kevin_standlee: (Giants Fanatic)
Pitchers and catchers are reporting to Giants Spring Training camp in Arizona. Soon we will have baseball again!

On the other hand, there have now been fresh mudslides along I-80 in the Sierra Nevada. I'm glad the hill waited until today to fail rather than falling down on me as I was driving through Baxter yesterday.

On the gripping hand, the water level is down in Lake Oroville, water is no longer flowing through the damaged emergency spillway. The immediate crisis is past without a catastrophic failure of the emergency spillway that would have sent a "30 foot high wall of water" down the Feather River, but they still need to release a lot of water to make room for what's coming very soon. Authorities aren't saying when they think it will be safe for people in the evacuated areas to return to their homes.

My nephew is in Sutter (which is high ground and relatively safe). Many of my relatives are in the Yuba-Sutter area. I have heard nothing from any of them. My father and stepmother live in the hills above Lake Oroville and I expect are okay. My mother lives in the Yuba County foothills far from the floodplain. In that area, the problem is more of people panicking over news stories that imply that Oroville Dam collapsed, which it did not.
kevin_standlee: (Giants Fanatic)
When Lisa and I left the Sparks Nugget after dinner heading to Raley's to go shopping, the Giants had a comfortable 5-2 lead going to the top of the ninth inning and we were feeling pretty good about San Francisco going back to Chicago for a decisive game 5. By the time we got to Raley's, the Giants had blown that lead, and by the time we checked out, their season was over as they lost to the Cubs 6-5, losing the National League Division Series 3 games to 1.

The Cubs now advance, and I hope that they go on to win the World Series now and break their curse. [ profile] travelswithkuma says "Go Cubs!"

Giants Win!

Oct. 5th, 2016 08:30 pm
kevin_standlee: (Giants Fanatic)
The San Francisco Giants made something of a hash of the second half of the regular season, but managed to squeak into the post-season, barely making it to the one-game wild card playoff with the New York Mets. Both teams trotted out their ace pitchers, and the game was a real pitchers' duel. Then in the top of the ninth inning, Conor Gillaspie (who he?) hit a 3-run home run to break the game open. Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner held the Mets scoreless in the bottom of the ninth for a complete-game shutout and their ticket to the main playoffs. After the celebrate tonight (probably not that hard), they go on to Chicago where they face the Cubs in the National League Division Series.

It's an even-numbered year. You gotta believe!
kevin_standlee: (Giants Fanatic)
This week has been very hot, with daytime highs up to 40°C in Fernley and no air conditioning except the swamp cooler. It's been livable, but only just. Yesterday, I suggested to Lisa that we go into Reno after work and take in a Reno Aces baseball game, because they were hosting the Sacramento RiverCats, The San Francisco Giants' AAA affiliate. She agreed, and off we went. It was so hot that the AC in the minivan could only barely keep up even when on max cool. (I wish I had time to take it to an AC specialist and make sure it is fully charged.)

As is our usual practice, we parked in the Circus Circus garage and walked to the ball park. As we did so, we could see some heavy cloud rolling in. This cooled things somewhat, but also raised the prospect of being rained out again, like our last Aces game. We got two upper infield seats, and they were a good view, looking down from over the first base side. The clouds moved off, which wasn't as good as we might have liked because we were in direct sunlight, but only for 30 minutes or so as the sun sank behind the casinos of downtown Reno.

Great Night for a Ball Game, Unless you're a RiverCat Supporter )

Lisa and I were not the only people turned out in our Giants gear. It doesn't match the RiverCats' kit, which is red and black, but you got the idea.

Alas for us Giants fans-by-proxy, the RiverCats were unable to mount a big comeback, and the final was 5-1 Aces. Still, we got very lucky with the weather, and it was much cooler than it was back at home in Fernley. The burgers were good, too. And with only about 9,000 seats in the stadium, you can get a great seat for the price of a nosebleed special at the big league parks.
kevin_standlee: (Giants Fanatic)
It was a nail-biter, right down to the winning run for Kansas City coming to the plate when a misplayed ball with two out in the bottom of the ninth put the tying run on third, but THEY DID IT! The San Francisco Giants won their third World Series in five years. Pitcher Madison Bumgarner came into the game in relief having pitched two days ago and was credited with the win save, which means he was the winning pitcher instrumental in winning in three of the four games the Giants needed to win the title. He definitely deserved the Most Valuable Player award presented to him after the Giants collected the World Series trophy.

