Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mik's Mini Bat Collection: In His Bat Racks

Last year for Christmas our Grandpa Kjos made Mik mini bat racks for his collection. Dad finally got it up in Mik's room and filled it with the mini bats from the trip. It looks really cool, although the photo is just from Dad's phone.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Photo Issue

The place I host most of the photos for this blog had a crash that seems to have affected most of the images on the blog. I do not currently have them on my computer and only on my external harddrive and some also on CDs because they were taking too much space on my laptop. I will try to slowly get the posts to have photos again. There are hundreds of posts and I think all, but some of the pre trip posts were affected, so it may take a while.

Update 3/7/10 - I finally got the photos all back in the posts.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Kj's Baseball Collection: Toros Inaugural Season

Back on Monday when Dad and I went to the Tucson Toros game I got a baseball for my collection. Mik did not go along, but we would have gotten him a mini bat if they were not all pink ones. The ball I got was a Inaugural Season Tucson Toros 2009 baseball.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Final Regular Season 2009 Toros Game

Dad and I finally got out to a Tucson Toros game tonight. They play at Hi Corbet, where Dad and I used to go to games all the time when the Triple A Toros played here. We also saw a lot of Arizona Heat games here the few years that softball team existed.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mik's Food Scrapbook: Arizona Baseball Club at Chase Field

At the Arizona Baseball Club at Chase Field yesterday Mik enjoyed the Chinese selection of food. He especially liked the dumplings. He also enjoyed the Udon Noodle Salad. I forget what the sandwich thing is he had, but he did not really try it because he got full on the Chinese food first and wanted to make sure he saved room for dessert.

The best part, though, was the special dessert the chef made just for him/us. It was a giant ice cream log. It has three flavors of ice cream and an oreo crust on the bottom. The edge has nuts and M&Ms. It was awesome and we all enjoyed it, especially Mik. It was even more than enough ice cream for Dad, who tried to, but could not finish it off. The only other time that he failed to finish off an ice cream treat was when Mik, Dad, and I had the Sorcerer's Apprentice Sundae at the Disney Soda Fountain in Hollywood several years ago.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dbacks Gonzo Appreciation Night: Houston Astros 0 @ Arizona Diamondbacks 9

Just the other day Mik got a package with a certificate for the Arizona Baseball Club restaurant at Chase Field. We had been talking about going to another game this season and when I looked at the upcoming promotion schedule I noticed they had somewhat recently added that today's game was Luis Gonzalez Appreciation Night. Luis Gonzalez is like Mik's favorite Dback ever and used to be his all time favorite baseball player, but I think Cy Young and Warren Spahn now top that list. Thus we made a quick decision to go to the game today, especially since there was a Gonzo t-shirt giveaway to the first 25,000 fans.

Mik was kind of tired of baseball after the road trip, but he was up for a Dback game. Of course, the clincher was that they were giving out Gonzo t-shirts. He ended up really enjoying it because of the food at the Arizona Baseball Club, but I will post about that including the awesome dessert in a Mik's Food Scrapbook post soon.

The view of the game was great from the restaurant, although you cannot see the Circle K strikeout board because you are right above it and that certainly is one of the big features of the park. We also could not see the Dback line up scoreboard, but that is a minor inconvenience.

The game itself was pretty exciting at least if you are a Dback fan, since they won 9 to 0 over the Astros. Mik loved it. As for me today I officially became a total non-Dback fan, as I learned that they are moving to the Phoenix area along with the Rockies for Spring Training starting in 2011. That means the total end of baseball in Tucson other than the measly Toros or some random professional baseball organization thingy. Sorry, but I think it is a total waste for them to spring train so close to home and it really destroys them trying to be a team for the whole state. They might as well now become the Phoenix Diamondbacks.

