The Art of Defense

A shogun needed a warrior to defend his home and protect his family when the Shogun was away.
He narrowed his selection to three swordsmen and devised a means to determine who would be the best.
The Shogun instructed the swordsmen to wait in a guesthouse until each was called to the main house. He instructed a servant to stand behind the door in the main house and strike the swordsmen over the head with a stick as they walked in.
The first swordsman was called to the house, walked through the door and was struck over the head by the servant
The second swordsman was called to the house, walked through the door and blocked the stick and knocked the servant down.
The third swordsman was called to the house and told the servant to come out from behind the door.
The servant asked the Shogun which of the swordsmen he had decided on.
The Shogun said “I chose the swordsman who told you to come out from behind the door”.

Go warriors!

September 11

The Mission Rotary club has its breakfast meeting at the double play restaurant and bar across from the site of the old Seals Stadium at 7 AM. The TV in the bar showed the planes flying into the World Trade Towers. It was surreal; I thought it was a movie

There was a planned trip to New York that I was resistant to. I don’t enjoy being strapped to a seat in tin can loaded with jet fuel for an extended period of time. Leonard Cohen canceled his scheduled concert  because of the terrorist attacks. Suddenly I felt compelled to fly to New York.

The cab dropped me off on Broad Street. I found a Puerto Rican diner that had good chicken soup and strong coffee with condensed milk. A friend gave me a ticket to see Cal Ripken’s last game at Yankee Stadium.

The subway stations were surrounded with sandbags, military jeeps, trucks and personnel carriers. There were soldiers guarding the entrance to the subways with automatic weapons, Flak jackets helmets and a nervous look on their faces. I decided that if they were nervous that I should be nervous. As I went down the stairs into the subway I began profiling every lone male with a backpack as a potential terrorist.

There had been a light rain and I brought an umbrella. It was confiscated when I entered the stadium. I went past the concessions without stopping and scurried quickly to my row and slid into my seat. It felt like I had stepped back in time and could envision Babe Ruth stepping onto the field.

A vendor came by selling beer. I asked for a Budweiser. He said with a bass in his voice “Budweiser, we don’t sell Budweiser here. You’re not from around here are you” The people in my section began to laugh. I was safe.

The next day I went to the tenement Museum and walk through the different neighborhoods. Vinny Vella showed me where the apartment that Martin Scorsese grew up in and I understood why Scorsese mastered shadows.

People had left flowers, reefs and candles at the fire houses. There were some fire houses that had lost whole crews. It changed my thoughts about the meaning of what is civil service. It changed my thoughts about life.

Kennedy’s pub in North Beach has 100 different beers including Budweiser. I heard a bird on a wire and left my Bud on the bar, walked into the foggy night and remembered what it was like to be a Yankees fan for a day.

This morning I walked outside and I thought about how on September 11 so many people gave their lives to save life.

I won’t forget.

New York's Finest

New York’s Finest

The New York's Finest

The New York’s Finest ( Broom Street)

Engine 55

Engine 55

New York's Finest Are Remembered

New York’s Finest
 Remembered

 

Regarding the designated hitter:

The American League believes in the Black Swan Theory. If they can hit then they can’t pitch. If they can pitch then they can’t hit.

The Giants have a Black Swan at McCovey Cove:

Madison Bumbgarner 2015 (17-7) ERA 3.05; 5 HR; 9 RBI AVG 258

 

Note:

Babe Ruth was an American League pitcher who could hit.

Babe Ruth 1915 (18 – 8) ERA 2.44; 4 HR; 21 RBI AVG 315

In 1915 the American League did not have a designated hitter

Aristotle; Seneca & Anger; War & Athletic Competition

Seneca knew the negative consequences of anger on both the social and individual level. He encouraged restraining from anger because it can clutter a persons judgment and impair interpersonal effectiveness.
Seneca believed that anger should be avoided in war and athletic competition because of its capacity to distract a person from developing and following strategies to succeed.
The Romans belief regarding anger is reflected in the movie “Godfather” when Don Corleone gives advice to his son. “Never hate your enemies it clouds your judgment”

Seneca may have been referring to impulsive behavior driven by anger

Aristotle acknowledged the possible destructive nature of anger but believed that when it was controlled and not too strong it can result in energy and commitment to help one overcome obstacles. Aristotle would have presented the case Nelson Mandela as an individual who managed his anger and overcame obstacles.
Its unfortunate Aristotle and Seneca did not have an opportunity to watch the playoffs. It would’ve been a spirited discussion.

