Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Lone Survivor


With Sharon in New York with Janie, I watched Lone Survivor Saturday night after we got home from Almanor as an HD rental on the AppleTV.

The film is based on the 2007 nonfiction book by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson. Set during the war in Afghanistan, Lone Survivor dramatizes the failed United States Navy SEALs counter-insurgent mission Operation Red Wings. This operation tasked a four-man SEAL reconnaissance and surveillance team with tracking Taliban leader Ahmad Shah.

I enjoyed the movie, but was distracted by the scenery. It was filmed in the mountains of New Mexico. There are a large parts of the movie where the terrain was heavily wooded. I kept wondering if any of Afghanistan was that heavy wooded?!? All of the pictures of a Afghanistan portray a bunch more desolate country than seemed to be shown in the movie…

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Bahamas - All the Time

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Bahamas - All the Time

Code Expiration: November 11, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

ESPN 30 for 30 Shorts: Kid Danny

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

30 for 30 Shorts: Kid Danny

The latest film, from documentarian Andrew Cohn, tells the story of how an adult-driven hoax changed Little League World Series star Danny Almonte’s life forever.


You can find Kid Danny on the ESPN web site at http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11311860.

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

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Virtually Biking Across America - Day 94

Virtually Biking Across America - Day 94

On Day 94, I rode 20.27 miles across central Missouri. Starting at the intersection of Highway 50 and NW 1501 Street Road, I rode east along Highway 50. After passing by Warrensburg, I stopped at the intersection of Highway 50 and State Highway 13.

The trip log for Virtually Biking Across America is here.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

2014 Lake Almanor Day 8


Until next year - 2014 Lake Almanor Day 8 - #lake_almanor_2014

Jack and I were up early packing and cleaning up the cabin. We had to be out of the Chavez Cabin by 11:00 am. Hunter and Yuli got up almost 2 1/2 hours after we did…

Once we were done, we headed to Chabrier's house and helped button things up, including putting the cover on the patio boat. Afterwards, I drove Hunter's truck and trailer around to the boat launch on the west side of the dam to take his boat out of the water. I am still amazed that Hunter got his boat back in the water so quickly after it sunk on Wednesday night.

Hunter and Yuli took me back to Chabrier's house to pick up my car. Leaving Chabriers just before noon, we were home just before 3:30 pm. This included a medium length stop in Chico for food and walking the dog plus some unusual lane configurations on I-80 east bound due to construction. We came back through Oroville and Marysville, rather than through Gridley and Yuba City.

This is the first year since 2010 at Lake Shasta that I have not gone back and forth to Sacramento at least once during the week. It made for a more restful, enjoyable week.

A couple of general observations.

First,  I am amazed at the amount of property for sale. South of Chabriers, I counted nine for sale signs in about a two mile stretch. There were also a lot of for sale signs on the peninsula in the area around Knotty Pines.

Second, I am hopeful that I will be back in the Dorado Inn next year. If I can get back into the Dorado Inn, I would love to get Drew and Nicky {plus Morgan and Beau?!?} up for part of the week. It will be interesting to see how the group continues to morph and change in the next few years.

Friday, August 15, 2014

2014 Lake Almanor Day 7


Tiber's big adventure comtinues - 2015 Lake Almanor Day 7 - #lake_almanor_2014 #tiberbigadventure

After having some breakfast, Jack, Tiber and I went down to Chabrier's and picked up the patio boat and a wave runner.

Tomasin's boat was out on the water with Brian and Alison {Kay's kids}. We played tag with the ski for a while. Eventually, we ended up sitting and drifting off shore from the Dorado Inn. We played a game of cribbage. Jack took the wave runner for a long run across the lake and around the other side of the peninsula.

Somewhat unbelievably, Hunter picked up his boat and got it back into the water. The local shop went through the engine and then detailed the boat. The boat seems to be running good.

The Tomasin's pulled their boat out. They ended up taking off about noon. The Tomasins are going to a concert in Lake County on Saturday.

