Saturday, February 28, 2015

On the Way to Spring Training

Every year there is a baseball player who has mishap before spring training starts. Usually it is some freak accident that the player is injured and is out for a while or a season.

This year Dustin Ackley of the Seattle Mariners had something different driving from his off-season home in Michigan to Arizona. It was to be a four day drive; however, his wife went into labor half way into the trip in Oklahoma City. Some may say why did they not fly instead of driving since she is pregnant. Ackley’s wife was not due for another five weeks; around the starting of the baseball season. He arrived in Arizona just in time when the position players were required to start spring training. Because his wife had their son Parsons too early she had to stay at the hospital in Oklahoma City. I believe she is still there with Parsons. Not sure when they will be released and whether they will go to Arizona or Seattle. I am sure Dustin spends his time talking with his wife when not at spring training.

This coming season is a critical one for Dustin Ackley in Seattle. Right now he is the starting left fielder; however, newcomer veteran player Rickie Weeks will be seeing some time in left field. Up until now Weeks position in the major leagues has been second base. Of course, the Mariners have all-star second baseman Robinson Cano manning the position. Weeks will play second base when Cano needs a rest but the Mariners are going to have him play left field during spring training to see if he can play the position. Ackley has been inconsistent since he has been in the major leagues. He starts out slowly in the season; however, he has a good second half of the season. Neither the Mariners nor Ackley can afford him to start off slowly this season; if he does and Weeks is able to play left field and is hitting well than Ackley likely will go into a backup role.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Spring in February

It is true here in the northwest February is more like spring than winter. While the rest of the country like the south and the northeast are going through record snow storms. It is nothing that I have ever remembered. It is so hard to think the city of Boston has had more snow in a month than our mountains.

The first half of February especially hit record highs in Western Washington. For several days it hit a high of 61 degrees where the previous high on record was 58. The only thing that really did not change was the rain. Yes we had at least normal rain showers in February. I would say the weather was more like April. In fact we have had flowers and trees blooming as well. It will be interesting to see what the temperatures will be like in March and April.

Being spring around here so much I would have thought we would see more birds; however, it seems like they have stayed back in California or wherever south they go in the winter. Either they are confused about the weather or have not heard the weather forecast. I have a couple bird baths and I miss seeing them playing in them. I expect we will be seeing them in the next couple weeks.

The mountain passes having less snow than a normal year. It has not been a good year for skiing. The ski resorts have only been open a hand full of times. This weekend here we are expecting freezing winter weather getting down to 32 degrees at night; however, we are not expecting any rain except today which is Friday. Though the temperatures are ready in the mountains it is unlikely they will get any snow.

The rain we had the first half of February especially I thought we would have the whole year rainfall amount just in February. Luckily has not turned out this way. We have had some days where the sun decided to come out.

I am sure the east coast and the south would love to change weather with us. I knew we would have a mild winter this year but nothing like it has been. I am not really complaining except it would be nice to get a little snow. I guess we will have to wait till next year.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Beginning of Baseball Season

For us big time baseball fans there is nothing like spring training and the beginning of baseball. We get real excited over the optimism of our favorite team.

This year the Seattle Mariners look like the team to beat in the American League West or at least contend for it. It has been a long time since we could say that. Last year the Mariners won 87 games and missed the playoffs by one game. Now they have added several new players to the lineup especially Nelson Cruz at designated hitter. Since Edgar Martinez retired as a mariner the team has not done well at designated hitter especially last season batting bellow .200. Nelson Cruz led the major leagues with 40 home runs. Even if he does a fraction of it this season will still be a big improvement. They have also added three more players to the lineup as well. The mariners had one of the best pitching staffs last year, and it looks like it will be the same or better this year.

What is new this coming baseball season is new rules to speed up the game. Primarily the change is the batter has to keep at least one foot in the batter’s box  at all times except between pitchers if they have been brushed back and a  few other instances which we will learn during the season. Another change is adding a time clock to be sure the game is continually moving. The time clock primarily will be used to let the batter, pitcher, and umpires know it is ready to start another half inning.

Another change has to do with instant replay. They will allow the manager to stay in the dug out to decide whether they will make a challenge on a play. I hope this will be better than seeing the manager come out of the dugout like last season when they go out to the umpire and waste time deciding whether to challenge or not. I do not mind the manager going out of the dugout but they should have already made up their minds instead of giving time to decide on challenging. I guess we will see if this will work.

Two things I am not big fan of in baseball. One is the infield shift. I do not mind it if the manager decides to put the shift on a player like David Ortiz. For one thing he has been used to for some time; however, last season the managers went way overboard by putting the shift on players like Justin Smoak who barely hits .200 and spent some of last season in the minor league.

The other thing I am not a big fan of is the five man starting pitching rotation. For many years teams went with a four man rotation. The change did not occur until I would say the last 70s. Most teams you will find that the fifth man in the rotation will end up with a losing record and in most cases the team will go through several pitchers because of injuries and inconsistency. If I were a manager I would go back to the four man rotation.  The only time I would even consider a fifth starter is when the team starts on a long road trip.

One last thing if I were to add another rule change it would be to limit the amount of tosses the pitcher can throw over to first base on a given batter. Anyway let’s play ball and go M’s.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Thank You


Again I want to thank you all for reading my blog whether it is often or just once. I amazed how many of you are from around the world. It makes me really think that I am making a difference.

