Thursday, April 27, 2006

United 93 Premieres Friday

Critics seem to be giving rave reviews to United 93. Still I wonder I could actually bring myself to watch it. I've seen disaster movies, sad movies, biographical movies, but something about this one. It may be too soon to relive that horible day. It took Hollywood about 18 years to make a movie about Pearl Harbor. We are just 5 years removed from the worst attack in American history. When I watch a movie, I had like to have a feeling that everything is OK.
I may wind up watching in which case I will provide a review. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Burl Barer Meet Angie Dickinson

I have heard of Angie Dickinson. She still looks great in her late 60s or early 70s. She starred in Policewoman. She also starred in a movie with Ronald Reagan and a White House Drama with John F Kennedy. Posted by Picasa

Cousin Meets Hollywood

My cousin Jan Curran with '50-60s movie idol Tab Hunter. Picture available thanks to Jan's Son Lee Goldberg. For many years Jan was feature writer for the Palm Springs Desert Sun.
Jan was at the Palm Springs Book festival to support writer sons Lee and Tod Goldberg. Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Apprentice--The Roof Collapses On Synergy!

Somewhere, Brent Buckman was watching tonight's episode with that cheezy grin on his face, Synergy which had done absolutely nothing wrong since his firing failed on all fronts. Everyone contributed on tonights defeat, where no firing would have been unjust.
The show began with the candidates planning a birthday party for Leslie. The cake and candles are shown but the birthday girl is not. Soon Lee comes through the door and the birthday party sadly is not to be. Charmaine has no love for Lee and is Leslie's main confident. I figure it has got to be good. There have been too many broken friendships already in this game.
The candidates meet in the Trump International Hotel, which Trump says of course is the world's greatest. He is with Brian Woods, an executive from Ameriquest, that company with the catchy SuperBowl ads that is in some kind of trouble with the government. The candidates get their marching orders--they are to design a program brochure for Ellis Island, perhaps New York City's greatest treasure (sorry George Steinbrenner) .
Fittingly Lee and Allie are the project managers, both have family history with the island. Goldrush, loser of 4 consecutive tasks is off to a less than great start. Charmaine is a self proclaimed expert of inside sales and she has to have her "favorite" teammate Lee watching as she makes her call basically getting a cold shoulder. Lee picked Tarek to put together the brochure. Lee's contributions are a little less obvious. He may have contributed the most by doing nothing.
Synergy goes over to stake out the island and on the way back, Tammy (who is rarely seen or heard from) discovers she left her notepad. I don't know if they turn the boat around, but Tammy and Allie are back on the island to retrieve the notebook when they realize they have missed the boat. After that nothing goes well for the team, but they do come together, to blame Andrea. Andrea is driven and tough, but rubs everyone the wrong way. It is obvious that the team would love to use her for a scapegoat.
By the time Synergy gets to Battery Park, Goldrush has saturated the area with it's brochures and team Synergy is playing the blame game. The finger points to Andrea (above) and Trump fires her without even allowing Allie to pick candidates.
I personally felt that Allie and Tammy should have taken some of the blame, they seem to have forgotten that there is no I in team. Or is it teim? Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Posted by PicasaMy LA based brother turns 41 on Monday!

30 Years Ago

In honor of Wa Hi Class of '76. We present this reunion moment.
In spite of a losing record, the 1975-76 Wa Hi Blue Devil basketball team under rookie coach Jim Thacker qualifies for the conference tournament. They are able to escape one loss in the double elimination tournament and go to State where they finished 8th. They are the first losing team to ever place that high and the future looks bright. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 22, 2006

A RAY Of Sunshine For The Super Sonics

In a year where nothing seemed to go quite right for the Seattle Super Sonics, Ray Allen was superb as he finished the last game of the season with 6 3-pointers to set a single season NBA record for treys. Allen who came to the Sonics in a trade 3 years ago that sent mega popular Gary Payton to the Milwaukee Bucks has won over fans here with his incredible play. Posted by Picasa

