Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year 2010, Tiger Woods! - first YouTube video of '10

Happy New Year 2010, Tiger Woods! This marks the first Zennie62 video of the new year 2010 of the second decade of the 21st Century and the first Zennie62 YouTube video of 2010.

In the news today, Florida clobbered Cincinnati 51 to 24 in a lop-sided Sugar Bowl game. Tim Tebow regained his form with 553 yards, 31 of 35 for 482, and four touchdowns, and 51 rushing yards. Tebow had a blistering NCAA passer rating of 241.9. But that's an aside to the fact that news like that will be more the norm here,...and of course Tiger Woods.

Happy New Year, Tiger and Elin!  

The reason for focusing on Tiger Woods is that I will vlog and blog more about celebrities and entertainment in 2010 in addition to politics, news, sports, and tech. Also, if you look at the video you will see that Tiger Woods' website still has the Accenture logo on it, well after they issued a statement that they would not be sponsoring Tiger Woods and would establish a new ad campaign in 2010.

It looks like a kind of passive aggressive political head fake to me. Its very easy to remove a logo from a website. It only takes a few minutes to do. That the Accenture logo is still there means all of this is not really a done deal. Either someone at Tiger Woods Management doesn't want to accept that the engagement is over, or the engagement really isn't over.

I still see Tiger Woods and Accenture at airports, including O'Hare International Airport yesterday, New Year's Eve. Something's going on.

As for New Year's resolutions, mine is just to treat my friends better and be more innovative. And I will make more videos with interviews of people, some you know, others not. I will also talk about who's the sexiest this or the best that, and stir the pot some more in 2010.

Whatever the case, it's going to be a fun ride!

Stay tuned!

Top Topics:

tim tebow, elin nordegren, tiger woods, dennis haysbert, jamie jungers, rachel uchitel, jay-z, fahrenheit 451, mindy lawton, urban meyer, zennie abraham, blip tv,sugar bowl, terrelle pryor, taylor swift, megan fox, new year 2010, florida vs cincinnati, ncaa football, golf, rachel ray sexy photos, economy, obama news, tmz, radaronline, eonline, okmagazine, beyonce, miley cyrus

Oakland is one of blog SFEater's best dining neighborhoods?

I just saw this in the SFEater blog and had to laugh:

The Year in Eater continues in full force! Single Best Meals, Top Newcomers, Top Standbys and The Year in One Word were revealed earlier, and all will be answered by the time we turn off the lights on Thursday. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted and unedited herein:

...Lissa Doumani, Terra/Ame: I don't know if it is best but it is certainly the fastest expanding, Oakland

This is what vexes Oaklanders like myself. Oakland is itself a collection of neighborhoods, from Glenview to Adams Point, and North Oakland, Rockridge, and East Oakland. To take the whole City of Oakland, all 400,000 people, and all 56.1 square miles, and think of all of it as nothing more than a mere neighborhood to San Francisco shows just how little people in the Bay Area know about Oakland.

This, well, ignorance, causes the media to just list crime in Oakland rather than where in Oakland the crime happened.

All of this is Oakland's fault and the City of Oakland's too buzy gouging people with nose-bleed-high parking fines to encourage people to come to Oakland to eat.


Top topics this hour:

tebow cam, ephesians 2 8 10, hgtv dream home, dennis haysbert, lady antebellum, sugar bowl live
, home, terrelle pryor, dream home 2009, bearcat, florida vs cincinnati, angus thongs and perfect snogging, watch sugar bowl online, ohio state football, buckeye, home, jim tressel, rose bowl score, who won the rose bowl 2010, jeff demps

Oakland Rap Artist Clif Soulo - Snoop Dogg his model

In this video, Oakland Rap Artist Clif Soulo talks about how he started rapping. His is an Oaklander story and one of many would-be rappers in a part of the Oakland Entertainment Industry still not taken seriously by mainstream organizations like the Oakland Chamber of Commerce.

