Hi there. Hope you’re enjoying the nice weather. After seeing what Denver and Minneapolis and other parts of the midwest got recently, I was wondering when we were gonna see late April-early May storm that would drop a foot of wet snow here in the Adirondacks. I’m not complaining though.
So the garden is looking good as it’s getting-the-soil-ready-for-the-plants time. The indoor veggies I’ve started are looking real good, but I wish the pepper plants would grow a little more. One thing, who would have though that 32-foot long, 6-inch wide and 4-inch deep area of dirt would be such a pain in the tuchis to clear and move. I took out this area behind the home to widen the path so a car or small truck could drive up to our garage which is off the back of the house. The good part was that the soil is going into the potato bags.
Rain or shine, the Kentucky Derby will always be a must watch for me. One thing I found fascinating is how few starts many of these horses have going into the Derby. The horse I was rooting for, Verrazano, never ran as a 2 year old. Winning the Triple Crown is harder and harder. It’s a tough six week stretch with three races of three different distances. The money is now in stud fees. If a two year old or even a three year old wins a couple of Grade 1 stakes races, cha-ching, off to the courting barn, turn up the Marvin Gaye and start making future champs!
My boycott of the NHL has officially ended and there’s nothing better than the Stanley Cup play-offs.
I made it through the year without seeing the Phantoms play. For this hardcore hockey fan I go to watch the game. The other activities I have no interest in. Bringing in some guy to make a fool of himself, dancing and throwing t-shirts to everyone in attendance is not my idea of a good time. It makes it even more painful to go when the team isn’t competitive. I understand that not every team will be a winner on the ice, but if you show that extra effort fans in this town will show up and watch. Glens Falls is so desperate for play-off hockey and the one thing the Icehawks/Frostbite could never do was win a play-off series.
Like my garden, the golf game is being worked into shape for the year. Hit a couple of buckets of balls. I wish I had an answer for the hook I have off the tee, though. Can’t figure out why I’m closing the club face on impact.
Sunday, I went into Lake George dressed like an eskimo compared to everyone else who with long pants and a windbreaker on and met some friends at SJ Garcia’s for a Cinco De Mayo-type get together. I’m stealing this one and making it for myself at home. I had this seafood quesadilla that had shrimp, crab, and talapia in it. It was scary delicious! I even channeled Mike DuBray and was dropping habanero hot sauce on it.
I had my Bizarre Foods, Andrew Zimmern moment Saturday when a co-worker made chili with the family jewels from a cow in it. It was good and if I hadn’t known what was in it, I would have never guessed what that was. It reminded me of the time I went to the Bahamas and had Conch chowder. I wasn’t a spicy food fan at that point in my like and my Dad got a laugh out of that one. I thought it was gonna be like a New England clam chowder. Boy was I wrong.
One more thing before I end this entry I want to mention that I joined a new gym. I felt right at home when I stepped on a treadmill for that first 20-minute workout. Sending out the freak love…Leccese out.
The focus is on hunger in the latest Real Possibilities with AARP podcast, as host Erin Mitchell welcomes guests to talk about how hunger affects those 50+ and what options there are to help make ends meet in households facing food uncertainty.
It’s springtime and believe it or not, some hockey fans are watching playoff hockey. Around here, we talk about hockey this time of year. For those that don’t know, I have been covering hockey since 1985 and I have been working for The Red Wings, IceHawks, Frostbite and Phantoms since 1990.
The fans of Adirondack hockey haven’t smelled the playoffs since the opening weekend of the first season of the Phantoms in Glens Falls. That might sound harsh. It is. I put none of the blame on the current dry spell of non-playoff hockey on the Brooks Brothers. Rob and Jim own the team but don’t hire the players. That’s a Philadelphia thing.
Anyone that casually follows the hockey team has one question for me. “Dan, who’s coming to play at the Glens Falls Civic Center after the Phantoms leave?”
My answer is always, “I don’t know.” I don’t know if I would want to know. What I do know is, the Phantoms will be back for one more season before heading to Allentown. That I am grateful for. The Brooks Brothers could have just as easily taken next year’s team and put it Atlantic City or Trenton and sold a bunch of tickets, more than at the GFCC, to the hockey-crazed Philadelphia fans.
They have stayed true to their word. They will be back next season. That’s good news.
What’s next for the future of Adirondack hockey? I am out of the loop just as much as you on this. There has been much speculation as to who may be coming in. That’s all it can be at this point. Speculation.
The fans of hockey in the area, in my opinion, will be left wondering if/when/who is coming to town. Being a die-hard New York Rangers fan, I would have loved to have seen them come to town. That’s not happening.
As for fans of Adirondack hockey, one more season of the Phantoms. Maybe after opening weekend of the 2013-2014 season, fans will get a whiff of something that has not been smelled in sometime, the playoffs.
For now, like Sergeant Schultz used to say on Hogan’s Heroes, “I know nothing!”
The spotlight is on the Double H Hole in the Woods Ranch in the latest I’m In with the ARCC podcast, as Greg and Peter welcome Robin DeMattos to talk about the Lake Luzerne-based organization founded by Charles R. Wood and Paul Newman.
Click here to listen to or download I’m In with the ARCC Podcast # (May 3rd, 2013).
