Sunday, November 30, 2008

2008 Gunners Baseball Tournament Batting Statistics

Since September, Jack has played in six tournaments with the Elk Grove Gunners U10 baseball team. Jack was 9 for 25 at the plate for a batting average of .360. He drew 5 walks. Jack's on-base percentage was .467 (14 for 30).

After struggling at the start of the season, he has pulled his batting average up consistently over the last four tournament. At one point, after the second tournament, Jack's batting average was only .125.

California Historical Landmark #788

Jack and I spent the Wednesday before Thanksgiving waymarking historical sites in Western Amador County in the rain. This was the second of twenty-one places that we stopped.

Daniel Stewart Co. Store
California State Historical Landmark #788

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
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This landmark is located at 18 East Main Street, lone, California in Amador County. There are 24 other California State Historical Landmarks in Amador County. The GPS coordinates for the plaque are N 38° 21.170 W 120° 55.988.

You can log your visit to this landmark at



Google Streetview

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

2008 Kings versus Mavs

Jack and I went to the Sacramento Kings versus Dallas Mavericks NBA basketball game. This is the worst Kings game that I have seen in almost three years [Pacers 108, Kings 83 - 01/08/2006] and probably the second worst game that I have seen the Kings play at home since the early 1990's. The Kings were outscored 30 to 19 in the third quarter and lost by a score of 101 to 78.

Jack and I went home with about 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Other than saying that the Kings looked horrible, I do not have a single observation about the game. [The Kings were 0 for 15 from three point range!?!]

With the season almost 1/4 gone, the Kings are on pace to have 22 wins and 60 losses. This would be the worst record that they have had since they came to Sacramento. The low point of the Sacramento era is 1989-1990; the Kings had 23 wins and 59 losses. I saw a lot of those games; Larkin and I shared season tickets that year. I would almost rather watch that team which included Wayman Tisdale, Rodney McCray, Danny Ainge, Vinny Del Negro, Kenny Smith and Harold Pressley than this team.

At some point, the Kings need to forget about the current season and look to the future. The team needs to play Hawes and Thompson more.

California Historical Landmark #867

Jack and I spent the Wednesday before Thanksgiving waymarking historical sites in Western Amador County in the rain. This was the first of twenty-one spots that we stopped. The Preston Castle web site shows that they are conducting tours at certain times of the year; this is something that we might do in the Spring.

Preston Castle
California State Historical Landmark #867

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

This landmark is located at the Preston School of Industry on Waterman Road, Ione, California in Amador County. The plaque is located 0.9 miles north of site on State Highway 104. There are 24 other California State Historical Landmarks in Amador County. The GPS coordinates for the plaque are N 38° 21.924 W 120° 57.023.

You can log your visit to this landmark at


The 'Castle,' built in 1890-1894, is the most significant example of Romanesque Revival architecture in the Mother Lode. It was built to house the Preston School of Industry, established by the State Legislature as a progressive action toward rehabilitating, rather than simply imprisoning, juvenile offenders. Doors of the 120-room 'Castle' closed in 1960 after new facilities were completed.



Friday, November 28, 2008

Liz, Laura, Mary and Sharon

Sharon met Liz Dueso, Laura Melish and Mary Franklin for dinner at Mikuni Sushi on Hazel. Laura, Mary and Sharon went to grammar school and high school together, while Liz went to high school with them.

Drew's 24th Birthday!

Today is Drew's 24th Birthday!

He celebrated his birthday with a trip to the Grand Canyon!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

After the Run to Feed the Hungry, we raced home to put the turkey in the oven. For the first time since 2003, we hosted Thanksgiving at our house.

The group included Tom, Becky, Eric, Sharon's mom Rosemary, two friends of the family (Jim Dunn and Jim Gage), Jack, Sharon and I. Sharon got a free range turkey from William Sonoma. Although it took us forever to cook it, it turned out great.

We had pumpkin pie and a chocolate cake to celebrate Jim Dunn's birthday for desert. Tom, Becky and Eric gave Jim a James Bond version of Scene It? for his birthday which we played after dinner.

2008 Run To Feed The Hungry

For the fourth time in the last five years [2008, 2006, 2005 and 2004], Sharon, Jack and I ran the Run to Feed the Hungry. Jack and I ran the course in 1:07:15 for an average pace of 10:50. With more than 28,000 people at the event this year, our first mile was very slow. Additionally, Jack's calf was bothering him after about 3 miles and we stopped to stretch it. Sharon ran a 1:19:03 for an average of 12:44.

At the Finish of the Run to Feed the Hungry

2008 Run To Feed The Hungry Pic

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dinner and the Theater

Tim, Kathy, Tom, Becky, Sharon and I met for dinner at Paragary's. Of course, Sharon had lamb, while I had a pasta special.

Afterwards, we all went to the B Street Theater and saw a performance of The Seafarer. Typically, I will read of a review of movie or play before going to it to get some idea of what I am getting into; I didn't this time. I was unpleasantly surprised. It was very depressing. A bunch of drunk Irishmen playing cards with the devil on Christmas Eve.

