Sunday, June 24, 2018

ESPN's SC Featured

source: ESPN
SC Featured
For the past year, most of my Sunday late afternoons and evenings have been stuck on ESPN2.

I've previously raved about the feature stories on ESPN 30 for 30. If you love sports documentaries but can't always devote 1 1/2 to 2 hours, then there's E:60. If you only have 30 minutes, then I strongly recommend SC Featured.

Archives of SC Featured stories can be found at the WatchESPN archives as well as ESPN's YouTube page.

Here's the story I finished watching a few minutes ago.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Save Cloverleaf Bowl - SIGN THE PETITION!

From Patricia Brown who posted the petition at
As of this writing, the petition has received over 8,000 signatures.

A developer is proposing to tear down the buildings in the old Fremont Center at the corner of Fremont Boulevard and Grimmer Boulevard in Irvington and replace them with 272 housing units.

The Cloverleaf Family Bowl, which has greeted generations of bowlers for 55 years, is one of the buildings that would be demolished.

The proposed project site extends from Fremont Boulevard west to Bay Street, and from Grimmer Boulevard south. It includes the Bank of America and the businesses south of that along Fremont. All commercial buildings on the site are proposed to be demolished except the Taco Bell drive-in restaurant.

Mike Hillman says: This is wrong on so many levels. If Cloverleaf Family Bowl has given you memories and happiness then I ask you to please write to the email in the article. My family has been in this business and location for over 55 years now. The last thing Fremont needs is more residential and eliminate one main source of family entertainment. Nobody does more for the kids and families than Cloverleaf Family Bowl. Our seniors included.

The parent company of Taco Bell discovered the center had been devalued by the loss of tenants (with the previous landlord) so they purchased the shopping center. Then one day we get a call and find out that developers are interested in purchasing the shopping center and that it is under contract. Then earlier this week, an article in the Tri City Voice was published and this was a bit of a shock to all of us that things had progressed to this point. And to read that EVERYTHING will be demolished here EXCEPT Taco Bell. 

A day may come where we will need to go to city council meetings. I would hope that we could count on a lot of people to support us and attend the meeting and show these people how much we mean to the city and the families that live here or bowl here. My family has been here for 55+ years in this business. I have been inside this building almost every day of my life. We are not giving up! 

Mel's Bowl/Redwood Lanes closed on May 8, 2011 to make way for condominiums (see April 11, 2011 blog entry). We can't lose any more bowling centers, especially Cloverleaf.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Dwight Clark - January 8, 1957 - June 4, 2018

source: Brian Murphy, KNBR
Dwight Clark
On June 4, 2018, former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Dwight Clark lost his battle with ALS.

I watched, heard and cried to dozens of tearful, poignant tributes from former teammates, coaches and sports media who all became family to him.

Here's video of one of Dwight's last public appearances, Dwight Clark Day at Levi's Stadium on October 22, 2017.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Goodbye Chase VISA - Member Since 1983

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
Fool me thrice, goodbye.

I've been a Chase VISA cardholder since 1983.

With a sizable balance.

This was a result of taxes owed and important big ticket purchases compounded by unemployment (June 2010 to January 2014).

Yes, I'm paying more than the minimum amount due when the bill comes. Yes, the cost of living in San Francisco doesn't help. Yes, I should be on a tighter budget. So don't tell me what I already know.

But I've NEVER BEEN LATE on payments. It's my guess the interest I've paid to Chase over 30+ years is a few thousand dollars.

Thinking my 35 years with Chase should count for something, I call Cardmember Services a few years ago to request my APR to be waived or reduced. Perhaps for a few months, maybe a year. Chase tells me no.

Yet they send me promotions via email, snail mail and online with fat offers to transfer a balance to my account interest free for a limited period. The latest, an upgrade to Chase VISA Preferred and offer to transfer a balance. With no tiny font disclaimer of ineligibility for existing Chase cardholders, I eagerly apply and am immediately approved for the card.

A week later, I receive 2 letters from Chase. One letter contains the new VISA card. The other, a letter refusing to honor my request to transfer the balance. Why? Because it's another Chase account. They'd make no profit from a 15-month 0% interest fee card.

Therefore, I'm calling it quits. Two weeks ago, I opened a VISA account with my credit union. I apply on a Friday. I'm approved on the following Monday. I've been a member there since 1992. Later that week, that same credit union completes the balance transfer to my new VISA for most of what I owe on the Chase account. With no annual fee and 0% APR for 14 months.

It's clear to me who wants my business. It isn't Chase. Goodbye and good riddance. It wasn't all that nice knowing you.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Alive and Well in America - Xenophobia

source: @lionnessmom76 Twitter
Suraya Entezam
On May 21, Air Force veteran and Fremont, California resident James Ahn posted a video on his Facebook page showing a woman yelling at him, calling him ugly Chinese and go back to his country. Mr. Ahn is from Seoul, South Korea.

On May 17, New York attorney Aaron Schlossberg goes into a tirade to deli employees speaking Spanish to speak English. He later apologizes, says he's not racist.

Meet Suraya Entezam. Ms. Entezam herself is not U.S. born as can be detected in her accent yelling at Mr. Ahn.

I find disheartening that these incidents are taking place in areas of the United States where there is a significant foreign-born population.

Over Labor Day Weekend last year, my cousins (brother and sister) were in San Francisco to attend the funeral services for their aunt. Both encountered xenophobic incidents during their visit. One was at San Francisco International Airport, the other on BART. Irony on the BART incident - the female passenger told my cousin to go back to Korea.

Fear, anger and ignorance and alive and well in the United States. We give the rest of the Americas (Central, South and North) a bad name.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Picture People - Out of Business

Picture People, Foster City, Californa
October 1, 2001 to September 20, 2007
On Thursday, May 18, my former employer, TPP Holdings DBA The Picture People closed doors permanently.

While it's sad, it did not come as a surprise to many of us who were once employed there. I was separated from Picture People in September 2007 when headquarters moved from Foster City, California to Plano, Texas.

Like my other former employer, The Sharper Image (see blog post November 18, 2017), shut down business operations in 2008. There have several relaunches beginning in 2010, the latest is through Camelot Venture Group in April 2018.

With the recent store closings for Macy's and Sears, traditional retail in malls as we once knew it has changed. It's looking more like a future destination to the mall won't just be for shopping or the movies.

Other than my two rounds of four-year employment with Sharper Image, my six years of continuous employment with Picture People is the longest I've worked anywhere. As it usually is in retail, turnover is frequent. So when one stays for at least three years, he/she would be considered an old-timer. Bonds form and cement into lifelong friendships.

Alumni from Sharper Image recently announced plans for a second reunion this fall. Picture People from the Foster City headquarters held a reunion in March 2014.

It's my hope that those who suddenly lost their jobs will receive some kind of employment assistance.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

2011 May 19

Heard this song at the end of USA Network's In Plain Sight episode "I'm a Liver Not A Fighter". It aired on June 19, 2011, a month after my almost 2-year relationship ended with a longtime friend I had a crush on from the moment I met him in 1988. Bawled my eyes out. The relationship didn't last, but the friendship continues (now 30 years).


Music and Lyrics by Ingrid Michaelson