Monday, December 28, 2015

Lefties Strike Again

Kim Bolleby, Jakob Butturff, Ryan Ciminelli, Gary Faulkner Jr.

The above picture says it all. Yesterday's finalists in the PBA Viper Championship were all lefties. Congratulations to Ryan Ciminelli for winning his second major PBA tournament.

In case you missed it (as I did - upgraded to a new cable box this week), it's now available on YouTube.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Southpaw Show

source: PBA Tour
L to R: EJ Tackett, Ryan Ciminelli, Gary Faulkner Jr., Scott Norton, Rhino Page
source: PBA
L to R: Norm Duke, Parker Bohn III, Paul Moor, Andrew Cain
This past week, ESPN aired the Rolltech PBA Championship (live - very cool) and the Cheetah Championship from the place I've bowled Labor Day weekend for the past 4 years, National Bowling Stadium in Reno.

Of the 9 finalists pictured, all but 2 of them are left-handed bowlers - Norm Duke and EJ Tackett. I find it funny that both are on the far left-side of the photos. Congratulations to Gary Faulkner Jr. for his first PBA title winning the Rolltech Championship, and to Parker Bohn III for the Cheetah Championship.

Special shout out to UK's Paul Moor, who made his first PBA TV final. Paul's also a former Weber Cup teammate of Dom Barrett.

Also in pro bowling news, Danielle McEwen's hot streak continues. Danielle and Liz Johnson were selected in the 2016 PBA League draft. Danielle will bowl for Del Ballard's Motown Muscle. Liz, for the Portland Lumberjacks.

In case you missed the live telecast of the Rolltech stepladder finals, it's here and on YouTube. Mookie Betts sits in the booth for a bit and shares his WSOB experiences. You'll also see him sitting in the front row later in the broadcast.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Golden Girls - Team USA

L to R: Shannon O'Keefe, Stefanie Johnson, Danielle McEwen, Shannon Pluhowsky, Kelly Kulick, Liz Johnson
Congratulations to Team USA on your gold medal against Korea in the World Women's Championships in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). Special congrats to anchor bowler Liz Johnson for her perfect 300 game in the match.

A few days earlier, hotter than Hades Danielle McEwen and partner Kelly Kulick captured gold in doubles.

Wanna see how The Golden Girls did it? Here's video of both gold medal winning matches:

Doubles match:

Team match played earlier today:

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Danielle McEwan - youth and college bowling days

source: NCAA
As Danielle McEwan begins bowling with Team USA in the 2015 Women's World Championships in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, I thought it'd be fun to see Danielle bowl from her youth and college bowling days.

From 2009 Teen Masters (with a 5-step approach and stronger New York accent when interviewed):

And, as the anchor bowler when she was a junior at Fairleigh Dickinson University:

In case you missed my blog entry from last month, here's the link from November 1.

Good luck to you, Kelly, Shannon O, Shannon P, Liz and Stefanie in Abu Dhabi.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers - 33 consecutive wins

source: Total Pro Sports
Tonight, the Golden State Warriors won their 20th consecutive game in Steph's hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. The Warriors are more than halfway to matching the 43-year record of 33 consecutive wins by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers.

Coached by Bill Sharman, the team primarily revolved around 3 players: center Wilt Chamberlain (13), guards Gail Goodrich (25) and Jerry West (44). While most 11 year old girls screamed over David Cassidy, yours truly carried a big torch for Gail Goodrich.

Chamberlain, West and Goodrich are all members of Naismith's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Goodrich and West had a combined scoring average of 52 points a game. For me, they were the Splash Brothers long before Stephen Curry's and Klay Thompson's dads even played in the NBA.

Here's a short video with interviews with the Big 3. They may have played over 40 years ago, but it's clear how well the Lakers could run, shoot and pass the ball.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

2015 QubicaAMF World Cup

L; Wu Siu Hong (Hong Kong), R: Clara Guerrero (Colombia)
Congratulations to Wu Siu Hong, who brought Hong Kong its first title, and Clara Guerrero of Colombia, who successfully defended her title in this year's QubicaAMF World Cup.

