Going To A Giants Game…

Hello loyal fans. Let me begin by saying how much I hate the Giants. Sure, I live in the Bay Area, but I just can not cotton to those prissy little spoiled brats across the Bay, even though they have former Padres manager Bruce Bochy at the helm. I should clarify that this is not just Barry Bonds hating…I do not care for the man, but it would not be enough to make me dislike a team. No, I just do not like them. I never have and I never will.

But, I look forward to seeing the game and the stadium. Life is good when you are sitting in a plastic seat looking up at the clear blue sky and down at the bright green grass while eating a ball park hot dog covered in mustard and onions. Delicious.

What would make this a better experience would be if the Padres were still in town. But, as Mick Jagger once said, “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well you might find, you get what you need.” All will be well if Barry Bonds strikes out a few times and the Diamondbacks win.

Quote of the Day:

“Well, beat the drum and hold the phone – the sun came out today!
We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field.
A-roundin’ third, and headed for home, it’s a brown-eyed handsome man;
Anyone can understand the way I feel.” – Centerfield, John Fogerty

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Published in: on June 30, 2007 at 9:28 am  Leave a Comment  

The Shawshank Redemption (Drama)

Hello loyal fans. With summer a week old, it seemed the time had come for another film recommendation. So, this week, I suggest you check out The Shawshank Redemption. Though a relatively recent film (a 1994 release), it is, in the eyes of many, a classic. It tells the story of Andy Dufresne (played by Tim Robbins), a “tall drink of water with [a] silver spoon up his ass” who is convicted of the murder of his wife. While inside Shawshank Prison, Andy meets Red (played by Morgan Freeman). Red is the kind of man who “who knows how to get things” and he quickly befriends Andy and helps him adjust to prison life.

I feel that revealing more will detract from the plot…so go watch the movie!

If you have seen the film, you should totally check out the following piece done by the good folks over at JibJab. If you have not seen the film, go do that, then watch the clip (you do not want to spoil the film by seeing the plot).

Shawshank in a Minute

Quote of the Day:

“Get busy living, or get busy dying.” – Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption

Published in: on June 28, 2007 at 2:32 pm  Comments (1)  

All People Be Happy

Hello loyal fans. Sad news was received today. A friend from college had an unfortunate accident while traveling in Mexico; apparently, he landed awkwardly after jumping from a waterfall into a pond below. It is typical of what one would expect from him: enjoying life to the fullest in every moment. We will miss you Eric Tang.

Eric’s tireless energy and optimism carried a lot of us through some crazy times during those four years and it is hard to imagine the world without him. He firmly believed in the good of mankind; I certainly did not. This led to many joyous hours of arguing into the wee hours of the morning. I recall, many times, sitting up till 5 or 6am debating the general merits of socialism and capitalism and attempting to determine a perfect economic and governmental solution to the problems of the world. We talked about Bertrand Russell, C.S. Lewis, Buddhism, Taoism, and religion in general. Both of us being decidedly atheists. It left us little to debate, but much to contemplate together. Eric’s sole goal in life was to make everyone happy. Happy meaning at peace, not the superficial “happy” of a new pair of shoes (or the like) so many of us think of when the word is spoken.

Eric was the first friend I made at college, more by his doing than mine. His head simply popped into my door on that first day in the dorms and screamed “come on, we are eating…and not that dorm food crap either!” As he once told me (and apparently others), “life is too short to waste time with the day to day insignificances of life. Why waste time cleaning or taking out the garbage when you can be experiencing the world around you.” I wish I had the fortitude to follow his teachings.

Eric is a friend who will be sorely missed.

http://www.allpeoplebehappy.com/

Quote of the Day:

“All people be happy” – Eric Joseph Tang (16 January 1982 – 19 June 2007)

Published in: on June 26, 2007 at 10:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wii = Hard To Find

Hello loyal fans. I think I have given up on finding a Wii. At some point, when they are more readily available, I will probably pick one up…but at this point, it is not worth my time to try to track one down. These things are just impossible to find. Even the internet, source of all knowledge and things, has none available. Sure, I could give $600 worth of business to walmart.com, but how would I look at myself in the mirror tomorrow? So, I will have to entertain myself in other ways…reading mostly, I suppose.

