29 June 2009


1. Caught my first foul ball at the Rangers-DBacks game on June 23rd (last Tuesday) off the bat of Marlon Byrd in the 7th inning. If you go back and watch the game, you can totally see me a few times during the game in the front row, near the Golden Glover on the third base side. We even won the game, so it was extra special. 2. Missed a foul ball on the fly by about 5 feet last Wednesday. I had a bead on it forever and ran out of room to try to catch it because I ran into somebody (sorry!!) standing there. Drat! 3. Started a new exercise program and diet today to help me lose some weight. My target goal is to get down to 220 lbs. I feel like it's totally doable. I'll be walking 1-2 miles per day every day, eating smaller portions, and weight training. So we'll see what happens. If I can at least lose the fat while building muscle, that'll be great. I'd love to get down under 25% body fat.

20 June 2009

San Diego

This week, I took a vacation with my mom and little sister out to La Jolla, California and just got back in Thursday evening. Four days of surf, sun, sand, and relaxing. It was glorious. Well, all except the nagging sunburn part, but that's simply annoying after-the-fact. Without giving the play-by-play yet since I don't have the photos ready yet to post along with the story, some of the things we did included relaxing by the beach (I read my books!), hunting for seashells for an art project for Sarah on the aptly named "Shell Beach," and watching a baseball game at PETCO Park on Tuesday (the Mariners beat the Padres 5-0, and there were a total of 5 hits from both teams in the game... very quick). I'll post more when I have pics to share. Last night, I went out to Tempe Marketplace again for the D-Backs' "Snake, Rattle, and Vote" All-Star balloting drive. For every 100 ballots a person filled out, they got 1 raffle ticket for some cool stuff, like a Stephen Drew auto'd jersey, a couple auto'd or game-used bats (Justin Upton being one), and auto'd baseballs, tickets, etc. I am proud to say I filled out the most ballots of any other person or group there: 1,200 in about 3 hours. And with my 12 raffle tickets, I won a Dan Haren autographed baseball, which I am about to go out and buy a case for from the sports card shop. So that was fun! It's getting to the point out there where the FS AZ crew knows me, and it's a lot of fun hanging out and talking baseball! More to come later with the photos!

11 June 2009

US Department of the Navy

So, I am actually going kind of crazy here at home with no job yet, so it got me to thinking: what haven't I considered and looked into yet jobwise? I came up with two new angles: 1. Teach English overseas. Pros: There's almost always availability for such a program, free housing and really cheap cost of living in someplace like South Korea so I'd be able to teach for a year and save (according to estimates I saw) something like $20,000 per year to come back to the States with. I do enjoy teaching, although I am more of an older-kids' teacher than a K-3rd grade type of teacher, so it would be at least something I'm relatively comfortable doing. I'd get to travel to a new place in the world, experience a new culture, and do something not a ton of people do, while also doing something humanitarian-based. Cons: The very reason they get students to do programs like this is because you're put into an extremely poverty-stricken area most times. The accomodations, while free, will almost certainly be not of great quality. I also know a couple people who've done such programs before, and while they say it's rewarding, it also has its big downsides. And frankly, I do enjoy my creature Americanized comforts of my home here, like being able to watch the ball game at night and whatnot. 2. Join the armed forces, particularly the US Navy. Pros: Money. They help pay off my student loans, give me on-the-job training to become an officer (since I have a bachelor's degree), and offer lots of after-commission benefits. I'd get the experience I desperately need right now in a field like public affairs, pay down my loans, save some extra money for after the service, and be able to transition into a civilian career within 6 years or so if I chose to. Theoretically, a position like this would also enable me to see new areas of the world - though if I chose the public affairs career path through the Navy, I'm not so sure how much ship-time I'd see. Cons: I've never been all that good at taking orders, and frankly the rigidity and demand I can only assume a job in the Navy (or Army, Air Force, or Marines) requires kind of scares the crap outta me. Plus, to go and work in library sciences or in baseball like I'm currently dreaming of I'd need either a master's degree or experience in baseball, neither of which I would get while in service, so my current dreams would get put on hold. I'd be curious to hear what the very, very few readers of this blog think about the subject - feel free to comment or to drop me an email!

