Friday, January 31, 2014

Kansas! - Virtually Biking Across American - Day 80

On Day 80, I rode 29.2 miles into northeastern Kansas! Starting in the Rock Creek Station Historical Park, I rode a short distance north on Road 575. I then turned east on Pwf/711th Road. At Highway 103 [581st Ave], I rode south for eight miles. Turning east on to Highway 8 [705th Road] and south on Highway 148 [All American Road], I headed on east on 23rd Road just north to Hanover and finished the ride near the Hollenberg Ranch Pony Express Station.

The trip log for Virtually Biking Across America is here.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

ESPN 30 for 30 Shorts: Judging Jewell

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

30 for 30 Shorts: Judging Jewell

The latest film, from award-winning filmmaker Adam Hootnick, tells the story of a nation's rush to judgment in the aftermath of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing.

You can find Judging Jewell on the ESPN web site at

More about the film at:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Frosh/Soph Parent Counselor Information Night

Tuesday night, I went to the Jesuit High School Frosh/Soph Parent Counselor Information Night. In addition to a general session with Jack's counselor, I went to two break-out sessions: scheduling and placement for sophomores and Naviance.

Although I picked up one or two nuggets of information, the session with Jack's counselor [Seishas] was not particularly helpful; he used the same powerpoint deck that he used last year. The Naviance session was very good. It is a comprehensive college planning solution that track results for Jesuit students from the last ten years, including GPA and test scores versus acceptance rates by individual college. The scheduling session for sophomores was also worthwhile. The school is changing to a block schedule next year.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Outlaws 16U versus SA Pirates

While we were at the memorial service on Sunday, Jack played with the Outlaws in the Northern California Travel Ball Frost Bowl Baseball Tournament. Jack was scheduled to play on Saturday, but had to do field work with his high school baseball team.

The Outlaws played the SA Pirates in the first game of the elimination bracket. This is a team from San Anselmo. I don't believe that Jack has ever played against this team. Glancing at the roster, none of the names seemed familiar. The roster for the Outlaws included a bushel of players that Jack has played with over the years, including Niko, Trevor, Breyton, Josh, Cooper, Aaron and Jared.

Jack batted fifth. At the plate, Jack was 1 for 2 with a stolen base and a run scored. In his first at-bat, Jack chopped the first pitch down the third base line. Hustling down the line, he was safe at first. Jack stole second and then was driven in by Cooper. Jack grounded the first pitch to the shortstop and was thrown out at first in his second plate appearance. In the top of the seventh, Leland and Aaron walked. Trevor struck out. Jared then struck out and Aaron was picked off first to end the inning and the game. Jack was on deck. The Outlaws batted twelve players.

In the field, Jack played centerfield for seven innings. He didn't have an assist or a put-out.

In a pitching duel, the Outlaws lost the game by the score of 3 to 1 and were eliminated from the tournament. Texting with Rod afterwards, he bemoaned the fact that the Outlaws only had 7 or 8 hits in three games over the weekend.

Although I know that I have said it on a number of occasions, I suspect that this will be the last time that Jack plays as an "Outlaw."

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Doug Paisley - Song My Love Can Sing

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Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week

Code Expiration: April 22, 2014

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Taasky

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Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Taasky

Code Expiration: April 22, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

Celebration of Life

Dropping Jack in Woodland early Sunday morning to play baseball with the Outlaws, Sharon, Wallen, Drew and I drove to Petaluma for a Celebration of Life. The service was for the daughter of a friend; this is a friend whom I have known since we played rugby together at UC Davis more 35 years ago. The family is part of the group that has vacationed together at Lakes Almanor and Shasta.

The celebration included music, a buffet lunch and shared memories. Drew played John Lennon's Imagine as part of the program. Additionally, they played Milo Greene's 1957 and Cutty Love while people were getting their food.

After the memorial service, the families hosted a private event at the Lagunitas Brewery Company in Petaluma.

While I fully expect to attend this type of event for one of my contemporaries, it is very difficult for me to go to an event for one of our kids.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Anna Bachman

1/16/88 – 1/12/2014

Anna, 25, was a child of the universe – a loving, generous and thoughtful sister, daughter, niece, cousin, friend and coworker who will be missed by all who knew her. Throughout her short life, Anna was unique in her continual efforts to be a better person – to be more understanding, more patient, more helpful to all individuals in her life. She loved her life and had many achievements for someone so young.

