Thursday, October 16, 2014

2014 Shot Heard Around The World

The Giants Win The Pennant!
  The Giants Win The Pennant!
    The Giants Win The Pennant!
      And They're Going Crazy!
        They're Going Crazy!

Travis Ishikawa just hit a walk-off three run homer, and the Giants are heading to the World Series to take on the Kansas City Royals.

Final Score (NLCS Game 5)
Cardinals 3
Giants 6

Raiderlegend Video Repost

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

SF Giants In, L.A. Dodgers Out

Going, Going, Gone. That Ballclub is Outta Here!

Before game 4 of the Giants/Nationals game even took flight, orange clad fans at AT&T ballpark watching the big screen cheered loudly as the clock struck twelve on the Los Angeles Dodgers postseason. Their divisional playoff series against the St. Louis Cardinals ended in a big, ugly, Dodgers loss. The so-called best pitcher in baseball, Clayton Kershaw, with a 2-0 lead, gave up a three run homer in the seventh that stood for a 3-2 Cardinals win, ending the series 3-1. 

All the money in their Dodger Blue contracts couldn't buy them a trip to the National League Championship series; not this year and not while teams like the Cardinals and Giants are playing like champions.

Yes baseball fans, the Dodgers lost their chance to represent California in the NLCS while the underdog Giants closed out their NLDS series victorious against the Washington Nationals and are heading to the Championship round.

What can you say about those pesky Giants? They scrap, grind and sacrifice every ounce of their bodies and souls to be the best by beating the best.  How the heck did the Giants do it this time? That's what the baseball world outside the bay area are asking themselves. How do you win a postseason series-clinching game against a powerhouse team with runs off a bases loaded walk, a bases loaded ground ball and a bases loaded wild pitch? Simple, get men on base and let the magic unfold. That, combined with strong pitching, stellar defense and a kid named Joe will get you wins. (Poughkeepsie Journal)

Now, watch closely Dodgers fans and the rest of you bums who underestimated the Giants, its plays like this that show the hunger of a champion, our champion:

Giants Outfielder Hunter Pence Getting It Done

  1. Major League Baseball
    Scores & Schedule

    1. Thu, Sep 18
    2. Fri, Sep 19
    3. Sat, Sep 20
    4. Sun, Sep 21
    5. Mon, Sep 22
    6. Tue, Sep 23
    7. Wed, Sep 24
    8. Thu, Sep 25
    9. Fri, Sep 26
    10. Sat, Sep 27
    11. Sun, Sep 28
    12. Tue, Sep 30
    13. Wed, Oct 1
    14. Thu, Oct 2
    15. Fri, Oct 3
    16. Sat, Oct 4
    17. Sun, Oct 5
    18. Mon, Oct 6
    19. Tue, Oct 7
    20. Fri, Oct 10
    21. Sat, Oct 11
    22. Sun, Oct 12
    23. Mon, Oct 13
    24. Tue, Oct 14
    25. Wed, Oct 15
    26. Thu, Oct 16
    27. Fri, Oct 17
    28. Sat, Oct 18
    29. Sun, Oct 19
    30. Tue, Oct 21
    31. Wed, Oct 22
    32. Fri, Oct 24
    33. Sat, Oct 25
    34. Sun, Oct 26
    35. Tue, Oct 28
    36. Wed, Oct 29

    Game 4


    Game 4

    All times are in Pacific Time

Banks, Prisons & Profits; JPAY

Its one heck of a hustle; to bilk the poor out of monies they send to prisons for their incarcerated loved ones. Who would'a thought that privatized prison management includes privatized money lending overseers who takes huge percentages off the top from monies meant for the someone in need? 

Talk about paying for a crime committed; this practice of taking from the poor, in some cases forcing families to use what amounts to a money laundering service, in order for an imprisoned family member to receive cash gifts from outside the prison is c-r-i-m-i-n-a-l. Some prisons no longer accept money orders, only money transactions processed through their designated financial firm.

