Friday, March 28, 2014

San Jose State Football 2014 Preview

Its 1:47 am

   Quiet night,a little chilly but nothing heavy. Indianapolis is about to get rocked with some big T-storms which I am following on Twitter as I start to write this entry. We had a slight snow/rain mix this morning but nothing really worth mentioning.

So I am going to be doing my second preview of San Jose State's upcoming football schedule for next year.
My forecast for a 7-5 (I was hoping for a 8-4 year) was slightly off as the Spartans struggled with a poorly executed defensive plan (which I did forecast correctly) and finished a bad 6-6 and no bowl. That was an injustice in itself as the Spartans finished their first season in the Mountain West at 5-3 and defeated the two teams that did go bowling,Colorado State and Nevada Las Vegas,on the road. But bad losses to a very poor Nevada Reno team and a Navy team the Spartans had handled two years in a row before doomed them as far a bowl game.
  A lot has changed in the off-season. Coach Ron Caragher and his staff have been working hard to get ready for this year. The most positive change relatively speaking is Caragher hired a new defensive head coach. The trouble is I got to watch him up close and personal as former Syracuse HC Greg Robinson was Michigan's defensive HC for two years and his defenses struggled. It sort of scares me as Robinson coached a school that regularly finishes in the Top 15 in terms of players recruited. He had a lot of great players at the U of Michigan but they struggled mightily during his two years here.
  Robinson resurfaced on the college football radar last year when he stepped in at Texas to help Mack Brown after the Longhorns were trampled by BYU's ground game. Brown was forced out at UT and Robinson wasn't retained by the new coaching staff.
   So now he comes to SJSU....and he has a still potent defense in place,it just needs to be given the right scheme to play in. And it better happen quickly,while Coach Caragher recruited the 4th best class in the Mountain West,the Spartans are again going to be playing a very rugged schedule in 2014.
 With record setting QB David Fales and the gifted Chandler Jones heading to the NFL and losing 4 of 5 starting offensive linemen,the Spartans are going to tested right out of the gate. While the passing game has led the way the last two years,its going to be the running game that needs to take charge...and the Spartans are blessed with a lot of good tailbacks in Jarrod Lawson,Tim Crawley and returning star Tyler Ervin who missed last year with injuries. Jr Joe Gray looks to be winning the QB job in the spring and could very be the starter come fall.
   The defense still has NFL prospect Travis Raciti plugging the d-line but I am hoping Robinson switches Raciti to the outside of the line. Travis has a motor that never quits but being double teamed while in the 3-4 limited his true value and allowed teams to attack the center of the line. Playing a 4-3 will limit that option for other teams and Travis can handle anyone in a one on one match-up and make plays.
 Vince Buhagiar returns to lead the linebacker corp while Dasheon Frierson will head up the secondary.

The 2014 schedule:

Game One

North Dakota - 30 August

First meeting

SJSU opens up at home against FCS foe North Dakota. Lucky for the Spartans,its not North Dakota State,as the Bison has beaten many a FBS school including Kansas State last year. No,the Spartans get the Fighting Sioux in what should be a good game to break in new players and schemes. Last year SJS stopped a hard fighting Sacramento State squad 24-0. While I don't think SJS will blow out the Sioux on offense,I do see them winning this game.

at Auburn - 6 Sept.

First meeting about a baptism in fire,the first road game is against Auburn who went to the National Championship game last year and upset Alabama as well. This will be a supreme test for the Spartans as they have yet to beat a SEC team,the last time they ventured down south,they got steam rolled by a very good Alabama team,48-3. I don't expect the Spartans to win but I (and the rest of Spartan Nation) just want to compete with the Tigers. Being blown out here cannot happen...losing a 10-14 point game will give the team some momentum..I know what some of you are saying,isn't a loss a bad thing? Yes and no...Auburn is going to be jacked after the monster year they had last year while SJSU is going to be starting a new QB behind a reloaded offensive line,to get a W would be a huge upset and it could happen as Auburn might overlook SJSU after opening the season playing SEC rival Arkansas.

After a open date,SJSU once again heads on the road to play Big 10 Minnesota.

