Thursday, July 31, 2008

Manny Ramirez an LA Dodger

Good ridance!

Manny was dealt with Brandon Moss and Craig Hansen in a three team deal for Jason Bay of the Pirates. The Sox seem to have given up a lot in order to rid themselves of Manny the cancer. Moss would never have been a regular in Boston, and was unnecessary because the Sox will have 4 OFs in Crisp, Ellsbury, Bay and Drew. Hansen wasn't showing any real progress. having seen him a few times on TV, he had amazing stuff some games and then would lose it - he gave up something like 16 base runners in his past 5 innings - which is attrocious. So, those two being moved is hardly a worry.

Bay for Manny is a plus for the Sox. Bay is under the Red Sox control through the 2009 season and only costs $7.5M next season. Although the Sox would not have picked up the $20M option on Manny, now they have a position filled and $12.5M to use on other areas (C, RP, another ace - which they should have tried to get one of at the deadline as well).

Manny spent 8 years with the Sox, and none were without his challenges. The Sox were over gracious in their dealings with Manny, and finally Manny forced his way out. He is quirky, happy go lucky and rich - but that doesn't make him any less of an ass. He has been a cancer to this organization and a cancer to his teammates. Any player that loafs and doesn't appreciate his $20M salary doesn't deserve to be playing a "game" for money. I hope Manny does poorly in LA and I hope he kills his opportunity at making a huge contract for next season.

Good ridance and good bye - I hope the door know left a nice mark in your ass on the way out. As Fitzy would say - Manny GFY!

My (former) Baseball Card Fetish

When I was a kid I was a freak about baseball cards. Sure, I dabbled in hockey/basketball/football cards, but I lived on baseball cards. That is probably the number 1 reason why I am in finance and a numbers geek. I love stats, I love averages, deviations, means, everything about numbers. I'm not a Sabermetrics guy, which surprises me, but I love prediciting and forecasting stats.

I have started looking at some of my cards over the past couple of weeks and thinking about my favorite set (1985 Topps) and it got me thinking about cataloging my cards and reminiscing about all the cards I used to have. Back before I moved out to Colorado I sold 100's of thousands of cards on eBay to make my collection a little more portable. I have about two to three thousand left - and most are worth more than commons (although some are just personal favorites or complete sets).

I also started last night cataloging my cards in Microsoft Access - I'll probably start looking for want lists online and start contacting collectors and trying to find good homes (at a price) for my existing cards.

But the internet has become such a great tool - and I was scanning it to find cool sites that show the cards from my era (1970-1990). I have found a bunch - check them out:

The Baseball Card Project - pics of all your cards in one spot. From the creator of the baseball cube, comes an awesome site that I myself wanted to start (but don't have the time or energy). Help him complete lots of sets and make this a more complete database!

The Baseball Card Blog - this is a cool site that does reviews on older sets, that does a six pack habit where they open six packs of cards and analyze the cards inside.

The Ugly Baseball Card Blog - a funny look at those cards we loved.

1988 Topps Blog - a day by day card by card look at the 1988 Topps set.

A Pack a Day Blog - it ain't cigarettes, but it is just as tough to quit! Who needs Starbucks.

The Completist - Wax Heaven - just a casual look at baseball cards or today (and sometimes yesterday).

Squeeze Play Cards - fun site.

Fielder's Choice Baseball Card Blog - another addict.

These are just some sites that I peruse. I think they are fun to look at - although all the new sets are a bit overwhelming. Which is why I stick to the older sets.

It amazes me to think that rookie cards are worth hundreds of dollars straight out of the pack. When a guy has a whole career to fall on his face, after a great rookie season (or maybe he hasn't even played yet!) that seems like quite a leap. Especially after my hall of famer rookie cards hardly change and they already have proven themselves! And although I somewhat believe that the circulation of a card has an exponential relationship to the value - I have trouble believing some of the prices that an "excellent" rookie card of a HOFer gets when I highly doubt there are 200 or so in that condition of that very card. The non-mint stuff has to be worth more than they are being sold for on eBay. Sorry, but I don't get the price of these cards. If it was a 1973 car it would be priceless - but a 35 year old baseball card is just so-so in value? Whatever.