Anna graduated from Rancho Cotati High School in 2006. She excelled in scholastics and participated in many school clubs and activities. Anna loved her time on the Rancho Cotati swim team where she organized fund raisers and team activities. She was willing to swim a lap or two in order to be a part of the team. She never rose to the varsity level but because of her dedication to the team, she was elected captain by her teammates.

While at UC Berkeley, Anna was a dedicated student who developed a passion for urban planning and the politics of developing countries. This took her abroad to study in Mexico, where she lived with the Zapatistas. Anna loved her time living in a Berkeley Student Co-op, Casa Zimbabwe, where she is best remembered for her fun-loving, welcoming nature and the beautiful murals she made to decorate the house. UC Berkeley was a perfect fit for Anna as she embraced the liberal ideals as well as the independent thinking and action supported by most of her professors.

Anna was always willing to lend a supportive hand. Alongside her dad – Rick and sister - Gail, Anna volunteered her time to work with an international veterinary group, Compassion Without Borders. She made a number of trips to impoverished areas of Mexico to aid in medical and surgical camps.

After graduation from Berkeley, Anna worked for two years with Habitat for Humanity. Anna’s manager, Doug Stimpson, wrote “Anna had three qualities that made her a star: a hunger for new challenges, a sharp intellect and a desire to treat everyone she encountered with kindness and respect”. Through this work, she became inspired to learn more about Urban Planning in order to promote housing opportunities for lower income families.

Anna was attending a graduate program at University of Illinois, Chicago to achieve a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and Policy. Through this program, she was able to identify her career path which would involve improvements in community development through policy change. According to Dr. Janet Smith, Anna’s major professor at UIC, “Anna’s commitment to affordable housing stems from a conviction grounded in social justice and the dignity of all human beings. She did not just believe that we needed more of it, but that it was foundational to a strong community and economy and our humanity.”

Anna is survived by her sisters and brother-in-law, Gail, Alexis and Nick, her father Rick and his family, Patty, Abby and Andrew, her mother Marsha and step dad, Andy, her treasured kitty, Ramon, in addition to other loving aunts, uncles and cousins.

If you would like to make a donation in Anna’s name, please consider Habitat for Humanity. Her family will also be setting up a scholarship program for individuals pursuing graduate degrees in urban planning. Contributions can be made to WestAmerica Bank in the name of Anna Bachman Memorial Fund.

There will be a memorial for Anna at the Sonoma Mountain Village Event Center at 1100 Valley House Drive in Rohnert Park on Sunday January 26th at 11:00 am. If you knew Anna or were impacted by her in any way, please come to celebrate her life with us.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

2014 Jesuit Booster Crab Feed

Sharon and I went to the Jesuit Boosters Crab Feed with Tom, Becky, Phil, Marlene, Rod, Julie, Janie and Wallen. Wallen is in town for Anna's service on Sunday.

Sharon is on the Booster Club board as secretary. She was able to get all of us at a round table in the back of the room. It was a very nice group.

This is the second year in a row [2013] that we have gone. We also went once with Tom and Becky when Eric was at Jesuit.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Celebrating Sharon's Birthday!

For the fourth year in a row, Sharon, Jack and I went to dinner at Ruth's Chris Steak House to celebrate Sharon's birthday. We got Sharon flowers and a gift certificate for some new irons for her birthday… We are going to get the golf clubs before we go to Sea Ranch in February.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Habitat mourns loss of former AmeriCorps member

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

California Historical Landmark #7

On Thursday afternoon, December 26, I visited ten California Historical Markers in Sonoma, including: Mission San Francisco Solano [#3]; General M. G. Vallejo Home [#4]; Bear Flag Monument [#7]; Blue Wing Inn [#17]; Presidio of Sonoma [#316]; Swiss Hotel [#496]; Salvador Vallejo Adobe [#501]; Union Hotel and Union Hall [#627]; Nash Adobe [#667], and; San Francisco Solano Mission Vineyard [#739].

Bear Flag Monument
California State Historical Landmark #7

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
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This landmark is located in the Sonoma Plaza, East Spain and East 1st Streets, Sonoma, California. There are 26 other California State Historical Landmarks in Sonoma County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 17.603 W 122° 27.399.

