Tuesday, September 29, 2015

#Kylecard In The Hood (River)

Its been a little while since the last appearance of Kylecard around here. The main problem is I took him out of the car, and have forgotten to put him back. That changed just over a week ago when we headed up to Hood River for their annual Pear Festival.

One of the first things we did was make a stop at a viewing point for some pictures. As you can see it was a beautiful day to be out, and about.

With the weather being this good Kylecard decided he had to get in on the Mt. Hood picture taking.

The Pear Festival is when pears in the region are blooming strong. All the orchards in the area have sales on the various apples, and pears all grown in the region. It's a great time to get out for some serious fruit purchasing.

During one of our quick stops I had to pull out Kylecard for a picture in one of the many crates full of apples. Should have done a couple with the pears as they were even more plentiful than the apples. He did get one chance to taste the fruits though so hopefully that will hold him over until another appearance comes   

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Going On A BROcation- Monday

Monday was a bittersweet day in the general scheme of things for this trip. Part of me looked forward to this day because of the things we had planned. At the same time I was bummed because it signaled the last day of our journey. Tuesday would be spent driving home, and not much excitement at all.

First on the agenda was visiting the card shop. Figuring there wouldn't be much to do on Monday as we waited for the baseball game. I had made the plan to visit a card shop in the area when this trip was just me. Even after adding JJ I still kept this plan. All I had to do was inform him that I was going here, and he could either come along or stay at the hotel. To be fair this wasn't just a surprise as I'd mentioned it to him when we originally made our plans.

After doing a little research online I came to the conclusion that DJ's Sports Cards was my best option. They appeared to have a really good selection of Mariners bobbleheads, and other Mariners memorabilia. While normally baseball cards would be my focus I for some strange reason I wanted other stuff. Best of all they were the closest shop to our hotel.

Waiting until ten minutes before the shop was scheduled to open. Off to our destination that we might have never found if it wasn't for smartphone's, and google maps. Once arriving I went straight to a small box of  buttons. Going through the box I'd hoped for a better selection, but in the end only walked away with these two.

From there the bobblehead search was on. Being the number one reason I was here at first it was a huge disappointment. That is when JJ who knew that was my main goal pointed me in the direction of a stash of bobbleheads. Going through three different areas of bobbleheads I finally walked away with four, and was initially pretty pleased with my results.

Seager was from the 2015 set, and is one I just had to add into the collection. Guti, and Felix were the final two for my 2009 set. The 2009 set creates a scene of the outside of Safeco so getting these two has been a goal I've been trying to finish for awhile. Last, but not least was the Beltre. I've seen this bobblehead at the coast numerous times for thirty dollars. I was just never willing to pull the trigger at that price. Now I know why I've held out as this one cost just a mere 4.95. Seeing him at that price I couldn't pick it up fast enough as that falls perfectly into my normal price range.

Not feeling quite done yet, but feeling that we needed to leave soon so I didn't bore JJ to much. I started to admire old Mariners posters that were scattered over the walls. Two of them really drew me in, and I had to have them. That is when I spotted a box full of posters on a high shelf with a price-tag of 4.95 each. Getting the box down I went through them, but never found the two. What I did find was this one that I think is a better find than the two I'd originally wanted.

DJ's Sports Cards in the end was everything, and more than I had hoped it would be. One problem is on the way home I started to rethink my spending here. This wasn't the usual I shouldn't have gotten this or that though. The problem was I had planned on spending a little more, and had left two bobbleheads behind. One was the King's Court Felix that I had mentioned to someone before leaving for Seattle as a must have. There he was in my hands, and I had left him behind without any sort of good reason behind it.

With the first leg of our Monday journey complete it was off to stop number two. During the final week before heading off, and during our trip fine tuning. We discussed how cool it would be to do the Centurylink Stadium Tour. Adding the tour sounded like a no-brainer as it would prevent us from just sitting in a hotel room bored. It didn't hurt that we could do the tour then have maybe half an hour wait for the gates to open at Safeco Field for the Angels game.

