Nationals - Opening Ceremonies

The opening ceremonies for the 2007 Nationals was tonight. Here is a panoramic view of all the teams that were there. They went back many rows but I got on home plate and took this picture as quick as I could!

Here is our team as they announced "Bonita Valley!" They marched around the field and then took their spot on the outfield and faced the crowd. Teams were tossing candy and other items across the field. I collected all the smarties that I could find! :)

And since the games start tomorrow at 7:45 a.m. , we have to be there at 6:30 a.m. to start pre-game warm-ups! Wish us luck! Oh, we have to pay $40 to watch our kids play! What do you think of that?


Heather wanted a photo of both of us . . . So, here it is! Taken before dinner.

At the moment, we're preparing for the tournament registration and I'm waiting for Heather to get all "girly-ed up." Blow dryer still humming. Lucky I woke her up early! :)

City of Lard

I drove to the nearby city of "Manteca," which translates directly to LARD in Spanish. I wonder who came up with that one.
I ordered the fajita trio and Heather had some boneless buffalo wings for dinner. This was actually one of the first times that we had room for dessert. Here's the "Chocolate Molten Lava Peak." Nobody said we're on a diet or anything. We can start that up again when we get back from Nationals. :)
After we got back, the adults played cards, socialized, or just watched flat screen TV in the lobby. Some of the kids played cards, others were in the room playing PS2, or just doing girly things.
The girls are all in bed as they have registration tomorrow, and practice following that. Good night everyone.


FearWe're experiencing a little downtime in the hotel right now and Heather and I are experimenting with the camera, video, etc...and I wanted to show her how lighting can affect the mood of the photo.

I came up behind her and got this picture...Can you tell it's a little dark in the room?

We found a "Blair Witch" type house VERY close by. Windows broken, weeds, trash, boarded up stuff, the usual abandoned house. Guess where we're going tonight with the full moon! I have the video camera all charged up and camera ready...Hope we make it back - safely.

Where should we have lunch?

Heather has resorted to a new method of communication. Something having to do with testing whether subliminal messaging actually works. Look very carefully at this photo and let me know if you can see the message...

hmmm, where do you think we might be going? :)

Good Morning!

Me: May I have the current access code for the internet, please?
Front: It's 489...[pause] Do you know X?
Me: Yes, I do.
Front: They left a message and didn't want to disturb you because they knew you were probably tired. They are on their way and will arrive a little before noon.
Me: Thank you! Was that the full code?
Front: I'm sorry, it's 4891. Can I help you with something else?
Me: No thank you. I appreciate the personalized voicemail :)
Me: [Punch in the code. Invalid code: 12 characters required]

I figured it out even in my half dazed state. I slept well though, but Heather's totally zonked. It's pitch black in here so you really can't tell the time but I know I have to wake her up shortly for breakfast! Hasta folks!

We're Here!

Crash on the I-5 Heather and I headed out at 9:00 a.m. this morning and went to visit a friend since I had promised her. We stayed an hour before we headed out. We got some lunch in Oceanside since it was the last stop before civilization! We kept trying to figure out why traffic was stopping for no apparent reason. Well, something happened on the OTHER side of the freeway/highway. Nothing at all on our side and we were not moving at all.

MunchiesWe decided that we needed some munchies and use the restroom so we stopped and bought a couple of things :) Can you guess which are mine and which are Heather's?

One of those was consumed immediately.

Bog of Eternal StenchHeather didn't last long after this and it was time for a power nap. As I was nearing our destination, I smelled the most foul stench. It wasn't until I drove a little further that I discovered the source - The mile of cows! It seemed like an endless mass of cows everywhere. Heather slept through the whole thing. Lucky her.

Let's go Dad!!!Heather knows her job and packed up our stuff to go to our room. Oh, we got here at 6:30 pm Pacific. It seems we have some baseball guys in the room next to us. One has Heather's number 9.

Nothing in that little cooler except water and sports drinks. We must bring the green blanket and black pillow. I'd be in trouble if I didn't bring them... ;)

Heather - the Sporty Girly GirlI brought the PS2 again with some new games for Heather but when she went down to drop off the cart, I noticed that half the power cord was missing. Damn. I looked up a Best Buy in the area and we zoomed down there. Just as we got into the parking lot, Heather spots a SONIC. Her eyes lit up, so I told her that I'd take her.

