Reading not even the fine print

Team of Rivals cover.jpg

This is a fine book about Abraham Lincoln and the political competitors he employed in his cabinet as our 16th president. And Doris Kearns Goodwin is a great historian, a Pulitzer Prize winner for another book about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

But I’ve cracked it open at least twice, put it down, picked it back up, fished around at different ends looking for an interesting bite, and ultimately shut it up and put it back down.

Embarrassed to say it, I can’t get into its 757-page travels, not including a voluminous index.

This bothers me, though. I like to think I am attracted to and can absorb this kind of dive into U.S. history. I like to think I want to know more about Lincoln, the civil war, all the challenges of his life and times. I like to think all that, but when eyeball meets page with this one, it just hasn’t stayed there long.

Which I’ve determined is really nothing against the book and everything about my scattershot and depressing reading habits. Because now that I come to think of it, a biography of Truman bought long ago sits in a box somewhere, barely touched. Same, I think, for the aforementioned Roosevelt book by the same author, No Ordinary Time, although I might have tossed that one in the move, I don’t remember.

Sigh. I chalk it up to too much stimulation, too many options, of course, and too much life in the way — not lack of interest or motivation, oh noooo. Too much to read and rabbit holes to explore on the infernal YouTube. So much within such easy access now, so many newspapers and magazines and web stories — long reads, deep dives, New Yorker profiles that go on and on for days — to scramble a brain and scrap every good intention to, classically, be better well read.

It’s enough for me to just get through a skim of the Wall Street Journal during breakfast many days, maybe follow an interesting Twitter link for a quick sports, entertainment or politics read later on, and if I’m lucky knock out a few pages of whatever actual printed book I might have designs on “finishing,” haha.

I don’t like it, but it seems it’s the current state of Laissez-faire that not even the starburst of a New Year’s resolution is up to reversing. That is to say, honest, earnest, team-inspiring Abe is heading back to the library tomorrow.

In my heart, I believe I’ll catch up with him another time, although the big fella shouldn’t call me. I’ll call him.

A Stern moment in time

It was easy to start recollecting when the news came Wednesday of David Stern’s death following a recent brain hemorrhage. Commissioner of the NBA for 30 years, Stern in 1984 took over a flagging league whose playoff games were broadcast on tape delay, for goodness sake — you can hardly even comprehend that scenario — and turned it into an international obsession.

He was a clearly a great commissioner, and as I heard one commentator say Wednesday, his demeanor and governing philosophy was such that he was probably the most approachable sports commissioner ever.

He was a powerful star, but you could actually talk to him — and don’t fall over, but you could actually joke with him, all casual-like.

I discovered this in my only dealing with him, some 20 or more years ago, when then-Norfolk mayor Paul Fraim was courting an NBA expansion team. As a local sports scribe, I attended a presser where Stern — I believe in New York — was commenting on NBA expansion and other hoops issues.

I wish I had clearer recall of the time and place. What I definitely remember is cornering Stern after the official news conference for a brief chat. That is, Stern made himself available for anyone afterward to answer questions in an informal setting, which seems pretty remarkable today.

So after standing by till he was through with others, I cautiously approached and introduced myself as being from Norfolk. He replied with a smile and a quick joke referencing Norfolk’s aborted ABA experience in the ’70s, which immediately let me know he very much knew Norfolk — and that he very much knew Norfolk had no shot in the world to get an NBA team.

The larger point, though, is we continued to talk a couple more minutes, and he seemed fine with it. That gave me enough comfort and confidence that I eventually leaned in and, oddly emboldened, gently poked the lapel of his jacket with my index finger while asking a question.

What the … ?

Security should have swept in, ear-pieces blazing, wrestled me to the ground and turfed me out, a la the bruising ouster of Jimmy Stewart and Clarence from Nick’s in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Believe me, I would have less-than zero shot at poking current NBA commissioner Adam Silver in the lapel, nor would I think to even attempt it. But Stern showed no consternation over my impromptu nonchalance, made his last comment, and I was on my way.

It’s a cool memory and a true fact regarding Stern’s overall persona. No doubt he was as tough and unyielding as you can get in business, which is why the modern NBA is what it is. But yep, he was poke-the-lapel approachable, which is one other small piece to consider when mulling the historic legacy of David Stern’s life and heady times in the NBA.