You can log your visit to this landmark at

On June 14, 1846, the Bear Flag Party raised the Bear Flag on this spot and declared California free from Mexican rule. Following the raising of the American flag at Monterey July 7, 1846 by Commodore John Drake Sloat, on July 9 the Bear Flag was hauled down and the American flag raised in its place by Lieutenant Joseph W. Revere, U.S.A., who had been sent to Sonoma from San Francisco by Commander John B. Montgomery of the U.S. Sloop-of-War Portsmouth.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Polymer

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Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Polymer

Code Expiration: April 15, 2014

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Young the Giant - Crystallized

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Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Young the Giant - Crystallized

Code Expiration: April 15, 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014

Virtually Biking Across America - Day 79

On Day 79, I rode 23.9 miles across southeastern Nebraska. Starting in the town of Alexandria at the corner of Mercy and South Streets, I rode south on Highway 53. Turning east on 717th Road, I followed the River Road into the town of Fairbury. Leaving town on Highway 8, I turned east on 711th Road to the Rock Creek Station Historical Park.

The trip log for Virtually Biking Across America is here.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Taking Jack to the Century Laguna for a date with Bridget, Sharon and I watched Gravity in Real3D. We are trying to knock out as many of the Oscar nominated films as possible before the Academy Awards show at the end of February. The film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (Alfonso Cuarón) and Best Actress (Sandra Bullock).

I enjoyed the film a lot. The movie stars George Cooney and Sandra Bullock as astronauts involved in the mid-orbit destruction of a space shuttle and their attempt to return to Earth.

I have two observations. First, this is definitely a film that you need to see on the big screen in the theater. I just don't think that it would have the same impact on a small screen.

Second, the movie made very good effective use of 3D. It is probably the best 3D movie I have ever seen.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

American Hustle

After an early dinner at the Zinfandel Grill, Janie, Sharon and I went to see the American Hustle at the Century 14 Theaters on Arden. We are going to try and knock out a few of the Oscar nominated films before the end of February.

Loosely based on the FBI ABSCAM undercover operations of the late 1970's, the film stars Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence. Robert De Niro also appears in a lengthy segment late in the film.

The acting is very good, but I was not that crazy about the plot of the film. Sharon was even harsher. When I asked Sharon for her rating, she initially said 3 of 10. Sharon thought that story was confusing and not very compelling. On further recollection, she upgraded it to a 5 based on the strength of the acting.

Personally, I can't watch Bradley Cooper without thinking about Silver Linings Playbook. Due to the fact that it involves two of my least favorite subjects, I really didn't enjoy that movie…

Friday, January 17, 2014

ESPN Films 30 for 30 Vol II: The Price of Gold

Sharon and I watched The Price of Gold. This is the sixteenth installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 Vol II. An episode guide for Vol II is here.

The Price of Gold looks at Tonya Harding, Nancy Kerrigan, the attack on Kerrigan on January 6, 1994 at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer.

This is really the story of Tonya Harding. The documentary looks at her turbulent childhood, life and and career, including some remarkable footage of her as a child interacting with her mother. Harding participated in the making of the film and her interview is woven from the start to the end.

Kerrigan did not participate in the film. Oddly to me at least, Kerrigan's husband did participate and appears in the film.

In addition to the interviews with Harding and others, the documentary uses a lot of old footage. All of the footage from attack on Kerrigan through the end of the Lillehammer Olympics is particularly compelling.

While not my favorite from Volume II, this is a very good documentary. It does an excellent job of going back and exploring Tonya Harding, the attack on Kerrigan and the aftermath of the attack. It would have been nice to have gotten an interview with Kerrigan. In the footage from the 1990's, Kerrigan seems so oddly detached and distant.

The Price of Gold is currently not available on Amazon or in iTunes.

A trailer for the film is here.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

1,521 miles running and 1,092 miles cycling

On our trip to Florida in Summer of 2004, I started to play with the idea of running the American River 50 in April of 2007. I committed myself and started to train.

In 2005, I ran slightly less than 1,630 miles.

In 2006, I ran slightly less than 1,680 miles.

In 2007, I ran 1,721 miles. This included successfully completing the American River 50.

In 2008, I ran more than 1,925 miles!

In 2009, I ran 1,832 miles.

In 2010, I ran 1,700 miles. This included two full weeks off during the trip to Spain in the summer.

In 2011, I ran 1,763 miles. This seems impossible in a year that I took almost nine weeks of vacation!