Like I have said in many of my blogs it is important for each of us to make a difference in other people’s lives. How important family and friends are. How we each have a purpose in this life no matter how insignificant we think we are.

I really love you all even those who I have never met in person. I find it an honor to share my thoughts as well as my life and the stories I tell.

I have had some friends on social media that have been real concerned with the negative words that are spoken. I believe it is important to write things that are as positive as we can. The truth is that we all go through terrible stuff at times, and we do not have to write negative or terrible things when we feel depressed.

I know that my life has its ups and downs.  There are things and circumstances that I would change if I could; however, there are some things I do not have any control of. For example, how other people feel about me. I know that not everyone has good feelings about me. I would like everyone to like me though I do know it is impossible.  The important thing is for me to be around people in my life who do like me and in many cases love me.

Just like in my writings I try to live with a positive outlook. Make the changes in my life that I can do. I still waiting for the circumstances in my life that I would rather have changed and have no control over to do so. I have waited a long time on some of them; however, I believe they will come to pass in the future. It is important for each of us to hold onto hope and faith. The most important gift we have to hold onto is love. We must make sure we never lose love no matter anything.

I hope everything is going well with you all this week. If you are going through trouble and tribulation all of us are with you. It is important to let those closest to us know what is going on even if all they can do is pray. Again thank you and many blessings.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Nice Guys in Baseball


Today February 24 is when all the position players report for duty at spring training for the Seattle Mariners. Most of them have been there already working out. The catchers and pitchers reported last Friday. They need to have more time to get ready for the season. In fact, spring training is as long as it is because pitchers need more time. Anyway when I went to spring training two years ago I found that most of the baseball players are very nice guys.

I am not saying that baseball players are any nicer than say football or basketball players but it is my observation. It seems to me that football and basketball players get in more trouble off the field than baseball players. I expect that most of them are very nice as well. I find that even the baseball players that get in some trouble seem to be likeable.  They make themselves very accessible to their fans, and if they have the time give out autographs without a problem. I found this especially true during spring training. If you go to the ball park early even during the regular season they are very approachable.

I found when I was at spring training if they have the time they will talk with you for a few minutes as well as autographs depending how many fans are around. Generally this happens when you arrive early. Another good thing they will acknowledge you and waive to you if speak out their name while they are going from one field to another or coming out of the locker room. This is especially true if you treat them with respect and you are very friendly as well.

When the ball players are being interviewed by the media whether newspaper, radio and television they are friendly as well. I would say they know how important it is to be friendly to the media and the fans. I am saying this in general because there are a few here and there that are not so friendly. Hearing them in an interview gives you an idea what kind of person they are. Like most people there are some that are quiet and others that are talkative like me.

Another thing I like about the ball players is that most of them like joking around with each other. I guess you would have to if you spent so much time with other players. In other words you would go crazy otherwise. I know it is not easy to get to know players on a personal way but I like the fact they make so much of an effort to talk with their fans. I think we can learn a lot from them on how they interact with each other. This is especially true during spring training when some are competing for the same position and one will make it and the other not. It is an unusual profession because they are playing a boys game and most will not play very long and then move onto something else.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Love and Respect

Several days ago I was watching TV news and two well-known women were speaking about submission. They both believed it in different ways; however, it did bring some controversy. I believe so because submission is a dirty word for most women, and I can say I do not blame them. As a man I have to say most men get your head out of the gutter.

In most cultures and religions the men think that submission means they can rule their women with an iron fist. Sorry it is time for that way of thinking to change. If you go into the Bible and into the New Testament and read Ephesians chapter 5 it starts out with saying to submit to one another. The next thing it says that the wife must submit to their husbands. I believe a lot of husbands believe it ends there, however, it says next the husband to love and respect their wives. I do not know the problem it sounds pretty clear to me. I believe that wives who submit to their husbands successfully are ones that have husbands that love and respect them. In fact I would say those couples that have this arrangement that most of them do not think about submission most of the time. The truth is that they live it out. I am not saying things in their lives are perfect but much better off than those who do not practice it.

I am sure there is more than two reasons that submission is an issue and love and respect is not in the equation. The two reasons are selfishness and miscommunication.  We are all selfish at some degree even at our best of times. I believe even when I try to be unselfish there is still some selfishness being mixed in.  For me I try to be unselfish so I can be liked. I am sure a lot of people are that way. Selfishness is at its worse when you demand submission in your partner and it is at its least when you love and respect your partner. I believe it really helps when you do not always get your way.

The other reason I mention is miscomm-unication. A lot of the problem is not listening to what your partner has to say. I know I have a problem with listening because I love to talk. I try now to listen to the other person. It is part of respecting them, and what they have to say. For me listening is a learned skill.  I found often when I do try to listen I am actually thinking about what I am going to say next; however, it is important to know what the other person is saying. It does not mean though that you actually understand what they are saying. I believe miscommunication comes in not understanding what the other person is saying as well as not listening. The real key is to understand. If you are having a problem understanding them let them know you are having the problem. It maybe all you need to do is get clarification.

