Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Take Advantage Of Everything

December 6th, 2009

I was reading an article in my Sports Illustrated a few months ago, and for some reason the last paragraph really stood out to me.  If you have followed along with my snide remarks this last year, you will know that I have become a big proponent of the phrase “Viva La Vida” in the sense of carpe diem.  This paragraph was another example of someone in life wanting to live each day.

“I would love to win another World Series,” he says. “It seems like, yes, that was a long time ago. I don’t want to second-guess myself when I retire. I want to know that I did everything that I could possibly do for my teammates to give us a chance to win. If it didn’t happen, I don’t want it to be because I didn’t give it my best.”

“Every time I have a chance to pitch in the playoffs, it’s great to me. Because I know that one day, I won’t be able to do it. And so I want to take advantage of everything.”

I love how Mariano Rivera, even though he is extremely accomplished, still wants to take advantage of everything and not miss any opportunities.

Now The Days Go By So Fast

August 19th, 2009

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My Grandpa Joe recently came out from Florida for a visit and I enjoyed my time with him.  I had to pull some crazy hours at work to try and fit in all the fun but it was well worth it.  We went to the Del Mar Track one day, followed by dinner at Tony Jacals in Solana Beach.  I blame my Grandpa (and Grandma, but more gramps) for my enjoyment of the races at Del Mar (and maybe gambling in general).  I have vivid memories of walking around on the infield with him, looking at the horses.  He would ask me who I would want to bet on in the next race, and then he’d place a bet for me.  Living in Solana Beach they would go often.  I don’t really know how many times I was able to go with them, but I will always picture myself with him, walking around the infield in what seemed to be the early foggy morning.

On Thursday we played afternoon twilight golf at Carmel Mountain.  The following day, still sore, we played golf out on Coronado on the Military base.  We all played absolutely rotten on the friday at Coronado.  It was during this round that I got to thinking.

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However, after waking up at 4:45 AM this day, my thoughts were not really sinking in.  I started to think back to my Rhetoric classes and the lesson that I hang onto the tightest.  We studied about making communication effective sometimes requires one to create an illusion of the first or last time experiencing something.  Anytime you do something new or fresh, the experience takes on a more vivid feeling.  Likewise, if you realize that an experience might be the very last time you will experience it in your life, you appreciate every bite, every laugh just a little bit more.  In all, it comes to appreciating a moment more vividly, and creating a deeper sense of awareness of life.

bench_smThe golf course this day was one of those golf experiences where you ask yourself “how many holes left” over and over because you are playing so badly, you can’t wait for the round to end.  I caught myself doing this repeatedly and it was troubling me.  I wanted to break this thought pattern, and appreciate the moment more.  After all, could this be the last time I possibly play golf with my grandpa?  I practically learned the game from him going to the driving range with him as a 5 year old.  I attribute any and all of my golf playing to him, as my teacher and mentor.  Could this be the final round I ever play with him?  How many years of golf does he have left at his age, and with him living on the other side of the country we only see each other every couple of years.   The day before in Carmel Mountain, I think might have been the first time I ever shot a lower round than him.

cart_smI wanted to focus on this, but I was just too worn down and playing so poorly, that I came away disappointed that I hadn’t had that vivid experience that I was hoping for. 

Regardless of these thoughts, I had a great time this week with my grandpa.  I hope and expect that this was not my last time golfing with him, or being active with him.  I’m continually trying to appreciate life each day.  Viva La Vida.  Life goes by way too quickly.  Another one of my favorite bands has a lyric that rings true for me in my attempts to viva la vida, and to experience things through the perception of it being my first or last time:

Now the days go by so fast…
I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell my myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass

I love you Grandpa.

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Bite Of Boston

June 30th, 2009

BiteOfBoston1I happened randomly across a new sandwich shop for lunch today called Bite of Boston.  It is a shop that recently opened that is trying to bring New England charm and food to the west coast.  Their website claims that it is the bread that separates the east coast subs from the west coast subs.

As a detailed oriented (aka anal retentive), communication background, ocd-ish person, I of course have some analysis and hypothesis of this establishment and its first impressions on me.

I went to lunch with Joeyand Ray.  The place is decently arranged and has Boston sports memorabilia on the walls including jerseys, helmets, pennants and pictures.  However, out of place were a few San Diego items such as  Dan Fouts framed jersey, a couple of Padres and Chargers pennants, and the strange Arizona State University pennant.  For a place trying to replicate the East Coast and the flair of Boston, this was out of character.

