Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Festival Of Lights

Chanukah has received more attention than usual since it fell on Christmas Day. This is the first time this has happened since 1959. It usually comes early in the season and is done by the time Christmas actually roles around. This is because of the varience in the Hebrew and English calendars. A good reference book for Jews and Non Jews would be "Judaism For Dummies" it was co written by Rabbi Ted Falcon who also Co officiated at our wedding. This picture was rudely stolen from Burl Barer's blog. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 25, 2005

My 15 Minutes Of Fame

I have written a little about my experiences with small town radio. Now it's my turn to talk about my short experience with Big Market Radio.
It was January of 1996 and I was working Inside Sales for The Phoenix Network, a Telecom Company with an office in Bellevue. Outside there suddenly was a heavy snowfall and we were given the option to go home. I certainly felt that having been stranded in a heavy snowfall before, that I should definitely not risk working all day and getting stranded in the evening commute. I got in my car and the radio was turned to 950 KJR. At that time, they were pretty new in the Sportsradio business. Apparently they could not get their satellite feed of the national syndicated show that they carried so the morning man was asking for volunteers from the audience to all come in and do a 15 minute radio shift. Now I had worked for KYYX in the early 80s with their operator assisted automation, but I was not actually on the air.
This was a chance for me for a very short time to star on my favorite radio station. I forgot safety and sped down to the KJR studios. The receptionist said that indeed, they were letting listener volunteers have 15 minute airshifts. I remember how Cousin Burl had written they he got his first KJR airshow by showing up while the all--night Jock was on vacation.
Doing talk radio, was much easier than I thought. I had a little trouble with working the telephones but it was a blast talking to the listeners. I did not get an offer for employment, but I did have the experience of a lifetime. I got to meet Mitch Levy, who was at that time the Midday day man and New York Vinnie who worked with me.
Unfortunately I did not have a cell phone at the time and was not able to call my friends to tell them to listen. I think Deb heard maybe the closing remarks.

Seahawks Beat The Colts

Saun Alexander is continuing to have a season for the ages as he scored his record breaking 28th touchdown of the season. That's not just a club record, that is more touchdowns than any other running back in NFL history. All in all Alexander ran for 2 touchdowns as the 'Hawks trounced the Indianapolis Colts 28-13.
The is the 11th consecutive victory for the Seahawks, even though the Colts were resting their best players for the most part, a win is a win and 11 victories in a row is an amazing feat in the NFL. The Seahawks have a first round bye to rest injured players and home advantage all the way. Now after watching the Mariners in 2001 have their record breaking season and not making the World Series, I am cautiously optimistic of play-off success, but in order to win in the play off, you have to get to the play offs, so the stage is set. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 23, 2005

Supreme Court Justice William O Douglas

No discussion of famous Walla Wallans would be complete without mentioning William O Douglas. Douglas was born in Minnesota, but grew up mostly in Yakima. Douglas attended Whitman College in Walla Walla. He went on to serve America on the Supreme Court. Douglas was appointed by Franklin D Roosevelt in 1939. He resigned in 1975 during the Ford administration.
Douglas is known as a strong advocate for civil Liberties.
When entering the Whitman College Library, there is a display of charcoal etchings of every American President. This display was donated to the college by William O Douglas. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Gray Cloud Hangs Over Seahawks-Colts Game

It's the battle of the best. It is thought to be a preview of the Super Bowl. The Indianapolis Colts are visiting the Seattle Seahawks in a sold out Qwest Field, but somehow it won't be the same. James Dungy, the 18 year old son of Indianapolis Head Coach Tony Dungy, was found dead at his apartment early this morning.When I heard the news on "Sportsradio" , The usually wise cracking Mitch Levy was audibly shaken as he was talking to a Tampa Bay reporter by phone.
The game will be played, but there is no telling it will how the Colts will respond. I do know all Seahawks fans have the Dungy family in their thoughts.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Bush Hits The Airwaves

I switched from the football game last night and our President was on TV. I don't remember the last time that I had seen him make a live speech so I check the 3 network channels and sure enough it was a live speech. The president was explaining his entry into the war and his mistakes and the lack of evidence of any WMDs. The speech was concillatory, because it had to be. If poll numbers were on his side, would he have used this tone? No way. So we made a mistake and we invaded a country under false circumstances. The president looked like a 14 year who had taken his Dad's Lexus for a joyride.
The Congressional elections are this fall. If the GOP does not retain it's majority in Congress, it's going to be a much rougher ride for the President.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

It Was Scary--But Seahawks Pull It Out

The Seattle Seahawks had to fight this time as they gave up a 14-0 lead over the Tennessee Titans and fought back to win their 10th straight game, a franchise record.
'Hawk fans were wondering if they had been bitten by the so-called Sports Illustrated cover jinx It seemed like the Titans owned the game from the second quarter through the third. Our defense did not seem to have an answer for quarterback Steve McNair's offense which gained 312 yards through the air. The 'Hawks were aided by a couple of questionable decisions on 4th down by the Titans, although I think, unlike the colorman, that the Titans had no choice but to go for it on 4th down when they were in the "red zone". It made it clear that when you are winning, the breaks will bounce in your direction! Posted by Picasa

Grandfather At 99!