This is great stuff to watch, especially for those like me that follow bowling outside the United States.

I haven't watched it yet myself, but here's's video broadcast of the semifinals and finals.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Never Forget

A brief post this week. It was a weekend of too many loved ones lost. The attacks in Paris, and the deaths of a former classmate yesterday and another classmate's husband this evening.

Rest in peace, Deb and Bob. Deb will always hold special memories for me. Along with fellow high school classmate Michelle, we stuck to each other like glue when we found each other during freshman orientation at Ohio State. My deepest condolences to their friends and families, as well as those lost in Paris. We will never forget.

Written by Pete Seeger, Performed by The Byrds
Lyrics taken from Book of Ecclesiastes
YouTube video by TsDSeason2BJolly

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Slow Motion Releases - 2015 Bowlmor AMF US Open Day 2

Ryan Ciminelli, 2015 Bowlmor AMF US Open winner
Congratulations to lefty Ryan Ciminelli on winning the 2015 Bowlmor AMF US Open today. He defeated 4th seed and this author's favorite bowler Dom Barrett. Dom defeated defending champion Wes Malott, longtime greats Norm Duke and Pete Weber in the stepladder finals before losing to Ryan, 236-223.

Special recognition to Danielle McEwan, who bowled well enough to qualify for match play, cashed out and finished in a tie for 23rd place with Dom's Weber Cup teammate, Stuart Williams.

If you didn't see the finals today, wait 1-3 weeks and it should be available for viewing on YouTube. As it is with major bowling tournaments, it was an exciting match to watch. So glad CBS Sports got Dave Lamont and PBA legend Marshall Holman to call the action.

I'll close with a slow motion video from the US Open featuring Ryan and my Storm Nation favorites featured right after each other: Marshall Kent, Danielle and Dom.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Danielle McEwan, Queenpin

I've been a fan of Danielle McEwan since her college days at Fairleigh Dickinson.

From her PWBA profile:

Years on Team USA (4): 2012-15

Years on Junior Team USA (3): 2011-13

- Three gold medals (trios, team, Masters) and one bronze medal (doubles) at 2014 PABCON Championships
- Fourth at 2012 and 2013 QubicaAMF World Cup
- One gold medal (team) at 2012 WTBA World Youth Championships
- One gold medal (team) at 2011 PABCON Youth Championships
- Four gold medals (all-events, doubles, team, national all-events) and two silver medals (singles, mixed doubles) at 2011 Tournament of the Americas

- 2012 and 2013 USBC Team USA Trials champion
- Runner-up at 2015 USBC Team USA Trials
- Third at 2013 U.S. Women's Open (see my July 20, 2013 blog entry)
- Bowled collegiately at Fairleigh Dickinson
- NCAA Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013
- First-team Collegiate All-American and Academic All-American in 2011, 2012 and 2013
- FDU Female Athlete of the Year in 2012 and 2013
- 2011, 2012 and 2013 Northeast Conference Bowler of the Year
- 2010 Collegiate Masters champion
- 2010 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player and member of National Championship team

This is all very impressive. The long list continues to grow. For the past 2 months, Danielle's been on another planet.
-Wins PWBA Tour Championship
-Invited to 2015 World Women's Championships for Team USA
-Wins South Point PBA West Challenge
-Wins PBA Team Challenge with her team, Dead Money

What's inspiring about Danielle is her poise at such a young age. Her game should be shown on all bowling instructional videos, as her form is fundamentally sound.

You can see it here in the PWBA Southfield Open (Women's Tour Championship):

And as the only female on a team that bowled against the heavily favored 4 Majors and 100 at 1 (Bill O'Neill, Tommy Jones, Tom Daugherty, Wes Malott and Jason Belmonte), it was team work and calm under pressure which enabled them to win the 2-game Baker System match. For me, a big plus to see 2015 Weber Cup captain Dom Barrett appear as a guest analyst.

Keep up the great work, Danielle.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Resolving substandard service

While watching the MLB's National League championships on TBS last week, my picture quality was less than perfect.

Flipped over to my local cable sports network and found the picture quality and sound was even worse than TBS.

