Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve 2009

Up very early, I drove to the Carmel Valley to take Morgan to brunch. We ate at the Chatterbox in the Carmel Valley. It was very nice to see her!

By the time I got back to Elk Grove, it was late afternoon. With Sharon extremely under the weather, we had a very quiet New Year's Eve.

As Morgan and I discussed at lunch, New Year's Eve is one of my least favorite holidays. It always seems anti-climatic. Ten years ago, on December 31, 1999, I worked New Year Eve's in a command center that Sutter Health was running as part of the Y2K preparations. Sharon and Jack spent the evening at a party at her brother Tom's house.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 Kings versus 76ers

Liz, Jack, Sharon and I went to the Sacramento Kings versus Philadelphia 76ers NBA Basketball game. In a game that the Kings probably should have been able to win, they lost by the score of 116 to 106.

With Tyreke Evans out with a sore ankle, the high scorers for the Kings were Omri Casspi and Donte Green. Casspi scored 21 points on 8 for 14 from the field, 2 for 4 from three and 3 for 4 from the free throw line. Green had 21 points 7 for 16 from the field, 1 for 5 from three and 6 for 6 from the free throw line.

The high scorer for the 76ers was point guard Lou Williams with 22 points. Allen Iverson played for the 76ers; he had 20 points in 32 minutes.

In a tight game, the difference down the stretch was the 76ers 3 point shooting. The 76ers went 9 for 16 from 3 point range. Iverson was 2 for 2 from three, while 76ers reserve guard Rodney Carney was 4 for 5.

We were sitting section 111 row T. During the second half, Beno, Casspi and Nocioni got into an argument right in front of us about who should be where on the court when they were running the offense. All of three of them were pointing and gesturing at different spots on the floor. With more than 30 games behind them, this is a clear sign that the Kings have had to make too many changes in the line-up.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Basia Bulat - Heart Of My Own

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Basia Bulat - Heart Of My Own #fb

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Jack and I went to see Avatar at Esquire IMAX Theatre. When Sharon asked us how we liked it, I said spectacular and Jack said awe inspiring... Avatar is definitely worth seeing. It is also definitely worth the trouble of going to see the film on the giant IMAX screen!

California Historical Landmark #875

Old United States Mint
California State Historical Landmark #875

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
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This landmark is located at 88 5th Street at Mission Street, San Francisco, California. There are 48 other California State Historical Landmarks in San Francisco County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 37° 46.977 W 122° 24.417.

You can log your visit to this landmark at

This is San Francisco’s second mint (1869). California’s only such Federal Greek Revival structure. Due to unsurpassed productivity, it became a sub-treasury in 1874. Intact after the 1906 disaster, it served as a clearinghouse bank, thus aiding in the city’s reconstruction. Closed in 1937, it was restored in 1972-1976 by Mint Director Mary Brooks.

California Historical Landmark #875
California Historical Landmark #875

Monday, December 28, 2009

2009 San Francisco Day 3

Up late, we packed up the room and then had breakfast at the hotel.

The plan for the day was to see the special exhibition at the de Young titled Tutanhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs. We enjoyed the show, but I had expected a few more pieces from King Tut's tomb. About half of the 130 artifacts in the exhibit are from other tombs. I also did not realize that a number of significant items from King Tut's tomb no longer travel outside Egypt. I have visiting Egypt and the pyramids on my list of places to go some day.

Leaving the de Young, Jack wanted to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. We stopped briefly at the vista point at the northern end of the bridge before heading home. We were back in Elk Grove in the late afternoon.

California Historical Landmark #974

Heading home from a couple of days in San Francisco, Jack wanted to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge
California State Historical Landmark #974

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
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This landmark is located on Highway 101 in San Francisco and Marin Counties in California. There are 48 other California State Historical Landmarks in San Francisco County and 13 other landmarks in Marin County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 37° 48.792 W 122° 28.659.

You can log your visit to this landmark at

California Historical Landmark #974

Construction of the bridge started in 1933. Engineer Joseph Strauss and architect Irving Morrow created an extraordinarily beautiful bridge in an extraordinarily beautiful setting. The designs for the Golden Gate Bridge showed the greatest attention to artistic detail, especially on the two streamlined moderne towers. The bridge's 4,200 feet of clear span (from tower to tower) was the longest in the world until 1959. On April 19, 1937, the bridge was completed and the official dedication took place on May 27.