At Dinner at Paragary's

At dinner, originally uploaded by heringermr.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Calexico - Slowness

The list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Calexico - Slowness

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Jack and I rented Star Wars: The Clone Wars on the AppleTV in HD. This is not a movie that you go out of your way to see; I was frankly shocked at the low quality of the animation.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Skagway Hike

One of my favorite days on the Alaskan trip in June was the day that we spent in Skagway. It included a helicopter ride, a hike and a train ride. Using data from my GPS, I generated the following image from Google Earth and a Google Map of our hike.

In the Google Earth image, you can see the Laughton Glacier on the left. The mountain goats that Jack spotted were high on the right side of the canyon.

View Larger Map

From Alaska

From Alaska

From Alaska

From Alaska

From Alaska

NBA Power Rankings 2008-2009 Week 4

The Kings climbed one spot in Marc Stein's weekly power rankings of NBA teams from 26th to 25th, stepping over the fetid body of a gizzly bear.

ESPN - NBA Basketball Power Rankings - National Basketball Association
We've tried to show some rare restraint with the Bobby Brown mentions. But with Martin still out and Bobby doing Fullerton proud with 21 points in 25 minutes in a homecoming against the Lakers, there's no avoiding it.
When Martin went down two weeks ago, the Kings had 3 wins and 4 losses and were winners of three straight. In those three victories, Martin averaged 28.7 points per game. Since then, the team has won 2 games and lost 6.

Last year, Martin only played in 61 games for the Kings. Given that he only weighs 185 pounds soaking wet, it is going to be interesting to see if Martin can stay healthy and on the court.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Randy and Aaron


I am always amazed at how small the world is. In response to Jack's Gunners Baseball Team putting out the call that they were looking for a few more players, the e-mail ended up in Randy and Jayne's inbox after only two degrees of separation. I have known Randy for more than twenty years and Jayne is currently Sutter Health's IBM rep.

Randy showed up at the Gunner's practice/try-out this afternoon with his son Aaron. He and I had an opportunity to catch up while the boys worked out with the Gunners.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Spy Who Loved Me

Continuing my quest to watch all of the Bond films in order, Sharon, Jack and I watched The Spy Who Loved Me. Released in 1977, this is the tenth spy film of the British James Bond series and the third to star Roger Moore as the British secret agent James Bond. The film takes its title from the tenth novel in Ian Fleming's James Bond series. Though as Ian Fleming requested that only the title of the novel be used, the film does not contain any elements of the novel.

The plot involves a reclusive megalomaniac named Stromberg who develops a technology for tracking submarines and then captures British and Russian submarines. Stromberg plans to use the nuclear weapons on the subs to destroy the world and create a new civilization under the sea. Bond teams up with a Russian agent Anya Amasova to stop him.

In addition to Roger Moore as James Bond, the cast includes Barbara Bach as Anya Amasova (Agent Triple X), Curt Jürgens as Karl Stromberg and Richard Kiel as Jaws.

The movie includes a number of scenes that have always stuck in my head. A Lotus Esprit is featured in a long chase sequence, drives off the end of a pier into the ocean and turns into a submarine. Jaws spents the movie trying to kill Bond and Amasova by biting them with his metal teeth and walking away unscathed from situations where he should have been seriously hurt or killed. Additionally, I have always enjoyed the scenes in Egypt; some day I would like to visit the pyramids.

Friday, November 21, 2008

5th Grade: Art Lesson C

Sharon spent part of the morning as the Art Docent in Jack's class. The lesson covered Georges Seurat and Pointillism. Georges Seurat was French painter who founded a painting style called pointillism or divisionism. He began painting in the style of Impressionism but soon became more interested in scientific color theory. He is famous for using little dabs or points of pure bright color to paint. When viewed from a distance, the eye mixes the colors together.

The lesson looked at three of Seurat's painting, including Bathers at Asnieres, Sunday Afternoon on theIsland of the Grande Jatte and Circus. All three paintings are shown below.

For their art project, the kids each created our own pointillist picture.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Parent Teacher Conference

Sharon and I went to the school and had a parent teacher conference with Jack's fifth grade teacher.

Bayley Hotel

Bayley Hotel
also known as the Bayley House
National Register of Historic Places #1978000660

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
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This historic place is located north of Pilot Hill on CA 49 in the county of El Dorado, California. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 50.635 W 121° 00.891.

You can log your vist to this site at

Construction on the Bayley House began in 1861, after A.J. Bayley's first hotel in Pilot Hill, the Oak Valley House, burned to the ground earlier that year. Prompted by this loss and rumors that the Central Pacific Railroad would soon be built through Pilot Hill, Bayley started construction on his biggest project.

Bayley had every reason to believe that the railroad would be routed through the trail that John C. Fremont surveyed, which ran past his property, because it had already been established as a freight haulers route. He knew that the "Big Four" railroad barons were seriously considering this Fremont Trail as the route for the railroad to take on its journey over the Sierras to become part of the first trans-continental railroad.

Enter Theodore Judah, a brilliant engineer who found that routing the railroad through Auburn and Dutch Flat would be easier and less expensive. His idea was eventually accepted, leaving Bayley with a massive Southern style estate in the middle of the rolling foothills of El Dorado County, one that would not realize its potential as an important and busy oasis for rail passengers.

Nevertheless, the fact remained that A.J. Bayley had designed and built one of the finest homes in the West.

