Baseball is back…

…but it really isn’t baseball.

Sure, they are playing the game. That part I like. I have missed it. Spring Training, when I was there in February, feels like a lifetime ago at this point.

But, with the shortened season, rule changes for said short season, and all the protest stuff going on before and during the game, it doesn’t feel the same. I love the game, but it just isn’t the same.

I likely won’t watch.

I maybe probably will listen. Maybe. Probably.

I am torn.

selective focus grayscale photography of baseball

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Domestic

beer filled mug on table

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OK, this is gonna be a rant for those of you who like to indulge in the consumption of an alcoholic beverage called “beer.” If you aren’t one of those people, I guess you can stop reading now (or not even click on the post – it’s fine, whatever…).

I hate to sound like a beer snob here, because I really am not one. BUT, (yes, there’s always a “but” in statements like that) you really don’t have to be a beer snob to understand what I am about to say.

How have domestic brewers stayed in business for so long? Like, really?

While I haven’t consumed piss water, I am pretty sure that is what it would taste like. Domestic beer is weak, it’s nearly clear, and it’s cheap (unless, of course, you are forced to buy it at a sports stadium like I was).

I can’t remember which stadium I was at in Arizona when I was surprised that there were no choices of micro-brewed beer. The other stadiums had them, so what was the deal with this one? Anyway, I was forced to buy something domestic (ok, forced may be a little strong since I could have kept my wallet in my pocket) to go along with my overpriced stadium food.

The experience was not enjoyable. I didn’t like the beer. Water. With a little food coloring in it. Pretty sure that is all it was. And, to top it off, if was $11. WTH?

So, anyone else out there baffled by domestic piss water beer? Anyone care to defend it?

Sponsorship

abundance achievement bank banknotes

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Sponsorship is a weird thing.

No, I haven’t been sponsored yet, but if you would like to, just leave me a note in the comments and I’ll follow up.

Anyway, on my trip last week I was at the Phoenix Suns game and I noticed in lots of different places that they had things going on around the arena that were sponsored by a college. Northern Arizona University, to be specific.

To be clear, I know nothing about this college. I don’t really care to know anything about this particular school. But, what I do know of colleges in general is that they are expensive – usually for no good reason other than they are trying to make a profit (even the supposed “non-profit” schools).

Therein lies the rub for me.

Sponsorships are usually something that has to be paid up front so you can have your name plastered all over the event, product, or other whatever. So, the way I see it is that this school sponsored events at a professional sports game and arena so that it could be noticed and maybe more students would enroll there. One can only assume at this point then is that the school is jacking up tuition and fees so that it can pay for official sponsorships at high profile locations like professional sports teams and arenas, which by the way don’t really need any help with promotions.

Why is college expensive? One of the many reasons is because of unnecessary crap like this. I highly doubt they can show that promotions at this venue have generated sufficient enrollments to cover the cost of the sponsorship.

Colleges shouldn’t be allowed to do sponsorships, period.

Tell me I’m wrong. Well, try to anyway.

Sit down

man wearing green polo shirt sitting in front of wooden counter

This is not the guy and this is not the bar. But you get the idea. Photo by Daria Sannikova on Pexels.com

Ok, so I missed a day. Yesterday.

I tried really hard to not have something to Piss and Moan about. I almost actually made it the whole day. I mean, really, what could I possibly find to complain about while I am on this vacation? Baseball. Sun. Beer. Best friend. Good food. Can it get better than that? Probably not.

But, the day just wasn’t the same if I didn’t find something…and then it happened. Tonight at dinner. Talk about irritating.

We were at a sports bar and having some food and drinks. There weren’t that many people in the place, maybe 20, so there were lots of empty tables, even empty seats at the bar.

So, we found a table that was up against the wall so we all could see the TVs above the bar. One TV had the opening night of the NFL Combine. One TV had the Houston & Washington spring training baseball game on. The other TV close to the bar had TMZ on (what the hell??).

We ordered our food and because watching the various TVs and then this guy comes in and takes a chair at the bar in front of the TV with the combine on it…which is the seat right in front of us…and then he doesn’t even sit down, he stands instead of using the chair. So, he blocks the view of the TV completely.