Game 3

at Minnesota - 20 Sept

Minnesota leads the series 2-1
Last meeting, Minnesota 43,San Jose State 24

I got to watch this game and was pretty frustrated watching it. This game showed why the Spartans couldn't and shouldn't have played the 3-4. Raciti was contained most of the game as the Spartans failed to get any kind of a pass rush against the Gophers. Coach Caragher had watched senior tailback Jason Simpson have a good game against Sac State and insisted on running him to no avail against Stanford and the Gophers. SJS ended up with 47 yards on the ground and forced Caragher to take another look at his running game. David Fales had a monster game in a losing effort. This year will also see the Gophers rebuilding as they are losing a QB and have to reload on the defensive front as well.
  This game will be a toss up as Minnesota will have already faced two good teams in Middle Tenn and TCU before facing Lawson,Winston and the Spartans.

Game 4

Nevada  27 Sept

Nevada leads the series 4-13-0
Last meeting,Nevada 38, San Jose State 16

This was the game in my opinion that kept San Jose State home from a bowl game. The Wolf Pack game was by far the worst game the Spartans played last year. Coming off a bitter loss to Adam Muema and the San Diego Aztecs,the Spartans were crushed by the woefully bad Wolf Pack,a team that had been blown out 62-7 to Florida State earlier in the season. If the Spartans are to make a statement in the Mountain West,this is the game to do it. Pound the bad teams and dogfight the good teams. The Spartans don't want a repeat of last year in winning their opener then dropping three in a row. 1-3 and trying to win a bowl bid is a hard road to hoe. I do see a Spartan win here however.

Game 5

UNLV  4 Oct

SJSU leads the series 12-5-1
Last meeting,SJS 34,UNLV 24

Second straight week hosting a Nevada school,this time its the Rebels of UNLV. The Spartans had one of their better defensive games as they dominated the first half,shutting out the Rebels at halftime. The second was much tighter as a improved and well coached UNLV made it a game as SJSU hung on to win by 10.
Getting the first two league games at home is a golden chance to go 2-0 and put pressure on the rest of the here and this could the start of something special.

After the second and final open date of the season,SJSU heads out on the road in league play.

Game 6

at Wyoming 18 Oct

Wyoming leads the series,2-6
Last meeting, SJSU 51,Wyoming 44

Perhaps the most exciting Spartan win of last as David Fales scored with mere seconds remaining as SJSU won a shootout with the Cowboys. Both teams clicked on offense while both defenses struggled all game long.Wyoming started strong but the lack of speed on defense doomed them and led to the firing of the head coach. Wyoming hired the coach at North Dakota State to help rebuild the team. They will be like the Spartans were last year,in transition with a new coach. A victory here would be huge in the bowl picture. The Spartans run game will be critical in helping keep a potent Cowpoke attack off the field.

Game 7

at Navy  25 Oct

San Jose State leads the series,2-1
Last meeting,Navy 58,SJSU 52 (2 OTs)

Last non conference game of the year and this series as SJSU travels to Maryland to battle Navy and its lethal option offense which carved up SJS despite the Spartans knowing what was coming. Navy's QB set a college record for most TDs scored by rushing in a single game last year. The 3-4 defense got totally gutted as the defense looked helpless and powerless to stop Navy. The Spartans,who had shut Navy out last time here,had no answers in stopping the option despite have much of the same players on defense from the year before. The Spartans will once again have to control the ball via the running game in order to sink Navy's chances for a win....if not,a loss is very possible here.

Game 8

Colorado State

SJSU leads the series 4-3
Last meeting- SJSU 34,Colorado St. 27

  This year Colorado State will be one of the favored teams in the Mountain West. This is a team on the rise again after stopping Washington State in the New Mexico Bowl. The Rams are explosive on offense but were uneven....scoring 66 points against New Mexico and an astounding 58 against Air Force. But between those games,the Rams were shut out by Utah State showing they still have a ways to go to becoming one of the better teams in the Mountain West. This is will be a swing game as in its anyone's game to win...or lose.

