January, 2019

What’s in a Name?

by Jerry Lerman (344)

I was not pleased to learn recently that our beloved San Francisco Giants would no longer be playing in their beautiful home on McCovey Cove, “AT&T Park.”   While the name of the cove will forever remain, despite the passing of its eponymous hero, the team’s management has agreed to cede the naming of its ballpark to the highest bidder.   Who but an oracle could have foreseen this turn of events?  Actually, pretty much anyone, because baseball is a business, and businesses that don’t seek to maximize their profits are not long for this world.   

After the horrible shellacking my ‘alma mater’ Wells Fargo has taken for trying to maximize its profits in the worst way possible, however,  it could be that an outfit really aiming to survive should be wary of taking its customers for granted.   The Giants seem to have done that. 

There have been many other changes in the Giants organization over the past two years, and not all of them have been for the better.  It is not news that the team’s very dismal performance of 2017 was a far cry from the 2010, 2012, 2014 World Series years.   While in 2018 we saw an improvement, it wasn’t quite enough to last through all six months of the season.   The head office personnel changes preceding this season sounded very promising, but the roster activities we’ve seen so far have been a bit underwhelming.  (This could change…  and I really hope it will!) 

Maybe what I really bemoan about the changing of the ballpark’s moniker is that I haven’t thought to do the same thing myself.  Why do Eve and I reside at ‘344’ Bowfin – when we might just pocket some dough by selling the rights to name our humble abode to an august Foster City institution?  Maybe we should change our address to  ‘222’ – and collect an annual stipend from ‘ABC Seafood’ (Puzzled? check out your phone keypad.)  Or, I could apply a nice paint job to my Prius, which is almost the same color

as a cup from Penelope’s.  What might they pay us?  Eve and I wouldn’t be too demanding – maybe a halavah bar and midnight moon pour-over each month.

And it might not be a pipe dream to hit up a local plumber with a deal where we advertise its name on a lawn placard, mildly draining their advertising budget drip-by-drip.

Yes, I’d love to maximize my profits like the Giants are doing, but unlike them,  I respect my neighbors (and hopefully ‘fans’) so I won’t.  I hope they’ll be more discerning in their future decision-making.

Solution to Last Month’s Quiz

Mr. Month Visits the Alphabet

The 4 letter sequence is F, G, H, I


F occurring only in February,

G occurring only in August

H occurring only in March


I occurring only in April


NEXT ISSUE OF B.I.  February 17, 2019

Please reach us with your articles, news or ideas at

 344 Bowfin, (650 572-9153) or email us at JERRYANDEVE@COMCAST.NET

 This Month’s Quiz


This month we challenge you to figure out these scrambled ‘Oscar Nominees’*   Five are

Nominated for Best Picture, while the other three are nominees for Best Supporting Actor or Actress, with their movies given in parentheses.   The name of one of these, the supporting star of ‘Roma’ was brand new to me, but in the spirit of unfairness 😊, I’ll offer no additional clue – other than to suggest you check out the Internet to find the list of nominees.

     A Bowfin “Book Club”?

by Jerry Lerman (344)

An idea for building our ‘block community’ a bit stronger might be to entertain book recommendations from our neighbors.  We thought we’d try out the idea with this issue, and ask that others of you consider contributing a brief article or blurb about favorites of yours.

Here at the Lermans we’ve recently had the wonderful opportunity of purchasing new books authored by some of our family friends. 

The Babe Chases 60 – That Fabulous 1927 Season, Home Run by Home Run – by John G. Robertson (Jerry’s Scrabble friend).   Eve’s finished reading this already – while I’ve just started.  While the baseball ending is not a surprise,  many of the elements of the Babe’s amazing life and career are drawn clearly and compellingly.  I was not expecting to hear, for example, that in Spring Training that year, Ruth suffered a charley horse injury that put him out of commission and took him out of his homer swing for a couple weeks.  (He shaped up after that!)

Growing Up with God and Empire, by Stephanie Vandrick (Eve’s friend from our ‘baby group’ back when Beth was born).  Stephanie, who is a professor at USF, analyzes the diaries of ‘missionary kids’ to learn more about the positive and negative effects of Christian missionaries in the days of colonization.

Everything Scrabble, 4th edition, by Joe Edley (Jerry’s friend since high school) and John D. Williams, Jr.   This most recent update of “The Definitive Book on Scrabble” includes many new sections, including a large addition to assist readers in developing their anagramming skills.  It also includes recent anecdotes about tournament players, and includes the record-setting 8 bingo game I played in 2011. 

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