Saturday, August 30, 2008

Jay Leno and Arsenio

Last night I turned on Jay Leno, which I dont do very often. It ended up being the greatest Late Night television that I have ever seen. Arsenio Hall was the main guest and it basically just turned into him doing a stand up routine. My favorite part was when he said no matter who gets elected there is going to be a hot first lady! Shawn Johnson came on after that and I think Jay could have said Im hungry and she would have laughed. She definitely acted like a 16 year old, but you could tell she loved being there. Luckily for all who missed it, you can watch it on Hulu. It is definitely worth the time!

It is not up yet, but I will post the link when it goes up.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Our Future Leaders

I am watching Barack Obama's acceptance speech at the DNC. Five minutes into it, all he has said is Thank You. Michele just smiled!!! Anyways, just a few thoughts on him and his running mate, Joe Biden.

Obama decided he was ready to run for President after 142 days as a senator. He must have a lot of confidence in himself! After 142 days as a new employee, he thought, "I can run this place." Not only that, but he has convinced democrats across the nation that 142 days is enough experience to become POTUS.

Where is the money for change going to come from? He wants to cut taxes, but increase welfare, government health care, etc. States are already cutting budgets and still not finding the necessary resources to function properly. How will he reduce the national debt when all he plans to do is expand government programs? Why dont voters think of these things before casting their votes?!?

He is speaking tonight in front of 80000 people at Mile High Stadium. It reminds me of the videos of Adolph Hitler speaking. Not that I think Obama is Hitler, but his speaking ability is amazing. While McCain is hoping 15,000 people show up to the rally where he will announce his VP, 80,000 pack themselves in to hear Mr. Change. How many of these people have sat down and weighed the pros and cons of each candidate? In this day and age, it is almost impossible to agree on every stance that a politician has, so one must choose the one that most closely resembles them.

I wish i was recording this speech, so I could go back and write down every promise he has made. So many of them are contradictory. Not that this is something that only Obama does, almost all politicians do that, but it is chilling that all these people are cheering the impossible.

If Obama is elected, his VP will be Joe Biden. This is a man who in a 1988 speech while campaigning for president, said he had 3 bachelor degrees, received a full scholarship to Law School and graduated in the top third of his class. After further research, it was discovered that he had not 3, not 2, but 1 bachelor degree. Received less than a half scholarship to Law School and graduated in the bottom 10% of his class. Later, it came out that the reason he graduated so low was because he plagarised papers, then, used a speech by a British politician without disclosing it wasnt his own. He was willing to lie in 1988 to get to the White House, why wouldnt he do it again?

I am not convinced that John McCain is the best man to be President of the US, but he might be the best of two bad choices. When his opponents make a big deal of him not knowing how many houses he and his wife own, he is doing pretty good! I am sure any democrat would love to be in a position where he his wife could buy all the houses she wanted to, using her own money! I honor him for the service he has provided to our nation, but he failed in 2000 and I feel he will fail again.

At a time when our nation is bruised and beaten, I feel we as a nation have not chosen the two best possible Presidents. I hope and pray that whomever is elected will take advantage of what the Lord has offered to elected officials in the Doctrine and Covenants, because neither of them are anywhere close to being strong enough to pick our nation back up on his own. I am scared to death of what will become of our nation if a Obama is elected with a Democratic congress. The thought of Harry Reid and Obama as the most powerful men in government shakes me to the core. Make sure that you take a look at every candidate and how they feel compared to how you feel. Dont vote for someone because he can fill an 80,000 seat stadium.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Priceless advice from the geniuses at SNL

Thursday, August 21, 2008


The US Womens Soccer team won the Gold Medal this morning! They beat Marta and the mighty brazilians in a hard fought game that was very entertaining. It is considered an upset, since Brazil beat the US in the the World Cup last year and the top US scorer was injured right before the olympics. I was happy to see Hope Solo get some redemption for being held out of the World Cup game. The save she made in the second half on Marta, the best player in the world, was beautiful!

