Thursday, June 30, 2005

A's coming back

I'll admit to being sour on the A's earlier in the season. It looked bleak. Mark made a good post about how thing would improve. June comes and lo and behold the A's kill the month. They're on a 6 game winning streak and are 6.5 games out of the wild card. And, they hammered the Giants last Sunday 16-0. Sandra rode my ass about the beatings the A's took and I made sure to remind her about this one.
I don't think we'll win the 90+ games I blogged about earlier, but at least the season doesn't appear to be a total bag job.

Free Cat

This made me laugh out loud. Beware now that I've figured out how to blog pics.

Your Author

What a handsome devil.

Supreme Cowards

I saw in the recent Supreme Court decisions that they won't decide if the 10 Commandments are legal on public property or not. I guess it is OK on the front lawn in Texas, but not OK on the wall in Kentucky.
Its a pretty simple decision to me, get it out of the government all together.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Sandra Winner!

Sandra pointed out that I forgot to blog about the "best" part of the trip. We went into one of the casinos and within 10 minutes she has won a $260 jackpot. The next night we stopped again and within another 10 minutes she was up $440. This isn't the first two times she's wanted to stop for "just 15 minutes" and when we do, she wins money.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Stockton's new park

Here's a site that reviews it better than I can.

Once you read the link then you can read my rebuttal. I think the park is nice, but with seating only 12 rows deep, you don't have too many seats between the dugouts. And, the bar area is nice, but takes away prime seating.
I like the batting cages, though they charge .20 a pitch.
The concourse goes all the way around the park, which I've only seen in major leage parks, sometimes it is good to get up and stretch a bit.
Jackson Rancheria has a "porch" set up in right field with rocking chairs and dinner served that looks like a sharp idea.
I liked Billy Hebert, but this is a nicer park.


The Blaze play at Sam Lynn Park, which is one of the older parks in the Cal League. The Ports played the Blaze my last two days of vacation, splitting the two games I saw.
Game one went 12 innings, with the Blaze beating the Ports 6-5.
I saw a couple of thing I've not seen before in this game. On a play in center, the Ports centerfielder played a ball off the wall, and instead of throwing the ball to the cutoff man, he threw the ball over the right fielder's head. That's throwing the ball sideways. Cost a couple of runs.
The other thing was a stray dog ran out onto the field and had to be chased off. I've seen hundreds of ballgames and not seen this.
Two players took an 0-6, Appert for the Ports (who hit two HR's the next night) and Mahar for the Blaze, who struck out 5 times.

The next night was different. The Ports took it to the Blaze, winning 9-0 and only giving up 4 hits. Luke Appert hit two HR's and Putman, Myeski and Perez also homered.
Sam Lynn is a curious ballpark. The batters look directly into the setting sun, which casuses the games to start at 7:30, the latest in the Cal League.
The 16 foot high wall is 328 down the lines but only 354 to center, the shallowest center field that I know of in pro baseball. There is a cutaway in right field that is 8 feet high, it used to be part of the catwalk to the scoreboard in right center field. To hit a ball here used to be a ground rule double, but this year the Blaze changed it to a HR. The Ports hit three cheapies into this part of the park, one over the center field fence for another cheapie and then one boomed over the 45 foot high cypress that ring the outfield fence. I've seen a few games in Bakersfield and don't recall this many HR's in one game.
Sam Lynn is basically an old park, with poor sightlines and you're too far away from the field and you sit too low. But for $4 a ticket to sit behind 3rd base, well, it doesn't scare me away.

vacation baseball

The first bit of baseball was in Palm Springs. The PS Power play in PS Stadium, where the Angels uses to hold Spring Training back when Autry owned the team. The Power consist of college players playing in a wood bat league. There was a movie starring Freddie Prinze Jr that though was ruined with a love story, still had a New England wood bat league as a background.
The park itself shows its age. The bench seating is right on top of each other, and the dead giveaway is the age of the bathrooms.
The park is 342 down the lines but only 375 to center.
The Power played the Casa Grande Cotton Kings and won 4-1. They drew between 300 and 400 people, which isn't bad for amateur baseball. Here's the Power's webpage.

at the movies

I saw two movies at the Avi, Longest Yard and Cinderella Man.
I should be shot for even thinking that Chris Rock could save the world's unfunniest man, Adam Sandler. What a waste of $8.50. I laughed twice, both times at something Rock said, and zero times at Sandler, who along with Jerry Seinfeld, is plain unfunny and severely overrated at a comedic genius. Ugh, what garbage.