I bought the power cord and drove up to Sonic.

Welcome to Sonic It's been a year since I've been to a sonic (Nationals in Midland, Texas). Last year, I remember them taking forever to get our order for something really simple, but today the rollerblading girl got to us real quick.

Heather is throwing the Sonic frisbee in the hotel room, trying to hit me. :) I'm ready to zonk and she's all rested up and wanting to play her new games.

There doesn't seem like much to do here so we might go to the "Jelly Belly" Factory. Doesn't that sound exciting? Uh...didn't think so.

The temperature today was 106 F. Tomorrow is supposed to be the same!

Oscar the Death Cat

Oscar the Death Cat Apparently "Oscar" goes into rooms before a patient is about to die. The grim reaper sort of speak!

Now, can you imagine if you saw Oscar come into your room? I don't think it would give you that warm fuzzy feeling would it. But, they say most of the patients aren't really aware of what's going on and Oscar goes and snuggles with the patients before they die.

Michael Vick

Michael Vick Court Appearance Michael Vick is in a little trouble if you haven't heard. He's accused of cruelty to animals. Here he's going to court to plead "not guilty." If you saw the video footage he's strutting his way down the street adjusting his suit. He's asked for a trial by jury for sometime in November.
He's been suspended from the NFL, all his endorsements have been cancelled or suspended and he is fighting that he is guilty. Something that has confirmed to have taken place on his property.
I'm not a lawyer, but if I were his then I'd advise to do the mea culpa, and throw yourself at the mercy of the courts and the jury. Basically, he's wasting everyone's time, or is this another "Duke type case?"
Should all the NFL/companies/public wait until he is convicted before punishing him?

Bottled Water is Tap Water

Aquafina Bottled water is more expensive than gasoline, but tap water costs about 1cent.

The makers of Aquafina ADMITTED PUBLICLY that their water doesn't come from some mountain top, super clean glacier river, or other perceived pure source but from THE TAP.

These bottled water companies are making BILLIONS on hoping we will assume their water is better than purified or filtered tap that you have in your home.

What do you think about this? Think the price will go down on bottled water?

Down At the Bay.

Work Building on BayToday was a really slow day down by the bayfront. That's a photo of my work location. It was the perfect tourist day and I saw a lot of them walking around the piers and taking the little cruises. As I was waiting for my lunchdate, I saw some pedicabs cruising around and they kept asking me if I wanted a ride. I said no but stopped a couple to see if they would answer some questions.

Fernanda the Pedicab Girl
I asked Fernanda how much she charged and she immediately said, $5.AJ the Pedicab Guy00, even for just taking my picture! LOL. I could tell she was a ham. I asked them both a bunch of questions. Seems Fernanda makes more money on the bay because she's wearing short-shorts. AJ makes more money on the hour tours and the hilly rides.
Just as I was asking AJ some questions, we saw a guy taking a picture of one of the pedicab girls rear end as she was pedaling he was the customer enjoying the view. Fernanda knows they do that and she says maybe it will get her a better tip. Seems like this is the best time for making money and they really don't fight for the customers except when the younger foreigners compete and get upset when they (foreignors) don't get "fares." Some pedi's have blankets, boomboxes. and other gimmicks to set them apart. AJ says that the first week his legs were completely wasted and he was sore especially after the gay pride parade.

Esther the Lunch LadyWell, after I interviews I stopped by the "roach coach" and they The Gymmade one of my favorites: chilaquiles with carne asada topped with an egg. It's not on the menu but they take care of me! :) That's Esther asking me if I'm buying lunch for both of us!
My friend says that after eating with her that we need to head to the gym. I;ve always liked the play on words here. They are moving the gym to inside the main building later but for now it's on the pier. Always someone there that is willing to help out with the work out.

