Thursday, December 9, 2010

I Google

I am transforming my life into Google.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Cal-Maryland - Post Mortem

Well, Friday night started out great.  We went down to UCDC (an awesome building) for a gathering of Cal Alumni.  We were treated to inspired talks by Sandy Barbour and Joe Kapp and got into the spirit for the game.  Anybody go on the pub crawl later that night?

Saturday morning we attended the official pregame tailgate and heard more from Sandy and Joe as well as the Straw Hat Band.  They went through the entire Sproul Plaza pre-game show.  It was almost like being there!  Over 500 in attendance.  Now I have to say I usually don't eat hamburgers and hot dogs for breakfast but, you do what you have to do.

We hiked over to the stadium, found our seats and settled in for what we hoped would be a great game.  Now, I will elaborate on my observations later but, suffice to say, before we knew it, it was 14-0 and 21-6 at halftime.  The Bears were still hibernating but were starting to show some sign of life.  The missed field goal before the half was a killer.  In fact, each of those field goals in the first half should have been touchdowns (shouldda, woudda).

By the time the Bears woke up in the 4th quarter, it was too late.  We had a shot at an onside kick with under 2:00 remaining but we didn't get it and Maryland ran out the clock.  I noticed that we started to dominate the game right around 3:00.  That's 12:00 West Coast time - the normal starting time for a Cal football game.  Yes, I AM searching for excuses. Cross country flight, jet lag, let down from previous week, overconfidence?  I don't know...  but Maryland came out ready to play hard in the first quarter and we did not.  I give them props for that.  They were embarrassed last week and had something to prove against a top 25 opponent.  They played hard, we had some unfortunate penalties, some missed opportunities on their turnovers and that's that.  

OK, now your turn.  Thoughts?  Observations about the game?

I just hope this is a home and home series because it will be fun to welcome them to Bear Territory!

Go Bears!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Cal Game Week Begins!

A great weekend for Cal fans everywhere! Although I couldn't watch the game live, I was able to keep track on my cell phone and thereby annoy everyone I was eating dinner with. As the score ran up, my excitement grew and by the end, I was in an incredulous frenzy. Being the lone Cal fan in attendance, I had no one with whom to share my joy. Luckily, since I had DVR'ed the game, I was able to fast forward to all (9!) of the touchdown plays when I got home at midnight. The next day, I savored the game at a more leisurely pace.

I hope the group down at Fox & Hound made some noise Saturday night! Thanks to Shaun for organizing.

Then yesterday, Desean makes his debut for the Eagles and shows Philadelphia what we all knew already - that he is THE MAN!!! It will be great to have him (and Gibson) in town this year and hopeful for many seasons to come.

Well, now we begin what is arguable the biggest week in East Coast Cal sports fandom in a long time! I had the great fortune of attending the Cal-Boston College game in 1986. Since then, the football team played Temple in Philly in 1993 (I was living in the Bay Area) and Rutgers in 2001 (was there to see our only win of the year - and Tom Holmoe's last game).

The Maryland Game is going to be an awesome event. Cal has SOLD OUT its allotment of tickets and the tailgate has several hundred registrations. Check out for more details. So this week, I will attempt to report on the building crescendo of activity and excitement as game time approaches. As Flounder said so many years ago, " This is going to be great!"

Go Bears!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Here we go!

Well, its been a while since my last post but now the excitement is drawing to a crescendo as the college football season begins and we await our beloved Golden Bears' visit to Maryland in just about two weeks!

The inaugural game of the season on Saturday has me a bit frustrated. According to ABC, 76% of the country is getting the Alabama/Clemson game while the remainder get Cal/MSU. For some inexplicable reason, Philadelphia falls in the former group. Seems a bit odd since MSU is Big-10 school and Eagles fans would love to the the alma mater of Desean Jackson. Am I right?

Well, I guess I could pay $19.95 to watch on PPV and/or listen to Starkey on the internet (would do that anyway). Guess I'll have to bide my time until I can see them live!

For the Maryland game, we got a room at the Marriott Conference Center on campus. All the Cal dignitaries will be staying there. Joe Kapp is featured prominently in the lineup as is Sandy Barbour and others (incl. the Cal Band!). Go to if you want more info about all the events of the weekend.

Fun fact, the President of the University of Maryland is a Cal alum. Dan Mote has deep ties to Cal. Read his bio here.

So let's get ready for a great season. Go Bears!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

CAA Visits Philly

Today, 18 Cal Alums devoted the better part of a Sunday morning (and some of the afternoon) to reading applications from prospective Cal students for the prestigious Alumni Scholarship Award. Our guests from the Scholarship Office were making their East Coast swing and we were their second stop after New York - tomorrow in D.C.

A few facts that I learned today:

1. This scholarship has been in existence since 1934
2. This year over 6400 applications were received
3. Only 250 scholarships ranging from $1500 to $2500 will be awarded.

I personally read through about 70 of these applications and was impressed with the quality and thoughtfulness demonstrated by these students. Sometimes it was hard to remember that I was reading the words of high school seniors. Some of the stories were impressive, others were moving and others made me laugh - for a variety of reasons ;)

It was great to have some new faces in the crowd of local alums! A great event all around.

So the next step will be to interview the local applicants once the first wave of applications have been scored and the acceptances have gone out (March 27). See the website if you are interested in being an interviewer.

