Within the past few days, I reached the half-way point in the number of games for which I’m scheduled to sing the anthem. While that game didn't precisely mark the middle of the Minor League season, it coincided with the Class A mid-season All Star Classic. And although we haven't reached the apex of our travel route, which we'll cross next week when we get to Burlington, Vermont, we certainly hope that we have now passed the half-way point in the total number of miles that we'll pile up in Arby, Toad, and the rental cars—currently a little more than 14,000 miles. For sure, by any of these measures friends jokingly consider me half-witted.
Nontheless, it's halftime, despite using a metaphor from the wrong sport. Even so, it’s definitely time for me to make mid-course adjustments in the way that I have been blogging about the trip. Thus far, I have been chronicling the games in the sequence of the tour. During each game, I have made detailed notes, often followed in the wee hours by my drafting blogs in Arby’s comfort, a friend’s house, or a hotel room. In other cases, the late hour of my return from the game and travel fatigue from the day have prevented me from simply transcribing notes that night and roughly shaping them into an initial draft. The backlog started to like runners on base in a wild inning. And not surprisingly, my ERA (Estimated Recovery Actions) started to balloon.
Since I spent haven't posted the blogs about games from the second week of June, it’s obvious that I have fallen far behind in honing the notes and drafts into blog posts. Last week, I had thought that I’d be able to catch up a bit, at least completing the entries for the games in North Carolina and Pennsylvania; but I fell further behind as travel difficulties with lodging plagued me, access to the Internet evaded me, and a headache nagged me for a few days.
I keep wondering, “How can I catch up?” Should I continue to follow the same pattern of making sure that I keep the games in order and try to work harder or faster? (I wish!) Or could I make better progress by making some changes in format and sequence?
So here’s what I’ll try: I’ll use a format that will identify games by their number and location; but they will not be posted in the previous pattern of the games’ sequence. Using this format, I hope to quicken the pace of posting reflections on the most recent games and ballparks while continuing to work on the backlog of a score of games whose drafts I have not yet completed. For several of these blog drafts, I still need to confirm information about players, the game, and the ballpark, and I need to select and upload the photographs associated with each game. Each of these searches and actions, of course, has compounded the delay in getting blogs posted in the sequence of my singing for the games.
In the new format that I'll use, for instance, “On the Frontier: Game 52 in Rochester” might precede the posting of “A Ballpark Prism: Game 46 in Richmond.” By adding the number and location to the title, I want to make it easier and quicker for fans to find the blogs about the games that they attended and to allow regular readers still to track our somewhat convoluted route.
On occasion, I will continue to intersperse game reflections with musings about the wonder and challenges of travel—like Arby’s current distress.
Yesterday on our way from Roanoke to Norfolk, Arby suffered some gastric distress, cramped up on the highway, and required a stretcher—well, actually, it was a big tow truck—to transport him to an ER (short for "Engine Repair" shop) in Farmville. The diagnosis was that he needed minor surgery—a new alternator. Since none of the auto parts stores in the small city had the correct part, one was ordered for delivery this morning.
Alas, Arby’s hospitalization over night meant that I had to cancel the anthem appearances in Norfolk for last evening and in Salisbury, Maryland (where the Delmarva Shorebirds nest) for the game this morning. Now we're hoping that the transplant is successful and that the ER anaesthesia will wear off in time for us to make it to Wilmington for tomorrow night's game.