Thursday, January 31, 2008


So I just grabbed a triple-shot vanilla latte from the BRAND NEW BIBO in the B of A building on my block. What a killer space this is. I knew it would be, and heard rumors that the same architect (Jack Hawkins) who designed the first Bibo on Mt. Rose street, had his hands in this new space as well. It's not so much a coffee shop as it is a kiosk, but it fits into the space so perfectly. Seriously, the pictures from my cameraphone don't really do it justice, because it's simply choice.

Oh yeah, the latte was awesome, and I don't want to assume anything, but I think that it goes without saying that the fine baristas that Paul and his wife (name escapes me...DOH!) have working in their shops KNOW. THEIR. COFFEE. They take the time to get it done right.

So go get your buzz on at the new Bibo on Liberty Street and see what I mean.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Burpin' good

I just realized I've never blogged on the grubhouse that get's the lion's share of my lunchtime budget. WHAT a mistake. As I sat at my desk just now, scarfing down the lunch special from Newman's Deli on California Avenue, I thought, "Holy CRAP this is a good freaking sandwich. I should take a picture of it."

As you can see, I couldn't really get my mouth to take a break from eating in time to do it justice, but trust was $. I get an email from Newman's every morning, telling what the special of the day is going to be. Today it was a Hot Ham Croissant Sandwich for $ 4.99, which included Ham, Swiss Cheese, Honey Mustard and Ham Glaze, served on a Croissant.


(Bonus points go to anyone that can identify the contents of the picture on my computer screen...put into this post because I'm a flickr dork).

Anyway, I've been eating at Newman's since good old Pete was in charge, and my Grandma would take me there for a nice lunch every so often. Wouldn't you know it, a few years ago I move into the neighborhood, and now all I have to do is cross the street to get one of Reno's all time best sandwiches. The boys in the office here eat there so regularly that the new(er) owners, Chuck and Maria, have even named one of our special orders the "Egan Special". It's a hot turkey and swiss with lettuce and tomato on wheat. Check it out and tell me it doesn't really hit the spot some time.

Rock on, Newmans.

Back to work.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

First Trax

First Trax
Originally uploaded by daddyisaninja.
Lesson learned: while it's nice to have your dog as company on a big ol' backcountry hike, there are certain risks to assess prior to bringing him/her along. One of these risks is whether or not the snow is too deep and too thick for him to keep up with you. I'm not talking about the hike up, because as this picture will attest, my dog is not averse to breaking fresh tracks as long as he can keep his head above the snow...and sometimes even if his head isn't quite over the top. What I am talking about is really the fun part, the way down the hill. You see, it's hard to float through the face-shots and really get into the groove when you have to stop every 300 yards and cheer your companion down the hill...after all, dogs can't ski.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Wazzzuuuuuuuup? I'll tell you.

I don't try and act too cool for my age. At least that's my position on it, just don't ask my wife, because she might tell you different. Either way, I'm not out there acting like I'm 19. If anything I might act like I'm 7 more often, but you get the point...not ever trying to compensate for my wise and greying 32 years. HOWEVER, when a vocabulary term that I've been using for a while all of the sudden pops up on a billboard for a phone company, I know it's time to stop dropping that phrase.

The phrase in question this time is one that I have become quite accustomed to, "What Up?". I use it in place of "Hello" or "How are you?". It's catchy and more than anything, it WAS comfy.

Now it's on a South Virginia Street billboard (click on the picture to get a closeup) stating that you can get "Unlimited What Ups?" with this particular company's text service. Puke.

So yeah, I immediately started thinking about what I would replace What Up with. I recalled an email that a friend of mine from the City sent me a couple of days ago, which began: "Hows Tricks?". I thought it was a little bit ghetto and perhaps a bit young, but still it was catchy and I know it will inevitably roll off my lips some time soon. I have, in the past, used "Howzit?" and "What's Crackin'?" (or with the right friend, even "What's Crack-a-lackin'?"), so it's not like it will be a real stretch, just something new. And to be sure I'm not inadvertently asking someone I don't know the wrong thing, like "How are the prostitutes performing today?", I double checked the usage by cross-referencing's entry. Bingo, I think we have a winner.

