Monday, March 31, 2008

Play Ball!

Just a short post as I am back in LA for the tenth freaking time this year and just swamped with work. This weekend I finally came to the realization that my life is officially turned over to my kids. I used to have a modicum of a life when they were younger, but no more.

And the funny thing? I'm ok with this. Not sure how I am going to manage training for a 100 mile run, but I am ok with it all the same.

To wit, here is what I did this weekend.


9 - 11:00 am -- Little league parade. This is one of my favorite days of the year, actually. All the kids congregate downtown and march to a field for opening day ceremony. Attached is a photo of The Girl, who's team was at the front of the parade. Everyone was cooing over her because she was so darn cute in her little uniform and pigtails.

11:45. Team Photo Number One.

12:30 pm: Team Photo Number Two

2:30 - 4:00: Little Boy's Game. I hate to sound like one of these bragging father-types, but I'm really proud of the Little Boy. He's been working his tail off at baseball these past 12 months and the effort is really showing. This time last year he could barely catch the ball, and now he's making all sorts of terrific plays and hitting the ball like a vet. I sat him down, told him how proud I was, and that this was an example of how he can do anything if he sets his mind to it and works hard.


9:00 am. Little Girl's game. Can you imagine the masochist who sets a 9:00 am game on a freaking Sunday morning? It was totally worth it though, despite a mild grade grade hangover from our little dinner party the evening before -- these five year olds were cute beyond belief.

1:00 - 3:00 pm. Boy's baseball practice. A game on Saturday and practice on Sunday. Man is this going to be a long season. However, I am an assistant coach and I am having far more fun with it than I ever anticipated. We have a terrific bunch of kids who listen to everything we say and just love the game of baseball. It's a pleasure and really, an honor, to help them along.

Of course the only kid that mouths off is my own, but that's a story for another day.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Scan Day

What an unbelieveably hectic, crazy few days. Interestingly, and without divulging too much due to confidentiality, I've been in a series of meetings these past two few days with a group of high powered Hollywood types who have some very grand and ambitious plans for attacking cancer. I love my job and I love what I do, but for the first time ever I felt that I should be sitting on the other side of the table and working with them on this one. Once I can talk more on this topic I will, because this one is fascinating.

This was also one of the first times I have been in the spotlight from a Survivor perspective. It was definitely an interesting and almost surreal experience and I realized that without question, I have a measure of experience on this subject that is unique. I've also learned there's a bit of a difference between touched BY cancer and touched WITH cancer.

My second meeting with this group was early in the am in Beverly Hills and ironically enough given the subject matter, I had to leave a few minutes early to catch a flight back to SF for scans. I'm just now back from my ultrasound and blood work and won't have the results back for a few more days. While I am optimistic, there's no doubt that these tests are unnerving as hell (not the tests themselves, but rather the waiting part).

Anyway, will definitely share my results when they are known.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I just got back from Seattle late last night (verdict: very cool and charming city but I cpersonally ouldn't live there) and already I am packing for my next trip to LA. Such is my life and I guess I shouldn't complain as half my trips are self-induced so to speak, but man, my travel these first three months of the year have just been killer and it's taking its toll. Doesn't help much that tomorrow's flight leaves at zero dark hundred (otherwise known as 6:40 am in the freaking morning).

In other news, however, I am typing this post from my brand spanking new MacBook Air and man oh man am I STOKED. I will save the review for the next few days, after I get a chance to test drive it a bit more from the road. Thus far however, I am quite impressed. It is *so* light, which is a great big deal for me given my above described travels.

Beyond all this, I just noted on my calender that I have a big ultrasound (all ultrasounds are big in our world, right CrazyMama?) and while I anticipate good results, feel free to start sending good vibes; one can't be overly optimistic when it comes to cancer.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Greetings from Seattle

We flew into Seattle on Friday night to see my father-in-law and see the sights. I've been here a million times in the past for business but most of these trips have been fast in and out.

