Friday, October 24, 2014

ESPN Films 30 for 30 Vol II: The Day The Series Stopped

Sharon and I watched The Day The Series Stopped. This is the twenty-first installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 volume II. An episode guide for Vol II is here. This film looks at the events surrounding Game 3 of the 1989 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics. Just as the game was getting ready to start, the 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake rolled through the Bay Area.

Living in Northern California and being a Giants fan, I am pretty familiar with the events surrounding the earthquake. Living in Shingle Springs, I was actually out for a run when the earthquake occurred. I got back from my run and turned on the game…

I was struck by two very different things in the film. First, the footage of the collapsed Oakland freeway is horrific. The film includes a lot of stills and video of the area and the rescue attempts.

Second, when the history of Candlestick Park was being reviewed, they showed some video footage of the baseball park from the early 1960's. I was astonished at how different the park looked. Built as a baseball park, you could actually see the bay beyond the centerfield fences.

This is a solid documentary. There are a couple of good human interest stories sprinkled into the review of the events. It did seem like they used some of the same shots over and over as they introduced different segments; it was a little repetitive.

ESPN 30 for 30 Vol II Trailer: The Day The Series Stopped

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Virtually Biking Across America - Day 101

Virtually Biking Across America - Day 101

On Day 101, I rode 22.0 miles across central Missouri. I started the ride at the intersection of Road 19 and 22. Getting back on Highway 50, I finished the ride at the intersection of Highway 50 and Kampschmidt Road.

The trip log for Virtually Biking Across America is here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ESPN FiveThirtyEight Signals: The Man vs. The Machine

FiveThirtyEight and ESPN Films have released the first film in their Signals digital short series.

The inspiration for this short film was a chapter from “The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don’t” by Nate Silver. You can find an excerpted version of the chapter here. I read the book last year; my thoughts on the book are here.

FiveThirtyEight Signals: The Man vs. The Machine

On May 3, 1997, Gary Kasparov sat down to do battle against his nemesis, the IBM chess-playing machine "Deep Blue", though this time with an improved model, "Deeper Blue". Kasparov won the first game with ease. However, Game 2 proved to be different.


You can find The Man vs. The Machine on the ESPN web site at http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11694550.

ESPN FiveThirtyEight Signals Episode Guide

The Man Vs. The Machine - Directed by Frank Marshall – October 22, 2014
On May 3, 1997, Gary Kasparov sat down in New York City to do battle against his longtime nemesis, the IBM chess-playing machine “Deep Blue.” While the much hyped match of man versus machine consisted of six chess games over nine days, there are many who would claim the entire contest was decided in just one move: the 44th move of the second game when Deep Blue made an “error” in moving its king. Immediately following the game, Kasparov accused IBM of cheating, claiming there must have been a human influence to the move. The IBM computer scientists who’d built Deep Blue said the machine had been programmed to do just what it had done. And more recently, a third theory has been put forward that the move was actually the result of a computer bug.
The Cowboys and The Indian - Directed by Mark Polish – December, 2014
In the early 1960’s the Dallas Cowboys wanted to develop a computer system that would evaluate draft eligible college players. It was this sophisticated player-draft system the Cowboys conceived that would propel them onto five Super Bowl appearances in the 1970’s thus winning two World Championships. This story of ingenuity is made more interesting because the key team member has since been forgotten.

A. Salam Qureishi, a brilliant Indian computer programmer and statistician, was a young man who grew up halfway across the world and knew nothing about American football. Up until this system, pro scouting was done on hunches rather than hard numbers. Qureishi’s programming changed all that. His computer model helped draft such legendary players as Mel Renfro, Bullet Bob Hayes, Roger Staubach, Craig Morton, Jethro Pugh, Walt Garrison, Rayfield Wright, Larry Cole, Calvin Hill and Duane Thomas.
The Queens of Code - Directed by Gillian Jacobs – January, 2015
The Queens of Code revisits the early days of computing, when software development was helmed by the great Grace Hopper. She dedicated her life to bringing computers to the masses, when most of her colleagues supposed the technology would only be useful for scientists and the military. Through her genius, she taught software English, so that everyone could communicate with computers. This film aims to celebrate Grace’s quirky brilliance, and shine a light on the underrepresented history of computer science.
Zormelo - Directed by Jamie Schultz - February, 2015
At the intersection of genius and athleticism lies the mind of Justin Zormelo. As a trained mathematician and basketball expert, Zormelo uses advanced analytics to propel players into perfection. In his most recent undertaking, Zormelo will be training seventeen-year-old 7′ 1” Sudan native, Thon Maker — who has already made a name for himself as an International Jr. All-Star. The teenager shows great promise, but will Zormelo be able to give him the perfect edge to become the next big name in basketball history?
Gold Hunters - Directed by Steven Leckart – April, 2015
In 1857, off the Carolina coast, the SS Central America sank in a Category 2 hurricane and with it, thirty thousand pounds of gold valued today at roughly $548 million dollars. Over a century later and after many failed attempts to locate “The Ship of Gold,” a team of explorers led by Tommy Thompson skillfully implemented Bayesian Search theory, statistically limiting the possible locations where the ship went down. Only months later, they ultimately they struck gold. But when the financiers of his expedition came looking for their cut, Tommy Thompson disappeared. “Gold Hunters” investigates this dramatic modern day treasure hunt and the incredible roots of Bayesian Search.