This week’s North Country Notebook podcast features an interview with Rock Star for a Day winner Rich Ortiz, discussing his career, his music, and his big night at the Glens Falls Civic Center opening up for Ted Nugent, REO Speedwagon and Styx last week. Joining Rich and host Alan Doane is WCKM’s Dan Miner, who spearheaded the Rock Star for a Day competition and introduced Rich onstage at the Civic Center.
Click here to listen to or download North Country Notebook Podcast #009 (April 29th, 2013).
In the latest I’m In with the ARCC, Greg and Peter welcome Charles Guerin, Director of The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls. Among the topics are Mr. Guerin’s career in art, how he came to be the new director of the Hyde Collection, and the history and future of the Hyde.
Click here to listen to or download I’m In with the ARCC Podcast #011 (April 26th, 2013).
I have been back from vacation for over a week and have just sat down to fill all of you in on it! A week in St. Lucia….ahhh. Paradise. Frozen cocktails, a warm ocean, and no email or phone. It was perfect. A week of laying on the beach and by the pool is very exhausting and I found myself in bed by 10pm most nights.
I did bring two knitting projects with me and was bound and determined to make progress on them. I completed a winter hat/neck warmer that I have been working on for months, and I went as far as I could on a pair of legwarmers (ran out of yarn)…They both will go into a drawer and won’t be pulled out for quite some time, but I feel better knowing I completed something on vacation! There was a casualty to my project being completed however. My right arm was in the shade at the bar while I was knitting, but my left was in the sun. It has peeled at least twice in the last week and the lizard look is not really appealing I must say!
The snorkeling was good, but the best part of the trip was a walk on the beach where I met a couple of ‘locals.’ They were fishing with a net and offered to teach me how to throw it. I tried several times and did catch one little fish. Boy is that a lot of work! They fish and cook them right there on the beach. It doesn’t get any fresher than that. Second to this is the mud bath we did. The run off from the volcano creates this pool of a ‘hot tub’ if you will of muddy water. It is about 100 degrees. You soak in this water and then rub the mud all over you, let it dry, then get back in and wash it off. We were told that it is proven to make you look 10 years younger! (and they laughed when I asked for a second dunk in the mud!!)
We had a wonderfully relaxing time on vacation and came home to no snow. Spring has arrived and I am grateful. I came home to kids in sports, a backed up work schedule, and two weeks of prom’s, college visits, and more! I am not sure where the days go, but boy do they fly by.
Yesterday as I drove around the North Country I thought to myself….maybe what we need is one night a week for ‘girl time.’ A night just for the ladies to golf, have a cocktail, shop, or KNIT! I think that I am going to look further into that….stay tuned.
The last month has been nothing but a blur for me. My schedule is always hectic. Wife. Kids. Grandkids. Radio stations. Family. Hockey and everything and anything else that comes my way. I really wouldn’t have it any other way. The last month has been a hell of a ride with our Be A Rock Star For A Day contest on 98.5 WCKM. When the contest was proposed to me and I was told we were doing it, I had less than a week to get things together and to have the contest going. I really didn’t know what to expect. I’ve been promoting events ever since I was a young kid. I was very apprehensive about this contest. To say I was going to be hopeful for 10 or 12 contestants for the whole run of it would not be to far from the truth.
The first night at the Blue Moose, 10 performers showed up. Beyond anything I could have imagined. The next week at the Full Moon, five entertainers were there. The last of the qualifying weeks at JP Bruno’s, 15 performers got on stage to show their goods. A couple of things that impressed me: Each venue was packed! I do go out and see our local talent a lot but the response was unreal! The musicians were all great. There wasn’t a dog of a performance. There was a great variety of music. And the musicians were able to play original material. For them, to be able to play their own music in front of crowds that were there to see them was incredible.
Putting the contest together, I knew the qualifying rounds would be based entirely on audience response. The key to judging that was to have my people, Lee Pecue, Roberta Carruthers, John Pratt and myself at different locations in each venue. It was a better way to monitor the applause. I also knew that the finals were going to be a slightly different animal. It was decided that 50% of the score would be based on audience response. The other 50% would be based on a panel of judges. I wanted to make sure our panel had a variety of people that would come from different backgrounds. A marketing manager. A promoter. A lead singer of a rock band. An organizer, promoter & performer. And an arts editor. The five judges were great and took the task very seriously.
The night of the finals at Sandy’s Clam Bar was one of those nights you look back and say “Wow.” The response was awesome. All the performers were excellent. It was indeed a happening. To say the three qualifying rounds and the finals were perfect would be an understatement. Rich Ortiz came away the winner and he was ready to rock.
Less than a week later, Rich was preparing to open for rock ‘n roll legends, Ted Nugent, STYX and REO Speedwagon. When working with major league talent, you never know how you are going to be treated. That was a concern for both Rich and me. Rich deserved to be treated with the respect that is due to him being a professional for over 17 years. I just wanted to be able to get on stage and tell the very quick story of the contest. Neither of us knew what was going to happen.
Rich and I finally got down to the stage to do a sound check at 5:30 for a show that had the doors open at 6. Both of us very apprehensive about how we were going to be treated. At 5:31, it all changed. The stage crew, sound crew, the techs for the bands, the band members and everyone involved with the production were beyond great. Rich and I were put at ease. It really was perfect. Rich had a great set. I had a great promotion. The show went on. Not too bad for something that I threw together on the fly. As Hannibal Smith from the A-Team used to say, “I love it when a plan comes together.”
Click here to listen to or download Real Possibilities with AARP Podcast #004 (April 24th, 2013).