Wednesday, March 2, 2011

All-Star Weekend and trying to stay fit!

All-Star weekend in LA can't get much more over the top - NBA hoopla in Hollywood! Except for the terrible weather I thought it was a good weekend for the NBA. The events and the game were pretty competitive and Darryl Dawkins did not disappoint. As always here is one of his outfits!

My favorite gig was the post game party with Bruno Mars. I knew he was good, but he is incredibly talented!

Now hanging out in LA, going to all the events, doing a couple NBA gigs and trying to do some business in between did not leave much time for fighting the battle: Staying fit and aging!

- both suck but I'm not sure which one it tougher to deal with. I have worked out my whole life. Its part of who I am, but the older I get the tougher it becomes. I understand I am not giving away any secrets here and am definitely not claiming to be an expert on the subject. There is probably a very good explanation for it from a biological/psychological perspective in one of the big health magazines, but how does that help?

After taking a few weeks off after a cycling accident the hardest thing for me is the mental side. Yes the body hurts and is not functioning like I would like it to, but the excuses not do anything pile up. Too much travel, the hotel does not have equipment big enough for me, running hurts my knee, its too dark and wet in the morning to ride my bike, too late and too much wine the night before and on and on.

Then when I do go to the club I see guys around my age still going hard I wonder if they are just tougher and/or better than me or just don't have 20 years of pro sports in their body (another excuse I realize).

Quitting is just not an option, because it would be like giving up on myself. Its probably a good idea to come up with a good plan to figure out how to manage time, place, travel and injuries, which will always happen.

Maybe having a work out partner or hiring a trainer would make sense but I have excuses for that too. I guess it all depends on what one wants to accomplish. I would like to stay healthy (hope it is not too late) ride in a few century rides, maybe play a little basketball once in a while and stay active for many more years!
I just need to suck it up and get tougher!

Any suggestions?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Music music music!

How can you say that you have lived if you have never experienced music on a deeper level. It does not matter what music you prefer – from alternative, punk, country western or R&B, etc - as long as it moves you and makes you feel something. I hope it is joy, but it may be pain!

The emotional influence of a tune/song can change our mood tremendously from a low to a high and vice versa:
- Listen to “I promise to love faithfully” can touch you deeply and bring back old memories or stir up new emotions.
- Stepping into a store and “.. is not my woman, she’s just a girl …” blaring through the speakers will make you tap your feet, bob your head and maybe even sing along almost unconsciously.
- Hearing “Whatever you want, whatever you need” will make you sing like every woman (or you wish).
- "You can tell by the way I use my walk I'm a woman's man no time for talk" may make you walk like John Travolta for a few steps. It would probably be a poor imitation and embarrassing, but it feels good!

It’s easy to forget when life gets too busy, but one night out on the town, a good work-out or a long drive can bring those emotions and memories back quickly. Music shaped my life and I should never forget that passion – I just wish I could sing!

Can you give me the artists for the songs?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Getting hit by a car or hitting a car?

I feel fortunate to be able to write this post after my crash yesterday. Pictures tell a million words but this one still doesn't tell the whole story, except that I got my behind kicked!

Saturday in the fall is football day and I was looking forward to watching the Huskies compete against Nebraska (that's another story). I went for a quick bike ride and was coming down a local hill (Juanita Hill) going about 30 mph. I pride myself riding with a keen sense of my surroundings, always looking for my bail out and expecting other people, especially automobile drivers, not to see me or understand the speed involved. Most likely it is misguided or just arrogant, because it sure did not help me yesterday.

As I am cruising down the hill, close to the right shoulder, I see a car in the opposite lane slowing down near the next intersection, but without signaling. I am staying right to give myself plenty of room, assuming the car might turn in front of me misjudging my speed. And it happens. The car slowly turns right into my lane. I am on a collision course unable to break in time on the wet roads. Therefore I head to the center of the road hoping to be able to go around the back of the car once it moves forward. But the one thing you can't plan for happens - the reaction of the driver. The lady finally sees me, freezes and stops the car in the middle of the lane. Bam! Nowhere to go I t-bone the car straight on.

I have heard and read stories about how people see their lives flash in front of them in a split second when encountering a possible life threatening situation. I did think that this was it or at least not turn out well, but maybe my senses are not developed enough to experience such enlightenment since all I could think was "I'm screwed". I remember hitting the car with my front wheel and rolling into the car. An impact on my side, spinning, my knee and shin hitting something and then the crash on the pavement. The air went out of my lungs and I might have said "stupid" but am not sure if it was directed at the driver of at myself for knowing better.

While catching my breath and trying to figure out how badly I was hurt the lady ask me if I was ok. Not at the top of my game or wit at the time I could only come up with a No. No cursing or sarcasm or at least a - what do you think? I just crashed into a car going 30 mph, broke a windshield and flipped over the car then hit the asphalt, which tore into my rear.

