Photos: Chipper’s last regular-season home game

For very likely the last time in 2012, I went to Turner Field to catch a Braves game.  The Braves are guaranteed at least one playoff game next Friday, but honestly, I don’t really like the idea of going to a playoff game by myself, so I’m probably not going to go.  So as far as I’m concerned, this is probably the last time I go to Turner Field for the remainder of this year.

But anyway, this also serves as the de facto final regular-season home game for Chipper Jones, to which the crowd showed up en masse to commemorate the occasion.  I’m actually proud of the baseball fans of Atlanta for a chance, seeing as how I figured the attendance would have been above-average, but not necessarily a packed house like it ended up being, because there was a Falcons game in town at the same time.  But they showed up in great numbers, and were never not willing to stand up and cheer for Chipper Jones every single time he stepped up to the plate, or made a good defensive play.  It’s nice to know that there are plenty of other people out there that genuinely seem to appreciate the career of Chipper Jones.

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Thoughts about Trouble With the Curve

So I decided to go to a theater for the first time in ages, and I watched Trouble With the Curve, starring Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams.  I had some trepidation going into this movie, seeing as how it’s pretty much one gigantic counterpoint to Moneyball, which was a story and concept I liked, and the movie wasn’t half bad either.  But the movie focuses around baseball, and uses the Atlanta Braves as the team that the characters revolve around, so it was kind of unavoidable in the end.

As a movie plot, Trouble With the Curve is nothing spectacular at all, but it’s far from the worst flick on the planet too.  It’s predictable, the characters are cliche, and it tended to drag on at times, if not by any means other than repeating the plot device of “emotionally-detached aging father has difficulty bonding with now-grown-up daughter so walks away.”  At this point in time, I’m having difficulty in appreciating Clint Eastwood’s former greatness when he’s playing these vulnerable and cliched, gruff, elderly men.  And as for Amy Adams, I figured I would come out of the theater with a renewed crush on Amy Adams, but yeah no, not really.

As an experience, it was enjoyable to watch scenes taking place right here in Atlanta, and other parts of Georgia.  I remember the traffic problems that arose due to production equipment and trailers that lurked around Georgia Tech, one of the baseball fields used in the movie.  The Silver Skillet was used in one of the many scenes of daughter and father walk away from each other.  The nerd in me noted inaccuracies in ballpark venues for the Rome Braves, and other minor league territories brought up in the flick, but I’ll spare everyone else the details.

But in the end, I’m certainly glad I didn’t pay a regular admission to see this.  At 1:51 long, it feels pretty long, and I’d be pissed if I went into an evening showing, and ended up coming up at A.M. hours for this.

Trouble With the Curve isn’t a bad movie by any means, but there is a part of me that really doesn’t like it.  Read more »

Photos: Moxie tailgate and baseball night

Man, this zoom lens is pretty balla.’  I tagged along to a company function from Jen’s work, because it got me into a baseball game for free.  Along the way, I got to see homeless people descend on their waning-down tailgate to converge upon the spread like they were vultures closing in on a freshly run-over rabbit.  But then I was back in my comfort zone of Turner Field, taking some pictures of possibly the last time anyone will see Chipper Jones wearing the classic traditional home whites.

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Man, What a Stupid Commercial #002

I watch a lot of sports and wrestling, so it’s unavoidable that I see this commercial at least once a week, but likely way more than that.  Clearly, the perceived demographic of those who watch baseball, college football and professional wrestling are blue-collared white men who feel the need to drive gas-guzzling pickup trucks long distances on desolate country roads in which biker gangs travel on.

From the get-go, this commercial doesn’t exactly begin in any fashion that makes any sense.  A scorpion skittering on the ground before the word RESPECT just randomly pops up on the screen.  What does a scorpion have to do with Dodge Ram trucks or bikers?  What does a scorpion have to do with respect?  I respect the fact that scorpions have the capability to incapacitate and even kill human beings with their stings, which leads me to want to avoid them at all costs, but I clearly fail to comprehend the connection between scorpions, trucks and bikers.

But then we get to the “plot” of the commercial, which starts out with the protagonist of the spot, driving down a long, endless desert road.  In a pickup truck.  That claims to get 24 mpg on the highway with a fuel tank that can hold purportedly 26 gallons.  Sure, trucks are large bulky and have the capability for comfort, but I’m surprised at how in a such a supposed fuel-conscious society, the imagery of cruising down highways in our pickup trucks is still being pushed.

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How wrong Capcom got it

Recently, I was looking up old video games, and I came across a game whose title caught my eye – Street Fighter 2010.  It was a side-scrolling beat ‘em up game released by Capcom for the NES back in 1990.  America got the version where the storyline was altered so that the main character of the game is in fact futuristic, year-2010 version of Ken Masters.  The basic story is that Ken became a scientist after winning the Street Fighter tournament, and is going around through transdimensional portals, partially a cyborg or something along those convoluted lines, and beating up a variety of cyborgs and aliens, searching for clues for his dead science partner.

Honestly none of that is really at all important, humorously absurd as it all may be.  My biggest point of criticism is simply the fact that the game is titled “Street Fighter 2010,” and it’s currently the year 2012, and not a single fucking thing about the game is the least bit realistic to the times.  Interplanetary warp gates?  We’re still struggling with daily commuting, as they did back in 1979.  The cybergoo that the story revolves around that turns people into superhumans, I guess could be a comparable analogy to steroids and human growth hormones or something like, but that shit has been around for decades, so it’s nothing new.

Imagine if it were possible to project hands and feet, let alone punches and kicks.  I bet Capcom’s writers didn’t imagine how passive-aggressive and troll-y society would turn into by 2010.  There would be no need for projectile punches and kicks, when all people would be content to do is project their hands to do illicit things like assault or groping from a distance, tripping people, or dragging their projectile shoes on the ground to make annoying squeaking sounds.

Ultimately, the biggest problem with all of this is the fact that when the game was launched in 1990, they only gave themselves a 20-year cushion before it was actually 2010.  If they just called the game Street Fighter 2050 or any single number fairly substantially larger than 2010, they wouldn’t be in this position of ridicule.  Never mind the fact that Ken Masters decided to make a drastic career change from a street fighter to a scientist.  Never mind the fact that maybe two people knew who Ken Masters was in 1990, considering Street Fighter was released in 1987 for a different system, and Street Fighter II was still a year away.  As of 2010 to today, Ken Masters is not a scientist, but instead arguably the most overly-used, overpowered character in the Street Fighter fighting games, but he is not traveling through interplanetary warp gates.

Considering we were supposed to have flying cars and robot servants by the year 2000, Capcom isn’t the only entity to biff on this romanticism of what the future held.  But I have to imagine that aside from the technological disappointment that 2012 is, let alone 2010 was, they’re probably wishing they named it something like “Street Fighter 3010,” just to have been doubly safe.  I bet Marvel Comics is really banking on the world ending by 2099, because otherwise, there are a lot of people and probably aliens going to be laughing at the 2099 series in the year 2099 for reasons aside from the absolute shitty quality of the series.