Reminds me of a chrome plated license plate I once saw on a fancy car in Manhattan years ago; ¢RIME P8Y$

While many of us law-abiding citizens are focused on the criminal actions of offenders getting caught, prosecuted and jailed for crimes, most never consider the private businesses that prey on the imprisoned offender and their families.  Some might call it justice, but its a blind justice at best when you see poor families paying high fees to correctional institutions through their financial firm partners. 

I read an article today in the San Francisco Chronicle (Justice for all - if you have cash). In it, Columnist Jon Carroll speaks on the subject of private prisons and sheds light on JPay, a firm that handles financial transactions for the prisons.

Its a subject that needs to be dragged out into the light, analyzed and hopefully changed so that poor people in jail are not victimized by a system that we as tax paying citizens endorse. Let's educate ourselves and go after all criminals that prey on our system. 

Prison bankers cash in on captive customers

MegaBanks have the federal prison system locked up

Senator Questions Bank of America's No Bid Prison Deal

I urge those not behind bars to educate yourselves about how the prison system of today is a private, for profit institution housing commodities that might someday be trading on wall street.  See who's getting richer and who poorer by a penal system that's embarrassing to label rehabilitative.

It's American tragedies like this that make Bernie Madoff and company look like Robin Hood and his merry men. The saddest thing about it is, for the incarcerated, it's an accepted reality of life in prison; and for the prison operators and their board members its just good Business practice, as long as it shows a profit.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Epic 18-Inning Giants Win: A Baseball Classic

I joined the torturous Giants game around the seventh inning stretch.  Who knew it would be eleven innings later before the high tension stress level that is October Baseball would release us viewers from its addictive grasp. An after game stretch never felt so good.

The Giants and Nationals played the longest postseason game in hours and minutes ever played between two major league baseball teams.  Mind you the game is over one-hundred years old. 

It was a postseason game for the ages with the underdog, under-credited San Francisco Giants getting a game winning home run from Brandon Belt in the top of the 18th.  As always, there were many heoroes for the Giants who pitched, hit and defended like it was 2012.  For as great as the pitching of Hudson and Petit were, the media had all but given the game to their beloved Nationals (best team in baseball) before our own Kung Fu Pablo Panda Sandoval doubled in the ninth with two outs and two men on. We won't even discuss the go-ahead Posey score that wasn't. At that moment, if Pablo goes down the Giants go down. Instead, no longer a rookie with a playoff game under his belt, Joe Panik scores and the epic back and forth duel between baseball soldiers marches onward. 

I hate to dwell on the media bias against the Giants but when you hear a national television commentator say during extra innings that there's six batters before the Nationals pitching spot comes to bat, but the Nationals should have won it by then, your suspicions of a Giants hating media are driven home.  That's why most Giants fans prefer local broadcast to national every time, the national makes the game double-torturous for us.  

But in the end, a Giants win, a city's celebration (fans were honking and hollering in the SF streets last night), and our recognition of Giants Orange October determination is more rewarding to us Giants fans than any unfavoring remarks thrown out by Fox, ESPN or other national sports commentators and/or analysts. Its what makes winning against all odds so..............Sweeeeeeeet!  

Get ready major league baseball, cinderfella comes home Monday to possibly closeout this second round of dancing and move on to the next baseBall event; the league championship series.

Giants 2
Senators 1

Giants lead series 2-0

Saturday, October 04, 2014

In A Perfect World

Barvy podzimu: fotografická soutěž (září 2013)

Postseason baseball divisional play arrived with a bang as eight teams scrapped and clawed their way through games that ended in one run victories and defeats. Its October, the Indian Summer weather is brilliant and baseball has taken center stage in sports. What else could a sports fan ask for!