09 June 2009

Fun at Chase Field

Tonight was a great time at Chase Field! Yes, the Giants beat the Diamondbacks 9-4, and Billy Buckner gave up 7 runs (6 earned) in 5 2/3 innings, but I definitely had fun! First off, my dad got the tickets from his office (WE O'Neil Construction of Arizona) where I used to work, and they were amazing seats! Directly behind home plate in section 122, 26 rows back from the field. You could seriously see everything! I got two tickets, and my brother didn't want to go with me, so I took my friend Travis (who enjoys baseball much more than my brother anyway). We got to the field at 4:30, just in time for the tail end of DBacks batting practice and all of the Giants' BP. First things first, we went down to the left field bleachers to try to catch a BP home run or two as usual. Normally, a couple come close, but not close enough - though one game both Travis and I flat out whiffed catching a couple balls. Tonight, I got TWO balls. The first was lying on the field just off the warning track, and I politely yelled to see if the pitchers in the outfield would throw it to me. Being 23 years old, usually they ignore me for a younger fan, but since none were there at that point and I was decked out in red and sandy colors, I was able to get Chad Qualls to toss me the ball! My first ball gotten at Chase Field! I was also able to get Clay Zavada to come over and autograph it for me, which was really awesome! The second ball was a bit more difficult to come by. During Giants' BP, me being a DBacks fan causes players to completely ignore me and look for a Giants fan somewhere to toss a ball to, if they even decide to do so! Tim Lincecum, the reigning 2008 Cy Young Award Winner was standing in left field catching the grounders and tossing them back in while chatting with his pitching coach. On one of the balls, someone next to me began yelling for the ball from him, and he looked back and literally threw the ball right at me! A few people next to me scrambled to reach out and grab it, but my long arms and extra few inches of glove leather gave me the edge, and I got it! My plan was that if I was able to get him to come over and sign it, I'd keep the ball, but since he didn't, I gave it to a little kid next to me whose eyes lit up like Christmas lights and he ran off to find his folks. Cute! All I wanted was the autograph or the story. The ball itself can go to a good kid! After BP ended, without any more close action, we went and found our seats. I decided against scoring the game, since seats that good deserved my full attention on the field instead of my scorebook (and I knew I could go back and fill it in later from the GameDay info online). Travis and I were hoping for a couple foul balls we could try out luck on coming back into our area, but alas, not a single one even came close. The roof was opened, and it was a gorgeous night for baseball - about 87 degrees with a slight east-west breeze making it feel 74 degrees inside. The sky was cloudy and the smell of the ballpark mixed with the cool night air and the hint of rain on the horizon. Throughout the game, I was able to get both Mark Grace and Daron Sutton's attention from the broadcast booth right over my head and got waves from both of them, which was cool - they're definitely the best broadcast team in baseball! The game itself was a typical DBacks 2009 loss, unfortunately. Billy Buckner gave up a bunch of 4th and 5th inning runs, and while a few good defensive plays for the DBacks kept up in it early, after the score was 8-4 in the 6th, we kind of knew we were out of it. You could just feel the motivation leak out of the stadium. The Giants played great baseball. Whereas our starter was leaky, Matt Cain went 7 innings of 6-hit baseball (and four earned runs). While our defense gave up two wild pitches, two errors, and whiffed a couple of routine plays, theirs was solid especially up the middle. Our offense started out strong and then stopped cold, they tagged us for 17 hits. Ugh. The only part of the night I'd trade in was the really, really, REALLY annoying Giants fan sitting next to us. I mean, I'm pretty annoying, and I put up a good fight in trying to drown out her cheering, but no one else was helping me and she was LOUD. So, while I'd have prefered she go sit somewhere else, I gotta give "Loudmouth Giants Fan" props for being a REAL fan in an opponent stadium. I know I'd be doing exactly the same thing in someone else's park. A call to arms for DBacks' fans, though... when someone starts doing that at home, you HAVE TO GET LOUD!!! Make that the mission when you come to the ballpark! So thanks WE O'Neil Construction for the tickets, thanks Travis for going with me, and thanks Loudmouth for making it interesting!

