gridlore: The word Giants over a baseball (Baseball - SF Giants)
Flashback to 2010. The Giants win the National League West on the last day of the season. Giants Nation goes nuts with the hope that this might finally be the year. The Giants came west in 1958, and in that time managed only three National League pennants, and no World Series wins. We were due.

Bay Area musician/producer Ashkon grabs a karaoke version of Journey's Don't Stop Believing and writes lyrics to celebrate that this might be the season.

It was. San Francisco Giants, your 2010 World Series Champions. Swing and miss, and that's it.

This still makes me very happy, as it takes me back to the excitement of that October, as we came closer and closer to the win. Fun note, of all the players mentioned, only Buster Posey is still with the Giants.

Black and Orange 'till I die.
gridlore: Gold football helmet with red 49ers logo (Football - 49ers helmet)
Another Superbowl has come and gone. Leaving us with the etenral question, is Super Bowl one word or two? I've seen it both ways, honestly, and even the official NFL material seems to be of two minds.

The game itself was amazing, featuring an astonishing comeback by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. I was rooting for Atlanta, as I always want to see a city lacking in championships earn one. That first parade is always magical. But the football gods were fickle, and Boston gets the joy.

The end of football season means that baseball, and my beloved San Francisco Giants, are just around the corner. We're already seeing photos from this year's commercial shoots, and Spring Training opens next week! Rapture! Joy! Beat L.A.!

Seriously, Beat L.A. With a stick. I hate the Dodgers.

But along with the overblown end of the NFL season came something I've come to dread on social media. People adopting elitist, dismissive attitudes about sports. Sadly, some people I consider friends to this. It annoys me no end, and I have to keep from exploding every time I see it. So I'll just explain why here in this space.

Calling all sports "sportsball" and pretending to be confused by the basic concepts of the game are insulting. Refusing to admit that sports are popular to a wide audience of all backgrounds is delusional. Whining about people spending money on watching sports is rude and controlling. If I choose to spend money on a Brandon Crawford jersey and pay to go to a game that's my business.

I have friends, some of whom have done the sportsball thing, who spend thousands of dollars every year to attend science-fiction conventions. I love conventions, but you don't think that someone somewhere isn't rolling their eyes at this? Two men I am proud to call friends have devoted thousands of hours and an equal amount of money to creating fantastic costumes and props, all for their own enjoyment. Surely there could have been a better use for that money, some would argue.

But it's what brings these people joy. So fuck off and let them enjoy it.

So why do I enjoy sports so much? I love watching skilled people do things that I could never do. A Major League pitcher can top 99mph on a fastball. The batter has less than a second to identify the speed and motion of the ball, make a swing/no swing decision, and commit to the act. Literally the slowest part of this action is the signal from the brain to the muscles to move. Yet a good batter will make contact over half the time.

A NFL quarterback has to be away of the position of 21 people at the time he gets the ball. He has to be able to track his receivers and throw the ball into a crowd and get it to the right guy. See how well you do at this when being pursued by guys who are big, fast, and strong. A few years ago my mom and I get great seats for a 49ers preseason game. We were right down by the sidelines near the end zone. We saw exactly how fast these players are, and how hard they hit.

There you go, I love sports because I love seeing amazing things unfold live.

But there's another reason why I love sports, and football in particular. 49ers football is probably my one good memory of my late father. Dad and I never got along. I often say that he wanted children and got Californians. Dad grew up in England during the Depression and WWII in a military family. He simple wasn't prepared for kids with political opinions and a sense of personal freedom. We locked horns on everything.

But on Sundays, we were a family united. I was raised a 49er Faithful. I joke that my first words were "wait 'till next year!" We lived and died by the Niners. Even when all my friends were rooting for the Steelers or Cowboys, the two dominant teams of the 1970s, I held fast to my roots.

My parents had season tickets at Candlestick Park, 45 yard line, right under the press box. Sometimes, I'd get to go to the game with Daddy. I can still remember riding up the long escalator while holding his hand, cheering as John Brodie let the Red and Gold down the field, getting to eat hot dogs and candy, and mainly just being with my dad as we followed the family religion.

Even later, at the worst of our estrangement, I would call him every Sunday during the season to talk about the game. It was the one common thread that held us together. And when he died, I think my first reaction was that I was going to miss those conversations.

In conclusion, if you don't like sports, good for you. But don't think that makes you better than anyone else, and don't be a condescending twat about it.

