Tuesday, March 03, 2015

ESPN Films 30 for 30 Vol 2: Brian and the Boz

Running on the treadmill, I watched Brian and the Boz. This is the twenty-third installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 volume II. An episode guide for Vol II is here. I am still working to catch up on all of the episodes that were released last fall.

This film tells Brian Bosworth's story in two interwoven arcs. First, it traces his football career from a kid through Oklahoma to the Seattle Seahawks. This part of the story includes lots of interviews, including former teammates and journalists. The second arc is more unexpected. It follows Brian and his son as they travel to a rental unit and dig through boxes of memorabilia that Brian's father had collected and saved. The emotion in this part of the story is very surprising.

In three seasons (1984-86) with Bosworth, Oklahoma had 31 wins and two Orange Bowl victories, including a national championship. Bosworth was awarded the first two Butkus Awards.

I knew a rough outline of Bosworth's career. Nevertheless, a number of things surprised me. I don't know that there were undercurrents of the Todd Marinovich story at work. Like Marinovich, Bosworth had a demanding father who was never satisfied with his results. I also didn't realize that he had played only 24 games with the Seahawks before retiring with a shoulder injury.

This is an interesting film. The metamorphosis of Brian into the Boz is amazing to watch on film. The unique angle of Bosworth and his son digging through the boxes as the timeline progresses is captivating. Finally, Bosworth reflecting on the mistakes he made and apologizing to teammates and coaches is unusual way to wrap up the story. This is definitely a documentary worth watching.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Brandi Carlile - Wherever Is Your Heart

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Brandi Carlile - Wherever Is Your Heart

Code Expiration: May 26, 2015

Monday, March 02, 2015

Milo Greene opening for Foster the People

Sunday, March 01, 2015

ESPN Films: It's Not Crazy, It's Sports - The Subterranean Stadium

Grantland and ESPN Films have released the first short film in their It's Not Crazy, It's Sports series. An episode guide is here.

It's Not Crazy, It's Sports: The Subterranean Stadium.

Welcome to Errol Morris Week, a celebration of the legendary director and his work. This is the first of his six shorts for ESPN Films. It’s about electric football, a basement league, and the gang of glorious eccentrics who keep a decades-long tradition alive.


You can find It's Not Crazy, It's Sports: The Subterranean Stadium on the ESPN web site at http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id= 12394233 .

Saturday, February 28, 2015

California Historical Landmark #450

Working out of St. Helena in January and February, I have started exploring California Historical Landmarks in Napa and Lake Counties, including: Lower Lake Stone Jail [#429], Stone House [#450], and Old Bull Trail Road and St Helena Toll Road [#467].

Stone House
California State Historical Landmark #450

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
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This landmark is located on the northeast corner of Highway 29 and Hidden Valley Road, 5.3 miles north of Middletown, California in Lake County. There are 6 other California State Historical Landmarks in Lake County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 48.568 W 122° 34.361.

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

California Historical Landmark #450

Oldest building in Lake County, the Stone House was erected of stone in 1853-54 by Robert Sterling, whose wife was first non-Indian woman in Coyote Valley. It was rebuilt in 1894 and served as headquarters of the Guenoc land grant and the first store in the valley.

California Historical Landmark #450

Friday, February 27, 2015

2015 Kings versus Spurs


Kurt, Tomasin, Dino, Gene and I went to the Sacramento Kings versus San Antonio Spurs NBA basketball game. After keeping the game close through three quarters, the Kings were outscored 27 to 18 in the fourth quarter and lost by the score of 107 to 96.

With DeMarcus Cousins sidelined with a sprained left ankle and bruised left hip, Ben McLemore was the high scorer for the Kings with 21 points. He was 5 for 8 from the field, 1 for 2 from three point range and 10 for 12 from the free throw line. Ray McCallum had a nice game with 20 points. Rudy Gay did not; he shot 6 for 15 from the field and had eight turnovers!

