Friday, November 30, 2012

2012 Gainsley's Holiday Open House

Sharon and I went to the Gainsley's Holiday Open House.

Donna and I have worked together since the fall of 1998; Donna actually started work at Sutter the day after Jack was born. Almost every year, she and Kevin have a holiday party. They actually missed last year for the first time since we have known them due to how the shifts lined up with the weekends. As the result of conflicts and comedy of errors (we actually got a babysitter for the wrong night once), this is only the third time that we have attended [2010 and 2006].

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Virtually Biking Across America - Day 37

On day 37, I rode 23.5 miles across central Wyoming. Starting from Granger, Wyoming at the Ham’s Fork Station Pony Express Station [N41 35 24.8 W109 58 09.9], I rode on State Highway 375 to Interstate 30. Turning north on Interstate 30 for a couple of miles, I cut off on Lombard Road. This is marked on google maps as Brigham Young's 1847 trail. I followed this road all the way to the State Highway 372. Turning north briefly, I eventually turned on State Highway 28. I ended the ride near the Green River (Crossing) Pony Express Station on the west bank of Green River above the mouth of Big Sandy Creek.

The google map streetviews on Interstate 30 and State Highway 372 show some very barren country. An example is shown below.

The trip log for Virtually Biking Across America is here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

ESPN Films 30 for 30 Shorts: The Arnold Palmer

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

30 for 30 Shorts: The Arnold Palmer

The latest film is The Arnold Palmer, from Emmy-nominated director Bryan Gordon, which tells the story of how a summer drink of iced tea and lemonade went viral to become a legend of its own.

You can find The Arnold Palmer on the ESPN web site at

More about the film at:

Monday, November 26, 2012

2012 Christmas Tree Lane

Monday night, Sharon and I went to the Loyola Guild’s 56th Annual Christmas Tree Lane Gala Dinner at the Hyatt. The event included a shopping boutique, a dinner and a fashion show. The fashion show was really more of a variety show.

The Christmas Tree Lane shopping boutique in front of the ballroom was packed by the time we got there. It was difficult to move around.

We ended up sitting at an odd table. I had three teenage girls to my left and Sharon to my right. The teenage girls parents were across the table from us. Given the arrangement and the noise level, I didn't really have the opportunity to talk to anyone but Sharon during dinner.

Milo Greene on the Tonight Show!

Milo Greene will be the musical guest on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Tuesday, November 27!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

2012 Christmas Tree

For the fourth year in a row, we got a Christmas Tree at Lamb's Christmas Trees on West Stockton Boulevard off of Sheldon. After Outlaws Baseball practice in the morning, Jack and I met Sharon there to pick out a tree.

Since 2000, we have been buying flocked Christmas trees. After looking through the selection of flocked trees, we decided to get something bigger this year for the new house. Jack wanted a really big tree, but I was afraid that we would not be able to get it home on top of the Lexus.

We ended up buying a non-flocked tree that I would guess is almost 9 feet tall. I am going to measure it when we put the star up. We could have easily carried a larger tree on top of the Lexus... Maybe next year.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Notre Dame 22, USC 13

After spending the day packing up the fall decorations and dragging the Christmas boxes out from the storage shed, we had Tommy, Becky and Jim over to watch the Notre Dame game. I am not a college football fan, but Sharon and her brothers are huge Notre Dame fans. Sharon's dad was Irish-Catholic and raised in Indiana.

Jack has become a Notre Dame fan. He has even talked about going to college there.

Notre Dame beat USC by the score of 22 to 13. With the win, Notre Dame finishes the season undefeated and earns a berth in the national championship game on January 7 in Miami.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Traditionally, Sharon gets together with a group of old friends on the Friday night after Thanksgiving. This year, she hosted the group [Laura, Mary, Liz, Sandy and Janie] at our house for a dinner of corn flake chicken.

Getting out of the house, Jack and I had a quick bite of Mexican food and then went to see Lincoln. Directed and produced by Steven Spielberg, the film focuses on the final four months of Lincoln's life, including the passage of the 13th Amendment ending slavery, the surrender of the Confederacy and his assassination.

The film is based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography of Lincoln: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. I read this book in 2007.

