Category: sactown

The West is Big, y’all

The West is Big, y’all

There’s something Kevin Standlee​ said in a File 770 thread (it’s about halfway through the comment) that I wanted to do a little expounding on. Family and folks who know the area I grew up, bear with me, as none of this is going to be all that unusual to you. What I am about to quote came up in a discussion about whether Spokane was close to Seattle.

In my experience, a lot of people who haven’t actually lived on the US west coast think everything here is in the same place. Disneyland is just outside of San Francisco. You can see the Space Needle from Portland. And obviously everything in the same state is within a few miles’ of everything else.

Kevin knows what he’s talking about — he and I grew up in the same general geographic area, although that area is about 150 miles in diameter around my hometown. My hometown is a small Western city that has the distinction of being one of six control cities on Interstate 5 (the other five are all major cities you’ve probably heard of).

From my hometown, it is approximately an hour and fifteen minutes to the nearest state university. The next one is about two hours fifteen minutes. The other state university in our third of the state is about three hours away over a mountain pass. And my alma mater, in a major metro region that holds most of the sports teams we root for in my little city, is about three hours away, if you’re pushing it and not stopping.

And we’re big enough to be a control city — that’s the one the signs point to as the next destination — on the major north/south artery of the West Coast.

A couple other thoughts. I live in Sacramento now. A friend and I once drove from Portland to Sacto, getting out of the car once. It took us eight hours. Another time, I had to drive to pick up somebody in Los Angeles — the Hollywood area, to be precise. Mom and I left Sacto at 4:30 AM. We stopped for gas once and breakfast once, but we still didn’t make it to his place until 11:30 AM.

One last thought. California numbers its freeway exits by miles travelled, starting with 1 at the southern end for N/S roads and the western end for E/W roads.

The actual little town I grew up in, just south of the minor city I describe here, is exits 667 and 668 on Interstate 5. At that point, there’s still another hundred odd miles to the Oregon border.

The West Coast is *big*, y’all.

Heartache

Heartache

The San Francisco Giants, my all-time favorite baseball team, said that they were going to have the trophy at their new Triple A franchise today, and that they would bring all three trophies. Having missed the stop on both the 2010 and 2012 trophies, I figured I’d go down to Raley Field and see them all.

After three hours in line (arriving when the gates opened, and looping around three sides of Raley Field), my sister and I had almost arrived at the gate when they closed them. Sure, I got a voucher for some Rivercats game. But it wasn’t really what I wanted. I mean, sure the Rivercats are going to be the Triple A franchise for the Giants starting this season, and I was probably going to go out to a few games.

But a Rivercats game is not the world series trophies for a team I have been following since I was a kid.

So I feel pretty miserable and awful right now — especially considering it’s pretty amazing the Giants had won *three*. To have to wait for #4 — a trophy that may not come for 50 years, as it took 52 years and three tries for the Giants to win their first in San Francisco — is a huge slap in the face that a Rivercats voucher isn’t quite enough to make up for.

And the fact that this event was the *only* event in the entire Sacramento Metro Area…yeah.

The Giants should have made this a longer event on a weekend. It would have been an awesome way to welcome their new Triple A franchise into the fold, and it could have been a festive day. It would have been good for both the Giants and the Rivercats. Instead, I’m left with a sour taste for both my favorite baseball franchise, and their Triple A team.

This wasn’t the way to do it, guys.

This blog isn’t exactly a big blog on the Internet, and I really don’t expect either the Giants or the Rivercats to say anything about this clusterfsck. But it hurts, in its way.

My sunset over Raley Field (the picture that accompanies this blog) feels oddly appropriate. It got retweeted by the Rivercats. At the time, I was so excited, but I thought I’d see the trophy at that point, too. So much for that.

[Sactown] Penguin Hauling

[Sactown] Penguin Hauling

Why get up and go downtown at stupidly early hours of the morning on a day I don’t have to work?

To see the penguin, of course!

It’s too bad this trip was to say goodbye to Endeavor. I may have more to say about the shuttle later, but for now, it’s enough to say, I saw this.

[sactown] mmm…root beer

[sactown] mmm…root beer

I can has all the root beer?

(Taken outside River City Brewing, which does have really good root beer. And also some excellent microbrews, I’m told.)

[sactown] State Capitol Building

[sactown] State Capitol Building

So, I’ve promised a friend I would start taking pictures of Sactown to show her. It gets me out of the office at lunch — most of these will be walking distance from work — and it lets me see a bit more of the city I live in. I’ll start the series with this shot, from last Friday, of the State Capitol building here in Sacramento.

I joke Sacramento is a company town. People look at me strange until I point out that the company is the State of California, and when the state hurts, everybody hurts. And it’s been really bad times for the State of California for years. We papered over a lot of it with the housing bubble, but eventually those things come back to haunt you.

That said, I love our state capitol building, and I especially love it this time of year with the Christmas tree in front.

This is my pocket knife

This is my pocket knife

image

Went to run a few items to the post office. Now, the post office in Sacramento is in the federal building, mere feet from the security guards manning the metal detector.

