Saturday, August 14, 2004

Baseball Weekend In Place

The plans for baseball weekend are now in place. TS and I will be at The Net on Aug. 28th as the A’s host Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay, you ask? Well, as I told TS, the Giants are not home, so you take what you can get.

I am traveling to the Midwest earlier in the week, so San Fran makes the best sense. I can sneak in a trip to City Optix to get my glasses fixed as well as a stop at the Ferry Terminal Farmer’s Market; stone fruit is in season, and as the jingle says—“Summer summer fruit from California, fresh from the tree, taste some and see.” I have tasted them; I know what I am missing. I’ll be bringing some home for the family.

As I told my wife, every gets to do what they want that weekend—I get to go to a baseball game with my buddy and she and our daughter get to have family fun.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Sportscenter Flop

Not every idea is met with ravishing success. ESPN’s “Old School” week of bringing back Sportscenter anchors of yesteryear looked better in the promos than it did in real life. Craig Kilborn was fun, but the others (Greg Gumbel, Gayle Garder, George Grande, Charley Steiner) were rather boring. Honestly, unless they were able to bring back Keith Olbermann and team him with Dan Patrick, the concept had no chance of working.

But, you have to hand it to ESPN—they try new ideas and not all are going to work.

My Cooking Inspiration

I used to watch her PBS TV show and read her books. I learnd to cook by watching her and reading her recipes. It was a great way to impress women (just kidding).

Yahoo! News - Julia Child, Famous Cook, Dies Aged 91

Thursday, August 12, 2004

What A Cool Idea!

But then again, I don't have a cell cameraphone.

shop.brando.com.hk - PDA / Cellphone Camera Lens Combo Set

The Meet And Greet

We survived back to school night.

After a nice but technically challenged intro from the middle school teachers, we were sent off to walk our child’s schedule, to meet their teachers and to familiarize them with which classrooms they will be going to on Monday and in what order.

It must be noted that the school has set up an Internet-based system for parents to see their child’s assignments and grades in near real time. My wife and I agree this needs to be used as a mean to help our daughter and not as a weapon for scolding. Yes, I am hearing old tapes (as psychologists would say). My mother would have enjoyed knowing my grades in near real time; I, on the other hand, would have been living in constant terror.

The school is a few years old, so everything is neat and clean. It’s a larger world than she is used to in an academic setting with kids from more varied backgrounds. I know temptations of various sorts await her, and all I can do is give her the guidance to make the right decisions, or the decisions that are right for her. My only piece of advice, which I told her on the ride home, was to remember that no one could ever make you do something you don’t want to do. You will always need to be able to look in the mirror and smile.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Back To School

Big night. My daughter starts middle school (AKA junior high) on Monday and tonight is “back to school” night. It’s more of a break the ice, meet and greet deal. It’s probably not as high on everyone’s agenda as it is on ours, but we place a premium on education.

The pressure in for my daughter as she enters a brave new world. She got straight A-s at the end of last year (the ear-piercing caper, for those who follow this blog) so she’s proven to herself she has the goods to excel. On top of this, she wants to continue synchronized swimming and has some religious obligations to fulfil at the same time.

I have confidence she’ll pull it all off. My wife and I are good role models for her in that we achieved what we did based mostly on our education and personal efforts as opposed to inheritance or lucky breaks. At some point, you hope you’ve trained your kids correctly and then gradually send them off in the world to find their place; tonight is the first step on that journey of self-discovery.

It's What Makes Pioneer Square So Much Fun

The Seattle Times: Opinion: A hunger for knowledge of the down-and-outers

Doggoned It, I Lost Again

Yahoo! News - Andre 3000 Is World's Best-Dressed Man

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Does This Mean The Company Also Lies About Attendance?

Chicago Tribune | Cubs are a problem for the Tribune

For The Record

I don't think Reagan actually read all those newspapers; Nancy read them to him--and then showed him the pictures.

The Capital Times

Not To Diss Edgar

But it’s long been accepted that Edgar is a one-tool player. The most recent edition of Baseball America lists the top five tool players (hit, hit with power, run, throw, field) and they include Scott Rolen, Bobby Abreau, Bad Vlad, etc… In the annals of greatness, there’s Mays, Aaron, Clemente, etc… and you have to toss Bonds in as the best five tool player of his generation.

With that in mind, you cannot elect Edgar to the Hall. No way, no how. Only pitchers can get by with one skill—and that skill has to be the penultimate to make the Hall. Maybe he can make the Mariners Fall of Fame next to Alvin Davis, Bill the Beerman and Julio Cruz.

ESPN.com - MLB - Ancient Mariner Edgar to retire at season's end

Monday, August 09, 2004

Hey Lady, Come Back When You Know What You're Talking About!

With all due respect, it's obvious that the First Lady does not have diabetes, MS, cystic fybrosis, etc...

Yahoo! News - First Lady Bashes Kerry Stem Cell Stance

Late To The NYPD Blue Bandwagon

Not sure where I have been the past 11 years, but we took the wraps off the DVD collection of “NYPD Blue” seasons 1 & 2. I told my wife that no one told me that “Hill Street Blues” was back on the air and no one told me. I was a huge “Hill Street” fan.

We are through three episodes and cannot wait to pour through the rest of the first two seasons. After that, we’ll have to watch it on TV. No other seasons are yet on DVD.