Quote of the Day:

“Wii would [not] like to play.” – Nintendo Commercial

Published in: on June 25, 2007 at 10:07 am  Leave a Comment  

The Aforementioned Baseball Cards…

Hello loyal fans. There can be no dispute that I am a collector of things. The current fascination is, of course, the coin thing, but over the years of my life I have collected many different things. One of the first was, as with many people I suspect, baseball cards. So, what with it being summer vacation and all, I decided it was time to sort of organize all those baseball cards I have had floating around for the last fifteen to twenty years. At some point they were all organized and in notebooks, but that time had long passed.

Once again, they are all in books. It is hard to imagine that I spent a good 30 hours sorting the darn things, but I did. When you have roughly 4,500 baseball cards it just takes a while, especially when your neuroses compel you to organize them first by team (alphabetical by division), then by year (oldest to most recent), then by brand (in alphabetical order), and finally by card number…suffice to say, there is a bit of OCD in that experience. But now they can sit in a storage box in the closet in perfect order, and there is satisfaction in that.

The most disturbing aspect of this entire experience was the burning desire I felt to purchase more baseball cards. I actually went out and purchased several 2007 wax packs. I really can not explain why…it just felt right. I think, however, the next step in the process will be going through the checklists for the cards I have a lot of and seeing just how close I am to complete sets. I am fairly certain that I have every 1988 Donruss card issued (I purchased several boxes at some point in the early 90s). I am also likely very close to having every 1990 Topps (I simply bought a lot of those…at 50 cents a pack, what nine year old kid wouldn’t?).

For those of you too young to recall these, here is a sample (The 1988 Donruss is on the left, the 1990 Topps on the right):

88Ryan 90ryan

To those accustomed to the modern glossy, embossed (I would call them “fancy pants”) cards of today, these are nothing close in comparison. The printing quality is weak, they are generally off center, and the card stock is very low quality…but that pretty much sums up my youth. I have to say, however, there is a certain simple beauty in these virtually worthless pieces of cardboard. As I was going through the cards I noticed a distinct trend…the last singles I have any of (and small numbers at that) are from 1994. I can’t even imagine why that might be (where is a damned “eye rolling” smiley when you need one?). I also noticed that 1994 Donruss is a beautiful baseball card. There is just something I really like about it, though I can not put my finger on just what it is. Perhaps it is the beginning of that glossy card blended with some subtle gold embossing. The card is just very nicely designed.

94donruss

Quote of the Day:

“Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer.” – Ted Williams

Published in: on June 22, 2007 at 3:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Old Crime Dramas Are Awesome

Hello loyal fans. Summer vacation is off to a great start here. The baseball cards are all sorted (I keep dangling that out there…) and now I am settling in to some school work before my brain totally checks out. I still have not found a Wii, so in my quest to occupy my brain the TV has come in to play. Luckily, I have discovered that the local YourTV20/Cable 13 station runs some excellent old crime dramas in the morning from 10:00 to 1:00.

What you basically get is a Magnum, P.I. sandwich with some Perry Mason for bread! The shows are decidedly different, but remain fundamentally the same: crime dramas which revolve around a strong central figure.

In the case of Perry Mason you get a sort of film noire style hour long mystery. Perry Mason (played by Raymond Burr), a brilliant attorney, uses his “mad law skills” to defend clients who always seem unquestionably guilty, but who are, in fact, innocent. Generally, Perry is the only one who believes the seemingly guilty person; due to his brilliance, Perry is generally able to coerce the guilty party to admit his crime while on the witness stand. Basically, take some Law & Order and mix in a bit of late 50s/early 60s style, and out pops Perry Mason.

Magnum, P.I. is a decidedly different experience. This program follows Thomas Magnum (played by Tom Selleck) as he romps his way across Hawaii in a bas ass red Ferrari solving crimes as a private investigator. As he frequently reminds us all, he is not a Private “I”. Generally, he is accompanied by his buddies Rick and T.C. and he is persistently pestered by the keeper of the estate upon which he lives, the loquacious Jonathan Quail Higgins. It is very early 1980s.

