The Phillies have fired Charlie Manuel and bumped Ryne Sandberg up to the top step of the dugout.




Congratulations, Ryno. I remember when you were just a skinny kid teeing off on Bruce Sutter on a sunny afternoon in the Friendly Confines, and here you are now, all grown up and taking the reins. (Why do I suddenly feel so old?)

Now … go turn over some equipment, explain to the young’uns that THIS is a SIMPLE game, and give Ricketts & Co. a reason to cry in their Old Style. Your boys aren’t eliminated yet. (You’re an old Cub. Don’t act like you can’t stand 20.5 games away from the top and see a Series ring shimmering waaaaaay out in the distance.)

Woooooooo hooooooooooo! Eep! Yeep! *Cartwheels*


Friends in strange places

Marlene Dietrich once said, “It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.”

I would add, “But it’s the friends you can take out chasing ghosts and photographing houses of ill repute while listening to ’60s folk revival CDs and discussing sci-fi-themed pranks at 1 a.m. that ensure life is truly a Rare Entertainment.”

I learned this when my friend Greg and I found ourselves sitting on a curb next to Route 66 in Galena, Kansas, late last night, discussing the pros and cons of vandalizing enhancing the exterior of a bright blue porta-potti to make it look like the TARDIS.

We ultimately decided such a prank was likely to be more trouble than it was worth, given the venue, so I suggested a Spooklight-hunting excursion instead.

A search for the Spooklight basically entails chasing a mysterious (and notoriously fickle) will-o’-the-wisp down poorly lit backroads all over one little corner of southwestern missouri, southeastern Kansas and northeastern Oklahoma. This is obviously a brilliant thing to be doing after midnight when you’re due to have breakfast with about 200 of your closest friends a few hours later before driving 350 miles to get back home in time for work.

An ordinary person would have said, “Hell, no. You’re a lunatic. Go to bed.”

Greg’s response: “Do you think I’ll need my tripod?”

We didn’t see the Spooklight, mostly because we started to run out of steam by the time we got out to the spot where the light supposedly shows up.

We did, however, see a creepy-looking deer staring at us. We also had a good conversation about miscellaneous geekery; saw a few groups of people sitting along the backroads, waiting for the Spooklight to appear; listened to “Diamonds and Rust”; and stopped to look at the slightly risque stained-glass window in a 19th-century bordello.

I had a good weekend, obviously. Hope you did, too, wherever you are.


More dust

I really thought I’d have time to finish tinkering with the decorations and swapping out the wallpaper here by now, but I’ve been up to my teeth in homicides and kidnappings and insurance scams and cops and lawyers and unfortunate accidents and conspiracy theories and cold cases and bad coffee and editors and accident reports and fast-food wrappers and probable-cause statements and all of the ten thousand other details that make the life of a crime reporter unlike any other (and one I wouldn’t trade for anything).

Every now and then, I get a minute to catch my breath. I usually spend it listening to vinyl or sneaking up to Makanda for cappuccino on the Boardwalk. But I had a hand free tonight, so I sat down and worked up the photos I shot Sunday and put together what I think is a little more accurate representation of my world at the moment.

The background is a picture of downtown Cape. We have an awesome downtown full of historic buildings and interesting businesses. I love it. The new header is the Bill Emerson Bridge across the Mississippi River, which replaced an old through-truss gem that was demolished 10 years ago. I would like the record to show that I shot the photo in the header at 1/4 of a second without a tripod. Don’t act like you’re not impressed.

I’m going to pull another vanishing act for a few days, but I hope to be back with a bitchin’ new project to unveil and some photos to share soon. Stay tuned.