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.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Pineda was snubbed

There is a lot of talk about snubs from the All-Star game.  Many mention C.C Sabathia as a pitcher who was snubbed.  Don't get me wrong, I think CC is a good pitcher, but don't tell me the fans only pick players based on popularity. So do the managers.

Micheal Pineda has better stats, not necessary win/loss, than 3 member of the pitching staff of the AL next Tuesday.  That would also include his teammate Felix Hernandez.  In fact, Felix is statistically the fourth best stater on the Mariners, but that is a topic for another day.

Here are Michael's stats.  He is 8-5 with an 2.58 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP and a .193 AVG.

Three players in the all star game: C.J. Wilson, Felix Hernandez and David Price.  C.J. Wilson stats are as follows:  8-3 with an 3.02 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP and a .243 AVG.  Felix stats are as follows: 8-7 with an 3.47 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and a .252 AVG.  David Price stats: 8-7 with a 3.56 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP and a .229 AVG.  Throwing in CC, since being a Yankee apparently gives the fans a right to gripe. 12-4 with a 2.90 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP and a .248 Avg.  Wilson is in because his manager is the AL manager, Felix is in because of his name and so is Price.

Pineda, outside of CC's record. blows away 3 plays in the game and 1 player who is getting a lot of "snub" attention.  If we sort by stats, Pineda is the 6th best pitching in the AL with regards to ERA.  He is the third best pitcher with AVG, eight in WHIP,  and tenth in K's.  I know a lot of fans see this game as worthless, but watching a rookie phnom could help make this game interesting.

Felix and CC both pitch on Sunday which makes them ineligible for the active roster for the all-star game.  I don't necessary want Pineda to pitch, but I do want to see him to be recognized during the team announcements.

 

 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The most meaningful NBA title, ever

Sure, that name is a bit much, but given the spectacle that Lebron produced last off season I feel it is very accurate.  Let it be known that I have not followed the NBA since 1998, and have lost all reason to follow the NBA when the Thunder made their debut.

If Lebron and company would have captured the title, how empty would that have felt?  It would have felt manufactured if the outcome would have been reversed.  Think of how dry the Yankee titles seem to be (for those non-fans) since they already have the highest payroll.  I think this shows that heart goes a long ways!  Plus, Cuban was one of two owners to vote agianst the Sonics departure.

i dedicate this blog to those titles that provide great stories lines, not evil ones.  I think the Giants and Rangers World Series 2010 run demonstrates heart and dedication.   The Rangers, in bankruptcy looking for buyers, became the best team in the AL.  The Giants, in second to last place in July represents the NL and completes the run with the title.  I am sure ratings for the WS were less than previous, however the storyline was unbeatable.  The drama was more along the lines of "warm and fuzzies" while Lebron brings a hatred to those that value loyalty.  It seems that turmoil and debate always bring out the voyeurs in all of us.

I raise a glass to Dirk and the rest of the Mavs that produced a title for a town that has long ached for one even before Dale Ellis was traded.  Cheers.

Blogging at 36,000 feet

I did not spring for the Gogo net purchase, but decided to kill time while I a sate wedged in the famous middle seat for a 2.5 hour flight.

Since I am a superstitious blogger, it is good the M's have hit a bit of a skid.  Losing 3 of there last 4 and losing a series to the despicable White Sox.  First series loss in a very long time.  I was just starting to get use to them winning!  So I feel comfortable taking some time to blog as they turn things around against the Tigers.

You know things are going weird for a team when a a $10 million player is providing a weekly charge to a pint of beer based on his batting average.  Last week, Chone Figgins was drumming up draft beers for $1.87.  He offers absolutely nothing of value to the team at this point.   We had the luxury of attending a game on Memorial Day.  Chone proved his value at third with 2 errors.  The crowd, even after error number one, did not let up.  He was booed the minute his throw to first was errant.  Needless to say, I was one of the members in the booing party.  I am done with him in Seattle.  Sadly, he will be cut since no sober team would take him in a trade.

Pitching has been spot on, both from a starting and relief perspective.  Pineda and Felix and Bedard are proving to be a great trio of starters.  Fister and Vargas are also pulling their weight to make sure we are successful from 66 feet.

