Wednesday, July 30, 2014

ESPN Films - Nine for IX Shorts - Brittney Griner: Lifesize

ESPN Films and espnW have released the fourth film in a new short documentary series, Nine for IX Shorts.

Nine for IX Shorts: Brittney Griner: Lifesize

From a celebrated hoops prodigy to a self-reliant professional basketball star, from Baylor to the WNBA and overseas, Brittney Griner had a wild ride last year. Her trip ended in China, where she drew oohs and aahs from fascinated crowds ... and learned a little something about herself along the way.


You can find Brittney Griner: Lifesize on the ESPNw web site at http://espn.go.com/espnw/w-in-action/nine-for-ix/shorts/brittney-griner-lifesize.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

2,000 miles! - Virtually Biking Across America - Day 93

Virtually Biking Across America - Day 93

On Day 93, I rode 24.54 miles in western Missouri. Jumping off the Blue Parkway to the NW Blue Parkway, I followed a series of roads to the southeast. This included left on NW Colbern Road, right on N Main Street, left on NW Chipman Road, right on SE Independence Avenue, left on NE Langsford Road and right on Milton Thompson Road. I finally picked up Highway 50 east. I finished the ride at the intersection of Highway 50 and NW 1501 Street Road.

The ride climbed for first nine miles through grades of 6 to 9 percent. Once I hit Highway 50, it was a flat, fast ride.

The trip log for Virtually Biking Across America is here. I have now covered more than 2,000 miles since I started!

ESPN Films - Nine for IX Shorts - Think Normal

ESPN Films and espnW have released the third film in a new short documentary series, Nine for IX Shorts.

Nine for IX Shorts: Think Normal

You remember Jason McElwain, and his inspiring barrage of 20 points in four minutes from 2006. McElwain, who has autism, became a viral star and ESPY award winner. But you probably haven't met McElwain's MVP -- his mother, Debbie -- and the sacrifices she made for her son.


You can find Think Normal on the ESPNw web site at http://espn.go.com/espnw/w-in-action/nine-for-ix/shorts/think-normal.

Eric Clapton & Friends - Call Me the Breeze

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Eric Clapton & Friends - Call Me the Breeze

Code Expiration: October 21, 2014

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Jenny Lewis - Just One of the Guys

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Jenny Lewis - Just One of the Guys

Code Expiration: October 21, 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014

2014 Walbeck Elite Game #27

@walbeckbaseballacademy Elite versus Walbeck Scout - Tune-up for 2014 Under Armour Southwest Championships 18u

Tuning up for the tournament in Southern California this week, the Walbeck Elite team played the Walbeck Scout team. After pulling his groin almost a month ago, Jack finally appears to be back to full speed. Heading to a work dinner, I saw the first couple of innings of the game.

Batting 8th out of 11, Jack was 1 for 2 with a single, a stolen base and a run scored. In his first at-bat, Jack struck out swinging on a 1 and 2 pitch from Petrucci. He lined a 3 and 1 pitch into right field for a single in his second plate appearance. Jack stolen second and then scored on Coop's infield single. Sharon said that he made an athletic slide at home to beat the relay from first.

Playing centerfield, Jack has three put-outs.

The Elite pitched seven different pitchers. Kyle gave up 2 earned runs on 4 hits in the fifth inning. The other six pitchers combined to give up one hit over six innings.

The Elite won the game by the score of 4 to 3. The scorecard is here.

For the summer season, the Elite have a record of 15 wins, 10 losses and 2 ties. The game log is here.

The Elite will be finishing the summer season playing in the Under Armour Southwest Championships 18u starting on Thursday. They are going to face some very tough teams…

ESPN Films - Nine for IX Shorts - Rowdy Ronda Rousey

ESPN Films and espnW have released the second film in a new short documentary series, Nine for IX Shorts.

Nine for IX Shorts: Rowdy Ronda Rousey

On Feb. 23, 2013, Ronda Rousey made history by becoming the UFC's first female bantamweight champion. After locking up her signature armbar on Liz Carmouche, Rousey became the No. 1 female fighter in the world, and she has been on the rise ever since. Where did this force of nature come from? And how high can Rousey go? The film takes an inside look at that fight and how Rousey's ascension is paving the way for female fighters.


