Monday, June 30, 2014

Virtually Biking Across America - Day 91


On Day 91, I rode 9.81 miles in western Missouri. Starting on Highway 291 over the Missouri River, I headed south and exited the freeway at East 23rd Street South in Independence. I headed west. I turned right on Main Street, left on West Maple Avenue and finally right on North Delaware Street. I finished the ride in front of the home of Harry Truman.

Last year, I read Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure. In June of 1953, less than six monthes after he left the White House, Harry Truman and his wife Bess took a 2,500 mile road trip from their home in Independence, Missouri to New York City and back.


The trip log for Virtually Biking Across America is here.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Monuments Men

Sharon and I watched The Monuments Men as a HD rental on the AppleTV on Saturday night. It is not a very good film. I don't recommend it.

Note to self, the film features two pieces of art that I am interested in visiting. First, Jan and Hubert van Eyck’s famous Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, better known as the Ghent Altarpiece of 1432, ranks among the most significant works of art in Europe. Housed at Saint Bavo Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium, the large and complex altarpiece suffered a varied history over the centuries. Dismantled, stolen, and damaged many times over, it was reassembled, cleaned, and restored after World War II.

Second, the Madonna of Bruges is a marble sculpture by Michelangelo of Mary with the infant Jesus. The work is notable in that it was the only sculpture by Michelangelo to leave Italy during his lifetime.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Back from Reno

We made a decision late Friday to shut Jack down for the weekend and head back to Carmichael. We got up early Saturday morning packed up the room. We rolled from the Grand Sierra Hotel and Resort a little after 9:00 am. With quick stops at Starbucks in Reno and for gas in Truckee, we were back in Sacramento a little after 11:00 am.

Jack missed two tournament games on Saturday. After winning their first three games in the tournament, the Elite dropped both games on Saturday and failed to qualify for Sunday. I watched the second game in Gamechanger while running on the treadmill. Leading 6 to 4 after three innings, the Elite fail behind 9 to 6. The Elite tied the game in the top of the sixth, but lost the game by the score of 10 to 9 in the bottom of the sixth on an outfield error.

Due to Jack's injury, plans for the next week are up in the air.

2014 Walbeck Elite Game #21

Nursing an injury, Jack missed this game.

Hot bats not enough, Elite succumbs to Fairfield T.C., 10-9

Elite fell 10-9 to Fairfield T.C. in six innings on Saturday at Sparks High despite racking up nine hits and nine runs.

Chase Pyles went a perfect 2-2 at the plate for Elite. He doubled in the third inning and singled in the fifth inning.

Fairfield T.C.'s Sanantonio, Leber, Tom and Hutting combined for 10 hits and six RBIs.

Fairfield T.C. jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Sanantonio started the rally for Fairfield T.C. with a single. A single by Leber then moved Sanantonio from first to second. Tom doubled, scoring Sanantonio and Leber.

Fairfield T.C. scored two runs in the third inning, and then followed it up with two more in the fifth. In the third, Fairfield T.C. scored on a two-run single by Tom, bringing home Sanantonio and Leber.

"Powered by Narrative Science and GameChanger Media. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved."

The scorecard is here.

For the summer season, the Elite have a record of 10 wins, 10 losses and 1 tie. The game log is here.

2014 Walbeck Elite Game #20

Nursing an injury, Jack missed this game.

Elite loses 6-3 to Damonte Rebs

Matt Clarke went 2-4, but Elite still fell to Damonte Rebs 6-3 in seven innings on Saturday at North Valleys High School.

Damonte Rebs had no answer for Chase Pyles, who kept runners off the basepaths in his appearance. Chase held Damonte Rebs hitless over 2 1/3 innings, allowed no earned runs, walked two and struck out two.

A. Parks got the win for Damonte Rebs. He allowed one run over 4 1/3 innings. He struck out four, walked one and surrendered five hits.

Jake Mandsager couldn't get it done on the hill for Elite, taking a loss. He allowed six runs in 3 2/3 innings, walked six and struck out two.

The top of the second saw Elite take an early lead, 1-0.

It didn't take long for Damonte Rebs to respond as it scored one run of its own in the second. Damonte Rebs scored on an RBI single by Goff.

Elite brought home one run in the third inning, and matched that run total in the sixth. In the third, Elite scored on an RBI single by Alex Dailey, scoring Cooper Renteria.

The game was never in doubt after the third, as Damonte Rebs scored two runs on a two-run single by A. Parks.

Damonte Rebs built upon its lead with three runs in the fourth. B. Damon singled, scoring Seward and Goff to start the inning.

Elite scored one run in the top of the sixth to cut its deficit to three. An RBI single by Drew Gross set off Elite rally. The Elite threat came to an end when A. Parks finally got Kyle Roessler to ground out.

"Powered by Narrative Science and GameChanger Media. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved."

The scorecard is here.

For the summer season, the Elite have a record of 10 wins, 9 losses and 1 tie. The game log is here.

Friday, June 27, 2014

2014 Elite Games #18 and #19


Back at Golden Eagle for the second day of the Muckdogs 2014 Pre-4th of July Invitational Tournament, the Elite played the Muckdogs. After straining his groin yesterday, Jack said that he wanted to try and warm up and give it a go. As he warmed up, he was very uncommunicative with me and the coaches, but kept giving a thumbs up when approached. Trying to talk to him before the game, Jack said that the groin was fine moving straight ahead, but he had a problem moving laterally.

Leading off to start the game, Jack was 0 for 1 with a walk, a steal and a run scored. In his first at-bat, Jack walked on four pitches. He stole second, went to third on Coop's double and scored on Roessler's single. Jack came up a second time in the top of the first. He hit a 2 and 1 pitch into right field for a looping line drive right at the right fielder for an out in his second plate appearance.

