All posts by freealonzo

Commander Cody — Hot Rod Lincoln

I'm a little too young to have gotten into Commander Cody but I remember some older cousins who were into him and I had a sense that he was kinda a freaky country guy. This was their only "hit" but they had a pretty loyal following for a while in the early 70s and definitely had a proto-influence on alt-country bands in the 90s. George Frayne, AKA Commander Cody, passed away a week ago from cancer at the age of 77.

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2021 Game Log 157 – Tigers at Twins

Last game log of the 2021 season and looking back at my logs, I've been pretty grumpy. In my defense this team has been a huge disappointment and very frustrating to follow. A team that everyone thought had World Series aspirations that ends up losing around 90 games will do that to a guy. Also, they just weren't a fun team to follow. Blowout losses, late inning blow ups, injuries to key players, bad strategy, team faves being traded, newcomers who not only didn't perform well, but were lousy and not fun. The fact that I couldn't even have them on as background due to Bally Sports North shenanigans just rubbed salt in the wound. Also, I never bought into the the "since their horrible April and May, the Twins have done ok." No they haven't. They were supposed to win over 90 games not hover around .500. Last place in the Central 20 games under .500 cannot be seen in any positive light.

Ugh, I got that off my chest. Tigers come into town and they've been a little better than predicted and could be building something in Detroit. Twins haven't announced a pitcher as of 5:00p. It should be a glorious night for baseball so the ballpark is still cool. Byron Buxton is a blast to watch. You might get to see Miggy one last time. There are good reasons to head to the ballpark if you'd like.

First pitch 6:40p

2021 Game Log #151 – Twins at Cubs

We are definitely at the play out the string portion of the schedule. I am sure Twins players are now in the middle of scheduling events in October that don't include "show up at the park and play baseball." The Twins would have to go 8-4 over these last 12 games to stay under 90 loses but at this point does it matter if they lose 89 or 91 games? I would hope that some of the younger players see this as an opportunity to shine a bit, get a good start for 2022 but then again, with no stakes involved, does it really matter?

Griffin Jax on the mound for the Twins and he's a guy you'd like to keep making strides so that he has a place on the 2022 roster. Alec Mills for the Cubs.

Game time 6:40p, looks like a very nice day for fall baseball in Chicago.

Twins Lineup
2B - Arraez
CF - Buxton
SS - Polanco
3B - Donaldson
RF - Kepler
1B - Sano
LF - Gordon
C - Garver
P - Jax

My Peruvian Misadventures

Some of you may have seen on twitter, but I had a partially disastrous trip to Peru. I developed High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE). Apparently HAPE is really hit and miss. Could be genetics, could be I was a little sick and over compensated, could be my lungs were damaged from COVID last fall. Anyway here is my somewhat running journal of what happened.

I hiked a 15,700’ mountain pass in the Andes with High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and survived to make this description.

I’ve been planning an Andes adventure for a couple of years now with the trip postponed last year due to the pandemic. Finally got it set for first two to weeks of Sept. I trained by walking around the St Paul hills and lots of stair work too. Unfortunately you can’t train for altitude in Minnesota.

I arrived in Cusco (elev 11,000’) 2 days early, did some walking around and included a steep walk to a religious statue with a 700’ elevation gain in just over a mile. Did great. The first day was a drive from Cusco with an elevation gain of 3,000’ then a warm up hike of 7 miles all above 14,000. Did well, no ill effects. Some heavy breathing at steep parts but to be expected.

Things went bad in my tent at night. I had a constant nonproductive cough that kept me awake all night. Literally a short cough every 5 seconds from 8:00p to 6:00a. I slept, if at all, for maybe 20 minutes. Next day on hike I had literally no energy. I need constant breaks and while I was gasping in buckets of air, other hikers just waiting breathing somewhat normally.

After a beautiful mountain glacier lake we we headed up to a pass at 15,700 feet. I made it but a big struggle. Rest of the route was generally downward but some rises too. Overall 9.65 miles of hiking, all over 14,500 feet in elevation.

We checked my o2 sats at camp and I was hitting about 60 percent. 86 percent is considered pretty good at that elevation and I was given o2 to help. That night again the constant unproductive cough. And no sleep. So two days, 17 miles hiking in 14,100-15,700 elevations and no sleep.

Next day I was given remaining o2 but would now ride a horse as we had two passes at 16,665 that day. No way I was making it 9.95 miles without a horse. Camp that night at 15,700 feet. It snowed two inches on tent that night. I just hunkered in my tent from approximately 3:00p on. At one time my o2 sat was 58% and once I put boots on to pee outside tent, got back in sleeping bag exhausted. O2 sat was 50%. More o2 had to be taxied 3 hours from Cusco and then brought by horse another 20 minutes. It arrived at 11:30pm.

Next day another horse day but we would get to place where taxi could bring me back to Cusco. 7 miles of riding but I had to get off horse a couple of times because downhill was too steep to be safe riding. Taxi arrived at literally “mountain road ends at an Alpaca Hut.” But 3 hours later I was in Cusco hoping lower altitude would help. Unfortunately it didn’t help at all.

Next day Expedition company took me to clinic for Covid test (negative) and then for tests. Cat Scan showed lungs 30-40 percent compromised. Some docs thought Covid and was a big controversy. Finally the most senior doc said no Covid. But HAPE. Went to ICU with regimen of o2 and steroids. Numbers improved. Did hyperbaric chamber for 1 hour next day. But now docs being weird. They were ignoring me and expedition company thought they were going to try to milk my stay.

