Sunday, November 19, 2017

Return of The Sharper Image

source: Wikipedia
After a 9-year absence, high-tech gadget/lifestyle retailer The Sharper Image, which opened in 1977 and closed in 2008, returned from the dead with a new store (now owned by Camelot Venture Group) in New York's Times Square.

For me, The Sharper Image meant a lot more. It was my first full-time employer and my first job when I moved to San Francisco in 1983.

The experience gained from my 8 years there set the foundation for my current career - a mix of finance, operations, asset protection and customer service.

Today was particularly bittersweet for 2 reasons:
1. Birthday of a longtime friend who didn't work for The Sharper Image, but worked as a vendor contact to another friend/former colleague/ex-boss.
2. Berkeley visit to see former colleagues who are mother and daughter. The daughter hired me and was my first boss.

Reason #2 is why this Thanksgiving week will be difficult.
The mother is now in hospice care in her Berkeley apartment. The same Berkeley apartment where I met her for many Saturday lunches and was my Thanksgiving dinner destination for 8 years.

After a 20+ years absence, I'll come back to where it all started.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Gordon Edgar Downie - 6 February 1964 – 17 October 2017

Gord Downie
Tragically Hip fans knew day the would come. Doesn't make it any easier (see also August 21, 2017 blog entry).

On October 17, Tragically Hip lead singer Gord Downie passed away after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in May 2016.

Before his death, Gord penned his final album, Introduce Yerself. It reached the top of Billboard Canadian Albums this past week.

As described in Wikipedia, Introduce Yerself is a double album consisting of 23 songs which Downie has described as each being about one person in his life.

Take a listen.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

2017 ESPN3 Live Streaming Schedule - World Series of Bowling

Bowling fans - set your calendars. See below listed schedule.
As it was last year, ESPN3 will stream live (online only) the World Series of Bowling finals from Reno's National Bowling Stadium (cable or satellite subscription required).

If you miss any of them, not to worry. All events on the schedule will be aired on ESPN (dates not yet announced).

Bowlers will include Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts, who participated in his first WSOB in 2015.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Joe Thomas Barrett IV - The Ohio State University

source: Eleven Warriors
J.T. Barrett IV
One of the most dramatic comebacks in Ohio State football history took place yesterday against the 2nd ranked Penn State Nittany Lions.

All led by 5th year senior quarterback J.T. Barrett IV.

Down 14 points within the first 5 minutes of the first quarter, the Buckeyes trailed as much as 18 points to mount an impressive comeback in the last 5 minutes of the game.

To give you an idea of how much Penn State dominated for 3 quarters, here is the scoring summary:

source: Ohio State Buckeyes
J.T.'s final stats:
Rushing: 17 times for 95 yards.
Passing: 33 completed passes of 39 attempts, 0 interceptions, 328 yards, 4 touchdowns.
He completed his last 16 passes, 13 of them in the 4th quarter.

Video highlights here:

Ohio State moves up to 3rd from 6th in the AP Top 25, week 10, 2017 season.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Relax, Release, Repeat

thanks Ken and Cel for the inspiration
Since the purchase of my new bowling ball in July, I'm having difficulty adjusting to it.

My averages in both leagues are down - as much as 10 pins so far this season.

I'll save you the 20-plus reasons why I'm in a slump. The root cause: differences in fit between my new and old ball.

Without being comfortable with the fit, I failed to execute 3 simple but critical components of bowling: relax, release, and repeat.

It resulted in developing bad habits such as grabbing, tugging, muscling, and awkward finish at the foul line.

I put in some extra practice this week and made an adjustment on where I placed bowling tape on my thumb. I'm hoping I'll pick up (spares especially) from where I left off at the end of spring season.

It's a long season, so I have some time to figure it out.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

A Fond Farewell To Matt Cain

source: Zimbio
Two weeks ago, former San Francisco Giant pitcher Ryan Vogelsong retired (see blog entry September 17, 2017).

Yesterday, it was Matt Cain.

Drafted out of high school in the 1st round in 2002, he made his MLB debut in 2005. At the age of 33 (today's his birthday), he made the decision to end his career with the same team that gave him his start.

There isn't enough to say how much Matt's 13 years with the Giants means. He will forever remain etched in team history for his perfect game on June 13, 2012 - the first and only perfect game (to date) in the Giants franchise.

His last start yesterday was the perfect way to end a stellar career. 5 innings pitched, 2 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 0 earned runs.

The Giants lost the game 4-3 to the Padres but it did not diminish in any way Matt's emotional farewell. The waterworks began as soon as the dugout hugs started. Tears flowed freely when I saw 2nd baseman Joe Panik in tears. Then toward the end, the long hug with fellow ace Madison Bumgarner.  I lost it.

Goodbye, Matt. We are going to miss you so much.