Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Scream.....

What are people so upset about? For crying our loud - passing of the Patriot Act did not cause this much commotion and talk about a piece of legislation that gave the government unprecedented power. I know, I know - it’s long past time that I can legitimately blame the Bush administration for all the wrongs of the world today but I’m not going to let that stop me! I can’t help but find myself amazed how quickly the American public forgets and how just as quickly, opinions are made based on hearsay, fear our outright lies – remember Sarah Palin and the “death panels”. I guess if you were stupid enough to believe that one, nothing should surprise me.

Sure, I’m a liberal – I believe that all Americans have the right to access quality health care; I believe that all Americans have the right - regardless of gender, to enter into a relationship legally recognized and sanctioned by the federal government and that this recognition will make marriage overall stronger. I am proud of these beliefs and if you disagree I’m happy to look you in the eye and tell you that you are wrong! While I believe in a democratic society and completely support that our individual diversity is the one true thing we all have in common and that it is to be celebrated - I have grave concern for what I see going on in this County right now. For the last four years of the Bush administration I suffered from outrage fatigue. I was so outraged by what was going on in the world that I found myself exhausted – Osama bin Laden ,weapons of mass destruction, axis of evil, war in Iraq, firing of US Attorney Generals, Scooter Libby, Guantanamo, torturing, $4+ per gallon gas prices, Blackwater, Hurricane Katrina, illegal wire tapping of Americans, tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, trillion $ deficit, collapse of the financial market, recession – shall I continue? And now – now people are upset because those least able to provide for themselves, young people transitioning to adulthood, those with preexisting conditions, those with catastrophic illness are going to have health coverage, I don’t get it – I refuse to sit back and let the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, the Tea Baggers and now my own state Attorney General, Rob McKenna set the agenda for the rest of us. Get involved – Send Rob McKenna an email - tell him that he is wrong! When he launches his campaign for Governor (and ultimately that’s what this is all about) in the short term this rogue act may seem like a political gain, in the long run it will not serve him well and he will never get elected as Governor in a blue state like Washington with the type of politics he is playing now.  

Still Screaming......


Monday, March 29, 2010

Ricky Martin - Just in case you were in a coma for the last 10 years!

Latin singer Ricky Martin says he is gay
07:13 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Latin pop star Ricky Martin on Monday announced he was gay in a blog posting, ending years of speculation.

"I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man," Martin wrote in a blog posting at

"This is just what I need especially now that I am the father of two beautiful boys that are so full of light and who with their outlook teach me new things every day. To keep living as I did up until today would be to indirectly diminish the glow that my kids were born with," Martin wrote.

Martin, 38, became a father to twin sons via a surrogate in 2008 and at the time no details were given about the birth or the mother.

The Puerto Rican singer of hits such as "Livin' la Vida Loca," has long been the subject of speculation about his sexuality. In 2000, TV journalist Barbara Walters grilled him about whether he was gay, but he refused to disclose it.

In his posting on Monday, Martin said a few months ago he had decided to write a memoir and doing so brought him closer to what he called "an amazing turning point in my life."

"Writing this account of my life, I got very close to my truth. And this is something worth celebrating," he wrote.

The singer began his career with boy band Menudo and broke out as a solo artist and teen idol in the 1990s in Spanish-speaking countries.

He released his first, English-language album in 1999, the self-titled "Ricky Martin," which saw two major hits, "Livin' la Vida Loca" and "She's All I Ever Had." Since then, Martin has been a star in both North America and South America.

Jarrett Barrios, the president of the U.S.-based Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), welcomed what he called Martin's "openness and honesty."

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

From Syracuse to DC and in Between!

2878.5 miles from home and I'll be sleeping in my own bed tonight! Our weekend trips over the last three weeks comes to an end now that the Huskies are out of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Had they moved on to the final four we would be planning our next weekend to Indianapolis next weekend. Truth be told although sorry the Huskies lost but glad we don't have to be out of town for a fourth weekend in a row. Toby will be a happy boy!

We flew out on Wednesday afternoon into Newark. We decided to fly into Newark because we used frequent flyer miles for the ticket and there was a nonstop flight from Seattle. We spent the first night in Newark and headed out in our rental car the next morning for Syracuse.

It's about a four and a half hour drive from Newark up to Syracuse. The game was at 7:30 that evening so we had plenty of time to make our way there. Upon arrival it was quickly apparent that the Syracuse area has not quite done with winter. There were still a few piles of snow yet to melt and unlike home the spring bulbs and trees had yet to bud. We drove directly to our hotel upon arrival, checked in and headed out to explore!