It should be noted that I started this blog on Thursday night, but did not post until Sunday.  Some of this information needs to be updated as the Mariners were able to salvage a series tie against Detroit.  Now they come home for one of the best homes stands with the Angels, Phillies (a small set in DC) then back for the Marlins and Braves.

 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

NCAA sanctions: Why punish an entire school?

Let me begin by stating I am not an Ohio State fan, I don't necessary dislike them, but not a fan.  Jim Tressel's latest gaff will cost OSU some games, scholarships and potenial bowl appearances in the future.  Why does the NCAA insist on punishing future players and the entire school for the gaff of a handful of idiots?

Jim Tressel, I think, makes somewhere close to $3.5 million dollars a year to win football games.  The NCAA should fine him directly for everything they can prove.  Fine him $1 million and cut the five players involved.  However, if history is any indicator, none of that will happen.  Instead, OSU will face a loss of scholarships, and potential bowl appearances.  So, a player two years from now that had nothing to do with the issue, is not going to be able to play in a bowl game.  Why would anyone want to go to OSU? Prestige can only last so long.

Instead, take care of Tressel.  Go after those that are directly involved.  Force Trussel to wear a huge black eye for the rest of his career with a fine and punish him with loss of scholarships and bowl eligibility, wherever he may land.  This would go for any coach involved in current or future investigations.  Rather than make the school take the hit for a stupid coach, make the stupid acts of a coach remain on his resume for years to come.  What OSU might do to help with any public relations image issue is fire Tressel.  Then again, they might not fire him, which I would actually support.  Why fire him when he can go coach at another school with full scholarships and open bowl eligibility.  Schools will be waiting in line for Tressel, based upon his long successful history in the NCAA.  A lot of schools will choose to overlook this issue for the dollars he could bring to a program.  Only punish the entire school if the chain on knowledge does go directly to the top.

NCAA, please don't take away wins.  I see this to be a stupid, slap on the wrist punishment.  Why should OSU have to forfeit wins from the past season?  What does this actually prove?  Why punish the past for something today, does not make sense to me.  I will say, to this past punishment, Reggie Bush is a great example.  By forfeiting his Heisman trophy, he took away all controversy.  I see his actions as spot on since he was a direct recipient of benefits from USC.  Koodos to Reggie for the way he quickly delt with his past college controversy.

I think the NCAA prohibition situation needs to change.  I do not like how schools are punished, while a coach can get fired and then hired someplace else with no consequences.  Sure, he may hear something from the crowd, but he will still make his millions as his new institution.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Please, trade Ichiro

Before you call me out as being sacrilege, hear me out.  Here are a few facts to consider.

1. Ichiro is paid $20 million a year.

2. Of his 2200 hits over the past 10 seasons, 1800 are singles.

3. He is 37 years old.  Not old by any stretch, but probably not deserving money of a 28-30 year old MVP-type producer.

4. Ryan Howard makes less money than Ichiro.

5. Last year, Baltimore, KC, Washington, Pittsburgh and Arizona all lost 90+ games.  Seattle was the only team with $20 million tied to one player.

6. How much rebuilding can a 37/38 year old player provide?  The Mariners are well on their way to a 95+ loss season in 2010 and probably the same in 2011.  Jack Z has made it a priority to rebuild with youth.

Let's start from the beginning, the $20 million a year salary.  A lot of people think that he is worth this money because he gets on base and is put into scoring position through sacrifices and steals.  This could be true, however, we have no one to drive Ichiro home.  Ichrio's streak of 100 or more runs ended in 2009 with 88, and only 74 in 2010.  If we have no one to reward Ichiro for his hard work, why pay him so much to do so little?  Management/Ownership might be under the impression that he is the reason people come to the ballpark.  I beg to differ.  We are setting record attendance marks in 2011.  By record attendance marks, I mean record low marks.

No matter how we cut it, my second point contains a lot of singles.  However, we now have Chone Figgins for another couple of years.  I am not a fan of Chone, but we do have someone that could step into the lead off role and perhaps get on base.  I am by no means throwing all my trust at Chone, but let him attempt to prove his worth while we find a true leadoff player with a much lower price tag.