So we woke up early yesterday and headed to Pikes Peak market for breakfast. A little touristy, but interestingly nonetheless, especially the various fishmongers. I knew the fisdhing industry was big here, but I didn't realize the full extent. After sauntering around for an hour or two, we headed to a 2.5 hour boat tour. I wasn't expecting much but it was actually quite fascinating. We got to see the entire peninsula, and our guide did a great job explaining the history/development of the area. The coupe de grace was going through the lochs that separate Pugent Sounds from the lake. I've never before been through a loch and it was pretty cool. Even the kids maintained a degree of interest in most of the tour. Afterwards, the kids went swimming and I went on an hour-long run. I've long maintained that the best way to see a foreign city is via running, and that was definitely the case in this instance. We went to a fish restaurant by the pier for dinner (the salmon here is as good as advertised btw) and found an amusement park for the kids. All in all, a highly enjoyable day.

Today Seattle is being true to form and raining, so we are headed to a museum -- Museum of Aviation, which should be interesting, possibly Boeing after if it's open and then we are going to cruise around the University of Washington.

Tomorrow I head out early for a convenient business trip not terribly far outside Seattle.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I've been busy as hell the past few days between work and reconstructing my freaking computer (don't ask). Anyway, a few questions I've been meaning to pose:

1. anyone else besides me watching John Adams on HBO?

I like the concept of this show and the set pieces and costumes are amazing (it cost over $100 million) but thus far, it's the world's best cure for insomnia. It would be a shame if it doesn't get better. I'm going to write these first two episodes off to "character development."

2. why does the new Governor of New York get a free pass for his indescretions?

Don't get me wrong, I think Spitzer got exactly what he deserved, but the first thing this new Governor announces is that he has had multiple affairs (as has his wife!) and yet he gets a free pass. Why's that?

3.does anyone besides me hope that Terrell Pryor becomes the biggest flop ever?

Absolutely, call this one sour grapes. If he picked Michigan I'd probably be singing a different tune. Something I don't like about this kid though; I think he's trouble. And what's with him announcing that he's attending "The University of Ohio State." (thanks for the correct information on this Scoot). Uhhh, dude; it takes you forever to choose a school, you turn it into the biggest drama ever AND THEN YOU GET THE NAME OF THE SCHOOL WRONG DURING YOUR PRESS CONFERENCE?

4. why is is that someome who knows so much about technology (that would be me) so freaking inept at something as relatively simple as rebuilding a hard drive.

That one is fairly self explanatory.

5. why does this TV season suck?

I guess we can blame this one on the writers strike but it seems like with the exception of reality tv-base shows, there's nothing on. Thankfully, however, AI is getting near to high season. No question in my mind that the Kid David A wins, btw.

6. why did I finally pull the trigger and purchase the MacBook Air?

'Cause I travel a ton and the tax man was kind to me. Or at least that's how I am rationalizing it to myself.

7. Why am I flying to Seattle tomorrow?

Because I am trying to set the world record for most trips in one quarter: thus far we have nine trips to LA, one to NYC, one to Phoenix, one to Hawaii and now Seattle. And there's several others in the docket.

That's it for now. More from Seattle.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Interesting Reading, Books

FInished a really interesting book this weekend, Beautiful Boy by David Sheff. I think it's the book-of-the-month at Starbucks and/or Oprah's club, but don't let that stop you from purchasing.

I can't say it is "good" simply because of the subject matter: it's the story of a father's relationship with his son, a precocious kid who becomes addicted to crystal meth. The writing and story is terrific but the story itself is beyond heart wrenching. That said, I think it's a must read for every parent. Just as interestingly, from my standpoint at least, the author/son live only a few miles from my house, and he really paints a great picture of picaresqe (West) Marin County. My hometown also makes a cameo appearance.

So far as music is concerned, I am *really* loving the Hercules and Love Affair disc. I do not even know how to begin to describe this. The best I could do is house music meets techno meets disco. Pitchfork really nailed this review and thus far, it's my favorite album of the year. It's got a very fast, continuous beat, and is perfect for running and (stationary) biking (I never, ever wear headphones while biking on the road). I suggest this one highly.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Foul Ball!