I like Clif Soulo's sound, which he says is an outgrowth of his interest in Snoop Dogg and DMX's work. Here's Clif Soulo:

You can listen to his music at

Topic for this hour:

dennis haysbert, lady antebellum, ephesians 2 8 10, terrelle pryor, sugar bowl live, buckeye, jim tressel, rose bowl score, ohio state football, florida vs cincinnati, allstate spokesman
,pennhurst insane asylum, robert redford twilight zone, who won the rose bowl 2010, bearcat, sugar bowl national anthem, pedro cerrano, watch sugar bowl online, brent musburger, ohio state rose bowl

Rose Bowl Game: Terrell Pryor and Ohio State beat Oregon

Terrell Pryor grew as a quarterback tonight. The Ohio State sophomore signal-caller made the throws when it counted and followed with hard-nosed running to guide the Buckeyes to a 26-17 win Rose Bowl win.

Terrell Pryor

It was a great Rose Bowl game with several lead changes, small drama stories like LeGarrett Blount, and two very fast teams. In the end, the Oregon Ducks found itself pitted against an Ohio State Offense that was almost a mirror-image of its own in scheme and operation. With the exception of the use of The I Formation, both teams features use of the Spread Option and the Belly Series from it. But the difference maker was Terrell Pryor.

I've long believed that if you wanted to beat Ohio State all you had to do was stop their running attack and put the ball in Pryor's hands. That's what the Oregon Ducks tried to do but didn't work. The 6-6 Terrell Pryor was 23 of 37 for a season-best 266 yards and two touchdowns, versus one interception. While Pryor's 62.16 passer rating wasn't good, the important stat within the rating is that he threw 23 times. That's more passes than Ohio State coach Jim Tressel normally calls for Pryor. Pryor just missed the 50 percent mark and many of his throws were short, and just enough to keep the chains moving.

But it was Pryor as a run threat that made the overall difference. He rushed 20 times for 72 yards, but it was during the 4th Quarter and when he picked up clutch yardage when his team needed it the most, that Pryor earned his MVP award.

Oregon was a game competitor but give Ohio State's coaching staff credit for having an answer to its system of blitzes. However, my issue is that many of Oregon's blitz came off the edge and not up the middle. Ohio State would run around or throw over Oregon's outside linebacker and safety blitzes.

Now Oregon ads to a 2009 bowl season that has not been kind to the Pac-10. Last year, the Pac-10 was undefeated in bowls; this year, it's tally now stands at 2 wins and 5 losses to close out the Pac-10 Football season.

Stay tuned and Happy New Year 2010!

Topics this hour:

what is a buckeye, terrelle pryor, robert redford twilight zone, rose bowl score, devin barclay, brent musburger, ohio state football, i sing the body electric, buckeye tree, marco sturm, sugar bowl 2010, gilbert arenas pulls gun, resident evil extinction, shawty redd, capital one bowl location, ufc 108 weigh in, rose bowl live stream, jim tressel, rush limbaugh press conference, florida vs cincinnati

Rush Limbaugh Press Conference: Limbaugh deals with mortality

Rush Limbaugh gave a press conference on his recovery from chest pains and in the process became more of a human being (he still has a long way to go.

Rush talked about something I totally understand, which is not taking one's health for granted and not believing one is invincible. I've got to admit, I love that Rush is back. Even though I disagree with his views, Rush Limbaugh is a major part of American Popular Culture, which I love.

His rise to communications broadcasting power, like that of, says a lot both good and bad about where American Media is going. First, I continue to hold that communications and Internet technology are making it easier for people to develop their own personal platforms. Moreover the entire system is a kind of "social mirror" to our changing society.

Rush is very much a part of that, and its really cool to see how this scare has (I think) changed him for the better. I saw where he had economist Walter Williams on his show as a fill-in while he was away on Wednesday. Williams is black, and while Williams has what I would call a "self-hating-black-person's" view of the World, his time On Rush Limbaugh's show is at least a small start in a good direction.

Now if Rush can learn to pay attention to African Americans who don't have issues with being African American, he will have grown into a full human being.

Stay tuned...

Topics this hour:

capital one bowl location, rose bowl stadium, daryll clark, ohio state football roster, brian boitano skating spectacular, buckeye tree, bobby orr, rose bowl live stream, rush limbaugh press conference, joe paterno

LeGarrette Blount scores for Oregon Ducks in Rose Bowl v. Ohio State

In what's shaping up to be a great 2010 Rose Bowl, Oregon Running Back LeGarrette Blount just scored from five-yards away, reaching out with the ball in his hand to just break the plane of the goal, just as Rush Limbaugh finished his press conference.

The score's 10-10, now as of this writing in the 2nd Quarter, and the Oregon Defense has all it can handle in Ohio State's Offense, but LeGarrette Blount just came full-circle.