Dude, sit your ass down! No, better yet, find a different seat. There are a hundred other chairs in this place and you have to sit right in front of the TV, in front of us, so we can’t see it? Can we say someone was a little just into himself and oblivious to anyone else in the world?

Rude, dude, rude.

Astounded

opened mouth black haired boy in gray full zip jacket standing on grass field taking selfie

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So, at the end of next month I’ll be attending Spring Training in Arizona for the first time. It’s a trip I have long looked forward to and, honestly, I can’t wait to get away from everything right now and just inhale baseball (even though I am irritated with the sport right now). I just like to sport too much to not have a good time.

Anyway, as I am prepping for the trip I am going to be adding some team attire to my wardrobe. Just general team attire, nothing with an athlete’s name on it. I don’t really believe in wearing someone else’s name on my back (though I would probably do it if it were free or a gift, but I definitely wouldn’t buy it for myself).

So, as I am scrolling through the selections I can’t help but be astounded that teams are still charging full (or very near full) price for shirts/jerseys that have the names of players who are no longer on the team. Traded, retired, disgraced, dead…doesn’t matter who they are, they still want a near premium for the clothing. Astounding.

Why do people spend money on team attire for a player who is no longer playing on the team? Are they in the Hall of Fame? Might be justifiable. That’s the only reason I can fathom at the moment. Great player, or one of the greatest for the team? Possibly, but not really a reason to pay near full price.

I just don’t get it. But then, I don’t really get wearing someone else’s name on your back either.

Guess I don’t buy into that sort of propaganda.

 

Cheaters

sport ball baseball play

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I love baseball. I always have.

I hate cheaters.

Sadly, the sport I love has been spoiled by cheaters. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time and that makes me really sad. Maybe sad isn’t the right word. It definitely leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Houston = cheaters. It seems very likely that Boston will also = cheaters. Possibly the New York Yankees and New York Mets will be found to = cheaters. How far does this really go? Will we ever really know?

This whole thing about stealing signs isn’t really a new thing, per se, but it’s how they did it. Secret cameras, analysis, and then relaying that information to batters is really underhanded.

There have been cheating scandals before. Steroids. Corked bats. Pine tar. “Foreign substances” on pitcher’s uniforms. It’s all been done before. But, in most cases, those were really done by individual players and often (we assume) not at the approval of management or others on the team.

That’s why this is different. This was organized, and systematic. It may have been “player driven,” but management approved it and implemented it.

I am headed to spring training in Arizona at the end of February for the first time. It’s been a goal of mine since I was little. I am looking forward to the trip because of the people I’ll be with and for the baseball, because I love the game.

But, I have to admit there is a little bit of me that thinks the pop of the glove, the smell of the grass, and the crack of the bat just don’t have quite the same appeal as they did before.

What do you think about the whole thing? Is it a big deal or not?

fitbit – one last chance

This is a love/hate story. I can’t think of anything else to say about what you are going to read. I love the idea of the product, but the execution of said product hasn’t been great, nor good. Thus, I find myself loving the product and hating it at the same time.

Bear with me here. This is a long, complicated story with lots of history. I’ll do my best to condense it to a cohesive, frustratingly loud, “Aarg!” and head shake.

It all started with the fitbit Charge. It was small enough to wear comfortably but large enough to be helpful and readable. It had features I liked and it was convenient enough to wear. Then the troubles started…

The bands on the Charge were not holding to the molded plastic inside and the rubber started peeling away from the unit. Eventually the band would just wear out and would need to be replaced. I wore it as long as I could. Luckily the warranty from the store it was purchased from hadn’t expired yet. They replaced it free of charge. But, it didn’t last long and they were again going to have to replace it because of the same issue. This time I decided to pay the difference and upgrade to the Charge HR.

This time the band on the unit seemed to be much better and lasted longer. But, after about a year, the display screen started having issues and it got hard to read. I made it last as long as I could until is just up and died (at least the screen did).