Controversy In Our Backyard

Bellevue Community College is barely a blip on the radar screen in the Puget Sound academic world, but has suddenly stumbled on to almost national prominence. Not the attention that you would want for a school but hopefully the long term results will work for a long term positive gain.
Peter Ratener has taught mathematics for 25 year at BCC. He made what would seem to be a very serious mistake, an exam question was "Condoleezza holds a watermelon just over the edge of the roof of the 300 foot Federal Building, and tosses it up will a velocity of 20 feet per second..." Of course Condaleezza Rice is our Secretary of State, the first black woman to hold that position. Dr Rice, in spite of her politics can held up as an outstanding role model for African American youth. Watermelon is a symbol used in characatures of Blacks throughout history.
At first glance Ratener's actions could be seen as blatantly racist. There is no doubt that the question was extremely inappropriate for an academic exam. However I don't think most of us know of the gravity of such a symbol. On prime time TV we see stereotypes consistently, an Asian man practices martial arts on one reality show. A Jewish mother may recommend chicken soup on another. Mr Ratener probably thought that this exam was no more offensive than asking for chopsticks at a Chinese Restaurant.
Mr Ratener has apologized for the incident and BCC has taken steps toward sensitivity training and staffing. I think it is time to let the anger subside and use this for a learning experience.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Storm Superstar Inks Deal

The Seattle Storm is proud to announce that Austrailian Superstar Lauren Jackson has signed a three year deal at the league maximum to stay with the team. Lauren is a former league MVP and lead the Storm to the WNBA championship in 2004. It's good to know that LJ will stay in Seattle! Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 17, 2006

Casey's Easter Review

The radio commercials were loud and proud. "Easter like you never celebrated before" or something like that. According to the Seattle Times, Qwest Field Events Center, "a place more accustomed to Boat shows than religious ceremonies was turned into a giant revival with rock bands, football players, go go dancers, well maybe not go go dancers but they might have felt right at home. The Seattle Times described it
Along the way, the Christian Faith Center has developed a worship service that features a rock band with a brass section, a large children's choir and an adult choir of hundreds headlined by soloists who on Sunday strutted across the stage like contestants in a Christian version of "American Idol."
Pastor Treat told the audience it cost "hundreds of thousands" of dollars to pull off the Easter event.
The first hour of the service was punctuated by musical numbers heralding Jesus, dramatic lighting and dry-ice-induced fog spilling over the stage.

Hmm hundreds of thousand of dollars for an Easter Service, isn't there anything better they could do with a few hundred grand, like hungry people. This is not a shot at Christianity as all religions have their excesses. But when a church promotes Saun Alexander as being at the church, you think "Isn't God supposed to be the star of the show?"
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Girl Of My Dreams--Village Theatre

Last week we saw "Girl Of MyDreams" at the Issaquah Village Theatre. It is a show based on the USO's efforts to entertain troops during World War II. It runs one more weekend in Issaquah, then moves to Everett Performing Arts Center. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

M's Cool Off Hot Tribe

The Mariners have been sputtering as of late, but managed to end the Cleveland Indians 6 game losing streak. As M's broadcaster Dave Niehaus said, anything can happen at "The Jake" and this one was indeed a wild one going down to the last out. A lazy pop up by Aaron Boone with the potential winning run at the plate for Cleveland. Our slugging Richie Sexson hit a grand slam, Raoul Ibanez had 4 RBI and new catcher Kenji Jojima had a bases clearing double. Reliever Jake Woods got his first win for the M's and Eddie Guardado recorded his first save. Posted by Picasa

Wishing You A Happy Passover

 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Apprentice: Goldrush Has Bad Evening