I have more to say on the subject but I will write it at another time. I really hope this really helps you that are having problem with submission and love and respect. I hope this will make you have a stronger relationship.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Visit British Columbia

I have mentioned before that I really like traveling and I would love to do more of it in the future.  Visiting British Columbia I would call a great province to visit in Canada. I have been there more often than others because my mother grew up in Canada. Actually she lived in Edmonton, Canada; however, her brothers Bob and Alan both ended up in British Columbia. They both are gone now. In fact, my mother is the only one left among her siblings. She had an older sister as well who retired and moved to British Columbia. She spent most of her adult life in Montreal, Quebec.

What I like about British Columbia is that it is a lot like Washington State. It has a lot of trees, lakes, and wildlife.  The difference that British Columbia has is that the population is not as great as Washington State so there is more area of trees, lakes, and wildlife to enjoy. The major city is Vancouver, and it is a lovely place to visit. I have mentioned Seattle feeling like an international city, and when I visit it feels much different than Gig Harbor; however, Vancouver is even more of an international city.  You will find a lot of East Indians and Chinese living in Vancouver. If you head east out of Vancouver is when you really start finding the real outdoors. There are a lot of small cities going east toward Alberta along with driving north as well. If you go really north you find it very cold in the winter time. The weather is not much different in Vancouver than it is in Washington State though the temperatures are a little colder in the winter and there is more rain as well. Also, there was a time that my sister lived in Vancouver area as well before heading to Quebec.

Going west of Vancouver you will find the next largest city in British Columbia of Victoria. It is on Vancouver Island and it is a lovely place to visit as well. I would say it is much different than Vancouver. It is very British in the landscape. If you visit Victoria I recommend seeing the rest of the Island as well if you have the time to do so.  The island is where my Uncle Alan ended up at, and also my Aunt Judy retired to as well. When I was in my early teens I went with my mother to see Uncle Alan because he was dying of cancer. I found the area being so beautiful.  I found it not only great place to visit but a good place to live.

I find British Columbia a really good place to visit. In fact soon I will visit Victoria once again. I will be taking my mother up there and my sister will be coming out from Quebec. I am sure I will take some pictures that I will pass along on this blog. If you have never been to British Columbia before go visit I am sure it will be something really to remember.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Baseball and Starting Pitching

Now that spring training is ready to start  and I am sort of a baseball junky you likely will see me writing at least once a week about baseball. Football is at rest in the off-season though if you are a football junky you can get into the college combine that is going on right now before the draft along with free agency.

I figured I would start out with starting pitching in the major leagues. There is some positive and negative aspects going on with it.

I will start out with the positive side of starting pitching. Right now pitching is ahead of the hitting the last several years. There are still some good hitters but the pitching is ahead because the scoring is down. The Seattle Mariners went out this off-season and signed Nelson Cruz as a free agent. He primarily will be the designated hitter for them, and occasional play in the outfield. Other teams like San Diego Padres and the Atlanta Braves made multiple trades to improve their teams. One thing that kept the scoring down was putting a shift on the batters primarily left handed batters. They would move either the third baseman or shortstop on the other side next to second baseman.  Actually the second baseman would be in the short outfield. Another reason you can tell the pitching is superior to hitting is how much the teams are paying for the top pitchers. In fact it is ridiculous how much they paying out. The Seattle Mariners are paying Felix Hernandez around twenty-five million per season; however, during the off-season the top free agent pitchers got around thirty million season. I guess in the future if you are a top hitter you will get a lot of money. Robinson Cano of the Mariners is making twenty-three million a year as a second baseman.  A lot of that has to do with television money as well. In fact the Arizona Diamondbacks this week got a new television deal over cable for over a billion dollars.

On the negative side of starting pitching is finding the depth. The Seattle Mariners were one of the top pitching staffs last season and is expected again this coming season everyone is looking for more starting pitching. When I was growing up the starting pitching staffs had four in their rotation, and they pitched a lot of innings. Now the starting rotation is five pitchers and many of them do not pitch any more than six innings except someone like Felix Hernandez who usually pitches eight innings.

I find the major problem is often injuries keep the starting pitching at five along with the fact that on most teams the fifth starter not only goes six innings if they lucky most have losing records. I know the Seattle Mariners had twice as many losses than wins from the fifth starter. They went through several fifth starters because of injuries and poor performance. Personally I would go back to four starting pitchers at home and throw in a fifth starter while on the road games. I am sure money is a major reason going to five starters along with the fact they do not want the top pitchers like Felix Hernandez getting hurt. The Mariners have more depth this year so I am sure they will not have the same problem; however, many of the other teams do not have the same depth. Also, the Mariners have a strong bullpen so they do not have to pitch the starters as long as some other teams do. I will get into that at another time.

If you are a baseball junky like me enjoy spring training and the season as well.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


I believe that we all have dreams. I am saying more than what we have at night.  Other words for dreams maybe motivation or desire; it could be like said on Star Trek going where no man has gone before.

I am not sure what dreams mean that we have at night. In my case I do not remember many of my dreams though I have heard we dream every night. I have been told by close friends that I have been in their dreams. I am not sure what means either. Maybe they are being told what my happen in my future. The friends who have had me in their dreams do really not understand why I am in the dreams. Someday I am sure I will understand. It could be that those dreams will be fulfilled in my life.

