Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Thoughts on Kaepernick Protest Situation


So when did expressing your first amendment right suddenly become un-American? 

Look, many are going to flare up in anger on either side of the fence, much the way they already have, in reading this post - if you choose to do so. But the recent Colin Kaepernick situation has me flustered, confused, baffled, and quite frankly, a bit amused. 

 - Returning to my opening statement, when did taking a neutral position on sitting for the national anthem suddenly become an expression of hate for one's country? Again, I have yet to understand why many are lashing out against Kap for expressing the very right which makes us American in the first amendment?

- I find the "insult to the military" argument to be utterly weak and ridiculous. Why are American's always so hell bent on rating, grading, and declaring the level of someone else's patriotism? We're always looking for an unmarked box to quickly scream, "NOT AMERICAN!". More on that in a bit.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

2016 Bucket List #8 - Visit Angel Stadium


The very last of this West Coast adventure and baseball stadium visits was Angel Stadium in Anaheim. Much like Dodger Stadium, I've been there before, but this was the first time I had the opportunity to enter the stadium. In fact, much like my visit to Safeco Field, I had the opportunity to take a tour of the stadium, including the opportunity to sit in the dugout - an experience that is always awesome for any fan. 

Angel Stadium, much like Dodger Stadium, is from a different area. It's old, and shows the scars from the days when 60,000 multi-purpose stadiums were the rage. Yet, much like the stadium over in Los Angeles, Angel Stadium is beautifully renovated with the rocks, the big "A" and a picturesque outfield that makes it significant.

Friday, August 26, 2016

2016 Bucket List - #7 Visit Dodger Stadium


For the amount of Dodgers games I watch late at night during the summer, visiting Dodger Stadium almost feels like a must for me. In fact, in some odd way, I know wayyyyyyy too much about Dodger baseball. But whatevs...

Nonetheless, on my West Coast adventure, I visited Dodger Stadium for the second time, this being the first time inside the stadium. The first time, I walked around the ol' stadium that sits atop Chavez-Revine. This time, I attended a game, an important game for West Coast baseball fans - Dodgers vs. Giants. 

The first thing you will notice about Dodger Stadium is that it has the biggest freakin parking lot for any baseball stadium I've ever been to. No seriously, EVER. But then again, this is Los Angeles we are talking about. The city where everyone drives by themselves. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

2016 Bucket List - #6 Visit Petco Park


I'm going to jump right into it. PETCO Park is underrated. Yes, it is so highly underrated. As an avid baseball fan, rarely do you hear of the ballpark in San Diego being a must-visit. In fact, I feel like PETCO Park has gone unnoticed as the gem that it is.

OK, sure, they had the All-Star Game this year, and it had it's moment in the sun, however, again, PETCO Park is underrated. 

First and foremost, the overall architecture of San Diego is fantastic. The majority of PETCO Park is outdoors. The concourses are outdoors. The buildings itself is wide open. And quite frankly, with San Diego weather, it's a tremendous idea. There something overly unique and awesome about this feature. Baseball was meant to be outdoors, and PETCO Park really drives that home.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

2016 Bucket List - #5 Visit AT&T Park


So I finally got to AT&T Park. Widely held as one of the crown jewels in Major League Baseball, this ballpark was among the many on my bucket list to visit. Honestly, it was at the top of the list. After visiting staying in San Francisco for three days in a long two-week West Coast trip, AT&T was a must, and I did it. 

Luckily, my ticket on this very day gave me the pitching matchup of Madison Bumgarner vs. Jacob deGrom and all the goodness that comes with that match up. Besides, that bunch of goodness, AT&T Park lived up to the hype.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Pondering Picture #70


I pulled over to take this picture on a road trip from Santa Maria to Long Beach, California. I had to pull over. It didn't seem real. It still doesn't.

Monday, August 22, 2016

2016 Bucket List - #4 Visit San Francisco


Well, if you haven't figured it out by now, the tag team partner and I are on a West Coast trip that is serving as our well-deserved, and very much needed, vacation. After spending three days in Seattle, we hopped aboard a Virgin America flight to San Francisco. Sorry, Portland, we'll have to get you another time. 

Also, if you've never had a flight aboard Virgin America, I would recommend you do so. Everything about the airlines is completely different than the others. From the staff wearing t-shirts, to the mood lighting on the plane, right down to the music video for your safety precautions, everything screams "we're so hip" about this airline. 