Major League Baseball
Scores & Schedule

  1. Thu, Sep 18
  2. Fri, Sep 19
  3. Sat, Sep 20
  4. Sun, Sep 21
  5. Mon, Sep 22
  6. Tue, Sep 23
  7. Wed, Sep 24
  8. Thu, Sep 25
  9. Fri, Sep 26
  10. Sat, Sep 27
  11. Sun, Sep 28
  12. Tue, Sep 30
  13. Wed, Oct 1
  14. Thu, Oct 2
  15. Yesterday
  16. Today
  17. Tomorrow
  18. Mon, Oct 6
  19. Tue, Oct 7
  20. Wed, Oct 8
  21. Thu, Oct 9
  22. Fri, Oct 10
  23. Sat, Oct 11
  24. Sun, Oct 12
  25. Mon, Oct 13
  26. Tue, Oct 14
  27. Wed, Oct 15
  28. Thu, Oct 16
  29. Fri, Oct 17
  30. Sat, Oct 18
  31. Sun, Oct 19
  32. Tue, Oct 21
  33. Wed, Oct 22
  34. Fri, Oct 24
  35. Sat, Oct 25
  36. Sun, Oct 26
  37. Tue, Oct 28
  38. Wed, Oct 29

Game 2


Game 1


Game 1


Game 2


Economics 101 From Compton to the Commonwealth

Here's an incredible discussion with an extraordinary man who reflects the economic opportunity that America still offers to All groups, if only all had the methods in place to acquire the means to financial success.

His book "How The Poor Can Save Capitalism; Rebuilding The Path To Middle Class" is described as a memo for understanding how with the right tools, policies and inspiration, poor communities can rise up to become economic participators within our capitalist society.
John Hope Bryant is an entrepreneur, author, and advisor and one of the nation’s most recognized empowerment leaders. He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies. Recognized as one of Time magazine’s “50 for the Future” leaders, Bryant is the author of Love Leadership and is the only African-American bestselling business author. He served as chairman of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, Subcommittee on the Underserved and Community Empowerment, and was appointed by President Obama in 2014 as a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans. He is also cofounder of the Gallup-HOPE Index, the only national research poll on youth financial dignity and youth economic energy in the United States.

As I listened to Mr. Bryant lecture/educate the commonwealth club and share history, strategy and many truths and falsehoods about American economics and the poor, I was filled with a new and brighter hope for America. And I must admit that my outlook on the subject of economics and equal opportunity in our country has been grim.

We all should take the time to hear out this bright and courageous man who brings a fresh new approach to solving old problems of poverty, class and culture here in the land of the free and home of the brave.

Hear the truth about our country, our people and our history, then step up and make a change that affects our community in a positive way. Mr. Bryant in his speech makes one take notice of economics being at the root of many troubling issues in America and he offers solutions to the crisis. An equal playing field would definitely be a start.

I urge anyone who is wondering not only how we got into this economic crisis in America today, but also those desperate to find and hear of a good solution to balancing out the inequalities that exist between the haves and have nots. My sister will applaud this Fredo moment.

"A Fredo Moment"

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Let's Go G-I-A-N-T-S

Yes, it's October folks, and I think San Francisco Chronicle sports writer Ann Killion said it best, "And just like clockwork, the Giants magically snapped into postseason form."

How else do you explain the Giants miraculous 8-0 shutout of the "Buc" Pirates in Pittsburgh last night? 

It was as if the Giants had simply taken a postseason off in 2013, an odd year, and are now picking right back up where their 2012 championship postseason left off.  I count 11 wins and our orange and black will be marching down market street hoisting what rightfully has belonged to them the past two even numbered years of this decade.

Again quoting Ann, "they looked like a different team than the one that limped into the postseason." Everyone stepped up in last night's wild card win, with Madison Bumgarner silencing the buccaroos and Brandon Crawford delivering the knockout punch.  It was all so good, historic even.  

Next up are the Washington Nationals who sported the best record in the National League's regular season. But this ain't the regular season and these aren't your regular season Giants.

Here we go again Giants fans, an Orange October that keeps us up late into the evenings cheering our boys toward victory.  Bring'em home safely Bochy.

And with Hunter Pence rallying the troops, we can't lose.  

"This is where we fight, this is where they die" 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

When The Going Get's Tough!

Oakland Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin, oops, I mean Tom Cable, double oops, who I really mean is Dennis Allen, has been shown the exit door after losing all four games of the young 2014 season. Everyone saw it coming and really there's no surprise.

It was time for a change and since you can't change all 53 players four games in, might as well change the coach who calls all the shots.  As far as I know it was only Allen who was let go.  

Announced as interim head coach today was assistant head coach and offensive line coach, tough Tony Sparano.