Jack Z is doing, I think, a decent job of acquiring young talent.  With Ichiro at age 37 in right field, with a hot right field prospect behind him in AAA Tacoma, do we really need to keep him?  Yes, he is a great fielder with a great arm.  However, the $20 million price tag is not well justified if it only keeps 5 runners a season from advancing from second to third on deep fly balls.

No matter how we slice it, there is no comparison to Ichiro.  He is the only player being paid this much money to hit singles.  Ryan Howard is signed through the 2016 season, with an option for 2017.  Howard is making about 18 million until 2012, then in 2012 to 2016 he has a sizable increase to $25 million a season.  In 2011, Ryan hopes to extend his streak of 30+ home runs and 100+ RBIs to six straight seasons.  The RBI's dropped last year to 108, down from over 130 the previous 4 seasons.  Offense and wins put butts in the seats at any stadium.  I am not saying we need to go out and try to get Howard, but we do need someone that can hit with power from the left side of the plate.

My fifth point is just depressing, I have no other way to describe how sad this stat appears.  They had the second worst record in 2010 and the worst in 2008, very challenging to be supportive.  I am still not convinced the Mariners realize what truly is broken, I know I don't.  In the start of 2011, KC is doing very well.  Pittsburgh and Arizona also appear to be on the climb.  If we give Wedge enough time, perhaps he can turn things around this year.  I have already noticed more patiences at the plate and some aggressive behavior on the base path.  We can always hope for more wins to help make the season move along, even though we will not be contending for any playoff spots.

Youth is key to progress in any ball club.  Felix is great at age 25 and already has one Cy Young sitting in his trophy case.  I am sure this will not be his last.  Michael Pineda is off to a great start to his MLB career.  We have Dustin Ackley waiting in Tacoma for his call up in June as well as a host of other younger talent.  We need to build around Felix and Pineda, not so much around Ichiro.

Ichiro very well could hit 200 hits a season well into his 40's.  As with most Seattle athletes, he will always be welcomed in the Emerald City.  (A-Rod might be the exception to this rule).  Let him finish the next 3 or 4 years helping someone else with his wizardly magic of the infield single.  Allow the Mariners to acquire a player that will actually break 100 RBI's and maybe even 30 HR's.  We all know Milton Bradely is not that guy.  Perhaps Smoak can step up and start to show his potential greatness.  All I know is that we need a new face to this franchise.  Now, we just need to find someone to take on rich contract.

Thank you ichiro, it was a great run!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rough Start

My mood to blog this season has been anything but excited.  I am currently watching the M's lead Detroit 6-1 and I am fearful that we will find a way to blow it.  I sure hope not.

Felix looked great in the opener, but has been anything but the Cy Young winner in his last couple of starts.  I am sure this is temporary, but still worrisome.

As a team, we are below double digit home runs.  There are individuals in the league who have more home runs than this team.

On a bright note, Michael Pineda has looked great!  He has faltered toward the end of his starts, but has looked really good and continues to shine. It is the hope that Felix can turn things around and we will have a great 1-2 punch.  We need that great punch, since Bedard has fallen flat.  It was hoping for Bedard to pull it out this year, but his first 3 starts have been pretty poor.

The season is still young and teams like the Indians and Royals are leading the Central...what is happening in the world?  Are all those #1 picks finally working out? I wish the same could be said for the Mariners.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Open day, 2 days away

I have not come close to the amount of posts from last year.  Last year, the Mariners were going to win the World Series and all of the world's problems were going to be solved.  This year, who cares.

We have zero expectations for the upcoming season.  If we finish at .500, which we will, that will be a joyous occasion and rioting with ensue, I am sure of it.  I will say, I am excited about our starting rotation,  with Felix and healthy Bedard and a young gun in Pineda.  Finally (knock on wood) with Bedard healthy we may see why Bavasi gave away half the team for 3 years ago.  Pineda and his 6'8" frame on the mound should be nice to see him overpower hitters.  All in all, a good start to the season.

Of course, we still have no offense but the pitching will be outstanding!

 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Trade talks around Felix

I am not a fan of this.  Just when we finally get a player that the fan base can cling to besides Ichiro, there are trade rumors abound.  Of course, the only team that could give us the 1 for 5 players deal being rumored are the dreaded Yankees.

