Quote of the Day

"Buzz, buzz."--Hamlet

The opinions, rants and absurdities expressed herein belong solely to the founder of RBPD. Read with caution. Content may induce nausea, confusion, vertigo, tears, hallucinations, anger, pity, reflexive piety, boredom, convulsions, lightheadedness, a fit of ague, or an opposing view.

Books by RBP writers: Round Bend Press Books. For RBP's writing and editing services go here.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Goering at Nuremberg



I thought the BBC did a good job with this.  The reenactments were on the nose, the talent of the cast formidable.


TS

Bad Night

I like the Orioles this year, with young Manny Machado and baseball's home run leader, Chris "Crush" Davis...but man, they're getting smoked right now by lowly Houston, 10-0 in the 7th.

Oh well, that's baseball.

Final:  11-0.

TS

PSU Camp Opens Thursday

Let us not forget about Portland State.

I went to school there also, so the Vikings are one of my teams.  They dipped last season when I thought they might finally get over the hump after a decent 2011 campaign; I still think Nigel Burton can get it done in the Park Blocks.

In his fourth year at PSU, he's running out of time to do something and move up in the coaching ranks.  If he doesn't prove himself this season he'll probably lose his job, and the Vikings will have to start anew once again.

We all know what that is like, right?

The team starts practicing tomorrow at 1 p.m.  First game: Thursday, Aug. 29 at Jeld-Wen, with a 7 p.m kickoff against Eastern Oregon.

Won't be much of a contest, but at least it will be a football game rather than soccer at the landmark old stadium that was gussied up by the Timbers ownership a few years ago.

The Timbers draw 20K a game. PSU will be lucky to get half that many to its opener.


TS

Not Just a Game
















Emblematic of power, control and the iconography of annihilation, this symbol of a New Order in college football is representative of a grab at Empire.

More images from the new Football Psyops Center at the University of Oregon.


TS 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Blast

Bless his pea-pickin' heart. Nader pinpoints the problem with our likely next POTUS. Clinton is a hawk in a skirt--the MIC's best gal.

If the GOP could put up a credible candidate, I'd be tempted. Unfortunately that is not going to happen, either.  The teabagging wingnuts on one hand and the cruel, social-budget-slashing nincompoops on the other are ingredients in a rotten stew.

If it smells bad from here, up close it's gotta be toxic.

Throw in the anti-preventive-war Libertarians (cool) who want to stake out your bedroom (not cool) and--presto--more buffoonery ahead.

What a funny, dismal reality.

Look at how easily the right-wing bozos from both parties and centrist Demos have climbed into bed together recently over a couple of unruly whistleblowers' threat to their dominion--the National Security State of America.

Sweet, if you live in Lunatic Fringe, USA.

Anybody living today will likely be dead before the riff-raff is cleared out of Washington, but it's good to see Nader strafe Clinton three years out.

Hooray for Ralph.


TS

Monday, July 29, 2013

Big Business












Here is another fine essay from one of our best, the ex-Harvard divinity student, ex-New York Times reporter and current social activist Chris Hedges, who writes circles around not just the defenders of the status quo, but around his peer-activists everywhere.

Hedges deserves a Nobel Peace Prize.


TS

89



We're getting close to camp, folks.  UO and OSU both start Aug. 5.

Portland State opens camp August 1 (see above post).

Here are all 89 UO TDs from last season.

I know you can't possibly enjoy this sort of thing as much as I do, but it is my blog, and like a petulant child I do as I please.


TS

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Another


Do we need another book about Hemingway?

I must admit I like the potential in this one. Sounds like the in-depth annotations of the novels and stories might be of assistance to a reader like myself.  For me, Hemingway's non-fiction always rang truest.

Though I admired his first novel and was in great awe of "The Old Man and the Sea" and many of the short stories, I had trouble with some of the bulkier fiction.

For me the best Hemingway was "Death in the Afternoon" and "A Moveable Feast," along with his collected war correspondence.

It may be time to revisit Papa in the pages of this book.  Maybe it'll spur me to finally read "For Whom the Bell Tolls."


TS

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dang

The user has taken down my post of the full movie "Stop Making Sense."

Man, that was sweet while it lasted.  Love that movie, but I suppose my blog does impact sales of the DVD beyond even my wildest imagination.

I have fond memories of the Talking Heads breaking the cycle of rubbish the music industry was putting out in that era.

The industry has changed of course.  A good songwriter with a good computer program and a quiet room can make astonishingly good music these days, though it is seldom heard unless you hunt it down.

