Bold Predictions for 2018

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…

Continue reading “Bold Predictions for 2018”

Bold Predictions for 2017

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.

MLB Stadium #27: Minute Maid Park

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

Nice colors!
Nice colors!
Here we are
Here we are
Put it here
Put it here
Play ball!
Play ball!
Chikin iz Fare (nice Chick-fil-A)
Chikin iz Fare (nice Chick-fil-A)
Burgerz R Foul (oh Chick-fil-A)
Burgerz R Foul (oh Chick-fil-A)
A little something, something
A little something, something
No roof
No roof
With roof
With roof
Hey friend
Hey friend
Pump it up
Pump it up
Saint Arnold Brewery
Saint Arnold Brewery
Tal's Hill in centerfield
Tal’s Hill in centerfield
Tal's Hill - why now?
Tal’s Hill – why now?


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.

Map it!


On the road again. I just can’t wait to get on the road again.

75 for September/October: Sporting Events + Running

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:

  1. Play Fall flag football games
  2. Play Fall volleyball matches
  3. Run the Army 10-miler
  4. Attend University of Washington Football Watch Parties
  5. Attend Seattle Seahawks Watch Parties
  6. Attend two Seattle Mariners road games (in Houston)
  7. Attend one Texas Rangers game (in Arlington)
  8. Attend the October 6th Monday Night Football game: Seattle Seahawks @ Washington Football Club
  9. Attend one Seattle Sounders road game (in Dallas)

Get it!


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

Final stats:

  • Run = 30.35 miles
  • Projects = 5

Total: 35.35

Result: Success

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:

  1. Took out the epic piles of recycling
  2. Sorted a year’s worth of restaurant cards and movies stubs
  3. Cleaned my book shelf and gave away a number of books
  4. Cleaned my living room, especially the table which had become a reckless pile
  5. 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!



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:

  1. See the Seattle Mariners play the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park a couple of times (Sept. 20-21)
  2. See the Texas Rangers play at Globe Life Park
  3. See the Seattle Sounders FC (soccer) play FC Dallas (Sept. 24)
  4. Eat Texas BBQ
  5. Check out some local breweries in Houston and Dallas (e.g. Saint Arnold Brewery)
  6. See the Johnson Space Center in Houston
  7. Spot a cowboy
  8. Stop in Nashville en route?
  9. Stop in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park en route?


Option #2: St. Louis Cardinals/Kansas City Royals

What I could do:

  1. See the St. Louis Cardinals play at Busch Stadium
  2. See the Kansas City Royals play at Kauffman Stadium
  3. See the St. Louis Rams (football) play on Sept. 21?
  4. Check out Schlafly Tap Room, Anheuser-Busch and other breweries in St. Louis
  5. Check out Boulevard Brewery and others in Kansas City
  6. Eat Kansas City BBQ
  7. Stop in Louisville en route?


Help me decide! Vote!



Fenway Park

As the Boston Red Sox are in the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, let’s muse on my recent visit to Fenway Park in Boston.

My quest to see a game in all MLB stadiums continues. Only seven more to go (San Diego, Colorado, Arizona, St. Louis, Kansas City, Houston and Texas).

Fenway Park (Boston, Massachusetts) – Home of the Boston Red Sox


  • Right in the heart of the Fenway neighborhood and near the Back Bay neighborhood, it’s the perfect place to watch a game and find a drink after (say at….The Baseball Tavern or Yard House – with a mere 150 beers on tap).
  • Cozy is the word. Very quaint (capacity is 37,400) compared to most other parks.
  • Old school design with green everywhere. I like how the concession areas are loudly labeled with arrows so you don’t go astray. Clamoring ‘Beer and nuts’, ‘Cold Beer’, ‘Pizza’ and ‘Burgers and Fries’.
  • The Italian sausage was solid. The beer was wet and frothy.


  • Boston squeaked by the lowly Chicago White Sox, 4-3, after almost blowing a 4-0 lead.
  • The Green Monster (the name of the wall in left field) is iconic lexicon in baseball. But not that interesting…although it does date back to the original 1912 design. And it had a longer history as not green and known as ‘The Wall’.
  • Wally the Green Monster (official mascot) is unnecessary. Stop that.
  • The bleacher seats are like squeezing into a matchbox. The guy in front of me gesticulated his arm into my space to talk at someone nearby and knocked my beer, spilling 18.7% on my lap (I measured). Not complete disaster as I didn’t lose all my beer and I don’t care what I smell like.

Verdict: In the top 3 or 4 of all 26 stadiums I’ve visited. But not the best! I haven’t really tried to rank them all. Someday.

It’s a home run!

Welcome to Fenway!
Welcome to Fenway!


View from the bleachers
View from the bleachers
Play ball
Play ball
Just follow the sign
Just follow the sign
It's about that time
It’s about that time
Stop that, Wally
Stop that, Wally
Green Monster
Green Monster

Next up: PNC Park