We found the Husky headquarters at the local Double Tree Hotel and picked up our tickets. It's fun when you are 2800+ miles from home to suddenly find yourself surrounded by Husky fans who like yourself have disrupted their routine to support the team. After picking up our tickets we headed over to the campus of Syracuse University to check out the Carrier Dome where the Huskies would play. Just an opinion - but dome stadiums are dumps! There is a reason we blew up the Kingdome 10 years ago! Although it worked out fine, it's always a little weird when basketball is played in an arena intended for football. Basically they reconfigure the field to accommodate the basketball court on one end.

The game was great for the first half and it looked like it was going to be a tight game with UW ahead going into the half by 2 points. It did not take long for Kentucky to pull ahead and the Dawgs were never able to recover. We meet some great people along the way!

Larry and his wife/girlfriend? We just call her Mrs. Larry. We first ran into them at the Pac-10 tournament last year. Big Dawgs fans! Larry wears a vintage Husky jacket that at least once per game gets him on TV. If one can be famous among Husky fans - Larry would be it. He's the best cheerleader in any section!
By happenstance we flew out to Syracuse on the same plane as a group of other guys we first meet last year at the Pac-10 tournament last year. Simply known to us as "Seth and his friends". Seth as it turned out owns a pub in downtown Seattle called Collins Pub. It's very popular among us County folks because of its close proximity to the King County Courthouse. Great selection of beer and great food! Check out Collins Pub next time you are in town.

The rest of the people met are nameless because I've forgotten their names - but memorable nonetheless. We meet one of the guys who works for the athletic department for the University of Washington. He and his wife sat in front of us. We've seen him before so it was nice to finally talk with him. It was interesting to question him about the whole tyee thing at the UW - how it all works, seating priority/selection and fundraising for the University and the team.

The couple sitting to our right had traveled from Seattle as well - young guy and his wife - expecting their first kid. Real nice people, just the kind you want to sit next to at a game. They were also very funny - making just the right comments about notable fans around us!

Lastly right in front of us was a group of young guys who all went to High School together in Seattle and all went to different east coast colleges. They organized a trip to Syracuse to support the Dawgs! They were really into the game - and equally distraught when it was clear that we were not going to pull off a win.

Several NBA players with Washington connections were sitting in our section including former Huskies Jon Brockman, Spencer Hawes (both Sacramento Kings) and Robinson (Celtics), Jrue Holiday(Nets) and Brook Lopez who played for Stanford and now is with the Nets.

So what does one do after your team gets knocked off in game one of the series? That's the million $ question! We could have stayed in Syracuse where the temperatures had dropped into the teens and watched the game on Saturday night that should have included the Huskies or we could change plans - we chose the latter. Had we stayed we would have been at the game late into the evening and had to drive to Newark immediately following the game and arrived sometime around 2 a.m. and then gotten up the next day for a 6 a.m. flight home. Now we would have gladly done that for the Huskies buy not so much for a couple non Pac - 10 teams. Especially since one of the teams was one of the team that knocked us out of the tournament!

After researching our options we decided to change our flight and return to Seattle a day early. In doing so we decided since we had the extra time we would shake things up a bit. Talk about being spontaneous! We were originally supposed to fly home Sunday morning out of Newark. When we first checked on options there were plenty of seats open to fly home from Newark so we went to bed thinking we could make up our minds in the morning. Well come morning all the seats out of Newark were full. My guess -full of Husky fans all headed home early.

Kent is so good at researching options quickly! We looked at flying home out of Boston, New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia and DC. We settled on catching a 5 pm flight out of DC on Saturday that would get us home around 8:30 p.m. Saturday. We arranged for our friend Bill to go pick up Toby from the kennel so he too could get home a day earlier than planned and be at the house when we arrived!

So from this point forward everything else we did was a complete departure from our original plans. We figured we had all day Friday and most of Saturday to fill so we went right to work.
Loving New York City, it was a pretty easy decision where to have dinner on Friday night. When we were there last November for the marathon we found a wonderful Mexican/Latin restaurant called Toloache on 50th near Times Square. We liked it so much we dined there twice last time we were in town. So it was an easy choice to head back!

I have a twin brother that lives in Williamsport PA who we tried to connect with but it unfortunately did not work out. We took our time driving back stopping at the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse before leaving town.

We also stopped off at the Delaware Water Gap at the point where the Appalachian Trail crosses and took a short hike. Ever since reading the book - A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson we have toyed with the idea of hiking the Appalachian Trail. I'd love to do a thorough hike but doing it in sections over a number of years is probably more realistic. If you have never read the book I recommend it - it's educational, interesting and hilarious!

