Saturday, July 20, 2013

Finding Your Element

The Commonwealth Club of California continues to amaze me with their selection of guest speakers. This morning I tuned in to hear the thoughts and ideas being shared by Sir Ken Robinson, English author out of Liverpool, speaker and International Advisor on education.

You truly step into a sort of twilight zone when listening to Sirken speak. He seems to open up that other dimension of life that we all seem to put aside and forget about so that we can better focus on just surviving.  He does it with facts, statistics, humor and common sense. The man is obviously a great teacher, one we should take timeout to listen to.

Sirken suggests so many good directions on how to get the most out of the one unique, magical life that you've been granted.  He touches on evolution, energy, education and self-discovery.  How refreshing to hear someone on an international level expressing the need for our modern culture to step back and take a wider view of ourselves and our future world.   

Hearing Sirken talk about the world population and consumerism reminds me of an old hippy I once met who said he knew the source of all humanities problems,"too many poeple."  I still consider that old hippy a genius in how he applied basic common sense to world issues.  Sirken may or may not have been a hippy back in his day, but his genius sure shines through when sharing ways to better our world.   

The Beatles, Slaughterhouse, Depression, Education.

"A Fredo Moment"

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Someone Knows My Name/ Book of Negroes

I picked this book up when it first came out in 2007. I put it down after flipping through a few pages and learning about the black british loyalists who were shipped to Nova Scotia after the american revolution.  The book was then titled "The Book of Negroes" by canadian Lawrence Hill. 

About a week ago I picked up a book titled "Someone Knows My Name" by the same author.  It wasn't until I'd purchased the book and returned home to read it that I realized it was in fact the same Book of Negroes book under a different title.

I'm completely taken by this book and have shared my excitement about it with friends and family.  I list it here on my blog to share with others and further the cause of enlightening readers to the story of slavery.  Here is a story of Faith, Struggle and Survival.

So how does one survive crossing the Atlantic Ocean shackled inside the belly of a stinking, overcrowded, human hell that was the slave ship?  Where comfort lies in the thought of a chance to break free and jump overboard to drown away the god-awful misery and torture?  Below is a line from the book where the main character, a young girl of twelve or so, has survived in body but who's spirit is crumbling from the atrocities she's seen and witnessed since forcibly being taken from her village.  She witnessed her mother and father killed, felt the harsh beatings and flesh scraping manacles of her captors and was shocked into compliance when during the slave march out of the jungle her bare foot crunched down into the crunchy, maggot-infested carcass of a captive who'd died along the way, his body left to rot alongside the path leading out of the african jungle.   At the end of the path along the coast were two more introductions to the world of slavery; slave pens to buy and sell human chattel and slave ships that would carry the captured cargo to the americas. 

Her name is Aminata Diallo and as the harsh reality of her enslavement sets in, a wise african adult male, after telling her that her duty is to stay alive, encourages her with these words:

" turn your mind from the ship, child.  It is nothing but a rotting carcass in the grass. The carcass has shocked you with its stink and its flies. But you have walked past it, already, and now you must keep walking."

This is advice for us to heed today as we struggle with the injustices and shocking realities of life today.  Leave yesterday's worrying thoughts and problems in yesterday's ship. We must keep walking and living.

It appears that someone is working on a movie version of this book.  Bravo!

This is not a preview of the movie "The Book of Negroes"

Amazon Book Reviews

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Timmy Smokes!

Giants Legendary pitcher Tim Lincecum did something in San Diego's Petco Field tonight that restored his confidence and fans confidence in him.  Timmy pitched a no-hitter...........

The Giants exploded for nine runs and it was Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Punce making big defensive plays to keep the no-no alive.  Hunter "rally-round-the-campfire-boys" Pence was on fire with five RBI's and a catch that should win him some kind of award. But tonight was Lincecum's night, he pitched the Padres into complete submission.

The last Giants no-no on the road was 1976 by John 'the count' Montefusco.  Giants pitchers have been spoiling us the past few years with this their no-no's in 2009 (Jonathan Sanchez) and 2012 (Mr. Perfect Matt Cain).

So go ahead Tim, spark up a big fat one. You're a legend and legends don't need permission to smoke. Not in the bay area where your a Giant legend.

Final Score
Giants 9
Padres 0

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pamplona Bull Rush

They say that yesterday's annual running of the bulls event might have been one of the goriest in recent memory with one runner getting horned up into the air by a charging bull.  Of course it was probably some wealthy american banker who's retired in Spain after profiting off the housing market collapse years ago.   Well you can bet I'm rooting for the Bulls in this one, Go Bulls Go!

Bulls 2
Runners O uch

Multi-Universe Tournament

Stumbled across this virtual sporting event recently.  Its rounds of deathmatches between characters from every story in exisistence.  Winner will be crown God of Champions. I'd like to find out more about the battle, but not being a virtual fighter/gamer, I'm on the outs. One thing I will say about the participants is that their fighting characters come in all shapes and sizes with impressive looks.

Alex Mercer

As read in the introduction, this game with will be a tournament with characters from every story in existence. From ancient mythology to the latest hollywood movie. Any kind of character is allowed here. The game will be in a deathmatch between the characters. Which means they will be put together in the same arena and the last one standing is the winner. They will the become the champion of the tournament.