Lincoln stars Daniel Day-Lewis as United States President Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. Tommy Lee Jones, Hal Holbrook and James Spader also have large parts in the film.

Daniel Day-Lewis is very good as Lincoln; there is no question that he will get an academy award nomination for best actor. The film a very compelling portrait of Lincoln and is worth seeing.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

With Becky in Arizona visiting her dad and the Tim Frames at Kathy's parents, the original plan was for Tom, Kevin, Sharon, Jack and I to go to dinner at Bistro 33. Sometime during the week, Tom and Sharon accepted an invitation to have Thanksgiving dinner at an old friend of Tom's [Arthur Kenton Stanley Myers].

After running the Run to Feed the Hungry, we got cleaned up and Sharon made a couple of pumpkin pies. In the late afternoon, we headed over to the Myers house. We had a nice traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Highlights of the evening included listening to their daughter talk about her trip to Turkey and watching the Jets make fools of themselves against the Patriots.

2012 Run to Feed the Hungry

For the eighth time in the last nine years [2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005 and 2004], Sharon, Jack and I ran the Run to Feed the Hungry. We entered in 2007, but I was feeling under the weather and we decided not to run before heading to San Francisco for Thanksgiving.

I mentioned recently that I got a shock in Italy while we were hiking with a sudden realization of how big and strong Jack has gotten. Last year, Jack and I ran the first five miles together and then he smoked me the last mile plus. This year, I knew I was in trouble from the start. He and I ran surprisingly unimpeded for the first mile. Looking over at him, I realized that he was just loping along. Just as we approached the first mile, Jack picked up the pace and left me behind.

Jack ran the race in 50:41 for a pace of 8:10. Jack's pace for the first 5k was 8:04. He said afterwards that his hip was bothering him a little.

My time was 53:50 for an average pace of 8:40. My 5k pace was 8:34. I slowed down in the third mile and then ran increasingly faster splits for the last three miles [4-8:54; 5-8:51; 6-8:37]. I have had a sore back, but it didn't seem to brother me during the run.

Sharon's time was 1:01:53 for an average pace of 9:58.

After last year's rain, the weather for this year was perfect.

We parked along University Avenue on the east of the American River. Although we had a longer walk to the car, once we got to the car, we had no traffic. Last year, we spent an hour trying to get out of the parking lot.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Sharon, Jack and I went to Argo at the Century 14 Theaters on Arden.

The film is loosely based on Joshuah Bearman's 2007 article in Wired: How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran. In real life, a CIA operative, Tony Mendez, led the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Tehran, Iran during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.

The film stars Ben Affleck as Mendez with Alan Arkin as Lester Siegel, a Hollywood director, and John Goodman as John Chambers, a famous make-up artist.

Although Sharon disagreed with me, I though that it was a little slow in a couple of places. Nevertheless, it is worth seeing!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Virtually Biking Across America - Day 36

On day 36, I rode 20.7 miles across Wyoming. It was a fairly flat, fast ride. Starting from the Millersville Pony Express Station [N41 23 24.0 W110 12 31.0], I followed County Road 233 to County Road 2 (Old Middle America Road) to County Road 16. I ended the ride in Granger, Wyoming at the Ham’s Fork Station Pony Express Station [N41 35 24.8 W109 58 09.9].

The trip log for Virtually Biking Across America is here.

Monday, November 19, 2012

ESPN Films 30 for 30: The Ghost of Ole Miss

I watched the Ghosts of Ole Miss. This is the fifth installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 Vol II. An episode guide for Vol II is here.

Over the last few years, I watched over forty 30 for 30 and ESPN Films documentaries. This is the first time I have ever said "wow." When the governor of Mississippi is giving a televised speech towards the beginning of the film, I actually said "wow" out loud.

The Ghost of Ole Miss was based on an article titled the Ghosts of Mississippi by Wright Thompson. The film explores the fall of 1962 when black student James Meredith enrolled in the University of Mississippi under the order and protection of the federal government. At the same time, the Ole Miss football team was in the midst of its only perfect season in school history.

The first half of the film focuses on the events surrounding James Meredith's attempts to enroll in the school. John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Dan Rather and Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett figure prominently. There is a lot of great old footage as the events unfold, including film of a young Dan Rather reporting from the campus. Interviews with some of the football players who were involved are included. It was chilling to hear the events described as the last battle of the Civil War.

