Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ohio State versus Michigan - History of Rivalry

image source:

Some of my favorite team rivalries include:
  • San Francisco Giants versus Los Angeles Dodgers (baseball)
  • North Carolina Tar Heels versus Duke Blue Devils (basketball)
  • Alabama Crimson Tide versus Auburn Tigers (football)
  • USC Trojans versus UCLA Bruins (football)
  • Oklahoma Sooners versus Nebraska Cornhuskers (football)
  • New York Yankees versus Boston Red Sox (baseball)
But for me, what separates rivalries above all others:
Ohio State Buckeyes versus Michigan Wolverines.

Why? It began for me as a 9-year old growing up in Columbus, Ohio. Woody Hayes was the Ohio State coach. His former assistant coach, Bo Schembechler was the Michigan coach.

As Wikipedia describes it:
"The Ten Year War is the informal nickname given to the series of college football games in the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry, played between 1969 and 1978. This series of games pitted coaches Woody Hayes of Ohio State and Bo Schembechler of Michigan against each other in classic teacher-versus-student matchups. In most contests, the Big Ten conference championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl were at stake, and in some cases, a possible national championship."

It became the subject of a 2007 HBO documentary. See for yourself:

Wow, oh wow. This year's game, another one right down to the end. Ohio State 42, Michigan 41.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

49th QubicaAMF World Cup - Women's Final - Cherie Tan vs. Caroline Lagrange

image source: QubicaAMF Bowling

Best 2 out of 3 games wins. And it took all 3 games for a winner to be decided in the second ball of the 10th and last frame. Nail biter of a match between former Wichita State Shocker Caroline Lagrange of Canada versus Cherie Tan of Singapore.

Caroline, no stranger to the tournament, won in 2009. Cherie is a member of the formidable Women's Singaporean team and teammate of 2013 USBC Queens Finalist/2012 QubicaAMF Women's Champion Shayna Ng and another former Wichita State Shocker, Jazreel Tan.

I previously wrote about Shayna on September 5 and Jaz on June 3.

Here's Caroline's 2009 championship match versus UK's Zara Giles.

And, big thanks to the Russian network who helped provide a very high quality HD video feed. I felt as if I was in the bowling center itself (located in the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk, Russia).

Below is this morning's semifinal and final match. The semifinal match was Cherie versus Aumi Guerra of the Dominican Republic, 2010's and 2011's champion.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Remodeled Landmark's Embarcadero Cinema

On November 5, SFGate ran an article about the makeover of Landmark's Embarcadero Cinema in San Francisco's Financial District.

Yesterday, I went there to see "Blue is the Warmest Color". It's been nearly 4 years since my last visit. While the theater still shows arthouse/independent/foreign films, there were some major changes and upgrades made.

They include:
1. No ticket line. At the theater entrance, there are several large touch screen computers that give you the option to purchase, pickup or order tickets for a future showing. You can still buy tickets from a human being at the concierge desk just past the bar and lounge.

2.  Bar and lounge. Lounge area has tables and seats for about 12. You can also sit at the bar to order food such as Southwestern Egg Rolls and adult beverages such as beer and wine.

3. Large, roomy leather seats with cup holders on both arms with a button to control how far back you want to recline. So far back that it'd be very easy to fall asleep during the film. As a result of the larger seats, the seating capacity is greatly reduced and increases the probability of a sold-out showing.

For me overall, the experience is very enjoyable. Very much like going to an invitation-only film festival. If you want to see a wide release film yet still have the fancy food and drinks, then I recommend Theater 1 at the Sundance Kabuki in Japantown.

Will I come back? Absolutely.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bowling Area Etiquette

National Bowling Center, Reno, Nevada
My July 20, 2010 blog discussed my annoyance with bowlers (most of them recreational and inexperienced) who fail to observe lane courtesy. In short, if there's a bowler on either side of you on the lane ready to bowl, step off the approach and let the bowler bowl.

What experienced bowlers also know is that beyond the area behind the approach, there's an etiquette observed there too. This area is where bowlers sit or stand when they're not bowling.

They keep the area behind the approach free of debris and liquids. Failure to do so can make bowlers slip, stick and/or fall on their next turn.

Last Sunday at practice and this past Wednesday in league, a few bowlers and I experienced some footing problems because bowlers before us didn't keep the area clean.

My sliding shoe got stuck near the foul line after I threw my ball. Fortunately, I didn't fall and my ball only missed the mark by a few boards. But a senior male bowler several lanes over from us did fall. He got up after a minute or so. I was relieved to see he was OK. House maintenance came by later with scouring pads and towels to both pairs of lanes and cleaned the up the sticky areas.

It's scary for anyone to lose his/her balance and fall while throwing/rolling a very hard 10 to 16 pound ball on a hardwood (or laminate wood) floor. In some cases, a fall can result in a twisted ankle, dislocated shoulder, bruised hip or broken wrist. I have fallen before and it's not fun. The game's focus ends up on not to fall rather than hit your mark.

So, for those of you casual/recreational bowlers that plan your next group outing, please confine food and drink to the counters or tables where the house balls are kept, usually behind the sitting area. I cringe whenever I see someone grab pizza or fries in one hand, ball in the other hand, walks to the lane approach, and then goes to bowl.

What I find worse are clueless league bowlers that use powder to get their shoes to slide. I don't object to use of the powder (it's not enforced but is illegal in my Monday league), I object to the bowler who leaves the excess without regard to other bowlers who may slip on it.

I'm done. Rant over.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Mr. Barrett and his Domination

image source:

Pro bowling fans know the World Series of Bowling Championships have been underway all week. For me, it was very exciting to read:
  • Marshall Kent (Robert Morris University's bowling superstar) land as top seed in the Scorpion Championship as an amateur. This is Marshall's second appearance in a TV final. He was in the U.S. Open finals this past summer in my birth city of Columbus, Ohio (see July 28, 2013 blog entry).
  • Clara Guerrero, the third female bowler (following Liz Johnson and Kelly Kulick) in PBA history to make a TV appearance in the Cheetah Championship, and...
  • Dom Barrett emerge as the number 1 seed in the Chameleon and World Series Championships.
My admiration for Dom goes back about 3 years, when I first saw him on YouTube bowling in the 2008 Weber Cup. I included him in a March 29, 2012 blog entry featuring a 2011 Weber Cup video of Dom bowling for Team Europe versus Team USA's Tommy Jones. 

What sealed me as a fan was his 2009 Ten-Pin Masters Final match against Australian sensation and fellow Storm Pro Staffer Jason Belmonte. It was quite the sight to see a low-key, clean-cut, boyish Dom have a very loud legion of fans (aka The Domination) cheer for him in the Barnsley Metrodome. 

My favorite part: the celebration after Dom won the match. Take careful notice on the backs of the T-shirts Dom's fans wore that day. Below is video of the final game in the title match.