Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bowie Baysox Stadium & Guinness's Mutt Monday Antics

It occurred to me that perhaps I should start writing some mini-reviews of the baseball stadiums that we go to so here goes nothing!

We have been excited that we have a minor league team very close to us here in Annapolis. (To be honest there are several within a few hours of us which is great but Bowie is less than half an hour from our house.) We love all baseball but there's something special about minor league stadiums... they tend to be more intimate and they definitely have a more wacky sense of fun to them than a big league stadium.

And for those of you who are unaware I have a goal... granted it's a lofty goal but it's a goal. (It's good to have goals right?!) Ken and I want to go to every baseball park in America. Okay maybe all of them is a little too lofty because there are a lot of minor league stadiums but we are still going to try and go to as many as we can!!!

The Bowie Baysox are the double A affiliate of the Orioles. We decided to go to this particular game because the Baysox host what they call Mutt Monday the last Monday of the month for their home games. You get to bring your dog to the game. What a treat! So we thought this was a perfect game for us to attend! So in the scheme of "promotions" I would give them a grade of A!

The park itself is a really nice little park. It's small with a very homey feel. The staff we chatted with were all very friendly. Overall ambiance B+

Those of you who know me know I can't go to a ballgame and not eat :) We walked the entire concourse (which to be fair was not very big but that's typical of a small minor league park and that's not a bad thing). There were 2 regular food kind of places, a kids food place and a sweets place. We started off with some fried onion peels which were pretty good. Then we decided we were still hungry so Ken ordered a gyro and I ordered a hot dog (what can I say I am a sucker for a beer and hot dog at a baseball game) and cheese fries (well I am always a sucker for cheese fries.) Ken said his gyro was decent but not great. Sadly my hot dog was not very good and neither of us liked the fries at all. Overall I'd give the food a C-

Beerwise.... well you all know I am a beer snob (to say the least) so I am definitely a tough customer for baseball parks. (Though I do have to tell you I have been to a lot of baseball parks with great beer!) You may also know that I HATE AB In-Bev.... so you'll imagine my disappointment to report that all the beer available is In Bev Beer :(  They have the usual crap (Bud etc.) but they also have the stuff that In Bev tries to hide the fact that they own as well such as Spaten, Staroprammen and Goose Island. They try and pass it off the Goose Island is a microbrew but it is now owned by In Bev and at least one of their beers is no longer even produced at Goose Island locations because they have taken it in for mass production by In Bev. There are several great microbreweries in Maryland so this is completely unacceptable to me. Grade D-  Why not an F? Well at least they have something more than that horse piss Bud.

Mascot - well he's a kind of funny looking green guy (not sure exactly what he's supposed to be - no he's not anything like the Phillie Fanatic) and I was disappointed I didn't get to get a picture with him but he is a little odd looking. I'd give him a solid C...

Now onto the really fun stuff... Guinness had a blast. I would estimate about 20% of people in attendance brought their dogs but it wasn't a very busy night. (It was the first night of back to school for the kids in this area.) He liked to meet all the new people and dogs he would cross paths with and as usual he was shower with petting and comments about how darn cute he is. He was incredibly well behaved and sat very well with us while we watched the baseball game. The park had put out large bowls of water in various places for the dogs just in case you didn't bring your own. And the local companies who had promotion booths at the park trying to get your business had brought along dog themed items (water bowls, frisbees etc.) and had dog treats.

And then I made poor Guinness do the Macarena and I literally laughed til I cried!

All in all a good park that we will be happy to go back to!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

More Political Commentary from the Past Couple Weeks

What can I say - I absolutely love this one! It's well-written, articulate and so unbelievably true in pointing out hypocrisy and lack of intelligence on a scientific matter...
A Thank you Note for Akin

And now for some "Pictures" I pulled from Facebook/emails that I enjoyed...

This one is priceless!!!

Beautiful and Sensible! Yay for Kate!!!


For the record while all of you think I am a total Liberal I am not entirely - however on social issues I certainly am.

Oh how I loved Wonder Woman when I was a kid.... I still do after this comment!

Okay politically incorrect and perhaps even a bit rude but I like it anyway...

YES!!! Can we start over entirely?!?!?

This is the bottom line for me..... It's just ignorant to say someone is being intolerant when frankly all they are being intolerant of is your intolerance.

Sorry but I'll be honest - I absolutely despise Sarah Palin - I'm not a huge Hilary fan but this cracked me up...

And I can't remember if I posted this or not but I like it so much that I am going to potentially post it a second time just in case....
Tempest over More than Chicken Sandwich

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Guinness Picture of the Week 19 August 2012

I don't think I've posted these before but if I have I apologize - let me know and I will find some new pictures to post!

Guinness didn't get a whole lot out of this  but we let him eat the crumbs out of the bottom of the Cheezeit (or however the heck you spell it!) container and he was pretty darn happy about that!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Enjoying Some Cooking.... I LOVE FOOD!