From the old “Hill Street” cast, there’s David Caruso (he had a bit part in Hill Street as an Irish gang leader) and Dennis Franz (who had two roles, first as Sal Benedetto and then later as Norman Buntz). I am sure others will turn up over the course of the show.

ABC.com: ABC's 'NYPD Blue', Tuesday 10/9c

Sunday, August 08, 2004

My Stadium List

I have found a few sites that review baseball stadiums with descriptions and commentary. Being a baseball fan for 45 years, I figured I’d toss my hat into the ring with a list of stadiums I’ve visited with a few words about each.

Connie Mack Stadium, Phillies; A special place because I went here with my father. First game was in 1959 when I saw the Milwaukee Braves. Went to more than 100 games; sat in reserved seats maybe two or three time. My personal Field of Dreams.
Veterans Stadium, Phillies: Went to opening day in 1971. Went to well more than 100 games. Was a dump from the day it opened. Saw several playoff games. Went many times with my father and uncle.
Citizens Bank Park, Phillies. Was there four weeks ago. Amazing. Cannot wait to go back.
Fenway Park, Boston. Went once with my wife. Found it to be a dump but a nice place to watch a game.
Shea Stadium, Mets. Went with my buddy TS. Also a dump. Chairs were all broken and too many people walk in front of you while the game is going on. Guess I’d feel different if I were a Mets fan.
Sandcastle, Atlantic City Surf. Very cute, but not a great place if you have mobility issues (as I have). You have to walk up a large set of stairs to enter and then down a set of stairs to get to handicapped seats.
Memorial Stadium, Orioles. Very cool. Replaced by Camden Yards. Saw Ripken in his second year. Went with my wife, her sister and her husband and some of their friends. Game was great. Vintage fun.
Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh. Actually never went to a game here. Was in Pittsburgh on business and my colleague (based in Pittsburgh) parked at an outfield gate and asked if we could walk on the field. All I could see were black and white images of Clemente and Stargell. Nice memory.
Wrigley Field, Cubs. Was there three times, most recently opening day, 2004. A great place to watch a game, but overall, it’s a dump. Just a handful of bathrooms for a large, beer-drinking crowd. Well located and easy to get to on the El.
Comisky Park, Whitesox. Went with TS a few years ago. For a new park, it looks old and is quite sterile. Very steep steps in the upper deck. Dangerous neighborhood.
Skydome, Blue Jays. In the heart of downtown. Went to back-to-back games against the Rockies a few years ago. Very sterile, very quiet. Good pizza.
Nat Bailey Stadium, Vancouver. Was AAA team for the Angels. My wife and I saw Jose Canseco play there in the early ‘80s. The scoreboard posted ‘The Natural” instead of his name. Honestly!
Kingdome, Mariners. Went here about 100 times as a member of the media. Not sure which was worse, the Mariners or the stadium. Great places to eat nearby in Pioneer Square (unless you mind bums and pigeons).
Network Associates Park/Oakland Coliseum, A’s. Went here a handful of times. If the weather is decent, a fun place and easy to access via BART. Can get really cold and windy. Saw playoff game vs. Yankees in 2000.
Pac Bell/SBC Park, Giants. The best. Location, amenities, vista, concessions. Had season tickets opening year. Saw playoff win vs. Mets in 2000.
Candlestick Park, Giants. Much better than people remember. We took the bus there to avoid parking and traffic. Yes, it was windy, but a fun place to watch a game. Well, late in the game, though, it gets windy and all sorts of trash blows around the field. Saw Giants first interleague game there (vs. Anaheim).
Dodger Stadium, Dodgers. Amazing. Very clean and friendly. Was there once, but was very impressed but shocked at the late arriving/early departing crowd.
Anaheim Stadium, Angels. Was here in 1988 and sat in the top row of the top deck. Don’t remember too much other than the fact that Clemens pitched for the Red Sox. We walked there from our hotel.
Petco Park, Padres. Was there for opening day, 2004 and then again with my family in June. Very nice location and good concessions. Looks a bit unfinished. Not sure why it does not face the water.
Bank One Ballpark, D-backs. Have been here a bunch, I really like it as it’s very fan friendly with wide aisles and great handicapped seats. From the outside, not much to see, but inside it’s clean and provides a fun atmosphere.
Surprise Stadium, Rangers/Royals (Spring Training). Awesome park. Like a mini Pac Bell/SBC. Really far and inaccessible with lots of Sun City (old drivers) traffic. You really have to want to go.
Peoria Stadium ,Mariners/Padres (Spring Training). Best spring training facility. Easy to get to, nice park, great parking, great fan shop, great ushers.
Maryville Stadium, Brewers (Spring Training). Odd location in central Phoenix, but a new park with nice vistas. Wide concourses.
Phoenix Muni, Athletics. A cool park that backs up the red rocks. The Phoenix Firebirds played here as the AAA team of the Giants. Caught two foul balls here.
Scottsdale Stadium, Giants. The best park, but location is tough for parking. Also, the ushers are rigid in not allowing you to bring outside food into park. Great souvenir shop.
Hohokam Park, Cubs. Nice old place that is a scaled down version of Wrigley (but with more bathrooms). Great fan shop. Fabulous handicapped seats.
I almost left out Tacoma Stadium. Saw the Rainiers play here in the mid-'80s with a friend from my newspaper. I was actually disappointed--a dump that hadn't been spruced up in decades.

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