Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Baseball

Always a fun time of year just before the trading deadline...we have Pudge going to the Yankees, Texiera going to Anaheim, and Manny saying "the Red Sox don't deserve me"

The Tampa Bay Rays are 3 games ahead of the Red Sox(hahahahaha) after the Sox were dismantled again by the Angels in the second series sweep in so many days.  The Dodgers are finally over .500 and are only 1 game out of 1st place in the NL West.  The hateful Giants and traditionless Padres suck this year.     Almost all the games are now in HD which makes it look amazing to watch on TV.  I would love to see the Dodgers play a team like the Cubs in the playoffs, (yes we will make the playoffs this year)       By seasons end I will have gone to about 27 Dodger games this year out of 81 total.  

Nothing in sports is more fun to watch then baseball pennant races, that's because games are played every day, and it is an incremental and satisfying process.

Go Blue!!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

5.4 Magnitude Earthquake

I was standing in a medical building at 19231 Victory Blvd in Reseda talking to a lady when we started to feel some rumbling.  So then she hides underneath her desk and the rumbling and jerking becomes more violent.  I was standing there calmly scanning my surroundings as I knew it was nowhere big enough to knock down the building I was in.  So then it was over and the lady crawls back out and is wiping her eyes with a kleenex.  She was scared and crying....I smiled and said, everythings allright, you're safe now, it's over.  And then I walked upstairs to the next office because the elevators were knocked out...and that was pretty much it.   

Friday, July 25, 2008

Me and Alyssa Milano!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


(click to view full size)
OH MY Goodness!!!!!!!!!!!!!    I get a picture with the girl I have had a crush on for 20 years since she played Samantha on "Whos the Boss"  The Stunningly beautiful Alyssa!!!!!!  Thanks to Matt, who reluctantly was my wingman on this mission.  
P.S.  I'll take you inside the process folks....I had my camera in my hand ready and every half inning was prepared for her to get up to walk by.. finally after the bottom of the eighth Alyssa and her friend got up to leave, the only way out was past me, so I convinced Matt to take the pic....I Caught her eye and asked for a picture with her, she said sure, but then much to my horror, my brother had temporarily frozen and was still sitting in his seat four rows up....So I went to plan B...I held up my camera out with my hand to prepare to take a picture of myself and her the best I could, I said to her as I was preparing to take a self potrait with her in it, "Well this kind of awkward"  And she favored me with a laugh.  Just then Matt snapped into action, took the camera and got the pic.  I thanked her and told her I liked her blog, she thanked me....sigh.....xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox


It was quite a Dodger game tonight, Austin Kearns of the Nationals decided to lose his bat, which came helicoptering out of his hands, skipped off the railing of the section that separates the field box from the dugout club, clipped a gentleman in his forehead, and the came to rest two rows in front of us as it knocked a womans nachos all over her tanktop blouse and shoulders, she was covered in salsa and nacho cheese sauce.   I actually stood up as this was happening hoping I would add a live bat to the two live foul balls I have caught in my life.  This is where it got funny... one of the usher ladies runs over and starts grabbing the bat out of the fans hands, "Give the bat back!! Give it back!! You need to give me the Bat!! "  This ole pitbull of an usher was more concerned with getting back the bat then if fans were injured!! They finally gave them the bat back an inning later...BTW if you were watching channel 9 live, you saw me on TV clear as day.  

(These aren't the people that got hit, but these kids wanted to look at the flying bat)


(VALENCIA, CALIFORNIA YOUR ON THE AIR!!)

And finally, we have a second celebrity picture that is nowhere near as exciting, but Larry King was nice enough to pause and oblige.



Thursday, July 24, 2008

Californication


This is one of the funniest shows on television right now.  Season 1 is out right now on DVD and they are currently finishing filming season 2.  Duchovony's character is one of the most likeable on TV, the characters are well drawn.  But what is best is the writing!  This is show is smart, funny, adult, and edgy.  It's fantastic.

(Californication is a half hour comedy series that is seen on Showtime)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dodger Tickets

Anyone want two tickets to the Dodger game this Saturday?  Let me know...


