Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Goodbye Verizon?

For months now I've been waiting to upgrade my phone.  I've been eligible for an upgrade since 12/31/10 but have been waiting for a dual core LTE phone.  Two such phones were announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in JANUARY, and to date neither phone is available, and what's worse, neither phone even has a release date announced.  Both the Samsung Galaxy S II and the Motorola Droid Bionic were originally scheduled for release in April, however for reasons that were never made public, both phones have been plagued by repeated delays.  Now here we are at the end of July and Motorola has announced the the Bionic will be available "summer 2011" while Samsung has narrowed their date down to "August".  There are rumors that the Bionic will be available 8/4, but there are also rumors that it won't be out until sometime in September.  Based on it's track record, a delay until September seems more likely.  There are rumors that the date for the Galaxy S II is 8/12, but there's nothing substantial to back that up. 

Meanwhile, over at Sprint, the HTC Evo 3D is available now, and the Motorola Photon will be available 7/31 and has very similar specs to the Bionic.  Is it time to switch carriers and give up on Verizon.  Honestly, I think that if 8/4 comes and goes and the Bionic is still unavailable, then I will walk into the Sprint store on 8/5 and give them my business.  The Galaxy S II has been available in other countries for 4 months, yet we can't even get a firm release date in the US.  Frankly, I'm tired of waiting, and by the time either of these phones actually hits the market, something better will be available.  Sure, Verizon has the fastest network, but what good is that if I have to access it on an inferior phone?  Every day it's looking more and more like my days as a Verizon customer are numbered.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Electric Razors

I am in need of a new electric razor.  The batteries in my old one died and I managed to destroy the razor while trying to extract the batteries.  So I've been relying on a blade for the last several months, which means I've only been shaving about once a week since a blade is more time consuming and messy.  Anyway, I've been wondering whether the cleaning systems are worthwhile or if I'm better off saving my money and counter space and just manually cleaning my razor.  My old razor was a wet/dry model and I could just run it under the faucet which seemed to do the job just fine.  Some of the docks claim to sharpen the blades as well, but I wonder if it's just a gimmick. Does anyone have any experience with these? 

In unrelated news, I'm pretty much sold on the foil razors.  Hopefully the rotary razors have improved a lot since the last time I used one, but they were significantly louder and much more abrasive to my skin.  It's foil or nothing for me.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Trade Rumors

Shamelessly copied and pasted from ESPN.com:

UPDATE: It appears the Mariners are committing themselves to showcasing Figgins as they have announced Thursday morning that rookie Kyle Seager has been optioned back to Triple-A, which leaves third base wide open for the veteran for the time being. Furthermore, Figgins started in left field Thursday in Toronto.


The Seattle Mariners would seemingly do anything to rid themselves of the burdensome contract of Chone Figgins, who is due $17 million over the next two years.
In the midst of an 11-game losing streak, the Mariners Wednesday made no effort to showcase Figgins, who was picked off first base Tuesday against Toronto as the trail runner in a first-and-third situation. Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times says manager Eric Wedge was "visibly peeved" with Figgins and decided to keep him on the bench.

Figgins, hitting a mere .184, lately has been limited to occasional starts at third base in place of rookie Kyle Seager.

Baker says Figgins is drawing some trade interest from the Reds, who are looking for a leadoff hitter. Any such deal would undoubtedly have the Mariners eating a chunk of salary.

If there is any truth to these rumors, I say send him to the Reds.  Eat as much of his salary as it takes (short of all of it) and take whatever we can get in return.  Just get him off the roster.

In barely related news, I'm once again renewing my plea to Rick Rizzs to, for the love of God, exercise some creativity for once when coming up with nicknames.  I can't take any more guys with a y added to part of their name, ie: Ichy, Guty, Miggy, Figgy, Peggy, Vargy, Fisty, etc.  This is absolutely shameful for someone who calls himself a professional broadcaster.  Not only is this extremely lazy, it's also too cutesy and irritating.  And not being one to criticize without offering some alternatives of my own, I present to you:
The Smoaker (Justin Smoak) - admittedly no more clever but significantly less cutesy.  As an alternative, the Smoak Monster - for those Lost fans.
Carpe Diem (Mike Carp)
Silver Bullet (recently demoted Kyle Seager) - this one may be too obscure for your average fan though
Beavis (Blake Beavan)
The Iron Fist (Doug Fister)
Peg Leg (Carlos Peguero)
The Frog (Luke French) - he's in Tacoma but still on the 40 man roster so he's technically eligible for a nickname
F Her (Felix Hernandez) - borrowing the A Rod nicknaming convention, this one may be to risque for the conservative Mariner organization.  Still, I find it amusing.
Laffey Taffy (Aaron Laffey)
Admiral Ackley (Dustin Ackley) - it's a trap!  This one may be my favorite.
Shakespeare (Josh Bard) - again, possibly to obscure, not to mention that it goes against the long standing tradition that nicknames are typically shorter than actual names.
The Red (Chone Figgins) - this one is wishful thinking.

I don't have a nickname for Greg Halman, but do think they should play Soul Man when he gets up to bat.  My mental soundtrack already queues it up for him.

There is plenty of room for improvement here, but I feel it's a good starting point. 

