Beautiful Baseball

This weekend I got to enjoy two baseball games. On Saturday I met up with friends who happened to have a spare ticket, then on Sunday the family joined in with others from Austin’s school to sit as a group in the family section.
Such a big deal this was, because we just built a new ballpark here in Minnesota. In case you are unaware, the Twins have been playing inside a giant toilet bowl called the Metrodome for about 20 years. It had a big white roof and artificial turf. Sad.

This was the first week the newly minted Target Field has been open, and I got to go twice. I’m pretty happy about that. And being at the game, among others who enjoy the game, is great to reinvigorate my love for the game.

Baseball is a game of suspense and skill. You sit there in your seat, bouncing your eyes between the pitcher and batter, tensing up along with the pair of players until finally we see the ball and the air. Then it’s a held breath while the mind comprehends just what happened to that tiny speeding object.

I love the game. Its sights and smells, stories and statistics, its ups and downs. Sunday’s game was terrible. Twice the Twinkies left the bases loaded. Twice. Never would you hear the crowd start roaring for a 2-out rally, only to be instantly quieted after a single pitch. But it was great to see the crowd keep rallying to keep their spirits up.

And it’s a fun game to teach. Once I finally got my son’s attention away from the other maniac boy next to him, I was able to get him watching the outs, then the runners, then the balls and strikes. Of course, we got into this when the Royals had a 6-run inning. But he’s getting there, and he likes it.

After the game, we lingered around to take pictures, wandering down to the field level. Then we saw lots of people filing out onto the warning track. Turns out Sunday afternoons, following the game, they let kids run the bases.

We got there in time, snapped some pictures, saw the special grass shipped from Colorado, and the lad ran from First to Home on the very clay the big boys played on. It was so cool. Austin doesn’t fully realize what that fresh air and field of green means, but he’s getting there.

So sit back, drink a cold beer, eat a hot dog and peanuts (or burger, or nachos, or garlic fries, or something on a stick), yell at the ump for being blind, and play ball my friends.

More Evidence I’m a Twit

  • In case anyone is unaware, I love my wife very much. #
  • I'm a little annoyed that my awesome little Notify 2 app can't get through at work. Stupid firewall, I just want my email updated! #
  • I shall never refer to my children as "tweens". #
  • Twins home opener in their new park is this afternoon and I'm stuck up here without even cable. Local should be broadcasting at least, I say #
  • "Excuse me while I whip this out." #
  • "To argue with someone who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." Thomas Paine. #
  • Play ball! Outdoor baseball is here, and I can't wait to get out to the park this weekend. #
  • Maybe I should get a wedding band (finally) so I have something to fiddle with and will stop biting my nails. #
  • I need to scour local Goodwill stores for old kitchen standards. A cast iron pan and a Dutch oven would be nice. #
  • Or start pilfering from my grandmothers' cabinets. As well as first-printings of few classic cookbook standards. #
  • What the hell do I do that makes a computer run hot so often!? #
  • Finally got reception back to watch Glee. Still don't really care for it. Sue me. #
  • When I grow up, I'm going to Bovine University! (via @dailysimpsons) #
  • Do treaties reducing nuclear arms help us reduce defense spending? #
  • Can't wait to claw myself out of this dark, holy place. #
  • I really can't find a Mac text editor that I like better than Smultron. #
  • In high school we called people "Fascist Communists" because at 16, we knew it was an oxymoron. Nowadays, we'd be Tea Partiers. #
  • I love The Daily Show. #
  • Sweet, I'm hitting up two Twins games this weekend! #
  • I'm suddenly feeling down for some Buffalo Wild Wings. Who's with me? #
  • I want to start baking cookies, but there are children on my kitchen floor. Don't they know what's important? #
  • About to board the train to the Twins game. Life is as it ought to be. #
  • Game was great, ballpark was amazing, but the train was late. Opted to carpool back up home. #

How To Train Your Dragon


Two weekends ago, Gram was in town and opted to look after her granddaughter so M and I could take the lad to see a movie. We went to How To Train Your Dragon in 3D.

It should probably be said that I went in with low expectations. Not only are a great deal of kids movies today just plain crap, but as I have revisited a bunch of movies I liked as a kid, those were also just plain crap.

That said, I really was pleasantly surprised. One thing I noticed was a distinct lack of fart jokes and injuries to the crotch. There was also no overt bad guy. There were lots of falsely-placed presumptions by nearly all characters, but none were overtly evil (well, aside from the boss dragon.)