Out, but very much about

I hate that I have been absent for the longest stretch since beginning my blog a couple years ago.

If I am a writer, I need to write. Right?

I apologize if you have checked in here over the summer and found nothing new. I understand if it’s been a while since you tried.

It isn’t as if there’s been nothing to write about. Let’s see. Well, Dee and I got engaged in the Eiffel Tower in July. Let’s start there. 🙂 It was during a European swing through Amsterdam and Bruges, the postcard-perfect old Euro village in Belgium. Dee set up a dinner for us in the tower, so the time and place could not have been more perfect. We came back with Eiffel Tower mementos and a thrilling future before us.

Traveling has been big. We visited Houston in June; Dee’s brother, sister-in-law and other relatives live in the area. Two months later, we watched the Hurricane Harvey devastation of that huge metro area with jaws agape, on edge while waiting for text messages from Mickey or Teri to say they were all right, stunned to see the photos of the tree that crushed the roof of Dee’s aunt and uncle’s house.

Where else? Yes, Dee took her kids (and grandkid, and me) to Vancouver, renting a rambling old house in pricey Point Grey that overlooked English Bay, with its busy traffic of container and cruise ships. Downtown Vancouver sat off to the right. The view, the entire vibe, was very San Franciscan. Houses on a hill, bridges spanning the bay, fog and mist in the morning, light air due to lack of humidity. Vancouver has a huge TV and film industry, did you know that? It’s the setting for many shows and movies, subbing for someplace else. Johnny Depp was filming a movie around the corner. We loitered outside the house a couple of times, drawing narrowed brows from security. We saw nothing, but also were not arrested for ogling.

We got back, and left again. I always miss my kids, so after spending a few awesome days with Rachel in San Francisco in June, I planned a trip to Colorado to see Connor. It had been more than three months since I’d seen him. That’s about the outside of how long I want to go without seeing him or Rachel. And after having not done a triathlon, my new hobby/obsession, since June, I thought to piggyback a race with our visit. I looked and it so happened there was a race (Olympic distance) in Boulder, a ground-zero area for triathlete and triathlon training  in the U.S. What better place to test my progress and my will? I saw, I trained, I worried about the 5,000-plus-foot altitude — it was an issue, but not as bad as I feared. Bottom line, I thought I’d have to get fished out of the Boulder Reservoir a few minutes into the 1,500-meter swim leg. I was gasping, struggling to find a breath/stroke rhythm. I stopped a couple times to tread water. But I persevered, always the key in triathlons, and survived the swim, endured a tough bike ride with the portrait-like Flatiron mountains hulking on the horizon (a beautiful bonus) and battled leg cramps during a super-slow 10k run to finish. Connor and Dee were waiting with arms open and wide smiles at the end. I tear up still thinking about their love and support. What a great day.

This weekend, we’ll celebrate Dee’s birthday with some wine-tasting outside Charlottesville, one of my favorite places. What happened there a month ago breaks my heart. I don’t understand how the town came to be the involuntary host to people spewing such vileness, or why the latter has come to its present state as it is. After a while away, I was fortunate to visit Charlottesville last weekend, wearing my sports writer hat again for the Associated Press at a U.Va. football game. The day was beautiful, and I was filled with blessed memories of my time there with my two beautiful children. I was filled with gratitude for the days I’ve spent there, and lifted by the love and good fortune that surrounds me now.

Life is great. (So is Ollie, btw, if a little more hobbled due to his hip dysplasia/arthritis.) It is so full. I propose to return here more often to share and to say hi.

 

 

 

 

Messi-anic

Rambling between naps and meals at the OBX . . .

messi
Photo from SkySports.com

How about that Messi, huh? How about me raving about soccer, huh, huh, huh? Actually, I rave about just one play from Argentina’s 4-0 rout of the U.S. in Tuesday night’s Copa America semifinal in Houston, the free kick the great Lionel Messi rocketed into the upper right corner of the goal to give his team a 2-0 lead. It was such a feat of talent, skill and casual athletic brilliance I couldn’t believe for a while what I had seen.

You may know, if you can’t already tell, I am a very late comer to an appreciation for soccer. I dare say I am even a reformed soccer mocker. I never got it as a kid, never watched it as a young adult, never believed (and actually still do not believe) in its constantly forecast elbowing in to the American pro sports landscape on par with football, baseball, basketball, hockey, NASCAR, and even golf.

