50 thoughts on “February 24, 2021: Touchdown”

  1. Fun fact, when I woke up in Tucson yesterday it was 43 degrees. When my plane landed in MPLS in the afternoon it was 43 degrees. My first trip since Covid started. Honestly, Tucson was a great place to be holed up. Lots of hikes, no crowds, easy to find great food in joints that were not packed to the rafters. I don't know if I just hit the right week in the right town or what, but we never felt uncomfortable anywhere we were at. Also, for a state with far fewer restrictions, the citizens themselves seemed waaay more concerned with public safety than I see in the Midwest. The weather was also perfect. 40-45 degrees when I woke up each day, which is awesome weather for a morning walk. 65-75 as a high each day, which provided the warmth my body needed after our 2 weeks of deep freeze. Found some crazy good food and drink around Tucson and played a round of golf at Ventana Canyon, which is a very nice course. My only stressor was a 5 mile hike through the wilderness of Saguaro National Park (East). It was a beautiful hike, but 5 miles on a narrow desert trail with "rattlesnake activity" signs made me a bit nervous. Cuz... I ..... hate.... snakes! Luckily, we saw no snakes (rare to see this time of the year) and it was a beautiful trip.

      1. Last year we drove up to the top of Mt. Lemon, which was pretty cool. 80 degrees in the valley and a foot of snow up in the mountains. Next year we will drive out to Kitt Peak as honestly, in two trips to Tucson, I never heard of it.

          1. The whole place is a pretty impressive facility. I’ve never been as a visitor, but it’s a nice place to go as an observer.

            When I was there at least, there was some way to get a tour of the 4-meter telescope, because we had to plan the timing of our daytime calibrations to let them know when the visitors could come through the control room and telescope dome area. That was long enough ago that it may have changed, though.

              1. WIYN was relatively new (about 10 years old) when I was there. We visited someone observing there on the night before our observing run started, and it certainly seemed very new and modern compared to the control room of the 4-meter, which was full of manual dials and switches that could still be used to move the telescope (though they were just a backup at that point; the telescope operator did all the moving and pointing with a computer).

        1. Another next trip visit. We were going to stop there on Monday after our desert hike, but the last mile was along a wash that was basically 2 inches of loose sand. By the time we got back to the trail head my wife was in no mood for any more stops other than lunch and a margarita. Our favorite lunch stop on our trip was a Peruvian restaurant in which we had our first run in with Pisco (peruvian brandy), which was amazing, and I had a dish which was similar to paella. Best stop of our trip. Worst part of our trip was gaining 4 pounds, despite extensive hiking. We typically share an entree and a salad or appetizer when we dine out, but since we were exploring fine foods, we double down and ate too much. Might have imbibed too much as well, but it was well worth it.

  2. TIL that our company has an employee named Kirk Gibson. We also have a Michael Jordan and a Mike Schmidt. True story: our Mike Schmidt was completely unaware that a man with his same name was a HOF third baseman.

    1. I have a line cook who's first name is Bruce. I saw in his file a few weeks ago that his middle name was Wayne. So, that day I was calling him Bruce Wayne which brought a lot of chuckles from the other cooks. He came up to me later and asked why everyone was calling him Batman. He is 19 years old.

    1. So sad for this guy. Actually pretty sad for all minor league prospects as this past year has messed with a lot of careers. Wishing him a quick and full recovery!

    2. Damn. that’s really terrible news for Lewis (and the Twins, but I feel for the kid most). I hope this isn’t the case, but given it’s the ACL, I wonder if that’s the end of any hope he might have to stick at short.

        1. IIRC, Kubel all but detached his lower leg from his upper leg.

          This sounds more like a "routine" ACL repair, if such a thing could be characterized as routine. I'd guess that he'll probably be back at full speed in 12-18 months.

      1. Couldn't have been worse timing. After missing out of a full season of development last year due to COVID, he's now missing a second consecutive year. That's really going to push his timeline back. Hopefully, he can at least play in the Arizona Fall League again or even one of the winter leagues.

          1. We love Ft. Myers Beach, although traffic can be poor (construction on the main drag); Sanibel is also nice. Try VRBO.

            In the past I've just bit the bullet and gotten Twins ticket through a broker; forget any Twins/Red Sox games, since they're both situated in Ft. Myers; in a pinch, Port Charlotte (Rays) is only an hour away.

            1. I just got back from my parents place in Estero which is just south of FM and is less than 20 minutes from Airport and the Twins Facility. The Estero/Bonita Springs area is not a bad place to look either. The traffic isn't nearly as bad and there are some nice beaches in the Bonita Springs area. Definitely not as cool/trendy as Fort Myers Beach or Sanibel, but a lot easier to move around.

            2. Bradenton is a fun park too if you are willing to watch Pirates "prospects". I've been 4-5 times and haven't had a hard time finding accommodations. (Obviously depends on your preferences)

  3. It's not looking good for the outdoor rink, significant puddling the last couple days and definitely today now that the sun is fully on it. Looking at the forecast, I'm hoping we can get out on it another time or two Sunday or Monday. But once the 40s hit, it could be game over.

    1. Yup. What a year. It finally got cold enough for us to get a good freeze, and we had about 4 days of skating. Now it's looking unlikely we'll get any more - maybe a time or two if it refreezes well.

      At least I learned a few things that I can apply next year, and hopefully we'll get a better rink because of it.

    2. Growing up on a lake, I got real good at skating on crax ice. The first time I skated on Zamboni ice I couldn't handle it until I had my blades sharpened.

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