Monday, July 11, 2011

Post vacation ramblings

Good morning, one and all.  Back from a little more than a week's vacation and have a few items to share.

My first comments will be about the visit just concluded by our daughter and her family.  I just want to go on record as saying that our grandchildren are growing up far too fast, and we really see this when our two Colorado-based grandkids come to visit.  It had only been six months since they and their mom last came to Kentucky, but they are both so different in that space of time.  Regardless, we had a great time with them here and enjoyed a lot of wonderful time with them and our son's family (also two kids).

If you're either a NASCAR fan or a Kentucky resident, you have now heard (and perhaps experienced) the mess that occurred in Sparta, Kentucky Saturday evening, in which the Kentucky Speedway, having begged for the opportunity to host a real live NASCAR event, blew it completely by screwing up parking for some 20,000 carloads of race fans.  From all accounts one couldn't see this on television, but I heard on local news that traffic was backed up fifteen miles or more.

I don't follow NASCAR but have been by the location of this racetrack a handful of times.  It's really the only thing in its location, with the exception of a couple of hotels and convenience stores, but it's not in a populated area, and the ramps off of Interstate 71 didn't appear to me to be of sufficient capacity for the sheer volume of cars that would be drawn to that location for such a large event.  Now everyone from the track owner to NASCAR to the governor of Kentucky are promising to rectify this glaring shortcoming.  It may be too little too late, particularly if you're one of the folks who missed some or all of the race.  It reminds me so completely of the mess that occurred at this year's Super Bowl, which was also a first-time venue for that event.

In any case, it's a black eye for my home state and that's a shame, as hard as many worked to make this a great event.

I'm heading off for a business trip today (somehow, this always seems to happen right after a period of vacation), this time to Charleston, South Carolina.  Have not visited there since our daughter and son-in-law lived there for a year and I was there last to help them move away to Colorado.  Will be staying in the downtown area in the historic district, and will be interested to see what's different there.

My Cincinnati Reds limped into the All-Star break yesterday.  Their manager and many of the players continue to act like they're on the verge of greatness, having achieved so much last season.  I hope so.

Last thoughts today are about the fan who, unfortunately, fell to his death in Arlington, Texas last week in an attempt to catch a baseball tossed his way by a player.  What I keep thinking is that while that ballpark may meet local building code standards, perhaps the owners/operators of that facility should think about exceeding those standards.  My most vivid memory of my first visit to new Comiskey Park (now U.S. Cellular Field) in Chicago was that the upper deck was about as steeply banked a seating area as I can remember, and that if I tripped while negotiating the aisle steps to go down that there's be nothing to stop me from bouncing over the railing and down into the lower seating area.  Wonder if we're not talking about the same thing in Texas.  I very frequently visit the ballpark in Cincinnati and have not felt that same sensation, but it's probably because I'm there more often.  I'm sure they'll think of something, but it's certainly a shame for anything like this to happen.

I could prattle on further, but that's probably enough for now!

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