NBA Power Rankings 2009-2010 Week 9

The Kings climbed from 17th to 15th in Marc Stein's weekly power rankings of the 30 NBA teams!

NBA Basketball Power Rankings
Way too soon to think about trading Kevin Martin. Not until the Kings get a longer look at how he plays next to Tyreke ... and not after Ls in OT to the Cavs and Lakers that cried out for an experienced scorer in crunch time.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009 San Francisco Day 2

Up early, we had room service and then headed to the Catherdal of St. Mary's of the Assumption for Mass. This is the Catherdal for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco covering San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties. It is a very modern structure that was designed and built in the late 1960's. The Mass was a Gregorian Chant Mass; something that I had never experienced before.

Back to the hotel, Sharon and I took turns working out in the gym. After a quick bit to eat in the hotel restaurant and a discussion with the concierge about where to have dinner, we walked to the Orpheum Theater to see Wicked. I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed the show. Typically, I know the plot of a something before I seen it. With Wicked, I had no idea where it was going which made it more interesting. Jack actually gave it a higher rating than Loin King which we saw in New York in June.

After walking back, we had a drink at Bar 888 in the hotel. Our conversation centered around our experiences walking to dinner last night and the theater this afternoon. After having the chance to spend a few days wandering around New York City twice in the last year, I have some observations about walking around San Francisco that I may post in the next month.

We finished the evening having a leisurely dinner at Jardiniere. Sharon had short ribs, I had vension and Jack had rabbit. Sharon and I split a very nice bottle of Westerly Pinot Noir.

Watching Wicked at the Orpheum Theater

Orpheum Theater

At the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption

At the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption
At the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption

Saturday, December 26, 2009

2009 San Francisco Day 1

Taking off in the early afternoon, we headed to San Francisco. We have reservations at the InterContinental Hotel. I was surprised at the amount of traffic, praticularly as we wound our way into city. The hotel staff said that everyone coming to go shopping?!?

After checking in to the hotel and getting settled in, we walked to the finanical district and had dinner at the Tadich Grill. This restaurant claims to be the oldest restaurant in California. The business began as a coffee stand during the 1849 gold rush and claims to be the very first to broil seafood over mesquite charcoal back in the early 1920s. Sharon had sole, I had sea bass and Jack had pasta.

We caught a cab back to the room and called it an early night. Sharon got a junior suite with great views of the city. The room has great ceiling to floor windows all around the room.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day 2009

Up a little late after a late night, we had a nice Christmas morning. Although he no longer believes in Santa, Jack is still at an age where he is very excited about Christmas morning. Sharon made a nice breakfast of french toast.

Typically, we have stayed around the house all day on Christmas day while Jack enjoyed his presents. We have not left the house on Christmas day since going to see the Kings play the Mavs in 2003.

This year, we did something different. We met Tommy, Becky, Eric and Kevin and went to see Sherlock Holmes. I am not sure that I have ever read one of the Sherlock Holmes novels; I am going to have to add one to my pile of books to read.

We finished the night with dinner at Bucca di Beppo.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009

After going to the Children's Mass at Good Shepherd, we rushed home to get dinner started.

Donna and Kevin stopped by for a quick drink before everyone arrived.

The group for Christmas Eve this year included the Tom Frame's (Tom, Becky, Kevin and Eric), the Tim Frame's (Tim, Kathy, Erin and Eileen), Jim Dunn, Drew, Jack, Sharon and I.

Sharon made a great dinner of a pear salad, prime rib, baked potato and green beans. For desert, she made a chocolate cake. We did not get the prime ribs in the rotisserie in a timely fashion. Consequently, dinner was little late.

After dinner, we did a gift exchange. For a number of years, we drew names for the adults, but did not do that this year. Consequently, it seemed like there were more gifts than in previous years.

I enjoyed the evening immensely. It has been a treat to enjoy Drew's company for Thankgiving and Christmas Eve this year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2009 Kings versus Cavs

Jack and I went to the Sacramento Kings versus Cleveland Cavaliers NBA basketball game. For 48 entertaining minutes, the young Kings stayed right with LeBron James and the rest of the Cavs. The Kings even had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation. Ilgauskas hit three 3-pointers in overtime and the Cavs outscored the Kings 13 to 0 in overtime to win by the score of 117 to 104.