According to the website you need to arrive around an hour early for the tour. This gave us time to wonder the area for a little. It also gave me the chance to spring on JJ that the Seattle Sounders office was within a few blocks of the stadium. Missing a business card for the MLS portion of the collection I had to try. Wandering around a bit it took a little work, but we finally found the office, and got the card. Afterwards we got the beautiful view above, which made it all worth the walk. As for the tour, I'm not a Seahawks fan, but seeing the stadium was an incredible experience.

From here we had around half an hour before the gates opened for our final game. Making the slow walk to the stadium we did opted to do the early admission that allows you to the beer selling area of the stadium only. JJ got a burger while I talked to another fan who noticed me wearing my Fresno Grizzlies hat. While talking Cruz hit a ball directly at me that I didn't even have to move for. Looking up a little late I missed it, and watched it drop out of my glove where someone else scooped it up. Never was any good at catching balls hit directly at me so that might have doomed me.

As for the game itself. For the first time all weekend we sat on the home side, and had great seats. With Pujols, and Trout both being right-handed hitters I had to be there for the picture opportunities.

Despite not showing a Pujols picture here I did get some. For all these posts I have only been showing the pictures taken on the phone, and not any from the regular camera.

A special treat was for the second time ever we got to see a challenge.

Initially Trout was called safe on this pick-off, but the views on the big screen showed he was obviously out. Seattle disputed the call that was changed to an out after the review. Getting the picture of him coming back was a pleasant surprise that just happened as I was trying to take a picture of him leading off.

The game itself ended with Seattle winning 10-1. The bad part about the game being so lopsided was that both teams started pulling their stars for the call-up guys. I had planned on going hogwild with the camera on Trout, and Pujols during their next at bats. Problem was those at bats never came as both players were part of the superstars being pulled.

In the end our entire brocation was simply amazing. When we were going through the planning process we never imagined it would be this great. Our hope was to have a great time, and watch games from seats that we might never get to sit in. We ended up doing just that, and doing other things we wouldn't normally do. I even think that this will change any trips the wife, and myself do in the future.

One of the biggest is I always make the wife show up close to two hours before the gates open. JJ, and I arrivesd close to the gates opening on every day except Monday, and it was wonderful. There are times like giveaways that we will need to arrive way early. Other than those though I think we will start doing the close to gate opening as there is no reason to walk around for two hours killing time. A change I think the wife will be thrilled to be making.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Going On A BROcation- Sunday

Originally the plan for the weekend was to catch three games. After arriving early for the Friday game, and pulling the football, baseball double. Two games were down, and Monday's game against the Angels was a must do. That left the Sunday game in my eyes as a wild card game that we could either watch, or skip to do something different. Being JJ is a huge Seahawks fan I thought we could go to a sports bar, and catch the game. I left the option in his court thinking he might enjoy watching the Seahawks over another baseball game.

JJ didn't hesitate choosing to keep the baseball game run going. Not a bad idea that I was all for, and had honestly wanted to do. Before leaving we watched the first quarter from the hotel before heading to the stadium. Once there JJ would learn that he had made the best decision. The Mariners had the game on their big giant screen in center field. This left me wondering about how often you get to see a football game on a screen bigger than a house?

The bad news is he only got to see maybe half the game at most before they changed to Mariners Vision.  While JJ watched football I observed Rockies after Rockies player come over to sign autographs. It was during this time that inspiration hit me to do a selfie with a couple of the players. I got kind of a weird look from JJ when I headed over, but I enjoyed it, and that is what mattered.

Talking to a group of fans they spotted Jon Gray who they needed an autograph of. Not one to miss an opportunity I followed for another picture.

 Interestingly for the game we sat in the exact same row as on Friday. The difference was we were on the opposite side, and closer to the Rockies dugout.

