Archive | May, 2016

The 5 best pitchers in Seattle Mariners history

31 May

All baseball franchises want to put out a well rounded team that will take them to the next level. Most of the time to put out that team the first thing they look for is great pitching. Putting together a solid pitching staff can sometimes be a crap shoot. Drafting the best out the high-school and college ranks doesn’t always translate into a good professional players. Even signing a productive free agent doesn’t workout.

Sometimes, though, everything clicks and you wind up with a pitcher that can start, close, or both. In the history of the Seattle Mariners franchise they have had a few times where they picked that right pitcher. The following list has 5 of the best the team ever signed:

  • Randy Johnson: For 10 seasons this hall-of-fame pitcher graced the mound at both the Kingdome and Safeco field. While he was with the Mariners he was developing into one of the most dominate and feared pitchers during his 22 year career. In 1995 he pitched the Mariners into the playoffs and became the first Cy Young award winner in Mariners history.
  • Felix Hernandez: Many people would have him number 1 on the list and maybe he should be since he is still active. In his 12 years and counting with the Mariners, Mr. Hernandez has thrown the only perfect game in Mariners history. Among his accomplishments the one he is the most proud of is being the only pitcher in baseball that has hit a grand-slam.
  • Jamie Moyer: Mr. Moyer was known as a crafty left-hander for his dominance with below average speed. In his 11 years in Seattle he became the teams win leader with a 145-87 record that would stand until Felix Hernandez passed it this year.
  • Freddie Garcia: Mr. Garcia played his first 6 years in Seattle where he put up some impressive numbers. In 2001 Mr. Gracia had his best season winning 18 games an leading the Mariners to a record setting 116 win season. After being traded Mr. Gracia went on to become one of the winningest pitchers to come out of Venezuela.
  • Kazuhiro Sasaki: The Mariners signed Mr. Sasaki before the 2000 season. He only played here for 4 years before going back to his home in Japan. In those 4 years he was one of the most dominating closers in the American league. In 2001 Mr. Sasaki set a team record by racking up 45 saves. That record stood until Fernando Rodney broke it in 2014 when he had 48 saves.

SpaceX lands the Falcon 9 again

29 May

Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX is turning what use to be considered impossible into a routine occurrence. For the third time in a month and a half the privately owned owned company has landed the first stage of their Falcon 9 rocket on a drone barge. In total this makes it four successful landings, the first one was on land, of the booster stage.

The first success took place on Dec. 21, 2015 when they brought the booster back for a safe landing, in a clearing, at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Before bring the first stage down for a landing after successfully deploying the Orbcomm-2 communication satellite. The mission was the first flight of a Falcon 9 rocket since an accident in June caused SpaceX to suspend all missions until they could correct the problem.

The second landing came on April 8, 2016 when SpaceX made the first ever pinpoint landing on a drone barge of the coast of Florida. The landing came after a successful launch of the BEAM (Bigelow Expansion Activity Module) to the ISS (international space station). The landing marked a big step in the future of spaceflight.

This is a really good milestone for the future of spaceflight,” SpaceX’s billionaire CEO, Elon Musk, told reporters afterward at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. “It’s another step toward the stars.”

On May 6, 2016 the Hawthorne-based company repeated their feat of landing the first stage on a drone barge. This time the landing came after a late night launch of the JSCAT-14 communication satellite. Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, didn’t expect the landing to be a success given the time and conditions of the launch. He was pleasantly surprised though when the booster stage landed perfectly on the barge.

This is recovery, the Falcon has landed,” exclaimed a member of SpaceX’s launch team.

Elon Musk, the company’s founder and CEO, said on Twitter: “May need to increase size of rocket storage hangar.”

Happy 54th anniversary Mercury-Aurora 7

26 May

When you ask people to name the first person to orbit the Earth they could probably tell you that it was John Glenn. If you asked them who was the second man to orbit the Earth you would probably just get a blank stare because most people do not remember who does something second. The answer though is Scott Carpenter when he orbited the Earth in the Aurora 7 capsule.

 “I think of Project Mercury and the open manner in which we are conducting it for the benefit of all as a light in the sky. Aurora also means dawn — in this case the dawn of a new age.”

