Tuesday, November 11, 2008

California ... Sweet!

I know a pretty little place in Southern California down San Diego Way ... Bally Jump a little higher!

SoCalSader provided the next, very active stop on the Bally tour of 'Sader Nation.

Here I am arriving at SoCalSader's place in sunny San Diego!

After arriving and resting from my trip west, a busy day was in store. We started with Brunch at a local watering hole. It was a very relaxed environment.

SoCalSader and I kicked back and enjoyed a mimosa!

Check out SoCalSader here. He's one laid-back, California Cool Dude!

After brunch, we took a shuttle to the historic gaslamp section of San Diego for a Flobots concert. The concert was a fundraiser for Solar Power in schools in San Diego. The money raised is for private schools that do good work but have slight money troubles, especially with power bills. The foundation will pay the bill to install solar power at the schools which, in effect will zero out their power bill and actually contribute to the electrical grid and give them a small income. A good concert for a good cause!

After the concert, we hung out at another local establishment, where they had all these cool pub games. What should we do to pass the time?

From there we headed over to Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, to see the Padres take on the Atlanta Braves!

The seats at Petco were really spacious. I had one all to myself!

We had a great view of the game. Boy we were way up there!

The Padres were trailing and Southern Californians (including SoCalSader) tend to leave early before the game is over - winning or losing. I laughed at this tradition and shamed SoCal into staying until the end. The Padres lost 4 - 0, but the traffic getting out wasn't bad!

The next day, we relaxed and hung out at the historic Pearl Hotel in San Diego. Check it out here: The Pearl Hotel

After all that activity the day before, sitting pool side was just what the doctor ordered!

Ahhhh! Chilling on a raft, floating the day away. So refreshing!

SoCalSader works at the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, where all of the US Navy and USMC amphibious training occurs, including the training for all Navy SEALS.

Here I'm sitting on the side of a Higgins boat, used by the United States troops for the landing on Iwo Jima in World War II.

Here, I'm on the bow of a Swift Boat, near a memorial to all service men who died in service on the swiftboats in Viet Nam.

Finally, I waved goodbye to the sun and surf and fun as the sun began to set at Pacific, San Diego, below at the Chateau de SoCalSader!

Thanks for a great time SoCal!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Belly of the Beast

After an extended stay in North Central Massachusetts, Bally was ready to travel and meet more denizens of ‘Sader Nation, not in a gym or on campus, but where they lived. Bally wanted to see the Nation and stretch his legs – short though they may be!

After soliciting hosts, the tour began in late June with a stop in Central Pennsylvania. But not just any hamlet, Bally went to Lewisburg, PA – home of Holy Cross basketball rival, the hated Bucknell Bison.

Sadercat51 is a Holy Cross fan, who because of geography is forced to attend basketball camp at Bucknell. Her dad, runs HoopTime a great blog about Patriot League Basketball. Some have said HoopTime is a Bucknell fan, others that he has a Holy Cross bias, and others that he likes whomever is playing Lehigh. But that really doesn't matter, he covers the Patriot League well and there is no doubting that Sadercat51 is a Holy Cross fan!

As you can see, she has a shrine to Holy Cross hoops including a jersey, warm-up shirt, and a basketball signed by last year’s Holy Cross team.

Sadercat51 attended basketball camp at Bucknell and she really wanted to bring me along this year. Let me tell you, though, that Bucknell place was really REALLY scary! All that blue and orange … something only a Mets fan could love! But even here at center court of Sojka Pavillion I knew I was safe, as long as I was with Sadercat. Anyone brave enough to wear purple – much less Holy Cross purple – and dance with me on that Buffalo thing at center court is brave enough to take care of me!

Next Stop: Southern California with SoCalSader!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thoreau, Johnny Appleseed, Leominster, & Bally

Stop one, and home base for Bally, in the off-season tour of ‘Sader Nation is with Crossports poster CHC8485. He lives in Leominster, MA about 20 miles north of Worcester. He’s an HC graduate (’85) and his wife is as well (’84). His Crossports name goes back to the days when you had to pick an alias for your e-mail account bacause AOL could only handle so many characters in a username. So it’s pretty clear how they got their e-mail and Bob just decided to use that when he first started posting on Crossports.

This is where Bob works in Lowell, MA. The creative use of concrete and small metal framed windows in the achitecture of this building is reminicent of mid 20th century East Germany and Soviet Union. The inside isn't much better, but cameras aren't allowed in there without expressed written consent! At the end of September most of the operations in this building, including Bob, were sold to Cobham Defense Electronics.

