Citizen Dain

Inconsistent chatter from a Sacramento-based 'Sconi attorney.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Prayer for the New Year

God, as we stand at the beginning of this new year we confess our need of Your presence and Your guidance as we face the future.

We each have our hopes and expectations for the year that is ahead of us—but You alone know what it holds for us, and only You can give us the strength and the wisdom we will need to meet its challenges. So help us to humbly put our hands into Your hand, and to trust You and to seek Your will for our lives during this coming year.

In the midst of life’s uncertainties in the days ahead, assure us of the certainty of Your unchanging love.

In the midst of life’s inevitable disappointments and heartaches, help us to turn to You for the stability and comfort we will need.

In the midst of life’s temptations and the pull of our stubborn self-will, help us not to lose our way but to have the courage to do what is right in Your sight, regardless of the cost.

And in the midst of our daily preoccupations and pursuits, open our eyes to the sorrows and injustices of our hurting world, and help us to respond with compassion and sacrifice to those who are friendless and in need. May our constant prayer be that of the ancient Psalmist: “Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end” (Psalm 119:33).

As we look back over this past year we thank You for Your goodness to us—far beyond what we have deserved. May we never presume on Your past goodness or forget all Your mercies to us, but may they instead lead us to repentance, and to a new commitment to make You the foundation and center of our lives this year.

And so, our Father, we thank You for the promise and hope of this new year, and we look forward to it with expectancy and faith. This I ask in the name of our Lord and Savior, who by His death and resurrection has given us hope both for this world and the world to come.


Rev. Billy Graham

Monday, January 20, 2014

2013 Resolutions - So How Did I Do?

So, 2013 is now 20 days dead.  I assume I should review my resolutions at some point and set new ones for 2014.  Well, here is a review of last years' effort (hint - it was pathetic).

1. Ride Bike More - Success!  Yes, I actually did this one.  Actually, after the elliptical went to gym equipment heaven (a/k/a, my garage), I actually rode my bike, pretty much, every morning from April through October.  In October, it was just to darn cold and dark out to continue.  Plus, I started getting into a regular routine of getting Dahlia's day started by cleaning her play room, getting her bottle ready, and doing any leftover dishes.  So, in a couple of months it remains to be seen if I will get back to it.

2.  No Ice Cream - Fail!  I definitely reduced my ice cream intake.  But, did not bypass for the year.  I think I was back to digging into some Vanilla by my birthday.  As for 2014, I just had a waffle and ice cream for breakfast on Sunday.

3.  Grow a Moustache Success!  Yes, I actually did this one, too.  No Shave November or Movember.  Next year, I might try to keep it through the winter.  We shall see.

4.  Eat More Quinoa -  Fail!  I may have had quinoa like 3 times in 2013.  Certainly not the frequency I was hoping for.

5.  Go to a Raiders GameFail!  I wanted to.  In fact, I was planning to go to the Week 2 tilt against the Jaguars.  But, I got tickets to the Packers-49ers opener, and 2 games in 2 weeks seemed like too much.  This next year, it is going to happen.  They even run a train from Sacramento to Coliseum.  So, I am gonna do it!

6. FaceTime for GrandparentsSuccess!  Yes, I actually did this one, too.  Huh, maybe 2013 wasn't as much of a failure as I thought.  Yes, this worked out great.  Although, we switched the time to 6 PM to pair with her meal time.

7.  Date Night -  Fail!  I don't think we went on more than 2 dates the entire year.  Big fail.

8.  Find a Recreational Activity -  Fail!  I like the idea.  But that was the extent of my effort.

9.  Help Around the House More -  Success!  Yes, I did, PAIGE!  I do the laundry almost exclusively.  I also clean up after Dahlia almost 2-3 times per day on my own without any prompting.  I do the vast majority of the dishes for the household.  I take out the trash, sort the recycling, water the plants, and complain about the state of the backyard.  I also even had our gutters cleaned and windows washed.  I do more than anyone could have possibly imagined me doing 12 months ago.  And that is not because I was pathetic, but just because now I am awesome.  Seriously.  Given these steps, I think all of my other misses on my resolutions should be considered a wash. ...  Ok, that might be pushing it.

