Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Seattle Psychic

Last Sunday, the Seattle Mariners were in Toronto wrapping up their final road trip of the year. Mike Blowers, a former Mariner and Yankee player and current baseball analyst on the Seattle Mariners radio broadcast, made an absolutely amazing prediction.

During a pre-game segment called "Pick to Click", some of the announcers are able to make their prediction about who will "click" during the upcoming game. Mike chose Matt Tuiasosopo, who was recently called up from the minors.

When making his prediction, he said that Tuiasosopo had been swinging the bat well and was going to get his first major league home run that day. The original prediction was that Tui would get into a favorable count and hit a home run to left-center field, maybe reaching the second deck.

Things got a little out of hand as the conversation continued, with Blowers predicting that Tui would get to a 3-1 count in his second at bat of the day, then he would get a fastball, and put it into the second deck in left-center field.

During his second at bat, Seattle's hall-of-fame baseball announcer Dave Neihaus calling the action:

"Left-hander's 2-1 pitch, and that's inside, Ball 3!!!"

"3 balls...I've never been so excited on a 3-1 count in my life!"

"3-1 pitch on the way."


You can hear another announcer giggling uncontrollably the entire time this was happening. Although the ball didn't quite make it to the second deck, it was a pretty amazing prediction. Wow!!

The call was featured on the Rachel Maddow show the other night. Here is a link to the youtube video of the clip from her show.

For those of you that want to listen to the clip without the obvious liberal bias associated with any MSNBC show, here is a link to an audio-only story about the call, embellished by New York Vinnie, a Seattle radio and television personality.

For a more bare-bones audio, you can hear both the prediction and the call at Shannon Drayer's blog here.

Was this a wild shot in the dark that hit the bulls eye? Maybe.

Was this just an experienced analyst making a lucky, educated guess? Perhaps.

Was this a flash of psychic ability from the Twilight Zone? Possibly.

Was this freakish, weird, and amazing? Absolutely.

Monday, September 21, 2009


I made a trip to Costco last week. It might not sound like such a momentous event, and I guess it probably wasn't. It has just been a really long time since I had a membership there. While I was going to school at Washington State, the nearest Costco was in Lewiston, Idaho and it was a pretty long drive. Certainly not the sort of drive that I would have been willing to make on a recurring basis for shopping, particularly when considering the winters in the Palouse.

A lot of the sailors that I worked with in the navy used to swear by Costco for everything. I had a membership a really long time ago, but it just wasn't something that I used often enough to justify the annual fee. Since everything is sold in such large quantities, a single guy like me just wouldn't use enough to make it worthwhile. Between deployments and weekly ops, staying home for more than a few weeks at a time was not something that I could count on. If I bought a pack of chicken breasts, I might eat a few of them, but the rest of the chicken breasts would just stay in the freezer for a really, really, really long time until I got tired of them taking up space and threw them out or gave them away. About the only thing that I could be assured of buying and using was toilet paper, but paying membership fees for a annual trip to Costco to buy twelve dozen rolls of toilet paper just didn't seem worthwhile, so I let it lapse.

This trip to Costco made me realize that it hasn't changed much. I bought some grape juice and coffee creamer and a few other items. I managed to avoid convincing myself that I needed a huge package of lasagna or two pounds of beef jerky or a gallon jar full of jelly beans, so it wasn't a very expensive trip and my apartment isn't overloaded with a bunch of stuff that I really don't need.

I did buy a rotisserie chicken there. It wasn't the most spectacular piece of poultry that I have ever eaten, but if I can buy a fully cooked, ready -to-eat chicken for $5.99, why the heck would I want to cook one? Of course, I could just as easily pick one of those up at Safeway or Fred Meyers, but I guess it will help me justify my Costco membership.

The coffee creamer was a decent deal, but not an incredible bargain. I like french vanilla coffee creamer and the stuff that they sold there has two bottles of french vanilla and one bottle of hazelnut. I don't really like hazelnut all that well, so I won't be using that. Luckily, my mom likes hazelnut creamer, so when I buy it, I can take it down to her on my next visit or give it to her when my parents come up to visit me.

Milk is something else that I have been thinking of buying there, but the packages that look like a good deal are two gallon packs. I drink a bit of milk and use it for some cooking, but only go through about a quart every week, give or take. I hate to buy two gallons of milk and have half of it spoil on me. I think I might pick up some of those disposable plastic storage containers with the screw on lids. I suppose they probably have them in 1-quart size. I can pour the majority of the milk into those containers and toss them in the freezer. I think I would get around to using it a little more frequently than those old chicken breast that I used to throw out in Hawaii.

Does milk freeze well?

I don't know for sure, but I have been single for so long, that I am not exactly a connoisseur of fine foods anyway. Should keep well enough for me.

Hopefully, I will find enough bargains to make it worthwhile to have a membership and avoid purchasing the stuff that looks a lot better in the store than it does once it is filling up my freezer or a cupboard in my apartment.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Good Barber Is Still Hard To Find

After living in Pullman for three years without finding a barber or hairstylist that I really liked, I have started a search here in Bremerton. Luckily, I don't need to get my hair cut as frequently as I did while I was in the navy, so I have a little more time to find someone new.

The first place I went to, the stylists were friendly and chatty, but the lady that cut my hair made me kind of nervous. She was rather mature and her hands were a little shaky. She also had this habit of finishing some of her sentences with a nervous little titter. It is somewhat unnerving to have someone let out a little laugh at inappropriate times.

