Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dodgers Abused by Padres

Shut out, one hit and Swept is how the Dodgers depart San Diego for the long bus ride back to LA. The Rockies won again and so did the Phillies. As it stands the Dodgers maintain the best record in the NL by 1/2 game over the Phillies.

The Dodgers are off tomorrow but the Rockies are not, and if they lose, the Dodgers will be the NL West Champs. If not then hey I'll be at the game Friday against the Rockies, and the Dodgers have to win at least one game before the playoffs start to clinch...right?...RIGHT!!!!!????????

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dodgers continue to sleepwalk

Worst of both worlds again tonite as the Rockies win and the Dodgers lose. Thankfully the Cardinals also lost, but Philly did gain one game against LA for the best record in the NL. I am trying not to get too worried but yikes, the Dodgers have been playing their worst ball all season on this road trip.

So we'll reload again tomorrow...the magic number is still 1....and the NL west title champagne is still on ice....

Games to watch tomorrow.....Phillies v Astros
Cardinals v Reds
Brewers v Rockies

If the Dodgers keep homefield than Matt and I will be at game 1 of the NLDS against either the Phillies or Cards one week from tomorrow October 7.....if not we will be at game 3 of the NLDS on Saturday October 10th

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dodgers get attacked by Pirates

Well on a Monday morning needing only one win to secure the NL West Title, the Dodgers decided to have their worst game of the season, losing to Zack Duke and the Pirates 11-1. So they finish their 4 game series losing 3 out of 4 and are now in danger of losing their homefield advantage throughout the playoffs if they don't get it together tomorrow against the Padres.

Games of note today...Phillies play the Astros...Go Stros!!
Braves play the Marlins
Rockies and Cardinals are both off.

Dodgers will clinch NL West tomorrow with a win or a Rockie loss (Rockies play 3 against the Brewers starting tomorrow)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Broxton Blows it

The Dodgers do not clinch the NL West title today due to Jonathan Broxton giving up 4 runs in the 9th inning. The Rockies beat the Cardinals as well, which is good news, but the Phillies won which puts the Dodgers two games ahead of the Phils and 3 ahead of the Cards for homefield through NLCS.

As soon as the Dodgers win a game, or the Rockies lose a game, the Dodgers are the NL West Champions. Hopefully it happens tomorrow in Pittsburgh at around noontime or so.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dodger Clinch a playoff spot again!

With tonites victory over the Pirates, the Dodgers have clinched a playoff spot and will most likely clinch the NL West Division title on Monday or Tuesday at the latest. On October 7th the Dodgers will host either Philadelphia, St Louis, or maybe even Atlanta as long as they maintain their home field lead.

Teams to watch the rest of the season that have an impact on the Dodgers.


Its gonna be fun and it is great that no matter what we are one of the 8 teams that is in!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Church that I sometimes attend, Tithing, and "God's Will"

Since we moved here in June of 2005 we have been going to a certain church (name withheld so it doesn't get meta crawled on internet) This church is a typical contemporary church modeled after obese Pastor Rick Warren's phenomonally successful "Purpose Driven Church" in Lake Forest, CA. It has a nice outgoing pastor with a good looking wife and family. It is about 6 years old now and was started from scratch. Like many ambitious Pastors it is his "vision" and Gods of course, to build a brand new sprawling church on a 25 acre parcel of land . Apparently they got pre-qualified for the loan based on current church attendance and the amount of people who thought it was a good idea to give their money to fund such a thing. The church had many "one time gift" days where the pastor would stand up there hawking his ambition like a two-bit carnival barker. Once completed this church would compete with other such established "purpose driven" churches in our community of which there are many, with names like "Real life church" and other such nonsense.
Well things were rolling, times were good and every sunday we would hear about the phenomonal giving of our church members and how it is Gods will that this is happening. The blessings were abundant and this new church would be a foregone conclusion. Fast forward to the "service" this starts out with the pastor coming up on stage looking like he just woke up from a 48 hour bender, the stress and sadness were evident in his demeanor. He announced that the church is now in danger of folding completely and not making payroll! And they need 100 grand to keep this pipe dream of his alive. What colossal mismanagement! The only thing he could have done if he was being intellectually honest with himself is declare that "it is not Gods will to build this new church" and it is perhaps furthermore it is Gods will for him to recuse himself from the church altogether. How many people gave how many thousands to this ridiculousness, when they could have given the same amount to the Make a Wish Foundation. Well it's all gone now, unless this is all sham and he has planned to triumphantly announce that "God" has been faithful and everything is back on track next week.