Yesterday may have been the greatest day in the Little Boy's young life. Mine too for that matter.

The story goes like this:

We went to the Cub's game and similar to Saturday, got to the stadium early. The Little Boy got to meet Cub's legend Ron Santo, and also got autographs from Kerry Wood and others. We took our seats before the game started and noted that we were sitting in a very interesting place; second row, right alongside the first base line around mid-outfield.

More aptly described as: perfect foul ball territory.

The Little Boy found a little concrete area/step that was right alongside the field, so that he would be able to "scoop" up any foul balls that came his way. A few of the raucous Chicagoans sitting behind us -- and the were *really* raucous, but funny as hell in a Chicago kind of way -- starting joking around with him "Hey Kid, get us a ball, " "Hey Kid, focus on the game now," "Hey Kid, want a beer?" etc.

Anyway, come the third inning and an Angels outfielder catches the third out and on his way back to his dugout flips the ball towards the Little Boy. He sticks his glove out, I put my hand in the air to help him out when WHAM -- the dude in front of us jumps in front of him, snags the ball and immediately gives it to his wife.

It was a bush league move (though I must say he was a pretty good guy) and the fans *really" let him have it: they started chanting "Give the kid the ball, give the kid the ball" and heckled them mercilessly.

The Little Boy was trying to figure the whole thing out and was equals parts amused by the attention, befuddled, and excited.

A few more innings go by and players are going down 1-2-3 with no balls coming to the outfield. Once again, the raucous guys started chanting "Give the Kid the Ball" and the whole area of the stadium starts picking up on it. Just at this is happening ... FOUL BALL comes our way, and wouldn't you know ANOTHER guy jump out of nowhere and snares it.

Now the Chicago guys are going at it full steam, booing this other guy like crazy and the cheeer is picking up even more steam. I should be enjoying this but I'm not because at this stage of the game, all I want is for the kid to get a damn ball. By the way, he was super cool about the whole thing, smiling, laughing and charming everyone. I heard about ten people say variations on "What a sweet little Kid."

Now the original guy who snagged the ball (the one I said was kind of nice) goes up to the on field security guy, who was aware all this was happening, and says, "Do anything you can to get this kid a ball."

One inning later Garrett Anderson of the Angeles is up and HERE IT COMES -- a slow foul moving foul ball right along the first base line. The security guard RACES over and gives it a little kick towards the Little Boy -- no one else in the stadium would dare touch this one - who bends over onto the field and swoops it up.

And I am telling you -- the whole left side of the stadium ERUPTS. There was more drama in the stands on him getting the ball then on the game itself. People who know me know I am prone to embellishment (hey, I'm in PR!) but I am telling you that people start going CRAZY. They are high fiving him, high fiving each other and now start chanting "The Kid Got a Ball."

It was the best thing, ever. I pride myself on NEVER, EVER crying (am I using caps too much here, by the way?) but I have to admit to getting a tad bit teary eyed watching the little fellow hold the ball up in front of him in total freaking elation while everyone cheered for him.

It was a dream come true for a Little Boy.

Truth be told, it was a dream come true for his old man as well.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Spring Training

I have to say that every dad should really take their kid to Spring Training (provided of course that they are baseball fans). It really is that great of a father-son bonding experience. The Little Man is having the time of his life and I gotta say, I am too.

Not to mention, I frankly think Spring Training ball is more fun than the regular season: the park is small and intimate and the players are very accessible. The Little Man got two autographs today, including one from A's reliever Huston Street, who is one of the coolest dudes ever. He was out there for at least an hour signing away. The Little Boy was super cute (I will post pictures tomorrow) and I nearly thought his heart was going to stop when he met a real life major leaguer. He was so stoked we got to the stadium THREE HOURS EARLY but I have to say that the time really flew by and it was probably worth it (although we will take our time getting to the Park tomorrow). What else to say? Phoenix has killer weather - it was probably upwards of 80 for a mjaority of the day -- but after five hours in the sun I was starting to wilt. After the game twe came back to the hotel and ran on adjacent treadmills; the wife would have had a coronary if she sawe thi sone. That said, this trip is all about breaking the rules -- for 48 hours, that is.