What? It's Only A Century

My Grandfather (never to be addressed as Grandpa) turned 99 today and we called him to wish him a happy birthday. Deb asked him how it feels to be 99. His reply was "it sure took a long time"

Eddie Feigner, a Walla Walla native was "The King" of "The King And His Court" they were to Softball what the Harlem Globetrotters were to basketball. In 1967, in a 2 inning exhibition game, Eddie struck out Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Brooks Robinson, Maurey Wills and Roberto Clemente. Featured in Sport Illustrated in the '70s. he pitched an exhibition in Walla Walla that I was able to watch. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Randal Controversey

Randal's Apprentice victory was marred by his not allowing Rebecca to also be hired by Trump. Rebecca And Randal were teammates who worked closely together in the last few weeks. In my opinion, Trump wrongly put Randal on the spot by asking whether to choose her. There have also been some racial spins that are grossly unfair to both Randal and Rebecca, two likable and qualified candidates. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 16, 2005

Apprentice 4 Finale: It's Randall!

There is a new Apprentice, Donald Trump has named Randall Pinkett. Although the final two were probably the best ever, there really was no question that he would be picked. He has 5 degrees, is a Rhodes Scholar and seems like the kind of guy that would be fun to hang around with. Rebecca was evervescent charming as usual and obviously impressed Trump as well as the TV audience. It did become kind of clear that she may not have gotten along that well with some of the castmates.
As far as the tasks, both candidates had set backs. Randall's softball game was cancelled because of rain. He was still was somehow able to raise 11,ooo dollars for Autism by staging an alternative event in the locker room of the field. Rebecca's celebrity comedy night had the host cancel because of a union conflict. Her event was well attended, but was unable to raise money for the Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
In closing I wanted to thank PJ of Houston for her comments which inspired me to keep up the task and Apprentice Randall Pinkett, who returned an e-mail saying that he too was a reader. Also thank you to Felisha Mason and Adam Israelov, who both suprised me by returning e-mails discussing points of the show.
PJ will be writing about THE BACHELOR starting in January. I personally do not watch or care for the show, but look forward to reading her take.

The Apprentice--Delay

I'll be writing late on The Apprentice as Deb and I came up with free tickets Thursday night to see Cats at the Village Theatre in Issaquah. It was an incredible performance! I would say that now that all the high rise condos have come to Kirkland that Issaquah is the classiest Seattle Suburb. Just driving down Front Street, the town has a nice small town feel to it.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Seahawks Slaughter San Francisco

Three weeks ago, the San Francisco 49ers scared us silly. This week in the rematch, it was no contest as Matt Hasselbeck threw for 4 touchdown passes and 225 yards enroute to a 41-3 victory.
The Seahawk defense did not even look it's best and it still did not let the Niners score a single touchdown throughout the contest.
Saun Alexander enjoyed still another 100 plus yard game and scored his 23rd touchdown of the season to lead the league. Alexander is also 4 touchdowns away from the league record set by Kansas City's Priest Holmes two years ago. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 10, 2005

State Democratic Chair Berendt Steps Down

After 11 years in office, Paul Berendt has announced this week his resignation fr0m the chairmanship of the Washington State Democrats. Being Chair of a political party particularly the Democrats puts you in a rather odd position. You are elected by the rank and file, but you have to appeal to the big donors (yes there are wealthy Democrats) as well. Paul was able to successfully bridge this gap, as evidenced by his long tenure.
The State Chair is elected by the Washington State Democratic Central Committee. At the time of Paul's election the party was in shambles. "Hot talk" radio was resonating throughout the nation and the "Contract With America" coattails had provided for big victories across the nation and in Washington State. Even Speaker Of The House Tom Foley was turned out of office. Since Paul has been in his position, the Democrats have really only lost one position, the 2004 race for Attorney General.
The Democratic party has made inroads in the once solid Republican Eastside and has voted for the Democratic Presidential candidate each time in the Berendt administration.
Washington has gone from being a swing state to a "Blue" state. Paul's administration was not without controversy amongst his partisans, but everyone agrees that he is a fighter. It was in 2004, that may have been his most disappointing year that saw his most satisfying victory, the election of Christine Gregoire in the closest election in American history.
I got to know Paul from 4 years helping represent the 5th District on the State Central Committee. Paul has always been enjoyable to work with and I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 09, 2005