Following dinner we walked around Times Square a bit and then up to Penn Station to do a bit of scouting for the next day. 

We had two options for getting to DC the following day - drive or take the train. Kent and I have talked for years about taking the high speed Acela train on the east coast - what better time? We ditched the rental car and bought a couple of train tickets for DC the next morning. It's 228 miles between New York and DC so we picked an early train and headed to DC the next morning. The train was pretty cool! Travels at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour. The route takes you through Philadelphia and Baltimore in route to DC. For the most part it's a pretty route except when traveling through the cities themselves - you see some pretty poverty stricken neighborhoods. I'd definitely recommend the ride however and look forward to coming back and riding the section between Portland, Maine to New York City.

We arrived in DC around noon and had about three hours to kill before catching our flight home. I've come to really love DC. Because of work I get back there 2-3 times a year and I never grow tired of going. So much to do and see! We hit it just right this time as the 98th annual Cheery Blossom Festival had just begun. I've always wanted to see the trees in bloom so this was my lucky day! We walked down to the Tidal Basin and took in the trees which were quite beautiful. Unbelievable crowd of people - it was a beautiful day people out and about, kites flying - spring had definitely hit DC. There's still time to see the trees at their peak. While they were quite beautiful, as a Master Gardener I'd say they are (depending on weather) 4-7 days from peak.
As much fun as it's been I'm glad we are headed home. Already looking forward to our next adventure!

Oh - by the way, we filled out our 2010 Census Form on the plane headed home - don't forget yours!

Later -


Friday, March 26, 2010

Dinner in New York City

Just had dinner at my favorite Latin restaurant in Times Square - Toloache. It was excellent once again! We discovered it when I ran in the New York Marathon and had dinner there several times. Glad to report it was even better tonight!

If you ever find yourself in New York and you are looking for a restaurant near all broadway plays check it out! Once I get home I'll add a link. Great crowd!



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Thursday, March 25, 2010

End of a great Basketball Season!

Great 1st half - Huskies not able to pull off a win in the second half of the game.

Really wish the Huskies could have pulled off a win but thanks for a really great season Dawgs!

Go Cornell!

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stop Washington Attorney General Robert McKenna

Please join me in signing a patition to tell Rob McKenna to - Back Off

The following is from the office of Congressman Jay Inslee - I've signed, so should you! I know that this historic piece of legislation is not perfect but the simple immediate provisions are hard not to support - children covered to age 26 - no denial of care for pre-existing conditions, no lifetime maximums - these are huge. It may be because I worked in the health care field for so many years in a past life but I've seen these be real issues for families over and over. For those that say we can't afford it - make a trip to Harborview Medical Center Emergency Department or any other ED for that matter and see how many people use this as their primary healthcare. We are paying for it now and then some!
Well, that didn't take long.

Sunday, I was so pleased to vote for health care reform. This morning, I was honored when President Obama signed the bill that provided insurance coverage to 32 million Americans, and proud of all of you for helping me push the final vote through.

But even before President Obama could put pen to paper, Washington Attorney General Robert McKenna announced that he was hell bent on tearing down all of this progress.

By announcing that he would join a partisan group of Attorneys General from states like South Carolina and Texas in suing the federal government to stop health care reform, he's made it clear this isn't about people -- it's about scoring cheap political points with the extreme right wing.

This is unacceptable. My colleagues and I fought over 2,000 insurance lobbyists in Washington D.C. to get health care reform passed -- and now we have to fight Washington State's Attorney General too? I refuse to accept that.

If you agree that we can't give up critical reform that was 30 years in the making for one politician to try to win the support of right-wing extremists, then sign this emergency petition right now.

Click here to tell McKenna that he does not represent us, and we want him to end his attempt to block health care access for Washingtonians right now.

When I was working until 3 a.m. Saturday night to include key provisions on Medicare to ensure the bill's passage and solve our state's decades-long reimbursement disparity, I was doing what was right for Washingtonians.

Meanwhile, all weekend, right-wing Tea Partiers attacked our efforts and stopped at nothing to try to kill this landmark bill. I knew we'd be in for more of these attacks -- but I didn't expect it to come from our own Attorney General.

We have fought too hard and have come too far to give up now. This legislation delivers critical reforms, like providing health insurance for an additional 32 million Americans, eliminates discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, and corrects reimbursement disparities that have been costing Washington families for decades. That is a big win for all of us, and I won't let Rob McKenna take it away.

Please, help me put a stop to this. Sign the petition now, and demand Rob stop his attempt to sue the federal government and deny Washington families access to affordable health care.