But something has happened in the last year, akin to a pixie doinking me on the head with a magic wand. Soccer strayed onto my radar of attention. It remains a blip in the distance, yes, but it is there, blinking “Come on, man, look at me!,” which I now do from time to time. Why? Because when Dee and I visited Barcelona last summer, she noticed a sign on the street teasing tickets for an FC Barcelona game a few days away and said “Hey, let’s go!”

I was sort of aware FC Barcelona, and Messi, were a big damn deal in Euro and world soccer, but that was really the extent. Camp Nou, the team’s famous cavernous stadium? Didn’t know. Didn’t really care. And yet I was nonetheless certain in my conviction when I scoffed and told her that game with Athletic Bilbao – part of the Supercopa de Espana finals — was sure to be sold out already and don’t even bother asking about tickets.

Clearly intimidated by my confidence, she strode to the ticket window anyway, the girl at the counter pointed to two upper-deck seats smack in the middle of the field, and, well, there you go. A couple of nights later we bobbed in the sea of Barcelona jerseys that streamed into Camp Nou to watch the fabled Catalans, led by the Argentinian star Messi, play their thing amid a thunder of steadily rising and falling calls and cheers.

Sure enough, Messi scored the first goal, the only Barcelona goal, it turned out, in a 1-1 tie that gave the series title to Athletic Bilbao via goal differential.

And so I was intrigued. Not quite smitten. But interested enough to learn about and follow one of the great world sports stories — of lowly Leicester City winning the Premier League. To track the evidently fading star of USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann. To get the dishes loaded and sit at the beach house in time to watch a telecast of USA soccer braying in vain against Argentinian royalty.

Even at this late date, I feel much more the global citizen for my toe-dip into world futbol. And when is that not a good thing? Thank you, Dee. Thank you, Messi.

Also …

It’s days later, OK, but here’s my take on the Dustin Johnson rules-violation fiasco at the U.S. Open perpetrated by the USGA. This suggestion goes for the PGA Tour, too.

If ever video review of a potential rules violation is required, make the reviewed player stop wherever he is. Start the clock. Review the potential violation in three minutes. Five tops. Make a final decision. Announce it to the player and to everybody else.

The NFL does it. MLB. NHL. NCAA hoops. Why is video review a Rubik’s Cube for golf?

It is a joke that Johnson was told he’d be reviewed on the 12th hole for something that had occurred on the fifth hole – his ball moving on the green after his practice strokes — and then the decision wasn’t made, or at least announced, until after the 18th In what world does all that sound like a good idea? Johnson, and the players chasing him, had to play that entire time uncertain of Johnson’s lead. Four strokes? Maybe three? That certainly is a distraction, clouds thinking and potentially affects strategy on every shot. It’s unbelievable the USGA allowed the process to unspool in that manner.

The rules of golf are the most convoluted in the world as is. Turning the review of them into a twisted and embarrassing mess as did the USGA negatively impacts the game far off its mission to grow and nurture it.

Kudos to Johnson for sticking his shots and winning comfortably, and by doing so, telling the USGA where to stick its archaic video review system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our G-g-generation

This is the day 51 years ago (!) that 20-year-old Pete Townshend of The Who supposedly wrote “My Generation” on a train.

Released in November of 1965, it is rightfully regarded as one of the most memorable and influential rock songs ever, a clear – and gleefully distorted — beacon toward the coming of the punk-rock era.

So why did Roger Daltrey add stuttering to his delivery – f-f-f-fade away … d-d-d-dig … s-s-s-say? I’ve never investigated, just figured it was one of those artistic whims that I thought worked, incidentally. The device obviously adds to the song’s indelible character.

I didn’t take it as a spoof or a mocking of stutterers, fears of which reportedly kept the BBC from initially playing the record. But as a stutterer, I always kind of wondered what that was all about.

Fifty-one years later, the answer is as clear as mud, of course.

The alleged reasons, per the Wikipedia machine, vary from the song aping old bluesman John Lee Hooker’s “Stuttering Blues,” to Daltrey being unprepared to record the song and stumbling through the lyrics – which is a crock of Wiki-nonsense – to the cheeky intimation of F-word profanity.

I will lay it at the feet of the mystical inspiration that springs from the likes of then-21-year-old artists like Daltrey.

