Monday, September 27, 2010

Rusty Takes First Prize

Congratulations go out to our Rusty, for taking First Place in the Savy Senior contest at the U-Village Annual Fido Fest

Seahawks Shock The Chargers At Qwest

A strong opening in the first half and a big play at the right time in the second half helped the Seattle Seahawks defeat the San Diego Chargers 27-20 at Qwest Field. Seattle's lead was 10-0 at the start of the second half, when Leon Washington increased the lead by taking the kick-off 101 yards for a touchdown that gave the Seahawks a seemingly insurmountable lead of 17-0. San Diego quarterback Phillip Rivers lead a comeback that eventually tied the game. Rivers completed four consecutive passes to the end zone as penalties called back both a touchdown and two point conversion, only to have them completed on the second try. With the Chargers clearly in the driver's seat, Leon Washington took the next kick off 99 yards for a touchdown. San Diego threatened again, but the 'Hawks secondary was able to keep them out of the end zone for four downs. Taking over on downs, Seattle could not score and had to punt. Rivers lead the Chargers again deep into Seahawk territory when Seahawk safety Earl Thomas made his second interception to seal the victory.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wall Street II: Money Never Sleeps Review

This effort, although entertaining, does not hold a candle to the original although it was easy to follow. I think that the main drawback to this movie is the amount of time between the movie and the sequel. The principal character, Jake Moore, played by Shia La Bouf, does not appear to even have been born when the original Wall Street was released. Instead of a Father-son conflict, like in the first picture. It is a boyfriend-girlfriend conflict, Jake is dating, Gekko's daughter, Winnie, played by Casey Mulligan. The movie starts with Gordon Gekko emerging from prison, those who have come to loved to hate the character can derive pleasure from seeing him broken. The interesting thing is that he is not the central villain, rather that is financier, Brenton James, who actually sent Gekko into the long prison term. The movie takes time to show the human side of Gekko, who has lost all contact with his daughter, while Jake is seduced by Gekko's ambitions and catchy quotes, much like Charlie Sheen's Bud Fox was in the first movie, by the way, a smirking Fox makes a brief apearence in the movie.
If the movie had continued with Bud Fox, it may have made for a better movie, however, having characters who apeal to a generation not quite familiar with the premise of the earlier movie may prove to be it's downfall. Although the movie was successful in it's opening weekend, I don't that the movie will be remembered years later like the first.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Apprentice--I Scream, You Scream, One Fake Firing

This episode probably should have been the first task. The teams were sent out to the streets to sell ice cream. This is the "back to basics" task that kicked off the very first Apprentice episode and has been used quite often. Both teams headed first to Union Square, with very without much luck so they both tried several locations. Each team also came up with an idea for uniforms, women in pink tank tops, and men with striped shirts. By the way, I forgot to mention David, the loose cannon with eyes and hair going in 6 different directions,was project manager for the men. Poppy, was project manager for the women.
When the teams were back in the board room, Trump asked the women if they thought that they had won. Of course they say yes. Trump asked who the weakest player was, and Poppy said it was Liza, he asks other team member and they agree and Trump fires her. Oh wait, he smiles and says "Kidding". I've never seen him screw around quite like that. Liza, of course is angry at her team. There is discourse, Trump asked Mahsa if she thought her team won. Mahsa said she "knew" they won. Trump jumped on her saying there is no way she could "know". There never is a "right" answer in the board room.
Trump then goes to the men, where David singled out James and Alex. James is too laid back and Alex lacks energy. David, Alex, and James come stay in the board room. Trump figures that Alex is the weakest, although a nice guy (nice guys finish last in the world of Trump) and fires him.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Crossroads Chessboard

The gigantic Chess board is a popular attraction at the Crossroads Mall in Bellevue. The indoor Mall is the main component to the shopping center in which The UPS Store in Crossroads is located.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Thanks to my brother Danny's hard work, my Father is now a published author. You can get Alan Barer's ABarer Blog Posts 2006-2009 by clicking this link. It is a series of funny and touching anecdotes of a family's journey from oppression in Russia to starting a growing business in Southeastern Washington. Even if the book does not turn up on the "bestsellers" list, the publishing of this book insures that the writings will endure through time.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Seahawks Bucked By Broncos

The Seattle Seahawks failed to show well on the road, losing to the Denver Broncos 31-14. While the Hawks were able to turn the game around last week against the 49ers, a comeback was impossible after going down by two touchdowns in tough InvescoField. The red zone could almost be called the "Matt Hasselbeck interception zone" as two early Seahawk scoring threats were snuffed out by interceptions. The 91 degrees at game time was the warmest temperature in Denver Bronco opening day history. Golden Tate, making his Seattle debut, Returning a punt 63 yards and a pass reception of 52.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Apprentice 10--Hey Buddy, Could You Spare A Job?