They wouldn’t let me take the knife in. I guess I could use it to go postal on the postal employees, but why?  Hell, my keys (which I am allowed to take in the federal building) would probably do more damage.

So I had to put it outside.  Also, their metal detector is sensitive enough to detect glasses.  Meh.

Security theatre sucks, as does paranoia.

There are times I really hate Christmas

There are times I really hate Christmas

image

No kid should ever have to write a letter like this to Santa Claus.  Never.

(Seen in local postal annex.)

fogtown

fogtown

Fog townPhoto by retstak

The first fog of the year has come to Sacramento, shrouding the skyscrapers in mystery. I had to get to work early, so I managed to catch them in that peaceful moment when it’s not night anymore, but it’s not really day yet either. It’s perfect.

[tftc] Attack of the Quack

[tftc] Attack of the Quack

[Fifth in an occassional series about things I see on my commute.]

Today, on my way home, I get up on the freeway, and a couple vehicles in front of me, I see a truck. It looked like this:

Hmmm, says I, it’s a Duck truck. Now, I don’t root for the Oregon Ducks, but they play in the same league as my beloved Cal Bears, so it’s still nifty to see. I begin to wonder if it might be the equipment truck. I decide to overtake and I snap one more picture of the side of the truck as I go by:

Keep on Duckin'!Photo by retstak

It made me laugh. So I asked over on Addicted to Quack, an Oregon sports blog, about what that truck was. And sure enough, my guess was right. You see, the Ducks played Tennessee in Knoxville on Saturday night, and the afternoon commute hours today were just right for the Ducks’ equipment truck to be passing through Sacramento on its way home to Eugene from that game.

I wonder if Cal has a similar truck?

Apocalypse Sacramento

Apocalypse Sacramento

Greetings from Sacramento, where the apocalypse seems to have begun…

(No, not really. Just playing around with the solarize feature on my phone. And yes, I like that skyscraper a lot. And yes, one of these days I’ll have something substantial to say that isn’t a post with a picture.)

majestic

majestic

Fiddling around this morning with the phone and discovered how to set the camera in black and white mode. I kinda like this — there’s a solemn majesty in it.

As an interesting compare and contrast, here’s a color photo of approximately the same scene I took just prior:
Skyscraper in colorPhoto by retstak

Yah, I think I like the black and white one better.

baseball and a status update

baseball and a status update

God, has it been nearly two weeks since I bothered to update my blog?

Ah, here, have a picture:

I took this at the Rivercats game last night. It’s the first time I’ve been out to Raley Field, and, while the Cats sucked rocks through a bendy straw last night, it was a perfect night for baseball, especially as the sun started to set. For those of you who don’t know, the Rivercats are the Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland A’s, and the stadium is just across the river from downtown Sacramento. (That gold bridge on the left? That’s the Tower Bridge, which crosses the Sacramento River, and is generally one of the two things used to as icons to identify Sacramento. The other is, of course, the State Capitol building.

Anyway, just letting folks know I live. I’ll have more to say later.

The day I was a superhero

The day I was a superhero

Yesterday, on my walk between the parking garage and work, I found the following juxtaposition of signage:

The chalked message up close, so you can read it:
What the chalked message said...Photo by retstak

It was one of those moments where I just had to pause for a moment and laugh (and of course, take a picture). Somebody has a sense of humor in this town, and it’s those sort of wonderful serendipitous moments that I love very dearly. So yesterday, I walked past the message, head held high, as I obviously was a superhero. Only superheroes may pass. The sign said so. Thus, by passing it, I must have been a superhero, no?

I wasn’t a superhero today. We had a spectacular light show and plenty of rain last night, and the chalk was washed away. Mundanity returns. So sad.

dangerously cute

dangerously cute

The nice people at the county remind us that it’s time to get Stormycat her rabies shot and license again. They sent us a postcard. It contained the following vitals:

Name: Stormy
Sex: F
Color: Calico
Breed: Pitbull

I guess that’s dangerously cute for you.

Bad Air.

Bad Air.

It’s ugly out there. This is a picture I just took about fifteen minutes ago, as the sun was going down here in Antelope, which is roughly twenty miles northeast of Sacramento proper. (I’m near Roseville, for those familiar with Sactown geography.)

The air’s been nasty all day. Every night, we hope it’ll get better as it clears enough to see stars in the sky. But the daytimes are just nasty. I had to take my mom into Roseville this afternoon, and our car doesn’t have air conditioning. My lungs are still feeling it. Every time I step out into the murky, ugly air, it starts to hurt to breathe. And I’m not in any sensitive group.

I’m in Sacramento. I can only imagine how bad it is in my old stomping grounds up in Redding, where there’s fires burning all around. I have vague memories of 1987, and stepping outside to see a blood red sun hanging in the air. My dad still has pictures somewhere.

Never expected I’d be snapping my own in Sactown, though.

A thousand fires. My lovely state is burning. And more dry lightning predicted.

And it’s only June.

That’s the scariest part.

(More sunset pictures on Flicker here.)

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