Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Blogging from Space

Well, not really.

What better way to cast away the year long dust on a blog than to pass time on a flight from Seattle to Burbank, CA.  I have nothing of great value to bring to light.  I did not take the time to fill out a March Madness bracket this year.  The Mariners have played very well in the Spring, so their season should turn to shit in no time.

Since I last blogged, we have brought into this world a daughter.  My feelings around this event are endless and ever changing.  Reacting to this event has taken me a large amount of effort filled with a variety of emotions.  Even as she approaches the one year mark, I am stuck with the question: What does a fatther do with a daughter?  I feel strongly that this answer will evolve over time and never have a "correct" and final destination.  It is my goal to do my best to provide for the best care and guidance to my daughter as well as my son.

As more and more meaningful things fill my bucket of life, the need to care about the Mariners or Seahawks start to take a back seat, perhaps even in the third row.  With that being said, I am excited for the start of a new season for the Mariners.  I see myself following the old adage of the Brooklyn Dodgers, "There is always next year".  The Seahawks season did not end the way I would have liked, however, this is the most excited I have felt for football in March…ever.

On other notes, the GSD is still a royal pain in the ass, but getting better.  Me moved to an area of the puget sound that allows us to own 3 acres of land.  We brewed a great English Pale Ale, and are in desperate need of a new brew for late Spring/early Summer activities.

stay in touch all 2 of my loyal readers.  It is once again my hope to bring this blog back to life.

 

 

 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What madness this March brings

Let it be known, I have not watched a sticth of college basketball this year.  Not because I didn't want to, but rather life seems to get in the way of leisure activities.

You would think this might stop me from laying down $5 on a pool to pick a bracket.  Of course not.  As a college basketball fan from childhood, filling out a bracket every March seems automatic and a requirement of my life.  I spend a few minutes, honestly no more time than it takes to consume a morning cup of joe, placing my picks.  The amount of time I spend picking teams has a parallel relationship to my success, little time = little success.  However, that does not stop the inverse relationship of frustration, little success = big frustration.  Uttering such lines as "I was going to pick them, but…" or "Why did they win?  <Insert picked team> played like crap!"

The largest amount of my time is spent picking the upset, mostly the 12 seeds.  It is a commonly known fact that the game I pick generally is not the one that has the desired outcome.  Instead of wasting my time trying to find what 9 or greater seed is going to be this years Villanova or Butler, I am doing 2 brackets.  One bracket will have all of my "decent" picks which includes upsets, the other will have mostly higher seeds advancing.  I will update everyone on my success with this strategy.

It is with great hope and desire that I wish our one TV can take a break from Yo Gabba Gabba, Finding Bigfoot, and recorded Chelsea Lately episodes for some basketball.  My wife is not the biggest sports fan in the world, but even she appreciates a decent game.

Let the madness begin!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Let the old man drink

Perhaps I need to come up with a new blog name.  As of now, my focus for this blog falls under random.  Any blog posts that would fall under enthusiasm appear to be at the back of my mind.  I am still a Mariner fan and forever will be, however my life is something I know more about than trying to conjure up ways to make Figgins better or improve our trades.

We took on a second dog at Christmas of last year. My wonderful in-laws provided us a new German Shepherd puppy named Hawk.  Overall, the experience has been good, but challenging at times.  If you know our older dog, Basil, he is a complete couch potato and generally loves everyone and everything.  To date, Hawk and Basil are still working out the kinks in this newly created sibling relationship.

We are taking as many steps to put Hawk in his place, largely do to the fact that adult German Shepherds have staring roles on shows like "Cops" for running down and biting other people.  By far, a GSD, is not a first time owners sort of pet.

Much like his aging sibling (Basil turned 8 on Feb 29th) he loves food.  He is overly excited at chow time, so much so that he can barely contain himself.   Every time after Basil eats, he drinks water and the same goes for Hawk.  However, we want Basil to have dibs on the water bowl, so I make every attempt to make sure that Basil has uninterrupted drinking time.  Hawk seems to get this ritual now. To the point where I only need to do is utter the words "let the old man drink" and he backs away until Basil is done.

Now, if he would stop eating his own poop, we would be in good shape.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

A "What does it all mean" stage

The title, a snippet paraphrased from the movie "High Fidelity".

