Everything Old is New Again

Everything Old is New Again

Ever since I was a little boy, I’ve followed the (mis)adventures of the San Francisco Giants.  My father took me to my first baseball game when I was in the first grade, about six months or so after my first San Francisco 49ers game.  When I was that young, I think being able to take off from school to go do something with your dad that didn’t involve a doctor or dentist appointment was pretty special.  I remember the atmosphere was different from a football game, but being able to ride up what was the longest escalator I’d ever been on in my life up until that point to the upper deck behind home plate thrilled me all the same.  My dad taught me what he knew about the game, and I honestly couldn’t tell you what he was saying because it was really loud and I was in over my head with the action on the field and the reaction of the crowd.

Giants' lettering from 1983-1993
Giants’ lettering from 1983-1993, courtesy of SportsLogos.net
Giants lettering from 1994-1999
Giants lettering from 1994-1999, from SportsLogos.net

Over time, the more time he and I spent watching the Giants (of both San Francisco and San Jose), he taught me about the game that I would eventually follow closely.  I was taken with all aspects of Giants baseball, from Candlestick Park and the way the wind seem to swirl around the bowl, right down to the uniforms.  For some reason, I was fascinated by uniform design and as I got older, when the uniforms changed, I always thought it was really cool to kind of see the directions in which the teams would go.  In 1982-1983, the Giants had introduced a new uniform that switched from the familiar script to a block/small caps logo, and their road uniforms were a simple copy of the cap logo, the intertwined SF they’d been wearing since their move from New York in 1958.  In these uniforms, they would win the NL West division twice (1987, 1989), and the NL pennant once (1989), and they were the first uniforms I’d ever see the Giants wear in the acolyte phase of my baseball fandom.

In 1994, the Giants returned to the classic old-style lettering that they used from 1947 in their move west.  It was awesome, and conveyed the maturity of the franchise.  The cap logo also received a classical treatment, as they added serifs to the SF.  I loved it.  The feeling of watching the team in the older-type uniforms was that of watching a team back in the Golden Age or something, even though it was the mid-1990s.  They got a bit of an adjustment in 2000 when the team departed the Stick for Pacific Bell Park, but ever since they’ve been the same uniforms.  We’ve seen some pretty cool alternate and special event uniforms arise since then as well; my favorite is the Hispanic Heritage uniforms with the block “Gigantes” on the front.  The team has a .950 win percentage in those uniforms.  I’m not fond of the Orange Friday alternate home uniforms, which sometimes reminds me of a CalTrans crew working those late nights on I-5, and the stadium turns into a giant construction zone with the heavy orange-colored attire everywhere.  I do own an orange Giants tee for games that land on Orange Friday, but I tend wear it under my black dugout jacket and my cream-colored home jersey from their 50th anniversary in San Francisco.

1986 SF Road Uniforms
1986 SF Road Uniforms, from SportsLogos.net
2012 Proposed SF Road Uniforms
2012 Proposed SF Road Uniforms from SportsLogos.net

Anyway, last night, I was looking through SportsLogos.net for Giants logos I could transfer to my iPhone.  Spring Training begins in less than a month and I’m already kind of hurting for some baseball. While I was there looking through the logo gallery, I happened to notice that there was a new entry to the list with specific notation of a new alternate road uniform.  When I looked at it closely, I was instantly brought back to my childhood. I talked with Julia about it and she said these aren’t officially announced, but SportsLogos.net is pretty good about maintaining their site integrity, so I don’t know if this is a rumored/proposed uniform design or if SportsLogos has some inside information (that site is nothing except logo/graphic design and design news for all sports teams on the planet).  Regardless, if the Giants are intended to wear these, I’m looking forward to seeing them in action, again.  Take a look (click on the images to see them in their full view) and compare the two uniforms, because I think this is an awesome move by the Giants.

I don’t think I would be equally thrilled to see the old 80s block Giants uniforms, and given that these are going to be alternate road uniforms, that means they will be in occasional use outside of the current road uniform with the block “San Francisco” on the front.

I’m sure it seems like I’ve gone on enough about my fascination with baseball uniforms.  Maybe, one of these days, I’ll share some of my designs for some of the fictional baseball teams that I’ve written about in the past.

It’s Bigger on the Inside

Yesterday’s prompt was about Guilty Pleasures, and I missed that one, so I’m going to take care of that with tonight’s post.

When I think of what I consider to be a guilty pleasure is something that I like but I’m embarrassed to admit.  The problem with that is that I’m unabashed at proclaiming my fandoms.

Karen Gillan
Have some Karen Gillan.

