Friday, June 29, 2007

Bye bye Jason Richardson

I'll make this quick because I'm at work making this post, but the news just hit me on the way to the office so I need to react and tribute.

Jason Richardson, who has served the Golden State Warriors since his Championship run with Michigan state in 2000, has been traded. In Jason's six seasons with the Warriors, here are the stats that he was able to pile up. He also won two slam dunk contests, and had many dazzling in-game dunks in a Warrior uniform that I will not forget. He is one of the games premiere leapers.

In return, the Warriors are receiving rookie Brandon Wright. Wright is coming off his freshman year at UNC, was drafted 8th by Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Bobcats, is 6'10", and has loads of potential. On the radio, I heard a soundbite of Stephen A. Smith's reaction to the trade, and he feels the Warriors are the clear winner. J-Rich is owed $48 million over the next 4 years, and is not a franchise player. With Wright, the dubs add size, youth, and open up cap space. The KG rumors are out there, so we'll see what is yet to come.

All good things come to an end, and J-Rich was a good thing. I enjoyed watching him, I appreciate the entertainment he gave me, and the hard work he put toward making my favorite team relevant in the NBA. I am very happy that he was able to be a part of their magical playoff run this year.

J-Rich, you will be missed. But as a fan who has the Warriors best interests in mind, I understand why Mullin did this trade. I will root for you 80 out of the 82 games you play next season.

Come on Warriors, keep improving. I want to root for a championship contender this season!

Articles on the trade:
SI.com
thetimesnews.com

Thursday, June 28, 2007

NBA Draft

As I sit and watch the NBA draft I think about these young kids getting drafted.

And lets face it, that's exactly what they are; YOUNG KIDS.

I keep hearing that they are 18, 19, maybe 20 years old. Then I think about the fact that I am 27. At the age of 27 I am in my 2nd post-college job, make decent money, but am by no means rich, and still long for the day that I can truly control my own destiny. By that I mean wake up every single day excited about what I am doing, and not ever think, "I can't wait until Friday".
This is not saying I don't like my job or am not happy with what I'm doing. It just says that I realize I have a ways to go before I'm in a position where my expertise is valued more than my hard work, potential, and time spent getting the job done at the office.

Back to the draft and these lucky kids.

I don't want to take anything away from them. They are hard working, motivated, and talented people. They have done the right things so far in their lives. High School Phenoms. College stand-outs. But lets be serious, these kids are also winners of the genetic lottery. No matter how good of a jump-shot I developed, no matter how well I memorized every play in the handbook, I am not six-foot-ten, I'm still not lightening quick, and I still can't jump over the empire state building. Even though John Stockton might disagree, I just wasn't born to play in the NBA.

These kids are lucky. The don't have to worry about finding their place in this world. They know who they are. They are NBA basketball players who will live charmed lives, make more than enough money, and never have to think about posting their resume on Monster or Careerbuilder.com. They will get attention wherever they go. They will get stuff for free even though they could have afforded 100 of them.

And what do they have to do? Play basketball!

Yeah, there will be pressures to perform to their potential. They will be in the public eye and have to deal with the media pressures. However, I don't feel sorry for them. They are being given the opportunity to play basketball for an insanely good living. In the business world they would have to be a CEO of fortune 500 company to make the same income, and they can potentially make more in endorsements.

And when they retire, they will be eligible for Dancing With the Stars. Now that I'm am NOT jealous of.

Monday, June 25, 2007

This Weekend Saw Us Golfing and Hiking

Saturday we drove out to Antioch to Roddy Ranch Golf Course. Sponsored by Devcon, we played in the Northern California Cal Poly SLO Alumni Association golf tournament. It's a fundraiser for everyone's alma mater. It was their 6th annual golf tournament, and everyone was happy this year particularly because the weather was cooler than in years past.

On behalf of Devcon Construction, Darcy Narduzzi was the sponsor of the 4th hole, which happened to be the same hole we started at for the 10am shotgun.