UPDATE: Ohio State Buckeyes 16, Oregon Ducks 10, 2nd Quarter.

Remember, at the start of the 2009 College Football season Blount was suspended for punching Boise State Defensive End Byron Hout after the Duck's opening game loss to the Broncos. While who said what to whom is an officially unanswered question to this day, and I've weighed in with my thoughts...

...both teams have moved on.

Now, after the suspension and several academic and personal tests he had to pass to return to the college football field, LeGarrette Blount was given permission to play and did so in the Oregon – Oregon State "civil war". Now, determined to delete the demons of 2009 season's past, LeGarrette Blount fought to reach the end zone when he had the chance to do so.

Exciting Outback Bowl: Auburn 38, Northwestern 35

Happy New Year, 2010! Northwestern almost wins first bowl game since 1949 victory over Cal, but loses Outback Bowl to Auburn 38 to 35.

As America was recovering from a Times Square celebration, Blackwater was getting-off, Fenway Park was hosting Bobbie Orr and Bobby Clark in The Winter Classic, Mike Leach and Texas Tech continued jawing, and the Tournament of Roses Parade was the platform for Stephanie Edwards, The Northwestern Wildcats were sending much of Chicagoland into cardiac arrest.

Down 21 to 7, Northwestern marched back into the Outback Bowl contest with a series of Auburn mistakes. With a flurry that could not have been stopped by an alleged gun-toting Gilbert Arenas, Northwestern moved to tie Auburn 35-35, but missed winning the college football bowl game with two missed field goals in the 4th quarter and a questionable trick play in overtime.

Northwestern overcame five interceptions threw by Quaterback Mike Kafka, as he threw for a career-high 532-yards and four touchdowns. The Wildcats were aided by a roughing-the-passer call and a roughing the kicker call against Auburn along the way toward the 35-all tie.

The trick play was a fake-field goal because of Northwestern's poor field goal kicking game. I don't question the idea of a trick-play, but the one that was called. A pass of some kind would have been better than a misdirection run because of Auburn's team speed; they downed the attempt for a loss and won the game.

The Gator Bowl, Capitol One Bowl and The Rose Bowl

Now, Florida State's literally running all over West Virginia, with over 200-yards rushing in the Gator Bowl, leading 30 to 21. LSU's ahead of Penn State in the Capital One Bowl, as the nation awaits Oregon v. Ohio State in The Rose Bowl.

Pats Could Again Hold Jets’ Key to the Playoffs

Pats Could Again Hold Jets’ Key to the Playoffs
By Jon Wagner-Sr. Writer at Large-Football Reporters Online

The eyes of all New York Jets fans will be on the Meadowlands on Sunday night, as Gang Green tries to make the NFL postseason for the first time in three years.

Rightfully so, since the Jets (8-7) would either clinch the AFC’s fifth seed with a win over the Cincinnati Bengals (10-5) in the final regular season game (and likely, the last game, period) at Giants Stadium, at 8:20pm EST, on Sunday night.

However, earlier in the day, Jets fans may have to do the unimaginable and begin the new decade by rooting for their arch nemesis of the past decade.

In an ironic twist of fate, the New England Patriots (10-5), New York’s division rival who for much of the past ten years, have stood in the way of the Jets’ success by winning (seven AFC East titles from 2001-2009 and a playoff victory over New York in 2006), could now severely damage the Jets’ playoff hopes by losing.

While focusing on Sunday night’s contest, many seem to be forgetting that what happens earlier in the day in Houston, when the Texans (8-7) host the Patriots (10-5) at 1 pm EST, could have a tremendous effect on the Jets’ chances of beating the Bengals.

Say what you will about how the Jets played the second half in Indianapolis last week, but if the Colts didn’t rest their starters, the Jets probably wouldn’t be playing for much this Sunday.

Likewise, New York will of course have a much better chance at starting the new year with a playoff-clinching victory against Bengals’ backups instead of the Cincinnati starters that produced a 2009 AFC North championship.

At home, the Jets are still very capable of beating a motivated Bengals team with a lot to play for, but it would certainly be a lot easier for the Jets to win on Sunday night if they face a Bengals Lite team similar to the watered down version of the Colts that the Jets saw last week.

And, what Cincinnati may choose to do against the Jets could depend a lot on Sunday’s outcome in Houston.

