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Travel - and the Case of the Rather Curious Persimmon Tree.....
In a couple of weeks the wife and I will be going on vacation out of the country. It will be a Caribbean cruise, and I'm getting pretty excited. I haven't been able to travel much lately, and rarely out of the country. But to be honest, I'm also getting just a touch of anxiety.

Leaving the country, and even leaving my region, can make me uncomfortable for some reason. I like Canada. Outside of the metric system, it's pretty similar to America. But I always feel more relaxed when I'm on that bridge, back to America.

It's not just out of the U.S. either. Sometimes it's strange just traveling in the Southern states. Maybe it's the accent. Sometimes I need time to get my ear accustomed to their lingo. One time I was in a diner in Memphis , Tennessee. I had to ask a young waitress to repeat her question to me three times. Apparently she just wanted to know if I wanted any pie. She probably thou…
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Baker Mayfield Has "It".....
The Cleveland Browns are one of the NFL's most historical teams. Back in the 1950's, they were historically good. Since the 21st century, they have been historically bad. One of the reasons for the recent ineptitude has been the inability to develop a competent quarterback. It hasn't been for lack of trying.

The Browns have drafted quarterbacks like Brandon Weeden, Johnny Manziel, amd Deshon Kaiser. Weeden had a good arm, but no football smarts. Manziel was a party animal that threw away his career. Kaiser had good size, a good arm (if not accurate), but was thrown into the fire too soon with no support. That brings us to "Baker - Baker - The Touchdown Maker."

The Browns had the number 1 choice in the NFL draft and decided on Mayfield. Why? There were bigger quarterbacks available. One had a better arm. But Mayfield has "it". I'll say it right now. Baker Mayfield will be a very good NFL quarterback. Let's …
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What  Makes A Good Wedding?....
We were at a wedding this weekend, and it was a blast. But actually, I knew it was going to be great before we even got there. This was the wedding of the daughter of our great friends. Everything was first class. Everything was special. It was unusual in the fact that the bride and groom were able to throw it together in only a few months. I remember it took my wife and I over a year to plan ours. Of course, that was before the internet.

At the end of the day, a wedding is just supposed to be a big party. Yes, it's expensive. But it's just a party to mark the beginning of a marriage of two people in love. How hard can it be to plan a fun time for all? I have been to tons of weddings over the years. Most were fun. But not all. Some I couldn't wait to get out of. It got me thinking. What really makes a good wedding? What are the biggest factors in whether the guests have an enjoyable time or not.

I'm not talking about the wedding ceremon…
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The 2018 Pizza Awards..... I think I get pizza to eat about once per week. I love it. Most everybody does. Maybe because it's like eating fresh baked bread. Maybe it's the melted cheese. The sauce, the toppings. Who knows? Some people say pizza became popular in America starting in the 1890's with the influx of Italian immigrants to America. Others say that after World War II the G.I's brought the tasty treat back with them from Europe. Either way, pizza is now more popular in America than it is in Italy.
People even like to make it at home. My son even makes a good pizza, including the dough. But it's a big project. Most people get carry out for the convenience.
But what changed the pizza landscape in America forever was the opening of several pizza chains across America. Pizza Hut started with their brand in 1958, (too greasy). Little Caesars in 1959, (cardboard crust). Domino's in 1960, (fast), and Papa John's in 1989 (foul mouthed owner).
But to be hon…
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My 5 Favorite Baseball Hall of Famers.....
The Baseball Hall of Fame is in Cooperstown, New York. It is part museum, part church of baseball, and part fantasyland. It is a small town in upstate New York that is so picture perfect that you think you're in a baseball movie. It's not just the museum. The whole village is dedicated to baseball.  Any baseball fan would be thrilled to visit.

In a couple of weeks it will be induction weekend. That's the highlight of the year in Cooperstown. Former Cleveland Indian Jim Thome will be part of the induction class. I am hoping to go to that. But it's a busy time of the year so we'll see if that works out.

The Baseball Hal of Fame is, in my opinion, far and away the best major sports Hall of Fame. Part of the reason is because Baseball is such an old sport. Abe Lincoln knew what baseball was. Statistics have been kept since those days. While the game has changed somewhat, fans love to argue the statistics to compare Hall of Fa…
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It's On! We're Cruising - Take 2.....
How hard can it be to take a cruise? Maybe harder than you think. Regular readers may remember that last year, for our 40th Anniversary, my wife and I had planned to go on our first cruise. We haven't done much international travel, and had never been on a cruise ship. So we decided to try it.

We researched the cruise lines, and locations and decided  on a Caribbean cruise with the MSC line. MSC is an Italian cruise line that in recent years has made it to the new world. While European in style, the ships appear to be most elegant.

Everything was set. Airline tickets to Miami - check. New suitcase - check. Hurricane Irma - check. That's right. One of the most powerful and destructive storms in history was tearing it's way across the Atlantic and headed for Miami. We followed The Weather Channel like it was a soap opera. We were hoping for the best, but we knew what would happen. The cruise line cancelled our cruise totally on …
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Concentration Detention Camps for Kids - Here in America..... Way back in the day, I would take my kids for rides to see fun or unusual places. One time we came upon a very unusual sight near the outskirts of the airport. There was a building that looked like a small school. It even had a playground on the outside. But it had a high fence along the perimeter with razor wire on top. WTH? Was this to keep people out, or to keep what was on the inside in? These were the days when the X-Files were popular on tv. So I told my kids it was a school for "alien-human hybrids". But now it could be used to incarcerate kids of illegal immigrants.

In recent weeks, the government has rounded up groups of illegal immigrants. These are people that don't have the paperwork to be in this country. But contrary to some people's opinion, these people don't come here to rape and plunder the Americans. They come here to work. They generally work on farms and meat packing plants. Jobs t…