It was a scramble format, which is where the whole group plays from the spot of the best shot. We ended with a bogey-free 5 under par, which were quite proud of. There were two prize cars on the course, including a fancy Lexus, for hole-in-one contest winners. I learned that there are insurance companies whose product is a car for hole-in-one contests. They ensure a certain difficulty level for the par 3's that they make eligible for the contest, and charge about $500. If someone hits it in on a contest hole, the insurance company pays for the car. If nobody does, then they pocket the money with a smile. Since hole-in ones are so rare, it's a profitable business. The Lexus par 3 contest hole was 209 yards with the pin in the back right of a green guarded by bunkers. If there was an impossible hole-in-one, this was it! That car wasn't going anywhere.

My game was going well Saturday. My driver was especially on as I got off the tee well all day. This drive below was an example of one of my better drives on the par 5 18th hole.

___________________________________________________________
Sunday we woke up after a long night sleep and walked the hills above Los Gatos, west of downtown LG. We took Bosco, and he walked the hilly six miles like a champ.

View of lake west of LG

View from hills east into the silicon valley

Bosco troopin' along

Bosco hydrating mid-walk

Friday, June 22, 2007

Referral From Other Blog Causes Spike In Traffic

Darcy signed us up on statcounter, which is a service for monitoring traffic to your blog. On the day after a post we usually see anywhere from 10 to 20 unique visitors. This is undoubtedly from friends, immediate family, and a few colleagues at the workplace who check in occasionally. Some have made a habit of checking in, others I remind.

Last Thursday and Friday, there was a spike in traffic to 'Narduzzi Nation'. Here is a bar chart showing these results:



I posted 'Police Concert' Thursday evening which explains the heavy traffic on Friday, but why the spike on Thursday, a day in which there was no new post to read? It turns out a fellow blogger at the office, Louis Gray (in marketing), did a blog post about some amateur bloggers. In the post, he listed off six of them he follows - including Narduzzi Nation. He provided a link to the site as well as a link to a "can't miss post". In his opinion, our can't miss post was 'Bosco Heads to Santa Rosa for the Long Weekend'.

Louis' blog is fairly well-read. He writes about technology, sports, politics, or any other idea, concept, or news event he feels like commenting on. I keep up with www.louisgray.com partly because I know him, but also because it is good entertainment.

If you'd like to read his post from last Wednesday, June 13th, when he gave a shout out to Narduzzi Nation, then click here. I don't do this for the glory, and never plan on making it big is the blogosphere, but a little plug here or there is appreciated.

Up to that point it had been all self promotion.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Haircut for Bosco; and some new bling

About four times a year, Bosco's hair gets to a length where a haircut becomes a must. For his last couple haircuts Darcy has taken him on a weekday to a place nearby her work at Santa Clara University. She drops him off before work at just after 7am, and then picks him up at lunchtime and drops him off at home.

His hair got very long recently, so today Darcy took him in to get groomed. He looks so good that I just have to show him off!

In addition, last Saturday at the Willow Glenn Street Fair, we stumbled into a dog boutique and ended up buying him a new SF Giants collar (not too proud of it at the moment as they've lost 19 of 24), a harness for when we take him on walks, and a toy pictured below.

Bosco pimpin' his new collar (Giants haven't won since he got it)

Happily feasting on his bone with his new 'do'


Bosco will love walks even more with his new harness




At the boutique we also bought him a new toy that he is very fond of


This is a view of the Willow Glen Street Fair where we did our 'Bosco shopping'


Last but not least, I caught a video of Bosco happy to see me when I got home from the gym. It's quite funny because when either of us gets home he goes and finds his bone, and then climbs around on the couch and growls with his little tail shaking rapidly. He does this for minutes until he finally settles down. The amazing thing is it never fails, every single day he's just as happy to see us as the day before. We love him.

Click here to see video!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Major Industry Magazine: BlueArc on the Cover.

Check it out friends and family!

BlueArc (the company I work for) is the cover story in the June 2007 issue of Storage Magazine, which is one of the most widely read magazines in the storage industry. It is in honor of us winning their yearly award for 'Quality NAS'. Click below if you're interested in finding out more details.

Here's a link to view details on their website.

Here's a link to the press release my company released regarding this award.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Home Improvement

Two weekends ago (while I was camping at Pinecrest), we had one of my subcontractors come over and remove our old flooring in the kitchen/entry/bath and the two upstairs baths. They then put in new tile throughout. It looked good, but not great until last weekend when Jeff and I installed new baseboards over the tile. We still aren't done because there is some caulking to be finished, but it looks SO MUCH BETTER than it did before. Here are some before and after pics of our little home improvement project.