They had artistic and individualized menu boards with clever boston sandwich names.  The boards seemed too particular, and too specific and frankly too costly for a sandwich shop.  Granted, they were cute, and I liked their flair, but for a company that I predict (more on my predictions later) will fail within a year, this seems like too high of an early expense.  A few of their sandwich boards even had color pictures of 2 females (which I am guessing are family members) offering  “Casey’s Buffalo-Chicken Wrap” and “Justine’s Chicken-Caesar Wrap.”

I ordered the sandwich called “North Ender.”  It is prosciutto, sopressata salami, capicola, provolone cheese, roasted peppers, tomatoes, oil and seasoning on sliced Italian bread.  It priced at $7.35  I purchased a soda – they only sell bottled sodas- of which I was also charged a crv fee (yes, three manual entries into the cash register).  My total price was $9.72.

This price seems much higher than it should be.  I can get a really good, customized sandwich, chips and a refillable soda at Submarina for dollars less.  You definitely are paying for the “charm” of this place.

My sandwich was actually really tasty.  The guy behind the counter – who seemed like the proprietor – was really friendly.  He sliced the bread and came over and asked me if it was too thick or thin for my pleasure.  He chatted up customers as they came in, asking how they had heard of the place.  And he loved saying “the CHOWDER” when people needed a bowl.  Back to my sandwich, it was delicious.    It was a great blend of meats and cheese, and the bread was surprisingly soft and perfect (it appeared to be old and stale upon sight).  The roasted peppers were a great addition to the flavors of the meat, and really gave it a unique taste.  It’s presentation was on a paper plate.  On taste alone, I would definitely eat it, and here again.  However, if you know me, you know that I place a high value on, well, value.  The price of this sandwich seemed rather high to me, and I was frustrated that refills were not available, and even more irritated that I was charged a crv fee.  Wouldn’t it be better to just include the crv cost within the price of the soda so the customer is unaware?

Speaking of the soda situation, a customer came in and asked if they ever forsaw them switching to fountain drinks.  The person who seemed to be the propieter stated that they would not.  That even tho it was much more profitable, it was “messy” to have a soda machine.

Pro’s Con’s
-Good Bread -Over Priced
-Unique Offerings -No Soda Fountain, CRV tax
-Happy Spirit -Inconsistant Design and Theme
-A Good Product  

I hypothesize that this restaurant will not last very long.  I give it 6 months to a year tops.  It will not become a mainstay of Rancho Bernardo.  My hypothesis is not just related to the soda or the price.  I just get the feeling that it is a restaurant that was always someones dream to open, and they threw their passion into their desire, went very specific into many details, but fell short on the details that mattered. 

The decorations are not completely to theme.  The menu boards are extremely customized.  The employee uniforms and hats seem too specific.  They lay claim that their bread comes from a specific bread store in Boston.  They have all these framed jerseys and helmets.  It just seems that they had this vision, this dream and spent a lot of capital up front on meeting these “requirements” in their heart.  Which is great, I am not knocking that.  It just seems like there are some inefficient costs and details that hurt the bottom line.  And in this economy, and to break into the restaurant business, is a detail that cannot be overlooked. 

I love the entrepreneurial spirit, and I love that they are following their heart.  I hope I am wrong in this hypothesis.  For myself, I was frustrated with the designs and the inconsistencies and that I will not eat there again due to the price and the soda situation.

Forza Juve

June 5th, 2009

I brought back a Juventus jersey for my niece.  She has her game face on.

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Even My Sweat Is Sweating

May 25th, 2009

May 25

ronaldhinohat_smWe decided to take the double decker bus tour today since we were denied that yesterday.  Once again it is a really hot day.  We sat on the top deck so that we could enjoy the breeze.  However, each stop was rather long, and everytime we stopped we absolutely were baking.

Part way through, to get out of the sun, we went down to the lower level thinking it would be cooler there from the air conditioning and we wouldn’t continue to bake.  We soon found out that there was no air conditioning downstairs and it was even hotter.

I feel like even my sweat is sweating.

When we reached the Termini Station stop, there was a 15 minute turnaround before the next bus was scheduled to leave, so Lisa quickly went over to the souvenir vendor and bought whatever hat they had to sell.  She ended up with a cowboy hat that said “Ronaldinho” on it.

pineapple_smWe now went back upstairs and rode the bus till we reached our beginning stop, near Piazza Navona.  It was lunch time so we decided to go have lunch near Campo De Fiori so that we could familiarize ourselves with the area that JeanE and Kathie were going to stay when they arrived, as well as scout out their apartment location so that we knew where we were going to meet them later that evening.

We ate at this little resteraunt where the owner/waiter kept teasing Lisa because she would have one bite of each item she ordered.  Our meal was finished with a pineapple cut in half-one half for each of us.  It was very juicy.