LeBron had a triple double. He had 34 points on 14 for 30 from the field, 1 for 4 from three and 5 for 7 from the line. James added 16 rebounds and 10 assists. Evans had 28 points on 11 for 25 from the field, 2 for 7 from three and 4 for 4 from the line. Tyreke added 3 rebounds and 5 assists.

Down the stretch, the Cavs switched LeBron on to Evans. Evans tried to go at LeBron several times, including the last play of the game, and came away with only one basket. Tyreke made one amazing move to get by James but then ended up air balling the shot. Evans went 1 for 8 in the fourth quarter and the overtime.

A couple of random comments...

All five of the Kings starters are 23 years old or younger! Evans is 20, Cassipi is 21, Hawes is 21, Green is 21 and Thompson is 23. All of the starters were selected in the first round of the NBA draft in the last three years.

Shaq towers over everyone on the court; he looks huge. Hawes covered him much of the night and is listed at 7' 1" and 245 pounds. Spencer looked tiny next to Shaq. Unfortunately, Shaq does not look very mobile or agile.

In 30 games this season, Ilgauskas had taken and made one other 3 point shot. He was 3 for 3 from 3 point range in the overtime. WTFO!?!

There was a nice crowd at Arco. The arena holds 17,500 and I would have guessed that the crowd was more than 15,500 fans. The box score shows the attendance was 16,407. Both of the other games that I have gone to this season had crowds of about 10,000. You could really tell the difference in the concourse before the game and during halftime.

Larkin and I saw LeBron James' first NBA game more than six years ago.

We saw Lew Gasper at the game. He was sitting about 10 rows behind us in the same section [with his dad?].

Have I said recently how much I enjoy watching this team?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Card 2009

After printing our Christmas Cards myself the last six years, I used this year. I was disappointed with the quality of the photos on the card. I pulled together the photos and built the card shown below to post on-line. At some point, I will probably scan the card that we sent out for historical purposes.

See all of the Christmas Cards since 1997!

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Fruit Bats - Primitive Man

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

Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 Christmas Tree

2009 Christmas Tree

Nativity Scene

Nativity Scene

NBA Power Rankings 2009-2010 Week 8

I am enjoying watching this incarnation of the Kings more than any team since the 2003-2004 season. Rather than the mishmash of players that they have fielded since the Weber trade in February of 2005, the Kings have a core of young players with a future.

The Kings climbed from 19th to 17th in Marc Stein's weekly power rankings of NBA teams. They are ranked ahead of the Knicks, Raptors, Pistons, Clippers, Bucks, Bulls, Bobcats, Pacers, 76ers, Wizards, Warriors, Timberwolves and Nets!

NBA Basketball Power Rankings
One of my best Hanukkah presents: Casspi has been so good that it's totally natural to talk about him all the time. Tyreke has been a certifiable stud … but my guy's coming to Dallas for the Rookie Game, too.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cunningham's Christmas Party

Sharon and I spent the evening at the Cunningham's Christmas Party. The group included Marlene and Phil.

In the Bat Cave

In the Bat Cave, originally uploaded by heringermr.

The Bat Cave

The Bat Cave, originally uploaded by heringermr.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

ESPN 30 for 30 - The "U"

Running on the treadmill, I finished watching The 'U'. This is the seventh installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 series. The film tells the story of the University of Miami football program from 1979 until the late 1990's. It is first film in the series that has been two hours long rather than an hour.

At best, I am a causal college football fan. While I have heard of the University of Miami and vaguely remember some pieces of the story, I really had no idea of what went on with this football program during the 1980's and 1990's. Sharon, Jack and I actually drove by the campus while we were doing a driving tour of Coral Gables in 2004, but I never made the connection with the football program.

The story is told primarily through interviews with coaches and players and footage from games. I particularly enjoyed the footage from the old games.

The program was built and thrived under three head coaches: Howard Schnellenberger from 1979 to 1983; Jimmy Johnson from 1984 to 1988 before he moved on to the Dallas Cowboys; Dennis Erickson from 1989 to 1994 before he moved on the Seattle Seahawks. Pieces of interviews with all three of these coaches are part of the film.

The list of former University of Miami players is amazing. It includes a number of NFL stars such as Jim Kelly, Michael Irvin, Vinny Testaverde, Cortez Kennedy, Warren Sapp, Ed Reed, Bernie Kosar, Clinton Portis, Jeremy Shockey and Ray Lewis. Interviews with about a dozen former players including Irvin and Testaverde are a major part of the film.