I'm not very good at that.  I'm regularly surprised and pleased when the youngsters turn me on to something I like.

Heaven

Everyone is trying to get to the bar 
The name of the bar, the bar is called heaven 
The band in heaven, they play my favorite song 
Play it one more time, play it all night long 
Heaven, heaven is a place, a place where nothing, nothing ever happens 
Heaven, heaven is a place, a place where nothing, nothing ever happens 
There is a party, everyone is there 
Everyone will leave at exactly the same time 
When this party's over, it will start again 
It will not be any different, it will be exactly the same 
Heaven, heaven is a place, a place where nothing, nothing ever happens 
When this kiss is over it will start again 
It will not be any different, it will be exactly the same 
It's hard to imagine that nothing at all could be so exciting, could be this much fun 
Heaven, heaven is a place, a place where nothing, nothing ever happens 
Heaven, heaven is a place, a place where nothing, nothing ever happens

Byrne and Harrison

TS

Friday, July 26, 2013

Good Words

Find, if you're able, truer words.

In my opinion, a ghastly specter to those who value theirs more, all the security state does is protect American shopping rights.

I don't give a fuck about shopping rights.  I'm holding out for real freedom.

Today the US gave its word to Putin that Snowden will not be put to death once he is in the clutches of the our judicial system.

He has been, in other words, deemed guilty of treason, and the US is going to allow him to rot away in a Supermax prison in Colorado.

The fix is in.  Where is the justice?



TS

Fermor's "A Time of Gifts"


Since I've heard and read nothing but good things about this, I'm going to give it a try.

Patrick Leigh Fermor, who lived  96 years despite being a life-long heavy smoker (I refuse to believe it), published this in 1977 when he was 62.

Reflecting on the long solo walk he began at 18 from Holland to Constantinople just as Hitler rose to power in 1933, he worked from a lost journal  he had kept during his trip and which somehow came back to him forty years later.

Fermor credited the journal with firing his imagination and shaping the project, while his matured sensibility allowed him to build upon his adventures with hindsight, and with a critical and descriptive interpretation of everything he saw and felt before Europe fell into its great calamity.

Perhaps I'll share more if I get into this book, which seems likely given my present interest in travel writing and itch for a good tale.

For months now, I've obsessed about going--just going.  Last night I was reading about the annual pilgrimage walk across northern Spain--the Camino de Santiago--which is visited by thousands--an event that has taken on extra poignancy this summer in light of the recent Santiago train tragedy.

While I am not a particularly religious sort, and certainly not Catholic, my understanding is that religion is somewhat irrelevant to the scope of the event, as many diverse people walk the Camino de Santiago.

I wasn't a full-fledged hippie back in the day, either, but I always rather enjoyed the Country Fair outside Eugene for its visual texture and energy.

Impressions of all that aside, I'm thinking Fermor's tale of a solo walk might entice me more than any telling of what happened to another author--unless he is very good--during an organized walk.

The author set out alone.  His adventures were his alone, and he bore the hardships as well as the great satisfaction epic walking must give.

Were I to walk, my trip would be solo as well.


TS 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Insanity




Have you seen this video of the train wreck in Spain?

It looks like the toy Lionel set I had as a kid and wrecked all the time just for the hell of it.

Be warned if you are sensitive; this is very unsettling to watch.


TS

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dream Mate



A new video by Buddy Dooley, with a little help from yours truly.


TS

Phil Washington (1968-2013)



This was posted on 5 July.  A seminal figure in the great Portland band The Webbers, along with the late Kal Tanner, Phil was a real talent.

"A Little Noise" is from The Oldest Whiskey in Town, one of the best CDs to ever come out of Portland.


TS

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Play the Board



I've upped the ante against Titan Chess.  I've won just twice at level 6. Here someone beats the program at level 10.

I don't like the slow play or the feeling of humiliation level 10 gives me. I thought I was improving until I tried level 10. I haven't even come close.


TS

Monday, July 22, 2013

It's a Boy!




TS

Extra! Extra!

I knew way too many people would show up at the Grimm casting call for my taste, so I didn't go.  But I am enrolled at extrasonly.com, the local company that specializes in finding and placing extras in an array of local film projects, including Grimm.

Only way I'll get in.  No cattle calls for me.

TS

Friday, July 19, 2013

Progress

Good to see this.  I hope the players win and take the NCAA to the cleaners.

Read the other day that the NCAA has dropped EA Sports from further business relations.

The handwriting is on the wall, and it is about time.



