One Pack. No Turning Back.
Number of miles driven today: 268
Total miles driven on road trip: 2,697
Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts? America does not run on Dunkin'.
Number of days on trip won by Starbucks: 12 out of 12
Cheapest gas I saw today: $2.49
Number of states visited overall: 4
Number of red states visited overall (as of 2012 presidential election): 2 (Texas, Arizona)
Number of blue states visited overall: 2 (California, New Mexico)
Funniest store name seen today: Condoms To Go (I cringe to think of the alternative store)
Amount that service improves when you write in a notebook at a restaurant: 50%
Randy was born Ready.
If Rance Mulliniks is your stoic father you don't want to disappoint, Randy Ready is your fun uncle you want to drink beers with.
I sat at a high-topped wood table along the window at Bowl and Barrel, a sleek restaurant/bowling alley in north Dallas that challenges the notion that bowling means terrible food. Multiple microbrews on tap, attractive waitresses, gourmet comfort food--and a game that will never be accused of being America's pastime.
A beast of a black 4x4 pickup truck pulled in to a tight spot right in front of me and a young, fit, good-looking man with slicked back light brown hair and wraparound shades bounded out. Randy Ready was coming in hot.
"What's up kid?" Ready said, gripping my hand firmly, his cologne wafting off his blue-and-white patterned quick-dry golf shirt, neatly tucked into navy shorts with sandals rounding out his California-cool ensemble. Ready is a California kid after all, having grown up in the Bay Area and having lived most of his life in the San Diego area.
Ready ordered up a Miller Lite and we spent a couple hours recounting his life in and out of baseball.
When he got back from the bathroom a couple of Miller Lites deep, I issued the challenge: "Ready, I want you in a bowling game," I said.
He sized me up and backed down. "I don't have any socks," he said, pointing down to his sandals.
"Ahh, they'll give you socks," I said, waving him off. "You can't come to a bowling alley and not bowl."
"OK, you're on. But I'm gonna beat your ass," he said with his trademark impish grin.
"You're a professional athlete. Let's see how well those skills translate," I said.
We took our spot on Lane 3. It was on.
The entire time we bowled, Randy chirped.
"C'mon Brad, only empty frames from now on."
"You need this one kid, let's go."
"No excuses Brad. Didn't you just do what you told me not to do? C'mon kid!"
When one of us hit a spare or strike, he offered a fist bump and a "nice, kid." It's clear why the minute he retired from playing in 1997, his phone was ringing off the hook for coaching jobs.
So who won? In the first game, he beat me 125-118. We ran it back. Game 2? 130 to 129. Ready.
Best out of 5 Randy?
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Day 12: Houston, TX to Dallas, TX, 6.30.15