Sunday, April 24, 2011

Two Games in Seattle

Yelp told me I wouldn't be able to sleep at the Silver Cloud Hotel because of the noise. I just didn't believe them.

Safeco Field is nestled between the railroad tracks in an industrial area of lower Seattle. Silver Cloud is literally right across the street for the field. I thought they meant across a parking lot, over a bridge. No, it's at most 100 feet away from my window. I'm on the 5th floor, and the behemoth of metal and brick towers above the window.

So, two trains at midnight. Five between 5am and 6:30am. Maybe four hours sleep, total.

I have another problem this morning: rain. I came somewhat prepared. I brought an umbrella, jacket, and plastic-covered blanket. I can see through a little patch of field from my hotel window. It's dark. I'm hoping that's because they closed the Safeco roof. That would be another thing to see. There's no tarp on the field, which is another large clue.

I really enjoyed myself yesterday. I had to talk to four different ushers to fins out where my seat was. It was marked as Section 129. The sections were split until you got down lower to the field, and then it was contiuous. So I would start in 129 and end up in 131. On the aisle, right behind home plate. Oh, yeah. Sure, I had to stand up to let this couple with their four children go in and out five times before the end of the 1st inning, but it was still worth it.

The game was an Oakland delight on Saturday. Trevor Cahill couldn't hit the strike zone in the first innings, but got better and better. After giving up one runs due to walks and a number of hits, he settled down and didn't give up another run. His relief did just as well. I was really impressed with Brad Ziegler, who must've found his release point.

Saturday night was Armed Forces Day - I believe every Saturday game is - so lots of activities with soldiers, sailors, coasties and airmen.m and, A's I knew we would, we got a commemorative coin as we exited the game.

When Coco didn't score from third, or when the radio broadcasters thought every pitch their guy threw was a strike, I tweeted. I tweeted a lot, and added a few more followers along the way. That was fun, a great way to stay in the game.

Brett Anderson goes for the A's today. Should be good.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Welcome to the Mobile Dog Groomer

We tried an experiment: We asked Thomas and his mobile dog groomer van to come by our house and clip our two toy poodles.

I got tired of driving to the groomer once a month, twice for each trip. All About the Dogue is a fabulous grooming service; their philosophy is that they'll take all day to do the grooming so that the dog isn't stressed out. However, they're on San Pablo Avenue in Emeryville, and at 5pm during heavy traffic, it takes me an hour to get home with two anxious but tired dogs in the back.

So we tried Thomas. We found him on Yelp. He was right on time, pulling up on the street in an old newspaper truck with a portable generator on the back. However, he apparently has never clipped toy poodles, so I had to give him blow-by-blow descriptions on how to clip each dog. And I probably didn't do a very good job. I did get to stand in his truck and watch, however.

You should also know that Princess and Gabi take two separate cuts. Princess is more just-shear-her, while Gabi resembles a very prized, high-priced poodle. (They were both rescue dogs.)

First he combed them out. Then he washed them. Poor little Princess looked like a drowned rat. She was looking for an escape hatch anywhere she could find one.

Then he dried them off with a high-intensity blow dryer (not on "hot"), and when they were mostly dry, he switched to a blow dryer that was quieter and less power. Then he combed them out. And after that, took the buzz saw to them and then the scissors.

Any time they got out of line and started to wander off (quite often for Princess), Thomas would shriek wordlessly. And once or twice thumped Princess with his hand, not hard at all, and she would stop what she was doing (i.e., trying to make a run for it), and stare at him.

It was an experiment that didn't go well. Thomas didn't clip parts of them very closely (like their feet), and clipped some parts of them irregularly and unevenly. And he's pricey at $75 per dog plus tip.

So we won't be doing that again. But it did teach us that Princess, who hates being groomed, can just be cut by a normal untrained person, and that got us off our duffs to buy a scissor set for her. Gabi will still need the elaborate poodle cut, but by somebody who knows what they're doing.