In addition, I can't stand to listen to Dave Sims anymore.  If there is a less passionate, less knowledgable announcer out there, I haven't heard him.  I heard him refer to 'Safeco Park' in a recent game.  Again, shameful.  He doesn't even know where he goes to work every day.  Get anybody else in there.  I'd kind of like to hear Kevin Calabro even though he likely doesn't know anything about baseball.  At least he's enjoyable to listen to.  Or how about being the first team to break the gender barrier and bring in Jenny Finch or maybe some other former member of the US National softball team.  That's close enough to baseball that they should have some valuable insights, and since Jenny Finch is married to former major leaguer Casey Daigle, she should be knowledgable about baseball in addition to softball. 

That's it, I'm done for the day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Trade Deadline

I've had this sitting here half written for several days, so I guess I should finish it up.  If it's uneven, that's because I cared about it when I started but don't anymore - I just don't want to completely abandon it.

With the trade deadline roughly 2 weeks away and the Mariners all but eliminated from any playoff hopes (they still have a 2% chance of making the playoffs according to Cool Standings), they are officially sellers this year.  So let the trade talks begin.  Currently there are only 4 guys on the roster that I would be unwilling to trade:  Hernandez, Pineida, Smoak, and Ackley.  And even then, for the right price I could be talked into giving up any of them except Felix.  The problem is, other than those guys, who do we have that might bring us anything worthwhile in return?  I would say Ichiro and maybe Brandon League. I don't think ownership will ever let Ichiro go, but with him currently hitting .260 with 1 HR and 24 RBI, an OBP of .307, and a salary of $17M a year, I'm certainly willing to let him go at this point in his career.  Brandon League made the All Star team this year and his value will probably never be higher.  I don't have a great deal of confidence in him, so for the right price I'd trade him, I just don't know if any contender is willing to give us a legitimate prospect for him.

So the question in my mind is:  which position players will be with the team long term?  And I define long term as beyond the 2012 season.  The pitching staff is solid, it's just the fielders that need work.  Looking at the roster now I say Ackley, Smoak, and maybe Carp and Halman.  Beyond that it's a complete rebuild.  Nobody else can hit well enough to keep around.  And yes, I am saying that I think Ichiro is just about done.  I don't know who in Tacoma is going to be able to step into the majors next year - I like what I've seen of Matt Mangini, but the team doesn't seem to think too highly of him.  The organization seems to like Kyle Seager and have given him a little playing time at 3rd, so assuming he pans out, that leaves 5 holes to fill.  Since it doesn't appear that we will fill those holes through our own minor league system that means we have to fill them through free agency or trades.  Unloading Ichiro's $17M salary and Figgins $9M will mean we can do a bit more the free agent route, but we still have to trade for 2-3 major league ready players or prospects.  Without crippling the pitching staff that's a tall order to fill. 

Considering all this, I think the only trades we're likely to see are 1 reliever and 1 starter going.  Ichiro is the only position player that might bring back a decent return but ownership will never let him go.  Any other trades will be to dump salary or clear a roster spot to get a younger guy more playing time.  So I think we might see Brandon League go - his value has never been higher.  I'm skeptical as to how long he can remain productive anyway so I won't shed a tear if he leaves.  It's also possible that either Vargas or Fister might get traded.  It would be a shame to lose either, but with the amount of run support they have gotten I have to think either would welcome a trade.  That's it, one or two of those three, and maybe dumping some fielders who are taking up roster space.  We won't see anything to get excited about this year. 

What The Hell Is That?

I received one of these mystery fruit from a friend of mine who, in turn, received them in a bag of assorted organic fruits and vegetables.  I am as clueless as her as to what it might be.  It has a hard rind - firmer than a lemon - and roughly the same size, maybe a little smaller.  I would guess some kind of citrus.

I cut it open and it smells like some kind of melon, or at least I think it's melon scented, I can't quite put my finger on it.  Also it has seeds that look like small watermelon seeds.  
The moral of the story is, what the hell is that?  Some unholy expirement which nature never intended?  I can't identify it.  The good news is that it has led to the next innovative idea from Craw Fu Enterprises:  WhatTheHellIsThat.com.  This is a web site where you upload a photo of something you can't identify and the What The Hell Is That experts will identify it for you.  After I get it up and running I'll sell it to Google for a billion dollars then buy a Hawaiian island and retire. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


After starting out lousy today and being forecast to get suckier throughout the day, the weather took a surprising turn for the pleasant this afternoon. Sadly I've come to the realization that this all comes at a cost. Everywhere downtown is more crowded when it's nice, and of course the volume of irritating jerks harassing people for signatures or donations goes through the roof. But the often overlooked issue is the sheer number of people aimlessly wandering the streets like escaped alzheimers patients. The incessant weaving, bumping into people, or just standing around blocking a sidewalk so nobody can get by is astounding. It's enough to make me miss the rain and cold, when people walk with a purpose and a direction. I'm thinking about getting a cattle prod.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Boy Scouts

I'm on the ferry right now and surrounded by a troupe of squirrely boy scouts. Now the interesting part of this story is that one of these scouts is wearing a patch that has a guitar engulfed in flames. Now, as a kid I was a cub scout but never graduated to full fledged boy scout, so it's entirely possible that things are different, still I don't recall any merit badge for dueling with the devil at the cross roads. I assume it's the Charlie Daniels badge. I don't know if this particular kid won his duel or not, however it would be reasonable to keep an eye on him to see if he becomes the next Justin Bieber. Come to think of it, this would explain Bieber's popularity.