Very truly yours,

Jay Inslee

Member of Congress

P.S. After you've signed the petition, please forward this message to five friends today!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

San Jose

I wrote this post on the plane headed home from San Jose after a great weekend of basketball at the HP Pavilion. It's great to see the Huskies make it into the Sweet 16! If they continue to play like they did over the weekend there is no reason they could not make it to the final four - I'm just saying! It's time for everyone to humble up - time to admit that most sold the Pac-10 short! It's seems more likely that the Pac-10 basketball teams were not lousy as much as well balanced. Except for WSU of course! :-). Again toying with the idea of heading east to Syracuse for the next round! Not sure that will happen - it's complicated by work, Toby (who has been kenneled two weekends in a row) and travel logistics.

We did not have as much time on our hands as we did in LA but we still managed to get a few things in between games.

We arrived on Thursday afternoon and went directly from the airport to our hotel. Kent found a great Courtyard that was perfect for us. It was right along the light rail that dropped us off at the HP Pavilion, there was a Chipotle Grill within a few blocks ( if you've yet to check out Chipotle Grill and you like Mexican food you are missing out) and best of all it was located within 2 blocks of the Los Gatos Creek Trail! I had a 7 mile and 15 mile training run to do while in San Jose so to find such a great trail worked out perfect!

The Los Gatos Creek Trail is one of the most extensive running/cycling paths in the South Bay. Consisting of approximately 11 miles of paved, two-way travel, the Los Gatos Creek Trail travels through some of the best scenery in the region, such as Campbell Park and Vasona Lake. The southern portion of the trail turns to gravel and begins to climb from downtown Los Gatos to the summit of the Lexington Dam in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The trail has enjoyment for all, from runners looking for a relief from traffic, families looking to enjoy a pleasant outing to mountain bikers seeking to improve endurance.

The total length of the paved trail is 8.5 miles one-way from Meridian Ave in Campbell to Forbes Mill in Los Gatos. The unpaved section from Forbes Mill to Lexington Reservoir is about 2 miles one-way. The most scenic portion of the trail between Campbell Park and Vasona Lake is about 4.5 miles in length one-way.

Hours: 7:00 A.M. to sunset.

Trail Conditions: The paved section is mostly level with occasional hills. The dirt section from Forbes Mill to Lexington Reservoir gradually climbs to Lexington Dam with significant climbing the last 1/2 mile. All trails are two way.

Location and Map: The Los Gatos Creek trail covers a large area between the city of Campbell and Lexington Reservoir in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Most of the trail follows along highway 17 and Los Gatos Creek. The trail passes through many local parks, including Vasona Lake and Campbell Park.

Vasona Lake is a great place to start on the trail. Parking is usually available and the lake provides great recreation, such as a small children's train, picnicking, lake activities, rest rooms, and more. A vehicle entrance fee is collected year-round.

Another good place to start is Campbell Park. The extensive playground provides a good environment for children to play. Parking at Campbell park is free.

Still a work in progress, the trail will eventually end at confluence with the Guadalupe River in downtown San Jose. What a find!

Before the game on Thursday we joined other Husky fans at a local bar for a pregame party - another star f#*<#^* opportunity - I got to meet John Brockman and Atrium Wallace who both played for the Huskies last year before graduating! John now plays for the Sacramento Kings. Real nice guys - tall.

Since we had no games on Friday my parents drove down from Anderson along with my Aunt Midge and we had lunch and made a quick trip to the zoo in Sacramento. It was great to see them and fun going to the zoo.

The drive between the bay area and Sacramento at this time of year is incredibly beautiful! The hills are so green.
We got back to San Jose and used a new iPhone app called Local Eats to find a place to eat. We ended up in Los Gatos at the Los Gatos Brewing Company. Great environment and goodfood.
On Saturday we watched Butler play Murray College before the Dawgs played - great game. Following the Huskies win over New Mexico we went to dinner to celebrate Kent's 46th Birthday and a Husky win!

All in all it was a great trip that I'm glad we decided to take last minute.  Go Dawgs!  I'll keep you posted if we decide to head east!

Later -


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Saturday, March 20, 2010

To Celebrate the Huskies win....

I had a beer as big as me!

Go Dawgs!

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Way to go Adam!

Adam Smith a "yea" on health bill; Baird still undecided

Posted by Kyung Song

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Adam Smith announced Saturday that he will back the House's historic vote on health reform scheduled for Sunday, leaving Rep. Brian Baird as the sole member of Washington's congressional delegation who remains undecided.

Smith, D-Tacoma, voted for the original House health-reform bill in November with great reluctance. But he said the Senate-based version of the bill that the House is now weighing controls costs more effectively and is a better piece of legislation.

