Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Yes, this really happened...

One week later

It still seems like a dream at times (though, thanks to the MLB Network, and sfgiants.com, I can see the games and highlights as often as I want!)

My childhood baseball team, a team that was really bad during my formative years, playing in a cold, windy ballpark, a team that constantly teased us, be it 1971, when they won the West on the last day of the season, but had to use their ace pitcher, thus making the best-of-five LCS no contest for the eventual champion Pittsburgh Pirates;

Or, 1978, when I was 13, and they stayed in first place for most of the summer, only to fade down the stretch…Mom actually thought I was going to have my first ulcer…

Or, 1982, when I was 17, and, thanks to a Ron Pruitt bloop, they got to within a game of the lead going into the final weekend, only to have Rick Monday ruin things on a Fred Breining fork ball that didn’t dip…Joe Morgan then knocked the Dodgers out on the last day of the season…

Or, 1987, when, in game 6 of the LCS, with the Giants needing one win to advance to the World Series, Candy Maldonado lost a line drive in the lights, leading to the only run of the game, and then Jose Oquendo ruined Atlee Hammaker for all Giants fans…BTW, we would have KILLED the Twins in the Series…ah, well…

Or, 1989, when the earth moved, and the A’s rattled the Giants’ pitching staff in 4 quick games…

Or, 1993…sigh…Salomon Torres was the best (?) option on the final day of the season…

Or, 1997…attended my first playoff game (Thanks, Jim C.!), only to see Devon White ruin the season…until we were walking back to the car, and a group yelled out “AT LEAST WE BEAT THE DODGERS!”, to which we all answered “YEAH! AT LEAST WE BEAT THE DODGERS!”

Or, 2000…first year at Pac Bell, best record in the NL, only to have fellow Filipino Benny Agbayani take Aaron Fultz deep, and then we only get one hit off of Bobby Freakin’ Jones…

Or, 2002…yeah, that happened…

Or, 2003…when we were introduced to Mad Dog Russo on the west coast…

Earlier this year, my family and I moved from the Bay Area to Connecticut; I joked with a friend as the Giants stayed within range of the Padres that it would be my luck that the Giants would win the whole thing the year I’m not there to experience it first hand. Now, the internet, as I’ve told many a relative and friend, does make the move not as traumatic, as I can keep up with family and friends through the many myriads of social networks. The only thing the internet cannot duplicate is feeling, and, as I sat there with my wife, watching Brian Wilson nail it down, I was somewhat at peace with not being in my hometown to watch the Giants win it all. Of course, once Nelson Cruz swung and missed, I yelled my head off (much to the chagrin of my 4-year old), called the family, and Facebooked my feelings of the night.

Every day after winning the Series, I checked in at mlb.com to see highlights, and the MLB Network was awash with Giants replays, so the happy feelings continued. It was only today, 8 days after the fact, that I watched the home run, and watched the strikeout, and listening to Joe Buck rattle off the names of the Giants that never got the chance to win the series in San Francisco, that I began to tear up…then, remembering that my brother went to my grandparent’s, mother’s and aunt’s tombstones to celebrate with them, a profound sense of sadness came over me…

Sports do seem silly to some, and believe me, living right between Boston and New York has heightened my passion for my home town teams. Sports, for my family and I, brings us all together, be it watching Dwight Clark rising to snare “The Catch”, watching my sister go nuts after a double overtime Sharks win, following the “We Believe” Warriors of 06-07. This victory, however, trumps them all. My dad and grandpa taught me about baseball, and the Giants. I still remember grandpa telling me to finish my sandwich before the first pitch, so that I can watch everything on the field at Candlestick. Mike Krukow had it right at the victory parade, when he had us remember those who introduced us to the national pastime. This victory was a tribute to them, and for that, I will be forever grateful for the 2010 San Francisco Giants – World Series Champions.

P.S. – I know there is supposed to be a 5 to 10 year grace period after winning a World Series, but after Buster Posey’s little speech at the victory celebration “Let’s enjoy this today, tomorrow, for a week or even a month, but let’s get back to work and make another run at it.”, I AM PUMPED!!!!

