Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Back-to-back slams, Hunter Pence

*UPDATE: Evan Gattis of the Atlanta Braves takes over as having the longest home run of 2013. He hit a 486-foot home run against the Philadelphia Phillies in Citizens Bank Park.

As of tonight, the San Francisco Giants are in a tie for last place in the National League West. Post season hopes gone. And extremely unlikely they'll repeat as World Series Champions. But there's a hard working, even harder playing Giant who has played in ALL 132 games of the 2013 season to date. His name is Hunter Pence. He plays right field.

Hunter's consecutive game streak almost ended in last night's game against the Colorado Rockies. Rockies batter Michael Cuddyer crushed a hard, deep fly ball Pence tried to catch, running full speed. Here's the video:

After a few minutes, Hunter got up, understandably dazed. Still wobbly, he jogged back to the team dugout. Remarkably, he only had the wind knocked out of him and played the rest of the game. Tonight, sans cobwebs, the wall slam a semi-distant memory, Hunter does the slam again. With a bat. 476 feet over the fence. And now the longest home run of the 2013 season. Watch and admire:

Wow, perhaps Hunter should slam into walls more often.

*UPDATE: September 27, 2013. As no surprise to Giants fans, Hunter Pence wins Willie Mac Award. Named after former Giants great Willie McCovey, the award exemplifies the spirit and leadership McCovey showed consistently throughout his career. Former recipients include Matt Cain, Buster Posey, Ryan Vogelsong and 2-time winners Mike Krukow, J.T. Snow, and Bengie Molina.

Friday, August 23, 2013

San Francisco, 30 year anniversary

Today is my 30th year living in San Francisco. My brother Sherman and family friend Stan (the photographer of this picture) drove out with my 1980 Toyota Celica GT Liftback (pictured behind me) from Columbus, Ohio to San Francisco, California.

The road trip took about 4 1/2 days. Sherman and Stan did most of the driving. The first 2 days we were on the road 12-14 hours and then stopped for the night. From Salt Lake City to Reno, it took about 8 hours. From Reno to San Francisco, about 4 hours.

First stop - Lawrence, Kansas (I-70 West)
Second stop - Cheyenne, Wyoming (I-70 West to I-25 North to I-80 West)
Third stop - Salt Lake City, Utah (I-80 West)
Final stop - Reno, Nevada (I-80 West)

While my recent visit to Columbus was the most fun I had in the past 2 years, San Francisco is and will always be home. After 23 years of residency in the Inner Richmond and Inner Sunset neighborhoods (see 25th anniversary blog entry), I am back to living in the same neighborhood where I started (and where the above photo was taken), the Outer Sunset.

In the 30 years I've been in San Francisco, many friends and family from Columbus have moved and are now scattered across the country. With the help of Facebook, Skype, Instant Messaging and other social media forms, communication is easy, fast and reliable. I rarely hear the term "long distance call" said anymore.

Here's to another 30 years. And if I'm still spry and feisty in 2043, it's my guess a 5 1/2 hour flight to New York will be reduced to less than an hour. All the better for this future old "fog blogger".

Thursday, August 15, 2013

World Tenpin Bowling - now on Twitter

image source: WTBA

With the new season of league and professional bowling starting in the next few weeks, the international arm of professional bowling, the World Tenpin Bowling Association (WTBA) established a Twitter account (@WorldBowling).

The organization has 112 member federations and is divided into 3 zones: American Zone (Pan-American Bowling Confederation), Asian Zone (Asian Bowling Federation), and European Zone (European Tenpin Bowling Federation). The PBA is among the member federations most familiar to bowlers and fans of bowling.

For me, the WTBA is a great resource on bowling around the world. The past season included stops in Japan, Finland, South Korea and Qatar. Many of the bowling match videos I've posted on previous blog entries are part of the World Bowling Tour/WTBA.

Looking forward to a new season.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Whitehall Yearling High School - 35th Year Reunion, Class of 1978

My post on Twitter (lchin2) today, "Sore jaw and cheek from too much smiling & laughing at last night's reunion. Efforts not to be labeled 'Whatever happened to ?' continue."

We had a blast. Here are a few, partially edited Facebook comments from fellow classmates (last names omitted for privacy):
From Joe, our DJ for the evening, "...if it weren't for you, this would not turn out as great as it did!!!! You guys did A awesum job. The class reunion was a huge success!!! I hope you all liked the music I played. It was my pleasure to do this for you. I enjoyed all your company and cant wait 5 more years..."

From Sue, who attended her very first reunion, "... i have to admit, i was nervous because i hadn't seen anyone since graduation and this was my first reunion. everyone was so warm and welcoming and i hope i got a chance to speak with everyone. if i missed you, i'm so sorry! some of you haven't changed at all and others, well, i admit i had to look at name tags but that's the old age in me. it was so wonderful to see you all and i can't wait until the next reunion! will post pics today or tomorrow. lani - so glad u changed ur mind and came. i loved spending time with you and talking with you! janet - so disappointed you couldn't make it...hope to see you next time around. love to all!"

From Mike, "Just wanted to thank everyone involved for their efforts at making this reunion a really nice event. I know there had to be a lot of effort put into planning and organization.

It was great to see so many people, many of whom were distant memories, or that I had no memory of at all. Interesting how some people are easily recognizable, while others, even some that I am friends with here on FB, I really didn't recognize without prompting or a picture. 

It was nice to share (too little) time with people, and I apologize I didn't do very well at getting to talk to everyone. I assure you that, even if we didn't have a chance to talk, or, if I never knew you very well, that I value our connection to each other.

It renews my personal convictions, that I try to practice in my life, of not alienating anyone, being rude or obnoxious, and just being a decent person, accepting of people who ever they are. I have always tried to be one to Forgive, forget, and move on.

I was impressed at how well everyone got along, had fun, and enjoyed each other's conversations, evidently a lot of you have those same feelings and convictions in life. 
What a truly special group we grew up with, and shared some wonderful experiences.
I Wish everyone well, and hope we are able to do this together many more times as we continue our personal walks through life."
To my beloved classmates, see you in 2018!

Saturday, August 03, 2013

2013 World Games in Cali, Colombia

image source: 2013 World Games

UPDATE - August 4, 2013 - Congratulations to Daria Kovalova for capturing gold in the Women's Singles. Daria defeated Kelly Kulick, 428-425.
Tomorrow in Cali, Colombia is the conclusion of the 2013 World Games.

Bowlers I have written about in previous blog entries (November 4, 2012 and May 20, 2013) such as Daria Kovalova (Ukraine), Birgit Poppler (Germany), and Aumi Guerra (Dominican Republic) are among those shown in the above video as participants in the Women's Bowling venue.

Kelly Kulick, last week's Women's U.S. Open runner-up to Liz Johnson, represented the United States. Kelly and PBA tour pro/2012 Weber Cup member Mike Fagan won the gold medal in Mixed Doubles.