Imagine the heartbreak. After bowling six games in a row, and competing for $700, you lose by two pins -- two pins! The winner bowled a cumulative 1433, and you bowled a cumulative 1431, which averages out to 238 per game, thank you, but hell, you still lost. Usually, you can drop two pins by just standing at lane's edge, wishing them down with a little body English. Argghhh! Better luck next time, bub. Cool thing is, next time has arrived. The Magnussen's Ford Pre-Super Bowl Shoot-Out takes place this Super Saturday at Hayward's splendid Holiday Bowl. The rules are simple: Best score after six games wins. But it's not winner take all. Even though the top prize is a guaranteed $700, the pay ratio is 1:5. So for every five people who enter, one gets paid. That'll lessen the heartache. Early entry fee is $45; at the door, $60. For more information, call Reggie at 510-306-4305.
Magnussen's Ford Pre-Super Bowl Shoot-Out takes place at noon on Saturday at Holiday Bowl, 29827 Mission Blvd., Hayward. For more info, visit HolidayBowl.tv -- Justin Berton
Take me to the water
At the same time the Bay Bridge is being rebuilt and countless other construction/development projects are transforming the bay shore, it's somehow comforting to know that little by little, the natural beauty of the bay is being preserved for hikers, bicyclists, flora-seekers, and fauna-gazers. The Richmond Bay Trail New Year Report is now out, and it describes the progress Richmond has made adding trails to its twenty-mile network -- all of them linked to the proposed 450-mile Bay Trail corridor of recreational areas encircling both San Francisco and San Pablo bays. All the parks along Richmond's southern shoreline -- Point Isabel, Shimada, Vincent, Marina Bay, Lucretia Edwards, and Miller-Knox are now linked to the Bay Trail. Go ahead, take it for a spin. It's yours. But first check out the trail map at CI.Richmond.ca.us/trac -- Kelly Vance
Around Stupor Bowl time, the empty feeling begins to assert itself: There's no baseball and none on the way (even MLB spring training) for at least a month. So are we stuck with the Warriors and hockey until it's time for baseball again? No. Because baseball is already here -- Cal baseball season, that is. Thursday, the Bears open their 2004 campaign with a three-game series against Brigham Young. Thursday and Friday's games are 2 p.m., Saturday's at noon, all at Evans Diamond on the UCB campus (check CalBears.ocsn.com). Cal is ranked 26th in Baseball America's Top-50 Preseason Poll. -- Kelly Vance
Wonders of the Tundra
North. To Alaska
Imagine yourself viewing pods of humpback whales, tromping through Denali State Park on the slopes of Mt. McKinley, being chased by angry Kodiak bears through icy streams ... wait, let's rewind that. What happens to you after you attend Ron Sanford's Whales, Bear, Eagles & Icebergs slide show is your own business. The only thing wildlife photographer Sanford wants to convey is the amazing richness of natural life in Alaska, where he has been exploring the wilderness and snapping photos for more than forty years. He'll be at REI Berkeley at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Bring an open mind and wear your mukluks. 1338 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. 510-527-4140. -- Kelly Vance