Friday, May 29, 2015

R-A-I-D-E-R-S 2015

Think the Golden State Warriors are shocking the sports world; just wait until they get a look at what Oakland's Silver & Black bring to the gridiron this coming season.  It's our time Raider Nation!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Black Falcon Swoops Down

Our Bay Area Golden State Warriors are NBA Western Conference Champions. They'll head to the finals to play Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers; Lebron & Company.

The rough and tumble game 5 win over the Houston Rockets that propelled the Warriors into the Finals, produced an unlikely yet fitting hero.  

Warriors forward Harrison Barnes, aka the Black Falcon, saw the need and simply seized the moment to swoop down and lift the team onto his shoulders, carrying them to a series clinching 104-90 win in Oakland.  Barnes for the night had 24-points, but it was his 13-point fourth quarter that saved the Warriors from going back to Houston and had the Oakland/Oracle Arena celebrating like it was 1975 (the last Warriors NBA championship season).

Here's an excerpt from today's Chronicle newspaper article "Barnes Delivers" by Ann Killion:

He started things with a steal. Then a rebound. Then Thompson went out, and Barnes hit a 17-foot shot. Then pulled up for a three-pointer. Then grabbed a rebound. Then hit a hook shot. Then another rebound. Then a slam dunk off a Curry steal and pass. Then two free throws. And another dunk.

By the end of the Barnes flurry the Warriors had a 15-point lead and the celebration was officially on.

The Black Falcon showed the basketball world that he is more than capable of taking over a game, both offensively and defensively. With the Cleveland Cavaliers being the last hurdle for the Warriors to jump over in reaching a league championship, expect to see the Black Falcon's swooping super powers on full display in this winner take all series. It's our time Warriors.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Prayer For Young People

I opened a book of prayer and this is what it spoke to me

Thou, my Maker, knowest my life, my thoughts, my conduct.  Thou knowest the longings and ideals, the pains and hopes that urge and impel me.  Thou knowest also that I would make my life acceptable unto Thee, a source of pride to those who care for me, a source of blessing to my fellowmen.

There are moments when the vision of my better self animate my soul.  I dream of a life of character and high achievement, a life of worth and service.  But I also have my hours of temptation and struggle, when the vision fades and the will weakens.  Be with me, O God, in those hours.  Strengthen me, that I may realize the finer potentialities with which Thou hast endowed me.  When in the pressure of daily living, when in the pursuit after pleasure and success, I lose sight of my better self, fortify me with a sense of the purposefulness and holiness of life.  I ask not that my path be easy, that all temptation and struggle be removed from my way.  But I pray Thee to strengthen within me the conviction that I can make of my life what I will.  Cause me to feel that if Thou art with me, sustaining and encouraging me, no victory of the spirit is impossible.  Oh, let me know the joy of moral conquest.

Often I am overwhelmed by the vastness of the world and my own littleness and insignificance in it.  I seem so pitifully small, a mere atom in a measureless world of existence.  I seem unable to find my place in all this bewildering scheme of things.  My life appears meaningless, my work seems useless.  Yet I know that Thou hast placed me here and hast allotted me a task that is useful and necessary.  I beseech Thee, O my God, to reveal to me the high dignity of the part Thou hast assigned to me.  Let me feel that in Thine eyes my efforts are worth while.  Deepen within me the consciousness of the obligation I owe to my friends and loved ones, the responsibility I have to Thee and to my fellowmen.  Give me the strength so to mould and purify my character that my life may be counted a blessing.  I cannot find words to utter all that is within my heart.  Thou art with me, I have no fear.  Amen.

Union Prayer Book II for Jewish Worship  1954
Morning Service For Atonement Day  pg. 218-220

Saturday, May 23, 2015

San Francisco Giants Playing Like Champions

Early in the MLB season the San Francisco Giants couldn't buy a hit or a run. Now, with the pitching looking strong and the return of right-fielder Hunter Pence,  all seems right in the land of baseball. They've won eight out of their last ten and are currently 1.5 games behind the the division leading you know who.