10.  Draft a Will -  Fail!  I did absolutely nothing to even closely accomplish this.  The most I did was buy will maker software... in 2012.

11.  De-Clutter -  Fail!  I have done my best in this area.  However, it has not happened.  And with another little one on the way, we kind of have to if we plan to continue to live in our current house.  We need to find more space for living, currently occupied by storage items we do not use.

12.  Try-out for a Play -  Fail!  I don't see this happening any time soon.  It was a passing fancy.

13.  Fly a Kite -  Fail!  I am so disappointed in myself for failing in this one.  Lame!

4 of 13.  That's a .307 batting average in baseball.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Annual NFL Rivalry Game

Peter King, from MMQB fame, posits that the NFL should have an annual rivalry game.  Instead of the current balanced/weighted schedule, remove at least one of those games for an annual rivalry game against an uncommon opponent.

This got me thinking - would they have 16 good rivalries to feature?  And the answer is unfortunately no.  For every Dallas Cowboys - natural rivalry with New Orleans Saints, Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs - there is a Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars.

However, in trying to accommodate the big puma, I came up with the following by limiting it to cross-conference rivalries (NFC v. AFC):

Good Rivalries

Dallas Cowboys v. Houston Texans
New York Giants v. New England Patriots
Washington R*dskins v. New York Jets
Philadelphia Eagles v. Pittsburgh Steelers
Chicago Bears v. Indianapolis Colts
Detroit Lions v. Cleveland Browns
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v. Miami Dolphins
Atlanta Falcons v. Jacksonville Jaguars
St. Louis Rams v. Kansas City Chiefs
San Francisco 49ers v. San Diego Chargers
Seattle Seahawks v. Oakland Raiders

I think all of these games work.  I know, I know I could have done Giants v. Jets, but I think the Giants v. Patriots draws more of the NYC v. Boston vibe.  I also think that the Eagles v. Jets would be compelling, but I really wanted to preserve the battle of Pennsylvania.  By doing the NYC v. DC rivalry, you also mess up the R*dskins v. Ravens game - but then where do the Jets go?

You also have the battle for Missouri (Rams-Chiefs) and Misery (Lions-Browns).  And the world's biggest cocktail party, writ NFL.

I also avoided the more obvious 49ers-Raiders match-up by incorporating the Seahawks and Chargers.  Granted, the Seahawks and Chargers were rivals in the AFC, however, I have more compelling memories of Seahawks-Raiders (i.e. Bo Jackson meeting Brian Bosworth).  And the 49ers-Raiders is kind of lame.  49ers-Chargers is a Super Bowl, too.

The rest are just geographic no-brainers.

Mediocre Rivalries

Carolina Panthers v. Baltimore Ravens
New Orleans Saints v. Tennessee Titans
Denver Broncos v. Arizona Cardinals

I am not upset by these.  They are just pretty tame.  But, all of these team's more obvious rivals had been taken.

Bad Rivalries

Green Bay Packers v. Buffalo Bills
Minnesota Vikings v. Cincinnati Bengals

Umm.  Hmm.  I mean.  Umm.  There is just nothing really compelling between the teams.  Basically, they are what is left.  The Bills more natural uncommon rivals would be the Giants, Eagles, or Lions.  The Bengals more natural uncommon rivals would be the Eagles, Lions, or Colts.  The Packers more natural uncommon rivals would be... the Colts?  Maybe, the Chiefs?  The Vikings more natural uncommon rivals would be... the Chiefs?  Maybe, the Broncos? Or even the Seahawks (the whole Percy Harvin and Steve Hutchinson deals, writ large).  Oh, scratch that, they are in the NFC.

Well, what do you think?