Now stop using "What up?" along with me and together we will crush the advertising sucko's* that endeavor to capitalize on all that is still sacred, personal or just otherwise cool in our culture.

*For the record, YES, I was an advertising sucko in a former life. A wannabe creative, no less.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

White Horizon

It looks like I've been invited on a backcountry hut trip next month, and I'm so freaking stoked. The turns have been scarce for me this year, so I'm going to do a little snowshoeing up and alpine down this weekend when we head up to Graeagle, and hopefully start getting my legs into better shape. And I'm psyching myself up with youtube videos like this one to get me in the mindset.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Za makes it better

So the last 4 days have been a chain of sickness in my house. It all started with Sean bringing some nice stomach virus home from his school and getting sick Thursday night. He puked all Thursday night, then Ireland got it on Friday night. While Marissa was sick all day Saturday, (and prior to getting it myself all day Sunday), Sean and I enjoyed a nice little Saturday out of the house.

We took advantage of a little sunshine and mostly dry roads to hop on the bikes and cruise the 'hood. We started with some hoops at the Snows courts. While Bodie chased the ball as far as I could throw it, Sean and I worked on our ball-handling. At four years old, he's remarkably coordinated, and I was totally blown away by his ability to dribble up and down the court, switching hands and hitting me under the hoop with a powerful chest pass. I'll admit, I took almost all of the shots, but he's like three feet tall, so he was happy to get the assists.

Seriously, though, check out the triple threat:

You can't teach instincts like that.

Onward North to California Avenue, we rolled on in to Blue Moon Pizza, which Sean declared to be a "wicked awesome" place.

Indeed. We decimated a 4-cheese 'za in no time, and he was stoked to get a tootsie roll lollipop as a take-home from the killer staff of this local joint.

We saw a few neighborhood peeps on the way to and from, and had a much needed breath of fresh air. All in all, a great day in an otherwise pukey weekend.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The O'Driscoll Men

od men
Originally uploaded by daddyisaninja.
This is a picture of my Grandpa with all of his sons @ Louis' Basque Corner a few years back. His 2 daughters were in the house as well, but this was a hang-down-only capture.

My grandfather was, in his early days, a musician. Actually he still is, as I hear he recently acquired a new set of drums and has a hobby that must just drive his Betty craaaaazy! I guess that's where I get my passion for playing, especially on the drums. I recently got a usb record player from Babymama for Christmas, and I stayed up late last night playing with it. The first song I converted to digital was from an old '33 of my Grandpa's group "The Euonia Quartet". It's a little rough, but worth a listen. He wailed on the drums.

Enjoy. I did.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Originally uploaded by daddyisaninja.
My nephew Jeffrey turned 10 today. What a facemelter that was. I was in college when his parents came down to visit me in my beachfront apartment in Mission Beach and he was conceived! In fact his reaching the first decade of his life really put some perspective on my own today when I realized that my 10 year college reunion will be this year. Holy Crap...what have I accomplished? I'm really so predictable and cliche in my insecurities, but seriously...10 years!?

I think he was about 2 or 3 in this picture. He was a fearless and coordinated little kid, and I used to have so much fun with him. "Throw me higher, Brian" he begged me right after I had tossed him softly in the pool and right before this picture was snapped. I knew when his little head finally made it back up above the surface of the water that he didn't realize he would go so high or sink so deep before he caught his breath again. He almost looked a little scared...but he wasn't. What a stud he still is. Ten years old. My little sister's first born, no less. He's a sensitive, good-looking, caring young man. I miss him dearly since he and his parents and two little siblings moved to Vegas. I'm happy for being around to throw him in this pool a few years back. I'll have to do it again when they come up to visit us this summer.