Time for a customer service online chat. I find it's much faster and responsive than a phone call. After a 15 minute chat and no success with a cable box reset, they scheduled a service appointment 3 days out. I'd have to leave work early to meet the technician. When finished with the chat, I tweeted the problem out of frustration. I am certain the tweet got someone's attention.

The next morning at work, a cable TV technician called me. He told me my issue was "escalated" and instructed me to check my television to see if the picture problem was fixed. I said I'd check as soon as I got home. Sure enough, the pictures on both networks were back to their HD splendor. Best of all, I avoided an early exit from work and cancelled online my service appointment.

This past issue is one of several I've had with this cable provider since my move to the Outer Sunset in 2011. (HINT: it's the cable provider that provides a very fast internet)

1. Added HD about a year after my move into Inner Sunset condo.
Found out later it would have been cheaper to switch to an HD package with more channels. Self-discovery of other packaged/bundle changes or deals that aren't as described would be a recurring theme over my next 2 moves.

2. Added triple-play package when I moved to the Outer Sunset.
Upon my move:
a) landline number I was told I could keep when moving wasn't true, and
b) internet connection went out after a day.
I was told the earliest service appointment was in 3 days. I tweeted this, and got a call from a local technician within an hour. He got my internet back up in 15 minutes. I continued to complain about the phone number issue. Ultimately, I got the service charges waived and 50% off that month's bill.

3. Offered a special double-play package good for 2 years when I moved to the Lakeside District.
Turns out the special price is only for 1 year. In the second year, the monthly rate goes up, but it's still less than the "regular" rate. Again, repeated complaints via Twitter got someone from the executive offices to resolve my issue. They gave me the 2-year double-play package, with each month at the same rate.

For those of you that have given up cable and satellite because of poor service, I commend you. I know there are alternatives. But if you've read this far, you've concluded that I like to argue.

I do. Especially when it comes to these guys.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Weber Cup 2015

Team Europe L to R: Osku Palermaa, Dom Barrett, Stu Williams, Martin Larsen
source: Weber Cup
For the third consecutive year, Team Europe has captured the Weber Cup (named after bowling legend Dick Weber).

Team USA (Tommy Jones, Bill O'Neill, Wes Malott and Parker Bohn III) was no match for Team Europe, winning in a rout, 17-4.

As mentioned in my July 28, 2013 blog entry, all of the U.S. Open Bowling finalists are sponsored by Storm Bowling. It's the same for Team Europe. Osku Palermaa, captain Dom Barrett and Martin Larsen are also sponsored by Storm. Stuart Williams is sponsored by Roto Grip, a brand Storm owns.

2015's matches are now available for viewing on YouTube via The European Bowling Channel.

Here's one of the matches between Dom Barrett and Bill O'Neill from Day 1.

A preview of 2013's Weber Cup is available on my October 12, 2013 blog entry.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Baseball, Bowling, Betts

source: Zimbio
The PBA announced this week Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts received an invitation to bowl in PBA's World Series of Bowling in Reno's National Bowling Stadium December 7 - 19.

Like former MLB pitcher John Burkett (see May 18, 2014 blog entry), Mookie has bowled since childhood and currently carries a 200+ average.

Proof is in the pudding. Here's a Boston Herald video link of Mookie on a bowling outing with CSN NE. Below is a screenshot of his league averages from

Geez Louise. His bowling average is almost as high as his 2015 batting average of .291. Forget about Be Like Mike. I wanna Be Like Mookie.

UPDATE - December 12, 2015: Mookie completed the World Series of Bowling across 4 animal patterns. Considering this was his debut on very tough lane conditions, he finished with a respectable 190 average.

As quickly as he learned to adjust from 2nd base to center field with the Red Sox, I have no doubt he'll do the same with bowling. I was so glad to read many skeptics became supporters when they saw Mookie bowl. Let's hope the PBA extends Mookie an invitation to bowl next year. And I'm certain his average will exceed 190.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

The Martian - 2015 film

Yesterday, I took in a late morning showing of Ridley Scott's newest film, "The Martian" starring Matt Damon.
Since I spend a lot more time bowling than I do at theaters, the films I do take in are what I consider "must-see" worthy.

