the second question asks you to identify a series of players. All players are pitchers, and to my knowledge all are still alive. No Googling! (Oh, and blame BA for this.)

1. This active -- and not grossly overpaid -- player has compiled a record 19 consecutive seasons with double-digit wins, and should hit twenty shortly. Who is he?

2. These eight pitchers managed to get over 200 career wins without ever winning 20 in a season. Identify each one:

a) I was the first to accomplish this "feat." I played 17 seasons, starting with the Orioles and ending with the Cubs. I came within a pitch of hurling a perfect game. I was also a bit of a pain to get along with during my career, and 25 years after retirement got into an on-air argument with the ump who "ruined" my perfect game. I'm also one of the few who struck out three batters on nine pitches in one inning, in 1971.

b) Before the '07 season started, I had the most wins of this bunch. I too started my career with the Orioles, and finished 23 years later as a reliever in Atlanta. I revived my flagging career in the '80s with a team that no longer exists.

c) My seventeen-year career (most of which occurred in and around La-La-Land) is probably best known for the off-the-field antics of my celebrity ex-wife, including our own well-publicized dust-up.

d) My nineteen-season career was pretty unremarkable until two incidents within the past two years (yes, I'm still pitching!). Hints: I told that camera guy to get out of my face and of course I never doctored that ball.

e) I pitched for 25 seasons, beginning as a quality finisher before a mid-career revival as a starter in the Lone Star State. If you don't knuckle under the pressure, you should guess my name.

f) Although I was a Cardinals draft pick in '67, I made my mark with two other traditional NL powers in the 80s and 90s, one of which finally beat their hated rivals in 1981. I ended my career playing for six teams in three seasons, and am currently an announcer for one of those "traditional powers."

g) I started my career in the early '70s as the second best pitcher on my team. Considering the "other guy" was maybe the best pitcher of his era, that was fine by me. I was a flame-throwing kid who hurt his arm and was reborn a junkballer, but still amassed nearly 3000 strikeouts in my career. I never did make it to the World Series, and retired in 1993 after pitching for both the Mets and Yankees that year.

h) I've had two 19-win and three 18-win seasons, so you could understand why I hate being on this list. But I'm still pitching, so there's hope, right? I'm the third member of this gang to begin his career with the Orioles, and currently am paid quite handsomely to pitch so-so ball. Based on the guys around me, I should have several Cy Youngs and World Series titles to my credit already, but I have neither.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Your Maine Summer Travel Guide

Yes, summer has been with us for over a month, and it's even stopped snowing here in Maine. But now that August is here, it's officially high travel season here in Stephenkinglevania. With that in mind, and as a one-year Maine resident with almost no credibility, I present to you a few travel tips to help you get the most out of your next trip to Maine.

1. Enough with the lobster jokes already. We've heard them all, believe me.

2. Bear in mind that, on any road, people will pull out in front of you regardless of how close you are to them. They will also swerve out of their lane and into yours to avoid something. Relax -- this does not mean they don't like you ... unless you're from out-of-state.

3. Mainers love their motorcycles, and the louder the better. So make sure that hotel room you're overpaying for doesn't face a road. Pony up that extra c-note for the waterfront view.

4. Don't drink the Moxie. Trust me. And avoid the red hot dogs.

5. On any day over 75 degrees, expect one in every five males you see on the sidewalk to have his shirt off. There is no correlation between, say, the desirability of seeing this and the person doing it.

6. You must visit L.L. Bean. It's the law.