Packers Win NFC North


Monday, September 09, 2013

Improve the In-Stadium Experience by Commissioning Situational Music

The NFL is talking about ways it could improve the in stadium experience.  This is because they need to create an atmosphere that is more appealing to a fan than just watching it for free at home.  As technology gets better in TV and audio, it makes putting down several hundred dollars to actually go to a game.and eat/drink during said game less appealing.

So, to combat that, it has to come up with ways to improve the actual experience.  And one suggestion I have is improving the in-stadium music.  Presently, during breaks in the action the home team usually pipes in pop-40 hits.  However, for whatever reason these songs are rarely less than 3-5 years old when played.  I mean just yesterday I was listening to Third Eye Blind's "Jumper" in the middle of the 3rd Quarter of the 49ers-Packers game.

However, even if the music choice was with more taste and timely, it would still be a song that in no way connects me to the game, fans, stadium, or team.  Rather, it acts as a diversion, taking my concentration away from the game, fellow fans, stadium, and team.  I mean, in this instance it made me think of Stephan Jenkins -lead singer of Third Eye Blind- and how much I didn't like him. Then I was wondering what he was doing, knowing that he lived in San Francisco. Then I asked Paige if she thought he would come to a game, and she had no idea who I was talking about. Then after explaining who I was talking about, I realized that I missed the next play.

So, is that what they were trying to do? Get me to lose my concentration and miss the next play? If yes, why? Does that make more likely to buy concessions? Does that make me more likely to buy fan gear? I just don't think so. Rather, it just acted a s a diversion.

Now, what if the Niners had commissioned someone to put together a series of songs to play through out the course of a game. This could be a combination of local musicians and music genres. And the music crafted could be completely original and situation specific.  Think about it - first and ten music on offense, third and long music, third and short music, music for turnovers, music for TDs, music for breaks in the action - TOs, 1st Q, etc.

I know - what a crazy idea. It would never work. Well, you know where it does work? It is a place that also has football and is not worried about TV taking away from the in-stadium experience. Still don't know? How about NCAA football?

Go to a handful of UW-Madison games.  After maybe 2 you will begin to realize that the team has a whole bunch of musical traditions tied to particular moments throughout the game.  Granted, they have a,band that provides that music, but it is music nonetheless. And it is situational-specific. With certain songs for TDs, PATs, etc.

So, that is my idea. What say you, NFL?

5 Thoughts on 49ers v. Packers

My wife and I had the fortune of going to the 2013 season-opening San Francisco 49ers versus Green Bay Packers game.  It was a bit bittersweet going to the game in person, because it meant missing out on watching the other 9 games on during the day.  However, the Packers being my (arguably) favorite sports team and only a short 1.5 hour drive away, it was kind of hard to bypass the opportunity.

Before I get into my thoughts for the game, I also wanted to thank Paige's parents, Brad and Gail, for hosting us for the weekend and taking care of Dahlia during the game.  We thought of bringing Dahlia along, but I think we made the right choice by letting Grandpa Brad and Grandma Gail some Dahlia alone time.  It was Grandparents' Day too, so all the more fitting.

As for the game, it was hot.  Hot as Hades.  We were actually sitting in the South Endzone and both got sunburnt on our face - basically, the sun reflected off the grass and sunburned us.  Pretty crazy.  But, it was an ideal setting.  And a lot of fun.

1.  Aaron Rodgers Does it All.

I will get to the 49ers and give them their due in due course.  However, I wanted to start off with Aaron Rodgers.  He is really good.  Like, magically good.  He sees every hole in the defense.  He also has a lot of confidence and trust in his battery-mates to make plays for him.  It shows and paid dividends throughout the game.  That being said, I think the most important play of the game was on his INT.  Yes, the INT got called back, rightfully, as down by contact.  But Eric Reid was running for the apparenty pick-6.  And then out of nowhere came this missile.  At first I thought it was Ryan Taylor or Jordy Nelson.  But no.  It was Rodgers.  And he makes the tackle short of the endzone, taking out like 2 49ers players in the process.  After he did that, the Packer sideline (closest to the tackle) erupted.  It was like, "holy crap, Aaron Rodgers came to play!" I think it at least inspired a better performance from the team moving forward.