Why Felix and why now?  I am certain this falls under the "buy low, sell high" mentality.  Buy low equals finding a gem in the Venezuelan rough.  Sell high equating to providing the most hated team in the world, with one of the best pitchers.  I would rather see Ichiro traded than Felix.  I am more of a pitching fan, which could play a role, however his salary is too high for us to bring in any decent bats.  Give us five decent prospects for Ichiro and we could be play in October within 2-3 years.  Trade Felix, with no true "#1" starter behind him, and you have bound us to a season of record breaking loses and low attendance.

If we work on building a true staff around Felix, with Bedard staying healthy and Pineda coming up mid year, we could deliver solid pitching for a few years before salaries need to be revisited.  If we are able to trade Ichiro for several decent prospects, we might build an offense that will not be last in the league in runs.

Right now, Ichiro has the value of bringing fans to the ballpark.  I understand this is a good thing, but winning also brings in fans.  If we go through yet another 100 lose season, not even Ichiro can pack the house.  We will see how long these rumors last.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Baseball!

It has been awhile since my last post. That is about the 15th time I have started a blog with that line.

Pitchers and catchers have long since reported and we are rapidly approaching opening day.  The Mariner season is starting off with zero expectations. In fact, they have barely been a topic of conversation on sports talk, at least when I have tuned in.  Last year, we occupied some air time, even with March Madness.  I feel a lot of people got burned by having high hopes to only lose 100 games.

Bedard is coming along nicely in camp.  He is setting himself up to be a nice 1-2 punch with Felix assuming he remains healthy. Michael Pineda does appear primed for a June call up, if not then September.  Regardless, he will see the majors this season.  Entering a season where we are not expected to do anything takes the pressure off promoting players ahead of their timetable.

If time permits, I will make some attempt to complete my predictions for the upcoming season.  Right now, I need to finalize my fantasy baseball draft strategy.

 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Jake Locker is overrated

There, I said it.

I have bit my tongue for awhile.  Jake Locker was a very good college quarterback for the University of Washington.  I always felt that he had an Alex Smith quality to him.  Sports Talk radio in the area was hoping for a round 1 selection of Jake to the NFL, this is beyond ambitious in my book.  To their credit, they are starting to come around to a round 2 or potential round 3 selection.

It would be in the best interest of most NFL franchises to select him in rounds 5 or higher.  He is going to need to develop patiences and pose to be success in the NFL.  This is not trying to be a knock on Jake, but rather the blinded dawg fan that feels this kid is going to save a franchise.  The amount by fans to push the Seahawks to draft Locker is amazing.  At this current time, Jake would not be able to hold Matt Hasselback's jock strap, let alone lead the Seachickens to victory.

Sure, he will play and probably win a game or two, but as of right now I do not feel he is NFL ready.  Look for Jake to hit a stride by years 3 and 4 in the NFL.

The Battle for Shortstop and some pitching news

Jack Wilson and Brendan Ryan are officially competing for the starting shortstop position.  I feel this is a good thing. Ryan is five years younger than Wilson and does not come with the tag line "when healthy".  I think this is very important in a physically demanding position of shortstop. I would rather see Ryan at SS and Wilson at 2B, but that is just me.  Career batting average does not make the separation any easier, with both of them around .255.

Don't be surprised if Ackley makes his debut in June.  He probably won't break camp with the team.  After all, no one is predicting this team to do squat this year so no reason to rush his major league service time. So that means we will win 100+ games and make a run at the post season...just kidding.  The reason for my logic above, is that Ackley could be called up in June, and Wilson traded by July 31st.  This type of scenario makes sense to me.  I want the smallest amount of "when healthy" players on my team.  Youthful, longterm approach to the middle infield wins points with me any day.

Michael Pineda is one of the hot topics for the Mariners this Spring.  He is a killer pitcher with great potential that has rocketed through the minors.  However, it appears that June is the earliest we could see Michael make his Safeco debut.  The debut of both Ackley and Pineda appears to be contact driven rather than talent.  If they break camp with the team, they lose a year of guaranteed service in the Mariner organization.  The rule around this is called "Super Two"".

