First Blush

Reflections and sightings from [almost] daily jogging at dawn

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sunrise 6:15 am: The Belted Galloways of Stanford

About five years ago, a herd of distinctively marked black and white cattle replaced a herd of Texas Longhorns on some Stanford land between Alpine and Sand Hill Road. The Dawn Joggers catch glimpses of them on their "Big Dish" route but about two-thirds of the time, they are out of sight.

Where did they come from? What's their purpose? Where are they grazing when not in view from Alpine? Today they got answers - and an upclose inspection - thanks to a Scotsman whose home backs up to their grazing land.

Through some Internet research, the DJs had identified the cattle as Belted Galloways, an old Scottish breed with characteristic markings of black, red or dun sandwiched about a while middle. (Yes, like an Oreo cookie, although the DJs coined them "police cows" as they first spotted them in the flurry of homeland security following 9/11.) It's believed they developed during the 16th century in the Galloway district, a rugged and hilly seacoast region. The breed produces what's regarded as exceptionally lean and flavorful meat. The local herd is privately owned - the owner leases the land from Stanford - and individual animals are sold to beef connoisseurs.

The DJs, with Cassie in tow, ran into the Scotsman when they pulled up to an area the female DJ had been told might provide good views of the herd. He grew up on a farm that raised Belted Galloways on an island off the west coast of Scotland. So, he found it full of irony that he could see the same breed from his California home. He's monitored the herd for the past four years, including the era when a particularly precocious bull would pull away a section of fence and lead the herd on tours of the nearby neighborhood. That bull has since been replaced by a less adventuresome male.

A particular thrill for the DJs was finally seeing their "police cows" up close thanks to a gate from the Scotsman's backyard to the grazing land. It was here that the herd "hid" when not on view along Alpine. They saw a couple of fairly young calves as well as more that seemed a few months older. The day was beginning to warm up, and the herd was taking refuge under a couple of big oak trees.

The DJs kept Cassie on a leash and some distance from the herd, although she had learned not to bother cattle in the days when the Dish was open to dogs. After all, Australian Shepherds are bred to herd cattle and sheep, and even at 12, she still enjoys a good romp across an open field.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Sunrise 6:16 am: Awake poppies and a working Dish

The Dawn Joggers are out too early during the week to see open poppies - they close over night - so it's a treat to see their full display on the weekend. The poppy is the California state flower, a designation made in 1890. As such, they are protected and it's illegal to pick them, a fact the female DJ, whose parents were reverential about this particular wildlflower, remembers well from her childhood. In years past there were a number of good poppy stands along the Big Dish jogging paths but this year its all pink/violet little flowers. The Dish, a 150-foot in diameter radio telescope, was built in the 1960s and continues to be utilized for research projects.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Sunrise 6:17 am: Mustard makes for happy birds

The Dawn Joggers noticed that the Arastradero Preserve was finally starting to dry out although there was still a significant amount of water running in streams and gullies, eagerly enjoyed by Cassie. One week after their last visit, all the oaks were sporting new leaves.More hillsides were blanketed with tall yellow wildflowers, and the small pink/purple flowers were ubiquitous. As they made their way up and down the hills, wild turkeys could be heard in the distant. At the top of one ridge the mustard was so dense that it gave off a fluorescent hue. It was also the scene of much activity by dozens of red-winged blackbirds.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Sunrise 6:18 am: In praise of horses

Almost every morning the Dawn Joggers pass by horses stabled on the Stanford campus. It's a particular joy to the female DJ who once owned a thoroughbred horse named Dandy and who has an enduring passion for all things equine. The Red Barn Equestrian Center is all that remains of Leland Stanford's Palo Alto Stock Farm. At its peak, it had two dozen buildings, 150 employees and 600 horses. About two years ago, the latest in a series of renovations took place. A byproduct was the construction of new paddocks and a training ring in an area that was formerly a large fenced field. A few horses share their space with "pet" ponies.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sunrise 6:19 am: Clear skies show off blooms

The gray and gloomy skies of the past two days gave way to sunnier skies this morning. All the better to show off the wildflowers and flowering trees along the Dawn Joggers' route.