For the athlete dreams motivate them to become the best they can be. They have the talent; however, hard work is getting them to where they want to be.  For example, if you are a marathon runner it is first to finish the race. The next step is too run faster and beat your best time. Your idea than is to win the race and finally be the best. Your next dream or goal would be to run in the Olympics and win the gold medal.  

I believe as long as we live we will not ever stop dreaming. We will not ever have all our dreams come true; however, as long as we breathe our lives will have true meaning and joy. What it takes is belief, faith, and perseverance.

At the beginning of January I mentioned that I was going to live this year as an adventure. The dreams I have help me to make the adventure. Keep on dreaming no matter what even if they seem to be impossible. I am sure each successful person began with a dream.   

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Spring Training Begins This Week

This coming Friday spring training baseball starts for the Seattle Mariners. If you are a player or a fan you have been looking forward to it for a few weeks. Officially the pitchers and catchers report on Friday while the rest of the players start on Sunday.

Many of the players have been already working out in Arizona for several weeks. Some of the players live in Arizona during the off-season. Though spring training starts this week the games actually do not begin until early March about a month before the season begins. The Seattle Mariners opening game is at home in Seattle on April 6.

If you are a baseball fan the best time to come for spring training is in mid-March.  It is when the games are going on to see the starting players. The early games you likely will see mostly the young players. I went to spring training two years ago in mid-March and had a great time. I saw four games in the week I was there. I went two games during the afternoon and two in the afternoon.  I stayed with my cousin Christy and her husband David who live only about ten minutes away from the Mariners training facility.

During the mornings David and I would go visit the facility to see the players taking batting practice or some other drills. The pitchers would be warming up in the bullpen or do some stretching on one of the fields. The Mariners have twelve fields to work on for both the major leaguers and minor leaguers. The measurements of the fields are all the same just like the main field the Mariners play their games on.

One morning I saw King Felix Hernandez the Mariners number one pitcher taking a few batting swings with a few other pitchers. They were just playing around though not being very serious. In fact Felix hit a ball over the fence behind home plate. A man was able to get the ball for his son and had Felix autograph the ball. A few minutes later when the team started to get together Felix autograph some balls for the fans. Most of the fans were young kids. He was on the other side of the fence so if you wanted to get an autograph you had to toss the ball over the fence. He autographed for about five minutes before having to go with the other players. One older lady was able to get an autograph from Felix. She had a copy of the ticket to game she went to that Felix had pitched a no hitter the season before. She was very excited, and remembered to that it was her birthday. I believe experiences like that it will be hard to ever forget.

On another morning at the facility Felix was being interviewed by ESPN and was getting ready to do a commercial that in a few days was being shown on television in Seattle. Though I was not able to get an autograph from Felix I was able to get an autograph from several other Mariner players.

Another experience I had at that spring training was that I had the chance to speak for several minutes with former Mariner first baseman Alvin Davis. It was his first time as an instructor with the Mariners at spring training. It was a really good time and I was able to get his autograph as well. He told me that he was looking forward to his daughter getting married later in the year. This is what spring training is all about. If you ever have a chance to go and I plan to again sometime I would do it. It is quite the experience.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Washington Split

A couple Eastern Washington state legislators are looking to put a bill up to split the state up and form their own state. The do not like the fact that Western Washington has so much control in the state; I would say it is mainly Seattle and the county of King that Seattle is in. It is not anything new because off and on since 1915 someone has tried to do so. It is little brother thinking big brother has too much power which is probably true. I do not think it will happen any time soon. Though most of the state taxes are spent for improvements in King County if Eastern Washington did split away they would have to increase their taxes to help on improvements.  I cannot blame them but it is how it is.

In other news some parents and teachers are going to the state capital in Olympia today to protest standardized tests. I am sort of out of the loop but I believe that they think standardized tests are outdated. I never really liked taking tests whether standardized or otherwise. I always felt pressure to take them; however, I did do well on tests in college. I guess I would call it maturity on my behalf.  Do tests for kids really show what they actually know? I would say the best tests are multiple choice. The problem with them they try to trick you. Not a good way to go as far as I am concerned.

I would say there is more news as well. The state legislators want to increase gas tax around eleven cents over the next three years. What the problem is that we already have one of the highest gas taxes in the country. They do not tell us what the new taxes will go for other than that our state budget goes up. About seven years ago  a second Narrows Bridge was added to link Gig Harbor to Tacoma because the traffic was very bad with a lot of delays. Whenever you go over the bridge you have to pay a toll. The good side only has to pay one way going to Tacoma. The state wants to increase the toll about seventy cents each time you go over. It penalizes those who go over the bridge regularly. They want to guarantee that they have enough money to make payments on what is owed on the bridge.  It sounds logical in some respects to them; however, those who do not go over the bridge regularly will decide not to go over the bridge at all. Since   the second bridge was built there has been more businesses established in the Gig Harbor area so why go to Tacoma for shopping or eating out if that is your plan.  My opinion they need to lower the toll to get more people to drive over the bridge. At least they should give it a shot to see if it works.

Any way that is my ten cent worth on those subjects or has the price gone up. Outside of those issues everything is going well. I hope that everyone have a really good week. It is nice to know we can have a really good life even though they want to increase our taxes. Jokingly maybe they help on our life of adventure this year.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

NBA All-Star Game

I sort of wonder how popular the NBA All-Star game is these days. I haven’t seen one in years; however, I am sure it is more popular than the NFL Pro Bowl is. The Major League Baseball All-Star game is really the only one to watch any more.

