For all photos, click to enlarge
A snowy owl has been spotted at Coney Island over the past few days. That’s something we don’t normally see around here, so yesterday morning the Tugboat Captain and I made the snap decision to go down to Coney to have a little look-see.
We didn’t see the owl (insert “wild
goose owl chase” jokes here), but we did see a bunch of other nice stuff. The tide was out, there was almost no wind, and there were very few people around, so everything was very calm and still. In addition, as you can see above, the beach sand had been raked or landscaped in some way, which we’d never seen before. It was really beautiful.
Later, we saw the gadget that had created the patterns in the sand — something called a Barber Surf Rake:
There was a municipal employee there, so I asked him why they raked the beach. He said the gadget actually cleaned the sand by extracting pieces of trash. He started it up so I could get an idea of how it worked:
Uni Watch proofreader Jerry Wolper points out that this is basically “a Zamboni for the beach” — indeed!
Down on the beach, I saw this little water/sand pattern that reminded me of how you can see rivers and their tributaries from aerial photos:
All the rides and attractions were shut down for the winter, of course. I liked seeing how some of them were disassembled into their component parts:
Up on the boardwalk, we saw a sign with a very unfortunate apostrophe catastrophe. I’m not sure how long the sign’s been there, but it was the first time I’d seen it:
We made a mental note to bring some white-out or touch-up paint with us so we can fix the sign the next time we go to Coney.
I liked how the lettering on this Nathan’s sign was distorted as it wrapped around a bulge in the building on which it was painted, especially on the word “Famous”:
In a related item, the single best thing we saw was a bit of graffiti down the block from Nathan’s:
If you don’t understand the graffiti, look here. Aside from the message, I really like how the “E”s and “O”s are rendered.
It wasn’t the morning I had planned, and it wasn’t the morning we had hoped for (because we didn’t see the snowy owl), but it was still a really nice time, especially for the next-to-last morning of the year.
Philly sock shocker: Here’s something I didn’t know: In the 1983 preseason, the Flyers wore black-topped socks on the road and white-topped socks at home. They changed to a more conventional striped design when the regular season started.
(My thanks to William Koslosky for bringing these socks to my attention, and to Twitter-er @Steve_May for explaining their history.)
By Anthony Emerson
Baseball News: Reader Geoff Poole came across some snow tubes with “Indians Snow Days” logos on them. Apparently it was a promotion the team ran ran in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 winters.
NFL News: Longtime reader Dan Cichalski thinks he might’ve found the New Jersey dry cleaning shop where the Giants get their game jerseys cleaned and tailored. “I looked closely and saw that the tag says ‘On Field,’ and I recall seeing a blue jersey there a few months ago when I was picking up some dry cleaning,” he writes. … The Ravens are going mono-purple on Sunday against the Rams (thanks, Phil). … Here’s Jason Von Stein’s weekly uni/mascot-themed illustration for this week’s NFL games.
College/High School Football News: Tennessee’s Darnell Wright had a major helmet logo malfunction during the Music City Bowl last night (from Kenny Ocker). … In that same game, Purdue added a memorial decal for former sports information director Matt Rector (from multiple readers).
Hockey News: Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod of the KHL threw it back to the 1950s yesterday (from Wade Heidt). … Also from Wade, the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves were missing some jerseys on Wednesday, so some players wore spare jerseys with different numbers and NNOB, and others wore practice jerseys. … The Kings wore Christmas-themed pregame jerseys last night. They’ll be auctioned off to benefit the team’s charitable foundation (from Wade Heidt). … With the annual Winter Classic set to take place tomorrow evening in Minneapolis, game-time temperatures are expected to be below zero.
Grab Bag: Did you know that in the mid-’90s, Ford experimented with adding Lincoln and Mercury stock cars to the NASCAR ranks? (From David Firestone) … The late character actor Frank Vincent appears to be wearing a baseball cap with his own logo at the beginning of this clip about a Sopranos cast softball game (from David C.) … Crest toothpaste has new throwback packaging.
That’s a wrap for this week, this month, and 2021. Obviously, the world still isn’t back to normal, but most of us are nonetheless finding a way to muddle our way through the various challenges and pitfalls that the pandemic continues to throw at us. Uni Watch and its comm-uni-ty are a big part of what keeps me afloat — not just financially but emotionally — so I want to thank you all for that.
We had party plans for tonight and tomorrow, but of course they’ve been cancelled. So instead we’re going to have a few friends over on our porch this afternoon and will also roast a big Puerto Rican-style pernil (pork shoulder), which should make the house smell yummy and keep us fed for days. However you’re planning to spend your New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, I hope you have fun and stay safe.
Phil will have his usual weekend content tomorrow and Sunday, so enjoy that and I’ll see you back here next year. — Paul