I managed to slowly get up and get myself to the side of the road since cars were squeezing though the gaps between the car and me and my bike. I guess all the folks were in a hurry to watch football or get to Starbucks!

Within 2 or 3 min a police officer, fire department and an A-car where there. They took good care of me and left after I assured them that I did not want to go to Evergreen Hospital and that I had a ride home. While waiting on my ride the police officer and I had to console the lady who hit me. She was really shook up and apologetic. Not the way you want to start the weekend!

Needless to say I did not make it to the Husky game, but spend quality time at Overlake Hospital getting my shoulder checked out and a few stitches in my shoulder and behind, where some of the glass decided to stick around.

I watched the game at home on the couch in agony - and not from the throbbing in my separated shoulder!

All in all I am very fortunate and I know God was watching over me, but I do not recommend flying to Indonesia the same day you get hit by a car. Good thing there are painkillers!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bye bye summer?

Our weather is changing and are we skipping the fall and going right into our raining season? I am not ready for that, but it does mean more time is spent inside sitting on our behinds. It certainly helps getting back to writing another blog!

The summer in the Northwest was wonderful as always, but on many fronts too short. Seattle on a warm day has got to be the most beautiful city in the world, but of course we complain that we did not get enough of those. We didn’t make it on a family vacation this year, but my wife and I played more golf than ever and our handicaps have gone down. Unfortunately now I have to give people strokes. :(

It was definitely time to get our youngest back to school for his senior year (scary where the time has gone). Almost 3 months of summer break is way too much I believe. How does a family keep the kids busy if both parents work? I remember getting 6 weeks when I was growing up in Germany.

Random thoughts on sports activities this summer:

World Cup fever.
Wow. I love the competition and the spirit of it - the national pride, the singing and dancing and all the colors of the flags and outfits. But I could have done without the vuvuzelas. The traditional atmosphere of soccer was destroyed with these noisemakers. The singing, chanting and general positive fan behavior of international soccer competition couldn't be seen or heard in this world cup. Please no more in future competitions!

One of the reasons soccer is not as huge in the US as everywhere else in the world is the constant flopping and acting of the players. I agree that sometimes you have to sell a call in order to get it and it happens in most sports, but I must say in soccer it has gone overboard. What are we trying to market to our society and our kids - faking and cheating will get you ahead (don’t the guys know that TV shows it all in slow motion)? Not sure how and if it carries over to everyday life, but if you see this kind of behavior succeed over and over again by superstars why not try it elsewhere?

Shouldn't there be consequences for acting like that? If you roll around like you have been shot you should not be allowed to run full speed 30 seconds later like nothing happened. Off to the sidelines for 5 min to get treatments from the trainer. Let's see how many times a coach wants to play a man short. Another thing that amazes me is that soccer players can't play every other day. Are you telling me that it is more demanding than the NBA and the play-offs or the Olympics, where the teams play 3 days in a row? How about the US Open tennis tournament? Players do back to back 5 hour matches! One sport where I believe players need a week between games is American football because they take a physical beating and need time to recuperate.

Getting pampered is nice but getting spoiled is a disservice to the game. There are lots of issues in all sports and the NBA has many, but soccer has taken it a little further as far as training, pampering and entitlement. Time to man up and play the game like it is supposed to be played.

NBA news:
LeBron signing with Miami – apparently a big issue to many fans, NBA legends and the media, but a surprise? Loyalties in pro sports went out the window a long time ago on both sides. Owners will trade a player in a heartbeat if they think they can improve their team and it does not matter if the player has done everything perfect on and off the court for that franchise. It is a billion dollar business and the bottom line matters! On the other end the player will take the deal, he thinks will be the best for him long term. Of course there are always exceptions such as Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, etc. who most likely will finish their careers playing for one team. It just does not happen very often anymore.

And just because Miami has a couple superstars they might still not be the top team – other guys need to defend, shoot and rebound too! It should be an interesting year coming up with collective bargaining and a possible lock-out looming next summer! I will have to spend some time looking at rosters soon, because after all the movement I don’t even know where guys are anymore – which is another issue with the league. It is hard for the fans to identify themselves with their team, since most teams have more turn-over than the local Starbucks.

The other disturbing news this summer were the frequent stories about ex-NBA players, who had made huge amounts of money ($100+) and are now bankrupt – Antoine Walker, Vin Baker, Scottie Pippen – just a few names out of a large group – statistics say that 65% of all NFL/NBA players are bankrupt within 3 years after their playing days. It is a shame, but a tough thing to correct. Peer pressure, culture, life style and education seem to be enormous issues to overcome.

