Aviously

Because, aviously…

I quickly discovered when looking for hotels on this trip was that Country Inn & Suites, my hotel of choice, didn’t have locations in the Northeast…so I turned to Google to help find a hotel and discovered a Best Western in the area I was heading towards.
This was how I ended up at my first Best Western, in Saranac Lake, NY.

The building is quaint and old style, but with more modern-ish looking rooms, albeit a very small bathroom space, with the door barely scraping past the toilet/blocking the shower.
This two-story building has no elevator, so if you bring any luggage, you’ll be lugging it up to that second floor.

Free WiFi worked nicely, and there was a pool located on the ground floor.
There is a restaurant next door, on hotel grounds, that serves breakfast and lunch, with a 10% discount to hotel guests, and with this in mind, the vending machines in the hotel have are lacking in choices.
The good news is that there is a Dunkin Donuts and Tops Supermarket just a two-minute drive away that will help with anything you need.

Right in front of the hotel is Saranac Lake, and a nice little spot to sit out and enjoy the mountain air.

If you need something to do in the area without leaving Saranac Lake, besides the obvious of Lake Placid (to be detailed in the upcoming days), head over to the Robert Louis Stevenson cottage a few blocks away.
This was the home where RSL lived for all of 7 months but wrote a fair amount of essays in that time.

Cooperstown, NY. The home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. A quaint little town, with a trolley system, and free parking lots dotted around the city…and if you’re lucky a metered spot in town, right in front of the Halls gates.

The Baseball Hall of Fame is a great place to visit, whether you are a casual fan or a baseball purist…and if you’re a Yankees fan, half the hall is just about you.
I’m someone that tends to move quickly thru museums, but this one was enjoyable and I took my time with, even going back to some exhibits multiple times.

The building is split into multiple sections, each with their own uniqueness and excitement, here are some of them:

  • Lockers Rooms — All 30 teams are displayed with their own locker, showing a lot of recent history for each team. From jerseys to cleats, gloves to balls, and a list of all retired numbers, each item has a little piece of history to it. Take the New York Yankees locker, below, as an example, with some of the pictured items:
    • Andy Pettitte’s glove from when he set the franchise Strikeout record
    • Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge’s bats from when they hit back-to-back homers in their first plate appearances
    • Gary Sanchez’s “Kraken” jersey, from the 2017 Players Weekend, the first time that Yankees jerseys had names on them
  • Babe Ruth: His Life and Legend — Babe Ruth is arguably one of the best players of all time. But what’s not debatable is that he is one of the early heroes of the game, larger than life, and making the game fun for people to come out and watch.
  • Exhibits on some of the key eras throughout baseball history. These included the Pirates of the 1910s, the Negro League, and Women’s roles in baseball
  • ¡Viva Baseball! — A celebration of Latin American baseball, and a fully bilingual exhibit.  It focuses on baseball being played in those countries, as well as some of the top players that have come from there…like Albert Pujols, Alfonso Soriano, and Miguel Cabrera
  • A Whole New Ballgame — A focus on the modern game, from the 1970s on. From the Yankees “Core Four”, to how Pine Tar has affected the game, and they don’t shy away from controversy, with talk of steroids and the McGuire/Sosa sagas, plus the famous run of 1998.
  • Sacred Ground — Former fields are preserved here, as they have pieces and artifacts from retired stadiums, like Ebbets Field and the Polo Grounds, and the exploding scoreboard from Comiskey Park (below)
  • Hank Aaron: Chasing The Dream — A look at Aarons historic career, as he looked to set records at all levels of play, and led a lot of philanthropic efforts
  • Record Books — A full collection of all the records in baseball, and who the current holders are, and of course a full collection of gear from those events
  • Postseason — Postseason history, the Yankees Championship trophy from 1999 lives here (below), as well as a duplicate of every World Series ring that’s been created (and watches, or other strange pieces from the early years of baseball)
  • Who’s On First — Abbott and Costello made baseball funny, and they have their own little room with the famous skit on loop
  • The Art of Baseball — A collection of arts and photos that showcase the game
  • Hall of Fame — And of course you end your walk around the building with the most important part: The Hall of Fame. A collection of all the plaques for the HoFers, and a special hall for recent entries

The life of an assistant is not glamorous. Running errands, getting food on the snap of a finger, and just being there for every need of your boss…all at the risk of getting fired when they get bored.

Harper (Zoey Deutch) and Charlie (Glen Powell) are working in the same building, as the assistants for two crazy, yet single, bosses: Kirsten (Lucy Liu) and Rick (Taye Diggs).
So when our two heroes meet in the lobby one day, they hatch a plan to get their bosses together, in an elaborate set up, in an effort to make their own lives a little easier.

