Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Earl Thomas Signs Big Contract With The Hawks

Seahawk Earl Thomas has a signed 4 year 40 million contract to become the highest paid player in NFL history at his position and remain with the team. Thomas has made All Pro for the past two seasons.  Thomas has started every game for the 'Hawks since being drafted out of Texas in 2010.  
The Seahawks can now turn their focus on to locking in Richard Sherman.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Remarks Costly For Sterling

CNN reports that LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling has received a lifetime ban from the NBA and a 2.5 million dollar fine for racial remarks recorded and heard over the weekend.

Gasman Scores A Goal With Authentic Masterpiece

In 2008, the Seattle Mariners went on a depressing losing skid, finishing the season, deep in last place.  The Seahawks, only 3 years removed from a super bowl appearence, provided little relief going 4-12.  The Cougars and Huskies had a couple of wins, both belonging to the Cougs.  To make matters worst, the one major team with a championship, the Sonics, left for Oklahoma City. 
The time was right for something to go right in the Seattle sports world and it did.  In Authentic Masterpiece, former KJR sports radio talk show host Mike Gastineau presents an entertaining history of what he calls the "...the best franchise launch in American Sports history. "  Gastineau writes that Paul Allen's attempt to build a new stadium for the Seahawks was doomed until they tapped into a huge covert market, Soccer fans.   A football-soccer stadium proposal was barely approved by the Seattle electorate.
Gastineau goes brick by brick on how a management team, an unusual combination of a Minor League Soccer team owner, an actor-comedian, a Hollywood movie producer and one of the richest men in the world formed a unique forward looking management team.  The search for the coach. Putting together the team, And finally the unique, but large contingent of Soccer Fans, know to flood Seattle bars in the early morning hours to watch soccer matches halfway around the world.
We read about Drew Carey, who was the comedian-part owner who came up with one of the craziest ideas in professional sports after a bad Sounder loss.
Mike Gastineau was at KJR for 2 decades, and made his reputation as "the voice of reason".  This book shows that he has real talent as a writer.  If you are a sports fan, but maybe not a soccer fan, like me, this book will key in on what makes the team and the sport a local success.  If you are a Sounders fan, this is a must read.  For more information on the book, you can go to the Gastineau website.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Super Reserve Quarterback Earl Morrall Dies

If Earl Morrall would be playing today, his accomplishments would make him a million dollar superstar.  As it happened, Morrall played when NFL football was played once a week (later twice) and there was no sports radio, twitter, or the like.   Morrall stepped in for legendary quarterback Johnny Unitas, to lead the Colts to Super Bowl III.  Of course, he had to shoulder the Colts loss in an upset by the New York Jets.  It was the first time an NFL team (in what is now the NFC) would lose to the AFL. 
Morrall later would redeem himself in Super Bowl V coming off the bench to lead Baltimore to it's first Super Bowl win.  He remains the only quarterback to come off the bench to lead a team to a come from behind Super Bowl victory.
When the Miami Dolphin's quarterback Bob Griese was injured in 1972, Morrall, stepped up and lead the Dolphins to an undefeated season and it's first Super Bowl victory. 
The common link to those 3 Super Bowl appearances was head coach Don Shula, who after moving from the Colts to the Dolphins, acquired Morrall, after the Colts cut him.
Earl Morrall died last week after suffering from Parkinson's Disease. There was a suggestion by a sportswriter that the Comeback Player Of The Year award be named after Morrall.  I think maybe he should be remembered as the "12th Man".

Saturday, April 26, 2014

More Las Vegas

From last week's Las Vegas trip, I'm posing in front of the banner outside the Gold And Silver Pawn Shop, where the Pawn Stars show on the History Channel is shot.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Buildings Devastated By Explosion In North Bend

An explosion and fire in North Bend, approximately 20 miles from Maple Valley, has  destroyed about 3 buildings and shaken the community.  The explosion was reported to have happened about 3:30 Friday morning.  It was said to have occurred in what used to be a Pizza Restaraunt.  It also destroyed a barber shop and damaged a Les Schwab Tire Center.  At this time, only a few minor injuries were reported.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dan Lewis Leaving KOMO News Desk

After 27 years, Dan Lewis is calling it quits as KOMO 4 TV news anchor.  Lewis who along with the late Kathi Goertzen and weatherman Steve Poole were amongst the longest running local TV news teams in the country.   As well as his longevity or maybe because of it, Lewis has become known as a steady presence in the local media, guiding viewers through a couple of personal tragedies such as the passing of Kathi Goertzen and a helicopter crash that took the life of a KOMO reporter and pilot last month.  Lewis was brought over from Washington, DC in 1987 to replace retiring anchor Jim Harriott.  He has said his decision to come out west to work at KOMO 4, the best move he has ever made.  Lewis will make his last newscast toward the end of May.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Barers Go To Vegas

My wife and I, along with my Mother-in-law, spent a few days in Las Vegas.  Mother-in-law had been there for the entire week, Deb and I flew down Wednesday.  We drove all the way up the strip on the first night and stopped in at the Gold And Silver Pawn Shop, made famous by the History Channel reality show Pawn Stars  (pictures 3rd and 4th from top).   We did not eat at the Heart Attack Grill, (second from top), but I thought that it made an interesting picture.  We also stopped in at Circus Circus (top picture).  On Thursday, we spent a lot of time enjoying the 90 degree weather at the pool.  We toured the strip at night.  We at Bobby's Burger Palace, run by Food Network chef Bobby Flay.  The next day, we toured Red Rock State Park (bottom picture). It was a beautiful drive though we were short on time as we had to return for an evening show. 
We watched Vegas The Show at the Planet Hollywood Casino.We conclude the night with dinner at the PBR restaurant.

