Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Rock Opens In Covington

In the somewhat sleepy town of Covington, a strip just outside of Maple Valley, there is a new Pizza place and bar that defies ordinary.

The Rock Wood Fired Pizza is more than a theme restaurant, it is a loud, bright, sensory experience. With Pizza's named after Rock songs from late 70s and beyond, it brings the attitude of the genre. In addition, there is a full list of Burgers, salads, appetizers, and a full bar with big screen TVs. There are also locations all over the Seattle Suburban area

Deb and I went last Saturday and had a great time. The only way we could avoid a 45 minute wait for a table (In Covington for heaven's sake) was to grab a couple of seats at the bar. Not only was it a fun place to eat, but the food was good, too.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

It's Oscar Night

For a full irreverent reports go to Ken Levine's blog. He is sure to roast and toast all aspects of the event.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Ventrella For Congress?

Tony Ventrella's unannounced drop by at a Democratic State Committee Meeting last month, has sparked rumours of a possible bid for Congress. Ventrella, former sportscaster on just about every station at one time or another in the Puget Sound area, lives in the 8th Congressional District, where Republican Dave Reichert has hung on to by the skin of his teeth.
Ventrella's probable strengths in the general election could be a weakness in a primary election, his congenial style has potential crossover appeal, but the Democratic rank and file tend to favor a candidate who would be more outspoken and blunt.
So far, 2006 candidate Darcy Burner has not announced her intentions.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

So Long DJ!

The Seattle sportsworld lost one of it's greatest with the passing of All Star Sonic guard Dennis Johnson. Johnson was a member of the 1979 Supersonic team that won it all. Since their were two player on that team with the name Johnson, John Johnson was the other, the players were known as DJ and JJ. Johnson would later be traded to the Phoenix Suns and eventually win two more titles with the Boston Celtics. Celtic legend Larry Bird called Johnson the best teammate that he ever had.

Cougars Dream Season

The Washington State Cougars are ranked 9th in the nation, higher then they have been ranked before. The Cougs, who are guided by first year coach Tony Bennett (pictured above) were picked to finish last in the Pac 10. The experts were sure wrong on that one.
Tonight the Cougars will take on the Oregon Ducks in Eugene.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Good Time At Key Arena

Yes, Seattle does have an NBA team, although they have not gotten much press or aroused much interest this season. Deb and I headed to Key Arena last night as we got near courtside seats for Christmas and sat closer than ever before. The Sonics played like winners as they beat the Memphis Grizzlies 121-105. Although Memphis also was having it's problems, it looked like the Sonics were playing for something rather than playing out the string. Rachard Lewis scored 34 points and Ray Allen chipped in 27 for us.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Kentucky Democrat

Even though it's more politically oriented than mine, The Kentucky Democrat has the right mixture of news, politics, sports, and pop culture to make it one of my favorite sites.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Apprentice: Arrow Takes Back The Mansion

I have to wonder if the reason they always skip the week after Arrow wins because that is the only way they can stay in the mansion. Probably not but once again we will have to wait 2 weeks for the next episode.
The candidates meet Trump at the airport, about to fly out for business on his own jet (he must not have seen Al Gore's movie), he introduces the candidates to executives from Priceline.com
the executives will be supervising the task which consists of sending the candidates to shopping malls to sign them up for the latest promotion something about naming you own hotel price.
Aimee is in her second week as PM for Kinetic, her team seems to feel that they won the task in spite of her. Suryea takes over as PM for Arrow, he is still the square peg, James seems to think that he takes himself too seriously, maybe that's why he is called Suryea (sorry). The Arrow team shows it's energy and wins the task.
Arrow is rewarded, Nicole gets hurt and it seems like the Rebecca incident all over again, will she quit or go through the task on crutches? Rebecca was the candidate who broke her leg in a reward while playing Ice Hockey, she would have been a co-Apprentice had the winner let her aboard. This was not the case with Nicole, she only had a jellyfish sting. She undoubtedly was treated with lotion and was back so she continued her romance with Tim, they connect with a kiss that would make the viewer aware that there was more to the story off camera.
Meanwhile Kinetic arrives at the boardroom, Donald Trump Jr is sitting in today. Daddy Trump of course says what a good job he is doing. I never hear Donald say that about his other employees. In the biggest non surprise of the season, Aimee is fired.

Stanley Barer: Magnuson Bumble Bee

Warren Magnuson was an integral part of Washington history serving in the United States Senate from 1945 until he was defeated in the Reagan Landslide of 1980. In a book written about Magnuson, Author Shelby Skates paid tribute to my Cousin Stan Barer , one of Maguson's "Bumble Bees" (a name, said to be coined by Maguson opponent John Erlichman referring to the Senator's young staff). Stan later would serve as Senator Magnuson's administrative assistant.

June 1963: the commencement of a career for Stan Barer, just graduated from the University of Washington Law School and bound for the staff of Senator Warren Magnuson; the start of a hot summer of racial strife for the nation. Barer the first of Professor Ralph Johnson's star pupils to be propelled from the law school to Maggie's employ--was on the way to "the other Washington...Barer the high spirited son of a Russian immigrant turned Walla Walla businessman, had no inkling that his destiny and the black revolution would quickly become intertwined.
The book which was published in 1997, goes on to illustrate Stan's role in writing legislation which would help change the nation's course in the battle for civil rights.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Joey's Hits The Mark

