When you absolutely, positively, truly must have a list of New Year’s Resolutions, call them bold predictions.
Sounds fancier. Probably not.
What might I try to accomplish in the upcoming year? Let’s find out!
In 2018, I predict I will…
The quest to see a baseball game in every Major League Baseball stadium continues.
I’ve visited 32 different stadiums! Only two more!*
Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City, Missouri) – Home of the Kansas City Royals
2017 is here! New Year’s Resolutions sound so passé, so I do Bold Predictions. This is that.
But don’t get too worked up, predictions and resolutions amount to the same thing, right? No idea.
I like counting, so I liberally litter these predictions with numbers. Often ones I can’t even count to.
2016 was a year that lasted 366 days, and is now over. You can skip to the bottom to see how I did on my 2016 Bold Predictions…not too bad actually if you have low standards.
Last year I also tried to do more, more, more. This year I’ll just do. Let’s go.
In 2017, I predict I will…
…finish my Major League Baseball stadium quest that is years in the making! You heard me! Only two stadiums left! San Diego and Kansas City.
…hike over 304 total miles.
…read six books I own that I haven’t read. I have so many…
…hit up another Seattle Seahawks road game. Nashville? New York? San Francisco?
…do an adventure trip. Whitewater rafting? Island hopping? Trekking? Who’s in?
…start one new venture.
…organize, clean and get rid of stuff. On an epic scale.
…complete three home improvements.
…tear down walls.
…steal your dog to play with. Forget to give it back.
Let’s look at how I fared from my 2016 list:
Success rate: 7.5/10
…visit two new baseball stadiums. Only four left! Result: Complete! I went to Denver for the Colorado Rockies (Coors Field) and Phoenix for the Arizona Diamondbacks (Chase Field).
…read 33 books (one more than last year); watch 101 movies (one more than last year). Result: Got there just under the wire! Read 33 books and watched 111 movies.
…visit two new countries (one more than last year). Result: Success! I went to both Honduras and India for the first time.
…run in at least four races (one more than last year). Result: Fail! I only ran one race, the Semper Fi 5K. I tried to run the Army Ten-Miler but had to travel for work. I did the One Day Hike (50K) for the fifth time, but that’s not running.
…find a reason to do something even crazier than the last time. Result: Last crazy time was whitewater rafting down the Zambezi River, so for this crazy time…let’s see…how about 4 nights/5 days backpacking in Colorado? A total of 43 miles with a 39-pound backpack while being stalked by a bear!
…hike over 250 total miles. (Last year I hiked 185) Result: I crushed it and hiked 358 miles! Easy.
…take no prisoners and give no shits. Result: Hard to quantify this, but I tend to give a shit, so 1/2 right only!
…pick a few musicians and go deep into their music catalog. Result: Nope! Did not do this.
…binge watch three new TV shows. Result: Indeed. In fact, I quadrupled my output and binged 12 new TV shows. See which ones here.
…play with two puppies. Result: This is a given. One of them was my niece’s new wiener dog, Jedi. He wants to come back to DC with me, I know it.
Let’s just say December involved a lot of football; either watching on TV, attending a game or playing flag football.
Extra Extra Bonus!
It is the holiday season once again. Ho ho hum.
And almost time for my annual sojourn to Washington state!
Let’s start a new tradition. Every December, a new To Do List. Okay, I say that now, but check back with me in 3 years.
Goal for December: Do all 13 items (for luck) on my specially curated To Do List.
December 2015 To Do List
- Go skiing – Last year I hurt my back, so did not get to ski. This year that situation is rectified.
- Attend three Seattle Seahawks games – Boom! One in Baltimore and two in Seattle.
- Visit Portland, OR – I hear they could really use a force like me.
- Experience Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Maybe even up to five times if it’s good…
- Visit two new breweries – There are so many new ones, so let’s get it on!
- Eat a Dick’s Drive-In (Seattle) Deluxe burger – This will go on every future To Do List forever and ever.
- Enter a cabin – Preferably one that we rent, but I’m not adverse to a little B&E if that’s what it takes.