Guest bath upstairs
6"x6" tumbled ceramic tile

Master bath
12"x12" natural stone

Kitchen/entry
12"x12" ceramic tile
Downstairs 1/2 bath (no before picture)
12"x12" ceramic tile

This last pic of the 1/2 bath is a better representation of the tile color downstairs. The other pics look a little washed out.

We are very happy with how the tile turned out, it is a huge improvement from before. Although the wood in the kitchen/entry doesn't look that bad in the pics above, it was scratched, had huge gaps in it and was very creaky. Also, there was black rubber base installed over it under the cabinets. The white base which we put in there now looks 100% better.

Next home improvement project...new windows????

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Police Concert

Anyone at all tuned into this summer's major concert events knows The Police are returning to the stage together for the first time in 23 years. As you can see on the back of this concert-goers newly purchased shirt, Oakland is the 5th stop of the recently began summer tour, which kicked off in Vancouver, BC on May 30th.

I've owned The Police Greatest Hit's CD since high school so am very familiar with all their big hits, and love just about all of them. They are a combined unique and catchy. I'm still amazed it takes only three guys to make this sound. Sting sings and plays the bass, Andy Summers on the guitar, and Stewart Copeland on the drums. That's it! This means they only need to divide up their millions by three, and let's not kid ourselves, these guys are laughing all the way to bank! But after last nights entertaining performance, I am confident that everyone left happy and feeling their money was well spent. I know Darcy and I did.

The history of how we got such good seats: Back in March, through Best Buy rewards, I was spammed the opportunity for an access code which allowed access to the ticket presale for this show. At that time we looked and saw people selling their access codes for up to $50 on craigslist. That's how much demand this tour created! Darcy and I jumped on the opportunity to compete for the best seats at this huge show, and ended up scoring tickets on the field, just about dead center, about 100 feet from the stage.

You'll see from the next pictures that we were planted dead center in the stadium, and also get a feel for just how huge this show was. I'm guessing there were somewhere around 60,000 people there. Very few bands have the power to sell out a venue this big, and The Police are one of them. The last show I saw at The McAfee Coliseum (even though not called McAfee then) was The Rolling Stones in November of 1997.



Throughout the night I took pictures of the band performing. They all look pretty similar, but here are few that turned out particularly well. Be sure to click on them to see them enlarged:



Set List:
Message in a Bottle
Synchronicity II
Don't Stand So Close to Me
Voices Inside My Head
Spirits in the Material World
Driven to Tears
Walking on the Moon
Truth Hits Everybody
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
Wrapped Around Your Finger
The Bed's Too Big Without You
Murder by Numbers
De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
Invisible Sun
Walking in Your Footsteps
Can't Stand Losing You
Roxanne
----ENCORE----
King of Pain
So Lonely
Every Breath You Take
Next to You





Any tiredness I felt at work the next day was well worth it because now I have the experience of having seen The Police in my lifetime. As much as I would love to see them again, part of me wants this to be the only chance I get because I don't know how it could be topped. Perhaps if I were in the first few rows - that might do it!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Knocked Up

Nope, I'm not talking about Darcy.

Darcy and I went to a rare movie on Saturday to see 'Knocked Up'. We needed something relaxing and entertaining in the wake of our tiring baseboard project (that I'll be posting about later), so we decided to catch a comedy.

Katherine Heigl of Grey's Anatomy, is perfect as the "knocked up" Allison Scott, and looks great on screen. Seth Rogan, who had supporting roles in both '40 Year Old Virgin' and 'You, Me, and Dupree', stars alongside Heigl and plays the likeable yet unpolished Ben Stone.

I expect both of these actors to be in many more movies over the next few years. They are both fresh faces and personalities who I think movie-goers will pay to see.