There were two other expedition events planned for Saturday and Sunday I was hoping to do. The sacred Inca Valley and Machu Picchu - both at lower elevations. No arduous hikes, sleep in city hotels. Alas Sacred Valley had to scratched. We basically broke out of hospital Saturday afternoon by insisting that I had a plane to catch back to US. My numbers looked good (enough) and I could survive. It took some cajoling but I was released.

Aside: I was in hospital 4 days, 2 in ICU and 2 in a private room. 3 hyperbaric chamber sessions, CT Lung Scan, blood work, etc. Cost: $1,650. Meds extra but less than $200. We have a serious medical cost issue in this country.

To make it to Machu Picchu for the last train of the evening we had to catch a taxi and rush through Cusco Saturday night traffic, a rock slide outside of town and police checkpoint. Lots of stimulation for a guy who just spent 4 days in hospital hooked to o2. Made the train by 8 minutes. But through some expert coordination was able to make it to Aguas Caliente that evening to meet up with the group for an early morning (5:30a) train ride the next day to Machu Picchu. Which is even at a lower elevation, roughly 8,200 feet.

And there I am, Machu Picchu, weary, woozy, kinda emotional, but breathing and enjoying the heck out of all of it. Fin.

2021 Game Log 132: Cubs at Twins

Just think back in March you were looking at the schedule and your eyes focus on this series. A late summer two game match-up between two teams at the top of their division, perhaps an early World Series preview???... Alas, here we are and both teams struggling and a combined 33 games under .500. Instead of a clash of titans, two teams happy the calendar turns to September tomorrow.

Zach Davis on the mound for the Cubs and he got shellacked last week against the White Sox. More of that please. John Gant for the Twins and he hasn't done much but at least he's not J.A. Happ. I kinda wanted to make a Ron Gant mistaken identity gag here but just couldn't pull it off.

Looks like a gorgeous night to watch some baseball with first pitch at 7:10p.

Twins Lineup
2b - Arraez
CF - Buxton
DH - Polanco
3B - Donaldson
RF - Kepler
1B - Sano
LF - Rooker
C - Rortvedt
SS - Simmons

2021 Game Log 125 – Twins at Red Sox

The last place Twins, 16 games under .500, play the Red Sox who happen to be 16 games over .500 in their annual trip to Fenway. After a good start of the season for the Red Sox, they've cooled down but still in line to play a Wild Card game, perhaps against the Yankees. I wonder if it will be televised?

A match-up between two rookies as Tanner Houck on the mound for the Sox and although 0-3 on the year, has pitched well and could be a decent back of the rotation guy for a while. Giffin Jax for the Twins. Primarily a fastball guy, it will be good for the Twins to see what they have in Jax over the next 6 weeks of the season.

Game time 6:10. Since it's against the Red Sox I think it's on ESPN+ if you subscribe.

Twins Line up
RF - Kepler
LF - Rooker
SS - Polanco
DH - Donaldson
3B - Arraez
C - Garver
2B - Gordon
1B - Sano
RF - Cave

Twins Log Game 120 – Cleveland Guardians and Minnesota Twins

Is the Guardians thing official or does that start in 2022? I don't care, I'm going with Guardians. Tonight is the 8th game of a pretty decent homestand for the Twins and they could win their fourth straight series with a victory tonight. Not that we have to look at the standings or anything but it's nice that the Twins are now just mediocre instead of terrible.

Speaking of terrible, Eli Morgan on the mound for the Guardians and he's been pretty bad this year including a 5 run in 4 innings performance last week. He gets just under a strikeout per inning and has a WHIP of 1.28. Should be easy pickings for the Twins potent bats. Bailey Ober for the Twins and let's see if he can put together a couple of back to back great outings. Did you know he's really tall too?

First pitch at 7:10p for what promises to be a pretty warm game.

Twins Lineup

Twins Log Game 114 – Paler Hosers at Twins

Oof, another drubbing by the White Sox. If I had some time I'd love to see what the run differential has been between these two teams this year. Thankfully not a lot of games left against the Sox.

Griffin Jax on the mound for the Twins and he's been a nice little addition in mid to late summer. Not sure what his long term prospects are but at least he's not in the J.A. Happ territory. Dallas Keuchel on the mound for Chicago and he's been a decent of the back of the rotation guy: gives the team a chance to win and eats up some innings. Twins could use someone like that.

First pitch at 7:10

Twins Line Up
CF - Refsynder
LF - Rooker
DH - Donaldson
C - Garver
2B - Arraez
1B - Sano
3B - Astudillo
RF - Kepler
SS - Simmons

2021 Game Log 102 – Tigers at Twins

I knew the Twins had stumbled out of the All Star break but I was shocked when I looked at the standings today. 15 games under .500, 3.5 games behind the Tigers! I think I've blocked out how bad it's gotten.

Maeda on the mound for the Twins, let's hope he's well rested after scoring the winning last night. Someone called Tyler Alexander for the Tigers and he looks about as mediocre as a Tigers starter would be as expected to be.

It's stinky hot and muggy tonight so not very pleasant at the ballpark if out in the sun. Let's play ball!

Twins Line-up
2B - Polanco
LF - Rooker
3B - Donaldson
C - Garver
RF - Kepler
DH - Sano
1B - Astudillo
CF - Celestino
SS - Simmons