2.  Colin Kaepernick is Really Good.  But he doesn't need Jim Harbaugh coddling him.

I think people need to stop searching for excuses.  This guy is the real deal.  For as well as Rodgers played, Kaepernick was better.  He was making the right reads almost the entire game.  He actually started off shaky (well get to that later), but sprung into action and was just shooting darts.  The back-and-forth between him and Rodgers was one of those performances like Elway versus Montana, Marino versus Kelly, Young versus Aikman, Brady versus Manning,  Favre versus Brees, and Rodgers versus Warner performances we have seen over the years of modern QBing.  He has all of the tools.  He has the right mindset.  It is really going to be interesting to see him (and Rodgers, Ryan, RGIII, Russell Wilson) try to fend off the Mannings, Brady, and Brees from the spotlight in the coming 2-3 years.

That being said, Jim Harbaugh's schtick regarding him is nauseating.  Yes, CMIII hit Kaepernick late on one play.  It was obvious and was flagged.  CMIII admitted it was a stupid play by him.  He and Kaepernick were hugging and smiling after the game.  It was over.  Yet, we get ole Jimmy in the post-game presser acting like CMIII had taken a shat in the Sistine Chapel by breathing on Kaepernick.  I am so over him.  He is a crybaby coach.

Two footnotes to the whole late hit penalty and resulting fracas.  First, the amount of ink spilled on that play already is embarassing.  Second, I knew that the refs got it wrong.  It should have been 4th down.  Granted, the penalty on Staley was maybe over-the-top, but it was his action that created the resulting fracas that could have turned into something even bigger.  However, two dead ball fouls negate, and let the play live.  That meant 4th-and-2 in the 2nd quarter of a one-score game.  Niners are kicking the ball there.  Instead, they replay the down.  And when they replay it, the Niners run an obvious pick-play for a TD.  Same play they ran against the Packers in the playoffs.  And the refs miss the call.

3.  Tramon Williams should have had a pick.

First drive.  Kaepernick threw a ball that hit Tramon in the hands.  It should have been a pick.  And it would have been a devastating start to the 49ers.  Kapernick stayed away from Tramon pretty much the rest of the game.

Turnovers and time of possession had a big impact on this game.  Probably the most obvious reason behind who won and who lost.  So, to have a pick handed to you and dropped was a big factor.

4.  The difference between these two teams are at ILB.  That is it.

Yes, I know that the Packers were without Heyward and Burnett.  And trust me, it showed.  Heyward would have been on Boldin throughout the game and Burentt would have thrown more support at Vernon Davis.  However, the difference in these two teams defenses is that the Packers have all of their defenders playing with a mindset of "how can we help out the MLBs" and the 49ers defense is playing with the mindset of "I can take this risk" or "I don't need to worry about that" because "Bowman and Willis" got my back.  They are that defense through and through.  Especially without Goldson behind them (although Reid had a really good game too).  They impacted two key inside route plays with Finley and Jones.  They also permit Aldon Smith to just pass rush, wretchedly, without fear of the running game.  And they are the ones that were trying to play tricks on Rodgers throughout the game - although, I think Rodgers was always one-step ahead of them in this particular match-up.  So, if the Packers ever want to measure up, they need to take a flyer on someone who either is or will be the next Willis or Bowman.

5.  Candlestick - you will be missed.

I like Candlestick.  And I am going to miss it.  I have only been to 4 games there in person, but I remember watching so many baseball and football games played there via TV or listening to it via radio.  It has great sightlines and in the early autumn, provides beautiful shots with the sun stretching across the field.  There is a nice breeze coming in off the Bay, and it is just a perfect setting for afternoon football.

