Here are some things that happen when you interview hip-hop legend Biz Markie during a promotional celebrity appearance at an A's game


Tonight's game starts at 7:05, at which point Biz Markie, the “clown prince of hip-hop,” most famous for his hit sing-songy single “Just a Friend,” off the 1989 album The Biz Never Sleeps, will be throwing out the first pitch against the Houston Astros.

This particular game, the evening of July 23, also falls on the A’s 15th annual Root Beer Float Day, a beloved tradition that raises money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation by having A’s players, coaches, announcers, the staffs of several radio stations, and celebs of various stature (Real World cast members) scoop and serve root beer floats at $2 each for two hours before the first pitch. Read more »


TABLEHOPPING World Cup is ON, and here are some fun spots where you can watch the games (and eat and drink, too).




Now through July 13, a whole bunch of soccer fans are going to be coming into work late (sorry, there's a 9am game!) or taking long lunches to get those noon games in. Fortunately there are a bunch of places to watch the Cup, in case your boss is getting suspicious of you hanging out in the conference room with your iPad. (For more suggestions, see the Pixel Vision blog at more »

Wind it up

Always wanted to try kitesurfing? Here's how to get started


CULTURE They're out there in the water at Ocean Beach and Crissy Field, whipping by the toll plaza, sailing giant kites like crescent moons. Those freaky, flying water monkeys — soaring around the bay via kites strong enough to tow cars — are kitesurfers, also called kiteboarders.Read more »

Lawsuit challenging the Beach Chalet turf project goes to trial


Plans to place artificial turf and stadium lights on Beach Chalet’s soccer fields in Golden Gate have been in the works since 2011, and local environmental groups have been fighting the proposal and losing each time. Now, their final hopes rest on a lawsuit going to trial this Friday.Read more »

New Zealand's Cup

America's Cup, seen by many here as a billionaire's boat race, looks very different Down Under, with its culture of sailing and maritime innovation


A few weeks ago I was walking down the dock in the marina where I live, in Wellington, New Zealand, when I passed a woman and a young boy. I'd never seen them before, which is uncommon here in this municipal marina — about 100 boats — in a small suburb of the country's capital.

The boy was walking from berth to berth pointing out certain rig and hull features and expounding on them as only a future aficionado can. "Lots of different boats, huh?" I asked as I passed.

"Different than America," he confirmed in an accent the same as mine.Read more »

A tale of two signings: Kluwe and Tebow


Two very disparate signings in pro football in the last month. First, punter and outspoken gay rights advocate Chris Kluwe has signed with the Raiders (after being let go by the Vikings). The former UCLA star has been a pro ball player eight years, the Raiders are his third team. Read more »

Three! Out!

Baseball in Italy? Oh yes, it happened.


IN THE GAME Home runs are called fuoricampi, which translates literally to outfields, in the sense of "out of the park." Hits are valide, or "valids." And a strike out is a strike out. It's pretty adorable, when the field announcer at Stadio Nuevo Europeo in Parma exclaims, "Strike! Three! Out!"

At one point last Saturday, Parma's starter Jose Sanchez struck out seven in a row. Over six shutout innings, he struck out 12, so we got to hear it a lot:

"Strike! Three! Out!"

I'm 50.Read more »

The Warriors Arena: Art Agnos v. Gary Radnich


Here's a fun one: former Mayor Art Agnos debating the Warriors arena with Gary Radnich and Larry Krueger. Radnich has always been my favorite sports guy, ever since his days on KRON TV (although Kruk and Kuip are the best live-action announcers), and Agnos is my favorite ex-mayor. (Lord, I gave him a hard time when he was in office, and he sometimes deserved it, but he's been great as a former.)Read more »

Fire fight

Police versus fire department versus pig with mustache versus Pinkie (a basketball story)


IN THE GAME In a pink dress, with a pink hair tie and those little pink sneakers that light up every time you take a step, she dominated the Alameda High School hardwood. I'm going to guess she was three. How else to explain the dogged determination with which, time after time after time, she took aim at the far-away hoop, and with all her cute-little-cutey-pie might heaved the basketball to a point about a foot-and-a-half in front of her feet. Bounce, plop, and roll ...Read more »

Just for kicks

It's co-ed pickup kickball season -- but watch out for "mesh monsters"


IN THE GAME It's not kickball; it's matball. Which looks a lot like kickball, with one big difference: You can have more than one runner at a time on any given base. You can have up to three, but if a fourth is incoming, someone's got to go.

You don't have to stop running, either, when you reach home, in some versions of the game. You can keep going — back to first, and around the bases again. In gym class, this was a way to make kids run laps without quite exactly knowing it.Read more »