Circus Mexicus: Day 2

So I’m doing these out of order, sue me. I’m a busy man. *sucks straw*.

Phoenix stop on Diners, Drive-Ins and DivesSo the long awaited day 2. This would be our baseball day, one of the two real reasons behind the trip in the first place. Most of you likely know I seek a new MLB park to see a game in every year as part of my goal to see all of them before I head to the great beyond. This day would start with a trip into the downtown Phoenix area to fulfill another of my many travel-related hobbies: food at a stop from “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” This one would be Matt’s Big Breakfast, home of the breakfast pork chop and the “paid retail” thick-cut bacon. I need to tell you a couple things about this place, if your search for it brings you here. First, it’s very small. Because of this the lineup is very long. In fact, we’d wait over an hour outside for our chance to stride to the counter and try a breakfast. That said, once we finally arrived it didn’t disappoint. The wait staff were awesome and the food was delivered quickly and tasted great. And given the lineups the prices aren’t unreasonable, not sure I’d have the same constraint if I were in that position.

Former Toronto Blue Jay knuckleballerFrom there we did a slow tour through downtown, snapping pics of whatever we could find, until we finally found ourselves outside Chase Field. We signed on for a tour of the facilities, something I’ve actually never done at a ballpark before. Thinking about a tour of Chase Field? Comes highly recommended by yours truly. It was tons of fun to see the passion of the staff and the attention to detail by those who manage it. There’s a legitimate love not only of the Dbacks and the game, but of entertaining the fans that attend the games. Nothing but the field level itself seems off limits, up to and including press boxes and the dugout (where, yes, I satisfied the oft-discussed “basic ball shift” life list item). Here’s where things get fun.

So I hope I’m not blowing the secret if I note that a friend of OA, KP Wee, is currently involved in a book project surrounding former Toronto Blue Jays knuckleballer, Tom Candiotti. Tom is currently employed as a broadcaster for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and I had offered up mine and Paul’s services to KP earlier in the year should he require photos for the project. KP indicated that, indeed, photos could come in handy, and he put me in touch with Tom. I had been texting him throughout the day to ensure things were still on schedule, and indeed at 5pm Paul and I hit the lobby of Chase Field to meet and greet Tom and be escorted into the back halls of Chase to the press boxes. Paul, with his good photographic eye and solid equipment, proceeded to snap a large number of shots ranging from the press box to field level. The whole process took less than an hour, we shook hands with Tom and he was off to the night job whilst we took our seats to take in the Dbacks vs. Cardinals game.

Chase Field tamale.Sidenote on baseball stadiums: Rogers Centre sucks. Hard. Having now been to Fenway Park (2007), Progressive Field (2008), US Cellular Field (2009), Wrigley Field (2009) and Chase Field (2010) I have come to see exactly what makes a good park. Things like sightlines, seats, atmosphere, amenities, food and drink. Chase was happy to fill us in that each seat was redirected towards home plate, discussed their luxury “pool” box, HD screen, and even focused on foodservice things like fresh tamales, tequila on tap and craft beer pavilions. Enjoying a tamale with a bomber of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in my seat facing home plate only reinforces that Toronto, truly, doesn’t yet have a baseball stadium. It’d be nice to see it happen some day.


Shades of Grey….

So did anyone happen to actually watch the NHL All-star game last night? The first hockey All-star game in three years seems to have been met not with anticipation, but rather a complete sense of indifference from the masses. Over the course of the last week I have listened to hockey analysts from all over weigh in on how the game is nothing more than a joke and really means nothing to the players or the fans. I guess I would have to agree with this as I felt my time was best served elsewhere while the best and brightest from the NHL fired puck after puck at those poor goalies. So I guess the question here is show the NHL even bother with the game and festivities or move on with the much more important season games.

Does any have an opinion one way or the other? Or, like me, do you simply not care.

Its seems that all my hockey lust has been directed to my duties with the ECHL fantasy hockey league that Rick and I are running this year. Now the zonk-trolls would have you believe that I have blown a gasket so soon into the season, but in reality all is well for me. I have enjoyed answering emails all day and look forward to running the games each night. Rick has been a big help stepping in to handle the one thing that I didn

Driven To Tears

The rumours of my demise have been.. wrong. It would be nice to make up some excuse about how I’ve been working long hours with no time to post, but that’s lying. I’ve been coming home to crash and either play Guitar Hero or watch television, for the most part. Apologies.

