Archive for March, 2006

World Baseball Classic In Anaheim

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Ah, the smell of freshly cut grass, the crowds streaming in, and the sound of the crack of the bat filling the air.

It’s only March!

Today I got to see Team USA take on Japan during game one of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. The ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and the national anthem of both countries was played, and that’s where the pleasantries ended.

From Ichio’s Home Run in the first-inning and the near brush backs by the Japanese pitchers the game more resembled a war then a friendly game of baseball. In the eight-inning an almost international incident occurred when Japanese player Nishokia apparently left the bag early before the catch was made and was called out. This caused the manager for Japan to charge out of the dugout and argue with the umpire, but it was all for not and the Umpire didn’t reverse the call. What made the entire event even more interesting was the fact that the Japanese players walked off the field and remained in the Dugout until after the entire argument, some of us in the stands thought that Japan was forfeiting the game due to the call.

Overall the WBC was a fun experience, sort of like attending the Olympics. After the game was over the Starbucks across from Angel Stadium was almost like the UN. Japanese, Mexicans, Americans, and Koreans (along with some of the staff from the WBC) crashed the place for coffee and just hung out. The Japanese fans didn’t seem to mind that they lost 4-3, I think they were just having fun talking to all of the other fans at the game.

I hope that the WBC takes off and turns into the “World Cup” of Baseball.

Politics is like watching sausage get made…

After the last couple weeks and my first hand experience of the political process in Orange County, I have come to learn a few things:

First, this county is not as conservitive as it once was, the voters are changing their minds and the pollsters seem clueless. It’s called “Ground Truth” – What you think may be the facts are not the actual facts when you hit the pavement.

Second, the upcoming elections in Orange County are going to get expensive fast.

Those of you seeking the list of candidates for all of the races in the OC click here (PDF Warning). The list didn’t seem updated as of yet, but I’m sure the Registrar’s office is trying to certify all of the signatures that have been gathered and turned in at the last minute.

Also if you want to follow the Orange County political races check out the following blogs: Total Buzz (Political news from the OC Register), Orange Juice (a political view from both the Left and the Right), and OC Blog (Political news from the Right).

Let the games begin…

Disneyland must be in the “Southern California Region”

While checking out our northern neighbors, a visting Vancouver Metroblogger discussed his recent visit to Disneyland.

Disneyland is located practically in my backyard and in the city of Anaheim, not Los Angeles. But then again we can all agree that it is in the Southern California region. Hope he had some fun on his trip, but I would reccomend not wasting your time at Disney’s California Adventure AKA “Dirt Cheap Attractions.”

Orange County Atheists – March Meeting

atheism.jpgThe next meeting of the Orange County Atheists will be held on Wednesday, March 15 at 7:30pm at the International House of Pancakes at 18542 MacArthur Blvd in Irvine, near John Wayne Airport. A map to the location is available here. If you’re planning on attending please RSVP at our website forums. More information and discussion is available there as well.

If you consider yourself an atheist, an agnostic, a freethinker, a humanist, or are just curious, check out this month’s event. We always welcome new members, will give you a name tag, and want to hear what you have to say! More info is available at the Orange County Atheists website. Hope to see you there!

Beer Appreciation Night

bjs-s.pngThe first Tuesday of every month is Beer Appreciation Night at the BJ’s Brewhouse in Brea. This month’s event is Tuesday, March 7 at 7:30 pm, but get there early because it can fill up quickly. The restaurant’s at 600 Brea Mall Drive in Brea (click for map) and costs $18 per person, which includes all beer samples, handouts and souvenirs (usually a glass).

The theme this month is Great Scottish Ales – Strong beers for strong men (and women!) Designated drivers get a free mini pizza and drink. Hope to see you there!

Meeting of the Queen Marys

Yeah yeah yeah, we know, there were two big boats out in Long Beach. Whatever. But the REAL big news is this guy and his purple suit.

“Excuse me sir, can you turn down your suit? I can’t see the Queen Mary.”

Scenes from an Orange County… restaurant…

(This may well be my shortest entry ever…)

So, there I am in the drive-thru at the Del Taco in Foothill Ranch. It’s lunchtime, yesterday, and I wait patiently in my car as the other cars pass through.

I approach the little speaker, sure of what I want. I order my usual Spicy Chicken Burrito.

And the guy on the other end, the guy speaking to cars all day long, the guy taking my order so I can drive off wherever, asks me, with complete seriousness, “Will that be for here or to go?”

Courtside at Cal State Fullerton

Tonight the Titans defeated the UC Davis Aggies in a blowout of a game. The final score was 81-63, with Bobby Brown scoring twenty of those points and two Titans scoring 13 points. With the victory, the Titans will have a winning season going into the Big West Tournament at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The Titans may open against UC Riverside or Cal State Northridge.

A plus of the game tonight was my brother and I scored the BJ’s Pizza Couch Potato Seats. You cannot get seats that are any better, the couch is right on the floor and there is no one in your way. Not to mention we also received two large BJ Pizzas as a prize. Since I’ve been a light eater lately, my bro and I split half a pizza and sent the other one to the Titan Hoop Club. The Titan Hoop Club is a group of students, alumni, and faculty that support the Cal State Fullerton Basketball program by not only being a cheering section but also awarding the players for their efforts on and off the court. They deserve it for all of the work that they do.

P.S. if anyone knows where I can get a Titan shirt that says “Orange Curtain” on the back, let me know, I would love to have one.

Wait! What did I just check?

If you signed any petition forms lately, you might want to check your party registration if you live in Orange County.

The Orange County Republican Party is under investigation for the actions of a few of their paid signature gatherers who used illegal tactics to switch a person’s political affiliation to the Republican Party. About 400 new Republican registrations are being investigated for voter fraud by the Democratic Voter Education and Registration Fund (DVERF). According to the Orange County Register, 37 complaint forms were filed with the Registrar of Voters, 40 others have requested complaint forms, and about 200 more have asked for assistance in changing their voter registration back to Democrat. 300 more forms were also found to have false addresses and phone numbers. 65 additional cases were discovered by the Registrar of Voters, these cases were separate from the DVERF investigation.

Scott Baugh, Chairman of the Orange County Republican Party, has fired the offending paid signature gatherers and argues that since the party pays 10 dollars per signature they conduct an audit program to make sure the information gathered is accurate. By comparison, the Democratic Party pays per hour (in Orange County it is 9 dollars) for signatures instead of each individual signature, the Democrats also conduct their own audit to make sure workers are following legal guidelines. This is a case of Quantity versus Quality between both parties.

This is a troubling development from a party that has been in power in the County of Orange for decades. In central Orange County, which has been traditional Democratic territory, the voter registration lead of Democrats vs. Republicans has changed from the thousands to the hundreds and with voter registration programs being operated by both parties the fight continues for the heart of Orange County.

According to DVERF, the block of registration forms in question were traced back to Chris Dinoff of Riverside, Ca. Each Voter Registration form has a serial number which must be accounted for by the group who receives their forms from the Registrar of Voters. Dinoff was responsible for 16,000 registration forms. The Register contacted Dinoff who said he was “Being investigated” and did not comment any further.

State Senator Joe Dunn, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, and State Rep. Tom Umberg all have the Democratic majority in central OC to thank for their seats. However, with the voter registrations changing on a month-to-month basis, the races that seemed like a lock now are wide open. The Primaries are also a couple months away and those who had their party registrations changed run the risk of not being able to vote in the Democratic primary.

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