Thursday, December 22, 2005

Happy Festivus!

Well, officially Festivus is tomorrow. Does everyone have their pole up and decorated or do you just have a holiday tree? I am really looking forward to the airing of grievances time of year.

The Mariners have been fairly busy this off-season in regards to pitching. They are not going to re-sign Franklin and have made some FA signings that should help us out next season. Again, just wishing for a .500 season at this point. If they trade away Jeremy Reed, I will be very disappointed. He has been talked about going to Boston. Reed has that Griffey pre-injury quality, where he could be an everyday Centerfielder for us. Plus, he can hit about .300 every year, just lacks the power.

Tomorrow we leave for Missoula. I am not sure how much sleep I will get, but I am really excited. We are suppose to have a rain/snow mix the entire trip. I hope that is not true, but that could be better than dealing with icy and snow packed roads. Our dog is staying with my sister-in-law. I will miss Basil, however, my parents are old and they do not have a fenced yard. He normally does travel with us to Missoula, but not this time, our social calendar is very full.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Monday, December 19, 2005

U2

Wow, what a concert! I highly enjoyed myself. I am not a huge concert goer by any standard, but I really enjoy music. To see U2 live was pretty cool, since I have listened to them since the early 80’s.

Whether you are a fan or not, I would highly recommend that you go. They put on a stage show that is out of this world. Some may not go, because of how political U2, especially Bono, can be. It is to be expected from U2. Going to a U2 concert and have it not have some sort of political message would be like not finding ice on the North Pole.

I am a Led Zeppelin fan; however, the likelihood of seeing the original group live is fairly slim. So, I think of U2 as my zeppelin, I am very glad I was able to see them live.

Caroler etiquette and Shopping

What is the proper listening etiquette for carolers? It seems like the carolers are not the ones on stage. I appreciate the thought of coming to our house to sing, but standing in my doorway being sung too is surprising uncomfortable. It seems that the 5 minutes I am being sung to, is the longest 5 minutes in history.

We are 4 days away from leaving for MT, I am very excited. I was throwing the ball for my dog in the backyard, and my elbow was sore after 2 tosses. Apparently, my training program for the big game is not as good as once thought.

Got all of my Christmas shopping done early this past Saturday. Why wait so late? I did not charge one item for Christmas this year. Waiting for paychecks was my delay.

I hope to blog between now and when we leave. However, if the opportunity to do so does not present itself: Merry Christmas to my 3 readers. And Bill, I will see you Friday night!

Friday, December 16, 2005

ah....gas and other stuff

It has been awhile since I talked about the price difference with Diesel compared to gasoline. Diesel is only 20 cents more expensive from the highest octane in SLC. Back in October, the difference was around 75 cents and over a dollar from the lowest octane. This makes me feel better about our diesel purchase.

I hope to get all Christmas shopping done this weekend. I am on-call for my job, so that can always throw a wrench into my plans, but I am sure we can make it work. The U2 concert is this weekend. We had our tickets since March, so I hope it will be worth the wait. Besides these few items, I hope to cruise into my vacation that starts next Friday.

The Mariners signed Carl Everett to a one year deal. I am not a fan of building a team on the FA market, because it will never last. If you can start with youth, and attempt to keep them happy for a few years, you can make a good run at the top. Teams that do well in the FA market are only good for a year or two it seems. Think of all the FA's the Yankee's have acquired in the past few years, and have not won a World Series since 2000.

I hope to blog before my vacation. But, on the off chance I do not, Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Voting and the famous greasy spoon

When I first heard of a restaurant called a “greasy spoon”, my initial reaction was “Why don’t they run them through the dishwasher again?” Oddly, I am not too far off on this one. I have come to my own criteria for a “greasy spoon” restaurant.