(Now, if they can get a quality bat for Jonathan Sanchez…)

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Oh, so many things to love about a tense, tortuous 3-2 nail-biter to win the National League pennant:

*A bullpen that fires 7 shutout innings (Affeldt, Bumgarner, Lopez, Tim-May, and the Beard);
*The ebb and flow of chances on both sides (as yours truly, at the suggestion of Bill Simmons, sat watching in the fetal position);
*So many clutch defensive plays - Utley for the Phils, Huff to Renteria for the Giants;
*Juan OOOO-REEE-BAY hitting the game winner to the opposite field, so that punk Jayson Werth (former Dodger) could have a great look at it;
*The many shots of the Philadelphia crowd looking panicked/scared/etc.;
*And, of course, the Torturer himself, Brian Wilson, making things just a bit too interesting in the bottom of the ninth; however, when you throw a pitch like this:
Well, that would freeze many a batter (right, Mr. Beltran?)

We'll see you Wednesday - game 1

Saturday, October 23, 2010


As I watched the Texas Rangers eliminate the New York Yankees last night, my first thought was that of happiness for long-suffering Ranger fans, who finally get to see what the World Series is all about...and my second thought was that of the countless Yankee fans who called into Mad Dog Unleashed before the game stating that "We have Texas right where we want them", and "We're the Yankees, and we're going to win it all!"

First off, dear caller, you do not wear the pinstripes, so please, spare me with the "We" "We" "We" talk...

Secondly, it's nice to have all the confidence in the world, but, you tend to forget that Phil Hughes was handed the task of saving your season...which is not good...

This brings me to tonight's clash between the upstart (Jonathan Sanchez) and the wily ol' vet (Roy Oswalt)...as I've been hearing for the last two days, the Giants have no chance - Oswalt today, former World Series MVP Cole Hamels tomorrow, so, Texas, pack your bags, your headed to the City of Brotherly Love...


I have to channel my inner east coast sports fan, I suppose, but the Giants are in the driver's seat, and they're throwing a lefty who can neutralize Utley and Howard, who, by the way, threw the clincher for the Western Division this season, has thrown a no-hitter, and may be just the right guy to push us over the brink.

Now, a lot of superstitious people may be cursing me for jinxing this, but for god sakes, don't you think we Giant fans deserve the right to feel confident, to know that we'll close this out tonight, that things eventually balance out - I mean Oswalt has not lost once in Philly as a Phillie - that changes tonight.

Philadelphia has been king of the National League the past two years - that changes tonight.

Giants fans have suffered for far too long - that changes tonight.

Tonight IS the night!

Friday, October 8, 2010

I don't know how the rest of the post-season will go, but...

Geez - two months since the last post, eh?

It's a little past midnight here in West Hartford, and the house is quiet; spouse-asleep, son-asleep, while I, lifelong San Francisco Giants fan, I am energized; seeing your favorite pitcher on your favorite team set a franchise mark with 14 strikeouts, winning a 1-0 game, well, that'll get your adrenalin pumpling.

I know, I know - there are 10 more victories to attain, but, at least for a night/early morning, I feel really good about our chances.

Thank you, Tim-may, and good night...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A BIG Connection to my old hometown

What - did you think it was food?

For the un-initiated, follow me on a timeline from birth to now:

*1965 - year I was born, Willie Mays is the MVP (.317 BA, 52 HR, 111 RBI), and Juan Marichal clocks the Dodgers John Roseboro on the head with his bat, setting off a near riot at Candlestick;

*1970 - the 49ers win their first Division championship, shock the Minnesota Vikings in Minnesota in the playoffs, then lose to frickin' Dallas at Kezar Stadium for the right to go to Super Bowl V;

*1971 - The last hurrah for Mays, McCovey, and Marichal, as the Giants win the division on the last day of the season; sadly, Pittsburgh and the great Roberto Clemente knock the Giants out in the LCS, 3 games to 1

*1972 - The last hurrah for John Brodie, who comes off the bench in the final game of the regular season for an ineffective Steve Spurrier, and rallies the 49ers in the fourth quarter, hitting Dick
Witcher with the winning TD pass with about 30 seconds left; the Niners would then blow a 28-16 4th quarter lead to frickin' Dallas in the opening round of the playoffs, which hurt, but probably not as much as Raider fans hurt that day...