The Spurs were led by Tony Parker. Parker sparked the decisive run in the fourth quarter and finished with 19 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Dino noted at some point in the game that the Spurs look old.

Hunter and Loren were also at the game. We connected with them at half-time and after the game was over. Loren knew Kawhi Leonard at San Diego State.

We finished the evening at Malabar connecting with another group that included Yuli.

It was great to see Tomasin. I always enjoy his company.

The Kings have 1 win and 4 losses in games that I have seen in the 2014-2015 NBA season.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

ESPN 30 for 30 Shorts: An Immortal Man

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

30 for 30 Shorts: An Immortal Man

The latest film, from Josh Koury and Myles Kane, tells the bizarre tale of the efforts to preserve Ted Williams after the great hitter’s death.


You can find An Immortal Man on the ESPN web site at http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=12302153 .

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

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

California Historical Landmark #467

Working out of St. Helena in January and February, I have started exploring California Historical Landmarks in Napa and Lake Counties, including: Lower Lake Stone Jail [#429] and Old Bull Trail Road and St Helena Toll Road [#467].

Old Bull Trail Road
and St Helena Toll Road

California State Historical Landmark #467

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

This landmark is located at the northwest corner of State Highway 29 and Hill Avenue, Middletown, California in Lake County. There are 6 other California State Historical Landmarks in Lake County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 44.893 W 122° 37.048.

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

California Historical Landmark #467

The old bull trail from Napa Valley to Middletown was built by volunteers in the 1850s. A number of its grades were 35 percent. An official road in 1861, it was abandoned in 1868. The St. Helena Toll Road, completed in 1868, ran between the same points with grades of 12 percent.

California Historical Landmark #467

Monday, February 23, 2015

You Can't Make This Up: Miracles, Memories, and the Perfect Marriage of Sports and Television

I finished reading You Can't Make This Up: Miracles, Memories, and the Perfect Marriage of Sports and Television by Al Michaels with L. Jon Wertheim. I bought the book in the San Francisco Airport on the way to Rhode Island. I heard about the book in a podcast that Bill Simmons did with Al Michaels in late January.

Michaeals said in the podcast that part of his motivation for writing the book was to get all of his stories down on paper for his grandchildren. There are page after page of astounding stories.

Michaels has rubbed elbows with a long list of celebrities and athletes, including Howard Cosell, John Madden, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and O.J. Simpson. I loved the Pete Rose stories! He has been the play by play voice for Monday and Sunday Night Football, Wide World of Sports, the Olympics, Super Bowls and numerous World Series.

I really enjoyed the book and recommend it! It was a nice light change of pace after wading through the book on the War of 1812.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

87th Academy Awards

Sharon, Jack and I watched the 87th Academy Awards. Neil Patrick Harris was the host. Over the last two years, Sharon and I have worked in January and February to see as many of the nominated films as possible. This year we saw seven of the eight movies nominated for best picture.

Last year, I was five for five in correctly predicting best picture, best actor, best actress, supporting actor and supporting actress. This year, I had a hard time trying to predict best picture. I ended up going with Sharon and picking Boyhood. I am surprised that Boyhood didn't win either best picture or best director just on the merits of its twelve year production cycle and the vision that it took to pull it together.

I ended up picking three of five, including getting best actress, supporting actor and supporting actress right, but missing on best picture and best actor. Sharon correctly predicted Redmayne for best actor.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Jesuit Varsity Baseball versus Bella Vista Scrimmages

The Jesuit Varsity Marauders scrimmaged the Bella Vista Broncos at Bella Vista High School. With 26 players out for varsity plus two more potential players (Flores and Romo-Vaughn) still wrestling and playing basketball, the coaches cut five players on Friday night (Beards, Chiappe, Allmen, Mathai and Estipula). They took 20 players to the scrimmage (one senior was out sick). There are a couple of players on the Broncos that Jack played with on the Walbeck team, including Lee, Gross and Clarke.

