Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Play ball!

So my softball season kicked off the other night. My work had so many that wanted to play that we are fielding two teams in this league. My team took a lay back approach and went into our first game totally unprepared (we had one meeting to discuss whether we wanted to sprung for shirts). The plan started off well enough when we scored 10 runs in the first inning. Then we found out that our offense will have to carry us over the hump that is defense and pitching. After a heart attack of a last inning, we held on to win 26-24 (not a typo). Personally, I was 0 for 1 with a walk and two runs score. I was definitely rusty and I really have to get used to funky softball rules and strategies, but felt ok about my performance. Next game isn't until next Friday when the two Brayton <> Purcell teams go head to head. Hopefully playing conditions won't be so Candlestick like for that one...

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Lucky Guy...

I always knew I was blessed with a wonderful wife, but sometimes she exceeds all expectations. After our successful vacation, she tells me that we should schedule all of our future vacations around baseball parks around the country...God bless that woman.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Vacation Top Ten

I was going to give a play by play of my vacation in San Diego, but I figured that you'd want to read all that as much as you'd want to watch the slide show version of my vacation (or my home video of Hannah's kindergarten graduation). So I'll give you a quick review, in a well organized, somewhat ripped off, and hopefully amusing top ten list:

Top Ten Things I learned while in San Diego:

1) If you think you are escaping bad weather with a vacation, if will invariably follow you.

I couldn't believe it was raining at home when we left...I couldn't believe we didn't see a lick of sun while we were in San Diego. After flying over the above clouds, it decided to follow us the rest of the weekend. I've ran into stray puppies that aren't so loyal.

2) Lil John's singing vocabulary is very limited.

One of the neat things about traveling is scanning the choice of radio stations. We pretty much went with Z90 90.3 FM ("Where hip hop lives"). I first noticed that Lil John is a very prolific producer because practically every other song is a Lil John production. This also means that we heard his "contributions" just as often. Unfortunately, this really only includes either "Yeah!" "All Right!" or "Okay!". A thesaurus apparently does not exist in the world of crunk...

3) SoCal people love their malls.

Does this come as a surprised to anyone? There are lots of malls in San Diego. They are basically like the malls you know, just outdoors. There are food courts upstairs, there are little carts selling you cell phones. Just substitute your "Anne's Plus Size Boutique" and two of the shoe stores with an Armani Exchange and Abercrombie and Fitch and it's just like home...

4) I do not have a curse the home team at baseball games.

I was beginning to wonder, after my three game losing streak at SBC. So on Thursday afternoon we visited Petco Park for an afternoon matinee between the Pads and the Indians. I like the park. It's more a part of downtown than SBC and the little quirks are cool...It would have been better if it wasn't cloudy and sprinkly (see #1). And the Padres won...all those people around me cheering like mad...I had forgotten what that was like...

5) There is such a thing as too much nature.

Friday was spent at the world famous San Diego Zoo. The place is really big, with some of the steepest walkways I have ever seen in a civilized setting (who decided to build a zoo in a canyon?). The kids loved seeing the animals up close. There was about a 45 minute stretch, however, where every animal we saw decided it was time to urinate... "Look! A giraffe....ewww." "Look! An antelope.....whoa..." "Look! An elephant.....holy @%!$#!"

6) 12 Hooter Girls fit in a hula hoop.

Friday was also my birthday. My wife thought Hooters would be a good place to have dinner (God bless that woman). It was the liveliest Hooters I had ever been too. There were dance numbers, a girl poured beer while hanging upside down on a trapeze, and the above girls in hula hoops...Although if it was my birthday, why was my wife surrounded by hot chicks and not me?

7) Taxi drivers are out to take every last cent you have.

We only rented a car for a few days before my sister and Chris came down with the van. When I returned the rental, I figured I'll just take a cab back to the hotel. It wasn't even 10 miles back and it would be way easier and closer than public transportation. Well the meter reading $23.40 was a darn good reason to learn the public transportation system well. It happened to be all the cash I had at the moment. I thought I was being charged by the mile. I swear I saw that meter move while we were at a red light. What's up with that? Bad people....

8) Dumb people are rapidly taking over the world.

Again, probably does not surprise you. The prize for dumbest thing I heard while in San Diego goes to the lady at Balboa Park. We were looking at the botanical garden building and the above lily pond in front with many koi fishes when she said:

"They just look like big goldfishes to me."

9) Graduations are nothing but people sitting around for 4 hours for 10 seconds of excitement.

And that is if your particular graduate is a slow walker or trips on the stage. The whole reason for our trip was my cousin's graduation. I thought maybe he is graduating with others with the same major...nope. Okay, maybe it's grouped by colleges of similar majors...nope. I heard there were about 700 graduates with totally unrelated majors at this graduation. What sense does this make? Why would they still decide to have TWO class speakers in addition to all the chancellors and provost and janitors speaking ahead of them? What a cruel things to do to parents who have already given their savings to these schools just to see their child walk across the stage in a robe for a paper. Lots of people do that every morning...

And finally...10) Kids CAN sit in a car for 11 hours and not drive others to suicide.

I couldn't believe it either, but my kids sat through unexplained traffic in LA, fields of nothing along I-5, smelly cows awaiting slaughter, and numerous dirty bathrooms in even dirtier gas stations without any complaint. The trip back, while long, was pretty pleasant...I'm am still awaiting word from the aliens on the whereabouts of my real children.

Monday, June 13, 2005

The verdict is in...

So Michael Jackson gets to be the King of Pop for 4 more years....Prince will vie for the title in 2009.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Vacation time!

So I am about to be off for a weekend in San Diego. Airplane travel with two small children, then really tempt fate by driving back with two small children. Enjoy my clean up of unfinished posts. Wish me luck.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Two and half day work weeks rock!

Monday, Thursday, and a half day Friday...That is how I am thinking about this week. Woohoo!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Night out on the Town

Ronald McDonald and Grimace in SF
Originally uploaded by Alanmine.

We celebrated our 6th anniversary Friday with an evening without the kids (really all we can ask for nowadays). It was fun, real casual time together. We first had dinner at Bay Street Plaza in Emeryville and hung out there window shopping. We then headed out into San Francisco where we roamed around North Beach looking for coffee in big soup bowls. While roaming, we ran into...Ronald McDonald? Walking down Broadway with a cameraman was Ronald McDonald, The Hamburlgar, and Grimace. We followed and were hoping they would walk into a strip joint. They just wander though and we lost interest. Had to take a picture though, no one would believe it....

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Cherry Picking

On Memorial Day we decided to take the kids cherry picking. I have a lot of memories as a kid going with my family on these fruit picking trips...Those memories are still pretty much true. The place is filled with Asian families...but I am getting ahead of myself. My parents saw an ad in the Chinese newspaper of a place in Fairfield. We decided to try that since it's closer than the Brentwood orchards that we used to go to... boy was that a mistake. That place is the biggest rip off ever. They charge by the person instead of just what you pick. It would have been 40 bucks just to get all of us and the kids in... So off to Brentwood from there we went.

I was surprised that we even made it there. As we got closer and closer, my parents just kept talking about how much more the area has developed since the last time we have been there. Yet somehow, after a few questionable turns, we made it (sure there are like 30 orchards in the area, but it's not like the highway dead ends into one). Two dollars a pound, all you can pick. Two lessons learned here:

- Little kids will eat cherries off a tree until they get the runs...for a week.

- They ask you to sign a waiver before you go in for a reason...My dad lost his footing on a tree and fell completely out...Not slipped off, but fell out, landing on your side.

Good Times.