I love DexterThe comic-con is in town this weekend and I think the following sign was drumming up support for the show Dexter on showtime. Yesterday, I got teased for reading this sign out loud and the ladies asked, "Is that why you don't have a girlfriend? haha"
Later on, I headed to Fry's and purchased the JVC GZ-HD7 with 60GB. It's charging now, so Heather and I will play with it on our trip to Stockton tomorrow!
Interesting email subject line: ASAP TODAY ASAP AS IN NOW. This is in regard to contract that I need to get my information in for. Well, I thought it was funny. :)

Camera Sensor Hot Spots

Put your camera in TV (Canon) mode or S ( Nikon) and expose a shot for 30" in the TOTAL DARKNESS - Yes, it will be black or so you hope. Upload the image and look over the image carefully and see how many spots you see.

Final Practice

[Photo of Girls] The girls had their final practice today before Nationals and it was a short one. John gave the team another one of those "talks." It seems there were more people at practice today to get the last details. than usual but it finally time to "get ir done?"

I posted the skype photo down below since you guys kept bugging me about it!

DOW fell 300+ today, Yikes! Wonder how many are going to go on buying spree. Was your portfolio hurt much?

Can You See My Point?

I just got asked right now whether I HAD to be right...I replied "Nope, but I'd like it if you SAW what my train of thought is." This means that you don't have to agree with me, but see where I'm coming from. If you've ever had a debate with me, then you'll often hear me say, "Can you see what I mean?" I'll listen to you and see your point, may not agree, but I'll see it.

Agree to disagree or argue to the end?

Too Early

Good Morning! Someone woke me up at 4:45 a.m. today because they wanted to talk and now an hour later, I can't sleep and since it's 15 minutes before I get up anyway.... I don't even remember the phone ringing or anything. I found myself talking. Hmmm, I wonder what I said. Did I even say, "Hello?"

But what was interesting is that I suddenly, was conscience enough to know that I was actively listening and trying to decipher who it was and what my response was going to be. Hmmm, OK - A follow up text message.

I can't remember the very first part of the call, so I'll have to ask. Crazy... that's all. I don't think that I'll be a zombie. OH!? That just reminded me! If you use Zombie in your blog, your content rating goes to PG. Just a random thought.

You ever get a call at a weird time and wonder who the heck is calling or why?

Stumbling for Words

I accidently recorded CNN (yup, the DVR is full again) and I zoomed by and saw that there was an explosion of some sort in Dallas. The funny part was that after the anchor said, "There has been an explosion near the I-35" He had to fill up a huge amount of time and I expected him to start telling us a story about the light pole or something. Besides, all the traffic that was diverted what much else can you say?

A Gift at My Door

This morning when I left, I saw a package on my doorstep, it wasn't for me, but addressed to someone that I have on my contact list. I messaged them saying, "Hey, I got a package here with your name!" They said, "Open it!" LOL It was a gift for me! Now that totally surprised me. Thank You! :)

Here it is in the dark. It's a gyro with blue LEDs and they are spinning in my hand like crazy. It kind of looks like an alien eyeball, doesn't it?

Minimum Wage Skyrockets!

Well, not really. The Federal minimum wage went from $5.15 USD to $5.85 USD. After TEN years the rate has gone up. I saw a commercial with a politician boasting about the rate increase today, but adjusted for inflation, this rate is inadequate.

Did you see the debate where they asked the candidates if they would work for the minimum wage? Most said, "yes." I liked Obama's answer stating that since everyone on the stage was doing well financially, then of course they would. I doubt they would...

Do you think businesses will raise prices to adjust to this new wage?

Skype Me!

Practice was short and the girls headed over to one of the girls house to design shirts for opening ceremonies up in Stockton. We already know who we play; a team that is near my folks.

Skype LogoToday was interesting in that I got to help out a novice set-Finally it works!up skype, and the webcam so that we could communicate. It was really an interesting process and I'm sure all you technical support people know that you have to describe everything on the screen to guide them. That sometimes doesn't work, but I've been doing this since I was 17 and when I'm about to get frustrated then I pretend they are teaching me something I have no clue about. We finally got everything working and I saw her smiling face on the screen. I think she's hooked. The funniest part was that she covered up the camera EVEN after the computer was off.

Do you get frustrated easily when trying to help someone if they don't understand?