You can find Rowdy Ronda Rousey on the ESPNw web site at http://espn.go.com/espnw/w-in-action/nine-for-ix/shorts/rowdy-ronda-rousey.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

California Historical Landmark #627

On Thursday afternoon, December 26, I visited ten California Historical Markers in Sonoma, including: Mission San Francisco Solano [#3]; General M. G. Vallejo Home [#4]; Bear Flag Monument [#7]; Blue Wing Inn [#17]; Presidio of Sonoma [#316]; Swiss Hotel [#496]; Salvador Vallejo Adobe [#501]; Union Hotel and Union Hall [#627]; Nash Adobe [#667], and; San Francisco Solano Mission Vineyard [#739].

Union Hotel and Union Hall
California State Historical Landmark #627

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
See this location on Google Maps

This landmark is located at 35 Napa and 1st Street West, Sonoma, California. There are 26 other California State Historical Landmarks in Sonoma County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 17.514 W 122° 27.523.

You can log your visit to this landmark at waymark.com.

California Historical Landmark #627

The original hotel was a one-story adobe, the adjoining hall was a one-story frame structure. After the fire of 1866, a two-story stone hotel and a two-story frame hall with rooms upstairs for hotel guests were built. The Union Hotel was conducted as a hotel until 1955, when the Bank of America acquired the property.

California Historical Landmark #627

Saturday, July 26, 2014

ESPN Films 30 for 30 Vol II: Slaying the Badger

Sharon and I watched Slaying the Badger on Saturday night. This is the nineteenth installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 Vol II. An episode guide for Vol II is here. The film is based on a book of the same name.

Slaying the Badger looks at the career of cyclist Greg LeMond. It focuses on his relationship with Bernard Hinault and their battles in the 1985 and 1986 Tour de France. Hinault was LeMond's friend, teammate and mentor. The brutal competitor known as "The Badger," Hinault promised to help LeMond to his first victory in 1986, in return for LeMond supporting him in 1985.

LeMond won the Tour de France three times [1986, 1989 and 1990]. LeMond's eight second win in the 1989 Tour de France is the closest margin of victory in the Tour's history. Hinault was a five time winner of the tour [1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1985].

Both Sharon and I have enjoyed following and watching the Tour de France over the years. We would like to attend a stage or two of le Tour de France someday. We both enjoyed this film. Slaying the Badger is one of the best of the 30 for 30 Vol II films.

Slaying the Badger is available on Amazon and in iTunes.

A trailer for the film is here.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Night Dog Party

Jack suggested that we should invite all of the dogs in the neighborhood over to play with Tiber. Sharon took the idea and ran with it.
Tiber would like to invite all of his neighborhood dog friends to a dog get together this Friday evening July 25th at 7:00 pm in the cul-de-sac near his house (6424). All dogs and their masters are welcome. We will be serving Greyhounds and Salty Dogs for the owners and Milk Bones for the furry ones. Fun dogs toys to play with. Bring an appetizer if you’d like. For those dogs that can’t come send your people anyway.
We had a nice neighborhood party that include Tom and Judy, Scott and Mary Ann, Rod and Kathy, Eric and Lisa plus Sharon's nephew Eric. Tiber spent the evening playing with Gunner.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

ESPN 30 for 30 Shorts: The High Five

Grantland and ESPN Films have released the twenty-second film in their 30 for 30 documentary short series.

30 for 30 Shorts: The High Five

The latest film, from award-winning director Michael Jacobs, tells the story of a celebratory gesture and the tumultuous life of the man who made it happen.


You can find The High Five on the ESPN web site at http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11195358.

More about the film at: http://espn.go.com/30for30/film?page=thehighfive.

In one of those six degree of separation stories, Dusty Baker's son goes to the same high school as Jack. Baker's son played on the freshman basketball and baseball teams last season.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Angel Island Hike

On the 4th of July, Sharon, Jack and I hiked to the top of Mount Livermore on Angel Island. We covered 5.15 miles in two hours and five minutes. Using data from Runkeeper on my iPhone, I generated the following views in Google Earth and the topo map.