Stanford's main campus is great place to see wildflowers at this time of the year. Some may be volunteers like these yellow ones[anyone know the name?] but they are also planted along the traffic dividers. The female DJ's parents were keen wildflower enthusiasts, and the male DJ took her father to see the annual display in 2003 capturing this photo series.

Ornamental fruit trees with pale blooms like this [crab apple?] tree were planted by the female DJ's father, lining the backyard of their Hillview Drive home. Her mother used the flowers to make Oriental themed arrangements. The job of picking up the resulting unedible fruit often fell to the female DJ.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Sunrise 6:21 am: First duckling spotted

There it was, spotted just after the Dawn Joggers and Cassie - soon joined by Judy - climbed the steps onto Lake Lagunita's levee. One newly born duckling - only the tiniest speck in the photo just to the rear of its two parents - out for a morning swim. All agreed the it was odd to see just one duckling. Clearly not all eggs survive nor do all ducklings make it to adulthood. But neither the DJs nor Judy recall ever seeing just one duckling per pair before. Had the March rains washing away the other eggs in the nest?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Sunrise 6:22 am: New member of the jogging team

A slim and lightweight Panasonic Lumix FX-9, nicknamed Silvio, joined the Dawn Joggers this morning. Its addition was necessitated by the demise of not one but two digital cameras in recent weeks, reported by the male DJ in his blog. The female DJ has learned much about photography - and the quality of light - from the male DJ over the years, the importance of filling the frame when photographing faces for one and framing objects with their natural surroundings being another. The shot of Hoover Tower, a much photographed icon of the Stanford campus, is an example of the latter.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sunrise 6:23 am: The bloom of spring

The Dawn Joggers' very busy schedule today allowed for only quick spin around the lake, mainly to give Cassie an outing. Lake Lagunita is already starting to dry up; there's a distinct ring where the high water mark was. Much is in bloom including mixtures of native succulents and wildflowers.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Sunrise 6:25 am: John Hubbard and Earth Day

Today is John Hubbard's 95th birthday and the Dawn Joggers set off on their Saturday Big Dish run prepared to photograph the sparkling spring landscape in proper tribute to both the man and Earth Day. But a "system failure" message on the digital camera limited them to just one shot, the "police cows" grazing on the hillside (just a dot in the photo).

The female DJ always thought it perfect that Earth Day fell on her father's birthday. There were few people who loved and respected the earth more. John Hubbard was an outdoorsman from the time of his childhood spent in California's Gold Country and a conservationist before it became fashionable. As a young adult he hiked solo along the Pacific Crest trail from Lake Tahoe to Yosemite with just a knapsack. He climbed Half Dome and Mt. Whitney and completed his last 60-mile backpack trip at the age of 78 with the male DJ and grandson John. He was an avid fly fisherman and scratch golfer who shot his age at 89. Even now, in much diminished health following a stroke two years ago, he enjoys a short daily stroll. His birthday was celebrated quietly this year with cake and ice cream and a hearty singing of "Happy Birthday."

Friday, April 21, 2006

Sunrise 6:26 am: Two towel kind of morning

It was back to "Fridays at Arastradero" for the Dawn Joggers this morning now that the rains - and resulting muddy conditions - had subsided. There was an abundance of wildflowers in bloom and only a few really soggy spots. Cassie managed to do a good job of finding each and every one of them. The DJs have long marveled at Cassie's status as "the dirtiest Aussie in Menlo Park," a veritable mud magnet. She pranced through one dark puddle, emerging with mud up to her belly. A smart remedy seemed to be a rinse off in Lake Arastradero, and it did do the trick, at least for a short while. She picked up on a new layer of dirt and twigs before getting back into the car for the ride home, requiring a patio hose off so extensive that two towels were required.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Sunrise 6:27 am: Many avians, awaiting ducklings

"They're everywhere," said the male Dawn Jogger when the female DJ pointed to a pair of mallard ducks in the marsh just as he was photographing another pair. It had already been an avian banner morning. A blue heron and an egret were spotted sitting on the Lake Lagunita shoreline about 10 feet apart.

