Now that was a productive weekend
Let’s start at the baseball diamond this weekend where an emergency message went out Saturday morning just after I finished Saturday Screencaps that the first baseball game of the season was on for my 9-year-old son. It turned out to be one of those games I’ll file away in the memory bank to talk about years from now.
Jack’s team got down 4-0 early and it wasn’t looking good early for my son who had hitting issues a year ago and had a strikeout in his first AB. In his second trip to the plate, his baseball career might’ve changed forever. He connected on a legitimate (feel like I need that disclaimer) two-run double and then had the game-winning catch that doubled off a kid from second to end it with a 7-4 win.
I put a $2 tab per player on the concession stand and the kids thought they’d hit the lottery being able to go up and pick out something after a big opening day win.
Let’s stop right there to address the shock and awe of the concession workers when I told them I wanted to pay for the team to get a treat after the game. When I played Little League that’s just how parents did it. Each kid had a dollar tab. I seem to remember a slush was 50-cents and we’d spend the rest of the money on Swedish fish or some other penny candy that was stuffed into little paper bags.
We’d sit there in one of the best Little League ballparks in the United States (RIP Hardscrabble Little League) and enjoy life.
Saturday, my son and his friends got a taste of that good life and it was cheaper than going to Costco to fight the suburban mom Suburbans to by juice boxes and Doritos variety packs.
- Don’t worry, I won’t be leading off many future Monday morning Screencaps reliving my kids’ sports moments. Like I told my wife, Jack might not get another hit all summer. We need to celebrate this moment.
- Shoutout to my wife for how many plants she got in the ground this weekend. We’re finally to the age with the kids where they leave her alone to play on their own while she gets her hands dirty and then she went nuts.
- Shoutout to my wife for how many plants she bought. It was a plant barrage that just kept coming, but I think we’re going to have a great flower summer based on the sheer volume of plants that were in our driveway. Is she done? Doubt it, but there are worse vices in the world than going on flower-purchasing binges.
- Patio beers as the kids play foursquare in the driveway until almost nine o’clock hit differently this time of year.
- There’s just something about sitting outside at the end of a productive weekend after not looking at social media for 36 hours or so. It’s so good for my soul.
What a week
• Indy Daryl writes:
Happy Sunday evening from Indy at the end of what can only be described as an insane week! I traveled for work all last week which isn’t normal (more to come on where and why I think you should visit Epic in Madison, Wisconsin), which meant I didn’t get in a league mow, got home late Friday afternoon, ran the Indy Mini Half Marathon on Saturday morning (shout out to all my other finishers out there!! I’m sure this is at least one who reads screencaps! And yes, you do get to run on the Indy 500 track!), tried to get in a Saturday afternoon mow in to only have my trusty 21” Yard Machines mower die (due to lack of any upkeep: see mowing epic), which led to the front and only half of the back being mowed, all leading into Mother’s Day!
And the biggest news of all you ask? Completely switched up and went with a battery powered mower! Did a little home work, looked at the budget and decided upon a Green Works 21” 40v self propelled model. Not top of the line by any stretch, probably not even half way. But with what how incredible the cut was tonight, you better believe I am more than thrilled.
In the end, Mrs. Do Hard Things also got the time to do what she loves to do in spring time: plant her flowers! We have more potted plants, hanging plants, and planted in the ground plants than I know what to do with. She is amazing and makes our little slice of life wonderfully colorful. I am more than blessed!
And to cap it all off, the sunset from our deck tonight couldn’t have been more perfect. What a way to finish up celebrating the love of my life and trying to take care of her the best I can every single day.
Have a great evening and I look forward to screencaps Monday edition!
There must be something in the air with the women and their plants this year. Anyone else experiencing a wife that has gone crazier than normal with plants? Was there some sort of astrology sign this weekend that I wasn’t aware of.
And the Indy marathon thing reminds me of the time I sat behind Mario Andretti in his two-seater doing 180 around Indy. It was much more enjoyable than running it, I’m sure.
• Mark H. in Michigan writes:
Head for the Mountains.
I had a couple of traditional Lattes Saturday night, but these new cans sure are calling my name. Same great taste, just with better artwork.
Living the good life
• Mark R. writes:
Who lives like we do!! Hi my name is mark R. I’m a dentist from suburban Chicago. Love screencaps. W my wife and some friends in St. Louis for Kenny Chesney. This feels pretty much like a screencaps crowd!! Keep doing what you do.
