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24 June 2007 @ 06:16 pm
So I went to the Mariner's game today. They played the Reds in the last of a 3 game series and had each won a game. The important thing about it being the Reds however was that it brought Griffey to town for possibly the only time in his post-Mariner career (it will probably be 6 years before they come here again and he may easily be retired by then).

So going into the game, having watched the previous two on TV, I only had 3 things I wanted to see. Griffey hitting a homerun (he hadn't in the other games, and had mostly struck out), Griffey making a great catch, and the Mariners win.

His first at bat in the top of the first he hits a long fly ball into deep left field. Willie Bloomquist races out to the wall leaps up at the perfect time, reaches over the wall and the ball disappears. The crowd cheers some. Griffey stops running between first and second. Bloomquist comes walking back in from the wall, but he doesn't throw the ball in and there's this wierd confused quiet in the stadium. Then, somehow, it becomes clear he doesn't have the ball, which means Jr. hit a homerun and the place erupts as he circles the bases. So one item checked off plus the wierdness of the whole stadium cheering for the other team scoring (I'd seen it once before, but under very different circumstances).

A few innings later the Mariners seem to be getting some offense going, nothing big, but there was a feeling. So there was a man on first and the batter hit a fly to short right. Griffey comes racing in and makes a diving/falling catch, pops up and throws to first for the double play as the runner who was on first watches in amazement standing on second base - he made no attempt to get back to first, he really wasn't expecting the catch. Rally killed. Two items checked off.

Griffey's third at bat. Pow! Deep into right-center. No question this time. The place goes nuts. So now it's 2-0 and Griffey is beating the Mariners all by himself.

A couple of innings later the Mariners string together some good hitting and get back to a 2-2 tie. So there's a better chance they could win. They seem to have developed a strong come-from-behind skill this year.

With one out in the 7th, Betancourt comes up and hits a line drive into left. And from the box he's running full speed, never hesitates and stretches a single into a sliding double. He totally stole an extra base. Next batter bunts, and the fielder turns and throws to 3rd but Betancourt outruns the throw again and is safe. So it's not even a sacrifice. Then Willie comes up and, first pitch, they pull off a suicide squeeze with a bunt so good he beats it to first and everybody is safe. So now it's 3-2. And nobody scores for the rest of the game. The Mariners win.

So in the end I wound up going 6 for 3 in my list. Two homeruns, a great catch, Mariners win, a squeeze (rare and exciting), AND Griffey tied and passed McQwire on the all time list with those 2 homeruns.

And I watched it all for free with two great friends from a comfy reclining chair in a suite (courtesy of the bank of the company I work for) right above first base.

That's going to be hard to top.
Current Mood: energized
18 April 2006 @ 06:24 pm
So just a few minutes ago I was standing out on the sidewalk in front of my (work) building watching the president of China and his wife drive by. I was close enough to see their expressions through the smoky glass of the limo.

Update - the long version:

My building is on the corner of the main way into and out of most of the Microsoft campus. This was one of the protest locations and there were large, nicely printed banners being held up on 3 of the corners. There were some freestanding crowd control railings along the curb of only one of the corners. And those weren't even necessary because it was not what you would call a crowd. And they were all standing quietly except for one guy with a bullhorn (and he only used it while the entourage was present). There were a few cops in the area but until the actual event they really weren't any kind of presence.

It appeared most of the sign that were subtitled in english were statements supporting Falun Gong. So it was an odd sort of protest visual because every statement was positive ("Falun Gong is good", etc.) and that's not what you usually expect from a protest.

I'm lucky enough as a contractor to have a window office. And while it's a small, 2 foot wide window it also happens to have a view of the intersection. So we were aware of the protesters out there all day and at some point I glanced out and noticed the intersection was blocked (at 5:00pm - a great time to close 520...) and so we watched out our window for a few minutes and eventually the motorcycle escort started driving by. And kept driving by. And kept driving by some more. So I moved around to a window with a better view and watched some more motorcycles go by. And then the motorcade itself started going by. There were probably half a dozen cars and then the limo with two flags and then another dozen cars and SUVs and an ambulance. And then another score of motorcycles. And that was that. But it turned out my officemate, instead of coming around to the window I was at, took the chance of missing the drive by and went down the hall and down the stairs to the street.

So I kept an eye on the street for the return trip and there was the blockade again about 6ish. At the same time I saw the officer assigned to the corner between "my" corner and the main protest corner walking with a purpose away from the corner. So I looked and he quickly approached a woman walking with a stroller and clearly asked her not to go any closer to the corner. From the distance it appeared to be a polite exchange and she seemed happy as she turned around. It seemed particularly paranoid on his part given the lack of crowd control actually at the street. So I went down to the street this time. There were about a dozen or so Microsoft guys standing there with me. There was a guy dressed in black, clearly armored, with a giant collection of prepared zip-ties hanging from his hip standing about 12 feet away in either direction on the sidewalk. I don't recall seeing any guns. And we were out on the sidewalk with no barriers to the roadway. Really, it would have been possible to run out to the car before anybody could have reacted - except for any snipers that might have been around.