Well now that we've gotten somewhat more settled I have been enjoying getting to cook again. Oh how I have missed it! Literally since the beginning of the year because of work travel (for both me and Ken all over the world), staging the house to get sold, Ken's deployment, my whooping cough, keep the house clean for showings to sell, moving to Annapolis and living in a hotel room and then moving into our house but having so much unpacking to do... I haven't had a chance to cook "real" food at all! What I mean by that is we've been able to make easy "staples" of grilled chicken and some pasta etc. but nothing complex and certainly no new recipes. But that's all changing....

Oh how I love food!!!!!

Yesterday Ken and I hosted all the folks from his department at our house for an afternoon of small bites and a last semi-relaxed afternoon before classes start on Monday for them. In preparation for this I spent most of Thursday baking (several new recipes) and all day yesterday making appetizers. Yes I worked out of a cookbook for most of them but there were some super great recipes I think! Here are some pictures of what I made and what the stuff is called.... If you want the recipe for something here leave a comment and I will post it in another blog. (Bottom line I am too lazy to type up all the recipes if I am not sure someone wants all of them!)

Parmesan Artichoke Dip
I actually didn't get a chance to try this...

Party Stuffed Pinwheels
Delicious!! Cheese & "herbs" of sort.... Yum! Goes perfectly with beer drinking too I might add!

Herb Stuffed Tomatoes
I am not much of a tomato eater so I didn't try these but Ken said they were delish!

Pizza Snack Cups (though they turned out to be less "cup" than hoped)
Pretty decent but a little doughier than I might have hoped

Pimento Cheese Dip
YUMMY!!!! I mean it's cheese of course it's yummy right?!

Peanutty Chocolate Truffles
This is one thing that I have made several times before and they are always delicious and a crowd favorite.... (And I had extra chocolate so I went ahead and dipped some pretzels too!)

Maple Cashew Tarts

Macadamia Nut Coconut Blondies

I also made Jayme's Amazing Jalapeño appetizers which were once again a huge hit. (Jayme I think you are going to need to name these something officially!) And in the spirit of using up something we had that needed to be used up I made a modified Mexican Layer Dip where I added in a layer of rice. (I am guessing it was good because the pretty much whole thing got devoured!)

All in all I think there were lots of happy tummies and I am happy to have some new recipes that I know are good in my bag of tricks :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Guinness (& Others) Pictures of the Week - 12 August 2012

Well last night we had some guests for dinner. We are sponsoring a plebe. What does that mean? Newbies here at the Naval Academy (freshmen by other University name) are called plebes. Plebes are offered the opportunity to have "sponsor parents" - folks here in the Annapolis area who are a home away from home for these students. Ken and I were of course happy to sponsor a plebe and we met ours about a week ago at the Plebe Sponsor Meet & Greet. This weekend was Plebe Parent Weekend which is the first time the parents have been able to see their kids who are plebes since they started here at USNA about 6 weeks ago. (And it's the first time the plebes have gotten any liberty - liberty being time that they are free to go do what they want but with restrictions.) Our plebe's parents and his brother came to town so we made them dinner. As an added bonus our kids - Ryan & Randy - were here this weekend too! For dessert I made a trifle....

There was just a little left so the Ham family decided that it was silly to put it back in the fridge so a little help to finish it was offered.....

Like Father.....

Like "furry child...."

Note the whipped cream on Guinness's ear and neck area! :) Not to worry there was nothing harmful to dogs in the trifle and we certainly didn't let him lick the whole thing just a little bit but he enjoyed every little bit he got!!

And then to continue with the similarities between Ken & Guinness... As my chocolate sister Cerissa can tell you when she would bring sweet treats to work and Ken would eat them everyone said he was hyper for a little bit and then a MAJOR sugar crash would set in. (This is still true - after dessert he's hyper and then he's out!) Well apparently Guinness is about the same because here's Guinness about 30 minutes post-Trifle....

Friday, August 10, 2012

Jayme's AMAZING Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Deliciousness

Ken has been in love with this appetizer since the first time that Jayme brought them over to our house in Texas. In fact poor Jayme may have regretted that she made them the first time because then every time Ken saw her again after that he'd ask her if when she came over would she please make him some more! (She's a good sport and frequently did!)

Since Jayme no longer lives just a couple miles away I asked her if she'd mind sharing the recipe with me so I could attempt to make these for Ken. She was all too happy to oblige (though I told her when she's around she'll have to make them because I am sure hers are better!) and apparently I did an okay job because they were a huge hit! She was even kind enough to be willing to allow me to share this with everyone so here goes....

My only caution - and I managed to do well with this - be very careful not to touch your face until you've washed your hands A LOT! Jayme suggested perhaps rubber gloves while cleaning the jalapeños but I didn't have any so I literally washed my hands more than a dozen times throughout!

Her exact recipe...

It's not an exact science so it takes some guess work. 

1 pound of your favorite bacon
1 pound breakfast sausage
1 8 oz block cream cheese
1 pound jalapenos - (the first part of guessing)

Preheat oven to temperature on bacon package. 

