Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve in LA

From football in San Diego yesterday to basketball at Pauley Pavilion at UCLA! Hoping for a Dawgs sweep of southern California!

Beautiful day here in Los Angeles!

Sweet Victory for the Dawgs!

What a great experience to see the Dawgs win the Holiday Bowl 19-7 over Nebraska! Especially following their beating of us at Husky Stadium earlier this year!

Here's the Seattle Times Coverage of the game.

Revengeful Holiday for Huskies
Defense leads the way for Huskies

By Bob Condotta
Seattle Times staff reporter

SAN DIEGO — Against a team famed for its black-shirt defense, it was the one actually wearing black shirts Thursday night — the Washington Huskies — that lived up to the name.

In a shocking reversal of Nebraska's rout of Washington in Seattle in September, the Huskies pushed, shoved and knocked the Cornhuskers all over the Qualcomm Stadium field to take a 19-7 victory in the 33rd annual Holiday Bowl.

And they did it with a dominating defense that had been motivated to make up for a disastrous showing in allowing 56 points and 383 rushing yards to the Cornhuskers in September.

"They were embarrassed the first time," UW defensive coordinator Nick Holt said of his players. "And they just said it wasn't us that first game. We weren't ready to play, I didn't get them ready to play. But they were ready to play (this game), and this is what happens."

Indeed they were ready, never letting Nebraska's vaunted rushing attack — which had averaged 259 yards, fifth in the nation — to get going. The Huskies simply won the battles up front all night.

Nebraska had just 189 total yards, and only 91 yards rushing as the Huskies were in total control.

"I felt like we had definitely got better throughout the season," said linebacker Mason Foster, named the defensive most valuable player. "We knew we had to be more physical in the run game and get them into pass situations and we would be all right. I just felt like everybody played extremely hard all night across the board. We just wanted to win this game really bad."

Washington also forced two turnovers, one leading to a first-quarter touchdown that gave the Huskies — wearing their all-black jerseys for the second time — a lead they never relinquished. And they used a punishing rushing attack on offense led by Chris Polk, who finished with 177 yards and went over 100 yards for the sixth time this year, to mount just enough offense.

It was the first time Washington had won four consecutive games since the first four of the 2001 season, and was the first time the Huskies, at 7-6, finished with a winning record since 2002.

And all of it marked maybe the most vivid sign yet of the progress of the UW program in the second year under coach Steve Sarkisian.

"I really can't believe two years ago we were an 0-12 team," Polk said.

Washington entered the game as a 14-point underdog and after Nebraska's big victory the first time around, many national analysts pegged this game as one of least appealing of the 35 bowls.

Many also questioned whether Nebraska's motivation might be waning playing in a bowl game it had won a year ago in beating Arizona and now against a team it had already beaten this season.

And while he didn't put up spectacular stats, the game provided a fitting ending for quarterback Jake Locker, who can now say he turned UW back into a winning program.

"He came back for this moment, and to experience this moment is why we coach," Sarkisian said.

The Washington defense set the tone from the start.

On Nebraska's first possession, UW linebacker Victor Aiyewa forced a fumble by Rex Burkhead as Burkhead played quarterback in a wildcat formation. Alameda Ta'amu recovered for UW and returned it to the 21.

"We had a chip on our shoulder tonight," said linebacker Cort Dennison. "We got spanked pretty good in Washington, and everybody wrote us off."

On UW's first play, halfback Jesse Callier hit Locker with a 16-yard pass and Polk scored two plays later to put the Huskies ahead 7-0.

Nebraska scored on a pass to close it to 10-7 midway through the second quarter, and the Huskies then had a scare thrown into them on their next possession as Locker was hit hard by two Nebraska defenders following a 3-yard run and was left laying motionless on the turf. After several minutes, he eventually left under his own power and was cleared to play for the next series.

Locker explained later he had just had his helmet pulled over his eyes, making him momentarily unable to see.

The second half began the same the first half, with UW making the key plays at the key times.

On UW's first possession, Locker hit D'Andre Goodwin for a 25-yard gain on third down in the face of a Nebraska blitz. It was Locker's first completion of the game, and he then ran 25 yards for a score on the next play, plowing through Cornhuskers All-American cornerback Prince Amukamara in the process. That made it 17-7.

A safety off a holding call in the fourth quarter basically sealed the deal — and made it fitting that the defense scored the final points of a game it dominated from the start.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Harry and me!

Holiday Bowl 2010!

Half time update - Dawgs up 10-7!

Holiday Bowl Pics

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Holiday Bowl Parade

Spent the morning at the Holiday Bowl Parade. Exciting to be in a city so far away from home full of purple and gold!

Beautiful day in San Diego! Game tonight at 7 p.m.. Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fair Game

This movie reminded me of the outrage fatigue that I suffered under eight years of the Bush Administration.

It's one of those movies that although very good, I left wondering why I felt the need to remind myself of the likes of Cheney -

Libby -

and Rove -

and how could I forget WMD.

And the worst part is the people who most need to see a movie like this are the least likely to seek it out. I'll stop now....I think I was more in the mood for Burlesque. I'd give this 4 out if 5 stars. Check it out!

Later - Jim

This is going to totally......

going to end up on Awkward Family Photos!

I call it.... "Ascending into Heaven"! Lol....

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Movie Marathon Continues with True Grit

The good old fashioned western lives on with the Coen brothers remake of True Grit.