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Dark Knight


Four out of four stars!!!!!!!  An incredible movie, great performances and actors, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckert, and Gary Oldman!  And they were awesome, the story and the pacing were incredible.  What these two movies have done with the batman story is amazing...they have taken it from the conventional cartoon movies, and transcended it into something we haven't seen before!  Everyone in this movie lights up the screen, it is such a fun movie to see.  Perfect!  Best movie of its kind that has ever been made.  I have run out of superlatives, go see it and enjoy.  It has been a long time since I have actually gotten so much enjoyment out of going to a movie!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Congrats to the Nowlins!!!!!


Our friends Mark and Angela Nowlin have an exciting new addition to their family.....Caleb was born earlier today...All our best wishes to the Nowlin family!!!!


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Change

When I was looking for Admiral Stockdale youtube videos spurred on by my good friend Brett McNeill, I watched Al Gore's opening statement in the 1992 VP debate.  And it was very interesting...here is the statement paraphrased....this is 16 years ago in the fall of 1992......"We need a major change in this country, we have a healthcare crisis, an enviornmental crisis, we have an economic crisis.....we need a drastic change."     We are hearing the same stuff from the politicians of today...I am not naming names, and I am not criticizing any one politician.  It just got me thinking...."What is change?"  Reagan talked about it, so did Clinton, so did W.  And all three of them beat an incumbent...(Reagan and Clinton on the Economy, and W thanks to monica lewinsky...(remember it was only 500 votes in the end)   Also all three were clearly more likeable, dynamic, and charasmatic then their opponents.    Anyways, is change just a buzzword?  Do the more things change the more things stay the same?  Do cycles just happen through natural pendulum swings without politicians?   Are our lives really that much different depending on whether a republican or democrat gets into office?   

One definition of politics is "the study of who gets what, how much?  And at who's expense"     What will each one of you gain or lose depending on whether McCain or Obama is elected?    How will it personally effect your jobs?  Your quality of life?  Your family?  And to what degree?     

Comments?


From The Earth to the Moon


On July 20, 1969, 39 years ago today 3 American Astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins (He had to stay in the lunar orbiter) arrived at the lunar surface. Armstrong set foot on the moon and said these words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" We had six sucessful moon landings in total. The last one took place in 1971, two years before I was born. There is a current plan that NASA is working up to return us to the moon in about 15 years and mars in about 20 or 30. Anyways, in my opinion this journey of discovery is the single most profound advancement that has happened since the big bang over 13 billion years ago. In my opinion instead of spending one billion dollars per day in Iraq, our money would be better suited to journey to the outer reaches of our solar system, in order to learn more about ourselves.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Admiral

Remember this moment from 1992?  I would love a full copy of this debate..the Admiral ruled!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hideo Nomo


Today Hideo Nomo announced his retirement.  He was the first Japanese star player to make to the jump to MLB and as luck would have it, he played for the Dodgers.  There was a tremendous amount of excitement that year, Nomo was an international superstar.  He had a strange and deceptive windup which is a trademark of Japanese pitchers that makes it difficult for hitter to time the release point.  I was fortunate to be at dodger stadium to witness Nomo's first win.  
Nomo also won the rookie of the year award that year, he was part of the ROY domination of the Dodgers in the mid ninties.  Karros, Piazza, Mondesi, Nomo, and Hollandsworth.  Nomo was the pioneer and now we have Hiroki Kuroda who almost pitched a perfect game for us a couple weeks ago, we also had Ishi, and our closer is Takashi Saito, who unfortunately is on the DL for 6 weeks.  The Dodgers have always been at the forefront in recruiting new talent, starting when the great Branch Rickey brought in Jackie Robinson in 1947.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Petra


(Greg Volz--a truly gifted singer who should be worth millions by now)


When I was a strong Christian and believed in God, Jesus, and the spooky Ghost, I was into the christian rock band Petra...which myself and my two greatest friends, mark Nowlin, and Brett McNeill (who are still very strong christians)  and myself loved Petra.  And until a few days ago, I hadn't listened to much of it for at least a decade or more.  But folks I have to tell you, even though I am an Atheist now, I think that the albums, "More Power to Ya"  "Beat the System"  and "Captured in Time and Space"  are fantastic.  the main reason for this is the amazing talent of Greg X. Volz, who was the lead singer of the band until 1985...he has a 4 octave vocal range and guitarist and main song writer Bob Hartman took advantage of it during their golden years.  