The teams played two eight inning scrimmages. In the first scrimmage, Dodson, Wolger, Cosca and Petrucci each pitched two innings for the Marauders. Although Dodson hit two batters, Dodson and Wolger looked sharp. Cosca continues to have some trouble finding the strike zone. Lee pitched three strong innings to start the game for the Broncos.

Jack played right field in the first scrimmage. He batted tenth.

At the plate, Jack was 0 for 2 with a sacrifice fly and an RBI. In his first at-bat, with Goudreau on second, Jack hit a hard ground ball up the middle. The shortstop got to the ball and threw Jack out at first. Goudreau moved to third and later scored on an error on Dodson's grounder. Jack lined a 1 and 2 pitch into right center in his second plate appearance. I thought that the ball was going to drop, but the right fielder made a nice sliding catch on the ball for an out. In his third at-bat with runners on second and third and one out, Jack hit a fly ball to left center for out. The runner scored from third for the sacrifice fly and the RBI.

Jack's swing looks good. He squared the ball up in all three at-bats.

In the field, Jack had four put-outs, including a nice catch on a sinking line drive, and handled four other hard hit balls. He did a nice job of hitting the cut-off on all the plays. Jack looks very comfortable in the outfield.

With the Marauders leading by the score of 8 to 5 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Petrucci got hit very hard and gave up five runs, including one on a balk. The Marauders lost the first scrimmage by the score of 10 to 8.

After a short break, the Marauders played a second eight inning scrimmage against the Broncos. Morley, Kane, Child and Zendejas each pitched two innings. Morley looked good, while Kane had some trouble finding the strike zone.

Jack was due to hit in the top of the eighth as a pitch hitter when Jesuit made its last out.

The Marauders gave up two unearned runs on errors at first and third. They were able to scratch out two runs in return. The scrimmage ended up tied at 2 to 2.

The Marauders made more errors than I expected and didn't really hit very well.

The coaches told the boys after the scrimmage that they would be posting the roster by 9:00 am Sunday morning.

The Marauders were going to scrimmage Granite Bay, Davis and Pleasant Grove next Saturday at Jesuit.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Celebrating Tim's and Eric's Birthday

A big group, including Tom, Eric, Kevin, Tim, Kathy, Erin, Eileen and Eileen's boyfriend Will, Sharon and I, went to dinner at Red Lobster to celebrate Tim's and Eric's birthday. I had the Salmon New Orleans.

We finished the evening with a bundt cake that Tom had made. I was very surprised that they would let us bring the cake and wine (without a corkage fee) into the restaurant. I am also amazed at how busy the restaurant was.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Foxcatcher

Continuing a quest to see all of the Oscar nominated films and traveling for work, I watched Foxcatcher as an on demand video in the hotel. The film is loosely based on the events surrounding multimillionaire E.I. du Pont family heir and wrestling enthusiast John E. du Pont's 1986 recruitment of 1984 Olympic gold medalist US wrestlers Mark and Dave Schultz. du Pont was recruiting the brothers to help coach US wrestlers for participation in National, World, and Olympic competition for a team called Foxcatcher.

The film stars Steve Carell as John du Pont, Channing Tatum as Mark Schultz, Mark Ruffalo as Steve Schultz, and Vanessa Redgrave as du Pont's mother.

The film is nominated for five Oscars, including a Best Actor nomination for Carell, Best Supporting Actor for Ruffalo and Best Director. It is the first film to be nominated for Best Director but not Best Picture since 2008.

This is a very unusual performance by Steve Carell. The physical performances of Tatum and Ruffalo as wrestlers are also somewhat captivating: their posture and way of moving. As a side note, I wrestled my freshman year in high school. Nevertheless, this film is not going to win any Oscars. Additionally, I don't recommend that anyone go out of their way to see it...

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

California Historical Landmark #262

Milton
California State Historical Landmark #262

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This landmark is located 15 miles northwest of Copperopolis via Rock Creek Road at the corner of County Road J14 and Plaza Street, Farmington, California in Calaveras County. There are 40 other California State Historical Landmarks in Calaveras County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 01.920 W 120° 51.170.