Deep Sigh

Watch Your Step!I hate how making some decisions make you feel like crap.

Anyway, on a different note, a friend is RVing around the country and somehow ended up in San Diego! I took her, and her little girl out to lunch at a place they had wanted to go to. We sat outside for a long time talking and then I took them back. We have tentative plans for tomorrow if things go well.

Nothing really exciting at practice for the girls except they are in the playing with their sweatshirts and fine tuning their play. They received their new red sweatshirts with a grey liner today. They wanted those instead of jackets. We sang "Happy Birthday" to one of the moms today, she's 29 today! :)

Golf Tournament

Golf Cart Races! The tournament was supposed to start at noon, but when I showed up ready to go, there was nobody there! I called up one of the teammoms and she was hustling ready to get over there. It had been moved back to 1:45 p.m. Yikes!

Everyone finally got checked in and I asked the country club guy if they would loan a cart to me so that I could zoom around and take photos. He throws me the keys and I'm off! Look at all the crazy golfers jetting down the paths. It was a shotgun start and half raced to the 5th hole to start.

The Coaches These are the coaches that lead our girls. Three out of the four only golf during this fundraiser. Can you tell which one does this more than once a year?

I saw some spider webs on some of the clubs as they were loading them onto the carts.

Nice puttNice putt, Armando! John answers with "Even a blind squirrel will stumble into an acorn every now and then!" :)

Nobody was supposed to laugh at each other's play but it's really hard not to when you hear the ball hit someone's house and the ball starts bouncing around the backyard. RUN!!!

High Five! This may keep your putter flat, but I don't think that it helped the scores! Don't hit the ball so hard! What you don't see is the little holes that this thing makes if you don't swing right.

The bunnies didn't move even as I zoomed right past them with my turbo cart. They were all over the place!!! Heather thought that I was going to run one over but I moved just in time.

I had a GPS in my cart with four cupholders but no horn? What's up with that? BTW, she did have to hold on several times. Like I said, we had a turbo cart.

Snacks/drinks anyone
The snack lady driving her "Booze Cart" Seriously, she can make you anything you want practically from that thing. I must have passed her up about four or five times today.

WaterfallFour years ago, I thought this was "Eastlake." We took some team photos on this hole and they came out pretty good! Everyone laughed at me about this for a while.

Having to stop "shooting" for each of the golfers to go through was a bummer, but we managed to get through it. I took several photos today for backdrops.

14U GirlsThe reason we had the golf tournament - The Girls. We raised a ton of money. Here, the girls are presenting the raffle items to the winners after the golfers ate their dinner. Even all the rose center pieces were raffled off. The silent auction went well. Pretty much if you bid on it, you got it!

I probably went around the golf course 4 times and had a good time. Our team moms did a good job in setting this all up - thanks!

Silver Strand Beach

$8.00 Parking Stub Everyone started arriving around 1:30 or so and we set up near our "regular" area. A little BBQ, Football, Horse Shoes (I went 0-3), some Boogie Boarding, and just plain ol' hanging out. Pretty fun even though it was a little overcast. Oh, people keep hiding my stuff but now I know who the culprits are :)

Tomorrow is the Golf Tournament,dinner and auction afterwards. Another busy day scheduled.

7/23/07: Seems like each year someone breaks a finger playing football. This year was no exception, except that it was the manager's wife that did this year!

The Way I Are

Reminds me of my first real date where I borrowed money for flowers, the car, dinner, etc... And yes, I did pay them back. ;)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsHave you finished it yet? Where you one of the people in line at midnight waiting to get your hands on the final book, or did you pre-order and waiting for it to show up at your house?

I'm curious as to how many of you downloaded the book from the net, before it was even out on the shelves. So, did you peek at the ending? Or do you have the willpower and read it straight through?

I was watching a CNN story asking the question as to whether there is more reading by kids because of the Harry Potter books. There is even a government study on this, but we don't need a study. My guess is that they aren't! They might be reading more...but it's Harry Potter, or their MySpace comments :)

Did you get the book already?

