Saturday, October 02, 2004

The Loss Of A Friend

One of our synagogue’s rabbis, Herbert Silberman, died today. He and his wife were good friends, sources of daily inspiration and wonderful teachers. I will remember his magical smile, kind words, gentle soul, sense of humor and deep love for his wife. We went to services this evening and our cantor told us his last encounter with Rabbi Silberman was the other day, and his final, lasting image, was watching the rabbi and wife walking home, hand in hand. That says it all.

Here is an excerpt from an interview with Rabbi Silberman last year in the local weekly Jewish newspaper:

Rabbi Herbert Silberman
Beth El Congregation, Phoenix
Har Zion Congregation

Where did you grow up?
Brooklyn, N.Y.

What was your first impression of the Valley?
A very exciting and hot place. Coming from a big city, I thought that Phoenix would be a nothing little western town, but I was rudely awakened to see it was a metropolis.

What's your favorite place to visit in the Valley?
McCormick Ranch is very pleasant, with its peaceful lakes and walkways.

What is the most important change you've seen in the Phoenix Jewish community?
First, the size - it's exploded, it's gotten much more diverse. I've seen a particular sense of parochialism rather than community. I don't think the institutions - synagogues, JCC, other organizations - really have one focal point, trying to serve the community at large. Previously there was a closer integration of leadership and I think that may have dissipated over the last few years. I think that previously there were meetings between federation, JCC and rabbis a few times a year to share ideas and concerns and directions. I'm not sure that still exists today.

What would you like to see happen in the local Jewish community in the future?
My hope would be that there could be some effort by the leaders including rabbis, executive directors and so on, to meet regularly and share the concerns and plans to create a more cohesive Jewish community.


You saw it coming: The Giants were ahead 3-0 going into the bottom of the ninth. You just knew they would not hold the lead. Dodgers win 7-3 with the Giants holding on to faint hope to win the Wild Card.


15 Years

I am probably giving this more thought than it deserves, but we are approaching out 15th anniversary of moving to Arizona. I have talked about this before, but it bears repeating. We moved here in 1989 from Seattle after declaring bankruptcy for a business that was a great idea, but executed by two people with little business savvy or business sense. We came here with one credit card, two cars (one of which was wrecked in transit by our car transporters, but that’s another story) and a few bucks in our pocket.

Some 15 years ago we had to make the decision for me to come and live here for a few months while my wife finished her job in Seattle. We had to make the decision to board our dogs while we sorted out our lives in a small apartment. We had to make the decision for me to take a terrible, low-paying job as the managing editor for a local, weekly newspaper. We had to make other decisions related to family and material possessions that were difficult at the time, but all too necessary for us to move on with our lives.

Some 15 years ago, we left the rain for the heat. We celebrated my wife’s birthday in Reno, at a buffet, during which I got sick. We celebrated my birthday at a seafood restaurant in Phoenix and spent far more than we could afford at the time.

Our arrival in Phoenix in 1989, and then later to return full-time in 2001, has a lot of symbolic significance. We came here twice to rebuild our lives. We have come here to soak in the energy of the sun and to enjoy the soaring blue sky and desert landscape. Phoenix has had a magical presence in our life. Few people understand why we are here; most people take us for Californians (which we were for eight years) and say we don’t look like we belong.

Most of this has to do with our love for each other, Phoenix represents a comfortable backdrop for us to build a peaceful and productive life. Does it have the culture of New York? Does it have the farmers markets of California? Does it have the sports of Philadelphia? The answers are all no. But, it has us, and for right now, that’s all that matters.

This Had Our Name On It!

Good music, good food and a great cause.

Yahoo! News - Springsteen, R.E.M. Rock Philly for Kerry

Friday, October 01, 2004

More HD TV!

Cox has just added two new HD channels: FOX (baseball, football) and the local WN channel (not even sure what shows are on WB). I want more… like TNT!


October is a big month around here. It’s generally a good month, except in 1998 when I first learned I was diabetic while standing outside the Walt Disney Swan Hotel at a company conference. Actually, October of 1980 wasn’t so great either, but that’s another story.

This October includes my wife’s and my birthday (two days apart), the start of Arizona Fall League and some travel. I will be seeing airports in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and possibly Cincinnati. Yes, that infamous Seattle trip that never left the gate is back on. Also, we have a family event coming up which will be fun and somewhat interesting. As part of the family trip, I will stop off in San Francisco and see my endocrinologist and get my eyeglasses repaired. Also, I will get to see Mike; we have some business-related stuff planned that could also be interesting. Our cutting-edge research puts us in contact with some amazing people.

Not sure how much of my upcoming travels I will be blogging. I’d love to stop and take a picture of our old house in Marin County, but my wife advises against it. I already have taken pictures of the Ferry Terminal Market Place and Mike (with me at the ballgame). We’ll see what happens.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Because They Drink Way Too Much Wine

Stanford University Press

One To Go

Ichiro just got hit no. 256 (gave the Mariners the lead oevr the A's). One to go to tie George Sisler's record.

What The?

Note: There are three episodes of Season Five that Bravo says here will not air until 2005. That provides some odd continuity issues for those of us who have been watching the show on Bravo in order since late August.

BRAVO > The West Wing > Episodes > Guide > Season 5

Someone Lost Money On The Indians

ESPN.com - MLB - Indians pitcher shot in leg while riding team bus

Who Didn't Know This?

About.com: http://www.10tv.com/Global/story.asp?S=2325097

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

$200 for Suns Tickets?

So, I got an email from the Phoenix Suns offering a pre-sale of single game tickets. A special deal for people whom are living, breathing and have a credit card. OK, so I looked at a game over the winter holiday season against the Memphis Grizzlies. Decent seats were $92.50 each plus a $8 fee per ticket. As an aside, I wonder why they don’t just bake those additional fees into the ticket price, but that’s a story for another day.

So, we’re looking at $200 for a NBA game. Seats midway back from the court on an angle to the right of the basket. Are you kidding me? For $200, my wife and I can fly round trip to San Diego or Los Angeles from Phoenix. For $200, I can go to 12 first-run movies at full price and still have money for popcorn and Jujyfruits. Just imagine if you want to take a family of four to the game? We’re talking car payment.

Something’s wrong with this picture

On The 2005 Travel Calendar

washington baseball club : welcome!

Cruel & Unusual Punishment?

Yahoo! News - Stewart to Serve Time in West Virginia

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The Niners Aren't Likely To Scare Anyone

The team will be lucky to win three games this season.

Yahoo! News - San Francisco's 'Candlestick' Now 'Monster Park'

Go Light On Those Pork Rinds

This ad is featured in some sporting goods product catalog I got in the mail today. If they are selling 3-XL sized undies and sweats for women they’d better be thinking about selling some diet pills (not to mention Zocor) and encouraging these female fans to stay away from the beer and nachos.

Back Among The Living

New work PC has arrived....

Monday, September 27, 2004

Is It Tuesday Yet?

It’s a crummy Monday, just like the songs proclaimed. I am without work Internet access and am itching to get some writing done. I am hoping my new work PC arrives, on schedule, tomorrow.

Watching the Phillies host the Pirates tonight on MLB Extra Innings, I cannot help but think I probably have gone to my last major league game for the season. There is a slight chance I will make a playoff game, but it’s unlikely. I am not through with baseball—I have a few Arizona Fall League games in my sights. And it’s been an amazing season going to games in Arizona (three); San Francisco; San Diego (two); Philadelphia, Oakland and Chicago. Not bad.

I may be sans live pro sports action till next year if the NHL is on strike. I will not go see the Phoenix Suns (NBA) as the tickets are way out of line. Re the Cardinals (NFL), I just cannot see paying $100 a ticket for a team that is possibly going to go zero for the season.

Well, there’s always next year.

By 2009 No One Will Really Care

Yahoo! News - Conan to Take Over 'Tonight' in Five Years

This Space (Soon To Be) For Rent!

The ads provided to me my Google’s AdSense do not work. After several weeks, I have two clickthroughs, and those were both me. Because I write about an odd assortment of topics, it’s difficult for the best ads to be served to my pages based on topics. Since I write a lot about baseball, nearly every ad is about baseball. There are thousands of sites that write about baseball; I stand little chance of earning bus fare at this pace.

So, in the next 24 hours, we’ll be saying bye-bye to AdSense ads. I am on the hunt for new advertisers.

PC Handicapped

Since 1978, I have used some sort of computer for work. The two daily newspapers I worked at both had early computer systems that allowed reporters and writers to input their words and then magically send them to an editor for review. In 1984, I had my own home PC; my wife thought I was nuts, especially when—a few yars later—I said we needed a new one. We lived near an early computer store, Ballard Computer, that had the latest and greatest and I wanted the latest and greatest…and this was 1984!

Today, I am without a work computer. My PC is being swapped and tomorrow I am allegedly getting a new one. That means I don’t have easy access to all my work necessities such as email, calendar, internal document system. I have to use our clunky Web interface to check my mail, and it doesn’t work well. I printed out all my calendar appointments last week, but my hunch is I will miss a few.

We have three computers in our house including the old laptop I am typing on as we speak. In a few months, a new Windows operating system comes on the market—one to grab and serve media files—and that will make the current PCs somewhat out of date. Maybe my new PC will be able to use to new Windows O/S.

Well, I am off to struggle with my email. Get out the violins.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

The (Arizona) Cardinals Stink

One thing I do not like about living in Arizona is NFL Football. There is a team, and they stink. Always have (since moving here from St. Louis) and might always stink. Some blame the owner; some blame the stadium (a college football stadium) and some even blame the fans. When the Packers come here, for example, there are more Green Bay fans than Cardinals fans. On Monday, during my aborted trip to Seattle, the airport was packed with Patriots fans making their way home from Sunday’s victorious romp against the Cardinals.

Today’s game vs. Atlanta is on TV and Michael Vick is in process of mopping the Georgia Dome with the Cardinals. It’s too painful to watch. Also, I am pissed off that Fox does not broadcast in HD on my Cox Cable system. The games in HD are so good, I could sit through two bad teams and just stare mesmerized at the screen.

The Cardinals move into a new stadium out in Glendale (aka East Jepip) in two years. There was some talk about my wife and I joining my friend John and his wife at a Cardinals game this year, but for a lousy team, the ticket prices are exorbitant. I’d much rather fly to Philadelphia and watch my beloved Eagles, but the Birds’ schedule is not good for me this year. I will love and root from afar. I suffered through decades of Eagles futility before the team’s 1981 visit to the Super Bowl. It was a bad time in my life, so I didn’t fully enjoy it. If they get there (Super Bowl, that is) this season, we will make every attempt to go.

I also cheered for the 49ers when we lived in the Bay Area. I have a Fossil® watch commemorating the Super Bowl win in 1995. Actually, I have two. The 49ers also stink now and have none of the players from a decade ago. Most, like Steve Young, are making TV commercials and working as sports commentators.

When the Cardinals move into their new stadium, I suggest they change the team name. People still refer to them as the St. Louis Cardinals (including the CBS announcer this morning). Yes, there are Cardinals in Arizona—we have seen them in our yard. It’s not a ridiculous mismatched name like the Utah Jazz or New Orleans Hornets. Still, the name belongs to another city and another time.

It's What We Call Media Titans

Mike and I have been writing and talking about this for a year. We call it Digital Media Titans.

Yahoo! News - Next-Generation TV Streams Over Phone Lines

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