Given the amount of water in the lake this year (the marker shows eight feet), the lush vegetation and the abundant surrounding marshland, the DJs anticipate a bumper crop of ducklings. Mallards are monogamous (at least for the breeding season) and the DJs had already witnessed the scuffling between males while the courted female was making up her mind on a mate. Wonder what the selection criteria is: Ability to ward off foxes? Just the right plumage? Good sounding "kwek-kwek-kwek?" (Males "kwek" while females "quack.") Incubation period is about a month. Every lake jog brings renewed anticipation for the first duckling sighting of the season.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Sunrise 6:28 am: April is National Garden Month (really)

Gardening, or better stated taming the land, is a major pursuit during April and May at Stanford (total acres 8,180 of which 2,300 are on the central campus). It's the gardening and landscape crew that keeps the Dawn Joggers company as they make their way across campus each morning, well before the student population has awakened. They're particularly keen on two of the crew's vehicles. One is the tiniest truck in existence, not much bigger than a golf cart (neither DJ can recall seeing anything smaller, even in Europe or China), artfully arrayed with all the tools of the trade. The other, just starting to emerge this year, is the army of mower vehicles, all of which seem to be driven the the jolliest of men.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sunrise 6:30 am: Nine seconds later on April 18, 1906

The Dawn Joggers hit the bike path just moments after 6:12 this morning, 100 years after the Great Quake struck. While the annual commemoration took place in darkness around Lotta's Fountain in downtown San Francisco this morning at 5:12 am, it would actually have been light when the San Andreas fault ruptured a hundred years ago as there was no daylight savings time. The sun would have risen about 15 minutes later, at 5:30 (today's 6:30 PDT) and peaked through the open fields of the Peninsula much like it appears in today's photo.

The female DJ (and Bay Area native) grew up hearing that the epicenter of the Great Quake was north of San Francisco in the Marin County town of Olema. Modern scientific measurements changed that to just off Daly City some years ago and, more recently, to off Ocean Beach in San Francisco. That's about where the San Andreas fault moves out to sea for a stretch of miles before returning to land in Marin. The shaking would have started in Menlo Park about nine seconds after the initial rupture. The U.S. Geological Survey put together a nifty ground motion simulation map, with the most violent shaking appearing in red. See it here.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Sunrise 6:31 am: Life spent on the fault line

There are new markers along the Dawn Joggers' Stanford campus route, all part of the Quake '06 Centennial Campus Walking tour. The DJs made a slight detour this morning to go by Memorial Church, which was almost completely destroyed by the 1906 quake. MemChu, as its colloquially called, was built between 1899 and 1903 by Jane Stanford, in honor of her late husband. It was rebuilt without the tower, part of the initial structure, and suffered damage again from the Loma Prieta quake.

The female DJ has spent much of her life living within a mile of the mighty San Andreas fault. She was at Candlestick awaiting the start of a World Series game between the Giants and As when it ruptured in 1989 and grew up hearing the story of her grandfather, Wilmer Hubbard, who was in San Francisco on the morning of April 18, 1906. Seems he caught a ferry to Oakland to first check on his mother and then walked to San Jose, a distance of about 30 miles, where the woman he was courting and would subsequently marry, Caroline Willams, lived with her parents.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sunrise 6:33 am: Easter musing while rabbit hunting

Undoubtedly many an Easter egg hunt got put on hold this morning due to the steady downpours of rain. But just before noon some spots of blue started to poke through, encouragement enough for the female Dawn Jogger and Cassie to go looking for Easter rabbits while pondering a bit about the meaning of Easter. They tried to get a bunny's eye view of the world; it's not hard this year with all the tall grass. The Stanford campus is host to both jack rabbits and more sadly, abandoned pet cottontails.