The 10,000 square foot Bayley House was built with 22 rooms, including two ladies' parlors, a bar room to the left of the entrance, and a grand ballroom on the third floor that doubled as an observatory. The 300,000 bricks that faced the exterior were manufactured on location, as was all the fine wood used in the house milled on the property. Rosewood and mahogany were imported from England. A double piazza supported by eight huge hardwood columns provided a shady retreat off the second floor where guests could relax and enjoy the view. A spectacular circular staircase wound sharply from the double-door foyer to the second and third floors, with a highly polished mahogany railing. To help keep the house warm and inviting, it was outfitted with six fireplaces, two with marble insets, and underneath it all was a huge wine cellar, where one of California's first winemakers stored the product of his vineyards.

El Dorado County California Historic Places

National Register of Historic Places
El Dorado County, California

{GPS Coordinates of Site Location}

1978002778 Bayley Hotel - [map] - {38.84392,-121.01485}

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

2009 PAL JV Rec Basketball

I went to a parents only meeting for JV Rec Basketball. After playing four years of Little Dribblers basketball, the kids are now moving up to something that resembles real basketball. The games will have four 6 minute stop clock quarters, rather than the 5 minute running clock that they used in little dribblers. Regulation high school basketball rules are in effect. There is no minimum play time, but all players must play in the game. The team plays in the Parochial Athletic League (PAL). The first practice is tomorrow night!

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Ray LaMontagne - You Are The Best Thing

The list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes - Ray LaMontagne - You Are The Best Thing

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

After the semi-final game on Sunday

Big League Dreams Manteca 

Gunners 10U Travel Baseball Team

The traveling baseball team that Jack played on this fall is looking for a some additional players.

Gunners 10U Travel Baseball Team

The Elk Grove Gunners 10U tournament team is looking for a few qualified players to join our team. Players cannot be older that 10 on April 30, 2009. Currently the team is ranked 3rd in Northern California under USSSA events. The team has played 7 tournaments this fall with the following results:

3 Championships

1 Runner-up

Made the semifinals in 6 of 7 events

This team has secured a spot at the Cooperstown Dream Park Tournament in June of 2009. If you have not heard of this event check out the website at

If you would like your son to experience the next level of baseball and receive excellent coaching and development opportunities - you may be who we are looking for. We are looking for pitchers (who wouldn't be?) and/or strong outfield skills. Prior All Stars or Tournament experience is a plus, however not necessary. If you are interested in additional details, please send a note to

Monday, November 17, 2008

NBA Power Rankings 2008-2009 Week 3

Marc Stein has dropped the Kings to 26th in his weekly power rankings; this is down from 20th last week. Only the Wizards, Clippers, Thunder and Timberwolves are ranked lower than the Kings.

ESPN - NBA Basketball Power Rankings - National Basketball Association
There's no time to dissect home losses to Detroit, Phoenix and San Antonio by a mere 12 points combined, all without Kevin Martin, when co-owner Joe Maloof is so publicly (and loudly) putting heat on his coach.
After watching the Kings over the last three weeks, I am actually fairly optimistic about this team. If Martin can stay healthly and on the floor and you give Hawes and Thompson another year or two of experience, I think that this could be a very competitive team. Hawes is only 20 years old, Thompson is 22 and Martin is 25.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

2008 Gunners Baseball Tournament #6 Day 2

The good news was that the Gunners did not have to play in Manteca until 9:45 a.m. on Sunday morning. The bad news was that they had to play Hard 90 Pastime. They lost to Hard 90 by the score of 11 to 2 on October 4 and by the score of 8 to 2 on November 2.

In the top of the first, the Gunners scored a run on two hits. In their half of the first inning, Hard 90 scored two runs on an error, a walk and a hit.

In the top of the second, the first two batters reached base on a hit and an error. Jack came to the plate with no outs and runners at first and second. The third base coach gave him the sign for a bunt and Jack laid the first pitch perfectly down the first base line advancing the runners to second and third. The pitcher fielded the ball and made a great throw to get Jack by a step at first base. The next batter hit one into center field where the fielder misplayed it and both runners scored. At this point, the Gunners lead by a score of 3 to 2.

The bottom fell out in the bottom of the third. The Gunners had two plays at home plate on infield grounders; one was a tag, while the other was a force. Both throws were slightly offline and the runners were safe at home. By the time the Gunners got out of the inning, Hard 90 was ahead by a score of 8 to 3.

Jack got up in the top of the fourth. He lined the first pitch back to the pitcher and was thrown out at first. In the top of the sixth, Jack lined one hard up the middle off the pitcher's glove. By the time the shortstop tracked the ball down, Jack beat the throw to first. Unfortunately, he was called out trying to steal second when it looked like he was easily safe.

The Gunners lost the game by a score of 9 to 4.

For the weekend, Jack was 3 for 6 with one strikeout, one sacrifice bunt, three RBIs and three stolen bases. He played 18 of 22 innings over four games in right field and at third base.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

2008 Gunners Baseball Tournament #6 Day 1

After a late night last night at the Kings game, this was a long day for both Jack and I. The Gunners drew the first two games of the day at Big League Dreams Sport Park in Manteca: an 8:00 a.m. game and a 10:10 a.m. game. I got Jack up about 5:45 a.m. and we left the house about 6:15 a.m. This team has never played very well first thing in the morning.

They played the first game against Cen Cal, a team that they have beat twice in the last couple of months. They got off to a bad start. Their pitcher walked five batters in the top of the first inning and gave up 4 runs. The boys started to hang their heads and things spiraled downward from there.

