In the big-inning…

Welcome to On the Outside Corner.

My name is OTOC (pronounced Oh-tawk), though some of you may know me as Laury already. Either will work here though I’m going to prefer OTOC in general. It’s not really a privacy thing, but a way to keep personal life and blog life a clear distinction at times.

To get things started I suppose its best I explain what I want to do with this space, then I’ll carry on to a bit about myself and see what happens from there. I’ve been an avid blog reader for many years and though it was time to lay down some of my own thoughts. I intend to post about things I enjoy, find interesting, annoying, or intriguing in a few different areas as I’ll list below. I don’t want to paint myself into a corner and say I’ll ONLY ever do these things, but its a good way to get started at least. To keep the ideas flowing. If you have suggestions for things I should write about, leave a comment or email me at (Friends and family, this email address is strictly relating to the OTOC blog, so please don’t spam it for other stuff. You already know my regular personal addresses, thanks!) I’ll try not to WALL-OH-TEXT all the time, I’ll keep things a bit shorter then this normally, or add pictures to break things up but for now all this seems to needs saying. Also, if you’re sensitive to ‘bad words’…well I can’t help you. I will use ‘swear’ language from time to time here. Not lightly, but when strong language I feel is appropriate. I’ll try not to be a potty mouth though. Fair?

As for the name, On the Outside Corner, well that’s easy. It’s a baseball term meaning a pitch that was in the strike zone but very close to the outside edge. I think its proper because my personality, lifestyle, and beliefs tend to leave me just around the fringes of absolute normal. I don’t think I’m so nutty that I’m ‘off the plate’ so to speak but always skirting the edge. It’s clearly just my opinion so I’m not worried about if it fits for other people’s perception of me or not. Besides, I needed a name and that one seemed to stick! As for the onth3outsidecorner business, the name without the 3 was already taken as a free domain and I didn’t feel like paying 17$’s for the .com address yet until I got a feel for what I am doing and where this was going. After fiddling with different ideas to make it work I settled with the 3 in there instead of the E because it makes a nice middle ‘3out’ phrase in the middle. I hadn’t seen it there until I picked it, but now I’m actually a bit thrilled to have seen it. Its kinda cool in a cheesy way. Don’t worry though, I’m not going to go all ‘leet speek’ on my readers. Indulge me on this one vanity ‘leet’ and I’ll promise not to do it again.

So the great WHO AM I paragraph. I’ll be honest, I have some difficulty writing this. Not because I’m too modest or shy to talk about myself, nor because I think I’m so great that I don’t know where to begin, but mostly because I don’t know what’s relevant to people or what they want to know! I’ll give a basic run down and if anyone has any questions or wants to know more, let me know! I’ll certainly expand on anything. For now, the OTOC is a telecommunications technical support agent. No that’s not fancy speak for something less interesting, it really is what it is. I fix the internet, tv, and phones. Its something I enjoy for work because I like talking to people, figuring out problems, and technology. In the past I’ve been in school for a few things, Theatre Production; the tech stuff, not acting. Building sets, doing lighting, stage management and the like. I’ve also done school learning how to fix the skin and structures of aircraft. That’s a lot of metal sheet work and tools and stuff. If it’s not the electronics or the engine, it’s what I learned how to fix. It’s a pretty cool field but not a lot of work around these parts. I’m a CFL/CJFL statistician, along with my Dad, Uncle, Mother, and a few others. I also enjoy learning Western European Swordsmanship. Not the play-acting or dress up kind, but the real combat fighting stuff. ( is where I’ve spent most of my time learning, GREAT people!)

Oh yah, and if you didn’t know…I’m an Umpire. I love baseball of all kinds. I got started umping last year for the NSA and an independent league. This year I’m only doing the indi-league which is a hybrid orthodox rules, with fast-but-not-windmill pitching. Its definitely more competitive than softball or slo-pitch, but not too intense. I like the players and have ever only had to toss one guy out of a game, compare that to the NSA where I tossed a whole team once but that’s a tale for later. I enjoy being part of the game and being involved in every single play. I think I’m a good ump, I know I hustle on every play and do my best to be the closest person on the field to any play aside from the players actually involved. That has earned me respect in many ways I think. Close plays will always happen and people will disagree, but if I’m closer than anyone else on the field then my call had better be respected. It makes disagreements a snap to diffuse: “That guy was safe/out/whatever” they’ll holler ‘Yeah? I was 5 feet away, you were on the other side of the diamond/on the bench. I’m pretty sure I had a better angle to see it’. I’m not perfect, and I KNOW I’ve missed a call or two, but in general I get a lot less grief from the teams because of that hustle. I’m sure there will be some articles on umping and baseball in general.

Speaking of baseball, my favourite team is the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. When the Edmonton Trappers were still with us they were the AAA farm team for the Angels for many years and I got to watch some hall of fame players early in their career (ok I was REALLY young for some of them) and even some current players. I still have my Macier Izturas trappers baseball card in fact, he’s a current middle infielder for the Angels! I really enjoy going down to the Phone Booth (Telus field) and watching the Capitals play. Its good ball, not major leagues but still very enjoyable. I’ve been to 4 major league parks in my life time; Angel stadium, Dodger Statium, Petco Field (San Diego) and the original Mile High stadium on Denver. Angel stadium was the best of them of course, not just because it was my team but the stadium itself was amazing. Dodger stadium was pretty cool too for its history and classic feel. Petco was interesting and I don’t remember much about Mile High because I was 8 then, but we had sat at the very top row, a Mile-and-a-Half High!