When everything was said, and done the Rockies took game three 3-2. Being a bigger Rockies fan than Mariners I was pretty happy to see my team take the series 2-1.

After the game it was off to dinner, and some time in the hot tub. This had to be one of my favorite things on the trip. Everytime we have ever gone to Mariners games we have always came home Sunday. Getting to stay for the extra time, and catch the Monday game was a treat.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Losing A Legend- RIP Yogi

In the morning I always wake up to see what is going on in the world of news. Sadly the first thing that came up was that legendary catcher Yogi Berra had passed away.

 Interestingly his Wikipedia page has already been updated, and says he died on the same day he made his MLB debut.

While I have never been a fan of the Yankees. I have always been a fan of his quotes, and thus came to like the man. It's truly a sad day when a legend the likes of Yogi passes away.

"If you come to a fork in the road, take it."

Monday, September 21, 2015

Going On A BROcation- Saturday

When the plans were coming together for Saturday it had shaped up to become our busiest day. You had a college football game hopefully followed by our second baseball game. I say hopefully as we figured the game would end around two, and then dealing with traffic would kill us. Throw in the start time for our baseball game was six, and it could go either way.

Going in we were undecided on taking the park and ride to the game, or driving up there. Still undecided until Saturday morning when we went with driving up, and paying the crazy parking prices. I personally liked the idea of keeping the car close, and was willing to pay the high fee to make it happen. In the end we both felt it was the best choice.

As we made the drive I had done some research on the parking situation in the area. A habit that the wife has gotten me into by her analyzing every part of any vacation we take together. By doing all that research I thought I had it all figured out, but would come to find out differently. As we made the turn towards the stadium I learned after paying to park that we had turned early. Instead of taking the planned street we turned blocks before I had originally planned. From there a series of football game parking signs distracted me, and next thing I knew we were nowhere near where I wanted.

After the game on Friday, and just thrilled about doing this game we brushed the parking thing off. Making the walk to the stadium we were met with these impressive sights.

Upon our arrival I had the plan to walk around, and enjoy some of the tailgate stuff going on before entering the stadium. JJ doesn't have the adventurer in him that I do so it took a little persuading to get him to walk around. Finally getting him to head in the direction I was pointing we came across some pretty sweet views. Out of everything I would have to say this was my favorite.

Not a fan of Oregon, Oregon Sate, Washington, or Washington State I thought it was classic, and shared it with the wife who is an Oregon State Beavers fan. Besides the one above there were a few that had both the Huskies, and Seattle Seahawks logo's intertwined. I should have taken a few pics of them, but for some stupid reason passed. After walking around for a bit I was still missing the Husky that I'd seen on the college's website. Doing a full walk around we finally came across the statue.

At this time the stream of fans was starting, and it was time to head to our seats.

From seeing the picture you'd never know it, but they were entering at this time. Mostly why it looked like this is most the fans were either on the concourse, or at the pep rally thing they had going on. Thinking it looked cool I had to go, and check it out. While there, and before heading to our seats a cheerleader picture seemed cool.

JJ is the one on her right, and I am the one on her left. Afterwards it was time to head in, and watch a classic blowout.

In the end it was Washington 49, and Sacramento State 0. When we bought our tickets this is what we expected to happen. We went because JJ grew up in Seattle, and had never seen Husky Stadium. I'd only seen one college game in my life, and it wasn't very memorable.

Leaving the game we went straight to the car, and found out our luck was still running strong as ever. By being in the parking garage we were in we avoided the entire game traffic problem. Making a right hand turn out of the garage we saw that the game traffic ended on our street. Moving forward instead of turning again we were on our way much faster than both of us ever expected.

An unexpected route, or also known as lost. We somehow went in the right direction though, and arrived at Safeco Field soon than either of us ever imagined possible.

Buying our tickets at the stadium once again we came away with great seats that were seven rows behind the Rockies dugout.