FiveThirtyEight and ESPN Films Announce Debut of Signals

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

Stanford College Visit

Touring Stanford University #Stanford
Sharon, Jack and I traveled down to Palo Alto on Sunday night. We stayed at Palo Alto Sheraton and had dinner at Joya (tapas and paella).

Monday morning, we had breakfast in the club level of the hotel. We drove the short distance to the visitor's center. Unlike the visit that we made to UCLA, we had signed up for a formal tour ahead of time. The day started with an hour long presentation about the school, the application process and financial aid. Afterwards, we did an hour plus walking hour of the campus.

We got a quick bite to eat and then headed to the baseball stadium. Jack had contacted the baseball coaches. One of the assistant coaches [Eric Smith] gave us a tour of the facilities and talked about the program.

We rolled towards home about 1:45 pm and were back in Carmichael at 4:15 pm. We are planning a long trip to the midwest and east to visit more colleges next summer.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hunter's Wedding Weekend Day 3


Saturday morning, a group finished the Hunter Wedding weekend with breakfast at Lucky Cafe. From there, the Nooters and Wallens headed to the airport, while the Geselbrachts headed to San Francisco.

It was great having the Nooters stay with us. I enjoyed having a chance to catch up with Nooter and Barb.

Sunday afternoon, Sharon, Jack and I headed to Palo Alto. We will be touring Stanford University on Monday. After checking into a Sheraton, we finished the day with tapas and paella at Joya.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hunter's Wedding Weekend Day 2


After breakfast on the deck, Nooter, Barb, Sharon and I walked about 2 1/4 miles through the Effie Yeaw Nature Center. While the rest of us ran some errants, Sharon headed to the Apple Store to get her new iPhone working. Just before lunch, I went out for a quick 3 mile run.

While Sharon was on her way back from the Apple Store, Nooter, Barb and I picked up lunch at Bella Bru. Nooter and I had made an executive decision earlier to take a cab to Hunter's wedding. After a quick bite, the cab showed up about 2:00 pm. We got to the Hunter Stallion Station about 2:50 pm. On the way there, we made bets about when the wedding would start. The evite said 3:00 pm on it.

Amazingly, the ceremony started about 3:10 pm. My prediction was 4:15 pm. Barb was closest with 3:15 pm.

After the ceremony and some time visiting with everyone, they served dinner. I think that it was the same caterer that Hunter used for his birthday party.

It was a nice turnout. The group included the Wallens, Nooters, Geselbrachts, Charbiers, Lindsays and Wilsons plus Moore. We missed the Tomasins who had a conflict with a family event. I enjoyed having a chance to catch up with a number of people.

Noot and I had the cab pick us up about 10:00 pm and we were home about 10:45 pm.

Bobby and Yuli Pic #2


Bobby and Yuli Pic #1

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hunter's Wedding Weekend Day 1

Rob and BarbWith Hunter's wedding on Saturday, there were a surprising number of people converging on Sacramento. The Nooters flew in from the east coast on Friday afternoon. I don't believe that the Nooter have been on the west coast since July of 2002.  Racing to get back from meetings in Sonora, I got home about 20 minutes before they got there.

It was very nice to have a chance to catch up with Nooter and Barb before everyone else got there. We have not seen them since we were in Washington DC in 2011.

We hosted a dinner for the Nooters and the Wallens on Friday night. We had invited a number of other people (Snipes, Tomasins, Chabiers and Moore), but it ended up just the six of us plus Jack. Snipes was still sick and recovering from their trip to Europe…

Sharon made a great dinner of salad (roasted pear), steaks, grilled vegetables and baked potatoes.

After dinner, Geselbracht and Barb showed up. They had dinner with Dalton.  We finished the night with the eight of us lounging in the front room.