I know the Giants aren't necessarily the most popular winners, and that the Kansas City Royals were the sentimental favorite. But as someone who suffered through many years of awful Giants teams in a terrible ballpark (I was a night-game season-ticket holder during the Bad Old Days at Candlestick Park), it's so nice having a multi-award winner. I'm just trying to enjoy it, because I know it's unlikely to last. And congratulations to the Royals for winning the American League and taking the Giants the distance.

(Now I just hope the other members of the 2015 WSFS Business Meeting team will still work with me after my team won.)

[Update: Although Bumgarner was initially credited with the win, the official scorer later changed the win to Jeremy Affeldt, who was the pitcher of record when the Giants scored the eventual winning run. Bumgarner got the save. (By two different routes: entering the game with the one-run lead and then winning, and also by entering the game with any lead and pitching at least three innings, the latter being the relatively rare so-called "rulebook save."]
kevin_standlee: (Giants Fanatic)
It turned out that the BASFA Baseball Outing was called off and I didn't have tickets to the game tonight after all.

Oh, that's Bad. No, that's Good... )

Bad Vaudeville routines aside, the cancellation of the Giants outing meant that I could drop the final night of my hotel stay in Santa Clara and instead drive to Yuba City this afternoon (I was able to leave work at 1 PM after a company function in Fremont) instead of tomorrow morning having to be up at 4 AM after having taken the train back from AT&T Park after a Giants night game. (The hotel in YC is half the cost of the Candlewood Suites Santa Clara.)

Lisa and I left Fernley and Fremont at almost exactly the same time, with the effect being that she got to the hotel in Yuba City less than fifteen minutes after I checked in to the hotel. Tomorrow morning we'll go collect a rental pickup truck and get my nephew to help us extract the sofa from the locker and deliver it to my sister.

Rack 'Em

Mar. 8th, 2014 06:12 pm
kevin_standlee: (IKEA)
Lisa informed me this week that she's managed to clear enough wall space to accommodate more shelves, and asked me to buy two more BILLY bookshelves. So after breakfast and checking out of the hotel this morning, I went up to East Palo Alto and did so. This was indeed my second trip there in a week, but that's because we didn't know we'd have room for the shelves when I went there to return the desk extension I can't use.

I arranged me errands to travel clockwise, on account of eastward is the free direction on the Dumbarton Bridge, and my next stop was Fremont, where I got a long-overdue haircut from my "regular" barber in Fremont, bought coffee from Suju's (across the street from where I used to live), and then went for a walk in Quarry Lakes Park, taking a picnic lunch with me and listening to the Giants get thrashed by the Mariners in spring training baseball while taking in the great weather (boo, we need more rain, the lakes are empty) at Quarry Lakes Park.

I've made it to the Crowne Plaza for tonight. To my disappointment, they've bricked up their hot tub. After 13K steps today, I wanted to soak in the hot tub. Oh, well.
kevin_standlee: (Giants Fanatic)
The Giants are playing a "traditional doubleheader" (two games, one admission, as opposed to most modern double-headers, where they clear the park and you need another ticket for the second game) on Tuesday in order to make up a rained-out game with the Cincinnati Reds. Because the rained-out game was in Cincinnati, the first game (4:05 PM start) will be a little odd in that the Reds will be the home team, batting second and wearing their home uniforms. The timing should be better for Reds fans at home, in that they won't have to be up after midnight to see the whole game.

I'd like to take in that pair of games, but the least-expensive seats are $30 standing room only, and $60 for the straight-away center-field bleachers. Although one could say it's a bargain (and it would be), there's no way I could stand through two games, and I'm not sure I'm up to six-plus hours in the bleachers.

Clearly, I'm spoiled by the good seats at reasonable prices at Reno Aces games. If only the Aces were the Giants affiliate instead of Arizona's! Still, I got to see Kensuke Tanaka before he made it up to the Big Show when the Fresno Grizzlies (the Giants AAA affiliate) came to Reno.
kevin_standlee: (Giants Fanatic)
I got away from work early enough yesterday to head back over to Newark, drop my things at my hotel, and collect Eric Larson from his place to drive us over to BART, where we caught a train for San Francisco and walked to AT&T Park for the Giants-Braves game. There we joined BASFA members and co-workers of Dave Gallaher, who organized the outing and bought the tickets.