Cen Cal had picked up a new pitcher who struck out 6 of the 10 batters first time through the order. Jack got up in the bottom of the third. He fell behind 0 balls and 2 strikes and then worked the count to 3 balls and 2 strikes, including fouling off a pitch. Jack ended up striking out swinging on a low pitch that might have been called a ball.

The Gunners managed only three hits in the game and ended up losing the game by a score 8 to 0 in five innings. Jack played four uneventful innings in right field.

The second game was against TABU, a team the Gunners barely beat a couple of weeks ago. Like the first game, the Gunners gave up four runs in the top of the first inning on two walks and a couple of singles.

In their half of the first, the Gunners manufactured 3 runs on 2 walks, a hit by pitch and a single. These were the only runs the Gunners could manage, while TABU scored in four of the five innings.

In Jack's first plate appearance in the second inning, he hit a 2 balls and 1 strike pitch to the third baseman and was thrown out at first. Jack's second at-bat was an eight pitch affair. He ended up driving one hard down the third base line for a single. With one out, he stole second and third, but the Gunners left him at third.

Jack played five innings at third base. He handled a routine grounder in the first inning and threw the runner out at first. In the fifth inning, Jack tagged out the runner trying to go from second to third on a nice throw from the pitcher.

The Gunners managed only four hits in the game and ended up losing the game by a score of 10 to 3.

With two losses, the Gunners were seeded fourth out of five teams for the elimination round of the tournament. Unfortunately, the first game of elimination round was at 6:50 p.m. on Saturday night. We ended up going home and coming back.

The Gunners played the Bay Bombers in the third game of the day.

Leading 1 to 0 in the bottom of the second, Jack came up with the bases loaded and one out. He drove a 1 ball and 0 strike pitch up the middle for a double and two RBIs. He stole third, but the Gunners left him at third.

The Gunners ended up winning the game by a score of 6 to 2 in 6 innings. Jack played three uneventful innings in right field. Continuing the trend of the day, the Gunners managed only four hits in the game. Two of the hits were by Pat who showed up only for the last game. Over the course of the three games, the Gunners managed only 10 hits and Jack had 2 of them.

With the win, the Gunners get to come back on Sunday to play the #1 seed.

After the third game


After the third game, originally uploaded by heringermr.

Friday, November 14, 2008

2008 Kings versus Suns

Jack and I went to the Sacramento Kings versus Phoenix Suns basketball game. I picked this game during our season ticket draw because Jack is a huge Steve Nash fan. Unfortunately, Nash was suspended this morning for one game for this role in a fight during the Suns and Rockets game. I did not tell Jack this until we were halfway to the game.

Trailing by 10 points for most of the second half, the Kings turned it into a very entertaining game losing in overtime by a score of 97 to 95. Highlights from the game include:
  • Grant Hill played 45 minutes and scored 22 points on 9 for 19 from the field. When the Gunners baseball team was choosing numbers in August, Jack took 33. When I asked him why, he said because that was Grant Hill's number.

  • Brad Miller is listed as 7 feet tall and 261 pounds. Standing next to Shaq, Miller looks like a boy standing next to a man.

  • During the first half, Jack and I sent this picture to the Kings. They showed it on the big screen at the end of halftime!

  • Standing at a concession stand before the game, I saw someone who looked familiar. It turned out to be Paul Cutter whom I played Rugby with at UC Davis and Davis City. I am not sure when the last time I saw him, but it must be at least 15 years ago. Paul always had a beard; he said he shaved it off for the first time in 30 years last week.

  • The Kings offense looked horrible. Everyone was standing around watching the player with the ball.

Rooting for the Phoenix Suns

Rooting for the Suns, originally uploaded by heringermr.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

November 2008 Cub Scout Pack Meeting

Jack and I went to the November 2007 meeting of his cub scout pack. The program included a tossing game, a presentation on water conservation, an awards ceremony and a Christmas card workshop for their upcoming trip to the retirement home.

Jack's den did the opening and closing flag ceremony and the opening prayer. There was a pretty good turn-out from their den, including Jack, Brandon, Johnny, Chad, Tim and David.

At the cub scout pack meeting


At the cub scout pack meeting, originally uploaded by heringermr.

Pony Express Bridge

I stumbled across this waymark when I was looking for California Historical Landmark #1040.

Pony Express

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
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This landmark is located Located in the riverfront park at the foot of G Street in West Sacramento, California. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 35.000 W 121° 30.530.

A list of Pony Express Waymarks that I have visited can be found here. You can log your visit to this landmark at




The first bridge to span the Sacramento River was built by the Sacramento and Yolo Bridge Company. It was a wooden span bridge, completed on June 27, 1858 at a cost of $60,000. The toll was $0.05 per pedertrian.
The bridge was 70 and 174 feet north of the west and east ends of today's "I" Street bridge. This bridge was used by the 1860-1861 Pony Express 20 times from Sacramento to San Francisco. All other Pony Express mail between these two cities both westbound and eastbound was carried by the river streamers. They docked at the foot of "K" street in Old Sacramento.

Sam Hamilton was the first Pony Express rider over this bridge. He left Sacramento at 1:15 a.m. on April 23, 1860 crossing here a few minutes later.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Visit to Troop 59

One of the Cub Scout Arrow of Light requirements is to visit at least one Boy Scout troop meeting with your Webelos den. Jack, Timmy and Cody went to visit Boy Scout Troop 59 tonight.