Rest Day

Saw some kids get arrested for brandishing a knife, got blocked in my parking spot by some huge truck during my lunch. Got asked to start a 365 photo thing, but I declined until after Nationals if I do it.

No practice today since we did another fundraiser at PETCO again. I took a carload of girls with me. We raised a good amount of money for our trip and ran out of sunflower seeds, cracker jacks, and peanuts with the girls dividing into teams and spreading out. I found free parking this time and nobody gave me any grief! :)

Tomorrow we have our "Beach Party/BBQ" in Coronado instead of practice! Should be fun, see ya there maybe?

Do you like going to the beach?

Google Profits Up 28%

Good news right? Evidently not, because some people can't see how good it is! Google "missed" the target projections - oh well, they're making GOOD money. If it said, "Google profits down for a third quarter in a row, now down -20%," then you can get that sinking feeling. The DOW is down and I'm getting e-mail alerts to let me know that my investment portfolio is going south for the day.

If you made 28% more pay would you get all bent out of shape because you didn't make 30% and go into a panic? If that margin were only 3.5%-6% then that 28% would seem like heaven. I guess like everything else people don't realize until things get worse (gas prices as an example, or compared to other countries) how things aren't as bad as they might seem.

The messed up thing about all this that 30 companies make up the DOW. Yup, that's right! I'm hangin' in for the long run, just a bump in the road and the shocks can handle it. :)

Call of Duty 4

I really like the Call of Duty/Battlefield series, but I prefer the more modern type of game-play. I currently play "Americas Army (level 93/100)," as my stress relief when I have time, but I see/hear that Call of Duty 4 will have modern tech, then I will end up playing this too. I won't give AA up because I will get that 100 honor. Might take me forever, but I will do it!

The age verification is because the game shows depiction of violence. The game looks cool and I can't wait! If you get it for me, then I'll be your friend to the end :)

The Haircut

Out of the blue, I decided that I was going to get a haircut. I was down getting my mail so I thought "what the heck!?" I also had picked up a couple of newspapers since the girls' achievements were chronicled in there.

I arrived at the end of someones shift and the lady told me that the next person would cut my hair, because she was going home. I smiled and said, "That's OK! I understand, I'm not in a hurry - I'll wait." She looked at me and took a deep sigh and said, "Come on, I'll take you."

I'm pretty chatty and she asked me a ton of questions besides the what can I do for you, how long has it been, etc...It seems everyone thinks they know what I am, but each person says something different; I always think it's funny. Uneventful, I know but that's it...

Can you guess by my facial features what ethnicity I am?

The Movies

When you go to the movies and you have to pass people in the row to get to your seat, do you face the people or do you show them your butt?!

This is the first time that I have started with a question, but that's what came to mind just now. I went to the movies and while waiting for the movie to start I looked around and noticed that most of the girls faced away and the guys faced towards as they crossed in front of everyone. So the next time you go to the movies, let me know what you notice.

Run the Red Light

I was on the way home waiting at the light when it turned green. Just then a car turning left zooms through a red light. I guess he didn't notice the police officer at the light and he got pulled over immediately!

When was the last time you got ticket, and for what?

Team Photo Day

2007 Heather 14U Photo Today was team photo day and were told to go down to place that we hadn't been to before, near the Olympic Training Center. The girls started straggling in and Heather decided that she wanted me to take her photos instead of the person that was contracted to do so.

The lady took their photos and got upset (the look and comment made towards me) that I was there with my camera. I didn't take a team photo where she had set them up, but I moved them somewhere else. I got the manager's blessing so I was ok. We took several photos, and some "buddy" pix.

Here's the photo that I took of Heather after the "official" photos were taken. I haven't done anything to it yet so don't get all critical on me! :)


Just got my internet access back after FOUR hours! I survived, though... :)

What's the longest that you have been FORCED to be without internet access, and what did you do to cope?

Work Computers

All of us use work computers for other than strictly business purposes. We know that the IT folks CAN read your e-mail, see what sites you go to, and even which programs you're currently running on your workstation.