Cinderella Man is one of the best films I've seen. The rise, fall and rise again of boxer James J Braddock is one of the best stories I've seen on the silver screen. I won't give it all away, but one of the striking parts of the movie show how desperate people were in the depression. Usually, it is someone in the background of the film suffering, but in this case it was Braddock and his family who were struggling to make ends meet and get a shift on the docks et al. The milk delivery and power both get cut off and it really hits home that this was a depression. I can't recommend this movie enough.

more vacation

After another day at the Avi, and of course breakfast at Black Bear Diner it was off to Palm Springs to meet Sandra and hang out for a few days. I drove south on US-95 to Blythe then west on I-10.
We got to the resort at the same time, which was great timing in itself. Sandra had an 8 hour drive compared to my 3.5 hour trip.
It wasn't all that hot in PS either. Temps didn't crack 100, which is a cool spell for the desert in June.
We got there in time for the Thursday night street fair in downtown PS. We went for a walk and window shopped et al. Very temperate.
The next two days were spent swimming, reading the paper and lounging around the resort.
On Sunday morning about 0845, I was sleeping and Sandra was watching tv. Suddenly, the building began to shake. Yep, earthquake.
Sandra woke me up ( I'll sleep through about anything) and was ready to run out the door. I wanted to roll back over and go back to sleep, this didn't happen.
We got the news on the tv and it was a 5.6 quake centered 20 miles south of PS. Gave us all a good shake, enough to remind us we live in California.
Bakersfield and baseball will be the next blog.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Back to work

Vacation was a much needed break from all the bullshit here at work, though it stored itself up and waited for me to come back.
I got out of bed late on Sunday, after we went to Stockton to see the Ports play the Blaze, and look at the new Banner Island Ballpark. I'll blog about the ballpark later.
The drive down I-5 was spent listening to the Ports lose (boo) and then the Giants lose (yea!) on the ESPN Sunday Night game.
I cruised through Barstow and onto I-40 and to Needles. The Avi is a short hop north of Needles and I got there about 0030 Monday morning. It was still 80 degrees, it was a shame I got there too late to go for a swim.
Monday morning I got up and went to Black Bear Diner for breakfast. Then to Ft Mojave to golf. Desert Lakes is a championship course that was one of my favorites. I was awfully happy the first time I broke a hundred here.
In previous years, the course set twilight rates at noon. Not this year. 2:00 is twilight which is about two hours too late. I paid $42 to play and that's just too much.
The weather was in the 90's and I couldn't believe the amount of dead spots in the fairways. It would have been worth the $25 twilight but not the $42 regular. The greens were in good shape, fast and fair.
I putzed around and shot 54-52 for 106. I know my game is in trouble because I should be in the 90's on this course. I just couldn't seem to get the ball straight and up in the air to save my life. I must be out of shape because I was sore after one round and packed it in after 18 holes.
It was back to the Avi and to the pool with the LA Times and the LV Review Journal to read.

The next day was to Needles. I like the par 70 Muni, I shot my best ever 84 at this course. I usually shoot in the 90's here as well, but on the first hole I shot an 11 and that was about all she wrote. I ended up with a score of 116 and it occured to me that I wasn't doing myself any good by hacking around the course like this. 116. I didn't hit one straight shot in the air. I even swung and missed. Jesus, I suck.
And, there was a group of 7 playing in front of me, and nine holes were closed. Ugh, not a good day in Needles. It was worth the $19 with a cart and they told me to stay out until I got tired. I did just that, I got tired of not hitting the ball straight or in the air.

There's a movie house at the Avi as well, I'll blog about the two movies I saw as well as the rest of the trip next time.

Friday, June 03, 2005


This will be the last blog for a week and a half. I'm heading to Laughlin on Sunday morning for a few days of golfing in the heat and swimming in the Avi's nice pool. Then it will be a drive to Palm Springs where Sandra will meet me for a few days at our secret hideaway, then I'll head to Bakersfield, of all places, to watch the Ports play the Blaze for a couple of nights. And, one more day of golf.

49ers film

the big stink now is about the diveristy film make by the 49ers for "in house" use only and that a copy was sent to the Chronicle on the quiet time. The 15 minute film makes fun of Asians, homeless, gays, the City of SF and so much more.
I can't get enough of this. When Eddie DeFelon owned the team, he treated the team pretty classy and cared for the players and staff. Since DeFelon no longer owns the team, his sister and her husband have run a once proud franchise into the ground. Last year's 2-14 record only underscores how the mighty have fallen.
As a Niner hater, I so enjoy the stench that surrounds the Niners. I also notice a lot less Niner caps and jackets around than in their winning past.