After attending the beginning of the pack meeting, we spent about 40 minutes with the troop's program chair. He walked through the troop's philosophy and their plans for the next year. This is a very active troop with a large number of outings. The troop includes about 90 boys and has been in existence for more than 80 years.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Bajofondo - Pa Bailar

The list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Bajofondo - Pa Bailar

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

2008 Kings versus Pistons

Sharon and Tim to the Sacramento Kings versus Detroit Piston basketball game. Playing without leader scorer Kevin Martin, the Kings let the game slip away in the fourth quarter and lost by a score of 100 to 92. Brad Miller was 2 for 16 from the field. In contrast, Hawes was 9 for 15 for 19 points and Thompson was 7 for 10 for 15 points.

Sherry's Birthday

I have worked with Sherry and Larkin off and on since 1987. The Larkins, Bells and Heringers have gotten together on a regular basis since 1995. Oddly, Matt and Sherry have completely fallen off the map in last year. In spite of some attempts to get together with them, we have not seen them since sometime in 2007.

Monday, November 10, 2008

NBA Power Ranking 2008-2009 Week 2

The Kings jumped from 28th last week to 20th in Marc Stein's weekly power rankings. They are ranked ahead of the Mavericks and the Spurs!

ESPN - NBA Basketball Power Rankings - National Basketball Association
Even if the three teams it just swept at home are a combined 6-14, Sacramento's response to that disastrous road trip does pass the 'scrappy' test, since wins at Arco Arena ain't automatic like they used to be.
I have changed my mind. After watching big pieces of the last two games, I do not think that we should trade Brad Miller.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

With Paul Newman's death in late September, Sharon bought a copy of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Sharon, Jack and I watched the movie this weekend.

The American Film Institute rates Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as one of the ten top westerns films. I enjoyed the movie, but having watched a number of westerns lately, I am not that I would put it in the top ten.

The movie includes the song Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head. Jack spent the rest of the weekend running around singing the song. Given I have some strong memories associated with this song, this was a little surreal. Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head is included in the Soundtrack for my Life.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

November Webelos #2 Den Meeting

After a Gunners baseball practice in the morning, I took Jack to the November meeting of his cub scout den. The boys worked on their Readyman Activity badge; this is requirement for the Arrow of Light. Requirements for the badge include: demonstrating the Heimlich maneuver and telling when it is used; showing what to do for serious bleeding, stopped breathing, internal poisoning and heart attack; showing how to treat shock; and showing first aid for cuts and scratches, burns and scalds, choking, blisters on the hand and foot, tick bites, bites and stings of insects, poisonous snakebite, nosebleed, frostbite and sunburn.

Although a couple of boys have dropped out in the last year, we still have six actively participating: Jack, Chad, Cody, Tim, Johnny and Brandon.

Friday, November 07, 2008

2008 Kings versus Timberwolves

Jack and I went to the Sacramento Kings versus Minnesota Timberwolves basketball game. I have been going to Kings games for 23 years. This was the most empty seats I have ever seen. The announced attendance was 10,592, but I would guess that there was less than 9,000 people there. With Arco Arena holding more than 17,000, the stands might have been less than half full.

The Kings never trailed in the game and won by a score of 121 to 109.

Martin lead the Kings with 26 points on 9 for 23 from the field and 6 for 7 from the free throw line. Playing on a sore ankle, he was not his usual efficient self; it seemed like he missed a lot of open shoots. Salmons had 23 points on 9 for 15 from the field and 5 for 5 from the free throw line. Overall, the Kings were 22 of 23 from the free throw line for 96%!

I said before that I would trade Miller and let the kids play. After watching the tonight's game, I am rethinking that statement. Although I am still concerned about the development of the younger players (Thompson only played 11 minutes tonight), Miller seems to provide a stabilizing influence on the team.

2008-2009 Sacramento Kings Season

During the 2008-2009 Sacramento Kings season, the Kings
are 2 and 7 in games which I saw in person, including:


11/08/2008: Kings-121, Timberwolves-109 [1-0] - Jack
11/15/2008: Suns-97, Kings-95 [1-1] - Jack
11/29/2008: Mavs-101, Kings-78 [1-2] - Jack
12/26/2008: Raptors-107, Kings-101 [1-3] - Jack
01/13/2009: Magic-139, Kings-107 [1-4] - Larkin
02/06/2009: Jazz-111, Kings-107 [1-5] - Sharon and Jack
02/25/2009: Bobcats-98, Kings-91 [1-6] - Jack
03/08/2009: Kings-114, Nuggets-106 [2-6] - Jack
03/13/2009: Cavs-126, Kings-123 OT [2-7] - Jack

2022-2023 Season [1-0]
2021-2022 Season [1-5]
2020-2021 Season [1-0]
2019-2020 Season [1-4]
2018-2019 Season [7-4]
2017-2018 Season [5-2]
2016-2107 Season [5-3]
2015-2016 Season [2-2]
2014-2015 Season [1-4]
2013-2014 season [3-2]
2012-2013 Season [1-0]
2011-2012 Season [3-2]
2010-2011 Season [3-6]
2009-2010 Season [4-7]
2008-2009 Season [2-7]
2007-2008 Season [7-7]
2006-2007 Season [5-9]
2005-2006 Season [8-8]
2004-2005 Season [10-4]