"I support this legislation because it is the best available step forward for reform," Smith's statement said. "With health care costs ever increasing, we need leadership on these tough issues...The fact that reform is controversial should not be a reason to avoid it. Supporting it now demonstrates leadership."

Though Smith had given indications of favoring the new bill, hehad officially remained on the fence until now. But some congressional scorekeepers had already been counting his vote as a yes.

For example, a tally by The New York Times included Smith among the 206 Democrats expected to support the measure. At least 10 more Democrats must vote yes for passage. The Republicans are unanimously opposed to the bill.

Smith had been targeted in an advertising blitz by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which opposes reforms. But in the end, Smith said, it was the strength of the Senate-based bill itself that tipped his decision to back it.

Despite some Republicans' demands, Smith said scrapping the reform bill and starting over was not in the country's best interest.

Baird, of Vancouver, is one of 21 Democrats who remain uncommitted. Baird was one of 39 House Democrats who voted no in November. Baird, who is retiring after six terms in Congress, has said he is reconsidering his vote because the two bills are different.

Baird's spokesman reaffirmed Saturday afternoon that he is still deliberating about Sunday's vote.

Smith's affirmation came just hours after House Democrats hashed out a fix for Medicare payment formulas that shortchange Washington and other cost-efficient states. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island, was among those who concluded the negotiations at 3 a.m. Saturday.

The deal would boost payments to Washington, Oregon, Iowa, Wisconsin and other states that treat each Medicare senior for less moneythan their more expensive peers. For instance, a 2006 study found that Hawaii spends an average of $5,311 per Medicare enrollee while New York spend $9,564.

The Medicare disparity was a key remaining concern for Rep. Norm Dicks of Bremerton and other members of the delegation who otherwise supported the reform bill.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

I Support Health Care Reform

We need Rep. Smith to support real health insurance reform!

As Congress finally prepares to vote on historic health insurance reform, the spotlight is on one of my Representatives, Adam Smith. He is one of the keys to whether reform passes or fails.

President Obama and leaders in Congress are working feverishly to pass a final health insurance bill this weekend.

Representative Smith voted against the original legislation and is a critical swing vote on the final bill.

Rep. Smith has deep ties to his home district and genuinely cares about the opinions of his constituents. However, national right-wing organizations have targeted him with millions of dollars in ads and lobbying. We can't let them decide the fate of reform.

As a potential key swing vote, we need Adam Smith to be overwhelmed with support for health insurance reform from his friends and neighbors in the 9th District. If like me you live in Washington's 9th Dist.please call and tell Rep. Smith to vote yes on health insurance reform to support his home district.

After nearly a year of deliberation, Congress is finally ready to vote on comprehensive health insurance reform. While the bill isn't perfect, it would significantly improve the current system by expanding coverage to 32 million Americans, curbing insurance companies' abuses, and cutting the deficit by $130 billion over ten years.

We are closer today than ever before to enacting comprehensive health insurance reform. Once this legislation has become law, we can continue to work with our allies in Congress to improve and strengthen the system.

If we cave to conservative pressure and let this opportunity slip by without enacting meaningful reform, another generation of Americans will have to endure medical bankruptcies, insurance companies' abuses, and the fear of choosing between food and medicine.

Call today - the phone lines are likey to be busy but keep trying! You can also send an email!


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UW win over Marquette

And I was there in San Jose for the win! Great game - next New Mexico on Saturday.

Quincy Pondexter makes the big play, as a senior leader
Washington senior Quincy Pondexter hit the game-winning shot for the Huskies in 80-78 victory over Marquette.

Steve Kelley
Seattle Times staff columnist

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The final seconds of the game, and quite possibly his college career, are leaking away quickly.

Quincy Pondexter, the ball tucked under his arm, is standing in the center of the floor, some 30 feet away from the basket, calmly directing traffic.

As Marquette defender Jimmy Butler crouches into position, Pondexter, Washington's senior forward, waves Isaiah Thomas into the left corner. He knows that if Marquette's guards collapse on him, Thomas will be open in that corner.

The floor is spread. The clock is inside 10 seconds. The score is tied at 78 and this game, this season, belongs to Pondexter.

"It's something you live for," Pondexter said after Washington advanced into the second round of the NCAA tournament with a thrilling 80-78 win. "I'm ecstatic right now. I don't know what else to say."

In those final seconds, Pondexter spoke with his quick feet and his rubbery body. He spoke with his head and a heart that has grown over four difficult college seasons.

Usually in these moments, Pondexter likes to drive to his right. Marquette knew that and overloaded its defense that way.

"When I saw that, I knew I was going to go left," Pondexter said, "and either me or Zeke (Thomas) was going to win the game."

Pondexter drove hard to his left. He got a shoulder past Butler and by the time he got to the free-throw line, there was no doubt he was going to get to the rim.

"I've guarded him plenty of times, and I'll put it this way: Knowing what he can do with the ball, I was pretty confident that bucket was going in," teammate Justin Holiday said. "He has a knack for being able to get that shoulder in front of a guy. I don't know how he does it.

"It's happened to me so many times. When you're guarding him, you know it's going to happen, but there's just something about it. He gets his shoulder in front of you, and it's a bucket."

In the last seconds, Pondexter got to the rim, took a bump from his defender, squared his body and scored the game-winner with 1.7 seconds left, prolonging his college career for at least another 40 frantic minutes.

It was the kind of play a senior is expected to make in March. The play a leader makes.

"Me being a senior, you've got to want to step up and accept that challenge," Pondexter said. "You want to have moments like that to relish. To hit a big shot like that. I don't know how I got my shoulder in front of him (Butler). I don't know how I scored. Sometimes I think it's just luck, when it comes down to it."

In the first half, there were questions about Q. He looked hypertensive, shot 1 for 7 and had four points. He struggled mightily. Was this the way he wanted his Washington career to end?

"Mightily's a good word," he said.

But in the second half, Pondexter was 6 for 10 from the field and finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds. He played every minute of the last half.

"It was a little bit of jitters," he said of his first half. "I'm still a young guy and even though I'm a senior, to play in the NCAA tournament, I had a little bit of rust, it felt like.

"So I just had to use all of my energy to get over it. The ball just wasn't going in, and once it starts going in, it made everything else look easier."

This was a win that symbolized the Huskies' season. They trailed by as many as 15 in the second half. The season looked as dead as it did a month ago.

"We knew we didn't want to go home," Pondexter said. "Whenever you have that fear of being eliminated from the tournament, maybe it's good to go through some adversity like that, so you can't have any more margin for error."

Thomas carried the Huskies in the first half. Venoy Overton shut down Marquette guard Maurice Acker in the second. Elston Turner knocked down dizzying threes, and Holiday and Matthew Bryan-Amaning filled their roles.

"We have a little bit of a chip on our shoulders right now," said Pondexter, whose team has won eight in a row. "We know we're playing as good a basketball as any team in the country right now."

Washington (25-9) is a team as resilient as its leader.

"Quincy's got a lot of pride," coach Lorenzo Romar said. "He's very critical of himself. In the past, that got to the point where it would affect his game. Make him nervous.

"But now, he just grits his teeth and tells himself, 'I'm going to do better.' Now he uses his pride as motivation. He's matured. He's been in this situation before, and he's had success. You can just see he wants to be the guy making the big play."

With his career on the line, Quincy Pondexter was that guy making the big play.

Steve Kelley: 206-464-2176 or

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Make Your Family Count!

We got our cencus form in the mail today - how about you? This year same-sex couples have an important opportunity to stand up and be counted.

The U.S. Census is conducting a survey to get a more accurate count of all Americans and households including same-sex couples and their families.

The information collected by the Census is confidential, but crucial because it will be used by federal and state governments to set congressional district boundaries and to distribute billions of dollars in social services. The Census is also used by researchers and commentators, and is a powerful way to make our families more visible and thus more respected.

The power of the Census makes it critical that we be part of it – which begins with you filling out and returning the form.

This year’s Census form asks just 10 questions. There are two key sections for identifying as a same-sex couple.

Step One: Identifying “Person 1” and “Person 2”

The Census form asks you to list the person who owns or rents the house as "Person 1" and then indicate how everyone in the household is related to "Person 1". In order to be counted as a same-sex couple, one of the partners must be listed as "Person 1." The other partner should be designated as "Person 2."

Step Two: Husband or Wife vs. Unmarried Partner

Same-sex couples who have been legally married or consider themselves to be spouses should identify the ”Person 2” as a "husband or wife". In other words, if you are registered domestic partners in Washington State, and consider yourself spouses, by all means select the "husband or wife" option. Those terms fit some - but certainly not all - LGBT households or all same-sex couples.

Other same-sex couples, for example, may be more comfortable using the term "unmarried partner." In general, this term is designed to capture couples who are in a "close personal relationship" and are not legally married or do not think of themselves as spouses.

For more information, post a question in the comment section or visit

Another good source of information is provided by the NGLTF.

Thank you so much for your continued support of the LGBT community and the 2010 Census!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Our Star Toby!

