Tag: mark derry
Sunday Night Lights. That’s what we’re talking about. It will be under typically dour-gray skies when the San Francisco 49ers travel north to clash with their new rivals, the Seattle Seahawks. The lights will come on for the National Football Conference championship. It’s a late afternoon game – 3:30 west coast start – built for prime time TV around the country and it has EPIC written all over it. As a longtime 49ers fan, you have to love it. There’s nothing better to stoke the fan fires than a bitter rivalry, and this new Hatfield-and-McCoys-worthy feud harkens back to the old days when the Los Angeles Rams were all things rotten. This blossoming match-up might even be better since the trash-yakking Seahawks are coached by “Pretty Boy” Pete Carroll who left USC just in time to duck under the trail of rules violations and NCAA sanctions. Former Stanford and now 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh doesn’t like Pete one bit, and that’s the thing he’ll have to overcome to win Sunday. Jim would like nothing better than to run it down Pete’s team’s throat – especially in the Red Zone. But he has to be smarter than that, he has to be creative offensively when it counts, he has to balance smash-mouth football with Bill Walsh genius and he has to pretend that squeaky Pete on the opposite sideline is just a lousy rendition of a Disney character.
Barbecuing a beef brisket – wonderful cuts available by the way at Rocca’s Market in San Martin – takes about 10-12 hours to do it right, so you’ve really got a lot invested in time and technique. That’s why I appreciated this line so much after smoking a brisket last weekend and then continuing to make what’s known as “burnt ends” – tasty chunks of beef bursting with flavor. Alton Brown, Food Network Star and author of multiple cookbooks, nailed it: “Bimetal coil thermometers are about as accurate as a sniper scope on a nerf gun.” So, if Dad likes to BBQ, a good instant read thermometer would be a great gift …
Late in the night, the cabbie summed it up on the ride back from the MGM Grand. “Mayweather, he just never gives a good fight, never …”
Claddagh unveiled a new menu Tuesday and our lovely waitress, under the watchful eye of hard-working owner Leslie Benson, pitched a mound of “Ultimate Fries” to our weary group. The verdict: “killer.” Healthy? No – but more than a wee bit tasty. Mixture of ranch and blue cheese dressing, Frank’s hot sauce, a few other “secret” ingredients and bits of crispy bacon. Messing with the menu never tasted so good. A tip of the green Claddagh cap in order …
So, spring Passport Weekend for our wonderful, visitor attracting wineries is a comin’ fast on March 23 and 24 and a spat has broken out. Hopefully, Sycamore Creek will change direction and participate in the weekend and, hopefully, the winery owners will get together to seek solutions to the challenges of parking and rowdy wine drinkers who overindulge. Toward that end, perhaps the winery owners could consider hiring shuttle buses – a few for the Gilroy area and a few, likewise, for Morgan Hil. The buses could ferry passengers on a loop route between wineries during the weekend. A main parking lot would have to be identified and promoted – Dhruv Khanna’s paved soccer field parking lot at Kirigin Cellars could work, for example – and that could minimize some of the challenges. If the winery owners are smart, they’ll do what they can to solve the problems themselves and collectively keep intact the momentum of Passport Weekend and the growing reputation for fun events, good wine and hospitable staffs that the area wineries have built.
Henry Servin is Gilroy’s new city transportation engineer, and he’s out there “Servin” the public already. I don’t know the gentleman yet, but intend to have a reporter give him a traffic buzz soon. Had to give a fist pump at my desk when I read that he said taking a look at syncing traffic lights at Sunrise Drive, West Day Road and East Day Road along Santa Teresa Boulevard might help with traffic flow around Christopher High at peak times. Hallelujah! Servin says it takes time to coordinate with the Valley Transportation Authority, but it’s clear that “Servin” the public is about listening, driving about town, making keen observations and working through the process to a good end. Henry seems to get it.
More than a decade ago, as the dawn of the information age turned into mid-morning, our industry hemmed and hawed: Should we charge customers to read the news online? Pros and cons were tossed about like sports cliches in post-game interviews. And, as an industry, we took it “one game at a time” which turned into “one year at a time” which, in my view, turned into a decade of madness.
It’s next to me, the textured binding is tattered, the stamped, indented cover title “Willie” on the orange background has scribbled black crayon on it courtesy of my younger brother – boy I was mad about that at the time. But now, it’s just added to the history. Inside the jacket cover in my mother’s practically perfect in every way handwriting are my name, 5 Maple Ave. and phone, 325-9211. The book came to me as a birthday or Christmas present in 1966. It’s a first edition, and through the care of my mother who boxed it when I flew from the nest for college and beyond, it survived.
It’s a long drive to Corvallis, OR – 10 hours – so there’s plenty of time to listen to tunes, chat with your daughter, check out the latest scenery and just think.
News flash: The Italian tomatoes are in – at long last – at LJB Farms on Fitzgerald just north of town off Santa Teresa. If you haven’t been, go. The tasty variety bursts with local, fresh flavor. A good piece of bread, a little mayonnaise, salt and pepper and sliced LJB Italian tomatoes on top. Now that’s good eatin’. Also, fabulous drizzled with Jeff Martin’s locally produced Frantoio Grove olive oil. It’s a treat to buy local and support the Bonino Family farm. Louie, the patriarch and sons Russ and Brent are hard-working guys who are always around, hopping off tractors and doing whatever it takes to keep the agriculture operation running. Mother, Judy, is like the farm office foreman and she always has a smile for customers and hires great kids to help out. It’s an American family farm operation that grows the sweetest corn around and it’s right in our backyard.