TS

Idiot of the Week/Mitch Daniels

I know I've been remiss for nearly a month now by not properly recognizing a notable Idiot of the Week each and every Friday as I recently promised I would.

Please accept my apologies.

I wish I could say this unfortunate circumstance arose because I was unable to locate a worthy idiot since the last time I named one.  But of course you and I know that is not the source of my negligence. The world is teeming with idiots, many of them in high places. They are the varietals this blog favors.   All one must do is pick one, for the world is ripe with idiocy.

Importantly, America has its fair share of idiots, the sort I prefer to laud.  I deem Americans most worthy of my special award because I am an American, and the Idiot of the Week Award is a uniquely American prize.

Go with what you know, as the old adage says.

The truth is I've been lazy of late.

But I have had an awakening!

I have found a subject so worthy of the award this week that I would not be merely remiss to not name him; I would be criminal, as low as the lowest Floridian sitting in judgment of Trayvon Martin, who was murdered many months ago and was recently found guilty of "getting what he deserved" in a segment of the court of US public opinion--which stretches from sea to shining sea in our great nation.

Now, I beg your pardon, I am not saying George Zimmerman is an idiot or guilty, though he clearly is an idiot--and guilty.  To give George the Idiot of the Week Award would be cynical, an easy ruse, not to mention belated and biased against whatever it is that passes for justice in Florida these days.

But back to the topic at hand:  This week's Idiot of the Week Award goes to a man who, as far as we know, hasn't stalked and blown away an unarmed black kid.  However, that doesn't absolve Mitch Daniels of suspicion.

We don't know if he has robbed and thieved any more than what is permissible by the more-than-fair standards of US jurisprudence, nor do we really know whether he is a thug; but that doesn't mean he hasn't robbed and thieved or isn't a thug--all we have are perceptions, after all, and you may disagree with mine.

All we really know is that he is a so-called leader, one of a type who, given what we know about history (which is more than Mitch), has occasionally exhibited a style steeped in fascist tendencies.

Again, bear in mind that I am not saying Mitch has fascist tendencies. But like you, I have my suspicions, which as we all know after Florida, count for something.  Also consider this--would we be living in a Surveillance State if suspicion was not warranted?

All we can safely and righteously assume is that Mitch is an idiot, in other words. All I can do is give him the coveted award.

The late historian Howard Zinn ruffled a lot of feathers during his long career, and evidently none more thoroughly than those of Mitch Daniels, the current president of Purdue University and one-time governor of Indiana.

We now understand that when Mitch was governor he mailed some unsavory emails to his underlings while mentally stalking Howard Zinn and that he was much relieved when the old radical passed on.

I ask in all earnestness, should such a man lead a major US university?

Umm... No.

Mitch, you are guilty of idiocy, and thus highly deserving of this week's Idiot of the Week Award from Round Bend Press.

Congratulations.


TS

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Drug Deals


This is the story of a drug deal that almost turned bad.

I went to my pharmacy this afternoon to pick up my prescribed pills for a certain medical problem I have.

When my doc put me on these pills three months ago, I was relieved to discover that I could buy a three-month quantity for 24 bucks.

When it came time to fork over the cash today, the clerk said I owed 48 bucks.

Now wait a second, I said.  That is a 100 percent increase in the cost of these pills.  I don't believe that for a second. That is way too much. I paid half that the first time I bought these.

The clerk and another pharmacist looked at each other and started to explain to me that prices have recently gone up for many medicines.

I said, listen, nothing doubles in price in just three months unless it is a bribe to a US congressman or someone flipping a house that he has stolen in a foreclosure deal.  I don't believe this.

Drugs often do, the clerk said.

Yeah, I said, on the street if a dealer gets taken down by the police on a given day.  And then only if he's big enough to matter.

You know, this prescription is usually $400, the clerk said.

Four-hundred is what you charge the US government because the pharmaceutical industry is as corrupt as that bribe-taking congressman I just mentioned.

The head pharmacist was nearby and overheard the conversation.  He frowned.  He came over and looked at the prescription and then got on the computer.

I understood what he was doing--checking the wholesale cost of the drug against its potential retail value in order to make a determination as to whether my initial price maintained profitability.  He was looking at all the angles outside of the Medicare scam, where the prix fixed menu assures exorbitant profits.

I said, look up my records.  I know what I paid three months ago.

I had no idea how this was going to turn out, however.  I stood and waited, wondering whether I would just tell them to shove it and walk out without my pills or win this bruising battle.