Nothing as thrilling as the Friday night game. Adding to it was the Rockies lost 7-2, and were never in the game. Despite the bad showing by the Rockies it was another fantastic day.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Going For A BROcation- Friday

Before getting to close to the big day came time to make the hotel reservations. Things changed though when right before making them I made an executive decision. Getting off work then leaving around five we had decided to go halfway, and stay in Kelso. Giving it more thought, I didn't want to arrive around eight, and then stay up til eleven. Only to wake up the next morning to leave around six, or seven for a two hour drive to Seattle. It didn't make sense in my mind when we could just arrive in Seattle close to ten. This would allow us to sleep in, and enjoy the day more than the whole early wake up. So, rather than ask I decided to add Friday to what was our current hotel choice. As the magical day came it would pay off in a huge way.

(From here on out I will refer to my friend as JJ) 

When I made the decision JJ was on another vacation. Upon his return we had talked, and agreed not only that my idea was our best option. We talked, and decided to put our names on the vacation calendar. Giving it alot of thought as the calendar was full so we were on the back up. Our best option was to both attempt half-day to hopefully increase our odds if something happened. We weren't very optimistic, but it was worth a try.

Fate stepped in, and set what we learned would be the tone for this entire trip. One of our coworkers canceled his time off, and set us up to get atleast four hours off apiece. Asked by our boss if we would both accept four hours instead of our requested five, it was a no brainer. Leaving early if even an hour was a treat for both of us. Thrilled at getting off, and leaving four hours early we were pumped beyond belief. That day things changed as our boss gave us 4 3/4 hours since staying through lunch to work forty-five minutes seemed stupid to him. When the announcement was made we couldn't get out the door fast enough, and were on our way.

After making what I thought was incredible time on our trip north. Going through Portland took an hour, but we somehow avoided the 'Tacoma Crawl' slow down. We arrived in Seattle close to four, and headed straight to the local big box store for some Saturday attire. Next came the hotel check in, and a surprise that we both never imagined possible. On the way up we talked about catching the opening game for the series if all the chips fell perfectly. Everything had fallen right, and we were on our way to an extra previously unplanned game.

Buying tickets at the stadium, and arriving after the gates had opened. (This was new to me as I've always made the wife go an hour before the gates open). We still ended up with some awesome seats.

Sitting on the third row in the section just over from the Rockies dugout. Going into the game these were the best seats I had ever sat in at an MLB game. We would do better later on when we sat in the exact same section, and row. Only that game we would be on the side closer to the dugout.

Best of all was the fact that there were tons of Rockies fans so I didn't feel alone cheering for them to win. What I did learn from seeing them all is that I need to re-bulk up on my Rockies knowledge. I can currently name most the Mariners by seeing their face. Not only can't I do this with most of the Rockies roster. I am not even able to tell you who's even on the roster.

How about some game pictures now without commentary.

The Rockies would go on to win the game 4-2. Seeing the Rockies go off on a hitfest, and score some runs against Iwakuma was a sweet way to start the weekend. Besides all this fun we would learn an interesting tidbit on Sunday while at the hotel.

I can't recall when they showed up, but I believe it was right before game time. The man in what looks to me like a brand spanking new Rockies hat. He came with a friend, and a chair that was empty between the two of them. It was in one of the first two innings that another man came to sit in that empty seat. Wearing the same hat, and sporting the exact same requested by the visiting team badge around his neck. I couldn't help sitting there, and mentioning to JJ numerous times that they were somebody important.

The man pictured engaged the women you see in the picture, and talked a little about how they were going to get a foul ball. Their moment came as a slow foul trickled in their direction while they looked at the scoreboard for other game scores. Focused on the board, and discussing the Phillies game their ball bounced off the wall in front of them, and rolled away. Despite being a Rockies fan I couldn't help, but harass them a little as it was just a fun moment. They engaged back which only added to the fun that I think they enjoyed as much as we did.

