Billy’s Pissed

Billy's Pissed

On This Date: Photo taken 5/23/2006

Yeah, the picture’s crooked. It makes Billy look even taller than he is.

Dayton Dragons manager Billy Gardner, Jr, arguing with a replacement umpire (the minor league umps were on strike) during a game against the Southwestern Michigan Devil Rays at Battle Creek’s CO Brown Stadium.

I have no idea what the discussion was about. Frankly I took the argument as part of the evening’s entertainment.

My scorecard probably knows the umpire’s name (haven’t checked), but the box score doesn’t. The umpire’s strike lasted nearly half of the season, ending on June 12.


We folks in the stands were gigglin’, I’m afraid. Billy’d managed Battle Creek’s team in ’97 and ’98, and this is how we remember him. Billy bein’ Billy.

Gardner’s still managing in the minors. I see he’s still doing this.

Number of pix taken on various May 23rds: 851
Year of oldest photo: 2006

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 11
  • 2 Stars: 96
  • 3 Stars: 580
  • 4 Stars: 132
  • 5 Stars: 32

Anybody Home?

Anybody Home?

On This Date: Photo taken 5/22/2012

Before developers built the neighborhood around our yard we had swallows in the summer. They’d chase bugs in the field, do acrobatics in our yard, add some flash to our lives. Sometimes they’d even nest in our birdhouses.

Then they left.

Unexpectedly, for a just couple days, the birds returned in 2012. They checked out the birdhouses again, perched on the weather station, and put on a show.

Then they left. Again.


Not that they’ve completely gone. We still see ’em, far overhead, chasing bugs in the air. But they no longer descend to our level.

A fair accounting should mention that swallows are difficult neighbors. When they’d nest in our yard they’d treat me as a trespasser, buzzing my head if I was outside, even flying directly at my face. This could make yard work an adventure.

Still, I miss ’em.

Number of pix taken on various May 22nds: 407
Year of oldest photo: 2005

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 1
  • 2 Stars: 50
  • 3 Stars: 208
  • 4 Stars: 121
  • 5 Stars: 27

Revision History:

Beal Gardens

Beal Gardens

On This Date: Photo taken 5/21/2011

An outing to the East Lansing Arts Fair included a walk around the Michigan State University campus. Which took us here.

I love that railing-turned-sculpture.


State’s a big school, with lots of programs, but its roots are in agriculture. The W.J. Beal Botanical Garden is a symbol and an embodiment of those roots.

Number of pix taken on various May 21sts: 311
Year of oldest photo: 2005

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 3
  • 2 Stars: 25
  • 3 Stars: 167
  • 4 Stars: 97
  • 5 Stars: 19

Revision History:

The Geese and the Goslings

The Geese and the Goslings

On This Date: Photo taken 5/20/2010

One benefit of working next door to a swamp was that we got to watch baby geese.


Canada Geese are rude, obnoxious, messy neighbors. They’re loud and aggressive, too.

But they’re fun to watch. They parade around the campus, with parents overseeing and protecting the line. Then they camp out on the lawn. Eventually they make their way to the pond, where they swim in little family groups.

Number of pix taken on various May 20ths: 275
Year of oldest photo: 2005

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 2
  • 2 Stars: 35
  • 3 Stars: 163
  • 4 Stars: 66
  • 5 Stars: 9

Revision History:

John O’Donnell Stadium

John O'Donnell Stadium

On This Date: Photo taken 5/19/2003

Josh Hill of the Quad City River Bandits pitches to a West Michigan Whitecaps batter.

While my sister was in seminary we regularly visited Iowa–to help her move, usually, but a couple times just to visit. In 2003 we followed the Mississippi down to Davenport and watched a ballgame.

The Whitecaps lost, but we had a good time. And enjoyed the extraordinarily scenic ballpark.

==========

This ballpark’s now known as Modern Woodmen Park, and was originally Municipal Stadium. But for most of its life it honored local sportswriter John O’Donnell; I prefer to call it JOD.