Playing centerfield, Jack didn't have a put-out or an assist. Unfortunately, the outfield scenario unfolded in probably the worst way for him. In the bottom of the first, two fly balls were crushed to the fence in right center. Jack had to sprint to try and catch up with them. If he had been 100%, I think that he might have had a chance at the first one, but the second one was in the gap. You could tell that Jack was laboring. The coaches subbed him out at the top of the second inning.

The Elite scored 5 runs in the top of the first, but turned around and gave up 6 runs in the bottom of the first. They then scored 4 more in the top of the second. The Elite ended up holding on to beat the Muckdogs by the score of 10 to 9. The scorecard is here.

Rossitto (1-2, 6 appearances, 15.1 innings, ERA 2.739) was the winning pitcher.

The Elite traveled to Galena High School for the second game of the day. They played the Team Avenue Aces. This was a team from Fresno that filled in with a few local Nevada players.

Jack didn't dress for the game. I was encouraged when he said "I want to play" as he was walking away from the car in the parking lot.

Taking advantage of five key errors by Team Avenue, the Elite won the game by the score of 9 to 4. The scorecard is here.

Pyles (1-0, 4 appearances, 8.0 innings, ERA 0.00) was the winning pitcher.

The Elite finished the day with three wins and no losses in pool play. There are two more pool games on Saturday. In order to advance to Sunday, the Elite probably have to win at least one of the two games. Only the top two teams in the six team pool advance to Sunday.

For the summer season, the Elite have a record of 10 wins, 8 losses and 1 tie. The game log is here.

We spent a second night at the Grand Sierra Hotel and Resort. After some drinks in the room, Sharon, Jack and I had dinner in the hotel at RIM with the Renterias and Child's dad.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

2014 Walbeck Elite Game #17


In the first game of the Muckdogs 2014 Pre-4th of July Invitational Tournament, the Walbeck Elite played the Northern Humboldt Knights at Golden Eagle Field #5. This is a 17U tournament.

Throwing at the end of the warms-up, Jack pulled a groin muscle. He did the same thing last year fielding a ball and making a throw during the game. He didn't say anything to the coaches or I, but it became apparent during the game that something was wrong.

Batting lead-off, Jack was 0 for 1 with a walk, a stolen base and a run scored. In his first at-bat, Jack walked on four pitches. He stole second, went to third on Dailey's single and scored on Lee's fielder's choice. Jack hit a 3 and 1 pitch for a ground to the left side and has thrown out at first in his second plate appearance. If he had been running hard, he probably would have been safe. Uncharacteristically, I went and barked at him about loafing as he went back out in the field at the end of the half inning. I got an odd response from him…

Playing centerfield, Jack had one put-out. Running for a line drive in short right center, it was clear that something was wrong. At the end of the half innings, the coaches subbed him out of the game. At this point, we figured out that he had some kind of a groin strain.

Scoring 8 runs in the bottom of the fifth, the Elite jumped on the Knights and won the game by the score of 11 to 1 in six innings. The scorecard is here.

Pulsipher (2-2, 5 appearances, 5 starts, 20 innings, ERA 2.100) was the winning pitcher.

For the summer season, the Elite have a record of 8 wins, 8 losses and 1 tie. The game log is here.

Most of the team spent the night at the Grand Sierra Hotel and Resort. We had dinner at the Cantina with a group of parents including the Renterias, Roesslers and Dailey's mom.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

2014 Walbeck Elite Games #15 and #16

There is a lot of baseball in the next week. The Walbeck Elite played a doubleheader against the West Lane Mets at McNair High School on Tuesday. I hate it when I can't watch Jack play.

I hate it even more when I can't even watch the game on-line. The Elite couldn't find anyone to score so I spent the day texting Rod to get updates. I have scored thirteen of the sixteen games this year in Gamechanger. One of the other parents scored last Tuesday's game that Jack missed. Using pictures of the paper scorebook that Rod sent me, I built the game in Gamechanger after the fact. Using someone else's paper scorecard is an adventure!

Batting lead-off, Jack was 1 for 2 with a single, a walk, a hit by pitch, two runs scored, two RBIs and three stolen bases. In his first at-bat, he was hit by a 0 and 3 pitch. After not getting hit in 150 plate appearances this year, Jack has been hit in the last two games. He stole second and third and scored on Dailey's ground out. Jack walked on six pitches in his second plate appearance, but ended the inning there when Dailey flied out to short. In his third at-bat, Jack hit a 3 and 2 pitch for a chopper through the left side for a single. He drove in Coop. Jack stole second, went to third on Dailey's single and scored on Roessler's single. He hit a 2 and 2 pitch for a grounder to the left side in his fourth plate appearance and was throw out at first by the shortstop.

Playing centerfield, Jack had one put-out.

Behind some solid pitching and some sloppy basics by the Mets [Rod said that there were lots of wild pitches], the Elite cruised to a 10 to 1 victory. The scorecard is here.

Child [1-0, 4 starts, 4 appearances, 15.0 innings, ERA 0.933] was the winning pitcher. I know that Child has also pitched some innings for the scout team. The Elite also got 3.1 scoreless innings from Petrucci, one of the Scout team pitchers.

After a break, the Elite turned around and played the Mets in the second game of the doubleheader.

Batting lead-off, Jack was 2 for 4 with a single, a triple, an RBI, two stolen bases and two runs scored. In his first at-bat, Jack hit a 1 and 2 pitch for a fly out to the centerfielder. The book is unclear about Jack's second plate appearance. It looks like he hit a 3 and 1 pitch for a grounder to the left side. Jack was safe at first, but it is not marked as an error. I have tentatively scored it as a hit until I can talk to everyone. He stole second and third and scored on an error by the catcher. In his third at-bat, Jack ran the count to 1 and 2, fouled off two pitches and then popped out to the second baseman. Jack hit a 0 and 1 pitch for a hard fly ball to left field in his fourth plate appearance. Talking to Rod, it appears that the left fielder got a poor jump on the ball and it carried over his head for a triple. Jack scored on an error by the catcher.