We are supposed to give 10 percent of everything "to God" right? Well did you guys know that Jesus never said anything like that in the Bible, no such percentage is named in the New Testament, the 10 percent is named in the Old Testament along such archaic verses such as "Dont wear a shirt made out of two different fibers" Pastors today have no problem cherry picking this verse for emphasis while continuing to bilk old ladies out of their money so they can buy Mac Book Pro's, Video Cameras, Guitar Amps and obscene down payments on 25 acre parcels of land so that a pastors ego can be satisfied.

PS I know many of my readers routinely give their money to their church with the best of good intentions. I implore you to take a hard look at exactly where your money is going. In many churches the money goes to fund "growth bureaucracy" more land, more services, more computers, more secrataries, more associate pastors, more carnival picnics etc. And of course in the Roman Catholic church your money is most likely going towards a 600 million dollar settlement and to teach the next crop of aspiring annointed pederasts. If you really want to help your fellow man, please cut out the middle man and give directly to fund a childens hospital, or a burn unit, or the make a wish foundation, or cancer research. All of these and more are in this bloggers opinion a far better use of your resources than to what you think of as "giving to God"

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Definitive Mt Whitney Journal/Diary

Mt Whitney Diary-Garrett Riley

Well you know what they say, memory is prone to evaporate like the morning dew. And unless I write this down, 40 years from now Tasha and I will not remember hardly here goes…….

First off I want to state that this climb was not my idea. I was influenced and encouraged by Tasha and other family members. If it had not been for them, I would never have stood on the summit. But I am sure you have figured out by now that I am glad I did participate in the hike, otherwise why else write about it?

The Hikers: Garrett Riley, Tasha Riley, Tina Trettin, Denise Riley, Matt Riley, and Nicole Santiago

Lone Pine August 3rd, 2009- Tasha, Myself, Kevin, Zach, Lauren, Tina, Matt, Nicole, Dad, and Denise arrived and checked in to our hotel. We picked up our valuable 24 hour trail passes, had a communal dinner at the Pizza joint, and I accomplished my first necessity, getting a good night sleep. I was out by 9 PM.

Lone Pine August 4th 2009 1:50 AM We wake up and I surprisingly feel about as good as I could possibly feel despite the sleep deprivation. Tash and I met up with Tina and we walked down to the cars. Our backpacks were setup the night before, checked and rechecked…we were ready. Tasha, Tina and I drove in the Oddessy, and the rest of the crew followed behind. It was about a 20 minute drive from the hotel to the trailhead. While driving we saw a bear in front of us who was jogging along with our car for about 10 seconds until he abruptly veered off and headed into the woods.

We got to the trailhead, and I found a good parking space. We marshaled our group together for a series of photos taken by my Dad, and then Matt said a few words and led us in a prayer. He said that we would never forget this day. And then we casually bid my dad farewell, and with our headlamps on, at about 3:07 AM we turned and began the first steps of our 22 mile hike. “OK so this it, it’s here, we’re doing this now” was what I was thinking in my head. We hiked through the darkness and assumed a formation that would be pretty much consistent the entire ascent. Me and Nicole were out in front 50-100 yards or so, the rest of the group was in back of us. About 10 minutes into the hike I was hit with a mini panic attack as I felt a little shortness of breath. I began to think of the task ahead of me and the sheer scope of it. I told myself that this is just like sometimes when I am on the elliptical and for a couple minutes it hurts and then I settle into a groove. Maybe that is what is going to happen here I thought, I made myself believe that would happen. I thought back to swimming 500 laps in the pool in high school. I used to get a pleasant feeling while swimming long distances in a pool almost like I was in a cocoon. I would play games in my mind like I wasn’t really controlling my arms, and therefore it wouldn’t hurt when I would move them. “Think about that” I told myself, and pretty soon my legs just got into a rhythm and a pace, 20 years later and I was back in the cocoon.

