Monthly Archives: June 2011

Swimming season has arrived!

June has not been a kind month for pool owners, except for those lucky enough to own a water heater.

But these last few days have been plenty hot, and the water is warming up. Maisa and Daddy have been in the pool three of the last four days, and she’s loving it.

Daddy is loving it, too. Swimming with Maisa has become of my favorite summer activities.


Maisa had her first swimming lessons last week. The Ankeny pool has heated water, but the cool air was something else.

But overall, she enjoyed the classes and learned a few things. 🙂


It’s really hit home for me this year how unfair interleague play is.

Milwaukee had to play three of MLB’s best teams — the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays.

St. Louis is in Milwaukee’s division, but to my knowledge the Cardinals did not have to face any of those powerful teams. Instead, St. Louis got to play pushover Kansas City six times.

If St. Louis finishes ahead of Milwaukee by one or two games, I think we’ll all know why.

So let’s root, root, root for the Brew Crew.

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Posted by on June 30, 2011 in Uncategorized


A return to normalcy

We had a wonderful visit with our best friends over the weekend. Chad and Brianna and son Jack spent a lot of quality time here at the Kramer compound in Ankeny.

Sunday was Taki restaurant and a small get-together here at the house. Monday was playing in the park, swimming in the pool, grilling steaks on the back patio, and watching baseball in the sunroom.

Always enjoy their company, and hope to see them again soon. Safe travels.


June has been a crazy month for us. Home repairs, family reunions, friends visiting and more home repairs.

It was a fun month, too. Lots of memories — mostly good ones. But we’re looking forward to a nice, quiet, boring July. And a return to normalcy.

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Posted by on June 29, 2011 in Uncategorized


Bankruptcy and the Dodgers

I think I agree with ESPN commentators Wilbon and Kornheiser. The Dodgers’ recent declaration of bankruptcy is not that big of a deal.

It certainly doesn’t rank among the most embarrassing events in Major League Baseball history. Baseball has had many eyes blacker than this one over the years.

Owner McCourt is just using all of his options to keep the Dodgers. Everyone knows he’s eventually going to lose the team and MLB will take over. McCourt is just delaying the inevitable.


As a Dodger fan, the whole series of events is embarrassing. No doubt about that. It’s also an embarrassment that a team with the NL’s best all-around player (Kemp), one of the NL’s best pure hitters (Ethier) and one of the NL’s best pitchers (Kershaw) is battling to stay out of last place.


Just have to find a way to get better ownership after McCourt leaves town. That won’t be easy to do.

Thing is, McCourt and his wife were good owners before they decided to get a divorce. This has to rank among the most destructive divorces in history, given that it has thoroughly tarnished the aura and reputation of one of sports’ great franchises.

The Dodgers went to the playoffs in four of the first six years of McCourt ownership. Most fans would say that is the definition of good ownership. The divorce became public on the eve of the 2009 NLCS, and it’s been all downhill since then.


Two nights ago, I watched the Dodgers beat the Twins 15-0. For those three hours, I almost forgot that this team is 10 games under .500 and a casualty of a bitter courtroom battle.


I have to wonder what my Uncle Hub thinks about all this nonsense. He’s been a Dodger fan since 1955.

I read a quote from a Dodgers historian recently — he basically said that this is the first time in the history of the Dodgers that fans have no reason to be optimistic. I think that’s an excellent point.

In the past, even when the Dodgers had a bad season, there was reason to believe that next year would be different. 1958 was followed by 1959 … 1984 was followed by 1985 … 1987 was followed by 1988, 2005 was followed by 2006, etc.

The difference now is fans know the franchise is going nowhere until new ownership arrives. And that’s always a long, drawn-out affair. It could be years before the Dodgers find some sense of normalcy.

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Posted by on June 29, 2011 in Uncategorized


Angels beat the Dodgers, and I’m almost OK with it

Is it bad for me to look at last night’s score (Angels 8, Dodgers 3) and not be annoyed with the result?

Considering how absurd the Dodgers have become, and how classy the Angels are, I find myself almost rooting for the Halos.

I can’t emphasize enough how much respect I have for Angels manager Mike Scioscia, a former Dodgers catcher and a member of the 1981 and 1988 World Series champion teams.

I look around the majors and find myself cheering for various Dodger-connected coaches and players. Ron Roenicke has the Brewers rolling. Randy Wolf is pitching great for the Brew Crew. Tampa Bay’s Joe Maddon cut his teeth under Scioscia and is the second-best manager in the game (behind Scioscia). Adrian Beltre is having a nice season with Texas.

Someday the Dodgers will be great again. Until then, I will live vicariously through Scioscia, Roenicke and others.

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Posted by on June 25, 2011 in Uncategorized


It’s been a tough summer, with some good times

First Maisa got really sick. Then Daddy got really sick. Then we had a home repair issue. Then we had another home repair issue. Now Daddy is sick again.

Mixed into that challenging month has been a wonderful weekend with all the Kramers in Farley, and now we’re starting a wonderful weekend with our best friends from out of town.

I guess the bad times exist to help us appreciate the good times.


I’m not a guy who has a million friends. Some people just have a knack for meeting and greeting and attaining new friends. I’m not that kind of person. I prefer to have a small group of very close friends.

But I do have a big family and a big extended family of in-laws. And during tough, challenging situations, there’s no substitute for family.

We had amazing help this week, including my brother, Jill’s brother and his wife and their son, and Jill’s parents. My Mom and brother even prayed the rosary for us. We would have been sunk without all their contributions.

A very heartfelt “thank you” goes out to everyone who pitched in during our time of need. 🙂

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Posted by on June 25, 2011 in Uncategorized


A very nice weekend

Saw all of my family this weekend in Farley. Lots of activities…

  • Graduation party for two of my nephews on Friday night.
  • Baby shower for my niece on Saturday afternoon.
  • Farley Tournament championship on Saturday night, followed by the awards ceremony. Our family sponsored the Leon Kramer MVP award, which was given to Chris Briggs of Key West. A few of us Kramers talked to Chris after he won the award. Nice kid.
  • An impromptu get-together at Mom’s house after the awards ceremony. A few of my aunts and uncles and cousins were at the park and came to the house, too.
  • Went to the cemetery on Sunday to drop off a few decorations at Dad’s gravesite.

A very memorable weekend. Really enjoyed seeing everyone.

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Posted by on June 19, 2011 in Uncategorized


Mr. Excitement

The Dodgers have an exciting young shortstop named Dee Gordon. He has been a bright spot in a depressing Dodger season.

Seems like Gordon has two hits every time I look at the box scores. And his defensive skills are unreal.

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Posted by on June 17, 2011 in Uncategorized