I have to admit that I have not seen an NBA game at all this season.  Since the Seattle Supersonics left Seattle for Oklahoma I have only seen a handful of games and each of those maybe ten games. I do see some college basketball games; however, there are so many of them on television it is easy to get tired watching them.  Mainly I watch the local college team’s play and occasionally a national game. I am not really into the college game until March madness and the NCAA tournament. I will watch a few games in the Pac-12 tournament. This year though only Arizona and Utah are really good. They may be the only two that make the NCAA tournament.

Back to the NBA and the All-Star game if you like high scoring games and a lot of dunks it is for you. Also, if you like a lot of three point shooting as well. I wonder if the dunking contest and the three point shooting contest that were both on Saturday are still popular?  Of course, I do not know at all. The only reason to watch is to hear Charles Barkley. He is good to get some laughs from. I would say the rest of the group not so much.

I do look at the standing of the NBA about once a week or every ten days. What I see is that most of the teams are not very good. I saw about eleven teams have winning records and the rest not only losing records but very bad records.  I sort of wonder if the New York Knicks will ever have a winning record again; it is amazing that anyone would actually go to any of their games. Also, the Los Angeles Lakers are on the downside as well. The Clippers are now the talk of the town. Quite amazing! Would never see that coming!

I read in the paper that the commissioner of the NBA is looking to break up the schedule. Make the schedule either shorter or longer. He does not want so many back to back games. I think it is a good idea as well. Though I will keep up with the NBA from afar I will look forward to when the NBA comes back to Seattle. I hope it will be in a far better condition than it is right now.

Anyway, for me it is time to get ready for baseball spring training and March madness. I will be out for the evening tonight so no NBA All-Star game again for me.  I predict the score to be 125-118 with the west winning.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day


I am one to promote family, friends, and love so I want to wish everyone a happy Valentine’s Day.

I know for many it will not seem like a good day. It is hard for those who like me are single and have no partner in their life. If you know someone who is single give them at least a card and possibly some flowers. I am sure they will really appreciate you doing it for them. I know I certainly would.

There are others that are in relationships that feel bad as well. In 2014 there was a lot of talk in the National Football League about domestic violence. I am sure it is a lot more wide spread then I ever thought before. The victims need to know that they are not alone. The abusers need to know they have free will and have chosen to do the abusing.  Some may call it a disease but I think it goes way beyond that. Both the victim and the abuser need to find help. I know often it is kept secret but both parties need to have family and friends that will love them through it. Make Valentine’s Day a day to help them.

There are others that may not be physically abused but they are emotionally. Also, they could not feel the love from their partner.  They maybe in the relationship because they do not want to be alone; they likely have children they do not want to be separated from either.

We need to remember everyone, and for each one to feel the love. If you do not have the resources to give them a valentine card or flowers everyone can use a hug and a smile; we all need to feel that we belong. There is nothing worse than being alone and feel in darkness.

Again have you a wonderful Valentine’s Day. Let each person know the love you have to give. We have free will and a free gift. Enjoy this wonderful weekend.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


During the week leading up to the Super Bowl was talk about Marshawn Lynch and beast mode.  Right after the Super Bowl it again was about beast mode. The main reason the Seahawks should have run the ball on second and a yard for a touchdown. Of course, if you watched the Super Bowl you know the Seahawks lost the game by throwing the ball and it being intercepted. Change the history of the Super Bowl just like that.

Now the talk is whether Marshawn Lynch will return to the Seahawks, go to another team, or retire. He does not talk much to the media so we really do not know at this time, and neither do the Seahawks know if he will return. I hope that very soon we will know the answer because I am actually very tired hearing about on sports radio.  I do not mind a fifteen minute segment a few times a day on the radio; however, they have back to back segments that make me tired and I have to change the channel. The thing is that they do not do that with Marshawn only I found out to be a problem with other stories as well; for example, Russell Wilson being a short quarterback, or being a black quarterback. Now of course, how much they will be paying him on next contract.

I am sure talk radio goes through the same thing as sport radio. I think there should be plenty of things to talk about instead of going over the same thing time after time.  Very tiresome.  I would rather listen to radio instead. At least they do not repeat the same song every hour.

In other local sports the Seattle Mariners are signing Rickie Weeks veteran second baseman to a contract. I find it a surprise; however, the cost is not that much so they do not have much of a risk. It is for only one year as well, and gives them another right handed bat off the bench. With Robinson Cano he will not play much second base; however, they likely play him some at first base and in the outfield. They can use him at third base as well if they need to give Kyle Seager a rest. Currently they have one first basemen in Logan Morrison, and he has a history of getting hurt so Weeks adds depth.

I now look forward to spring training which starts in eight days with the pitchers and catchers reporting. Many of the players are already working out in Arizona. It will be interesting to see who makes the Mariners. They actually have most of the positions already sewn up so only a few available.