Oh, and Go Giants! BEAT L.A.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Baseball - Believe)
To the tunes of "Do You Hear The People Sing" and (very loosely) "One Day More" from Les Miserables.


Do you hear the Giants sing?
Orange October's come again
It is the music of a baseball team
Marching to victory again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the thunder of the bats
There is a game to be won
When tomorrow comes!

Will you join in our nation?
Who will be strong and stand behind Bochy?
Filling up the bleachers
For the World Series you long to see?
Then raise up your voices
And cheer for MadBum and Posey!

Do you hear the Giants sing?
Orange October's come again
It is the music of a baseball team
Marching to victory again!
When your heart is in your throat
With every 3-2 pitch
There is a series to be won
When tomorrow comes!

Will you sneak out from work early
So you are home for every pitch?
Rally caps and garlic fries
Will you be there 'till the end?
The Spirit of '51
Will lead us to triumph again!

Do you hear the Giants sing?
Orange October's come again
It is the music of a baseball team
Marching to victory again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the thunder of the bats
There is a pennant to be won
When tomorrow comes!

One game more! Is all that we are asking
One game more! We have to keep on winning
25 men united with one simple goal:
One more game
Win today!
gridlore: (Burning_Man)

We've started getting ready for Burning Man​. All our gear is stored at EarthBaby, so today we filled Ranger Darby with the stuff we've accumulated and headed over to sort and repack.

We've picked a few things, like new sleeping bags, a camp kitchen and stove, and two really strong large storage boxes. (Thank you REI and Costco.) This allowed us to repack things and more importantly, edit as we went. Somethings were obvious candidates for being removed from the packing list: The old sleeping bags, the old suitcases, unused mess kits that we've replaced with Bento boxes.

We found that we could fit all the bedding stuff into one of the new storage boxes. The other boxes is filled with Miscellaneous Fun! Also, the Coleman stove and some camp food. Which are also fun. When you add Tapatío in large quantities.

I wanted to get this out of the way early so we could inventory and be ready for what we need to do next. Mission accomplished. Now resting because we're going to see the San Jose Giants later this evening.

By the way, Burning Man sucks, don't go.



The Man burns in 91 days.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)

  • Completely fallen off the habit of writing here.

  • The "Goals & Accomplishments" thing has been stopped because it was just making me angry.

  • Too many Fails, not enough being done.

  • Plus, bronchitis really kicked me in the ass.

  • But life does move on.

  • Seeing new doctors.

  • Back to the Y on a regular basis.

  • Been trying to write more.

  • Gearing for upcoming events.

  • It's that wonderful time of the year here in Santa Clara where you can put almost anything out to the curb for pick-up.

  • As a result, our street looks like a disaster area.

  • We also have pickers coming through in advance of the official pick-up.

  • Normally an annoyance (They double park, block our narrow street, and drive at 5mph while scanning the piles) this year they worked in our favor.

  • We had a few things to put out. All the old dishes and glasses we're dumping, an old stereo, some other stuff.

  • I was really worried what would happen with all the breakable stuff in the street.

  • But yesterday [personal profile] kshandra was shaving my head in the carport (easier to clean up) and we saw a nice older gentleman looking over the pile across the street.

  • Got his attention, and he happily took all our crap.

  • Got to watch lifeguard training at the YMCA today. Really interesting.

  • Now I need lunch.

  • The Giants are struggling. We've dealt with a lot of injuries early in the season.

  • Today's game was rained out. Boo!

  • But we did sweep the hated Dodgers in SF, and our next three are against LA in Chavez Gulch.

  • BEAT L.A.!

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Glare of Sarcasm)

  • My apologies for mostly vanishing over the last week or so.

  • The letter from the government telling me that I can work again and all my benefits were going away just kicked my butt.

  • I was seriously non-functional for eight hours after reading that, and barely able to operate as an adult for the rest of the week.

  • But things have been done.

  • We filed all the paperwork for a reconsideration.

  • We've contacted a legal group for assistance.

  • We've spoken with my doctor.

  • Which also led to another melt-down when it turned out that none of my referrals had gone through.

  • Which should be fixed now.

  • But we did enjoy FogCon.

  • Remember FogCon? We went to FogCon before all this started.

  • Nice, relaxing event.

  • I got the entire Mars series autographed by Kim Stanley Robinson.

  • The non-awards banquet was good.

  • Saw some old friends we haven't encountered in too long.

  • Next up, BayCon, where I will be a panelist.

  • We've learned that we need to get a room on site so I can retreat and rest.