The Nooters spent the night with us. The Wallens stayed in a hotel off of Cal Expo and Tribute with the Brady Bunch next store and the Flinestones upstairs...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

2014 Jesuit High School President's Club Dinner

Sharon and I went to the 2013 Jesuit High School President's Club Dinner. We ran into the Laskins, the Murphys and Denny Dalton.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

California Historical Landmark #499

Back working in Sonora in June, July, August, September and October, I started exploring the California Historial Landmarks in Calaveras County. Sites that I visited included: San Andreas [#252], Fourth Crossing #258, Chili Gulch [#265], Carson Hill [#274], Robinson's Ferry [#276], Angels Camp [#287], Red Brick Grammar School [#499], Angels Hotel [#734] and Birthplace of Archie Stevenot [#769].

Red Brick Grammar School
California State Historical Landmark #499

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

This landmark is located at the Division of Forestry Station, 125 North Main Street, Altaville, California in Calaveras County. There are 40 other California State Historical Landmarks in Calaveras County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 05.041 W 120° 33.682.

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

California Historical Landmark #499


This brick building, erected in 1848 with funds raised by a dance in the Billiard Saloon of the N.R. Prince Building (which still stands, 1955) is one of the oldest schools of California. It was in use until 1950, when it was replaced by the Mark Twain Elementary School in Altaville.

California Historical Landmark #499

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Christian Service Immersion Information Night

Sharon, Jack and I went to the Jesuit High School Christian Service Immersion Information Night. There were presentations on each of the twelve different service immersion trips planned for Summer of 2015. They also talked about the application process for immersion candidates.

Trips in development include:
  • Bay Area (San Jose, Menlo Park, Salinas), May 31-June 5
  • Chiapas, Mexico, dates tentative May 29-June 6
  • Guatemala (International Samaritan), June 6-14
  • Kansas City (Jerusalem Farm), May 31-June 6
  • Los Angeles (Skid Row), June 14-20
  • New Orleans (St. Bernard Project), May 31-June 6
  • Nicaragua, May 28-June 6
  • Portland (L’Arche and St. Andre Bessette Parish), June TBD
  • Sacramento Urban Immersion, May 31-June 5
  • Spokane (L’Arche and Free Rein Therapeutic Riding), June TBD
  • Spokane Indians, June TBD
  • West Virginia (Nazareth Farm), June 14-20 to be confirmed

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Rumble Fish by S. E. Hinton

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Rumble Fish by S. E. Hinton

Code Expiration: January 6, 2015

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Jackson Browne - The Birds of St. Marks

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Jackson Browne - The Birds of St. Marks

Code Expiration: January 6, 2015

Monday, October 13, 2014

Eighteen Years

Sharon and I were married eighteen years ago today. Typically, we have tried to celebrate our anniversary with an overnight trip. Given all of the balls in the air, including the fall dinner party, Hunter's wedding and a trip to Stanford, we decided to stay close to home.

Taking part of the day off, Sharon and I had an early lunch at Mothers. Afterwards, we exchanged gifts at the Esquire Grill. I got Sharon a Kindle Paperwhite.

We went to Gone Girl in the afternoon. Sharon had loved the audio book. I hadn't read anything about the book or the plot so I didn't know what to expect. It is definitely better to not know where the story is going. Overall, I would give the movie a solid "B." Running two hours and twenty minutes, I found it a little slow in spots.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

2014 Fall Dinner Party Menu

Remembering New Orleans
Fall in the Big Easy





Smoked Andouille Sausage
~~~
Pat O’Brien’s
Famous Hurricanes



Turtle Soup
Cornbread Biscuit
Wild Clover Honey
~~~
2012 Anne De K
Alsace Pinot Gris



Shrimp Remoulade
~~~
2013 Tavel
Chateau de Segries Rose



Southern Peach Sorbet
~~~
Champagne Floater



Crawfish Etoufee
~~~
2013 Belle Glos
Russian River Valley
Dairyman Pinot Noir



Bananas Foster
~~~
2003 Chateau Doisy
Vedrines Sauternes



Café du Monde Coffee



Saturday, October 11, 2014

2014 Fall Dinner Party

Sharon and I have made it a tradition to host a fall dinner party [2013, 2012201120102009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003]. This year, the group included the Gainsleys, Sanborns, Larkins, Renterias and Janie. John Cunningham came late with Cole after Cole's water polo game.

The theme of this year's dinner revolved around our trip to New Orleans. The menu is here.


It has become a tradition to finish the night with Dinner for One.

It was a late night. It was after 12:30 am when Tiber, Sharon, I walked the Larkins and Gainsleys to the front gate to catch a cab.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Virtually Biking Across America - Day 100

Day 100

On Day 100, I rode 22.9 miles across central Missouri. I started the ride at the corner of Highway 50 and Twin Ridge Road in Linn, Missouri. Staying on Highway 50 except a mile detour along Road 822, I finished the ride at the intersection of Road 19 and 22.