Making their way to the more civilized parts of the campus, they came upon the New Guinea Sculpture Garden, created in 1994 by 10 master carvers from Papua New Guinea. During their six months of work, the carvers and the local project workers were transformed by the power of community and the bonds of brotherhood. One carver spoke at the closing ceremony: "You saw us and you thought we were from a wild area, the jungle. You didn't know us and we didn't know you. Now we are brothers. Now we are friends." Not a bad Easter story in itself.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Sunrise 6:34 am: Horses and an uncle who loved them

The Dawn Joggers and Cassie were not detered by the continuing showers and hit the streets of San Francisco as planned for a 7-mile walk along the Embarcadero, stopping for a excellent lunch at the Market Bar restaurant. The excursion to the City was prompted by the three-day 1906 Great Earthquake and Fire Expo held in Pier 48 and the adjacent parking lot near the Giants ballpark. Arrived just as the various fire departments from other cities were hooking up their magnificent draft horse teams to some vintage steam fire engines, the largest collection assembled at one time. How the female DJ's Uncle Stuart would have loved this day, his two passions being horses and baseball. A memorial plaque to him is found at McCovey Point directly across from the ballpark. It's just above a bronze baseball and reads:
Stuart A Reid, 7/9/19-5/28/02, SF Giants Fan.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Sunrise 6:35 am: Cheery cat, cheery purple

Spectacular morning for tackling "reverse Dish," an alternative hill run for the Dawn Joggers to the overly muddy Arastradero usual Friday outing. A black cat, perched on a post - the better to spy its prey - greeted them as they set out. As the sun came up, its rays filtered through the scattered clouds, creating a "God sky." Like yesterday, it was a bit muggy, just short of "earthquake weather," alluded to frequently in the past week as the Bay Area approaches the 100-year anniversary of the 1906 earthquake and fire on April 18. The San Andreas fault line was quite visible, looking westward, as the DJs descended down the "back side" of the Dish toward Alpine Road. Also visible, and in amazing abundance, was blanket after blanket of tiny purple wildflowers.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sunrise 6:37 am: On rainbows and corporate culture

Great rainbow (faintly seen in photo) was spotted by the Dawn Joggers this sunny (!) morning as they looked across Lake Lagunita. Coincidentally, they were chatting with one of their early AM friends about a company that's long used a rainbow as part of its logo, Apple. Seems a local third grader wrote Steve Jobs a letter offering her suggetions on how Apple might improve its iPod, all part of a school project on writing business letters. She waited three months for an answer only to get a stern letter from Apple's corporate counsel explaining that the company does not welcome unsolicitated product ideas and referring her to the legal policy posted on its website. "Evidently she had a good idea," commented the DJs' jogging friend, who just happens to be a patent attorney. For the record, one of the third grader's ideas was to display lyrics on the screen. Wondering if that's an upcoming feature? Listen to the girl's story here.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sunrise 6:38 am: Secret truck lust

"This one is fancy," remarked the male DJ on spying one of his favorite trucks (construction machinery? - what is the correct word?) on Bay Laurel on yet another drizzly spring morning. Both Dawn Joggers harbor secret truck lust. The male DJ is partial to equipment he can imagine operating - or in the case of the Bobcat, what he has actually used. The Bobcat job occured years ago in South Pasadena when a swimming pool was being built and he needed to move some sand that had been dumped in the front yard to the backyard. One of his biggest thrills was a visit to the Caterpillar plant in Peoria where he also got to sample the food of "Porkchop Willie." The female DJ, on the other hand, is enchanted with giant truck cabs, preferably with spiffy paint jobs and highly polished chrome.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Sunrise 6:40 am: Boat awaits sailor

The Dawn Joggers noticed the latest addition to Lake Lagunita this morning; a sailboat had been added to the the various rowboats and makeshift rafts. Good day for sailing as there was a brisk breeze blowing. The once robut spring quarter swimming and boating season on the lake has been noticeably absent the last half dozen years or so. In the late 90s, sand would be imported to make a beach and sailing and windsurfing classes were held. The lack of activity may mean good news for the ducks.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Sunrise 6:41 am: Campus buzz gang invasion

Forget the sightings, it started off as an all sound morning for the Dawn Joggers. First the male DJ thought he heard a boat approaching the foot bridge across San Francisquito Creek adjacent to the golf course. That would have been quite a sighting if it didn't turn out to be gardener's cart. Then like a rave gone bad, loud techno pop emanated from a near empty garage near the engineering buildings. But there was no warning sound as the DJs approached a roped off "crime scene" along Campus Drive. Seems a gang of bees had attached its hive to the bottom of a tree.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sunrise 6:43 am: Peninsula wildflower display

The Dawn Joggers and Cassie stayed in home territory today with a morning hike on their favorite Portola Ranch trail loop, still under a lot of water but with a lot more wildflowers on display than when they last visited. The miner's lettuce was in bloom. They'd never really noticed this edible wild green until a hike along Jasper Ridge last year lead by knowledgeable docent Bill Gomez. Now they see it everywhere in the spring, very thick in spots. It got its name during the Gold Rush with 49ers eating it as part of scurvy prevention.(Not sure why they haven't tasted it yet - maybe next week.)

