Sunday, September 24, 2017

Star Trek: Discovery

source: CBS
While not a die-hard fanatic, I consider myself an avid follower of the Star Trek series.

I was one that eagerly waited for months to see tonight's premiere episode of Star Trek: Discovery on CBS.

I found the first episode very promising. Of course it helps when one of my all-time favorites, Michelle Yeoh (see November 18, 2007 blog entry) is cast as Captain Philippa Georgiou.

Is it so good that I'll cough up the CBS All-Access subscription fee?
Maybe.

And yes, the subscription fee is in addition to your already overpriced cable bill.

Episode 2 is already available now. What I'll probably do is use the 7-day free trial later in the week to squeeze in Episodes 2 and 3. Then I'll stick the crowbar in my wallet to endure endless ads (ad-free is $4 more) to watch the remaining episodes.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ryan Vogelsong retires as a San Francisco Giant

source: Ezra Stone / Getty Images
"...I don't know where I'm gonna be at next year. Or what the front of my jersey's gonna say. But I do know one thing. I will always - always - be a Giant."

--Ryan Vogelsong, October 4, 2015, San Francisco's last home game of the season.

If you're a regular follower of my blog, you already know I'm a huge Ryan Vogelsong fan. My September 23, 2012 blog entry titled "Resilient - Ryan Vogelsong" got the attention of Ryan's wife Nicole on Twitter.

Knowing he wouldn't be with the team after the 2015 season, Vogelsong signed a 1-year contract in 2016 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 2017, he failed to earn a roster spot with the Minnesota Twins and made the decision to retire.

This past week, the San Francisco Giants signed Ryan to a 1-day contract so he could officially retire with the team that drafted him in 1998 as a 5th round draft choice.

In a season that has had a lot more lows than highs, it was a very nice distraction to see Ryan back in a Giants uniform wearing his familiar #32. He threw 3 warmup pitches, waved to the cheering crowd with a couple of pats to his chest acknowledging his heartfelt appreciation.

I'll close with a YouTube video I shared on my June 5, 2016 blog entry:



Yes, Ryan, you are forever a Giant.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Woeful Weekend Without Wins

Oklahoma defeats Ohio State, 31-16
9-9-17
It was a big fat goose egg for all my sports teams this weekend.

NCAA - Ohio State, ranked #2 at gametime, lost to #5 Oklahoma, 31-16. The game was close (3-3 at the half) until the 4th quarter. Then Oklahoma took over.

PBA - US lost to Europe for the 5th consecutive year in Weber Cup, 18-12. As a big fan of Team Europe's captain Dom Barrett, the loss didn't sting so much. Of course, it helps to have the entire team return from last year (Martin Larsen, Jesper Svensson and Stu Williams).

There's a lot to be said about having bowled previously in Weber Cup. US newcomer/2017 PBA Player of the Year EJ Tackett was manhandled in a singles match versus Stu Williams.

MLB - In what has been the worst season in 32 years, the San Francisco Giants lost to the Chicago White Sox 13-1, and today, 8-1.

NFL - Kyle Shanahan's coaching debut with the San Francisco 49ers results in a 23-3 loss.

It was an 0-for-4 weekend. Ugh.

Tomorrow's another day. And a new bowling season of Monday night league. You can't win if you haven't experience loss.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Dexter's Bowling Shoes - The HT 9 Black/Grey

source: dexterbowling.com
A new bowling season begins for both my Monday and Wednesday leagues after Labor Day.

Like school supplies, bowlers are in the process of ordering new equipment (shoes, balls, wrist guards, towels, grip sacks) or maintenance on existing equipment (ball resurfacing, shoe sole and finger grip replacements).

Me - I ordered new soles (sliding and braking) for my Storm SP2 603's. This will be my 3rd season with these shoes.

I'd replace my Storm shoes with the Dexter HT 9 (pictured above) in cool Ohio State Buckeye colors in a heartbeat. But I won't. Why? They don't make them in women's sizes. I could probably wear the smallest men's size available, 6.5, but my last experience with men's bowling shoes the fit was too wide.

And this is my biggest gripe with women's bowling shoes, especially the higher performance kind.

The color selection of Dexter's The 9 men's sizes come in 4 other colors: 
  • Black and silver 
  • Black and orange 
  • Black and red 
  • White and black
Guess how many color selections are available for the women? 
ONE. In white, silver and girly lilac. 
I DON'T DO WHITE SHOES.

