Baseball, it could be argued, is the “national sport” of the United States. When people talk about the US, and what might be construed as its “culture,” the phrases “baseball” and “Mom’s apple pie” come out.

I don’t know about y’all, but my mom didn’t really make apple pie all that much. In fact, I think I could probably count on one hand all the times Mom cooked an apple pie. (Maybe an apple crisp every once in a while, but not pie.)


Jenn and I went to a baseball game at PGE Park last weekend. We watched the Portland Beavers play the Las Vegas 51s. The original reason for the trip was that Jenn’s niece, Aurora, and her tee-ball team, were all going to go out on the field.

We got to the stadium like 20 minutes before the game started. We sat down in these tiny, tiny seats where I had to straddle the seat in front of me, knees knocking the shoulders of the hairy biker guy in front of me (who wasn’t too happy about that). I can’t say I was happy to have my feet floating in a puddle of spilt beer from three rows back, either, but what are you going to do?

Just before the national anthem, a cloud of identical-looking children in numbered t-shirts ran out on the field. They distributed themselves at each of the four bases and the national anthem was sung. After that, the kids all ran back off the field.

That was it. That was the whole reason we showed up. They stood on the field for the national anthem.

I was prepared to watch some miniature baseball. At the Winter Hawks games, when the kids come out on the ice, they actually play hockey. That’s cute. Not here, though. No playing, just standing around. I couldn’t even tell which of the tee-ballers was Jenn’s niece.

Thus commenced the game.

Now, I am not a baseball fan. I’m in love with the concept of baseball, the romantic notions it conjures up, but I hate the game itself. It’s slow. It’s boring. Nothing happens. Who struck who out? Does it matter? Why should I care?

We stayed for an hour and a half and got halfway through the game before I couldn’t take it anymore and we left. I think I can safely pass on heading in there again and I won’t feel like I missed anything.

I hear that there’s a lot of strategy to baseball. Who pitches, and what kind of pitch… who bats… when the people run from base to base… The thing is, I don’t have time for that. Nor do I care. It’s like watching a slow character-development-based movie where they haven’t taken the time to show you why you should care about the characters.

When I think “baseball,” I think: hot dogs, hanging out with friends, relaxing, having a good time. When I actually see baseball, I think: boring. There’s not enough going on out in the field. Admittedly, it’s got some of the simplest rules of any sport out there, but it’s boring as hell. On par with curling or shuffleboard. That said, I’m not a football fan, either - the rules, in my opinion, are far too complex for what it is.

I think that’s why I’m a hockey fan. There’s a lot going on, and the rules are simple. That’s the best of all worlds. Maybe I should have been born Canadian. Baseball has to be the dumbest national sport EVER.

It never bodes well when you go up to the next floor and an aroma somewhere between popcorn and Trix comes wafting from the break room and descends upon your very soul. It is times like these when you know that making a hasty retreat is a moral imperative, regardless of your reason for venturing beyond your own veal pen.

Friday, and paid time-off, rapidly approaches. I’m taking Friday and Monday off to attempt some rest and relaxation of sorts, although I will be spending some of that time with extended family in Seattle so who knows what brands of hell might break loose while that’s going on. It’s always a good time visiting them, though, so I do look forward to it. I’m hoping my cousin Adam will bust out some of his increasingly-famous lewd dance maneuvers. That always livens the party up some, much to the chagrin of his mother.

I finally got a drywall contractor to come in and give me a bid on my bathroom job, which I promptly accepted since he was the only one I could actually get to show up, albeit 45 minutes late. Now I just need the job started.

I also took my car because the “check engine” light came on a couple days ago and got that back with no significant issues. They had to do some sort of reprogramming with the onboard computer… something to do with the idle timing. Whatever. It fell under warranty and, as always, the service was excellent, so I’m not sweating it.

Thus, I am regaining composure, slowly yet surely closing on issues, and looking forward to a long weekend. (I had to take some vacation soon anyway because I was rapidly approaching the “use-it-or-lose-it” point. Regardless of the reason, vacation is vacation, which is to say, “not being at work,” so it must be a Good Thing. Right?)

Saw this posted over at Slashdot and figured it was interesting enough to comment on: The musical preferences of IT-related personnel.

I am a Microsoft-certified professional developer and database administrator. According to the survey, then, I should be listening to mainstream pop music, heavy metal, and indie rock. Hmmm. While I do listen to some mainstream pop, I’m not a big heavy metal fan. I dig the indie rock, but if I had to choose, I’d say I’m more a techno/electronica listener than anything else, which, according to the survey, makes me a Linux user.

I guess that just goes to show that I don’t quite fit the stereotype.

I also find it odd that they didn’t list “Mac user” as one of the categories. Maybe they don’t consider Macintosh users as IT-related people. Interesting.

I have finally been deemed popular enough to receive stupid blog comment spam. I’ve gotten probably five or six in the last week. I turned up the amount of time required between comment posts, so at least I don’t get totally hammered, but other than that, I’m hosed unless someone’s got a pMachine Free plugin that uses captcha images… or I enable registration for commenting, which wouldn’t be too bad, seeing as how no legitimate readers ever comment on stuff around here anyway. Heh.

We beer-battered some shrimp last night (I’m not really a beer drinker, so it’s good to find something to do with the leftover beer from our housewarming party), and it was pretty tasty.

I got to thinking it might be a faster/better idea if we just had a huge vat of oil for the frying, then battered all the shrimp and just dumped them in at the same time. Jenn said that would make them all stick together and come out in a big ball. Then it hit me: shrimp cones.

Get all the beer-battered shrimp to come out in a huge shrimp ball. Then make cones out of hush-puppy and throw the ball on top. Voila! Shrimp cones. Top with cocktail sauce and serve.