In 2012, my goal was to start cross-training. I ran and hiked 1,441 miles. This included two full weeks off during the trip to Italy in the summer. Additionally, I cycled 1,133 miles. Most of this cycling was done on a stationary bike. I covered 1,016 miles virtually biking across America.

In 2013, I ran 1,521 miles and cycled 1,092 miles. My goal for 2013 was to best both the running and the cycling totals. I accomplished the running goal. Additionally, I was going to try and lift at least 48 times (4 times a month) at Arden Hills. I failed in this goal.

I am not going to establish mileage goals for 2014. My aerobic work-outs are hard wired. I am going to restart a sit-up, push-up and light routine that I have done in the past. My goal is do this 100 times in 2014.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Celebrating My Birthday

After I picked Jack up at the Jesuit baseball weight lifting session, Sharon, Jack and I went to dinner at Matteo's Pizza and Bistro to celebrate my birthday. We finished the night with cupcakes and presents (including a pair of binoculars) at home.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Future Stars

Jack, Sharon and I spent an hour at Future Stars with Scott Hamilton. Future Stars is a college counseling center designed to guide families through the college admissions process. This is our second session [9/9/2013].

We reviewed his grades from the first semester, talked about the tests that he needs to take later this year in AP Biology and the class schedule for next year. We also spent some time talking about seminars and camps for this summer, NCAA recruiting and colleges in Great Britain.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Broken Bells - After the Disco

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Code Expiration: April 8, 2014

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - Stranger to My Happiness

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week

Code Expiration: April 8, 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014

ESPN 30 for 30: Soccer Stories Episode Guide

ESPN Films, creators of the critically-acclaimed 30 for 30 film series, will premiere a new series in April surrounding the 2014 FIFA World Cup on ESPN. 30 for 30: Soccer Stories will include a mix of standalone feature-length and 30-minute-long documentary films from an award winning group of filmmakers telling compelling narratives from around the international soccer landscape. In addition, a collection of 10 vignettes about Brazil’s rich culture will be featured throughout ESPN’s FIFA World Cup programming.

Two feature-length films:

1. Hillsborough, Directed by Daniel Gordon - April 15, 2014 at 8:00 pm ET
25 years ago, on April 15, 1989, the worst disaster in British football history occurred in an overcrowded stadium in Sheffield, England, 150 miles north of London. 3,000 fans flocked through the turnstiles to head to the area reserved for standing, despite a capacity of less than half of that. The result was a “human crush” that killed 96 people and injured 766. Prior to the disaster at Hillsborough, British football was known for the grime of its stadiums, hooligan fans and inadequate facilities, but great change came after the Hillsborough disaster. What emerged is now known as the most rich and powerful soccer league in the world, the English Premier League.
2. White, Blue and White, Directed by Camilo Antolini; Produced by Juan José Campanella
Although a large number of Argentinian players have found football success around the world, few have made a name for themselves in England’s top league. One notable exception is Ossie Ardiles. Fresh off Argentina’s victory in the 1978 World Cup, Ardiles and his compatriot, Ricky Villa, joined Tottenham Hotspur later that year, when the notion of overseas players was still new to the English league. Helping lead Spurs to victory in the 1981 FA Cup, the Argentinian stars became cult heroes in England. But on April 2, 1982, everything radically changed as Argentinian troops descended on the British-ruled Falkland Islands, asserting rightful sovereignty. A conflicted Ardiles returned to Buenos Aires two days later, his bright future with Spurs suddenly in question.
Six 30-minute films:

