Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Short Update

Nation is done. One day of work left. SoCal tomorrow night. Foursquare check-in from Cowschwitz coming tomorrow night.

Friday, December 17, 2010

FF Playoff Update - Round 2

And we continue in the semis. And since I know you guys love it, here's some more Jim Mora.

1. Hoya Paranoia
5. Bitzy's Bashers

2. CotonHeadedNinyMugin
3. Probation Nation

Brady (vs. Packers)

Johnson (@ Titans)
Fitzgerald (@ Panthers)
Branch (vs. Packers)

Rice (vs. Saints)
McCoy (@ Giants)
Moreno (@ Raiders)

Pettigrew (@ Bucs)

Bryant (@ Seahawks)

Pittsburgh (vs. Jets)

Game Notes:
  • Coincidentally neither team has any starter playing on a day other than Sunday. Thursday and Monday night games will have no impact on the outcome this week.
  • The NinyMugins lost out on more than 55 points, as Philip Rivers and Vincent Jackson absolutely torched the 49ers Thursday night, combining for three TD passes.
  • Pittsburgh's defense will be without its best player (and former Trojan), Troy Polamalu--a fact that will be mitigated only by the fact that it's opponent is (former Trojan), Mark Sanchez, who has developed a bad habit of throwing the ball to the wrong team over the last couple weeks.
  • Upon further review, NinyMugin receiver DeSean Jackson is still a huge douche.
  • Speaking of douches, Titans CB Cortland Finnegan may get his ass kicked (again) by Nation receiver Andre Johnson resulting in both players getting ejected (again). Just get your numbers first, Dre.
  • This is the second round of the playoffs. You kiddin me?!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Interesting - Testing a new Feature

Or it's mean, it's fantastic and it's the entire basis of this blog...

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T <--fancy

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fantasy Football Update - Playoffs

It's playoff time for the Engage PR fantasy football season, and as of this writing, Probation Nation is down by 27.26 to the Meanie Mathenys, courtesy of Peyton Manning and the fact that the Tennessee Titans are a dumpster fire. The Nation entered the playoffs as the #3 seed, narrowly missing out to the first week bye. Coincidentally, three of the newest Engage employees are leading the standings. The a good captain, she went down with her 1-12 ship.

Seedings are as follows:

1. Hoya Paranoia - Molly Reynolds
2. CotonHeadedNinyMugin - Courtney Pecora Courtney Pecora's boyfriend

3. Probation Nation - me
6. Meanie Mathenys - Neila Matheny

4. Shake'n'Bake - Suzanne Panoplos
5. Bitzy's Bashers - Jeannette Bitz

So, here you go. In the quarterfinals of the EPR playoffs up against a tough team, with which the Nation split this year, the lineup is:

Brady (vs. Bears)

Johnson (vs. Ravens)
Fitzgerald (vs. Broncos)
Driver (vs. Lions)

Rice (vs. Texans)
McCoy (vs. Cowboys)
Moreno (vs. Cardinals)

Pettigrew (vs. Packers)

Bryant (vs. Panthers)

Pittsburgh (vs. Bengals)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Article of the Day - About a man of the decades

It's been a while since I've sat down and written here on the DL, and to all two or three of my readers, I apologize profusely. But something happened today that has prompted me to sit down and hit the keyboard.

Los Angeles is a giant city, full of douchebags giant egos that are euphemistically known as "big personalities," but unfortunately, it often seems that behind the personality there is little character.

That could not be further removed from what we're talking about here.

(When you're on the masthead of the LA Times homepage, and it links to a post about how you were pretty much universally revered, you're a legit big deal.)

Joe Cerrell will be remembered by the world for his contributions to politics, PR, the city of Los Angeles, the state of California, etc. His accomplishments are well-documented, as is the fact that he was one of the most genuine and likable people you could ever hope to meet.

He will be remembered by me as the man who not only gave me my start in PR but was a shining example of what all young professionals should aspire to be.

While I'm sure the facts that he was a huge baseball fan and the most loyal of Trojans didn't hurt, in the spring of 2005, he took a chance on a young and rudderless undergraduate PR major/student athlete, who was desperate for an internship to finish out his final semester.

Oh yeah, it was also baseball season. Judging by the fact that I had an awful time finding an internship that spring, not too many employers were willing to take on a candidate with the extremely restrictive schedule that I was facing. He had no such qualms.

When it became clear over the course of my internship that public affairs was not what I was going to end up doing with my PR degree and, therefore, I was not a prospect for a full time position, he counseled me on building my network and navigating the job market.