If the Patriots beat the Texans, the Bengals would be locked into the AFC’s fourth playoff seed, and should rest a lot of starters at Giants Stadium, at least during the second half (especially since without a bye week, that would be Cincinnati’s one chance at resting prior to the playoffs).

However, if New England again stumbles away from home, and fails to lock up the third seed, that spot will be there for the taking for the Bengals. That’s something that could be very attractive to Cincinnati for two reasons.

A first-round matchup as a three seed should be easier against a six seed, as opposed to playing in the four-five game next week.

Looking further down the road, the Bengals would also probably prefer a potential second-round playoff matchup at second-seeded San Diego, where Cincinnati was extremely competitive in a 27-24 loss on a 52-yard field goal with three seconds remaining, on December 20th. Not an easy game at all against the 12-3 Chargers, but the alternative could be a much tougher road to the Super Bowl going to top-seeded Indianapolis as a four seed.

Although Houston needs a lot of help, the Texans will be playing for a lot regardless of how any other AFC scenario plays out. The Texans can make the playoffs with a win over the Patriots and at least two losses from among the Jets, Baltimore (8-7), and Denver (8-7). Making the postseason is obviously the primary goal, but the expansion Texans should have extra motivation to be fired up. Even if the Texans miss the playoffs this year, a win will give Houston its first winning season in its brief eight-year history while helping the Texans avoid a losing record at home, where they are currently just 3-4 this season.

Adding to the chances of a Texans’ win is the uncharacteristic Jekyl and Hyde performance of New England this year. The Patriots are a perfect 8-0 at home, but they haven’t had a decent road win all season. They’re just 2-5 away from Gillette Stadium, with road victories against 3-12 Tampa Bay (really a neutral field win, in London) and in Buffalo (5-10; 2-5 at home).

With the flex schedule moving the Bengals-Jets game to prime time Sunday night television, the final day of the regular season could be summed up in a bit of a tongue twister for the Jets, as in: “Flex, Texans Affect the Jets.”

Regardless of what happens outside of the Meadowlands though, Jet fans are hoping that come Sunday night, they won’t be repeating a far more common phrase, such as “Houston, we have a problem.”

Baltimore’s Dirty Laundry

Baltimore’s Dirty Laundry
By Drew Moss for Football Reporters Online
Those rags. 
Cue Charlton Heston circa 1968: Those damn, dirty yellow rags!
Not the (in)famous Terrible Towels. Penalty flags.  Lots of them.  Thrown at the visiting Baltimore Ravens. Often, and worse – late.  Very late.
The Steelers’ season long crunch time woes were masked by the Baltimore Ravens’ ill-timed sloppiness as two fourth quarter touchdowns were nullified by penalties in a 23-20 Ravens loss at hostile Heinz Field.
With a game winning 38 yard field goal by kicker Jeff Reed with 5:25 remaining under his black hat, Steelers' coach Mike Tomlin held to the tried and true NFL mantra of “no apologies, no excuses” in his post-game, insisting that while the Steelers had “made their bed” with a nearly even, and therefore very uneven 8-7 record, he “likes they way they (the Steelers) are lying in it.”
Raven’s coach Jim Harbaugh did his best to stay positive as well, trying to steer clear of the penalty disparity (Ravens 11-113 yards, Steelers 4-20) in his post-game. But his venom was unmistakable.
When specifically pressed on Willis McGahee’s 32 TD-run that was wiped off the books by a holding call on Ravens wide receiver Kelley Washington, Harbaugh came as clean as a wallet-conscious NFL coach can.
“I think that call was very late,” Harbaugh seethed.  “It didn’t seem like it affected the play.”
Add to this the illegal block in the back called on Terrell Suggs’ that wiped out Domonique Foxworth’s interception/TD return of consistently inconsistent Ben Roethlisberger (17 for 33, 259 yards). 
Then throw in cornerback Frank Walker’s illegal contact penalty that spared the Steelers from another late game implosion, stripping Baltimore of any chance at last second heroics with good field position - and Harbaugh would have every reason to rip the Zebras and/or his team.
But to his credit, Harbaugh more or less stuck to the high road. “You can go to penalties if you want, you can put your finger on whatever you want, but we’re going to Oakland to play our hearts out.”
As well they should.  Despite the loss, the Ravens still control their own destiny. A win against the ever- reeling Raiders would land Baltimore in a wild-card berth, while the Steelers still need help from a slew of teams (count the Jets, Broncos and Texans among them) to get to the postseason.
Tomlin stuck fast to his rah-rah message in the face of the twisted playoff math. “We’re going out to control the things we can control, which is to play winning football,” said Tomlin.
As the Fat Man sang once or twice when visiting the Three Rivers: “Wave That Flag” Coach. “Wave it wide and high.”