I cannot wait for this season to begin.  The Mariners have nothing to lose this year.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kindle: Year 2

It has been 2 years since the second generation Kindle has graced me with its presence.  I must say, I am not sure what I would do on work trips without this handy device.  I give the device all the credit for my interest in reading.  Apparently, I was never into the "old school" method of reading words on paper, but rather liquid paper.  Under my own admission, I have read more books in the last 2 years than in high school and college...combined.  If that is not a sad picture of my education, I am not sure what is.  I am sure that could explain the usual lack of filler words or the occasion dyslexic wording on my blog.  Better yet, the general lack of proper grammar and tense.  (Or, too much caffeine in ones diet could be to blame.)

Just complete the two of the three books in the "The Girl who..." series.  I am always open to a good suspense novel.  I have a couple of reference books on the device and do pose a challenge.  In the case of reference material, I would like to...well...easily reference something.  Providing highlights and virtual dog ears are a nice way to do this, however, the feeling of "I read something about that right around here..." is missing.  Of course, that may also depend on the reference that you choose to read.

One that already has considerable issues with clutter based upon my rather numerous, and now nearly worthless, sports card collection, the lack of physical material is awesome.  I have ready many books over the two years and the space on my bookshelf has not changed.  I bet all you "Twilight" readers would kill for this reading medium.

Here is to the start of a successful year 3!

BOTW: update

I have done some tasting around different parts of the states recently, Billings, MT and Atlanta, GA.  I plan on providing a few BOTW entries in the coming days.  However, I hope to add photos of the beer as well. I have enlisted the work of the free program Evernote.  They have an iPhone, iPad, MAC and PC (and I am sure Android) client that sych's in the "cloud".  So instead of trying to type on the phone keyboard a complete blog entry, I take a few notes, snap a pic and synch to my account.  The next time I log into my MAC/PC the application syncs up easily allowing to effortless put my thoughts and photos on the blog.

So effortlessly I have yet to do it..but stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Town to change name to Nate, MT

The news has hit the airways.  A few days after father Joe visited Missoula, Nate Montana will be transferring from Notre Dame to Missoula.  Normally, this type of news would be met with great exuberance, however, Nate's stats are below average.  I am sure his name carries a fair amount of weight, however I would expect more than the linked stats.

He has a troubled collegiate career.  It is this fan's hope that he is able to turn things around.  I am not sure what "promises" were made to create this transfer: starting role?  I am not the best follower of Griz football, especially when it comes to who we recruit and the starting lineup.  However, this news may reinvigorate me to start a practice of following my alma-mater closer.  Sure, I follow game results, but my account at egriz.com is probably long since expired.

Good luck Nick!

 

(FYI, the title of this post is not to be believed, unlike this one)

 

***Update, I did have NIck in here instead of Nate, thank you Bill.  I blame the Montana's for naming their kids with similar names.

Pitchers and catchers reporting, along with Griffey

About time!  A sign that spring is not that far away...I hope.

The Mariners have a few question marks.  One of them is in left field.  Milton Bradley will be competing for a spot against Michael Saunders.  The rest of the field is fairly well known.  Smoak at first, Ackley (mid season) Adam Kennedy at second, Wilson at shortstop, Figgins at third and Olivo behind the plate.  We will have our mainstays in Gutierrez and Ichiro in center and right field respectively.

The pitching could have a few issues.  As of today, we do not have a set closer nor a known fifth starter.  I was hoping that Josh Fields would be making his MLB debut this year as the closer, but his failure to put together a solid season in the minors is hurting his progress.  The fifth starter does appear to be a mystery.  Here is what we do know, Felix, Vargas, Bedard (fingers crossed) and Fister should be how the rotation begins.

I hope that Wedge is able to bring everyone together for a solid season.  I am putting a fair amount of confidence in a .500 year.

On the topic of good news for Seattle, Griffey plans on playing some "consultant" type of role with the organization.  I am pleased to see his loyalty remain with the Mariners.  I hope that the "Griffey day of celebration" is a game in which I can attend.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bring on Baseball!

Now that ridiculous sport of football has come to a close, time to move onto baseball!  I have been checking my Yahoo fantasy baseball site for the past 2 days for a sign up notice.  I cannot wait to defend my third place finish.  Or course, I should do some research this year to better my placement.  Time and life seem to get in the way of some good ole fashion stat mining.