Game 9

at Fresno State

Fresno State leads the series 35-39-3
Last meeting,SJSU 62, Fresno State 52

  Normally the Spartans and Bulldogs meet in the last game of the season but not this year. But this is STILL San Jose State biggest game every year. Like many of the SJSU-FSU clashes in the past,last years game was a instant classic. Fresno came to Spartan Stadium ranked,undefeated and look to go to a BCS game. Derek Carr was having a fantastic season yet David Fales outplayed him in leading SJSU to a major upset and derailing Fresno's dreams for BCS glory. This was the first time SJSU had two in a row against the Bulldogs since the 86-87 games.
  Like SJS,Fresno will be rebuilding this year as Carr and Fales are heading to the NFL. They also will be playing a extremely rugged schedule...USC,Utah and Nebraska. So this game might be decided by which team is the less banged up squad.Fresno's schedule towards the end is much more friendly while SJSU has to travel back home to battle the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.

Game 10


Hawaii leads the series 10-13-1
Last meeting,SJSU 37,Hawaii 27

 Despite the shootout type score from last year,Hawaii was just awful. Beating Army in overtime is the only the thing that prevented a winless season for Hawaii. Famed offensive guru Norm Chow has been a complete bust as a head coach but the Warriors have shown some fight the past two years. The Rainbow Warriors are not really expected to improve much and they have always struggled on the road a bit. Chow will have his hands full in trying to win some of the close games Hawaii dropped last year. If the Spartans can jump on them early and keep the crowd into it,the Spartans should win this game in the 4th quarter. They will need to win as they end the season on the road at two of the better teams in the Mountain West.

Game 11

at Utah State

SJSU leads the series,17-15-1
Last meeting,Utah State 40,SJSU 12.

The Aggies of Utah State are starting to get it together. Despite head coach Gary Andersen moving to Wisconsin,the Aggies hardly skipped a beat by having a great season that saw them narrowing losing the Mountain West title game to Fresno State but bounce back strong to defeat Jordan Lynch and N. Illinois in the Pointsetta Bowl.
  The past two seasons,Utah State has spanked the Spartans,beating them two years ago by 22 and last year by 28 points. The Spartans have a lot to prove if they want to be considered a elite team in the Mountain West. Playing smart sound defense and limiting mistakes on offensive will enhance their chances of upsetting Utah State. Anything less and this could get ugly once again.

Game 12

at San Diego State

SDSU leads the series,5-12-1
Last meeting,San Diego State 34,SJSU 30.

Last year the Spartans led the Aztecs by 10 points heading into the last quarter. But thanks to the amazing Adam Muema,who scored twice in the last stanza,the Spartans went down in defeat at home. The was the first of three straight losses that killed any chance of a bowl game and a winning season. The Spartans couldn't contain Muema all night long and they wore down in the last quarter while San Diego State just got stronger. They defeated Boise State for the second year in row and went on to crush Buffalo in the Potato Bowl.
  Muema won't be back this year and the Aztecs will be hard pressed to replace that kind of talent. The Spartans however will have a full stable of good hard runners and could be poised to return the favor of a beatdown this year.

This season again has the potential to be a good one. Its critical that Caragher go to a bowl game and get the Spartans to a 3rd straight non-losing season. The benefits are paying off as the quality of the recruits are picking up,the team (and its fans) have to keep showing up and playing hard.

In closing I know this is pretty early but this is how I am looking at the upcoming season.

Thanks for reading and feel free to send me some feedback on your team.

If you are on Twitter,follow me @Jinzo_2400

Monday, March 24, 2014

of The Lone Ranger,The Pink Hat and cake!

  Its 10 pm

      Back in saddle again....sort of strange to only see 9 entries for the entire year,guess that shows my state of mind. But I have been feeling the itch again lately and so here we are writing once again.
  The weather has finally broken,its been just beautiful spring weather here in SE Michigan. The snow is melting at a fast rate and I finally have my driveway back! Oh I have snow still in the yard (and the leaves as well) but now I don't worry about getting stuck on the ice.

  Another sign of spring came last night as Paladin and I saw a big raccoon cruise by the back patio door. He stopped and peered inside the window. Paladin fluffed up to twice his normal size but didn't meow or hiss. The raccoon did notice it and backed away. I gave Paladin a pat on his head and he marked my hand as if say "Not on my watch". He is a very sweet cat in that respect. With the snow melting,I can all the work that still has to be done in the back yard. It will be good to get outside and try and get some things done.

