|The View From Arizona||
I had a plan for today. Really. I was going to get up, go put money on my laundry card, do laundry, return my movies, return my library books, print my ticket to the Dbacks-Rockies game at the library, and get to the game around 2:30-3:00pm to get in early and try to catch a baseball during batting practice. Unfortunately, the world mostly decided not to cooperate with me.
Once I got up and put on the only clean pants I had available, I went down to the apartment complex office where I live to put money on my laundry card in their little machine. But to my dismay, the office was closed. I tried to wait, thinking I was just a little early, but the office manager never came. I went back home and waited a bit, then tried again, but to no avail. The office was supposed to be open by 10am, but by 11:30, it was still locked up tight. So annoying.
So I tried to be productive. I returned my movies to the movie store across the street and ran down to the post office and picked up a couple packages that were waiting for me (a 2012 Allen & Ginter Bryce Harper framed auto card and a 2012 Bowman Sterling Yoenis Cespedes refractor auto /199). Upon returning to the apartments an hour later (thank you, US Postal Service employees who take FOREVER), the wonderful office staff was STILL not there. So, no laundry today. I'll have to take my clothes to a laundromat tomorrow because the office is closed on Sundays.
After I decided that, I decided to just take a shower and go to the library to return my books and print my ticket. I went to the Burton Barr library, parked, threw my books in the drop, and went up to the second flood express computer area. As soon as I walked up to the computer lab, the librarian put out a sign saying "Out of Order." Apparently, the entire computer network for the library had just crashed and there was no way to tell when it would be back up. Even the librarians' desk computers were down, as was the printer. They suggested that I run down to another library to print my ticket, but I decided I would attempt to wait a little and see if the network would get back up quickly. I had enough time before the game, and I had by that point decided to just skip BP.
After around 40 minutes of waiting (during which time, in retrospect, I should have just grabbed a book to read, but I did not), the network finally came back online and I was able to print my ticket without any issue.
I drove to Chase Field, and the gates were by that point open - and it was Wade Miley Garden Gnome giveaway day so there were thousands of people waiting in very long lines - and I just decided not to even try for any baseballs today. Instead, I went up to my seat and sat down to relax. I had a great seat for the game, in the third deck of the stadium, second row, aisle seat, just to the left-field side directly behind home plate. In my estimation, one of the best seats in the house. I set up my scorecard and settled in. Then I got hungry, so I went out to the concourse and bought some loaded nachos from the Macayo's stand (which were really messy, but REALLY good).
The game itself was one of those weird games where lots of strange things happen. Wade Miley was pitching and started out the game with four strikeouts in the first inning, and seven overall on the night. He only lasted 4 1/3 innings, throwing 98 pitches, but he didn't give up a single run. Martin Prado hit a solo home run to left field in the first inning for us, and it was followed up by an RBI triple by Cody Ross in the same frame. The Diamondbacks wouldn't score again until extra innings. For the Rockies, Wilin Rosario hit a solo homer in the sixth and Troy Tulowitzki drove in the tying run in the seventh before trying to stretch a single into a double and being thrown out by 20 feet.
In the sixth, Dexter Fowler robbed Miggy of an extra-base hit with an amazing diving grab. In the home half of the seventh, a sweet wild pitch allowed Gerardo Parra to take two bases at once, but the Diamondbacks couldn't put anything together against Adam Ottavino. In the Rockies' eighth inning, Michael Cuddyer singled, then Rosario singled. Then, when Josh Rutledge was batting, Cuddyer was picked off and caught trying to steal third. Rosario took second on the play, and one pitch later, Rutledge flied into a double play as Rosario couldn't get back to second in time.
Flash-forward to the bottom of the tenth inning: AJ Pollock singled, then stole second and took third on a wild throwing error from Rosario. Paul Goldschmidt struck out swinging, and Miguel Montero was walked intentionally. With runners on the corners, Cody Ross stepped up to the plate, took strike one, and hit a long, high, towering fly ball to deep left-center field which was caught at the wall - scoring Pollock on the sacrifice fly for the win!