Quick update:  I started this blog post on Monday, then work got in the way.  Surprisingly, Yahoo! opened registration and we have our league setup with already 5 of our teams from last year.  Clearly, I am not alone in my excitement for baseball.  I realize the post is short so the irony of not having this complete in one day is not lost on me.  However, I wanted more content, and now I have.

Bring on pitchers and catchers!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Electric Mowers...really?

I am on the cusp of lawn maintenance change.  I am starting to be convinced by a member of my household that an electric mower is something to consider.  My old mower is a complete mess.  I have done minimal maintenance, but it seems to have reached a point where it needs to be put out of it's misery.

So, my question to my readers and perhaps my readers friends:  Should I journey down this path?  If so, what model?  I have followed the Neuton for a couple years now with great interest.  I know that most major hardware stores carry an electric model that is fairly lost cost.  Those seem to have mixed reviews about longevity.

There has also been the idea of grabbing a push mower.  You know, those old metal ones with about 4 lines of twisted metal to do the cutting.  I like manual labor, sometimes, but this method might be too "green" for what I would like to accomplish.

So, there it is, a request from my loyal following for feedback.  If you, or you know someone, that uses an electric mower, please let me know how that is working out.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Blogging app bake off winner: MarsEdit

It was a close race between MarsEdit and Blogo.  Blogo lost me when out of nowhere it informed of me I had no internet access, when clearly there was.  It was a bit disappointing but something that fell right in line with most of the comments I later read.

Neither application allows for a wizard mode for a table insert, like LiveWriter.  I only use tables to show off worthless baseball statistics in some sort of comparison model.  I guess I can make due with bulleted lists, or better yet, re-learn HTML.  The last time I edited HTML was in Notepad for a friend's fantasy football page.  He was my one, and only, client.  Needless to say the payments of beer did not impress my landlord.  Also this was back in '97.

The interface for MarsEdit is fairly simple, no glitz nor glamour.  It is straightforward and plugs right into Blogger and their templates.  It does allow for multiple drafts to be saved, something Blogo seemed to lack.

That is all, just wanted to close that loop as I know it was the source of many sleepless nights for some.

 

BOTW: Avery Brewing Company, IPA

The BOTW has not surfaced for a long time. I am sure many of my readers consider this hobby extinct; however that is not the case. I had an opportunity to hit a town I have never been to before, at least of age, Boulder, CO. I sampled and enjoyed the Avery IPA.

This is what an IPA should be, a hoppy blast that about knocks you off your bar stool. It reminds of those lame spearmint mouth wash ads were the mouth wash is visualized as some refreshing river of spearmint goodness. However, instead of spearmint, I had visions of hoppy and bitter goodness. (By no means is this beer close to the taste of mouthwash. I wanted to put the visual that was running through my mind at the time of consumption). It took all of 3 seconds for the hoppy wall to crash upon my taste buds and it was well worth the wait. Not soon after, the bitterness subsided and the beer returned to some naturally good flavors.

I give this beer a rating of: "very drinkable". However, if you have any taste aversion to IPA's, this is one to avoid.

On a side note, I have a neighbor that is a killer hobby brewer.  As the brewing engine starts to get rolling at home, I plan on using BOTW liberally in the future. (Beer of the Week for you newbies).

Monday, January 31, 2011

The "Pat down"

I opted out of the full body scan today. The line at SeaTac at 8 AM was surprisingly nonexistent as I was the only person in the ID line prior to the X-Ray machines.

For those of you unaware of the layout at SeaTac main security check point allow a brief overview. Two conveyor belts converge on one traditional walk through X-Ray. The type that has been around for many years. Something was different today, I could feel it.

Today was my first encounter with the much debated full body X-Ray machines. I chose the shortest conveyor line not noticing that my destination was the full body machine. However, the line to my left was heading towards the traditional walk-thru. I almost switched lanes, but figured I would just chance it. I also assumed that since both were going, if you opt out of the full body, they would just have you take the walk thru. I could not have been more wrong.