The second half of the film weaves in the story of the football team. The team was attempting to win the national championship.

I started watching the film with few expectations. I was drawn in by the old footage in the first half of the story; it is extremely compelling. This is definitely of the 30 for 30s worth looking for. I am going to watch it again and get Sharon to watch the first half with me.

Ghosts of Ole Miss is available on iTunes.

A trailer for the film is here.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Sonic The Hedgehog 4 - Episode II

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Sonic The Hedgehog 4 - Episode II

Back for another high speed adventure!

Code Expiration: February 12, 2013

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - El Perro Del Mar - Walk On By

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

Code Expiration: February 12, 2013

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Italy Trip Observations

I had five general observations from our Italy trip this summer.
  1. Once you got outside of the tourist areas, there was an enormous amount of graffiti. I was shocked.
  2. Getting connected to wireless was a struggle at almost every hotel. They just don't have a good system for providing wireless for guests. At most places, we got an access code that provided a set amount of connect time. These would burn up fairly quickly and you would have to get another code. The wireless struggles were making Morgan more than a little crazy. It appears that the wireless systems were installed by a third party and billed to the hotel. As a result, the hotel was stingy with the codes.
  3. There were iPhones everywhere. iPhones were being carried by the Italians and tourists of all nationalities. In two plus weeks, I never saw an Android phone.
  4. Jack is getting bigger and stronger. I work pretty hard to keep myself in shape. On the hike up to Pontone, I noticed that Jack was cruising along. I had a momentary shock realizing how strong he has gotten.
  5. Over the last few years, I have pushed pretty hard on the idea that i wanted to go new places, this trip helped me see that reexploring places is not a bad thing...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mad Men - Season One

Sharon and I finished watching season one of Mad Men on the AppleTv. Season one takes place between March and November 1960. It introduces the fictional 1960s advertising agency Sterling Cooper on new secretary Peggy Olson's first day.

As Sharon is tired of hearing me say, the series is not what I expected. I am not sure why, but I thought that the show was going to be lighthearted. My expectations may have been driven by seeing John Hamm in a number of lighter roles in other shows.

The show is a serious look at the changing moods and social mores of 1960s America.

It is shocking how much the characters smoke and drink hard alcohol.

Friday, November 16, 2012

2012 Jesuit Frosh Football Team

One of the things that struck me when I first looked at the freshman football team in early August was how small the boys seemed. I kept thinking that there would be a number of huge boys. This extends to the varsity team. While you do see a few big boys, there were lots of kids, including varsity offensive and defensive linemen, who are not any bigger than me.

The average height for the 2012 Jesuit Marauders Frosh football team was 5' 7.8". The average weight was 148 pounds. The median weight was 140 pounds.

Jack is listed at 5' 10'' and 140 pounds on the roster. Last time I measured him a couple of weeks ago, he was just a touch under 5' 10". We have not weighed him lately so I am not sure how much he weighs at this point.

Twelve of the 65 boys on the roster are taller than Jack. Six of the 65 are taller than 6 feet at 6' 1" or 6' 2".

Twenty-nine of 65 are heavier than Jack. Thirteen of the 65 are heavier than 165 pounds. I use 165 pounds as a reference point because I wrestled 165 as a freshman in high school. Three are heavier than 200 pounds. One of the three players over 200 pounds was lost early in the season with a knee injury.

Speaking of injuries... At the last game against Oak Ridge, I counted 45 helmets on the sidelines for the Marauders. While a few of the missing players were dropped due to academic issues, the majority were lost to injuries. There were a variety of injuries, including a large number of concussions (10?). As I told people in the last couple of weeks of the season, I just want Jack to finish the season in one piece!

Before the season started, I was debating whether or not to score the games on the iPad. I decided not to and regret it. I think that it would have been very interesting to look at the offensive statistics for the season.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Virtually Biking Across America - Day 35

Feeling very sore even after a day off, I rode only 12.3 miles on day 35. Starting from Fort Bridger [41° 19' 6.70", 110° 23' 18.52"], I followed Business 80 through Lyman. Turning on County Road 233 and passing under Interstate 80, I ended the ride at the Millersville Pony Express Station [N41 23 24.0 W110 12 31.0].

