ETrain Photos

My father-in-law is a big time Elliott Yamin fan - he runs Elliottfan.com and ETrainStation.com. Yesterday the American Idol Tour made its San Jose stop and he (along with my mother-in-law) got to go backstage and meet the peeps. You have no idea how weird it is to see a picture of my mother-in-law with Ace Young. Below is a link to the pictures he took with his Treo.

ETrain Photos


tis a shame

I was really hoping to make it out to McAfee Coliseum for the 12:35 game between the A's and Red Sox. Zito vs. Schilling - two of the best pitchers you'll ever see. Sadly due to this aggravation called "work" I cannot make it. Curses.


Who cares about the stupid Yankees?

It's taken me a while to realize it, but ESPN is ridiculously imbalanced in its baseball coverage. Today the Yankees beat the Red Sox for the fifth consecutive game. ESPN has dubbed this sweep "Boston Massacre II," in a tip of the hat to one of the more famous incidents in United States history. We the viewers are subjected to segment after segment of talking heads and interviews wondering aloud about what in the world is wrong with the Red Sox as they lost game after game. In the meantime there are any number of actually competitive games they ignore. A prime example is today.

Today the A's fell behind 8-0 after two innings. They then proceeded to mount what became a tie for the largest comeback in A's history, eventually winning the game 12-10. So on Baseball Tonight (BBTN), ESPN's 40 minute show devoted to extended highlights and analysis of MLB action we might expect more than 30 seconds on the game. Instead BBTN leads with Yankees-Red Sox, including numerous interviews and some analysis. They then breeze through a few other games, eventually reaching the A's game. They start the highlights after the score is 8-2, and show maybe four pitches. They show an altercation between a Blue Jays' pitcher and manager, and then move on. And right now, during the next segment, I am watching the same interviews with Sox and Yankees players I saw at the beginning of the show, and they are talking even more about "Boston Massacre II," replete with dramatic music and gravitas-laden narration. As a white anglo-saxon Protestant male, this may be as close as I ever come to feeling disenfranchised. It sucks. Viva la revolution!


crunchy corn bran and inspiration

I am often reluctant to post because I often want some sort of insightful thing or deep thought about this or that. My previous "gibbon" post notwithstanding, of course. But as has become obvious inspiration strikes me even more rarely than I think it does and if I wait for it before I post this blog will acquire more cobwebs than Ryan Leaf's trophy case. As such I figure I will post maybe more frequently about things of even less consequence than usual. Maybe getting into the swing of posting will help jog my brain a bit and something of value with slip out from time to time. With that in mind I bring you my thoughts on Quaker's Crunchy Corn Bran cereal.

I've seen this cereal on the shelves for years but never had occasion to pick it up. It's never on sale and is in the high $3.00's or $4.00's for a relatively small box. Usually I go with a known quantity at a cheaper price, like Honey Nut Cheerios or Wheaties. I'm also pretty fond of Corn Chex. But yesterday on my trip to the store I followed the call of my heart and picked up a box of the Crunchy Corn Bran stuff. I'm glad I did because it's totally awesome. It's pretty hearty and has a slightly sweet taste. The pieces are just the right kind of crispy and it takes them a little while to get soggy, so you can enjoy your breakfast at your own pace. Yes, Crunchy Corn Bran is quite a shining example of what cereal should be.

Aaaaand we're at a new low. Welcome to my blog.


warning: sports talk ahead

Tonight was the first preseason game for the 49ers. There has been a lot of talk about Alex Smith and how he's going to pan out. He had a terrible rookie season on a terrible team, throwing one touchdown and eleven interceptions. He's been criticized as having happy feet, small hands, no confidence, and lacking the talent many though he had went he was drafted #1 overall by the Niners. Much of the talk has been centered around this season being the time when Alex Smith will prove whether or not he can become the QB the Niners hope he will be or another first-round bust. I'm not sure that's the case, considering the team is still very young and this is only his second year. Nevertheless as a die-hard 49ers fan I am looking with great anticipation on this season, hoping Smith grows into at the very least an above-average NFL QB if not a great one. I know this process will take some time and he does need a good supporting cast to excel but I'm as excited as anyone to see what happens this season with the additions of Vernon Davis at TE (along with Eric Johnson's return) as well as Antonio Bryant at WR. Frank Gore also showed some good stuff last season in his time at RB, and between him and Kevan Barlow I think we should have a good running game. So there are definitely some pieces in place for this young offense to come together and start to play well under the tutelage of new Offensive Coordinator Norvell Turner.

Because of the above I watched the first-team offense with great anticipation tonight. I am happy to say I was pleased by their performance against last year's number one defense in the Chicago Bears. Smith didn't look like a lost little boy on the field. He played like he knew what he was doing. By and large his throws were crisp and on target. He displayed some good scrambling and bootlegging skills, as well as an ability to throw very accurately on the run. That's what you need in a QB. He even threw the ball away on purpose a couple times instead of throwing interceptions. It's not time for any sort of coronation and this is just one game, a preseason game no less, but I am encouraged by what I saw. Let's hope that feeling lasts for the entire season as we watch Alex Smith and the 49ers offense grow into something worthy of respect.