I forgot to let you know that our boy Toby is going to be star! I entered his photo in a contest to be included in the 2011 edition of the Dog Page a Day calendar and yesterday I received the following email -

Subject: Photo of your dog Toby with tie

Hi Jim--my name is John Blum and I am the photo editor for the Dog Pageaday Calendar contest.I would like to use the photo of Toby that you sent to the Dog On-Line Contest ( in the 2011 P.A.D. Calendar. We need your mailing address In order to give you photo credit and also send you a Calendar when the project is done. Please send your address and any additional info about the photo to this email address. If you have any questions, my phone number is (212)614-7786 or you can respond to this email address.

Thank You and Congratulations!--John Blum (Photo Editor-Workman Publishing)

Here's the picture that will be used - I guess you know what you will be getting for Christmas!

Being the proud Papa that I am - I took the opportunity to submit a couple of extra pictures of Toby for consideration!

Toby - Please don't go to work today!

Toby - I'm so cool!

Later -


My Favorite American Idol in Order - Right Now

I've never watched a full season of American Idol until this year. I've enjoyed watching although I'm not quite sold on watching it again. I love Ellen Degeneres and wanted to tune in this year. Here are my top favorites right now. I love Lee Dewyze - great story and cute, cute, cute. The two top girls are Siobhan and Crystal. Person who got screwed the most so far was Lilly Scott - cute boy who has made it the furthest with the least talent as far as singing goes is Tim Urban.

Lee Dewyze - Beast of Burden

Siobhan Magnus - Paint it Black

Crystal Bowersox - You Cant Always Get What You Want

Monday, March 15, 2010

Great Time in LA

Okay - after four days of basketball I was ready for a break - but what a tournament! That last game against Cal was just about the best game I've attended! NCAA - here we come! We will play on Thursday in San Jose against Marquette. The University of Washington men's basketball team returns to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship for the second straight year when the No. 6 seeded Golden Eagles face No. 11 seed Washington at 4:20 p.m. PST on Thursday, March 18 at the HP Pavilion of San Jose.

I'm toying with the idea of going down to San Jose - intresting idea!

The great thing about having the tournament in LA is that there is never a lack of things to do or see during our down time and the weather is typically nice which makes for great running when it's usually crappy, cold and raining at home. We come home exhausted not only from the basketball but all the other things we cram in before, between and after the games!

We arrived on Wednesday afternoon and our friend Bill picked us up at the airport. Since our first game was not until that evening we headed out to Hollywood to check out the Kodak Theater - the Oscars had been held there the previous Sunday and American Idol (Go Lee!) are filming there now.
It's adjacent to Graumans's Chinese Theater so we looked for Lucille Balls signature which we never found. Next best thing was John Wayne's which Lucy and Ethel stole in one episode of I Love Lucy - hilarious! From there we headed over to The Grove - trendy shopping complex in LA and home to the original LA Farmers Market. Great people watching!

From there we went to the Angeli Cafe in LA for dinner. We discovered it listening to Good Food on KCRW out of Santa Monica. We walked in and chef Evan Kleiman and owner of Angeli Cafe was sitting there when we walked in!

Kent calls me a star F%#*+%^ but I could not help myself from going over and introducing myself and letting her know we listen to her show and love the restaurant! If you are a foodie check out her radio show -and if you are in LA looking for a great moderately priced Italian meal definitely check out the Angeli Cafe. It's right in Melrose.

Thursday was pretty much taken up by basketball with the first game starting at noon. I took advantage of being in an area where the weather was great and started the day off with a six mile run before heading out for the day. The games are held at the Staples Center - as they like to say "The Sports and Entertainment Capitol of the Universe"! It's an amazing facility, home of the Lakers. It's also where they host the Grammy Awards each year and where Michael Jackson's funeral was held last year. The area around the Staples Center has really grown - there are some great restaurants and bars in the area and they just completed construction of the JW Marriott and the Four Seasons - beautiful building and complex. Since we did not have much time we grabbed lunch at the Tap House - literally hundreds of beer on tap and pretty good food - Stone IPA - perfect!

As I said, the games started at noon for session one. We had a break between session one and two and grabbed a terrific dinner at Wolf Gang Pucks. Beautiful restaurant and really good meal convenient to Staples. The roast chicken was delicious!

The last game of the evening on Thursday was the Huskies playing OSU. Before that it was UCLA vs the Sundevils. Bill Murry was there only to be disappointed when the Sundevils lost! (Speaking of Bill Murry, check out Zombie Land - hilarious!) The Husky game was good but we did not get done until nearly 11 pm! That's a lot of basketball - four back to back games makes for a long day!