  So still in my DVD mode....I brought up a unopened DVD collection of old Westerns that Lori gave me while we were running about. 55 episodes of various shows that ran during the heyday of the TV western. Back then,just about network had dozens of westerns on during the 1950s. Westerns were a popular staple on radio and even back in the 1930s,Hollywood loved the format. I used to listen to The Lone Ranger,Gunsmoke and before I knew it was a TV show,Have Gun,Will Travel (with John Dehner as Paladin...Richard Boone did the TV show).

   But watching them on TV when I grew up....not so much. You always knew it would be a Cowboys-Indians tussle and then the calvary would come in and save the day. But as I got older,I started watching some of the shows, The Big Valley was the first big western I recall watching on a regular basis. The screen legend Barbara Stanwyck starred as Victoria Barkley and she just dominated the screen. Unlike Bonanza,The Big Valley was about 95 percent heavy drama and you got excited for the last 15 minutes of the show where the Barkley's would get their man (or woman in some cases).
  Then it was The Lone Ranger,how could anyone even now,not watching the TV series and admire both John Reid and Tonto's friendship and the Lone Ranger's determination never to kill despite being a deadly shot.
    Clayton Moore,who played the Lone Ranger,was typecast after the show ended. But instead of being bitter,he embraced the part and truly became the Lone Ranger.He started wearing the mask in public and made several hundred public appearances a year. Even after losing a court case saying he couldn't call himself  The Lone Ranger,he slightly altered his mask and look and still carried on his life.
  The collection I had featured anywhere from 1 episode of a hour long show to 4-5 episodes of a 30 minute show. While some shows like The Rifleman and Wagon Train I knew about and watched,others I hadn't seen at all. Some were decent,like Bat Masterson...while others were a bit weird like Shotgun Slade. By the time Shotgun Slade debuted,the western format was dying out and cool,hip private eye shows were getting to be huge. The producers of Slade knew this so instead of the usual western style of music,they put in and no,I am not kidding,a heavy jazz a western! It really threw the show off kilter and made it uneven to watch.

  The one show that really made me laugh was the old Roy Rogers Show. Talk about LOW BUDGET. The collection feature 4 episodes of the show and in each show,they had the same actors in all four shows,the four core stars and the 3 guest stars who rotated as the "boss" of the three man gang in each episode. Not only that but the "hideout" was always the same house! It was too funny and of course the dialogue was corny as well. The western shows back in day were slanted to youngsters back wasn't until The Rifleman,Have Gun,Will Travel and Gunsmoke that the western grew up and were aimed for adults.
 All in all,I liked the collection and I know I can always go back and watch it again. I still have a small collection of 10 Annie Oakley episodes still on my "To Watch" pile.
  Been following the ordeal of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. As of now,they believe they have finally found the jet in the Indian Ocean. The search parties have brought along a deep sea robot that can withstand the crushing ocean depths to see if they can spot any debris. Of course unless they can locate and salvage the black box that records the cockpit discussion,we may never really know what happened to the plane and its passengers.
  Sure makes you wonder what could have happened to it....being shot down isn't out of the question. South Korea 007 was shot down by the Soviets who were tracking a US Navy spy plane which was hiding underneath the passenger jet. Soviet fighters thought they were firing at the spy plane and instead hit 007,killing 269,including 61 Americans.
  Tension is rather high in the South Pacific these days with China,South Korea,Japan,Vietnam and the Phillippines all claiming groups of small islands which may contain vast fields of natural gas. With modern fighters being able to jam electronics,a shoot down is very possible and it will be interesting to see what stories the sea will share.

  The second Pink Hat mission went off with nary a hitch. Mailed my card to Kathy and I know several others did as well. Thank you so very much for doing this. Small gestures,one by one,will help establish a living memory of Lori's life here. She was all about being kind and helpful and I think we need this spirit here more then ever.

   The new mission is going to be a fun one. It is called "Bake a Cake Day" and the mission is thus. You have to bake a cake (or cupcake) for a church,stranger,neighbor or maybe for some co-workers at the job. You bake your cake,put some frosting on that bad boy and deliver it. One small bit of advice...before you do this,make sure none of the intended folks have a food allergy to nuts or anything like that. Maybe make sure there is no nuts perhaps. So if you wish to do this mission,just send me a picture of your cake and 2-3 paragraphs of what you made and the reaction you got. I will firm it up and include it in an upcoming blog.
  In May,we will be doing two for Amy Neilson and one for Lori. I will outline what we will be doing but if anyone has any suggestions,please,I would love to hear them!