One of our verbal exchanges went something like this:

Her: "Whoops. hehe"

Me: "What's the matter?"

Her: "Oh, nothing. hehe"

The haircut wasn't bad, but I decided not to go back.

Last month, I tried another place. There was a middle-aged woman and a younger woman working there when I walked in. The middle-aged woman stepped up to the counter and asked:

"Can I help you?"

The words seemed normal enough, but the glare she was giving me and the tone of her voice seemed to say:

"What the f&$@ do you want?"

I told her that I wanted a haircut. She kind of growled at me and told me it would be about 20 minutes. I said that would be fine and wrote my name on a sign-up list and took a seat. Next, she turned to the younger woman and angrily told her that if anyone else came in, it would be at least an hour before she would take another customer because she hadn't eaten lunch yet. The younger woman sweetly replied that she would just tell anyone else that came in to get lost. The young woman also earned a glare for that remark.

In the meantime, the middle-aged woman called a father who was bringing his son in for a haircut back to her station. I only heard one side of the conversation, but it didn't sound too promising. I heard her say quite loudly:

"I don't think you even know what you're asking for. He's gonna look like Little Lord Fauntleroy if I cut it like that!!"

Next, I heard her say:

"A bob?!?! Do you even know what a bob is?!?! He's gonna look like a little girl!!! Just let me do this!!"

Obviously, I was having some reservations at this point, but having already committed some of my time, I figured I would go ahead and stick it out and get my haircut as long as she didn't treat me so harshly when it was my turn.

After the young boy and his father left (with a pretty good haircut, I should add), she called me to the back. I gave her my standard "Finger-length on top, a number 1 on the sides and back, and blend it together" and she commenced cutting my hair. She chatted with me and seemed quite friendly the whole time. She was like the Mr. Hyde of Hyde/Jekyll. It actually turned out to be a pretty good cut.

I don't know. Maybe she just doesn't like kids.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hello, Again!!

Well, I would like to say hello to everyone again. If you happen to check in on this blog from time to time, I suppose you noticed that I haven't posted in quite a long time. I just haven't felt like making any new entries for a while.

One of the reasons, I guess, is that my life is substantially less stressful now that I am back at work and getting a steady paycheck. I think that posting on my blog was a form of stress-relief for me.

Another reason is that I live in Bremerton, where I am surrounded by sailors, ex-sailors, and shipyard workers. When I look at the people here, it is kind of like looking in a mirror, so to speak. When I was living in Pullman for school, I felt like I was living on another planet, and some of the observations of the younger generation prompted me to write a few posts.

Probably the biggest reason I haven't been posting is that I have been reading a lot fewer news articles. I guess I was just getting disgusted with news in general. I used to watch some of the cable news shows, but I got to the point where I couldn't stand to watch any of them. MSNBC should rename itself the "We Love Obama" channel, FOX should rename itself the "We Hate Obama" channel, and CNN should rename itself the "We Love Ourselves" channel.

Some of the news that has filtered through has tempted me to write a post or two, but in the end, my laziness won out. I was going to write a post about Michael Vick coming back to the NFL, but decided that the NFL has a number of convicted felons already, so it just wasn't all that big of a deal. I was going to write about the backlash from conservatives because the President wants to speak to schoolchildren. The partisanship surrounding that topic just disgusts me. In the end, I wrote about nothing.

I did find a few articles that put a smile on my face and thought I would share them with anyone that is interested in looking at them.

The first one is an article from the Kitsap Sun. Just a little story about some loud and naked guys in Bremerton. You can read the full story here. Here is an excerpt in case you don't want to read the whole story:

Witnesses said one was completely naked, one wasn’t wearing any pants and they couldn’t see the third man because the other two were on top of him, they said. The witnesses said they heard somebody yell “return of the Jedi” while the three were naked and entwined.

When officers arrived, they found three men — a 29-year-old and two 23-year-olds — on a porch. All appeared to be drunk. They were surrounded by empty alcohol bottles, according to the police report. All denied they had been involved in the incident.

“We’ve got our clothes on, must not have been us,” one said.

Well, I guess that is more like ninety-percent of the article rather than a short excerpt. Sorry.

The second article details a bad experience with some gals from Craigslist. I thought that I had read a while ago that Craigslist was doing away with the Erotic Services. I took a quick look. Erotic Services is no longer listed on Craigslist. However, there is an Adult Services section. Guess it is the same thing. Anyway, this story serves as an example of what can happen when a bunch of "incredibly intoxicated" guys get together and decide that calling the number on a Craigslist ad for some escorts is a good idea. The full story is on the Seattle Times and you can read it here. I think my favorite part of the article was probably the last paragraph:
While trying to describe the suspects to police, the men decided to rate the women on a scale of 1 to 10. Three said the women all rated a "2." But the man described by police as the most intoxicated disagreed and claimed they rated a "4."
Incidentally, while perusing the comments posted on the second article, I learned that Sir Mix-A-Lot had written a song about some of the local girls: "Bremelo." Huh. How about that? I have heard the term used a lot of times in the past, but never knew that someone actually wrote a song. I am probably the last person in the world to figure out that this song exists. Oh well.

For anyone that persevered and read this entire post, thanks for your time. Hopefully, I will be feeling a little more motivated to put a few posts up from time to time. Hope that everyone out there has been doing well.