E. and his first-grade teacher, Miss Seawalt. . .
Though the lunar calendar declares the beginning of summer as June 21, we all know otherwise: it's when the kids get out of school. For us in the Saginaw ISD, that was noon, Thursday, June 5. We really roared right into it.
M and I. and myself attended E.'s end of year party, helping out with snowcones, relay races and coconut-and-pineapple bowling out in front of the school before the kids were released for the summer. Verdict: E. gets to become a second-grader next year. E. posed for a photo with Miss Seawalt, his teacher, then we rushed off to the Old Time Barbershop on Denton Highway for the dudes in the family to get summer haircuts--get the trimmers out, this is going to be short!
Boys not too sure about this summer haircut thing. . .
. . .but they sure thought it felt funny-cool to run their hands over each other's shorn-noggins!
The three dudes, all nicely trimmed for summer. . .
I. had a bit of trepidation going in, but he soon warmed to the idea of being sheared. Even E. liked his buzz cut, but the itchies from the errant clippings down his back made the trip home afterwards a bit uncomfortable.
A quick shower and a change and we headed off to the Temple to see the Texas Rangers play the Cleveland Indians. We got there early to watch some batting practice and hopefully get Ian Kinsler's autograph for his namesake family member, but the high winds (nearly 50 mph at one point) that kept the flags atop the stadium snapping shortened the practice. We wandered the ballpark, the kids hitting a little whiffle ball in the family section, where we dined on perhaps the worst-looking hotdogs known to man.
Major-leaguers watching batting practice. . .
The boys were impressed by how hard ace pitcher Kevin Millwood threw in the bullpen to warm up. He got off to a rocky start, giving up four runs in the first inning before finding his groove and lasting six innings, giving up no more runs and a total of nine hits. The bullpen, uncharacteristically, provided three innings of hitless relief, and Ranger bats drove in nine runs. Our Ranger favs Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler went hitless, but Michael Young went 3-for-5 including a homerun, the Rangers winning 9-4.
Rangers starter Kevin Millwood warming up. . .
Kinsler out at first plate. . .
It was a great game, which we enjoyed from high above home plate in the 330 section. . .from the upper home run porch. . .and from the bleachers in the outfield near the grassy hill (the kids get pretty fidgety sitting in one place all night). We had a great time, and I've now agreed to bury the hatchet I'd held against Rangers owner Tom Hicks. True the $12 parking is a bit excessive, but there are enough ticket deals out there that taking the family to the game doesn't have to break the bank, and we like the lineup GM Daniels and team president Nolan "Shucks, I'm just a country boy" Ryan have put together. If I had a few extra thousand bucks lying around, I'm certainly pop for season tickets. . . .
The boys with their whiffle ball bats. . .
This time, the Red dot won. . .
Enjoying the late innings in the bleachers. . .
Crashed out in the car headed home. . .
WHAT I DON'T UNDERSTAND DEPT: Though the folks at the gate say it is "Major League Baseball rules" to prohibit "hard" coolers due to "security concerns," I can't figure out what is truly consistent policy at The Ballpark. Last game we attended, my soft nylon cooler with plastic tub insert was not a security concern, and neither were the three cans of Coke we brought in. This time? No cans of coke. No plastic cooler liner. So, they both went into the trash can at the entrance check-in so we could insure security for the rest of the fans. It seemed a bit strange, though, to see fans walking around with wooden baseball bats (to be autographed, I'd guess), or to have kids who hit whiffle balls in the Coca Cola Family Park get to keep the plastic bats. . .couldn't THOSE be used in some sort of crazy Jihadist uprising by the fans far more effectively than my innocent plastic cooler liner? Just another thing that makes you scratch your head in this whacky post-9/11 world we live in. . . .