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Today was the only ‘road trip’ of our games this week.  We ate breakfast and hopped in the car for the hour drive up to Surprise, Arizona.  Surprise Stadium is in the middle of the Surprise Recreation Campus, which includes practice fields, picnic grounds, a library, tennis courts, community pool and a water park.  Both the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals share the baseball facility.  It’s really a nice place to watch a game.  We were in the upper level in the last row and it seemed like we were so close to the field.  I wish all major league parks could be like this.

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Today we went on a ninty minute drive up I17 to the town of Campe Verde and the wild animal park nearby called Out of Africa.  We left about an hour late and the place was pretty packed.  While on the the ‘safari’ ride, the driver said that they normally get 500 people but today they expected 1500.  Spring break is the busiest time of the year for them.

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Today was a long day.  We got to Phoenix Muni early, almost too early.  Parking was open, but the stadium wasn’t, so we went inside the shop to browse around.  I bought myself another straw hat, since you can never have too many of them.  When we finally got inside, we headed over near the A’s dugout area.  I snapped a bunch of pictures of the players taking batting practice and throwing the ball around.

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Today was the first baseball game of the trip, with the A’s hosting the Dodgers split squad.  After allowing the Dodgers to put up four runs in the second, they came back and scored nine in the third.  They wanted to coast home, but the Dodgers put up four runs in the ninth to bring it to 10-8 before the game ended.  I ate a footlong hot dog with kraut, onions and peppers.  As my mustache grows, I have to relearn how to eat certain things, and dogs are one of those things.

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We are tired.  Last night we all had some kind of problems sleeping.  Hunter decided that he couldn’t keep so much milk in his stomach, and burped up a lot of it all over Heather and the bed.  He had to get new clothes on and calmed down enough to go back to sleep.  I had to put on headphones and find a radio station to listen to in order to get to sleep, but then woke up a couple hours later and couldn’t immediately return to sleep.  Eventually I did, but not before listening to a bunch of oldie songs on Cola 99.9FM.  Reminds me of the old KFRC.

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We left this morning for our trip to Arizona. The main attractions are four spring training baseball games featuring the Oakland Athletics, visiting San Jose Sharks at Phoenix Coyotes and a couple zoos.

We planned on leaving at about nine am this morning, but we had a missing kitty to find.  We weren’t sure if she had snuck outside while we were packing the car, so we couldn’t leave until we knew where she was.  It turned out she was spooked by the vacuum as I cleaned the car out and she hid in our bedroom under the comforter.  Anyway, we finally got on the road about ten o’clock and headed toward I5.

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[originally posted on Fear the Fin]

I follow a great NFL stats blog called Advanced NFL Stats, that uses live win-probability modeling to determine which of the two teams is most likely to win. This football off-season the author of that blog has started looking at other sports, hockey being one of them. The post on March 9th was his first about modeling hockey games. In the post, he describes the Poisson equation and how to determine the probability of a team scoring or allowing a certain amount of goals, and through that, the possibility of them winning games.  Go ahead and read his post. I’ll wait….. OK! So I thought it might be neat to see what the Sharks numbers were…

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I’ve been playing Field Commander on the PSP for many months now.  It’s a great game and for the most part, once you get the hang of the units, each map can be completed in one or two tries in usually less than an hour.  I went through a good deal of the game playing for a little bit right before bed or when I had some time to kill here or there.  Everything was cool and fun until I got to a level called Eve’s Study.  I got so frustrated that I almost quit the game.  Looking online for help was futile.  Others had the same problem but no one came forward with a solution.  I’m here to document what I did so that others can hopefully not get as frustrated and continue to enjoy this fantastic game. (more…)

The Royal Rumble is one of my favorite matches of the year.  Thirty guys with one goal, win the shot at a championship title.  One of the best parts is watching the interactions of the low and mid-card wrestlers against the main eventers.

Trying to predict the Royal Rumble winner often involves trying to predict what the WWE wants to do for Wrestlemania.  When there was only one belt, the winner went on to get that belt and predicting it was easier.  When there was a wrestler that was being held down by Mr. McMahon, the best bet was on that wrestler to win the Rumble and go on to win the title at Wrestlemania.  With the brand extension, there are two more belts, but it seems like many more options.  One brand can work with the Rumble winner as challenger for the title while the other brands get an extra month to figure out who to push at the champion.

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Quick Trivia, other than the Undertaker the night Kane made his debut, who were Kane’s first victims?

Kane has been maskless for a few years now, and while it was interesting at first, it’s really diluted the character.  Kane usually seems to be over pretty well with the fans, and is one good push away from being a believable champion again.  I think he’s been a great company man for many years and deserves a good push to the belt.  I don’t think it would get in the way of Batista or Cena who will probably just get injured next year anyway.  I won’t write down all the little details, but I came up with a way to bring back some excitement with the Kane character and put him back in his mask. (more…)