So here we sit Raiders fans, staring at a dismal 0-4 record; swapping a losing coach for an underachieving interim coach who got his NFL start as offensive quality control in Cleveland; we're coming off an embarrassing beatdown, broadcast internationally from London, where our best player, rookie quarterback Derek Carr, was injured and did not finish the game; our fabulous female cheerleaders just reached a $1.25 million lawsuit settlement with the team; and if all that isn't enough, San Antonio, Texas is wooing owner Mark Davis to transplant our beloved Raiders to cowboy country, to represent alongside their silver and black Spurs, the current NBA champions.

If you ask me I think we got'em right where we want them. Nobody expects much fight from a team with so much against it.  But the Raiders have always been an us against them team and will somehow find a way to pull themselves together and fight to the last. If the saying "when the going get's tough, the tough get going" bares any truth, then the silver and black are living it right now and must get this thing moving forward.  The going is tough, but there's plenty of football left to play.  This thing ain't over!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

J. California Cooper

A most gifted storyteller and family friend passed away recently, and we are left to our lasting memories of her.  Author J. California Cooper was introduced to my family by a cousin of ours who worked for one of JCC's publishers.  When JCC visited our upstate New York family home she sat out on the porch and immediately began popping off stories as quickly as a rapper pops rhymes.

JCC found inspiration in the countryside, and anyone within earshot was hypnotized by her ability to paint in words her minute observations of the moment. 

She'd see an old tired ant lugging its dead comrade on its back across a sidewalk and there began a story. She'd look at the old walnut and elm trees that lined our street swaying in the mountain breeze and another story would develop. Her view of the multi-colored autumn mountain with its long abandoned trolley track slithering down its summit brought out stories that had listeners envisioning Hannibal crossing the alps on elephants.  

Yes, J. California Cooper could make one see, smell and taste her words as she cooked up story after story from organic, homegrown ingredients. You'd become as a child in her hands. And you'd never look at an ant, a tree or a mountain in the same dull way.

I remember visiting her in Gualala, Calif., a small coastal community up near Bodega Bay.  The area looked as if it were a hidden hamlet that catered to visiting uppercrust professionals.  But who would've thought that residing in one of the homes, there to write her next book, was JCC trying desperately to keep to herself and not be disturbed. When her creative juices were focused on a writing project, you couldn't just drop in on JCC. If you did you did it at your own risk.

During my visit I learned a great lesson from JCC. As we were walking around the yard to the patio area at the side of the house, she began telling the story of how she came to purchase the home. I remember that every time she spoke of the house she would reach out and touch it gently, as if touching a close friend. She explained that it wasn't so much the money that reflected her success back to her, but things she could call hers; things she could reach out and touch, feel and pass on to her family. She loved tangible things and people. 

I remember her expressing her love for her daughter Paris in a way that made them seem like best friends forever.  It wasn't your usual parent bragging about their child, but more like a child sharing the many ways her child-parent directs, guides and adds spice to her life.  It was all love.

JCC had that artist's way of looking at everything in life.  She gulped down life's nectar in pitcher fulls. I'm sure that wherever the afterlife leads her, there you'd find her encircled by a captive audience, giving a descriptive version of this new paradise she's joined and the spectacular journey that brought her there.

Farwell J. California Cooper, Dasvidaniya! (until we meet again; russian)


Fear Not

Yes, I stole this from a website titled THEBOLDLIFE; inspiration for fearless living.  Actually, I'd like to think of it as borrowing because anything that helps others overcome obstacles in life must be borrowed and shared.  

It was quote #18 by Ralfph Waldo Emerson that led me to this list. You can never have too many quotes about how best to handle your fears.

Fear Not!