It was the recent sweep of those division leading Los Angeles Dodgers here in San Francisco that told me our 2014 World Series Champions are back.  There have been some surprises, like Matt Duffy and Justin Maxwell.  There's also been some disappointment in third baseman Casey McGehee.  Baseball though is a long, roller-coaster season full of chance and change. I trust the organization to put the best team on the field that gives us a chance to continue our winning ways.

The Champions are currently in a 2-2 tied in Colorado; the second game of a double-header against the Rockies.  Giants won the earlier game 10-8.

Warriors 115 Rockets 80

It Was A Turkey Shoot In Houston...........

The Golden State Warriors dominated the Houston Rockets to take a 3-0 Western Conference Finals series lead. You can't count the resilient Rockets out, but I most definitely heard the Fat Lady gargling midway through the third quarter.

League MVP #30 Stephen Curry, the Human Torch, singed the Rockets for 40pts. One of his high arcing layups over the outstretched hand of Dwight Howard was circus worthy.

His supporting cast played up tempo offense, stellar defense and rebounded like cwazy.  It was a Golden State Warriors road show, and all the Rockets fans could do was sit through it and sulk, while the Nationally viewing audience oohed and aahed all night long. Somewhere in Lithuania, former Warriors guard Sarunas Marciulionis is proudly smiling.

Yes Rockets fans, it was the Warriors who came into your town and burned down your basketball sports arena.  Not even your best fireman, James Harden, could douse the flames once the fire got started.

Looking Good Warriors, Looking Good!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Warriors Beat Rockets In Game 1

Western Conference Finals.  All that it was hyped to be.  The Houston Rockets came to the Oakland Oracle Arena and saw why the Golden State Warriors are the number one seed in the Western Playoffs.

The Warriors know exactly how to finish a game. They played their style of up tempo ball and clutch defense resulting in a 110-106 game 1 conference finals win.  It was electrifying.  

League MVP Stephen Curry showed exactly why he won the honor by not letting his team lose.  Can't say that for MVP runner up James Harden.  Harden was good, very good.  Curry however was legendary.  We might not see another player the likes of him for years to come.  So best tune into every Warriors game you can.

Can You Dig It!

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Thrill of B.B. King Rests At 89

His Blues music was revolutionary, his spirit uncontainable as he strummed away on his stringed instrument nicknamed "Lucille." A man who thrilled generations with a guitar playing style all his own has gone.   

B.B. King has passed away at a ripe old age and we who appreciate what he brought to this life celebrate the man, his music and legacy.  

B.B. taught us that every human being, regardless of social or economic circumstances, race or color, gender or sexual orientation, can experience the blues (sorrow). His style of playing the blues underscored how crying and singing away our suffering can aid in dispelling the winds of sadness and healing one's soul.  

Nobody intentionally invites life's physical, mental and emotional pains to their doorstep, but its a blessing to know that when they come knocking at our door there is a home remedy one can take to ease the misery and sadness they bring.  B.B. was the "other" Doctor King, healing hearts and souls while Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was actively attempting to heal the many ills caused by societal prejudice.

Blues music is that home medicine and B.B. King was one of the greatest doctors to ever administer doses of it to sick and suffering souls throughout the world. Doctor King might not cure the cause of your pains, but his blues music sure acts like a sedative, hushing the hurt long enough to allow a distressed soul to rest and regain its strength again.

The great Doctor has left the building, gone away for good. 
And now that he's free and gone, all we can do is wish him well.

B.B. King painting by artist Merryl Jaye

Friday, May 08, 2015

Welcome To Rugby (or Ruggedby)

I predict that this sport just might someday overtake American football as the number one sport in this country.  In the game above it was the All Blacks of New Zealand overtaking the American national rugby team in what would become a blowout. 

As a youngster I played a style of this game in the form of a freestyle grudge match (scrum), where whoever had the cajones to grab the ball off the ground and run was fair game for a mob of tacklers out to take his head off and strip the ball away. I always thought of it as a passage to manhood. No fear.

I loved that game.

Rugby football is a style of football that developed at Rugby School and was one of many versions of football played at English public schools during the 19th century.[1] The two main types of rugby are rugby league and rugby union. Although these two forms share the same objective of getting the ball over the line to score atry, the specific rules are different.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Celebrating MVP Curry

Last night I attended a night baseball game at AT&T park.  It was the 2015 version San Francisco Giants with World Series MVP Madison Bumgardner on the mound. MadBum was his 'fire-on-the-mountain' self, pitching a no-hitter into the 7th inning.  The Giants would go on to beat the San Diego Padres 2-0.