Moving on, I’m also very interested in learning about our universe. In another life I would have been a great physicist or cosmologist. I enjoy biology but not as much as I enjoy the inner mechanics of our existence. I read a lot of science material, books or papers or whatever. Some may say too much, but I don’t think there is such a thing. I understand a lot of it by now, but most of the higher math still escapes me so I can’t get too involved in it myself. I can describe the basics of the big bang, of most of the weirdness of quantum mechanics (first person to quote Faynmen here saying ‘If you say you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics needs to understand the context of that quote first please) I can throw down with the details of the Einstein’s theories as well as hold my own with a good discussion of Evolution. I love science!

This is a good of a point as any to state this clearly: I am an Atheist. Not an Agnostic. I will discuss this in more detail in posts and such, but for background I will state that I was raised primarily in a Pentecostal Christian church, moving to a Baptist church for a while too. It wasn’t until around my 20th birthday that I was certain about this, and many years later until I was comfortable admitting it to friends and family. I do not have a lot of good things to say about religion, but up front I DO respect an individuals right to choose for themselves. Where I butt heads with people often comes from the confusion that I can respect an individual and respect their right to choose while not having to respect the religion or the choices they make. People deserve respect and decency, bad ideas and illogical conclusion do not. For example, In my view its ok to openly criticize the idea that someone was swallowed whole by a ‘great fish’, survived within its stomach for 3 days, and was spit back up on to land. Regardless of what you believe about its origin, this idea is not worthy of being treated with respect. It’s just plain silly. Now the point I’m trying to get across is I wont then say people who believe it must be straight up silly themselves, because a lot of perfectly fine and otherwise normal people do think it’s perfectly ‘reasonable’ to think its a fact. Well, again I respect their right to choose that, but I will argue that it is not at all reasonable. There is no ‘reason’ involved in shouting ‘Miracle!’ to justify nonsense. So if  you’re worried  that because I’m an atheist that I’m either not aware of what Christianity preaches, I am well aware. If you’re worried I’m just going to bash on people because I disagree strongly with them, I will try my best to keep it clear that it’s the ideas and rational involved that I oppose, not people. Yes the ideas and rational came from people, but frankly no new ideas have been added to religions side for millennia, so I’m mostly criticizing the parroting of ancient idea. If there is a person individually that needs criticize it will be people who take their ‘faith’ and use it to justify absolute intolerance, injustice, and bat-shit nuttery (I’m looking at the anti-gay community as a prime example here, young earth creationists are also pretty high on my list of criticized ideas) I’m sure this will all be discussed in more detail later.

In addition to all that, I’m a huge ‘gamer’. I play all kinds of board and card games. My collection (or OUR collection if you count the beautiful, wonderful, sexy, smart, cute, amazing girlfriend who may or may not be editing this) of board games is overflowing a large cabinet already, and the collection of cards is also equally large. I’m a MTG Level 1 Judge, meaning I know the rules very well. Even the most obscure stuff,  though I’m not inerrant in everything. I enjoy judging tournaments for The Adventurers Guild (  as well as drafting. I don’t do a lot of constructed play any more for MTG, I don’t have the time or resources to keep up. I’m a pretty good FPS player, and enjoy a lot of RPGs. I LOVE Dominion and other similar build-a-deck themed games. I’ve never LARPed and have no real want to get into that aspect, but I do enjoy a good DnD game, or Shadowrun. One of these days I’ll get a good Shadowrun group going again and maybe I’ll post about that. I have WoWed in the past, it was fun but I just can’t justify the time involved to keep going.

Well, that’s a big enough rant about myself I suppose. I guess it’s a good idea to talk about the topics I want to post about here. A good list I have so far is broken down into types of baseball pitches, both for continuity and for my own amusement. These are not set in stone, but a good start. It’s all pretty much arbitrary what I’m picking, but I doubt I’ll get a lot of dissent. Here it is:



4 Seam Fastball: Its thrown hard and has little movement. A general quick update, news or current events related most times.

2 Seam Fastball: Thrown hard but with some break to it. Another quick update but with a bit of angle to it, more targeted news or current events. Bit more in-depth.

Curveball: A slower pitch that breaks sharply as it comes into the plate. A good description for longer posts, probably related to science and technology topics.

Slider: A pitch that is thrown at a moderate speed and breaks horizontally to the batter. Sports and Umping related topics can go here.

Changeup: Thrown to look like a fastball but uses a slow speed to get the batter off-balance. A place to discuss politics, religion or other topics that will take a while to get through.

Knuckle Ball: Throwing the Knuckler can lead anywhere, even the pitcher doesn’t know where!! A good random category for silly, humour, and otherwise random nonsense. Expect this to be used!

Splitter: A hard thrown downward breaking ball. A group for gaming and game-related posts.

There, what do you think?

Feel free to post comments and suggestions about topics you’d like to hear from me about. Things I should or should not say. Whatever is on your mind! Let me know in the comments. If this is your first time to and don’t have an account to sign up with, it’s really easy and free to do. It’s just your normal ‘user name, password and associated email’ situation. Even my grandma can do that! So come on in and let me know what you think!

And welcome to OTOC!