gettin ready for hoops tonight

I went to throw my basketball shoes on for my game tonight, and what was lying next to them but a much cooler pair of kicks. Pink Chucks to be exact. Even my daughter is dressed better than me now. I think it's hilarious that she chose to leave her hi-tops laying next to mine. It was probably totally random and unintentional, but it might also be God just sharing a little laugh with me. Either way it's frickin' cute.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Let's play ball

I'm adding a new link to the blogroll, aka' "hit this". It's called the Reno Ballpark Update and according to it's creator, Erik:

Reno Ballpark Update is an independent project undertaken by me, Erik
Flippo of Peavine Design Inc., a Reno-based graphic and web design firm.

I've been a baseball fan since I lived in the Bay Area in the early
1990's, where I was exposed to the nadir and then the zenith of ballpark
experiences. The worst: attending Giants games at Candlestick/3Com Park, where I
earned a coveted "Croix de Candlestick" for braving the frigid conditions of an
extra-inning night game there. The best: attending games four and five of the
2002 World Series and witnessing Ichiro Suzuki's inside-the-park home run at the
2007 Major League All-Star Game at AT&T Park.

I have been a season
ticket holder at Pacific Bell/SBC/AT&T Park since Opening Day 2000. There
are few things more pleasant in life than sitting along the first base line on a
Saturday afternoon and watching the boats sail into McCovey Cove for a chance at
fishing a Splash Hit home run out of the water. If attending a game at the
ballpark in downtown Reno replicates even a tenth of that experience, it will be
worth the investment.

This site is not affilated with SK Baseball,
Nevada Land or Manhattan Capital Sports, nor their subsidiary or parent

I love downtown Reno. I do a good amount of my commercial real estate business in downtown Reno. I believe this ballpark is one of the biggest catalysts for positive change and growth in my hometown. I can't wait to see shovel meet dirt sometime next month, so I'll be checking on Eric and his blog once a day. Good work, EF.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Humble Hero Passes

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Sir Edmund Hillary, the unassuming beekeeper who
conquered Mount Everest to win renown as one of the 20th century’s greatest
adventurers, has died, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark announced Friday.
He was 88.
The gangling New Zealander devoted much of his life to aiding the
mountain people of Nepal and took his fame in stride, preferring to be called
“Ed” and considering himself just an ordinary beekeeper. “Sir Ed described
himself as an average New Zealander with modest abilities. In reality, he was a
colossus. He was an heroic figure who not only ’knocked off’ Everest but lived a
life of determination, humility, and generosity,” Clark said in a statement.
“The legendary mountaineer, adventurer, and philanthropist is the best-known New
Zealander ever to have lived,” she said. Hillary’s life was marked by grand
achievements, high adventure, discovery, excitement — and by his personal
humility. Humble to the point that he only admitted being the first man atop
Everest long after the death of climbing companion Norgay.

I have been thinking and reading about this man for over a year now. What he accomplished, what kind of intestinal fortitude is takes to conquer ANY mountain, real or metaphorical. His passing is a sharp reminder that the world needs more people cut from this cloth.


Today I asked if I could take a turn and pick Sean up from school. He only goes half day, so he gets out right after lunch. Being so central to everything here on California Avenue, I should really try to do this more takes a whole 30 minutes out of my day.
So I showed up, snapped a quick pic before he knew I was standing at the door, and then went in.

A hush came over the room.

These kids are apparently not used to seeing daddies come and pick up kids...or at least not THIS daddy. I looked over at the 2 teachers, who were looking at each other with some kind of confusion. One of them (Miss Jenny, I think) turned to me and said, "You should come pick up Sean more often...I've never heard our room this quiet before!"


