Tag Archives: Santa Barbara

Westmont Warriors Walk off Winning

Michael Rishwain

Ahh, baseball. America’s favorite pastime, and no wonder. Is there a better way to spend an afternoon than watching a live game and cheering on the home team? Under sparkling sun, and breeze just strong enough to float a few butterflies? Even the weather was perfect this Saturday as the Westmont Warriors faced off in a non-conference double-header against the Bethesda Flames at Russ Carr Field. The 33rd game of a 50 game season set to wrap at the end of April, the Warriors were favored to win after spanking the Flames 6 to 1 Friday, but Westmont was in for a surprise.

After a rousing chorus of the National Anthem, the Flames blazed a fiery comeback. Scoring a whopping 4 runs in their first at bat, the Warriors made error after error.  While the home team rallied to tally a respectable 2 points in the bottom of the 6th inning—runs made by Conrad Turner and Alex Bush–the final score of the first game was a disappointing: 4:2.

It’s hard to say if the absence of Friday’s starting pitcher Daniel Butler played a role in the upset, since at least one of the three relief pitchers filling the gap was being observed by a major league scout. Pitching at speeds ranging from 91-93 mph, Michael Rishwain could have been the poster boy for the right way to play ball, and it isn’t the first time this well-seeded team was so scrutinized. Last February’s competition against British Columbia’s Thunderbirds saw a record 26 scouts in attendance, a number due in no small part to the team’s standing, currently ranked 7th out of the 275 schools in the NAIA–National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

It bears mention that the Warrior’s inclusion in the opening round of the post-season NAIA tournament these past 2 years has happened under the guidance of head coach Robert Ruiz, who came on board in 2010, and turned the floundering team around, begging the question: can they do it a third time? Winning the second game would certainly help, and this is precisely what they did.  In the bottom of the 7th and final inning, Michael Valentin Jr. ran in the only point scored by either team all game, allowing the Warriors to walk off with the victory, splitting the doubleheader.

Did I say walk-off? More like whoop, run, and jump off, as the understandably exuberant Warriors celebrated the end of a hard day on the diamond. Not overly long, while the conscientious team hurried to maintain the facets of the field—raking the baselines, and tidying the plate with the pride of ownership—Michael Rishwain took a moment to answer a few questions before doing the same.

A Lodi native and kinesiology major, Michael spoke of a desire to ultimately influence younger people in a positive way with as much enthusiasm as he exhibited when talking of aspirations to major league ball. The camaraderie and competitive nature of baseball are what Michael enjoys most about the game, a sport in which he’s participated all his life. Influenced by former Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, and grateful to Westmont’s pitching coach Coach Cougoule, the rising star credits his athletic prowess to his family, friends, and mentors as much as himself.

The cheering of the home crowd helps, too. While the bleachers boasted a respectable number of fans, some 60 people or so, there was still room for more. Remember to check the schedule at Westmont Athletics website when you’re making your weekend plans, and come out to support the Warriors. You never know, you might just catch that lucky fly ball, and you’re sure to catch fan fever, as the team that embodies what baseball is all about: good wholesome fun, take the field.







Joe Bonamassa plays Arlington at Santa Barbara

Joe Bonamassa sings & writes the Blues. Correction. Make that: Joe Bonamassa plays Blues guitar. Scratch that. Joe Bonamassa is the Blues, the way Poe was muse, Michelangelo sculpture, and Vincent Van Gogh, art. Like a combination of Stevie Ray Vaughn & Eric Clapton, the onetime child prodigy is almost a quarter century into reshaping the Blues landscape, and still better, his driving beat and forward-moving lyrics make it obvious this is one Blues Man who’s going to be in the pink again, soon.

Charrons Chatter dba shenanigans

From the crashing start of his 8 o’clock show at Santa Barbara’s Arlington theatre last night—the New York native started on time, and latecomers be damned—to the final chord two and a half hours later, I was captivated. Jiggling like a palsied person in my plush seat right along with the other 2K attendees in the grand but small venue. (a venue wherein cameras are apparently allowed, so note to selfie about that!)

Karen Robiscoe dba CHARRONs CHATTER

As hot as revenge sex, lead song Slow Train grabbed me by the hair, making it stand on end like an ovation, a tingle that went clear down to my toe-tapping tootsies. Was it really an acoustic guitar inciting and exciting me so? It was. Accompanied by band members the gracious star introduced 2x (I still don’t remember their names..;) a seated, sun-glassed Joe on acoustic guitar went off the tracks as soon as he pulled out of the station, backed up by bass, bongos, & drums. By fiddle, mandola, & second guitar. By maracas, keyboards & even washboards at some junctures, since there was plenty more dirty laundry to come.

Videe of acoustic guitar rendition of Slow Train

subscribe to: http://www.youtube.com/user/JoeBonamassaTV

Because this is one band that skipped changing outfits to change my perception of them. After an hour or so of each song better than the last—ranging from covers to originals that included such tunes as Jelly Roll, Jockey Full of Bourbon, & Athens to Athens—they flat-out changed instruments during the 15 minutes of intermission. Exchanging acoustic for electric while audience members exchanged pleasantries in the lobby, the throwback, interlude tradition was reminiscent of grander times to which the elaborately appointed Arlington theatre is well-suited. There was a bar on the patio (I think so, the crush was too amazing to negotiate) tables stacked with free-music download codes, and premise-leaving permitted, thus insuring a pampered crowd returned to the auditorium to find the stage transformed.

