Joe Bliven

It's hot as hell, but at least there's beer!

July 27th, 2021

Our fearless leader, peddling his wares

We boarded the bus around 10am. Karpinski and Marty met us in the parking lot to see us off, they sadly wouldn't be joining us on this trip. Those are big seats for us to fill on the back of the bus. John brought the tequila shots down the aisle at 11am and the reverend gave a stirring sermon. Eileen made me an incredible spicy bloody mary.

John serving our morning tequila shots

The reverend passing the ceremonial snacks

a bloody Mary and a beer

My next read!

Back of the bus rules!

Almost as good as the Eucharist!

As we set off for greener pastures, those pastures grew very warm. The air conditioning was deployed to solve the issue and it was a great success for a while. Sadly, we reached a rest area and our temperate cruise came to a halt. The bus began to heat up. As the gravity of our peril slowly sunk in, it entered the back of our minds. "Is the air conditioning just warming up, or is it completely incapacitated?" It turned out to be the latter. We began to calculate the time to port. The cold drinks were the sole reprieve from the hundred degree oven we were riding in. By the time we had landed in port, the damage had been done. Dad flopped on the bed in the air conditioned room. Perhaps to never again move from this spot.

I took a cold shower at the hotel, and felt like a new man. I had the pool to myself so I played some Al Green while cooling off. My dad slowly came back to life and met me and some other folks from the tour at an Irish bar called Annie's.

At Annie's, Julian shared a piece of information that fascinated me. We were talking about Hurricane Katrina and Julian just says "I still blame Bud Selig for George W. Bush". I thought he was just making a joke but he very quickly convinced me that there was quite a bit of truth to his statement. Apparently, in the 90s George W Bush was a minority owner of the Texas Rangers. At the time Bud Selig was trying to lead a coupe against the Commissioner of Baseball. He enlisted George W Bush to assist in the coupe by whipping up votes of no confidence among other owners. The agreement was that Bud Selig would act as acting commissioner for a short time and would then step down and George W Bush would take the position of Commissioner of Baseball. Jump to today and Bud Selig never fulfilled the agreement and we still have troops in Afghanistan. I'm now a believer, and I too blame Bud Selig for George W. Bush.

Next we went to Hessen House, a German restaurant with a great menu and the biggest tap list of German beers I've ever seen in one place. I didn't eat there because the server really didn't want me to. She was pissed at us for existing and it was very funny. We got two beers from Ayinger that were fantastic. We didn't get into the game until the second inning. I scored most of the game but my scoring fell apart around the 7th inning. The Iowa Cubs beat the Louisville bats 3-2.

Dad and I at the Iowa Cubs game

Principal Park, home of the Iowa Cubs

After the game we went back to the room. Dad hit the hay but I went out to the original Up/Down arcade, which was only two blocks from our hotel. Their Mona Lisa pizza is just as tasty as the one in Minneapolis. I had some pretty great local beers and played for almost four hours. They had a good selection of games, not quite as good as the one in Minneapolis but they did have a few games that Minneapolis is missing. They had Mario Bros., one of my favorite games that I don't get to play often. Their Tapper machine was in way better condition than the one in Minneapolis. They didn't have Burger Time though! Thankfully no one had gotten very high scores that day so I could get the high scores on Galaga and Donkey Kong in spite of my poor performance that was the result of a long day of drinking. I got back to the hotel at about 2am and washed some clothes that had been soaked through with sweat and/or back to the hotel at about 2am and washed some clothes that had been soaked through with sweat and/or

a home away from home

Their Mona Lisa pizza was great, as was their skee ball

Day 2 >>