Snow Day Checklist: Read. Vote.

There are all sorts of things to do on a Snow Day.

(Even a “Snow Day” that, so far, has no snow in it. Still, all my clients have cancelled, so, unlike postmen who are rarely slowed by sleet and snow — or the promise of sleet and snow — I’m not working.)

Do not suggest that I shovel snow on a Snow Day.

Shoveling is work. I am not working on my Snow Day.

The first acceptable thing one can do on a Snow Day is read.

Like what you’re doing right now.

Congratulations. You may check “Read” off of your Snow Day to-do list.

Today, March 5, happens to be World Book Day. (Happy World Book Day, Blog Reader!)

In 1803 (or so), John Moore wrote that reading is preferable to “horses, hounds, the theatres, cards, and the bottle.”

(Pity about the bottle thing, but, oh well.)

utility of books

Note that Moore specifically did not say that books are preferable to baseball. That baseball did not exist, under the name “baseball” anyway, in 1803 is a smug formality. And, I’m having none of your smugness on my Snow Day.

Reading, Moore tells us, “preserves us from bad company.” This is the polite way of saying that reading protects you from dolts.

Congratulations. We are not dolts.

When Billy [Martin] was a high school junior a teacher asked him to read a book for a report. He admitted that he had never read a book and suggested he never intended to change.

“What will you do with your life?” the teacher asked.

“I’m going to be a baseball player,” he said. “Baseball players don’t have to read books.”

The teacher reached into a shelf and pulled out a book. “Here,” she said, “Read this.”

The book was Lou Gehrig: Quiet Hero by Frank Graham.

“I read it from cover to cover in one sitting,” Martin said years later. “It had a strong influence on my life.”

~ All Roads Lead To October, by Maury Allen, 2010


Billy Martin, Yankee. 1952 World Series. Baseball Digest. Public Domain

See. Even Yankees know the value of reading.

Books, Moore writes, “can be enjoyed in the worst weather.”

So, should the snow actually arrive, I’m set.

read war and peace

Another thing one can do on a Snow Day …


Once again, I trot out my rusty political science degree to promote our democracy’s voting tradition. A proud tradition that allows and encourages anyone to vote, except children, felons, and people who disagree with the party in power. Women and people of color will note that our voting tradition has not been a particularly long one.

Let’s vote!

Voting for Presidents and Members of Congress and marijuana and county bonds is fun, but voting for baseball team names is even funner. (“Funner” is not a word, no matter what an 8-year-old says, but it should be.)

Hartford, Connecticut is seeking a name for its Double A minor league team – a Colorado Rockies affiliate – which is moving from New Britain this season.

They need our help. They want us to vote.

top 10 team names

Sure the Hartford Praying Mantis is hipster-cute. But, what can you do with a name like that? The Praying Manti? Mantises? Mantes?

That’s a mess.

Honey Badger is stupid.

So are Whirlybirds (let’s go, Turbine Ventilators!), Choppers (popular with dentists), and River Hogs (which are native to Africa, not Hartford).

whirlybird turbine ventilator

 Helicopters are not as fun as turbine ventilators.


By Jason Pratt, permission: CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

 River hogs, no stick. (Might be ok fielding bunts.)

I like Screech Owls.

pignoliPignoli, Screech Owl at the Wildlife Center of Virginia 

They are adorable in a Pharrell-in-a-big-hat-singing-“Happy”-before-it-got-played-out-and-people-started-posting-annoying-singalongs-on-YouTube sort of way.

(The Milwaukee Brewers version will always be sweet because … Hank the Dog!)

Editor/Husband likes the Hartford Yard Goats.

Which I thought was stupid, because who knew that people in Hartford had goats in their yard and that it was a thing?

I clearly do not read enough, because had I read a book about trains I would know that a Yard Goat is a squat, little locomotive that lives in a rail yard and shuffles the cars around.

yard goat train

By Lexcie, permission: CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 Yard Goat. Never runs out of the base paths.

Now that’s adorable.

Editor/Husband wins.

Vote Yard Goats. Vote here.

(Or Screech Owls.)

(Just not Honey Badgers. For the love of God, no.)

Postscript: This conversation just happened.

Baseball Bloggess: My headline is boring. Can you fix it?

Editor/Husband: Do you want to put a colon in?

BB: Yup. That sexy-ed it up.


19 thoughts on “Snow Day Checklist: Read. Vote.

  1. You caught me! It’s snowing, and I’m reading. Is Stevie trying to absorb War and Peace by osmosis? I have to admit that I find “Hartford Hedgehogs” to have an alliterative attraction, but my heart goes out to the Screech Owl.

    • While I’m vetoing non-native species (bye-bye hedgehogs) screech owls are definitely native. And, I’m fond of Pignoli, the Wildlife Center resident screech. Still … how can you not love Yard Goats? They can blow a steam engine whistle for every Hartford homer!

    • I think that from now on I’m vetoing team names that celebrate animals that are not native to North America. So, no-go hedgehogs. You might think this means no-go for the Laredo Lemurs, too, but the team insists that prehistoric lemurs once lived in Texas. Good enough for me. But, I’m not buying Hartford’s “the Hedgehog is a tribute to our insurance industry, while celebrating Hartford’s fighting spirit” argument. What does a hedgehog have to do with insurance?

    • Yup … Polly is the buff-colored one and Stevie is the one in front. Stevie loves her camera time, especially if there are treats involved.

      Do you remember the whirlybirds that used to be on playgrounds and in schoolyards? They were probably banned because they were so dangerous, but I thought of them when I saw the “whirlybirds” name.

      • I do remember those :) Although, I actually thought about those helicopter seeds that fall off of maple trees. Used to pick them up and throw them into the air just to see them whirl their way down.

  2. My say on this is Screech Owl. I’m sure the good folks in Hartford care about the guy 3,000 miles away. They must, since there was no restrictions for West Coast voters. Anyway, Screech Owls sounds serious, competent, fast, sleek, and very screechy.

    I think your editor was right about that colon. The title comes together nicely.

    This counsel from Dr. Moore should be heard by many. Billy Martin didn’t really figure it out, especially with four and five. But he did bring Billy Ball to Oakland and that was fun.

    • Screech owls are also very compact — more like a Dustin Pedroia than, say, an Andrew Miller (or, for a Giants’ fan — more Nori Aoki than Brandon Belt). Lots of good mascot opportunities with a Screech Owl, but I’m still hoping for a train whistle for homers. (But, as you say, I’m not sure they care what I think either!)

      Yes, Editor/Husband is dynamite with the sexy colons … but not so great with the semicolons, insists on putting two spaces between sentences, and will occasionally put the punctuation outside of a closed quote, when it should be inside. Still, he understands the perfection of the Oxford comma, so how can I not love him?

  3. Pingback: Waffles, Pete Rose, & Yard Goats | The Baseball Bloggess

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