AFC South Week 16 Wrap Up

   AFC South Week 16 Wrap Up
By Rafael Garcia
Sr. Contributing Writer Football Reporters Online
Southeast Region
San Diego 42 Tennessee 17
The game was never a contest from the start and the Titans season is now over. Eliminated from the playoffs, Tennessee looks towards other goals. First off was Christmas night, a game versus a Chargers team that had won nine straight games. The Titans needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive but could not deliver. Vince Young has taken this team from 0-6 to 7-7 and back in the playoff talk. The problem was they ran into a San Diego team playing December ball like no other in the league. They have not lost in December since 2006 for a total of 18 straight. Phillip Rivers picked the Titans defense apart going 21-27 for 264 yards and two touchdowns. He is playing just as well as any of the top quarterbacks in the league. On the other side of the ball it was Tennessee playing like they did while they were going 0-6. Young had his worst game since he took over going 8-21 for only 89 yards with two picks. He also had a key fumble when he was sliding for a first down. The one bright spot continues to be Chris Johnson and his ability to get yards. He ran for 142 yards on 21 carries with a touchdown and needs only 128 to get to 2,000. He would have probably gone over 200 on Christmas night if the Chargers didn’t have such a big lead. So next week is the last game of the season and they will play to get Johnson to 2,000 and possibly, if he can get 234 yards, pass Eric Dickerson’s mark of 2,105 yards. They are also playing for a .500 but a good point needs to be mentioned. If the Titans lose to Seattle next week they would get better positioning in next year’s draft and would play a better schedule. Now no one wants to play to lose but just thought I would mention that.
New York Jets 29 Indianapolis 15
See this is why I have a problem with pulling players at years end. If you are going to do it why let your key players play into the third period? I can see playing them a series or two or maybe even a quarter. Not only that they did it in their home finale of the season. Way to treat your fans to a good game. So with the score 15-10 Jim Caldwell decided to pull Peyton Manning in favor of Curtis Painter and it bombed. Painter was greeted rather rudely and was hit often. He even fumbled on his second series that turned into a touchdown for the Jets. So perfection is gone and what is the point to the Colts. Let us remember that the ultimate goal is to win the Super Bowl. It doesn’t matter if you win all your games or go 8-8. Still as a fan you would have wanted to see how it would have panned out next week had they won this game? The loss helped the Jets and hurt the Ravens making the last week of the season one to remember. So the main guys will rest next week in preparation for the playoffs. The media and the fans will second guess the decision for weeks to come but if Indy can win the big one it wont matter. If they don’t win it all it will be questioned into next season. They better hope that the likes of Austin Collie and other young players are not hurting their rhythm by not playing with Manning too much.
Houston 27 Miami 20
This is why they play the game as they say. When the season began the Texans had aspirations of a playoff berth for the first time in franchise history. As the season progressed things began to slowly unravel. They lost key games and kept making the mistake that have hurt them in years past. As the season has come to a close they are playing the brand of football they had hoped to play all year. On this day they looked great jumping out to a 27-0 lead as Matt Schaub had two quick scoring passes and Arian Foster chipped in with a 17-yard run. Kicker Kris Brown also had two field goals in the first half for 27-3 lead. They had to hold off a Dolphin 20-point rally but still looked like a team ready to make its first postseason appearance. Foster looked good running for 97 yards and Andre Johnson had five catches for 71 yards and a score. The defense held Miami to just 60 yards on the ground with Ricky Williams getting just 35. On the other side of the coin they did allow Chad Henne to go 35-55 for 322 yards too. So now they play to win next week and wait for the help they need. They have played hard and coach Gary Kubiak knows what’s at stake and the team is playing like it too. Let’s see if they can accomplish their goal and what they will do if they get there.
New England 34 Jacksonville 7
Another team in search of the postseason with jobs on the line is the Jags. On Sunday things did not go as planned when Tom Brady and Randy Moss put on a show that all but eliminated Jacksonville from playoff contention. They saw Brady go a near perfect 23-26 for 267 yards and four touchdowns. Moss had a huge day with three touchdowns on four catches. Maurice Jones-Drew failed to get 100 yards again getting just 63 on 18 carries. They managed just 275 yards of offense and David Garrard was picked off twice. When they had any kind of drive it was killed, as they were 4-11 on third down efficiency. They made Wes Welker look like one of the best receivers in the league as he caught 13 passes for 138 yards and leads the league with 122 catches. They failed to get to Brady and remain one the worst teams in the league as far as sacking the opposing quarterback is concerned. So they will need to win next week and get a lot of help or its lost season. If they do not make the playoffs changes will be needed and most of the time it starts with the head coach.