When my internship was long over, and I was firmly entrenched in misery at my job at Crespi, he wrote me a persona, hand-written note and invited me to the Cerrell Associates holiday party, where he greeted me as though I was still one of his own.

I could go on all night, but that's just how this man was, and I'm sure he never even gave it a second thought. He was a shining example of how to be a well rounded individual: an outstanding professional, an outstanding family man and an outstanding mentor and friend.

No, we definitely didn't lose a big personality today. We lost a true giant. Rest in peace, Joe. Everything I am as a professional, I owe to you. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

Joe Cerrell, political consultant to the likes of John F. Kennedy and Jerry Brown, dies at 75

Joe Cerrell, a legendary political consultant and consummate schmoozer whose unrelenting but principled style won respect from allies and opponents, died Friday of complications related to pneumonia at St. John's Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo. He was 75.

Cerrell’s list of clients and friendships read like a who’s who of politics from the 1950s forward — John F. Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, Al Gore, Dianne Feinstein, Willie Brown, Jesse Unruh and both Pat Brown and his son, Gov.-elect Jerry Brown. Instrumental to the careers of numerous politicians, he counted their triumphs among his greatest pleasures and their setbacks among his greatest disappointments.

"Joe Cerrell was a great personal friend and one of the pioneering political consultants in California and the U.S.,” Gore said. “Throughout his life, he was also a great champion of progressive political causes. He advised presidents, candidates for many offices at the national, state and local level, and used his skills and knowledge to help average Americans through times of triumph and trouble.”

In a recent video tribute to Cerrell, Jerry Brown said Cerrell “was around before even the term political consultant was invented.” He added: “When I first thought of running for office for the junior college board of Los Angeles at the end of 1968, he was the first person I spoke with.” With Cerrell’s help, recalled Brown, he finished "first among 124 candidates" for the community college board. (more)

Friday, November 19, 2010


...this time next week! Family time, over-the-line tourney, trip back to the scene of the college shenanigans, reunions with needs to be Thursday NOW!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fantasy Football Update - Week Whatever

I've been bad about updating this, but Probation Nation is 4-2 and awaiting the outcome of Monday Night Football to see if it will be able to escape with a win against a struggling team. If history is any indication, PN will be 4-3 with all three losses coming to the bottom third of the EPR standings.

Ray Rice, my first rounder, has been an absolute abortion this season. He's too good and has too many tools not to break out of it eventually...right? He's been the third best back on my team. Unacceptable. I was projected to get about a 104 points out of my team this week. I didn't even break 70. If not for Knowshon Moreno's garbage touchdowns in a route at the hands of the Raiders (yes...the RAIDERS), my team wouldn't even have broken 50.

I think the most frustrating thing about FF is that I'm used to coaching. You can tweak and make adjustments along the way. Here, you set your lineup and hope for the best. It's complete and utter powerlessness. But I guess you do have control over some drafting Ray Rice.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Loving the game, working hard, getting better - the right way

The three basic tenets of the Navigators fall baseball program are:
  • Love the game
  • Work hard
  • Get better
Loving the game is self-explanatory. If you don't love it, you don't want anything to do with it. It is a game that will kick your ass and render your love unrequited at times, but in the end, it's your love that keeps drawing you in. When you love the game and are around others who do as well, that's when your team and your program become special. Then (and ONLY then) do guys put their egos on the shelf and work hard to improve as a unit. Speaking of working hard...

Working hard is necessary--also because of the "failure" driven nature of this game. As in life, it's easy to show up at the yard and crank it up when things are going well. But when the most successful players in this game are unsuccessful seven out of 10 times, "going well" is an extremely relative phrase. No one is successful all the time. Anyone who thinks he is, is lying to himself, to his team and to the game that we love. The best among us simply have a plan and work toward executing it. Nothing goes smoothly all the time, but when you are continuously working toward that overarching common goal and going about your business the right way (more on that in a second), you never really fail. Only when you put yourself ahead of the team and that common goal are you a failure (and an epic one at that).

Getting better at this game is difficult. The only thing more difficult is being able to help others get better at it. All of us who coach played at some level and, for whatever reason, had to stop playing. We all have our own little pet causes, sets of neuroses and internal demons that were developed over the course of our respective careers. The biggest challenge we face is not to project all of those onto all of our players or let them impact the common goal.

In the case of the Navigators, our common goal is to get better before the spring season. Since baseball is a mental game, that means we need to teach our players to think through certain situations. In order to do that, we need to let them think. Otherwise, they are mindless drones who have no ability to find their way through the situations in which they find themselves during the games.