Nicole and I came to what we thought was a log over a vast ravine, we couldn’t see much until we got closer to it in our headlamps, both us said the following at about the same time, “Is that a? No way, is it? Oh my gosh OK I just thought we were gonna have to do something seriously scary” We realized that it was just a log over another stream.

The terrain for that first 4.2 miles was probably the easiest of the entire trip. (Conversely that same terrain would prove the hardest 4.2 miles on the way back) It was mostly a fairly easy (by whitney standards) uphill, we crossed over a lot of streams and just kept going up and up, in the darkness. One thing we did see at about the first mile was someone on a stretcher who the rangers were securing to take out, none of us know what happened to this person. We made it to first camp just about when the sun came up. We took a little rest and then we had a mishap. Tina discovered that her water bladder was leaking. Not good news, all of us needed as much water as we could get, but we agreed to share water with her, and I think some was filtered for her. I found out later that my Dad and Denise’s dog had chewed up the water bladder.

We left first camp behind and continued on up. The terrain got a little steeper and there were many more “steps” to deal with, it went on like this until second camp, I was feeling good, just continuing to put one foot in front of the other. Walk, walk, walk, step up, walk, step up, step, up……and on it went. We got to 2nd trail camp and I was looking forward to visiting the outhouse. I asked the first people I saw where it was and they said to me, all the outhouses were taken down 3 years ago, and did I have my “Wag” bag? Holy @@#$ I thought to myself, and while sparing you the details, this is the first of my two Wag bag experiences.

It was cold, constant wind was blowing against us, and was doing so while we stopped to eat by the lake at second camp. I took out my sandwich choked it down as best I could, it was very dry. But all these moments of discomfort were not so bad at the time, because I knew that my goal was at the top of the switchbacks and beyond.

The Famous Switchbacks From 2nd camp to the top of trail crest there are a series of 97 switchbacks which last for over 3 miles. It wasn’t too bad going up, it was endless, but the scenery was awesome, and at this point I knew without a doubt that I would make the summit, I was feeling pretty good. So anyways, back and forth, back and forth, step up, step up, etc. etc. until finally we made it to the top of the Trail Crest. In some ways this was even a better highlight for me than the actual summit. And it is what I had looked forward to….standing on the top and looking far below onto the owens valley to my right, and down into Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. The view was indescribable. Photographs don’t do it justice, only those who have earned the right to see the view themselves know what I am talking about.

The Summit Once you get to trail crest you meet up with the John Muir trail and see other hikers that have hiked up the back way. They traditionally drop their packs, tag the summit and continue on their merry way. From the crest it was still just under 3 miles to the actual summit, and these three miles were the best of the entire hike. Most of that entire way the view is maintained and there are parts of it where you can peek through natural “windows” and look down on lone pine. The Kings Canyon side had no such windows and as such you are afforded the view the entire time. You can see the summit, but you just can’t get to it quite yet, it is still a couple miles away! Our group was doing great, we took a break at one point and snapped a few pics and video of the view from along the crest. I did not bring gloves, I did however bring an extra pair of socks that proved invaluable as I used them as gloves. Without them my hands were so cold I couldn’t feel them. It may have been in the 90’s on the valley floor, but things are quite different 10,000 feet further up!

We continued the hike and finally had reached the point where the summit was just about 200 yards away when Matt gathered us all up and had us form a line where we would ceremoniously let Denise pass through our hiking poles and be the first to reach the summit. Yes it was still windy this entire time, all the hikers we saw coming down as we were coming up said, “Get ready for a windstorm on the summit!” We walked on up and we were there! I saw the cabin, and then the geo marker that said the elevation. We tried but none of us could get any cell reception. We ate a little, tried to put suntan lotion on. None of us could do it very well because of altitude loopiness! I felt giddy and was very gregarious to the other hikers at the summit. It was great, we had a panoramic view, and everyone else in the continental US was below us. We rested…we congratulated each other, and after about 15 minutes I had to get myself into the cabin at the top where it was warm. Myself and about 10 other hikers were sitting in the cabin just resting for a while.

