Blogs from San Francisco, California, United States, North America


In a desperate move to get their share of the dwindling sports entertainment dollar, baseball begins tonight without fans in the stands. With substantial numbers of players testing positive for Covid-19, I wonder how long the season will progress. Then, looking at the NBA bubble approach, also without fans, hockey, auto racing, and limited schedule college football, we will finally have something to watch on TV besides old movies, and cornhole and dart tournaments. From the WSJ: "To reach opening day, Major League Baseball devised more than 100 pages of health and safety protocols, navigated an ugly labor dispute and survived an abbreviated 'summer camp' without a coronavirus outbreak,""Now, after a four-month delay, America’s pastime is finally back. But starting was the easy part. The real challenge begins now, as MLB tries ... read more
My brother Bob, and I at the Giants game
Two greats:  The Babe and Lou

The technical term for jet lag: Whether you call it desynchronosis, time zone change syndrome, or simply jet lag, one thing that everyone can agree on is that it's a challenge when you travel. People can experience jet lag when sleep patterns are interrupted, as when they're traveling through time zones, but also as a result of shift-based work and sleeping disorders. Human bodies are naturally attuned to a 24-hour cycle and depend on consistency in order to regulate hormone levels, body temperature, and REM sleep. When that doesn't happen, people may experience physical fatigue, headaches, poor appetite, stomach pains, and even depression. To minimize the effects, try slowly adjusting to your new sleep schedule before your trip, staying hydrated, and avoiding stimulants and alcohol.A few things I have experienced. I find ... read more

Willie Mays is the best baseball player in history. This article by Scott Ostler and book by John Shea proves it. url= read more

I have visited Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay many, many times (after the Federal prison closed). I have been fascinated by the island, like many people, both during its notorious Federal prison days, as well as after. As a young boy, I followed the escape (1962) of Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers, and enjoyed the subsequent movie, "Escape from Alcatraz." Then the closure of the prison, and subsequent occupancy of various Native Americans. I also enjoyed the fictionalized movie, "The Rock" with Cage and Connery. But I have never read this story. It is also the story of assimilation for immigrants and Native Americans. And the story of disenfranchisement, and social injustice. Read for yourself, as it was fascinating. read more
Love to visit this island
The Rock:  Alcatraz

Just to fill your holiday during the stay at home, or rather Ground Hog Day existence we are now living. Some totally useless information that may bring a smile or a snicker. So, let's check into Twinkies, fried chicken, catsup, and apple pie and ice cream. From the NYT: Twinkies as we know them now are simple: yellow cake filled with vanilla cream frosting. But when the sweet snacks first appeared in 1930, the tasty filling was banana-flavored, not vanilla. Twinkie inventor James Alexander Dewar, then a baker for the Continental Baking Company, came up with the treat when he was looking for a way to utilize the bakery's strawberry shortcake machine when strawberries were out of season. He substituted banana cream, and the Twinkie was born. Unfortunately, with the advent of World War II, bananas ... read more
Grandma's fried chicken
Ketchup or catsup?
Homemade apple pie

From 2009: Today would normally be the 1xxth running of the famous Bay to Breakers Foot Race. I have find memories of the race, having run about 10 times. It has been rescheduled to 9-20-20. Back in my running and jogging days, I ran in several editions of the Bay to Breakers Footrace in San Francisco. Back then, the race often experienced record numbers of entrants, and lived up to its name as the world's largest footrace. It begins at the foot of San Francisco Bay, then winds through the streets of the City, through Golden Gate Park, and finally onto the Great Highway and the Pacific Ocean (ie the breakers). The first race, known as the Cross City Race, began in 1912, as a precursor to the world class ... read more
Clothing is partial or optional!
World's largest foot race!

In the mad rush to celebrate our mothers, I forgot to mention my two grandmothers. Both, in my opinion, were pioneers, and adventurers in a strange, new world. Both were here by arranged marriages back in Japan. Neither spoke a word of English when they reached San Francisco or Seattle via ship. I cannot imagine what they must have gone through. I know more about my fraternal grandmother, Yuki, since they lived across the street from the time I was born until I left for UC Berkeley in 1964. Perhaps most astounding, is that she took care of us four children for almost two years while my Mom was hospitalized in Auberry at a tuberculosis sanitarium. She rose to the challenge, taking care of four children, with myself the oldest at 7 years of age! Another ... read more
Mom with siblings
Mom with all of her grandchildren

How about some totally useless information to distract you from the pandemic, lack of sports on TV, and general societal malaise? According to Lexico: Over the years, the question of the most used letter in English has been analyzed repeatedly, by everyone from Samuel Morse to contestants on "Wheel of Fortune." The rankings vary from source to source, but one letter is consistently at the top: From the 19th century to modern analyses of Google Books, "E" is the most common. According to an analysis done by Lexico, the letter "E" makes up 11.1607% of the Concise Oxford Dictionary — a full 2% more than the next most common letter. This is reflected in the game of Scrabble, too: There are 12 "E" tiles, nine "A" and "I" tiles, eight "O" tiles, and six "R" and ... read more
the, of course!
Lucky seven

Rarely does anyone discuss travel budgets PRIOR to a trip to a far away place. I am so very fortunate to have the inimitable Mr. Mike as the best travel buddy in the universe. We have been all over the world, with rarely a hiccup. He knows how to travel (we both traveled extensively on business during our working days), and does not skimp on anything. Furthermore, we are not joined at the hip, stay in separate rooms, do not fly or sit together on planes, and pursue our own interests once at our destination. But I realize this is a rare occurrence, and most people who know us find this arrangement hard to fathom. We get asked often if people can join us on our trips. And to my great delight, he says I am ... read more

I wrote this back in 2013. I am reposting, in the hopes that you might donate to City Lights Bookstore, as they struggle through the quarantine in San Francisco. It is by far, the most historic, and unusual bookstore I have ever visited. They have been running a successful "Go Fund Me" page. ​From 2013: Today is a special day for someone very dear. This lady grew up in San Francisco, in the Mission to be exact. But she has never been to the famous City Lights Bookstore. Today is the day! We also had dim sum at City View in Chinatown, and topped it off with some Blue Bottle Coffee at the Ferry Building.This is from a previous email written a few years ago. I probably stepped into City ... read more
Seattle Public Library

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