The trip log for Virtually Biking Across America is here.

Working out with Coach Boyle at the Bat Cave II

Bat cave

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

ESPN Films 30 for 30: Benji

I finished watching Benji. This is the fourth installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 Vol II. An episode guide for Vol II is here.

Benji is the story of Ben Wilson. As a junior, Wilson led Simeon Vocational High School to the 1984 Class AA Illinois state championship. Simeon is located in Chicago.

That summer, Wilson went to a camp for the best high school basketball players in the nation. At the end of that camp, he was rated as the #1 high school player in the United States. Wilson was known as "Magic Johnson with a jump shot".

1984 was an interesting year for Chicago. The city had the first black mayor in Harold Washington. Michael Jordan was selected for the Bulls in the draft. Jesse Jackson was pursuing Operation PUSH. It was also a very violent time. Street gangs were wide spread in the city. There were almost 700 violent deaths in Chicago in 1984.

On November 20, 1984, the day before the first game of his senior season, Ben Wilson was walking a block from Simeon High school with his girlfriend. They bumped into two kids from another high school. The film presents some conflicting versions of the events, but Wilson was shot twice with a small caliber revolver. Partly due to some ineptitude within the system, he was transported to a hospital without a trauma center. Wilson died the next day.

This is another story that I knew nothing about. Apparently, Ben Wilson is a folk hero in Chicago to this day. A number of players at the high school, college and NBA level have worn number 25.

I expected not to like the documentary and was pleasantly surprised by the power of the film. It is definitely worth seeking out. All four of the 30 for 30 Vol II films aired so far have run 90 minutes. I think that this film could have been tightened up just a little. Additionally, I am not a big fan of the cartoon sequences that they used to illustrate several of the key plot points.

Benji is available on iTunes.

A trailer for the film is here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Racketeer by John Grisham

I finished reading The Racketeer by John Grisham. Somewhat unbelievably, this is the 26th book by John Grisham that I have read in the last twenty years.

The heart of the book is the story of an attorney who was swept up in a money laundering scandal. He is serving time in a minimum security prison. The attorney learns who has killed a federal judge. He uses the information to get out of prison and into the witness protection program.

About page 200, I said to myself "where the hell is this book going?" While there were some hints, the story goes off in a very different and, at least to me, unexpected direction. This doesn't happen to me very often with a book and I liked being surprised by the change in direction.

I enjoyed the book probably more than any of the recent Grisham legal thrillers. After slogging through The Castle in the Forest, it was a perfect, quick entertaining read before I dig back into something more serious.

The author's note at the end highlights that he didn't really do much research for the book. You have to suspend belief a little to enjoy the book...

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Cold Specks - When the City Lights Dim

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Cold Specks - When the City Lights Dim

Canadian-born, London-based Al Spx's project delivers a dramatic amalgam she's dubbed "doom soul."

Code Expiration: February 5, 2013

Monday, November 12, 2012


On Sunday night after Jack's last baseball game, Sharon, Jack and I went to see Skyfall. Over the last few years, I watched all of the Bond films.

Skyfall is the twenty-third spy film in the James Bond series. The film's release coincided with the 50th anniversary of the James Bond series, which began with Dr. No in 1962. It features Daniel Craig's third performance as James Bond. The title refers to the Skyfall Lodge, Bond's childhood home and the setting for the film's finale.

In addition to Daniel Craig as James Bond, agent 007, the film includes: Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva (Tiago Rodriguez), the film's main antagonist; Judi Dench as M, the head of MI6 and Bond's commanding officer; Ralph Fiennes as Gareth Mallory, a former lieutenant colonel in the British Army and now the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee; Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny; Ben Whishaw as Q, the MI6 quartermaster, and; Albert Finney as Kincade, the gamekeeper of the Skyfall estate.

Skyfall is the last film of the series for Judi Dench who played M; a role which she had played in the previous six films. The position is subsequently filled by Ralph Fiennes' character, Gareth Mallory. Sean Connery was almost approached to play the gamekeeper role as part of the 50th anniversary of the film series. I would have loved to have seen Connery in the film.

The plot centers around a stolen hard drive that details almost all undercover NATO agents in terrorist organizations and the villain's attempts to get back at M for sins of the past. The film makes heavy use of hacking and cyber attacks.