Not a bad seat in the house )

It was a romp for the Giants, who had a spectacular fourth inning, sending eleven men to the plate and scoring six runs. It was nice to run off a big inning against an opponent rather than being the victim of one, as so often has been the case. It turned into an easy 8-2 victory against the league-leading Braves, particularly satisfying given how the Braves had shut down the Giants the previous evening.

As the game went into the ninth, many people started leaving, as the result appeared to be a forgone conclusion, but those who left early missed the entrance in McCovey Cove of a peculiar object, even by the standards of the Cove.

Illuminate! Illuminate! )

Eric and I walked back up the Embarcadero, stopping to admire the LED light sculpture on the Bay Bridge (this being our first time in The City since it was installed) before heading off to BART. We were train-lucky, as a train going our way was approaching the station as we reached the bottom of the stairs.

Aside from a short delay due to a "police incident" at West Oakland (where the BART Police apparently removed a person or persons from the train), we had an uneventful ride back to Fremont. I dropped Eric off at his place and headed back to my hotel. Given that I'd been up since 5 AM, I was very grateful to get to bed.

Today, I "slept in" all of 90 minutes but took my time packing and getting on the road before driving home to Fernley. Typically, today's Giants game came on the air as I was leaving signal range of any of the team's radio network stations. This keeps happening to me, so I gave up and stumped up the $20 for the MLB At Bat app that allows my smartphone to bring in the game as long as I can get a cell phone signal, and I-80 is well-supplied with towers.

I got home to Fernley about 5 PM, and Lisa was of course glad to see me. I'm tired from all that driving. Today was National Train Day, and I would have preferred to have been riding a train home than driving, but I need the van at home. Perhaps on another trip to the Bay Area for work I'll arrange to do it by train and leave the van at home with Lisa.
kevin_standlee: (Giants Fanatic)
Here's how some of the people complaining that it's the responsibility of WSFS to adjust to their standards sound to me, by analogy.

A Tale of Orange and Black Fandom )

Under those circumstances, do you really expect the members of the condo association to take the orange-and-black fans seriously?
kevin_standlee: (Giants Fanatic)
Today is the San Francisco Giants' Opening Day. And for the first time in several years, I'm not actively sick. I don't mean "conveniently sick so I can go to the ball game." I've never been able to attend Opening Day — it's too expensive. (Being "conveniently sick" for that even if I had the money wouldn't do me any good because we use a Paid Time Off system that combines sick leave and vacation.) But for some reason, for the past several years, I've been sick in various ways on the Giants Opening Day, sometimes rather badly so, similar to the Lurgi that afflicted Lisa and I through the better part of March. (In most cases, I worked from home while I was sick rather than inflict myself upon co-workers.) Today, though, I'm in the office and I'll just have to content myself to listening to the Giants on the radio.
kevin_standlee: (Giants Fanatic)
Chicon 7 had purchased a block of tickets to the Giants-Cubs baseball game at Wrigley Field, and I'd bought two of the tickets. After getting shut of our Business Meeting responsibilities as quickly as we could, we headed down to the Red Line (after several wrong turns by me, which is annoying because I'd made a point of scoping out the route previously) and managed to get to the game and to our seats before the end of the first inning.

I'd loaned Lisa my orange Giants t-shirt and was wearing my San Francisco MLB All-Star Game polo shirt and my Giants cap festooned with buttons. There was a lot of orange and black in our section, but nobody shined like Jeremy Lassen in his three-piece orange zoot suit, which was a big hit with us.

Alas, the Giants weren't doing any big hits, having played a night game in Houston last night and then having to fly to Chicago and play a day game, and the Cubs won the game 6-4. But we still had a good time in pretty good seats, in the shade, and an intermittent breeze helped. However, Lisa and I are still sick — she's still coughing worse than I am, but that's probably because I'm a week behind her — and we also kept dozing off in the warm, muggy air.