1. The Myth of Garrincha, Directed by Marcos Horacio Azevedo
In Brazil, Pelé is “The King.” But his teammate, Mané Garrincha, is also remembered as the one of the best soccer players of all time. In a country where the sport grants its protagonists such royal deference, Garrincha is the jester– an entertainer who amused crowds and turned soccer into an irresistible spectacle, all while helping Brazil capture two World Cups. This, despite his legs being so bent that early in his career doctors deemed him unfit to play professionally. Match after match, he proved them wrong. But his unpredictable moves were of little assistance after his playing career came to an end. Abandoned by the soccer establishment, Garrincha died a victim of alcoholism in 1983. But his fans did not forget him. His body was brought to a cemetery, in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. Garrincha’s relatives had to borrow a grave, which turned out to be too small for his coffin. Thousands of people flooded the tiny burial ground, much more than the place could accommodate. After 49 years of a brilliant career and tumultuous life, the man who turned soccer into a “Beautiful Game” was memorably laid to rest. His legend lives on.
2. Barbosa – The Man Who Made All of Brazil Cry, Directed by Loch Phillipps; Executive Producers: Jonathan Hock & Roger Bennett
In 1949, Goalkeeper Moacir Barbosa and his Brazilian national team are on top of the world, having just won the South American championship by a score of 7-0. Barbosa is one of the heroes, widely considered one of the world’s best goalkeepers. But everything changed during the 1950 World Cup, played for the first time in Brazil. Before the final game against neighbor and rival Uruguay, the Brazilian Football Confederation was so confident of victory it had made 22 gold medals with the names of their players imprinted on them. With 11 minutes left, Uruguay shocked the estimated crowd of 200,000 at Marcana and scored the winning goal – a goal that is still considered to be the greatest sporting tragedy to befall Brazil. The blame was mostly pinned on Barbosa for being out of position on his goal line, tantamount to Bill Buckner letting a baseball roll between his legs. The country went into a deep mourning, fans committed suicide, and Barbosa was nationally blacklisted. Barbosa was considered cursed and he never played in another World Cup. He rotted away, practically penniless and alone. On July 13th, the 2014 World Cup Final will again take place at the Maracana, giving the Brazilian team the chance to write a new ending into Brazilian folklore.
3. Ceasefire Massacre, Directed by Alex Gibney and Trevor Bunim
New Jersey, June 18, 1994. Giants Stadium is awash with green as Irish soccer fans arrive to watch Ireland’s opening World Cup match against the mighty Italy. The sense of optimism is infectious. The Celtic Tiger is in its infancy, Bill Clinton’s decision to grant a visa to Irish Republican leader Gerry Adams has propelled the peace process forward and Jack Charlton’s team are walking onto the pitch before 75,000 fervent spectators made up of Irish, Italians and Americans of Irish and Italian decent. Amongst the fans is Irish Prime Minister Albert Reynolds who is sitting with members of an American group who’ve been working behind-the-scenes to end the conflict in Northern Ireland. The electrifying mood is shared by the supporters watching the match in the Heights Bar, a tiny pub in the Northern Irish village of Loughin Island, 24 miles south of Belfast. At the half, the Irish are remarkably ahead 1-0. Shortly after the second half begins, two masked gunmen belonging to a Protestant terror group burst into the Heights Bar. Thirty rounds are fired and six innocent men watching a soccer match were killed. Ceasefire Massacre will reveal how the juxtaposition of the jubilation felt inside Giants Stadium against the horrors of what happened in the Heights Bar, encapsulated the mood of the time. After 25-years of conflict, Ireland and her people longed for peace and prosperity but the brutalities of the violence in the North were never far from the surface. The gunning down of innocent men as they watched a soccer match marked both a low-point and a turning-point in the Northern Ireland conflict; one that would ultimately contribute to the paramilitaries on both sides calling ceasefires just weeks later.
4. The Opposition, Directed by Ezra Edelman
In the wake of the 1973 military coup in Chile, American-backed dictator Augusto Pinochet transformed Santiago’s National Stadium into a concentration camp where political opponents were tortured and assassinated. Only months later, that same stadium was scheduled to host a decisive World Cup qualifier between Chile and the Soviet Union. Despite protests, FIFA’s own investigation, and the Soviet’s eventual boycott, the Chilean team still played the game as planned, qualifying for the 1974 World Cup on a goal scored against no one.
5. Mysteries of The Jules Rimet Trophy, Directed by Brett Ratner - Trailer
Inspired by Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, the Jules Rimet Trophy was awarded to the nation that won FIFA’s World Cup and was among the most coveted prizes in all of sports. It is also the sports prize shrouded in the most intrigue – with the whereabouts of the original trophy unknown to this day. This film focuses on the great prize’s first brush with crime – a Nazi plan to steal the Rimet Trophy from Italy during World War II. The story unfolds like a great caper film, where our hero, Ottorino Barassi, a mild-mannered Italian soccer official, attempts to protect a valued treasure.
6. Maradona ’86, Directed by Sam Blair; Executive Produced by John Battsek
In the 1986 World Cup, Maradona redefined what is possible for one man to accomplish on the soccer field. Already a figure of notoriety, but with one failed World Cup behind him, Maradona took possession of the international stage in Mexico, the spotlight rarely drifting from him as he wrote an indelible history with his feet and, of course, with a hand from God. Delivered with passion and intelligence, Maradona ‘86 is a fascinating, evocative and operatic portrait of Maradona, revealing his inner complexity and contradictions while basking in the joy and passion of his performance on the pitch as he wrote his name on soccer history forever.

