Friday, February 29, 2008

Cattle Drive

Rumor through the grapevine (or is it cactus?) is that the Mariner content is frowned upon. Well good news for those people I didn't catch a second of the Cactus league opener as they were in Scottsdale and I have a strict Peoria only travel clause in my contract (sadly this contract still only pays me in work experience and a slight discount on Thunderbirds tickets as long as I mention Brad Adam). I did have some contact with the Mariners today so you can skip this part Ross. Apparently getting a major league player to take 3 minutes out of his day to shoot some hero shots is nearly impossible. I've never seen anyone want to get out of somewhere so fast, well maybe me when Wong and Stu reminisce about the Husky "glory" days. Dan was somehow named the director and let the power immediately go to his head by delaying the first shoot as he waited for Jussero to hand deliver his white chocolate mocha, seriously those 2 need help.

Not watching baseball meant I went with Wong, Jussero, and Dan on a story shoot that couldn't have gone any longer or more boring. Good luck editing that into a fun minute, I'd hate to be that guy. Oh wait, that's me? Damn it! At least dinner redeemed the trip.

The shoot took place at a Hotel/Timeshare/Spa/Pool/Horse Ranch/Fake Old West Village (I think that about covers it all). I'm pretty sure the main point of the story was Wong trying to score a free vaction for the family by giving this place free publicity. One of the high points was the first thing we shot, there were only 2 old people in this huge pool and we convinced them to go down the waterslide. Sure enough the guy got stuck, or better put the water didn't really push him down and it took 10 minutes for him to slowly make his way down the slide into the pool. Awesome! Up next came horse back riding for Wong, this was actually funny for the first 5 minutes. 55 minutes and less than a mile later the fun had long since galloped (or in this case slowly ambled) into the horizon. What would you expect next on this epic shoot? If you guessed hatchet tossing, pat yourself on the back. Who doesn't trust Wong throwing a sharp object? Well when his 2nd toss hit the upright holding the target, any "trust" (and I use that term real loosely) was lost. Not to be outdone Dan tried next and on his 2nd throw missed everything or just proved he has as much aim as any Vikings quarterback. Next was a lame shoot with a bull named "Stinky" that will probably never see the light of day. Finally, came a trip to the spa and Wong somehow coercing a message out of it, much to the dismay of the girls working. This paragraph was left intentionally long so you could feel my pain, thankfully February had 29 days this year as Wong needed every minute of them to finish this story.

So let's move on to happier times and in this case that would be dinner! It also leads us to the ipod song of the day "Cash, Culture, and Violence" by Rancid. Why this jaunty tune? Well dinner was at Wild Horse West who's sign advertises "Burgers, Beer, and Bait" it's near Lake Pleasant explaining the bait part. How about a picture?
This parking lot was of course gravel. With everything from trucks, to mini vans, to the pictured Harleys and ATV's. The patrons ranged from families with young kids, to bikers, to idiots (yeah, that'd be us) all sitting shoulder to shoulder feasting on delicious burgers and cheap beer. The only catch? Cash only, that's right no plastic, at least in your wallet I can't guarantee on some of the customers. In short it was the best dinner I've had in my 2 spring trainings. We didn't see any violence but I'm betting had we stayed later it might have resembled "Road House". You better believe we're going back!

Rumor has it television's Brad Adam has made his way down. But until I see him with my own 2 eyes I don't believe it.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Charitable Donation

It was the annual Charity Game between the Padres and Mariners and it was weird not having a show to do. Unfortunately the starting pitchers didn't get the message as there were only 3 hits (and one hit batsmen) through 3 innings. Apparently the only thing being given away this day were NoDoz. The Mariners finally got on the board apparently 3 people score while I wasn't watching. Then Batista and Dickey combined to give the runs right back the next half inning. In fact the only action I watched, other than rooting for a charity brawl after Kouzmanoff was hit, was to see how good Dickey was with his knuckleball and color me less than impressed. I'm not really sure what color that actually is.

Of course we decided it was better to eat lunch than stay and missed the Mariners offensive outburst. Since Dan and I had to come back to the complex for other business we were able to give everyone else the update we didn't think much had happened not knowing the Mariners had put a 7 on the board, whoops!

Why did Dan and I have to return instead of hitting the condo pool you ask? Well somehow I got roped into helping him with a shoot at 6 AM Friday morning and we had to help them set up the lighting, etc. before we could get dinner and watch Dan cry in his beer as the Spartans lost by 25 (I don't think they actually lost by 25 but in my defense I was watching the Coyotes/Blues game (Jovo with a goal!), also Dan was crying into an empty glass because our waitress was god awful and took 25 minutes between stopping by our table despite us being her only table).