I complained that the last movie--Quantum of Solace-was almost non-stop stunts and special effects. It had less plot and more action than probably any of the other Bond films. Skyfall definitely had a better balance between the action and the story. Sharon commented that Skyfall actually had a plot that you could follow. We enjoyed the film and are looking forward to the next one in the series!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

2012 Outlaws Baseball Tournament #14 Day #2

With a nice 10:15 am game time, the Outlaws were back at the Glennbrook little league field to play Bret's Muckdogs.

At the plate, Jack was 2 for 3 with a run scored and two RBIs. In his first at-bat, Jack hit a 0 and 1 pitch for a towering popup and an out to the pitcher. Jack blooped a 1 and 2 pitch into short right field in his second plate appearance. The fielder tried to make a diving catch and Jack motored to second. Jack went to third on Josh's ground out and ended the inning there on when Carlos struck out. In his third at-bat with bases loaded and no outs, Jack hit a 1 and 0 pitch for a soft fly ball into left center. Chance and Niko scored. Jack stole second, went to third on Breyton's fielders choice and scored on Bailey's single.

In the field, Jack played two innings at third, two innings at first and then caught two innings. With Trevor out for a couple months, Jordan taking the rest of the fall off and Niko only available to catch for limited meetings, Jack becomes the Outlaws third or fourth catcher! He had two put-outs and two assists. Jack made a nice play on a soft roller to the left side and threw the runner out at first for the assist. He also had an assist on a dropped third strike while he was catching, making a nice throw to first for the last out of the game. Jack had put-outs at first on throws from the pitcher and the catcher.

Behind a 87 pitch complete game by Josh, the Outlaaws beat the Muckdogs by the score of 7 to 0. The box score is here.

After getting a couple of hits and a chance to play catcher, Jack was in a whole different mood than Saturday...

The Outlaws got a two plus hour break while the Muckdogs played the Dirty Dozen. The Dirty Dozen beat the Muckdogs on Saturday by the score of 17 to 0. On Sunday, the Dirty Dozen beat the Muckdogs by the score of 14 to 4. The Outlaws then played the Dirty Dozen in the tournament championship game.

At the plate, Jack was 0 for 2 with two walks, two strike-outs looking and a run scored. In his first at-bat, Jack ran the count to 3 and 2, fouled off a pitch and then drew a walk. He went to second on a wild pitch and then to third on the throw. Jack scored on a walk to Bailey. Jack struck out looking on a low inside 1 and 2 pitch in his second plate appearance. In his third at-bat, Jack walked on five pitches. He stole second. Trying to tag up on Breyton's fly out to center, Jack was thrown out at third. Unfortunately, this cost the Outlaws a run when Jack was tagged out before Cooper could cross the plate trying to tag up and score from third. Jack struck out looking on a very low and inside 0 and 2 pitch in his fourth plate appearance.

In the field, Jack played sixth innings at third base. He had one put-out and one error. Jack a nice catch on a high pop-up. He scared me by taking his eyes off the ball to check where Breyton was as he was charging down the line. On a slow rolling bunt to the left side, Jack charged it and tried to make an awkward throw to first. The runner beat the throw, but went to third on the wild throw. I charged Jack with an error.

As I have often said, baseball at every level is about pitching. The Dirty Dozen's starting pitcher (LeGrand) couldn't find the strike zone. He walked five batters. Combined with an error, a dropped third strike and a fielders choice, the Outlaws scored 6 runs before the Dirty Dozen changed pitchers and got out of the inning. Behind a solid pitching performance by Breyton and some good defense, the Outlaws held on to win by the score of 7 to 4. The box score is here.

With the win, the Outlaws won the River City Travel Ball Veterans Day Shootout tournament. Weather permitting, the Outlaws will be playing in a Northern California Travel Ball Tournament during the first week of December. Jack will be back in the cage with Coach Boyle on Wednesday.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

2012 Outlaws Baseball Tournament #14 Day #1

The Outlaws played in the River City Travel Ball Veterans Day Shootout at Glennbrook Park. The Outlaws have never played at this field. I always enjoy going somewhere new, particularly when it is so close to our house!