Friday, August 15, 2008

United States Domination

The world is back in the correct order of power after last night's gymnastics competition. Shay gets mad at me when the Chinese start their routines, as I cheer for them to fall. Then, when they actually do, I cheer even louder! What can I say? I want my country to be the best! If the other countries cant handle the heat, get out of the kitchen.

It was great to see Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson go 1-2 in the all-around. Now, if only the US can take Gold in every individual apparatus, wouldnt that be great?
If you want to see a similar reaction to the one I had this morning (I was tired last night so I had to finish this morning via Tivo) watch Bela karolyi in this clip.

Go USA!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Diversity Training

So, it seems like the same three or four people are always commenting on the blog, and I would like to connect with other readers. As a little experiment, every once in a while I will post about interesting things about random people I meet. This experiment will be titled "Diversity Training."

In the first installment of "Diversity Training" I am going to mention the hometowns of a few people I have met over the past few weeks. I dont know the names of most of these people, but where they came from was either interesting, new to me, or both.

1. Dillon, MT. This is a town of about 2000 in the northwest corner of Montana. I met this person while standing in line at the post office, she was a nice lady who had moved to Cedar to live with her eldest son.

2. Cedar Valley, UT. The reason for this one is obvious. I didnt know there was a town named Cedar Valley. I hear people from Enoch, Beaver or Parowan say they are from the Cedar Valley, so when I was talking to the girl who helped me with my residency application the other day, I assumed she was from one of those places. Then she said something about home up north so I did some detective work. It is a city west of Lehi in UT County. Interesting.

3. Virginia Beach, VA. I am interested in any town with the word beach in it. I dont know much about this place, so if anyone has any interesting anecdotes about it, let me know!

There you have it for the first installment of "Diversity Training." Since I thought of this concept, I have tried to talk more to random strangers, hoping to discover a hidden gem in their life. If you have anything to add about these places, or any ideas for a future installment of "Diversity Training" let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic Thoughts

The following are a view thought about the olympics so far.

-Dwayne Wade is so close to being back to 2005-2006 form. The way he is slashing down the baseline and skying for rebounds over guys 6 inches bigger than him has to be very promising to the Heat. Then, consider they have two former rebels also starting for them, which means I may have to make them my early pick for the NBA title!

-It was awesome to see the USA rack up medals last night in swimming. People are talking about how China could overtake us in the medal count this year, but they forget to mention the US Rule that was instituted for this year. In the past, each country could send 3 swimmers in each race, but they got tired of seeing three americans on the medal stand, so now each country can only send two. Americans have said the trials races were more competitive than some olympic finals...that is proof of US dominance in the pool.

-When the French relay team said they would crush us, that quote came from a guy named Alaine. Why would anyone take a guy named Alaine seriously?

-As much as I am cheering against the Chinese, I couldnt help but smile while hearing the crowd go crazy for their Mens Gymnastics. Had they lost, the guy who stepped out of bounds on the floor exercise would have returned home to discover his family had died due to mysterious circumstances.

-Sticking with gymnastics, how could anyone not have a huge smile on thier face watching the reactions of the american men? When Johnathan Horton and Justin Spring threw down the gauntlet on the High Bar I was thoroughly convinced they were going to pull out a win.

-On a final gymanstics note, I am very against the new scoring system. I understand why it was instituted, to take power from the judges, but the difficulty score is way too important. A guy shouldnt be able to improve his teams score after getting an 8.8, but with a high difficulty score that can cover up the mistakes. There should be some reward for difficulty, but the execution of the routine needs to be 90% of the overall score!

-I am going to have to disagree with Alec and Keith. I agree with what they said about Trampoline and Rhythmic Gymnastics, and equestrian but for sports like sailing, shooting and all the swimming and track events, let them have their glory every four years. We worship basketball, football and baseball players all day everyday, when most of the them are overpaid jerks. I have no problem with the guy who only works so he can afford the best equipment and training.