  As I mentioned before,the weather is trying to warm up...we had a couple of real decent days before getting smacked again with a 24 degree day on Sunday. We are working hard at my job to get ready for the big spring and summer season. Our store had a nice year earning wise and we are striving for another strong garden season. The city is finally paving a key road by our store so our traffic will increase,which is good because we are losing a 10-20 stretch of freeway by us for several months as the state is going on with a major resurfacing project.
  Between that and the terrible Snyderholes that have popped up everywhere,our local roads are in bad shape. Its another reason that we hope the weather warms up soon,so they can effect repairs on at least the main roads and overpasses. The teapublicans who lit up former governor Jennifer Granholm about the condition of the roads are suddenly very,very quiet about how brutal the potholes are now. But you can't completely blame Rick...the worst winter in 134 years will ruin the roads no matter who is in Lansing.

  Baseball season is finally here.....good luck to the team you are following.

Thanks as always for reading and I'll be back shortly.

Shout outs

Sue E. - Thank you again for dinner and the friendship
Howard - As always,for your compassion and understanding
Legendary Pictures - Pacific Rim 2? Outstanding!
Elissa and Loo - good luck next week!
Sandra aka Lita - thanks for the chat.
Christopher George - thanks for posting in the group
Nancy Gershman - the same thanks!
Mike White - Who would have thought there would be trolls in the horror world? What a trip
Tweek Appleton - Sorry I called you a "he". Please,no UPS call,ok?
Brad Beneke - I see the Twins going 81-81,if Hughes pitches well,you will challenge for a WC spot
Jim Kelly,Lisa Carpenter and Giselle - Peace,courage and strength on your journey.
Melanie and Theresa - ((((hug)))
Donald Neilson- Thanks for letting me remember Amy next month and if you want to do the cake mission,well then,we will have to meet!


Monday, March 17, 2014

The Ides of March

Its 10:35 pm

    Its still winter here in SE Michigan. The cheetah is curled up on our bed,I had him racing back and forth across the house chasing his laser pointer. 
  Been a rugged week here...starting to prepare my taxes and looking at all the receipts from the U of Michigan,CVS and the funeral home has just set me on edge. I have Lori's last W2 from Lane Bryant along with her forms from her disability...everything a sad reminder of what has happened. I remember telling our tax person about the very real possible chance she wouldn't make it til this year. Now I am dragging my feet,getting it organized. I have to call my bank and U of M for receipts and a statement that I didn't get yet. And because I had to break a cardinal rule about not touching a 401k,I will end up owing money I don't have to the IRS. Cancer is a such a long lasting ugly beast. Not only do you have to endure the pain of the loss but far too many people are overwhelmed by the financial burden that comes with becoming a one income household. Some can handle the weight,others can know where I am...
    No one wants to hear this lets move on.

Its now 5:21 pm on 11 March. 

   Decided to come write after somewhat spinning my wheels...its chilly outside and despite have a 50 degree day,our first one of the year,old man winter has decided to go out not with a whimper but a huge bang. Sometime tonight and going into tomorrow,we are going to get one last huge snowstorm that is expected to drop between 6 to 10 inches of snow on the ground. I had just barely started to see my bare driveway when this sudden burst of good news decided to drop in.
   Its not the first time this has happened to us. We had good size storm drop 4-5 inches on us a few years back...the next time,it zoomed up to 55 and in two days,the snow was gone. Not going to happen this time as we have too much snow still on the ground.  But we will hope for the best that the storm dumps as little as possible on us.
  Everyone is ready for spring,even our local journalist Robin,who always seems to perk up at the word "snow". She too,is more then ready for Spring and Summer!