25.5 miles from the Mason Trailhead to the Goumaz Trailhead  and back #lake_almanor_2014After saying goodbye to the Tomasins, I decided to go back to the Bizz Johnson Trail and do a longer ride than Tomasin and I did on Wednesday. Starting from the Mason Trailhead, I rode more than 12.5 miles to the Goumaz Trailhead and back. With one small incident, it was a great ride. About ten miles into the ride, I was riding downhill fast admiring the ravine to my right when I noticed a stake in the middle of the road about 50 yards in front of me. I was probably moving 16 or 17 miles an hour. When I got on top of the stake, it turned out to be marking an eight inch gully. Trying to jump it at the last second, I ended up launching the bike into the air and landing flat on my back. Luckily, I was wearing a helmet. I am going to post some maps of the ride in the near future. Including this ride, we have explored almost all 25 miles of the Bizz Johnson trail in two other bike rides and a hike.

Finished the night with a late dinner at Luciano’s Cucina di Pasta. This is an Italian restaurant run by Bulgarians. While Kay and some of the yelp postings complained of the service in the past, we had a very nice dinner that was served promptly. It appears that they have added some waiters to the husband and wife team running the restaurant. Jack had seafood ravioli, while I had angel hair pasta with sausage. I would go back again…

We finished the night on the deck of the Chabrier's house watching the night sky.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

2014 Lake Almanor Day 6

Golf - 2014 Lake Almanor Day 6 - #lake_almanor_2014This was one of the longer days on the lake. In spite of being out late, I set an alarm. With Jack and I cooking, I wanted to get the shopping done early. I headed to Chester to buy supplies.

On my way back, Jack called in a panic. He couldn't find Tiber. Hunter had left one of the back deck gates open. It turned out that Tiber had followed Hunter down to the dock.

A barge had come to lift Hunter's boat off of the bottom of the lake. Tiber was on the dock barking at the barge. They got boat on to the trailer. Based on advice from his mechanic, Hunter took the boat to a local mechanic to have the engine cleaned out.

After getting the groceries unloaded, Jack and I went out on the Tomasin's boat with Tomasin, Chris and Mikey. All of us wakeboarded. Jack took four long runs. I was actually able to get up on the second try. I am going to post a Facebook album of wakeboarding pictures in the near future.

Once we were done, we swung by and picked up the patio boat, a wave runner and what was left of the Chabrier group. We also ended picking up Hunter and Yuli. Hunter ended up wakeboarding behind Tomasin's boat.

With the wind coming up, I took the patio boat and the wave runner over to Knotty Pines to get gas. It was windy and rough on the way back.

By the time we got back to the cabin, it was after 2:00 pm. Jack and I had a quick bite to eat. The plan for the afternoon was golf.

Jack and I got cleaned up and headed to Lake Almanor West. We hit a few balls on the driving range. Although there was some running amok, Jack and I ended up playing with Chris and Tomasin. I enjoyed the course and everyone's company. I struggled to string together shots. I had a number of very good shots, but then would have two or more bad shots in a row. I just couldn't seem to recover from a bad shot. My elbow was more than a little sore from all of the balls we hit on the range on Wednesday. Jack struggled with his game, but kept a good attitude until the ninth hole. Hunter, Yuli and Brian {Kay's son} played in a foursome behind us.

Jack and I hustled back and got dinner going. We made hamburgers, baked beans, macaroni and cheese and salad. For dessert, we served ice cream bars. By the time we got everyone served, it was after 8 pm.

After a long day, we crashed fairly early…

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

2014 Lake Almanor Day 5

Mountain Biking on the Bizz Johnson Trail in the morning and the driving range at Bailey Creek in the afternoon - 2014 Lake Almanor Day 5 - #lake_almanor_2014With the Tomasin's taking off for Redding later in the day and the lake very windy, I convinced him to go with me on a mountain bike ride. We loaded up the car and went to the Mason Trailhead of the Bizz Johnson Trail. While I have hiked and biked most of the lower two-thirds of the trail. I have not explored much of the top part of the trail. Sharon, Jack and I did a short hike from the Mason Trailhead in 2005. Tomasin and I ended up doing a 7.25 miles round trip.  This section of the trail is not as interesting as the other parts of the trail that I have ridden with Jack. I am going to do a longer post next week that pulls together all of the different rides and hikes that we have done along the Bizz Johnson Trail.

When we got back to the Dorado Inn, Tomasin et al took off to visit his mom in Redding. I picked up Jack. We went into Chester and had lunch at Subway while playing cribbage. After lunch, Jack and I went to the driving range. Jack has not played golf in more than a year. With golf on the schedule for Thursday, he wanted to hit some balls. He and I ended up hitting more than 100 balls a piece. Although it did not seem to translate to Thursday, I felt very good. Jack struggled and was hitting everything very right.