- Try 12 new beers – Burp.
- Hike a hike – I need to get outside!
- Eat at one of Seattle’s best restaurants – According to this list here or even this one.
- See Book of Mormon – Want to. Will try.
- Attend and write-up two concerts – Minimum.
- Wild Card – Something fun or dumb, that I can’t think of right now.
Here, have some photos!
My Air Zimbabwe ride…
This elephant missed the deep end of the Zambezi River
Bonus! Believe and you shall receive!
Narrows Bridge and some red things
I’ve missed the boat and failed to share five extremely useless photos. Are you sad?
No? That’s what I thought. Oh well, no time like the present to correct such an egregious error.
P.S. No 4th of July photos, because that’s been done.
P.S.S. No good photos, because I don’t do those.
Mudhoney screaming at me. Read about their show if you dare.
Fear the photo! Another random assortment of joy. Enjoy.
Squeeze for maximum wine.
Straight ballin’ on da court, yo.
I resemble that remark. Oi, read about it!
‘I have an icicle’ and other terribly misguided puns.
(Editor’s Note: Do we need a comment?)
Beautiful Manila! Wait…this doesn’t seem like much of a bonus…
Use when you have an epiphany. Help!
Not to let misery dredge up more misery, but this is a real conundrum.
Seattle sports fans. Wow.
I have nothing to say.
I’ll say something anyway.
Every possible way we can lose, we’ve seen it. Every permutation of heartbreak, we’ve lived it.
As the biggest underdog, we’ve fell short by the tiniest of margins.
As the odds on favorite, we’ve failed to live up to expectations.
Where does the Seahawks loss in the Super Bowl rank in the pantheon of Seattle sports heartbreak?
I contend it’s the 3rd most frustratingly heartbreaking post-season defeat in Seattle sports history.
I’m only listing from around 1990 to present, because that’s what I experienced.
Sounders losing to the Timbers in the 2013 Western Conference Semifinals
Seahawks losing to the Bears in OT in the 2007 Divisional playoff game
10. Mariners losing to the Indians in 1997 Division Series
9. Seahawks losing to the Falcons in the 2012 Divisional playoff game
8. Sounders losing to the Galaxy in the 2014 MLS Western Conference Championship
7. Mariners losing to the Yankees in the 2000 ALCS
6. Seahawks losing to the refs in Super Bowl XL
5. Sonics losing to the Suns in the 1993 Western Conference Finals
4. Sonics losing to the Bulls in the 1996 NBA Finals
3. Seahawks losing to the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX
2. Mariners losing to the Yankees in the 2001 ALCS
1. Sonics losing to the Nuggets in the 1st round in 1994 (first time a #1 seed lost to a #8 seed)
What do you think?
Since 2015 has started cold (and I didn’t post one of these in December), you get double the pleasure. Double the bang for your buck! Double bonus!
10 random photos. Don’t thank me.
Okay, thank me. But keep it short.
In honor of the Seattle Seahawks making it to the Super Bowl two years in a row, many of these contain a Seattle theme.
May nothing work out for you. If you’re a Patriots fan, that is.
In 2015, I predict I will…
…visit three new baseball stadiums. Surprised?
…do something crazy. Climb a mountain crazy. Run a half-marathon crazy. Crazy like that.
…read at least 35 books. I haven’t read that much the past few years. Doubling down.
…read seven books I own that I haven’t read. I estimate I have over 30 unread books lying around!
…run 300 miles. That’s 25 miles per month. That sucks.
…get myself to at least one new country. I haven’t been to a new country since 2012.
…volunteer to be a commissioner of a sports league. (Hint: I already did this for volleyball…victory! 1-0 already!)
…win a championship with one of the sports teams I play on. Let’s do this!
…play with a puppy.
Let’s look at how I fared from my 2014 list:
Success rate: 7.5/10
…participate in three races. Maybe even a sprint triathlon? 1/2 credit for this one. I paid for three races, but was out-of-town for one and hurt my back for another. I did run the Army Ten-Miler however.