   I have noticed that I am having a hard time going to my den other then to get a fresh book to read. I don't know why this is and I am not happy with it. I guess it comes down to a notion that I don't have a lot to say these days. I know that isn't true but it is how I am feeling. It could be the winter blues I suppose.
 Going to take a minute to bring you a wonderful story of the first real Pink Hat mission. As I wrote last entry,I submitted idea for a Suspended Coffee day to mark the 20th of Feb. I invited my group to join me and despite having 12 folks saying they would,the weather and illness pretty much popped the balloon. In fact,I didn't get my mission until after the 20th myself!
  But two wonderful ladies did as well...Coco,my favorite Red Sox fan,bought a homeless fellow a meal at a local eatery. 
  Theresa,with whom we have been friends with for 14 years come this July,also sallied forth on her Pink Hat mission. Theresa was the lady who hired me at my grocery store job. We attended each other's weddings and Theresa also helped me so much last year. She really has a heart of gold and is one of the best champions for animals I know. In fact,she has her own dog grooming business which is doing very well.
   So I wasn't wasn't surprised to see her sign up for the Pink Hat mission. I had asked that those who did the mission to send me a couple of paragraphs describing what it was like to help someone.
This is Theresa's story.

   Well ok, Suspend day didn't turn out like we expected to say the least. I woke up in the morning hoping to make a difference! Could hardly wait to start the day. Got ready, dressed and planned my attack only to get knocked down a bit.
   Went to McDonald's and tried to explain to the kid running the register what I was trying to do. After about 5 minutes of a blank stare I asked to talk to the manager in charge. Sadly the response I got from her wasn't much better. They didn't understand and frankly didn't really care to help.
  So on I went to Tim Horton's down the street, again the same type of response.  I felt a bit defeated but I was going to make this happen somehow, someway! I decided to go to the Value Village (like a St Vincent Depaul) and see if I could help someone in some way. Many people shopping alone and with their families.
    I really didn't know where to start so I walked around looking for a sign of some sort? There was the sign, a woman I had seen around many times, at the grocery store, at the drug store and so on. She smiled at me like she had seen me before also.
  I decided that I was going to tell her about what I was trying to do. She smiled and said that sounded like a great idea and wished that more places did things like that for the people that just needed a bit of help once in awhile. She started to walk away and I said today is the day I want to do it for you. Whatever you have to get today please let me take care of the bill. At first she shrugged her shoulders and then with a smile she looked at me and said "Thank You, that would be so great.If you only knew"
  . I didn't ask anything more I just followed her to the register and took care of it for her. I think it made my day more than it did hers. I will make it something I do more often because it is the right thing to do. Thank you Michael for starting this for me.

All it takes is one small gesture to start something positive. It all starts with us. I have already started the next Pink Hat mission. 
And here it is....

Okay folks,we have another great chance to do something nice for someone. A young lady who helps animals by running a rescue group has discovered she has cancer and its going to be a tough struggle. I know when my Lori was sick,I asked that you send cards of encouragement. It was a wonderful thing seeing the cards come from everywhere. So now we are going to do this for Kathy. All you need to do is send her and her husband a small simple card.

Her address

Kathy Woods.
P.O. Box 7365
Little Rock,Ark 72217

I have 5 folks joining me as well as my Musketeers from my job who are going to send a card to Kathy. I am sending out my card tomorrow. I do know that I will be doing two planned Pink Hat Missions in April,another blood donation and I am not sure of the other event yet. When I figure it out,I will share it here.
  I have a huge favor and I know it may appear self serving but it isn't,I promise. If you are so inclined to write to Kathy,can you please comment on here. I just want to know if I am actually reaching anyone.

Paladin and I also teamed up for a "unofficial" mission this past week. This one meant a lot because Lori and I are huge animal lovers. I have written many times where we either saved a animal,fed them,got them homes or in some cases,a dignified burial.
  I know a artist in Los Angeles who has a pigeon as a pet. She hand raised her bird from a infant and even taught it to fly. She loves her bird and once in a while will post a picture or share a story that involves her pigeon doing something very cute. 
   Of course we all know someone who has owned a finch,lovebird,parrot or even a raptor. But a domesticated pigeon? I had never heard of anyone doing this. But this young lady has done it.
  So it was alarming to read that her bird had a egg stuck inside and she had no luck in getting it out. Being a pigeon owner,she knows all the tricks to helping her bird in distress but this time was different.
 She was going to need medical help.
I don't know about you,but I don't see a lot of vets advertising pigeon services. Even normal domestic birds,I don't see a lot of vets doing that kind of work. In fact,birds and other critters like ferrets,or turtles or rabbits are called exotics because there really isn't that many calls about them. In fact,in the 15 years that we have owned cats and have taken them in to the vets,I have not seen any other animals other then a dog or cat.
  So finding a vet,even in Los Angeles, to treat a pigeon was going to a longshot and expensive.
My friend found a vet willing to help but the fees quickly rose beyond her means. Her pet needed a digital x-ray and those of you who read about Derek Jeter,know those are very expensive.
When I read her plight,I looked at Paladin and said we need to help on this. We reached out and volunteered to help because we know how much her pet means to our artist friend. 

