The draw of an evening baseball game in KC was simply too powerful for me to overcome.  But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Bio FlavorsAwakening in Fowlerville, MI I returned to the most elaborate of all the biodiesel stations I’ve encountered so far.  I filled up with B50 (a relatively strong 50/50 mix: half bio, half petrol) and forged my way towards Chicago.  The weather this day could NOT have been better.  Brilliant blue skies, no humidity and a warming early summer sun to light my way… I stopped in Kalamazoo to top off before getting into Chicago but the station I had looked up on nearbio.com didn’t carry biodiesel anymore.  They claim that the state discontinued its incentives for station owners to carry biofuel.

Alright, let’s get to the good stuff.  Just to be clear, I am STILL a Yankee fan.  HOWEVER – I am “green” with envy over the Cubs’ Wrigley Field.  Sure it’s got some old steel posts that support the upper deck and make for some obstructed views but you know what?  That’s the stuff that makes a place home and gives it character.  I was having a hard time putting my finger on what exactly it was that I didn’t like about the new Yankee Stadium but now I’ve figured it out.  It has no character.  The new Citi field has a quirky right field but I think that’s good – that’s character.  The new Yankee park has wide open space for circulation that guarantees the efficient movement of its patrons in and out of each game.  In the old stadium, after we kicked ourselves some Red Sox butt, we’d all be jammed trying to get down the seven ramps to the exit and invariably someone would start a chant to pass the time “Boston Sucks, Boston Sucks”.  That’ll never happen in the new place.  What I really liked about Wrigley was its architectural connection to the neighborhood on all sides.  The super sweet “Sky Boxes” which appear to be bleachers built atop buildings that have been just beyond the outfield wall as long as the Field has been there (1914, btw).  On the south side, patios are built on top of the staircases that look out onto the surround neighborhood and make for a great place for all the guys’ girlfriends who don’t care too much about the game to get together and sip daiquiris.  Did I mention it was a beautiful day?

Following the defeat of the Padres I fought the rush hour traffic to make my final pickup of gear and passed a Penske service station.  Since there was literally no inspection of my Journey-mobile before my departure from NYC (I’m still bitter about wasting 4 hours of my life in a double-wide in Hell’s Kitchen) I wanted the Penske guys to do a check-up.  I told the head mechanic that I might want to have the fuel filter looked at and he said, “now why would you want us to do that?”  And no sooner did the words “biodiesel” pass my lips that he began shaking his head back and forth (much like people who just don’t want to hear the truth) and told me, “we do not recommend the use of biodiesel under any circumstances – it’s not regulated by the government”.  My mom’s cooking isn’t regulated by the government – but I guarantee it’s good for me.  My tires got a fresh breath of air and I was once again on my way west and landed in Sterling, Illinois – birthplace of the great Bill Hill.  Somewhere between Ronald Reagan’s and John Wayne’s birthplace is where you’ll find Sterling…

So now we’re caught up through Friday morning – which is when I turned to the Weather Channel only to find them really excited about all the possibilities for tornados in the Midwest.  It was when I was only 8 miles outside Des Moines that I decided to roll the dice and dive down into the belly of the beast and head south towards Kansas City instead of west to Nebraska.  Zack Greinke, the hottest pitcher in baseball, was pitching tonight, after all.  I braced myself for an intense day of rain driving but its bark was much bigger than its bite.  Along the way I stopped at a BP station that offered B2 fuel – 2% Soybean derived Biodiesel.  I suppose 2% is a world better than 0%, but I’m not sure why they wouldn’t just go with a 5 or 10% mix.

Mmmm BeerKansas City greeted me with a fantastic lightning display.  One bolt charged down from the heavens and landed not half a mile from me as I drove around the outskirts of town.  It looked like an extra thick bolt that found a great place to discharge at the top of a radio tower.  The big lights of Kauffman Stadium loomed in the distance and I was happy to be on time for the first pitch AND not have to drive several hours afterwards.  Not only was I on time, but we were rain delayed for 2 hours and 35 minutes.  The barbeque was great and the beer was refreshing – and my fifth row seat, which cost a whopping $43, would have cost at least $450 in the Bronx.  It really was nice to see the expressions on the players’ faces for once…

Alright – my inner trucker is telling me we’ve got a long day of convoying tomorrow and it’s time to retire – for now.  But first, I’ll have to wish Mary Anna HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Karl Mehrer
K2imaging, Inc.
voice: 917-952-9589
www.k2imaging.com

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