We spent Valentine's Day at Joey's on the Corner of NE 8th and Bellevue Way, in Bellevue. Since Deb was putting on a special deal at work she would be arriving late, I put my name in and went to the bar. Although it was a busy night, service was instant, a friendly waitress took my order of a Ginger Margarita, something that I had not heard of until then. It was incredible, in about 15 minutes, there was a table open, the waitress made a suggestion for an appetizer a Sweet Chile Chicken thing that was excellent. After Deb arrived, we ordered dinner, I had The Pacific Northwest King Salmon and my wife had an "Evil Jungle Noodle Salad". We also had a desert which was a spice cake. It is very rare that I have gone to a restaurant and everything was this close to perfect. In spite of the great atmosphere, the price of the dinner was reasonable. I would recommend Joey's for great food, great service and an enjoyable atmosphere.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Stolen From Brother Danny's Blog

People continually say that I look like my Father. I put up this picture so you can decide, my Dad incidentally is the one on the left. I flew down to Rancho Mirage, California last weekend to visit my Dad, as his wife flew up here and stayed with my wife at our house. We drove to Los Angeles Saturday to have lunch with brother Danny and his wife Amy. This picture was taken by Danny at the Japanese Restaurant in Westwood. I am wearing my WSU shirt. Go Cougs!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Amid Great Anticipation--Steve Barer Creates Second Blog

My youngest brother Steven Barer has a second blog now, devoting to Boxing, Pro Wrestling and other forms of bodily destruction. Steve has always been a devout student of hand to hand combat, I wish him the best of luck.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Apprentice: Aaron Is The One To "BEE" Fired

Trying hard to compete with Desperate Housewives, The Apprentice LA has started to add 2 elements that have made reality shows successful, danger and romance.
In this week's task, teams are asked to go out to a bee farm, with the protective suit and harvest honey which they will process and actually sell in Ralph's Grocery. Neither team really has confidence in their project manager. Aimee is a good rah rah girl, she leads the Kinetic team and fails to instill any confidence in her abilities. There is little doubt that Aimee is on borrowed time. For Arrow, winning project manager Aaron has Trump sore at him for not contributing in the boardroom conversation on the last task. The Ironic thing is that Arrow is known as the boisterous team.
The hero in this case is Derrick, one of the Kinetic teammates who is stung by a bee, but still gets right out to finish the task. He also comes up with the idea of putting on his bee suit to draw attention to the honey. Why didn't Derrick assert that idea the previous task with the chicken suit? My guess is that he was too annoyed by Marissa.
Kinetic wins the task and sends Arrow back to the tents or as Jeff Probst of Survivor would say, "put out your torches and head back to camp!" Sorry, I could not resist.
Former Kinetic team member Suryea is the piece of Arrow's jigsaw puzzle that does not fit. He decides to go over the hedge to talk to the other team as any good traitor would do. Aimee in a bikini laying by the pool says she will protect him. I think of Suryea as a first class weasel and can't wait to see him fired.
In the boardroom, Aimee speaks up and attacks everyone but Suryea. Trump is not fooled and picks up on what she is doing. He obviously is not impressed. He is impressed even less with Aaron. Then there is the romance between Tim and Nicole, Trump is impressed with that, he winks at Sean (last season's Apprentice who is sitting in for Ivanka again) and tells Tim he could be the next Apprentice. To refresh your memory, Shawn had a little thing with Tammy last season that even sparked an engagement rumour. There will be no romance for Aaron, at least not on this show. He was fired.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Anna Nicole:It's Not So Funny Now

She was the guiltiest of guilty pleasures, we watched her show and it was a holler,Anna Nicole Smith, looking like a balloon at the Macy's parade and the dysfunctional group around her. It was the ultimate show about nothing, much like the more successful "The Osborn's". It seems like everyone has had a laugh at Anna Nicole. She married a billionaire who's son was twice her age. Her court battles, her slurring at awards ceremonies. Yesterday Anna Nicole died suddenly at a Florida Hotel. It is indeed a tragedy that her family and friends must bear. It hits home with the fact that comedy about someone who needs help, who may have been able to get help, may not be all that funny.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Love Turns Astronaut Into Space Case

Lisa Nowak went up in a space shuttle just last July, now she's in big trouble due to a botched kidnap attempt. For someone who grew up when the space program was at it's heyday, this is astounding.
It's tragic that she could not use the resourses available to get the help she needed.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Monday, February 05, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

We watched a special screening of this movie tonight and it is indeed an eye opener. First of all to watch a documentary movie with Al Gore as announcer would seem as exciting as spending your Friday night watching grass grow. However this was Monday night and it is time that people face the truth about the direction our earth is going. Anyone living in the Seattle area would notice that the winters and the summer have become much warmer in the last few years. We have just worst wind storm in years and our rainiest month was last November.
The movie really is not boring, on the contrary Mr. Gore presents the evidence in a very elementary fashion to illustrate the phenomenon. He also presents ways to reverse the current trends, sometimes with minor lifestyle adjustments. No matter what opinion you have of Mr. Gore, I would deeply recommend watching this movie.

Not Much On The Blog Lately

Recurring computer problems have limited my writing time. I hope that I have cleared all of that up. Thank you for your patience.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Manning Gets His Ring In "SnoozeperBowl"

In 1998, many thought that the Indianapolis Colts made a mistake by drafting Tennessee's Peyton Manning over Washington State's Ryan Leaf. Ryan is long gone from Pro football and Peyton Manning is today a Superbowl Champion.
The game started with a bang whenChicago Bear Devon Hester ran the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown slowly turned into a "when will this be over" Colt offensive marathon. Even the commercials were forgettable. The Halftime show with Prince was a pleasant surprise, but for the most part, it was a dreary forgettable game.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Chicago's Greatest Player

Michael Jordan was more than just a basketball player, he was a cultural icon. He did for the NBA what Abraham Lincoln did for the presidency. Since Jordan retired, the NBA
has diminished on the national radarscreen.