Thursday, November 30, 2017

Private Pyle Discharged

CNN has announced that actor-singer Jim Nabors who played the bumbling
but lovable Gomer Pyle in the 1960s TV comedy Gomer Pyle USMC has died at 87.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

WSU Student Overplays Her Hand With Charity Pledge

There is goodness in the world, perhaps too much goodness for WSU student Danni Messina.  Messina was so moved by hearing of the works of St Jude's Children's Research Hospital that she pledged to donate a quarter for every favorite (like) and 50 cents for every retweet of her tweet touting the hospital.  The Cougar do-gooder had planned a budget of $1000 dollars.  She soon wound up owing $200 thousand.
 Anxious to make good with her pledge, Messina set up a gofundme page,  with donations from people touched by Danni giving spirit, at this writing, $57,000 has been raised.  Either way, my fellow Cougar has brought much wanted attention to St. Jude, which should benefit the medical center in many ways.
Thank you to KIRO 97.3's Ron And Don for the tip on this story.

Matt Lauer Fired As Today Show Host

Viewers, and for that matter, colleagues, were shocked to learn that long time Today Show Host Matt Lauer has been fired amid sexual harassment allegations.   No doubt, more will come out on this story.  Lauer had hosted the NBC morning news magazine show since 1997.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Chancellor Out For Season--Career In Jeopardy

Seattle strong safety Kam Chancellor is out for 2017 according to Coach Pete Carroll.  A neck injury is blamed for sidelining Chancellor for this season and many are questioning whether he will return. 
As the Seahawks plan one of the most difficult parts of the season, the defense will play without Cliff Avril, Richard Sherman, and Chancellor. 
The Seahawks face the Philadelphia Eagles, a team with 10 wins and only 1 loss this Sunday.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Huskies Blow Out Cougs In Apple Cup

WSU and Washington came into the Apple Cup with identical records (9 wins, 2 losses), but before the game, it looked like 2 different seasons,  a season of disappointment for the Washington Huskies with wins against teams like Fresno State and Montana, much smaller schools, while the WSU Cougs could celebrate wins against Stanford, USC, and Utah, putting a Pac 12 championship into their sites. 
No one saw this coming, all Cougar hopes were crushed in a 41-14 Washington victory. The game was not even as close as the score would indicate as both the Cougar offense and defense looked absolutely impotent.  Luke Falk, thought by some as a Heisman Trophy candidate threw 3 interceptions and lost one fumble.  He was sacked 5 times.
Seattle Times columnist Matt Calkins wrote a particularly cruel column saying the Apple Cup is not even a rivalry.  Indeed the numbers bear that out as the Huskies have won 72 times compared to WSU's 32.  It's safe to say that is an insurmountable lead even bigger that so called Civil War were this year Oregon blew out Oregon State 69-10.  However, the Cougs do have some memorable wins, minimizing the overwhelming numbers in our minds.

Saturday, November 25, 2017


The Washington Huskies stand in the way of the Cougs chances of winning a PAC 12 championship.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Mike Leach on weddings

In preparation for this week's Apple Cup, here is WSU Coach Mike Leach, giving bizarre wedding advice during a press conference.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

David Cassidy Dead at 67

CNN reports David Cassidy, who played Keith Partridge on the TV show, the Partridge Family, has died at 67.  Cassidy had revealed his fight with dementia earlier this year.
Cassidy became a so called teenage idol in the early 1970s with his picture on the front of teen magazines and on posters.

"That Girl" Makes Me Feel Older

Happy Birthday to Marlo Thomas, the lovely actor who played in the groundbreaking ABC sitcom, That Girl.  The first TV comedy on TV to feature a single career woman.  Thomas turns 80 today.  Thomas is the National Outreach Director for St. Jude's Children's Hospital, which was founded by her father, Danny Thomas.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Charles Manson Dies

Mass Murderer Charles Manson is dead.  Manson, one of the most reviled figures of all time, was found guilty of orchestrating the murders of a pregnant Sharon Tate, an actress with Northwest roots, and 4 others in a home that Tate shared with her husband in Los Angeles. He was also convicted of  killing Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in a separate murder. 
The trial became theatre of the absurd as it was heavily covered on morning and evening news.  This was before the internet, cable news and even cameras in the courtroom.  Manson was convicted along with 3 female followers,  another, Charles Watson, was found guilty in a separate trial.
Manson was known for his demonic stare. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Diana Ross Returns

Diana Ross made her first TV appearance in as long as I can remember in a tribute to her on the American Music Awards.  The show was carried on KOMO 4 TV ABC.  Ross was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Cedar River

The Cedar River from a bridge on the trail behind the Testy Chef in Maple Valley.
We walked Dasher after a yummy Sunday breakfast at the Chef.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Malcom Young--AC/DC Guitarist

Malcom Young one of the 2 brothers that helped found the Australian hard rock band AC/DC has died.   Young, a rhythm guitarist, had been suffering from dementia and had left the group in the Spring of 2014.  Although his brother Angus was the more famous member of the group, Malcom had been described as the driving force behind the band.
Both brothers Malcom and Angus were born in Scotland.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Maple Valley Fire Levy Passes

A fire levy which previously failed despite warnings of cuts in fire and emergency services in Maple Valley is passing on it's second go round according to the Maple Valley Reporter.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Israel--Wrapping Up A Fabulous Trip

