Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Cesar Chavez Day - March 31st

I had heard this name before, but knew very little about the man. So, I Google'd him. I figure, since I get a paid day off from my non-laborious work because of him (and will spend it doing something I have dreamed about for years - future blog entry tease!!) that I should learn something about Cesar Chavez.

Here is an informative blurb:

Senator Robert F. Kennedy noted, Cesar Chavez was "one of the heroic figures of our time." A true American hero, Cesar Chavez was a civil rights, Latino, farm worker, and labor leader; a religious and spiritual figure; a community servant and social entrepreneur; a crusader for nonviolent social change; and an environmentalist and consumer advocate.

For more than three decades Cesar led the first successful farm workers union in American history, achieving dignity, respect, fair wages, medical coverage, pension benefits, and humane living conditions, as well as countless other rights and protections for hundreds of thousands of farm workers. Against previously insurmountable odds, he led successful strikes and boycotts that resulted in the first industry-wide labor contracts in the history of American agriculture. His union's efforts brought about the passage of the groundbreaking 1975 California Agricultural Labor Relations Act to protect farm workers. Today, it remains the only law in the nation that protects the farm workers' right to unionize.

A strong believer in the principles of nonviolence practiced by Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar effectively employed peaceful tactics such as fasts, boycotts, strikes, and pilgrimages. In 1968 he fasted for 25 days to affirm his personal commitment and that of the farm labor movement to non-violence. He fasted again for 25 days in 1972, and in 1988, at the age of 61, he endured a 36-day "Fast for Life" to highlight the harmful impact of pesticides on farm workers and their children.

Cesar's life cannot be measured in material terms. He never earned more than $6,000 a year. He never owned a house. When Cesar passed, he had no savings to leave to his family.

"If you think you have it tough, read history books."
- Bill Maher

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Excellent Causes

I am linking to some excellent causes near and dear to my heart. Feel free to check them out, support my peeps and maybe even make a tax-deductible donation:

Team Kenyon for the March of Dimes Walk America & link here:
The National Multiple Sclerosis Walk
Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS - San Diego)

PB Pub Crawl - Drinking for Charity!!

"No one has ever become poor by giving." - Anne Frank

Monday, March 19, 2007

3/12 - Chicago Cubs v. San Francisco Giants

Yes, posting this one late. Believe me, I wish I could have posted it sooner.

Location: Scottsdale Stadium
Seat Location: Along 3rd base line, near left field (important for amusing sights #1 & 2)
Beer consumed: IPA (sadly, half of one beer was lost to the combination of gravity and my clutziness, but like those seated around me at the game, I’ll just blame it on the Dodgers)
Temperature: 92 freakin’ degrees
Amusing Sights & Sounds: A plethora! Keep reading!

Starting pitchers were Matt Morris (knocked out early due to the Cubs’ 6-run 1st inning!) and Carlos Zambrano. Amusing sights #1 & 2: Multi-million dollar cheater/player Barry Bonds ducking and missing not one, but two pop flies in the first inning. TWO. One after the other. He may earn in a few hours what I earn all year, but I was smug as smug can be. Darn that sunshine – perhaps a side effect of “The Cream” is that it weakens the rods’n’cones functionality?

Amusing overheard quote #1 - Giants fan returning to his seat “Did Barry catch anything while I was gone?”

Alfonso Soriano looked svelte in his #12 jersey and hi-knee sox. Derrek Lee! Jacque Jones! Cliff Floyd! I got to see the entire batting order in the top of the first inning. Batting 9th: CZ, Carlos Zambrano. Which brings me to amusing sight #3: CZ got a nice hit to the outfield and tried to stretch it for a triple. I suspect it was his built-up enthusiasm, desire to win and joy of sticking it to the competition, but after rounding second his feet could not keep up with his will and he stumbled – all 250 lbs of him. It was one of those stumbles that seems to last 20 seconds..he’s up in the air…he’s still up in the air, legs kicking at nothing…wait, he’s eventually going to rain down, much like my beer did later….uh oh, here comes the big guy….the #1 pitcher cannot land on his arms/hands/wrists….now this isn’t so funny! [Crash!] {Thud} So he finally landed, the earth seemingly shook and I swear he crawled in the dirt to third base while the Cubs fans screamed, the Giants fans hesitantly guffawed (keep in mind their team was sucking righteously)…and he made it! Glorious Carlos! Glorious!

Amusing sight #4: Funky Bold Molina: Bengie variety

Amusing overheard quote #2 – from male voice in row behind me: “I am going to Hell. I know. It’s called Tucson.”

Amusing sight #5: Ronnie "Woo Woo" Wickers
Amusing sight #6: Felix Pie on the mini-jumbo-tron (view obstructed..stoopid Scottsdale Stadium)

The Scottsdale Stadium was by far my least favorite of this Spring Training trip. One cannot view the game once you depart your seat. It isn't conducive to walking around, getting snacks or using the facilities. Fancy-pants jerks and their $5 programs.

So the trip was great and I can't wait until next year! (And the 2007 regular season...)