After we got back to the cabin, Jack, Tiber and I headed up to the Chabrier's cabin to let Tiber play with Raider. Sitting and watching everyone work on a jigsaw puzzle, I got a panicked call from Hunter. The afternoon wind had shifted from the southwest to the west. As a result, tied to a dock at the Chavez Cabin, Hunter's boat had taken on a lot of water. By the time, I got back to the Chavez Cabin, the back end of the boat was sunk. I ran back to check on the Tomasin's boat.

We spent some time trying to figure out a plan for getting Hunter's boat out of the water. He actually got the truck and trailer down on the beach in front of the Chavez Cabin, but with the back of the boat sitting on the bottom, there was no way we could get the boat on the trailer.

After struggling with the boat, we got cleaned up and took a group of nine (2-Hunters, 5-Chabriers {Kay, Brian, Alison, Dana and Carly} and 2-Heringers) to the Happy Garden for chinese food. It turns out that the Tomasins also had chinese food in Redding.

Hunter, Yuli, Tomasin and I finished the night playing pool at the Red Onion on the peninsula until after midnight.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

2014 Lake Almanor Day 4

Seneca Resort

It was a very slow, lazy morning. I wandered down to the Chabrier's house and Tomasin's cabin early. After breakfast, Chabrier took off on a quick business trip to the South of France!?! He expects to be back late on Friday afternoon.

Sitting on the deck of the Chavez Cabin, we watched the Tomasin boat and a wave runner head north along the shore. About 30 minutes later, a very strong wind came up out of the south. The boat and the wave runners had to fight their way back through the chop. It was pretty amazing; I don't think that I have ever seen the wind come up that quickly on the lake.

Cribbage at Plumas Pines - 2014 Lake Almanor Day 4 - #lake_almanor_2014We rallied the group and had an early lunch at Plumas Pines. Sharon took off for home after lunch.

Tuesday afternoon, Tomasin and I did something that we have not done in the 28 years that we have been coming to Lake Almanor. We drove to the old mining town of Seneca. The town was put up for sale in February of 2014. There is a resort in the town that has been open until recently. I believe that Bachman actually went there when it was open.

Tomasin and I continued around to Butt Lake before rejoining Highway 89 on the western shore of Lake Almanor. We made stops on the shore of Butt Lake and Plumas Pines before heading back to the Dorado Inn.

After we got back, I took Jack and Tiber up to the Chabriers. Tiber played with Raider while Jack took out a wave runner.

Finishing the day, Hunter and Yuli made a nice late dinner of pork chops, eggplant parmesan and corn on the cob.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - teggle

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

Starbucks iTunes

Code Expiration: November 4, 2014

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Bricks - Arcade Game

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Bricks - Arcade Game

Code Expiration: November 4, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

2014 Lake Almanor Day 3

Kayaks! - 2014 Lake Almanor Day 3 - #lake_almanor_2014

Sharon, Jack, Tiber and I spent the morning on kayaks. We took kayaks south along the shore of the lake to the Dorado Inn. We caught up with the Tomasins who ware out on the ski boat. We continued south until about half way between the Dorado Inn and Chabriers before turning around. When we got back to the cabin. Jack and Tiber stopped, while Sharon and I explored to the north along the shore.

We wandered up to the Chabriers house. It is quickly becoming apparent that it is going to be difficult to coordinate groups at three different locations. We ended up playing cribbage and having sandwiches at the Chabriers.

After lunch, Sharon, Jack, Tiber and I went out on Hunter's boat. We cruised the lake and swam, including tossing Tiber in the lake a couple of times.

Eventually, a large group took the patio boat, Hunter's boat and one of the wave runners to Big Cove. There were more than twenty people, including a friend of Chabrier's from the bay area and their two small girls.

On the way there, Jack and I took the wave runner to Knotty Pines to fill it with gas. Thinking that the group was going to Hamilton Branch, it took us a little while to catch back up with the group.

We anchored the houseboat and tied the boats together. Chabrier threw a number of fishing lines in the water. We visited and had hors d'oeuvres. With the wind coming up, we shifted the group to spot off the Peninsula and drifted.