I missed having it on my wrist and they had a new version of the Charge out, the Charge 3, so I bought it off of Amazon. I was happy with it. Bands were good. It had more functions than I had previously. All was going good until…about eight months into it the display screen started to do strange things. At first, it started loosing lines of pixels. As more and more started to drop off, then the screen turned almost a light white color – like someone had turned the contrast up and it no longer had much.

I contacted customer support after doing some research and seeing that other users were having similar issues. I took pictures (sorry don’t have those any longer) and they walked me through some reset functions and finally determined the screen was bad and since it was under warranty they sent me a new unit. I got the replacement, put the bands from the old one on it and off I went.

Less than four months later, I am contacting customer service, again. This replacement unit, which I highly suspect was a refurbished Charge 3, was beginning to display the same issues as the one it had replaced (see top of photo below). There were lines forming in the display again and it was losing pixels. We of course go through the whole process of “Did you try this? Or this? How about that?”

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Now, I am starting to get irritated. Look, you have a bad product, parts, design, something. I want my money back. I don’t want another replacement of this product. The best they will do for me is replace it or give me a 50% discount on another product. As if my confidence isn’t already worn down, “OK, whatever. I’ll give you one more shot.”

So, I took my 50% discount to their products page and purchased the fitbit Versa 2. With the discount it was actually less expensive to buy it now than with any of the Black Friday specials the stores were offering. So, I’ll jump in cautiously.

Product arrives and I open it up to set it up. Immediately I am met with this thought as I go to charge the unit, “Who was the designer of the charger and how did this idiot get it approved for production?” Seriously, my confidence is already not real high on your product and then you send me this?

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fitbit, you’re really gonna have a large faced product that will sit sideways on a surface so that it can’t be seen or used while it is charging? REALLY? 

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I was a little wary of getting a large faced product since that is the reason I don’t really like wearing watches, but so far the larger screen isn’t the issue. Design. Design is the issue, at least for the charger. Not a good start, or first impression. My confidence isn’t high in this product but we’ll see where it goes. This may be the final product I ever purchase from them.

I was already eyeing the Apple Watch, so it may not be far off in my future.

Legs of lead

man helping a tired runner

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Isn’t exercise supposed to make you feel better?

Sure. Right. Liars.

I started a training program because I don’t like my body. There is an end goal but getting there is gonna be tough. I am outta shape (yes, even round is a shape, I know) so getting started on the program is hard.

My legs are lead today. They hurt. But I actually finished the whole workout today.

Liars. Exercise doesn’t make me feel better.

How does this become something people like? I don’t get it. Maybe it is just they results they like. I guess that’s what I am aiming for. LOL

Liars.


 

What activities or exercise do you dread? Enjoy?


 

Dimples and all

club course equipment exercise

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Well, the early leave on Friday’s work day turned out to be a pretty decent escape.

I figured out I hadn’t golfed in three years, so the rust was a little thick. The front 9 was warm-up, apparently, since I scored better on the back 9, which is more difficult.

It also took me 12 holes to lose the first golf ball, which is a feat in and of itself since I am a pro at hitting the ball deep into the trees.

But, I also ended up finding more than I lost – net gain of 2!

All in all, I could find something to complain about in the golf game but since it’s been three years I’ll just let it be what it is.

Oh, here’s something to complain about…the golf shoes don’t fit like they used to. I could also complain about the overall score (107), but really I can’t complain since I was just shaking off the rust after not having stepped onto the links in quite a while.

I suppose I’ll have to keep the dust off the clubs a little more often.

 

Why, oh why?

grass green golf golf ball

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Half day at the office today.

No, it’s an official work day. I am just taking a half day to go play golf (well, my version of playing it…course destruction, tree hitting, let’s go swimming after the ball golf) with a buddy.

And what do we here at work? There is some sort of “emergency” that requires immediate attention…

Think that is gonna keep me at the office?

Hell no.

Someone else can deal with this crap. Besides, the district doesn’t need to access their data anyway. It’s summer. LOL

Catch you on Monday!  FOUR!!


 

Every experienced an “emergency” on a day where you were looking forward to something else? One of those things that will suck your attention until dealt with?