From locking them in an elevator together, to having them sit near each other at a Yankees game and arranging a Kiss Cam, every single step is meticulously planned out, and any missteps are quickly worked around.

And it’s not just the main characters that are fun to watch, as the side roles played by Tituss Burgess, as creepy Tim, and Pete Davidson, as Charlie’s gay roommate, are both hilarious.

This cute Netflix exclusive rom-com gets a 7.5 out of 10.

Next week is the start of the 2018 World Cup, taking place in Russia, so here is my non-professional, complete garbage, preview of the tournament!!

A day before the tournament kicks off they will announce the 2026 hosts, which is down to Morocco and a joint bid between America/Canada/Mexico, and the votes can currently go either way.

Thursday will have the first match, with the hosts Russia facing against Saudi Arabia, and then the full range, with three games a day, starting on Friday for the group stages Matches 1 & 2, with games at 8AM/11AM/2PM.
Matchday 3 will have two games at a time at 10AM and 2PM as they work out who moves on to the Final 16.

With the USMNT out of the running, a lot of people need some inspiration to help them watch these matches…here are some of the highlights and storylines of who to watch out for as the days progress:

  • Belgium – They are a loaded team, with Kevin De Bruyne, Vincent Kompany, and the two sets of brothers (Lukaku and Hazard)
  • Mexico – El Tris has had a lot of trouble in the past, as they have gotten eliminated in the Round of 16 for 6 straight World Cups…I think this is the year they finally push past it
  • Spain – This team is likely to be our winners…and they are full of excitement, from Sergio Ramos to Diego Costa, and Andres Iniesta to David Silva
  • Egypt – The big question: Will Mohamed Salah play? If he does this team will be electric
  • England – Will this be yet another Lion disappointment?
  • A large group of teams have that superstar that changes the game…like Argentina (Lionel Messi), Portugal (Cristiano Ronaldo), France (Paul Pogba), Uruguay (Edinson Cavani and Luis Suárez), Germany (Manuel Neuer and Mesut Ozil), Costa Rica (NYCFC favs Ronald Matarrita and Rodney Wallace), and even Australia (Tim Cahill)

Here are my predictions for the Groups:

Group A – Uruguay / Egypt / Russia / Saudi Arabia
Group B – Spain / Portugal / Morocco / Iran
Group C – France / Denmark / Australia / Peru
Group D – Argentina / Iceland / Nigeria /Croatia
Group E – Brazil / Costa Rica / Switzerland / Serbia
Group F – Mexico / Germany / Sweden / South Korea
Group G – Belgium / Panama / England / Tunisia
Group H – Columbia / Poland / Senegal / Japan

I hinted earlier at who I think will win…and maybe I’ll revisit it (bracket style) once it gets to the knockout stages.

From the Beacon Theater in New York City, Kevin James comes out and hits the stage running.

I have been pushing this special off for a bit, but after it was recommended to me by a bunch of people, I’m glad I finally watched it, as I smiled from start to finish, as it was just plain funny all the way thru.

From food allergies to endorsement deals, and his family to taking photos with fans, he covers a wide-range of topics, before having a conversation with the audience about tattoos.

Quick announcement to the lactose intolerant community: If I offer you ice cream and you can’t have any…just say ‘No, thank you.’

His facial expressions, movements, and delivery, all add to his comedic charm, as he delivers a 9 out of 10 performance.

With my recent purchase of a PS4, I was finally able to enter The Show and play big league baseball.

The game is a masterpiece from top to bottom, and here are some of the highlights:

  • The game can be made to be really simple, in its controls at-bat/pitching/and fielding, but even so it still has a complexity that keeps it interesting and entertaining
  • Great graphics packages: The visuals are realistic, but where they kick it up a notch is in the actual presentation when it comes down to game time. They have three different packages so that each game doesn’t look and feel exactly the same, with the top-notch one being the MLB Network broadcast
    When you crush that home run it looks fantastic, and then they break it down with Statcast, from launch angles to hit velocity, makes the game feel as modern as the real world
  • If you want to get thru a season it can take a really long time…considering each game takes around 45 minutes…and they have a “Critical Moments” mode, that simulates thru games, and only pops you in when there is something on the line, like a ninth-inning save situation, or a players hit-streak is on the line
    This lets you speed thru a season, being able to go from Spring Training to the World Series in a matter of days
  • Road to the Show (RTTS): Start as a college player, and get drafted to the AA, working your way up to the majors and fighting for the record books. The cool thing is that they have moved off the “point system” where you get to apply points to your stats, and you get to choose how your player does in each category.
    Now they have made it based on how you play: The better you play, the higher those ratings will move. Try stealing second too much and getting caught all the time? Down goes the stealing attribute.
    The one thing you need to focus on is using your training days to increase your Cap on all the attributes.
  • Barry Bonds and Pete Rose still don’t appear in the game, whether because of bans or not giving license to their names, they both show up in the record books as their team name with the year listed

This game is outstanding, and a must for every baseball fan. From thrilling storylines to exciting gameplay, it easily gets a 9 out of 10.