What’s funny is, as most people know, stutterers don’t stutter when they sing. My impediment spiked from mild to severe through my youth, which is why singing in the school chorus and church choir became such an oasis – aside from the girly boy teasing issues that inevitably cropped up. (Always something, right?)

But I remember realizing that the stutter vanished to music as an early fascination. I never understood it, and probably still don’t fully grasp it, although it certainly involves proper breathing technique. That was one of the keys I learned during some intensive therapy I took as an adult.

Alas, any music fan knows stuttering has been used forever as a singing device. Think of George Thorogood’s “Bad to the Bone,” “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, David Bowie’s “Changes,” and “Bennie and the Jets” by Elton John. There are plenty more. The stutter is rhythmic. Effective. Memorable.

Funny I never thought that, though, under the death stare of a telephone receiver . . .

Happy 51st, My Generation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I told you once . . .

I celebrate nor acknowledge no rodent . . . punx-phil_wide-f5538c38d419577b08da8bb8da820ee533859c04-s800-c85

However, the origin of Groundhog Day in 1887 is so ridiculous I’ll make an exception just to poke fun.

Because what is funnier than saying Gobbler’s Knob in

Punxsutawney, Pa? Why, saying it three times fast:

Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa.

Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa.

Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa.

OK, paraphrasing from groundhog.org (I kid you not): so back before groundhogs were things, like, way way back, clergy evidently would distribute blessed candles around the Christian countryside during the winter. This came on Candlemas Day. Got me?

Over time and recitations of various Scottish poems and songs and multiple convolutions about Candlemas Day representing a prediction of further winter, the Germans decided that if the sun was out on Candlemas Day, their hedgehogs (!) would cast a shadow, which naturally meant a second winter was nigh.

Germans later flocked to Pennsylvania, which was lousy with groundhogs. Close enough. They decided that if such a “sensible” beast as the groundhog saw its shadow on Feb. 2, boom, strap in for six more weeks.

This of course led to the only reasonable next step: a newspaper editor and groundhog hunter in the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club (!) ruled in all the power and glory vested in him that Punxsutawney’s favored groundhog, Phil, hanging out there at Gobbler’s Knob, was God’s and the nation’s foremost weather-reading groundhog, oy vey.

The Phil in actual live use today saw no shadow. Spring will begin March 20!

 

  •  Here’s a trivia question you probably know: In “Groundhog Day,” what was the song that played every morning at 6 a.m. on Bill Murray’s ultimately much-abused alarm clock?
  • Fair warning: we get Groundhog Day blessedly out of the way, here comes National Signing Day on Wednesday. It’s the day when every over-the-top thing about big-time college football is on display in all its cynicism, self-importance and pretension. The day’s drama consists of pampered high-school recruits “flipping” or following through on their previous spoken commitments to mega-salaried coaches whose futures largely depend on selling as many of the pampered man-children on themselves and the university that currently employs them. Each coach then holds a press conference to declare themselves crazy with delight at the degree of unbelievable talent they just bagged. The exhibition is not unlike, it turns out, the brilliant tradition of Groundhog Day, wouldn’t you know.
  • “I Got You, Babe,” by Sonny & Cher. That’s the song. But you knew that.

 

 

 

Take it Easy, I’m back …

Evidently, nothing happened in history, and I had no random thoughts, over the last two weeks of radio silence.

What can I say, I got busy, and it snowed and stuff.

But I just checked in with my historic history sources and discovered that on this day in 1936, the first inductees to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. were elected. (They were announced Feb. 2. Nitpicking.)cooper

 

I am no hall of fame scholar, but I do know that the myth created and perpetuated by the founders and keepers of the baseball shrine – in the then-economically impaired village of Cooperstown, for crying out loud – is a monument to American enterprise, ingenuity and imagination.

That is to say, you do realize the tale of Civil War stalwart Abner Doubleday somehow inventing baseball in the bucolic meadows of Cooperstown is as tall as it is fanciful as it is fake.

Nonetheless, the notion of the privately founded and operated hall took. The first players were elected in 1936 and the building was dedicated June 12, 1939, when four classes – 11 players in all – were inducted.

Those first five in 1936? Ty Cobb. Walter Johnson. Christy Mathewson. Babe Ruth. Honus Wagner. Ruth was the only one of the five who played into the ‘30s; his last game was May 30, 1935.