Volz was offered the lead singing position of REO Speedwagon in .76, but declined because he was a born again (stupid move greg)  anyways, he remains the classic voice of evangelical christian rock.  And even though the lyrics are nonsense, the songwriting is great and he is great.

The Pope meets the Serpent



"Gutentag Herr Snake"
"Hisssssssssssssss-hello Benediiiiiiiiiiiict"

Everyone knows that the reason why we all deserve to go to hell is because a woman believed what a talking snake told her.  

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Indiana Jones


OK so about 50 days after its release, I finally saw the new Indiana Jones movie.  And I give it about 2 stars.  I think George Lucas hurt the movie, he has equal rights and control as Speilberg does.  The movie had a pretty decent beginning series of scenes, but then about 35 minutes in it becomes predictable, and paint by numbers.  The problem is not entirely the fault of the movie, but the fact that there are so many movies that have copied Raiders since it first came out that what we are seeing is not original.  There is zero tension when Indy and the gang are in their series of predicaments.  There is no palpable tension, and there really is not much payoff in the end as far as I am concerned.  
I liked  the reveals that took place which hinted what Indy was doing since "Crusade" I wish they had expanded on that, but instead we launch into a quest that isn't all that interesting.    That aside, it was still fun to see one of the most iconic characters in movie history back on screen one last time.  

Best aspect of the movie (They potrayed the mid to late fifties very well, with the red scare, atomic testing, and such)

Worst part (After the first part of the movie they jump to a predictable adventure that seemed pasted together with no real suspense)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Eric Clapton "Unplugged"


I remember I was driving to Peninsula High School in January of my senior year and I was listening to "Mark and Brian" on 95.5 KLOS.  They were talking about this incredible show that was on MTV called Unplugged.  They said it was an all acoustic set with Eric Clapton performing some hits and other not so well known songs, including an amazing reworking of "Layla".  They said it was incredible, and looking in the TV Guide (haha) I found that it was going to be replayed, so I found a bland tape and programmed the VCR (double haha) to record this.  After seeing it I thought it was very cool, and then as I was going to college, they released it on a CD.  Once this had happened news of the album spread quickly.  Everyone from high school kids, to the middle aged seemed to have bought this CD, and everyone enjoyed it.  Everyone from Paul McCartney to Nirvana to Sting followed suit and put out their own unplugged performance.  

What makes this album so special?  It is simple, classic, and timeless.  It is peaceful and relaxing and it makes you feel good to listen to it.  It can be listened to in all sorts of settings.  

How bout you guys?  What were your impressions upon hearing this Album?  Comments?

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Iphone 3G


Finally it is July 11th and the Iphone 3G has been on sale for about an hour and a half now.  I tried to get one before work but to no avail!!  The line was too long and the guy said there were only like 35 phones left.  The problem is this time each individual phone has to be connected and activated in the store which can take about 15 minutes per person.  When the original Iphone launched last june, you just bought the box, took it home, and activated it on your home computer.   Oh well, I am going to try to go to the Northridge apple store and see if it's any better.

***Update, they are now sold out at most ATT stores across the country, probably have more at the apple stores and as for me, "I'm trying Ringo, I'm trying real hard, to be the shepherd."

***Update #2 They are well enough stocked at the Apple Retail stores, the problem is it takes each rep about 10-15 minutes to process each customer, and that is if the customer picks out his phone with 'soup nazi' efficiency.  Add to that the fact you have over a hundred people in line and I said, "you know what, I already have an IPhone, I can wait a day or two to get one twice as fast"   Also with regards to the media reports of the "ipoccalypse" Yes the servers were down for almost 4 hours this morning, but Apple fixed them, so that problem is over.  

Monday, July 7, 2008

Kevin has fun with Underwater Video Camera

video


Sunday, July 6, 2008

"The Gondi"


Today Zach and I went to the top of the Mammoth Mountain (11,053 el.), while Kevin and Tasha and Dodger stayed at the bottom, (Zach really wanted to go but Kevin said it hurts his ears too much)   The great mountain looks a lot different in the summertime.


video

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Mono Lake


We all went to Mono Lake today and had a great time.  We had a one hour tour from a forest service guy, and the tour was good.  Kevin and Zach held up pretty well and wanted to go into the lake themselves.  Dodger also went into the lake a few times, but she didn't like that the water was salty.  Mono lake is a very unique place, 95 percent of all california sea gulls are born in an island in the middle.  Also the lake contains so much salt and alkali that no fish can live in it, in fact the only life there is brine shrimp, and alkali flies that hang out on the edges.  