Leaving the park and feeling triumphant I spied out of the corner of my eye a T-shirt vendor yelling "Get Your MVP Merchandise." Figured I owed it to Bum, after pitching so MVP like, to purchase something with his name and/or picture on it.  

Then as I got closer to the vendor I saw yellow, heard the name Curry and before I could ask how much I was ordering a size Extra-Large.  The day mind you, had been full of the great bay area sports news that Warriors point guard Stephen Curry had won the NBA league MVP. 

Everyone, myself included, had heard the Warriors star make an impeccably touching MVP acceptance speech earlier in the day. So a big, bright-yellow Curry MVP T-shirt, fresh off the printing press was in order. I was all smiles with plans to wear it tonight while watching the Warriors vs Memphis game.

After walking about a block with the T-shirt over my shoulder I couldn't contain myself and had to take another peek at my MVP treasure find. It was then, under the brighter street lights, that I'd discovered a slight flaw in my MVP purchase.  The color was vibrant, the lettering and spelling flawless, but one of the two images printed on the front did not look like Curry at all.  Out of my mouth came a high pitched cry "Iguodala!" referring to Curry teammate Andre Iguodala.  

Actually the image in the #30 Warriors jersey looked like a cross between Igoudala and former Warriors guard Monte Ellis.  Maybe its the darker complexion and/or the facial expression. Maybe the goatee. Whatever the cause of the picture distortion, I was dumbfounded and felt cheated.  But the day was still a triumphant day.  So just as quickly my mood went from anger and disappointment to laughter and complete "Shit Happens" mode.

I will wear the T-shirt throughout the rest of the playoffs and hopefully will laugh all the way to a Warriors championship victory with MVP Curry leading the way.  If you've read all the way through this little sports encounter of mine then the least I can do is reward you with a peek at the T-shirt.

So go ahead my friend.  Look, Analyze and then Laugh at my little MVP treasure until your heart's content.  Go ahead, I can take it.  They can fool me once.  But you can believe when I hear a vendor yelling "Get your Champions T-shirt" next month, I'll be scrutinizing every inch of it.  And should I spy anything unusual or out of place, like Manute Bol in the team photo, someone's gonna get hurt.  

Congratulations Steph!

Fight of the $century

But Floyd, all over social media they're saying Manny Pacquaio chased you around the ring.  They're saying you ran away from a dogfight. Say it ain't so Money; Just say it ain't so!

Mayweather Fan Who Didn't See the Chase of the Century

A Book That Makes You Cringe

    5.0 out of 5 stars One Rat's Fight To Live, April 6, 2015
    By W. Powell
    (REAL NAME)   
    This review is from: Rat (Paperback)
    It's a Rat's life, so full of fear with a feast or famine mentality, brutally portrayed in this book by Andrzej Zaniewski. I give the author 5+ stars for burrowing deep down into the psyche of a city rat and coming up with what feels, sounds, looks, and smells like that authentic beast we dread crossing paths with. Zaniewski pulls no punches in giving us the dark world of the city rat. This ain't no mouse life mind you; no mickey or feivel goes west rodent adventure. This is big, bristly, sharp-teeth and claws Ben from the city. Set on a dreadful stage which allows us to see our Rat born, age and inevitably die.

    Zaniewski paints a dual picture of one Rat's life that has you pitying him in one scene, then cursing him to hell in the next. The action is non-stop and through it all, between eating, sleeping and copulating, the Rat is just trying to survive against almost insurmountable odds.

    This book does not paint a pretty picture of rat life; and why should it? To live a rat's life one has to have the courage of a lion, the wisdom of an owl, the agility of a mongoose and the instincts of a.............. rat. Most human beings probably can't stomach the bloody killings laid out in this book. A rat would probably say to that, "Well, welcome to a rat's world you domesticated, civilized punks."

    If a rat could read this book and write an amazon review, I'm sure he'd say that Zaniewski get's it! However, a female rat might argue a few points.

    And yes I'm a huge fan of Patrick Suskind's novel "Perfume"