I realize that I may be a tad unorthodox on this particular point, but I invite my players to question everything (within reason). I demand that it's done correctly--my equivalent to the Navigators' three tenets was "In baseball, as in life, there are two ways to do things: the right way and the wrong way. We will do things the right way."--but I want them to think through everything they do. Their actions need to have a purpose, and the onus falls on me, the coach, to teach them that purpose. The only way to do that is to empower them to think on their own.

While I wasn't directly responsible for any of these fellas getting D1 scholarships, I was on a staff that has produced more than a dozen of them since I started coaching there, so I figure I've learned to do something right.

Matt Scioscia ('07) - Notre Dame

Carlos Lopez ('08) - Cal State Fullerton
Jeremy Rodriguez ('08) - Cal State Bakersfield
Sean Gilmartin ('08) - Florida State
Tyler Johnson ('08) - SUNY Stony Brook
Tony Goebel ('08) - SUNY Stony Brook
Ryan Hawthorne ('08) - Loyola Marymount

Sean McIntyre ('09) - Loyola Marymount
Zack Wiley ('09) - LeMoyne
Dylan Jones ('09) - Oregon

Austin Walker ('10) - UC Irvine
Kevin Williams ('10) - UCLA
Michael Hubbard ('10) - SUNY Stony Brook
Josh Mason ('10) - SUNY Stony Brook
Ryon Healy ('10) - Oregon

There are a couple more guys who made D1 rosters:

John Kearns ('10) - Holy Cross
Ryan Brockett ('10) - St. Mary's

Yeah...I have coached at the high school level, and I've had some success doing it. I guess I know what I'm talking about.

It's a privilege to be able to be involved in this game--not a right. Ask the guys at Cal what it means to them. (That's another topic that pisses me off that I'll rant on another day.)

The Navs can achieve our goal of making the Pilots good, but some addition by subtraction is necessary first.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

EPR Fantasy Football - Week 2

So I forgot to post a recap of week one, but Probation Nation took an L (despite a 103+ point output). Bummer.

However, this week, things are looking a little better. Forgot to post my lineup when I set it, but here it is.







Things I've learned since last week:
- Projections are BS
- The Raiders defense sucks and had NO ANSWER for Chris Johnson
- Life sucks when you are the only dude in the office, and you lose week one of FF
- Life will be infinitely better tomorrow unless Frank Gore goes all Arian Foster on the Saints defense (which I don't see happening) on Monday Night Football.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

EPR Fantasy Football - Week 1

With games starting tomorrow evening, the time came for me to set the lineup for Probation Nation, my first venture into the strange world that is fantasy football. Yes, as Benson noted, hell has indeed frozen over. Here's my lineup.

Tom Brady

Andre Johnson
Larry Fitzgerald
Donald Driver

Ray Rice
LeSean McCoy
Jerome Harrison

Visanthe Shiancoe

Adam Vinatieri


Yahoo has me projected to drop 97.5 points on my opponent...and lose. This is all very mysterious to me, as I have no idea where the projections come from (or even how the points are calculated), but since it is something that is going on in the office, it's going to be chronicled in the blog. Game one tomorrow night. Let's hope the Saints D gets torched and Shiancoe has like 5 TD receptions.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Summarizing my career

Now that I am a month into my new job at Engage PR, and I have taken on new accounts and new challenges, it seems like an appropriate time to look back on my career thus far. In doing so, I realize that it can be summed up in one phrase: Hating on Cisco.

Cisco Systems is a giant vendor of technology equipment. We've all seen their lies commercials on TV welcoming us to the human network. However, I have learned over the course of my career that, like many giants, this one isn't particularly agile, and the human network works a lot better with other vendors' equipment.

Every non-wireless network vendor with which I have worked, kicks the crap out of competes with Cisco. Their solutions are better. Cisco just got there first and has the most market share. They're like the wired network equivalent of the iPhone. People think it's great. Once upon a time, it was the best solution available, but now it's been surpassed by other products and lives on name recognition and reputation only.

I am currently out of the enterprise data center game (sad face...I miss it), but I'm hoping that my absence doesn't last too long. Fulcrum was the only client I had my entire time at DJA, and I want to get back into the areas where they play. It's been far too long since I've had an opportunity to tee off on Cisco and get paid for it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

One year ago today...

It's hard to believe that it has been a full year that my grandpa's been gone, but as of today, it has. All who had the pleasure of knowing this great man, knew a man of strong principles and values who was also a kind-hearted and personable jokester.

I went into a lengthy description this time last year (and you can read that entire piece here if you'd like), but much of how we live our lives comes down to the simple dichotomy of right or wrong.

This great man was a shining example of what is right, and the values and principles I learned from him will continue to carry me through the rest of my life. For that, I am forever grateful.