Also, it looks like the Refs have new uniforms. I can't say for sure but they look new. And dumb.


yesterday and today

I don't have anything particularly profound to say today (unlike my usual posts, which are full of wisdom and insight). Yesterday I went to the funeral of a woman that attended my church. The entire time I knew her (about four or five years now) she was elderly and ill, unable to move around without the assistance of a walker and constantly in and out of the hospital. I didn't know her very well but I attended the funeral and reception afterwards to support her husband Paul.

The two were married for 46 years. I can't even fathom what sort of connection you would forge with someone over such a long period of time. For as long as I've known him her husband Paul has taken care of her, carting her around to doctor's appointments, being her primary caregiver at home, etc. To all of a sudden have that person that's been with you for the majority of your life be gone would be unimaginably tough. I haven't even known Janelle for three years, and thinking about her dying is horrible to say the least. So my heart goes out to Paul, and I hope he's able to cope with the loss well. He probably won't know what to do with himself anymore. I'm not sure what I as a 25 year-old newly married about-to-be-a-father can do to help him through it but I hope I can find something.

I was talking with Janelle about it over dinner last night and she said "I hope I die before you." Aren't we romantic?


heading to san diego

I'm leaving in a couple hours down to San Diego for our annual trip. We'll be staying at some people's houses tonight and then spending the entire day Saturday at the beach. I hope our stay at the beach will be crowned by a victory in the Second Annual Shred Dog Cup. The Bridge needs to receive a beatdown. I hope to return with tales of glory and the plunder of mine enemies. Have a good weekend. Yours will probably involve less vanquishing of foes than mine, but we can't all live the glorious life of working hard to obtain trophies of dubious value.

I will leave you with this video:


la moose cafe

Despite the unfortunate name La Moose Cafe won me over today. It's a place in Fremont at the corner of Mowry and Blacow, in the large shopping center that's home to Albertson's. It's next to a Taqueria and a manicure place, I believe. It's where Fruitazia used to be, if you've ever been there. Janelle and I met there for lunch today and it was pretty awesome. They serve smoothies, but more importantly, crepes and awesome sandwiches. I got a crepe filled with ham and cheese and pineapple, and Janelle had a tuna sandwich. The portions were perfect and the prices were reasonable. It also has the benefit of being owned and run by the woman that was making the food. It had a good, friendly feel. They also sell Gelato there, which is apparently the same Gelato they use at Hiltons or whatever. I had coconut gelato and it was really good, with little bits of coconut.

Anyway I highly suggest you pay this place a visit, I don't think you'll be disappointed. It's a good break from the usual, and if it closes I will be very disappointed so be sure to go patronize them.


getting things done

The other day I finished reading this book, Getting Things Done. The title pretty well explains what it's about. The book provides an organizational system to help people feel less stressed out and more on top of things. Throughout the book, David Allen, the author, details a system and provides sound reasoning for it. The system involves a lot of things that seem like common sense but so often don't happen. Upon first glance I thought the book was a bit anal retentive but after finishing it I am totally sold on Allen's way of doing things. Basically it boils down to getting a system in place that you can empty your mind into, where you can dump everything that comes your way, and trust that nothing is falling through the cracks. When there are so many different responsiblities and roles in life it can often be a stressful thing wondering what you're forgetting or what you're not doing.

With everything I have doing on I sometimes feel guilty for relaxing, or when I'm having time off I'm always thinking about what I'm not doing or what I'm forgetting or what I should be spending my time working on. It's difficult for me to completely relax and be okay with it. So getting something like this in place is proving to be quite helpful. One of my favorite things about the system is the idea of a contextual to-do list. Instead of having a to-do list where I have somewhat pointless categories like "Youth Ministry" or "Husband" or whatever to track the things I have to do, I have a to-do list based on where I am. I have a list for "@Computer," "@Phone," "@Office," and so on. I have my other projects and whatnot better organized, so everything on my to-do list is a specific physical next action for each thing on my various plates. This way I'm not constantly worrying about what I'm not doing or missing.

Anyway, if you're somebody with a lot of different responsibilities or things to do and get stressed out or have a hard time relaxing I really suggest you take a look at this book. Even if you're not a Palm-carrying busybody I bet it could help you become more productive and feel more on top of things in your life. Of course nobody will want to implement everything in the book exactly how it is, but in reading through it you should get a lot of good principles and ideas to help you deal with what life throws at you. I dig it and am enjoying implementing it. Maybe you will too.


k-rod is stupid

I hate the way he beats his chest after striking out A's players. Who does he think he is? Only A's closers are allowed to do such things. And who does he think he is with a nickname like K-Rod? His name's Francisco. He is very dumb.

Man I hate the Angels.