We started to walk back to our place, but stopped by the internet cafe so that we could look for soccer tickets.  Its a pipe dream, but one worth exploring.  Not often in life will I find myself in the european city where a “super bowl” is going on between 2 of the best teams in the world, with 2 of the best players in the world.  Both Barcelona and Manchester United had won their respective leagues this season, and with Messi and Ronaldo playing, it was sure to be an entertaining game.

We emailed a few different sellers and would check back later.  It was a few hours now till we were to meet up with my parents.  So we decided it was time to hit the Thai Massage again.

After yesterday’s massage, we had the clever idea that we could utilize the massage for a clean refreshing shower.  Our shower and bathroom at our place is rather disgusting and a massage followed by a private shower seemed like the perfect recipe for comfort in this hot and mucky town.  So we first went back to our apartment and grabbed a change of clothing and toiletries, and then walked back to the massage place.

They were much more crowded today, but were able to fit us in.  Lisa opted for the foot massage today, and I went with the oil massage, since I knew that one automatically came with a shower.  Lisa was given the sweet cotton outfit that I described yesterday, and I was given, um, this strange cotton/plastic underwear thing.

thaiunderwear2_smIt was tiny and there was a bigger side and a smaller side.  I wasn’t sure which side to put in the front.  The smaller side didn’t really cover much, so I went big in the front, which left it tiny and crammed in the back.  It was a nice massage, but I think if I do it again, I will go back to the traditional thai massage.  The traditional felt much more beneficial to my body with muscles being stretched and kinks worked out.  The oil massage felt too meager.  However, the nice comfortable hot shower afterwards felt fantastic.

Our massage ran a little long, and we were 30 minutes late in meeting my parents.  We had setup a meeting time at 6 at their apartment, and that if they were not there by 7 we’d meet them at Piazza Navona at 8.  We were thirty minutes late now so I wondered if they would still be there waiting, or would have moved on to the backup meeting point.

We got there, and my dad was waiting, for 30 minutes, outside their place for us.  Their place was really nice, especially considering that we booked this only a few days earlier.

fountainfishes_smWe grabbed their bags, and took the 4 of them back to our apartment to show them, and drop off the bags.  We then went into Piazza Navona and found a resteraunt there and enjoyed a nice meal and some wine together.  It was a great and fun reunion.

We meandered around the square for what seemed like hours, looking at Bernini’s great fountain, and all of the artists selling their stuff and doing chariactures of people.  We walked Kathie and JeanE back home, and then made our own way to bed, not without one more shower to wash all the sweat off.

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Firenze

May 16th, 2009

Just uploaded two new posts from my time in Venice.  Did not get a chance to do the spell check though, sorry.  I was also able to get the youtube inserted into the san siro milan game post.   We are in Florence right now.  I have not had a chance to write about Cinque Terre yet, or our travel problems, but soon enough.  My parents arrive here tomorrow and we will go see David, as well as the next day we will take a segway tour.

Ran into Josh Wold yesterday near the Ponte Vecchio.  Crazy.

San Siro-iously Cool

May 10th, 2009

May 10th

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We left for the game about 4 hours before game time. I wanted to make sure there wasn’t any hassle with the tickets, as well as to leave plenty of time to get there and to soak in the entire experience. The game started about 8:30pm and we arrived at the stadium approx 5:30 after a subway ride and then a 20 minute walk. The town reminded Lisa of Wrigleyville. We barely made it into the stadium as we were supposed to have a change of name form (every ticket has the original name on the ticket for security and for regulation of the resale market). Perhaps we had nice ticket attendants, or perhaps since there was a language barrier, they decided to let us in anyway. On the subway and outside the stadium it was a zoo of people, and this was about 3 hours before the game!

andyfield_smWe found our seats and they were awesome. We were just north of the penalty box. The stadium was much different and better than I ha expected. On TV, you see these glass walls and a lot of fencing behind the goals, but this was not bad in person. We had wondered if they had stadium food, and what it would be. Would it be hot dogs and cokes? Pizzas and pastas? It ended up being a lot of panini’s. Lisa was disappointed in the women’s bathrooms, as it was just a hole in the ground. I didn’t make it to the men’s to find out. We sat in our seats for 2 hours before the game. The stadium still had a ton of people in it, and they were all ready chanting away and lighting their flares, and loud booms of gunshot like noise filled the stadium. It was quite a spectacle. The stadium was filled with banners, and people wearing red and black. There was one section of Juve fans, behind glass walls, and when they would chant, fans would stand up swearing and cursing and flipping them off. You’ve gotta love European football.

milanfans_smEventually the players came out for warm ups, for announcements, and then the game began. I was saddened that Del Piero-one of my all time favorites-was not in the starting 11. As well as that Inzaghi was for Milan – not one I like. There were a few series of tricky passes in a row, but not a lot of opportunities. I was disappointed in Kaka’s play, but Beckham was delivering some nice balls. Milan easily could have been up if Inzahgi could finish. The score was 0-0 at halftime, and then all the fans around us started lighting up their cigs.