It was 54 years ago yesterday when an Atlas LV-3B rocket lifted off from launch compound 14 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The launch took place at 12:45 universal time (7:45 am ET) and took Scott Carpenter aboard the Aurora 7 into a low Earth orbit. Once in space Mr. Carpenter would spend the next 4 hours and 56 minutes making 3 orbits of the Earth and carrying out a number of maneuvers and observations. After the mission he splashed down at 17:41 universal time (5:41 pm ET) where Mr. Carpenter was picked up by a helicopter dispatched from the USS Intrepid and the capsule was recovered by the USS John R Pierce.

Before the mission Mr. Carpenter’s day began at 1:15 am ET with a wake up call. He then sat down to a hardy breakfast of Filet Mignon,poached eggs, toast, orange juice, and coffee. Once he was finished with his morning feast it was off to have a physical examination. The last item before the countdown start was to have Mr. Carpenter wired up with bio-medical sensors to measure his vital signs during the mission. He was then helped into the capsule were he would wait for the engines to roar to life and carry him into space.

Scott Carpenter was not the first choice for the mission. Deke Slayton was to have the honor of going up but upon an examination it showed a cardiac arrhythmia and he was pulled from the mission. Normally, in a case like this it would be the back-up pilot that would take over the mission. In this case it was determined that Wally Shirra was not quite ready for everything the mission would entail. So, the controls were handed over to Mr. Carpenter, who was John Glenn’s back-up.

Review: Red Hot Steele

24 May

“Red Hot Steele”, the first book in Alex P. Berg’s Daggers & Steele mysteries has plenty of twists and turns will keep the reader engrossed. The book starts us off with a preliminary case where we first meet the wisecracking detective Jake Daggers and his current partner detective Griggs. It is after that first case though that the really fun starts. Detective Griggs retires leaving room for newly minted detective Shay Steele to enter as Jake Daggers new partner. Soon the two are embroiled in a murder that turns out to be so much more than it first appears. From the moment they find the body we are taken on a ride that involves multiple con games, gangs, forgery, and red herrings.

The characters in the book seem genuine that we can relate to people we know in our lives. Their is Jake Daggers with his wisecracking attitude and sometime juvenile humor that makes you think little of his abilities. If you are culprit though be careful because under all those jokes is a great detective. Detective Shay Steele who understates her abilities because she feels that being a woman in a man’s world means she should take a backseat. Do not be fooled because underneath the facade she has observation and cognitive skills that would rival Sherlock.

Overall a great mystery that will keep you turning pages until you reach the end.

5 gift ideas to get for your grad

21 May

In just a few weeks high-schools and colleges across the country will be sending graduating classes on to the next phase of their lives. For some that next phase will be further education, for others it will mean joining the work force, and still others it will be traveling. Whichever one of these is the next step for your grad they will be in need of some of the latest high tech gadgets to help them on their journey.

When looking for the ideal tech gadgets you should consider portability, comparability with other devices, will it fill their needs?, and if money is an issue will it fit into my budget? Fortunately, with today’s technology there are plenty of gadgets that will fit all of those criteria. The following list are just a few examples:

  • Charging hubs: The average student today will have multiple mobile devices and will need a way of keeping all of those devices charged. The problem is that anywhere they go there will probably be a limited number of places to plug in all of their chargers. So a charging hub is an excellent gift for your grad. Charging hubs come in a wide variety in the number of devices they handle and price.
  • Smart mugs: Whatever stage your grad will be embarking on in their life there will probably be plenty of late nights working on the computer. That means plenty of hot caffeinated beverages to help them through the night. The problem is that you pour yourself that nice hot mug of coffee, tea, or cocoa and it gets cold by the time you finish it. A smart mug makes a great gift that will keep though hot beverages at just the right temperature for the whole night.
  • Waterproof cameras: A good digital camera always makes for a good gift for your grad. There are plenty of very good waterproof digital cameras out there to choose from for that graduation gift. Prices usually run anywhere from 20-150 dollars meaning that no matter what your budget is there is a camera in your price range.
  • Portable storage: Whether it is a flash drive or an external hard drive it is always nice to be able to have all of your important data with you anywhere you go. There are several forms of portable storage ranging form just a few hundred megabytes to several terabytes. Most of the different type will also fit into any budget.
  • Bluetooth speakers: Your grad is going to want to do some entertaining with his/her friends after big day. So, a Bluetooth speaker will make for a great gift for them. There are several good ones out there and some are even waterproof just in case those graduation parties get wild.

The 5 best shortstops in Seattle Mariners history

21 May

Shortstop is one of the most coveted position players in baseball. They need to be able to patrol and field a large area between 2nd and 3rd base, hit for a decent average, and steal bases. Finding such a player is rare and when a baseball team does manage to find a good shortstop they try to hold on to that payer for the duration of their career.

The Seattle Mariners have been fortunate enough to have some very good shortstop in the 40 year history of the team. Unfortunately, for one reason or another the Mariners have never been able to hold on to those players for very long. For this reason other teams have looked to Seattle as the team for getting good shortstops that are just entering their prime.

The following list contains some of the best that the Seattle Mariners shortstops:

  1. Alex Rodriquez: Mr. Rodriquez (ARod) has the distinction of being one of the most cheered and hated players. For 7 years we cheered as Arod played in Seattle and racked up 189 homeruns, 194 doubles, and a 309 batting average in 790 games. All that changed in 2000 when instead of resigning with Seattle he tested the free agent market and asked for more than double what Seattle was offering him.
  2. Omar Visquel: Little O as he was known to Mariners’ fans quickly became a fan favorite with his spectacular defense. He only played in Seattle for 5 years before leaving after the 1993 season and went to Cleveland. He went on to play 24 years and become known for being one of best defensive shortstops to ever play. He won 11 gold glove awards during his career.
  3. Carlos Guillen: Mr. Guillen broken in with Settle in 1998 and was one of the key players in the Mariners 116 win season in 2001. Injuries and illness limited his playing time and after 6 season the Mariners gave up on him. After the 2003 season he headed of to Detroit where he overcame his heath issues and continued to get better year after year.
  4. Yuniesky Betancourt: Before he even played Mr. Betancourt endeared himself to Seattle with his story of fleeing Cuba. In his 4 ½ seasons with the Mariners he was a fan favorite and very good all-around shortstop. Sadly, he was not happy in Seattle so he was traded to Kansas City.
  5. Spike Owen: For the first 3 ½ years of his career Mr. Owen provided a solid defense up the middle of the infield. In the middle of the 1986 he was traded to Boston. He ended up playing 13 seasons with 5 teams.

The 5 best Seahawks Runningbacks of all time

18 May

The Seattle Seahawks made the playoffs for the first time in 1983. Since that year they have made it to the playoffs a total of 15 times and played in 3 Superbowls. It is no surprise that the years they accomplished those feats were the same time periods they had some of the best Runningbacks in the teams history.

As the following list will show having a great Runningback though does not always equal a playoff caliber team. It also takes a good Quarterback, Receiving corp, and Defense. It is only when all the parts fall into place to have a playoff bound team.

Each ofthese Runningbacks had their own unique style and the argument could be made as to which one was the best. What can’t be argued is that these are the 5 best ones the Seahawks ever had:

  1. Shaun Alexander: In his 8 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks Mr. Alexander set the team career Runningback records for rushing (9,429 yards), receiving (1,520 yards), average yards per game (79.2), and touchdowns (100). The team also went to the playoffs 5 times and made their first Superbowl appearance.
  2. Marshawn Lynch: He is only forth on the list of Runningbacks as far as yardage gained (6,347). In his 6 seasons with the Seahawks Marshawn “beastmode” Lynch has become a fan favorite, took the team to the playoffs 5 times, and was in 2 Superbowls, and won 1 Superbowl ring.
  3. Chris Warren: The argument could be made that he does not even belong thi high on the list. Despite being number 2 on the list of yardage (6,706) he never went to the playoffs. Mr. Warren had the misfortune of playing for the Seahawks in the 1990’s when Seattle had some of their worst teams.
  4. Curt Warner: Some of the older Seahawks fan might argue that he should be number 1 or 2 on the list. He is number 3 in yardage (6,705) and did lead the team to the playoffs for the first time where they came within one game of the Superbowl. In the AFC championship game in 1983 Mr. Warner suffered a devastating injury that keep him out for most of the 1984 season and he was never quite the same Runningback during the rest of his 7 years.
  5. Ricky Watters: He only played 4 years for the Seahawks but racked up 4,009 yards rushing and 1,480 yards in receiving. He also ranked 3rd on the list in average yards per game (75.6). The Seahawks did make the playoffs once in his career.