A couple of minutes lapsed as the pharmacist keyed the computer some more.  He finally nodded assent and said, yeah, we can sell it for that--meaning my price.

He walked away; the clerk frowned this time, and the second pharmacist followed suit.  I exhaled.

I got my pills.

I got my pills because I fought for them and was sharp enough to maintain control of the situation.  I'm not old enough to be on Medicare, and for the time being I'm not senile enough to be taken in by a collective of out-and-out thieves.

Old people, beware.  Taxpayers, beware.

These people will take your last dime if you let them and think nothing of it.



TS

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Amy at 20



She was a child prodigy.  By 20 she was in complete command of her style and themes.

TS

Amy in Texas



In 2008 she showed up at the famous SXSW Festival and played it spare and tough.

TS 

Monday, July 15, 2013

All Thumbs

Two potential rides to Idaho fell through.

Rideshare is not exactly a science, I've discovered.  This is the first time I've tried craigslist.  It may only be slightly better than hitchhiking in the old days.

That is, a lot of cars are on the road, but fewer of them are going to where you want to go than you imagine.

Judging by the ads I've read I'd be better off heading south to San Francisco or north to Seattle.  Come to think of it, the Panhandle is sort of an out of the way place, I guess.

Placed another ad.  We'll see what happens this week.


TS

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Tim!



Who knew that having massive quantities of THC in your system could cause you to throw your first Major League no-hitter?


TS

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Timbers Win

I watched damned near the whole thing, blinking in and out of consciousness.

Then I heard the crowd erupt. The roar was louder than any previous celebration in recent memory as it wafted over from Jeld-Wen. It rose above and obliterated the traffic noise that hums with a regular cadence from I-405 below my apartment.

Something had happened.

I saw the Timbers were lining up for a corner kick and noticed that the match was in it's 95th minute.  My God, I thought. I'd been watching, but I wasn't focused at all.  I had lost track. The match was five minutes into stoppage time and I hadn't even noticed.

I figured this was it.  The loud celebration could mean but one thing. The Timbers had managed to score a second goal and finally break their miserable tie with the L.A. Galaxy--break their league-leading habit of tying everybody.

Or as is the preferred word amid the odd idioms of soccer--drawing with.

Draws, those sisterly kisses, are the Timbers' curse and trademark.

The suspense built as I waited for the stream to catch up with real time--a thirty second delay.  The corner kick finally lofted up and my favorite player--favorite because I admire his name--Andrew Jean-Baptiste thrust himself into a mass of players in front of the goal.

But I didn't see it happen, even as I squinted to watch the bad standard definition of the stream.  The replays told the story in slow motion.  Jean-Baptiste lingered at the rear-edge of the swarm, stepped around one defender, nudged in front of another and somehow got his head to the ball.

He didn't jump, but lunged, lashed at the ball and it whistled past the diving goal keeper's outstretched arms, nestling into the goal's left corner.

Andrew Jean-Baptiste--say that name and tell me it is not the name of a poet, a Brooklyn poet--tore his shirt off and ran to the corner of the stadium where the Timbers Army reigns and chants and carries on all match long, ceaselessly.

He looked up at them, and they down on him.  Oh my, did they give Jean-Baptiste their love as his teammates swarmed over him like human locusts.  The Army was deliriously in love with twenty-one year old Jean-Baptiste, from Brooklyn, New York, a poet's town.

I sat and watched this, not quite comprehending the mutual, enormous love, the adoration that filled the stadium, because I am not a fan.  I am not.

Except of the name.

The first stoppage-time goal in Timbers' franchise history did not do it for me.  If this game did not do it for me, it shall not be done, Andrew Jean-Baptiste.


TS

Friday, July 12, 2013

Choices

I'm looking forward to my trip to Idaho next week. It's been awhile since I last traveled. Four summers ago to be exact.

That summer I took the train to St. Cloud, Minnesota to see my grandson for the first time. Despite the difficulties I had sleeping on the train, I had a great time. I would take the same train I took then--the Empire Builder--to Sandpoint next week, except I have to make this trip on the cheap.

I'm going rideshare, provided one of the two people I've been in contact with comes through as planned.  I exchanged emails with Lauren a couple of days ago. She is headed to Spokane from Eugene on Monday morning. Says she could stop in Portland and pick me up. She'll call me Sunday to discuss things.