Good ending to an otherwise strange and epic day. Go Dbacks!
This week saw Major League Baseball celebrate the legacy of Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play the game - or at least, the first black man to play with such notoriety. Little-known fact: at least two or three African-American men played the game in its very early days in the late 1800s and early 1900s. But certainly Robinson gets credit for the modern era.
Either way, Topps baseball card company had a little contest on Facebook to describe what I was doing on Jackie Robinson Day. They read through the responses and picked their favorites. The prize? The card on the right. Suffice it to say that because I'm writing all this about it, they picked me. I watched the movie "42" that day about Robinson's beginnings in white baseball.
"42" was actually a pretty great movie. It was obviously toned down a lot - the vitriol against Robinson was likely much worse than a few n-word shouts at the stadium and one old man making a threat outside his house. But the tone of the movie was sufficient to portray Robinson as a great man, and I really enjoyed Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey - owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Next movie on my list is "Oblivion" with Tom Cruise. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Hello, all! You might have realized that I have switched over from Blogspot to Weebly for my blog, and in the process added a website for myself.
Now my reasoning behind this is rather simple: I want a unique place I can showcase myself that is more versatile than a blog alone, and someplace where I can put my accomplishments.
In the future, this website will house my CV and work-related accomplishments, photos from my adventures, and this blog. At some point, I'll probably upgrade to a Pro account here and have the ability to add videos and such, but we shall see about that.
Why Weebly? Well, I'm already pretty familiar with it through my work. I used it to create a pretty decent website for my boss (www.rportermd.com) and for the Barrow Beyond Borders program that's getting off the ground (barrowbeyondborders.weebly.com). Feel free to check them out. Anyway, that's why I'm using Weebly. Once I get even more familiar with things, I may see what I can do with SqaureSpace or with something even more professional, but I envision that being a while down the road.
Look for posts on here on a hopefully regular basis. I know I promised that with the last blog, but I really want to follow through on it now that I've got more to say than "still looking for work, blah blah blah."
Opening Day of the 2013 Major League Baseball season was on Monday for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and once again, I was there for my sixth consecutive Opening Day. Honestly, it was something of a last-moment decision to even go this year. I was anticipating a meeting at work that would require me to stay late and I was tired from a weekend spent having fun with some friends.
I actually didn't even purchase a ticket in advance. I just drove down, paid the cursory $15 for parking, and went find a scalper to buy an overpriced ticket in the nosebleeds. While I was walking to the stadium, I encountered an older man selling a single ticket and offering it for less than face value. I asked him where the ticket was, and he said it was next to him in the left-field bleachers. He wanted $15 for it, which was a killer deal, so I took it. He, his friend, and I all walked over to the stadium and went in together.
Our seats were underneath the overhang in left field with a poor view of the scoreboard, but a very nice view of the field (as you can see in the pics above and below). The place was packed - an attendance of over 48,000 - and because the Dbacks were playing some great ball, it also got pretty loud. I suppose it helped that Julius and the Dbacks fanatics were in our section, which was fun.
There was a very talented 16-year-old cancer survivor who sang the national anthem, and there was a short moment of silence for the Sandy Hook school shootings. I attempted to score the game, but after about three innings, my companions were more interested in talking to me than letting me focus on the same. I just had to give it up, and I went and got some delicious loaded nachos from the gluten free stand topped with beef, nacho cheese, and jalapenos and a GF Redbridge beer.
As for the game itself, the Diamondbacks trounced the Cardinals 6-2. Gerardo Parra stole the show with three doubles and four hits overall as the leadoff hitter, and Ian Kennedy picked up the win after seven innings and eight strikeouts. Honestly, I went to the game more to relax than anything else, and I succeeded in that goal. It was a fun night for a last-minute decision to get out of the apartment after work.
First of many games this season for me!