Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bucket List 11/2014

Another update to the bucket list (two years since the last).

By the way, I have already checked off a bunch of them including: falling in love (a bonus - marrying my high school sweetheart); having a great family; starting a non-profit; visiting Italy, France, England; Playing golf at Pebble Beach; etc.

And since the last update, did a few more.  Visited the Grand Canyon and Zion.  Drove a race car at Laguna Seca.  Visited the Alps.  And drove on the autoban, but in a rented car...

These are the ones that are left - with a few new ones added in blue.

  • Visit the great US National Parks (Yellowstone, Crater Lake, Grand Teton, Lassen Volcano, etc.)
  • Parachute
  • Complete the swim from Alcatraz (escape from Alcatraz ...)
  • Tour Japan
  • Oktoberfest in Munich
  • Golf enough to get my index under 10 (been there before :()
  • Meet someone really famous that I respect (Oprah, the President, Warren Buffet, ...)
  • Get involved in local, regional or state politics
  • Get a patent
  • Spend New Year's in an exotic location
  • Buy a car in Europe, drive it there (including the Autoban) and have it shipped home
  • Leave a lasting youth related legacy
  • Go up in a hot-air balloon
  • Hikes (Rim to Rim, Sea to Skyline, etc.)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

It has been years

I haven't visited my blog in a while, but wanted to check out my bucket list after having gone parachuting, to see how I am doing. Thrus out that I managed to check off a few items over the last couple of years.

- I went to Zion and the Grand Canyon
- I made it to the Apls
- I didn't buy a car in Europe to be sent home, but did rent one and had a lot of fun on the autobahn
- And of course jumped out of a plane

Still more to do, but happy with the progress!

What else... So many things since the last update. Moved and changed jobs. Anthony is now 21, graduated and is working at Brightedge. Nick is 18, graduated from high school and is headed off to San Diego State. Julie and I had our 25th anniversary (two years ago, trip to Germany and Switzerland) and we just celebrated our 50th birthdays with a party / weekend in Napa.

I am not sure when I will update again. I thought I would be more regular with the last update, but that didn't happen.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

My First Message to the White House

I just sent my first message to the White House. This is a part of my effort to connect with various government officials as we reach out to schools, after school programs and home schoolers. Here is the message I sent.

Dear President Obama,

At the recommendation of Barbara Boxer's staff, I am contacting you about the work that we are doing at FreshBrain.

FreshBrain provides an innovative approach to exciting teens about technology. We provide activities, projects and learning paths that help them to do the kinds of things that they are interested in - like mixing music, creating video games, making videos and learning robotics. We do this on a safe social networking based website where they can interact with others who have similar interests. With the tools and support that they need to be successful.

As a non-profit, we make all of this available for FREE. Supported by our partners and sponsors.

Last year we reached over 270k teens on the open internet. This year we are going after 2M primarily through schools, after school programs and homeschooling.

We would love to help with the "Educate to Innovate" Initiative. Please let me know the best way to do this.

Dale Ferrario
President, FreshBrain

Here is the canned response I got back. Pretty cool!

Thank You!

Thank you for contacting the White House.

President Obama is committed to creating the most open and accessible administration in American history. That begins with taking comments and questions from you, the public, through our website.

Our office receives tens of thousands of messages from Americans each day. We do our best to reply to as many as we can, but please be aware that you may find more information and answers to your questions online.

We encourage you to visit regularly to follow news and updates, and to learn more about President Obama's agenda for change.

For an easy-to-navigate source of information on Federal government services, please visit:

Thank you again for your message.

The Office of Presidential Correspondence

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Tiger, Tiger, Tiger - You Can't Have Your Cake and Eat it Too

I have been down on Tiger Woods for a while now. I think he has lost whatever innocence he had in the past and has become aloof. He doesn't smile. Even when he plays well - he talks about not having his "A" game.

But clearly I am in the minority. He has made somewhere around $90M playing golf and another roughly $900M in endorsements. Nike loves him. Gatorade lives him. Golf tournaments love him. In November, they paid him $3.3 just to show up at a golf tournament in Australia. They say his coming generated around $20M for the local economy.

Why has he made all of this money - because he is one of the most recognizable public figures. His fans love him. He is a great player who is on track to break all of the records.

But now he has a problem. He crashes his car. He ends up in the hospital and is released. He will not talk to the police. He complains that the stories about what happened are wrong, but he will not talk about what did happen. Oh, and he drops out of his own tournament. And he wants it to be a private matter.

Well Tiger - you don't get to have a private life. You have made nearly a BILLION DOLLARS being a public figure. You don't get to just turn it off. Sorry.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cal wins over Stanford!

Last time I picked on three coaches. This time I want to celebrate the Cal victory (while pointing out that I was mostly right).

We had a GREAT time at the Cal game on Saturday. We got there early, grabbed a good tailgating spot with our friends. Hung out, had a BBQ, drank some good wine, played catch, listened to music. The whole deal.

Then we were treated to the best game Cal has played all year. They came ready to play. The defense did an excellent job with a very good offense. The team did not fall apart when down by two touchdowns. And what can you say about the offense. Vereen was incredible. The line overpowered Stanford. Riley was the better quarterback out there. Wow!

There was one nearly fatal coaching decision. Thank goodness Luck threw an interception at the two yard line or we would have ended up losing the game. Tedford did manage to get his team fired up, had a good game plan and executed it well But what was he thinking. Take a couple of shots into the endzone before settling for the field goal. A touchdown would have locked up the game. The field goal left it open for Stanford to score and win the game.

In the end, it all worked out. Cal deserved to win. And what a spectacle after the game. There must have been more than 10,000 fans that poured onto the field. The band played. We stood there for 20 minutes and savored the victory!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Time for new coaches or new attitudes?

I am a bit behind in writing a blog post. Was going to talk about the family, what's up with Nick and Anthony and Julie with all of their activities. But decided to bag on the coaches of my teams. The teams that I follow: Lynbrook Vikings (high school); Cal Bears; and San Francisco 49ers.

Coaching is a tough job. You get some credit for the wins but take a lot of the blame for the losses. And with everything that they have to deal with, I am sure it wears on them. But there comes a time when a change is needed. And the three teams that I follow are at that point.

Lets start with Lynbrook. The coaching staff for the varsity team has been battling for years to get enough players. Last year they had only 19 healthy at one point in the season, down from only 23 to start with. They came close to canceling football. This year they have a good number of players and have done pretty well. But the environment has become negative. The focus on skills, execution and conditioning isn't there. The team plays inspired football, but are not prepared to win. There was one amazing blow up during a game that left the fans shaking their heads. The coaches care, but it is time for some new blood.

Now onto Cal. The Bears have improved dramatically over the last few years. They really sucked before coach Tedford arrived. He has brought them up to the point where they are competitive year after year and with his leadership, a major upgrade to the stadium is in the works. But every time they smell the top 10, they fall apart. In the last game against Oregon State, there was no energy. Their quarterback just doesn't seem to be good enough. The defensive backs give way too much cushion. He just doesn't seem to be able to get everything out if his players. Contrast that with Stanford and you can see what I mean. I really think it is time for a new coach.

Finally the 49ers. I am actually happy with their progress. They are playing inspired football. Coach Singletary has his team fired up. He does not let mistakes go. They are competitive. But why would he promise that they will make the playoffs. He is starting to sound like Nolan. The team does not have enough great players. They are on the right track, but Singletary's attitude has to change. It is hard to move into the top echelon of teams. They are on the right track. Just play hard and shut up. No false promises. Show it on the field.

Whew, got that off my chest.

Monday, October 12, 2009