10 Vignettes:

Coraçao, Directed by Jonathan Hock; Executive Produced by Roger Bennett
Brazil’s soccer tradition does not compete with other countries’ teams: it exists on a different level. But aside from soccer success, and despite Brazil’s recent economic boom, most Americans know little about the country, its geographical richness, gripping culture, and complex recent history in which the nation has transformed from a military dictatorship to a thriving, if young, republic. This short vignette series will travel from the beaches and favelas of Rio, to Salvador – the former hub of the slave trade – on a journey of music, dance, and history, to discover the stories that lie behind Brazil’s legend and explore how Brazilian soccer is truly the expression of the soul of its people.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Way

On Thursday after Christmas, Sharon and I watched The Way. Starring Martin Sheen, the plot of the film revolves around the Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James), a Catholic pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. Tradition has it that the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried in this Cathedral. Over 800 kilometers long, the Way of St. James was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times.

Along with Sharon's brother-in-law, this pilgrimage is something that we have talked about doing some day. I have actually bought a couple of books on the subject.

I enjoyed the movie, particularly the scenery. The production company and actors actually walked between 300 and 350 kilometers on The Way of St. James during filming. Sharon thought that the movie was a little slow in spots.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Back from Windsor

After sleeping the night on the Tomasin's couch, I got up early, had a cup of coffee with Tomasin and then rolled back to Carmichael. While I have said for 35 years that I am emotionally the closest to Wallen and intellectually enjoy Nooter's company, I always have a great time traveling and hanging out with Tomasin.

SportsCentury: Sandy Koufax

I watched the ESPN SportCentury documentary on Sandy Koufax. ESPN ranked Koufax 42nd on its list of the 100 greatest athletes of the 20th century. A SportCentury episode guide is here.

Koufax played his entire Major League Baseball career for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers from 1955 to 1966. He retired at the peak of his career. In 1972, Koufax became the youngest player ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame at age 36 years and 20 days.

Koufax's career peaked with a run of six outstanding seasons from 1961 to 1966. He was named the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1963. Koufax also won the 1963, 1965, and 1966 Cy Young Awards by unanimous votes, making him the first 3-time Cy Young winner in baseball history and the only one to win 3 times when the award was for all of baseball, not just one league. In each of his Cy Young seasons, Koufax won the pitcher's triple crown by leading the NL in wins, strikeouts, and earned run average.

In his last season, Koufax pitched 323 innings with a 27–9 record and a 1.73 ERA. Since then, no left-hander has had more wins, nor a lower ERA, in a season.

With arthritis in his left elbow Koufax ended his career prematurely at age 30.

When I read Jane Leavy's biography of Mickey Mantle, I noted that she had a book about Koufax. I have this in my pile and will be reading it in 2014.

Friday, January 10, 2014

To Healdsburg

After spending the day at the conference center in Cordelia, I headed to Healdsburg late Friday afternoon. I caught up with Tomasin at John and Zeke's. The bar has moved from a location on the Healdsburg Square to new building about one and a half blocks north. I met Tomasin and Wallen at the old location almost exactly a year ago.

Eventually, we headed to Tomasin's house in Windsor. I got a quick chance to see David and Mikey.

Julie, Tomasin and I finished the evening with Mexican food at El Farolito. I crashed on their couch.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

California Historical Landmark #4

On Thursday afternoon, December 26, I visited ten California Historical Markers in Sonoma, including: Mission San Francisco Solano [#3]; General M. G. Vallejo Home [#4]; Bear Flag Monument [#7]; Blue Wing Inn [#17]; Presidio of Sonoma [#316]; Swiss Hotel [#496]; Salvador Vallejo Adobe [#501]; Union Hotel and Union Hall [#627]; Nash Adobe [#667], and; San Francisco Solano Mission Vineyard [#739].

General M. G. Vallejo Home
California State Historical Landmark #4

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
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This landmark is located in the Sonoma State Historic Park, Spain at West 3rd Streets, Sonoma, California. There are 26 other California State Historical Landmarks in Sonoma County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 17.932 W 122° 27.722.