Slice and seed jalapenos (I never know how many, I just buy a pound. Sometimes it's plenty...sometimes I have to go out and get more). 

Brown breakfast sausage. 
Mix in 8 oz block of cream cheese on super low heat.

Cut package of bacon in half (because half a slice is plenty) 

Remove mixture from heat and Fill the jalapenos then wrap with bacon. 
Place on a baking sheet. 

Then the second part of guessing....just bake them until the bacon is cooked the way you want it 30-45 minutes
(longer if you want it crispier I just throw them in there and then watch them)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I love the Olympics!

Oh how I love the Olympics! For all of you who know me you know I have been an Olympics fiend since I was a very small girl. It's so fun and exciting to watch so many of the World's Greatest Athletes come to compete in such a unique setting.

I have absolutely loved the London 2012 Olympics. For sooooooo many reasons here are some...

Wonderful shows of great sportsmanship!

Usain Bolt stopping an interview to be respectful of the American National Anthem being played for a medal ceremony. What a classy guy!
Bolt Video

Kirani James wanting to swap nametags with Oscar Pistorius the double amputee sprinter after the 400m semi-final.

Just watching Oscar Pistorius compete!

Watching Kirani James win the first medal ever for Grenada, watching the Grenada Embassy folks in London go absolutely crazy about it and then watching Kirani James go and shake the hand of EVERY SINGLE competitor in that race. That's an incredibly classy athlete! He then showed great respect for the person he should for getting him to the Olympics in his interview.... his coach and acknowledged how many amazing athletes there are at the Olympics.

I loved watching Sam Mikulak in the Men's Vault final last night too - such great spirit! He did decently but not well enough for a medal. That said he stuck his second vault and was so happy about it he kissed the vault. He could have been upset that he was in bronze contention and the next 2 vaulters (which happened to be the last 2 of the competition) would edge him out but instead you heard him saying how excited he was to see the Korean vault because he was supposed to be insanely amazing. After the Korean's vaults - which truly were nothing short of amazing - you heard him saying (as the Korean gymnast came over) "That's ridiculous!!!!" while smiling and laughing. That's ridiculous being a compliment that the vault was so amazing hard it's ridiculous to think someone could execute it so well! He was genuinely happy for the others. What a nice thing to see!

While I know Jordyn Wieber is not necessarily a favorite of many people at this point I have to say I was impressed with her attitude after managing to compose herself after the Team Prelims. Yes she was visibly distraught. (Wouldn't you be?!) But as soon as she had to talk to the reporters she admitted she was upset about not qualifying to compete for the All-Around Title but she was very quick to praise her 2 teammates and say how happy she was for them. (You'll note that neither of the 2 qualifiers made any comment about Jordyn and quite honestly I think they were a little ungracious as teammates to answer questions with statements like "Oh of course I always knew I would make it into the all-around.") When Jordyn came out for the Team Final she came out with a smile on her face and what appeared to be true joy in being there to compete for a gold medal.

What I haven't liked...
I love social media but I am sad when event results get spoiled for me by Facebook etc. I try not to  look specifically at articles/posts that talk about it but sadly I have a great very quick  ability to process data in just a scanning glance :( Yes it's still interesting to watch even if I know the results but frankly it's just not as fun.

I know NBC is looking to get primo hours for highest ratings but for those of us on the East Coast of the US it means that event coverage  isn't ending til midnight and of course they save the best for 11:50pm! (I missed Bolt's 100m race the other night because I just couldn't stay awake.)

That it's going to end this weekend! I am not ready for it to end!

So until it ends I will be staying up late to watch it all!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Guinness Picture of the Week - 5 August 12

Guinness has more toys than he knows what to do with.... he was being so silly with this monkey that I decided to slow him down a bit and tie it around his neck (don't worry it wasn't too tight!) and watch him try and chew it :) I know I'm so mean :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Some of my favorite political videos and commentary from last few weeks...

Though I suppose I can be accused of stirring the pot too frequently for some peoples' tastes I figured instead of posting all these videos individually I would post them all in a blog. Love it - Hate it - I don't care... I am amused by these and a bit sickened by how true some of it is.

Great commentary on how the media is just flat out ridiculous about being more concerned with getting "the scoop" than actually reporting the news and getting it right.
Jon Stewart Video

I laughed so hard at this but part of why it's so funny is there's just so damn much truth to it! And for all you people who accuse me of being such a major liberal you'll be happy to know this was created by REPUBLICANS!!!
It's beyond politically incorrect but it's AWESOME!

A guy who I just adore on science in the classroom and religion....
Neil Degrasse Tyson On Religion taught in schools

This gal pretty much sums it up best when it comes to the Chik-fil-a debacle...
And oh yes by the way - she does accurately quote the bible for ya....
Chick-Fil-A and Proverbs 25:21

This one is just too mind boggling for words in some ways....
Colbert on Texas & Critical Thinking Skills

A great article on what these debates really mean to people

Clearly even some Christians have major issues with a certain food chains attitude....