Friday we only had two games and they did not start until 6 pm so we pretty much had most of the day. I went for a 6 mile run at a near by park before heading out to Malibu. I love the California coast! We drove out to "The Cove" which is a private beach community with a restaurant and had lunch. The Cove is a beautiful beach - a lot of movies filmed here. The tennis team from Texas A&M was there having lunch and afterwards braved the cold waters of the Pacific! Having lunch at the next table was Robert David Hall who plays the coroner on CSI.
From there we headed to Getty Villa to check out the art exhibit there and the grounds. We had visited the Getty Museum last year while here after which we decided to visit the Villa. Both are incredible and well worth a visit!

We had just enough time before the game to take the light rail from downtown out to Pasadena. It's funny that when we travel we frequently take public transportation but I've never taken the light rail in LA. It's such a spread out city that we always get a car. Anyway - it was fun and the section out to Pasadena is above ground and was a great way to see even more of the city.

Saturday I started the day with a 12 mile run. I am training for a couple of marathons - the next one is in Olympia. The training run was not technically scheduled until Sunday but because I wanted to take advantage of the weather and because I knew after flying home on Sunday I would not want to have a 12 mile run hanging over my head I headed out. It was actually a great run. When I head out to do a long run while traveling and have not planned in advance I never know where I am going to end up. The area we stay in Culver City is fine for short runs but I was not sure where I would run for 12 miles without boring myself to tears. As it turns out the running gods were smiling down on me and shorting after heading out I connected with a bike/running trail along one of the canals in LA called the Ballona Creek Trail. Nice - lots of other runners and best of all no traffic! I followed the trail out to Marina Dey Rey, ran around the marina and a local park and headed back.

We decided we had enough time so we headed out to Pasadena (this time by car). We stopped and strolled through the Pasadena Farmers Market and then went to The Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens. Unbelievably beautiful! The gardens are massive in size and there are several distinct gardens. The desert garden was one of my favorite! There is also a museum and research library on site. We did not really have enough time to see it all and will definitely be making a return visit! Definitely check this place out while in southern California.

After the final game on Saturday which was one of the best games ever - we headed out to have dinner in Beverly Hills. The restaurant - Piccolo Paradiso Ristorante was recommend by a friend of Bill's. It was just off Rodeo drive so we walked around and looked at the incredibly expensive stores before dinner. Rodeo Dr. is worth the experience! Dinner was excellent - very busy hopping place (you will need reservation) check it out!

Right now I'm on the plane as I write this and really tired! We should be home around noon and right now more than anything I'm looking forward to picking up Toby! I'm sure he will be really glad to be home too!
Looking forward to seeing if we can sneak in a quick trip to see the Dawgs in one of the NCAA games! We'll see!

Later -


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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Best Game Ever!

Dawgs take # 1 Cal!

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8th and Final Game - UW vs. Cal

Go Dawgs!

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Running in LA

Headed out for a 12 mile training run this morning. It's going to be a long one - I'm really tired this morning. It's not actually scheduled until tomorrow but because I want to take advantage of the great weather and avoid running tomorrow in the rain in Seattle, I'm headed out.

Go Dawgs!

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Friday, March 12, 2010

UW made it to the Championship Game!

UW wins over Stanford 79-64 Cal tomorrow in final game to determine the tournament championship at 3pm from the Staples Center!

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Cal takes UCLA

85-72! If we win tonight it will be a match between Cal and UW!

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Day Three - Game One UCLA vs. Cal

This is our third day of basketball and our 6th consecutive game! I am a huge Cal fan but for the sake of the Dawgs I have to go for UCLA tonight - it's our best opportunity to go on. Go Bruins! Sorry Adam!

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dawgs Make a Come Back!

Dawgs down by over 10 points at one point and come back to win the game 59-52!

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Upset of the Tournament!

Number 9 Stanford just took down # 2 the Arizona State Sundevils 70-61! Way to go Cardinal! If we win tonight against # 6 Oregon State we will play Stanford tomorrow in the semifinals!

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Day Two - Game three underway!

ASU vs. Stanford!

Its a long shot but go Cardinal!

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No Contest - Bears Kill the Ducks!

Day two - game two.

Final score 74-90. Ducks never were in the game. Go Cal!

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Game Two Day Two - Cal vs. Oregon

Go Cal!

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UCLA wins over the Wildcats!

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Game One Day Two! UCLA vs. Arizona!


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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Game One - Oregon vs. WA State

From the Staples Center - "Sports Capitol of the World"

Game one started off a bit slow but turned out to be a great game with the Ducks taking it 82-80 in OT! Game went down to the wire!

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