-I am so proud to be an American. Even though I cant stand Michael Phelps, I still cheer for him. When the National Anthem plays as he in on the medal stand, tears appear in my eyes. Another reason to not like Phelps, he doesnt even mouth the words to the National Anthem. I doubt he values Gold Medals anymore, as long as they bring more endorsements...but he better get all 8, or I am gonna pull a Chinese on his family.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Barry Bonds and Almost Witnessing History

This summer I have been in an English class called Writing About Baseball. As the title shows, we have read a few baseball novels and I have had to write about different baseball related experiences. One of the papers had to be about my baseball conversion. As I am not really a baseball fan, just a sports fan, I thought it would be difficult, but then I remembered this experience from last summer. This paper was probably my favorite one that I have ever written, I hope you enjoy it!

Lying underneath the bright California sun, my mind is not lost in thought, as is usually the case while on the beach; instead, it is focused on what I am going to experience later in the day. While the country is split over what to think of Barry Bonds and his chase for 755, my imagination runs away with the thought that I could see him hit the record tying home run. My family___ and a few friends were headed to Petco Park in Downtown San Diego on the evening of August 3, 2007 for a game between the San Diego Padres and my San Francisco Giants. This had become a family tradition in recent years, signaling the beginning of our Beach Week. Little did we know 4 months earlier when tickets were purchased that we had a chance to witness history.

Technically, this story begins on Labor Day weekend of 1998. Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire were battling for the single season home run record, then 60, held by Roger Maris. Four years earlier, Major League Baseball lost many fans because of the labor stopping strike. This home run chase was exactly what the league needed to regain pre-strike popularity. As a 10 year-old boy, I followed this story very closely. Each night I would watch Sportscenter, hoping to hear that McGuire still had the lead. To this day, almost 10 years later, I remember being on the trampoline in our backyard when my dad came out and told me McGuire was at-bat with the record on the line. I cheered and ran around the house when the ball sailed over the wall; my baseball conversion had begun.

On July 27, 2007, Barry Bonds hit home run number 754. I was a bit nervous; he had a whole week of games to play before the game we were going to. Then, as if the gods were intervening on our behalf, it was announced he would not play in the Giants’ series against the Dodgers in L.A. Those two teams are fierce rivals and Barry did not want to break the record while being booed constantly. I arrived in San Diego on July 31, the last day of the Giants’ series in L.A. After a day off, they started a three-game series with the Padres. Thursday, we spent the day on the beach, enjoying the sun and sand. Usually, we stay out on the beach until the sun starts setting, but we had to change our routine around when Barry Bonds would be at bat. We would head inside right as the game started, anxiously anticipating that moment he would stand at the plate, elbow and shin pads on tight, waiting to jump on the first good pitch. My family comes from the Bay Area. Barry Bonds was the first athlete I ever idolized. We don’t understand the fuss about him and steroids, we just accept that he did use them and keep cheering. This understanding allowed all of us to really enjoy the moment each time he was at bat, while the rest of the sports world constantly debated whether records should be valid or not. To our excitement, no record tying or breaking home runs were hit that Thursday night, setting up perfectly for our family trek to the ballpark.

Friday morning, my cousin Jake, our friend AJ and I headed out to the beach. We knew it was only a few hours until we would take the train from Oceanside to the Gaslamp District to meet up with my parents for the game. The word excited would not even begin to describe how we were feeling. The night before, we watched the newscasters talk about all press frenzy happening at the park, knowing we would be a part of it. At about 3 p.m., we got all cleaned up and headed for the train station. As a Giants fan, my black and orange hat stood out among all the Padres shirts and hats that slowly packed the train. Padres fans have always been very courteous, but they seemed to be just as excited as me to possibly witness history. In my mind, it was a near perfect situation for Bonds. Other than not playing in his home stadium, he was close to his childhood home, Southern California, in a beautiful ballpark, amongst fans who really understood what could happen that night. We arrived safely in front of Petco Park and proceeded to find my parents and head into the park. The atmosphere and electricity of the game was evident immediately upon entrance. Food and drink vendors seemed to be yelling just a bit louder and every usher ready to help create a perfect ballpark experience for each fan; they did not want to take away from the historic moment each fan was praying to experience.