…prance about in at least one new country. Maybe Croatia? Nope. I went to Malaysia and Thailand this year, but I’d been to both countries before.
…visit 2-3 new baseball stadiums. Yes! Went to Globe Life Stadium (Texas Rangers) and Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros).
…attend another music festival. Maybe the Firefly Music Festival in Delaware? Oh yeah! I made it to the 3rd annual Firefly Music Festival.
…find a new job. True. I started working on e-learning for WV’s information management system.
…hike more than last year. Benchmark: 17 hikes/177.5 miles. Fail. I did a scant 14 hikes/154.75 miles.
…finish watching the American Film Institute’s (AFI) Top 100 movies and all the Oscar Best Picture winners. Don’t get too excited, I only have 18 movies remaining. Boom! Done!
…cook more. I got a CSA share of veggies and cooked lots of new things. And I slapped together mucho sloppy tacos.
…win. I played on six different sports teams throughout the year (volleyball x 3, soccer, softball and flag football). We won 29 games I played in. Oh yeah. (But not because of me…). Plus the Seattle Seahawks went 3-0 in games I attended.
December is here.
My annual holiday migration to Washington state is coming soon. Yet, I’ll still be around DC for a couple of weeks.
There are certain things I need to do while in Washington state and before I leave. Let’s squeeze everything we can out of December.
Goal for December: Do all 11 items on my freshly minted To Do List.
December To Do List
- Touch snow – I would say go skiing, but my back may not have recovered enough by then.
- Attend two Seattle Seahawks games – One in Philadelphia and one in Seattle.
- Grace Portland, OR or Vancouver, B.C. with my presence – They both need it!
- Watch two Oscar buzz movies in the theater – With extra butter.
- Take a hike – I need to find out what bears do in the woods.
- Eat a Dick’s Drive-In (Seattle) Deluxe burger – Eat it!
- Try 10 new beers – AKA beers I’ve not had the pleasure or displeasure of drinking before.
- Eat at Thai Tom (Seattle) – Or any Thai restaurant on this Seattle Times list.
- Visit Two Beers Brewing Co. (Seattle) – Or any brewery I haven’t yet visited in Seattle.
- Visit one Espresso Vivace coffee shop (Seattle) – Or any coffee shop from this King 5 list around Washington state.
- Wild Card – Add something awesome when I think of it.
Let’s peek at how I fared for my October/November goal.
Goal for October/November: Knock enough things off my 2014 Bold Predictions list and do enough projects so they total 19
I hurt my back in mid-October, totally messing up my plans for this goal. I wanted to hike and run more races. I couldn’t. Ouch.
So, instead, I did a few ‘projects’ and I watched a mess of movies.
Towards the end, I was able to do a couple short hikes.
- Science fiction novels read = 1 (Children of Dune)
- AFI Top 100 Movies/Oscar Best Pictures = 9
- Projects/chores around the house = 5
- Hikes = 3 (12, 5 and 5.5 miles)
- Races = 1 (Army 10-miler)
My seemingly never-ending quest to see a baseball game in every Major League Baseball stadium continues.
I’ve visited 28 different stadiums* so far, just having executed a whirlwind Texas Two Step to Houston and Arlington.
Only five more stadiums to go.**
Now, let’s look at the 27th one I’ve visited. We went to two games.
Minute Maid Park (Houston, Texas) – Home of the Houston Astros
- The stadium is right downtown. We stayed at Embassy Suites, a mere 10 minute walk, through a nice little city park affectionately dubbed Discovery Green.
- In Center Field, for some reason there is a large bump or hill, called Tal’s Hill with a flag pole in the middle. It pisses outfielders off. I like quirks that make no sense. Good job, Houston, for showing us your bump.
- They closed the retractable roof for the second game. So refreshingly cool inside, so hot outside.
- St. Arnold’s Brewery, local to Houston, had a big stand selling their beers. Their beers were found everywhere in the stadium. All of which were wet and good.
- We had a friendly grasshopper hanging out until the kids in front of us abused it too much and it hightailed it out of there.