After hundreds of miles of flat road, the terrain has started to change a little. Much of the ride was through some wooded rolling hills.

Virtually Biking Across America - Day 100

The trip log for Virtually Biking Across America is here.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

ESPN 30 for 30 Shorts: The Great Trade Robbery

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

30 for 30 Shorts: The Great Trade Robbery

The latest film, from Stuart Zicherman, tells the story of how the trade of one player built a dynasty ... for the other team.


You can find The Great Trade Robbery on the ESPN web site at http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11619469.

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

Monday, October 06, 2014

California Historical Landmark #734

Back working in Sonora in June, July, August, September and October, I started exploring the California Historial Landmarks in Calaveras County. Sites that I visited included: San Andreas [#252], Fourth Crossing #258, Chili Gulch [#265], Carson Hill [#274], Robinson's Ferry [#276], Angels Camp [#287], Red Brick Grammar School [#499], Angels Hotel [#734] and Birthplace of Archie Stevenot [#769].

Angels Hotel
California State Historical Landmark #734

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

This landmark is located northeast corner of Main Street and Birds Way, Angels Camp, California in Calaveras County. There are 40 other California State Historical Landmarks in Calaveras County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 04.114 W 120° 32.359.

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

California Historical Landmark #734


The canvas hotel that C. C. Lake erected here in 1851 was replaced by a one-story wooden structure, and then in 1855 by one of stone - a second story was added in 1857. It was here that Samuel Clemens first heard the yarn that was later to bring him fame as Mark Twain, author of The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.

California Historical Landmark #734

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Milo Greene at the Warfield in San Francisco


With Milo Greene back on the road to start promoting their new album, Sharon and I headed to San Francisco. Sharon had made a reservation for dinner at an italian restaurant near Castro and 18th Street. Unfortunately, this turned out to be ground zero for some kind of giant street fair. We spent almost an hour trying to get to the restaurant and find some parking before giving up.

Frustrated, we headed towards the Warfield Theater. We ended up parking about a block from Union Square. Searching in OpenTable, Sharon found a reservation at Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak. We had a very nice dinner; we shared Korean Barbecue Short Ribs, an Angus filet and a bottle of Foxen Pinot Noir.

After dinner, we walked about 4 blocks to the theater. I was frankly shocked at the number of homeless and how dirty the city was once you got a couple of blocks away from Union Square. When we were in New York last fall, I don't remember anything like this.

Picking up our tickets at will call, we walked into the theater just as Milo Greene was beginning to play! We bumped into Nicki; she came up from Los Angeles on the Sprinter.

Milo Greene played for about 45 minutes. I really enjoyed the set. Afterwards, Sharon and I visited with Drew and Nicki in the Green Room under the stage. It was great to see them.

In a bizarre surreal moment, we were getting ready to leave. Drew, Sharon and I were walking and talking. All of a sudden, I realized that we were standing in the wings of the stage while the Bombay Bicycle Club was playing…

Sharon and I wandered back to the car and wound our way home. It was after 12:30 am on Monday morning by the time we got home.

Milo Greene Sound Check at the Warfield

Saturday, October 04, 2014

2014 Jesuit Homecoming

Untitled

For the third year in a row [2012, 2103], Jack went to the Jesuit Homecoming. He went with Bridget. Sharon and I picked up Bridget and her friend Marie at Marie's house and took the three of them to Granite Bay.

After pictures, the kids took off for dinner at Paul Martin's and then to the dance. Sharon and I spent some time visiting with Ethan's parent before having a late dinner at Mikuni's in Roseville. Having dinner, we watched Brandon Belt hit a home run in the top of the 18th to win game two of the MLB playoff series versus the Nationals.

Jack, Bridget, Alex and Marie ended up at our house after the dance. We eventually took the girls back to Marie's house. Alex spent the night.

Untitled

There are more pictures here.

Friday, October 03, 2014

ESPN 30 for 30 Soccer Stories - The Myth of Garrincha

Running on the treadmill, I watched The Myth of Garrinca. This is one of the 30 for 30 soccer stories that ESPN was running leading up to the 2014 World Cup. An episode guide is here.


In 1958 and 1962, Garrincha won the FIFA World Cup with the Brazil national team. At the 1962 World Cup, with Pelé out injured, he led the team to victory, received the Golden Ball for player of the tournament, the Golden Boot as leading goalscorer, and was named in the World Cup All-Star Team. In 1994 he was named in the FIFA World Cup All-Time Team. Brazil never lost a match while fielding both Garrincha and Pelé.

The success Garrincha enjoyed on the football pitch was in stark contrast to his personal life. He drank heavily throughout his adult life. After a series of financial and marital problems, Garrincha died of cirrhosis of the liver in an alcoholic coma in Rio de Janeiro.