So finally the motorcycles started coming down the road again. All told there were probably close to 50. And the same 20 cars and SUVs - all black. Followed this time by two ambulances and some sort of swat/tactical-mobile-headquarters van thing. You know, the big RV with no windows and antennas on the roof.

And because they were driving towards the sun I was able to see through the tinted window and see the president and his wife. He was leaning forward a bit looking out the window, although by the time I could see him he was looking past us. She was leaning back looking straight ahead. My first reaction was that they both looked bored. I have since reinterpreted as tiredness. It was one of the few breaks they were going to get. But even under those expressions they seemed relaxed.

After the trailing motorcycles finished going by we all went back inside and by the time I got back up to my office the only evidence of the event was a couple of cops directing traffic at the intersection to get the back up on the cross street cleared up quicker.

And I have to say it's a great thing that there was so little control of the area. I could easily imagine the entire street being controlled and the building getting locked down and the protested moved to a safer distance. That seems so stereotypical of events involving world leaders. But that isn't what happened. Although I'm sure there was far more control where they were out of the cars it wasn't that far from me and they didn't feel the need to put the campus on lockdown. In fact, the only "official" notice was a banner on the top of the corporate home page mentioning that it was going to affect commute traffic and transit. Imagine if they had made the employees all come out to the fields as a body to welcome the president...

But that's not how it works here.
07 April 2006 @ 10:28 pm
I just had a late dinner over at my local sushi joint - Toyoda. I thought I'd just get a few simple things and be on my way. So I started with some albacore sashimi, and it was so good I ate it very slowly as the flavor lingered so nicely. And then some snapper nigiri and a negihama roll. I thought that would be a nice light dinner.

But as it was then closing time the chef started cleaning up and I suddenly had a large mound of spicy tuna handed to me - enough for two hand rolls easily. Quite tasty. And before I was even half way through that over came half a dozen pieces of hamachi sashimi which was also very nice. And so suddenly I had a much more substantial dinner.

And to top it off (hard to believe, but there's more) I was given a piece of what I will call Deep Fried Fuji. It's like a Baked Alaska in that it was ice cream inside a small cake that had been dipped in tempura batter and deep fried to warm up the cake. I got a piece because they made it for the group sitting next to me and there were 3 of them so I got the left over quarter.

And it only cost me $15!
Current Mood: satisfiedsatisfied
18 March 2006 @ 12:36 am
So I "finally" got around to watching "The IT Crowd" just now. I thought I'd watch an episode and then go do some other things and instead I watch all 4 that I have and am getting the other two right now. I put "finally" in quotes because it's a really new show - it just finished its first airing in England - and I've downloaded it to watch it.

It's really funny. And I'm not saying that because I'm a "computer guy" and it's a show about "computer guys." I'm saying it because I'm a "computer guy" and it's a really funny show about "computer guys."

It's about 2 basement dwelling I.T. department guys and their computer illiterate manager who just joined them. It's really barely about computers at all - they mostly ignore any computer requests. But it comes from a full on techie point of view and understanding. The set dressings and wardrobe are very aware. There are EFF.org stickers on everything, various video game and old computer posters and pieces lying around, a picture of the Flying Spaghetti Monster on the wall. And in the last episode I watched one of the guys had a T-shirt on with the final broken screen of Pac-Man on it. And yes, the fact that I know that says something about me. But the fact that they know that someone like me will know that says even more about them.

It feels to me a lot like Red Dwarf in the way that it understands and tries to stay within the rules of its genre (in this case the nerd world) but also, and perhaps more importantly, understands that it's a comedy and playing with those rules to create absurdity is totally worth it. Red Dwarf leaned much more heavily on the Fiction than on the Science and this show is the same - it's really just a setup for lots of silly farce.
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Current Mood: amusedamused
19 September 2005 @ 12:29 am
I only watched 3 minutes of the Emmy Awards tonight - but it had to the best 3 minutes ever.

I, completely by accident, caught the live performance of the original Star Trek theme song performed by William Shatner and an opera singer with the visual projected behind them. They each very respectfully gave each other focus during their half.

I was in tears.

Update: Tears of laughter, in case that was unclear.
Current Mood: spacey
Current Music: Star Trek theme
17 September 2005 @ 12:20 am
So I just got a new issue of "Field and Stream" (because I like fishing) and this is the time of year where the issues are rather boring because they're more about field and less about stream.

But in this issue there's an ad insert for a knife company that's a bunch of stickers, like butcher stickers, but for weird things. So I have stickers for "moose patties" and "goat links" and "squab kabobs". And the copy at the top reads:

"Make sure you can track down your wildlife in their deep-freeze wilderness habitat by using these handy labels. They're like radio transmitter collars except they go on dead things."
Current Mood: hungryhungry
23 August 2005 @ 10:51 pm
I originally only signed up so people would know who I was when I commented on their stuff. But I came across this (http://www.donlafontaineonline.com/video/5men.mov) today. I got it from BoingBoing but I think it's worth spreading some more should anybody ever read this.

It's apparently an intro piece for a movie industry award show where they award people like the movie trailer voice-over guys. It has all the most obvious voice-over guys doing their own cliched lines about themselves. And the way the Disney guy sticks out is a great detail.