The University of Miami's accomplishments during this period include:
  • five national championships (1983, 1987, 1989, 1991, 2001);
  • an NCAA record 58 straight wins at home;
  • 14 consecutive years with a player selected in the first round of the NFL draft; and,
  • two Heisman Trophy winners: Vinny Testaverde, 1986 and Gino Torretta, 1992.
In addition to the football accomplishments, the film looks at the controversies that followed the program. It examines the player behavior on the field such as celebrations and gestures, player crime, drug usage and privileges provided to players, including Luther Campbell's "pay for play," in which the rap star reportedly paid UM players for major hits and plays. At one point, Sports Illustrated actually suggested that the University should consider shutting down the football program.

Worth watching, The 'U' is a well told story.

Bill Simmons did a podcast with Miami sports writer Dan Le Batard who appears in the film. Unfortunately, it is not as good as some of the other 30 for 30 podcasts; they spend a lot time talking about other subjects such as Kobe. Le Batard also has a column on the University of Miami football program here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

California Historical Landmark #149

Benson's Ferry
California State Historical Landmark #149

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This landmark is located on the South bank of North Fork of the Mokelumne River, 100 feet West of County Road J8, 3 miles North of Thornton, California. There are 24 other California State Historical Landmarks in San Joaquin County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 15.320 W 121° 26.430.

You can log your visit to this landmark at

California Historical Landmark #149

This river ferry, established in 1849, was purchased by John A. Benson in 1850. In 1852, Benson laid out the then-principal wagon road between Sacramento and Stockton. Following Benson's murder in 1859, the ferry was operated by his son-in-law, Ed Gayetty. The Gayetty house, built in the 1870's, still stands near the levee.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons

If someone had told me a year ago that I was going to read a 700 plus page book on the NBA including 45 pages debating the merits of the league MVPs from different years and 360 pages ranking the top 96 players in league history, I would have told them that they were crazy. If someone told me that Bill Simmons had written the book, I would have said well maybe... Last week, I finished reading The Book of Basketball, The NBA According to the Sports Guy, Bill Simmons' treatise on the National Basketball Association.

Over the years, I become a big fan of Bill Simmons' columns and podcasts. He does an excellent job of writing about sports while mixing in pop culture.

When I started the book, I was skeptical that I was going to hold my interest, but it did. For example, the 96 sections on each of the players reads like a stand alone essay. Sometimes the essay contains a lot about the player, while other times the essay goes off on a tangent that is somewhat related to the player. The book also contains a heavy dose of wildly entertaining irreverent footnotes sometimes related to the reference, but more often than not going in some remarkable and unexpected direction. I cannot remember when I have chuckled out loud as much reading something. Reading the book on the flights to Seattle and back to visit Wallen, I am sure that the people around me wondered what I was reading.

As part of the process of writing the book, Simmons watched a lot of footage of old games. His description and discussion of the old games has got me interested in trying to watch a few of them. I am going start looking for old NBA games on the ESPN Classic and the NBA channels.

With the NBA season starting up and the young Sacramento Kings team playing a remarkably entertaining brand of basketball, the book came with my interest in the NBA at a peak. I am not sure that I can recommend the book to the casual NBA fan, but I sure as hell enjoyed it.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Bob Dylan - Must Be Santa

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Bob Dylan - Must Be Santa #fb

Monday, December 14, 2009

2010 PAL JV Comp Basketball Tournament #1 Stats and Video

The coaches brought a statistics sheet to basketball practice on Monday night. Jack ended up as the high scorer for the team for the tournament. He had a total of 20 points on 10 for 29 shooting. This is an average of 5 points per game with a shooting percentage of 34%.

Before the Championship Game, they introduced the starting line-ups and each of the players on both teams.

NBA Power Rankings 2009-2010 Week 7

The Kings dropped from 16th to 19th in Marc Stein's weekly power rankings of NBA teams.

NBA Basketball Power Rankings
Ten wins already, nine at home, for Sacramento's young overachievers. The Kings didn't get win No. 10 in 2008-09 until Jan. 14 and won only 11 games all season at what was an Arco fortress in the glory days.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

2010 PAL JV Comp Basketball Tournament #1 Day #3

Jack against St. Ignatius

Back at the St. Ignatius gym for the third straight day, the Eagles played St. Ignatius in the tournament championship game at 5 p.m. Sharon's brother Tom and her nephew Eric joined us for the game.