- The outside facade probably had a nice color scheme. If I were into that sort of thing.
- I’m a Seattle Mariners fan. The Mariners lost both games we attended. Badly. They only missed the playoffs by one game. Just saying.
- It is always hot and sweaty during the game. When the roof is open…like the first day…yikes! And this was September, so it’s not really the bad part of the year.
- Not a lot of bars and restaurants nearby. You have a walk a bit.
- I don’t think too many people go to see the Astros…and the people who were there were discussing the Houston Texans game.
Verdict: A solid stadium and worth a visit. Doesn’t do enough to be in the top 10 that I’ve been to, but there is nothing wrong with it and Astros’ fans (such as they exist), should take pride in it and attend more games!
Next: Globe Life Park in Arlington
* Mathletes take note: There are 30 MLB teams. I’ve been to two DIFFERENT stadiums for three teams (Seattle, Texas and Washington).
** Remaining: Kansas City, St. Louis, Colorado, Arizona, San Diego
Once again, I provide the best randomness on the planet. Don’t take my word for it. Trust your instincts.
I messed with Texas in September. Some of it anyway. Houston, Fort Worth and Arlington.
What random facts can I claim knowledge of?
They have amazing BBQ – We tried Riscky’s in Fort Worth and Rudy’s in Arlington.
Their Major League baseball teams sucked (this year) – Yes, the Houston Astros (70-92) and the Texas Rangers (67-95) finished 4th and 5th in their division respectively. And the Rangers were the worst team in the American league! We went to two games in Houston and one game in Arlington. More on that in another post.
They have more tacos then there are stars in the sky* – Tacos are good.
They have fairly decent breweries – Saint Arnold Brewing and Karbach Brewing (Houston) and Rahr & Sons (Fort Worth) Brewing all saw their liquid gold pass through my lips and down my throat. Visionary Brew (pumpkin) by Rahr & Sons and Oktoberfest by Saint Arnold were both solid.
They like turning ‘ice houses’ into beer gardens/bars – and why wouldn’t you after electricity made the ice houses obsolete?
Everything is big, including the portions – At the Old West Cafe in Arlington they have a 5-page breakfast menu separate from the lunch menu! Or at the Embassy Suites, you get free breakfast and can eat like a pig. Or just get the chicken and red velvet waffle at Onion Creek.
They like a bit of art – We went to the Menil Collection museum in Houston and had a bit of wander about the exhibits. No photos! Next door was the Rothko Chapel, which literally had 14 paintings of black. Nothing but black. Look it up. Or don’t. Instead stroll around the Discovery Green in Houston.
They want you to fear the frog – and you should. The TCU Horned Frog is no joke.
* This claim lacks research, and frankly plausibility.
In a recent post, Choices, I hypothesized two potential road trips I could take in September.
It’s time to reveal The Decision!
Dun dun dun…
I’m going to Houston and Dallas to see Minute Maid Park and Globe Life Stadium in Arlington!
I’ll also stop in for a Sounders game in Dallas.
Round trip from D.C. is a mere 3516 miles!
Along the way, I’ll stop at the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and a night in New Orleans. On the way back, I’ll probably stop off in Nashville.
Kuma is excited to ride shotgun. Somewhere in all this, we’ll eat good food, try new beers and listen to lots of music.
On the road again. I just can’t wait to get on the road again.
Football season is finally here!
Over the next couple months, I’ll be attending or watching or playing in a good number of sporting events. To make my monthly goal easier, I’ll just add all those up and call it awesome. Plus I’m still training for the Army 10-miler on October 12th, so I’m sure to run a heaping helping of miles.
September/October Goal: Watch, play in or attend enough sporting events and run enough miles so they total 75
Here are some of the ways I can top-up on sporting events:
- Play Fall flag football games
- Play Fall volleyball matches
- Run the Army 10-miler
- Attend University of Washington Football Watch Parties
- Attend Seattle Seahawks Watch Parties
- Attend two Seattle Mariners road games (in Houston)
- Attend one Texas Rangers game (in Arlington)
- Attend the October 6th Monday Night Football game: Seattle Seahawks @ Washington Football Club
- Attend one Seattle Sounders road game (in Dallas)
Now let’s look at how I did for my July goal…
July Goal: Complete enough projects in my apartment and run enough miles so they total 35
- Run = 30.35 miles
- Projects = 5
First off, I hurt my back in mid-July. Probably doing too many activities. So for one week, I didn’t run. Rather then scrap the goal, I just added an extra week into August. I make the rules.