I recently passed yet another mileage marker on the highway of life, 38.  I would like to feel that this is not to the mid-life stage, but reality might be setting.  After just leaving the Porsche dealership (Honey, we should talk when you get home) I have decided to funnel my aging frustrations into humor.

For what I hope will be several long-winded segments of how I am trying to bring humor into everyone's life, one post at a time.  This first entry I will describe my true feelings towards Facebook status updates and how I hope to use this tool.  Followed by some ramblings of how I landed on this project.

Much like a politician on virtually any topic, I go back and forth on my true feelings on Facebook.  As we know, social media is a tool that can be turned into a weapon if used carelessly.  Generally, most status updates contain weather updates, proud parent moments, and lately, how religious one must be to be elected president (didn't realize that was so important, but I digress).  I am announcing with a clear conscious that I will be using my status updates to provide humor. That humor will most likely cast myself as the punch line, to which I don't care.

Many events have unfolded in recent weeks where I have realized I take my life for granted.  I get horribly upset at the smallest interruption to my plan. For example, why the F am I sitting in a traffic jam on 405 at 10:30 in the F'ing morning as I struggle to make an appointment on time.  To help explain this mental shift, let's dissect the phrase "it is what it is."  Bare in mind, this dissection with come at the typing hands of someone who relied upon someone named "Cliff" and the notes that he took on major novels to pass high school English courses.  Some may argue that my writing style is similar to a floundering Amoeba, but again, I digress.

"It is", oh boy the subject of the matter.   For the sake of this argument, we look at my previous example of traffic.  It = traffic.  Is everyone staying with me?  Good. "What".  Are we bringing the subject in for questioning?  Am I going to shine a bright light in the face of my subject while calmly smoking a cigarette towering over my subject with rolled up sleeves and the optional use of suspenders?  "It is", Ah ha! Just when I am going to bring the subject into questioning, I am releasing the subject; the subject is now free to leave.  So, the ageless phrases of “it is what it is” can successful bring a mental shift when in the right frame of mind. Sometimes, I set myself to be angry or upset, no matter what I say or do.

Making more attempts to bring humor back into my life should've been focal point all along.  It was washed away in the wave of reasonability heading out into the sea of life.

Here's to a successful year and many more to come!

 

Friday, March 02, 2012

$350

That was the grand total, donation total, of about 15,000 sports cards and other random pieces of sport memorabilia that I had collected from about 1986 to 1999.

When I look back on the time investment alone, it is beyond depressing.  I always thought I was doing well by keeping unopened boxes of cards and factory sets. I also put together sets, which accounts for the high amount of singles and it was a bitch to get every card.

I even had fun collecting hard to find sets.  I had a Franz bread set of the 1987 Seahawks.  Do you know how much bread I had to eat to create that near mint set?  I also had a 2.5-inch binder of just Griffey's from 1987 to 1991.  I was full of minor league cards and some ridiculous set of home photos that someone made into a set.  There was one set of Griffey's put out by Pepsi.  I had to drink a lot of 12 packs of Pepsi until I discovered where in the pack the card was stored.  Of course, it also contained his mainstream cards.  And, I know I had every Steve Largent card ever produced.  I would spend hours going to through sports card magazine and order cards from far off places like Columbus, Ohio and Kissimmee, Florida.  Back when you had to wait 2-4 weeks to receive your merchandise.

I would send cards to my favorite players.  I would write a letter (by hand if you can fathom that!) and include a self addressed stamped envelope along with my card of chose.  I had almost all my cards of Steve Largent signed by him, along with Curt Warner and other Seahawks.  I never did perform this act for my favorite Mariner cards.

The departure of my cards is overall, a very sad piece of my life's work, but it does complete a chapter of my youth.  They are these stupid materialistic items that one day were suppose to pay for kids college educations and large homes on waterfront property.  Neither one of those goals will be achieved.  Now, card manufactures appear to be embracing the larger global market and printing less cards.  Driving up the price and demand while keeping the supply within reason.  I appreciate their efforts, but selfishly too little, too late for this guy.

On a bright note, I will no longer feel anchored by a metric ton of cardboard.  Since those cards left, I have felt a bit better about myself.  I should also note that not all cards are gone. I hung onto the 1984 Topps Football set and my non-counterfeit Griffey minor league cards and a few other single rookie cards.

As an aside, I started this blog in December of 2011.  I really do need to get back into blogging.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Hot Stove

So, here I sit looking at a blog that has not been updated since July.  Needless to say, the M's did not give me much to write about.  However, we are now in the wonderful Hot Stove time in the offseason.  Here are a few notes that I have about some moves that would benefit this team.