The Kings of Confusion


Monday, July 21, 2014

California Historical Landmark #501

On Thursday afternoon, December 26, I visited ten California Historical Markers in Sonoma, including: Mission San Francisco Solano [#3]; General M. G. Vallejo Home [#4]; Bear Flag Monument [#7]; Blue Wing Inn [#17]; Presidio of Sonoma [#316]; Swiss Hotel [#496]; Salvador Vallejo Adobe [#501]; Union Hotel and Union Hall [#627]; Nash Adobe [#667], and; San Francisco Solano Mission Vineyard [#739].

Salvador Vallejo Adobe
California State Historical Landmark #501

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
See this location on Google Maps

This landmark is located at 421 1st Street West, Sonoma, California. There are 26 other California State Historical Landmarks in Sonoma County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 17.612 W 122° 27.526.

You can log your visit to this landmark at waymark.com.

California Historical Landmark #501


This was the home of Captain Salvador Vallejo, brother of General Mariano G. Vallejo, who founded Sonoma. The adobe was built by Indian labor between 1836 and 1846, and was occupied by Captain Vallejo and his family until the Bear Flag Party seized Sonoma on June 4, 1846. Cumberland College, a Presbyterian coeducational boarding school, was located here from 1858 to 1864.

California Historical Landmark #501

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Frame Family Function


As a follow on to Erin wedding last weekend, Sharon planned a day of wine tasting in Sonoma County. The group included Sharon's brother Tim, his wife Kathy, their daughters Eileen and Erin, Erin's new husband Dillon, Sharon's brother Tom and his son Eric.

The first stop was Lynmar Estate. Sharon had stopped there with Janie and Noel in May. This winery has a very nice tasting room, patio and garden.

We tried to find a place for lunch in Graton, but ended up just getting some snacks at a corner market. The second stop was the Gary Farrell Winery. The tasting room is on a hilltop with a great view of the Russian River Valley. We did a terrace tasting.

We finished the day in Healdsburg. After wandering around the downtown trying to find a place to eat, the group ended up at Cafe Lucia. Billed as a Portuguese restaurant, I was prepared to be underwhelm. I was pleasantly surprised. Although pricey, I enjoyed the meal. I had feijoada completa.

It was a long day. Leaving the house at 8:30 am, it was almost 9:00 pm by the time we got home. The traffic on 101 and 37 was bad…

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Marysville Gold Sox Summer College Showcase



Jack has missed three weeks of baseball recovering from a groin pull.
In that time, the Walbeck Elite team played eight games, including batting practice against two very weak teams last weekend. I debated about taking him to the showcase that Walbeck baseball was holding in Marysville on Saturday, but decided that he needed to test his leg and face some live pitching before the tournament in Southern California at the end of the month.

Jack looked very rusty. They hit four grounders to the outfielders and had them make throws to second and third. His throws were marginal at best. Surprisingly, they didn't hit any fly balls to the outfielders.

Jack played center and right field during the stimulated game. He looked solid in the outfield. Jack had to chase a couple of line drives to left center. Additionally, he stayed with and caught a ball that he completely lost in the sky.

At the plate, Jack looked out of sync. For the showcase, they started the count at 1 and 1. In his first at-bat, Jack struck out looking on an outside pitch. He grounded a ball down the third base line in his second plate appearance. Jack reached base on what I would probably have scored as an error on the third baseman. In his third at-bat, he walked and then struck out swinging. If you get walked, you stay at the plate and start the count over. Jack walked again in his fourth plate appearance before striking out swinging again.

After the scrimmage, the participating colleges each introduced themselves and their program.

Walking to the car, Jack said "I hate it when I am off for a couple of weeks." He has talked in the past about how he is an in-season player. Jack does well when he is playing and working out daily. He doesn't do well when he into something from a long layoff.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Murphys & Mercer Caverns


Working in the morning, I met Sharon and Jack for lunch in Murphys. We had lunch at Roquefort. The restaurant bills itself as a grilled cheese bar. Sharon and I had both had a Black & White sandwich: Aged White Cheddar, Oregon Black Cherries, Chives on wheat.