*1975 - The Golden State Warriors win their lone NBA championship, relying on an ego-maniac, a gravelly voiced coach, and quite possibly the best team play the NBA has ever seen (Russell's Celtics and the 69-70 Knicks are probably the only better examples)

*1978 - The Giants have a renaissance, stay in first much of the year, and cause my first bout of heartache late in the season as they fade from contention

*1981 - This happens...at the time, the happiest day of my life...little did we know that it would be the start of the most dominant stretch of NFL football by one franchise

*1982 - The Giants break my heart again (lefty Al Holland, ready to go in the bullpen, but Frank Robinson leaves righty Fred Breining to face Dodger slugger Rick Monday, a lefty, and Monday crushes a grand slam to really knock the Giants out of the race-fortunately, the Giants answer

*1983 - 49ers are ROBBED by the refs in the NFC championship game, with two questionable calls going against them, and the Redskins go to the Super Bowl, where they get spanked

*1984 - Now, THAT'S more like it!

*1985 - The 49ers trade up in the draft, move one slot ahead of Dallas, and take the player the Cowboys wanted - a wide receiver from Mississippi Valley State, Jerry Rice

*1987 - The Giants win their first division title in 16 years, hold a 3 games to 2 lead in the LCS, then fail to score a run in the final two games; I've never seen my Mom madder then when Atlee Hammaker gave up a 3-run homer in Game 7 to Jose Oquendo

*1988 - The 49ers win their 3rd Super Bowl, thanks to key plays during the season, and the greatest drive to win a Super Bowl

*1989 - Great year for the Bay Area, as the Giants win the pennant, the A's win the pennant, and the 49ers dominate the NFL, culminating in the biggest blowout in Super Bowl history

*1990 - Alas, no three-peat for the 49ers; thank you, Leonard Marshall...

*1992 - I attend what was thought to be the last San Francisco Giant game ever, and I admit, it was very, very dusty that day...

*1993 - Thanks to Peter Magowan, there would be Giants baseball in San Francisco for years and years to come; oh, they also signed a free agent that winter, Barry something...

*1994 - Niners win their 5th Super Bowl, becoming the first team to reach that milestone; this is the funnest team of the five, with so many characters (Ricky Watters, William Floyd, and the one and only Prime Time)

*1997 - Brian Johnson, anyone?

*1998 - The Catch, part II

*1999 - Giants play their last game at Candlestick Park

*2000 - Giants begin play at Pac Bell Park, win the division, but fall to the Mets in the LDS

*2001 - That Barry guy for the Giants? Bigger, stronger, hits 73 HRs*

*2002 - 49ers provide fans with the biggest comeback in playoff history; the Giants? Still can't talk about game 6 of the World Series without getting very angry.

*2003 - Giants knocked out by Florida in the LDS; my feelings? Best expressed here.

*2007 - The Warriors make an appearance! Great post-season run, highlighted by this. And the Barry guy ends his career*

And now? Well, the Giants have pieces in place, but still need a bat; the 49ers seem to be the "sexy" pick out of the NFC West this year; the Warriors?

Yes, I like my teams; not only for what they've done in the past, but what they continue to do, but most importantly, the teams are a link to where I'm from, and continue to identify with; I can only hope my little one continues to exhibit the same enthusiasm I have for these ever-changing groups of athletes as I will always show.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Miss Me?

So, my mother-in-law has been joking that me moving to the East Coast just happens to coincide with the hottest summer in recent memory.

Can't say she's lying, as it's been hot, humid, sticky, rainy, just about everything that is associated with east coast weather...not that my son minds the heat...

What I'm finding out quickly is that the heat can seriously sap the energy out of you, so you do what you can early in the day (like mow the lawn, grocery shop), then turn on the AC, thank the Lord that your house has central air, and relax...until you need to go out for lunch, or a quick errand, or hope that your home town baseball team has a eastern time start that won't affect your sleep patterns.

(This is just for the weekends, BTW - the work week is work work work, pick up Zach some days, and off to the gym with Zach on those days)

What I'm also finding out is that these thunderstorms do some serious damage - we lost a HUGE branch off of one of our trees in the backyard, but, fortunately, our landlord knows people who remove the fallen branches - since, you know, this San Francisco native knows NOTHING about tree removal, except to bag the Christmas tree and put it on the curb on your garbage pickup day...