So in the next month it will be about spring training baseball and football off-season. Of course, you can’t forget basketball, hockey, and soccer.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Wet February


 I think so far it has been one of the wettest Februarys on record in Western Washington and we are only a third of the way through the month.  It feels that way to me so much that it seems like we are going to have the rainfall amount for the year just in February. I am sure that is not true but it sure feels that way.

I remember that we have had some very good Februarys where the sun spent a lot time out; however, this is not one of them at least so far. Supposedly we are going to have a sunny week next week but we will see. On the bright side though I would like to have some snow I am glad we do not have the snow they are having in Boston. So far they have had seventy inches of snow in the past thirty days. I would say that is a lot of snow. Our mountains have had a bad year and not come close to seventy inches.

My brother Jack and his family spent this last weekend in Boston. Two of his sons Ian and Danny are going to school in Boston area. Jack and his wife Anne had to take an earlier flight back on Sunday because their flight scheduled for Sunday night was cancelled because of the snow. Most of the snow came on Monday and school was closed for Ian and Danny. The reason the family spent the weekend in Boston was for the Hasty Pudding Theatre play at Harvard University. Ian was one of the writers of this year’s production. It was the second year in a row for Ian. It is quite an honor to be chosen to write the play.

I would like us to have some snow here in Gig Harbor but it does not look like we will be getting any this year. The temperatures have not been close to freezing since the end of November. As the saying goes have to wait till next year. The weather is more like April when we get showers to bring May flowers. I guess we can encourage each other that the weather will get better; however, we may have to wait till July. Since I am used to rain I will continue to enjoy the days. No reason to think on the negative side of things.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Update Husky Men’s Basketball



It has been about a month since I wrote about the University of Washington Husky men’s basketball team.

The non-league season that ended at the end of December 2014 was a success. The record was 11-2. The league season started out 3-3 in January. It did look like the Huskies had a good chance to go into the NCAA tournament if they continued and went around .500 in the league, however, now they have lost five straight. The main reasons are that their center Robert Upshaw during this losing streak was kicked off the team for breaking team rules. There was no reason given, however, there was speculation on why. I will not mention what the speculation is for his privacy. Just to say though hopefully he can get his life back in order. He was the backbone of the defense leading the nation in block shots. Right now Shaun Kemp Jr is the only big man playing as Jernard Jarreau is hurt. I am not sure of his return. Currently the Huskies are starting four guards. So what started as a promising season look like now it will go into the tank? During the recruiting process they will need to go after a few big men as Kemp Jr. is a senior.

In other Husky news the signing of recruits last week for the football season was a success. It was the first full recruiting season for Coach Chris Peterson. The success was they were able to sign some high chip players along with the top players in the state of Washington. For the last decade or so they have had little success keeping in state players. To be a very success team it is important to keep those players in state as well as getting other top players from outside of Washington especially those from California.

The Huskies are losing their top players to the NFL for next season; however, the future does look very bright. The Huskies should be success if Coach Peterson has the same success as he did coaching at Boise State. They were in the top ten in the country the whole time in the eight years he coached at Boise State.

Finally the Huskies football and men’s basketball teams need to become successful once again. Though the football team has had winning seasons the last several years the alumni expect the team to win around ten games a season and get into the hunt for the national championship series. Of course, to really accomplish the task they need to begin beating the Oregon Ducks. On the basketball side the men need to get into the NCAA tournament. It has been a few years since they did so. There was a time where they went to the tournament and went into the sweet sixteen. Like the football team they need to keep in the top in state players. For a while did not do so. High school basketball in the state of Washington is very good, and every year high recruits come out but the Huskies only maybe get one or two of them. If you look at the NBA there is a number of successful players who grew up in Washington State.

Good luck to both teams; I will update again in a couple weeks about the men’s basketball team as they get closer to the tournament as it starts play in the middle of March.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Let's Go Bowling


Since I wrote about going boating I decided to write about bowling. I am not sure why but I do know it has nothing to do with the fact they both start with Bo.

Currently Gig Harbor has no bowling alley. Growing up we had two different bowling alleys; however, they were not at the same time. The second one replaced the first one. The original one was at Harbor Landing in downtown which now has a Mexican Restaurant and some small stores. The second one was next to the Thriftway store which has now been replaced by a microbrewery. It was in the shopping center where the post office is. If you want to go bowling now the closest is in Tacoma.

I have to say that I did not go bowling a whole lot. I would say in my life time about an average of every five years. I consider it a really good activity for family or friends to participate in. My average bowling score is around 100. The highest I scored was around 150. The problem is that I do not get a lot of strikes. They usually come in bunches, and by the third game if I play that many. The other problem is that I do not get a lot of spares either. If I do get a spare usually the next ball does not go well for me. I am sure other people who score about the same as I do can relate.  

If you have a couple hours where you want to do something bowling is really good and can be a lot of laughs especially if you are not very good.  I remember once quite some time ago I was asked to chaperone a trip to go bowling with the middle school age kids. One girl I remember very well her name Julie she mostly got either strike or a gutter ball. It was really funny because she would really whip the ball and fall to the side. It certainly was the funniest thing I have ever seen and I will never forget.

I have heard that Gig Harbor will be building a bowling alley in the near future. There is a new shopping center going in, and the primary attendant is a large grocery store. The bowling alley along with an arcade, and of course a coffee shop; I hope to be able to go bowling in the near future. Maybe I will be able to get close to 150 in my score.