NFC South Week 16 Wrap Up

                             NFC South Week 16 Wrap Up
By Rafael Garcia
Sr. Contributing Writer Football Reporters Online
Southeast Region
 Atlanta 31 Buffalo 3
Now that the playoffs are not possible the Falcons decided to play for wins and pride. On Sunday they manhandled the Bills from the start. On the first play from scrimmage Matt Ryan hit Roddy White from 42 yards out to make it 7-0. The Bills would never be in the game from that point on. They managed just 187 total yards with only 40 coming via the run. Ryan finished 18-35 for 250 yards and three touchdowns. White had another scoring catch to close the scoring and finished with 139 yards on eight catches. The running tandem of Jason Snelling and Jerious Norwood combined for 28 carries for 120 yards and the defense is playing the way they had hoped they would all year. They held the Bills to 11 first downs and 2-10 in third down efficiency. They forced three turnovers and 10 penalties for 60 yards and two sacks. Next week they go to Tampa Bay to try and finish the year with a winning record.
Tampa Bay 20 New Orleans 17
The last fourth of this season has been really hard on the Saints.  They started off so strong but have been exposed in the last month. The defense is the first thing that needs to be addressed and fast. They are finding ways to keep drives alive by allowing the big play, like the 77-yard punt return by Michael Spurlock to tie the game late in the fourth. They gave up 439 yards total yards to the Bucs. Tampa Bay was 7-12 on third downs and had the ball for 36 minutes. Not too bad for a team that started so bad. It was to the point where people were asking if head coach Raheem Morris could survive more than one year. New Orleans actually lead 17-0 and it was still 17-3 at the half. It would not be enough as Drew Brees was held under 300 yards passing and the Bucs defense came up big when they needed to. They took advantage of an injury to Saints running back Pierre Thomas and shut down the run game in the second half. Josh Freeman continued his evolution going 21-31 for 271 yards with no touchdowns and two picks. He did make a big play in the overtime that kept the winning drive alive. So Tampa continues to look like they are improving with each week and the Saints keep looking more vulnerable game after game. They and some fans thought they had won the game in regulation but Garrett Hartley missed a field goal from 37 yards out with five seconds left in the game. So Tampa moves on to finish the year next week looking to next year and the improvements they need to make. On a last note Morris may have saved his job with the team’s play in the last month or so.
Carolina 41 New York Giants 9
It was the last game at the Meadowlands and it hit home for me personally. I grew up going to that stadium and was looking to see the Gmen go out with a win. Unfortunately the Panthers had other plans. They came in with many questions in a season that had gone south. So, with not much to play for, they decided to show up and show out. Matt Moore had an effective day going 15-20 for 171 yards and three touchdowns. On top of that Jonathan Stewart ran all over the Giants defense to the tune of 206 yards on 28 carries and a score. The Panthers were 10-15 on third downs and had 416 total yards. They ran for 247 and forced four turnovers. The defense held the Giants to 60 yards rushing 27 minutes in time of possession. It was an ugly way for New York to go out as they showed no heart and little emotion. Eli Manning was 29-43 for 296 yards but he was playing from behind all day. It was 24-0 at the half and 34-3 by the end of the third. It was Carolina’s third win in their last four games and just like in Tampa that may have saved their coaches job for sure now.

Happy New Year! Oakland Predictions, 2010

Happy New Year, 2010!. It's time for predictions for the new year 2010 and specifically related to my current hometown, Oakland, California. 2010 is an election year, so politics takes center stage, but it's got a huge one in Oakland. This year, Oakland picks a new Mayor.