The Outlaws were scheduled to play the Sierra Vally Storm in the first game at 8 am. Unfortunately, the Storm did not show up. We stood around in the cold for over an hour before heading home.

I have felt bad over the last two and a half months about running him out in baseball tournaments without any chance to practice; he was just showing up for the tournaments and playing. Jack had a chance to work out in the cage for the first time since July on Wednesday. Unfortunately, as the day wore on, you could see that Jack was pressing harder and harder. After the second game, Jack was more upset than any time since the loss in the PAL semi-finals to St. Ignatius. He kept muttering about what he was doing wrong at the plate. Jack is clearing starting to put some pressure on himself about the Jesuit baseball try-outs in February. After the tournament in Davis, he was blaming himself for the losses...

One odd statistics for the day, Jack ran five of his seven at-bats to full count. He saw 37 pitches in 7 at-bats.

The Outlaws finally played Bret's Muckdogs in the first game of the tournament. The Muckdogs are a Nevada team that they have faced before.

At the plate, Jack was 0 for 2 with a walk and a run scored. In his first at-bat, Jack hit a 3 and 2 pitch for a fly ball right at the left fielder for an out. He grounded a 3 and 2 pitch to the left side and was thrown out at first in his second plate appearance. In his third at-bat, Jack walked on six pitches. He stole second, went to third on Josh's single and scored on an error by the catcher.

In the field, Jack played five innings at third base and two innings at shortstop. He had one put-out and two assists. At third and shortstop, he handled ground balls to the left side and threw the runner out at first. At third, he took a throw from Josh at catcher behind the runner and applied the tag.

The Outlaws struggled to find their rhythm at the plate, but ground out a 4 to 2 win over the Muckdogs. They scored runs in the fifth and seventh innings on only one hit in each inning. The box score is here.

The Outlaws turned around and played the Dirty Dozen. This is a Vacaville team that they have faced on a number of occasions.

At the plate, Jack was 0 for 3 with a walk and two strike-outs. In his first at-bat, he ran the count to 3 and 2, fouled off a pitch and drew a walk. Jack stole second and was forced out at third on Breyton's fielders choice. Jack hit the first pitch for a towering pop-up for an out to the shortstop behind second base in his second plate appearance. At this point, Jack really looked like he was pressing at the plate. He struck out swinging on a 3 and 2 pitch in his third plate appearance and struck out swinging on a 1 and 2 pitch in his fourth plate appearance. Scott commmented after the fourth at-bat that he thought that Jack was going to break the bat on the ground.

In the field, Jack played four plus innings at third, one inning at first and part of an inning at shortstop. He had two put-outs and three assists and was involved in a double play. At third, Jack handled three grounders to the left side and threw the runners out at first. At first base, Jack took throws from the shortstop and second baseman to get the runners out at first.

With the score tied 4 to 4 in the top of the last inning, the Outlaws played some very sloppy baseball and gave up four runs. The Outlaws lost the game by the score of 8 to 4. The box score is here.

The Outlaws will be back on Sunday morning to play Bret's Muckdogs again in the first game of the day.

ESPN Films 30 for 30 Vol. II Trailer: You Don't Know Bo

The sixth film--You Don't Know Bo--in ESPN's 30 for 30 Volume II premieres Saturday, December 8 at 6 pm PT on ESPN.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Virtually Biking Across America - Day 34

On day 34, I traveled 23.1 miles across Wyoming. Starting from the intersection of Interstate 80 and Divide Road [41° 16' 34.01", -110° 48' 4.54"], I followed Interstate 80 east. I passed near the Muddy Creek Pony Express Station [N41 18 12.0 W110 32 23.0]. I exited on to Interstate 80 Business and ended the ride at Fort Bridger [41° 19' 6.70", 110° 23' 18.52"].

The trip log for Virtually Biking Across America is here.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Back in the Batting Cage with Coach Boyle

At the Bat CageFor the first time in ten years, Jack will not be playing basketball this winter. He and I talked about him going out for basketball, but felt like he could use a break after the grind of football and school over the last three months. Additionally, the end of basketball season also overlaps baseball. If he made the basketball team, it would be tough to be ready for the baseball try-outs. As an aside, more than 80 boys went out for frosh basketball. Jesuit will be fielding two freshman teams of 12 to 14 boys.