Videe of electric guitar Slow Train

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As was the song Slow Train, though Bonamassa didn’t lead with the reinterpreted number. Prowling the stage in a suit reminiscent of the Fab Four with gesticulations still more fabulous, Joe led us Around the Bend, through Dislocated Boy & John Henry, and poured on a Sloe Gin that was anything but. Riffing like the Dead & jamming like Floyd, the playlist was as linked as you’re about to be, when I close this shout out with a every link to the “Blues Rock Titan” I could find.

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Amgen Tour of California–Stage 5 at Santa Barbara

The start of Stage 5 in video & jpeg! Interviews, Race Start & More!

amgen_use as lead

The start line for stage 5 at Santa Barbara’s West Beach

Chief Marshall_Xavier Cortez

Chief Marshall: Xavier Cortez in lead vehicle (of race) and command incident vehicles


Andy Raymond Schleck, Winner* Tour de France 2010, and runner up years: 09 & 11.


Let’s get a closer look at that cutie pie!

Video Clip of Interviews below

Amgen Tour of California–Stage 5 at Santa Barbara. Pre-Race interviews with world class racers


Not sure who, but he looks serious!

silly puppies

While these furry pedalers look seriously cute…


What it’s all about…


Great group shot, minutes before the cap gun…

Video Clip of race start below

Amgen Tour of California–Stage 5 at Santa Barbara: the race begins!


The FM in Farmer’s Market

The FM in Farmer’s Market could stand for Fantastic Musicians as easily as frequency modulation stands for the manner in which radio signals are broadcast, since the modulations of the street musicians performing at the Saturday Market were definitely that. Toss in food, fresh air, and friendly faces, and voilà. That’s the Santa Barbara’s Farmer’s Market in a locally-grown nutshell, pitching tents & taking orders each Saturday until 1 pm, at the intersection of Santa Barbara & Cota streets.



…And going the distance. We’ll get back to what soothes the savage beast later-—in great and varied detail— but for now, let’s consider the market’s obvious draw: the produce, pantry, crafts & flora. Beyond the square block radius it spans, the market’s mix of pesticide free, and/or organic, and/or humanely farmed foodstuffs is guaranteed free of Monsanto’s evil, long-reaching arm—making any trek you make to market worth theirs. I mean, who wants Franken-food? Not me! Not even a little bit, and besides. Buying local also helps lessen the already light carbon footprint these farmers & growers leave, hailing as they do, from Santa Ynez to Paso Robles, Los Olivos to Carpinteria, and nearby Goleta, too! But why blather on, when you could get your virtual veggie on, instead?

Come with!

If I could add a fresh burst of just cut citrus to that flip-through, along with the heady aroma of hyacinth & roses, we’d really be in business. There’s always lots of samples to enjoy, and knowledge to be garnered from these informed vendors while you snack, too. From nutritional content, to method of farming, to serving & storing suggestions, those that want to can dot all those “i’s & t’s”. Try getting that kind of 411 from the grocery store!

411 is good!

Shout out to Farm Peeps: Noey & Noey’s Mama at the Ladybug Green-stand, Nadia of the didgeridoo, and the Boomer family associated with Santa Barbara Pistachio Company. Thanks, neighbors! You were all close-up ready! Even as this post is ready to close…

As promised, and in true George Castanza form, I’m ending this virtual, vegetable voguing on a high note–with a video of some of the ensconced musicians. If this quick byte whets your appetite, the Farmer’s Market is the best and most double entendre bet for sating both cravings–musical and organic. Come down for an encore when you can; there’s a market somewhere in our SB area every day, and you can find plenty of 411 at their website, linked above.

Bon Appetit…and rock on, Chickery-dooz!!

Click: Fabulous 50’s to go to another great Farmer’s market–this one in Cincinnati!

Pssst! There’s a Dinosaur in my Butterfly Exhibit….

Butterflies–and more–at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

A right whale of a skeleton!

You’ve all had a chance to see how beautiful Santa Barbara is on the outside, so today we’re going inside SB—and deep into western America’s past, too—on a visit to our museum of Natural History. It turns out there’s still time to catch the tail end of not one but two dynamic shows the museum is presenting until next Sunday : “Butterflies Alive” & “Dinomania”, and the latter is a complete, fossil-licious surprise to this seeker of aging caterpillars.

What a big caterpillar!

I’m pretty sure if we play by the rules, though, and keep an eye out for errant butterflies and dinosaurs underfoot; sticking to the “Path” as outlined by the late, great Ray Bradbury in his short story: “The Sound of Thunder”, both butterfly and animatronic T-Rex should be none the worse for our visit.

You can find “The Sound of Thunder” inside this anthology. The science fiction features T-Rex and Butterflies! Go figure…

Visiting the 800–1000 butterflies and moths flitting about the outdoor meshed enclosure is a no brainer temptation, all right, but the discovery of these extinctly & distinctly separate small-brainers lurking around the Fleischmann Auditorium merits a minute or two delay. After all, the chance to detour into earth’s late Cretaceous Period is a fleeting opportunity, too. Continue reading

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