That was the easy part…no matter if you prepare for it, no matter how much you know it is going to happen, there is a letdown on the hike back. I started out fine, but once I got back to the switchbacks my right knee started to hurt every time I would step down. Walking was OK, but everytime I would step down it felt like someone was sticking a knife into my knee. There are an endless series of stepdowns on the Mt Whitney Trail descent. All I could do was plant my hiking pole and use it to take the weight off the knee. So as this was happening, instead of being in the lead I dropped back behind everyone. Tina was being nice enough to stay with me, but I pretty much told her to go on ahead with everyone else. Tasha though pretty much had to stay with me (you know that whole sickness and health thing) I am grateful to Tash of course.

When I reached first trail camp again Matt quoted a line from one of the greatest movies of all time “There will be Blood” And from that point on it was very interesting. I became as exhausted as I ever have been in my life. We had been hiking since 3 AM, it was now around 4:30 PM and I was ready to be done. There is a part on the end of the hike where you actually see the road and yes you think you are almost there. But we still were much farther than we thought. Tasha started singing to keep herself from being driven crazy. I just tried to put myself in my zone as best I could. Finally just like that, I see my Dad, I stepped off the trail behind Tasha, and my Dad congratulates us, takes my backpack and my body just had a sort of buzzing exhausted feeling. My Dad had to help my untie my Wag Bags to toss in the trash because my hands and legs started to shake when I tried to do it!

We got our T shirts, we drove back to the hotel, and I did not fall in an exhausted sleep surprisingly, my mind was buzzing, and that night I had one of the strangest dreams. Also my sinuses were wrecked and I kept waking up as they kept flushing themselves. Also I had a sore throat from dehydration. Tasha and I could not get out of the bed that night, and the next day was tough to walk around. I was sore for about 5 or 6 days. My left toe was numb off and on for about a month.

I have a great sense of pride for what I did, I climbed the mountain and I did it in one day. I will climb Half Dome, just Tasha and I next summer. Everytime I drive to Mammoth I will always look up and think “I was up there, I made it!”

Friday, September 11, 2009


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Beatles Remastered Albums

If this doesn't get you guys excited then I just don't know

Monday, September 7, 2009

9.9.09-Beatles Day

Holy Cow folks, first we had Beatles Cirque de Solei in Vegas (which Tasha and I saw and recommend highly) And now we have two awesome releases on Wednesday...

First is "Beatles Rock Band" available for XBox, PS3 and Wii. I will be drumming myself silly and probably earn myself another trip to the hospital with vertigo I am gonna play this so much!

Second is "Every Studio Album Remastered!!" Available individually or as a complete box set (can you guess what I am getting?) For the fist time since they were originally put on CD in 1987, the entire catalog has been painstakingly remastered! Oh my sweet goodness I couldn't be more excited! In the Box set every CD's artwork has been enhanced and contains an all new bonus documentary specific to each album! I am gonna encode every one at a nice high bit rate to enjoy!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Who's Dodger Jersey did I buy?

Ladies and gentlemen, after much deliberation I have finally gone ahead and made my decision on the jersey I will be wearing to most all Dodger games for years to come. This is not a decision to be taken lightly. I have gone back and forth between a handful of different players, but finally the more I thought about it the choice has become clear. This player in now in his third full season with the Dodgers and not quite yet 25 years old has all the talent in the world, a five tool player he can seemingly do it all. We saw him hit an unbelievable shot over way over the left field bullpen a couple weeks ago against the Cubs. But with all this talent and being only 24 years old, he is not a surly malcontent like Milton Bradley, but rather an affable good natured guy who does not take himself too seriously....For all these reasons and more the winner ladies and gentlemen....Dodger Centerfielder MATT KEMP!!!!!!!!!!!