Ruth died 13 years later, at age 53.

Cooperstown has become a must-visit for youth travel-baseball teams with its Cooperstown Dreams Park tournaments. I never took a team there, kind of missed that wave. In fact, I have visited the hall I think just twice; as a kid with my family and then on a road trip for work, just passing through.

I recall them as pleasant visits, obviously not for everyone. Cooperstown was pretty. The ghost of Abner Doubleday did not appear, rattling a musket and a hickory bat.

They built it in Cooperstown, and I’ll be damned, people still come.

That’s about it.

  • Jackson Browne tonight. He was Running on Empty a couple of weeks ago and had to cancel. His singer-songwriter bro Glenn Frey died in the meantime, springing a Fountain of Sorrow around These Days. Browne is no Pretender, he sings strong and clear. We’ll Take it Easy and enjoy what could be a poignant evening.
  • One part of me cannot believe the election season has barely even begun, and that we won’t go to the damn polls for Presidential keeps for 10 more months. Another part of me watches in stunned wonder as the most surreal political theater we could ever hope to see (please God, no more) unspools before our eyes 24/7. Pray for ‘Merica.
  • As a rule I avoid all Super Bowl build-up chatter, which I admit is harder and harder to accomplish. I prided myself on that even as I wound down my fulltime sports writing career. The onslaught and inanity of most of it just became wearying. But I’ve somehow managed to pick up on an apparent “controversy” revolving around whether people like Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, one of the most freak of nature athletes you will ever see. Newton is big into self-celebration and speaking his mind often immaturely, which naturally rubs a major segment of sports fans (re the old schoolers) really wrong. But here’s the thing: he’s a tremendous leader. Just tremendous. And he’s grown into a phenomenal NFL quarterback. Carolina will take apart Denver and its noble, fume-sucking Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl. Could be ugly. But speaking of Newton, this commercial he made a couple of years ago remains one of my all-time favorites. He approaches it with a fun twinkle, and little Nate is just the best. Take a look and listen.

Super(b)

True: The Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs on this day in 1967 to win the championship of professional football.

False: The game was officially dubbed the first “Super Bowl.”

Well, false — with a caveat.

The first two title games between the NFL and upstart AFL – the leagues’ merger was announced in 1966 – were officially “The AFL-NFL World Championship Game.” Ugh. Writers and fans were calling it the Super Bowl, though. That was Chiefs’ owner Lamar Hunt’s play on the old Super Ball.

Retroactively in 1969, the ’67 and ’68 games were designated Super Bowls 1 and II.

The Packers of Vince Lombardi won them both – 35-10 over Kansas City and 33-14 over the Oakland Raiders. The Packers received the unheard-of sum of $15,000 per man for wining.

Last year, the New England Patriots received a winner’s share of $97,000 per man.

Tonight, that first game comes full circle. Oddly, it was broadcast live by NBC and CBS, but both networks erased their tapes. But NFL Films doggedly, according to Wikipedia, “searched its enormous archives of footage and were able to locate all 145 plays from Super Bowl I from more than a couple dozen disparate sources.”

The plays were put in order, and NBC Sports radio descriptions were laid over the action.

The NFL Network will show the result of that project tonight.

Very cool.

  • Also this day, in 1929? Martin Luther King Jr. was born, of course. Thirty-nine years old when he died – two months before 43-year old Bobby Kennedy. 1968. What a disastrous time for our fellow Americans.
  • Listen, just don’t look at the IRA statement. Remember, you’re in it for the long haul . . . the long haul . . . the long haul. (Except what if your long haul is actually kind of short now? Um, get professional advice quickly then!) Things will bounce back. Of course they will . . .
  • If Yogi Berra truly came up with “It’s like déjà vu all over again,” well, he’s just a genius. Just a damn genius. I hope he trademarked that and his other wisdom.
  • You know what the hot new lead-in to a video clip is from the cable news peeps? “Take a listen!” I’m sorry, this curdles my biscuits. I know, “listen” can be used as a noun. It just sets off my jargon alarm. Hate the jargon. Don’t use the jargon. Stop it now. That is all.

 

 

 

 

 

Stars . . . crossed

The tortured, iconic marriage of Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio began on this day in 1954 in San Francisco city hall.