Game 4
Socrates:
“Klay Thompson made those shots because he was motivated by anger when his comrade (Steph Curry) had been injured in the midst of battle”
Seneca:
“Klay Thompson was assigned a new task after Steph Curry was injured.”” He maintained his composure during a crisis and completed the task that was asked of him”. “It was a true test of character.”

Athletic Competition:
It’s been said that no one can beat James LeBron one-on-one and that it will take a team to stop him. James LeBron is coming to East Oakland to take on the Warriors. When a Warrior moves they all move.
Warriors first shot at the championship in 40 years. This event you cannot put a price on.

Note: Dwight Howard’s skills are better suited for roller Derby

Warriors need a new coach

The Warriors fired Mark Jackson for philosophical differences and need a new coach. Willie Brown the politician wrote in his Column “Willies World” that the Warriors need a coach who is a glamorous salesman and can drink martinis with corporate clients if they want to move to San Francisco and charge more for tickets.

The warriors play well as a team and none of the warriors were arrested for Battery, weapons violations or sexual assault, and made it to the finals. They have character.

Three point shots are a big part of warrior’s offense and made the games exciting. Mark Jackson was a point guard. Steph Curry is the best point guard in the NBA. Is this a coincidence or does it have meaning?

The San Francisco Giants have won two world series with Bruce Bochy as manager. Bruce Bochy was a catcher. Buster Posey is the best catcher in the major leagues. Is it a coincidence or does it have meaning?

It could be a coincidence. However it could mean that a player learns more from a coach that they can identify with. Empirical research has demonstrated that students learn more from a teacher they identify with.

If the Warriors want a glamorous salesman that can drink martinis with the corporate clients they should hire Willie Brown.

If the Warriors believe in evidence based research they should hire a competent coach that the players can identify with and has the soft skill to keep the Warriors playing cohesive group. It would be smart to hire someone who will not offend the front office or scare away corporate clients in this market. The Warriors should also have Steph Curry or another player on the hiring committee.

 Note: Giants outfielder Hunter Pence has good work ethic and played in all 162 games during the 2013 season. It is rumored that he is drinking Kale Smoothies to enhance his performance. It would not hurt the Warriors to ask the Giants what they are drinking.

Giants Opening Game. Win or lose

Tuesday is opening day for the San Francisco Giants. The Poppies have bloomed and painted the hills orange. I heard “Kerry Town” on the radio. The Seagulls will return. They never miss a game. Spring brings new life. Each game brings new hope.

Baseball is played on a level playing field, in plain sight under the open sky. It is played until a there is a winner and there is no time limit. The game is complex enough that no game is the same and there is always a chance you will see something you have never seen before. Baseball is a sport that your name does not matter. It does not matter what you look like, your nationality or who you know. Players are judged on merit. It is a game in which a player that is in a slump in April can be Mr. October. The Giants are a team that can win the World Series when the Media says they cannot.

Baseball does what some meditate, fast and travel to far away places for. With the crack of a bat time stands still. Life is extended. You are not thinking of the past or the future. All distractions are gone. The only thing that exists is the ball. It is a profound experience in being present in the moment.

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series in 2010 and 2012 and caused strangers to give the high five and each other hugs. The Giants contributions to community based organizations are generous. The organizations concern for Brian Stow was genuine. It is healthy entertainment for the Family. I am proud to be a fan of the San Francisco Giants. It is the only professional team that plays their home games in San Francisco.

The Giants play the game with integrity. Giants’ baseball provides respite from news reports about politicians and public figures that do not have integrity and rationalize their means by the end.

My attendance is not as good as Jonathan Livingston, however I will watch the SF Giants whether they win or lose and regardless of the “Torture”. Keep the game honest. Thank god for Baseball. Play Ball!

Note: The vineyards were yellow from the mustard plants and green from the rain. I suspect they are A,s Fans.

RE : Brian Wilson

Saturday Brian Wilson loaded the bases during the Giants ; Dodgers game by walking Pagan in the 8th inning before getting the final out. He may be wearing a Dodgers uniform,  but he still pitches like he did when he was a Giant.

Russia Sanctions the United States

Congressional Leader John A Boehner Congressional Leader; Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and Senator John McCain have found common ground. They will not be drinking Russian Vodka.

California should send some Napa Red Wine to help them weather the Russian Sanctions.

Does Senator Harry Reid drink?