And don't get me started on grading! That's for another time.

Well, I just wanted to get something in writing here on some of the cool baseball card sites I have found. Mission accomplished.

MLB Trade Deadline

I can not believe I am going to say this - but thank God it is almost here - I can't take reading the 28 pages + on SOSH about the Manny deal that is dead/alive. Just trade him already, he makes me sick.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hockey 7/29 - Tuesday League

2 goals
subbed for Andy
played D
played with Chris the goalie
played against the NetSeakers - they are the team with the kid I called a penalty on when I was reffing and he flipped out - but in a good way, he is not even a dirty player - I still feel guilty about calling that penalty
drew two tripping penalties - I would have had breakaways on each
played crappy D - we had 5 defensemen
won 8-5

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008 - Union Reservoir, Longmont, CO

Friday, July 25, 2008 - Union Reservoir, Longmont, CO
Hot, hot, hot day - probably 95 degrees, mostly sunny, some puffy clouds, water temp 80 degrees and muddy and algea. By 3pm there was a HUGE rain storm that we were lucky to be off the water by.

Did the CarpStalk outing with Steffan, Andrew, MarkM and a new guy Paul. Met Paul (coming up from Co Springs) at 5:45 and was in Longmont by 7. Met Steffan at IHOP around 7:30, and then Andrew at 8:30 at Starbucks. Headed to Union and met MarkM at the docks. We launched and headed across the water. Andrew and Mark are pros at this - seriously, they both guide for carp - which is crazy to think that there is any money in this!!!

Mark and I had one boat and Andrew/Steffan/Paul in the other. Their boat had fish on almost immediately, but I think they lost a couple. We saw a lot of tailing fish - as the water color was better in the morning than the afternoon. It was amazing to see these fish wallowing in the water eating off the bottom with their tails in the air. They seemed like they would be soooo easy to catch, but that is hardly the case. I blew up and scare tons of fish - missed all of them and had no luck. I fished for about an hour, and poled for about an hor to give Mark a chance to fish. I didn't do too badly poling Mark's 16 foot skiff - which was pretty cool.

At about 11am Mark dropped me off in Andrew's boat and we fished 4 guys in it - which is not a good idea, but we managed - 1 guy would fish while the others would scout fish and tend to Andrew's needs (beer, peanuts, hold the pole while he pissed, etc.). Before I had got on the boat they had landed two (one for Andrew, one for Steffan) and lost a few (Paul lost one). Andrew had us into fish, and Paul was working the rod well - he got one on and lost it in the weeds. I jumped at the chance to cast, and they tried hard to get me into fish. Literally I missed 35 fish before I finally got one on - and it took off a couple of times - but nothing of any distance. I turned him 6 or 7 times until he finally gave up and I landed him. The fish seemed to be sunning themselves right next to the grassy areas out in the middle of the bays - not up near the cattails like you would expect.

This fish was quite the work in progress - I got skunked my last trip out there, and it felt very very good to land one finally. He was quite a handsome fella, and he wasn't nearly as slimey as I thought he would be - actually less than trout! He was rounder than any trout, and he was pretty hardy - and was 25 inches long!!

We released him, and kept on fishing - no more fish on after that. We got off the water around 3pm and headed to Andrew's house to get some of the Aunt Lydia's yarn - which I needed to tie him up some flies. The fly on the menu that works the best is Andrew's Carp Slider - the thing looks harmless, but is deadly.

Link to the recipe and instructions.

After leaving Andrew's we got stuck in a rain storm like no other - hail, huge drops and flash flooding along the highway made the drive home a bit longer than expected. We stopped at Discount Fly Fishing to pick up some materials for the Slider's. Now I have to tie a few!

Thanks guys for the great time today!

Hockey 7/24 - Thursday Night

1 goal
played D
played with John the goalie, and Harry and a bunch of new kids (same as last week, but not the same as last season).
these kids pass a lot and pass well - I like playing with them
my goal was tucked over the left shoulder of the goalie just under the post
won 10-5 or so

Softball 7/24 - Thursday Night

1-4, 2 pop ups, 1 ground ball - I SUCK!
Played with the normal crew
played the second place team - the team with the pitcher that Chris hit in the throat at the beginning of the season
played LC, had 3 decent catches, no errors
the other team scored only in one inning, 3 runs while I was on the bench as the secret squirrel was playing LC - that's how I roll!