Playing centerfield, Jack did not have an assist or a put-out. There was only one put-out in the outfield: a fly ball to left field!

Leading 3 to 1 in the bottom of the fifth, the Elite gave up three runs on a hit, a hit batter and three walks to fall behind 4 to 3. The Elite bounced back to score three runs in the top of the sixth with Coop's walk and Doubles by Pyles and Guzman. Jack capped off the scoring with his triple. The Elite won the game by the score of 7 to 4. The scorecard is here.

Dewitt (3-0, 6 appearances, 2 starts, 17.0 innings, ERA 1.647) was the winning pitcher.

For the summer season, the Elite have a record of 7 wins, 8 losses and 1 tie. The game log is here.

The Elite will be playing in the Reno Pre-July 4th Invitational starting on Thursday. There is one game on Thursday, two games on Friday and two games on Saturday. They have to be seeded first or second in their pool of six teams in order to play on Sunday.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

True Detective

Sharon and I finished watching True Detective on HBO on demand from Directv.

The eight episode series uses multiple timelines to trace two Louisiana State Police Criminal Investigations Division homicide detectives' hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana across seventeen years. It is set along the coastal plain of South Louisiana, where it was also filmed.

The series is very well done with tremendous acting by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. It is like watching an eight hour movie.

The show runner has stated that the second season will feature three new lead characters. He also stated that the season will take place in California but will exclude Los Angeles in favor of a lesser-known region of the state. True Detective season two will be about “hard women, bad men and the secret occult history of the United States transportation system.”

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Time Surfer

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Time Surfer

Code Expiration: September 16, 2014

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Thyme

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Thyme

Code Expiration: September 16, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

California Historical Landmark #432

I worked in Sonora during March, April and May and explored Tuolumne County. California Historical Markers that I visited included: Montezuma [#122], Tuttletown [#124], Mark Twain's Cabin [#138]St James Episcopal Church [#139], Shaw's Flat [#395], Big Oak Flat [#406], Tuolumne [#407]Soulsbyville [#420], Sonora-Mono Road [#422], Sawmill Flat [#424], Jamestown [#431]; Springfield [#432], Cherokee [#445] and Second Garrote [#460].

Springfield
California State Historical Landmark #432

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
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This landmark is located at the intersection of Springfield and Horseshoe Bend Roads, 1.1 miles southwest of Columbia, California in Tuolumne County. There are 19 other California State Historical Landmarks in Tuolumne. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 01.307 W 120° 24.765.

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

California Historical Landmark #432

Springfield received name from the abundant springs gushing from limestone boulders. The town with its stores, shops, and hotel built around a plaza once boasted 2,000 inhabitants. Believed founded by Donna Josefa Valmesada, Mexican woman of means with reputation for aiding Americans in the war with Mexico. During heyday, 150 miners' carts could be seen on the road, hauling gold-bearing dirt to Springfield springs for washing.

California Historical Landmark #432

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Twenty years ago today - USA versus Columbia

Twenty years ago today, I attended the 1994 USA versus Columbia World Cup game. The USA won the game by the score of 1 to 0 on an own goal by Andrés Escobar.

There is an ESPN Films 30 for 30 about the Columbia soccer team. At the time, Columbia was one of the best teams in the world. The film has some great game footage chronicling the team's rise. Colombia was a favorite to win the 1994 World Cup.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Provisional Instruction Permit

Jack completed the on-line course work and passed the written test at the DMV to get his provisional instruction permit. Sharon and Jack had quite an adventure at the Carmichael DMV on Friday. Before he can start driving, Jack has to complete an hour of instruction with a licensed driving instructor.

Friday, June 20, 2014

California Historical Landmark #407

I worked in Sonora during March, April and May and explored Tuolumne County. California Historical Markers that I visited included: Montezuma [#122], Tuttletown [#124], Mark Twain's Cabin [#138]St James Episcopal Church [#139], Shaw's Flat [#395], Big Oak Flat [#406], Tuolumne [#407]Soulsbyville [#420], Sonora-Mono Road [#422], Sawmill Flat [#424], Jamestown [#431]; Springfield [#432], Cherokee [#445] and Second Garrote [#460].

Tuolumne (Formerly called Summersville)
California State Historical Landmark #407

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

This landmark is located in the island, center of Carter Street at intersection with Tuolumne Road, Tuolumne, California in Tuolumne County. There are 19 other California State Historical Landmarks in Tuolumne. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 37° 57.862 W 120° 14.166.

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

California Historical Landmark #407


Geographical center of East belt Placer Gold Rush, 1856-57. First white settlers, the Franklin Summers Family, arrived in 1854, and built log cabin half mile west. James Blakely, in 1858, discovered first quartz lode, half mile east, naming it "Eureka", which mine became nucleus of town of "Summersville", later called "Carters" and finally "Tuolumne". Other mining towns lively in Gold Rush days were Long Gulch, two miles south, and Cherokee, two miles north.

California Historical Landmark #407

Thursday, June 19, 2014

ESPN 30 for 30 Soccer Stories - Mysteries of the Rimet Trophy

I watched Mysteries of the Rimet Trophy. This is one of the 30 for 30 soccer stories that ESPN is running leading up to the 2014 World Cup. An episode guide is here.

Since the advent of the World Cup in 1930, two trophies have been used: the Jules Rimet Trophy from 1930 to 1970, and the FIFA World Cup Trophy from 1974 to the present day.

The first trophy, originally named Victory, but later renamed in honour of former FIFA president Jules Rimet, was made of gold plated sterling silver and lapis lazuli and depicted Nike, the Greek goddess of victory.

The film follows the twisted path that the trophy took from 1930 to 1983. During World War II, the trophy was held by 1938 winners Italy. Ottorino Barassi, the Italian vice-president of FIFA and president of FIGC, secretly transported the trophy from a bank in Rome and hid it in a shoe-box under his bed to prevent the Germans from taking it.

