This ‘N That

Tropical Storm Fay has decided to park over Florida’s Space Coast, which is going to make my vacation trip more — well, interesting.

We’re supposed to fly to Orlando on Saturday and spend a week. The storm itself is not strong enough to cause immediate significant damage. It’s just moving so slow that it’s dumping a lot of water.

We have a friend who works at Kennedy Space Center. I just spoke to her; pretty much everything is shut down for a couple days as they don’t want people on the roads. The crew for the next Shuttle launch was due in next week for training, but no one knows right now what the schedule will be. So I guess we’re just going to wing it when we get there along with everyone else.

The local paper is Florida Today. Their web site,, has some cool geeky features you’d expect in a company town where the company happens to be the space program. This morning, they had two reporters driving around with a video camera streaming live to the web site in the middle of the storm. Not parked. They were streaming while driving. They were receiving text messages from viewers as they drove, answering questions and providing traffic updates.

They also have a camera mounted on a building showing Cocoa Beach Pier, so you can see the strength of the storm. Last night we were seeing occasional lightning flashes in the darkness.

I’d hoped to see a minor league game next week, either the local Brevard County Manatees or the Daytona Cubs up the road, but the fields may be so soggy they’re rendered unplayable. We’ll see.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know I’ve been researching the early history of the Angels minor leagues and have tracked down some of the original “future Angels.” Tonight I’m taking Dan Ardell and Dick Simpson to Rancho Cucamonga. The Quakes are playing the San Jose Giants. Dan and Dick played for the San Jose Bees (same franchise, different team name) in 1962; that was the year Dick hit 42 homers, which stood as an Angels single-season minor league record until Brandon Wood hit 43 homers for Rancho in 2005.

Dan and Dick are scheduled to do the first-pitch ceremony. It’ll be the first time they’ve been on a California League field in 45 years.

I’ve posted on plenty of video clips from Sunday’s Quakes game at Lake Elsinore. I recommend in particular the eight-run first inning clip, so you see everyone who got a hit that inning. For those of you who’ve only heard of Hank Conger, check out his home run swing. It reminds me a bit of how violent Troy Glaus’ swing was. You almost feel sorry for the baseball.

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