With all of that said, here are some quick tidbits on San Francisco, California:

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

2016 Bucket List - #3 Visit Seattle, Washington


Never have I ever been to the Pacific Northwest. Ever. But hey, there is always a first time. Hence why, visiting Seattle makes the bucket list posting. And after spending three adventurous and exploratory days, I came to appreciate the beauty of the city, and what makes it so special. With all of that said, here are some quick thoughts on Seattle: 

- As I said before, Seattle is beautiful. The landscape of the region is fantastic from the mountains, to the water, to the tremendous amounts of trees that cover the city. I can't say it enough, the region, the city, and the entire area is absolutely fantastic. 

- Following up on the prior thought, is that of Mount Rainier. The idea that this vast mountain hangs over the city, and can be seen in the landscape and the horizon is majestic. Easily, one of my favorite parts of the city. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

2016 Bucket List - #2 Visit Safeco Field


Continuing my Seattle adventure, you knew I couldn't visit a new city, especially one with a Major League Baseball team, and NOT go to the stadium! And, neither did my tag team partner. She knew exactly what was on the list to see in Seattle - Safeco Field. 

Much to my annoyance, the Mariners weren't in town, but we did do the stadium tour which was just fantastic. Everyone in Seattle really is super nice in a weird chill way. And our tour guide was the same way, of course picking on my Yankee fandom as I rocked a sweet dad style Yankee hat in the home of the Mariners. 

Of course, the tour begins where it all turned for better for the city of Seattle and the Mariners - the double. Now even before the tour, I explained to my wife the heartache a 10 year old me went through watching Jack McDowell give up a scorching line drive down the right field line to Edgar Martinez, and having to feel me heart bottom out second by second as Griffey ran galloped flew moved with some type of speed sorcery around the bases to score and send the M's to the 1995 American League Championship Series.

Monday, August 15, 2016

2016 Bucket List - #1 Attend a Seattle Sounders Game


It's safe to say that the Pacific Northwest and their love for soccer is awesome. In many ways, it puts the fandom of the rest of the country to shame. Especially, when you hear from specific Americans that "soccer isn't a big deal". Psssssshh, again, come out to the Northwest. 

After landing here in Seattle, I immediately showered, changed clothes, and headed down to Century Link Field for a life long bucket list of mine - attend a Seattle Sounders Game. 

As a fan of the New Red Bulls, a fandom in it's own right which has a nice following, this didn't compare. Not even close. The city of Seattle and the Sounders are so intertwined, so a part of one another, that it's hard to even compare this type of atmosphere, civic pride, and fandom for other Major League Soccer teams, heck, maybe even teams within the "four major sports".

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 8/14/16

3 Up

1. Simone Manuel - What else can be said about Simone Manuel? Her accomplishments this past week in earning gold far surpasses just athletic dominance and amazement. It's empowering, moving, inspiring, and yes, a long way from pools being drained because blacks touched the pool water. 

2. USA Swimming - Obviously, there was Manuel, but of course, there was Michael Phelps who  might beleive is part fish. Maybe one hundred percent fish, just in a human's body. And then there is Katie Ledecky, who well, might be a fish too. And kudos to Lily King who stood up against doping. Loved that personal conviction shining through. 

3. "The Final Five" - These girls were amazing in their dominance in gymnastics. I don't know a lick about gymnastics, and it was easy to see the sheer brilliance and one-of-a-kind special-ness that was n display. 

3 Down

1. Thai Explosions - In a world where it's becoming evident that nowhere is safe, Surat Thani was struck by a wave of bombs that destroy resort towns this past Friday. So sad. 

2. IMAM Double Murder - As Islamaphobia builds here in the US, unfortunately, it has reached a new level as an IMAM and his assistant were gunned down in Queens. This really needs to stop. 

3. Todd Grisham - I'm not one for ESPN. In fact, I wasn't a  huge Grisham fan when he was working for the WWE. With that said, his comments about Ichiro's "unwillingness to learn English after 15 years". Thanks Todd for continuing to add to the marginalization of all people who don't speak English here. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Pondering Picture #69


I'm not sure how else to word this, whatever this is I feel about Alex Rodriguez NOT playing baseball as a Yankee anymore, so I'll just post a picture for now. A-Rod in pinstripes is really over. I can't believe it. It's been quite a ride. Bring on the new chapter of the New York Yankees.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Olympics 2016: Diversity and Dominance Ruling Week 1


For some reason, the Olympics have taken my attention by storm. The event sort of crept up on me without much anticipation, but has become a mainstay on my nightly television despite some self-sabotaging efforts from NBC. More on that in a bit. Regardless, here are some quick takeaways from the first week of action.

 - How freakin' amazing is Michael Phelps? At the point of this writing, Phelps sits at 22 Gold Medals (26 overall). Let me say that again, that's twenty-two freakin' gold medals! One is a major accomplishment for any athlete. Two is extraordinary. Mmmmmm, we can say four is legendary. Phelps has twenty two. Twenty flippin two! 