If I did have a guilty pleasure, I think it might be my inability to pass on anything related to Doctor Who.  Most everyone knows about my Trek fandom, but what they might not understand is that I was less vocal about having watched most of Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor when I was a kid growing up on PBS stations here in the Bay Area.  Tom Baker was MY Doctor.  And you never forget the first Doctor you watch on the screen.  For a six year old, watching this guy bandy about the screen with a robotic dog was pretty much the beginning of a childhood memory that’s lasted to this day in the form of the Ninth and Tenth, to the current Eleventh Doctor.  Also, for the record, I think that I watch Doctor Who more for Amy than I do the Doctor, though I still love the Doctor… but damn, dude.  Have you seen Amy (Karen Gillan)?  I haven’t had a crush on a companion this hard since Billie Piper’s Rose Tyler (Ninth and Tenth Doctors) and of course, Elizabeth Sladen’s Sarah Jane Smith (Third and Fourth Doctors).  I need to locate a really good picture of her so I can just show you how awesome she is.  Hang on a sec, Google Images has not failed me.  Let’s pop that in there, and there.  This post has now surpassed awesome for that picture, alone.  I could stop writing right now (but I’m not going to).

Badge of Fandom

One of the things that I’m grateful for with my recent resurgence of  my Who fandom is the fact that I can actually share one of my fandoms with my wife.  Which is something I haven’t really been able to do.  She doesn’t like Star Trek or Babylon 5, The West Wing or Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and our tastes in anime make it nigh possible to find any but a handful of series that she and I will both enjoy.  Our television watching had dwindled a lot lately, and I think the last time we’d watched anything together was due to the World Series and before that, the National League Championship Series.  But we’d really failed to connect lately with something non-sports, so it was really nice to be able to share that with her.  When you find a bit of a rift between you and your partner on some of your deeper passions in life, it’s great to find those few things and really hang onto them as much as possible.  Though, I doubt she’s has passionate as I am… and she’s more into Matt Smith and David Tennant than Karen Gillan (of course).

Of course, Doctor Who isn’t something I’m ashamed to admit that I love it.  I think it’s just been kind of a well-kept secret due to the fact that I had largely ignored the recent revival from the BBC.  I had caught the pilot episode with Christopher Eccelston and Billie Piper when the SciFi Channel (not Syfy) premiered it a couple of years ago.  Problem was that I kind of watched it and felt like it didn’t really capture me as much as Tom Baker had.  If anything, I kind of felt like Ninth Doctor was a bit too Hell’s Angels for me to really like him and so I walked away and never really went back until one day when I was at work this year.  I was on instant messenger talking about old Who, and he was raving about Tenth Doctor.  He sent me a YouTube link that I will gladly share with you in a moment, but when I saw it, I was more than intrigued.  I wanted more.  So I found out that on Netflix, they had all four series of Doctor Who, plus the specials.

I devoured the first series and I was actually sad to see the Ninth Doctor go, but after I saw the Christmas special with the Tenth, I was immediately taken with Tennant’s portrayal of my favorite Time Lord.  Plus, I was happy that Rose was sticking around for another series, at least.  She was a strong character, and I happen to like strong female characters.  When she left the show, though, it was a pretty devastating way to go.  Even my wife thought it was sad.  I will admit to shedding some tears, because I thought it was sad and a little too final for such a great character.  But it was far more dramatic than some of the other companions’ departures.  The Doctor literally dumped Sarah Jane in the middle of nowhere, and Leela just left.  And then even with the Seventh Doctor, Mel just up and decided to go with Glitz and she shoved Ace into the fray (Ace was my last favorite companion before Rose).  Anyway, I will digress…

Before I go, I want to leave you with a final video that kind of defines the series for me.  It’s a compilation of all the themes and the Doctors, though it’s kind of aged and doesn’t include the Eleventh.  Enjoy, and I’ll talk to you more tomorrow!

34th New Year’s Resolutions

One of the new years’ resolutions I’m going to try and stick to for one year from the Fourth of July is to blog at least once a day (either publicly or privately).  So this means that sometimes you’ll see a post from me and sometimes you won’t.  This particular resolution will be judged solely by me.  But, I guess I should maybe talk a little bit more about what’s been going on lately:

  • I recently celebrated my 34th birthday about two weeks ago on the nineteenth.  I was very heartened to have a large number of friends show up for the party and we had a lot of fun, into the wee hours of the night and actually on to the next day.
  • Shocking News: I managed to stay employed with the same company for more than a year.  In fact, on July 7th, I’ll be celebrating Year Two with this company!  I haven’t done that since 2002, when I was with PayPal.
  • One of my best friends moved up here from Fresno and is now living right next door in his own place.
  • Since my last post, we’ve moved into a house, which is infinitely better than an apartment.
  • I staffed Fanime in May, which was one of the things I swore I would never do again, but Rob was rather convincing and since Japan-A-Radio was there, it made sense to bring me on to staff.
  • I’m playing and managing my company’s softball team.  I’m having a lot of fun with it, even though we’re in second-to-last place in our division.
  • I’ve lost some weight, but I don’t know how much.

As with every birthday, I use June 19th to set some resolutions for the new year.  I took a break from resolutions for my 33rd year, which was a gift to myself.  But now that I’m 34, I’ve decided to make some and see how long before I break them.  Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. I am resolved to write a blog post every day for a year.  The blog posts can be public or private.
  2. I am resolved to lose at least 25 pounds this year.
  3. I am resolved to restart and maintain my sit-up and push-up program for the next six months.
  4. I am resolved to do cardio three times a week (DDR, swimming, cycling).
  5. I am resolved to finish writing two novels and ten short stories this year.
  6. I am resolved to winning National Novel Writing Month for 2010.
  7. I am resolved to not bite off more than I can chew.  My wife knows what that means.