 Information was exchanged,calls were made and soon her pigeon was getting the help it needed.
As of tonight,the bird is doing well and is on the mend. We hope she will be back in flying shape very soon.

Today was Tax Day...found myself gathering up our paperwork and going to the tax service we have been using for the past 4 years. Our normal taxperson,Jennifer,had moved on to manage her own office downriver. So I got Pat and she was very helpful. We went through things very quickly and she said I was due a refund and I said no...because of my financial straits,I had to break a Suze Orman cardinal rule and use a 401k to live on. 
   So I got nailed and will end up owing Uncle Sam 1,600.00. Its very depressing and when I had to hand over Lori's death wonder one ever really feels true closure,the constant reminders are always around you. This marked the last time I will file as a married couple. Just another door closing...

  Enjoyed a nice chat with my close friend (more like a brother) Jimmy last weekend. Jimmy was the MAN at the EDGE when it came to booking shows. We worked and supported each other through some kick ass times. When the EDGE closed a few years after I moved here,Jimmy kept his toe in music business by playing in a few great bands but I know while he loves singing and being on stage,his soul loves booking the show. 
  Over the years he has booked a few shows here and there but nothing really earth shattering until about 3 months ago when he and a good friend,Steve Loveless,got a chance to book a 800 seat all ages theater in Campbell,Calif...its been a total hoot to sit back and watch the master show off though skills that he has never lost. 
  It was no surprise to see his first show completely sell out when he booked legendary guitarist Michael Schenker.

Then last week,another solid outstanding show with Buckcherry that drew a very loud and hungry live music crowd. And while I can't name names,his partner,Stevie Loveless,has booked his first show and all I have to say is two things.....Holy shit,am I jealous of your first show and second,I hope someone bootlegs it for me!! 
   So completely stoked to see good music back in San Jose in a decent sized venue. The Blank Club,Blackbird Cafe and The Caravan are all doing heroic work in getting music pumped back into San Jose but you need a large venue to create the excitement. 
  Staying on the music thread for a welcome change...I finally got my Eric Stuart Band package! Just in time for the warmer weather so I can crank it up a little bit while driving to work and back...thank you so much Eric for the music!

This was the result of helping Eric raise money for his first music video which you can view by clicking the arrow below. This is almost the only new music I have received or listened to in about two years. Those who really know are probably shocked by that but hey....sometimes that is how it goes.

But then again,sometimes you get a wee bit lucky as I was when cruising my local Dollar Tree for Dollar Tree Theater DVDs. While I did strike out there,I found Tim McGraw's "Southern Voice". Pretty happy to see a well known artist at my Dollar Tree! New music is even more rare then DVDs to find there. So while I have laid off my book addiction,seeing small trickles of music and movies is what makes the shopping fun.

As you can tell,this is my first entry this month and its been written over a longish time frame. I have meant to publish this but my computer has had its issues of late. Thanks for sticking with me and sharing your support. 

This last thing.......Paladin and I doing some bonding. He really is a very sweet cat....


Christine C. - wishing you the news you want to hear about your job.
Loo - fly high 
Jimmy and Steve - Wishing you much success! 
Joan - My thanks to Buddy for the inspiration!
Justin W. - can't wait to see your bullpen staff!
Brad B. - you have a heart of gold.
Denise V. - I hear  chocolate eclair bars are a (sort of) healthy food.
Kim aka Roz - yeah,my house needs a visit.
Monte - Thanks for lifting my spirits,who knew politics could be so warm and fuzzy??
Jim Kelly - Wishing you nothing but good news. You have fought so hard,you deserve peace and health.

Thank you to my Pink Hat squad - Let's make Kathy's week!