And based on what I've read, the screenplay adaptation is very faithful to Andy Weir's novel.

In my opinion, it's one of the best films of the year.

It's not often a wide-release film can be well-written, funny and smart. So if you enjoy seeing movies, go see it.

Here's the trailer:

Sunday, September 27, 2015

iPhone Trade-In

iPhone collection
My preordered iPhone 6S arrived on Friday.
Longer, wider and thinner, the biggest difference between my previous 5S versus my new 6S is the memory capacity.

My 5S is 16GB. The 6S, 64GB.

If you're looking for a review of the phone, you won't find it here. There are hundreds of reputable tech resources that will provide a more thorough review than I ever could.

What I can tell you: How to wipe the data off the phone.

I'm pretty anal about certain purchases, especially cell phones. Since my first cell phone purchase in 1997, I always keep the original packaging and accessories. (See previous March 14, 2014 blog entry: A History of Cell Phones I've Owned).

I got my 6S up and running yesterday morning. Because it was an iPhone to another iPhone, the painless transfer took about 20 minutes. My settings and all but 1 app were all transferred successfully to the new phone.

As I'm planning to sell the 5S through eBay, I wiped the settings clean, took the phone out of its green silicone cover, wrapped the earphones and charger back into the original box. If you're a do-it-yourself kind of person, the process to wipe the data clean is pretty easy.

Here's how I did it:
1. Back up data to iCloud on the 5S.

2. Turn on the 6S and signed into iCloud to make the transfer. Not required, but advise having phone plugged into the charger during the transfer process.

3. Follow the carrier's instructions on transferring the phone service to the 6S.

4. With an internet connection still on, I wiped the data off the old 5S phone.
Settings->General->Reset (at the bottom)->Erase All Content and Settings.

NOTE: Erase All Content and Settings ensures the data is off the old phone only. If you disregard this feature and delete data by using the Edit function, the data is deleted in iCloud, and therefore won't transfer to the new phone.

You will be asked twice to be sure if you want to do this, and you'll be asked for your iCloud password again.

5. Power off the old phone completely. Return phone, earphones, and charger with USB adapter back into the original box.

To be done tomorrow:
6. Print eBay seller packing slip and ship to seller.

7. Wait for money to appear on PayPal account.

8. Gloat that my new toy didn't cost as much as I thought it would.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Honoring Family

You may have wondered where I've been the past 2 weeks. I've been away, honoring the memory of my parents. Happy Belated Birthday to my Dad, who would have been 80 years old yesterday.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Andrew Frawley, 2015 World Senior Championships - Singles & Masters

Congratulations to Australian 10-pin bowler Andrew Frawley who captured gold in Men's Masters and Singles, and a silver medal for Team Australia at the 2015 World Senior Championships held at Sam's Bowl in Las Vegas.

Andrew may not be very well known in the United States, but he's had considerable success as an instructor and coach at the international level. 

A previous blog entry dated July 8, 2012 includes a series of videos "Learn to Bowl" Andrew made those new to the game. The videos were made several years ago, but the basics outlined still apply today.

If you've got about an hour, here's video of the Masters finals. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Madison Bumgarner - 2 starts, 2 wins, 2 home runs

source: Deadspin
It wasn't enough for San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner to attain 2 post-season MVP's in 2014.

This past week, Mr. Incredible/Paul Bunyan/John Wayne hit 2 home runs in his last 2 starts. His 2015 season-to-date total = 5. It's the most home runs hit by a pitcher since Carlos Zambrano (Chicago Cubs) in 2006.

Oh, and he won both those games too. For Giants fans that can't get enough, here they are:

August 16:

August 21:

Gotta love his home run trot too. Head down, no flash. Barry Sanders would be proud.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

PWBA, Week 6 - Topeka Open

source: PWBA
As I'm sticky, tired and listless from the heat today (86F in San Francisco, 99F in the Peninsula), I'm all about posting something easy. Below is video from last weekend's PWBA tournament in Topeka, Kansas.

Former Nebraska standout Liz Kuhlkin came in as the #3 seed. Liz defeated Clara Guerrero, Liz Johnson and top seed Danielle McEwan to claim her first PWBA title.