Instead of playing basketball, Jack will be spending the next three months getting ready for the Jesuit baseball try-outs in early February. Although he has played three tournaments with the Outlaws over the last two months, Jack got his first chance last night to get back into the batting cage since July. He worked out with the Outlaws at the warehouse and spent an hour in the batting cage with Coach Boyle.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Castle in the Forest by Norman Mailer

In October, I finished reading The Castle in the Forest by Norman Mailer. My brother-in-law, Tom, gave me the book to read several years ago. It languished in my large pile of books to read. Talking about books early in the year, Tom harangued me about whether I had read it so I finally picked it up.

I am usually very protective of what I read. I read for pleasure. I decide whether or not I am going to read something. I had picked up Castle in the Forest a couple of times in the last several years, read the jacket and a few pages and then put it back in the pile because it didn't interest me. I only finally started reading it because Tom had recommended it so many times. I regret finally relenting...

The Castle in the Forest is the last book that Norman Mailer wrote before he died. It received a good deal of praise and was a New York Times Bestseller for 2007.

The book tells the story of the young life of Adolf Hitler, including his origins and his immediate family tree. Although there is an extensive bibliography, it is a fictional account. The story is told from the perspective of a demon.

I didn't enjoy the book. I don't recommend the book. After slogging through 462 pages, I felt like I didn't have any greater insights into who Adolf Hitler was.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

2012 Kings versus Warriors

For a couple of reasons [new house, private high school and trip to Italy], I decided to dropped out of the season ticket group that I have been in for the last few years. I am planning to buy tickets for a few games this year from either Ticketmaster or StubHub. This is the first time since 1996 that I have not been involved in a group for Kings season tickets.

I always enjoy going to opening night so I brought a single seat [Section 101, row H, seat 10] on the aisle. I always enjoy aisle seats...

Monday night, I saw the Sacramento Kings play the Golden State Warriors. Leading by more than 10 points for most of the fourth quarter, the Kings tried to give the game away. The Kings held on to beat the Warriors by the score of 94 to 92.

When DeMarcus Cousins was in the game, I focused on watching him rather than following the ball. Cousins ended the night as the Kings high scorer. He scored 23 points on 10 for 16 from the field and 3 for 5 from the free throw line in 34 minutes. Cousins added 15 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.

I am not impressed by the Kings offense. They settle for too many long outside shots late in the shot clock. Surprisingly to me, the Kings offense looked better when Cousins was on the floor.

I was fascinated by Andrew Bogut. Bogut is listed at 7 feet and 260 pounds, while Cousins is listed at 6 foot 11 inches and 270 pounds. Nevertheless, playing against Cousins, he looks a lot bigger; he looks a giant... Coming off an ankle injury, Bogut only played 19 minutes.

I was impressed by the size of the crowd. It was announced at 17,317 which is a sell-out. I didn't see very many empty seats.

Snipes was at the game with Keith and Craig. He and Hunter have seats at the front of section 216. I visited with Snipes for a while before the game started. I then caught up with Hunter and Snipes at half-time. Hunter wandered in late with Robby and Danny and their dates. The Laskins were also at the game. I talked to Alan for a little bit before the game started.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Holiday Recipes & Party Planning Guide

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Holiday Recipes & Party Planning Guide

Create Perfect Seasonal Gatherings.

Code Expiration: January 29, 2013

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - He's My Brother, She's My Sister - Touch The Lightning

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - He's My Brother, She's My Sister - Touch The Lightning

Code Expiration: January 29, 2013

Monday, November 05, 2012

2012 Jesuit Mother Son Mass

Sunday morning, Sharon and Jack went with a group to the Jesuit Mother Son Mass. Afterwards, the group went to Roxy's for brunch.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

The Kitchen Witches

Kevin Frame in the Kitchen WitchesSaturday night after baseball and a wild end to the Notre Dame/Pitt college football game, Sharon, Jack and I went to dinner at Mikuni Sushi in midtown for dinner with Tom, Becky, Kevin, Tim, Kathy and Erin.

Afterwards, we went to the Ovation Stage at 25th and R to see Kevin in a performance of The Kitchen Witches. The play was the winner of the 2005 Samuel French Canadian Playwrights Contest.

Kevin had a big part in the play and did a very nice job.

