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Found 13 results

  1. Here is to the Wizards. They made the playoffs. Do you realize they have had the aggregate worst record in the NBA since 2000. They probably had one of the worst records between around 1980 and 2000. They have been a disappointing team. ....and I've followed them virtually all of that time. I started watching them way back....in Baltimore...When Wes Unseld turned them into a fearsome team and Earl Monroe was a one of a kind unstoppable offensive whirlwind. They had other great players back then including the incredibly powerful Gus Johnson. And then the team got BETTER. They won a championship in the late 1970's had an excellent team....and a couple of dismal decades.... So it is good to see this team with some young stars plus some wise stable veterans finally make the playoffs. The Washington Post has an astonishing statistical look at the Wizards season thanks to 6 cameras attached to the tops of arenas catching every moment of every game. Here is an astonishing little detail one might never know: John Wall basically controls the ball more than any other player on any other team. Lots of other little nuggets in the story. In any case good luck Wizards in the Playoffs. You would have made Abe Pollin proud. --- [The following posts have been split into separate threads: Wes Unseld (DonRocks)]
  2. Of note: "Linda's Film on Menstruation" (1974) aired the year after Roe v. Wade was decided (1973).
  3. This is incredible - watch the video in the article. Mar 8, 2018 - "Rubik's Robot Solves Puzzle in 0.38 Seconds" on bbc.com Here's the video without the article, but the article is worth reading, and can be read in two minutes.
  4. Another year, another Superbloom! Hooray for a wet winter Flowers came up about a week ago and will last a few more weeks in a "rolling bloom" if anyone is interested... Anza-Borrego Desert State Park California Deserts In 'Super Bloom' Thanks To A Wet Winter Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers Update NYT video of flowers Pretty flower pics to brighten your day courtesy of the Orange County Register
  5. I had absolutely no idea that Tamir Goodman had been voted co-MVP of the 2000 Capital Classic - this, without making a field goal (he had 8 assists).
  6. What if I told you there was a wine business that started about 45 years ago, with a wine enthusiast who has developed relationships with all the really good wineries throughout Napa and Sonoma, who has access to some of hardest-to-find or small production (like 150 cases, and he bought them all) wines, with a wine shop and wine bar that you plan to visit for 2 hours and end up staying for 6 hours...? Greg O'Flynn is now on my list of great wine merchants, and California Wine Merchant is now on my must-visit list of places to drink wine in San Francisco. Greg is an affable guy whose passion is all about wine, and the wine he pours shows it. Full disclosure -- I am now in his wine club, where I will be receiving six special bottles every other month. I tasted some remarkable wines, but what struck me almost as much was how fastidious Greg and his employees were in keeping the Riedel glasses pristine, or topping off the open bottles with Argon at the end of every night, and the rarity rack where most of us back east don't sip some of these wines. Among others, I enjoyed healthy pours of Robert Biale "Like Father, Like Son," Kistler, Branham Estate zin, L'Angevin (which is a $42 chardonnay, but made by the same winemaker who made the $150 Peter Michael chardonnay.) Greg is a wonderful fellow and his place is a museum of California (and other areas of the world) wines. In fact, last Thursday night, we also enjoyed a tasting of Italian wines from the Fruili region, and I tasted some first-ever wines for me, like Tokai -- which has to be spelled that way to avoid EU regulations associated with Hungarian Tokay or Tokaji -- and Refosco. I will return to this establishment every time I set foot in San Francisco.
  7. "Lenny" (1974) - Directed by Bob Fosse (Academy Award Winner for Best Director of "Caberet," Academy Award Nominee for Best Director of "All That Jazz," Academy Award Nominee for Best Original Screenplay for "All That Jazz") Produced by Marvin Worth (Co-Producer of "Malcolm X") Written by Julian Berry (Co-Writer of "The River") Featuring Dustin Hoffman as Lenny Bruce (Academy Award Winner for Best Actor as Ted Kramer in "Kramer vs. Kramer" and as Raymond Babbitt in "Rain Man," Academy Award Nominee for Best Actor as Benjamin Braddock in "The Graduate," as Enrico Salvatore "Razzo" Rizzo in "Midnight Cowboy," as Michael Dorsey in "Tootsie," and as Stanley Motts in "Wag the Dog," Thomas Babington "Babe" Levy in "Marathon Man,"), Valerie Perrine (Montana Wildhack in "Slaughterhouse-Five," Eve Teschmacher in "Superman" and "Superman II"), Jan Miner as Sally Marr (Madge the Manicurist) --- As of this writing, "Lenny" is one of 43 films to be nominated for the Academy Awards "Big 5" - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Actress (it didn't win any, but with "The Godfather, Part II" and "Chinatown," there was some stiff competition that year. *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** One interesting thing that viewers may not notice is the scene where Bruce is talking about "stag films," and how harmless they are compared to, for example, "King of Kings." However, right after that, Bruce is driving away in a rainstorm, gets T-boned by another car, and then smashes into a ... stag. I'm not sure what this means, but it can't possibly be a coincidence. The cinematographer Bruce Surtees gets credit for this, and numerous other shots, such as Lenny and Honey glancing at each-other between the legs of other people. I found the initial threesome scene utterly fascinating - there was no dialogue, and no music; just facial expressions on top of complete silence. Yet, the eye contact "spoke" more than any words could ever say. And this is another example of Bruce using real-life situations to give him inspiration for his stand-up comedy routines (obviously, many comedians do, but it's *really* apparent in this film that Bruce positively milks his antics, extracting all he can from them). Like so many stand-up comedians, I don't find Lenny Bruce to be the least bit funny - he comes across to me as more of an Andy Kaufman: a performance artist; at least Richard Pryor made me laugh, and George Carlin, even if I wasn't always laughing, entertained me endlessly. Similarly, this film had certain things in common with "Man on the Moon," which was more depressing than funny.