Earlier today a second option arose.  A retired fellow from Vancouver, just across the Columbia from Portland, called and said he recently purchased a new truck and wants to give it a road test. A bright blue Avalanche, he said, and of course he loves it.  He mentioned he's disabled, which I could have guessed from our conversation.  He spoke shakily, but seemed very nice and sincere.  The first thing I thought of is that he might be a stroke victim.  I didn't inquire further, but agreed to meet him on Sunday for coffee to discuss a potential ride.  This guy was likable over the phone.  He asked me if I was a good driver, a good sign.

I'll make an assessment of Gerald when I meet him, but my second impression is that he is lonely. I have a third impression of Gerald as well, which I won't get into.  Suffice to say that prior to reading my rideshare post he clearly had no plans to go to Sandpoint.

The advantages in this possibility are clear.  He wants me to do part of the driving (I would prefer to do it all), he is cautious, and I could conveniently get all the way to Sandpoint.

Gerald, please don't be too weird.  When I see that Avalanche and think about riding in comfort, I'll be tempted.

The train?  I loved the train, particularly when it passed through the Continental Divide and edged Glacier National Park in Montana.  It is beautiful out there.


TS

Thursday, July 11, 2013

It's Just Business

I've added a link to the History Channel's "This Day in History" feature at the sidebar just below my Thucydides quote.

Gives you an excuse to come here first every day, then click on the really terrific stuff from the big boys who produce History.

Or, you could go to the site yourself, bookmark it, and never have to deal with me again.  Your choice.

BTW, History Channel.  My bill is in the mail.


TS

"Titanic"


Waste: You know it's happening.

But you also know somebody is profiting from it.

How in the world is the US ever going to rein in its corrupt nature?


TS

Getting There


May have found a Rideshare driver to Idaho for next week.

Hoping.





TS

Trouble at Oregon

Most indicators suggest Tyree Robinson is a good person.

If he didn't realize until now that football players at Oregon are constantly under a microscope, this might wake him up.

For something completely different and upbeat, read this.  Holly can really write.


TS

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Action!

I'm trying to watch the Gold Cup, USA vs. Belize, from Portland's Jeld-Wen Field at this time.

It's a mismatch.  Belize is essentially an amateur club. Still, the USA has but a single goal for its trouble.  Belize has threatened exactly once, a few minutes ago, but this is ridiculous.

I can't stand it, so what do I do?

I turn to a history of soccer, which is so much more entertaining and interesting.

While I was reading something happened?!  It is now 3-1 USA.  What action!

Dang, I just lost the stream...

It's back!  But I can't understand the announcers.  What luck.


TS

Monday, July 8, 2013

110 Years



This is the earliest known footage of a US college football game, Princeton vs. Yale, 1903.



This is the way the game is played 110 years later.


TS

Bruce Cockburn




TS

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Planning

Into heavy planning for my Idaho trip in about 10 days.

A few more rough-edged details to this than I initially expected, but I'm trying to get up to to Sandpoint to help photog Lee Santa with his jazz memoir, a book of photos and text about his life as a jazz lover.

KC Bacon has another chapbook of aphorisms ready to go as well.

Lots of work ahead.


TS

Will it Work?

In the past few days I've made three posts at craigslist advertising my services as an editor and writing tutor.

The first two were flagged and deleted.  The third time I put the URL for this blog and my phone number in the ad.

I hope this one finally negates the sense of paranoia that is rampant on craigslist.

Care is probably justified, but I guess you have to think like a scam artist to avoid sounding like one.

We'll see.

Update:  Flagged and removed.   Took them about three hours.  I don't get it.


TS

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Three Aphorisms















A master of disguise
has odious secrets, or worse,
objectionable motives.

Distance is the barrier
between what a man desires
and what he should do.

While critics are facile,
their work is not, lest
they be untrue.


TS

Friday, July 5, 2013

Thursday, July 4, 2013

For Too Tall

My friend Terence lost his father this morning.

The elder Connery, 83, lived in Miami.

My condolences to Terence and his siblings.



TS

Happy 4th!

I had a friend during my work/party days in the restaurant business who always wore a favorite shirt on the 4th of July.

Cut tightly around her supple breasts and lovely waist, her flag-embossed shirt convincingly announced her allegiance to the good old USA.

"My favorite holiday," she exclaimed, knocking another one back in celebration.

"My favorite shirt," I said, lifting a brow. I liked her laughter. I liked the way she ate her hot dog.

While it was not meant to be between us, I always admired this Boston-born babe.  I'd known people before her who wrapped themselves in the red, white and blue on the 4th, but rarely with such revolutionary zeal--or irony.

For in many ways, she was a rebel in love with an ideal.