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

California Historical Landmark #262

Completion of the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1871 marked the birth of the town of Milton. Named after Milton Latham, one of the railroad construction engineers, this town was the first in Calaveras County to have a railroad. Freight and passengers continued their journeys to other parts of Calaveras County by wagon and stagecoach.

There is little or nothing left of Milton. There is a Masonic Hall. The plaque in front of the building reads:

Keystone Lodge No. 161, F. & A.M. instituted in Copperopolis, Dec. 19, 1862, at the height of the copper mining boom. Moved, 1881, to Milton, the terminal of the Stockton & Copperopolis Railroad, which because of the collapse of copper mining, never reached its intended goal. Dedicated to the memory of those who sought to perpetuate the moral teachings of Freemasonry. To them we gratefully acknowledge our debt.

California Historical Landmark #262

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict

Flying to the east coast, I finished reading The War of 1812, A Forgotten Conflict by Donald Hickey. As a follow-up to reading the Thomas Jefferson biography last year, I decided to read a book about the Lewis and Clark expedition and a book about The War of 1812. This book also fits loosely into my project to read books about all of the presidents. James Madison, the fourth president, was president during the War of 1812.

Madison's call to war in May of 1812 charged the The British with a number of offenses. These included: impressing American seamen; violating American waters; establishing illegal blockages, particularly under the Council of Orders; employing a secret agent to subvert the Union; and, exerting influence over the Indians. Impressment was a particularly volatile issue dating back to the Chesapeake Affair in 1807.

Four random observations about the war… First, I didn't remember or realize the Battle of Tippecanoe was part of the build up to the War of 1812. Second, if the military hadn't mismanaged the first year of war, all of Canada would probably be part of the United States! Third, the issues of supply lines and communications are fascinating. Both sides had enormous struggles supplying advancing troops along the northern frontier. Highlighting the communication problems, the major American victory of the war--The Battle of New Orleans--was fought after the war was over. Lastly, the federal government was broke and had a horrible time raising money to finance the war.

While I appreciate getting an overview of the War of 1812, this is not my favorite book. I am going to look for some other War of 1812 books that are focused on specific aspects over the next couple of years…

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - José González - Every Age

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - José González - Every Age

Code Expiration: May 12, 2015

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Buy Me a Pie!

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Buy Me a Pie!

Code Expiration: May 12, 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015

Jesuit Varsity Baseball Tryouts

I spent a couple of hours on Saturday and then again on Monday watching the Jesuit Varsity Baseball tryouts. Both days were essentially intersquad scrimmages.

There are 16 juniors and 12 seniors trying out for the team. There are 8 returning seniors; one of the seniors from last year is out with shoulder surgery. Four of the seniors trying out didn't make the team last year. There are 15 juniors from last year's JV team, plus one junior who was hurt last year, but played as a freshman.

Their first scrimmage will be at Bella Vista on Saturday. Last year, they announced the team on Saturday night after the first scrimmage. There were 21 players on last year's roster.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

American Sniper

Continuing our quest to see of all the Oscar nominated films, Sharon and I went to see American Sniper at the Century 14 Theaters on Arden. It is based on the book American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History by Chris Kyle, with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice. With 255 kills, 160 of which were officially confirmed by the Department of Defense, Kyle is the deadliest marksman in U.S. military history.

American Sniper received six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor for Cooper.

Sharon was surprised how much she liked the film. She would rank it in the top group of this year's film nominated for best picture. I am not sure how I feel about the film. Last year, I was able to correctly predict Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress. This year is going to be much harder.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day 2015

After I spent much of the day watching the Jesuit Varsity baseball try-outs, Sharon and I celebrated Valentine's day with a nice dinner at plan B. Sharon had salmon, while I had rack of lamb. The food was good, but the place was packed and the service a little slow. After dinner, we exchanged gifts; I gave her a workout top.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Breaking Bad: Season 2


Sharon and I finished watching Season 2 of Breaking Bad and started season 3. We are not moving very fast through the series; we finished Season 1 in September.