After lunch, the three of us headed to Mercer Caverns. We stopped here once before seven years ago, but didn't take the tour. We took a 2 pm tour that lasted about 50 minutes. The tour of the cave descends 16 stories.

We headed back to Carmichael after the cave tour. Jack now has his driving permit. I let him drive the last 15 minutes home.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

To Sonora

Sharon and Jack traveled down to Sonora on Thursday afternoon. I have been working in Sonora again in June and July and staying at the Hotel at the Black Oak Casino. The three of us had a nice dinner at the Seven Sisters Restaurant in the Casino. Jack and I had the seafood pasta, while Sharon had a surf and turf. She was not overly impressed with the food...

California Historical Landmark #496

On Thursday afternoon, December 26, I visited ten California Historical Markers in Sonoma, including: Mission San Francisco Solano [#3]; General M. G. Vallejo Home [#4]; Bear Flag Monument [#7]; Blue Wing Inn [#17]; Presidio of Sonoma [#316]; Swiss Hotel [#496]; Salvador Vallejo Adobe [#501]; Union Hotel and Union Hall [#627]; Nash Adobe [#667], and; San Francisco Solano Mission Vineyard [#739].

Swiss Hotel
California State Historical Landmark #496

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
See this location on Google Maps

This landmark is located at 18 West Spain Street, Sonoma, California. There are 26 other California State Historical Landmarks in Sonoma County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 17.627 W 122° 27.478.

You can log your visit to this landmark at waymark.com.

California Historical Landmark #496


The Swiss Hotel was constructed about 1850 by Don Salvador Vallejo. This adobe adjoined his first Sonoma dwelling, built in 1836. Occupied by various pioneers, in 1861 it was the house of Dr. Victor J. Faure, vintner of prize-winning wines made from the grapes of the Vallejo family vineyards. Later, it was used as a hotel and restaurant.

California Historical Landmark #496

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Savage Harvest by Carl Hoffman

I finished reading Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art by Carl Hoffman. I brought the book after hearing the author interviewed on the NPR Books Podcast.

The book explores the disappearance of Michael Rockefeller along the coast of New Guinea in 1961. The story switches back and forth between the events leading up to Rockefeller's disappearance based on his and other journals and the author's current day attempts to unravel the truth behind the story.

The backbone of the book is the story of the Asmat people. The Asmat are an ethnic group residing in the Papua province of New Guinea. They inhabit a region on the island's southwestern coast bordering the Arafura Sea covering more than 7,000 square miles of mangrove, tidal swamp, freshwater swamp, and lowland rainforest. They were largely isolated from the outside world until the 1950's.

While the author is more than a little self indulgent in parts, this is a solid story. The book is worth reading just for the descriptions of the terrain; it is giant swamp along the ocean. Overall, I give the book a solid "B" grade.

Note to self, there are a number of items that Michael Rockefeller collected in the New York Metropolitan Museum, including a canoe and several bisj poles. I need to look for these next time we are there.

Monday, July 14, 2014

ESPN 30 for 30 Vol II: Youngstown Boys

I watched Youngstown Boys. This is the fifteenth installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 Vol II. An episode guide for Vol II is here. After an extremely hectic nine months, I have finally caught-up with all of the 30 for 30 Volume II episodes just before the next episode airs next week!

Youngstown Boys' looks at the parallel lives of Maurice Clarrett and Jim Tressel. Clarett and Tressel emerged from opposite sides of the tracks in Youngstown, Ohio, and then joined together for a magical season at Ohio State University in 2002 that produced the first national football championship for the school in over 30 years.

In addition to leading the Buckeyes to a national championship, Clarret is known for unsuccessfully challenging the NFL's draft eligibility rules requiring a player to be three years removed from high school and for his tumultuous life outside of football, including his dismissal from Ohio State, several arrests, and later, imprisonment.

Tressel continued at Ohio State for another eight years. His career also ended in scandal. Five Ohio State football players were suspended for trading championship rings, jerseys, and other football-related awards for tattoos. Eventually, Tressel resigned.