Since last we met, I took my son to see Toy Story 3 - he for the second time, my first time; having read the reviews, and also reading the EW (Entertainment Weekly) reporter who cried at the end of the movie, me, being my snarky self, thought (foolishly, as it turned out) that I can get through the movie without incident - uh, WRONG!

I'll keep it spoiler free, but, if you watch the end of the film and are not at the very least sniffling and/or wiping your eyes because it's dusty in the theater, you may have no heart or soul (this of course means that Dick Cheney laughed his a** off at the end).

Also caught up on a couple of movies released last year, both recommended by an old friend

The Damned United stars the british actor who played Liz Lemon's boyfriend in a few episodes of 30 Rock this season - brilliant performance, witty script, well-told true story of a soccer manager's disastrous 44-day reign with Leeds United.

This next movie I wish I had seen in the theater with my little sister, because we would have been both crying from laughing, and probably be quoting the movie as we left the theater. Black Dynamite, starring the guy who played Mike Tyson in an HBO movie years ago, is quite the homage to 1970's blaxplotation films, complete with fuzzy focused scenes, one scene where you see the boom mike, and it is just funny, funny, funny. Highly recommend this one.

(As I'm doing this, TIM-MAY just got out of a 1st and 3rd, no out jam in the eighth inning, keeping the game tied at two! WOO HOO!)

So, that about it for now - hopefully there will be a post that won't be one month down the road, but, no promises...


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sorry For The Delay...

Well, as suspected, returning to the working force has meant a dearth of posts - you know, commuting, working, commuting, making dinner, checking social network sites banned at work, catching up on emails banned at work, playing with child, playing with spouse, getting in a few tabletop baseball games from different eras, listening to my favorite baseball team play at home (i.e., 10:15 pm EDT start times), and finally, getting to sleep, blah, blah, blah...

(I know, I know...NO EXCUSES)

But, as I feel that a "routine" may be falling into place, I hope that will mean a little more time spent on letting my thoughts flow, and sharing it with an adoring public (or, at least, my family - thanks guys!)

*Since last we met, I've turned the page on another year; the "44" part of the title of this blog refers to my age; I did want to name it spf45, but, surprise, that name is ALREADY TAKEN! (Very nice pics, though...)

*Also, since last we met, we've crowned one Top Chef Master (go Marcus!),

*The regular Top Chef has started, with the cheftestants applying their expertise (or lack thereof) in the nations' capitol. And, for the first time, a former classmate of mine from the CCA (California Culinary Academy, or Can't Cook Anything) is one of the cheftestants (don't ask me about any anecdotes/potential blackmail stuff, because that was 15 years ago, and I honestly don't remember...).

*For a great recap of each Top Chef episode, my favorite blogger has started doing a weekly recap - check it out here.

*With the temperatures rising, I'm seeing more fruit at the market (a lot coming from Cali, BTW), and lobsters are all over the place ($4.99 a pound! Lobster roll, here we come!).

*In a couple of weeks, I'll be making my first foray down the shore in a couple of years, and it'll be so nice to get sun, sand, surf, pizza, GTL...

*Father's Day upcoming - think I'll save my thoughts for a stand-alone post...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

So, what's the house like?

As I make my way back to the working world this week (woo freakin' hoo!), I began to realize that I'll be back in an office setting a good portion of the day, and not in our new digs. Thus, for the curious, I give you several places that I won't be spending much time in during the day...

Here in the living room, where, due to size restraints, the bridge that usually connects our shelving has been put to the side. The built-ins have taken all our books, and the shelving that was used for tapes and dvd's is now pretty much a culinary library...

Or the kitchen, with a nice little breakfast nook, though the table is used more for updating this here blog, and for playing Ball Park Baseball (replaying the 1905 season), and Skeetersoft NP3 baseball (replaying the 1930 season). BTW, if any of you are ever stuck on what to give me for a present, season card sets from these two companies would do just fine...

This is probably my favorite spot of the house - the three season screened porch, where one can relax, sip a cool libation, watch the grass/shrubbery grow, and scurry away the occasional chipmunk that sneaks in (cute, but I hear they bite)...the porch leads to the...