The 10 best Earl Thomas Conley songs

17 May

Born on Oct 19, 1941 Earl Thomas Conley grew up in his father’s home in Portsmith , Ohio dreaming about being an artist when he grew up. At the tender age of 10 he started painting. By the time he graduated high-school his artistic abilities had earned him an art scholarship. Instead of art school he joined the United States Army where he would become part of a Christian music trio. The experience made him rethink what he wanted to be in life. So, after being honorably discharged he decided to try his hand at country music.

In the 1970’s Mr. Conley had limited success in both writing and singing. In the 1980’s though that changed when Mr. Conley became one of the biggest hit makers in country music and racked up 18 number one hits by the end of the decade. In the following decades his hit production tapered off but he has remained a big draw on the concert circuit to this day.

  1. What I’d say”: A melancholic about a man rehearsing what he may say if he every runs in to the woman that left him. The song was Mr. Conley’s 3rd number 1 hit of 1988.
  1. Heavenly Bodies”: The slow rhythmic tempo of the song make it perfect for grabbing your loved one for a slow dance. In the song Mr. Conley compares the beautiful women that walk in to the bar to the heavenly bodies in the sky above. It hit number 8 in the United States and number 3 in Canada in 1982.
  1. Your loves on the line”: The song written by Mr. Conley and Randy Scruggs spent 13 weeks on the country chart where it peaked at number 1 in 1983. A good song to kickback and listen to when you are trying to figure out what to do when you are caught between the one you love and someone knew that is tempting you to leave.
  1. Finally Friday”: This energy infused song will get you to jump up, shout, and hit the dance floor. In it Mr. Conley writes about the day we all eagerly wait for each week.
  1. Can’t win for losing You”: Mr. Conley uses his voice wonderfully to portray the emotional heartache of a man that played the field one too many times and his one big love. It was a number 1 hit for Mr. Conley in 1986.
  1. Somewhere Between Right and Wrong”: Mr. Conley adds an early Rock & Roll feel this 1981 hit that he both wrote and sang. In the song Mr. Conley speaks about a woman’s infidelity. It peaked at number 1 in 1982.
  1. What She Is”: A sweet song about a woman in love with a man that let’s her down over and over. The woman in the song focuses on the positive and is determined not to let anything get her down. The song was number 1 hit from his “The Heart of it all” album released in 1988.
  1. Holding Her and Loving You”: Once again Mr. Conley shows great emotion in his voice as he sings this song about a cheating and being torn between the two women. It was the second number 1 from Mr. Conley’s “Don’t Make it easy for Me” album.
  1. Honor Bound”: A sad ballad about a love that has lost its spark. This was a number 1 hit for Mr. Conley in 1985.
  1. Love Don’t Care”: A song co-written by Mr. Conley and Randy Scruggs that talks about heartache. In 1985 the song hit number 1 on both the United States and Canadian charts.

The 10 best Jenni Rivera songs

10 May

Dolores Jenny “Jenni” Rivera was born in Long Beach, California on July 2, 1969. Her parents both being Mexican immigrants wanted to now both the culture of her native land and her adopted land. So, she grew up with the music of Mexico along with a traditional American education where she was a straight A student. She ran into a bump in the road when she turn 15 years of age. That year she became pregnant with hr first child, kicked out of her home, and married her first husband. Despite the situation she found herself in she went on to finish high-school and go on to college where she studied business at California State University. Life wasn’t always easy for her in the later half of the 1980’s and she would often resort to selling CD’s at swap meets. The 1990’s were about to bring some changes that would turn around her life.