  8. This is funny - in 1974, I went to Don Budge Tennis Camp, and one evening we went to see the Baltimore Banners play. Who on earth are the Baltmore Banners, you might be asking? This was Baltimore's World Team Tennis (WTT) team which lasted precisely one season. Speaking of banners, I remember seeing one which said, "Our Jimmy's The Champ!" This was right after Jimmy Connors won his first Wimbledon, and he played for the Baltimore Banners, believe it or not: They signed him to a $100,000 contract to play for 22 of the team's 44 matches, so I got to see him in his prime). That summer, my parents got to watch me hit tennis balls with Don Budge - I will never forget how they sent me to this camp when they couldn't afford it.
  9. Rashaan Salaam had two *major* football achievements: 1) He won the Heisman Trophy in 1994 2) He was the youngest NFL player ever to rush for 1,000 yards in 1995 Tragically, Rashaan Salaam passed away today. May you have found peace, sir.
  10. I was just watching "Mozart in the Jungle," and for some strange reason, got fixated on long-forgotten songs, and I guess it's because of the name that "Bungle in the Jungle" popped into my mind, which will probably have a similar effect on sheldman as "The Swingin' Six," and their "Zip Code" jingle. At one time, I believe Jethro Tull was respected, but this was probably the song that did them in - it's the equivalent of The Beatles singing "Love Me Do," except in reverse chronological order. There isn't much to like about this song, and quite honestly, I'd completely forgotten it was by Jethro Tull. What this post does, however, is give me the opportunity to raise a crazy piece of rock trivia. Jethro Tull was one of the most famous agriculturalists in world history, I swear to God. Click on that link and see for yourself. It's this alone that validates the post, even though sheldman may be stewing, like a tomato in a pressure cooker. Just to push him over the edge: Next up: a check-in on Bobby Goldsboro's "Honey," and an exploratory piece on whether or not rock-and-roll musicians are concerned with their "art" more than they are becoming millionaires. Also, looking into the hypothesis of whether an early verse in "Honey" - when she wiped the snow off the twig to prevent it from dying, then slipped and fell when she came back in the house - is hidden foreshadowing, as yet undiscovered by any serious musicologist - I think it's a legitimate possibility, and not as outlandish or implausible as it may initially seem.
  11. Moses Malone passed away last week in his sleep at age sixty and was buried yesterday in Houston. Charles Barkley, an ex teammate was asked by the family to give the eulogy and did so in a moving story, evidently so true to the many basketball players tha knew him. A portion of the eulogy can be seen here. Malone mentored Barkley, pushing goading and training with him to get Barkley to shed weight and become the player he ultimately did. Malone is one of the all time greats. He ranks very highly among NBA stars for a significant number of career achievements including: points 7th games 5th minutes 6th rebounds 3rd offensive rebounds 1st (the nba doesn't have stats on this for Russel or Chamberlain) free throws 2nd In many lists of the greatest NBA players Moses usually ranks somewhere between 12 and 20th. Locally Moses played two years for the Bullets in the mid '80's. During those years the Bullets made the playoffs, probably mostly because of Moses. He picked up the mantle from Wes Unseld, as the fundamentally powerful center that dramatically improved the team, mostly doing it in ways that were neither exciting or breathtaking, but key to great basketball. Where he was great was at being relentless on the boards and specifically the offensive boards. Between his rebounding and shooting he drew an incredible number of fouls. On that basis he knew he could compete with any center in history, as he knew he could draw fouls on them. While he doesn't shine as one of the most exciting players one can see this relentlessness feature in old videos of Moses circa 1978-1984 when he was probably the best center in the game, (having surpassed Jabbar). You'll see Moses on the boards, rebounding scoring, and getting defenders to foul him. In an NBA championship series against the Celtics, before Moses was traded to the 76ers Moses had the Celtics big men (Parish and McHale) in constant foul trouble and made a seeming mismatch into a competitive series. Moses played 2 years for the Bullets, during which I got to watch him a good bit, and before that he played for the 76ers in the same division, thus playing quite a few games at the old Cap Center. Again I was privileged to see him play. He simply dominated in the middle, always with a relentless style on the boards and with short simple shots around the basket. He might well have been the least spectacular NBA star playing at such a high level, that simply added to his team's strength, while not pulling the ball or attention from other players. That might have been his greatest asset to the team game. During his hey day he was a 3 time NBA MVP...clearly being identified as having a dominant stretch probably from his mid 20's to the time he hit 30. According to Bill Simmons in his epic book about the NBA, The Book of Basketball, per Simmons after watching endless old tapes of the NBA, Moses invented the Ass Attack. While on offense and ostensibly being boxed out, Moses would circle around, go out of bounds, come back in under the basket and ass shove any defensive player out of his way to grab offensive rebounds. Did he do that?? I don't know. Haven't watched the tapes. But boy if I were a coach of a big galoot without offensive skills I'd do what Simmons claimed he did and watch old tapes of Malone. If Moses did do that, its pure basketball genius and I'd coach up any monster tall man to replicate that strategy. Big Mo', a solid super star with a dominant streak and one who played locally albeit for two years. An all time great.
  12. I've always been curious about "The Dinner Party," but have never spoken with anyone who has actually seen it in person. Just how accessible is it (each side of the triangle is 16 yards long), and and how much time would you say needs to be spent there to get a good feel for it? Is the setup conducive to spending, say, an hour? Is there any reading material handy, or do you have to buy it at the gift shop first? It looks like it's fenced in, and unless you can get close enough to hover a little bit, I doubt it could be fully appreciated (each plate, for example, is hand-painted). The shape of it is something I've always found amusing (I take my inspiration from very disparate places).
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