It ended in October after 10 months of emotional and physical abuse of the actress by the retired baseball star. Monroe filed for divorce, yet DiMaggio remained loyal — obsessed, really — the rest of her life, which ended in August of 1962. Which of course also is an entirely different story. I believe the term star-crossed was invented for people like Monroe and DiMaggio . . .

  • Speaking of which, Portsmouth. The dysfunction just keeps on giving to the news media. The sheriff chases down the mayor over an expired inspection sticker. The mayor won’t stop. What’s described as a “low-speed pursuit” ensues. TV news cameras somehow are there to capture it all. Amazing. And on and on . . .
  • Chip Kelly, hired by the San Francisco 49ers. I admit I’m surprised, and I predict a bad experience for the Niners and their fans. For however much of an offensive mastermind he supposedly is, and that is highly debatable after his flameout in Philly, Kelly seems a zero in the people skills/leadership department. Does he command a locker room and the grown men on a roster, or is he an eccentric whose eccentricities wear out professionals? I think he’s the latter. Good luck, SF.
  • This week’s games: New England beats Kansas City in the first AFC Division playoff game, although I am hardly in with both feet on that one, and on Sunday, Denver beats visiting Pittsburgh. In the NFC, Arizona wins at home over Green Bay, and Carolina takes out  the Seattle Seahawks. I have spoken.
  • Here’s a bit of what I’ve learned this week: new ways in which marine biologists can track the whereabouts of sea creatures to reduce bycatch — accidental catches that damage gear and animals — and keep open more fishing grounds, thus helping the fisherman’s economy; that the ranks of women in physics, while still small, are ever-expanding (much like the universe. Um, is the universe expanding?); and that the fabulous Gus Tebell in the 1930s was the head coach of football, basketball AND baseball, at the same time, at the University of Virginia (!). It’s good I’m still learning via writing jobs, ‘cause I’m not reading as much as I need to be.
  • Old dogs are just challenges, man. Suffice to say my boy Ollie’s continence just isn’t what it used to be. But then again, neither is . . . ah, never mind.
  • The good news is 10 was the Powerball, and 10 is my number, baby!
  • The bad news is 10 wasn’t my Powerball number. I’ll NEVER win that damn lottery . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Triskaideka . . . whatever

Douglas Wilder, the grandson of slaves, on Jan. 13, 1990 became the first African American to be sworn in as an elected governor when he took the oath of office in Richmond. It was only 26 years ago. The grandson of slaves. Think on that . . .

  • The NFL after 21 years has taken Los Angeles off the market as a bargaining chip that has extorted many a new stadium from many a pressured city, under threat of the local team moving. St. Louis is left holding the bag for the second time by the NFL; the football Cardinals moved to Arizona in 1988. With his Rams the first NFL team to move since the Houston Oilers in ’97, the Missouri governor is threatening legal action, but my vast lawyering expertise tells me nothing will come of it. Bottom line is the NFL needs to be in L.A. and so next season it will be, with the San Diego Chargers weighing an option to join the Rams there as well. Next stop, a full-time team in London. Ain’t nothing can stop the NFL.
  • If I lost nothing in translation, Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi was named the world’s best player for the fifth time the other day. The Ballon d’Or, they call the trophy. What I know about international soccer would fill a soccer “boot,” maybe, but I do know I somehow got to see the amazing Messi play last summer in Spain with the amazing D. It was, um, amazing. Checking that unlikely bucket-list box, and remembering the sights and sounds of the roaring and famous Camp Nou stadium — and of our five-mile midnight walk back to the hotel because the damn trenes were shut down. That’s right, we laugh about it now . . .
  • Tried to buy a Powerball ticket yesterday, learned it was $2, but I only had $1. (Don’t ask.) I’ve re-cashed up and might waste that $2 today on the 10-cascillion odds of hitting the right numbahs, because of the peer pressure, you understand.
  • Faded on Obama’s last State of the Union address, despite best intentions. Did he mention ISIS?
  • It disappoints me tremendously that a car has been blatantly illegally parked in front of my house for three days — because evidently no police officer has been down the street to ticket said illegally parked car, even though we have been assured patrols have stepped up because of some nearby vehicle vandalism. The devil, you say . . .
  • Love Modern Family, but sadly, I think that shark is more than half-jumped. What can you do? Even the deepest comedy pools run dry. Why The Face?