The second season of Breaking Bad premiered on March 8, 2009 and concluded on May 31, 2009. It consisted of 13 episodes.

The season received five Emmy Award nominations with two wins. Bryan Cranston won his second consecutive award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

There is lots of buzz about how Breaking Bad is one of the greatest television series of all time. While we are enjoying it, it is not very life affirming...

Back from St. Helena

After spending two days traveling to the east coast and back on Wednesday and Thursday, it took me three and a half hours to drive 94 miles from St. Helena to Carmichael in heavy traffic on Friday night. I didn't realize until later that it was the beginning of a three day weekend! oy vey.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

From Providence, Rhode Island

After nine meetings in seven and a half hours, I had a car service pick me up in front of the Rhode Island Hospital. With it snowing lightly, I had wild Russian drive a suburban like crazy through the heavy traffic back to Logan Airport in Boston.

I had been a little worried about getting back to the airport to catch my flight. I didn't need to worry. In spite of the weather and the traffic, we covered the 53 miles in a little more than an hour and ten minutes. I got to the airport more than hour before my flight started to board.

I caught an 8 pm JetBlue flight from Boston back to San Francisco. We were on the ground at SFO about 11:10 pm. I caught the shuttle to the long term parking garage. I was back in Napa about 1 am.

It was a 22 hour day. Essentially, it was a 39 hour trip to the east coast and back. My body and brain were very confused after two quick days of back and forth time changes…

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

To Providence, Rhode Island

Up early after spending the night in San Carlos, I caught a 8 am JetBlue flight from San Francisco nonstop to Boston. I spent over four hours of the five and a half hour flight working on the computer; I was dumbfounded at how good the wireless was! Although it left late, the flight landed ahead of schedule about 4:35 pm.

Walking out of Logan Airport, I caught the free Silver Line Bus to South Station. I bought a train ticket for Providence. The 6:10 pm train left on time, but ran behind schedule. With all of the snow in the last two weeks, a number of trains were cancelled. I was frankly just glad that the trains were running to Providence. The train got to Providence about 7:40 pm.

I walked a few blocks from Providence Station to the Omni Hotel. I will be spending one night in Providence…

Lake County Landmarks

California State Historical Landmarks in Lake County
{GPS Coordinates of Site Location}

NO. 426 SITE OF STONE AND KELSEY HOME
NO. 427 THE BATTLE OF BLOODY ISLAND
NO. 428 SULPHUR BANK MINE
*NO. 429 Lower Lake Stone Jail - [map] - {38.910433,-122.611367}
*NO. 450 Stone House - [map] - {38.80947,-122.57268}
*NO. 467 St. Helena Toll Road and Bull Trail - [map] - {38.74822,-122.61747}
NO. 897 OLD LAKE COUNTY COURTHOUSE

List of California Counties

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

California Historical Landmark #429

Working out of St. Helena in January and February, I have started exploring California Historical Landmarks in Napa and Lake Counties, including: Lower Lake Stone Jail [#429] and Old Bull Trail Road and St Helena Toll Road [#467].

Lower Lake Stone Jail
California State Historical Landmark #429

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

This landmark is located 0.1 mile south of the intersection of State Highways 29 and 53, 16118 Main Street, Lower Lake, California in Lake County. There are 6 other California State Historical Landmarks in Lake County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 54.626 W 122° 36.682.

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

California Historical Landmark #429

This jail, claimed to be the smallest in the United States, was erected in 1876 of stone locally quarried and reinforced with iron. During the stirring days of the first quicksilver operations of the Sulphur Bank Mine, lasting from 1873 to 1883, obvious need for a jail led to its construction.

California Historical Landmark #429


California Historical Landmark #429

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Noisli

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Noisli

Code Expiration: May 5, 2015

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Dwelp

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Dwelp

Code Expiration: May 5, 2015