It's days like today that make me so proud to support the work of Cal in bringing in the best and the brightest!

Random moment of the day: We had lunch brought in and who shows up to deliver but my wife's cousin Paul! He is the owner of Pikkles Plus (18th & Market) in Center City. He serves up a great meal so if you go, make sure you mention you know me.

Monday, January 21, 2008

State of the Club Address

Since this is the time of year where presidents seem to give speeches about the condition of this or that country, I thought I'd try my hand at doing the same for our Cal Alumni Club in Philadelphia.

I have been a proud member of this group since I arrive in town in 1999 and in that time we have been able to modernize our communications, expand our membership and establish a calendar of recurring annual events to which all members can look forward.

So here's the year in review:
  • In March, we host the Cal Men's Octet as part of their East Coast tour. It was two fun filled days of hijinx and song as we visited several Philadelphia landmarks and even got a plug on TV (Thanks Aditi!)
  • April brought us our annual New Student Reception where nearly 30 people braved extreme weather conditions to gather and talk about student life at Cal. We also awarded our Club's Alumni Scholarship to Megan Beale from Avon Grove High School.
  • In May, we participated in the annual Main Line College Fair at Villanova University where Cal is always a big draw. Long lines at our table and lots of interested prospective students and parents.
  • Over the summer, we listened to a carillon concert at Princeton University by own of our own, Laurel MacKenzie.
  • In the Fall, we watch a few football games together. Some great (Tennessee) and some not so great (The Big Game) and some downright dangerous (Oregon State, not the game but the bar!),
  • We ended the year by hosting the Cal Women's Basketball team in their visits to Princeton and Rutgers.

A lot to look forward to for 2008!

  • Our own web domain !
  • On February 16, Cal co-sponsoring a banquet event with the Organization of Chinese Americans featuring two Cal Alums (Aditi Roy and Joan Pfaelzer) - see the website to sign up!
  • The annual student reception on Sunday 4/13 2-4PM
  • The Main Line College Fair on Tuesday 4/29 6:30-9PM @ Villanova
  • IRA Rowing Championships 6/5 - 6/7 @ Cooper River Park, Camden, NJ
  • Cal vs. Maryland football on Saturday, 9/13 @ College Park, MD
  • The Big Game 11/22, viewing location TBD

Keep an eye on our website for these and other great events in 2008.

2008 will also be a year in which we get our house in order membership-wise. We plan to initiate a database cleanup project that will merge information from multiple sources and allow us to more efficiently stay in sync with the CAA in Berkeley. We would also like to do a better job at maintaining the ties with local students who go away to Cal (and come home, eventually).

The Cal Alumni Club of Philadelphia Alumni Scholarship Endowment Report

As of June 30, 2007, I am proud to report that our club's endowment stands at $29,545.46. In the year preceding, we added over $5,000 to our account. 90% of this was due to investment gains. We also transferred $500 from the club's checking account to the endowment as a result of money collected at various events and direct contributions from members (Thank you!).

I would like to set an ambitious goal over the next five years to increase our endowment to $50,000. This will allow us to offer either an additional scholarship or to increase the amount of the existing one. In order to do this, we will be asking members, where fiscally possible, to contribute $15 per household per year. Although we have had our own membership fee in place for many years, it has fallen off most folks' radar! If each of the 140 or so members of the Yahoo group contributes $15/year, that gets us nearly half way to our goal! See the website for the membership form.

As always, we could not do this without your support which reflects your dedication to Cal and the work of this club. If you would like to get more involved, please do not hesitate to contact me or any other board members.

Thanks and Go Bears!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A New Year in Boston

Hey, it's only 5 hours away! Why not load up the family and head north to Boston. A great opportunity to visit my cousins and my aunt.

Before we headed out for the festivities, my son and I watched the first half of the Armed Forces Bowl. Not too encouraging until the end of the first half. At that point, we had to go but I kept track of the Bears' inspiring comeback on my BlackBerry.

So Boston has this celebration each year called First Night. It is a day long event filled with ice sculptures, music, art, museums, fireworks, performances of all kinds and a parade. After 8:00 PM, all the public transportation is free.

But, damn, it was cold! We took the Red Line in from Alewife and exited the Park Street station right into Boston Commons. Hey, I said, lets walk over to the Old South Church to hear the organ concert! Not the best walking weather, but on the way I did come across this:

Go Bears! Of course.

The Old South Church and the organ contained therein are magnificent. Check it out: The concert (in between checking the Cal score) was great. We were invited up to try out the organ and I was tempted to play "Hail to California" but I couldn't get close enough. Would that have been cool or what!

Here are a couple of pictures I took:

After a tasty dinner at Uno's, we watched the parade, some fireworks and then headed over to the Hynes Center for some entertainment. By far, one of the most bizarre performances I have ever witnessed was that of the group "Uncle Monsterface". Very odd, by most standards, terrible, but strangely compelling. Check out the my video. Note the sock puppet in the back.
Here is their MySpace:

After that, we were ready to call it a night - but it was only 9:30! So we headed off to Harvard Square and a tasty little place called "Finale". Check out the menu:

We pulled into the hotel in Waltham just as the clock struck 12. All in all, a fine way to ring in the New Year. 2008 is going to be awesome!