On March 20, 1966, four months before the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England, the trophy was stolen during a public exhibition at Westminster Central Hall. The trophy was found just seven days later wrapped in newspaper at the bottom of a suburban garden hedge in Upper Norwood, South London, by a dog named Pickles.

The Brazilian team won the tournament for the third time in 1970, allowing them to keep the real trophy in perpetuity, as had been stipulated by Jules Rimet in 1930. It was put on display at the Brazilian Football Confederation headquarters in Rio de Janeiro in a cabinet with a front of bullet-proof glass.

On December 20, 1983, the wooden rear of the cabinet was pried open with a crowbar and the cup was stolen again. Four men were tried and convicted in absentia for the crime. The trophy has never been recovered, and it is widely believed to have been melted down and sold.

While the film is an interesting look at a piece of history, it is not as compelling as most of the other 30 for 30 films and shorts that I have seen. I think that the production values of parts of the film are not up to the 30 for 30 usual standards.

A trailer for the film is here.

ESPN 30 for 30 Soccer Stories Trailer: Mysteries of the Rimet Trophy

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Foundation for Economic Education Free the World Seminar

Jack is spending most of the week attending the Foundation for Economic Education [FEE] Free the World Seminar at Chapman University in Southern California. The course description includes:
Do you wonder if America really is the land of the free?
Are you concerned about how freedom impacts your everyday life?
Have you never been to a FEE seminar before?
Explore these topics at "Free the World," where you’ll see the connection between economic freedom and prosperity. You will learn about the many components that determine how free a country is as well as how the score of each component affects the lives of the people living there. With real world examples, you’ll see just what makes some countries freer than others.
The agenda for the seminar is here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

NorCal Athletic School of the Year!

2014 Walbeck Elite Game #14

Spending most of the week at an economics symposium, Jack missed his first game of the summer season.
Kyle Roessler helps Elite down Easton Cats 9-4

Kyle Roessler went 1-2, helping Elite to a 9-4 victory over Easton Cats on Tuesday at Valley Oak Park.

He doubled in the fourth inning.

Jake Mandsager got the win for Elite. He allowed one run over three innings. Jake struck out three, walked two and gave up four hits.

The bottom of the first saw Elite take an early lead, 1-0. A solo blast by Aaron Lee started the inning off.

Elite didn't relinquish the lead after scoring three runs in the second inning when it scored on two singles.

Elite piled on two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Kyle Roessler kicked things off with a double, plating Alex Dailey.

Elite built upon its lead with three runs in the fifth. A bases loaded walk scored Chase Pyles for the inning's first run.

Three runs in the top of the seventh helped Easton Cats close its deficit to 9-4. An error, a groundout by Mendoza, and a wild pitch sparked Easton Cats' rally. Aaron ended the game by getting Ryno to strike out.

"Powered by Narrative Science and GameChanger Media. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved."

The scorecard is here.

For the summer season, the Elite have a record of 5 wins, 8 losses and 1 tie. The game log is here.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - David Gray - Back in the World

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - David Gray - Back in the World

Code Expiration: September 9, 2014

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Playing For Change - Down By The Riverside

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Playing For Change - Down By The Riverside

Code Expiration: September 9, 2014

Monday, June 16, 2014

Victory Square by Olen Steinhauer

I finished reading Victory Square by Olen Stienhauer. Victory Square is the fifth 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, 36 Yalta Boulevard and Liberation Movements. 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 was set in 1975 with flashbacks into 1968. Liberty Square is set in 1989.

The five books revolve around a series of characters that are either homicide detectives or state security agents. They combine elements of murder mysteries and spy novels. In Liberty Square, a series of murders are taking place as the communist regime is collapsing.

This story weaves together all of the characters from the previous four books. Additionally, the plot reaches back into the first book for its roots.

I enjoyed the book and the series. I give this book a strong B+. I will probably end up reading some of Steinhauer's other books at some point. If you are going to read the books, you should start with the first books and read them in chronologic order.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

2014 Walbeck Elite Game #13

Seeded third and spending the night locally at the Santa Clara Marriot, we got a chance to sleep late. We eventually had breakfast at Bennigan's across the street from the hotel. After breakfast, Sharon and I took a walk through the local neighborhood.

The Walbeck Elite played the Hardtke Baseball Academy (HBA) Red Sox in the semi-final game of the tournament. This is one of the two HBA 18U teams. The Elite played their other team on Saturday.

Batting lead-off, Jack was 0 for 3 with a hit by pitch. In his first at-bat, he grounded a 2 and 2 pitch to the second baseman and was thrown out at first. Jack ran the count to 1 and 2, fouled off a pitch, took a ball and hit the sixth pitch for a hard fly ball to right field in his second plate appearance. The right fielder drifted back and made the catch for the out. In his third at-bat, he ran the count to 1 and 2, fouled off two pitches, took a ball, fouled off the seventh pitch and then was called out on a checked swing. Watching him from the side, it was not a swing… Jack was hit by the first pitch in his fourth plate appearance. This is the first time that he has been hit by a pitch in probably 150 at-bats. Jack said that the pitch never hit him. He was miffed because he really wanted to hit. Jack said afterwards that he was seeing the ball really well in all four of the at-bats.

Playing centerfield, Jack had five put-outs! I can't remember a game where he had that many catches. Jack made a nice running catch in right center. He said afterwards that he almost dropped it.

In a well played game, the Elite lost by the score of 3 to 2. Tied after 7 innings, the tournament used the tie breaker rules where you start the inning with a runner at second. Jack has been involved in a couple of these types of games over the years and I can't remember ever winning one. The scorecard is here.

Rossitto (0-2, 4 appearances, 9.1 innings, ERA 3.000) was the losing pitcher.

For the summer season, the Elite have a record of 4 wins, 8 losses and 1 tie. The game log is here. In spite of the record, I am pleased with how the team is playing. Playing against older teams, the Elite has been competitive in almost every game.