I did not do nearly as many projects around my apartment as needed, but it was good to get the few I did do out-of-the-way.
List of projects:
- Took out the epic piles of recycling
- Sorted a year’s worth of restaurant cards and movies stubs
- Cleaned my book shelf and gave away a number of books
- Cleaned my living room, especially the table which had become a reckless pile
- Set up a iPod/iPhone speaker in my living room
And how about my August goal?
August Goal: Watch zero TV shows
Boom clap! Success!
Nothing to see here.
My goal to see a game in every Major League Baseball stadium continues…
I have seven stadiums remaining.
I’m debating between two possible road trips this year in September.
What say you? Which should I pick?
Vote Now! Give ideas!
Option #1: Houston Astros/Texas Rangers
What I could do:
- See the Seattle Mariners play the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park a couple of times (Sept. 20-21)
- See the Texas Rangers play at Globe Life Park
- See the Seattle Sounders FC (soccer) play FC Dallas (Sept. 24)
- Eat Texas BBQ
- Check out some local breweries in Houston and Dallas (e.g. Saint Arnold Brewery)
- See the Johnson Space Center in Houston
- Spot a cowboy
- Stop in Nashville en route?
- Stop in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park en route?
Option #2: St. Louis Cardinals/Kansas City Royals
What I could do:
- See the St. Louis Cardinals play at Busch Stadium
- See the Kansas City Royals play at Kauffman Stadium
- See the St. Louis Rams (football) play on Sept. 21?
- Check out Schlafly Tap Room, Anheuser-Busch and other breweries in St. Louis
- Check out Boulevard Brewery and others in Kansas City
- Eat Kansas City BBQ
- Stop in Louisville en route?
Help me decide! Vote!
‘Optimism: Hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.’ – Oxford Dictionary
As a long-suffering Seattle sports fan, it’s hard to be optimistic about our chances of winning. Anything. We’ve been burned too many times.
So, it is with only a mild case of trepidation that I say, there is reason for optimism this year.
After the Seahawks won the Super Bowl in February, suddenly my eyes are open. There is a bit of confidence. And lots of hope.
1) The Seattle Mariners are 7 games over .500 and the 5th best team in the American League. They beat the best team 2 out of 3 games going into the All-Star break. Say what? Optimism has set in.
2) The Seattle Sounders FC are far and away the best team in Major League Soccer (MLS) so far, at 10 points clear of the 2nd best team. They’ve outclassed everyone. They look unbeatable. Optimism.
3) The new women’s soccer team, Seattle Reign, is 13-1-3 (42 points) and 9 points clear of 2nd place. Although I’ve never watched a game, optimism.
4) The Washington Huskies football team has a new coach, a new stadium and a new attitude. Win. And for the first time in a long time, I believe it. Optimism.
5) And the Seattle Seahawks are again projected to be one of the best teams in the NFL. I say they win the Super Bowl again. Confidence.
P.S. If you don’t care about sports, I’m also optimistic for other reasons. You just wouldn’t know from this post!
There went June! Later!
Let’s take a moment of silence…
Speaking of soccer…USA will beat Belgium in the World Cup!
Images have never appeared it such random dispositions.
Bonus! Because you can never have enough cherry blossom photos!
I trust you’ve survived the wacky winter.
The time is nigh to get outside. Bust out a hammock.
Or rather run. Hike. Walk your wiener dog. Get some sun on your face. Don a bikini or speedo.
Whatever it takes. Be active.
April/May Goal: Hike and run 140 miles
Coming up, I have the One Day Hike on April 26th (50 kilometers) and the Semper Fi 5K on May 10th.