In 1992 Ms. Rivera signed with Capitol/EMI’s latin division and that started her on an award winning career that would last for the next 2 decades. During her career she 15 gold, 15 platinum, and 5 double platinum records. In 2009 the acting bug bite Ms. Rivera and she appeared in the television movie “Addicto de Salsa” that deals with a salsa singer addicted to heroin. Over the next couple of years she would produce three reality shows as she continued recording and touring. Tragically, everything literally came to a crashing end when she died in a plane crash on Dec 9, 2012. As with many celebrities there have been several rumors and theories about her death.

  1. Por Que No Le Calas”: Ms. Rivera’s adds also of emotion to the song and she is backed up with a mariachi band gives a romantic melody that makes it a song you will want to listen to over and over again. Many of Ms. Rivera’s songs deal with relationships and in this one she speaks of honesty in your relationship.
  1. Basta Ya”: The emotion that comes through in Ms. Rivera’s voice really makes this song of love and heartache come to life. It hit number 14 on Billboard’s Latin chart in 2011
  1. Paloma Negra (Black Dove)”: It speaks a loving someone that is unfaithful and being torn between still loving that person and not wanting them around anymore. It is a melancholic tune but wonderfully done by Ms. Rivera and well worth having on your music list.
  1. Resulta (So Now)”: It came out over a year after Ms. Rivera’s death and went to number 2 on the hot Latin song chart. In it Ms. Rivera talks about giving all o your love to someone only to have them dump you for another and standing up for yourself.
  1. Ya Lo Se (I already know)”: A somewhat sad song dealing with loving someone that doesn’t return you affection but loves another. The song hit number 7 on the hot Latin song chart in 2009.
  1. Inolvidable (Unforgettable)”: Ms. Rivera speaks about a losing someone you love so much that even after they are gone you can feel them and ache to hold them. A good song to have on your list for those times you are feeling lose in your life. The song went to number 5 in 2008.
  1. Que Ganas De No Verte Nunca Mas”: Ms. Rivera is backed by a violins and brass in this powerful song of a woman moving on with her life. If you are a fan of Ms. Rivera or the Banda genre of Latin music, this is a must have.
  1. La Misma Gran Senora”: Ms. Rivera sings of a strong woman that lets the man leaving her know he needs her more than she needs him. Once again Ms. Rivera brings the song alive with the pwer in her voice
  1. Culpable O Inocente (Guilty or Innocent)”: A great song to have on your list of Ms. Rivera songs. The subject of this song is a little different for Ms. Rivera in which sh takes about standing by your man no matter what.
  1. Lo Siento Mi Amor (Sorry my Love)”: Ms. Rivera gives a superb performance in this song about breaking up but not have the courage to do it in person. If you love Ms. Rivera’s music you should have this song on your play list.

Alan B. Shepard, the first American in space

6 May

On the morning of May 5, 1961 approximately 45 million people were glued to their television sets to watch as Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. became the first American is space. The launch was suppose to take place at 7:20am ET but was delayed due to cloud cover. Despite the delay those tuning in to watch the launch eagerly waited in front of their television sets. After a wait of more than 2 hours he viewers were finally rewarded as the MR-3 (Mercury Redstone 3) lifted off at 9:34 am ET (6:34 am PT).

Once the launch took place Mr. Shepard was rocketed in to space reaching a top speed of 5,134 mph (miles per hour) as he rose to a height of 116.5 miles above the Earth. After reaching the apogee of his flight Mr. Shepard would carry out the objectives of his mission of testing the maneuverability of the Freedom 7 capsule and make observations of the Earth. The mission was carried off without a hitch and 15 minutes and 28 seconds after the launch the Freedom 7 capsule splashed down in Lake Champlain. There the capsule and Mr. Shepard were recovered and helicoptered back to Cape Canaveral.

The road leading up to the launch was 6 months in the making. The Mercury capsule was originally delivered to Cape Canaveral, Florida on Dec. 9, 1960. The people at NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) were hoping that they could quickly get the capsule and booster rocket ready so they could bet the Soviet Union at getting a man in space. It was soon determined that all the maintenance and testing would take longer than first thought. By the time everything was ready for the mission the Soviet Union had already sent a man into space. Once again we were beaten in the space-race. It would not be the last time the United States came in second but soon we would surpass our rivals and the only ones in space.