Great bowling and congrats to Liz!

Sunday, August 09, 2015

2nd Place for the 3rd Time

Friendly Trios Summer 2015 Sweepers Results
Results from this past week of my Wednesday night league summer session came in early this morning. Traditionally in league bowling, the last week of the season is sweepers. Highest scores of the night earn extra cash. While my series wasn't the personal high I bowled in the SFUSBC Women's Championships, it was good enough to capture 2nd place. 
SFUSBC 9th Annual Womens Championships 2015
Speaking of which, the official results from the SFUSBC Womens Championships came in. My goal for our team, Above Average, was to finish well enough to cash out. We did a little better than that. Team finished 2nd, and my singles series, 567 scratch + 189 handicap, also took 2nd place.  An added bonus, my series was the highest handicap score, which added an extra $20.

It's all good. Reality knocked me down a bunch of pegs when I bowled in a 6-game handicap and scratch tournament across 4 lanes yesterday. I realized immediately I was, appropriately termed, out of my league. 

The lane conditions and competition (2 of the bowlers are currently on college teams, most were scratch bowlers) were a lot tougher than standard league conditions. I bowled only 2 games above my average, 1 game at my average, and the remaining 3 games 20-30 pins below my average. I gained lots of valuable lessons from this experience.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

2015 PWBA Wichita Open - Stepladder Finals

source: Facebook/Hammer Bowling
A big congratulations to Stefanie Johnson who won last weekend's PWBA Wichita Open. You can see her in action here:
And it's now available on YouTube, here's the PWBA Lubbock Open finals match on July 18, featuring again Stefanie versus Jazreel Tan in the finals match.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Makeshift Mosquito Net

Makeshift mosquito net materials
Last weekend, we had some hot and and very unseasonably humid weather for the San Francisco Bay Area.

As I live within a mile of Lake Merced and the house has no window screens, it makes me vulnerable to mosquito orgies. I have to be careful because my insect bites can really swell up.

When I was a kid in Ohio, I've had bites so bad my eyes and lower lip swelled to the point it looked like I lost a bout to Ronda Rousey.

Over the past 3 months, my attempts at non-toxic repellents included:

  • large salt shaker of mint leaves in the window sill
  • run a fan all night next to the bed
  • citronella bracelets on my ankles and wrists. 

They worked with marginal success.

At my condo on 8th Avenue, I bought removable/adjustable window screens. I can't use them where I live now because I have a large window (84" L x 48" W) that opens out like a door. I then considered buying a mosquito net that works like a canopy over a bed. That would have meant drilling holes in the ceiling to suspend the canopy. No.

A failed trip to Home Depot led me to JoAnn Fabrics. Had a light bulb moment. Buy mesh by the yard. Hang it up with large clips (see above photo) and secure it with velcro. I ended up needing only the large clips and mesh. Total cost = $10.

With the return to cooler, seasonable weather, a nightly spray of eucalyptus, mint soap and a slather of camphor/menthol ointment over the eyelids, I have been for the most part, bite free.
Mesh serving as mosquito net in bedroom window

For now.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Welcome back, PWBA

PWBA Lubbock Sports Open
top 16 match play qualifiers
After a 12-year absence (see July 4, 2012 blog entry), the PWBA is officially back.

The 11-week tour began in Milwaukee with the USBC Queens. It will continue weekly throughout the summer and end with the PWBA Tour Championship on September 10.

Yesterday, former Wichita State standout Jazreel Tan defeated Stefanie Johnson (née Nation) 257-246 to capture her first PWBA title at the Lubbock Sports Open.

Jazreel is no stranger to women's bowling. She has been one of the mainstays on the Singaporean women's national team (see June 3, 2013 blog entry), a powerhouse in international bowling circles for the past 4-5 years. In the above picture, 3 of Jazzy's teammates (Cherie Tan, Daphne Tan, and Shayna Ng) made the match play cut (final 16).

For this professional bowling fan, I am extremely excited to see the PWBA tour's return. Here's video from last week's stepladder final at the Storm Sacramento Open.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Bloom County to return?