And some practice hikes and runs.
140 miles shouldn’t be too terrible over two months.
Let’s get it on!
Here is the successful report out on my first random goal of 2014.
January/February Goal: Exercise 33 days (out of 59)
Final stats: 34 days exercising
- Running = 8.5 miles
- Hiking = 18.3 miles
- Biking = 125 miles
- Volleyball games = 39
- Skiing = 1 day
Even though I technically succeeded, I could have done more.
One volleyball match (3 games) counted. Riding a bike for 4 miles in one day counted. This is exercise, sure, but I wasn’t always pushing myself.
I was successfully active. Let’s go with that.
In 2014, I predict I will…
…read four ‘classic’ science fiction novels. From this list.
…participate in three races. Maybe even a sprint triathlon?
…prance about in at least one new country. Maybe Croatia?
…visit 2-3 new baseball stadiums.
…attend another music festival. Maybe the Firefly Music Festival in Delaware?
…find a new job.
…hike more than last year. Benchmark: 17 hikes/177.5 miles.
…finish watching the American Film Institute’s (AFI) Top 100 movies and all the Oscar Best Picture winners. Don’t get too excited, I only have 18 movies remaining.
Let’s look at how I fared from my 2013 list:
Success rate: 8.5/10
…go river rafting. It’s been awhile. Nope. Fail. Boo.
…read four ‘classic novels’. You know War and Peace and the like. I did. ‘Read‘ about it.
…turn a certain age. Yes! It was so easy.
…play some tennis. Indeed. I managed to play 10 matches (4-6 record) in the Summer and Fall.
…run in two races. Like a 5K, 8K or other. I ran the Semper Fi 5K and the Prevent Cancer 5K. I also did the 50K One Day Hike (I ran and walked).
…go to three new major league baseball stadiums. Thinking of Boston and Pittsburgh to start. I went to Fenway Park (Boston) and PNC Park (Pittsburgh). It wasn’t three, but I’m calling it success. Sue me!
…visit a new state (not the state of denial, but one of those US States) and a new country. I went to Rhode Island for the first time. No new country for old men. .5 credit.
…explore Washington, D.C. more. Even though I’ve seen a lot, there is always something new to discover. Yes. In fact I spent a whole month on this.
…publish more blog posts than last year (45 is the number to reach). Boom! 51!
…do something crazy. I am crazy, so everything I do is crazy.
I think I’ll start 2014 by attempting to shed my winter hibernation weight.
All those Christmas dinners, off-meal turkey sandwiches, and slices of pie, plus all the necessary-to-eat-immediately candy and snacks laying about and a copious amount of beer – haven’t been kind to me. At all.
My goal is for both January and February, so I don’t slack off in the freezing cold.
January/February Goal: Exercise 33 days (out of 59)
What counts? Running, hiking, biking, playing volleyball, lifting small dogs, yawning and other.
Since this is a two month period, I may have another goal…
Don’t wait up.
Whenever I return to Washington state (usually during the holiday season), there are certain things I must do, drink or eat. These are not possible in Washington, D.C.
(Author’s note: To avoid lyrical confusion, henceforth: Washington = Washington state. D.C. = Washington, D.C.)
Cut out this list for future reference.
- Teriyaki – Dear D.C., you don’t do teriyaki. Why? No idea. So I must get my fix in Washington.
- Mac & Jack’s African Amber – Only available in the Pacific Northwest via draft (or kegs from their brewery). Must drink.
- Dick’s Drive-In burgers – One Deluxe and one Special. I crave them.
- Drive-up coffee stands – No such thing exists in the D.C. area (or the East Coast from what I’ve seen), yet you can’t throw a rock without hitting one of these places in Washington.
- Seahawks game – I need to use at least one of my season tickets and go to CenturyLink Field to cheer on the SeaGals…errrr Seahawks!
- Skiing – Good places to ski are few near D.C., so I always do at least one skiing trip in Washington (sometimes Whistler…). Lately I’ve gone to White Pass.
- Pyramid Snow Cap Ale – What, another beer? Yes!