The more you watch Phelps in his races, and the metal focus he embodies that comes before his races (see: #PhelpsFace), the more I realize how lucky we are to witness this era of sheer Olympic dominance. Amazing stuff. 

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Prepping to Say Goodbye to A-Rod


So this week marks the beginning of the end of for Alex Rodriguez as a member of the New York Yankees, and quite frankly, I am a little bummed. As you know if you follow this little blog called Dome Pondering, I am a big fan of Alex Rodriguez. In my opinion, he is the most fascinating athlete in my lifetime. You can talk A-Rod for hours, from potential, what ifs, his downfalls, and his overall talent. The guy has meant so much to baseball, no matter how you view his legacy. 

So yes, I'm bummed to see him go. Yet, as a Yankee fan, I know that he needs to go. 

As we close, I'm coming to grips on how he will be remembered. There is a lot of good, a lot of bad, and plenty of missed opportunities. He's not a Hall of Famer - that ship sailed for good on the second PED confirmation. But he did deliver one of the most clutch World Series runs I've ever seen, which flies in the face of scrutiny about him getting it done "when it matters". And let's be honest, he was one of the greatest talents to possess the combination of skill, power, and speed, that this game has ever seen. 

Oh yeah, and that 2007 season...my goodness. Take a look here.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 8/7/16

3 Up

1. Zion Harvey - Zion unfortunately lost his hands to a bacterial infection at the age of two. Zion then became the first child in the world to receive a double hand transplant. He went on to throw out the first pitch at an Orioles games this week. Awesome story. 

2. Katie Ledecky - So not only did Ledecky make us all feel insecure when she brought home a gold medal at the age of fifteen four years ago in London, but she decided to smash a world record she set in convincing fashion this week. Oh yeah, and she picked up another gold medal in doing so. 

3. Ichiro - What can you say? This dude is 42 years old, and still hitting, and now, the 30th member of the 3,000 hit club. Ichiro really is one of the best players to ever play this game. It's so amazing to think he began his career here in the states at 27. What could have been? 

3 Down

1. Paul O'Neal - Another young black man killed due to police violence. There needs to be a change, in both communities, and for all. This has to stop. 

2. NFL Hall of Fame Game - I'm not really much of a football fan, however, as a professional sport manager, how the NFL dropped the ball on this event, is beyond me. Completely unacceptable for a league that practically prints money. But you know, who cares? 

3. NBC Olympic Coverage - I really enjoy the summer Olympics, especially hearing the stories of the athletes and seeing sports not typically in the mainstream conscience. However, I wasn't a fan of the opening ceremony as NBC cut to footage of the US athletes every chance they go. Come on. It just felt like such propoganda. 

1 Sad

1. Alex Rodriguez Retirement - I can't believe it is finally coming to an end. A-Rod was the most fascinating athlete I've ever seen in my lifetime. After all, just check the Page of Fame here on this little blog. To understand that this is it is saddening. Will take the week to wrap my mind around this. 

Friday, August 05, 2016

Teixeira Hanging Them Up Closes Another Yankee Chapter


With Mark Teixeira calling it quits, it truly feels like the end of an era. It's an era that Yankee fans haven't really come to grips with yet on what it meant, what it should mean, and ultimately, how we should feel about it but, it's an important era, nonetheless. It produced a championship, and that's the only measuring stick in Yankeeland. 

With a championship that stands alone in 2009, a rarity in the existence of the Yankee franchise filled with dynasties and championships in clusters, this chapter was headlined by names like Sabathia, Teixeira, Rodriguez, and Cano which hasn't been digested as of yet. Maybe time will tell, but with Cano slugging in Seattle now, A-Rod a shell of his former self, Sabathia's glory days well behind him, and now, Teixeira calling it quits, that era is coming to a close.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Would You Rather: Questions Answered #1-10

After the success and personal enjoyment in going through 365 Thought Provoking Questions as well as the IF Factor series, I decided to dive into another series that presents similar dynamics in cognitive thinking. And of course, there was the feedback that some of you enjoyed going through it as well. With all of that said, let's start a new adventure in the "Would You Rather" Series. As always, thanks for reading, and enjoy!

1. Would you rather live to be 1,000 or live 10 different lives that last 100 years each?

Wow. The first question is rather easy - 10 different lives that last 100 years each. At least this way I can take a break in between lives. You know, digest what happened in the last one. Be able to get better at things you usually don't get a second chance on in life. Just imagine how easy those teenage years become? Though, imagine what teenage years ten lifetimes from now will be like. Yikes. Regardless, 1000 years of consecutive life sounds exhausting.