In the early part of the century William Mullholland diverted the source of the lakes water to fuel Los Angeles Water demand.  Subsequently the Lake began to drop, and probably would have died had not a group of fisherman sued the city of LA and won.  In 1994 they agreed to raise back the level of the lake, and by 2014 it will be back to a good level, but still not as high as it once was.  The lake is a favorite haunt of photographers, as it looks almost otherworldly, it photographs best during magic hour in the evening.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day


"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

Happy 4th everybody!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Crush the Cell


(Columbian Jungle)


There is a big lesson that can be learned from the dramatic hostage rescue of three Americans and others that were held in a columbian jungle for over 5 years.  If you haven't read the news lately, the Columbian national military undertook a massive undercover op to infiltrate the Columbian rebels that were holding the hostages.  They tricked the rebels into letting the hostages board a helicopter and then talked two of them into putting their weapons down.  The "good guys" then broke cover and subdued the two rebels...and instantly told the hostages the words they had been longing to hear for so long..."We are the Columbian National Army, and you are free."  The Americans are now home with their families.  

The lesson learned is the value of good old fashioned Human Intelligence or "Humint" With the creation of homeland security we have had a lot of sucess since 9/11.  We have thwarted a few plans, and disrupted a few cells.  And we have not been attacked by Al Queada in almost seven years.  They have hit 3 times since, the club in Indionesia I think, the madrid bombing, and the London bombing.   

After 9/11 billions of dollars was spent to create a gigantic new bureauacry.  The agencies have more money now than they know what to do with.  This is good and bad.  Some of the money has certainly been wasted, and no senator can dare vote against any new spending bill for homeland security, regardless of the merits of the money allocation, for fear he or she will be branded as "soft on terror" 

Before 9/11 an american misfit named John Walker Lind (The American Taliban) who was a well to do kid in the bay area, actually met Bin Laden a few times.  And we have the traitor Adam Gahan from Orange County, who I hope will be killed or captured soon.  If it is possible for Americans like this to get this kind of access, why not send over the NOC's  (Non official cover)  These are the covert operatives who are the bravest of the brave, exceptionally talented and smart dedicated patriots.  We should streamline the CIA and the DIA and focus on infiltrating the small Al Queda cells throughout Europe and here in America.  I am sure we are already doing this to some extent, but I wish we would do more, we should focus a great deal of our Intelligence towards continuing to do this, until all Al Queda cells are crushed.  Focus on the infiltrating the cells, train more operatives at Langley.  Bring the Israeli Mossad to help train us.  Focus resources in a smart manner.  And hopefully no American will ever have to put up with what happened to us that morning in September again.

Summer in Mammoth


Summertime in Mammoth is almost as fun as wintertime.  The best part about summertime is the myriad of places to hike and explore, something you can't really do in the wintertime.  Also if you like fishing, apparently they have some of the best fishing there is up here.  Almost everyone brings their dog up for vacation, and we are no exception, Dodger will be our faithful companion the whole time we are here.  We are going out now to hike to the pond...better pictures soon.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Dodger!!


In the summer of 1997 in the months of bliss following our marriage, Tasha and I wanted to get a dog.  We were living in a house in Chico and it had a big enough backyard.  So Tasha and I found an ad in the paper for Chocolate Labrador puppies in the town of Durham.  We drove out there to look at them and as soon as we saw the puppies bounding towards us it was game over.  There were a few females and we picked out the one that was the least hyper.  We wrote out a check for 200 dollars, and we took home our new puppy.  That was almost eleven years ago and Dodger is still with us today.  She has lived in Chico, Ventura, Bakersfield, and now Valencia.  She is a natural retriever, loves the water, and running around.  I would say her highlight is the four year span we lived in Ventura.  She got to go on constant walks and run around in the surf with no leash.  Now she is happy here, and even though she is a bit slower and older we still let her into our pool every so often.  

Happy 11th Birthday Dodger Dog!!!