Month: September 2015

Camp Opens (finally)

As I write this training camp has finally opened and the Sharks are about to travel to Vancouver for a pre-season game as part of Kraft Hockeyville. Hockey is around the corner once again. It’s been an off-season of big changes. Todd McClellan is out, Peter DeBoer is in, Antti Niemi is out, Martin Jones is in. Joe Thornton and Doug Wilson have officially buried the hatchet (but interestingly enough, nobody seems to be asking that of Patrick Marleau) I said over the summer I feel this team is capable of making the playoffs but it’s pretty clear it won’t be easy out here in the West. The Sharks saw a significant and troubling drop in season ticket renewals to 85% where the team’s renewal rates have been more traditionally around 95% or higher. I think that drop is even more significant than it sounds because this is the 25th anniversary season and that’s the kind of year where I would expect people to be more likely to hang on for one more year just to experience the anniversary. One wonders what the renewal rate would have been if it wasn’t the anniversary. The Sharks have a lot of work to do; they need to learn DeBoer’s system, they need to start winning back the trust and enthusiasm of the fans — they need to win. They need to...

Read More

A Longer than 140 Character Discussion on Ad Blocking

A Longer than 140 Character Discussion on Ad Blocking IOS 9 is now released and with it, Apple’s addition of the ability to install ad blockers into your mobile Safari browser. This has created a lot of discussion across the internet, including yours truly. This is a complex issue with many good points on all sides. I resisted using an ad blocker for a long time, finally deciding to do so when it became clear how painful using most web sites had become and how much data was being collected and tracked on users. And this is my beef. Not advertising; I get it that people who create content need to make money and pay the rent and feed their family. Where they’ve lost me is the sheer size and greed and impact of the advertising on my use of the net. When a web page is bloated from 1-2 megabytes to over 10, when accomodating the trackers of all of the systems attached into the advertising spreads information out across 25 or more sites — and the capture of that information is not disclosed, there’s no transparency on what it is or who has access to it, and there’s no opt-out opportunity (I won’t go into the idea that I ought to have been asked to opt in to this tracking), the greed and aggressiveness of the advertisers...

Read More

Who is the next Captain of the San Jose Sharks?

So who’s going to be the next Captain of the San Jose Sharks? Peter Deboer says the team will have one. There’s been a lot of speculation among fans and some of the media that covers the team, but the team itself isn’t saying and I expect DeBoer has his preferences, but won’t know for sure until camp opens and perhaps we get right up to the start of the season. That said, I think the obvious candidate is Joe Pavelski, and I’m not entirely sure why he wasn’t given the position last season by Todd McLellan. So you can put me in with the majority that assume it will be him. It likely will be and should be. But what about the alternates? There are a number of options and which DeBoer chooses will give us an indication of his views on this team’s makeup. Marc-Eduoard Vlasic is one of the players on my short list, as is Logan Couture. Given the team has switched back from “build for the next generation” mode to “we can win now”, does the team give an A to one of the older veterans? I think so, and my vote would go to Joe Thornton. Could the team instead think about bringing in one of the younger kids into the captain’s circle? Maybe a Matt Nieto or Chris Tierney? I don’t think...

Read More

Fall is coming

This morning I read the first report of Sandhill Cranes heard flying south over the Sacramento area. Our winter visitors are starting to arrive — and in case anyone is wondering, this is a few weeks early, but given the weird weather in the western region, nothing surprises me any more. I am not a summer person, I haven’t been a summer person for many years. Society, I think, puts too much emphasis on summer; as kids, we were programmed to prefer summer because that’s when school was out and we were free, and so there’s a strong social emphasis on summer as the preferred option. As a photographer in the bay area, and as a wildlife photographer, I have to admit summer is my least favorite time and when I’m most likely to leave the camera in the bag. Here in Silicon Valley the skies tend to either be filled with the murky grey of the marine layer or go cloudless and a fairly featureless and boring blue. Sunrises and sunsets can be great — once in a while — and fogged out or boringly weak most of the time. The end of spring migration means a relative paucity of “interesting” birds and there are only so many times you can go shooting snowy egrets or red-tailed hawks before you wonder why you’re taking more images that look...

Read More