Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sports Thoughts of the Day

With the World Series wrapped up, and the Patriots juggernaut in full motion, the fatuous question of the week from the broadcast sports media is whether Boston sports fans are bothered by the idea of being the Yankees.


First, there's the matter of dues paid, something the Yankees don't know much about (another reason to like the Mets if you have to follow a New York team).

Second, the Yankees have still got an enormous record of success behind them, of a sort Boston fans have just begun to taste.

Third, it's good to be the king.

If you're having a cow over Mike Lowell, would you just zip it for a few days? I need some sleep.

As for the Patriots scoring machine, I'm guessing that Belichick has read his Macbeth.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

There are others like us

I just have to share this link. It proves that you don't have to be a Red Sox fan to object to what passes for baseball coverage on Fox.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

One More Reason

...that I am a recovering reporter.

If I were still doing that, it would mean I would have to share the mantle with:

  1. Sports journalists in general and Fox sports journalists in particular.
  2. All of Boston broadcast journalism's talking heads, who have already done the impossible: they've made the World Series boring, thanks to saturation coverage.
Just sod off, all of you, OK?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Tandems and Coalinga

Watching the fire news from California has been sobering. Having driven through much of the North of LA area that's now burning, and just a couple of weeks back, takes the news shows out of the category of cheap vicarious thrills. I have a daughter out there, but she lives in the Valley, well upwind of the fires, and her whole damn county is a firebreak. She's clinician but not likely to be pulled in on this. For one thing, her facility is upwind: the need is on the other side. For another, her place deals with some of the most grievously hurt people you can imagine. Chances are, casualties in their line will come to them.

Anyway, back to the road trip. Beforehand, my daughter had been entertaining us on the phone with stories about the convoys of tandem rigs cruising the Valley, hauling open trailers filled with carrots.

I though it was exaggeration, or perhaps aberration.

Wrong. It's everyday life in the valley. Carrots? Yes, also onions, garlic bulbs, tomatoes , apples, and citrus fruit by the many tons. (They are not on the same rig, mind: that would be the world's largest mobile salad bar.) What struck me was that the almond trucks were enclosed. How come 20 tons of nuts need a cover, and tomatoes do not?

On the way to San Francisco, after a few miles of this, I was about ready to swear off fruit and vegetables and become a meat-eater. Then we came to Coalinga. The link here cites the Chamber of Commerce figure of 17,000 and some-odd as the population. If true, that means there are two or more beef cattle per resident. These are not Happy Cows. These are feedlot cows, confined in narrow pens over a space that my Google Earth ruler says is over 500 acres, or about 1.5 square miles if you include the manure. One would gather that people are proud of this, because this spectacle sits right next to I-5 ("the Five," in Californian). You can smell it long before you see it. It is so large that you can pick it out on Google Earth from an altitude of 50 miles. That meets some definitions of outer space, so the Great Wall of China has to make room for the miserable cows of Coalinga.

Since at this point my diet was reduced to bread and beer, it was just as well we went to San Francisco. Stay tuned.


OK, so I'm inspired, or maybe envious, when my friends start up good blogs.

As feared, my riff on the tall Dutch threatens to become a dissertation. It lacks but one piece of a decent initial statement. When I have that, I'll stop before it becomes even more obsessive. Because--depend on it--academic writing demands, or encourages, an unhealthy level of obsession.

I tried this caveat once before and it didn't really stick, so let me rephrase it. I am not doing ideology. I think that is more specific than "I am not doing politics."

There is so much else to consider. Some of it from a splendid week in California which left me with a month's worth of material, some of it from the singularities of dealing with health care, some of it from contemplating the comedy of sports.

The absence? Many reasons, some of which may appear later on. Chief among them is that it becomes a little difficult to write for several hours a day for money, then come home and write for personal satisfaction. I could do it at 25. At 60, the edge of enthusiasm is a bit worn. I needed a break.

Perhaps I can sustain this effort.