So Long Hurricane

Ruben "Hurricane" Carter, the middleweight boxing contender who inspired the Bob Dylan song "Hurricane" is dead at 76 from prostate cancer.  Carter was convicted of killing 3 people in a Patterson, NJ bar the took place 1966, two witnesses who testified against Carter, later recanted.  Carter won a second trial in 1976 where his conviction was upheld.  He was freed in the mid 80s. You can read more about the Hurricane Carter story here.

Liberace's Piano

In the Cosmopolitan Casino, there is a museum dedicated to Liberace, one of the best known Las Vegas performers.

Happy Easter

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Rodney Tom Chooses To End Merry-Go-Round Political Career

Democrats, who have been gearing up to defeat 48th District Senator Rodney Tom of Medina, were dealt a pleasant surprise.  The Senator, a one time Rino (Republican in name only), Democrat, most recently Dino (Democrat in name only) has now left his former party standing at the altar. Tom has just announced that he would not seek another term.
Two years ago, Tom and another long time self declared Democrat Tim Sheldon, abandoned the party caucus and succeeded in denying Senate Democrats an elected majority, in doing so, Tom became  majority leader, Shelden, the president pro-tempore.  This enraged the State Democratic Committee, they soon voted to censure Tom and Sheldon. Tom's backslide should have been a coup for Republicans, but they now find themselves at the 11th hour without a candidate. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Container Store In Tukwila Opens

Last Thursday, we attended a grand opening party at The Container Store in Tukwila. The Container Store is a specialty chain that retails storage and origanizational solutions. There was an open bar, elegant food, and a live band. The food was actually served from merchandise in the store.  The store is located at 2437 Southcenter.  On grand opening weekend, 10 percent of the proceeds from sales over the weekend will be donated to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Colbert Tapped To Replace Letterman

CBS has announced that Stephen Colbert will replace retiring The Late Show host David Letterman in 2015.   Colbert's show The Colbert Report on Comedy Central has been a hit since it's launch in 2005.  Colbert, in my opinion, seems to have that certain type of subtle  humor (for lack of a better word) that would be a good fit for the network, similar to the style that allow Letterman  a 20 year run.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Hart Hits 2 Round Trippers In Home Opener.

He shares the name of a Canadian pop singer, but the Mariners Corey Hart is rock star enough for this town as his two home runs lead the Seattle Mariners to a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.  Just like in last week's season opener against the same team, the M's fell behind early, only to come from behind with the help of timely hitting.  The M's have just won 4 in a row against the Angels and are 5 and 2 to start the 2014 seasson.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Malcom Smith At Disney World

Seahawk Defensive Back Malcom Smith rides in the Disney World parade in Orlando.  Smith was named MVP in this year's Super Bowl.  The World Champion Seahawks will be honored tomorrow at the Seattle Mariners home opener at Safeco.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Mickey Rooney Dies

Mickey Rooney, the short but exuberant actor and entertainer whose career spanned decades has died at 93

Drinking Liberally In Southeast King County

The 5th District Democrats have announced the start of Drinking Liberally, a grassroots gathering of people who meet in public houses to discuss politics.  Chapters of Drinking Liberally have sprung up across the nation.  It does not encourage people to drink and you do not have to be Liberal or a drinker of alcohol to attend.  You need only bring your concerns and curiosity and perhaps a GPS to find the location.  Drinking Liberally meetings will be held on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at Zeek's Pizza 2525 NE Park Ave in Issaquah at 6:00.  State Senator Mark Mullet owns the Zeeks franchise and may be attending to give us tips on what is happening in the state legislature.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

King County Sheriff's Office In Maple Valley Reopens

In the heart of Maple Valley the Hicks-Raburn Precinct 3 office, named for two fallen King County officers is back open for business.  The office was closed almost 3 years ago, probably due to budget cut.  In a ceremony held Tuesday, March 18th, Sheriff John Urquhart, County Executive Dow Constantine, Councilman Reagan Dunn, and Congressman Dave Reichert, a former King County Sheriff were the featured speakers.  The precinct office is located at 22300 SE 231st St in Maple Valley, across from the fire station.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Mariners Start Season By Sweeping Angels

Seattle sports fans are thinking baseball again after the Mariners started the season with a sweep of the Los Angeles Angels.  It's still early in the season, but after a dozen years of dismal play in the American League West, it was nice to see the hometown nine manhandle the perennial contender in the division.   It was the M's first sweep in Anaheim since 2006 and the first sweep to start a season for the Mariners since 1985.  The team completed the sweep with an 8-2 victory.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Ethan Pitches For Falcons

It's high school baseball, nephew Ethan Wagner pitches for the Freshman Woodinville Falcons.  Barers Of Maple Valley attended the game yesterday at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland.  The Falcons beat the LW Kangs in extra innings.  Ethan pitched one inning in relief, you can see him on the mound in this picture..

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Jeanne Romano Shows Her Pictures On New Day

Jeanne Romano, a former network TV comedy writer who now specializes in painting pets, appeared on New Day Northwest last week to show off her latest works and to demonstrate technique. Jeanne was the artist who painted our dog Dasher's picture and she shows that work during her presentation. You can also view Jeanne's work at artisan tails.

Ernie Kent Hired To Coach Cougs

Ernie Kent, who lead Pac 12 rival Oregon to 5 NCAA  tournaments, has been hired to coach the men's basketball program at Washington State.  Kent spent 13 seasons at Oregon before being let go in 2010 after a mediocre season.  Kent is the second major hire for WSU athletic director Bill Moos, who has had little tolerance for coaching picksfrom the old regime.  Moos, as a matter of fact had hired Kent to come to Oregon, when serving as AD for that school.