Have you ever stopped to think of how miserable Chesney must’ve been during those four months with Renee Zellweger when they were married in 2005? She cited “fraud” in the divorce papers. Chesney later said, “The only fraud that was committed was me thinking that I knew what it was like… that I really understood what it was like to be married, and I really didn’t.”
Some people were just born to be free of marriage restraints. Chesney’s lucky he got out before it lasted a decade.
Rock solid weekend
• Mike T in Idaho sent me a report Saturday:
Took the leftover stones from our patio reset and built one of our daughters a patio
NHL playoffs/COVID & mower hierachry
• Ryan from Fargo writes:
Got my TNML stickers in the mail, thank you: 1 for the mower (see below), 1 for the lake fridge, and 1 for the garage cabinet! Two topics on my mind, feel free to break them up into different posts and/or edit for brevity:
As if we need further proof of the absurdity of the past 2+ years, the NHL playoffs have exposed yet another absolute mindbender: to enter into the United States you still need a negative COVID test if you fly, whereas if you cross the border via bus you are not required to be tested!
Thus some NHL teams are wisely opting to fly/bus to border cities so they can then cross via bus and not risk the COVID testing; despite 99% of the NHL being vaccinated (no risk, right?!) one positive test could be a series changer.
I’m curious what the TNML thinks of a hierarchy or status symbol for lawnmower brands (ie. Cadillac v. Porsche v. Mercedes). Growing up my dad loved his Ariens rider (blew the motor), upgraded to a beautiful John Deere (still going strong), but always lusted for a Kubota. Now, the brands are endless so let the debate begin.
• Matt G. in Evans, GA writes:
I absolutely love what you do with regarding to your daily Screencaps column. I have been an Outkick fan since it was only Clay writing like one article per week and it is amazing to see how Outkick has grown.
I have been tempted to write to you many times but work/life and other excuses all seem to get in the way. But then you started to ask for concert experiences and I could not resist. Live music is my passion and I attend many concerts and even play in a local shitty dive bar band but still love playing every night even if we are playing for “Jerry from Wyoming” and the bar staff.
So on to my best/craziest concert experience. The year was 1999 and I was a freshman in a Midwestern University and I was a huge metalhead and liked obscure Swedish Death Metal bands. My favorite band at the time was a band from Sweden called In Flames. None of my friends knew who they were but I had one close friend in college who was always up for an adventure. So I learned about an In Flames concert in Chicago (5ish hours away) and he was totally game to go.
For further reference, his favorite band was Heart (yes, that Heart that has songs like Alone, These Dreams, Barracuda, etc). So there we are, two college freshmen road-tripping to a metal show while singing Heart songs the whole way there. Since we were morons, we didn’t realize that it might have been a good idea to get tickets in advance.
We roll up the venue that is about the size of a 2 car garage and see a line of people waiting to get in wrapped around the building and down the street. In addition, it is December in Chicago, so it is COOOLLLDDD and there are people literally starting fires as they wait in line to stay warm.
Then, we see the venue’s sign to see that the show is sold out. Crap!, so we decide to grab some Arby’s next to the venue. Inside there is a guy with a shirt that looks like it is straight from a horror movie and I immediately know that this guy is going to the show. My friend is terrified as I approach him. I start talking to him about the show and find out that he owns a record store in Chicago and has extra tickets.
I buy two from him ($15 per piece) and go to the show and it is insane and by far the best show I have ever been to. The bands Shadows Fall and Nevermore opened up and I ended becoming huge fans of both of them as well. In fact, the next day, I went to the local Sam Goody in the mall (yeah, definitely dating myself there) and special ordered the Shadows Fall “Of One Blood” album, which is still one of my favorite albums today.
Anyways, sorry for the long email, but figured that I would share this story for you regarding concert experiences. Keep up the great work!
Isn’t it amazing how just making casual conversation with someone and it turns into one of the greatest nights of your life? As Matt proved, you just have to keep yourself in the game and something good tends to work out in the end. Great work by Matt all those years ago. It’s something I hope my kids learn.
Stay in the game. Don’t be afraid to make small talk. Build those relationships. Score tickets!
And with that, I’m done this Monday morning. It’s on to the Zoom meeting and the meat of the workday.
Have a great day across this country and for those of us north of the Ohio River, enjoy that sunshine, those mid-to-upper 70s temps with very little wind. We’ve earned days like this one. Take advantage.