I’m not asking for people to help me with these.  I know I have enough self-discipline to carry this out, and I’ll see it through to the end.  With my recent softball experience, I’m noticing that my weight has become a hindrance to my performance on the field, and since we’re all going to continue playing over the summer, I want to be able to do more.  Besides, pretty soon I’ll be 40 and that’ll be it for me, even for recreational softball leagues… unless I get back down to a manageable size.  My wife will help me where I need it, and that’s really all I can ask for.

On a less serious note, I’d like to go to more Giants games.  Especially now that Shon’s here full time.  We really need to take him up to church so he can worship with me at the Altar of Bonds.  Maybe I’ll convert him to my baseball “cult.”

In site news: I upgraded this thing to WP 3.0 — it’s actually pretty awesome.

How’s your summer going?

Olympic Fever, Baby!

Every year since I could remember, my family and I have always watched the Olympics. Since the 1980 games in Moscow, I can recall sitting in my family room and enjoying the competition of the worlds’ athletes every four years (until 1992, when they started staggering the Winter Games). I never miss out. My favorites are volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball, swimming, and for some reason, I always seem to catch the Equestrian. It never fails! This year, instead of happening upon it, I shall seek it out and get it over with. I have no idea what it is about the equestrian that just sucks me in.

I was in awe of the opening ceremonies last night from Beijing. The Chinese know how to put on a show, but as Julia and I were commenting on the torch-lighting ceremony, I said that I thought the best torch-light I’d ever seen was Barcelona ’92. When they passed the torch fire to the archer and he had the one shot to hit the target.  At the time, I thought it was the best way ever to light that torch.

Paralympian Antonio Rebolle gets ready to send the torchs flame into the huge cauldron at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Paralympian Antonio Rebolle gets ready to send the torch's flame into the huge cauldron at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Did anyone else fast-forward through the march of the athletes? Julia and I sat through a healthy chunk of the smaller nations, but once we got to Italy, and it was starting to get later and later into the night, we decided to time-shift on the ol’ TiVo and blow through the geographical trivia contest and slow it down during the more impressive nations (such as the UK, US, etc). I cheered for the Japanese national team early on in the march, and of course, the “Chinese Taipei” team waving their specially-designed, least-offensive Olympic flags instead of their own national flag (which China finds too offending to display). Here, I thought the Olympics were about setting aside differences and competing on a level playing field… but whatever. The reception of the team from the US was heartwarming. It makes me want to pull for Chicago in their bid for the 2016 games, and wish that the San Francisco bid for 2012 wasn’t such a spectacular failure. I think having the games in the Bay Area would’ve ruled big time, and I don’t care how much of a traffic jam it would’ve caused… I love the Olympics.

My question to my readers today is in two parts: 1) Are you watching the 2008 Games? 2) If so, what’s your most favorite event?


I typically root for two teams: San Francisco and Cleveland.

San Francisco is immediately obvious; I live in San Jose and proximity dictates that I throw my support behind the local team. Of course, I will also throw some fandom behind the A’s because sometimes when Giants baseball kills me, it’s nice to bite into the refreshing lime wedge of A’s baseball, which at times, can suck way less.

Why Cleveland? It all goes back to my father. My dad loves baseball, and he was the one who introduced me to the game when I was a kid. We would travel to the Stick to watch the Giants in San Francisco, but also we would hang out at Municipal Stadium almost every home game during the 1989-1992 seasons and got to know some of the minor leaguers when they would go to the bar after the game and drink with us. It was a lot of fun (and yes, even though I was like 11, as long as I didn’t sit at the bar, I was cool). But my dad’s first love was and is the Cleveland Indians.

Not because he used to live there or anything, but because when he was a little kid, he would catch the sports scores on the radio during the 50s. Every now and again, he told me that he heard a pitcher named Mike Garcia (aka The Big Bear). It was one of those things, I guess, when you hear someone with your own name being referred to on a broadcast medium like radio and eventually television. So, naturally, he would root for the pitcher who shared his name and the team he played for, which was the Cleveland Indians. Ever since, he would always keep tabs on the Tribe and of course, as his son, I tried to be as helpful as I possibly could in that area.

And that carries through even today. I may not follow the Tribe as die-hard as I do the Giants, but I still follow them. When I talk to my dad on that increasingly rare occasions these days, during the baseball season our conversation will turn back to the Tribe and how they’re doing. My dad doesn’t follow the game as avidly as he once did when I was growing up, but that bond that we built between us with the Giants and the Indians will always remain, no matter how old we get.

With the start of the 2008 MLB season this week, I’m ready to go back on the trail with my teams once more; ready to live and die with wins and losses. I’ve made many friends because of my love of the game, and maybe lost more than a few loves because of it, but I won’t apologize for being who I am and loving what I love.

Go Giants! Go Tribe!