The good news is I’m loving the job so far. Elements of it seem odd, and I’ve never worked for such a large company with such established ways of doing business. Oddly, nobody in the entire marketing department – comprising half a floor – seems to have more than 18 months tenure, including an average of three months or so in my direct group. What that likely means is that the flow of ideas that should have taken place hasn’t, and I’m somewhat free to be creative and do things my way within reason. I’ll detail more of what goes on as time goes forward.
In other news, I present some rules of the road I’ve earned in my first 12 days of driving to and from Mississauga:

  • When selecting a lane – one occupied by a truck, one by a car – pick the truck. They go faster.
  • Women drive sports utility vehicles.
  • Sports utility vehicles, by and large, seem occupied by people who can’t drive. Logically deduce at will.
  • Starbucks will soon serve granola. I know this because I tried it. What does it have to do with driving? I ate it in my car.
  • The difference between 7:30 and 7:45 is about three stops on the 410.
  • The difference between 5:00 and 5:10 is about 10 minutes out of the company driveway.
  • Bob McCown rules and makes the drive home entertaining, no matter what Mark says.
  • I am officially the last person alive who knows the left lane is supposed to be for passing, not cruising at the speed you feel comfortable at and to he!! with everyone else.
  • After 45 minutes in the car I have to pee like a racehorse. My commute is one hour each way.

That’s it for now, all true. I’m still researching whether Derringer on Q107 is, indeed, Bob McCown as I have always suspected. I’ll report back with findings.

Super Sunday

A bunch of guys in the #nintendo channel in EFNet have decided to have a friendly score-picking contest for today’s game. So here it is, we shall revisit in a few hours.

Adam: 24-20 Tampa Bay
Patrick: 24-21 Tampa Bay
Rick: 27-13 Tampa Bay
Rob: 27-14 Tampa Bay


Judge Kevin McCarthy: Village Idiot

I had honestly meant to cease with the venting today and post something nice about flowers and birds and pretty girls with naturally curly hair. Then I turned on my radio.

Superior Court Judge Kevin McCarthy, you are an idiot. I hope you read this, and I hope it angers you, and perhaps you send me a fancy cease and desist letter that I can use to clean up spilled tequila during my pending New Year’s Eve party. However, seeing as how you apparently have no actual knowledge of law, this is very unlikely.

As a bit of backstory, when Barry Bonds hit his record-breaking 73rd home run a couple seasons back, a gent by the name of Alex Popov managed to snag the ball before he was sent sprawling to the ground by a trample of Bay Area jackalopes with dollar signs in their eyes. Contrary to the cited article in a moment, Patrick Hayashi physically reached into Popov’s glove and stole the baseball, claiming it as his own. He would have gotten away with it if he hadn’t made an immediate attempt to sell it at which point Popov had his name, filed a lawsuit, and the bitter war over the ownership of this $1,000,000 ball began. It should have been a foregone conclusion – North America does not run on the ‘might is right’ philosophy where I can own everything of yours because I’m bigger or stronger. Possession is 9/10ths of the law – unless, of course, you’re a slack-jawed knob like Kevin McCarthy.

“Their legal claims are of equal quality and they are equally entitled to the ball,” McCarthy ruled. “The ball must be sold and divided equally between the parties.” (Read the report here)

Does this whack-job even realize what can of worms he’s just opened? He’s just made it not only acceptable, but totally within the law, to own something of someone else’s simply by taking it! We can now effectively show up at one another’s houses for Christmas, and immediately upon watching you open your gift, I can take it. It’s mine now, I’m bigger and stronger than you. You want it back? Sorry, let’s sell it to the highest bidder and split the profits.

Many years ago our society took a monster step back when someone of the same ilk as Mr. McCarthy decided that it was illegal to sell coffee without first ensuring the client was aware it came hot. This little atrocity has turned us into a society of laughing stocks to any other nation that fully have the ability to use their minds and act accordingly. Did you know that it’s illegal to sue for your own stupidity in New Zealand? If you go bungy jumping and the chord breaks, tough luck. Yet here, a woman can burn her chin on a pickle in her hamburger and her husband can sue McDonald’s for “lost services”. Bovine corn-fed men can launch lawsuits against the Hamburglar because they’re morbidly obese. And now, we can own at least half the value of something we want simply by stealing it.

In the words of the great Gary Cherone, “stop the world, I wanna get off.”