Opus the Penguin and Bill the Cat
source: ebay
From news sources Comic Book Resources and Raw Story, Berkeley Breathed's beloved comic strip, Bloom County, has made its return.

Admittedly, I only began following Bloom County in 1981 because of Opus, a large nosed, naive and perpetually optimistic penguin who was born in the Falkland Islands.

Next to Opus is Bill the Cat, who was at one time Opus's running mate for the National Radical Meadow Party.

I'm not one who follows politics very closely, but Bloom County enabled me to see the funny side of it.

As the author wrote today, "A return after 25 years. Feels like going home."

Welcome back.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

2014 QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup - Video - Female Bowlers

As an avid follower of professional bowling, I subscribe to several bowling channels on YouTube. covers tournaments and events in venues all over the world.

The coolest feature of Bowling Digital's channel is the Flavio Cuvo videos featuring the various styles in slow motion of the bowlers from a World Bowling Tour (WBT) tournament.

Below is video taken from the 2014 50th QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup. It took place from November 1-9, 2014 at 24-lane Sky Bowling Center inside the Sky Tower in Wroclaw, Poland.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Steve Kerr Introductory Press Conference

source: San Jose Mercury News
It's been 2 weeks since the Golden State Warriors won their first NBA title in 40 years.

Credit former head coach Mark Jackson to assemble the players, but the missing piece was hiring a former player without any head coaching experience.

The coach who would succeed Mark Jackson for the 2014-15 season is former Arizona, TNT analyst, Phoenix Suns General Manager and member of 5 NBA Championship teams (3 with the Chicago Bulls, 2 with the San Antonio Spurs), Steve Kerr.

If you have about 33 minutes, I've attached the video of Coach Kerr's introductory press conference. I find it fascinating to hear the Warriors incredible season come full circle. He transformed a good team into a great one.

Need a condensed version? Forward it to the 4-minute mark and listen for about 2-3 minutes. Listen closely to Kerr's answer as to why he'd want to give up a great gig with TNT to coach in the NBA.

Anyone who's ever left a high paying job to work for less money and deeper fulfillment will understand.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Splash Brothers and their Dads

Top L to R: Mychal Thompson, Dell Curry
Bottom L to R: Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry
source: San Jose Mercury News
Fresh off their NBA Championship and in honor of Father's Day, we hear from proud dads Mychal Thompson and Dell Curry, both former NBA players with prominent careers. Congratulations to the Thompson and Curry families. You done good.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Storm Wipe Out bowling ball

source: Storm Bowling
Yesterday, I fought traffic on 19th Avenue to make a visit to my Inner Richmond pro shop, All-American Bowling and Trophy to order a new ball.

With an almost unused 2-year old $30 All-American gift certificate won in a league banquet raffle, a small raise at work and a birthday in 2 weeks, I decided to reward myself with a new weapon in my league arsenal, a ball from Storm Bowling's Hot Line, a 13-pound Wipe Out.

The Wipe Out will be my second ball from Storm. My first Storm and current strike ball is a blue and orange Tropical Heat, purchased in December 2012.

The coolest feature of Storm bowling balls are their scents. My Tropical Heat had a orange creamsicle scent, the Wipe Out, in spearmint.

This will be my fifth bowling ball since I began league bowling in 2008. My first 2 bowling balls were drilled with a conventional grip. Since 2010 (at Jeff's suggestion) I switched to a fingertip grip. Nearly all experienced players bowl with a fingertip grip.

So what's the difference?
Conventional grip - finger holes are fitted to the second knuckle.
Fingertip grip - finger holes are fitted to the first knuckle.

Think of a fingertip grip in the same way you'd shoot a basketball or throw a softball or baseball - from the fingertips, with a relaxed hold and a snap release.

I'll pick up the ball next week. Like I have whenever I get new bowling balls, I head to the lanes within 24 hours to practice with them.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Basketball 101

source: Wikipedia
Tonight was Game 2 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. As it was in Game 1, it went into overtime. A very physical, bruising game with the Cavaliers emerging with the win, 95-93. And if you weren't a Cavaliers or Warriors fan, I don't blame you if you turned off the TV or changed channels. Because the officiating, or lack thereof, made the game hard to watch. 