Both of sides of the story reenforce my negative feelings about the NCAA. The student athletes are essentially indentured servants to the universities that are makes billions of dollars off them… Something has to change.

This is a solid documentary. A number of the Volume II 30 for 30s have been two hours long rather than an hour long. I have struggled to find the time to sit and watch them.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

2014 Sugarloaf Fine Arts Camp

From 1997 to 2001, Drew went to Sugarloaf Fine Arts Camp as a camper. Since 2003, he has served as a counselor; this will be his twelfth straight year as a counselor.

Flying from Las Vegas from Max's bachelor party to Sacramento to attend the camp, Jack and I picked Drew up at the airport on Sunday morning. We stopped for a while at the house and then took him to Placerville. We got a chance to hear the new Milo Greene album on the way to Placerville! I enjoyed the opportunity. Jack and I talked on the way home about we are interested in getting a copy and spending some more time listening to it.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Erin's Wedding

Saturday night, Sharon, Jack and I went to Sharon's niece Erin's wedding at the Scribner Bend Winery. Sharon's brother Tom officiated. It was a very nice evening and a great venue. We got there about 5 pm, the ceremony was at 6:15 pm and they kicked us out and closed the place down a little after 11 pm.
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Erin's Wedding!

IMG_6449-001

Friday, July 11, 2014

ESPN 30 for 30 Vol II Trailer: Slaying the Badger

The nineteenth film--Slaying the Badger--in ESPN's 30 for 30 Volume II will premier Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 8 pm ET.

California Historical Landmark #316

On Thursday afternoon, December 26, I visited ten California Historical Markers in Sonoma, including: Mission San Francisco Solano [#3]; General M. G. Vallejo Home [#4]; Bear Flag Monument [#7]; Blue Wing Inn [#17]; Presidio of Sonoma [#316]; Swiss Hotel [#496]; Salvador Vallejo Adobe [#501]; Union Hotel and Union Hall [#627]; Nash Adobe [#667], and; San Francisco Solano Mission Vineyard [#739].

Presidio of Sonoma
(Sonoma Barracks)
California State Historical Landmark #316

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
See this location on Google Maps

This landmark is located in the Sonoma State Historic Park at the northwest corner of East Spain and 1st Street East, Sonoma, California. There are 26 other California State Historical Landmarks in Sonoma County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 17.619 W 122° 27.394.

You can log your visit to this landmark at waymark.com.

California Historical Landmark #316

Sonoma Barracks was erected in 1836 by General M. G. Vallejo. It became the headquarters of the Bear Flag Party, which in June 1846 proclaimed a 'California Republic' and raised the Bear Flag on Sonoma's Plaza. Twenty-three days later, on July 7, 1846, Commodore John Drake Sloat took possession of California for the United States government. Stevenson's Regiment, Company C, U.S.A., occupied the barracks in April 1847.

California Historical Landmark #316

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Virtually Biking Across America - Day 92


On Day 92, I rode 11.05 miles in western Missouri. Starting in front of the home of Harry Truman, I turned west on West Maple Ave and then south on Main Street. At West 23rd Street, I jumped over to South Noland Road. I rode on South Noland Road until the Blue Parkway. Heading southeast on the Blue Parkway, I ended the ride just before the freeway started [38°57'01.4"N 94°24'46.9"W].

The trip log for Virtually Biking Across America is here.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

2014 Walbeck Elite Game #24


Jack and I went to the Walbeck Elite versus Cats game. This is the third game that the Elite has played against the Cats this summer. The Elite lost the first game by the score of 7 to 0 and won the second game by the score of 9 to 4. Jeremy played in the game for the Cats, but not Breyton.

Still nursing a groin pull, Jack sat on the bench. I am hopeful that Jack will be back on the field on Saturday.  With Sam's dad scoring, I got a chance to visit with Alan and the Renterias.

Behind a strong pitching performance by Lee (0-3. 8 appearances, 17.0 innings, ERA 7.41), the Elite won the game by the score of 4 to 2.

The scorecard is here.

For the summer season, the Elite have a record of 12 wins, 10 losses and 2 ties. The game log is here.