Backyard! (freshly mowed!) Great spot for the little boy, since he's really into running around, wearing his 49er helmet, or playing baseball, soccer, frisbee, and, as long as your well protected from the MANY BUGS that swarm around, perfect for just chillaxing. And, now that we have a full tank attached to the grill, let the summer barbeque season begin.

This is our cat's favorite place of the house, the bay window where she can watch joggers, cars, bikers, chipmunks, squirrels, foxes, birds, and the occasional letter carrier pass by...all while getting a nice sun tan...

So, that's a brief rundown of our new living quarters. Let us know when y'all want to visit!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

OMG! It's been a month! Start Cooking!

Sooooooooooooooooo...one month in.................

(No, I haven't gone loco yet...)

As with any move, there are adjustments to be made; with a move like this (cross country), well, several additional adjustments have been made, like the internal clock is now pretty much running on East Coast Time, with the only hiccups coming when I want to listen to a Giants baseball game from the west coast that starts at 10:15 here...

Keep it up, Buster; keep it up!

Now that the house is in order, the cooking has picked up, some; typical stuff (stir fries, pasta marinara), some great buys from Trader Joe's (the chicken burgers? yum!), and, as always, Zach friendly stuff (Easy Mac, chix nuggets, Spaghetti-o's)

One bit I had forgetten was the same product/different name thing here; to wit:

west coast - oroweat/east coast - arnold
west coast - Dreyer's/east coast - Edy's
west coast - Best Foods/east coast - Hellman's

I'm sure there are others, but my mind escapes me...

I have found a couple of asian markets, quite a number of european markets, and, when I feel very adventurous, I'll make treks out to Hartford to check out the Jamaican/Caribbean stores to get my fill of delicious patties, jerk chicken, etc, and hopefully the resources to make them at home.

Besides some of the obvious food items that I miss from San Francisco (Graffeo Coffee, Boudin Sourdough, dungeness crab), the biggest two items not here that would make me feel so at home right now would have to be the chicken katsu lunch plate, and the mega-stuffed burrito:

That sound you hear? Everyone in my family on the west coast calling in their order to either L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, or their favorite burrito place.

I know a lot of you are thinking "Robert, you are a trained effin chef after all - make it yourself!", and to that I reply "true, but, still..."

Once the work situation rights itself (and it looks to be happening very soon!), then I'll be able to work tortillas, panko, short grain japanese rice, carne asada, avocados, etc., into the budget, and try to replicate the tastes that I'm missing.

Oh, and a quick note regarding cheap chinese food here - just not the same...

So, having taken out all the cookbooks, as well as all my culinary school binders, there should be no excuses about missing any of the above foods, since I have a pretty spacious kitchen from which I can turn out all kinds of yummy good things; I recently introduced the east coast relatives to my favorite brownies of all time, and, with some birthdays coming up, there will be ample opportunities to showcase my favorite brunch items, dinner items, and baked goods.

Till next time...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Observations after three weeks...

Some random thoughts on a sleepy Sunday, before mowing the lawn...

Oh, what fun that was...

*Friendly's Grilled Cheese Sandwich is the only restaurant grilled cheese my son will eat;
*DMV? Runs very smoothly...was very used to this type of chaos in Daly City...

*Connecticuters love running...and the wife and I have discussed training for the many 5K and 10K runs that are coming up...

*The Noah Webster branch of the West Hartford Library has the best section for kids I've ever seen; Zach can stay there all day, playing, reading, working on the computer - I would have done the same at his age...

*The regular section of the library is pretty cool, too...

*Nutmeggers (another nickname) LOVE their Dunkin Donuts coffee - both hot and iced...

*The weather here turns on a dime; one day 50, cloudy, next day 86, sunny, then the quick shower/thunderstorm - this will take some getting used to...

*Connecticuticans (most current nickname) have been over the top friendly for the most part (there was an incident near the very affluent town of Avon that reminded me that not everyone approves of darker-skinned people)...best example was going to see the New Britain Rock Cats, the local AA baseball team, on a night where they were packed; I didn't have a ticket, and was waiting for my turn at the ticket booth, when a lovely woman by the name of Donna asked me if I needed just one ticket for myself, and when I said yes, she gave me her extra ticket for free! Turns out she gets tickets to all the games from the Rock Cats pitching coach, but her daughter, who normally accompanies her, decided to go to a school dance instead, so I got the extra ticket. And, not only that, but her seats turned out to be right behind the players' wives and girlfriends; what was interesting about the ladies was that the three levels of blondes (platinum, sandy, golden), sat and talked together the whole night, while the three brunettes did the same.