Sunday came, and while playing around on the Rockies twitter feed I came across a small video that showed the three men.

I guess the middle guy is Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. JJ had to explain to me who he is as the only part that made any sense is Pearl Jam. Overall it wasn't a bad way to start this entire weekend. Get to see an extra game, and a celebrity on that same night. The greatest thing is we didn't bother him, but hopefully added to their experience with our little banter.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Going For A BROcation- The Game-Changer

As I mentioned yesterday in the first of this set of posts. While still fine tuning the plans for the trip a game-changer was about to turn this trip upside down. Originally the trip was trending towards being a solo trip as the wife wasn't as interested in seeing the Rockies as I was. I was fine with doing things solo, but the wife thought it would be better if someone went along. This where my friend at work was going to come into play.

The wife mentioned that not only would she feel better if someone came along, but it'd add to the trip. Her idea was my friend at work who we've taken to Mariners games in the past. With all he has done for me in the past I couldn't say no to making him the offer.

For regular readers you have heard of this friend before. He is the same guy that goes to Colorado to visit family. On these trips he always hooks this cat up with schedules, magnets, or any other goodies from the local team. Even better is I convince him to pick me up a shirt on each trip. Not a bad deal for him though as how can you not enjoy getting to shop using someone else's money?

At first he wasn't so sure about coming along on the trip, but after talking to a few people he was all in. Those conversations basically equaled a simple "What is there to even think about?", and "How could you make him go up there alone for something you know will be a blast?" So after these little pep talks he decided that we needed to make this a guy's weekend of sports.

Adding him into the mix was about to become a game-changer that I had never imagined when inviting him to come along. Within the first couple days his brain was clicking, and it wanted to do something other than baseball. Realizing that football season was coming he asked if football would be going, and if the Seahawks were home. A quick search revealed that they were in St. Louis for their first game. Next was soccer, and the Sounders, which were on the road. Our last hope was the Washington Huskies for some college football... JACKPOT!!

Now we had a new plan that resembled something like this.

 After work leave town, and head halfway to Seattle to stay the night. 
(This would change to go all the way to Seattle so we could sleep in a little before heading to the game Saturday.)

This was going to be a bit tricky as we weren't sure how long it would take to get from the football stadium to Safeco for the Mariners game. Being we've never done any of this before we didn't know how bad traffic for the game would be.
8:00- Either drive to parking near stadium, or ride bus from nearby location.
11:00- Watch Washington vs. Sacramento State game.
2:00-3:00- Hopefully get out of game early enough to head over to Safeco Field for baseball game. 
6:05- Hopefully be watching a baseball game.

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were keeping the same plans that I originally had. Without giving too much away one of those days went in a totally different direction. Something that we decided to do a couple days before leaving was a strong possibility.

Everything was set, and all that was missing was the date of this weekend arriving.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Going For A BROcation- Original Preparation

If it hasn't been obvious for the last month, and a half. There was something coming up that took most of my attention away from the blogging, and onto something else. Something that required me to work quite a few days of overtime to pay for it.

This something finally arrived when I was able to take a trip up to Seattle to watch my favorite teams the Rockies play my second favorite the Mariners. Before getting into sharing how the trip went I thought it would be fun to share what went into preparing for the actual trip itself. First the original agenda I had when the wife made me the deal that if I worked overtime to pay for it.

This was going to be the arrival day that would start with me getting up early, and making the four to five hour drive to Seattle.
8:00- Wake up shower, and begin the drive.
1:00- arrive in Seattle, then stop at the mall to get my ticket before checking in at the hotel.  
1:00 to 4:00- Hopefully get to take a nap before heading out to the game.
4:00- Drive to the game, and have a great time.

Sunday games are usually much earlier, and start around one.
10:00- Head out to the game 
4:00- Head out to someplace for dinner before going back to the hotel for the night.