After heading back to the cabin to get cleaned up, we went back to the Chabriers. With thunderstorms moving in, we spent some time visiting on the front porch and watching the weather. We had a very late dinner at the Chabriers. Chabrier and Kay made a great dinner of flank steak.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

2014 Lake Almanor Day 2

Wave runnersGetting up early after sleeping on the coach and the floor at Chabriers, Jack and I took Tiber to the Almanor Recreation Trail. I ran a couple of miles on the trail, while Jack walked Tiber along the shore.

After we got back to Chabrier' house, Yuli, Hunter, Jack and I went looking for a cup of coffee and sugar. Hunter found some at a store at Canyon Dam. From there, we put his boat in at the launch across the lake.

I spent some time trying unsuccessfully to help Thomas and Matthew jump Chabrier's older Suburban.

Eventually Hunter, Yuli, Jack and I went across the lake and had a leisurely lunch at Carol's.

When we got back to Chabrier's house, Sharon had just rolled up. After visiting for awhile, Sharon and I ran over to pick up the key for the Chavez Cabin and stopped at the peninsula market.

The Hunter boat and the Chabrier patio boat had gone out on the lake. Jack and I ended up taking out the wave runners to catch up with them.

The Tomasins made a great dinner of carne asada. It was probably one of the best dinners that we have ever had at Lake Almanor.  Eventually, we headed back to the cabin, unpacked the cars and crashed.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

2014 Lake Almanor Day 1

2014 Lake Almanor Day 1 - traditional first night dinnerEvery year since 1988, I have done a week with a group of the families on a lake. From 1988 to 2009, we stayed at the Dorado Inn on Lake Almanor. When the Dorado Inn changed owners for the third time, we shifted to the Tsasdi Resort on Lake Shasta. We came back to Lake Almanor again in 2012. For the last three years, I have rented a house with Hunter, while some of the group has stayed at the Dorado Inn. This year, we were renting the Chavez house again. This is about 1/4 mile north of the Dorado Inn.

The group is slightly different this year. It includes the Tomasins (John, Julie, Mike and Chris) and the Hunters (Bobby and Yuli) plus a herd of Chabriers (Greg, Kay, Meredith, Meredith's husband, Matthew, Greg's two younger daughters and Kay's daughter). The Snipes dropped out this year.

After working out in the morning and doing some shopping, Jack and I rolled from Carmichael at 1:30 pm. Sharon is planning on coming up on Sunday. For the first time, we are bringing a dog on the trip. After two short stops, we rolled up to the Dorado Inn via Chico and Highway 36 about 4:45 pm. The Tomasins were already there and unloading.

We visited for a bit and then headed to Chabrier's house. The house that Hunter and I are renting is not available until Sunday. As a result, Jack and I will be crashing there on Saturday night.

The group eventually got organized and headed to Buffalo Chips in Westwood for the traditional first night dinner. I was surprised how crowded the place was. I wonder if we usually get there later and miss the crowd.

After dinner, Tomasin, Julie and I stopped for a nightcap at Chuck's Railroad Room [it may have changed names?]. I finished the night on the deck of Chabrier's house before crashing on the couch. Jack slept on a mat on the floor.

California Historical Landmark #739

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].

Samuele Sebastiani Vineyard and Winery
California State Historical Landmark #739

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

This landmark is located at 394 4th Street East at Spain Street, Sonoma, California. There are 26 other California State Historical Landmarks in Sonoma County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 17.595 W 122° 26.970.

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

California Historical Landmark #739

Here the Franciscan Fathers of San Francisco Solano de Sonoma Mission produced sacramental wine from the first vineyard in Sonoma Valley, planted in 1825. After secularization of the mission in 1835, General Mariano G. Vallejo, Commandant of Alta California's northern frontier, produced prize-winning wines from these grapes. A young immigrant from Italy, Samuele Sebastiani, with his wife Elvira, purchased this property in the early 1900s. Since that time, he and his family have continued with distinction the traditions handed down to them. Much of the original mission vineyard is still planted to choice wine grapes.

California Historical Landmark #739

Friday, August 08, 2014

ESPN Films - Nine for IX Shorts: Play A Round With Me

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

Nine for IX Shorts: Play A Round With Me

In the 1980s, Jan Stephenson made a rousing run to the top of the LPGA, with a golf game to win championships and a sex appeal that sparked controversy. But no matter what people said or thought about Stephenson, one thing is undeniable -- she livened up the tour for nearly a decade with her colorful life.