We won 10-3, and it really wasn't that close - our Defense rocks.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Go Matt!

A friend of ours is in the final two of the TV show Design Star on HDTV. We met him at our good friend's wedding, but we had heard many stories about him. He was originally from Colorado Springs, and built a unique house in Palmer Lake, CO. "Palmer Lake Matt" is very good friends with our friends Ivan and Cheri (who have since moved to Wisconsin). Every time I needed to borrow a tool from Ivan, it seemed like it was always at Palmer Lake Matt's or Colorado Springs Jeff's house - so Ivan would go down there and pick it up (even though I told him he didn't have to). Ivan has helped me with several projects and I still call him from time to time with HVAC, furnace, water pump and other issues (thanks Ivan). Of course Matt moved to Los Angeles before Ivan & Cheri moved away (Matt has a great story about that - as he is an excellent story teller!).

Ivan and Cheri moved in May of 2007, but came back to Colorado to get married at Arrowhead Golf Course down in Roxborough in early June 2007. That is when we finally got to put faces to names. We were all seated at the same table and it was such a great night - not only were two great friends getting married, but we met a bunch more. The entire night was a blast, and we closed down the joint.

Well, about 2 months ago Jennifer got an email from Cheri (who is about to have a baby themselves next week!) saying that Matt was on the show Design Star. Well, to say the least we have watched and been huge fans every week. I have chatted with him briefly through email, and he is very excited. Of course this Sunday is the final non-live episode, and then the world votes and they announce the winner on live TV the following week. Matt is down to the final 2 and I think he could win the whole thing.

We wish Matt luck and are rooting for him! Good luck Matt!

You can watch it on Sunday's at 7pm MST.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008 - Chatfield Res for Carp!

Not a whole lot to report - Cabo and I went out there, the water was easily a foot+ higher, so poor Cabo had to swim in most spots (trust me, it didn't slow her down).

We didn't see anything but the bikini hatch in all the normal places that Carp usually are. I don't think I'll be doing much more carp fishing this season.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hockey 7/17 - Thursday Night

1 goal, 1 assist
goal was a nice walk in where no one want to cover me, I just put it in the corner
assist was super pretty - coming down the right side I slid by a guy, cut hard left at the last moment I slid a pass across and the guy slammed it in - happened so fast
new team - all young guys in their teens - but these guys pass really really well - and are fun to watch
no penalites - I basically watched a lot
won like 13-5 or something like that

Softball 7/17 - Thursday Night

1-3, I guess - BB, line drive out to center, line drive to center agin and he dropped it, strikeout looking (after the ump said something like no pitch - whatever).
played with the usual suspects
3 plays in LC, lost a line drive in the dark (under the lights) and it went for a HR
we won 19-3
my worst softball game ever (embarrassing)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008 - Spillway between Shadow Mtn & Granby

Saturday, July 12, 2008 - Spillway between Shadow Mtn & Granby
Beautiful hot day, probably 85 degrees, no idea of the flows although they seemed low.

We camped at Grand Lake for the weekend to escape the heat of the city. Grand Lake is beautiful - definitely one of our favorites. Cabo and I got a chance to fish while Avelyn took a nap from 1:30 to about 5. Tried a new spot I had heard about - it's located between Shadow Mtn Lake and Granby on a fee area of the Natioanl Forest land. The river was beautiful, although it was pretty low - so there were limited numbers of areas that the water was deep enough. The bottom was heavily carpeted with green weeds, so adding weight just made dragging the bottom very common. I spent a lot of time cleaning weeds off my flies.

The fish were hitting everything and anything and I must have hook about 100 fish in the short period of time - on everything from tiny midges to larger nymphs to a dry fly caddis. The fish however shook so much that many of them actually shook of the hook. I think I lost about 90% of them. The ones I did catch were tiny - 8 inch stocker rainbows with no fins on their cheeks - all worn down from the stocking oens and other fish living on top of each other and pecking them off. That didn't deter the fish though - they all fought well and hit like hammers. I did manage to hook one nice 16 inch rainbow in a side channel that held about 100 fish - I hooked him 3 times, but never did get him to hand.