You can log your visit to this landmark at

California Historical Landmark #4

The home of General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, known as 'Lachryma Montis' (Tears of the Mountain), was built in 1850. Its name was derived from the springs that now are the source of Sonoma's water supply. General Vallejo, born at Monterey July 7, 1808, was commander of the northern Mexican frontier, founder of the Pueblo of Sonoma, and a member of the first Constitutional Convention of California.

California Historical Landmark #4

California Historical Landmark #4

Monday, January 06, 2014

ESPN Films 30 for 30 Vol II: Bernie and Ernie

I watched Bernie and Ernie. This is the fourteenth installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 Vol II. An episode guide for Vol II is here. With a very busy fall from a personal and professional perspective, I am still trying to catch up on all of the 30 for 30s that were released this fall.

From 1977 to 1993, Bernard King played 14 seasons in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets, Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks and the Washington Bullets. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on September 8, 2013. King grew up in the Brooklyn projects.

From 1977 to 1986, Ernie Grunfeld played 10 season in the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks, Kansas City Kings and New York Knicks. Grunfeld immigrated from Romania with his parents in 1964. He was a Jewish kid that grew up in Queens.

After high school, Bernie and Ernie both ended up playing at the University of Tennessee. Together, they averaged over 40 points a game. They became known as the "Bernie and Ernie Show." Although from different backgrounds and experiences, the unlikely pair also forged a close friendship that has lasted four decades.

The film focuses on two angles. First, it looks at Bernard King's life and career. Second, it weaves their friendship through King's life. Their friendship played a major role in King's life during college and the NBA.

This is a solid documentary. Before watching the film, I really didn't know that much about Bernard King's career. Reading about the film before watching it, my expectations were pretty low. I was pleasantly surprised.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

One Last Holiday Party

After the hike on Saturday, with the house still decorated for Christmas, we had Brun, Kim, Sarah and Velta over for dinner. We have not seen them since Eileen's graduation party. We had a nice dinner of barbecued steaks, grilled vegetables and sweet potato chips.

Larkin Ranch Hike

At dinner last week, Cindy proposed the idea of a hike from their house. Sharon and I met the Gainleys at the Larkin Ranch. Starting a little after 10 am, the six of us hiked a loop over the American Canyon, French Hill and Little Bear Trails. Including a stop for lunch, we covered 7.8 miles in a little over 4 hours. Runkeeper on my iPhone showed that we were moving for 3 hours and 16 minutes for an average pace of 26:40 per mile.

I was a great day of hiking. I was surprised by the number of old mining sites and roads spread across the mountainside.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Dinner with the Toms

With Eric heading back to Gonzaga soon, Sharon, Jack, Tom, Becky, Eric and I had dinner at the Mandarin Restaurant.

Liberation Movements by Olen Steinhauer

In December, I finished reading Liberation Movements by Olen Stienhauer. Libertation Movements is the fourth book in a five book series of thrillers chronicling the evolution of a fictional Eastern European country during the Cold War. I previously read The Bridge of Sighs, The Confession and 36 Yalta Boulevard. Sharon's brother Tom recommended the series more than four years ago.

The Bridge of Sighs was set in post-World War II in the late 1940's, The Confession was set in the 1950's and 36 Yalta Boulevard was set in the 1960's. Liberation Movements is set in 1975 with flashbacks into 1968.

The first two books were essentially murder mysteries with police officers as the main characters. The third book was a spy and espionage novel. I am not really sure how to describe this book. While the police officers are again the key characters and the story revolves around an investigation, the plot involves Armenian terrorists, parapsychology and Istanbul. The story has more layers than the previous books.

After reading the ESPN oral history with its meandering interviews and the biography of William Harrison, I enjoyed the tighter writing and story telling of this book. It was nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel in 2007. I definitely recommend the series. I am looking forward to reading the fifth and final novel.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Milo Greene | Album Two | Coming in 2014

I've heard samples…

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

American River South Fork Hike

On December 31, Sharon and I hiked 11 1/2 miles on the American River South Fork Trail. We hiked the west end of trail about three years ago when it first opened. Using data from Runkeeper on my iPhone, I built the following Google Map and views of the hike in Google Earth. Our average pace was 21:31 minutes per mile and the total hiking time was 4:07:57. From car door to car door, it took us almost exactly five hours.

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