I tend to love most Coen brothers movies and this did not disappoint. I'm not a huge Jeff Bridges fan but he did an excellent job.

And of course whats not to love about Matt Damon!

Although my Mom thought it was a bit too gruesome - I'd have to recommend it and give it four out of five stars.

Later - Jim

The Fighter

Since we go to so many movies and I always rate them I thought I start reviewing them on my blog. Mind you I am not a movie reviewer I only know what I like and often it has more to do with eye candy than movie content!

Last night we saw The Fighter.

I enjoyed this movie - boxing is not really my thing but I like both Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams (who was outstanding) and I love a good old rags to riches story. The final fight scene was well done. What a train wreck of a family and those sisters.....I gave it four out of five stars.

Check it out. Sure to get some buzz in award season for some terrific performances.

More movies today as we make the final sprint of 2010!

Later - Jim

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Laguna Beach

Dinner in Laguna Beach - Kent and I made our first trip together here 13 years ago and this is where I first told him - "I'm starting to feel strong feelings of love towards you" to which he responded - "I've fallen in love with you too". How sweet is that?!

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Training for the Boston Marathon

It all started when I did something that I thought only remotely possible - completed the Gay Games Marathon in Cologne, Germany in less than 3:30. This accomplishment qualified me to participate in the 2011 Boston Marathon! Not only did I qualify I cut an amazing 13 minutes off my best marathon time! Boston will make the 9th marathon that I've completed.

To date I've ran the following:

Rock "n" Roll - San Diego, CA 6/3/07 - 3:42:41
Portland - Portland, OR
10/7/07 - 4:21:53
Canyon Run- Yakima, WA
4/5/08 - 3:52:42
Shore Run - Lake Chelan, WA
9/20/08 - 4:29:51
Seattle - Seattle, WA
11/30/08 - 4:06:56
ING - New York, NY
11/1/09 - 3:46:23
Capitol City - Olympia, WA
5/16/10 - 3:48:59
Gay Games - Cologne, Germany
8/7/10 - 3:29:18

I decided because the 16 week training plan that I'd completed prior to Germany was so successful that I'd follow the same schedule which has me running 5 days per week 50 - 65 miles per week.

I started the official training this week with an 11.5 mile run on Monday along the Seattle waterfront. I'm headed to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl as I write this post so I'm looking forward to completing my first week of training in what should be a mostly sunny California! The biggest challenge to training for an April marathon is the weather and short days.

As with the training for Cologne, I'm going to post weekly summaries of my training both as a way to log my progress and as motivation to keep up the training. Thanks for the support and encouragement - I appreciate it!

Later -


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Monday, December 27, 2010

What's Not To Like?!

We are on a mad dash to get all the movies in for 2010 that we have wanted to see - Life As We Know It, has been on our list forever. We did not run out and see it since it did not get great reviews. But with Josh Duhamel and for $2 at the discount theater what's not to like?!

This will make the 45th movie we've seen in 2010 - here's the list so far:

1. Sherlock Holmes 1/1/10
2. A Single Man 1/2/10
3. It's Complicated 1/5/10
4. Precious 1/8/10
5. An Education 1/22/10
6. Mine 1/27/10
7. Everybodys Fine 1/29/10
8. Edge of Darkness 1/30/10
9. The Last Station 2/13/10
10. The Messenger 2/24/10
11. Shutter Island 3/4/10
12. The Green Zone 3/28/10
13. Alice in Wonderland 3/29/10
14. The Ghost Writer 4/2/10
15. Date Night 4/9/10
16. How to Train Your Dragon
17. Valentines Day 4/22/10
18. Letters to Juliet 5/14/10
19. Loose Cannons 5/22/10 - SIFF
20. Robinhood 5/23/10
21. The Prince of Persia 5/28/10 CA
22. Brotherhood 6/4/10 - SIFF
23. Undertow - 6/6/10 - SIFF
24. Going South - 6/6/10 - SIFF
25. Twlight - Eclipse - 7/15/10
26. Inception - 7/16/10
27. Toy Storey III - 7/24/10
28. I Love You Phillip Morris - Cologne Germany
29. The Kids Are All Right
30. Iron Man II
31. Easy A
32. Charlie St. Cloud
33. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
34. The Town
35. The Social Network
36. Unstoppable
37. Harry Potter
38. 127 Hours
39. Love and Other Drugs
40. The Tourist
41. Tron
42. Red
43. How Did You Know
44. The Kings Speech
45. Life As We Know It

Only four more to beat last years record! I've got them all picked out - and not necessarily in the following order:

Black Swan
True Grit
The Fighter
The Rabbit Hole
Blue Valentine

Movie marathon time of the year!


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Seattle Evening

We only needed one more night in 2010 to maintain our Marriott Gold status for 2011. We decided to try something new and spend the night at a downtown Seattle hotel for the evening. We went shopping, caught dinner at the Icon Grill and took in our second movie of the day - The Kings Speech. Day of packing tomorrow in prep for our trip to San Diego.

Kent at the newly renovated Courtyard in downtown Seattle.

Headed to Pacific Place for after Christmas shopping on the light rail.

Shopping at Pacific Place.

Downtown Seattle Macy's.

Dinner and drinks at Icon Grill.

One of these days we are going to learn to relax!

Later - Jim

Holiday Pictures

Heading over Blewett pass after spending Christmas with Kent's family. We had a great time and I wanted to share a few pictures.

I guess I better include at least one that does not include the dogs!

As you can tell - I'm obsessed with the pups!

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