Well, the kids got over their fear when Miss Jenny told the kids, "Say by to Sean!" The kids started out with a group "Bye Sean", but one voice stood out of the crowd. She had decided instead to say "Bye Spiderman" (Which both embarrassed and amused Sean at the same time...WHAT a compliment!) All of the other kids, picking up on the little girl, changed their response, and altogether raised their voices a few notches screaming in unison: "Goodbye Spiderman!!!".

Freakin' Rad. We got a slurpee on the way home. My Spiderman Rocks.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


So I went home for a little homemade grilled cheese lunch, and ended up giving Bodie a long overdue 15 minute session of "go get it".

I wish I had better video capabilities to show him sliding across the icy streets of the Old Southwest.

Ok. Play time's over now, back to work.

That's uncomfortable

So I am told that on New Year's eve my blog had a visitor that was directed to it via the search phrase "Up The Butt Bob". No doubt they were directed to one of my freshman posts involving Butt Rock...a guilty pleasure of mine. Anyway, the fact that they found my site because they queried google that way is so fantastic that I have to single it out.

I wonder what this internet haunter was thinking as he or she typed those famous words this last New Year's eve. Perhaps they were making plans to ring 2008 in with a proverbial bang.
OK, that's my dirty mind at work again, sorry...below the belt. Doh!
OK, ok, I'm going to stop with the butt humor...for now.
Seriously, though, I just have to laugh because I would estimate that 95% of my posts have something to do with my kids, wife, dog, house, food, friends or even spirituality...but READER BEWARE: 5% of the time you might just get it in the butt.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Eyes up

OK, so after that little pathetic post of mine yesterday I got the following in an email this morning. Fitting.

John is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always
has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he
would reply, 'If I were any better, I would be twins!'

He was a
natural motivator.

If an employee was having a bad day, John was
there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I
went up and asked him, 'I don't get it!

You can't be a positive
person all of the time How do you do it?'

He replied, 'Each morning
I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in
a good mood or ... you can choose to be in a bad mood

I choose to
be in a good mood.'

Each time something bad happens, I can choose
to be a victim or...I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from

Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to
accept their complaining or... I can point out the positive side of life. I
choose the positive side of life.

'Yeah, right, it's not that
easy,' I protested.

'Yes, it is,' he said. 'Life is all about
choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose
how you react to situations You choose how people affect your mood.

You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's
your choice how you live your life.'

I reflected on what he said.
Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost
touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of
reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that he was involved
in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he
was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.

I saw
him about six months after the accident.

When I asked him how he
was, he replied, 'If I were any better, I'd be twins..Wanna see my

I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had
gone through his mind as the accident took place.

'The first thing
that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter,' he
replied. 'Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I
could choose to live or...I could choose to die. I chose to live.'

'Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?' I

He continued, '..the paramedics were great.

kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and
I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really
scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'. I knew I needed to take

'What did you do?' I asked.

'Well, there was
a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,' said John. 'She asked if I was
allergic to anything 'Yes, I replied.' The doctors and nurses stopped working as
they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity''

Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Operate
on me as if I am alive, not dead.'

He lived, thanks to the skill of
his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that
every day we have the choice to live fully.

Attitude , after all,
is everything .

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow
will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.' Matthew 6:34.

After all today is the tomorrow you worried about

Monday, January 7, 2008

Sinking ship

Sinking ship
Originally uploaded by Arkku.
Sometimes this is how I feel.

It's important to remember that it's not literally happening to me. I'm not literally sinking. I'm not even watching my house "sink" like all those poor people in Fernley had to do a couple of days ago. They were literally under water. They are still just drying out. I'm not literally under water at this moment, it's just a metaphor.

But sometimes I do feel like this.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I'm certainly glad I didn't resolve to blog more in 2008, because I am off to a crappy start on that front. But everything else is going good, and I'm making progress on top of progress. I will get around to posting my goals here for posterity, but until then, a quick cameraphone recap of the holiday season.

Kids rocking their Christmas outfits.

Partying down with the fam in Graeagle.

2008 styley.