It was a close, hard fought game. With 3 minutes to go in the 4th quarter, the score was tied 22 to 22. St. Ignatius led by the score of 29 to 26 with about 1 minute to go. With the Eagles trying to press, St. Ignatious added another basket and two free throw shots in the last minute. The Eagles lost the game by the score of 33 to 26.

Jack played about 9 of the 12 minutes in the first half and all 12 minutes of the second half. He actually played point guard for most of the second half. When I asked him why they made the switch, he said that the coaches told him that they liked the pace that he was bringing the ball up the court.

Jack had 4 points on 2 for 7 shooting. One of the shots was a long three at the end of the first half. He added 4 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist. Jack had at least three nice entry passes where the player was either fouled or missed the shot.

The Eagles took home the second place trophy. Jack and Jake were named to the all tournament team!

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Eagles

Saturday, December 12, 2009

2010 PAL JV Comp Basketball Tournament #1 Day #2

Back at St. Ignatius for the second day of the JV Basketball tournament, the Eagles played against St. John Notre Dame in the first game at 1:30 p.m. St. John lead by the score of 10 to 8 at the end of the first quarter.

Beginning in the second quarter, the Eagles started to pound the ball down into their centers and pulled away. Both their first and second string centers ended up with more than 10 points. The final score was St. Elizabeth Ann Seton 44, St. John Notre Dame 22.

Jack played 16 of the 24 minutes. He had 4 points on 2 for 5 with 2 assists and one rebound. Jack had about four steals, but more than enough turnovers to offset the steals. Twice, he jumped the passing lane and started up the left side of the court only to dribble it off his foot once and step on the out of bounds line the second time.

In the second game of the day at 8 p.m., the Eagles played Our Lady of Assumption (OLA). This was a very close and extremely hard fought game. The Eagles ended up prevailing by a score of 20 to 16.

With the score at 18 to 16 in the last minute, the Eagles ran a play where Jack ended up with the ball on the left baseline. Typically, Jack spots up from there. This time, he up faked the player guarding him and drove along the baseline. Jack cut behind Jake to screen off OLA's biggest and best player and made a layup to seal the victory.

Jack played more than 11 of the 12 minutes in the first half and you could see that he was smoked. Trying to rest him, Jack played about 7 of the 12 minutes in the second half. He finished with 8 points on 4 for 8 shooting. He missed his first two free throws of the tournament. Jack also had one steal, but no assists.

Jack said that Joe, the point guard, also had 8 points. As a result, the two starting guards accounted for 16 of the 20 points that the team scored. This was much different from the first game of the day where the centers and forwards scored about 30 of the 40 points.

Jack had a monster game on the boards with 12 rebounds. The number of rebounds was largely due to the fact that OLA's best player was also their biggest player. He would bring the ball up the court and start the offense from the top of the key. The Eagles' strong forward would come out to guard him. In the first half, Jack's man was down in the block. With OLA's biggest player and our strong forward away from the basket, Jack used his quickness to clean up on the boards.

The Eagles will play against the host team, St. Ignatius, for the tournament championship on Sunday at 5 p.m. St. Ignatius has won their tournament the last nine years in a row.

Tyreke Evans

Tyreke Evans is on pace to join LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Oscar Robertson as the only NBA players to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in their rookie seasons...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Party

Rushing home after Jack's basketball game, Sharon and I went to a Christmas Party at the home of my boss. Totaling about 40 people, the group was comprised of people that I work with and their spouses and significant others. Donna and Kevin were there.

At the end of the evening, they held a white elephant gift exchange. Like last year, we took a copy of Drew's Paradise Sessions CD. Unlike last year, it ended up getting selected and taken home. For some odd reason, during the gift exchange, Randy (the IS CFO) and I ended having our gifts stolen the most times...

Sharon finished the evening having her caricature drawn. We are just about the last to leave and it was after 11 p.m. by the time we got home.

2010 PAL JV Comp Basketball Tournament #1 Day #1

Jack is playing JV Competitive basketball this year for the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (SEAs) Eagles. Last year, he played in the JV Rec Division. The team plays in the Parochial Athletic League (PAL).

Like last year, Jack has been playing the 2 or shooting guard in practice. The Eagles have a very deep team. They have 11 players with a nice combination of taller boys and some solid ball handlers. The Eagles have added one nice ball handler (Jacob) and one capable small forward (Malcolm) to a group that had 9 wins and 1 loss last year.