Mik and Mom left after the game and headed to the Hyatt, where Mom got a good deal for the night, since she did not want Dad to have to drive home late. Yeah, the 2 hour drive home is nothing compared to driving all night after the Maddux Number Retired Game in order to get to the Nats game the next day, but Mik would not have wanted to stay after the game for the concert and I kind of did. Dad and I stayed for about half of the post game Montgomery Gentry concert. I like their music for the most part, but I really am not into the loud noise of concerts, so we left before it was over. We then got to the hotel in time to watch the post-concert fireworks from the elevator area on the floor we are staying on (could not watch from our room because it does not face the ballpark).

Overall today was a fun Dbacks game experience. It is what Dad calls a Encore game to end the Summer 2009 with a Dbacks game just as we started the summer with a Dbacks game back in May. It was also nice to have Mom along for once, which as usual almost did not happen due to work, but we very much appreciate her coming along. Note that the above photo with Mik, Mom, and a Mini Bat is the two of them proud they got one for $1 when Mik did not even remember that he already got that bat for $1 back in May, so now he has 2.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mik and Dbacks Hat and Gift Certificate for Arizona Baseball Club at Chase Field

Mik called me all excited yesterday afternoon telling me I had to write a post for this blog. I had no idea what he was talking about and he just said Dad will explain. It turns out he got a package from Levy Restaurants at Chase Field that included a Dbacks Hat, a Dbacks baseball thing for the car, and a gift certificate for the Chef's table at the Arizona Baseball Club at Chase Field. It is good this season and next, but I think Mik will want to use it this season, especially since we were already thinking about going up for one more Dbacks game this season.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Top 10 Highlights of the Trip

1. Hank Aaron and New Coca Cola Bottle Plugged In - He might have been way down on the field and it was the game we sat in the upper section at Turner Field, but it was still really cool and totally unexpected to see Hank Aaron in person. Of course, seeing the new Coca Cola Bottle plugged in/unveiled was also part of the top highlight of the trip. I would have liked to have gotten a chance to see the old Coca Cola bottle, but only being able to see the new one was cool since we saw it on the day it was unveiled.

2. Nationals Park Experience - Choosing between this being the top and Hank Aaron was a hard decision, but Hank Aaron won out by the tiniest margin possible. Of course, I could have told you at the beginning of the trip that going to Nationals Park was going to be one of my highlights, but I never expected it was going to be one of the top highlights because of a special experience at the game. It had already been to Nationals Park at least a dozen times before the trip because I had season tickets for the Opening Season of the park in 2008 and this is my favorite game experience ever at the park, although the Inaugural Game/Opening Day 2008 was almost as special. That game, though, Mom and I were one row from the top, and this game we sat in one of the most premium spots in the park, the PNC Diamond Club. Not only did we end up in a great place to enjoy the game, but we got some awesome goodies including a ball signed by Christian Guzman and a bat signed by Austin Kearns.

3. Maddux Number Retired - Yes, all of the top three things happened in a span of 3 days in July with this being in the middle of number 1 happening first and number 2 happening 3rd chronologically on the trip. We did not even plan on going to the game that Maddux number was retired at the Braves, but when I found out it was the day after the game we were already going to I edited the itinerary and we got tickets to go. We did not stay for the whole game, but it was the pre-game stuff that was what we went for. It was interesting to get our Braves Hall of Fame tickets signed by Dale Murphy before the game. Of course, seeing the ceremony and the unveiling of Maddux's retired number was the highlight of that game and an experience that does not happen all that often.

4. Randy Johnson's 299th Win - Okay, this one may seem like an odd highlight and really did not seem like it would be one at the time, but looking back it is just one of those things that is fun to say you saw. Sure, seeing his 300th would have been more historic, but hey that was him beating the Nats!!! This was him playing at home and beating the Braves.

Update 3/7/10: This highlight now seems even more historical with him retiring and only ending up with 303 wins, so we saw one of his last wins.

5. Ceremonial First Pitch at Red Sox Game - This was one of the most interesting first pitched we saw on the trip. The person that threw the ceremonial pitch in that game was Jeffery Donovan, who plays the Michael Weston in Burn Notice. The main reason was that it was not just a somebody, but it was a somebody we actually knew who he was. Mik really loved this highlight because Burn Notice is one of his favorite shows. I think the only show he likes more is NCIS or maybe some Japanese anime show.