The stage must be appropriately set by explaining that Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums is a giant in Oakland's political history, but a disappointment as mayor. At a time when politicians are expected to act and react fast, and learn quickly, Dellums was too slow to do so. At just the time when it seems he's settled into the job, it's too late: Oaklanders want a change of leadership.

The race for Oakland Mayor currently only consists of two main players, former California State Senator Don Perata and Oakland Councilmember Jean Quan. Don Perata will win, and because he's the only person out of a few well-qualified people that wants the position enough to aggressively go after it.

Don Perata will be Oakland's Mayor, but not after one more big name enters the race, but that person will do so too late and serve only to take potential votes away from Jean Quan. Personally, I'm disappointed that Perata didn't challenge himself and go for higher office, like California Senator, but I'm sure he has his reasons.

Meanwhile, Quan's District Four Council Seat isn't safe either because my long-time friend, Libby Schaaf, the Senior Policy Advisor for Community & Economic Development to the City Council, has been interviewing campaign managers for her run for that position, if Jean Quan's mayoral fantasy becomes reality.

Personally, I think Libby should challenge Jean right off the bat. It's nothing against the personable Quan - let's face it, running for Mayor has made her a nicer person than in the past - but Libby's Oakland ties and friendships run much deeper. Moreover, District Four needs someone who will be a worthy replacement to the legendary shadow cast by former District Four Councilmember Dick Spees, and that person is Libby Schaaf. I don't write that just because she's my friend, but because its true. But I digress.

Regarding Oakland's government, we will see more job cuts and salary reduction efforts this year, as the City works to close its massive budget deficit. More and more Oaklanders will fall victim to the aggressive parking enforcement system and its stupidly-high set of fees, all forcing the successful gathering of signatures for an initiative to change the Oakland parking enforcement and fee system as we know it.

At least one of Oakland's newest downtown and Piedmont Avenue restaurants will close because there's just not enough money to go around. But more small cafes will open, and in neighborhoods that already have too many of them.

The crime problem in East Oakland will get worse, just as Oakland lacks the resources to deal with the problem, even with the stimulus package.

I'm just getting warm with my Oakland predictions, but it's New Year's Day, and I've got to eat breakfast.

Stay tuned.

Happy New Year, 2010! - family is important

Happy New Year, 2010! It's a new decade and even though it wasn't rung in by watching Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, or New Year's Eve Times Square Live, or drooling over Jennifer Lopez' New Year's outfit, or watching Dick Clark's show with Ryan Seacrest and the live ball drop, or even catch the New Year Countdown online or Adam Lambert, or catch-up on Rush Limbaugh, I did get to spend it with family and we didn't make predictions for 2010.

For me it started with the spiritually impossible situation of not being able to get out of O'Hare Airport to San Francisco. The last United Airlines' flight I was listed for had an unbelievable 108 standbys. The United 767 used only held about 160 people. I was standby passenger number 52, and even though I've been in such a situation before and made it on board, it wasn't happening this time.

So I wound up talking with my Mom and a family friend until 3 AM CST here in my hometown of Chicago. And during that time we watched a movie I stumbled upon and always wanted to see: The Ice Storm. Not to digress, but it's an excellent movie that deals with family communication, or lack thereof .

At the end of it, FOX Entertainment CEO Tom Rothman, who hosts the show around which Fox movies were presented last night, obvered that The Ice Storm was about how we try to escape our family, only to have circumstances bring us back to our family.

That was wild.

I sat in total amazement. I've always believed in God, but never more so than last night because not only did that whole flight fiasco bring me to my small family, but talking about how things have changed was a great and necessary way to really take stock of how things have changed. Especially with so many people I've known who died in 2009.

Here I was worrying about meeting friends at the Balboa Cafe and whatever fun I would miss, and I was slammed into this very necessary event. In other words, having been with my family, I was seeking escape with the idea that I was headed toward something "more fun", and all the way missed what family was about. Not any more.

Our families know who we are and accept us, period. They don't have to be blood relations, just people who really truly love you without condition. And those people are there before you, but in the quest to be cool, all of us miss (and mistreat) those who really do care about us. In doing that, we lose the part of ourselves that sometimes we need to find just to successfully carry on.

So I've learned a lesson I'm passing on. Well, let's say I got a refresher course. Family is important to me, but frankly I saw it as a burden at times. It's not. It's freedom and love.

2010 predictions comes later!