  • This drama has also played merry hell with my workout schedule.

  • I either forget to go to the Y, or am too stressed to go.

  • That changes now.

  • The YMCA is now on my calender. Three visits a week minimum. Monday night aqua-aerobics with [personal profile] kshandra.

  • The change in my energy level since I started working out has been amazing.

  • My writing continues to improve gradually.

  • Working on a couple of things I might submit for publication.

  • The writing group I attend through Santa Clara Adult Ed has been amazingly helpful.

  • I'll probably self-publish my novel through Amazon, just so I can saw I wrote a novel.

  • Y'all are buying it. yes?

  • Still want to get back into gaming.

  • Thought I had a couple of leads on a group, but they fell through.

  • Anybody interested in a regular gaming night in the South Bay?

  • 20 days to Opening Day for your 2014 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants!

  • Who have the Best Commercial Ever.

  • LET'S GO GIANTS!!!

gridlore: The word "Done!" in bold red letters. (Done!)
Done today:

  • Dishes.

  • Dusted the living room.

  • Did my workout at the Y


To be done tomorrow:

  • Shopping.


Fails:

  • Never even opened my writing.

  • No laundry done.



RTP Ernie Banks.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Baseball - Scream)
Well, as you can imagine, I'm rather upset by yesterday's results. I mean, I knew the races were going to be close, and I knew the competition was strong. I also realize that being just one guy in California meant I had no real impact on the larger picture. But I thought we might win a few! But no, here I sit, utterly crushed...




... because not a single Giant won a Gold Glove.
gridlore: The word "Done!" in bold red letters. (Done!)

  • Went and voted, dropping [personal profile] kshandra's ballot off at the same time.

  • My voting location is in the Triton Museum

  • So I wandered a bit and looked at some of the galleries.

  • Pretty cool stuff.

  • But I had places to go, people to annoy!

  • Next stop, RiteAid for a prescription refill, and SaveMart to turn a $10 into quarters.

  • Also picked up a lottery ticket.

  • $311 million would be nice to have.

  • From there, off to the library to return some books.

  • Honestly, with all the books I've recently acquired, I don't see myself needing their services for a while.

  • Two weeks, even!

  • Last thing on the list, Smart & Final.

  • Still have some money on that card we won.

  • Cokes, shredded Mexican cheese, and the Drain Cleaner of DEATH for the tub.

  • I'm going to miss that card when it's done.

  • Now I'm filling out bloody surveys for the nice people who pay my medical bills.

  • No, I cannot work. Still.

  • Yes, I do suffer pain. Daily. Constantly.

  • Yes, strokes suck.

  • Gimme my bennies!

  • Hoping for a miracle in tonight's election results. So many important races are so close.

  • Just in case any of you want to get me a Winter Gift...

  • My Amazon Wishlist

  • Holy crap, the Giants won the World Series. Again!

gridlore: The word Giants over a baseball (Baseball - SF Giants)
San Francisco Giants: 3
Kansas City Royals: 2

The Giants win Game 7, and their third World Series in five seasons.

Holy crap, Three Commissioner's Trophies.

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS. WE OWN THE CHAMPIONSHIP!
gridlore: The word Giants over a baseball (Baseball - SF Giants)
San Francisco Giants: 6
St. Louis Cardinals: 3

Giants win the NLCS 4 -1, and move on to face the Kansas City Royals in the World Series.

This does not get old.

The Giants won on a three-run, walk-off home run (sound familiar?) after Cardinal's skipper Mike Matheny decided to put a right-handed pitcher who hadn't thrown in a game for month in to face a switch-hitter and two lefties. He then left that pitcher in after a single and a four pitch walk put the World Series in scoring position. Up comes Travis Ishikawa, a man who thought his baseball career was over back in April, gets a fastball on a 2-0 count. Over the plated and belt-high. Gone.

The Giants win the pennant. The Giants own the National League Pennant.

I celebrated, MadBum style

Bring on KC!
GO GIANTS!
FOUR MORE WINS!!!

gridlore: The word Giants over a baseball (Baseball - SF Giants)
Is July fourth.

That day, the San Jose Giants play the Stockton Ports at Memorial Stadium in San Jose. I want a birthday extravaganza at the ballpark, people!

If we can get fifteen people, we get a group rate. I want everyone who might be interested to look at the Group options and let me know what works for you if you'd like to attend. I think the Baseball with BBQ ($27/adult, $15/child) is a great option because it includes food and drinks. But I'd be willing to go with the General group prices ($10/person).

