Sunday, February 28, 2021

Music Monday: Johnny Mathis on the Tube

 Music Monday: This is going to be a challenge as even though Johnny Mathis is from San Francisco, I am not really a fan of his but I will try as I have picked out some his appearances on TV Shows over the years:

Hopefully, you enjoyed this little look at the great Johnny Mathis and some of appearances over the years singing on the tube.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Some Sports Books Worth Your Time


Just some more books worth your time about African-Americans. This time I went and looked my bookcases and found some sports books that are worth reading. The one about is called "The Team That Changed Baseball" it is about the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates who won the World Series. The team was amazing because it was light years ahead in race relations. A Black Latino (Roberto Clemente) was their leader, they were the first team to field an all-African-American lineup, had a lot of Latino's at a time when they were not prominent in baseball and race or ethnic background didn't matter while the rest of America was still tearing itself apart.

Here are a couple of more books:

"Outside the Lines" is about the re-integration of the NFL in 1946. The league is 70% African American in 2020 but the pioneers who re-integrated the NFL have been forgotten.

The next two books are about the Negro Leagues which has been designated a major league by MLB. Buck O'Neil was an amazing man. He played and coached in the Negro Leagues and then became first black coach in Major League Baseball. In his later years, he helped keep the flame lit for the Negro Leagues until his death in 2006. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush two months after he passed away.

John Urschel is an amazing man. He played on the offensive line for the Baltimore Ravens from 2014-2017 before retiring because he thought that CTE might affect him and his brain. Urschel does a beautiful mind as he is nearing completion of is PhD from MIT in Math. He does have a math theorem named after him, The Urschel-Zikatanov Theorem is named after him:

The final two books are two of the oldest that I have continuously owned in my life. They have made the travels with me throughout my life. The one of top is "Giant Steps"-the autobiography of Kareen Abdul-Jabbar. As a teen of color in the mid-1980's, this book was so powerful for. I still use it today whenever I feel oppression. It was written almost 40 years ago and it still hold relevance. 

The one on the bottom is "I Had A Hammer" - the autobiography of Hank Aaron. It was published 30 years ago. While Kareen captured some of the rage I was feeling in high school, Aaron's book was more about how to go about things and hopefully affect change in a different away. It is weird as I read them at different parts of my life and they made sense for me at that point in my life:

Finally, "The Black Aces" is a book by former major league pitcher Jim "Mudcat" Grant. It tells the story of the 12 African-American pitchers (Grant is one of them) who have won 20 games in a season while pitching in the Major Leagues (since the book was published in 2006-three more African-American pitchers have joined the Black Aces bringing the total to 15):

Hope you can enjoy and learn from these books like I have.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Rocket Reuse

 I was walking around Alameda and came across a store called Rocket Reuse it is a store selling used books, music, wall art & toys, plus vintage clothes & accessories. It looked like an interesting place so I walked in:

Rocket Refuse is a super cool place. If you are in Downtown Alameda, head in and take a look.

Monday, February 22, 2021

The Peace and Calmness of the Bay and in Death


It has been an interesting week to say the least. Last week, I found out that my older brother David died on Feb. 2nd at 70 years old. We didn't have much of a relationship, he was almost 19 years older than me when I showed up and was out of the house by the time I was 2 and I didn't hear from him until I was 20. We had our own generation gap going there. In 2007, my kids were old enough to be interesting and we had a little relationship going for about four years until 2011. We had a big blowout and even though I tried to repair our relationship over the years and he resisted. In October, I found it he was very sick and tried to call him and tell him that I loved him and was praying for him. He told me some words that Roy Rodgers never used. And I called a couple of times and he never answered. The funny thing is that he hated technology and when we were having a good relationship I bought him a Tracphone so he would have something in case of emergency. He complained at first but he kept that thing and used it from (I want to say) 2008 until his passing three weeks ago.

Even though we had our issues, he was always good to my kids. He never had a family, so he was always doing things for my kids even during the last ten years when we were not talking.

He loved baseball and a huge San Francisco Giants fan and till remember when I took him to what is now Oracle Park for the first time. Of course, I took him to his first  NASCAR race in Sonoma and he didn't become a fan. 

Anyway, he loved nature. It was something that calmed the rage and anger inside him. So, when I heard of his passing I went over to the Alameda Shoreline and walked around and enjoyed the peace and silence and thought of him. I hope that he has found peace he was craving in his life wherever he is and that nobody is sitting in front of him at whatever baseball game he is at:

To my brother Dave, I love you and I hope that you have found the peace that you were searching for.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Music Monday: My Favorite Songs of 1991

 Music Monday:  Looking back 30 years and 1991 was a pretty good year for music. Here are some of my favorite songs from that year:

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Books and Coffee

 In Cedar City, Utah there is this cool little bookstore called Main Street Books but the cool thing is that its connected to Grind Coffee House. There is a little walkway between the two. You can get a book and then enjoy some coffee and tea without ever leaving the building:

Then there is the Grind Coffee House which is a fun funky place to hang out in:

Books and Coffee (or in my case tea) sounds like a recipe for a great time. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Mural Oasis In Primm (Part I)

 As you drive into Nevada from California the first city you see is Primm and what is called the Prizm Outlets. It is about 40 miles from Las Vegas. I heard about something called the Mural Oasis at the Outlets and as I pulled into Primm I decided to stop (I really needed to use a bathroom) and take a look at the murals on the outside of the outlets. I was really impressed with them. 

The murals are done by different artists and are amazing to look out even in the night sky:

These murals were amazing to see and there (a teaser) were more inside.