Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Harry Kalas 1936-2009

Harry Kalas, the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies, is gone. More than just a baseball announcer, Harry was with me for my entire life as a baseball fan. Long nights laying in bed, listening to him call an extra-inning game. Drives in the car, breaking my curfew during high school. Long trips far away from home, getting that twinge of excitement when atmospheric conditions permitted me to pick up 1210 AM in some far-off place. It was just that voice, the measured call of every ball and strike, and the excitement of every "Long drive- watch that baby- Way OUTTA HERE!"

I guess I just figured he'd be there forever.

He was with me more than some of my own family. Every night for 6 months out of the year, we lived and died with Harry the K. We shared his enthusiasm for the game through its ups and downs. We took him with us into our homes, our cars, our lives. He was always there- that voice, that personality, that genuine love for the game. He was baseball; he was the Philadelphia fan. And now the voice is silent.

I think I've cried more in the past 24 hours than I did when my own grandmother passed away. And the reason is simple. More than anyone else outside my family, Harry Kalas was always there. He was always a part of my life, from a kid poring over the stats in the daily paper to a parent finally celebrating a World Series Championship last fall. The baseball game went on and it will still go on. But it will never be the same without Harry Kalas.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

RE-Use, RE-Cycle

I recently read about a woman who has been trying to live without plastic. No plastic bags, no plastic packaging, no plastic containers, no plastic anything. If it comes in a plastic bag or wrapper, she won't buy it. She won't buy clothes on a plastic hangar or cosmetics, household goods, etc. if they come wrapped in plastic. She even carries her own glass straw and (presumably) glass take-out containers when she goes out to eat. (Seems to me she should look into getting some paper straws (above) on eBay!)

It occurred to me that she's living like our grandparents did before WWII. Simply by forsaking plastic, imagine the change that would take place in your life. We'd all be eating better and living better, but it would take a lot of getting used to.
Since reading about this woman, I've been consciously trying to limit my consumption of plastic. I've carried my own shopping bag to stores for awhile now, but now I'm trying to purchase items with a minimum of packaging. And when I get them home, I'm doing my best to store/use things without plastic. Vintage glass refrigerator dishes, mason jars, pyrex bowls, etc. are all things that I use which are better for the environment, and mesh with my love of vintage living.
Another thing I use a lot of is waxed paper, a favorite of homemakers for over 75 years. Recently, my brother-in-law was astonished that I wrapped up a sandwich for him to take home in waxed paper rather than use a "baggie". He was even more astounded when I told him that I didn't even have a sandwich bag in the house and I haven't used them for years.
Yet another reason vintage living is better for the environment!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bear with me!

Ok, I'm better (finally!) but now my computer caught a virus. I can't win! Our computer is not exactly new (I think we got it in 2001) but it works fine for what we need it. Problem is, when you have two people using it, neither knows what the other has done.... It seems that somehow our firewall got turned off and we got a rather insidious Trojan Horse. Many downloads of spyware and add-removal software later, we're starting to get some functionality back.

But I'm still a little hesitant to go to anywhere but the most trusted sites anymore. And our computer is definitely running a lot slower. It makes things like keeping up with my blog very tedious. So bear with me- we'll get this straightened out and I'll be back to regular updates soon!