You can find Play A Round With Me on the ESPNw web site at http://espn.go.com/espnw/w-in-action/nine-for-ix/shorts/play-a-round-with-me.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

2014 Under Armour Southwest Championships 18u Photo Album


Wednesday, August 06, 2014

California Historical Landmark #667

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].

Nash-Patton Adobe
California State Historical Landmark #667

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

This landmark is located at 579 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° 17.427 W 122° 27.421.

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

California Historical Landmark #667

This house was built by H. A. Green in 1847. Here John H. Nash was taken prisoner by Lieutenant William T. Sherman in July 1847 for refusing to relinquish his post as alcalde to Lilburn W. Boggs. The adobe was restored in 1931 by Zolita Bates, great-granddaughter of Nancy Patton Adler, who lived here after her 1848 marriage to Lewis Adler, pioneer merchant of San Francisco and Sonoma.

California Historical Landmark #667

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

ESPN Films - Nine for IX Shorts: Uncharted Waters

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

Nine for IX Shorts: Uncharted Waters

It was a stunning announcement: Bill Koch, winner of the 1992 America's Cup, wanted to form an all-female sailing team to try to win the 1995 Cup. The bold experiment ended in heartbreak for the Mighty Mary's crew, but the twists and turns of their story are worth remembering.


You can find Uncharted Waters on the ESPNw web site at http://espn.go.com/espnw/w-in-action/nine-for-ix/shorts/uncharted-waters.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Stubies

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Stubies

Code Expiration: October 28, 2014

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Up Next

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Up Next

Code Expiration: October 28, 2014

Monday, August 04, 2014

2014 Under Armour Southwest Championships 18u Day 6

San Monica BeachAfter a hectic five days, we slept until after 8 am. She and I took a long walk along the Santa Monica Beach, including a stop to explore the lobby of Shutters, a hotel that she had looked at on-line. For the fourth of the last five days, we grabbed a light breakfast at Starbucks. I was shocked to see a notice on the door indicating that the Starbucks had received a permit to serve beer and wine. Apparently, Starbucks is starting Starbucks Evenings at selected sites…

With an 11:00 am check-out time, we lounged in the room for the rest of the morning and enjoyed the view. Packing up the room and checking the luggage, we wandered down Ocean Avenue to the Water Grill. We had a very nice lunch; Sharon had cod, Jack had a lobster sandwich, I had an unusual shrimp louie and we all split a dozen oysters.

The plan for the day was to visit UCLA. Sharon was not able to book a formal tour. As a result, we wandered around the campus using an audio tour as a guide. I am not sure that it was the best approach. We need to be more organized for the next set of college tours. UCLA is big: 24,000 undergraduate and 12,000 graduate students. Afterwards, We stopped by UCLA's Jackie Robinson Baseball Stadium which is more than a mile from the central campus.

From the baseball stadium, we headed to the airport. The trip has reminded me how much I don't enjoy Southern California: too many freeways and cars. We dropped the rental car and caught the shuttle to the airport. Our flight was about 20 minutes late taking off. We were back in Sacramento about 8 pm and home about 8:30 pm. Jack and Tiber were glad to see each other.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

2014 Under Armour Southwest Championships 18u Day 5

After another light Starbucks breakfast, Sharon and I worked out in the hotel gym. Afterwards we packed up the room and checked out. We are changing hotels tonight. Heading to the game, we stopped for Subway sandwiches.

#walbeckbaseballacademy Elite 3, Propects National Team 0 - The Elite advance to the elimination round of Sunday!Seeded #32 after the pool play, the Walbeck Elite played the #33 seeded So Cal Phillies 18u at Azusa Pacific at 12:30 pm. The team is made up of players from the San Fernando Valley.

Batting first, Jack was 0 for 2 with a walk, a stolen base and a run scored. In his first at-bat in the bottom of the first inning, Jack ran the count to 1 and 2, fouled off a pitch and then took three straight balls to draw a walk. He stole second, went to third on Coop's single and scored on Isola's ground out. In a six pitch at-bat, Jack grounded a 2 and 2 pitch to the second baseman and was thrown out at first in his second plate appearance. In his third at-bat, he grounded a 2 and 1 pitch to the second baseman to start a 4-6-3 double play.

Playing centerfield, Jack had 8 put-outs!?! I don't ever remember Jack even getting 4 put-outs in a game let alone 8. He did a great job patrolling centerfield.