Tiger news:
One thought to finish up with – Maybe a reason Tiger is struggling is that golf used to be the escape for him – hours on the course without interference away from managing family and a large database of women. Now that is the sole focus of his existence and when he does step out to date/meet somebody the whole world will know. :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A busy week plus Hollywood!

I have plenty of excuses why it has taken me so long to write another blog, but who wants to hear that? Excuse grammer and style, but this is quick!

March 8-14 was a pretty interesting week. On Monday I traveled late and arrived in Seattle just after midnight on a plane from Maui - don't feel sorry for me. That trip was all fun! I played golf 4 days in a row with a great group of business partners at some of my favorite courses: the Wailea courses and the King Kamehameha Golf Club.

Flying coach for 6 hours does take its toll on an old 6'10" body though and I was very happy that I had an aisle seat, baggage claim did not take long and the Masterpark shuttle was quick as always!

The next morning I left the office early to drive down to Portland where Coldstream hosted a forum for our clients and contacts with one of our strategic partners from the east coast - Strategas Research Partners. Dan Clifton did an amazing job sharing his thoughts and insight on the current happenings in our nation’s capital including policy changes the administration is proposing to deal with the deficit. It could not have been more timely with a vote on the health care reform coming up.

That night I stopped by the Portland Trailblazer vs. Sacramento Kings game to say hello to some friends. I talked to Coach Nate McMillen for a while and checked up on my Huskies Jon Brockman and Spencer Hawes! After driving home for 3 hours midnight was once again just around the corner.

The next day we hosted the same event with Strategas for our contacts up in the Seattle market and I left right after to pick up my wife to go to the airport. We made it in time to catch our flight to LA where I was going to be part of a TV show. It made it three nights in a row when my head hit the pillow at 12:30 AM.

A week prior our foundation was contacted by an agent to see if I had any interest to do a taping for Parks & Recreation, a pretty entertaining NBC mockumentary that looks at the exciting world of local government.

We would be able to get our foundation name and logo out there and all I had to do was play myself. Easier said than done, but our foundation board emphazised getting some incredible (and free) exposure we hope to capitalize on! Hey it's all for the kids!

We were supposed to film for 2 days, but the next morning I was informed that Thursday would only be "Wardrobe" day. We went in to meet the producers/directors and try on some clothes. I was under the impression that I would be wearing a suit, since the episode was about a telethon to which I was bringing a check. They decided on jeans and a polo shirt - comfy, but definitely not stylish.

Good news was that the free time allowed us to go to the PAC 10 basketball tournament and watch UCLA play and later on the UW Huskies. UCLA finished their season much better than they started, but definitely had a down year. The Dawgs on the other hand are peaking and have a chance to make it to Indy!

Friday was the day of work. I got up to get to the studio at 8 AM for wardrobe and make-up (my wife caught a flight to Cabo for a girls' trip). We then took a van to a nightclub in Hollywood where some parts of the show were filmed. We spent a few hours there and the rest was filmed in the studio. I was partnered with Aziz Ansari for most of the day and we had some funny moments.

I had done some commercials (all sports related) and some PSA's over the years, but never a TV show, and a comedy on top of it. We had a script, but hardly anybody followed it. There was a lot of downtime, sitting around and waiting on the next set-up. People occupied themselves with a laptop, texting or tweeting. A very interesting environment, but everyone was extremely nice and funny!

Be kind when you do see the episode since I am a hack and since Aziz was acting up in that segment I was told to act bored and annoyed most of the time. My wife said that shouldn't be tough for me - was that meant as a compliment?

Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones were very friendly, but we had only one scene together. We talked a little bit and I hope to get them out to our fundraiser this year (reminder to check with Doug - production manager!). They occupied themselves during set-up changes by talking to each other and being funny. To be an extras on a set is a whole other thing. They must hang all day for just a chance to get into a shot. They sit around and some of them get to be right in the middle of the action while others never make it even close to the camera. I was told by a few of them that they do it 3 days a week! Wonder how much they make?

After a 14 hour day all I wanted to do is go back to the hotel and crash. I flew home Saturday morning and went to the Seattle Dancing with the Stars fundraiser that night, where our good friend Steve Goldfarb competed to raise money for the Plymouth Homeless Shelter. It turned out to be a well attended and fun event with some of our Seattle amateurs paired up with the pros! After a quick stop at Dick’s Hamburgers I arrived home again close to that witching hour!

To finish the week I got up at 6:30 AM (with the time change) to go downtown Seattle to attend the St. Patty’s Day Dash! Our foundation was the beneficiary of the run - 15,000 people ran, jogged, walked and crawled the 4 mile loop on a beautiful morning to end up in our beer tend where I poured beer for 2 hours. My first run in a couple weeks was not very successful. I made it half-way before I pulled my calf (again). Not fun getting old and out of shape, but it allowed me to walk back and take a few pictures!