When the game let out, our group sort of scattered to the winds, but Paul Dormer joined Lisa and I for the walk and ride and walk back to the hotel. We bade Paul goodbye just short of the hotel, where we went to the grocery store and got some pastrami to put on the bread we bought yesterday. At that point, what Lisa and I wanted to do was to take off our shoes and sit in air-conditioned comfort while we were eating.

After recovering somewhat, we went down to the Exhibits, where Lisa sat at the Luna Society table while I sat at the Westercon 66 table telling people to go up to the "Ordinary Hotel Room" for this evening's gathering while I dealt with mail and the failed attempt to upload the WSFS videos that I managed to perform much later in the evening. I also got to chat with John Mansfield, who I'd not seen for a while, and we caught up on a few things. Later, Lisa and I took Chris Carson out to dinner (Noodles and Co again; sorry we're not dining high, but we're not in good enough health to appreciate it) and then tried to work our way through the parties.

The smart way to do the party circuit is to take an elevator to the 34th floor and then use the stairs to work your way down through the upper floors of the hotel. But because of all of the pasta we'd eaten, we started at 23 and worked upward for the exercise. Alas, the room number we had for the Nippon party must have been wrong because there was a Do Not Disturb sign on the door, and we were never able to find the right room. We did hit most of the major parties — except those too crowded to enter or too loud to endure — but I'm way past my sell-by date and went back to the room by 11:30 PM.

Lisa and I volunteered to be blocked in the party zone to forestall noise complaints, and we now find ourselves almost directly above a very loud party that seems to have been playing the same driving bass beat now for about 90 minutes. We can handle it, and at least we know nobody's going to complain about the sound of our coughing.
kevin_standlee: (Giants Fanatic)
[ profile] iamradar very generously gifted me two Giants tickets she could not use, provided I could get up to Fremont by 4 PM to collect them, which I did manage to do. Alas, none of my friends in Fremont whose phone numbers I had were answering when I called, or if they were, they were out of town, so I had both seats to myself. Since I had to go to Fremont, I rode BART to the game, then walked down to AT&T Park. Friday's game was also "Perfect Cain" night, as the Giants celebrated Matt Cain's perfect game that he threw a few weeks ago. I got a commemorative pin, and there were ceremonies on the field honoring Cain's first-in-franchise-history perfect game. I ended up with several extra pins, in fact, as the family sitting next to my two seats was visiting from Chicago and didn't want their pins, so they gave them to me. While talking to them, I mentioned that I'd be at Wrigley Field in a few weeks along with a bunch of my friends, thanks to there being a Giants-Cubs game going on the Friday of this year's World Science Fiction Convention in Chicago. (As usual, I had to explain what Worldcon was, how it wasn't always in Chicago, how I've attended every one since 1989, how it's in different cities and not always in the USA -- he seems startled at the idea that I'd travel to a science fiction convention in Australia or Japan or Great Britain, but that's typical.)

A foul ball was hit into my section, which was in the lower level down the left field line (section 130, for those familiar with the park). It landed only ten seats to my right, but that was I think closer than any ball has ever come to me in my years of attending Giants games.

Unfortunately, the Giants bats fell asleep tonight, and the Rockies, the worst team in the division, were able to score three runs. The Dodgers won as well, so now they're tied with the Giants again for the division lead.

Since I was on BART rather than Caltrain, I didn't have to rush out of the game and hotfoot it to 4th & King to catch the post-game express train. Instead, I took the longer walk down the Embarcadero along with many other people and rode BART back to Fremont, arriving there just before midnight. After finding a gas station whose pumps were still working (I was almost out of fuel), and picking up a few things from Walgreen's (saving me having to go out and do those errands tomorrow) I headed back to San Jose.

