While in San Francisco for the weekend, I decided to continue the 30-Park Geas by seeing what the Oakland A's were up to. Last place, it turned out; but then, so were their opponents, the Tampa Bay Rays.
From the moment you get off the BART, you know you're not going to the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field. Wrigley, for example, has less concrete and barbed wire:
Of course, Wrigley has fewer "World Champions" banners, too, but we'll skip that for now.
Not a bad game, on balance. The home team won, it turned out my Cubs hat was acceptable to the crowd (my brother had warned me that wearing the wrong hat in Oakland could result in ejection from the park...by the fans...over the railing), and my seat completely failed to suck:
The only bad parts, other than the park resembling in architecture and style (and, some might say, purpose) a medium-security prison: I forgot my camera, so I had to use my mobile phone to snap photos; and I couldn't find a score card. Oh well; still a fun game.
Fifteen down, 17 to go.
I'm returning from San Francisco this afternoon, so tomorrow I'll have photos from Saturday's A's game and, if I get my very own YouTube account, a video of my sister's dog. I'll leave that for now.
This morning, just a link: TheExpiredMeter.com, of interest to anyone who deals with the Chicago parking system. I found it because I discovered only yesterday that, sometime today, my car will get a parking ticket. I discovered this when my alderman's office sent a notice of street sweeping yesterday saying they'll be sweeping the block my car is on today. A little more notice might have helped. Welcome to summer in the city.
(Mudville is that $1.5 billion park just over the Harlem River in the Bronx.) The Yankees had a disappointing 2nd inning hosting the Indians yesterday as Cleveland set a new Major League record:
A 37-minute top of the second at Yankee Stadium saw the Tribe put up 14 runs on 13 hits off right-handers Chien-Ming Wang and Anthony Claggett. The big inning, which set the Tribe on course for its eventual 22-4 victory, tied for the most productive inning in Indians history and set a record for the most productive inning by an opponent in Yankees history.
The 14 runs set a Major League record for the most in the second inning. The record was 13, and it was last accomplished, ironically, by the Yankees exactly four years ago against Tampa Bay.
In other news, the Cubs beat the Cardinals yesterday 7-5 at Wrigley after 11 innings.
- The Titanic dinner at Mint Julep Bistro was wonderful. Rich's wine pairings especially rocked—as did his beef tournedos in port reduction. Mmm. Not so much fun was Metra's return schedule (featuring a 3-hour gap between 21:25 and 0:35), nor my reading of it (I did not remember this three-hour gap). The fine for taking public transit out to the suburbs (because driving to a 10-course, 9-wine-plus-apertif dinner seemed irresponsible) was $80, paid to the All-Star Taxi Service.
- I did, in fact, buy a Kindle, and I love it. I've now read three books on it and numerous articles (converting a .pdf or text file costs no more than 10c for automatic downloads), and I hardly notice the machine. It only holds 1.5 GB of stuff, but the complete works of Shakespeare ($4) only takes up 4 MB so space is not exactly at a premium.
- I may have a new release of Weather Now out today; if not, then tomorrow morning. I'll be writing over the next few days more about what's different, and why it took nearly two years to produce something that, to some, will look almost identical.
- Tangentially about my Kindle and software releases, I'm now reading Almost Perfect (hat tip Coding Horror), Pete Peterson's account of the rise and fall of WordPerfect. It's a fascinating tale of what happens when everyone in the company is just like you, and when entrepreneurs can't let go.
Finally, in a tiny piece of good news, it looks like we'll have tolerable weather Friday for my first Cubs home game this season.
One more park on the 30-Park Geas is complete. Yes, I have been to the park before, but it doesn't count. Last night's Astros-Cubs game does.
Maybe it shouldn't, though. The Cubs got through I think their entire pitching staff, and six broken bats (plus one flung into the stands by an Astro). Game Over indeed:
Wow, so I'm out of touch for a few hours, and this happens:
- The Federal judge in the Ted Stevens corruption trial has ordered a criminal investigation of the prosecutors who tried the case. It may be surprising, but apparently a heavily-politicized Republican Justice Department may have deliberately thrown it. Hmm.
- The Canadian dude who stole a Cessna yesterday was apparently attempting suicide by fighter jet, but for some reason opted out of suicide by crashing into the ground, and so will now face Federal prosecution.
- As absentee ballots get counted in Minnesota's (longest-in-history) U.S. Senate race, Democrat Al Franken's lead has opened up to 312. Republican former Senator Norm Coleman has vowed to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court, where he hopes to get five more votes. His lawyer, by the way, is the same guy who got five extra votes for Dubya in 2000.
- And, oh yeah, Vermont legalized gay marriage, overriding the governor's veto to do so.
OK, I have about 90 minutes to enjoy (*kaff*) downtown Houston before going to my first Cubs game of the season. Then I'm going to an odd little bar that I discovered when I worked in this fine city back in 2001. In fact, my hotel room looks out over the dazzling, deodorant-stick-shaped building that the client I worked for owned before they went bankrupt spectacularly later in the year. Hmmmm...can't remember their name... I'll have to compare photos of the building to help me remember.
No, I'm not talking about those annoying smelly birds that take airplanes out of the sky. I mean the 30-Ballpark Geas, which resumes today in Houston.
The last game I attended really showcased the Cubs ability to blow a game, but at least were in first place; so they are today after beating Houston last night 4-2. I'm looking forward to either a 2-0 season opening, or at least having enough beer that it doesn't matter.
Photos and results tomorrow afternoon.
My 30-ballpark Geas continues into its second season. Just booked: Houston, April 7th, against the Cubs (of course).
Astute observers will note that I've visited the Houston ballpark before, when I was on a consulting assignment for a well-known energy trading company that no longer has naming rights to the park. But I decided at the beginning of the Geas that parks I visited before the Geas started didn't count. (This makes New Yankee Stadium and Citi Field problematic, so I split the difference: Old Yankee Stadium counts for the Yankees, and Citi Field for the Mets.)
My first Cubs game will be April 19th.
Update: Since I already had a trip to San Francisco planned, I've also booked Oakland for the April 25th.
I have a Daily Dilbert desk calendar. Here is today's strip:
Had to share.