Enjoy your week and go bowling.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Sing a Song

I thought about writing a poem here but it has been a while since I have done so, and I want the poem to be very good. Also, I do not really have any words right now. It is sort of ironic because I am going to write instead about singing a song. The ironic part is that you can sing without words because you have no words right now.
I have written before how important it is for us to be happy and to sing on a regular basis as well. Also, I mentioned that it is OK if you can’t really carry a tune. Other words make a joyful noise. You say I do not want other people to hear me. What I am saying that you can sing while you are by yourself. Most people are by themselves sometime in the day. So go for it.
If you do not know words just the tune it is OK as well. You can make up words while you’re singing. In fact I would say it is the best way of all. If you know only one verse to a song or the chorus just sing it over and over again. You can add words of your own to the song. It may all have to do with how you fee.
Another thing you can do if you do not have any words start singing. It may sound weird or just sing one word. The word could be how you feel right now. It could be happy, sad, or grumpy. Another idea would be to sing a sentence to a book, poem, or something you read in the paper or on line.
If you do not have a tune a suggestion would be to go up and down the scale. When I was in high school choir we would warm up doing the scale. It may give you a tune that you can call your own. I think there is nothing like having your own song. You can make up your own ideas as well. The important thing is to sing away at your heart content.
I do not sing enough myself. I am not only giving you this advice I am going to take it myself. So fa la la and have a great weekend.  

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Groundhog


Last Monday February 2 was Groundhog’s day. It was also my dad’s birthday he would have been 99 years old. The Groundhog came out with his shadow so there is now six more weeks of winter.

Here in the northwest it has been more like either fall or spring with higher than normal temperatures. On the other hand the Midwest and East Coast continue to have a lot of snow. Another snow storm hit on Groundhogs Day. It was the second one within a week. It was a record snow storm being declared a blizzard. They expect another storm either today or tomorrow. I am sure the people would prefer that winter would end now instead of six more weeks. I guess we will see if it is true or just a wise tail.

Here in Western Washington they expect continue flooding. Also, the temperatures in the mountains have been in the forties so no new snow or skiing. This time of the year many retirees are in Arizona so they can enjoy sun and warmer weather; two years ago I spent a week of February in Arizona. I spent the week to enjoy time at baseball spring training, and with my cousin Christy and her husband David. If you are a baseball fan there is nothing better to do then watch spring training.

Those who primarily enjoy football will have withdrawals for the next six months. The only thing they can do now is think about who the college players will be drafted by their favorite team, and free agents. Those of us who enjoy baseball spring training starts in a couple weeks. Right now the two sports to watch are basketball and hockey. College basketball has about a month left in the season. Most of the games played are within their conferences. At the end of the season will be conference tournaments and then the big show the NCAA tournament which is known as March Madness. I will discuss it later when getting closer to the tournament.

In the meantime here in the northwest we have to live with the rain. I find it hard to be able to go walking. I have an umbrella; however, there is wind as well most of the time. I find it hard to use an umbrella with wind. I have to keep looking to see if there is a time I can go outside to walk for a few minutes or find a place to walk indoors.

Whatever the weather where you are at I hope you are able to get out and enjoy it. As Spock would say “Be prosperous”.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hello My Friends


 I find it to be an honor to call you my friend even if we have never met. I believe next to family friends are the most important part of life. They can help mold you and make you who you are. The importance of friends starts at a very young age. They can give you confidence and positive self-esteem. If you lack friends at a young age you can have negative self-esteem.

When it comes to friends my knowledge has to do with my life experience and not some college degree. I know that having friends depends a lot in the society and culture that you live in. I am sure most cultures value friends being very important. The best of course is if members of our family are our friends as well. The older we get the more time we actually spend with friends then family. In many ways they become our friends. I believe that friends are so important that while growing up many kids become part of gangs because they want to be accepted. Also, it is the part of bullying as well. I believe most bullies have low self-esteem so they do the bullying to be accepted by those they think have high popularity. If you are being bullied then you have low self-esteem put on you. Early last year I wrote about bullying and I believe it is something important to read if you are having the problem or have a child that has the problem.

Every day when I leave my home I look to see if I can add new friends. I find it a challenge because most of the time it does not materialize. Regardless in how we feel not everyone can become a friend. In some cases they do not want to be friends, or just do not have time to be friends. What is truly rewarding is to have several close friends. In fact I would say it can be rare because most people would say they do not have any close friends.

What I define as a close friend is someone you enjoy spending time with, and you keep in touch. A close friend does not mean that you see them a lot but the time you do is very high quality. A best friend would be someone you care and loves like a brother or sister. I know both can be someone who lives far off as well. I know people who have a close friend or best friend that live across country. They likely keep in touch by email, text, and phone on at least a weekly basis. They meet at least once a year and likely go on vacations together. Their spouses and children are likely close friends as well. The best friend is likely someone you known since childhood or you met at college or work.

So it is important that we each have a few close friends. It is OK to have many that you call friends as well. Maybe you have met them at work or you see them at a coffee shop or grocery store. The most important thing about having friends is to know that when your life is not going well at home or you have a health issue you can speak with them. Give out what may be considered dirty laundry and they will not judge you. It is the time when you know who your true friends are.

