I really can’t sleep in other people’s beds. I just can’t. The pillow’s not right. The temperature’s not right. The feeling’s not right. At home, I can wake up long enough to roll back over around 5:45am, but not in another bed. So, this morning, that’s when my body forced me to actually get up.
Seizing the extra time, I sat down and wrote up my experiences from Sunday into a blog post finally. Hadn’t had a chance to do that yet. Once that was done and published, I took a quick shower, and took off to find a biscuit. I was craving a biscuit. I needed a biscuit.
Wouldn’t you know it, the people on this side of the country apparently don’t believe in biscuits. Their idea of staple breakfast food(s) are croissants, pastries, and bagels. Very European, actually. And not in a good way. That got me cranky. I even posted this on Facebook and caught a small amount of shit for going to Carl’s Jr. in the first place when I was out here. While I understand the appreciation for different foods and different food styles, I wanted a biscuit. Plain and simple. Alas, no biscuit for me. Luckily, when I got to Moscone, they had a breakfast spread out, so I grabbed a croissant and a mini-donut thing and some orange juice. That made me happier, at least. I guess I just needed some food.
I had 3 sessions in the morning timeframe, all of which I can’t talk about in detail. One of them was WAY over my head in terms of low-level programming, so I bailed and went to find another one. Not too bad. After the third session, I went to grab some lunch downstairs and happened to run into Marco Arment of the Build and Analyze podcast. Marco, for those who do not know his name, is the creator of a great iOS app called Instapaper. Check out his stuff here if you’re interested.
I got my lunch and sat down at the rows and rows of tables with Gigabit ethernet -enabled connections. Holy crap was this thing fast. I downloaded a 3.47 GB file in about 30 seconds. Unbelievable! On the menu was a Roast Beef sandwich with what I’m assuming was a pimento cheese based dressing (maybe?). In my ongoing effort to start eating what’s served and not getting all nit-picky, I ate it and rather enjoyed it. I didn’t like the pimento cheese stuff by itself, but as a complement to the meat, it was pretty good.
The afternoon sessions went by rather nicely, culminating in a packed-house session for the last one of the day. When you get that many people in one room, it gets REALLY warm. For the first time in a while, I actually had to take my jacket off.
As I sat down between one of the sessions, though, something hit me. By default, I am behind the curve on a lot of this stuff. There are guys here that know this stuff like the back of their hand. It’s intimidating, to be sure, but it also hardens my resolve to learn more. I want to be as knowledgable about these things, and even though they’ve have had years worth of a head start, they also had to start somewhere. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.
After deciding this would be my best night to go, I walked back to the hotel to drop my things off before heading out to the game. I have been to San Francisco one time before, but the Giants were not in town at the time. So, I didn’t want to miss my chance. I walked for about 3-4 miles down Fourth Street before getting to King Street, where a quick left dumped right at the park.
AT&T Park is a pretty great place. Very scenic, nice view of the bay behind it, and some seriously rabid Giants fans. Dinner was in order, as I was starving at this point. I asked some “natives” what I should get for dinner, this being my first time to the park. Without hesitation, they both said “tenders and garlic fries”. There you go. I had my menu for the night. I bought my ticket ($28, whew!) and headed in. Strangely, inside, the place feels a bit cramped. Although, logically I know it’s not. It just felt that way. I should say, cramped in a good way. A lot of intimacy as you walk the concourses (or as they call them, promenades).
I made my way to the garlic fries stand and staked my place in line. Apparently, the natives were right. It was a popular place! I got my food and headed to my seat, right about the time they were starting the Anthem. Perfect timing, huh? They finished the anthem, and I sat down to eat. The tenders were nothing to write home about, but the garlic fries were excellent, if not a bit cold. But, hey, it was cold outside. What are you gonna do?
I’ll stop here to point out some key differences in watching a game at AT&T Park in San Francisco versus watching one at home in Turner Field:
- Corn dogs are not frowned upon..in fact, they are promoted.
- There is a wine stand right next to the beer stand.
- The walk-around vendors actually sell coffee as they walk the stands.
- There were two ladies to my left who were eating salads. What the hell is that about?
- The Giants employee a female PA announcer.
- They dance A LOT between innings. I now know the reason why: they need to keep warm somehow!
I did happen to sit next to a couple from San Francisco, who seem to be regulars at the stadium. The lady (who was sitting directly next to me) and I had on and off conversations thoughout the game. It was very pleasnt, and a good way to learn about the city, the team, the park, and some of its quirks. Funny thing is I told her I was from Atlanta, and she said, “Marietta?” No one ever knows the little cities surrounding Atlanta, which is why I never say Kennesaw. People know Atlanta, and it’s always best to just leave them with something they know. So, kudos to her for that!
Unfortunately for everybody at the game, the Giants didn’t win. The fell 2-1 to the Nationals in a very close, but ugly game. There were errors all over the place, walks, and a couple of hit batsmen. Not a very well-played game on either side, but still enjoyable. After working with code and software all day, the simplicity of baseball was very relaxing and refreshing. Plus, I had a good conversation partner next to me. All in all, a very enjoyable time!
After our goodbyes and well wishes, I made the slow walk out of the stadium. You know that initimacy I talked about earlier? Yeah, that led to MASS chaos trying to leave the park. Very slow to get there, but I finally made it out. Now, the trek back to the hotel. When the sun was out, no big deal. Now, it was 10:30pm and the wind was blowing! Downright nippy, let me tell you!
I made it back safe and sound, and after writing my blog post for Monday’s adventures, I finally hit the sack about 12:15am, exhausted!
The Day’s Images