*The highway system is very good - If a job interview this week goes well, I'll be constantly using the system to go into Massachusetts (about a 35 minute drive).

*I'm reminded every time I go to the grocery store of how spoiled I was in California, with the abundance of different fruits and veg available; the stores aren't limited, but the quality does leave a lot to be desired; but, with the summer months coming up, I'm hopeful for more selection and better quality.

*Connecticut microbrews? Very tasty!

*We're almost into lobster season, so looking very forward to my first true lobster roll...

GET IN MY BELLY!!!!!!!!!!!

*Lots of weekend/day trips planned to discover our new state(s);
- Springfield, Mass for the Basketball Hall of Fame...
- Six-Flags New England in Springfield that boasts one of the few Wiggles World shows, as well as Thomas the Train, meaning that Zach will not want to leave...
- Science/Kids museums in West Hartford and Hartford...
- Steam train/Thomas the Train in Thomaston...
- Of course, a trip down to the Jersey Shore (FIST PUMP!)
- And, a trip to NYC

I'm still in a little bit of a haze, but hopefully the job situation will stabilize, and a new pre-school for Zach will make things a bit more normal - though he will say at least once a day "I miss California..."

Till next week...or sooner...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Two weeks in, and so far, so good...

Week one in Connecticut; excitement, anticipation, a bit of worry. Excitement and anticipation of a new chapter in our lives, a bit of worry as far as me getting a job quickly - I have been hearing absolute horror stories of friends who've had a difficult time finding employment in this current economy. Fortunately for me, I am still employed on a limited basis, working enough hours to cover the cost of my health care premiums, and for that I am eternally grateful.

When we arrived at JFK, we rented a car for the week, hoping that our car would arrive before Sunday the 9th; the car did not arrive, but my father-in-law offered one of his cars for us to use, so on Saturday we made the trek to New Jersey for the night; spent the night in Cranford, and, thanks to my mother-in-law, my wife and I got to see this:

You still look great, Tina...

Funny, could have been funnier, but a good vehicle for the two stars...and, for those who don't know, I am a HUGE fan of Ms. Fey - HUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE...

So, the next morning, after a delicious breakfast at my favorite bagel shop in the world (suck it, Noah's!), we made the long trek from Cranford/Westfield, New Jersey, back to JFK to drop off the car, quickly followed by a day long excursion here:


This turned out to be a game that reminded this Candlestick old-timer of chilly, chilly nights in Bayview/Hunters Point; it was gusting all day, it felt like a 45-50 degree game, though this little guy didn't care;
(Uh, Gap Kids...will you HIRE MY SON? I mean, LOOK AT HIM!)

As for the game, it was great for a while, with Lincecum shutting up the Citi Field patrons time and again, and it looked good with the Giants up 4-0 in the 6th inning, which is when my mother-in-law said:

"well, it looks good for you now, doesn't it?"


Of course two innings later, a misjudged fly ball and sacrifice fly spelled a 5-4 deficit for the Jints going into the eighth, when the Giants had a runner on and Aaron Rowand at the plate.

What is interesting about Citi Field is that at that time of the day, the wind was gusting toward right center field; I read a lot about Candlestick's early days, and that Willie Mays adjusted his swing so that he could drive the ball toward right-center, right field, because that was he best chance to hit one out. Well, Rowand channelled that theory, because he hit one that, from our seats, just cleared the fence in right-center for a go-ahead home run! There was a smattering of Giants fans in our area, and, needless to say, we went bonkers! We even had a couple of pickles thrown at us, so you know WE WERE LOUD!

We were too cold to stay for the rest of the game, but saw the highlights; Brian Wilson flashing his nasty stuff, the wind playing with Uribe and Rowand, and David Wright losing his mind; so, after back-to-back walk-off losses, a win for the Giants, in what will probably be the only time I see them live this year - good times.

This never did look right...

Thank you for a great day, TIM-MAY!