The second half was just as sloppy but eventually Milan scored by Seedorf on a deflection to him right in front of goal. But then, a few minutes later, Juve answered right back with a cross that was headed in by Iaquinta. More sloppiness ensued, and eventually Del Piero came on as a sub, and Beckham and Inzaghi were replaced by Pato and Ronaldinho.

 

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zi9lA3BuRcg

The game ended in a 1-1 draw and then it was a stampede to get out of the stadium. We got out of the stadium, but little did we know that we started our walk back to the train station in the wrong direction.

We got about 3 miles away in the wrong direction. When we tried to fix our direction, we only headed in a different wrong direction. 2 hours later we were still walking lost, asking every traffic cop for answers and getting confused looks.

Finally, we made it back to our train stop. However, by this time it was 12:15 am and the trains were closed.

So we hailed a cab, and 20 Euros later we were back at our hotel, exhausted and smelling like smoke. My legs were so sore and tired.

What a great experience and I am so thankful that it worked out. I have always wanted to go to a Europeansoccer match and have missed out on a few opportunities. To get this opportunity and it be with2 of the biggest clubs in the world, with some of the best players in the world, in one of the most famous stadiums–it was a dream come true. I can’t wait till next time now. At $200(US) per ticket, I got every dime’s worth. Maybe we can find a way to score some tickets to the Champions League Finals in Rome while we are there (very unlikely)!!

Milano v Juve

May 10th, 2009

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Oh What A Finish – Christiano Ronaldo

April 16th, 2009

What a strike from Ronaldo in yesterday’s champions league match. He had this to say about it:

“It is the best I have scored,” he said. “It was a fantastic strike and I can’t wait to see it again on DVD. I am very happy with it.”

Here is another collection of his goals.

Umpire State Building

April 8th, 2009

Baseball is back!

Batting PracticeI went to my first game of this year last night with Geoff and had a great time.  We got there before the gates opened up, and as soon as we were allowed, we ran up to the 2nd deck in left field looking for any home run balls that the Padres may have hit during batting practice.  Sadly there were none (go figure).  We stayed up there for a few rounds of Dodgers bp, and even Manny couldn’t muster one towards us.  It was great watching them run their sprints and “toss” the ball back and forth (even in just lightly throwing, they throw so fast).

We headed up to the top of the Western Metal Supply building and had a plate full of nachos and a great (albeit small and expensive) rum & coke while watching the end of bp.

Manny RamirezThe game was great.  My favorite moment was when Manny turned a single into a double by just jogging to the ball really lazily.  He picked up the ball and just lobbed it into 3rd base.  I’m not even sure if our runner had passed 1st base yet.

Manny is a funny guy.  He is arguably one of the top 10 hitters of all time, but what gets him a lot of notoriety is his crazy antics.  From wearing mp3 player sunglasses while in the field, falling asleep on the bench, not running out fly balls, not hustling in the field–Manny does some boneheaded things.  They say “that’s just Manny being Manny” to explain things away.  They know that he is too talented to ruffle his feathers, and they know that his antics are not malicious.

Do you have someone that you work with, come across, that is like that?  Where you can pass off their behavior, or people don’t ruffle their feathers and they just say “that’s just [name] being [name].”

One of my favorite Manny moments of all time is when he cut off the throw from another outfielder.  I was trying to find a clip of it just now, but can’t seem to.  This picture to the right is all I got for ya to demonstrate the Manny being Manny flair.

The Padres mustered a few runs and ended up defeating the Dodgers.  It is probably the first time since last April that they held a .500 or better record.

I had a great time hanging out with Geoff and even more because we won!

The best thing about Heath Bell coming in to close the game (I miss you Trevor), is the video he has play right before jogging in from the bullpen (0:37-2:07 –though, they edit a little).

“This is where we hold them!  This is where we fight!  This is where they die!  On these shields, boys! Ahuuuuuuuuuuuuu! Remember this day, men, for it will be yours for all time…

…Hold…Give them nothing, but take from them, everything!”

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=il4pWqhPDxg&start=34

 

Two Great Classics (Goofy and Bugs Bunny)

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This Week I'm Thinking About: Jonathan Wilt