With the exception of Law & Order, it seems like there are no great TVs crime dramas these days. I long for the good old days when one could flip on the tube and see some great mystery solving and court room interrogation. Where are Dragnet, Hawaii Five-0, The Rockford Files, Miami Vice, The Fall Guy, Simon And Simon, Knight Rider, MacGyver, Starsky And Hutch…I could go on, and on, and on. I say bring them back!

Quote of the Day:

“When a man looks for things that aren’t there and finds them, we call him a detective.” – Perry Mason

Published in: on June 21, 2007 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

My Computer Vacation Was Nice

Hello loyal fans. I must extol the virtues of an occasional computer vacation. While the five day respite certainly hurt the frequency of blog posts (okay, halted posts entirely), it was nice to simply turn off the web based aspects of my world for a while. Sure, MyFishTank.net had to get by for a few days without my moderation services (as if the five others couldn’t handle it…) and the readers of my blog were left sad and lonely but, amazingly enough, the world did not come to an end.

It was really refreshing to check out from all of the internet responsibilities I have developed over time. It is an interesting phenomenon how quickly one becomes rooted in those web based commitments. Simply failing to answer an e-mail for a couple of days led to concerned calls from relatives wondering if I had, perhaps, perished. I would really encourage you all to take a few days off from the technological devices we have come to “rely” on. You will find a great deal of freedom in being disconnected; it is kind of like camping without the mosquitoes! It is amazing how much time I freed up during my busy day by simply not wasting it online. Why, I was able to sort, organize, and put in pages some 3,500 or more baseball cards! If that isn’t productivity, I don’t know what is (but more about that on another day).

I am now ready to attack my blog with the general vigor with which it was begun. I can not guarantee daily explications and tirades (though I am not terribly busy), but my readers can certainly expect something new every couple of days. Until we meet again, I will leave you with this:

Quote of the Day:

“We’ve all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.” – Robert Wilensky

Published in: on June 20, 2007 at 10:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Congraduations!

Hello loyal fans. Congratulations are in order for all you seniors who made it this year. I know the graduation did not go as smoothly as one might hope for, but that matters not…you are DONE! Now you have to go out in to the world and do good things. Find something you are passionate about and do it. Most importantly, be good humans and stay true to what you believe is right.

Best of luck to you all in the years to come; be sure to stay in touch.

Quote of the Day:

“So, what’s it like in the real world? Well, the food is better, but beyond that, I don’t recommend it.” – Bill Watterson

Published in: on June 14, 2007 at 10:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Map Book = Hooray!

Hello loyal fans. I got the best gift ever on Saturday! It is a giant book full of all sorts of cool old maps from the Age of Discovery. There are few things better than getting a surprise gift for no good reason from a person you care about. I now proudly display the book on top of my coffee table. That is right, ON TOP. I kind of wanted to place it on the lower shelf to keep it safe, but it was too freaking cool to leave down there out of view.

The book itself is amazing! It traces the spread of explorers out of Western Europe from the 1300s through the 1800s. Text accompanies each map to provide some historical context. I sat down this evening and read through the first 30 pages or so and found it absolutely fascinating. It is interesting to see how the European depictions of “undiscovered land” change over time; the stuff, so to speak, that is placed in that “undiscovered land” is great. Strange animals, sea monsters, even God! These are maps from when map-making was an art…the glory days of cartography! Now, a map is a computer drawn image with no heart, no feeling, no emotion…all are the same.

Quote of the Day:

“The great thing about a map: it gets you in and out of places in a lot of different ways.” – Richard Dean Anderson as MacGyver

Published in: on June 13, 2007 at 7:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Finals = Crazy Grading

Hello loyal fans. I would like to say that essays hurt my brain. The pain of writing an essay is nothing compared to the pain of grading 50. Granted, they were very good and very interesting, but still, I believe I would much prefer to write them. But, it is cool. They are done. I am done. It is done.

Quote of the Day:

“The pain passes, but the beauty remains.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Published in: on June 11, 2007 at 10:08 pm  Leave a Comment