Before this, I saw Kevin in Our Town.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Outlaws versus Best Speed

Filling in for another team in a fall Delta Valley AAU league game at the Bill Conlin Youth Sports Complex, the Outlaws played Best Speed. Although they played Best Speed teams several times last Spring, this is the first time that they have faced the Best Speed from their own age level.
At the plate, Jack was 2 for 2 with a triple, a single, an RBI, two runs scored and two HBPs. In his first at-bat, he was hit by a 1 and 1 pitch. Jack ended the inning at first base. He grounded the first pitch through the right side for a single in his second plate appearance. It was an odd infield comprised of dead grass; the ball took a number of nasty bounces over the course of the day. Jack stole second, but ended the inning there.

With the Outlaws leading 3 to 1, Jack lead off the fifth inning. He crushed a 2 and 1 pitch over the right fielder's head. The ball carried about 290 feet and one hopped to the 300 foot fence. Jack motored to third. As Hank Aaron once said, "the triple is the most exciting play in baseball."

After the ball got to third, the third baseman and the catcher walked towards the pitcher without calling time. Jack took off for home and beat the catcher back to the plate to score.

In his fourth at-bat with the bases loaded, Jack was hit by a pitch for the second time. He went to second on Osayi's walk, to third on Breyton's single and scored on Chris P's walk.

In the field, Jack played third for fifth innings and first for one inning. In one of those very odd games, he never touched the ball in the course of 29 outs...

The Outlaws jumped all over Best Speed after Jack's triple. They ended up scoring 9 runs in the fifth inning; Jack actually scored twice in the fifth inning. The Outlaws won the game by the score of 12 to 4. The box score is here.

The Outlaws will be playing in the All World Sports Veterans Day Shootout next weekend at Mather.

Friday, November 02, 2012

California Historical Landmark #776

Site of First Public School in Castro Valley
California State Historical Landmark #776

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This landmark is located 19200 Redwood Road, between James and Alma Streets, Castro Valley, California. There are 35 other California State Historical Landmarks in Alameda County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 37° 42.430 W 122° 04.420.

You can log your visit to this landmark at

California Historical Landmark #776

This site was part of the original Don Castro Land Grant. In 1866 pioneer settler Josiah Grover Brickell donated it for 'educational purposes only' and paid the salary of the teacher, who taught children in the one-room schoolhouse by day, and farmhands by candlelight at night.

California Historical Landmark #776

Thursday, November 01, 2012

2012 Jesuit Marauders Frosh Football versus Oak Ridge Trojans


Playing their tenth and last game of the season, the Jesuit Marauders faced the Oak Ridge Trojans at Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills. For the second week in a row, the Marauders were facing an undefeated team. The Trojans had a record of 9 wins and 0 losses coming into the game.

It was a fairly competitive first half. The Trojans scored late in the second quarter to take a 6 to 0 lead at halftime.

Oak Ridge scored again about half way through the third quarter to take a 14 to 0 lead. The Marauders turned around and put together a long sustained drive for an apparent touchdown. Unfortunately, the touchdown was called back by an illegal motion penalty. Everything seemed to fall apart after the penalty. Jesuit turned the ball over on an interception on the next play. The Marauders never regained any momentum in the rest of the game.

Oak Ridge scored another touchdown in the third quarter to stretch the lead to 21 to 0. On the ensuing kick-off, Jesuit fumbled and Oak Ridge recovered. The Trojans drove for another touchdown and the score was 27 to 0.

Oak Ridge won the game by a final score of 27 to 0. For the second week in a row and only the second time all season, Jesuit was shut-out.

The Jesuit Marauders frosh football team ended the season with a record of 5 wins and 5 losses. The game log is here.

Jack got to play a lot. He started at wide receiver with Jacob. Jesuit threw less than 10 times in the game. I think that the Jesuit quarterbacks had one completion to a back coming out of the backfield for a loss and one interception. Jack also played part of several series at free safety.

Frankly, I am just glad to have Jack end the season in one piece. There have been a lot of injuries. The roster lists 65 boys. I counted 45 helmets during the game. Probably 75% (15 boys) of the missing 20 are sidelined with injuries. I am going to write a post in the next couple of days looking at season from a couple of different angles.