As it happens, I'd planned on some errands in Fremont on Saturday anyway, and between getting the tickets from [ profile] iamradar and catching BART to San Francisco, I was able to get them done. This means I have no plans to go anywhere on Saturday and will stay in the apartment, probably getting some "home" work done that's been pending since Westercon. But more importantly right now, I don't have to set that dratted alarm clock this weekend.
kevin_standlee: (BART)
Had I tried to retrieve my van from Fremont today, I probably would have driven to Fremont BART and taken it up to Oakland to watch the Giants-As game. But while I considered trying to go to the game tonight (as it seems unlikely that the game would sell out, and I rather liked the idea of Giants fans outnumbering the home team's fans. (Apologies to my A's-fan friends.) But while I could get up to Oakland by transit for the game this evening, I couldn't figure any way to get home after the game. I'd be stuck in Fremont. Although I probably could have walked over and used my spare keys to drive my van away from Cory's back lot. (I would have left a message on his machine at the shop telling him I'd be back up Saturday to pay for it so he wouldn't panic over a vehicle disappearing.) But overall, considering how tired I am this evening, it's probably just as well that I didn't do this. And I won't go to either of the other games this weekend either, as it's my last weekend in San Jose before Westercon, and I have a whole lot of things that must get done before I leave for Nevada next weekend and Seattle the Tuesday after that.
kevin_standlee: (Giants Fanatic)
[LiveJournal has eaten the icon I used to use for posts about baseball and sports, and I can't find the original, so I've substituted a slightly-less-fanatical version.]

It's been a very long, stressful, intense week at work, so I was delighted to be able to get away at 3:45 on Friday afternoon to walk over to the light rail station and head to downtown San Jose and on to the Caltrain station (after a brief banking errand downtown) to catch the 4:45 "baby bullet" express to San Francisco. After a nice smooth trip of less than an hour, I was at 4th & King Streets heading to AT&T Park to join my fellow BASFA members in our outing to see the San Francisco Giants play the Milwaukee Brewers.

Photos Follow )

Alas, despite the sixth-inning comeback and another attempt later in the game, the Giants fell to the Brewers 6-4.

It took a long time to get out of the park from our upper-deck seats, and by the time we got down to Caltrain, the express (nonstop to San Carlos) was long gone. Indeed, we just barely made the second train because I insisted on walking all the way down to the far end of the train, and the doors were closing as we hopped aboard. OTOH, whereas the near-the-platform-stops end of the train was SRO, there were seats going begging at the other end where we were. The conductor kept making announcements that apparently were intended to try and get people to move down the length of the train, but he was so inarticulate that it was really difficult to make out what he was saying.

On account of the second train makes all stops, and many of those stops are rather long due to the huge crowd aboard, it was looking increasingly like I would miss the last light rail train of the night out of San Jose Diridon station. Fortunately, Adrienne Foster, who had walked to the train with me, had driven to Caltrain, parking at Santa Clara station, and she offered to drive me back home, saving me a taxi ride home from Diridon. Thanks, Adrienne!

Many thanks to Dave Gallaher for arranging this group outing for BASFA. I hope he's able to assemble a similar outing for BASFAs to see the Giants play the Cubs — at Wrigley Field in Chicago on the Friday afternoon of Chicon 7! I'll have to pack my orange gear. Have to see if there will be room for the orange wig.
kevin_standlee: (Kreegah Bundalo)
It has been a pretty intense week, but we did manage to meet our deadline, and I'll be working from home on Friday before heading out to the Giants game Friday night with the BASFA Baseball Outing. I'm thinking of taking light rail — since I'm now living only one block from the Gish station — to Diridon Caltrain and catching the 4:45 express. The only downside to this is that there's a pretty good chance that the return train will get back after the last light rail train, or that it will be one of the trains that terminates at Civic Center, which means a long walk or a taxi ride home.

Meanwhile, my pillow hasn't seen enough of me the past few days, so I'm going to bed.
kevin_standlee: (Giants Fanatic)
The Giants put on a good show last night in their final night game of the season. My co-worker who got the seats found some good ones on StubHub: Section 125, behind third base and in the next-to-last row. That did mean that while I saw the splash hit (I think the second one I've witnessed in person), I only saw the ball heading over the arcade and had to look at the monitors to see it actually hit the water. But I had a great seat for Conor Gillaspie's inside-the-park home run, which also was the first homer of his major league career. I saw him trip over third base and go sprawling, and I was astounded when he got up, kept running, and made it safely to home. Now the officially scorer might have been slightly generous in not scoring that as a triple-plus-error, for if the ball had been cleanly fielded at home they would have had a shot, and frankly, the reason Gillaspie was able to even try for four was because the Rockies were falling apart on the field and missed the relay throw, but it was still exciting, and the crowd roared its approval.