The Eagles played their first game of the season at St. Ignatius against St. Albans. This is the first game of a double elimination tournament this weekend. The tournament games have 6 minute quarters.

Looking a little ragged, the Eagles led by the score of 17 to 8 at halftime. St. Albans then scored 7 straight points to make the score 17 to 15 at the end of the third quarter. With their larger players controlling the boards, the Eagles then rattled off 10 straight points to win the game by the score of 27 to 15.

Jack played about 19 minutes of the 24 minute game. After making the first basket of the game on a nicely designed play, he struggled with his shot. Jack ended up with 4 points on 2 for 10 shooting. Almost all of his shots were open looks that rimmed out or bounced off the back iron. Jack also had 4 assists, 2 rebounds and a blocked shot. Surprisingly, the coaches played Jack at the point guard the last three minutes of the game. I am not sure what motivated this line-up. I don't remember a time last year when Jack ran the point with Joe and the other starters on the floor.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

2009 Christmas Tree

2009 Christmas Tree

California Historical Landmark #165

Weber Point
California State Historical Landmark #165

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This landmark is located on Center Street between Channel and Miner Streets, Stockton, California. There are 24 other California State Historical Landmarks in San Joaquin County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 37° 57.325 W 121° 17.533.

You can log your visit to this landmark at

California Historical Landmark #165

Site of a two-story adobe-and-redwood house built in 1850 by Charles M. Weber, founder and pioneer developer of Stockton. One of the first elaborate residences and landscaped gardens in the San Joaquin Valley, it remained Captain Weber's home until his death in 1881.

California Historial Landmark #165

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

ESPN 30 for 30 - The Band That Wouldn't Die

I rewatched The Band That Wouldn't Die. This is actually the second film in ESPN's 30 for 30 series. It tells the story of the Baltimore Colts leaving town in 1984 for Indianapolis through the eyes of the members of the Baltimore Colts marching band.

For years, I have also heard stories about how the Colts snuck out of town in the middle of the night. The film opens with old news footage of the moving vans pulling of the Colts complex in the middle of the night. Combined with old news footage, this sequence is pretty powerful.

I also amazed by footage of the Colts owner Robert Irsay giving press conferences when he was clearly drunk. I have never since anything like it. It is almost impossible to believe that something like that could happen in sports today. I would watch a pay-for-view telecast of one of the Maloofs, Mark Cuban or Jerry Buss giving a drunk press conference.

After the Colts left Baltimore, the band continued to perform at parades and other NFL stadiums. They played a role in continuing efforts to get another NFL team back in Baltimore. Ironically, Baltimore eventually lured the Art Modell's Browns from Cleveland in 1996 and renamed them the Ravens. Technically, the NFL considered the Ravens an expansion team and reactivated the Browns team in Cleveland.

Bill Simmons did a short podcast with the director Barry Levinson about the film and a variety of other topics.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Big Tree: Making Nests in the Heights

Kaila and Morgan's Band, Big Tree, was featured on There is a write-up on the band and some songs available to play on-line and download.

Big Tree: Making Nests in the Heights

You can just go right ahead and throw out the very real fact that this Brooklyn band have the name Big Tree. It's so close to the bone that it must be talked about anytime they are. Band names are just band names most of the time. The Arctic Monkeys aren't from anywhere near the Arctic and they aren't monkeys - just one example of millions. It's almost always gibberish gunk, serving the purpose of recognition and nothing else. Well, not so in the case of this mood-inducing, mood-furthering band led by vocalist Kaila McIntyre-Bader. Each of the five members of this ensemble harbor tree houses and nests in their heads, places that they shy away to when they need to feel things in their lives getting easier, even just for a second, for a half hour. They have these places of solitude that they can just scamper away to for a much-needed retreat, getting to where the out of control expansion of the frightening hecticness cannot get at them directly. The songs on the band's self-titled debut are scattered with hints and references to big, thick trees, their boughs and the kind of safety and escape that they can offer to those seeking a disappearance, for whatever reason that may be. Really, who needs a reason to disappear? It's okay to just leave today and Big Tree gives us that out, that ability to just swiftly leave here, to tear up the trunk of a huge maple or spruce and just get lost in the green leaves and the heights. It's not even just the urge to scale up a hunk of bark and leave the ground and all of the pestering and irritating people and problems below, it's getting lost in the piping and duct work of the trees that McIntyre-Bader and band are suggesting. She sings on "Woods," a breezy and slightly rowdy (for them) newer, non-album track about how all she wants to do is climb through the roots of a tree to the ocean, where they must lead, she figures. The songs are slow cookers, letting all of the instruments move at an easy-going pace, stretching and silently groaning in delight - the cymbals shimmering a clanging shower and the pitter-patter of tom feel outdoorsy, as if we're all being made aware that we might need to find real shelter if the skies turn evil and unreasonable. There are nests being made in heads of hair and McIntyre-Bader is left thinking such vulnerable thoughts as, "I'd like to see a time-lapse of daylight/I'd like to see a time-lapse of the spring to summer/I'd like to see a time-lapse of the change of hearts," and leaving us to recognize that somehow in the time from when the song started to when it finished, we'd moved into the tree too, keeping close to as many parts of it to hold onto, but really relishing that we're now in the same space - out of the way and feeling relatively safe.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Brandi Carlile - Dying Day