We finished Father's Day with a barbecue at Sharon's brother Tom's house.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

2014 Walbeck Elite Games #11 and #12

The Walbeck Elite played the Hardtke Baseball Academy Braves in the first game of the Hardtke Wood Bat Classic at San Jose State University Blethen Field. This is an 18U tournament that allows teams to have 20% of their roster comprised of players who are 19 years old (maximum of three 19 year olds). My sister Lee Ann and her husband Dean came to the game.

Batting third, Jack was 0 for 3. In his first at-bat, he hit a 2 and 1 pitch for a ground ball to the right side. The second baseman threw him out at first. Jack ran the count to 2 and 2, fouled off a pitch, took a ball and then lined the seventh pitch right at the pitch. The pitcher made an athletic stab for the out. In his third at-bat, Jack struck out swinging on three straight pitches.

Playing centerfield, Jack had two put-outs.

Managing only two hits (Clarke and Roessler), the Elite lost the game by the score of 3 to 0. The Braves only had three hits; they scored two runs on a walk and two singles. The scorecard is here.

Pulsipher (1-2, 4 starts, 15.0 innings, ERA 2.333) was the losing pitcher. In spite of his record, he has pitched very well.

After lunch with my Sharon and her husband at Denny's, the Walbeck Elite played the Hardtke Baseball Academy Cubs. This team is not listed as a tournament team on their web site.

Batting lead-off, Jack was 0 for 4. In his first at-bat, he grounded a 1 and 1 pitch to the shortstop and was thrown out at first. Jack grounded a 0 and 1 pitch up the middle and was throw out at first by the second baseman in his second plate appearance. In his third at-bat, he grounded a 2 and 1 pitch to the third baseman and was thrown out at first. Jack grounded a 1 and 1 pitch up the middle and was thrown out at first in his fourth plate appearance. Jack didn't run hard to first baseball for the first time in the last six months that I can remember.

Playing centerfield, Jack had three put-outs.

With the Cubs committing seven errors and allowing six unearned runs, the Elite won the game by the score of 7 to 4. The scorecard is here.

Dewitt (2-0, 2 starts, 3 appearances, 15.0 innings, ERA 1.867) was the winning pitcher.

For the summer season, the Elite have a record of 4 wins, 7 losses and 1 tie. The game log is here.

Based on only allowing 7 runs, the Elite finished pool play seeded 3rd out of the 7 teams. They will play the 2nd seeded Hardtke Baseball Academy Red Sox at 12:30 pm on Sunday. I was very pleased that we avoided the 8 am consolidation game on Father's Day.

We spent the night at the Santa Clara Marriot. A large group got together for dinner at the Characters Sports Bar & Grill in the hotel. Rod and I finished the night closing down the Sports Bar.

Friday, June 13, 2014

California Historical Landmark #420

I worked in Sonora during March, April and May and explored Tuolumne County. California Historical Markers that I visited included: Montezuma [#122], Tuttletown [#124], Mark Twain's Cabin [#138]St James Episcopal Church [#139], Shaw's Flat [#395], Big Oak Flat [#406], Tuolumne [#407]Soulsbyville [#420], Sonora-Mono Road [#422], Sawmill Flat [#424], Jamestown [#431]; Springfield [#432], Cherokee [#445] and Second Garrote [#460].

Soulsbyville
California State Historical Landmark #420

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

This landmark is located at northwest corner of Soulsbyville Road and Community Drive, Soulsbyville, California in Tuolumne County. There are 19 other California State Historical Landmarks in Tuolumne. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 37° 59.087 W 120° 15.836.

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

California Historical Landmark #420

The first community in Tuolumne County to be founded (1855) entirely upon the operation of a lode mine. Site of the famous Soulsby Mine (discovered by Benjamin Soulsby) which produced over $6,500,00 in 1900. The first hard rock miners who worked mine were from Cornwall, England. First group of 499 Cornishmen arriving in 1858.

California Historical Landmark #420

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March to Brazil

Tuesday night, Sharon, Jack and I watched the last episode of Inside: U.S. Soccer's March to Brazil. Over the last month, I have watched all six episodes. I have enjoyed the series. I have particularly enjoyed the segments that provided back stories for a number of the players. At least now, I have some some passing familiarity with the team as it plays in the World Cup over the next couple of weeks.

New ESPN Series “Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March to Brazil” Premieres May 13 « ESPN MediaZone

On May 13, ESPN will premiere a new series, “Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March to Brazil,” focusing on the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team as they prepare for the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The series, produced by Jonathan Hock and Roger Bennett, will provide a never-before-seen perspective from inside the training camp of the Men’s National Team as they prepare for the most anticipated sporting event in the world.

Episodes will re-air multiple times on ESPN2 and will also air on both ESPN Deportes and ABC following their ESPN premieres. The six-episode documentary series from ESPN Films, the production group behind 30 for 30, will air as follows (all times ET): May 13, Tuesday, 7:00–8:00pm: Series premiere May 21, Wednesday, 7:00–7:30pm: Episode 2 May 29, Thursday, 7:30-8:00pm: Episode 3 June 3, Thursday, 7:30-8:00pm: Episode 4 June 10, Tuesday, 8:30-9:30pm: Episode 5 June 11, Wednesday, 9:30-10:00pm: LIVE series finale – Epilogue

In the premiere, viewers will get to know various players from the team as well as head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, a World Cup champion as a player and former coach of the German National Team. The series will follow the coaches and players, including Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and Michael Bradley, as they endure a demanding preparation camp and play three international matches before their departure for Sao Paulo.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

ESPN 30 for 30 Shorts: Mecca - The FLoor That Made Milwaukee Famous

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

30 for 30 Shorts: Mecca: The Floor That Made Milwaukee Famous

The latest film, from director Chris James Thompson, tells the story of how a pop art genius turned an NBA floor into a masterpiece


You can find Mecca - The FLoor That Made Milwaukee Famous on the ESPN web site at http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11020526.