Once I informed the female TSA employee I was opting out, she read me a small paragraph of how the next 5-7 minutes of my life would transpire. Of course, leaving out the key point that it would take an additional 5-7 minutes. As I am waiting on the outside of both X-Ray machines as the words "male assist" are echoed throughout the security point I took note of how other travelers were directed. I notice only one person being put through the full body, while others are still able to use the walk thru. What gives? I meant to ask but was uncertain if that would draw more attention. Hell, even the women running the other bag scanning X-ray machine was laughing at the term "male assist"...or I think that is what she was laughing at.

A friendly TSA gentleman escorted me to an unattended point in the security point to perform the dreaded "pat down". He offered me the option for a private room pat down, but I stuck with my choice of having this performed in-front of everyone. The humorous part of this journey for me was the TSA employee had to carry all of my stuff. It was not a lot as this was a day trip, but it did consist of a backpack, stinky shoes, and 2 bins of assorted electronics. I am not sure if he did this out of kindness or that I could take my stuff and run.

As he applied his rubber gloves to his hands, he informs of me of how the procedure is going to unfold. He talks of how he is going to check me for airline contraband and the manner to which is hands will be used. This is all fine and dandy.

Small talk was prevalent during this 1-2 minute process. Questions like "Where are you going today?" was the common theme. It quickly turned to a topic of stock options with Microsoft, from the early years, and if we would be working today. (Not sure how we got on that topic, I was distracted. Perhaps because I said I work in software and he jumped to Microsoft. It is almost as bad as when you tell someone you are from Montana and they ask "Do you know John?") But I digress. There was no groping or grabbing of ones junk. However, I will say they are not shy about the inner thigh region. They do get right up in there where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. After the encounter, pleasantries were exchanged and I was allowed to gather me things and be on my way.

If the line was long and/or I was running late for my pre-flight coffee prior to my flight, I probably would have just gone ahead with scan. However, I do feel that I am blasted with enough cancer causing rays in my day so I am not in a hurry to add anymore. It was not a miserable experience, the worst part was probably waiting for someone to come get me so I could go on about my day.

For my next trip I plan on starting in the walk thru line, regardless of length, to see if I am chosen at random for the full body. I will be sure to provide a detailed blog of that exciting event.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fountain Lady

I normally don't comment on this since it only stresses what the person is trying to accomplish, publicity; however, I am going to make an exception.

If you have not seen the footage, here is a link. (I believe this video is of the security company laughing at her.) I heard she is suing. At first, I thought she was suing the mall for "improper fountain location". However, she is suing the security company for releasing the video.

Suing is not answer. I understand her frustration that security personnel took it upon themselves to release this video. My guess, this is a clear violation of the company ethics code, or at least it should be. I feel that suing is a bit much and the security company should take the initiative and fire/reprimand the employee that released the video. Perhaps, to add to this, perform the reprimand in a public setting. Perhaps with some nifty press release that states the employees name. I truly wish our society was not be setup in a manner where legal action is the first move. Rather, just address the security company and ask them to make a formal apology and take of the employees responsible.

I find it ironic that someone who is clearly embarrassed by this, goes on a program like Good Morning America. You knew they were going to show the video, so why go on a morning program, watched by many, and express how upset you are about the release of the video. My only thought is that she is making the most of her 15 minutes. Perhaps she too can be a guest DJ on next years "New Years Rockin' Eve".

What I want to see most from here is a smile. You have to admit, this is hysterical and she deserves a bit of laughter at her expense. I heard there is a second video ready to surface where she falls down a manhole while attempting to chew bubble gum.

To aid those too lazy to click the link above, I have provided an embedded copy of the video.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Testing with Blogo

Another random post, this time with Blogo. MarsEdit was not great with the copy and paste from Word. The reason I am testing that is because of my poor grammar. I would like to blame instant messaging or texting to the demise of my English language. But I feel it is safe to say, it was never stellar to begin with.

Blogo deals with the copy and paste from Word nicely. MarsEdit showed a need to pull in some of the extra formatting that is normally hidden behind the scenes. Blogo also pulled down my categories so those do not need to be recreated, something that MarsEdit did as well.

In doing some more digging, Blogo does have a grammar check that I just enabled. I will see how this works out as I may have a new front runner for a blog program. The overall look and feel of the interface is not ideal, but will get the job the done. Another strike against blogo, is the lack of font choice, or I may not have looked hard enough.