Thanks to Bill they can now also identify Indian Warrior, which botantical sources classify as a hemiparasite, meaning it can attach its root system to the roots of another plant. It's one of the few bright scarlet wildflowers the DJs see locally.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Sunrise 6:44 am: Different kind of cats at Chabot

"Who is Anthony Chabot?" asked the male DJ as the Dawn Joggers and Cassie pulled into the Clyde Woolridge Staging Area. "He has his name on everything - park, observatory, college." (For that matter who is Clyde Woolridge?)

The DJs headed to the East Bay for what turned out to be an 8-mile hike and picnic in Anthony Chabot Regional Park. It was one of the few Alameda County East Bay parks that they'd not hiked in. Conditions were perfect today - pleasant temperatures, the sun shining most of the time, and the wild flowers beginning their display. Surprisingly, they encountered only a handful of hikers and bicyclists as they made their way through eucalyptus forests, oak woodland and meadows on a series of washboard trails that provided a decent workout. Much of their route was along a portion of the East Bay Skyline Ridge Trail; the skies were clear enough to spot three bridges looking west and endless rolling green hillsides looking east.

It was a 5,000-acre refuge to be enjoyed almost all to themselves. Except for a few cat sightings, that is. The first was the veggie-fueled "Lioness," one of three vehicles in a fleet maintained by the organization Common Vision, now in Hayward as part of the Fruit Tree Tour 2006. It appeared like a 60s flashback, making its way up a slight hill, as the Djs and Cassie crossed a park road. Then only minutes later, a bobcat (name not revealed) was spotted scampering into some under brush.

Mystery men answers: Chabot was a "49er" turned hydraulic engineer who by the late 1800s supplied Oakland with its water. In 1883, he funded the city's first observatory, then located downtown. (It's now in the Oakland hills and still bears his name.) Clyde Woolridge opened a camera store in 1936 named Camera Corner, also in downtown.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Sunrise 6:45 am: Oak tree down

A large, old oak tree had toppled near the bike bridge over San Francisquito Creek, probably the result of overly soggy soil and a less than healthy tree. It was not the first spotted by the Dawn Joggers this mushy spring. "Oak tree down" has been a thread of the DJs 25 years together. It was a big event when one crashed in their South Pasadena neighborhood years ago. That oak was immediately transformed into a fort by son John and his friends, then into their "military camouflage" dress up faze. Two particularly majestic oaks (featured in Bo Caldwell's enchanting novel, "The Distant Land of My Father") graced the middle of Chelten Street in that same neighborhood. They were spaced at a perfect distance for weaving a car in and out - a maneuver lobbied for by John and executed by the male DJ over and over. Those oaks, too, are now gone.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Sunrise 6:47 am: Sunny report on opening day

The Dawn Joggers realized it had been weeks since they'd seen a near cloudless sky in the morning. The "no rain" forecast over the next 24 or so hours indicates the baseball gods are in firm control on this the Giants home opener.

Thanks to all the precipitation Lake Lagunita measures 8-feet deep, and the one boat tethered on the western bank is now submerged, at least until some enterprising student rights it. The successive downpours were forceful enough to dislodge the wooden planks that served as bridges across the muddiest and soggiest areas of the trail around the lake.

Otherwise it's spring business as usual; the mallards are all paired up (with the males not letting the females out of their sight) while the coots go about their business in a more singular fashion.

Update: an indication of the entire Bay Area's "feed-up-with-rain" condition was KFOG substituting a "Hello Sunshine!" segment on 10 at 10 this morning for its usual "ten best songs from one great year." A particulary cheery set.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Sunrise 6:48 am: Signs of spring, thoughts on trust

Add meteorologist to the Dawn Joggers job descriptions. That's what it takes to get a morning run in these days. Look to the West, get ready, wait for the squall to pass, move like mad before the next downpour. Such was the case this morning when they awoke to a mini monsoon. "Rain delay" no longer just refers to baseball.