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

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Virtually Biking Across America - Day 90


On Day 90, I rode 25.2 miles in western Missouri. Starting at the Mexico City Avenue exit to the Kansas City International Airport, I got on Cookingham Drive. Riding east, this road eventually turns into Highway 291. I followed Highway 291 to the Missouri River and stopped on the bridge.

The trip log for Virtually Biking Across America is here.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Lost Yeti

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Lost Yeti

Code Expiration: September 2, 2014

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Union

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Union

Code Expiration: September 2, 2014

Monday, June 09, 2014

ESPN Films 30 for 30 Vol II: Bad Boys

I watched Bad Boys. This is the eighteenth installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 Vol II. An episode guide for Vol II is here.

The film follows the Detroit Pistons as the team morphs into the 1989 and 1990 NBA Champions. After drafting Isiah Thomas in the 1981 draft, the team added Bill Laimbeer. I did not realize that Laimbeer had played for the Pistons for thirteen years. The film follows the acquisition of the key players over the next few years, including: Rick Mahorn, Dennis Rodman and John Salley.

Bad Boys follows the team has it losses the in the first round to the Knicks in 1984, losses in the conference semifinals to the Celtics in 1985, losses in the first round to the Hawks in 1986 and losses in the conference finals to the Boston Celtics in 1987. The 1987 conference finals includes a back-breaking steal by Bird.

The Piston then lost to the Lakers in the 1998 finals before breaking through and winning championships against the Lakers and the Trail Blazers in 1989 and 1990, respectively.

The film also follows the team was it slides back into oblivion. By 1992-93, the team had a record of 20 wins and 62 losses.

As I have said before, it is astonishing how physical the NBA was in the late 1980's and into the 1990's.  In particular, the physical play-off battles between the Celtics and the Piston are amazing.

This is a very good film. There are solid interviews with all of the key players. I am struggling with the fact that many of the 30 for 30 Volume IIs are two hours long. I am having a hard time finding a block of time to sit and watch a two hour film.

Bad Boys is also available in iTunes.

A trailer for the film is here.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

2014 Walbeck Elite Game #10


The Walbeck Elite played Lodi Jr in the third day of the Chase Tunquist Classic Tournament. With two losses in the first two days, this was the 7th place game.

Batting third, Jack was 1 for 2 with a single, two walks, two runs scored, three stolen bases and an RBI. In his first at-bat, Jack hit a 1 and 2 pitch for a soft fly ball. About half of the bat and the ball both went to shallow left center and the shortstop made the catch for an out. Jack has talked for a couple of weeks about how the handle on this wood bat is narrower than the one he used last year. He said that he hit this ball right on the barrel and thought it would be a double in the gap before he realized that the bat split. Jack walked on five pitches in his second plate appearance. He stole second, but ended the inning there when Daily popped out to third and Roessler lined out to short. In his third plate appearance, Jack hit a 0 and 2 pitch into left center for a single. He stole second, went to third on Dailey's ground out and scored on a throwing error by the catcher trying to get Clarke stealing second. With the bases loaded, Jack walked on five pitches in his fourth plate appearance. He stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a wild pitch.

Playing centerfield, Jack had one put-out. In the bottom of the sixth with the Elite leading by the score of 9 to 1, he made a diving attempt on a sinking line drive hit in front of him. The ball got by him. I need to ask him that if the score was different if he would have played the ball differently.

With Lodi Jr falling apart and committing six errors, the Elite cruised to a 9 to 1 win. The scorecard is here. It was the first time in five games that the Elite did not commit an error. Interesting, only one of Lodi's errors was on a hit ball; most of them were throwing errors with runners on base.

Dewitt (1-0, 1 start, 3 appearances, 10.0 innings, ERA 2.80) was the winning pitcher.

For the summer season, the Elite have a record of 3 wins, 6 losses and 1 tie. The game log is here.

The Elite will be playing next weekend in the Hardke Wood Bat Tournament in San Jose next weekend.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

2014 Walbeck Elite Game #9

The Walbeck Elite played the Elk Grove Gunners in the losers bracket of the Chase Tunquist Classic Tournament. Jack played his first year of tournament baseball in 2008 and 2009 with the Elk Grove Gunners, but this is an older team that includes a number of the varsity players from Consumnes Oaks.

Batting third, Jack was 3 for 4 with a single, a bunt single, a double, a stolen base and a run scored. In his first at-bat, he hit an 0 and 2 pitch for a hard grounder up the middle. It hit off the leg of the pitcher. Jack ended the inning there when Dailey grounded out to third. With Coop on first and no outs, Jack dropped the first pitch for a drag bunt single in his second plate appearance. Coop advanced to third. Coop and Jack advanced on Dailey's sacrifice fly, but Jack ended the inning at second. Jack said in the car on the way home that Coach Lewis would have been proud of him; Lewis had been after him to drag bunt all season. In his third plate appearance leading off the top of the fifth, Jack hit a 0 and 1 pitch for a hard fly ball into the right center gap. The centerfielder and the rightfielder both got there about the same time and it skipped off the glove of the centerfielder. I went back and forth with Rod about whether to score it as an error or a hit. I ended up scoring it as a hit. Jack scored on Dailey's double to right. Jack hit a 1 and 1 pitch for a grounder to the shortstop in his fourth plate appearance. Coop was forced out at second, but Jack was safe at first. He stole second and went to third on a wild pitch, but ended the inning there when Dailey popped out to the third baseman.

Playing centerfield, Jack had one put-out. He made a diving attempt on a ball hit to left center. Jack said later that he probably made a mistake trying to dive for it and should have just tried to make a shoetop catch.

Leading by the score of 5 to 2 in the bottom of the fifth, the Elite gave up 8 unearned runs and let the game slip away. The Elite lost the game by the score of 10 to 6. The scorecard is here.

Rossitto (0-1, 7.1 innings, ERA 3.82) was the losing pitcher.