Apprentice Winds Down Part II

When we left off, the two remaining candidates are dining with George and Caroline at Magu. A Japanese Seafood Restaurant. Rebecca, or maybe Randall asks George for the all important advice. George replies that they can start out by picking their teams. Every season the final two candidates each are set up with one last task, one always different than the other, usually involving a charity. Donald then picks fired candidates to help on each team. The main thing is that there is no real motivation for the rest of the team to perform other than the respect that they have the leader has earned and the fact that they may be looking for a job and it is quite unbecomming to RF a project out of spite on national TV. This is the first time the project managers picked their own teams, probably because Trump respects these two more than any previous candidates.
Both PMs want Chris, a promising leader who made one tacticle mistake in an early episode, they wind up flipping a coin and Rebecca winds up with him. Rebecca's 2 other picks are James, and Toral. Toral was the lady with the Wharton education who just could not get along with anyone. Rebecca saved her from the axe one time and she went from bad to worst, almost taking Rebecca with her. This pick was shocking considering Rebecca was gathering momentum. Randall picked Mark, Josh, and couriously Marshawn. James, Mark and Josh were big players in the Excell machine that racked up 3 consecutive victories until their arrogance became their undoing in the Dick's Sporting Goods where all three, along with Jennifer where fired. Noone picked Jennifer, Marcus, Melissa, Felisha, Alla or Brian and probably rightfully so.
Next morning Rebecca answers the famous call from Rhona, Randall and Rebecca are to join Trump in the boardroom to meet their respective teams and learn their final tasks which Trump says will be very, very difficult.
Rebecca will host a Yahoo sponsored All Star Comedy Night to raise money for the Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric Aides foundation. Randall will put on a celebrity softball game sponsored by Outback Restaurants to benefit Autism Speaks. Posted by Picasa

Apprentice Winds Down With 2 Excellent Finalists

Rebecca And Randall wait in the Suite to see which member of Capital Edge will return. But instead of Felisha or Alla in walks Donald with all the comfort of a detective walking into your college dorm room. He delivers the happy news that both Alla and Felisha were fired and that they are the last two standing. The two are elated. Randall is a aRhodes Scholar with what seems like more degrees than Bakersfield in June and Rebecca is the sweet but tough financial manager who has overcome a broken ankle to show that she can compete with the best.
At dinner at Trump's favorite restaurant with George and Caroline, Randall and Rebecca find out that they need to pick their teams. Both make 2 great picks (one they both want) and 1 questionable one.
(to be continued) Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Kurt Russell--Baseball Player

While Kurt Russell was breaking into the motion picture business, he also played minor league baseball. Russell played for Walla Walla Islanders in the Northwest League in the early 70s. Of course he has became a big movie star and has been with Goldie Hawn for many years in one of Hollywood's longest romances. Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 05, 2005

Fly Like An Eagle--Seahawks Soar

The Seahawks won this Monday Night contest before the Philadelphia Eagles knew what hit them. Andre Dyson and Lufa Tatupa ran interceptions back for touchdowns and Sean Alexander added a couple of his own. Also Bobby Engram scored his first TD of the season in the game that wasn't.
This Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers who played scared us silly a couple weeks ago are in town and here is hoping that we can keep up this intensity. Just think of these names in the Seahawks Ring of Honor
Mike Holmgren
Saun Alexander
Matt Hasselbeck
Bobby Engram

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Goldberg Brothers Appear At Barnes And Noble

My Cousins Lee and Tod Goldberg have finished their Seattle visit. Lee has just released Man With The Iron On Badge, a story about an amateur private eye. Tod has released Simplify, a collection of short stories that he has written over the years.
Tod and Lee appeared first at the Seattle Mystery Bookstore, a small and intimate "hole in the wall" in Pioneer Square. While I was working most of the day, Deb and I were able to catch them at the ritzy U-Village Barnes And Noble, the complete opposite end of the spectrum from mystery store.
Although it was cold and snowy outside, we greeted them with the warmth of an LA summer evening. The brothers presented their books with a Smothers Brothers-like schtick that had all of us in stitches. I was so moved that I purchased 3 of their books plus one of each for my Dad which they cheerfully signed. It was great to see so many of our family turn out.

Friday, December 02, 2005

From Walla Walla To Gotham City

Adam West (born Billy Anderson) is one of the most famous ex-Walla Wallans. But I'll talk about some others in the weeks to come. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Apprentice: Finally 2 Excellent Finalists

Greetings from snowy Seattle and being that it's late and need to brave an early morning commute from Maple Valley to Bellevue, I'll get right to the point. Tonight's episode involved our hometown company Microsoft.
Last time Microsoft came into play was in last season when Verna, a software engineer from Seattle, quit in first episode, she was talked out of quitting by Caroline and then quit in the second episode. How is that for Seattle civic pride?
It's down to the final four, but Felisha is not happy. She was called out as the weakest finalist. She confides her frustration to Alla, her dear "friend" but somehow does not catch what the camera does, Alla's nasty smirk.
The project is to do a commerial to promote Microsoft Office Live Meeting. A new software package that allows users to teleconference via their desktop computers.
Felisha wants to be project manager to prove herself, really an impossible task at this point. Alla seems to want to fight for control but really wants to let Felisha hang herself.
Randall and Rebecca who form Excel find roadblocks but they are on the same page. These are two people who honestly respect each other and rightfully so.
What Capital Edge comes up with was so bad that it's obvious. Excel once again hits the mark and wins the task.
In the boardroom, Alla could have kept her mouth shut and Felisha would have been fired. Felisha just had not performed up to par and Trump saw Alla as a strong player. Alla however wanted to say her piece and in doing so got herself a pink slip along with Felisha and now Capital Edge is no more.
Congrats to Randall and Rebecca, two of the more hard working and likable contestants to come around in a long time. Posted by Picasa