So, taking a page from here are 2 non-foul violations not often called during NBA games.

Traveling: Any time a player possessing the ball is not dribbling, he must keep one foot (known as his pivot foot) planted on the floor. He may move the other foot in any direction and as many times as he desires. After a player establishes a pivot foot, he may not move it, or the referee whistles him for traveling.

Three seconds: No part of an offensive player may remain in the free throw lane for more than three consecutive seconds unless the ball is being shot. If the shot hits the rim, the player standing in the lane gets a new three seconds. Thus if you happen to be camping out in the lane for two seconds and the shot hits the rim, you may remain in the lane for another three seconds.

While we're at it, let's reacquaint ourselves with the definition (Breakthrough Basketball) of a personal foul, which is any type of illegal physical contact such as:
  • Hitting
  • Pushing
  • Slapping
  • Holding
  • Illegal pick/screen -- when an offensive player is moving. When an offensive player sticks out a limb and makes physical contact with a defender in an attempt to block the path of the defender.
From Wikipedia: players routinely initiate illegal contact to purposely affect the play, hoping it is seen as too minor to be called a foul. The threshold is subjective and varies among officials and from game to game. 

The last sentence is what drew the ire of many viewers in tonight's game.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Extended Weekend Family Visit

source: High Line Hotel, New York's Chelsea neighborhood
I returned this morning from a long weekend trip to New York for a family gathering at the High Line Hotel in Chelsea. I shared a suite with big sister Cindy and Mom's younger sister Mary. As I get older, these kind of gatherings become much more meaningful.

It was a fun and memorable event, right down to the flights to and from New York.

  • No airport parking needed. Roommate let me park my car in his garage and gave me a ride to the airport.
  • No shoes, jacket or laptop to remove during screening process. TSA is under a trial prescreen period which expedites the process to get to the gate. 
  • Wide selection of in-flight entertainment. Flight time goes so much faster when there's a good movie to watch.

I only hope my next trip on a plane will be as painless.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Stephen Curry's pre-game workout

source: Golden State Warriors/YouTube
Tonight, the Golden State Warriors go into Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference Final versus the Houston Rockets. The Warriors are currently 3-0 in the series. A win tonight will put them into the NBA Finals which begins June 4.

If you've watched any of the Warriors post season games, it's not (pun fully intended) rocket science to see why Steph Curry was selected this year's MVP. So far, he's broken Reggie Miller's record of post season 3-point goals and scored 30 or more points in his last 4 games.

Steph's defense isn't exactly shabby either. In Game 2 of the Western Conference Final, Chef Steph and teammate/fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson prevented Houston Rockets guard/MVP runner-up James Harden from scoring to end Game 2 with a 99-98 win.

In Game 3, Steph followed his own missed shot and boxed out Rockets center Dwight Howard for the rebound. Curry is 6'3", 185 pounds. Howard is 6'11", 275 pounds. Howard is a 4-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

To get a glimpse of why Steph is a megastar, you have to watch (in awe) and appreciate his pre-game routine. Greatness doesn't happen without practice. Lots of it.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

2015 San Francisco USBC Tournament

Today, I finished bowling 3 squads (all doubles) of the Chinese-Japanese Spring Invitational at Cloverleaf Bowl in Fremont. Like my results from the USBC Women's Nationals in Reno, I only bowled 1 series above my average. From a half-full glass standpoint, the total pins of the 9 games bowled came very close to my regular season average.

Last week, I bowled 3 squads at the San Francisco USBC Championships at Sea Bowl in Pacifica. It was probably the best I bowled in a tournament. Although my lowest series was team, our team, Friends, is currently in 4th place. There was a session that bowled today so I should know final results within the next few days.

If it holds up our team will cash out. I may end up getting some cash for the other events I bowled as well.

