Hall of Fame Voting

Confession time.

I’ve never been to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. For as much of a baseball fan as I am, and for growing up only a couple of hundred miles from Cooperstown, I should have gone while I still lived in Massachusetts. Now that I live in California, and rarely make it back to the East Coast, I’m going to have to make a pilgramage to Cooperstown someday… should’ve gone when it was more convenient.

Every year at this time, I follow the Hall of Fame election debates on the various sports websites that I frequent. For many years, it was one of my favorite parts of the offseason, reading up on who was eligible, seeing which writers would vote for which players and why.

But for the last few years, as many of the stars of the 1990s and early 2000s have come on to the ballot for the first time, it’s become much less entertaining to follow the debates. The PEDs era has cast a shadow over the whole process, with writers taking to their soapboxes to express their righteous indignation. Never mind that many of them turned a blind eye to PEDs for years, ignoring whispers and rumors until it became en vogue to trash the players that started getting caught. Sportswriters turned heroes into villains overnight, letting idle suspicion change the narrative.

You have Dan Shaugnessy from my hometown Boston Globe spouting nonsense (emphasis by me):

This is where we go off the rails. Like Thomas, guys such as Piazza and Bagwell have Hall of Fame numbers and never tested positive for PEDs. But they look dirty. Something doesn’t make sense. Thomas makes sense.

This is where it gets unfair and subjective. I don’t vote for the PED guys, so it’s easy to say no to Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, McGwire, and Palmeiro. They have positive tests and/or admissions and/or multiple appearances in the Mitchell Report. Piazza and Bagwell have none of that. They just don’t look right.

And then there’s this nonsense from Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:

As for those who played during the period of PED use, I won’t vote for any of them.

Talk about a soapbox… Gurnick is making headlines in the Associated Press (picked up by ESPN.com, SportsIllustrated.com, etc) by who he didn’t vote for — Greg Maddux, who might otherwise have been the first player to be unanimously selected to the Hall of Fame.

I hope this is Gurnick’s last ballot cast for the Hall of Fame. The “PED period” is still happening. A player needs to be out of the game for five years before even being eligible for the HoF vote.  By his current stance, Gurnick MAY be available to vote again in, say, 20 years?

Stained Shirts

The number of days when I spill coffee on the front of my shirt, before I get to work, is high enough to make me consider giving up coffee altogether.

But then I take another sip, and I come to my senses.

The Measure Of A Soul

I’ve often thought that the true measure of a person’s soul is whether or not they can activate an automatic sink sensor. When you see someone in a public restroom, be it an office building or an airport, and they’re unable to get the sink to turn on, you can be sure that they’re lacking a soul.

Andrew Largeman from Garden State has soul, and the proof is at the 13 second mark of this trailer:

You can be sure Jake and Elwood would have ZERO trouble turning on an automatic sink. They’d even be able to get the soap to come out!

When the Rapture comes, the first thing to change back on Earth will be removal of all automatic sinks, replaced by old-fashioned sink faucets that need a turn of a knob to release the water.

Modern Conveniences

As time marches on, the simple things in life get more and more convenient. At least if you live in the “first world”, especially in a city like San Francisco.

Yes, this will be a post about the extreme amount of laziness that one can partake in if you can afford it. No, I don’t think I’m entitled to it. I worked for it, I can live without it, but you can be damned sure I’m going to enjoy it when I can. They say that money doesn’t buy happiness, but I say that money absolutely buys convenience.

To give you an idea of the things that I have available to me at my fingertips in this day and age, in this city:

  • My dry cleaning is picked up from a locker in my building, taken to a facility somewhere else in the city, and returned to a locker in my building a couple of days later. I don’t have to go to a dry cleaner, much less iron my own clothes — no one would want to see the outcome of that endeavor. Thanks LaundryLocker!
  • I had Chinese food delivered for dinner last night from a place that doesn’t do delivery! I punch in our order in an app, and some dude on a scooter goes to the restaurant to order for me, wait for the food to be ready, and then drives it on over to me. Thanks Postmates!
  • A personal stylist in Chicago picked out some new clothes for me, based on my measurements, boxed them up, and shipped them out to me to try on. I keep what I like, I return what I don’t want or doesn’t fit, and I only get charged for the things I keep. Thanks TrunkClub!
  • I received a couple of checks in the mail. I deposited them into my bank account using my phone, without having to go to an ATM or a bank branch. Thanks WellsFargo mobile app!
  • I did leave the apartment, driving around San Francisco for some things my wife had to take care of today. Whenever we needed to park on the street, I didn’t need to scrounge around for quarters for the parking meters. I was able to pay for my parking meters just by punching a bunch of numbers into my phone. Thanks PayByPhone!

That’s just in the past 24 hours. And that’s just barely scratching the surface of what’s available to me.

We truly live in an amazing time for being lazy, and I for one am grateful for it.

My (Second) Best Girl

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Little Miss Aria taking a nap. After my wife, she’s my best girl.

Already Out Of Ideas?

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For a whole lot of people who made daily/weekly/regular blogging part of their New Year’s resolutions yesterday, many of them are going to be scratching their heads already, struggling to come up with ideas to write about.

And, yes, I am one of those people.

Here are three resources to use for blogging inspiration:

  1. The Daily Post @ WordPress.com. The good folks at Automattic, which is the company behind WordPress.com, are heavily invested in getting you to publish on their platform. The first step to you publish on their platform is to get you creating content! What better way to get you creating content than to give you daily suggestions for posts?
  2. Plinky. Formerly a standalone site, now part of the Automattic family, Plinky is another source of suggestions. They operate differently from The Daily Post, in that the Plinky model is to provide you with prompts that can be responded to directly within Plinky. That being said, you can use the Plinky prompts as inspiration for a blog post in lieu of a Plinky answer.
  3. No One Cares What You Had For Lunch. Or any other number of books that have been written to form the cottage industry about bloging.

Or you can do what I just did, which is transform your lack of ideas into a post about how you’re out of ideas. How meta of me.

2014, A Look Ahead

If 2013 was a pretty good year, then I’m going to have to make 2014 a GREAT year.

I skipped doing New Year’s resolutions the last couple of years, mostly due to laziness or being preoccupied with upcoming big events — getting married in 2012, selling my house and moving in 2013.

Well, let’s face it… mostly laziness.

But I’m bringing back the resolutions for 2014!

While I didn’t do such a great job at following my resolutions in 2011, I’m pretty pleased with the list that I’d come up three years ago. Why not go for the same ones again?

Specific Resolutions for 2014

  1. Lose 20 pounds.
  2. Write 1 blog post per day.
  3. Read 40 books.

Vague Resolutions for 2014

  1. Do more.
  2. Do better.
  3. Live louder.
  4. Take risks.
  5. Think bigger.
  6. Be a better friend.
  7. Meet new friends.
  8. Learn from those who have done it before.
  9. Teach to those who will listen.
  10. And, above all, don’t get eaten by a velociraptor.