Twilight of a Dynasty: The Giants Approach That Good Night, by Chuck Strom

Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

–Dylan Thomas

The San Francisco Giants’ even-year championship dynasty is coming to an end. It may seem premature to write their epitaph with two weeks left in . . . → Read More: Twilight of a Dynasty: The Giants Approach That Good Night, by Chuck Strom

At Least They Won’t Go 0-16: Chip Kelly’s San Francisco 49ers Begin Their Season With A Win, by Chuck Strom

For those who may have missed it, the San Francisco 49ers beat the Los Angeles Rams 28-0 last Monday night. This was good news for their new coach, Chip Kelly, but the general media consensus suggests that the score reflected the putridness of the Rams more than a Niners resurgence. This article on . . . → Read More: At Least They Won’t Go 0-16: Chip Kelly’s San Francisco 49ers Begin Their Season With A Win, by Chuck Strom

Gaylord Perry Takes His Place in the AT&T Pantheon, and other Giants Notes, by Chuck Strom

Gaylord Perry Statue

Last Sunday, I paid a visit to the new statue at AT&T Park: Gaylord Perry, who spent the first decade of his career in a San Francisco uniform alongside Juan Marichal as a mainstay of the Giants pitching staff during the 1960s. Perry’s most famous pitch was a spitball, which he . . . → Read More: Gaylord Perry Takes His Place in the AT&T Pantheon, and other Giants Notes, by Chuck Strom

A New Theme Song for Fox News: Fountains of Wayne’s “Traffic and Weather,” by Chuck Strom

In light of the recent stories about Roger Ailes and what appears to be the locker-room culture at Fox News, this would be an appropriate musical theme for their broadcasts: Fountains of Wayne’s, “Traffic and Weather”.

“We belong together, like traffic and weather . . . “

Dear Sugar Was Here In Portland, Speaking Straight Into Our Ears, by Chuck Strom

Cheryl Strayed, Sarah Hepola and Steve Almond

Cheryl Strayed, whose memoir, Wild, became a successful movie with Reese Witherspoon, is a good storyteller whose online talks and Q&As never contain a dull moment. It was during one of my searches for her talks that I learned that she had resurrected her advice column, Dear . . . → Read More: Dear Sugar Was Here In Portland, Speaking Straight Into Our Ears, by Chuck Strom

Just Next Door to Portland – The Willamette Valley Wine Country, by Chuck Strom

Oregon’s Willamette Valley has some of the best wine country on Earth, especially if you’re into the Pinot Noir variety that Rex Pickett made famous with his novels Sideways and Vertical, the latter of which is set in Oregon. For those who live in Portland or are just visiting, most of the wineries are . . . → Read More: Just Next Door to Portland – The Willamette Valley Wine Country, by Chuck Strom

Your Newest Member of the Golden State Warriors: Kevin Durant, by Chuck Strom

This news may only be important to the truly NBA-obsessive, but for those who haven’t heard, Kevin Durant has left the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors. From Durant’s standpoint, the reasons are obvious. He believes that he has gone as far as he could with the Thunder and sees the . . . → Read More: Your Newest Member of the Golden State Warriors: Kevin Durant, by Chuck Strom

Garrison Keillor To Depart A Prairie Home Companion, by Chuck Strom

Just heard about Garrison Keillor’s recent retirement from A Prairie Home Companion. He actually did so as well back in 1987, but over the next several years he gave in, bit by bit, to his audience’s demands until the show returned in its full reincarnation in 1994. Now that he is 72 years old, . . . → Read More: Garrison Keillor To Depart A Prairie Home Companion, by Chuck Strom

God Doesn’t Hate Cleveland Any More, Chuck Strom

Much as the Golden State Warriors’ loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA finals has been described as a collapse, Game 7 was anything but. It was biting, scratching and kicking warfare for a full 48 minutes. Such games always come down to someone making a big play at the end, and . . . → Read More: God Doesn’t Hate Cleveland Any More, Chuck Strom