06 June 2009

Another One Off the List

I got to check another cool play off my list of things I want to score in Arizona Diamondbacks baseball games, which previously included a triple play (happened this year for Doug Davis), back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs, striking out the side on 9 pitches, a perfect game, a no-hitter, a steal of home plate, and a few other oddities. The D-Backs have been involved or accomplished these things in the past, but I never scored them, or I no longer have my record of the accomplishments. I taught myself to score in 2006, so things like Randy Johnson's perfect game prior to that I wasn't able to catch. Tonight, I got to check off a three-pitch inning from that list. This means a half-inning (three outs) that are recorded on the minimum three pitches from a pitcher (or pitchers). Tonight it was Kevin Correia of the Padres who accomplished the feat in the 5th inning by allowing a single on the first pitch to Max Scherzer, getting Felipe Lopez to line into an unassisted double play at first base, and getting Ryan Roberts to ground out to second base. Three pitches, three outs, one more off my list!

04 June 2009

Japanese Food, Job Searching, and John McCain

What are.... three phrases which have nothing to do with one another and start with the letter J just to make my title have a little bit more pizzazz? Ding ding ding! Japanese Food So last night I went out to Tempe Marketplace again and watched the DBacks-Dodgers game and the Qwest DBacks Live Postgame Show from FSNAZ. To give you an idea of what I geek I am, I also brought along my scorebook and sat at the tables in the warm-but-not-too-warm night air to keep score (to the amusement of more than a couple people who either wanted to mock me, tell me I was awesome, or ignore me but give me funny stares). The DBacks lost the game despite a beauty of a pitching performance from Jon Garland, who gave up the game's only run in the 0-1 loss. However, I was able to win once more in their raffle, scoring a $50 gift certificate to Kabuki, Tempe Marketplace's Japanese restaurant. With the prices of their food, that should come out to be a real nice dinner for 3 or 4 people! So thanks, FSNAZ! Job Searching The hunt continues, despite my renewed efforts to find a position. Earlier this week I went down to the Arizona Department of Economic Security to try to take advantage of their job placement services and to see about filing for unemployment insurance. After standing in line for a bit surrounded by people who were much worse off than I am, I was given paperwork to fill out and then called back to their offices to sit down one-on-one with a "Program Services Evaluator I" - much like a career counselor, I suppose. After filling out my online profile with her, she began to make suggestions which had only to do with my previous two jobs, a substitute teaching job (which is much different than a regular full-time teaching job, this person didn't get that) and a clerical job. After a bit of searching, I came to realize one vital component of the search: all the job listings were based on CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com, and Jobing.com. Their database was nothing more than a glorified compendium of all three. I had wasted four hours doing the same thing I could have been doing from home online. Ugh. What I really need is to find a company which will give me a job researching something... polling data, legislation, the impact of dust on wheat farms... whatever, and work at that. I really enjoy research. You know what the only thing better is? I would join professional sports as a stats tracker or statistician in a heartbeat! Beyond that, I suppose my only remaining option is to return to school and get my Master's degree. John McCain So, funny story: About a week ago I emailed Senator John McCain's office via his website about getting help finding a friend of mine who had gone into the military about 4 years ago and who had presumably been deployed overseas. I got a letter back today with a Congressional Research Service document about writing a federal grant proposal.... Sounds like someone mixed up the address stickers! Oops! Other Stuff If anyone in any part of the country knows of any open jobs as a legislative aide, research assistant (non-clinical), library aide or librarian, records administrator, or other related position dealing with records management or research, please let me know. I am trying to narrow down a search for jobs by possibly moving to someplace, getting a cheap apartment for a couple months, and going to as many interviews as possible. I just need to know where the jobs ARE! So any help is much appreciated. Email me! Randy Johnson (formerly of the Diamondbacks, now of the San Francisco Giants) got his 300th Major League win today against the Nationals, becoming the 24th, and possibly last pitcher to be able to do so. Congratulations, Big Unit! Keep the K's coming (although, you can let us win when you pitch vs. Arizona)!