December 25, 2006

    Someday, I hope my day job starts to slow down just a little bit. For now, though, the time away just flies by and the next thing I know, another year is almost over and I haven't added anything to this site since late in the baseball season.
     So let me, there is too much. Let me sum up.
     Congrats to the St. Louis Cardinals for winning the World Series. I suppose the real underdog would've been the Detroit Tigers, but the final four teams (including Oakland and the NY Mets) had all won rings in the 80s, so unlike 2004 and 2005, there was no real title drought/curse that ended when the season did. St. Louis is a great baseball town, though, and they're not the Yankees, so I'm fine with the results.
     The Mariners finished in last place for the third year in a row and the ownership has decided to give the GM and manager one more season before heads start rolling. Then they go out and get Jose Guillen, Jose Vidro and Horacio Ramirez. I don't think I'll regret seeing Meche and Pineiro move on to other teams, but if the goal for 2007 is to fill the seats and keep Ichiro out of Bronx pinstripes, the goal hasn't been reached yet.
     Three months gone by since the last post and three movies seen away from home. I'm hoping that 2007 brings more trips to the theater, but looking back on 2006, I guess I was kinda busy (trips to California, DC and the UK during the spring and summer). I missed some good ones, though, and I hope I can get out more next year.
     One of these days, I'll actually get around to adding another baseball-park page, but I'm still stuck on how to describe my time in Montreal and Toronto.
     In the meantime, happy holidays, and I hope everyone that reads this has a great 2007 -- and that the Mariners finally start contending. I miss working playoff games.

September 11, 2006

       I suppose I could've picked a more inconspicuous date to finally add another website entry, but it just so happened I had a lot of time this past weekend to update my seriously-way-behind movie page. My last main-page post was right before we left for our weeklong trip to Scotland and England and we had a great time. We probably took about 800 pictures and we're still sorting through them, trying to figure out what's what and where's this and so on. We took full advantage of the UK's fantastic train, bus, and London subway system. Sure, it might have been exciting to try driving (or in my case, navigating) from the other side of the road and the other side of the front seat, but why take any chances? We also took a short weekend trip to Washington DC during the Fourth of July weekend to knock baseball park #38 (RFK) off our list. Nothing special there, though, except the kind of thunderstorm this part of the country should have more often.
        And speaking of baseball, the Mariners are all but mathematically eliminated. Of course, it's not as if this team was going to go far in the playoffs, but the crazy up-and-down stretches have been maddening for most fans around here. They go 0-11 on a road trip and then come back home to win 7 out of 9, etc. So it will be another October without local major-league baseball to kick around -- and as long as the Yankees don't win yet another World Series, it won't be a wasted baseball season.
        Maybe someday, I'll even manage to put up another baseball-park page someday. Montreal's Olympic Stadium continues to vex me, though. Perhaps it's the French parts I'm having trouble with. 

May 23, 2006

        ...and before I knew it, there was an even longer gap between this post and the previous one. Where does the time go?
        Since March 11th, we've had two elections at work (outlying areas, but still a lot of paperwork followed by attempts to clear the backlog that piles up right before those elections), a weekend in Disneyland (first time there since 1997 -- hasn't changed much), and only three movies: V for Vendetta (go see it), Ice Age 2: The Meltdown (go see it, but find a sitter for the really young kids), and Mission: Impossible III (Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman and a lot of things blowing up).
        On the sports side, the Mariners are trying to get back to .500, but the whole division basically sucks, so they're only three games out while several of the hometown boppers are doing their best Pete O'Brien impressions.
        One of these days, I'll actually finish another baseball-park page, but it will have to wait until we get back from our first real vacation since July of 2004 (Philadelphia, DC and Boston). And now for something completely different -- eight days in Scotland and England.
        I hope the language barrier isn't too much to overcome. The weather waiting for us appears to be identical to the kind we're used to around here. We're also hoping to better representatives of our country than certain elected officials that I don't believe I need to mention.