On Dexter Bowling's Facebook page a few weeks ago, they asked women their thoughts on what other combinations they want. I prefer black, but would really like the accent color to be something other than pink or purple.

If Dexter is reluctant to carry more than 2 color combinations for women in The 9, then at least offer a selection of colors to choose. A semi-custom option with Linds shoes are available at bowlerstore.com.

I'll likely retire the Storm shoes after this season. I hope by then there'll be more color choices available in Dexter's SST and The 9 line for women.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Run Flat Tires No More

source: TireRack.com
Pirelli Cinturato P7 Run Flat Tire
My right rear tire went flat yesterday.

When I had my 2004 325i, all I had to do was call AAA, a technician would arrive within 30 to 60 minutes, remove my flat tire and replace it with my full tire spare in the trunk.

Not so with my current 2012 BMW 328i. The OEM tires are run flats with no spare.

One of the arguments for run flats: a full tire spare adds to the car's weight and ultimately the performance.

I drove my 2004 325i for 12 years. I never noticed the lack of performance with the full tire spare. Then again, I don't drive like Dom Toretto.

The best reason for run flats is that when the tire goes flat, you can still drive on them for up to 50 miles at 50 mph to the nearest place to get the tire situation addressed.

So what.

Dealerships and tire centers won't repair run flat tires because the integrity of the structure cannot be guaranteed. They advise you replace the tire. Based on most of the BMW car talk forums I've read, you can repair run flat tires, but you're on your own.

Many have also commented that run flats drive rough, wear out sooner, are harder to find and more expensive to replace. They end up replacing with standard (non-run flats) tires. Which is what I've decided to do.

As my 328i now has over 52,000 miles on it, the tires on my car were due to be replaced anyway. I ordered 4 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ from Costco this morning. I'll also order a tire repair kit or 2 to keep in the car as a 'spare'. If I replace with the same Pirellis I have now, I have to spend at least $100 more than the Michelins, and pay 3 to 5 days for a rental car.

Hopefully, the Michelins will be in tomorrow and my out-of-pocket costs for the rental won't be more than 2 days. I'm already out almost a grand for the tires. It's an expense some aren't willing to make. I am.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Steel Toe Boots - First Pair

source: Amazon.com
Avenger Women's Steel Toe Hikng Boot
Since I began my new position in June, many of my work duties are no longer exclusively 8 to 5 sitting in a cushy, air conditioned office.

On customer visits I make 1 to 3 times a week, I wear 1 of 3 women's polo shirts (2 black, 1 royal blue) with our company logo. For those visits to car dealerships, I wear slip resistant clogs (see July 9, 2017 blog entry).

Next month, I'll be handed off another account. Not a dealership, but one of the industrial kind. The visit will require me to wear a hard helmet, safety goggles, safety vest, and for the first time, steel toe boots.

I spent most of Friday night perusing the work clothing/shoes brands (Red Wing, Wolverine, CAT, Timberland, Skechers). Like premium quality bowling shoes, women's choices in steel toe boots are limited. I won't need to wear them too often, but would like them to be comfortable yet durable.

Boots should come in next week. Let's hope my choice 'works' out.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

4th Consecutive PWBA US Open title - Liz Johnson

source: PWBA.com
Liz Johnson, 2013, (no US Open in 2014) 2015, 2016, 2017
PWBA US Open Champion
To win a professional bowling tournament is difficult. To win the same tournament 4 consecutive times is tremendously difficult. Liz Johnson did exactly that, winning her 4th PWBA US Open. This is Liz's 10th major title.

For you clueless league hacks that think you can do this, read on.
Here's what Liz was up against for 2017's US Open:

1. 114 bowlers (not including herself) bowl 4 rounds, 8 games each (32 games) in the qualifying round.
2. Top 24 bowl 3 rounds, 8 games each (24 games) in match play.
3. Top 5 bowlers go to the televised stepladder final.
4.  Liz makes it in as the 5th seed, averaging 225.38 for 56 games.

Liz climbs her way up the stepladder, defeating Nicole Trudell, Valerie Bercier, Erin McCarthy and top seed Daria Pajak. The oldest of the 4 bowlers Liz defeated is 27 (Erin McCarthy). Liz is 43.

Let that sink in for a moment.
  • 32 games in 4 days. 
  • Bowl with a 218.34 average - this year's cut line to make it to match play.
  • Bowl another 24 games in 3 days.
  • Defeat 4 bowlers on TV to win the championship.
The most I've ever bowled in a tournament is 12 games in one day. With a fat handicap.

Tell me now you still think bowling isn't an athletic activity.