1. Drop Figgins like a sack of laundry.  We will do this by eating about half to two-thirds of his salary.  I am fine with this type of strategy.  He has been one of the biggest signing busts in Seattle history.  (Dan McGuire just breathed a large sigh of relief).  The Rockies sound like the only team that is remotely interested.  Great, send him packing and send us some 3B talent in return.

2. Trade Ichiro after you sign Fielder.  This is only way to make this move "PR friendly".  I have said it before that Ichiro is paid way too much to hit singles and not score.  I do not think that we can afford Fielder, Ichiro and Felix salaries in 2012.

3. Sign someone that can hit with power from the left side.  I state Fielder in the above entry, simply because he is the largest (pardon the pun) name on the market today.  Right now, we just need to get on base, with a few people that can drive in runs.  We were one of, if not, the worst offensive team last season.  Bringing Fielder into the mix starts the whole "Who's on first?" debate in Seattle.  Beltre can tell you how difficult Safeco is for right handers, so we need a power left handed hitter and a .280+ right hand hitter.  I am sure we could find someone in the .280 range fairly cheaply with an OBP somewhere around .350.  Ackley lead the M's last year in OBP with a whopper .348 and 5th in SLG with .417.  SLG might be more importlant, but if someone does land on 3B, someone else needs to find a way to drive them home.  The Mariners were last in the league in R, H, RBIs, AVG, OBP and SLG.  That is embarassing.  We have to do something this offseason.

4. Bring up the talent.  It was nice to see Ackley, Smoak and Seagers play last year, but we need to make true commitments here.  I don't think it is fair to Felix and the fans to pay him 20 Million this year and claim that we are still "rebuilding".  Following through on 1 and 3 from above should help.  Smoak has been a semi nice addition; however, should Fielder sign (unlikely) Smoak then becomes trade bait.  He was probably more valuable as a propect in the Rangers system than someone that seems to lack the power he was advertised as possessing.  Of course, there must be some "Safeco Field delta" added to most scouting reports.  Ackley was exciting to watch and has the ability to do very welll for this team.  Robinson was a nice acquision around the trade deadline as well.  Perhaps we can build on his speed and talent in the outfield.

Another hot stove, and yet another "we must do something".  The fan base was burned by the Lee and Figgins signings couple yeasr back.  We will own cautious optimism as we wait and see what Jack Z plans on doing.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Can this get any worse?!

Of course it can, but how bad is it really.  So bad the Mariners make the back page of the Wall Street Journal.  With the awesome headline "It's Been a Futile Run for the Seattle Mariners".  In the first 14 games in July, they are averaging 1.86 runs per game.  If that does not change, they will have the 6th worst run average month in the history of baseball.  That is over 100+ years of baseball.  That is how bad baseball, or at least hitting, is in Seattle.

Who is worse than the Mariners?  Taking the lead spot are the 1963 Houston Colt .45s with an average of 1.55 runs for June of that year.  Here is the article if you can spare 45 seconds of laughter.

With the looming trade deadline, the Mariners will not be sellers nor buyers.  Right now, we are just looking for respect.  There has been talk of Prince Fielder, not a chance, at least in July.  Perhaps Jack Z can work some magic in the offseason to bring a strong left handed bat to the lineup.  Of course, you will also have to protect him in the batting order or we still won't see decent run production.  I am not sure of others in the mix. Alex Gordon is finally living up to his prospect hype, but we are trying our hand with a rookie in the hot corner in Kyle Seager.  He has yet to make any impact on the majors, unlike Ackley who is at least trying to produce.

Pitching is a completely other story.  Pineda has done well (however he faltered against the Jay earlier tonight).  Felix is pitching well, but not like his Cy Young year.  Bedard has been a mild surprise, as well as Fister and Vargas.  They are bending, but are about to break.  I am not sure how long the pitchers will put up with the lack of support at the plate.

As of tonight, we are on a 10 game losing streak.  I don't have the answer.  Poor base running and relaxing in the field led to the Jays come from behind victory.  We really need to pull our heads out. If the A's can win, why can't we?

To my Facebook faithful

Thank you for your continued readership even if the import function from Blogspot to Facebook breaks at times.  Just a quick shout out of thanks.

 

Now, onto the boring topic of the Mariner.