More after tomorrow's festivities.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Back in SF

FInally back in San Francisco after an absolute whirlwind 48 hours. When I go to NYC, between work and seeing family/friends, I am on the go from morning until night. I love NYC and in certain respects it will always be home, but I think I'm over it. I won't argue that it's the greatest City in the world but the New York attitude is just tiring and I think people really need to get over themselves. The thing I've learned living nearly ten years in Chicago and now two and a half in California is that there is no downside to being nice and acting like civilized human beings.

Anyway, since I just landed after nine hours of flying and have to pack for my NEXT flight tomorrow night (to Phoenix with the little boy for spring training), I'll quickly go through the highlights of this trip:

-- running in Central park, which is absolutely the best
-- seeing my 3 year old niece, who is the cutest, and her new three month old sister, who's pretty darn cute herself
-- having dinner with my mother, father and two brothers in Brooklyn. Can't remember the last time just the five of us hung out and it was very, very cool
-- being in New York during the entire Spitzer debacle. That was just awesome. When I wasn't working or doing the above, I was watching the news coverage nonstop. Not to moralize, but man is he a scumbag of epic proportions. The New York Post headlines have just been classic. I think New Yorkers will get over (former) Governor Spitzer pretty quickly

Downside to this trip:

An announcement from the pilot stating that "Ladies and gentlemen, we are having some mechanical problems with the wings of our plane. No need to be concerned but as a matter of precaution, there will be some fire trucks on the runway when we land." The plane then circled the airport for 20 minutes (we sat on the runway in NYC for an hour and half before taking off) before we landed -- whereby we were surrounded by approximately eight fire trucks. People were freaking, to put it mildly.

Good times.

More from Phoenix.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Man, I thought I had seen and heard it all until today. I still think I am imagining this one: did Elliot "Holier than Thou" Spitzer *really* get nailed today (pun absolutely intended) in a prostitution scandal? Is this really true? Hypocrisy is what I absolutely hate most about politicians (and non-politicians too for that matter), regardless of party affiliation, race, gender, etc. I am astonished that a guy like this, someone who has spent his entire career grandstanding against others could be so cavelier as to do something this: 1. immoral, 2. stupid, 3. careless 4. did I say stupid?

By the way, my problem has nothing to do with prostitution, which probably should be legalized anyway ala Las Vegas, but I will save that diatribe for another day. My problem is lying, hypocritical, full of crap, "above the law" politicians. I think in this instance, Spitzer should do the right thing and resign. I suspect he won't however. They never exit in a proper manner. Doesn't matter much: politically, he's toast.

Who int he world ever would have though that the Governor of the Republic of California would be leagues better than all these fool? He's pretty out of it himself, Governor Ahnold, but the thing I like about him is he doesn't take himself too seriously, he's self deprecating, he relishes in his political incorrectness and oh yeah: he gets sh*&t done.

Anyway, in my opinion, this is the story of the year thus far with Lisa Presley's pregnancy a close second.

If you stop and think about it, this really is an incredible world in which we live, isn't it?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Wild Turkey

No, I'm not talking about the whiskey. Rather, this is what we saw the other day sitting by our car as The Wife was getting ready to take the kids to school. This is one of my favorite aspects to living in the "country" (an ironic term given that we're about six miles from the City) - we never know what kind of wildlife we are going to encounter. Thus far, within a 100 yard circumference of our house we've seen deer (on a daily basis, actually; they feed on our lawn), coyote, fox, hawks and even an eagle. While running the trails I've encountered elks, bobcats and assorted snakes. Let's just hope that I never add mountain lion to this list.