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Brandi Carlile - Dying Day #fb

Monday, December 07, 2009

Back from Bremerton

Phinney Bay

After a morning cup of coffee with Jill, I spent the day winding my back to Sacramento. I drove from Bremerton back to Sea-Tac and caught a very full late morning Southwest flight. I was home by 1:30 p.m.

NBA Power Rankings 2009-2010 Week 6

Sharon and Jack went to the Kings versus Miami game on Sunday night.

The Kings remain at 16th in Marc Stein's weekly power rankings of NBA teams.

NBA Basketball Power Rankings
Can't quibble with the 14-3 record posted by Alvin Gentry in November, but you could easily say Paul Westphal's 8-8 mark was also worthy of the season's first Western Conference coach of the month award.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

2009 49ers versus Seahawks

Qwest Field

Wallen and I got a late start on the morning. We had a quick breakfast at Hi-Lo's 15th Street Cafe in Bremerton. From there, we caught the ferry to Seattle and headed to Qwest Field. We saw the San Francisco 49ers play the Seattle Seahawks.

Fearing what the weather might be like in December in Seattle, I bought a pair of club level tickets (section 209, row c, seats 16 and 17). These tickets gave us access to nice set of bars, restaurants and lounges behind the lower level of boxes. I figured that if it was snowing or miserably cold then we retreat into the lounges. Although it was cold, we actually saw some blue sky and the sun during the game.

I was very impressed with the seats and the stadium.

49ers versus Seahawks

The 49ers made a number of mistakes including a botched reverse on a punt that resulted in a Seahawks touchdown. The 49ers lost the game by the score of 17 to 14 on a field goal as time expired.

Wallen and I wandered back to the ferry building after the game and continued trying to solve all the world's problems. We eventually caught the ferry back to Bremerton. The only tactical error that we made was failing to bring a cribbage board and deck of cards with us.

Jill met at us in downtown Bremerton. We finished the night with dinner at Anthony's.

It was a very nice day. I enjoy Wallen's company a great deal.

Seahawks versus 49ers

Seahawks versus 49ers, originally uploaded by heringermr.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

To Bremerton

When Southwest ran a cheap fares promotion in October, I decided to grab a ticket to come up and see the Wallens. Up early, I caught an empty 7 a.m. flight from Sacramento to Seattle-Tacoma. I rented a car and after a brief period of wrestling with the GPS (it wanted to take me into to downtown Seattle to catch the ferry to Bremerton) I drove to Wallen's beautiful place on Phinney Bay.

John, Jill and I had a long leisurely lunch at the Boatshed in Bremerton. There was a grey whale swimming back and forth between the Manette Bridge and the Turner Joy. It was an amazing sight.

At the Boatshed

In the early evening, the three of us headed to a Christmas party thrown by the CEO of Harrison Medical Center. John is currently serving as the Chairman of the Board. I met the CEO and his wife before at Jill's 50th birthday party. I had a nice evening tagging along with John and Jill as they mingled in a crowd of more than 100 people.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Joyce Heringer

My Mother passed away yesterday. She was 77 years old. She is on the far end of the table.

This picture was taken at Thanksgiving, probably in 1963 or 1964. My dad is on the near end of the table; he passed away in 1986. My mother's parents are on either side of near end of the table. Her younger brother and his wife are on the left side, while her older brother's wife is on the right side. Her older brother is taking the picture.

