Monthly Archives: March 2014

Must-click link: Australian writer’s first MLB encounter

GFBB’s Note: This Aussie writer compares baseball to cricket and, of course, to rounders. But his take on it, complete with photo’s, is wonderful if you’re a true baseball fan. Well, even if you aren’t! “Tis lovely, eh?

HardballTalk

Simon Crerar, an Australian-born staff writer at BuzzFeed, put together this comical rundown of his first experience with Major League Baseball, which just officially opened its 2014 season with a two-game series between the Diamondbacks and Dodgers at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Crerar mostly points out oddities that we’ve come to accept as very normal, very necessary parts of the game.

Some highlights from Crerar’s writeup …

  • “Instead of a big oval with all the action taking place in the centre, baseball is played on a weird diamond, with all the action taking place in one corner.”
  • “Everyone wears pyjamas. Fancy pyjamas, but still PJs.”
  • “Half the time the players don’t seem to know what’s happening and the coach has to explain the rules.”
  • “Incidentally, these guys wear GREAT leather belts.”
  • “The balls are either super cheap or the MLB is super rich. Balls go into the crowd non-stop and…

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Fly Fishing and Baseball ….. The Commonality

A Facebook friend from high school recently posted a picture of a box of fishing flies that looked more like the real thing, the flies I mean, than the real thing.  Really.   I was interested in this because my husband is a fly-tyer and recently he’s been producing some real beauties.

My husband is a man of many talents, a jack-of-all trades.  He’s a retired surveyor and worked on the San Francisco and the San Jose International Airports before he retired.  He’s always been interested in gemology and has an eye for unique stones, having cut and polished many over the years.  There’s very few wrist watches and antique clocks he hasn’t been able to repair and the older cars were made to be tinkered with, as he puts it.   So when I casually mentioned wanting a pair of black and orange earrings to wear to the SF Giants games he sprung into action and one week later presented me with my very own handmade dangles.

SF Giants Feather Dangles

SF Giants Feather Dangles

It took him one week to make them because they were made of Maribou turkey feathers that had to be special ordered.  These are the same feathers he uses to make rather exotic flys to catch rather exotic fish, or not, depending on the situation.  He also uses pheasant, duck, hackle, goose, and peacock feathers to design his favorite flys.  But my favorite are the Maribou.

For avid baseball fans who like to show up in team colors they can be made in any color, for any team, and for any sport.  If you’re not inclined to make your own, take a look at his Etsy website and see if there’s something you might like.

This didn’t start out to be an advertisement, but so be it.  Really, what’s the worst that can happen?  If you loose faith in your team, simply remove the silver, add a hook, and go fishing.

I mean it’s always fishing season somewhere and, for sure, we’re right in the middle of spring training.  Baseball season’s on the horizon, spring beckons and life is good.  Don’t you just love it?

Seduced by that Pesky Cell Phone

I’m remembering a game I went to this past season.  During the entire game a  fan  sitting in front of me had his cell phone in hand, either  as an extension of his ear or taking pictures with it.  When it was attached to his ear he was talking, loudly at times, and listening the rest of the time.   It seemed odd since the game was at AT&T Park and it can get really loud and I kept wondering how he was able to hear anything on the little contraption.

I’m not a huge cell phone fan.  I don’t even know my number.  My husband bought me one as a nice gesture, but against my objections, and I think I’ve used it maybe five or six times in the past seven years.  His idea was I could use it for roadside emergencies or keeping in touch, just in case.  You know, the usual stuff.

AT&T Park.  Cameraman and his Cell Phone.

AT&T Park. Cameraman and his Cell Phone.

But I’m looking around the ballpark and cell phones were everywhere.  Lots of picture-taking and flashes going off,  mostly just fans walking around, or in their seats, didn’t matter, attached to their trusty cell phones.   You see the same scenario everywhere, it’s epidemic.  The phone companies must be making millions.  You see them at the grocery stores, hospitals, theaters, schools, churches, airports, on the bus, at the restaurants.  And they’re at my office.

This used to irritate the heck out of me.  But this year has been an eye-opening experience and I’ll never look at cell phones the same way again.  You see, I’m a tax preparer and I have 100 days to get those pesky taxes worked up, prepared, completed and out the door until next year when it starts all over again.   In the past, the number one thing clients would forget when they showed up for their appointment was their W2.  It’s the truth.   But not anymore.  Just last week a client took out his cell phone, called his employer, and the W2 almost instantly appeared via fax.

And it’s been happening a lot lately.  Need  Grandma’s social security number?  No problem.  Forgot the  interest from the bank, car tags, tuition and/or scholarships received?  No problem.  Just dial it up on the handy-dandy little thing.

But here’s the really great part.  Last week a woman came in with her little two-year old who was acting like two-year old’s are supposed to act; I mean all over the place, up and down like a yo-yo, until…….until mom put her cell phone in the little boys hand.  It was like magic!   It worked better than Prozac or a tranquilizer or binky or something. The little fellow poked his app (I think that’s what they’re called) and was tuned in for the rest of the interview.

I’m not saying that sedating a kid with a cell phone is necessarily a good thing, but if you’re a tax preparer in the middle of tax season and you’re trying like the devil to get through an interview, it is truly a miraculous thing.