March 11, 2006

       A one-two punch (might not be the most appropriate phrase to use, but it's all I can think of) of not much happening and home-computer problems has left me with a huge gap between postings. Movie-wise, I'm off to a slow start in 2006, but I'm hoping to get out more often as the weather and the movies get better. Since my last post on New Year's Day, the movie world has seen the passing of Shelley Winters, Tony Franciosa, Chris Penn, Al Lewis, Andreas Katsulas, Don Knotts, Dennis Weaver, Darren McGavin and Gordon Parks. A lot of names already, but we can still see them in the movies.
        The Mariners are off to a rough start in spring training, but I'm hoping it will lead to a contending season. Managers need to look at a lot of people who aren't going to make the major-league roster and a lot of the good players are off playing in the World Baseball Classic, so I think this spring counts even less than it normally does. I believe the M's will do OK this year and hang in the race until around Labor Day. If they get a few breaks they haven't had in a while, this season might even be more interesting when football season rolls around again.
        As for Barry Bonds, it appears the truth is out about his steroid usage. Anyone who has seen pictures of him as a rookie and pictures of him now shouldn't be surprised to hear that he spent a lot of time and money getting bigger. Even if he passes Hank Aaron on the all-time homerun list, an asterisk will always follow his career performance. I was amused by a comment from a sports columnist who said (paraphrasing) that it was strangely appropriate that Bonds broke McGwire's single-season homer record at Enron Field (now Minute Maid Park) in Houston.

January 1, 2006

        Happy New Year, everyone! Go Seahawks! (I know it's not baseball, but it's local)
        The November general election went very well out here (not because my choices won or anything, but because it appears the results were much clearer than last year) and the job is still fairly interesting. Unfortunately, because I was hired after so many other people there, I was one of a handful of folks who couldn't take any time off during the holidays and -- therefore -- it hasn't really felt we've made much headway on the backlog of work that needs to be done very soon. I guess overtime pay is still a good thing, but I'm really looking forward to my next day off.
        I finally got caught up on my movie reviews and I've added four to the movie page. I've left the older ones up there, though, because they're all recent DVD releases, so who knows, someone might come along and read my comments before owning one of those movies. It was around this time a year ago that I saw White Noise and I'm hoping my next bad movie is still a ways off.
        On the baseball side, the Mariners made a couple of interesting moves. Jarrod Washburn should be an upgrade replacing Ryan Franklin. Carl Everett should be a power threat in left field, at first base and designated hitter, and he should definitely stand out in that locker room. I'm also curious to see how the M's ad guys use his personality in the 2006 commercials. I've read recently that Everett doesn't believe dinosaurs ever existed nor that we've put men on the moon. While I can't vouch for the certainty of extraterrestrial road trips, hasn't he ever seen Jurassic Park?
        Finally, I've decided to start an annual tradition on this site by posting the names of all of the movie and TV celebrities (the ones I've heard of and will miss) who passed away during the past 12 months. Already, I hope next year's list will be smaller...
        Amrish Puri (second Indiana Jones movie), Ruth Warrick (Citizen Kane and "All My Children"), Virginia Mayo (55 movies dating back to 1939), Johnny Carson, John Vernon (Animal House), Ossie Davis (Do The Right Thing), Dan O'Herlihy (Last Starfighter), Sandra Dee, Debralee Scott ("Welcome Back, Kotter"), Mason Adams (F/X), Frank Gorshin, Eddie Albert, Anne Bancroft, Lane Smith (Distinguished Gentleman), Paul Winchell (voice of "Tigger" in all of those classic "Pooh" cartoons), Pat McCormick (Smokey & The Bandit), "Double Duty" Radcliffe (baseball legend), Brock Peters (Star Trek VI), Chris Schenkel (TV bowling), Robert Wise, Nipsey Russell (TV game shows), Louis Nye (comedian), Rosa Parks, Michael Piller (Star Trek), Pat Morita, Wendie Jo Sperber, Richard Pryor, John Spencer ("The West Wing"), and Vincent Schiavelli.
         Thanks, folks.