Johnny Cueto and the Giants are Rolling Right Along, by Chuck Strom

Johnny Cueto, whom the San Francisco Giants acquired last winter, is the hands-down best free-agent signing thus far in 2016. Yesterday, he won his tenth game and reduced his season ERA to 2.10, which would actually be about half that total if you subtracted the five-run innings he suffered on two occasions in April . . . → Read More: Johnny Cueto and the Giants are Rolling Right Along, by Chuck Strom

Margaret Glaspy on Fresh Air, by Chuck Strom

Today’s NPR Fresh Air show features a review of a debut album by Margaret Glaspy, who grew up in Red Bluff, CA. I once was treated to a private concert with some friends at her mother’s house, where she sang country tunes and Great American Songbook standards, with a banjo accompanist who did . . . → Read More: Margaret Glaspy on Fresh Air, by Chuck Strom

The Greatest, RIP, by Chuck Strom

Muhammad Ali and Sam Cooke on another Saturday night in the early 60s

As one would expect, Muhammad Ali’s passing on Friday has generated a flood of tributes and commentary over the weekend, far greater than the usual obituaries that stand at the ready at the Times and elsewhere for such occasions. To this, . . . → Read More: The Greatest, RIP, by Chuck Strom

Donald Trump Comes to Town, by Chuck Strom

I may live in a blue state, but the politics of my immediate neighborhood tinge red. Obama doesn’t come here to raise money, but a lot of right-of-center political celebrities stop by, including Sarah Palin when she did her Going Rogue book tour in 2010. It made sense, then, that Donald Trump and his . . . → Read More: Donald Trump Comes to Town, by Chuck Strom

Blazers-Warriors Game 5: Warriors Close It Out, by Chuck Strom

The Golden State Warriors ended their playoff series last night with a 125-121 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. Though the Blazers won only one of the five games, the widespread consensus is that they gave the Warriors all they could handle. Game 5 was no different than most of the other games, with . . . → Read More: Blazers-Warriors Game 5: Warriors Close It Out, by Chuck Strom

Blazers-Warriors Game 4: He’s Baaaaaack! By Chuck Strom

The news that Stephen Curry would play in last night’s Game 4 between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Golden State Warriors seemed a significant but not earth-shaking development, and when I checked the first-half score and saw the Blazers up by ten, I figured the game was over and that Curry would need . . . → Read More: Blazers-Warriors Game 4: He’s Baaaaaack! By Chuck Strom

Blazers Torch the Warriors in Game 3, by Chuck Strom

In Game 3 of the NBA West Semifinals last night between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Golden State Warriors, the Blazers did to the Warriors what the Warriors have done to the NBA for two years. Every time the Warriors made a run at the Blazers in the second half, even closing the . . . → Read More: Blazers Torch the Warriors in Game 3, by Chuck Strom

The Smithsonian Has Nothing on This Place, by Chuck Strom

The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, OR, is about an hour off the beaten interstate track, but it’s well worth the trip. It is the home not only of Howard Hughes’s Spruce Goose, but also a remarkable collection of vintage airplanes and spacecraft, including V2 and Gemini Titan rockets. The Spruce Goose, . . . → Read More: The Smithsonian Has Nothing on This Place, by Chuck Strom

The Tallest View West Of The Mississippi, by Chuck Strom

The Columbia Sky Observatory in Seattle, WA offers the tallest view available to the public west of the Mississippi. It can be a little frustrating to negotiate the surrounding one-way streets to get there, but the panorama is well worth the effort and the $14 fee. The Columbia Observatory may not be as well-known . . . → Read More: The Tallest View West Of The Mississippi, by Chuck Strom

Blazers vs. Warriors, Game 2, by Chuck Strom

For the first three quarters of Game 2 of the NBA Western Semi-Finals, the Portland Trail Blazers did everything they could to defy conventional wisdom. They crashed the boards, made big shots and on defense forced the Golden State Warriors to work for their points, and at the beginning of the fourth quarter the . . . → Read More: Blazers vs. Warriors, Game 2, by Chuck Strom

Game 1 to the Warriors, by Chuck Strom

One should never judge a series by its first game, but with their 118-106 victory, the Dubs took care of business with a 20-point lead in the first quarter, never allowing the score to get close after that. Lillard and McCollum shot a combined 30% from the floor—they and the Blazers may have been . . . → Read More: Game 1 to the Warriors, by Chuck Strom