We were "treated" to 2 edisodes back to back last night. I would have settle for just one in the proper timeslot.
In the first task, The candidates work with Home Depot in conjuction with a Boys And Girls club program. Each team needs to set up a place for disadvantage youth to be able to gather. Lenny, steps up to be project manager. It is then we see just how weak a candidate he is. When the Home Depot Execs come in--he is unprepared. He leaves the task at a crucial time for a shopping excursion. When Gold Rush loses the task, Lee abandons all reason and sticks up for his close ally Lenny. When Lenny is fired, Lee has used up any goodwill he has with his team.
On the second task Goldrush is in turmoil. Donald Trump evens the teams by asking if anyone on Synergy can turn Goldrush around. Unfortunately Michael switches to Goldrush. Michael is Synergy's least desirable candidates because he is so indecisive. The task is to sell a new sandwich for 7-11. Leslie, who has been behind the scenes for most of the season finally takes her turn at PM for Goldrush. Andrea will lead Synergy. Leslie is stubborn and wants to sell the sandwich at 8 dollars. Lee says it's too much. Lee has lost his credibility with the team. Nobody listens to him and they would just as soon see him go.
Synergy wins the task and is rewarded with a trip to DC. Whether their lunch with Senator Schumer was rewarding, depends on where each fall on the political spectrum. My guess is that it was a non-political lunch for the most part. They have enough of that in the boardroom.
Speaking of--Leslie (pictured above) is told by Trump that she should bring 2 people into the boardroom, but hey when was the last time anyone listened to Trump? She brings in Lee who won't shut up. It doesn't matter. Leslie did not listen and she is the 4th Goldrush PM in a row to bite the dust.
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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Start Spreading The News-Couric's Leaving TODAY

Katie Couric has announced that she will step down from her duties as Today co-host next month. In a poignant on-air good bye, Couric said that although her she enjoyed hosting the morning show, her heart told her it was time to take on new challenges. Katie will be the anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News. She will be the first female anchor of a prime time network news show in history. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Mariners Get That First Win

It was an ugly win, but a win none the less as the Seattle Mariners held on to the very last out to beat the LA Angels 10-8. The Mariners never gave up the lead even as the Angels refused to role over and die.

Apprentice: Gold Rush Chickens Out

At first glance, Brent Buckman and Tarek do not have much in common. One is overweight, overbearing and disruptive. Tarek is good looking, intelligent and dressed to the nines. On this show we see that there are more similarities than meets the eye. Bryce, who has been a back bencher most of the season, can see his team is falling apart. He confronts Tarek and invites the team into a meeting. Everybody fires at Tarek, who says in his aside that they are gunning for him because he is good. Tarek, You are every bit as dillusional and egotistical as Brent.
In this weeks task, the candidates need to write a jingle for Arby's. The fast food giant is know for it's roast beef sandwiches, but has a new product, a natural chicken sandwich. They point out that they are the only brand to have such an offering.
Once again Lee has to excuse himself from the task to observe the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. His teammates support him as this time Lenny does as well. Lenny and Lee have forged an alliance and Lenny seems more humble than ever before.
Bryce wants to emphasize team unity and seems successful accept for one big snafu, the team arrives 20 minutes too late. Goldrush's fate may have been sealed right then and there.
Synergy takes this project and runs with British charmer Sean taking the reigns. They seem to work like clockwork now that Brent is gone and Andrea is suprisingly quiet now.
Both teams have successful presentations but Synergy wins the task. They have a dinner at an exclusive restaurant and are served Truffles, which is right up there with cavier for things I really never want to try.
It's deja vu in the boardroom as Bryce make exactly the same mistake as Dan in not bringing the right people into the boardroom. For the second week in a row, the Goldrush PM is fired. Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 03, 2006

Mariners Lose Home Opener

The Mariners played tough but it wasn't enough. They dropped their opener to the Los Angeles Angels 5-4. It does apear that we have a much improved team and we will play hard in one of baseball's toughest divisions.

