Monday, August 20, 2007

Had Tickets, But Couldn't Get In!

My friend, Lon Pray, and I had tickets to the 49er/Raider pre-season game. We dropped off my son, Joel, at Menlo College and left the campus, just 15 miles south of Candlestick Park and headed north on Hwy. 101, one hour prior to kickoff. Two and a half hours later, we finally exited at Candlestick (Monster) Park. That's how heavy the traffic was going north. It was halftime.

We thought that maybe we could get in the parking lot and catch the second half, at least.


It took us another hour to just get to a parking lot entrance that was open. That's how bad the traffic was from cars trying to get in. It was near the end of the third quarter. We figured by time we'd get out of the car, walk into the stadium and find our seats, it would be the fourth quarter. We headed home.

Joe Starkey, the radio play-by-play announcer, remarked how many empty seats there were. Joe, they were with us, trying to find a parking place, gave up and went home.

I'm never going back to Candlestick Park unless I can take a helicopter in.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Take Care of Your Parents

Mom and Dad likely took care of you when you were little. They taught you right from wrong and hopefully nutured you into a fine person. Us parents need to remember that's our biggest responsibility when the kids are still at home.

But, when Mom and Dad are getting older, it's time for all children to give back. I just came back from a week helping my parents, both 77 years old, doing odd jobs around the house. I'm finding they rely on us kids to help them do stuff that physically they can't do for themselves any more.

I've now spent one week each of the past two summers by myself going to my parents' home in Lousiana and help them. They really appreciate it. I leave my wife and children at home to go help my parents and can focus more on what they need to do and not be concerned with entertaining my kids or anything else while I'm there.

We accomplished much!

Just remember when your parents reach retirement age there's going to be that opportunity for you to give back to your parents. Don't pass up this beautiful chance. It's really gratifying to see their storerooms cleaned up, garages put in order, shrubs trimmed, etc.

I can tell you they really appreciate your, you spend time with the people who brought you into the world and you may not have very many more years to spend with them.

Don't squander this kind of opportunity.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bridge Collapse In Minneapolis

I used to drive over that bridge quite often when I lived in the Twin Cities. If you ever have the opportunity to be in downtown Minneapolis, walk to the Riverfront and look at each bridge that crosses the Mississippi River. You'll note every bridge is a little different from the others. The Hennepin Ave. bridge is a suspension bridge. The University Avenue bridge I remember as a stone arch bridge. The I-35W bridge that collapsed was a steel girder bridge in an arch array.

I wouldn't be that surprised if MnDOT, the state's highway department, comes out with some kind of report that the design was faulty. If not that, I will imagine the issue is that the materials used couldn't withstand the extreme temperatures over time. In Minnesota you can have days on end with temps as low as 15-30 below zero, then you can hit 90-95 in the summer.

I saw a written report out of the Star-Tribune tonight that quoted some one who escaped the collapse at the last moment. That person said she saw a MnDOT worker jack hammering the road surface. Don't laugh, but maybe one wrong "jack" and a chain reaction may have started which led to this tragedy.

Watch this story over the next few days.