Or so I wanted to believe.  Wasn't the American Revolution still a living, breathing thing?  Something to cherish, but also something to watch carefully in perpetuity, something to preserve as more than the simple-minded jingoistic refrain heard all too often in every stratum of our society--USA, USA, USA!

This is something to think about in our age of overwhelming surveillance and "preventive" war and, dare I say, seeming constitutional illegality.  It's something to think about on this day.

Like my old friend, democracy is not easy.

Like her, it might slip away.

Perhaps it already has.


TS 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

One Regret

The one regret I have--and it is a large one--about not making any real money over the course of my working life is that today, in semi-retirement, I don't have the money to travel.

With all this free time on my hands, I am sort of lost, and I am suffering writer's block even more than usual these days. I'm getting by, in a poor and foul mood, but I think writing a travel book or series of hard-travel articles might help pull me out of my rut.

I don't mean tourist summations, either.  A bad payday is as bad as no payday.

Think Paul Theroux.

Of course, one would like to have Theroux's talent as well, but that is another issue.  This is pure fantasy, I guess, but it would be fun to try.  One could, with a decent retirement account.  Failure wouldn't be an issue; not writing something worthwhile would be.

Write something I like--and not give a damn if it sells.

I blew it.  Most of the jobs I worked over the years angered or bored me, sometimes in tandem, so I usually lost them or simply walked away with the understanding that there was always another one down the block.  Maybe it would be better.

I wanted to do it my way or take the highway.

That worked for young people back in the day, or it did for me, when jobs were easier to get than they are now.  I could always find a new distraction, a new place, which pleased me temporarily.

Clearly, I lacked a certain amount of discipline in my life.  That goes as much for my writing life as it does for all the other things I've done or tried to do.  I never chose a career that paid beyond the value of a bowl of gruel and a cheap pitcher of beer after the rent. Sometimes, especially in recent years, I couldn't even make the rent.

I studied political science and history in school--what I learned was alienation.  I know many of my betters in the first two disciplines.  I am the king of the third.

About ten years ago, with a resume shot full of gaps and dubious assignations, I could no longer run my private racket, i.e., be the boss of my own working life.

My "earning years" were finally lost in a brutal market, passing with age and a deepening disappointment in everything.

I know I'm not alone in that regard, for what it is worth.

I once took pride in cooking a decent plate of eggs or organizing a protest.  I never wanted to own a breakfast cafe or be Gandhi.

Don't enslave me! I cried.

Then I lost interest and fell very hard.  All the way to the bottom.  I really cried then.

I don't regret that, or even where I am now in an existential sense.  I regret not doing what I needed to do when it counted.


TS

Sticky Wicket

I had an algebra teacher in high school who always referred to a tough algebraic problem (they were all tough for me) as a "sticky wicket."

Standing at the chalk board, munching on the pieces of beef jerky that were his constant pacifiers, he repeatedly tossed his chalkstick into the air, caught it with the deft flair of an old lecturer, and pretended to be stumped for a moment over one problem or another.

Then he asked his students for help, or assigned one, like me, to help him (I never did).

"This is a sticky wicket," he would say, demonstrating why such was the case.  Then he would show us how to solve the problem.

As far as I can tell, that is what you have now in Egypt--a sticky wicket.  Someone, an Egyptian, needs to step up, like my old algebra teacher, and show us all how to solve the problem.

Before everybody flunks out.


TS

That's Baseball


Homer Bailey's No-No, out-by-out.

A fortuitous fielder's choice saved the no-hitter when Bailey walked a batter in the seventh and subsequently forgot to cover first on a 'tweener ground ball to first baseman Votto.

Votto threw ahead to third to get the lead runner and keep Bailey alive.




TS

Monday, July 1, 2013

Dog Days of ... July?


I think the heat is finally taking a toll on me.

I stayed cool over the weekend, but the warm, stale air is now accumulating in my apartment, and the ceiling fan isn't helping much.

I look out in the courtyard where the building's interior apartments have windows and see that several of my neighbors have air conditioners.

O wise folks...

Given the typical few summer days air conditioning is needed in Portland, I've always neglected to invest in a unit.  This might be the first summer I regret not having one.

Earlier today I escaped to the Park Blocks and sat in the shade, but how long can one do that without going insane?

Even at that the shade wasn't much help.

I can remember, as a young man, working outside at back-breaking jobs in this sort of heat.  It never fazed me; in fact, I sort of relished it, an opportunity to show off my machismo, I guess.

I've changed.  I've grown soft.

I've grown old.


TS