And, so ended our first week on the east coast; week two consisted of getting our car (WOOT!), getting our stuff from movers (WOOT! WOOT!), and getting set up with Comcast - which has not gone as smoothly as I'd hope, though, of course, I'm posting today, so I got that going for me, which is nice...the house is almost done, and I hope to post pics next time around.

Also, there may be an opportunity to start cooking again; keep your fingers crossed, everyone.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Moving Cross Country, Or, a Little Sadness a Lot of FML

44 Years. 10 Months. 328 Days.

This is how long I’ve called the San Francisco Bay Area home. And now, it’s off to a brand new home, and a brand new chapter in West Hartford, Connecticut.

Besides the oncoming sadness that comes with the knowledge that my days in the Bay Area are numbered, adding to the stress level has been a series of trying times with an auto shipper that will remain nameless - let's just say that what I'd like to do to the sales rep and the "customer service" reps has everything to do with how the cows and chickens are treated in the movie "Food Inc."

Normally, when I tell a company what I expect, I believe that they'll follow through, then I remember this is 2010, not 1941; so when the expected date of picking up the car (Monday, 4/26) came and went without even a courtesy phone call (one that I had been promised , by the sales rep), I, of course followed through, only to have my blood pressure rise, along with my voice, as the poor customer service reps felt the wrath of Rob. Fortunately, the company that our mover suggested was able to take our car, and we now await its arrival. With regards to our stuff, the moving company was quite impressed with the amount of boxes ready to load; apparently if we left it up to the movers to do everything, it would take about 2 days; since we were using the past 10 days to pack, they were in and out in 4 hours. Again, we anxiously await the arrival, but, in the meantime, it's a great opportunity to plan how we want the new house to look, and get some of the necessities for it.

It’s quite easy to say that I’ll miss the Bay Area, and San Francisco especially. But, it’s also quite easy to say that while I am no longer living in the Bay Area, today’s technology makes the distance apart much, much shorter.

I didn’t join Facebook as quickly as my friends and family; I did join Twitter rather early, mostly because 140 characters is all I can muster most of the time. Now, these two platforms for social networking will be my lifeline to the place that was home. I’ll be able to see what everyone is up to (at least what they want the public to know). I’ll be able to keep tabs on my nieces and nephews as they reach milestones, and I’ll be able to see how my newest niece is doing come August.

With all the sites that are San Francisco driven, it will not be hard to stay in the know with regards to food, music, arts, gossip.

With all the sites that are Bay Area driven, it will not be hard to get caught up with friends whose endeavors I’ve followed, or will follow.

Likewise, to those of you who choose to spend quality time perusing my ramblings, I hope to keep you entertained, either by my wit/charm/grace (not likely), or by the occasional appearance by a certain 3-year old who continues to amaze…

The new adventures have begun!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

And, so it begins...

Welcome! As a longtime blog lurker, this site will serve as sort of a litmus test; can a blog that will touch on a wide variety of subjects (San Francisco Bay Area sports teams (mostly), pop culture and food, food, food) keep the blogger on his toes, and will he maintain interest as this goes along. And, most importantly, will the blogger's move from his home town of San Francisco to Connecticut provide enough items to compare and contrast, or will he embrace the change wholeheartedly?

Or, will that first taste of severe winter weather render him mute...

We shall see.

For now, since I'm still on the left coast, I will continue packing, and maybe drop some opinions/knowledge prior to our departure - stuff like...

*My beloved San Francisco Giants have now lost 4 straight games, the offense seems to be in a funk, but, as I often tell my fellow fantasy baseball owners, it's all ebb and flow; plus TIM-MAY pitches next!

*After a long day of work and packing last night, Glee's Madonna episode took some of the edge off...

*Had a wonderful dinner at Dopo restaurant in Oakland tonight; started with a nice glass of Prosecco, followed by salumi/pate/antipasti, and finished with a really, REALLY good pizza topped with Guanciale and green garlic (perfectly thin crust, generously topped with the beloved cured pig jowls - pure bliss!)

(uh - this is the finished guanciale; not the pizza - didn't have my camera at the restaurant...)

Now, I'm not going to promise that every post will cover the S, P, and F at the same time (better than GTL, I know...), but I hope to keep you interested, and keep you reading.