Behind solid pitching from Wheezy and Child, the Walbeck Elite won the game by the score of 3 to 0. The scorecard is here.

Based on the win, the Elite advanced to play the Hoots East Bay Rep Blue team. The Hoots were the #1 seeded team in the tournament after pool play.

Although we had already checked out, we headed back to the hotel and hung out with the Renterias.

Back at Azusa Pacific University for a 5:00 pm game, the Elite played the Hoots East Bay Rep Blue team. This team is from the Danville area.

Batting 11th, Jack was 0 for 2. In his first at-bat, he smoked a 1 and 1 pitch for a line drive. I was sure it was a hit off the bat. The second baseman made a leaping catch for the out. Coming to the plate swinging with runners on first and second, Jack fouled off four straight pitches before striking out swinging in his second plate appearance.

Playing centerfield, Jack had one put-out.

Lee pitched five gutsy innings and 99 pitches. He left the game with the Elite trailing by the score of 3 to 0. Running out of pitching, the game got away in the sixth. The Hoots scored 5 runs to win the game by the score of 8 to 0. The scorecard is here.

After the game, we headed to Santa Monica. We spent the night at the Viceroy Hotel. Sharon and I had a late dinner around the pool, while Jack had room service.

It was a very successful tournament. If you had told me that the Elite were going to get into the elimination bracket, win one elimination game on Sunday and that Jack was highlighted in the tournament scouting blog, I would have been ecstatic. The only downside was that Jack was unhappy with his hitting.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

2014 Under Armour Southwest Championships 18u Day 4

At Azusa Pacific University
After a light Starbucks breakfast, a work-out in the hotel gym and a stop at Subway to grab some lunch to take to the game, we headed to Azusa Pacific University. The Walbeck Elite played the Prospects National Team at 12:30 pm. This was a team from Texas with six players already committed to D1 schools.

Drew came to the game.

Given the format of the tournament, the Elite needed to win the game in order to be one of the top two seeds in the pool and advance to the elimination bracket of the tournament. A loss would mean that the Elite had one consolation game on Sunday.

Batting tenth, Jack was 0 for 2. In his first at-bat, he hit a 0 and 1 pitch for a long fly ball down the right field line. It was only 305 down the right field line. I thought that the ball had a chance to hit the fence. Shading the line, the right fielder made a nice catch in the corner for the out. Jack grounded a 1 and 0 pitch to the shortstop and was thrown out at first in his second plate appearance.

Playing centerfield, Jack had three put-outs. He made a nice attempt on a ball that was hit to deep centerfield. Fielding the ball on one hop, he almost threw the runner out at second.

Behind five strong innings from Weston, the Elite won the game by the score of 3 to 0. The scorecard is here.

In one of the two biggest pieces of news of the day, Jack made the scouting blog for the tournament! At each site, scouts were on site evaluating participating players for the real-time scouting blog.

Under Armour Southwest (18U) Scouting Blog

#21 Jack Heringer – CF | 6’0 160 | R/R | 2016 | Jesuit HS | Sacramento, CA
8/2 – Good athlete and a plus defender in CF. Showed ability to run down balls in the gap with an above average throwing arm.

In the other big news, with the win, the Elite advanced to the elimination round of the tournament. Based on their record and runs allowed, the Elite were seeded #32 out of the #76 teams. They will play So Cal Phillies 18u at Azusa Pacific University at 12:30 pm on Sunday.

On the way back from the game, we drove through downtown Claremont and through Claremont University. We spent the rest of the afternoon around the pool.

Getting cleaned up, Jack, Sharon and I had dinner at the Porter's Prime Steak House restaurant in the hotel with Rod, Julie, Mike, Shawn and Dan. They put the group in a separate room and we had a nice dinner.

Rod, Coop and Julie

Jack has played baseball with Cooper on the Gunners, Outlaws, Marauders and Walbeck Elite since summer of 2008.

DSC_0730

Friday, August 01, 2014

2014 Under Armour Southwest Championships 18u Day 3


Sharon, Jack and I had breakfast in the lobby of the hotel; both Sharon and I had huevos rancheros. Afterwards, I took a short 30 minute run on the treadmill.

In the second day of the Under Armour Southwest Championships 18u, the Walbeck Elite played the Baseball Factory Black at Mt San Antonio College at 12:30 pm. The Baseball Factory Black team was made up from kids over all over the United States that were pulled together to play in this tournament. One of the parents said that they had not met anyone else until Tuesday.