I will keep plugging away, but so far Blogo is my choice.


Testing with MarsEdit

One of the blog applications I am considering is MarsEdit.  This post will have little meaning as I am playing with how it works with the template that I use when I post.  It also has a history of my posts for easy reference on the computer.

Nothing exciting here, just random text about an Mac application

My first MacBook!

Attending sales conferences does have an upside.  Last week, I attended my company’s sales conference to which approximately 20 Apple MacBook Air’s and 30 iPad’s were “tossed” into the crowd of attendees.  Reasons being for random drawings or correct answers to pop quiz questions.  I was one of the lucky recipients of an Air.

I have been debating about the use of a laptop as my primary machine for some time.  Primarily, I have no need for a robust desktop machine draining power from the world for the potential to play Duke Nukem or Quake or whatever the top FPS reigns supreme of the PC gaming world.  My primary use is browsing, iTunes, Office products and TurboTax.  None of these applications are defined as graphically intense.  Plus, I now have a Kinect/Xbox to take out my gaming needs, I still love Maddens.


The “Air”, in my opinion, is not equipped to be a primary machine but I am going to give it the ole college try.  It is nice and quick; however does require connectivity to take advantage of the lack of options the device itself offers.  The flash memory allows for quick boot and quick operation.  Mine is the base model, so I would recommend a 4 GB RAM upgrade if you are considering this way of life.  I will say, the 2 GB has not been a problem yet.  And, thanks to the technology my company offers, this device can be used in a corporate world.  I use my virtual Windows desktop on a regular basis.

Another reason I was considering a laptop was for mobile blogging.  The Live suite of free apps from Microsoft is a rather nice addition to my Windows 7 machine.  I used the Live Writer for all blog work in 2010.  Now, my machine is going to be a copy and paste from Word to the Blogger website, not ideal but something I can live with.  There are blog programs that tie nicely into the Blogger site; however, they are pay for applications that I am still trying out the free trials.

I am doing what I can to make this small, lightweight and quick MacBook as my primary machine.  So far so good, but uncertain as to what I should do with my iTunes library that currently sits on my Win7 machine.  I will do some random posts throughout the year as to how this device is treating me from a permanent standpoint.

I am enjoying the ride on the Air!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Who Dat?

That was one hell of a game for the Hawks.  Being a typical Seattle fan, I entered the game with low expectations but aware that the Hawks would compete and keep it close.  Little did I know they would out play the champs.

The NBC broadcast was like a broken record beating a dead horse.  They mentioned the “losing” regular season about 78 times during the telecast.  But, entering that game yesterday, both teams were 0-0.  As they say, any given Sunday…or Saturday.

I am not sure who we draw for round 2, however, I feel we will still keep it a competitive game.  We have nothing to lose, no one is expecting nor predicting success from the Seahawks, including most of the locals.

Most of the talk on the radio this season has centered around who should play Quarterback.  Yesterday was perhaps Hasselback’s best game in the last 3 years.  He looked like the 12 year veteran (12 years, I think I heard that only once during the broadcast) and leader that he is for this team.  There will always be doubters in any given fan base, but Matt rose to the challenge and put the team on his shoulders.  Say what you want, but Matt is a competitor.  Of course he throws interceptions from time to time, but he is also someone trying to make a tackle too.  I wonder how many other QB’s out there hustle after their own mistakes.  Or even sometimes try to beat running backs to the end zone for a celebration. 

The run my Marshawn Lynch was, in a word, awesome!  I honestly have nothing else to say.  I was speechless during the run, speechless now as well. 

I don’t want to jinx anything, but yesterday’s game provided the level of excitement similar to that from the 1983 run to the AFC championship game.  In that year, the Hawks jumped all over the Denver Broncos to win 31-7 in the wild card game.  The next game, Seattle traveled to Miami to take on the Dolphins  and defeated Marino and cast 20-27.  The last game, took us to LA to face a team the Hawks had defeated twice during the regular season.  Sadly, Seattle’s first ever playoff run ended at the hands of Marcus Allen 30-14.  I hope the outcome is different this year should we make the NFC championship game.  However, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, we still need a solid victory next week.

Good luck in round 2!