6. Grand Slam - One of the main things we had really hoped to see on the trip was a Grand Slam. Finally in Game 27 at the Astros we got to see one when the Carlos Lee hit one for the Astros in the bottom of the 7th.

7. 9-2 Play - I vaguely think we saw two 9-2 plays on the trip, but do not feel like going through my scorebook to confirm that. Anyways the one that was the highlight was the one I remember for sure happening and I talked about the whole trip. The play was in the bottom of the 7th in Game 1 of the trip with the Nats Right Fielder Austin Kearns (I ended up with a bat signed by him as part of highlight 2!!!) throwing out Felipe Lopez at home on a forced out. It was just such an awesome and perfect play that really saved the game as a Nats win, as it kept the tying run from scoring. Oh, and it was a Nat throwing out a former Nat.

8. Active Career Home Run Leaders Hitting Homers in Same Game - Game 20 of the trip was an interesting match up with the two active career home run leaders (Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees and Ken Griffey Jr of the Mariners) playing against each other. That in itself is makes for a good game, but the highlight part is that they both hit homers in the game. Evener cooler is that they were both in the 6th inning. Ken Griffey, Jr. hit his 622nd in the top of the inning and Alex Rodriguez hit his 566th in the bottom of the inning.

9. Sand Ballpark - The day at the beach in St. Petersburg was one of the few that I think everyone truly enjoyed with Mik usually being the hold out on enjoying something. Creating our Sand Ballpark (i.e. what Dad dubbed Curly W Stadium) was in my opinion one of my best ideas of the trip. It turned out really cool and was a lot of fun to create. Of course, Mik enjoyed the opportunity to fill my sandals with sand while Dad and I finished the ballpark. Mom pointed out that this one photo even shows him doing that in the background.

10. Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame - The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame earned a spot on the highlight list beating out the Northside Twist Giant Soft Pretzel for the number 10 highlight of the trip. It totally is deserving of the highlight list because it was way more interesting and informative than Cooperstown. Sure it is a heck of a lot smaller, but it is jammed pack with as much as it can put on display and the one employee on duty not only knew a lot about the things on display, but had a general knowledge and passion for baseball that really helped make visiting the Hall of Fame special.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day 76: Final Day Group Photo with National League Side of Car

Before we left Texas for the final drive home we had Mom take a photo of Mik, Dad, and me in front of the National League side of the car as our end of trip group photo. We choose the National League side to pose by partially because the final team was in the National League. The main reason, though, was that all our favorite teams are in the National League. Mik threw his last fit of the trip because we made him be in the photo, but it was worth it to get him in the photo, so we have one of our few group photos of the trip.

Day 75: Texas Wendish Heritage Museum

On August 2, 2009, Mom and I went with one of the friends we were visiting in Texas to see the Texas Wendish Heritage Museum. Dad had gone out to see it the day before, so he just stayed with Mik so we did not have to drag him along. Our visit consisted of seeing four buildings.

We started at the church, which still has an active congregation. The building is not all that spectacular outside, but inside it is beautiful. I love all the blue in the church. The pillars are also interesting because they are wood, but they are painted to look like they are marble.

The first museum building we went into was the kitchen that they make the Wendish noodles in. They had the eggs laid out because they work better if they are room temperature and the next day was noodle making day.

The second building was part of the main museum. They have a genealogy library and a gift shop along with the exhibit in this building. One of the most interesting things in my opinion was the display on the different ways they make decorative eggs.

The last building we went into has items set up on display to show different settings with items donated from Wendish families that immigrated to Texas and their descendents. There are settings like a child’s room, a couple’s bedroom, a store, and a schoolhouse (by the way this was part of what the building these exhibits are in used to be). One of the older things is a black wedding dress from the 1879.