As you may have guessed I went home afterwards and crashed on the couch for the rest of the day!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

All-Star Blog

Wow - another All-Star weekend in the books! I must say that even through it can be a very busy and restless 4 days it is never boring. And of course it’s always good to catch up with friends and old teammates.

My trip to Dallas started out with uncertainty. Our flight left Seattle early Thursday morning with the knowledge that many flights were canceled going into DFW, because it was snowing with a forecast of 9" of snow for that day - the most in over 40 years. Do you believe in Climate Change?

Our flight was one of the few that made it in and I arrive in time to go to Jam Session and the Legends Shoot-Out. After signing autographs for a while AC Green, Bruce Bowen, Mitch Richmond and I competed in a Legends shoot-out (that makes me feel old). I felt much older after only making 3 out of 12 NBA 3 pointers, but then again I had lots of excuses: I had not shot 3's in a while, the balls were slick and I had to pee. :) Fun time joking around with AC and talking about the jerry curl he used to have. I remember I had a roommate in college with a curl and I made him put a towel on the back of the sofa.

The plan that night was to attend at least one of the many parties and we went on to Magic and Zo’s billiard party to support the relief effort in Haiti. Over 2000 people showed up – and all the celebs were out to play. The music was so loud my ears were ringing for 2 days!

The next day I helped build a playground at an elementary school (not much work in 1 h, but the actually work crew did a fantastic job and most of the work), met with about hosting their German website, went to the NBA Partner Reception and on to the FedEx dinner (a group I have gotten to know well over the years). Afterwards I stopped by the TNT All Star Reception and had planned on going to Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry’s party. At that point it was already late and I was not very excited to head out to an airport hangar in the snow.

All-Star Saturday was spent at the NBA Africa reception and then at the evening festivities at American Airlines Arena. Steve Nash surprised everyone in the Skills Challenge again that a 35 year old can still rule just by having fun and playing with enthusiasm (duh – trying to be cool in a competition usually does not win it). The 3 Point Competition was close and competitive, but not very exciting and the Slam Dunk Contest was marginal to say the least. I believe people still had a great time because the atmosphere was very entertaining and American Airlines Arena is one of the best.

On Sunday morning I played a pick-up game with the International Media. About 20 guys showed up and we had two courts going for a little over an hour. Age and skill levels were all over the place and it made for some funny moments until a late 50 year old former player from Hungary got into it with a 35+ year old Canadian, who played hard, but would have been better at ice hockey ( I told him: “Son you’re playing hard, but you’re killing us!”). I had to separate the 2 teams and tell the guys that we are playing for fun and beers and not the MVP trophy.

Right after I rushed to the Legends Brunch where I was very honored to be able to present Sam Perkins with a Community Service Award. The event was attended by over 1000 people and well done.

Following the brunch I was a last minute substitute for the NBA 80’s Round Table with Bill Walton, Kevin McHale, Daryl Dawkins and Michael Ray Richardson. I felt a little out of place because even though I played against all of them it was at the tail end of their careers. Some funny stories were told and you can check it out on NBA TV. Of course I have a couple more Daryl Dawkins suits for you:

Getting to the All-Star game that evening only took us a little over an hour compared to some people who spend 2+ hours in traffic. 108,000 people attended - Guinness Book world record! It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience. The game was as All-Star games go, but at least it was close at the end. Steve Nash tried his best to get his buddy Dirk Nowitzki the MVP trophy, but the unbelievable athletic and showmanship talents of Dwayne Wade and LeBron James overshadowed his great shooting. The half time show might have been the highlight of the evening with Beyonce and ? rocking the stage and a 100” screen showing close ups of Beyonce’s skimpy outfit and behind. I felt like I was a fly on the wall of a small dressing room. I watched people looking at the screens mesmerized and maybe drooling a little.

Getting home from the game was no joke and then at 1 AM knowing I had to get up early I called it a night. With all the NBA activities and scheduling quite a few meetings in-between with agents, players, adidas and the NBA the 4 days went by quickly. I hope to be able to get some rest the next couple days. I know from experience that the players attending All-Star can’t re-charge their batteries for the second half of the season like they wish they could. Too many events and way too many parties. Almost every player has one plus Magic and Zo, Michael Jordan, the NBA and Player’s Association and a few of the rappers.

Like they say: NBA – it’s fantastic!

See you next year in LA LA land!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Eve Party song list

It only took 2 long evenings and about $50 spend on i-tunes for songs I could not find. Here is our song list for the 80's party we will be attending tonight. Starting with some slower jams and working up to the hits that will make you sweat! (Some changes will still be made)
Party on!