1. “We serve breakfast all day” is plastered across the top of all menu’s, and usually mentioned more than once
2. Their food is good. Not good as in “healthy” or good as in good, but good as in bad. So bad, when you have cleaned your plate, you can see yourself in the greasy mirror left behind and your cholesterol number appears in red on your white undershirt as you leave.
3. A breakfast "bar". A place for those travelers or loaners that need a place to sit without taking up an eight person booth
4. Open after the bars are closed. Fuck, breakfast is served all day.
5. Their “low fat” menu items have a calorie rating higher than the highest SAT scores in the country. But hey, it’s a low fat item on THAT menu.
6. Generally “tarnished” spoons. “Greasy spoon” rolls off the tongue a lot better than “tarnished spoon”.

Who does the “World famous” voting? Where the fuck is this white clothed booth located? I want an “I voted for world famous” sticker on my lapel someday. Someone is always advertising that they have “World Famous Fries” or “World famous (insert whatever you want)”. I think I am going to claim myself as the “World Famous Josh”. You disagree? Well, you should have fucking voted then.

What makes an item a “house specialty” on a menu? What makes Don’s Family Feedbag’s chicken fried steak, better than Pistol Pete’s Rooster Tail Bonaza’s chicken fried steak. I got a house specialty, Mac&Cheese, my Kraft box comes in a different color of blue and has red writing

What is “nog”? I am addicted to Egg Nog shakes and egg nog in general. Artic Circle should advertise “Now with real Nog!” Imagine the unnecessary questions and comments they would receive, but man it would be funny.

What is the “low fat” range on a menu? Why is the chicken cordon bleu “low fat” at Applebee’s, but not Chili’s? Are we talking 500 calories with 10 coming from fat? There needs to be a key card placed somewhere at restaurants.

Who says there is no such thing as a stupid question? I would like to start my own cliché. Even the phrase “that is so cliché” is a cliché. But yet, I can’t think of anyting great to start off with. Man, this job is harder than trying to wipe your ass with a fig leaf and a bungy cord.

I know this great little tarnished spoon around the corner, they have World Famous biscuits and gravy, and yes, they do have a low fat menu.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

First major storm

Sunday, all the news programs said that “On Tuesday, we will be lucky if we get any moisture in the valleys.” To mimic Chandler, they could not BE more wrong. We estimated just over 4 inches at our house, and traffic was a crawl on the drive home. Of course, last week when we were to brace for 4+ inches, we barely received a dusting. For my 3 readers out there, you are well aware of how much I dislike shoveling wet snow. This time, Lora and I split time, it worked out nicely.

Baseball’s off-season is cooking as usual. Players are getting paid more than what I feel they deserve. This seems to be par for the course. Mariners are guilty of this. Sexon and Beltre did come from the NL, so I am willing to give this past year a free pass. However, I expect greater things from them come this coming season.

Have I mentioned how excited I am to return to Missoula for Christmas and the big game? I am so out of shape, I hurt my left knee getting out of bed the other morning. Walking the dog, I am out of breath…this could be a long game.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Turbo Tax and Advent Calendar

Well, November sure went by fast. Lora cooked an amazing Thanksgiving meal. She did a brine to the Turkey on Wednesday…man…it was killer!

With December 1st, came my Turbo Tax and the traditional advent calendar. I recall as a kid getting excited to break open the day’s door on the calendar perched on my parents buffet. Now, I have resorted to adding a widget to my MAC dashboard…how lame is that!

For some odd reason, I love doing my own taxes. Love might be a bit strong, but I do enjoy doing them. I am sure I am not getting as much of a refund as I could be, but I feel we do pretty good doing this on my own. Plus, I am saving the $50/hour a CPA would charge me, or whatever that rate might.

We are going to Missoula for Christmas this year. I am excited. I will be attending the 17th Annual Whitaker Park football game on the 24th. I have missed the past two years, so returning to this event has me excited for our pending trip. This game has been played ever 24th of December since our freshman year in HS. This game has been going on for over half my life now! I was rather disappointed to miss the past two games, but that is what having multiple families to visit at Christmas causes. Lora and I seem to have developed a pretty good rotation.