Setting up for the early shoot leads me to the ipod song of the day. "Supermodel" by Jill Sobule which can be found on the Clueless soundtrack. Why you ask?This is how I spent my afternoon, my big Major League moment. Being Wladimir Balentien, though you can't really see it I'm wearing a Richie Sexson jersey (it looked a little more like a dress on me, he's kinda tall). I didn't realize how tough it was being a model, those lights are hot, luckily I had a gopher to get me water. Now if we could just get it chilled. Perhaps tomorrow after we're done with the Mariners we'll do it properly with my name in lights! For the record I screwed this picture up (keep the you're in it comments to yourself), this was taken on my cell phone when all along I had my digital camera in a different pocket. Dude, I work with geniuses!

Alright since I've got to be back at the complex in 4 hours I should probably end this.

Back in the Saddle Again

First to calm everyone's fears neither Shane Doan nor Ed Jovanovski were traded by the Coyotes yesterday at the NHL trade deadline so the possibility of meeting them still exists. Oh and the plane carrying Curtis, the Wonger, and myself arrived in the valley of the sun with no problem.

As astute blog readers know, yesterday was my second favorite day of the year (behind only Hockey day in Michigan). Luckily this year we didn't travel during those important trade deadline hours, so you don't have to read me complain about Jimmy breaking any NHL gossip this time.

The flight down did provide a control room shoutout though. As I talked to the couple next to me I told them what I was going to Phoenix for when I said I worked for FSN the woman asked me if I knew Charlie Ganong! Sorry Charlie (Ha, bet you haven't heard that one before, but I didn't catch her name). So that was an awesome start to the trip perhaps only surpassed by the limo ride to the rental car agency. If people only knew who was behind the tinted windows, boy would they have been disappointed.

First night in and first dinner at a bar, we couldn't make it a single night without bar food. It's going to be a rough month for my "healthier" living.

Alright I'm going to add a new feature to the blog (in addition to my unhealthy obsessions with Mr Doan and Jovanovski). I don't have a title for it yet, but I'll pick one song from my Ipod that best describes my day. For those that don't know my Ipod has 3,000+ songs, some consider my taste in music bad, I like to call it eclectic. One song (well probably more, but one for sure) is banned from winning and that is "We Won't Get Fooled Again" by the Who. Mostly because there's the chance it could describe everyday and let's be honest I chose to return therefore wasn't fooled into anything (yeah, keep your comments to yourself or feel free to comment if you like). So without further ado here's todays song: "Watching Airplanes" by Gary Allan. Sure, technically I was the one on the plane today but I still had to wait at the terminal and leaving me and my imagination alone together long enough is never a good combination.

Alright I should probably get some sleep gotta be on my A game tomorrow for the big Charity tilt between those natural rivals the Padres and Mariners.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Back for More!

I realize it's a week until I leave but I figured now is as good a time as any to get back in the flow. With the debut of the second season you'll also notice a spiffy new title! Though I'm sure Curtis will still be happy to take my paycheck back a dollar at a time and Gretzky hasn't done anything to get on my bad side it was time for a change but more on that in a second.

I've undertaken an intense training regimen to prepare for this month. Instead of keeping the twinkies next to the couch I've kept them in kitchen cupboard so I had to get up and walk over to get a tasty snack cake. Hopefully this will help in the long run.

As regular readers of this blog will recall one of my big disappointments last spring was not seeing a Coyotes game in the month I spent in the desert. Well that's going to change this year. It's my goal to see the Desert Dogs play at least once. Not being one to settle for such a simple goal there is a second part to this goal, I want to meet Shane Doan. Who is Shane Doan you ask?
Just the captain of your Phoenix Coyotes. He also happens to be my 2nd favorite NHL player (sorry Shane you'll never top Patrick Marleau). So that's the biggest goal this spring. For the record I'd settle for meeting my 3rd favorite NHLer, former Canucks great Ed Jovanovski. That might be like meeting Val though when you were hoping to meet Holly (and yes, Marleau is Tina in this stretched way-to-thin analogy). If that last sentence lost you don't worry there will be plenty more esoteric references as the sun bakes my brain the next month.

Alright, the next time this gets updated should be from the valley of the sun next week. If you have any suggestions or anything you want talked about feel free to stop me before I leave or drop me a line.