It's been over 10 days since I've returned from my trip to Israel and well over 20 days since the trip began. I've constantly posted pictures since the trip's beginning and continued posting well after my return and yet, I feel that I have so much more to share.
 My friend Joe and I traveled with our temple in Bellevue, because of the small number of us who were able to make the trip, we were joined by the Temple Beth El from St. Petersburg, Florida.  Within the two groups, there were contrasts.  The Florida group was lead by their charismatic and learned rabbi (bottom picture on right), we were lead by our Cantor David Serkin-Poole.  Each made valuable contributions to our visit.  The Florida group was all couples, along with a daughter and seemed to know each other well, while our group mostly left spouses at home and were getting to know each other.  Joe and I flew over and back on Air Canada's 787 (middle picture). 
It was on this trip that we realized how perilous this country's existence can be.  While we visited the Golan, we could see beyond the borders of Syria and Lebanon, both generally hostile countries toward Israel.  The trip gave us context into the media's coverage of the country. 
The two great cities Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are so close, yet so different.  Tel Aviv, is the stylish, cultural center of the country, it is where the State Of Israel was born and is recognized diplomatically as the "capital"    Jerusalem (top picture), little more than 50 miles away is so different.   It is the spiritual city.  It is the hub of three major religions, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.  The Arabs and Jews often coexist in harmony. You can often hear the Muslim calls for prayer throughout the day.  Arabs are often working alongside Jews.
Our guide Shari (bottom picture left) did an outstanding job teaching and reporting and helping us get to know the country that we love. 
There is a lot to be proud of in the State Of Israel, the country was developed from a desert to a fertile country and seems in many ways so peaceful, but being a young country, with so many security issues (you see soldiers both men and women throughout the country) there are so many questions.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Yad LaKashish

One of the last places we visited was Yad LaKashish, an innovative workshop for senior citizens, based in Jerusalem. 
Instead of resting in retirement homes, this program allow seniors to learn and perform crafts which allows them to feel a sense of purpose.  Their craft are sold at a gift shop and can also be purchased online.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Seahawks Win Game But Lose Sherman For Season

Thursday night football games have not been a popular event for players and this really came to light this week when Seahawk star cornerback Richard Sherman suffered an Achilles Tendon rupture ending his season.  The Seahawks won the game against the Arizona Cardinals, but there was almost no celebration as the team's greatest strength, it's defense, may be ordinary at best. 
Sherman has not missed a game since he entered the league in 2011 so there is little indication on how the team will play going forward.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Entertainment On The Kibbutz

You probably would not picture a luxury hotel on a kibbutz (Israel's social experiment), but between our time in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that's exactly where we were.  We spent a couple of nights at The Pastoral at Kibbutz Kfar Blum in Northern Israel. 
In the lounge, there was nightly entertainment.  This Israeli folk duo, was joined by a food server to sing the Leonard Cohen classic "Hallelujah".

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Astronaut Richard Gordon

Astronaut Richard Gordon, a Seattle Native who flew the Gemini 11 and Apollo 12 missions has died.  Gordon attended the University Of Washington at the same time my father did and could be seen in the one college annual of his that I could find in our house. 
Gordon walked in space in the Gemini 11 and flew around the moon in Apollo 12.  After retiring from NASA, he briefly became an executive for the New Orleans Saints Football team.

Havdallah Service In Jerusalem

After visiting the Wall, we had dinner at the Old Train Station, now a trendy Jerusalem shopping center.  We were joined by a newly married Anerican couple during the Havdallah (after Shabbat) Service.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Crash Kills Former Baseball Star

Former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay died after his plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico, the Pasco Country Sheriff's Office confirmed.

The Sea Of Galilee

There is actually a tower at this vantage point that I didn't climb.  This is the Sea Of Galilee which is actually a fresh water lake. 
  A note that these posts are now out of sequence. 
I plan to post a few more highlights of the trip and then maybe a long final tie in piece to wrap it up

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Rabin Memorial

In this memorial to former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is at the Tel Aviv City Hall.
Rabin addressed a crowd at a peace rally in what is now Rabin Square before his assassination by a fellow Israeli.

Falk Sets PAC 12 Record

Washington State University quarterback Luke Falk set a Pac 12 career passing record of 13,806 yards in a 24-21 victory of the Stanford Cardinal.  The Cougar senior passed another recent quarterback, Sean Mannion of Oregon State.    Falk is also one touchdown pass shy of former USC quarterback Matt Barkley's conference record of 116.  The 8-2 WSU Cougars will finish undefeated at home for the first time in the school's history.  The team has two more games on the road and a probable bowl to conclude the season..

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Western Wall In Jerusalem

We spent Shabbat praying at the Wall in Jerusalem.  This picture was actually taken on a return visit the following evening as photography on the Shabbat (Sabbath) is not allowed. 

Thursday, November 02, 2017

A Palestinian Refugee Camp

From Bethlehem, on the West Bank, the keyhole entrance is said to symbolize the plight of Palestinian refugees who are restricted from entering the rest of land they feel belongs to them by a concrete wall. A key is depicted in many places in graffiti on the wall. The border wall is patrolled by the Israeli Defense Force.

Astros Win World Series

Congratulations to the Houston Astros for a season for the ages and their first ever World Series win.  For the Los Angeles Dodgers, one more "wait until next year".