Michael Mathews
Things I'm grateful for: No shootouts in the playoffs.
Follow-up From the Sharks

I received a general reply from my account representative.  A friend received a bit more detailed reply to the letters about the new security policies. I will paraphrase the responses.

Essentially, they won’t turn anyone away who shows up with a reasonable bag. The metal detector and search process is likely to take longer than we have seen in the past, so we should allow plenty of time to enter the building. They are really trying to encourage people to not bring things if they can avoid it, as they are worried about potentially long lines, especially the first few games while they finalize the procedures.

For me, I think this means I’ll trim down to a messenger style bag rather than my fairly large backpack, and I’ll try to bring nothing that I don’t absolutely need during the day when I’m working. For weekend games I will take a very small bag with my iPad and phone charger. Yeah, the messenger bag gets uncomfortable if I try to walk a couple of miles, but I can live with this.

I do think this means if you want to fly in and go straight to a game with your luggage you are going to have a problem. I have done that once. :)

I appreciate the replies from the Sharks and I do feel like they are trying to work with those of us who don’t drive to the games and have some basic equipment to carry.

Letter to My Sharks Account Rep

Once again I write with concerns about the change in security procedures. While I understand that the NHL is mandating the policies, my relationship is with the Sharks. I don’t have a direct relationship with the NHL.

These policies make me have to choose between my job and the Sharks, because I have to transport my laptop with me to weeknight games and then home afterwards. I can’t leave it at the office for logistical reasons. I don’t drive to the games, I use Caltrain. There is no way to go back to my office after the game - I would miss the last train home. As I read the policy, if I show up with my laptop backpack, I will probably be denied entry. 

It’s not even clear if I could bring a small bag with an iPad for weekend games. I use the iPad to stay entertained on the 3-hour round-trip train ride. Considering that the train ride on weekends is longer than the actual game playing time, the thought of not being able to make use of that time in the manner I want is more than a little disturbing.

The thing I find annoying about this is that I have to pay for my tickets in summer and the policies in place at the time the ticket packets are mailed are acceptable. I know what is allowed, I arrive early to games so there is time for my bag to be checked, etc.  It seems unfair that partway through the season, the policy changes. At this point I could potentially have to eat several weeknight tickets if I can’t sell them or can’t make arrangements to work at home or otherwise find a safe place to store my computer bag.

While I love the Sharks, if I have to choose between my job and entertainment, it’s no choice, really.

Thanks for your consideration.

Season ticket holder since 1991, full-season ticket holder since 1993.


The biggest mistake I made with Gmail was labeling and reading messages but not archiving them. My inbox is out of control.

Berkeley Rep: The Pianist of Willesden Lane

I saw a very moving and beautiful performance at Berkeley Rep last night called “The Pianist of Willesden Lane”. It featured accomplished pianist Mona Golabek performing numerous classical piano works while narrating a story from her mother’s perspective. Her mother, Lisa Jura, was also an accomplished pianist and survivor of both the Holocaust and the London Blitz. The play is Ms. Golabek’s recounting of the many stories her mother shared while teaching her daughter to play the paino.

This show is one of my all-time Berkeley Rep favorites.  The play runs through January 5, 2014.

SFGate Review

Mercury News Review

Berkeley Rep Play Information

2013-2014 Season Show 2 of 7.

San Jose Sharks [7/30]

San Jose Sharks [7/30]


Drowning Art by Ivan Puig | via

Ivan Puig is a Spain based artist who lets his own sculptures drown. Two of his works are called ‘Crecimientos Artificiales’ (Artificial Growth) and ‘Hasta Las Narices’ (Fed Up). The second series outlines a commentary about education and questions the artificial in the induction of knowledge. In a general manner it reviews the structures of power upon which the doctrine of education is ‘seated’ in the country and its system, strongly influenced by conflicts in the economic, political and social order. The first piece consist of different installations, its origin is related to the proportions of the events and its relativity. The comic narrative is employed. The spectator moves among the pieces like a zoom out. Though they both have pretty much different contexts and meanings, we appreciate this sculptures for their quite tragedy encouraging to think further about it without any noise.

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Caltrain Citation Story: Sympathetic or Not?

I saw a guy get a ticket on Caltrain this morning.

He stated that he rides regularly from Millbrae (zone 2) to Mountain View (zone 3). The conductor checking his pass said he had the wrong zones. The guy said he had a “2-zone” pass, which turned out to be for Zone 1 to Zone 2.

Well, a Zone 1 to Zone 2 pass and a Zone 2 to Zone 3 pass cost the same, but they aren’t interchangeable. I can see maybe being in a hurry at Walgreens and asking for a 2-zone pass and getting the wrong zones.

Still, someone who rides “all the time” ought to understand how the zone system works.

Count me as slightly sympathetic because if he really does ride only Millbrae to Mountain View, he didn’t short change Caltrain, he just has a head of romaine when he really wanted a bunch of kale.

Sharks 1 at Blackhawks 5

Finally caught up my game backlog.

The wheels came off tonight. Not much debate about which is the worst game of the season to date after this one. Nobody wins 82 games, and despite our wishes to the contrary, the zig-zag travel with every game in a different time zone does have an effect on the mind and body and can lead to mistakes.

You can’t use travel and/or jetlag as an excuse, but you also cannot dismiss it and treat the players as if they are machines. Every team has to overcome travel woes. During the regular season, though, you often see one team with travel woes square up against a team that has been at home or just done a short trip. Hopefully these effects even out and skill wins out over the 82-game marathon.

The Sharks did tie the game at 1-1, but then the Hawks scored 4 unanswered goals.

The Sharks will have a few days off after the crazy road trip and then start a 5-game home stand on Thursday. My one complaint is having 3 games in 4 days around Thanksgiving. I sure wish one of those games could have been earlier in the week. Guess I’ll be enjoying Caltrain a lot.

David Pollak Recap

Working the Corners

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