Father-Son-Nephew-Girlfriend: The Garnick Contingent in the Manchester Stampede Challenge!
Last weekend, my son and I competed in The Queen City Stampede, a 5K scavenger hunt race criss-crossing nearly every crevice of Manchester, NH. The race lived up to its billing as parent-child friendly version of “The Amazing Race” reality show with a lot less pressure. In the end, we probably wound up covering about 10 miles — much of the excess devoted to finding an elusive rock sculpture in front of the New Hampshire Institute of Art. There are at least four different NHIA buildings spread out through Manchester, and we scurried to them all.
My father-son team was called “The Inators,” a reference to the wacky inventions created by mad scientist Hans Doofenschmirtz (note the brown shirts) from the cartoon “Phineas and Ferb.” My nephew and his girlfriend teamed up as “Darwin’s Disciples” with homemade shirts featuring the bearded scientist and his evolutionary Jesus fish-inspired logo.
The Stampede involved following a series of clues to famous and not-so-famous parts of the city and completing a challenge at each stop. Some of the challenges were ridiculously easy, such as this hula hoop twirling exercise in which one teammate spins it on his or her arm for three minutes and has to transfer it to the partner’s arm without stopping. Continue reading
The Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame, located at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, hosts a Cooperstown-quality collection of baseball history.
Ballparks are the ideal home for baseball museums and I wish Fenway Park had more than just a few token display cases in between concession stands. Florida’s Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame is surprisingly spacious, easily the size and depth of a “regular” museum in its own building.
Find out why the museum lost its original home and why it might be the only baseball shrine in America with its own petting zoo … all in my latest story for The Travel Channel.
Too Pretty to Be Batman?
I was in Double Midnight Comics over the weekend and was thrilled to stumble across what I thought was one of my favorite action figures from childhood. Readers of this blog are familiar with my love for all things 1966 Batman, and it was awesome to see Adam West make a comeback in the toy aisle.
But wait a minute: Aren’t those eyes a little too bright and cheery to be Batman’s? Hey, are those girl’s eyes? — and doesn’t it look a little like there are breasts protruding underneath the bat logo? Continue reading
Earlier this week, I enjoyed my first father-son whitewater trip with U.S. Rafting in West Forks, Maine. My 11-year-old daredevil is wearing the blue helmet. I’m the grimacing guy with the red helmet and yellow oar.
Although every photograph shows me snarling, I loved the experience and felt it provided just enough of an adrenaline rush. The Class III and IV rapids on the Upper Kennebec River almost tossed me from the boat a few times, so I fully respect the power of nature and feel no need to graduate to their “Extreme Whitewater Adventures.”
If you double click on the pic below, you’ll see that the guy is the black helmet is smiling for the camera. Absolutely insane that he could be posing for photos while our fate depends on the power of his paddling.
When I wrote business columns for the Boston Herald, I usually needed a therapist after reading the comments section. Media websites are magnets to the most bitter, resentful (and cowardly) people on earth — anonymous people who wouldn’t dare say what they say to your face.
But the spam section of my blog is the opposite: I’m interesting! I’m professional! I’m relevant!
Readers have been searching the Web for FOUR HOURS to find stuff as riveting as my prose.
Thank you, spammers. Maybe I have been too quick to judge you in the past. Being recognized by Toronto’s leading asbestos removal site is particularly flattering.
Willey Pond, a historic nature preserve and ice cream stand at the base of Mount Willey, attracts its share of picnicking families, birdwatchers, artists and assorted riffraff.
The artists are diehard, lugging around more gear than a hockey goalie. Some of them pitch tents and camp out for the day, although most are content with a smaller umbrella rigged to their folding chair.
Personally, I would rather complete my paint-by-numbers set in a secured air-conditioned environment, but God bless those creative types who thrive while mosquitos feast on their toes. Except for this woman:
There’s a hiking path around Willey Pond that is specifically designed for hikes.
However, this Picasso decided that her vantage point was so important that her easel and chair needed to be staked out in the middle of the path. Actually, it’s not really “the middle,” because her artistic footprint is taking up more than 100 percent of the trail width.
I walked around this woman and even said “excuse me,” but in retrospect I wish I had politely asked if she were intentionally being a selfish bastard or if she were unaware of this talent.
(I’m a big fan of obscure superlatives. If you’re in a browsing mood, check out the Most Demented Toy of the Year.)
My niece just taught me something about the core difference between how boys and girls pursue imaginative play.
A boy’s superhero shirt would show two musclebound guys beating the crap out of each other. There’s no hint of sentimentality or social inclinations — just pure kicking ass.
You would never see Batman and Superman talking about how much their friendship means to them. They would rather die alone.
On another note, when did Batgirl and Wonder Woman start wearing so much pink?
And lastly, I’m proud to say that the oversized Humvee Jeep in the background was a gift from Uncle Darren — apparently it’s being used to transport some VIP Disney Princesses around the living room.