****UPDATE, MONDAY, MAY 18****
Unofficial final standings came in.
Team: 6th place. Missed cashing out by 31 pins.
Doubles: 18th place.
Singles: 24th place.
All events: 37th place.
Overall, it was a very good showing considering how many teams and number of bowlers with higher averages and tournament experience we competed against.
Team name: Friends, 4th place
Singles, 18th place
Doubles, 14th place with partner Jason Wu
Teammates Walter and Monica Kwok, 13th place
All events, tied, 21st place
Teammates Walter Kwok, 14th place, Monica Kwok 15th place

Monday, May 11, 2015

Stephen Curry, 2014-15 NBA MVP - full speech

Last week, as many of us here in the San Francisco Bay Area knew would happen, Golden State Warrior point guard Stephen Curry was selected by the National Basketball Association as this season's Most Valuable Player.

In my opinion, it couldn't have happened to a more likable, hard-working, humble guy.

If you're a Steph Curry fan and have 40 minutes to spare, watch the full version of his acceptance speech. It's clear how grateful and appreciative he is to current and former coaches and teammates, Warriors staff and management, friends, and most of all, his immediate family.

Again, congratulations, Steph. We couldn't be any prouder.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month - East of Main Street

source: HBO
The month of May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

If you're a regular follower of my blog, I've written about numerous documentaries and films that highlight the Asian-American experience. 

In my August 29, 2012 entry, I wrote about an excellent HBO series called "East of Main Street" by Jonathan Yi.

The latest film in the series, "Taking The Lead" was released this past week. It features interviews with leading Asian-American actors such as Daniel Dae Kim, Lucy Liu, BD Wong and Aasif Mandvi.

Here's the trailer:

If you're an HBO subscriber, the other short films in the series previously featured are also available to view.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

2014 versus 2015 USBC Women's Championships

My results for this year's USBC Women's Nationals came in. Compared to last year, we did almost the same, but slightly better. We bowled this year in one of my favorite bowling venues, National Bowling Stadium.

In the Singles, Doubles and 4-person team, I should have been but wasn't satisfied that my 9-game average was 2-3 pins below this season's 2-league averages. It's probably because the last time I bowled in the Stadium I did better.

2016's Nationals will be held in Las Vegas at South Point. This will be a brand new venue altogether, so I need to remind myself not to expect too much.

Year     Team    Doubles   Singles    Pin Total
2014     1732      814           405           2951
2015     1752      775           433           2960

Saturday, April 18, 2015

San Francisco Giants World Series Ring Ceremonies

2010 World Series Ring Ceremony
source: AP

2012 World Series Ring Ceremony
source: AP

2014 World Series Ring Ceremony
source: AP
Today, the San Francisco Giants held their third World Series ring ceremony.

For each ceremony, the Giants wore special edition home uniforms with the lettering in gold.

You'll notice all of them are familiar yet different takes on their regular home uniforms.

Some of the players in the photos include:

2010: Aaron Rowand, Cody Ross, Andres Torres, Mark DeRosa, Aubrey Huff.

2012: Barry Zito, Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong, Javier Lopez.

2014: Hunter Pence, Sergio Romo, Gregor Blanco.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Stephen Curry, 2014-15 NBA MVP?

source: ESPN
As of this writing, the Golden State Warriors are 65-15, mostly due to a baby-faced point guard named Wardell Stephen Curry II. Chef Curry has been a one-man highlight reel all season. On April 9, 2015 game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Steph scored 45 points and broke his own 3-point goal record.

UPDATE****May 4, 2015. Steph receives 100 of 130 first place votes to win the NBA's MVP for the 2014-15 season. He is the first Warrior since Wilt Chamberlain in the 1959-60 (a few months before I was born) season when the Warriors were in Philadelphia. Congrats Steph!

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Raising the 2012 World Championship Flag - San Francisco Giants

L to R: Sergio Romo, Angel Pagan, Hunter Pence, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Ryan Vogelsong
MLB's 2015 season begins tomorrow. Two years ago today, the 2013 season began with raising the 2012 World Championship Banner at AT&T Park. A repeat of this ceremony to raise the 2014 World Championship flag will take place at the Giants' home opener versus the Colorado Rockies on Monday, April 13.

For all Giants fans like me that feel 8 days is too far away, here's an encore of the video. So comforted to know all 6 players are on the 2015 Opening Day roster.

Play ball!