These programs allow employers to see exactly what is on your screen at any moment by bringing up your workstation. My work decided to use a "BLOCK EVERYTHING" policy, where any personal e-mail (entry point for evil viruses), social networks, eBay, etc...are verboten. No minesweeper, or solitaire for you, changing your settings, wallpaper, nada! We even have a sticker in red lettering on our phones that read something to the effect of: "Use of this phone constitutes authorization to monitoring at all times."

Some say that employer's shouldn't be allowed to invade your work privacy. But, where there's a will there's a way...

What's your take on this?

Fundraising at Petco Park

San Diego Petco Park The girls had a fundraiser tonight at Petco Park. We met at the high school and caravaned there. One of the moms asked if she could go with me and I agreed. We dropped off her car and left.

We dropped off the girls in the parking lot and let them do their thing. After that we got lost looking for a parking spot. We weren't about to spend $20 bucks on parking, and wandering around downtown when the streets are blocked off isn't fun. By the time we circled around, it was time to leave :)

Do you like going to sporting events?

The TV has Legs!

This is Heather's idea. She noticed that the TV was on a sliding tray and she pulled it out all tTV with Legshe way. She faced it towards me and then said, "Dad...look the TV has legs!" I thought it was funny and snapped a few shots. I really didn't notice the guys head in the TV but it seems to make the photo complete. :)

It reminds me of a book we purchased way back where you can setup photo illusions using just perspective. I We did a couple of the tricks at Balboa Park in San Diego and they turned out pretty cool. Hmmm, I need to dig that book out of the attic.

Have you ever taken a trick photo?

Only One More Tournament

Bonita Valley 1st Place At first we weren't sure if there were going to be enough teams in Downey for our division, but we went to see some good competition before our final tournament of the year - Nationals.

The girls faced two teams that will be going to "the show." Those teams were South Huntington Beach and Downey. We had faced SHB at State and won 11-2, but this meeting was VERY close. It was 0-0 until the 7th. Bonita was home and with two outs, got a line drive to bring in the game winner, 1-0.

In the championship game, almost the samething. It was 0-0 through most of the game and then Bonita busted it open 5-0. The girls needed some good games and I spoke to the SHB coach and he said that he was looking forward to facing us again at Nationals.

Way too Tired!

I just got home and we're exhausted! At least Heather got to sleep all the way home but for some strange reason I got up at 5:05 a.m. this morning...Maybe it was the hotel sliding the bill under my door or something. Who knows! I'll update tomorrow. Someone is a little upset at me for not wanting to talk long tonight but I'm sure they'll get over it! :) Night!

Self Portrait Time at Hotel

Heather and SamWhen we got to the hotel we decided that it was time to take some self-portraits. Here we are on the fourth floor just using natural light.

I was going to crop the lamp out but Heather wanted it to stay, so there it is! She's passed out right now on her bed, with FIVE pillows!

Sam ShueyHeather selected this one of me for my self-portrait for this tournament. I had no say in what photo to put up. She just said, "The one where you can see the camera, dad!"
Heather Sleeping
Her: How can I help you Sir?
Me: It appears as though we're experiencing a situation that would prevent us from thoroughly enjoying our stay at your establishment.
Her: How can we make your stay more pleasant?
Me: I believe five pillows would remedy the situation.
Her: [giggle in the background] I'll make sure that five pillows are brought up to your room immediately.
Me: Thank You! I appreciate your prompt attention to our needs!

Dinner at IHOP

Heather Drinking Water Our Waitress - Charmaine We went to IHOP down the block and our waitress was Charmaine. I had breakfast for dinner and Heather had some chicken strips, but she got too many.

A group of three women had a monster laughing attack at the table next to us and just couldn't stop laughing. Heather and I just looked at them and they started speaking in Spanish. I asked them, "Algo paso muy chistoso?"

They busted out laughing even more. It surprised them that I spoke Spanish and were tearing up and then they went about their eating. As you can see, Heather was having trouble finishing off her cold water, so I took a photo.

Free Funnel CakeOoops, Charmaine made a mistake
My Breakfast Dinner
and somehow some funnel
cake ended up on our table :) Darn. I hate when that happens. Heather decided that it was time to "share" my funnel cake with her. She doesn't like whip cream so it ended up on the side.

What's your favorite place to eat out?