Sunday, April 9, 2017

Odds And Ends, Early April 2017

Still not quite back to normal around here. The more perceptive of you might be excused for believing that I am sitting on a major development. In the meantime, a few things have crossed my mind recently:
1) Never mind politicians; is there a group of people more out of touch with modern American reality than the mainstream media? Everyone--and I am including most Republican/conservatives that I know--that I know was not happy with the news that our President had ordered nearly sixty cruise missiles fired into Syria earlier this week. If you listened to the MSM, you saw things like "Now he's acting like a President," "he's growing into the job," "this should make him more popular," "very Presidential", etc. It didn't make him seem more Presidential; it made him seem even more of what he is--an ignorant fool incapable of resisting impulse and who is absolutely itching to exercise power over somebody. And the vast majority of the great unwashed know this now, even those that voted for him just five months ago. Trump is the greatest disaster of our lifetime, and I think even the bozows are aware of it now. It's frightening to contemplate just how messed up this place can get in the next four years. The only solace is that even with a rigged system, the other party could throw up Zippy the Chimp and win in 2020--if there's an election at all. But that remains to be seen.
2) On to less important matters. The Masters golf tournament is this week, and I, not normally a follower of golf, am paying attention. One reason is that the Masters usually provides a decent spectacle, and it does have that this year. Jordan Speith is looking for redemption at the place where he blew a five-shot lead with nine to play last year. Speith has to be considered the favorite going into Sunday; ten shots behind after the first round, he's now only two behind, and he has finished 2-1-2 in his last three appearances here. Speith is infinitely more likable than Tiger Woods was at a similar stage in his career--and if Speith is not going to dominate the sport like Woods did, he is going to dominate this tournament more than Woods ever did.
It's an interesting leaderboard, but the one name I want to see win is Sergio Garcia. Garcia burst on the golf world as a 19YO wunderkid, and it was inconceivable in 1999 that he would still be looking for his first major in 2017. A lot has happened to Sergio, too much to recount here, but amazingly, he's a bit of sentimental favorite here (there is much I do not like about the Masters and the way it is run, but I will say this much; it's nice not to hear boors in the galleries. Masters officials have made clear that the crowds will act like decent human beings, or they are immediately banished never to return, Garcia has been treated abominably by galleries in other American tournaments, but that's not going to happen tomorrow). We've seen Garcia grow up in the spotlight, and it's been a mixed bag. He's had successes; he's also had very public failures, and earned the enmity of the bozos that shout "USA!USA!" at every sporting event by some of what he has said and done. But I would like to see him win tomorrow, and pass the Best Player Never To Win a Major title onto someone else.
3) Today ends the NHL season. The Rangers had a decent season, a hundred points and the first wildcard spot in a loaded division, with a series against Montreal locked in. And yet there is the sense that it could have been so much more. There are as many as five guys playing regularly that should not be playing, and they are killing this team, leading even casual observers wondering how Alain Vigneault is hanging onto his job.
And I am one of them. How does this guy not see how bad Dan Girardi is? How does one justify the total lack of skill that Tanner Glass brings to the ice? How does one not see that every time Adam Clendening plays, the team is better than when he doesn't? How does one not see that Pavel Buchnevich is, although erratic, capable of spectacular play, and why does he not play regularly? How does one not see that Jimmy Vesey has hit the rookie wall, and why hasn't Vesey sat more? How does one not see that Kevin Klein is not an NHL defenseman any more?
It's going to be ugly; the Rangers may not win a playoff game. And hopefully, AV will be gone by the end of April. God, this is frustrating.
4) It's supposed to be near 70 today, and we're going to have decent weather for a week or so. Combined with looming developments, I will soon be undertaking major landscaping and gardening improvements. Which will be occupying more time, a development I welcome. Maybe it's the Italian in me, but I find that I love gardening, and I do like, at least in the beginning of the summer, maintaining the yard (I tend to lose enthusiasm when it's really hot out for it). I want to try some different stuff this year, and I am going to double my efforts to provide a bee haven here. I was encouraged last summer to see more honeybees, for the first time in three years. I am seriously considering, despite my own extreme allergy to them, buying a hive and placing it somewhere on the property.\
I also have discovered the joys of something I have not experienced since I was married--the annual "let's discover the remains of dozens of piles of dog shit in the back yard, now that the snow has melted." If nothing else, it has ensured a regular supply of compost material, and on the whole I'd rather have the dog around than not. But this task is one I can easily do without.

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