Remember to be a friend to someone who can really use one. Do not take for granted that someone has a friend. They may look like they have all things together but they might not. Enjoy the rest of the week my friends.  

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

So Close

If you were one that watched the Super Bowl game like I did the Seahawks should have or maybe could have beaten the Patriots. The final score was the Patriots 28-24.

The Seahawks had the ball on the Patriots one yard line with about 20 seconds remaining in the game. Quarterback Russell Wilson decided to the throw the ball that ended up being intercepted by the Patriots. It was a surprise by everyone except maybe the Patriots. Some called it the worst call ever made in the history of football. I am not sure whether I would go that far but it is near the top for sure.

I thought and surprised that they did not make the play for Marshawn Lynch to run the ball. Even if he did not make it they still had time to make another play. Another option would have been Russell Wilson faking to Lynch and run the ball in himself. My opinion you go with the best you have, and not try something that would not be the best which is what they did.

I think the biggest problem was the coaching staff was over thinking too much. In this day with so much technology it is so easy to analyze that you think too many options available. This so happens in football beginning with the players you have on your team along with having so many plays available. I believe overthinking can get you in so much trouble. It reminds me when in school I would put an answer down and then I would change the answer. Almost always the second answer was wrong, and the first answer I put down was the correct answer. I remember especially one test where I changed four answers and they were all wrong. The first answer I gave was the correct. If I stayed with the original answers I would have had 100 percent score on the test. I still came with a pretty good grade anyway. I did not lose the Super Bowl.

The thing is not only did the Seahawks lose the game which will come down in history as a blunder but will not make a legacy especially if they come back and win next year. In fact the so called experts have them already winning the Super Bowl. With the ages of the players being mostly young and becoming more mature plus they will not forget this game. Of course, they will not have all the same players return either. Also, their defensive coordinator is now the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. It would be neat to meet them in the NFC championship game next year.

Though I can move on to my favorite sport of baseball with spring training starting in just a few weeks the Seahawks have several months to remember this game before starting another season. There are several players that will need to go into the hospital for surgeries. What a painful way to spend some time.

 A team like the Seahawks who consider themselves champions will rebound I am very sure. It is the reason many so called experts believe they will win the Super Bowl next year. Thanks again for a great season Seahawks look forward to next year. At this time I will start rooting on the Mariners in baseball. I look forward to writing about them and some of the players.

Enjoy your week. Continue to be a fan of whatever team you root for.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Let’s Go Boating

I first have to start off by dedicating this to my dad. Today which is groundhog’s day is his birthday. He would be 99 years old, and we miss him dearly. Most of all he loved his family dearly, and loved sailing as well. A lot of time I spent on the waters of Puget Sound has been with my dad and brothers. If you go back to November 2013 you can read more about my dad.


I would say that boating of all kinds is the biggest activity in Western Washington. The biggest body of water is Puget Sound; however, there is the San Juan Islands. The only way get to the San Juan Islands is by boat or ferry. In my early teens our family sailed up to Victoria, British Columbia and then to the San Juan Islands. It was an adventure for sure besides being very beautiful. Besides our immediate family it included my Uncle Bill and cousins. What I remember most besides the beauty of the Islands was how windy it was, and we went for quite the ride. It felt very much like being in the ocean.

When it comes to boating there are a lot of motor boats as well as sailboats and fishing boats. Places like Gig Harbor are Ok for small sailboats; however, out in Puget Sound you must have at least a twenty-five feet boat to feel safe. I really enjoyed sailing the small boats around Gig Harbor; however, you had to sometimes look out for gusts that let you really go. Of course, it was the really good times. The body of water around Tacoma is called Commencement Bay. A lot of times when you enter the mouth of Gig Harbor the wind dies down to almost nothing so you have to use a motor to get inside or wait around for a while. My dad did not really like motors so for several years we did not have one. Us kids thought it was embarrassing to ask for a motor boat to get into the mouth of the harbor. Finally after complaining for a while our dad got a motor. We told him he only needed to use it when the air was dead. Those were great experiences.

Right by Tacoma on Commencement Bay is Pt. Defiance. It is a great place to go for picnics and has a five mile trail you can either bike, run, or walk. There is a very good zoo there to take your children too. Anyway, you will find a lot of people out on small motor boats several hundred feet off Point Defiance fishing. I am not sure how successful they are catching fish but they are having a good time. When I was a teenager I would go fishing off of our dock in Gig Harbor. I mostly caught flounders and bull heads. The bull heads I would give to the cats to eat. I am sure they felt it as being a feast. The flounders my mother would cook for dinner. They were very good.

Also, on Commencement Bay there is Vashon Island where you can only get to by Ferry if you have a car or bike. It has several little harbors where you can spend the night if you go by boat.

Gig Harbor has several marinas so you can see a lot of boats both motor and sailboats. There are plenty of them of every size. Seattle has a lot of marinas as well along with many of the other cities around Puget Sound. A lot of cities have Yacht Clubs. My dad was Commodore for one year with the Gig Harbor Yacht Club. They have the Sailor of the Year named after my dad.

If you see a University of Washington football game on television you will see a lot of boats shown outside of Husky Stadium. I would say most stadiums around the country do not have boats around them.

So if you come to our area I recommend going out on a boat during your visit especially if you have never been going boating before.