August 2004 Archives

Don't get caught holding too much of the combination 2/@ key. Not a good long-term bet. Sure, the number two gets a lot of use now, but how long is this bubble going to last? Smart investors realize that A and T can combine to duplicate @'s function in any imaginable situation. Not to be too blunt, but the @ key is for fucking losers. If you're heavily into @, try to diversify, maybe pick up some sleepers like W or the Home key.

I have a very good feeling about the long-term prospects for 6/^. Call it a hunch. I think the carat is going places.

This is only tangentially related to that whole alphanumeric thing, but I hear really good things about the Newton. Maybe see if you can invest in a stylus.

Sometimes it can be fun to light a twenty-dollar bill on fire, just to watch it burn. This is technically illegal.

Kurt Cobain is going to live forever.

Reader Mail

John from Providence writes, "Hey, how you doing man? Thanks for the heads-up about Scroll Lock. You really saved my ass. Think the Expos have a shot this year?"

No problem, bro. The Expos have a solid team, but I think the World Series will probably be cancelled this year.

Though apparently anallergic to hippies, patchouli oil, and huge puddles of mud, my friend Kristina has a severe reaction to mosquito bites. This came up at Dustin's house, and, like a grandpa, I told Kristina that mosquitoes liked her because she was so sweet.

"What are we even going to be like as grandparents?" pondered Kristen. It was a fair question. Both Kristen and I are (not-so-)hipsters, and as such tend to be restrained in our appreciation of things, always remaining slightly-too-cool for even our favorites. We realize that there is social credibility to be acquired in seeking out music, clothing, and entertainment that one actively despises. We wonder if anyone else kind of thinks Cat Power sucks.

This is in contrast to my grandmother, who will talk with enthusiasm on a myriad of subjects she's passionate about, from gardening to dogs to how Daniel Day-Lewis could stop by her house anytime and that would be just fine. Grandma also mentions her age at the conclusion of all of these stories. "How many other 72 year-old women who could weed an entire garden on a 97-degree day?" she'll challenge us. "Do you know any other ones?" She's delighted by her cell phone, her tattoos, and visiting Branson, Missouri.

Besides buying my grandkids ugly clothes to wear, what would I do as a grandparent? If my current path is walking away from the mainstream in an ironic t-shirt and a zip-up hoodie, I could be a mega-hipster in fifty years or so. By the time I'm old I'll be driving to my children's houses in a ramshackle VW bug, wearing a bright yellow raincoat and flip-flops. The radio will be on, blaring calliope music as I pull into the driveway. I'll embrace my grandchildren and one will ask, "Why are you wearing that enormous sombrero, Grandpa Sean?" With a bored look I'll explain. "Because I hate it."

Will our offspring rebel against us with sincerity and genuine behavior, to counter our geriatric, too-cool-for-old-school attitudes? Or maybe, I'm not giving grandparents enough credit for the ultimate super-hipsters they truly are. After all, I have CDs by Wesley Willis, a street singer with chronic schizophrenia. That's pretty hip. However, my grandmother has decorated her house with art made by elementary school students for nearly fifty years! Way hipper. My sister went to see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy in concert while she was in college. My grandfather was listening to swing music back in the '40s. He must have looked at Jon Favreau with disdain, thinking to himself what a bunch of poseurs twenty year-old swing dancers were. I probably don't even have to mention how far ahead of the thrift stores he was when it came to vintage clothing.

A Chinese company is cybersquatting, and I think with good reason. Once they truly embrace the internet, those senior hipsters will be unstoppable, though some will probably hold out for the Google community version of Oldster, or continue to focus on early bird specials instead. I just hope they don't leave the old/hipster bar set too high when I get there, or I may have to add clown shoes to my future grandpa ensemble. Or learn to whittle.

reds at giants, 8/5/04: brilliant



Thursday was an occasion for playing hooky from work, as our entire office moved down Third Street to take in the afternoon showdown between the Giants and the Cincinnati Reds. The weather was lovely, the company was excellent, but the baseball was less than stellar. A difficult season for the Giants and their bullpen full of belly-itchers reached a new low, as the Reds turned a close contest into an embarrassing rout by scoring ten runs in the eighth inning. During this endless, soul-crushing parade of offensive might (the Reds) and unbridled suck (the Giants), a young British visitor displayed an impressive understanding of our national pastime, and I put the finishing touches on a very silly-looking sunburn.

