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Archive for October 2nd, 2010

Before I had even heard of football (American Football) – there was the Giants.  My mother loves baseball.  It reminds her of growing up in Kansas, and for her, it will always be “America’s Pastime.”
My earliest recollection of professional sports was going to see the Giants play at Candlestick Park.  Back then we had Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal.  Some of my earliest memories are playing catch for hours with a tennis ball against the steps of a neighbor’s house.  [We lived on a hill and they had a flat driveway next to their cement/stone steps.]  I dreamed of being Brooks Robinson – playing third base, making the diving catch outside the third base line of an otherwise foul ball to win the World Series!
Unfortunately, I grew up near-sighted with glasses and never was able to get the hang of hitting.  You have to practice hitting with others; unlike fielding which you can practice by yourself until your arms and legs give out, or it gets too dark to see, or (more frequently) the neighbors come home from work and tell you to get off of their driveway.  Being a bit of a loner (aka book-worm), I never had the opportunity to get enough swings in to learn to hit.
Anyway, I forgot about baseball.  But every few years, the Giants play well enough to get close to the playoffs and the old itch comes back…
I must admit – I am now only a complete bandwagon jumper/follower.  I wear my Giants t-shirt or hat after our first win and after our last game each season.  Other than that, I have almost nothing to do with baseball and they (shirt and cap) are both safe in their respective hiding places (the drawer and the closet).
I will normally (but not always) watch the World Series, but other than that…  I’m just not a fan of the game anymore.  I’d rather play catch than watch a game on TV.  And I no longer like crowds, so attending games is pretty much out of the question.
But this year, the Giants are in it to the very end.  Our magic number to win the National League West is one.  Tomorrow is the last game of the season and we are playing the second place team (the San Diego Padres).  If we win, the best they can do is wild card.  If we lose, we have an extended season – one extra game, in San Diego…
The excitement is growing here in the SF Bay Area.  Tonight, Hil and I went out to buy me a new t-shirt.  I wanted an orange one with black trim because all of my older kit has always been black with orange trim.  We went to JC Penny and I found a package deal of two t-shirts for $25!!!  One black and orange and one orange and black!!
So, I’m changing my Avatar’s until we win it all or until we’re wupped and out.
Orange Inside!!

Orange Inside!!

Go Giants!!!  I AM ORANGE INSIDE!!!
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Every year, the Concord High School Marching Band troops around the neighborhood near the school to raise money for the music department.  Traditionally, they finish with at the Safeway store on Clayton & Treat with a short (4 or 5 numbers) recital.  Here are a couple of photos of our Sarah standing at attention and playing flute.
[Please excuse the poor quality, the shots were taken with my phone-camera.]
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Yesterday, 1 October 2010, was the start of the new fiscal year for government employees.  So, Happy New Year!!  (Full DisclosureI am a government employee.)
We currently have no approved budget, but we do have a “CR” (continuing resolution) which will carry us through the next two months.  That’s Congress’ way of keeping the government going without them having to argue in front of the American public about what needs to be a priority, what needs to be cut in this time of deficits and/or what taxes need to be raised in order to pay for running the country.
When it takes longer to agree to a new budget than the budget itself runs, you have what is known as a structural defect in your budgeting system.  The “normal” fix (by rational adults) is to either shorten the time it takes to agree (work faster) or lengthen the duration the actual budget covers.  Shortening takes leadership and a willingness to compromise (in the country’s best interest) by both parties, while lengthening the duration would take a change to Federal law.  There is no Constitutional requirement for an annual budget.  However, changing the law carte blanche would take a considerable amount of explanation to the American public, so that can’t really be expected to happen either.
Since neither party seems able to provide leadership in an election year, and because there seems to be a dearth in willingness to compromise, we are left with a CR.
And that is your local, state and Federal civics (budget) lesson for today!!
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