Both Darcy and I walked out of the theater in a good mood, commenting that we would recommend it. So if you find yourself in the mood to be entertained in front of the big screen for a couple hours, be sure to consider 'Knocked Up'.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunday In SF/Sausalito

Darcy and I left for the city today at 11am to meet Darcy's family at The Port of San Francisco at noon. The plan was to take a ferry over to Sausalito, have a picnic, walk around, and enjoy the many spectacular views the bay area has to offer. The day didn't work out as planned, since the 12:30 ferry ride that Darcy's sister Meghan planned for was actually at 12:00. We had to wait until 1:30 for the next ferry, so instead did our picnicking in SF at the park across the street from the ferry building.

Special props to Cat for arranging and supplying the food for the picnic. We had homemade Gyro's, and they were absolutely delicious. I had three of them! We also enjoyed some wine as we ate and visited.

After our meal we caught the ferry to Sausalito, where we spent about two hours before heading back to the the city.

View of the city as we're taking off from Port of SF:


Darcy and I in Sausalito with SF in the distant background:


The neat town of Sausalito offers up great views of San Francisco. This picture is great proof of that:


On the way back to the city atop the boat:


The famous Golden Gate Bridge on our way back to SF from Sausalito:

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

John Mayer: HP Pavilion (6/5/07)

About five years ago I bought John Mayer's debut album and went through a phase of listening to it. I never loved it as a whole album, but liked (and still like) a few tracks fairly well. I even saw him at a show in Boston when visiting my sister a few years back. When his second album came out I liked the title track 'Bigger Than My Body' on the radio, but was never motivated to buy the whole album. In 2006, John Mayer released 'Continuum' and I bought it based on my friend Kainoa endorsing it in a blog-post on MySpace.

It turns out Kainoa was right, 'Continuum' was worthy of promotion. I like just about every track on the album, and a good handful of them are timeless for me. For a period, I recommended it to everyone I talked music with - and in some cases to even those who I didn't.



Last night's show in downtown San Jose at the HP Pavilion was just one of many stops on his summer-long nationwide tour leg. He has been touring for over 10 months with stops already in the U.S, Canada, Europe, The United Emirates (Dubai), New Zealand, Australia, and Japan. It's simply a case of strike while the iron's hot, and Mr. Mayer has never been as well respected as a musician or as recognizable in pop culture, as he is now. His on/off relationship with Jessica Simpson has been great for publicity, but I would claim it's been the great sound of his music that has been the biggest contributor to his catapulted fame.



The concert was very good even though I was tired and didn't get to hear 'Stop This Train' and 'Heart of Life' - two of my favorite John Mayer songs. My favorite part of the experience was watching and listening to him play the guitar. Now that I have been playing the guitar I listen to it with more scrutiny and appreciation, and John Mayer is an amazing guitar player.



Set List:
Belief
No Such Thing
Good Love is On the Way
Gravity
Bigger Than My Body
Dreaming With A Broken Heart
Vultures
I Don't Need No Doctor
Wheel
Why Georgia
Waiting on the World to Change

-- encore --
Slow Dancing (acoustic)
83 (acoustic)
Who Did You Think I Was (acoustic)
I'm Gonna Find Another You

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A's / Red Sox: We Were There (6/4/07)

The other day I wrote about how I unexpectedly found myself in Hollister playing golf.

Well, on the same theme, last night I unexpectedly found myself at the A's / Red Sox game. I got home from work, went to the gym, and when I got in my car all sweaty after a good workout I saw that I had several missed calls from Darcy. As it turned out, through a colleague at work she had scored some tickets to the game. I was to come home, shower, and head to Oakland.


The game was fun. We saw home runs from Big Papi, Willy Mo Pena, and Mark Ellis (who ended up hitting for the cycle). We also saw Embree blow a save in the 9th inning after entering the inning with a 4-2 lead. Then, with the score tied 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth, the A's loaded the bases with no outs and one of their highest paid players - Eric Chavez - at the plate. You would think sure victory right?

Nope.

Chavez struck out on I think three pitches, and then the next batter grounded into a home-to-first double play, and the Red Sox were out of the jam! Since we were tired and I have a 5:05am date with my alarm clock every weekday morning, we left at this point. Had we known it was one more inning, we would have stayed, but the thing about extra innings is there is no telling how long it could go.

We nearly made it all the way to Campbell listening to the game on the radio before Chavez went from goat to hero with a game winning home run in the bottom of the 11th inning.


Oh, and I got a shot of my favorite Red Sox player - ManRam: