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Surprising weather

It has been cloudy and raining for a couple of weeks, so this morning's sudden sunshine was a nice surprise. But it meant not going to a going-away party for a pair of neighbors so I could get to the one express train to SF on time. In my rush I forgot my phone, but I did have my tablet with ebooks loaded. It's a wifi only tablet, and there's no wifi on Caltrain. The big event was the annual SF Giants baseball team's fanfest #SFGFest. I'd never been before, probably because usually in mid-February it's cold and wet in SF.

I wore my Hawaiian style Giants shirt, standard black with orange letters SF baseball cap, and a heavy faux leather SF Giants stadium jacket with lots of branding. I bought it at a discount when the same jacket plus championship patches was being sold for 3x as much after the 2nd world series win. Orange lining, quilted inner sleeves with quilt batting. Very warm.

It looked like at least half the train was going to the same place. It was packed - the bozos who designed the new trains made all the seats 4-somes, two facing front and two back, and pretty close together so the person you are facing needs to negotiate foot placement with you.

10:45 arrived at SF at about 11:30, a long 3 blocks to the stadium, where they had the usual metal detectors and TSA style inspection, but without the shoes idiocy. And I could keep my jacket on.

It was a long and winding path to the field, and I had to dodge several pairs of people playing catch with actual baseballs in the outfield on my way to the stands in front of the KNBR stage. The player I most wanted to see, Buster Posey, was long gone, he was in the 10 am slot. But I got to see the coach and several other key players over the next couple of hours. There was other stuff going on around the stadium, but it was a warm sunny day and after half an hour I scored perfect seats for taking photos of the interviewees. One seat for me, another for my jacket & knapsack.

Photos can be found here. There are a lot of good ones. I didn't get nearly enough eye candy pictures because mostly people were in a crowd and it was a game of peek-a-boo, or they were rapidly walking up the aisle. The police person who was stationed between the main body of standing fans and the stage was guarded by a woman wearing short sleeves and sporting ornate arm tattoos.

During commercial breaks (the fest is a KNBR event) the players would take off their headsets and go to the edge of the stage to sign autographs, and often this police person would help by handing items from fan to player and back. Most of the players eventually jumped into the crowd and signed stuff, as well.

The one down side is my great photo shoot seats came with unhearable audio. There were a couple of low-powered speakers aimed sort of at us, but the bass was up so high the words were not understandable. The audio was also being piped around the stadium, so the seats way up by the concourse could hear, but they were too far for photos.

There was a lot of swag for sale, but I have everything Giantish I need.

The event was due to end at 3, the next train home was 3:15, so when it was clear that no new talent was going to come on stage, I bailed at 2:45. It was a long walk to the station, the exit was on the opposite side of the stadium from the one I entered. But I got there with 10 minutes to spare. This was an older train, which has lovely single seats facing front in the south half of the car and facing back in the north half. Downstairs there are 4-somes, but usually there is a table between the facing pairs. Anyhow, not very crowded going home.

At one of the stops, there is a sign written on the side of a Mexican restaurant facing the station which says "Birthplace of the Mission Style burrito" which I finally remembered to make a note of and look up. Total BS. Turns out the reason it is called the Mission Style is it was invented either in SF's Mission District 30 miles away, hence the name.

I was home in time to go to the retirement party, but my tummy declared a glorious revolution which kept me from going far from the throne room until well after the party was probably done. So I processed the fan fest photos instead.

Also caught up on email, and checked FB just enough to see reactions to photos I posted yesterday, and to post some fan fest pix. Lots of fans and baseball freaks on my friends list.

Dinner was ha gow and steamed bits of roast duck while watching Shark Tank. One of the applicants was a former Peace Corps volunteer looking to help the villages he worked in with a sustainable acai-based fruit snack. Nobody bit.