Hooray for baseball!!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

3/11 Oakland Athletics v. Angels

Okay, so I left off the incredibly long geographically dilemma'd title for the Angels. I bought their program and I could not find "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim" anywhere within its pages. Good idea. Those fans of teams with red attire sure like to wear it with pride.

Location: Angels Diablo Stadium - Tempe, Arizona
Temperature: 87 degrees (our seats were entirely in the shade - hallelujah!)
Food and beer consumed: Jumbo dog (true to title) and Fat Tire x 2
Amusing sight: This was actually what I did not see: fistfights, pipe-wielding thugs or arrests

The A's beat the Angels 7-6 with a late-game drive carried out by players with high double-digits on the backs of their uniforms. This was possibly due to the fact that the Angels pitcher also had a high number on his back. Either way, I do not care because I have my new favorite player name. His first name is J.J. and his 8th-inning double put the A's in the lead and saddened all the red-shirt-wearing Angels fans.

A's player to watch: #66 J.J. Furmaniak-" oughta know by now". Gutsy, scrappy, and with an excellent baseball name.

Angels player to watch: #35 Casey Kotchman - he provided a double and a homerun, but unfortunately wears the long pants so there is still some room for improvement. Hopefully Terry Evans will influence his knee soxability.

Other notable sights at the game: Mike Piazza!!! That's correct, he is in the American League now as a DH and still getting hits. It just takes him awhile to huff it to base. Vladimir Guerrero appears to be in very good form with an excellent hairstyle. I almost bought a "Vlad!" shirt, but ultimately opted not to do so. As a special note, I have encountered many groups of glorious female fans at the Spring Training games and the Angels get props for having a female VP of Finance - booyah!!

Later today...Cubs v. Giants!


Sunday, March 11, 2007

3/10 Colorado Rockies v. San Diego Padres

Hooray for baseball!!

The Padres beat the Rockies 11-3, of course they had most of their "pro" squad and the Rockies? Perhaps not so much.

Location: Peoria Sports Complex
Temperature: 85 degrees
Food and beer consumed: "Loaded" bratwurst, garlic fries and Black Butte Porter
Amusing sight: Vendors walking the stands selling chocolate-covered strawberries

Padres players to watch:
Terrmell Sledge - SD fans already know this - but he hit a homerun with his bat and with his kick-ass name.
Paul McAnulty. Why? Well, he's short, stocky and wears the high knee sox. A guy behind me referred to him as fat, but that seems a bit harsh. I also got a good read on "The Bard".

Rockies player to watch:
Geronimo Gil (pronounced "Heronimo Heeel") he batted .192 in 2006, swings like a pitcher and provided the fans in Peoria many, many souvenir foul balls. He's a giver and shouldn't that be rewarded?

Notes: There was a large bachelor party from San Diego seated near us briefly. The groom-to-be had an inside source with the Padres organization and was able to throw out the ceremonial first pitch and get his name on the mini-jumbo-tron. (Uh, totally awesome!) His friends suggested that I meet a guy in their group who loves baseball, has a trust fund and drives a Hummer. Two out of three ain't bad?


Tuesday, March 6, 2007


Here are some things I will do (besides donating money to charities & hooking up my parents with a sweet retirement SD condo) when I win the $370 million dollar MegaMillions jackpot:

1) Immediately attempt to schedule lunch with Warren Buffett in greasy-spoon diner in Omaha, NE
2) Purchase ocean-front/ocean-view home in San Diego
3) Purchase convertible Mini Cooper-S (color to be determined)
4) Pay off credit card debt with loose change found in my 20-person theatre room sectional sofa 3 weeks after moving in to #2
5) Um, schedule “Dinner for 5” with: Clive Owen, George Clooney, John Cusack, Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert –
whoops, make that “Dinner for 6”
6) Employ: personal chef, personal trainer, driver, pedicurist & massage therapist
7) Twice-weekly psychotherapy treatments to delay the inevitable time when I go nuts - which leads me to #8...
8) The Patrick Swayze Appreciation Room (motion-activated room that plays the song “She’s Like the Wind” and the movie “Roadhouse” – upon entering, it picks up where it left off). Photographs of scenes from Point Break, Next of Kin and The Outsiders (no Ghost memorabilia allowed)
9) Helper Monkey (M-F dressed like bellman, weekend wear at his own discretion)
10) Pet Suite
(for Toby, Tess, my future 3-legged dogs & six-toed cats)
11) Travel country seeing a baseball game in every stadium, fancy seats and photographs with each team’s mascot
12) Costco membership – ha!

13) Personal Duran Duran performance (Hellooooo Qwwad Sitteeezzz!!!)
14) Blogger assistant to post details & pictures to show everyone - who still has to work - how much fun I am having!!!

What would you do?
"Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars. "
- Warren Buffett

Monday, March 5, 2007

78 degrees outside!!!

...and five days until I am at Spring Training!!!


"Gary, you didn't kill your brother. Those gorillas did. "
- Lisa, Team America: World Police