One of the biggest issues of driving in a big city is traffic.

There are always delays, and you are constantly fighting to find the shortest route, with the least amount of accidents, just to get to/from home to work.

Most cities have traffic reports on the radio, that allows you every 10 minutes or so to get a glimpse at what might await your journey.

The Port Authority of NY and NJ (PANY/NJ) have an app that helps (some) NYC travelers cross any of their bridges or tunnels, including the George Washington Bridge and the Lincoln & Holland Tunnels.

Features include:

  • Notifications for your crossings at specific times, such as before you head out every day
  • Current Delays at crossings / Current speed that traffic is moving
  • Planned work/construction
  • Truck restrictions

I just wish the MTA and NYC DOT made these available for the East River crossings…like the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel and the Brooklyn/Manhattan Bridges…because it’s impossible to predict when they’ll just close a tube for the sake of it.

The CrossingTime app is available on Android and iOS.

With the World Cup fast approaching Grant Wahl has put out a new book, Masters of Modern Soccer, that focuses on some of the top players in the world, and how they play the modern game of soccer.
Grant has a way with words, making the complicated seem understanding, and breaking it down for everyone to be able to understand the world’s game.

He speaks to a variety of people, each one able to focus on a different aspect of the game, and give a better vision of how the game unfolds from the sporting director on down to the forwards.

  • Christian Pulisic – USMNT’s up-and-comer, talks about his learning abilities, and his constant ability to read a play and know what’s going on around him
  • Xabi Alonso and his control on the ball
  • Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and his ability to break down a play, but more importantly how he cherishes the role given to him of “goal poacher”, where it’s not a derogatory thing, but him being in the right place at the right time
  • Juan Osorio, the Mexico National Coach, and his balance of players, sometimes sitting his top guys, all in an effort for perfect “synchronization”, trying to break the curse of Mexico not making it past the round of 16
  • Vincent Kompany as the “Master of the Castle”, and how to defend correctly while also having the technical and physical abilities to execute that defensive knowledge

Borussia Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc, Belgium’s coach Roberto Martinez, and German goalie Manuel Neuer round out the group.

From players tips that they’ve learned over the years, to great insights into how the great teams are put together, this book is full of awesome material for fans of any level.

The last episode of Season 1 is with radio shock jock Howard Stern, and there is now a bonus episode with Jerry Seinfeld interviewing Dave.
Earlier episodes include Barack Obama, George Clooney, Jay-Z, and Tina Fey.


HOWARD STERN

Howard Stern comes out in a beard, launching Dave into a conversation on the beard and how it looks in person.

I would have bet when Netflix gave you a show you would lose the beard. I think they had bet on that too.

They talk about looks, how long they had known each other (dating back to 1984), and Howards starts in radio…from his personality (mirrored off the hard methods of Bob Grant, the no-nonsense conservative) to his constant fights with the FCC, an aspect that he lost when he moved to SiriusXM.

I forget I have (the beard), because I don’t have to look at it.

Conversations also move on to more personal topics, such as his family relationship with his daughters, him and his wife’s (Beth) connection to the North Shore Animal League, and his autobiographical movie Private Parts.
Also touched upon is his long-time co-host Robin Quivers.

At the end Dave heads to Southern Utah with paleontologist Kristen Sadler, to explore the Grand Staircase-Escalante, a National Park that lost its monument status under President Trump, to discuss how to help protect our lands.

This episode was the dirtiest of the season, understandably since it was Howard Stern, but it was a good chat between the two.


JERRY SEINFELD

They added a bonus episode to this season, which may have come out earlier this month, where Jerry interviews Dave, with a little bit of a back and forth.

From the Netflix stages in LA, filmed in early May 2018, the duo are there to promote their shows (this one for Dave, and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and Jerry Before Seinfeld for Jerry), and basically have a sit-down before a live audience about the backgrounds to their shows and life.

This could be the thing that springboards you(r career) forward. – Jerry to Dave

Jerry did one of the first sets on Dave’s show in the 1980s and repeated that same set on his last shows in 2015, and they focus on how they have been striving for greatness all the years since.

You’re Dave Letterman, you idiot.

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