The Giants are of course out of it, but I still had a good time. I hope I get a chance to attend at least one game next year, too.

Last Game

Sep. 27th, 2011 03:20 pm
kevin_standlee: (Giants Fanatic)
I have a ticket to tonight's Giants-Rockies baseball game, which is the final night game of the season for the Giants. Their season ends tomorrow afternoon, and a few weeks from now, the Giants will no longer be the champions of Major League Baseball.

For a brief fraction of a second as I go through the turnstile, I will be breaking the all-time Giants franchise season attendance record. Of course, the next person after me will also break it, as will everyone else coming in and continuing through yesterday's game, as the Giants surpassed their all-time record (including New York) last night, passing 3.4 million. I hope they'll be able to put some more of that money onto the field next season and find some hitters. Also, I hope Buster Posey returns from his leg and ankle injury in good shape next season. The Giants have great pitching; now they need some run support for those pitchers.
kevin_standlee: (Giants Fanatic)
I got away from Fremont much later than I'd originally hoped, and I had longer to go than usual, as I had booked into Grants Pass on account of all of the Holiday Inn Expresses south of there down to Yreka were charging much more than usual. I made really good time, and cut my stops short, so in the end I got to Grants Pass only around twenty minutes later than I'd originally projected, but it was still 11 PM. However, the good part about being so late was that I was able to (barely) listen to the Giants game. The game was just getting started when I was leaving Redding, where a local FM station is the Giants affiliate. That FM signal didn't last, though, and beyond Lakehead or thereabouts it faded completely; however, by then, I was able to pick up the network's flagship station, KNBR out of San Francisco, as it was late enough that their signal was bouncing northward. The signal came and went, but I was mostly able to follow the twists and turns of the game, and just as I was leaving Central Point/Medford, the Giants won the game in dramatic fashion with a walk-off hit in the bottom of the 10th inning to win the first game of the "Bay Bridge" series against the Oakland A's.

I also got to hear part of the second period of the Sharks game, swapping back and forth between it and the Giants, but when the Sharks' affiliate's signal faded, there was no fallback, so I didn't get to hear the results of the game until I got to Grants Pass. Go Sharks!

I got upgraded again, this time to a room with a separate parlor, although it's something of a waste since I don't have much time to enjoy it, having arrived so late. Also, there's no wired internet; only wireless. Still, it's a really good room rate and an upgraded room, so I'm not actually complaining.
kevin_standlee: (Giants Fanatic)
Wonderful, exciting, but Candlestick Park-like cold and windy Giants game tonight with the big BASFA club outing to see the game. I got there what I thought was very early because they were giving way Willie Mays statues to the first 20,000 fans. With gates scheduled to open at 5:15, I was approaching the park about 4:15 and saw the monster queue stretching back from the northeast gate. I swung over to the Marina Gate, where I learned that there were no statues to be distributed there; it was the gate for people willing to skip the queues and get in quickly as long as they also skipped the premium. I joined the queue that was just around the corner, for the Lefty O'Doul gate, stretching the length of the Portwalk, but that still turned out to the be the best choice, as it was far shorter than the queue for the Willie Mays gate, and when the gates opened, the queue moved surprisingly smartly and I easily collected my collectable and had time to get food and get to to my seat before the pregame festivities honoring Willie Mays' 80th birthday.

The conditions were very windy and fairly cold, and the Giants were not exactly hot stuff, but they provided lots of excitement, coming from behind to tie the game late and then win it in the bottom of the ninth with a walk-off hit to send the sellout crowd home happy.

The BASFA group outing was fun, but because the game was a sellout we were unable to spread out, and I swear they've shrunk those seats. (That's my story and I'm sticking with it.) I ended up buying two hot chocolates, which I really shouldn't drink on account of all of the sugar, but I needed the heat to keep my fingers from falling off!

I've taken lots of photos, but I don't have time to do anything with them, as I have to be back up in just a few hours to drive first to Sutter where I'll meet up with Lisa, and then on to Carson City for our railfan/Reno holiday. When I get a chance, I'll post some of the photos.

Many thanks to [ profile] dave_gallaher for having organized this expedition and commiserations for the work crisis that kept Dave away from the game until the end of the seventh inning. At least he did get to see the exciting bit at the end.

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