I’m trying not to spoil anything. Obviously the story revolves around a boy who befriends a dragon. He comes from a fictional island Viking village that regularly gets raided by dragons. He’s a dweeby, scrawny kid, son of the village chief, and he doesn’t fit into the standard of the burly dragon-fighter of the rest of the people.

Dragon had a lot of relatable elements and great moments to it. The geeky protagonist (I won’t say his name, because that’s a fun surprise) has a crush on the tough, future dragon hunter girl. The son and father have trouble communicating. The father and his friend are fight together before doom, no matter what.

The main dragon has a cool combination of Stitch and my cat. The efforts to learn to understand one another were fun. The compassion for the injured and overcoming it was in the light of being helpful and friendly, not heavy-handed at all.

It took me a bit to get to this point in my thinking, though. When the movie started, I couldn’t stand the protagonist’s voice. It sounded like a cool kid trying to do a fake nerd’s voice. I don’t know if it changed later, or if I just stopped noticing because I got so into the movie.

It also bugged me that the Vikings wound up with more Scottish-sounding accents, some more than others. Now, I’m an immigrant to Minnesota, so maybe I don’t know this very well. But shouldn’t Vikings sound just a touch more, um, Minnesotan? Or North Dakotan? Some slight Norwegian? But seriously, if you’re going to nail a stereotype, then get horns on your helm, not a kilt on your bum.

Still, it was a great flick and the three of us enjoyed it thoroughly. I still two weeks later get inundated with questions and musings about the nature of dragons. We’re looking forward to sharing it with others once we own it.

I do have one last beef, and it’s not with the movie. It is with 3D. The whole 3D experience felt tacked on. It’s as though they ran the movie files through a 3D generator program and it spit out a movie with a few layers of depth. It added nothing to the movie, and in some parts detracted from it.

There were some active scenes which, in a normal movie setting, a person could look around the screen at the various elements happening. In 3D, it has a predetermined focal depth. So I could only focus on one section, even though there were other things going on. I’ve seen now both Dragon and Bolt with this pricy 3D add-on. I’ve also seen a proper 3D movie at an IMAX a couple years ago focused on dinosaurs, and it was much cooler and more impressive.

All in all, don’t waste your cash on 3D. But do go catch a matinee of How To Train Your Dragon if you have a couple hours and five bucks to burn. And if you get a big tub of popcorn, pack a flosser in your wallet.

More Evidence I’m a Twit

  • the free @digg app comes to your iphone! they're giving out a custom colorware ipad each day for 2 weeks to celebrate! #
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  • #1 need for iPad: D&D app where I can buy the books so I don't have to carry 80lbs of hardbacks to game with. TY! (via @feliciaday) – Amen #
  • If I canceled my Facebook account, would anyone notice? #
  • The free @digg app comes to your iPhone! To celebrate they're giving out a custom #ipad everyday for 2 weeks! #
  • the free @digg app is here for iphone! they're giving out 1 tricked #ipad each day for 2 weeks to celebrate! #
  • When I was in Jr High ('96-97), I had a hard time telling between Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh. I still do. #
  • I'm finally putting things back up on my blog. I really need to start kicking butt with this if I'm going to work as a writer/blogger. #
  • My son just discovered Google Earth. Good times are going to start rolling in! #
  • the free @digg app comes to your iphone! to celebrate they're giving out 1 custom #ipad each day for 2 weeks! #
  • Seriously, where the hell did I put my Snow Leopard disk!? #
  • Found it! I was right: buried in a drawer during one of my cleaning/organizing frenzies. Yup, in a drawer with no other disks. Moi = Genius. #
  • I think I just may be up and running on the replacement compy. Now I just wish I could keep it… #
  • Stupid brain. Why in God's name do I remember the melody to that crappy "Tom and Jerry Kids" cartoon from the early 90s? #
  • I have some greatly overdue kid pictures up. Spring break, WOOO!! #
  • I don't have any beer in the fridge?? This, my friends, is a problem. #
  • I'm drinking and watching a rerun of Community. Good Friday night, I'd say. #
  • I make crazy good midnight nachos. That is all. G'night. #
  • I am really digging on Notify 2 for Mac. It's taking all my willpower to not up and buy the Pro version… #
  • What to do, what to do? #
  • Cap'n Crunch's full name is Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch. (via @mental_floss) – Captain Hornblower would be proud. #

End of Week Kids Fix

Sorry, still fighting whatever demons keep me from updating regularly. Here are a whole ton of pictures from Grandma’s visit over Spring Break.
From April 1st. Dinner time with grilled burgers and chips & salsa. The girl likes salsa, apparently.

Good lookin’ kid, I’d say.

Wait for it…

Really, REALLY like salsa.

Gram and Emily playing with pictures.

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