As for the bad - there is a lot.  The neighborhood is pretty terrible.  The parking and transportation in and out of the park is horrible.  It took Paige and I 50 minutes to drive from Santa Rosa to San Francisco and 55 minutes to drive from San Francisco to Santa Rosa back.  However, to get into the stadium from San Francisco, it took 1.5 hours.  And to get out, it took 2.5 hours.  Pretty miserable.  A lot of B.O.

There is also something about the fans.  They aren't the same that go to Giants games.  Much more drunk and disorderly.  Makes it more like a Packers game at Lambeau, both in a good and bad way.

Like this guy.  Randomly comes up to me and asks Paige to take a picture of him being sacked by me.  So, of course we did it.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Help Me Make "Bail" - Donate to the MDA

On July 17, 2013, I am set to serve time on behalf of the MDA - Muscular Dystrophy Association - in the annual Sacramento Executive Lock-Up.  This event is done every year, locally and nationally, to promote fundraising on behalf of the MDA.  These funds then go towards research regarding a variety of muscular ailments, including ALS (i.e. Lou Gehrig's Disease).  And because many of these diseases have no known treatment - let alone a cure - there is little to no medical assistance for providing necessary care and comfort to those afflicted.  Thus, money raised also goes to providing the care and assistance those victims need.

Please visit my personal fundraising page here (  As you can see, I have already raised over 10% of my bail.  However, if each of my regular readers of my blog contributed $10.00 apiece, I could easily double what has already been raised.  And every dollar counts - so even if you can only afford a $5.00 donation, it will be appreciated.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

February State of the Yard

I know it is the dead of winter. However, I just did an audit of my backyard and right now I am feeling like 3/4 of the plants and shrubs are either 50/50 or doubtful of returning next year. Argh! Seriously, 52 drip line spots to replace! Not to mention the flag stone patio and (obviously) the vegetable garden. Oh yeah, and the entire backyard probably needs to be ripped out. It is mostly moss and crabgrass, thanks to Madison and Davis. Oh yeah, did I mention they are in the middle of a two month project of digging an unneeded and unwanted irrigation ditch leading to the gate of the vegetable garden? Thanks for the surprise birthday present, jerks.

On the bright side, the front yard, beds look great. Looking forward to putting some more drip lines on the north bed and sprinklers facing Kerry's lawn. I think the only thing that will need replacing are the Dahlias. Dang snails! But I got a plan for them. Oh, they will never see what is coming.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Gong Hei Fard Choy!

Happy Chinese New Year! Welcome, Year of the Snake.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Weekly Review of Jacksonville Jaguars

I am thinking of starting a project next year reviewing every NFL game, in-depth, for a single, random NFL team. This is something Packers, Patriots, and even Vikings fans have now grown accustomed to, from our respective beat reporters (i.e. McGinn, Bedard, and Pelissero, respectively). However, most teams - and their fans - do not have such luxury. Most do not have someone who painstakingly breaks down film, conducts interviews, and grills scouts on an individual play-by-play basis. So, my idea would be do it for a team for which I have no real affinity and for whom does not have an existing option. So, I think I am settling on the Jaguars.

The idea would be to review each play up to 10-15 times in order to determine who on the Jaguars won their individual battles on the play, who did not, and why, ultimately, each play succeeded or failed. I have the all-22 access on, so I should be able to get a pretty good sense what happened on each play. I would award points from -3 to +3 for each player. I would also take into account outstanding or horrible effort by the opposition, and adjust my points and critique as appropriate. My goal would be to post a complete breakdown of my findings by the Friday following the game.

The goal in doing this would to see if I have what it takes to review game film, scout teams, scout players, and learn why a particular team wins and why another loses. Granted, I won't have the access to players, coaches, and scouts like the aforementioned writers do (and have rightfully earned), but at least I can try to give a shot.

Thoughts? Other than a waste of time.