At the Kings versus Timberwolves

At the Kings versus Timberwolves

Presidental Transition

Sharon made an interesting point last night that I had not really thought about. She pointed out that it has been 16 years since we have gotten an opportunity to watch an extended and orderly transition from one president to another. Clinton served from 1992 to 2000. In 2000, the results of the election were hotly contested into the middle of December. The United States Supreme Court stopped the Florida recount on December 9, 2000 and then issued a decision on Bush v. Gore on December 12.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

At the Batting Cages


At the Batting Cages, originally uploaded by heringermr.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Yo-Yo Ma with Alison Krauss - The Wexford Carol

The list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Yo-Yo Ma with Alison Krauss - The Wexford Carol

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

2008 Kings versus Grizzlies

Every year, I try to get tickets for the Kings home opener and the last game of the year. This year when we did our season ticket draw I actually had the first pick in November but choose the Phoenix game next Friday. Jack is a huge Steve Nash fan. Afterwards, I bought a single ticket for tonight's home opener versus Memphis. Unfortunately, it turned out that Sharon was traveling for work. Combined with work, baseball, flag football, cub scouts and homework, I decided it was too much to try and get to the game tonight. I gave the ticket to Larkin. He is sitting in the fourth row center court behind the press row.

Jack and I watched the game. Here is my running diary.

Kings win the tip.
Mikki Moore scores the first two points on a put back.
Martin hits his first jump shoot; Kings 4 - Grizzlies 1
Martin with a steal from Gay; Martin misses the jump shot.
Memphis starts three rookies including O J Mayo.
9:02 in the first quarter and both teams have three turnovers.
Sacramento opens up 2 for 6 from the field.
Gay hits two free throws; Grizzlies 5 - Kings 4
Beno shoots an air ball; 0 for 2 from the field.
Beno 0 for 3.
Majo hits a three; Kings 5 - Grizzlies 8
Salmons hits a three; Grizzlies 8 - Kings 7
Hawes hits a three! Kings 12 - Grizzlies 8
At the first timeout, Kings are shooting 50% from the floor.
Martin turns the ball over.
Block by Hawes, he runs the floor and gets fouled at the other end.
3:09 in the first quarter, Thompson into the game for Moore.
At the second timeout with 2:49 in the first quarter,
Kings lead by 4, 16 to 12.
Bobby Brown two for two; Kings 20 - Grizzlies 14
Martin with a steal and a dunk; Kings 22 - Grizzlies 14
Mayo hits a three; Kings 22 - Grizzlies 17
At the end of the first quarter, the Kings lead 24 to 17. Martin has 6 points and is 3 for 4 from the field. Salmons has 6 points and is 2 for 3 from the field. The Kings are shooting 47.6% from the field, compared to 28.7% for the Grizzlies.
Douby into the game.
Kings turn the ball over for the six time. ugh.
Hawes hit a second three; Kings 29 - Grizzlies 19.
Martin, Williams, Douby, Thompson and Brown on the floor.
Martin hits his second shot in a row and has 10 points; 5 for 6.
Mayo hits his third three of the ball game; he has 11 points;
Time out - Kings 38 - Grizzlies 27.
Lowry hits a three as the clock runs down - Kings 38 - Grizzlies 30.
Time out with 5:44 left in the second quarter.
Thompson throws the ball away.
Kings with 7 turnovers and 10 assists.
Nice dunk by Thompson - Kings 40 - Grizzlies - 32
Airball by Mayo.
fastbreak lay up by Martin - Kings 44 - Grizzlies 34
Mayo hits his fourth three of the game - Kings 44 - Grizzlies 37
Mayo has 14 points.
Beautiful pass by Beno to Moore for a dunk.
End of the first half.
The Kings lead at halftime by the score of 48 to 41. Kevin Martin has 14 points on 6 for 7 from the field and 2 for 2 from the free throw line. O. J. Mayo also 14 points on 5 for 12 from the field; he is 4 from 6 from the three point line. Bobby Brown provided a nice lift off the bench for the Kings scoring 7 points on 3 for 3 from the field. Kings are shooting 54%, compared to 37% for the Grizzlies.

A rock bank, Rev Theory, is playing at halftime. It looks odd; I will have to ask Larkin tomorrow how that worked.
Start of the second half.
On the floor for the Kings are
Hawes, Martin, Salmons, Beno and Moore;
the same as the starting five.
Nice drive by Salmons; Kings 50 - Grizzlies 43
Mayo hits his fifth three; Kings 50 - Grizzlies 46
Mayo picks up his fourth foul guarding Martin.
Kings are the last team to play on their home court this season.
Nice dunk by Hawes on a pass from Moore - Kings 58 - Grizzlies 51
Fast break basket by Martin - Kings 60 - Grizzlies 51.
Time out [putting Jack to bed...]

8:05 left in the third quarter.
Tony Parker had 55 points in the Spurs
2OT win against the wolves tonight.
Martin steal and is fouled on the fast break.
Martin has 22 points on 8 for 9 from the field
and 6 for 8 from the free throw line!
Nice rebound by Hawes to start the fast break; Salmons scores.
Kings 66 - Grizzlies - 58
16 fast break points for the Kings.
Nice drive by Beno for his first basket.
Martin misses a three.
Nice drive by Beno for another basket; Kings 70 - Grizzlies 62
Salmons hits a jumper for this 18th and 19th points.
Time out with 3:20 left in the third quarter.
Kings defense looking effective for the first time in five games.
Both Martin and Salmons are knocking down shoots tonight.