I’ve recently reread Pat Jordan’s memoir of his minor league career, A False Spring, which I heartily recommend to anyone interested in minor league baseball. It’s a painful and frustrating book, largely because the author and his subject have blind spots (yeah, the same guy, but separated by a dozen years or so). It’s also fascinating.

I was intrigued by his discussion of this stadium, where he pitched in 1960. He calls it “a vast, roofless warehouse”–not my impression at all, but perhaps Pat’s memory’s influenced by the ballpark’s facade.

Jordan’s comments on the facility don’t mention Centennial Bridge. An odd omission.

Number of pix taken on various May 19ths: 261
Year of oldest photo: 2003
How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:
. 1 Star: 0
. 2 Stars: 17
. 3 Stars: 179
. 4 Stars: 54
. 5 Stars: 11

Painted Daisy

Painted Daisy

On This Date: Photo taken 5/18/2012

I often wander around our yard, camera in hand. I call this the Daily Flower Census.

Our Painted Daisies are late this year, and there will be fewer because we’ve destroyed an out-of-control flower bed (this flower was in that bed). The Shastas need weeded, but we’ll get to that presently.

More generally, the Tulips have faded. The Columbines are beginning to open, the Bleeding Heart’s doing well, and the Cranesbill’s flowering. There are buds on the Roses. And there’s one flower on the unexpectedly-returned Dianthus in the Circle Garden.

The Circle–a tiny garden I cut in the lawn, out by the (then) new-laid village sidewalk, in 1993–is having a good year. I’m pleased.


Turns out I’ve never photographed a baseball game on May 18. I may remedy that today. But there’s a high wind advisory; we’ll see.

Number of pix taken on various May 18ths: 381
Year of oldest photo: 2007

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 1
  • 2 Stars: 12
  • 3 Stars: 254
  • 4 Stars: 93
  • 5 Stars: 19

Street Scene

Street Scene

On This Date: Photo taken 5/17/2008

At the East Lansing Art Fair.


I mostly don’t do street photography. Partly it’s lack of opportunity, but more it’s lack of inclination.

But this one turned out well.

Number of pix taken on various May 17ths: 629
Year of oldest photo: 2004

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 2
  • 2 Stars: 25
  • 3 Stars: 374
  • 4 Stars: 174
  • 5 Stars: 54

Revision History:

Great Lakes Kite Festival

Great Lakes Kite Festival

On This Date: Photo taken 5/16/2009

We thought we’d go to Grand Haven and walk the beach. We found kites.

‘Twas glorious.


I didn’t take many photographs in 2009. Partly it was my new, much-more-complicated camera. Partly it was my job. But mostly it was burnout.

Number of pix taken on various May 16ths: 1011
Year of oldest photo: 2003

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 6
  • 2 Stars: 96
  • 3 Stars: 700
  • 4 Stars: 180
  • 5 Stars: 29

Revision History:

VariZoom

VanZoom

On This Date: Photo taken 5/15/2012

The center field camera and photographer at Parkview Field, home of the Fort Wayne Tincaps.


This was the first game I photographed using my Nikon 1 V1. One thing I learned from the outing is that the V1 overheats–and shuts down–in direct sunlight.

The Fort Wayne ballpark, by the way, is absolutely delightful.

Number of pix taken on various May 15ths: 808 [includes one by my brother]
Year of oldest photo: 2004

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 36
  • 2 Stars: 91
  • 3 Stars: 631
  • 4 Stars: 45
  • 5 Stars: 5

Debbie’s Graduation

Debbie's Graduation

On This Date: Photo taken 5/14/2006

Also on this date, in 2006: My sister, Debra Jean, graduated from Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque.


Why not two On This Date pix? In general it would increase my daily workload, probably by about 45 minutes. Some days it’s probably worth the extra effort. But I shan’t make this common practice.

Number of pix taken on various May 14ths: 652 [includes two by my brother]
Year of oldest photo: 2000

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 5
  • 2 Stars: 69
  • 3 Stars: 413
  • 4 Stars: 138
  • 5 Stars: 27

Revision History: