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Monthly Archives: January 2009

A fun day and night

My first NBA game was everything I’d hoped for and more.

Our seats were terrific. Directly above the lower level in what appeared to be the handicapped section. Our seats were actually padded folding chairs, and there were only a couple fans within 10 feet of us.

Parking was $10, but there was no one around to collect our money when we left the ramp. So it was free.

The Timberwolves fans were friendly, despite me wearing my Lakers shirt to the game.

My friend Mark and I had great conversations all the way up and all the way back. We didn’t turn on the radio even once.

Best of all, the basketball was exciting and fun to watch. The Lakers won 132-119. Not much defense on either side  in this game. The Lake Show posted its highest point total of the season.

All the Laker players were healthy and playing well. My favorite Lakers, Trevor Ariza and Andrew Bynum, made significant contributions (Bynum had 27 pts and 15 rebs). And Kobe was, well, Kobe. He scored a bunch of points and swished several shots that made me shake my head in awe.

I really, really enjoyed this one-day trip and hope to attend more NBA games in the future. Thanks to Mark for making the arrangements and helping me navigate Minneapolis.

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On the Minnesota side, I enjoyed watching former UCLA Bruin Kevin Love. He fouled out, but not before getting his share of points and rebounds off the bench. He’s a good player and will get better if he stays in shape.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Long time coming

I haven’t blogged in a while. Working seven straight days will do that to you. No big deal, though. I love my job and feel fortunate to have a job in this economic climate.

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I decided to work Super Bowl Sunday despite originally having that day off. I’ll probably watch the first half at home before heading to the office. It’s an exciting day to be at the office, frankly. My folks are coming to visit this weekend, but chances are they’ll head back to Farley before the end of the game. Even if they spend the night, I still can hang out with them all day Sunday before I leave.

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The Lakers are getting healthy and playing well. They demolished the Spurs on Sunday at Staples — that was impressive. Kobe didn’t even have to play the fourth quarter.

When the Lake Show is healthy, the depth is unreal. Trevor Ariza and Jordan Farmar could be stars for other teams, and they’re on the Lakers’ second unit. I love watching those two guys play. They do UCLA fans proud.

Ariza, in particular, is an animal on both ends of the floor. I’m very interested to see how good he can be in the years to come.

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Maisa had her four-month checkup today. She got three shots and cried like crazy. Real tears! It was sad to see her in so much pain, but she’s doing OK now. Sleeping, in fact.

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Jill is doing so much better this week. Thanks for all your prayers. She still has to let that fracture heal for quite some time. She’s happier now, though, and able to do a little more physically each day.

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I believe Dodger pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in Glendale, Ariz., in about 20 days.

Manny Ramirez still is unsigned. I’m wondering if he’ll play half a season, a la Roger Clemens. That would increase Manny’s bargaining power, I would think.

The Bums’ first Spring Training game is Feb. 25 vs. the Cubs at Mesa, Ariz.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

A surprising score

The Lakers held LeBron James in check Monday night and beat a strong Cleveland ballclub by 17 points.

Los Angeles avoided its first three-game losing streak of the season.

Kobe Bryant dislocated the ring finger on his shooting hand in the early minutes. The team trainer popped it back into place, and Kobe played the rest of the game and scored 20 points.

Anyone who doubts Kobe’s toughness should watch video of that game. He’s one of the top five competitors in sports — perhaps trailing only Tiger Woods in that category.

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Just 10 days remain before I get to see my beloved Lakers in person at Minneapolis.

No, I can’t wait.

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The Dodgers signed Jon Broxton and Russell Martin to contracts yesterday, avoiding what could have been ugly arbitration hearings.

I’d like to see them lock up Martin to a multi-year deal soon. He’s the best all-around catcher in baseball, and the straw that stirs the Dodgers’ drink.

Brox is likely to be the Dodgers’ closer this season, unless they sign a free agent or make a trade before April. He’s best suited in the eighth-inning role, but I’m sure he’d do fine in the ninth inning after he gets used to it.

I’ve observed that closers usually need a month or more to really get comfortable with the role.

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I tend to avoid politics on this blog, but with the inauguration yesterday, I’d be remiss if I didn’t write anything.

A lot of people say they would prefer to have a president (or a congressman, or a governor) who “talks like a regular guy.” Those folks says they want their politicians to keep the rhetoric at a sixth-grade level. Anything more advanced than that comes across as “snobbish.”

I’m in the other camp. I want my prez to sound a LOT smarter than me. I want my prez to talk like he studied English and history at an Ivy League school. I want my prez to be able to turn a phrase and use big words in a sentence.

Barack Obama obviously fits that description. You can tell just by listening to him that he’s probably going to have more intellectual ability than 95 percent of the world leaders he sits down with.

Bill Clinton was the same way. Extremely smart guy and a terrific speaker.

Ronald Reagan could deliver a speech with the best of them, thus earning the nickname “The Great Communicator.” He honed his trade in Hollywood, not Harvard.

John McCain keeps his language fairly simple, but he speaks authoritatively on all the issues. A few decades in the Senate will do that for you. He would have been a good representative for our country on the international stage.

I know I’m leaving out a lot of great speakers in both parties, but Obama/Reagan/Clinton are the first ones I always think of.

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If Bush II gets bored in his post-White House life, I think he should consider becoming commissioner of baseball. He would be great at that job.

He understands business, and he absolutely loves baseball.

Baseball needs a commish who respects the integrity of the game and can stand up to the powerful players’ union. Bush fits that description better than anyone.

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Lasagne and Dove bars

That’s what I had to eat the last two days, thanks to one of Jill’s co-workers. She brought over salad/dressing, lasagne/garlic bread and Dove bars. Mmm-mmm-good!

Another one of Jill’s co-workers went grocery shopping for us. Everyone has been so nice and willing to help Jill during her time of need.

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I was glad to see Kurt Warner win today in the NFC title game. That makes three Super Bowl appearances for the Iowa native.

Warner is a good player, a good person and he brought his kids trick-or-treating in my brother’s Scottsdale neighborhood. What else can you ask for out of a quarterback?

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A very relaxing weekend for me. My batteries are recharged and I’m ready to get back to work tomorrow.

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Oh-and-two

After watching the Lake Show lose at home to Orlando on Friday, I was counting on UCLA to give my hoops teams a weekend split.

Not so fast. Arizona State beat the Uclans in overtime Saturday afternoon at Pauley Pavilion in Westwood.

Good news: The game was on TV and I enjoyed watching it on my day off. Bad news: The Bruins let ASU stick around long enough in the second half to force overtime.

I still agree with my pal Mark, though: UCLA will be a team to reckon with come March.

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A reasonably relaxing day at home with Jill and Maisa today. A couple of her friends stopped by this afternoon, but they were short visits.

I’ve been awake since 8:30 a.m. (very early for me), and I haven’t had a nap. Hopefully I’ll sleep pretty soundly tonight.

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I’m a coffee drinker now. Started a couple weeks ago when I was spending all that time in the hospital with Jill. Seemed like a good thing to do, but I’m not sure why. I sort of got tired of drinking carbonated diet soda all the time.

Anyway, Clarence and Karen always have a pot going in the morning, so I’ve been imbibing with them. I take it with a good amount of cream (hazelnut flavor, if you have it).

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

I can always hope

This has been a whirlwind couple of weeks, to say the least. I’ve worked a ton of hours the last few days, in addition to helping take care of Jill and Maisa. Thank goodness for Gramma and Grampa staying with us.

I’m hoping and praying for a quiet, stress-free weekend. I’m off Saturday and Sunday, and I just can’t wait to spend some quality time with my wife and daughter.

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A lot of interesting news in the L.A. Times sports section today.

  • UCLA men roll past Arizona — despite the game getting tight late in the second half. Saturday’s game vs. Arizona State is on CBS, and I’m hoping to catch some of it.
  • USC quarterback Mark Sanchez decides to go pro — a decision that coach Pete Carroll sharply criticizes. The Trojans will have an interesting battle for the QB position next season.
  • The Dodgers are considering a long-term contract for Russell Martin. Lock him up, I say. James Loney, too, while you’re at it.
  • The Lakers are trying to rebound from Wednesday’s loss at San Antonio. The Lake Show plays host to a very strong Orlando team tonight at Staples. Game is on ESPN.

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Who do you like in the NFL conference title games this weekend?

I’d like to see an Arizona-Pittsburgh Super Bowl. My brother Tom lives in Scottsdale, so a Cardinals Super Bowl would be exciting for him and his friends/neighbors, I’m sure. My good friend Kevin loves the Steelers, so I’ll root for them.

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Jill has an appointment with her orthopedist this morning. Clarence and I are watching Maisa here at the house, and Karen brought Jill to the doctor. Jill won’t be able to drive for a while.

I saw a big smile on Jill’s face last night for the first time in a long time. It was when I walked in the nursery after I got home from work. I can’t tell you how nice it was to see her smile like that. I know she still has a lot of pain and nausea, but for that moment in time, she was perfectly happy and content feeding Maisa and seeing her husband.

I’ll pray for many more of those moments in the days to come.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Success!

We bought a laptop computer for Jill so she doesn’t have to go down steps. I’ve tried for three days to get the wireless to work, and finally today we got a connection!

I feel like throwing a party.

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Lakers won a close one last night in Houston, improving their record to 31-6.

Tonight’s game at San Antonio is on ESPN or TNT. 8 p.m. tipoff in the Central time zone.

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I was sad to lose Takashi Saito to the Red Sox this week. Boston signed him for $1.5M, which could be a steal if Saito’s elbow holds out.

Saito was one of baseball’s best closers over the last three seasons.

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2009 in Uncategorized