Martin knocks down another jumper;Kings 75 - Grizzlies 62
Bobby Jackson enters the game to a standing ovation.
Nice pass from Moore to Hawes for a dunk.
Kings 77 - Grizzlies - 62
The Kings biggest lead of the game
with 2:24 left in the third quarter.

Jason Thompson with his third basket; Kings 79 - Grizzlies - 64
Kings only 12 for 18 from the line.
At the end of the third quarter, the Kings are leading the Grizzlies by a score of 81 to 68.
Martin hits another jumper; he has 28 points.
Mayo back into the game after not playing much in the third quarter.
Bobby Brown to Jason Thompson for a nice lay up; Kings 85 - Grizzlies 70
Nice drive to the basket by Mayo.
Martin to Hawes for a dunk on the fast break.
Another 24 second violation by the Grizzlies
Bobby Brown hits a three; Kings 90 - Grizzlies 72
Martin hits a 15 foot jumper on the fast break
Mayo with a basket.
Mayo with his sixth three pointer; Kings 92 - Grizzlies 78
time out with 5:48 left in the fourth quarter.
Spencer Hawes fouls out with 5:25 left in the fourth quarter.
Offensive foul on Moore.
A couple of offensive possessions for the Kings with no shot.
Three point for the Grizzlies; Kings 92 - Grizzlies 82
another three pointers for the Grizzlies; Kings 92 - Grizzlies - 85
12 straight points for the Grizzlies!
Beno only 2 for 8 in the game.
Thompson gets a put back and the foul; Thompson has 11 points.
Darko makes one in the lane; Kings 95 - Grizzlies 87
24 second violation for the Kings!
fifth team foul on the Kings with 2:13 left in the game.
A couple of missed Grizzlies free throws.
6 point lead for the Kings.
Mayo loses the ball on the fast break.
Mayo makes two free throws; Kings 95 - Grizzlies 91
time out Kings.
Beno misses a shot, the ball bounces around to Salmons and he dunks.
time out Grizzlies
29.7 seconds; Kings 97 - Grizzlies 91
Salmons ties up Gay for a jump ball.
Ball comes to Martin and he is fouled.
Martin hits two free throws; Kings 99 - Grizzlies 91
time out Grizzlies
22.6 seconds left
Mayo hits a jumper in the paint; Kings 99 - Grizzlies 93
Kevin Martin fouled; He misses the first and hits the second.
time out Grizzlies; Kings 100 - Grizzlies 93
Kings win 100 to 95!

Although he missed some shots in the fourth quarter, Martin ended up with 33 points on 11 for 18 from the field and 10 for 13 from the free throw line. Martin tied coach Reggie Theus' franchise record for points in an opener. Salmons also had a very nice game for the Kings with 21 points on 8 for 13 from the field and 4 for 5 from the free throw line. The Kings got very nice contributions from Hawes and Thompson.

I was very impressed with O J Mayo. He had 28 points on 10 for 19 from the field, including 6 for 10 from three point range. Interestingly, Mayo had 0 assists.

The Grizzlies have won just once at Arco Arena in 26 appearances, losing 20 in a row since the Vancouver Grizzlies' lone victory in Sacramento on April 19, 1998.

Almost four and a half years ago...

As I wrote in this blog entry almost four and a half years ago, when Sharon saw Obama speak at the 2004 Democratic Convention, she said "he is going to be the first black President of the United States."

Spokane Flour Mill

When we were in Spokane for the Gonzaga Fall Family Weekend, we had dinner at Clinkerdaggers in the Old Flour Mill.

Spokane Flour Mill
National Register of Historic Places #1978002778

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

This landmark is located 621 West Mallon Avenue, Spokane, Washington. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 47° 39.930 W 117° 25.300.

You can log your visit to this site at

The Flour Mill is a physical reminder of the centrality of water power in Spokane's history; nearly all of the early development of the city was directly related to the majestic falls of the Spokane River. The Spokane Flour Mill, built in 1895, was one in a series of mills built along the falls prior to 1900. It did not come into operation, however, until 1900 because the property became mired in a complex international lawsuit that was one of the most explosive and long-fought battles in the city's legal history. The mill was adaptively renovated as a shopping center in conjunction with preparations for the World's Fair that Spokane hosted in 1974. Shoppers and diners at the Flour Mill now enjoy a view of Riverfront Park, the legacy of Expo '74 and the centerpiece of the city. The Flour Mill stands as a unique reminder that Spokane's history and wealth began in the power of the falls and endured through the bounty of the surrounding countryside.

Spokane County Washington Historic Places

National Register of Historic Places
Spokane County, Washington

{GPS Coordinates of Site Location}

1978002778 Spokane Flour Mill - [map] - {47.6655,-117.421666}

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I Voted


I VotedAt athe PollsAt the Polls

C'était un rendez-vous

On an August morning in 1978, French filmmaker Claude Lelouch mounted a gyro-stabilized camera to the bumper of a Ferrari 275 GTB and had a friend, a professional Formula 1 racer, drive at breakneck speed through the heart of Paris.