I blame the sun for many of our woes. Expecting the usual overcast and chilly San Francisco summer weather, our party was unprepared for the clear, sunny day that resulted. Our food consumption was slow and weary, our peanut fights half-hearted, our heckling quiet and uninspired. I think I may have even referred to Reds' pitcher Aaron Harang as "nothing but a lousy diatribe". Even my sunscreen application was lacking. I thought I'd learned my lesson from last month, when I burned my upper arms after rolling up my sleeves during a convertible ride. The result was a painful reverse farmer tan. This time I was more vigilant with the SPF, but neglected the narrow strip of forehead between my hat brim and eyebrows. Luckily, it only hurts when something really surprises or worries me.

Still, Kirk Rueter was on the mound, so the game went quickly. Rueter works faster than any other pitcher in the league, since he doesn't issue a lot of walks or home runs, and takes roughly 2.4 seconds between pitches. The Giants weren't hitting either, so we reached the eighth inning with the Reds ahead 2-1, and the time of game at a brisk 90 minutes or so. Even with Barry Bonds resting on the bench, we had faith that the team could come back. And so did the British kid sitting behind me.

Brief digression: The Giants are pretty sucky this year, outside of Jason Schmidt and Barry Bonds. They do not play especially good defense, they don't have any star hitters besides Bonds, and their relief pitchers have been nightmarishly bad all season. Bonds and Schmidt are so good that their presence alone makes the team a contender, but the dropoff after them is quite steep. Still? Way better than the Reds. /Digression

The British kid behind me provided a great deal of entertainment with his enthusiasm, accent, and total lack of familiarity with the game of baseball. Throughout the afternoon, he repeatedly asked his American friend to explain the confusing parts of the game. During the endless eighth inning, I began listening to the British kid more than I did my co-workers. He proved to be remarkably (if unintentionally) insightful about the Giants and their major weaknesses.

1. Inconsistent defense

After catcher A.J. Pierzynski missed an easy foul pop, the British kid and his American friend had this exchange:

British Kid: Now, the chap with the mask - he's the receiver?
American Friend: He's the catcher.
BK: Catcher. Brilliant. So, the catcher - is he permitted to touch the ball when it's in the air like that?

2. Crappy, crappy relief pitchers

This took place after the unfortunately-named Merkin Valdez had walked his second consecutive batter with the bases loaded, making the score 7-1.

BK: It does rather seem like a lot of points.
AF: Actually, it's runs.
BK: (Thoughtful pause) Should they use a different pitcher, then? Have they got anyone else?

3. No quality hitters, besides Barry Bonds

This occurred in the bottom of the ninth, with the Giants trailing 12-3. American Friend was explaining how, in general, a team batted its best hitter fourth, in the "cleanup" spot.

BK: Got it, thanks.
(Giants "cleanup" hitter Pedro Feliz grounds weakly to the pitcher)
BK: (Another thoughtful pause) So that's their best batter, then?

The Giants should hire that kid as an adviser. He'd probably work for fish and chips and the occasional takeaway curry. He was the highlight of the afternoon, along with the fine companionship, and Ken Griffey's bases-loaded strikeout, during which he probably pulled one of his hamstrings again. Ken, if you want that presidential fitness medal, you gotta focus a little more on the sit-and-reach. It was a far cry from Oakland's earlier 17-8 thumping of Cincinnati this year on a Two Dolla Wednesday (eight cents per run!), but I'm still always glad to be taken out to the ballgame, even when it's a shame.

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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