For the summer season, the Elite have a record of 2 wins, 6 losses and 1 tie. The game log is here.

Friday, June 06, 2014

2014 Walbeck Elite Game #8



The Walbeck Elite played the McNair Eagles in the first round of the Chase Tunquist Classic at McNair High School. This is a 19u wood bat tournament.

Leading off, Jack was 0 for 4 with 2 runs scored. He reached on errors twice. In his first at-bat, Jack hit the sixth pitch into right field. I thought that it might drop, but the outfielder was playing shallow and made a running catch for the out. Jack hit a 2 and 2 pitch for a hard grounder at the third base in his second plate appearance. The third base had trouble finding the handle and made a poor throw. Jack was safe and went to second on the overthrow. He scored from second on the error on Cooper's fly ball to right center. In his third at-bat, Jack lined a 2 and 2 pitch right at the third baseman for an out. It was a hard hit ball. Jack fouled off the first three pitches of his fourth plate appearance. He hit the fourth pitch for a hard grounded to the left side. Jack was safe at first on the error by the third baseman. He went to second a wild pitch and scored on Roessler's double to the left field fence.

Play centerfield, Jack had two put-outs.

Committing six errors and giving up four unearned runs, the Elite let the game slip away. The Elite lost the game by the score of 5 to 4. The scorecard is here.

Richardson (0-1, 1 blown save, 2.2 innings, ERA 2.63) was the losing pitcher.

The Elite will play the Elk Grove Gunners in the losers bracket of the tournament at 11:00 am on Saturday morning.

For the summer season, the Elite have a record of 2 wins, 5 losses and 1 tie. The game log is here.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

2014 Walbeck Elite Game #7

The Walbeck Elite played the Easton Cats at Sacramento City College. There are several players on the Cats that Jack has played with before, including Jeremy and Breyton. In fact, Jeremy's dad tried to recruit Jack for the Cats.

Leading off, Jack was 0 for 2 with two walks. In his first at-bat, he walked on seven pitches. Jack got picked off first base. With the count 1 and 2, Jack fouled off a pitch, took a ball and then grounded out to the shortstop in his second plate appearance. In his third at-bat, he walked on four pitches. He was forced out at second to end the inning on Cooper's fielders choice. With the count 0 and 1, Jack hit a grounder off the pitcher. The second baseman fielded the ball and threw him out at first.

Playing centerfield, Jack had one put-out.

Trailing 1 to 0 in the bottom of the third, the Elite pitcher walked five batters and gave up five runs. In the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings, the Elite had runners on third base, but couldn't get the runner home. The Elite ended up losing the game by the score of 7 to 0. The scorecard is here.

Lee (0-3, 7 innings, ERA 17.0) was the losing pitcher.

Sitting with Alan, Ben and Rod, I was hoping that the Elite would have a better showing…

For the summer season, the Elite have a record of 2 wins, 4 losses and 1 tie. The game log is here.

The pitching is going to need to improve or its going to be a long summer. This is the first of four games in four days. The Elite will be playing in the Chase Tunquist Classic on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

After the game, the Renterias, Wackmans and Heringers went to dinner at the Riverside Grill.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

ESPN Films - Nine for IX Shorts - Love & Payne

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

Nine for IX Shorts: Love & Payne

Through memories, family videos, and photos, Tracey Stewart (Payne's widow) gives a glimpse at the story of enduring love, loss and the legacy of a man who, in the final year of his life, achieved his greatest professional fulfillment and personal peace.


You can find Love & Payne on the ESPNw web site at http://espn.go.com/espnw/video/11023134/love-payne.

Nine for IX Shorts Episode Guide

ESPN Films and espnW will launch a new short documentary series, Nine for IX Shorts, this July. One short film will premiere per day beginning Monday, July 28, through Friday, August 1.

A preview of the series, titled “Love & Payne” and directed by ESPN’s Hannah Storm, debuted June 4, 2014 on espnW.com. The film takes a look at the legacy of golfer Payne Stewart through the eyes of his widow, Tracey.

1. Love & Payne directed by Hannah Storm, espnW Premiere: Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Through memories, family videos, personal photos, Tracey Stewart (Payne’s widow) will give audiences a glimpse at the story of a once in a lifetime love, a shattering loss, and the legacy of a man who, in the final year of his life, achieved his greatest professional fulfillment and personal peace. Payne Stewart’s voice will appear through archival materials, but ultimately Tracey will trace their story from that first fateful meeting, to Payne’s transformative years, to his tragic death, and ultimately his legacy as a father, champion and husband. It will be a personal, poignant, rare look at Payne Stewart and the powerful connection behind his success as a golfer and a man.
2. Rowdy Ronda Rousey directed by the Mundo Sisters, espnW Premiere: Monday, July 28, 2014
On February 23, 2013, Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey made history by becoming UFC’s first female Bantam Weight Champion. After beating her opponent Liz Carmouche with her signature armbar, Rousey also became the #1 female MMA fighter in the world. The film will take an inside look at this record breaking fight and how Rousey is paving the way for women in the sport. We’ll learn about Rousey’s rough childhood and how it shaped her fighting career. The film will also explore the extreme physical challenges and emotional strength behind becoming the world’s greatest female fighter.
3. Think Normal directed by Nikki Reed, espnW Premiere: Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Jason McElwain’s 20 points in four minutes inspired sports fans around the world and fine-tuned the conversation surrounding people diagnosed with autism. But it was the perseverance and undeterred support of Jason’s mother, Debbie, who coached her son and provided him with the strength and confidence to step onto his high school basketball court and hit six 3-pointers, and one 2-pointer in four minutes of play. Featuring heartfelt interviews from Jason, his mother Debbie and his brother Josh, “Think Normal” is a look at what a mother sacrificed for her sons.
4. Brittney Griner: Lifesize directed by Melissa Johnson, espnW Premiere: Wednesday, July 30, 2014
This is a rite of passage story following Brittney’s inaugural season with the Zhejiang Golden Bulls. Director Melissa Johnson will collaborate with espnW’s Kate Fagan to chronicle not only Brittney’s transformation from amateur to professional but also from a celebrated kid with unlimited potential to a self-reliant adult with a deep inner capacity to make her championship dreams a reality. Blazing with authenticity, humor and irreverence, this story about the courage it takes to become everything that’s you — in the biggest, boldest way imaginable — is certain to delight and inspire.
5. Uncharted Waters directed by Tina Carbone, espnW Premiere: Thursday, July 31,2014
In 1995, Bill Koch put together the first ever all-women America’s Cup team. Made up of top female athletes from across the country, the team made history onboard America3 and inspired fans across the country. But the team morale faltered after a series of changes were made including a new boat they weren’t use to, the replacement of a female team member with a male, and a last-minute rule change that allowed three teams to make it to the finals instead of two. In the last race of the Defender Series, the Mighty Mary lost their lead and rival Stars & Stripes beat them to the finish line.
6. Play A Round With Me directed by Jessica Wolfson, espnW Premiere: Friday, August 1, 2014
In the 1980’s, Jan Stephenson became professional golf¹s first tabloid star, shaking up the game with her sex appeal and charismatic self-promotion. Amid intense media attention, Stephenson’s colorful and controversial life off the course often overshadowed her fierce determination to win championships. This film follows a tense year where, against all odds, Jan Stephenson tried to prove she was more just a pretty face.
http://espnmediazone.com/us/press-releases/2014/06/espn-films-and-espnw-announce-nine-for-ix-shorts-documentary-series/