Plans for tomorrow:
Spray for weeds in the driveway cracks.
Maybe weed the garden
If it's nice out, sit on the porch & read
Coffee w/Janice


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 12th, 2017 08:49 am (UTC)
I had to google "mission style burrito."

Any food with "style" in the name makes me think of a hair salon, and wonder what kind of gel the stylist uses to comb the food.

Strike 2 for what it is: a giant burrito stuffed with rice.

I know you don't generally like Mexican food anyhow, but I think I may be able to explain my objection to this in a way you might understand.

I do not see rice as a proper filler material. I find it preferable as a side dish.

The only exception to this I can think of are my late aunt Eleanor's cabbage rolls. She was a culinary genius the likes of which you have probably never encountered. When I was young and naive, I asked her why she didn't open a restaurant or write a cookbook. She asked me to look closely at her hands.

Her hands, which I really hadn't ever noticed, were rough, red, cracked, callused, and blistered. She went on to explain that her methods of cooking required full days of hard work and hands that looked like a dock worker's. No one would pay what she would need to charge. Likewise, no one would do what needed to be done to make these dishes the right way.

She died on my mother's birthday, 2/17/92, and her recipes went with her.

At any rate, to finish: filling a burrito with rice is kind of like adding soup to the middle of a sandwich, or putting the fries inside the cheeseburger. It's wrong. It's just plain wrong. Sometimes there are two foods that are fine on their own, but when moshed together, they become a monstrosity. Rice on a burrito is like that.

It's like the Spanish Shakespeare might have said: "Arroz by any other name…IS RICE!"
Feb. 12th, 2017 11:47 pm (UTC)
Aroz is aroz is aroz...
I disagree with you slightly about rice being a side dish. I shared that conceit when I was being raised in an Eastern European food culture, but living in Asian and even Israel shifted rice for me from a side dish to an essential.

We had similarly culinarily blessed grandmothers. My dad's mom was Hungarian, and she taught me to make stuffed cabbage. There was no recipe, as such, but one thing I remember her telling me is to use just enough rice to hold the ground meat together. She was horrified at the thought of a rice-only stuffing. So was I. I still am. And when my Greek girlfriend's mom taught me how to make stuffed grape leaves, she had the same rule. Grandma used ground beef, Greek mom used ground lamb.

Unlike yours, my Grandma did not create food till her hands fell off, she lived alone in Brooklyn and her children all lived out in the suburbs, so she only cooked for herself except for the occasional strudel and rare family gatherings at our house or our uncle's.
Feb. 13th, 2017 01:54 am (UTC)
And yet, the Chinese don't make giant egg rolls and fill them
up with rice. I've been told that in Asia, rice is a staple. Which reminds me of the time I got pork fried rice in a food court downtown and nearly broke a tooth biting into a large rusty staple. My aunt's recipes were partly from her Hungarian parents, partly from Jewish tradition, and partly stuff she made up on her own. Oh, and the one time I had dolmades that were truly outstanding, I think the restaurant owners were Saudi. They also made a leg of lamb that was one of the best things I ever ate. Long since gone on to restaurant heaven.

One of my 2 grandmothers, my aunt's mother, died long before I was born. The other followed Christian Science and couldn't cook her way out of a paper bag.
Feb. 13th, 2017 03:04 am (UTC)
Egg rolls are appetizers, not a main course like little donkeys or cabbage rolls. Almost anywhere in Asia, the main dish is served on top of rice, usually on top of a lot of rice. Sushi is the Japanese miniaturization: A tiny bit of food on top of or embedded in a lot of rice.

Living in Thailand, the one thing which was the most different from the USA aside from the language was the food. In America, I ate about a quarter pound of meat at each meal, usually on or with a couple of slices of bread and/or something made from potatoes - rarely any rice. In Thailand, it was a few ounces of meat, egg and veggies on top of a plateful of rice. Never any bread unless I went to the French/Vietnamese bakery. Which I did from time to time just to say the Thai phrase for toast: K'nome pong ping. :-)
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