53 of the Best Quotes On Fear

I offer you these quotes as a gift of encouragement. If there is something you fear today let them guide you in the direction of your dreams!
1. Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. ~Les Brown
2. The first and great commandment is: Don't let them scare you. ~Elmer Davis
3. I have accepted fear as a part of life – specifically the fear of change…. I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back.  ~Erica Jong
4. Do not let your fears choose your destiny. ~ Unknown
5. Fear is never a reason for quitting; it is only an excuse. ~Norman Vincent Peale 
6. Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom. ~Mary Ferguson
7. Where fear is, happiness is not. ~Seneca
8. Fear is a habit, so is self-pity, defeat, anxiety, despair, hopelessness and resignation. You can eliminate all of these negative habits with two simple resolves," I can! and I will!" 
9. Do what you fear most and you control fear. Tom Hopkins
10. Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the 'someday I'll' philosophy. Denis Waitley
11. Fear is faith that it won't work out. 
12. There are four ways you can handle fear. You can go over it, under it, or around it. But if you are ever to put fear behind you, you must walk straight through it. Once you put fear behind you. Leave it there. ~Donna Favors
13. Fear can keep us up all night long, but faith makes one fine pillow.
14. Confront your fears, list them, get to know them, and only then will you be able to put them aside and move ahead. ~Jerry Gille
15. Fear isn't an excuse to come to a standstill. It's the impetus to step up and strike. ~Arthur Ashe
16. Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. ~Dale Carnegie
17. To be a star, you must shine your own light, follow your path, and don't worry about the darkness, for that is when the stars shine brightest.
18. Always do what you are afraid to do. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
19. You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn't exist anywhere except in the mind. ~Dale Carnegie
20. Thinking will not overcome fear but action will. ~W. Clement Stone
21. Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it…that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear."
22. The key to change….is to let go of fear. ~Rosanne Cash
23. Somebody should tell us…right at the start of our lives…that we are dying. Then we might live to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows. ~Michael Landon
24. Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop.  ~Usman B. Asif
25. Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death.  ~Author Unknown
26. A cheerful frame of mind, reinforced by relaxation… is the medicine that puts all ghosts of fear on the run.  ~George Matthew Adams
27. To fear is one thing.  To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.  ~Katherine Paterson
28. He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
29. Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.  ~Brendan Francis
30. Panic at the thought of doing a thing is a challenge to do it.  ~Henry S. Haskins
31. Obstacles are like wild animals.  They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can.  If they see you are afraid of them… they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.  ~Orison Swett Marden
32. I've got more energy now than when I was younger because I know exactly what I want to do. ~George Balanchine
33. You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.  ~Mary Manin Morrissey
34. What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
35. Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most. ~Dostoyevsky
36. I am kind of paranoid in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy. ~J.D. Salinger
37. I was never afraid of failure, for I would sooner fail than not be among the best. ~John Keats
38. Go back a little to leap further. John Clarke
39. I was never afraid of failure, for I would sooner fail than not be among the best. ~John Keats
40. I failed my way to success.~Thomas Edison
 41. To use fear as the friend it is, we must retrain and reprogram ourselves. We must persistently and convincingly tell ourselves that the fear is here–with its gift of energy and heightened awareness–so we can do our best and learn the most in the new situation. ~Peter Williams
42. "Fearless" is living in spite of those things that scare you to death. ~Taylor Swift
43. I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.

Only I will remain. ~Frank Herbert
44. Start a huge, foolish project like Noah. It makes absolutely no difference what people think of you. ~Rumi
45. To live in the world of creation—to get into it and stay in it–to frequent it and haunt it…to think intently and fruitfully, to woo combinations and inspirations into being by a depth and continuity of attention and meditation–this is the only thing. ~Henry James
46. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is  more important than fear. ~Ambrose Redmoon
47. We are all of us failures–at least, the best of us are. ~James Barrie
48. Where ever fear shadows…. that always means there is a light shining somewhere. ~Jonathan Santos
49. That feeling isn't fear, it's just telling you to MOVE !! ~Rancid
50. The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. ~ E Hubbard
51. Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it. ~ Bill Cosby
52. A mind focused on doubt and fear cannot focus on the journey to victory. ~ Mike Jones
53. Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. ~Dale Carnegie 
If you need to make a change and fear is holding your back, ask yourself these 3 questions:
What is the best outcome that can happen?

What is the worst outcome that can possibly happen?

What is the result of remaining the same?
My friend Steve Aitchison has a post today, "How Far Off Are You From Reaching Your Dreams," stop by and check it out!
 Please share any thoughts with us below.
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