The river was tough to walk on, boulders just the size of basketballs and covered in mucky green weeds and yuck. Cabo and I made it down river a bit - but never did get down to the big fish! I did see another angler and asked him if he had luck - he said he did - but it was down quite a ways. I was already pushing my luck and so I knew I couldn't move down anymore and get back on time. I did hook one nice brown, I played him for a minute, but again, he wiggled off. I hiked out and made it back just in time for my 5pm deadline.

Here are some pics of our camping trip:

Cabo, she's a bit obsessed with the ball.

Some elk hanging out near our campsite.

Cabo jumping off the dock after the ball.

Daddy and avi standing over the Colorodao River headwaters.

A cool photo of Mom and Avi playing on the dock.

Avi playing ball with Cabo and the ChuckIt.

A friendly moose just outside of the campground in RMNP.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Softball 7/10 - Thursday Night

2-4, pop out to the 2nd baseman and CF
Played with the usual suspects
we killed the team 23-4
had a 15 run inning in the 1st
made 5 defensive plays - no errors

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Hockey 7/8 - Tuesday League

1 goal
Played with Chris the goalie
Played against Anthony's Pizza
I scored with 1:30 left to tie it at 3, then had a turn over with 1 minute left in OT that ended up being the winning goal.
no penalties.
lost 4-3

Saturday, July 05, 2008

RMNP Fishing - July 5, 2008

I fished RMNP today with Chad and Matt - it was great to get up there this year. I headed out the door at 5am and picked them up at Chad's house around 5:30am. We hit the RMNP booth at Estes Park just before 7am and hit our fishing destination (a secret) soon after. The hike in is a killer - 1 mile and 850 ft of elevation gain - wears you out. But hearing the river makes you keep going, and thank God you are doing this hike up in the morning - because if you had to hike in on the way out you would drop dead!
The water was much higher than previous years - and we have fished this river the last two years on the same weekend. The fish were still active and were right along the edges and in the slower water. I cught fish right off and missed a bunch too. The day was beautiful, slightly overcast and hot - about 80-85 degrees. The scenery is beautiful and amazing. The fish are equally as beautiful and amazing. They aren't huge, but as you can see they are very colorful. I did catch a cuttbow, which was my largest fish of the day at 12 inches. We headed out about 3pm and I was home by 5:45pm. Overall it was a great day - not the 60 fish day I usually have up there - but about half that.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I'm pretty proud of myself.

On Monday I came home and Jen told me that the air conditioning wasn't working. I tried a couple of things, but nothing seemed to work. I called the HVAC place and they had a technician come out on Tuesday at 1 pm. The guy was a nice enough guy, and he diagnosed the problem after a few minutes. The problem seemed to be a small electrical box on the outside of my furnace - this box connected directly to the thermostat and relayed to the furnace whether to turn on the furnace or the air conditioning. The box is called an Add-A-Wire and is only 2inches by 2 inches with 5 wires sticking out of it, and the guy showed me the two pieces that needed to be changed out. Problem was he didn't have the same kind of box, but he could get a similar one. He went out to his van to find the part and write up a quote.

WHile he was in his van I decided to Google the part - so I went downstairs and wrote down all the info on the box and came up and Googled it. The part was about $36. The guy came in from his van and gave me a quote of...$517 - that included his $89 fee I was going to have to pay anyways, a $46 fee to pick up the part, and the rest was the cost of the box and labor to install. I called my buddy Tim to see if I could handle this and he told me to just make sure I match up the wires and I should be fine. I declined the fix, paid the $89 and sent him on his way. I immediately got online and order the part for $36 + $21 shipping Fedex.

I got the part today and installed it in 30 minutes or so, in between putting Avi to bed and moving the camper out and showing Steve how to pop it up and attach it to his truck. The air conditioning is on now and working fine. This is the second piece of equipment I have fixed - I fixed the ignitor on our furnace last year when we had no heat - it was easy to do and shows if you have a little faith you can figure stuff out.

Next project I think is an attic fan - which will make my A/C unneeded!