B. Barer And Sons--Rags To Riches

If you have been reading my Dad's site, you would know that the story of our family was a rags to riches story. The truth is that it is almost a literal description. B. Barer And Sons had a hand in history that B. Barer could probably never imagined. B. Barer And Sons was named for my Great Grandfather B. Barer and his 2 sons Israel "IJ"(my grandfather) and David. When I was very little my Dad drove the company truck back and forth between home and work. If there was a big job he would bring home the big flatbed. My Dad was out on the road frequently buying. He did not want to be around the store much as Grandfather and Uncle Dave were very demanding. When I was small, I had my mother write "B. Barer And Sons" on my toy trucks and thought that that was as cool as it gets. I loved going on trips with my Dad to Waitsburg, Tri Cities and Milton Freewater. B. Barer And Sons was located in a seedy section of Downtown Walla Walla between a Tavern and a Richfield service station. The tavern was next-door in the same building. Adjacent to that was a parking lot with a black wire fence going up to a brick building that said "Boss of The Road". Old Transient men used to shuffle back and forth on the sidewalks. The store had a counter on one side and a room that served as the office on the other. Next to the office was another desk then the furnace. The last desk had a wall around it but no ceiling. Behind the store was a large concrete building with 2 steel doors. One door went to where they would process hides. The other door opened to a larger section where the steel was stored. In the steel warehouse, there was writing in chalk from years gone by. There was writing about an earthquake hitting north of Touchet. Most of the writing was dated, usually done in the mid-1955. I remember a drawing of a hatchet and the inscription "I Buried The Hatchet." In later years, the service station was torn down and the store was expanded through the 11 N 4th building. An oxygen filling tank was put in place to compliment the Industrial Gas selection. The Business encompassed the entire corner of 4th and Rose. Many of the surrounding taverns were closed and also torn down. There were also a couple yards offsite one with a magnetic crane and also an additional warehouse. In 2000, my dad sold B. Barer And Sons to Oxarc, who had been industrial gas supplier to the firm and that is how it exists today.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

From The A Barer Blog--David Barer

Anyone who knew my Uncle Dave, who passed away 20 years ago after a long history of heart ailments, knew that he could talk to anyone about anything. The amazing thing was that he had to drop out of school in the 8th grade. My Dad talked about this in his blog:

He loved to play basketball and was heartbroken to not be allowed to finish the eighth grade ruling out high school and a chance to make the basketball team. In 1984 a group of the Whitman College class of "34" in town for their fiftieth reunion came to my office to inquire as why their "classmate" Dave was not attending the reunion. An avid tennis player and Clark Gable look-a-like he was a popular man on campus tho not an enrolled student. Shortly before his graduation his father, grandfather Barel, had an attack of asthma.The only known paliative was to spend time in Arizona. The absence of mold and pollen in the desert climate provided temporary relief. This was the sheep shearing season. The family income was derived mostly in a short time each year by purchasing crops of wool from ranchers and reselling to Pendleton Woolen Mills.David entered the wool buying business with vigor. In fact his early successes in the business lead to a run in with the Leher family.

Boys Of Summer Return To Safeco

The long, long Major League Baseball season will open tommorrow. The Mariners will take on AL West Champion Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field 2:45. Epectations are not real high this year as most of the Seattle Times writers have picked them to finish last in their division.
I think that with this year with Icharo and Beltre coming off strong finishes in the World Baseball Classic and one year of maturity in Felix Hernandez, the M's can provide some excitement this year. Posted by Picasa

We Lose A Family Member

We were saddened to learn last Monday of the passing of Ernie Eldridge. Papa Ernie was married to Deb's Grandmother. I met him when we went to Florida in 1993. Ernie was a strong Democrat, unusual in that family. I e-mailed him often about political comings and goings and was always happy when we could see him on our trips back east. Ernie was a former Rhode Island State Trooper and had worked for the Palm Beach Sherriff's Department. As a youth was an outstanding athlete and as a fan of Notre Dame Football, he would exchange letters with the coaches on up and coming high school athletes.
A couple of years ago, friends and family held a 90th birthday party for him. Ernie went to each guest and told a little story about each one. He was a unique person and we will really miss him.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

I Finally Made To "The Key"

Father-In-Law Bob invited me to watch a Sonics game last night. It was the first game that I was able to see this season. We were playing the Lakers and I suprised a good size crowd attended considering our season has been rather bad. I looked courtside to the 101 section and there was cousin Stan and Alta, along with Leigh and Aaron. As was the case with the last 2 basketball games I watched, the Sonics were well ahead by halftime, only to run out of steam in the second half. Kobe Bryant put on quite a show scoring 43 points amid nasty catcalls from the crowd. Ray Allen was a joy to watch playing heads up until he seemed to fade out in the fourth quarter.