The Apprentice franchise was recently brought back from the dead by using celebrities. Now the show has returned with unknowns again seeking a job with the Trump Organization. The twist though is that all of the candidates are unemployed or underemployed because of the Recession.
The candidates meet in the boardroom, as they usually do in the first show and Mr. Trump divides them, men vs women, as he usually does. The first task is to go into an empty suite and design a modern office space.
The men come up with the name "Octane", the women are Fortitude, as he usually does, Trump gives tepid approval to the names.
No one volunteers themselves to be Project Manager for Octane, but someone volunteers Gene. A well bow-tied unemployed Financial Advisor with military experience. Nicole, a former Miss California contestant, steps up to be Project Manager for Fortitude.
Last night's show was two hours, it could have easily been fit into one. As the show were on, it appeared that the recession may not be the only reason that these people may be unemployed as there was fighting on both sides. In particular, a former telecom salesman named Dave was unmanagable. Unfortunately, A-type insubordinates like him tend to stay around for a few weeks because it makes good water cooler discussion for the viewers. Neither PM can really seem to get the respect of his or her team and the results show, Trump did not like either design.
Fortitude decides to throw PM Nicole "under the bus", perhaps unfairly. Tayana has experience in office design and probably should have been fired, however she found an ally in former New York DA Mahsa, who points a direct finger at Nicole. Since the team unites against her, Nicole is fired.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Congratulations Seattle Storm

First Seattle professional sports team to win two championships.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Del Bene To Spend Warchest In The Stretch

Democratic Activists Arlene and Reuben (pictured above) Powell graciously hosted a get together for Maple Valley area voters to get to know Suzan Del Bene. Del Bene, a former Microsoft executive and founder of, is challenging Republican incumbent Dave Reichert to represent the 8th district in the US House of Representatives. Del Bene says she was motivated to seek the office after watching friends and neighbors struggle through hard times and by what she sees as a passive performance by Congressman Reichert. She said that Reichert has not shown up for various candidate forums, including the Tacoma News Tribune endorsement interview. She pointed out a propensity for Reichert to "flip-flop" in issues that the 8th District is passionate about.

Del Bene said that her performance in the primary was much better than expected. She says that she held her spending down so that she would could use her war chest in the stretch days of the campaign.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Seahawks Come Alive--Route the 49ers

The start was typical, Matt Hasselbeck threw an interception on the first play and the feeling was that it was going to be a long season. But after a first quarter and several minutes of the second with 11 total yards, the Seahawks transitioned into Carroll ball and beat the San Francisco 49ers. Hasselbeck completed 1o of his next 11 throws and the 'Hawks scored 31 unanswered points. Jordan Babineaux, cut by the team not long ago then re-signed, had a pass interception as did Marcus Trufant. Pete Carroll was active on the sideline yelling encouragement and congratulating players. It is just one game and there is a long way to go, but today, all Seahawks can enjoy a great victory.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Pete Carroll Era Begins For The 'Hawks

Seattle Seahawks fans have gotten to love their coaches. New coach Pete Carroll may make that difficult if not impossible. After he left his successful tenure as head coach at USC, the Trojans were handed one of the sternest penalties ever given to a college team. This may be very much in evidence this year as the 'Hawks are go through what looks to be a rebuilding season. Even if the 'Hawks begin winning in a few seasons, fans may wonder if there are some "smoke and mirrors" behind this man whose credibility has come under challenge. Suffice it to say, for the first time in the team's history, the head coach does not start out with a clean slate. The Seahawks kick-off the 2010 season at 1:00, playing the San Francisco 49ers.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Del Bene Will Apear In Maple Valley

Democratic 8th District Congressional Candidate Suzan Del Bene will appear in the Maple Valley area this Tuesday September 14 at the home of Reuben and Arlene Powell. The meet and greet will start at 6:00pm 21656 284th Avenue SW. There may also be some judicial and state House of Representative candidates. Refreshments will be served and there will be a TV in an adjacent room for children.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Rockareoke A Hit At Snoqualmie

Rockaraoke is a new twist to the concept of Karaoke. Singers come up from the audience, however instead of the musical background on videos, a live band performs the singer music of choice. The advantage is of course, the ability to shorten a song, should his performers voice be less than pleasing. It also offer the excitement of a live band coupled with the fun and anticipation of watching audience members performing.
Last night Deb and I took Grandma Lillian to the Snoqualmie Casino, where Rockareoke is performed each Sunday from 6 until midnight in the Sno Lounge. The Rockareoke band played tribute to Lillian, who will celebrate her 91st birthday this Thursday.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Kennewick, Washington Makes A Top 10 List

An hour away from where I grew up, Kennewick, Washington is rated one of the 10 best places to raise a family acccording to this list. Kennewick is part of the "Tri Cities" area, a cluster of cities that grew out of the Hanford Nuclear Project in the 40s. Kennewick is now the largest of the three (originally it was Pasco, then Richland) becoming the first to get a a covered shopping mall, a second public high school, and a performing arts center.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Fall Around The Corner

Sign of Autumn can be seen in the Belmont Woods subdivision in Maple Valley. The leaves are just beginning to turn color on this sunny day. Barely visable (or maybe not) is Mt Rainier in the background.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Our Beautiful City

Here is the breathtaking Seattle skyline in this picture taken from Queen Anne Hill at about 7:30 Monday night.