Friday, January 31, 2020

Walla Walla Steps Up--Helps Repair Damaged Synagogue

Was it a random act of violence or a hate crime?  Perhaps we'll never know, but a go fund me page set up to repair damages, and improve security for Congregation Beth Israel, the city's Jewish synagogue has exceeded it's fundraising goal.   The Congregation recently suffered 3 acts of vandalism damaging it's plate glass windows.  
Isolated incidents, especially, in small or medium sized rural towns can put a black eye on it's reputation, but a diverse group of donors. probably the majority from outside the town's Jewish community has shown that there will be no tolerance for property destruction on it's institutions.   

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Drew Bledsoe Retirement In ESPN Feature

ESPN has an online feature detailing Ex Patriot quarterback Drew Bledsoe's retirement from the NFL and his entry into the Walla Walla Wine Market.
 Of course, Bledsoe, who starred for both the Wa-Hi Blue Devils and the Washington State Cougars is no doubt the most famous athlete to come out of my hometown.
He was one of the  top recruits in the nation upon his high school graduation and after an incredible college career, was number one draft pick for the New England Patriots.  He could have easily become a Seahawk as the two teams were the NFL's worst.  A few decades later, the Seahawks and Patriots would meet in the Super Bowl, but Bledsoe was long into retirement by then. 
We visited Bledsoe's downtown Walla Walla tasting room not long ago. 
You can find the Bledsoe feature by clicking here. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Tanya Tucker & Brandi Carlile Perform "Bring My Flowers Now" | 2020 GRAM...

This song kept Maple Valley's Brandi Carlile's winning streak going at the 20202 Grammy Awards, as she won for Best Country Song, an award she shared with singer Tanya Tucker and her long time collaborators and band members, Phil and Tim Hanseroth.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Mudslide Closes Eastbound Lanes Of Highway 18

The long commute from Maple Valley and surrounding communities to Bellevue and Seattle will be tougher this morning due to lane closures on Highway 18, due to a Sunday landslide.  Even drivers who do not regularly use the highway, will feel the pressure on surface streets like Cedar Grove Road, Highway 169, and Issaquah-Hobart Road.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge over Troubled Water (from The Concert in Cent...

According to Alexa, today is the 50th anniversary of the release of this song.  Arguably, one of the greatest singles ever.    Art Garfunkel was the lead singer.  The song won 5 Grammy Awards including Record Of The Year and Song of The Year.

It was the title song of the Simon and Garfunkel's last album.

Basketball Legend Kobe Bryant Killed In Crash

MSN Sports reports the death of former LA Lakers Superstar Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash in Calabasas California, he was 41. Four others were reported to have died in the crash.
Update--The number of victims has been raised to 9.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Downtown Fatal Shooting Shakes Seattle Area

A shooting in Downtown Seattle has killed one and injured 7.  It took place Wednesday after a fight at the McDonald's at Third and Pine.  One suspect, who was wounded in the  shoot out, was in custody while a manhunt is out for two additional suspects.  One of the injured was a 9 year old boy.
Safety for that area had been a concern, for some time.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Watching Conference Finals At The Times Theatre In Seaside

During our stay at Seaside, I couldn't wait to visit the old, but recently refurbished, Times Theatre, which was recently reopened as a pub/sports bar/theatre.  We had fun watching  both playoff games, since it was just a block from where we stayed.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Felix Hernandez Signs With Braves

I guess Felix Hernandez will not retire as a Mariner.  Perhaps the most popular player in the club's history, Hernandez, coming off his worst season, has signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves. 
After 15 years of pitching for the M's, it will be weird seeing him play in a different uniform.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Sunday Morning In Seaside, Oregon

Full disclosure, I mentioned the "Inn at Seasided" we were actually at the Worldmark at Seaside.  I did this on the deck outside in the morning as I just had to capture the beauty of staying at a place with such a  beautiful view.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Blazers Beat Warriors In Overtime

Deb and I went to a Portland Trail Blazer game for the third year in a row.
We were not disappointed as Damian Lillard scored 61 points to lead the team to a 129-124 victory over the Golden State Warriors.  The Warriors at one point led by 12 points and seemed to have the game in hand.  It was finally settled in a single overtime period.
Lillard's 61 points set a franchise record. There will be no tears by the previous record holder, since it was Lillard himself.

It's 49ers Vs Chiefs

The San Francisco 49ers take on the Kansas City Chiefs in this year's  Super Bowl.  Both teams have won the Lombardi Trophy decades ago.  The Chief's, who were in the first Super Bowl, losing to the Green Bay Packers,  would come back and win Super Bowl 4.  They are returning with the record of longest time between Super Bowl appearances.  
 The 49ers last Super Bowl win was in 1994. The Chiefs  last win was in 1970.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Steve Gleason Recieves Congressional Gold Medal

WSU former football player Steve Gleason, who has suffered from ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) since 2011 has received the highest civilian award, the Congressional Gold Medal Of Honor.
Gleason played for the Cougar football team from 1995 to 1999 and is 9th on the list for all time tackles.   He played in the NFL from 2000 to 2008 for the New Orleans Saints.  
Gleason's charity, Team Gleason has provided about 10 million dollars for services to those suffering from ALS.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

WSU MBB: Klay Thompson Jersey Retirement Ceremony 1/18/20

Klay Thompson had his number 1 retired at WSU and the Cougs celebrated with a win!