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

California Historical Landmark #424

I worked in Sonora during March, April and May and explored Tuolumne County. California Historical Markers that I visited included: Montezuma [#122], Tuttletown [#124], Mark Twain's Cabin [#138]St James Episcopal Church [#139], Shaw's Flat [#395], Big Oak Flat [#406], Tuolumne [#407]Soulsbyville [#420], Sonora-Mono Road [#422], Sawmill Flat [#424], Jamestown [#431]; Springfield [#432], Cherokee [#445] and Second Garrote [#460].

Sawmill Flat
California State Historical Landmark #424

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

This landmark is located at 22041 Sawmill Flat Road, 2 miles southeast of Columbia, California in Tuolumne County. There are 19 other California State Historical Landmarks in Tuolumne. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 01.369 W 120° 22.796.

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

California Historical Landmark #424

Name derived from two sawmills erected here to supply mining timbers in the early 1850s, Sawmill Flat was rich in pocket gold in its heyday, population at one time was 1,000. The mining camp of a Mexican woman, Dona Elisa Martínez, at north end of the flat, is reported to have been a hideout of the famous bandit Joaquin Murieta. The legendary 'Battle of Sawmill Flat' would have taken place here.

California Historical Landmark #424

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Jelly Defense

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Jelly Defense

Code Expiration: August 26, 2014

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Hamilton Leithauser - I Don't Need Anyone

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Hamilton Leithauser - I Don't Need Anyone

Code Expiration: August 26, 2014

Monday, June 02, 2014

ESPN 30 for 30 Soccer Stories - Maradona ’86

While Sharon was in Spokane, I watched Maradona ’86. This is one of the 30 for 30 soccer stories that ESPN is running leading up to the 2014 World Cup. An episode guide is here.

The episode focuses on the 1986 World Cup. Maradona led Argentina to victory in the final over West Germany.

I had three general observations. First, a lot of the players look very small, particularly the goalies. The goalie that played for Atlético Madrid in the Champion's league would make most of these players look like midgets.

Second, Maradona looks like a water bug. He seems to be moving at a whole different speed.

Finally, the "Hand of God" play in the game against England is worth seeing!


This is the first of the set of 30 for 30 soccer stories that I have watched. I am going to try to bang out the rest during June.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

2014 Walbeck Elite Games #5 and #6


The Walbeck Elite team played a doubleheader against Hard 90 at Valley Oak Park. While Jack has played against a couple of different Hard 90 teams over the years, this was the Slam Premier 18u team. There were no players on the team that Jack has faced before.

Leading off, Jack was 1 for 4 with a double, a run scored, three RBIs and reached on an error. In his first plate appearance, he ran the count to 1 and 2, fouled off a pitched and then grounded a ball to shortstop. The shortstop fumbled the ball and Jack was safe at first. He went to second on Isola's single to right and to third on a wild pitch. After Roessler walked to load the bases, Richardson flied out to centerfield to end the inning. Jack struck swinging on a 3 and 2 pitch in his second plate appearance.

In his third plate appearance, Jack came to bat in the bottom of the fourth inning with the score tied 0 to 0, the bases loaded and two outs. He crushed a 3 and 0 pitch for a line drive to the fence in left center for a double. All three runners scored for 3 RBIs. Jack went to third on a passed ball and then scored on a throwing error by the catcher.

Jack grounded a 3 and 2 pitch to the second baseman and was thrown out at first in his fourth plate appearance.

Playing centerfield, Jack had 2 put-outs.

On the strength of Jack's three RBIs and one run scored and strong pitching from Child and Pulsipher, the Elite beat Hard 90 by the score of 6 to 3. The scorecard is here.

After a barbecue lunch, the boys turned around and played the second game of the doubleheader.

Leading off, Jack was 0 for 2. In his first at-bat, he popped up a 1 and 2 pitch to the first baseman for the out. Jack struck out looking on a 0 and 2 pitch in his second plate appearance. He harangued me in the car later about the fact that it was low and outside; it was not a strike…

Playing centerfield for four innings, Jack had one put-out. He and Sharon left before the game was over to go to Elk Grove for a previous commitment [yof].

The Elite pitching got hammered for 16 runs in the second game. The Elite lost the game by the score of 16 to 4. The scorecard is here.

For the summer season, the Elite have a record of 2 wins, 3 losses and 1 tie. The game log is here.