Right now we have 10-12 people we're pretty sure can make it. But join the party!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Baseball - Scream)

Sunday

Vs. Padres

1:05 p.m. CSNBA

Ross (3-8) vs. Moscoso (2-2)

Monday

Season over

gridlore: The word Giants over a baseball (Baseball - SF Giants)
San Francisco Giants: 19

Los Angeles Dodgers: 3


Hunter Pence had seven of those RBIs, including four on a Grand Slam. First GS for the Giants this season.

Those 19 runs are the most ever scored at Dodger Field in a 9-inning game.

Only four more games against the Blue Menace. Tomorrow at Chavez Gulch, then three next week at AT&T.

BEAT L.A.!!!
BEAT L.A.!!!
BEAT L.A.!!!
BEAT L.A.!!!
gridlore: The word Giants over a baseball (Baseball - SF Giants)
San Francisco Giants: 3
Arizona Diamondbacks: 2 (11)


and 6.2 miles to the south...

San Francisco 49ers: 34
Green Bay Packers: 28


Icing on the cake? The Raiders lost.

I need a user icon that has the 49ers' logo morphing into the Giants' logo with "San Francisco - All We Do Is Win!"

Make this happen, talented people!
gridlore: Photo: penguin chick with its wings outstretched, captioned "Yay!" (Penguin - Yay!)
Last night we attended our first Single-A ball game, San Jose Giants v. Visalia Rawhide. By the sixth inning we were talking about season tickets.

Are you kidding me?

This was a blast. For less than what we normally pay for bleacher seats at AT&T, we had box seats behind home plate. Great food, great entertainment, and just one hell of a lot of fun. We will be going back.

Sadly, the Giants lost to the Rawhide 4-2.

I was introduced to the concept of the "beer batter" for the first time. For the uninitiated, a player on the visiting team is designated the "beer batter." If that player strikes out, beer is half-price for the next fifteen minutes. Visalia's catcher made the crown very happy by striking out on four pitches. Later in the game, after the suspension of beer sales in the seventh, he becomes the Martinelli's apple juice batter. This led to the weirdest chant I have ever heard at a baseball game, nearly 5,000 people chanting "APPLE JUICE! APPLE JUICE!"

I had the traditional hot dog and a beer. Hot dogs just taste better at a ballpark. Also got garlic fries, but they were oddly sweet. Kirsten hit Turkey Mike's for BBQ ribs, a baked potato, and garlic bread. Prices very reasonable.

The complete photo set is here. We completely forgot to get pictures of ourselves, or of the Giants' mascot Gigante.

Next time.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin - dance)
Kiri and I went this morning to see Kylie, the Emergency Back Up Niece, playing her Under 9 Division League Championship.

Sparks: 4
Orange Crush: 3 (in 5 innings)


These girls, aged 6-8, showed a ton of heart and some pretty good skills. Kylie had a 2 RBI double, pitched well, and in the bottom of the 4th had a great throw from left to kill a bases-loaded rally.

They normally play to four innings, so for the extra inning they had a weird rule. Each team started with a runner at second and two outs. The Sparks managed to bring that runner home, then held off a ferocious rally attempt by the Crush to tie the game up. Ended on a strike out!

I, being a doofus, forgot to take pictures. So here are some from Wednesday's game: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjF8e3q2
gridlore: Doug with Kirsten, both in nice clothes for a wedding. (Me - with Kirsten)
Yesterday, [personal profile] kshandra and I headed out to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Evidently, 22 years is the "Get Your Geek On" year.

First, we went to see Iron Man 3. Good enough film, and a fun cap to the Iron Man trilogy. There was one twist that I just loved. Spoilers later.

After that, Sizzler for lunch. My medium steak was more medium rare, but still good. The only problem was the air-conditioning was set too high.

Home for a bit of a rest, then off to CalTrain! Caught what turned out to be an express, had a nice ride up. Then walked the city block to AT&T Park with the orange-clad mob. Speaking of mobs, our first stop was the Giants Dugout store. I needed an orange hoodie. Luckily for us, the featured item of the game was fleece hoodies for about $30. Then we walked around the back of the park to see the plaques installed for the two World Series wins and Matt Cain's perfect game. There was also one for Pablo Sandoval hitting three home runs in his first three at bats in Game 1 last year. Ended up walking all the way around to the Second street Gate, mainly because they have elevators there and Kirsten was really beginning to feel how much she had walked.