Finally, the game started. We were seated directly between 1st base and the right field wall, about 10 rows up. Since the Giants were the away team, there was a chance Bonds would be up right in the top of the 1st inning. Once Dave Roberts bunted for a single, we knew the first opportunity for Bonds would be coming soon. After two quick outs, it was time. Everyone in the stadium stood in unison, like there was a choir conductor leading us on the big screen. Flashbulbs started exploding throughout the crowd, adding to the already electric atmosphere. Much to my satisfaction, the majority of the Padres crowd were cheering Bonds, with only a smattering of boos heard. Each pitch brought the crowd to a quick silence, only to exhale with a missed swing. Bonds ended up striking out on a called third strike, leaving the crowd to wait a few more innings for his next at-bat.

When the top of the order came up again in the top of the 3rd, we knew Bonds was just two hits away. Dave Roberts and Randy Winn provided those hits and after a Ray Durham groundout, it was history time again. The crowd reacted the same way as the previous at-bat. Everyone on their feet, knowing that a home run would provide them with a story their grandkids would ask to hear over and over again. Just like before, Bonds did not come through. He grounded out on the second pitch to end the inning. It would not be until the 6th inning that Bonds would get another at-bat, this time fooling the crowd with a long, deep fly ball that was caught easily by Mike Cameron. Three at-bats, three outs. Never did I think we would be let down. In my mind, he was just waiting until his final at-bat to provide the fireworks. It was a close game and what a better way to win than on a history making home run?

That time came in the top of the 8th inning. Bonds was due up second and the Giants were winning 3-0 after a 2 run 7th. This was it! Again, crowd on its feet, cameras flashing in all directions; frankly, it was hard for me to focus on Bonds through all the flashes. All of the hoopla was for nothing, as Bonds grounded out to the first baseman. In the bottom of the 8th, he was replaced by Fred Lewis, manager Bruce Bochy assuming the Giants would take care of business and win the game. The Padres went on to score 3 runs in the bottom of the 8th, which would lead to extra innings. Of course, the Giants had gone through enough batters in the 9th that would have made it possible for Bonds to hit again in the 10th, had he stayed in the game. This switch would prove to be important our minds, considering how the next day’s game played out.

Again, we all left the beach earlier than normal that night to catch Bonds’ first at-bat. My dad did not think he would hit one that night and stayed out on the beach. I went up to Jake and AJ’s room to watch the game with them and my Uncle Keith. The Giants batters went 1-2-3 in the top of the 1st and the Padres scored one run in the opposite half of the inning. After what seemed like the longest commercial break in history, Barry Bonds was at the plate. There is no doubt in my mind that the stadium reacted the same way we had reacted the day before for each of his at-bats. With the count at 2-1, Clay Hensley of the Padres threw the pitch. Bonds connected and sent it to the opposite field and out to tie Hank Aaron’s record of 755. We ran out onto the balcony of our condo that overlooked the ocean. My dad and his sister were still sitting out there, having missed what just happened. We started screaming to them what had happened like we were 10 years old and our favorite team had just won a championship. The other 100 or so people between us and them must have thought we had lost our minds, but they didn’t understand how we felt about that moment. About five minutes later I realized we should have seen that home run. If the Giants manager had left Bonds in for extra innings, he would have had that at-bat to break the record, instead of waiting until his first at-bat the next day. I was disappointed, but satisfied that he had finally tied the record. Three days later, with the whole family around the TV this time, we watched as Mike Bascik gave up home run number 756, knowing we had come so close to being eyewitnesses to history.

While Barry Bonds walked from the on-deck circle to the batter’s box, as the crowd rose to its feet and the first of many flashes went off, I knew my journey from a 10 year-old jumping on the trampoline waiting for my dad to tell me to come witness history, to putting myself in position to witness it first hand, had completed the transformation from sports fan to baseball fan. It took a long time, but the wait was well worth it. I was born with Giants blood, so it was going to take a Giant to bring those feelings out into the open. I hope this is not the climax of my experience as a fan, but just the experience that will start me on a journey to something bigger and better. If it is the climax, I will always be able to tell my children about the time their dad almost witnessed history. One at-bat later…