Thanksgiving 1964

Thursday, December 03, 2009

IS Leadership Team Dinner and Team Building

Ahead of an all day planning meeting on Friday, our Information Systems Leadership team had dinner at Scott's on the River. Afterwards as a team building exercise, we went bowling at Strikes in Elk Grove. I started off terrible, but improved slightly over the course of three games. I bowled an 82, 107 and 127 for a combined three game score of 316.


Fall 2009 Outlaws Tournament Game Log

11-22-2009 - Bay Valley Bombers 4, Outlaws 1 - [Box Score]
11-21-2009 - Reno Blue Devils 4, Outlaws 3 - [Box Score]
11-21-2009 - Outlaws 12, Nevada Outlaws 2 - [Box Score]
11-01-2009 - Nevada Dust Devils 5, Outlaws 4 - [Box Score]
10-30-2009 - Nevada Dust Devils 3, Outlaws 2 - [Box Score]
10-30-2009 - Outlaws 9, Bay Valley Bombers 6 - [Box Score]
10-19-2009 - Bay Valley Bombers 4, Outlaws 1 - [Box Score]
10-18-2009 - All Out Acorns 8, Outlaws 2 - [Box Score]
10-18-2009 - Outlaws 14, Warriors 4 - [Box Score]
10-18-2009 - Club All Star Blue 7, Outlaws 4 - [Box Score]
10-04-2009 - Monterey Bay 6, Outlaws 4 - [Box Score]
10-03-2009 - Hard 90 6, Outlaws 4 - [Box Score]
10-03-2009 - Outlaws 7, Monterey Bay 2 [Box Score]
09-20-2009 - Hard 90 12, Outlaws 3 [Box Score]
09-20-2009 - Outlaws 9, Warriors 2 [Box Score]
09-19-2009 - Outlaws 10, Bulldogs 6 [Box Score]
09-19-2009 - Hard 90 11, Outlaws 3 [Box Score]
09-06-2009 - Blue Devils 9, Outlaws 0 [Box Score]
09-05-2009 - Amigos 10, Outlaws 4 [Box Score]
09-05-2009 - Outlaws 14, River Bandits 2 [Box Score]
09-05-2009 - Outlaws 15, Demons 3 [Box Score]

The Elk Grove Outlaws played 6 tournaments in the fall of 2009.  They had 8 wins and 13 losses.

The Outlaws had 4 wins and 4 losses in the first two tournaments in September.  The average differential in the 4 losses was 8.0 runs.

The Outlaws had 2 wins and 5 losses in the second two tournaments in October.  The average differential in the 5 losses was 3.2 runs.

The Outlaws had 2 wins and 4 losses in the last two tournaments.  The average differential in the 4 losses was 1.5 runs.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

California Historical Landmark #2

Portolá Journey's End
California State Historical Landmark #2

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This landmark is located at the intersection of East Creek Drive and Alma Street, Menlo Park, California. There are 33 other California State Historical Landmarks in San Mateo County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 37° 26.869 W 122° 10.253.

You can log your site to this site at!

California Historical Landmark #2

In 1769 the Portolá expedition of 63 men and 200 horses and mules camped near El Palo Alto, the tall tree. They had traveled from San Diego in search of Monterey but discovered instead the Bay of San Francisco. Finding the bay too large to go around, and deciding that Monterey had been bypassed, they ended the search and returned to San Diego.

California Historical Landmark #2

Kings Tyreke Evans named Western Conference Rookie of the Month

Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played from the start of the season (Oct. 27) through November. Evans is averaging 18.8 points (44.6 FG%, 32.3 3pt%, 79.0 FT%), 5.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.33 steals, and 36.1 minutes per game in starting all 15 games he has played in this season. He leads the Kings in assists and is second in scoring. Evans becomes only the third Kings player to be named Rookie of the Month, joining Brian Grant (January 1995) and Lionel Simmons (December 1990 and February 1991).

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Star Trek

Saturday night, we watched Star Trek, the 2009 film that essentially reboots the series, in HD on the AppleTV. We enjoyed the movie.

Nevertheless, I have a huge problem with the use of time travel as a plot point. Both the old television series and the movies have used time travel on a number of occasions. I understand why they did it; they wanted to cast Leonard Nimoy in the movie as the old Spook. As used in this film, it would seem that a number of things that we knew from the series and the other films have been changed substantially. During the movie, I kept thinking how the hell does that work? It makes my head hurt.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Andrea Bocelli - Silent Night

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Andrea Bocelli - Silent Night #fb