Seattle's Ken Jennings Wins Greatest Jeopardy Match

Seattle area resident Ken Jennings won the ultimate Jeopardy match against two other star players.  James Holzhauer, who won most money in a single game and Brad Rudder who had won the most money ever on a TV game show. 
The show was reported to be a ratings blockbuster.
Even though the Seahawks fell short in their quest for the Super Bowl, Seattle can also take pride in one of  it's residents owning the Jeopardy greatest of all time trophy.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Snow And Cold In Maple Valley

Taken on the pipeline trail. Snow remains after falling on Tuesday.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Aloha To New WSU Football Coach Nick Rolovich

Sources say that Nick Rolovich has been tapped to be the new head football coach for the Washington State Cougars.   Rolovich had been head coach at Hawaii for the past four seasons.   He will replace Mike Leach, who left to take the coaching vacancy at  Mississippi State.
According to, Rolovich was seen by WSU Athletic Director Pat Chun and WSU President Kirk Shulz as being able to find overlooked talent and being a great motivator.  Like Leach, he is known for having an offensive mind set. 
Rolovich is said to be getting a 5 year contract worth about 3 million a year to leave the Islands.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Packers End Season For Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks quest to go to the Super Bowl ended this afternoon on Lambeau Field as the Green Bay Packers defeated the team 28-23.  Russell Wilson brought the team within striking distance in the second half, but in the end, the 21-3 first half deficit was too hard to overcome.

Beat Green Bay!!!!

Linda Ronstadt:The Sound Of My Voice--Review

This special program that aired on CNN on New Year's Day, was promoted  on every break on the network's New Year's Eve coverage.  
This was a one of a kind profile of the singer, who probably retired early from performing because of her fight with Parkinson's Disease.  
Ronstadt, who probably paved the way for and influenced women performer from our area, like Ann and Nancy Wilson and Brandi Carlile, has roots in Classical Music, Opera, and Mexican Music.  She is one of the first performers to have a career that covered so many genres of music.  After she broke through with her mix  of Folk, Rock, and Country, she was able to go back to her roots and record and perform in Opera and to record music from her Latin American heritage. 
The show talks to her family, friends and fellow performers.
Having been a fan of Linda's in college, I really enjoyed the show, which featured her path to fame and her outlook on life.  
I would recommend this program for anyone with interest in her career or in popular music from the late 60 to early 80s. 
Above, Ronstadt is shown accepting a Grammy from Ringo Starr and Paul Williams. 

Friday, January 10, 2020

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Leach Shocks Cougs--Takes New Job

Sources report that Coach Mike Leach will leave WSU to become head coach at Mississippi State.

Snow In Picture For Coming Week

Snow has been forecast for the area, probably hitting us around the first of this coming week.  It's probably a good time to make preparations as we know these things can shut down the area.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

End Of The Decade--Part 14 2019 Dionne Warwick Concert In Las Vegas

In mid November, Deb asked if I would like to fly to Las Vegas and see Dionne Warwick in concert that weekend.  It seemed incredible since it was only a couple of days away.  But we did and had a great time.  Warwick, one of the greatest singers of our time, performed in a small setting at Caesar's Palace.
We also played the slots, went to the pool and saw the dolphin exhibition at the Mirage.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

End Of The Decade--Part 13 Deb's Grandma Turns 100

She is still going strong. Deb's grandmother Lillian Eldridge turned 100 last September.  Family flew in from Texas and a big party was had. It was the first time that I had been to a 100 year old's birthday party.

Monday, January 06, 2020

Seahawks Beat Philly--Green Bay Up Next

It wasn't pretty, much like the regular season, but the Seattle Seahawks beat the Philadelphia Eagles 17-9. The score stayed close throughout and it looked like the Eagles could come back any time, but a long pass in the closing seconds from Russell Wilson to DK Metcalf put the game out of reach.
Next weekend, the Seahawks are off to Green Bay to play the Packers. 

End Of The Decade--Part 12 2018 Labor Day Weekend At Lake Tahoe

We flew to Lake Tahoe over Labor Day Weekend.  Picture here, we took a tram to the top of the mountain.  We also went to a car show (middle picture).  The bottom picture is the California-Nevada state line, which kind of defines the area.  We also saw a great show, took a cruise on the lake, and spent some time at the pool.

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Saturday, January 04, 2020

End Of The Decade--Part 11 2017 Trip To Israel

In October of 2017, I joined a friend of mine, Joe Saxon and members of Temple B'Nai Torah on a dream fulfilling trip to Israel.  Although my wife did not go on the trip, she played a major part in getting the arrangements made.  Hopefully, if there is a return trip, she can accompany me.
Sadly, Joe Saxon passed away a little over a month after returning home.
The top picture was taken near our hotel in Tel Aviv.  The bottom picture is member of the Israeli Army (IDF) posing for my camera at Yad Veshem, the holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem.

Thursday, January 02, 2020

End Of The Decade--Part 9 2016 The Ceiling Caves In

August of 2016, a pipe broke in our upstairs bathroom. I returned from work to find water all over the downstairs family room area as the ceiling had caved in.  
Luckily, our insurance was able to pay for repairs and for us to stay in a motel.  
We where able to get everything back to normal and really thought the end result was an improvement

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Ventura Highway Revisited Entertains on New Year's Eve

The band lead us into the New Year playing Eagles, America, and other music from the early 70s.  They played last night at Bake's Place in Downtown Bellevue.

Iconic NBA Commissioner David Stern Dies

David Stern, who is credited from taking professional basketball from a distant third amongst major league sports to right at the top, is dead at 77.
Stern was NBA commissioner from 1984 until 2014. At the time he took on the job, there were questions on whether the league could survive.  Stern watched income grow and the league expand.  He is widely credited in promoting superstars like Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Charles Barkley.
Stern was generally well received by fans around the league until the unexpected sale of the Seattle Super Sonics to a group from Oklahoma City.  Stern was very critical of this area's attempts to prevent the team from leaving it's home of 40 years.  On the other hand, he was not supportive of later efforts to return an NBA team to the area.

Happy New Year