Rest in peace, grandpa. You are forever remembered.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I'm on a train!

So it's not quite up to par with being on a boat, but in the ongoing process of acclimating myself to living in the bay area, I feel as though I have pretty much mastered BART. Thanks, in no small part to @BARTAdventures, my weekend included a couple trips to the city. After work Thursday night, I caught my train at Fruitvale and ducked off at Montgomery to meet up with her for drinks. After a minor detour (because I'm a moron and went the wrong way), I strolled up to the Irish Bank and had a couple black and tans.

About the time I was finishing drink #2, @kellymatney dropped me a text to let me know she was done with dinner and heading out to meet us. Jackie made the call that we would hit up Katana-Ya for some ramen and Sapporo. Kelly joined us, and after some issues with chopsticks, napkins and a couple appearances from the awkward turtle, we walked Kelly back to her hotel, Jackie to her bus stop, and I hit Powell Street to head home.

Friday at work sucked.

I should have taken a nap before Friday night, but c'est la vie. After an awkwardness-driven dinner excursion with a motley cast of characters that left Kendall and I shaking our heads on more than one occasion, we headed for the city to meet Kelly. This time, we hit up the Thirsty Bear and Kate O'Briens. Other than a creeptastic urban cowboy-looking individual standing at the corner of 1st and Howard, that was uneventful.

Kelly BARTed it over to the east bay today, and we took a quick tour through Alameda before I took her down to silicon valley to @donnamatney's. It was great to see someone from the home half of the state--even if she was up here for a conference. More visitors coming in next weekend...not even sure who all is going to make it. Good thing I have lots of space!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Chinese food (so you know what that means...)

With two weeks of work in the books, my first paycheck in my [landlord's] pocket and some laundry going, it's time to finally get to the blog post about lunch with Kendall (who spends her free time doing fun things like this and this) last Thursday. We met for Chinese food, so of course, it's time for another installment of...ridiculous things said in fortune cookies!

You will be awarded some great honor.
To be fair, I think Kendall should have gotten this one, since she is being "awarded" the "great honor" of her first tag in a DL post. However, it was I who opened up this cookie. I'm being placed on a new account this week, which I guess, is something like being awarded a great honor. Third week, third account...complete with a road trip to Santa Clara pending. Gotta love that. "Some" is a fun choice of word, but in the overall scheme of fortunes, I suppose this is not such a bad one. Not a whole lot I can do with this. Kendall's, however...

Your good listening skills will open many doors.
To be fair, Kendall is a great listener. I am as well. The issue becomes retention...specifically, selective retention. We'll listen (to you, to each other, etc.), there is just often going to be a disconnect on what parts we retain. It may be a picky distinction, but it's not selective hearing. It's selective retention and processing. A lot of people have the issue of thinking what they say is really important and that all people everywhere should care. Sometimes, they are right. Most of the time, they are not.

I would like to delve further into this topic (and will at some point), but I am off to watch the Doyers get swept (hopefully).

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

So, as I promised...

Here is some more info on the new location. Alameda is a city (in Alameda County) that is basically two distinct areas. One is an island (ZIP code 94501), and one is adjacent to Oakland (ZIP code 91502). I live in 01 and work in 02...and can hear planes fly by my office regularly. I think almost all of you are friends with me on Facebook, so you can get to the complete album there, but for those of you who aren't for some reason, here are the photos.

Welcome to Benton Street. As you notice, trees are big here in Alameda.

Really big. And in driveways. (Yes, I really do have to slalom around it at least twice every day.)

Come in the door and up the stairs and take a look at the USC baseball schedule posters.

To the left, you will see a hallway that leads to, among other places, my room. Lined with baseball pictures ('06 Crespi freshmen, '04 USC in Cuba, '04 Duluth Huskies)

Nothing fancy here. Bed, nightstand and dresser. That's it.

Here is the futon in the guest room. You know you want to come visit now!

You can sleep under the Led Zeppelin poster!

Here is a closer look at said poster.

And here is what's across the room.

Got all the guitars (that remain outside the closet) in this pic.

And here is what is between my room and the guest is actually nice to the point of being incongruous with the rest of the apartment. As pops noted, legit ceramic tile.

Here's the living room. TV is now up and running, but I still need something to put it on.

Page may have gotten the spot above the futon in the guest room, but Hendrix gets the spot above the couch in the living room.

And I have a kitchen. Yes, that is a rice paddle you see to the left. Yes, I am that Asian.

So there you have it, kids. Come on up to NorCal and check into The DL Domain on know you want to! Bonus's my cubicle. Here's my "personalized" corner of my cubicle. Try not to be jealous!