But that doesn't end there! Once 8 champions have been found, there will be a special tournament of champions! 8 people will select one of the past winners and they will be put into a deathmatch to determine who is the champion among champions! Then once again, when 8 champions of champions is selected there will be a special tournament to determine which of them is the God of Champions. The God of Champions will be forever immortalized in the thread.

Then the whole process starts over again. Characters that was used before can be used again to try there hand at ultimately becoming the next God of Champions.

Multi-Universe All-Star Tournament

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Go Black, All Black, Go Rugby

I really wish American Football teams still carried the passion and loyalty of the place they represent and the fanatics that wear the colors and root for them unconditionally, win, lose or tie.  That's why whenever I see footage of the All Blacks, New Zealand's national rugby team, I get pumped. 

You can see the love the players have for their country and home.  In a game against France, an All Blacks player is shown shuddering with tears during the national anthem, so moved by his love for country and the opportunity to represent it on the rugby field. Rugby is an intense sport, but the All Blacks make it Super-Intense just by stepping onto the field, dressed in black.

American football has lost this type of honor mostly due to free agency and corporate sponsor contracts.  But in the minds of us Oakland Raiders fans, our team will one day recapture that old Raiders mystique that saw players in silver and black shedding tears before games, excited to take the field and represent one of the toughest and winningest teams in professional football. 

We hold dearly to those memories of old and look forward to each and every season with hope of maybe this being that return to glory season. And what better organization to compare our team loyalty to than the All Blacks rugby team of New Zealand, a champion in Black.

Its 2013 and the Oakland Raiders are still the team I hold nearest and dearest to my heart.  They're the only team that's ever brought tears of pride and joy to my eyes by just stepping onto the field.  Many of today's sports fans get pumped and fanatical only when their team is in the playoffs or championship game(s).  Raider fans get emotionally hyped just by meeting another fan wearing silver and black, or hearing the Autumn Wind fight song anytime, anywhere. As I once heard one old, white-haired Raiders fan say about our fight song before a game, "now that's a fight song that makes you wanna kick some a$$!"

Yep, it's 2013 and I can't wait to get inside the Oakland Coliseum and leak passion and loyalty as the Raiders step onto the field dressed in black.  In the meantime, there's nothing wrong with watching a match between the All Blacks and France while counting down the days to NFL football. Haka Haka Y'all!

On This Day In Sports History


Stunning Silva Loss, Satisfying Victory For All

I'm not much of a MMA fight fan, but when a reigning fighting champion disrespectfully clowns around in the ring with a hungry opponent of lesser talent, I'll be the first to hope for an stunning upset. 

We all remember scenes like this in the past; Roy Jones Jr, Sugar Ray Leonard, Hector Macho Comacho Sr, Tyson vs Douglas for christ sakes just to name a few.  All were great champions, but many fans couldn't wait for an opponent to catch'em with a good shot to put their butt down on the canvas.

Well folks, last night Chris Weidman caught the seven-year reigning UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva with a shot for the ages.  Silva, hands down, bobbing and weaving ala Roy Jones, got knocked silly with a Weidman left after dancing away from a backhand right that glanced Silva's upper lip.  It was a thing of underdog beauty I tell yah.

The best thing about the Silva loss is the lesson; all the talent, cockiness and confidence in the world can be humbled in one split second when the sports gods look down upon a great one and whisper the words "Time's Up!"  Anderson Silva, last night was simply your Cinderella hour. Times Up! Its a Wrap! Get Your Coat & Hat! Did you really think you could taunt the fighting gods forever? Those who blessed you with such athletic talent ability?  Sorry Silva, "Time's Up!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Joey Takes Coney Again!
Here we are again, the July 4th Nathan's hot dog eating competition at Coney Island.  And as the saying goes, "It wasn't even close."

Defending champion out of San Jose, California, Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut retains the mustard yellow championship belt with a record 69 hot dogs eaten. Jaws went into the competition ranked #1 and guess what, he's now the undisputed Hot Dog eating champion, bar none.  

Here in the Bay Area we just might need to add Jaws to our Wall of Fame.  This is his seventh consecutive championship since first taking the belt from six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi.  Las Vegas even had a spread on Jaws, imagine that.  Joey Jaws, welcome to the pinnacle of sports. You Go Dog!

Competition Preview

Competition History - On July 4th, 1916, four immigrants on Coney Island were having an argument debating who was the most patriotic.  They decided to settle the argument by having an eating competition at Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs stand.  That eating competition became a yearly tradition that has continued to grow in popularity over the past 96 years. 

Oakland A's Say Heyyyyyy

While the San Francisco Giants are starting the summer abysmally by getting No Hit against the Cincinnati Reds, the Oakland A's are leading the AL West and have the second best record in the American League.

Yesterday the A's dropped one to the Chicago Cubs at the Coliseum, but the team is doing everything that the World Series defending champion Giants are not; hitting, pitching and playing like a true contender. 

Think I'll try getting out to their ballpark to see'em soon, that is if Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) will share some of the profits they've pocketed with the Union Workers who make it all happen.  Come'on Bart, Get Smart, End The Strike!