Here we are on the ride home from work on Route 2. In the distance of this picture you can see Mount Wachusett. Henry David Thoreau wrote an essay called "A Walk to Wachusett" which is one of his earliest writings on his excursions throughout New England. You can read it here:

A Walk to Wachusett

Here are two views of this sign along Route 2 near the intersection of I-190, which welcomes you to Leominster. The plastic industry in Leominster goes back to the mid 1800’s when “celluloid” became the material of choice for combs, a major industry in Leominster going back to the mid-1700’s. And while John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed) did his planting in the midwest, he was born in Leominster!

And though the mid-majors were out of the NCAA by then, Bally still enjoyed the Final 4 in CHC8485’s family room! Even without mid-majors, this was a great game.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Bally is in ‘Sader Nation!

During the 2008 College Basketball season, Kyle Whellistion of the MidMajority.com ran several contests to give away stuffed plush replicas of Bally, his site’s comic strip hero.

Kyle brought Bally to a Holy Cross game earlier this year and that picture inspired me to try to win a Bally for 'Sader Nation with some help from my friends on the Holy Cross Fan Web Site Crossports.com and the Crossports Message Board.

Despite several attempts to win a Bally through coercesion, and just down right pestering him, Kyle remained pure in his awarding of stuffed Ballys to his readers – a stuffed Bally had to be earned!

In early February this contest was started by Kyle on the Mid-Majority. With help & suggestions from Crossports, 'Sader Nation won a Bally!

Well Bally arrived in 'Sader Nation - just in time for the end of the basketball season. He traveled with the Holy Cross Good Time Marching Band until both Crusader men and women were no longer playing. Since then Bally has been on tour all over 'Sader Nation and with the 2008 - 2009 college hoops season upon us, we hope he'll tour more of the Nation with fans following team!

This blog provides photo documentation of Bally’s adventures in ‘Sader Nation since his arrival.

Click on the entries on the right to read more!

Bally Arrives in 'Sader Nation

Bally arrived in 'Sader Nation just before the start of Conference Tournaments and immediately got to learn more about his new home!

Bally gets Familiar with Crossports on his first day in 'Sader Nation!

Within days Bally was on the road to Worcester to join the Holy Cross Good Time Pep Band (courtesy of Crossports member and saxaphonist supreme HCBando09) and it was off to the Patriot League Men's & Women's Tournaments.

Bob: It's 20 miles to Worcester, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of gum, it's raining, and you have no pantz.

Bally: Hit it.

**(with apologies to Jake & Elwood!)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bally's with the Band!

Bally joined the Band in Worcester and started having fun immediately!

Some strange things are on that band bus! This mannequin has needed a head on it's shoulders for a long time!

It's always good to be with a sax player! HCBando'09 took good care of me and I always had a comfortable seat! this is at American University where the Holy Cross men lost by 2! Ughh!

Riding on the band bus. As Ricardo Montalban said back in the day..."The luxury of crushed velour!"

Ahhh pizza! A ball's gotta eat! I never met a pizza I didn't like!And these band kids are good. Note the beverages in the background. No underage drinking with this crew!

This purple ball followed us to the hotel from the pizza place.
She said she was a groupie. I don't know, but she provided lots of fun for me and the entire band!

Playing games on the bus really helps pass the time. This was on the way to Army for the Women's Tournament. I was good at this category!

This is a really great Fight Song! You can listen to it here:Chu, Chu! Rah, Rah!

Ahhhh! Time to hit the sack! Living in the laps of affordable luxury with the HC Band!

When you depend on others to get you around, sometimes you get put on the shelf and feel like a potted plant!

Ramapo College??? I thought we were playing at West Point?

Heavy rain and a power outage at West Point forced the games to be relocated. Who cares where it is, it's college basketball!

The players are warming up, getting ready to take on Lehigh. The Crusaders would go on to win the game 46 - 44!After the game, it was back to Worcester and a few days off before the Patriot League Championship game at the Hart Center against Bucknell!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bally at the PL Women's Championship

Bally arrived back in Worcester with the HC pep band, rested and then found his way to CHC8485 for the Patriot League Women's Championship game between the Bucknell Bison and the Holy Cross Crusaders.

Boy this band is good and I had fun with them for the last week or so. Thanks to HCBando09 for taking such good care of me!

Here I am with Bob (CHC8485) my new Landlord.

This is Bob's 13 year old son. He loves the Crusaders!

This is Non-Alum Dave and Donna. They are Huge HC fans!

Crossports poster Tom. He was Bob's classmate at HC. Their Dad's were classmates ('50) at HC too!!

Rob Maccariello, from WCHC 88.1 FM, called the game. They have great seats and do a great job broadcasting the games!

Dancing the Tone with the Band. They do this every game. It's always fun & never gets old!

The Crusaders dropped the Championship to the Bison, so basketball season in 'Sader Nation is over! Over the summer Bally will be making his way around 'Sader Nation to get to know the citizens of 'Sader Nation and Crossports better!