The weather may not be cooperating but there are signs of spring, such as a scene of barnyard animals tucked in a corner of a West Menlo front yard. Lest there are doubters who can't believe such a group would hang together, the DJs have first hand evidence from a May walk some years back along the Dales Way in Yorkshire where they witnessed scene after scene right out of Beatrix Potter.

Journalistic note: Much is being made today about the announcement of Katie Couric being named Managing Editor (important distinction) and anchor of the CBS nightly news. That the fact she will be the first female solo anchor is sad commentary some 50 years after broadcast journalism began to hit its stride.

But one other word has been bandied about in the commentary over her appointment - trust. That's what people say about Couric, they can "trust her." The "trust shoes" are a large CBS legacy to fill; Walter Cronkite was known as the "most trusted man in America" during his 20-year anchor tenure. Congratulations, Katie, you have our trust.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sunrise 6:50 am: Big pulpy mess

Rain - and more rain - has turned the wood chips that are spread along portions of the Stanford pathways frequented by the Dawn Joggers into near pulp. If someone could figure out how to "harvest" the pulp, it would potentially yield fine paper; it's a similar combination of softwood chips mixed with hardwood chips, including the short fiber of eucalyptus, that's used to give fine printing and copying paper its smoothness. All of this moisture has also yielded a particularly large crop and wide variety of mushrooms along the trails.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Sunrise 6:51 am: Dark, ominous - befitting winning ugly

Compounding the clock-back induced, out-before-sun-up take off of the Dawn Joggers first week day outing of April were extraordinary dark clouds overhead. Looks like more rain, adding to the record 25 of 31 days of precipitation in March. The water was rushing so swiftly in San Francisquito Creek that two ducks quickly bailed to the beckoning comfort of the golf course's manicured greens. However ugly the weather, the "new" ugly, as in winning ugly, is just fine with the female DJ, who refuses to remove the powder blue UCLA cap that's gotten the team to the championship game. Just one more ugly win needed. Go Bruins.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Sunrise 6:53 am: Golden outlook despite the gloom

The change to daylight savings time means more to the Dawn Joggers than losing an hour's sleep. It plunges them back into darkness. They remember glorious bright April mornings when the time change used to come at the end of the month rather than the beginning. And they dread next year when it will start in March.

Despite the time change and grey skies that signaled more rain to come, all was not gloom. The poppies showed off with eager, wide-open faces, undoubtedly smiling at the thought of the Giants season opener tomorrow afternoon and the possibility of a twelfth national basketball championship for UCLA tomorrow evening. Go Bruins.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Sunrise 5:54 am: Defense, determination and the Dance

The female DJ felt the first stirrings of that unmistakable mix of quesiness and butterflies as the Dawn Joggers headed up the first of the two long Big Dish hills. Yes, it's only a game, but it's the Big Dance and the UCLA Bruins are on the card for the first time since 1995.

Today's Final Four game seems to boil down to defense - not just the Bruins', who's defensive style of play under third-year coach Ben Howland has transformed a floundering program - but LSU's, a team that held its opponents to a lower scoring average than the Bruins. The oddsmakers favor LSU, although the spread has shrunk as the week progressed.

Determination is the other thread. Ben Howland grew up entralled by Bruin basketball and in eighth grade vowed to a friend that he would grow up to be a Division I coach, according to an article in yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle. LSU star Glen "Big Baby" Davis successfully navigated through a childhood in which he bounced between foster homes, shelters, his grandmother's house and an older brother due to his mother's drug addiction. UCLA seniors Ryan Hollins (now nursing a bruised thigh) and Cedric Bozeman used determination to both battle injuries and adjust to a new coach and program.

Will the edge be the Big Dance itself? UCLA has won a championship 11 times, mostly under legendary coach John Wooden, who unfortunately isnt' making the trip to Indianapolis. Neither this history nor the powerful tradition of Bruin basketball impresses Big Baby who told the assembled press corps, "U-C-L-A is just a couple of letters on the front of the jersey to me."

Well, we'll see. Go Bruins.