Have to say that I loved how the Giants handled the promo giveaway. We got a separate ticket for the hat, and the hats were being given away in a well controlled line where they checked both your hat coupon and your game ticket to see if they matched. As we were walking away from the table, a plaintive fan asked if anyone was willing to sell their hat. "Sure!" I called out, "$300 in quarters!" Heavy metal, indeed.

Found our seats in the nosebleeds. Kirsten declared she was not moving for the rest of the game. She also said the usher told her that if we left a little early or waited for the crowd to clear, we could get chair service to the gate of our choice. I agreed that the stairs were bullshit, but made an expedition to grab two beers.Never did get garlic fries, the lines were insane.

Then the game started, with Metallica doing the honors. Weird game. Kershaw carried a perfect game into the 6th, but the Dodgers could only produce one run while stranding 12 men on base. It was also a long game. When Buster Posey came up to lead off the bottom of the ninth, I think every Giants fan was thinking "just end this thing, please!"

He heard our pleas. Giants win, everyone goes home happy. Except for the Dodgers fans, but who cares about them?

One really nice part of Metallica Night was that the 7th Inning Stretch singing of Take Me Out To The Ball Game was led by the Metallikids, the children of James, Rob, and Lars.

After the game, we waited for the promised chair, but as we had to catch a train, we couldn't wait forever. Did have fun chatting with some ushers and watching the horde of seagulls descend on what for them is the best open buffet in town. At the station, we caught t a bit of luck, a tree had dropped on the tracks in Atherton. This delayed the departure of the second Giants post-game train, so we caught it. Found seats and enjoyed the moronic drunks and their various dramas.

Finally got home about 0130. Sore as hell today, but damn we had a good time!

Photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24212799@N03/tags/3may13/
gridlore: Doug with Kirsten, both in nice clothes for a wedding. (Me - with Kirsten)
Saturday, May 4th is the 22nd wedding anniversary for Kirsten and me. I know, we can't accept it either.

In the last several years, "May the Fourth" has become an unofficial holiday for Star Wars fans. I liked Star Wars; but neither of us ever got into the Extended Universe stuff and don't consider ourselves to be hardcore Star Wars fans.

Anyway, our getting married on 5/4/1991 had nothing to do with Star Wars or any other science-fiction reference. We got married on that date because we had gotten engaged roughly a year earlier; while driving up Highway 1after seeing the Grateful Dead at Cal State Dominguez Hills. We stopped at San Simeon State Beach and I proposed. We decided to delay the wedding for a year just to make sure that we could actually stand each other. Turns out, we could. 5/4 was chosen because it was the best date for everyone involved.

So please, if you wish to offer us congratulations on this milestone, please don't make Star Wars remarks. It actually pisses us off. Because it makes it feel like people think we set our wedding date as a fannish gimmick. That may not seem like so much to y'all, but to us, after all we've been through together, it is an insult.

As for the actual celebration, that's tomorrow. We're seeing Iron Man 3, having lunch at an undetermined location, then going up to see the Giants beat the crap out of the Dodgers. It's Metallica Night at the ballpark. Science-fiction, Metallica, and baseball. It's a day made for us! Now if we could just get Duran Duran in somehow, it'd be perfect.
gridlore: Doug with Kirsten, both in nice clothes for a wedding. (Me - with Kirsten)
What a week.

Along with the Saturday trip to Ikea, and Sunday assembling Ikea, I had to work a full schedule. Work got interesting at points. But I had one of those backaches that just wandered around from muscle group to muscle group like an irritating tourist.

But the new TV stand is up, and looks good. We have plans to continue the transformation of the place, but that can wait until some more pressing needs are met. Speaking of that, boosting signal for my lovely wife: Give her money. She's awesome. Why should you give her money? Because for the past 18 years she has taken care of me. She literally saved my life the first time I had pneumonia by making me go to the ER, then practically carrying me down three flights of steep stairs and pouring me into the car. Now it's her turn to be taken care of. I'd donate, but she already gets my money.

Anyway, now that you've thrown cash towards my Kiri, back to me. Today I'm taking it easy. Currently watching the Giants beat up on the Rockies (up 10-0, end of 8) and contemplating food. Got a little done today, a few dishes and some tidying. Tomorrow, I need to do recycling, pick up a couple of things at the Auto Parts Store Formally Known As Kragens. After that, since we're having beautiful weather, wash Darby and start sorting out winter clothes for storage.

But for now, sloth. Sloth and baseball.

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gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
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