Anyway, despite it's graininess, I really love this photo, which was taken by The Wife. Evidently the turkey was gobblin' away, and the kids are still talking about its size.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Today's Announcement from Apple

Today was a big day for us Apple fanboy; Apple announced their "roadmap" for the iphone. I have to say that I've been totally suckered into this crazy world and I count down the days until these such announcements. I will also confess to the fact that my productivity today between 10-11 am was not at its all-time high.

There were two fundamental parts to today's announcement. The first is what I have been waiting for since literally the day I bought my iphone: Apple announced that they have signed a licensing agreement with Microsoft for ActiveSynch. this enables corporate users such as myself to connect with their company email, in the spirit of Blackberry and Windows Mobile devices such as my Motorola Q. In the world of mobility, this is ginormous: Apple just opened themselves to a massive new market; the corporate enterprise. Look for people to start abandoning their Blackberry's en masse, and evolving towards iphones.

the other announcement was also significant: the announcement of Apple's SDK (software development kit) which opens the platform to third-party developers. This is very cool and I expect we'll see some amazing applications in the not-too-distant future, but for me personally this is not nearly as big as the licensing of ActiveSynch (a move, by the wayt, which offers plusses and negatives for Microsoft).

But in inimitable Apple fashion they had a kicker at the end of the announcement: neither of these will be available until a late June timeframe. This kind fo took the winds out of my sails (along with, oh, probably three million other users as well).

I have to say I am mad about Apple's products, but boy are they vexing: there's also *some* element to all their announcements that more than just a little annoying. Nevertheless, come June I think there's going to be a lot of happy campers. Until of course, they simultaneously announce 3g iphones and piss us early adopters off even more.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Green Eggs and Ham

I went to school this am with the kids for reading day; I went with the girl and we read Dr. Seuss books together for about a half hour. Afterwards, she donned her specially made Cat in the Hat hat, and went off to the auditorium for a special program. It was too cute and a nice father/daughter bonding moment; I wish I took a picture. Sure as hell a bit more fun than the rest of my day.

Tonight I ran for about an hour through the backroads of Marin, in some pretty deep "country." As pretty as this place is during the day, it's equally beautiful during the stillness of night. WIsh I had a photo of this one for you as well: I had on my miners hat, reflective vest, ipod and water bottle holder. I must have been a site to behold. Pretty happy I didn't get hit by a car.

In other news, I;m watching the Sarah Connor Chronicles. I think I've written about this before, but it's actually quite good, albeit a tad slow moving. Probably worth buying the season once it comes out, which should be soon; season one concludes tonight.
Arguably the best new show of the season, though Eli Stone is giving it a late run for its money.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Random Things

I have likely belabored this point and my Midwestern friends are probably thinking I'm rubbing it in/being an ass, but I have to say one more time that when the Winter/Spring weather is good (read: not raining), there's nothing like NorCal. It was between 68-72 all weekend: we played baseball in shorts and t-shirts, went to the skate park, played in the park, bbqed and swam outside. It was like Summer -- only in March. I've been here over 2 1/2 years now and days like these never get old.

In other news, I made my coaching debut today and I have to say it as fun as hell. In certain respects, eight year olds are better than major leaguers: their love of the game is pure and unadulterated. It seems as if we have a terrific group of kids and they just love to play baseball. It's a very cool thing.

Switching topics, I have a few questions and am seeking some answers:

Does anyone else besides Beno have an Apple Air? If so, I would love your thoughts. I travel tons (this past week was the first time this year I went seven days without getting on a plane) and am contemplating getting one.

Same holds true for Apple TV -- anyone have one and if so, thoughts? I know it's cool -- my buddy Blake gave me a product demo last night -- but do any of you *really* use it?

Anyone have any good music recommendations? it doesn't have to necessarily be new music, either. I've been running tons (I ran 14 or 15 miles on Saturday) and am looking to for some new stuff.

Some hold true for books -- any good recommendations out there? I'm getting set to travel to NYC next week and could use a good new book.

Lastly, anyone seen the new Will Ferrell movie? If so, as good as the trailer?