Batting tenth, Jack was 0 for 2. In his first at-bat, he grounded a 1 and 1 pitch to the shortstop and was thrown out at first. Jack struck out looking on a 1 and 2 pitch in his second plate appearance.

Playing centerfield, Jack had two put-outs.

With the game tied 1 to 1 in the top of the seventh, the Baseball Factory Black scored two runs and won the game by the score of 3 to 1. The scorecard is here.

There was an odd sequence in the top of the seventh. With the score tied 1 to 1 with one out and a man on third, the Baseball Factory Black skipped a batter. When challenged, the tournament director ruled that they could skip a batter without taking an out. He indicated that this was a showcase, not a tournament… This lead to some running amok over the next 24 hours.

Rod had planned a golf outing for the late afternoon. I was honestly beat and hungry by the time we got back to the hotel. I was not looking forward to playing golf. Nevertheless, I piled into the car with Rod, Dan and Paul to head to the course.

We played the Oak Quarry Golf Course. I was extremely impressed with the course. I rallied and enjoyed the afternoon a great deal. I rode with Paul in the cart. By the time we got to the 17th tee, it was getting very dark. We pressed on over the last two holes. I ended up with a very liberally scored winter rules 97 with a few mulligans off the tee. Even playing with rented clubs, I was very happy with how I played.

Rod, Julie, Sharon, Jack and I ended the day having a late, light dinner in the bar in the lobby of the hotel. A group of us finished the night having a nightcap with Matt Walbeck.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

2014 Under Armour Southwest Championships 18u Day 2

We started the day running into some of the team at Starbucks. After a quick bite, we headed to the field.

The Walbeck Elite played the MVP Red Sox in the first game of the 2014 Under Armour Southwest Championships 18u at South Hills High School at 10:30 am. The MVP Red Sox are from the Thousand Oaks area.

Batting second, Jack was 1 for 3 with a fielders choice and reached on an error. In his first at-bat, Jack ran the count to 1 and 2, fouled off a pitch and then grounded a ball to the right side. The first baseman got to the ball, but threw wildly to the pitcher covering first. Jack went to second when the shortstop made an error on a grounder by Dailey. They advanced to second and third on a passed ball, but ended the inning there when Clarke and Lee grounded out to the pitcher and to third. Jack hit a 2 and 1 pitch for a chopper up the middle in his second plate appearance. Sam was forced out at second, but Jack beat the throw to first. Leading off first, he stumbled on a ball that rolled away from the catcher and was picked off first. In his third at-bat, Jack smoked a 0 and 1 pitch for a line drive over the first baseman. Rounding first, he slipped and was thrown out at second in a close play.

Jack complained after the game about how slippery the infield was. They didn't water the infield between games.

Playing centerfield, Jack had two put-outs.

In a close game, the Elite ended up tying the Red Sox with a score of 1 to 1. The scorebook is here.

After the game, a group of families from the team had a interesting Mexican lunch at a place called Taco Ready. Back at the hotel, I ran on the treadmill for 45 minutes and then took a dip in the pool

The plan for the evening was to meet Drew and Nicki at their new place and then walk to dinner. In the traffic, it was 50 miles and about an hour and 10 minutes. We had a very nice visit. They have a very quaint cottage. The five of us walked to Blair's Restaurant in Silverlake. It was a nice dinner. Jack had lasagna, I had grilled albacore, and Sharon had braised short ribs.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

2014 Under Armour Southwest Championships 18u Day 1

Jack and the Walbeck Elite will be playing in the Under Armour Southwest Championships 18u starting on Thursday morning. After some running amok about his cleats, Sharon, Jack and I caught a flight from Sacramento to Ontario. Scheduled to take off at 8:35 pm, it left about 10 minute late. I was very surprised at how empty the Sacramento airport was...

I have been flying into Ontario since the middle 1960s. I believe that the last time I flew into Ontario was for my grandmother's funeral in 2006. Even into the 1980's, it was a very small airport. I don't recognize it now! It has grown into a very large airport.

Landing about 9:50 pm, we picked up the rental car and headed to the hotel. We are spending the next few nights at the Doubletree by Hilton near the Ontario Airport.

I finished the night in the bar with Rod and Dan.

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