No streets were closed, for Lelouch was unable to obtain a permit.

This film is mentioned in the current book that I am reading.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - John Legend - Green Light featuring Andre 3000

The list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - John Legend - Green Light featuring Andre 3000

NBA Power Ranking 2008-2009 Week 1

Marc Stein has dropped the Kings to 29th in his weekly power rankings. This is down from 28th last week. Only the Clippers are ranked lower than the Kings!

ESPN - NBA Basketball Power Rankings - National Basketball Association
We promised they'd be scrappy, if nothing else, but the Kings haven't even reached those modest heights on their Brad Miller-less road trip. They just got swept on a back-to-back in Miami and Orlando by a combined 44 points.
Personally, at this point, I agree with Bill Bradley's article in today's Sacramento Bee. I think that the Kings would be better off trading Miller and playing Hawes and Thompson.

Leading Off: Hawes, Thompson will suffer from Miller return
If this is a rebuilding year, doesn't Miller hurt the growth of a young team? Where does that leave Miller? His contract is huge ($11.375 million this season and $12.250 million next season), but it's hard to believe a team with title dreams doesn't need a big man with his skills.

The Kings will get marginally better with Miller back. They may get a lot better without him in years to come.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

2008 Gunners Baseball Tournament #5 Day 2

With the Gunners seeded first for Sunday's single elimination games, Jack and I showed up in Manteca in the late morning. We watched the end of the game between Hard 90 Pastime and TABU. The Gunners would play the winner. Hard 90 won the game by a score of 2 to 1 in seven innings.

The Gunners lost to Hard 90 Pastime a month ago in a funky game played partially in a driving rain. Nevertheless, I was initially optimistic. Unfortunately, the game turned into a train wreck from the start. I never complain about the umpires, but I was very disappointed in this umpiring team. While most of the umpires are older men, this team was two young boys; they were terrible. The field umpire was consistently out of position and had his back to several plays. The home plate umpire called a very inconsistent strike zone. He would call a pitch a ball and then call the same exact pitch a strike one pitch later. This makes it very difficult on the boys.

The Gunners pitching struggled. The starting pitcher walked five batters in the first three innings; three of these runners scored. Nevertheless, the Gunners only trailed by a score of 3 to 2 at the end of three innings.

The bottom fell out in the fourth. With a couple of hits and walks, Hard 90 scored four runs. The Gunners lost by a final score of 8 to 2. The final running amok of the day was that the umpires stopped the game after 5 innings even though they had only been playing for 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Jack did not play in this game. It looks like he is back towards the end of the bench.

For the weekend, Jack was 1 for 2 with a walk. He scored two runs. For the five tournaments that he has played with the Gunners, Jack is 6 for 19 with five walks and six strike outs.

Jack played 5 of the 12 innings in three games this weekend. Jack has played 55 of the 82 innings in the five tournaments this fall in left field, right field, third base and as DH.

Warming before the game


Warming before the game, originally uploaded by heringermr.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

2008 Gunners Baseball Tournament #5 Day 1

Originally, there was supposed to be a flag football skills competition Saturday morning. It rained steadily most of the night and through the morning. As a result, the skills competition was cancelled. About noon, Sharon, Jack and I took off the the Big League Dreams baseball complex in Manteca. Jack is playing in his fifth tournament. We missed a tournament last weekend when we were in Spokane. The Gunners won a tournament at the Sacramento Baseball Complex.

The Elk Grove Gunners played TABU in the first game at the Polo Grounds. Jack played three innings of a five inning game at third base. It was not his best game in the field. On a runner going from second to home who was thrown out at home, he was called for interference. Jack was standing close to third base and the runner brushed him as he went by. On a grounder hit down the line, Jack handled the ball cleanly, but his throw sailed over the first baseman. I can't remember the last time he overthrew first base; part of the problem may have been the wet conditions.

With runners at first and second with one out and the Gunners trailing by a score of 6 to 5, Jack got up in the fourth inning. In the heaviest rain of the day, he fell behind in the count 0 and 2 and then fouled off a pitch. Jack drove the fourth pitch up the middle for a fielder's choice. The runner was forced at second and Jack was safe at first. The third base coach sent the runner from second home and he was thrown out at the plate ending the inning.

In the fifth inning, the TABU pitcher hit one batter and walked four. The Gunners scored four runs and ended up winning the game by a score of 9 to 8.

The Gunners played CenCal in the second game at the Polo Grounds. The Gunners beat CenCal by a score of 18 to 1 in the Championship game of the first tournament this fall. This game also quickly turned into a rout.

Jack was the designated hitter. In his first at-bat, he walked on five pitches. Jack eventually came around to score as the Gunners scored 11 runs in the first inning. Jack fell behind 0 and 2 in his second plate appearance. Shortening up his swing, he pushed one to the right side of the infield. With Jack charging up the line, the second baseman tried to shove the ball to first and the first baseman did not handle the ball cleanly. Jack was safe at first. In my score book, I am going to give him a hit... He eventually came around to score.

The Gunners beat CenCal by a score of 15 to 0 in two innings. CenCal only ended up sending only 6 players to the plate in the game.

The Gunners finished the day with the first seed of the seven teams in the tournament for Sunday's single elimination round.

At dinner at Chevy's after the baseball games