Looking at the schedule I noticed that the Angels were coming to town when the Rockies left. With my favorite current player being Mike Trout I had to take this chance to see Trout play. The thought of trying to nail down an in-person auto was something I thought about as well. Besides all this I had researched card shops in the area, and saw one that looked like a must visit.
11:00- Go to the card shop in hopes of finding some Mariners treasures for the hobby room.
4:00- Head to the stadium to close out the trip with one final baseball game.

This was going to be a simple day of driving home when I finally woke up.

If you paid attention to the title you will see that it is named Original Preparation. Little did I know when these plans were made that within a week my entire agenda would fly out the window, and get rocked by a game-changer.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

A Busy, But Successful Weekend

For the first time in over one month I am living large. Since July I have been doing serious overtime at work. Doing all this has left me drained, and honestly not wanting to leave the house very often. Yes, I did the Garage Sale thing, and two baseball games, but other than that it was lounging at home on my remaining days off. Hopefully for the next couple of months those days are behind me, and things around here start looking up.

If Saturday is any indication things are going to be looking way up. It all started with the wife wanting to head north, and run some long overdue errands. It didn't take much convincing as it'd been a month since getting to hit the Goodwill in town.

Doing breakfast, and five other stops we finally got to my favorite part of the errands. I will start by saying that with how the hobby room is coming along I haven't been expecting much. All this could change in the next few weeks as I have huge plans for the room. These plans will all start falling in place two weeks from now hopefully. Everything will depend on how next weekend goes.

Enough teasing, I need to get focused back onto the current stuff. Going in I honestly was expecting to leave empty-handed once again. I couldn't have been more wrong though as in the glass aisle things started strong.

Finding this what looks like a candle jar of some sort was a great start. Until seeing this jar I'd never come across anything like it before. Two things helped with the coolness factor, and me bringing it home. The first is that if you look close it was done during the time the team played in the Kingdome. Second is we have tons of the candles that would be used in this jar if I ever want to use it.

Traveling not far from the jar, and still down the glass aisle I came across this beauty.

I've seen these before at a not priced for me ten dollars or so. This one was at the much more affordable $1.99, and worth bringing home.While it does look to have a little wear I don't think I'd find too many in better shape, and at an even better price.

From there I did come across some 1991 football card, but decided to pass, and stick with my two treasure's. Not a bad way to start my September off, by finding two sweet additions into the Mariners collection. Hopefully the month will keep trending upward as I've got a big trip next weekend.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Clearing Out The Artelopes- part 2

After a very busy day that included all sorts of errands I'm home. With having all these days going by since doing the part 1, it's about time that I get #2 out of the way.

Possibly the oldest of all these I'm giving up on. This was my second attempt at trying to obtain a business card from the Dodgers. In the first attempt I did a brick wall in honor of the stadium name. This time I thought I'd run with an alternate logo, and see if that worked. In the end it not only didn't work, but it never came back. Adding to my frustration is that in the past Oklahoma City has always been very good in returns.

I've always enjoyed the Muckdogs logo, and when they changed affiliations it was a chance to add another business card. That was my thinking, but the Muckdogs staff had other ideas. Even with the failed attempt I was happy about the way this one turned out with the wood grain idea.

After doing the Muckdogs drawing I dreamed up an idea for another wood grained envelope. This time though I wanted to do a scene where you are looking through a knothole in a fence. After thinking it over for awhile the idea hit me to do Snoopy on his doghouse in his aviator outfit. The results are what you see above, and what I think is one of the five best artelopes I have ever done. When I sent this bad boy out I was more than pleased, and hoped it would bring something back. I did get to show it off on here so its not a total loss.

After sharing the seven artelopes in these two post I am now running at only two missing. There are a set of NFL teams that need finished up. One of the main problems for all those is we are currently out of black ink so I can't use the printer for the letters. Maybe here soon I will just bite the bullet, and wrap them up by writing the letter by hand. Until then though the artelopes won't be showing for awhile unless the two remaining send something that blows me away.