Friday, April 13, 2007


update, 10:00 pm - this should be it for the night. I actually drew a hockey comment, too, which makes me happy. It takes so little...

I've got nothing, mentally or physically. I figure that the best way around this is to blog. Herewith, a running diary of my astounding day home from work:

7:20 - alarm.
7:30 - snooze.
7:40 - snooze.
8:30 - slept through the last snooze. Finally woke, and sat up with difficulty directly proportionate to the weight and payload of the truck sitting on my chest.
8:32 - inventory. Stuffed head? Check. Scratchy throat? Yes, a new item in stock. Well, they give me sick days for a reason.
9:03 - after a nap, a call to the Boss to make it official.

9:04-10:55 - oblivion. Not sweet. Involved dreams of being lost on major highways utterly devoid of fellow travelers. All towns abandoned. Standard anxiety crap, I suppose.

12:40 pm - finished a biography of Wyatt Earp, by Casey Tefertiller. Very well-done, heavily researched; an even account of Earp comes through in all the conflicting sources of the day. Time for lunch and a shower, but not in that order.

1:45 - turns out that I need a new razor; the outside of my throat is now as scratchy as the inside. I thought that I had this thing licked last night. Ladybug even stopped by for a surprise visit, with soup and vittles (she's a sweetie); felt right as rain by the time I went to bed last night, but like a pile of spoiled leftovers this morning. Getting a little better now, though. More soup. Soup is a beautiful thing, my friends.

2:00 - hey! It's ESPN Classic, a great way to waste time watching that which has already gone. In this case, a discussion of American and National League rookies on This Week in Baseball! Yay, Mel Allen.

2:15 - date of original broadcast? My sixth birthday. Ron Guidry is celebrated for a complete game win, 20th of an eventual 25 (and the Cy Young Award for the AL). There's Thurman Munson talking about the Gator now. And the rookies, holy cats: Alan Trammel, Lou Whitaker, Carney Lansford, Paul Molitor, Bob Horner... And who holds the (then) National League record for most homers by a rookie?

2:25 - ooops. I guessed Ralph Kiner, but I was wrong twice: Wally Berger and Frank Robinson, with 38. (It may be more now, but I honestly don't know and don't care to look it up now.) I whistled along flawlessly to the closing credit song, too. It never goes away. (Amazingly, it doesn't seem to be on You Tube, but the opening theme is here - click the "classic TWIB theme" link near the top of the page.)

3:08 - missed two phone calls, which I must return. Be back a little later. ...

4:21 - it's later, now. (And when will now be then?) Looks like the Islanders, in defiance of any hope and common sense, could get their concussed franchise goalie back for tomorrow's game two. I shall say nothing. RDP's health is fragile enough.

4:27 - my PC mouse is annoying me. It chooses to scoot from where I'm clicking up to the close window box, or down to the opposite corner, the 'start' button. Luckily, Blogger won't let me close a page with 'unsaved changes' so I haven't accidentally lost my post. It's an optical mouse and I've done everything I can think of to solve this problem, short of tossing the thing out of the window. (Admittedly, that would not solve the problem either, but it would be cathartic.)

4:30 - what the heck was that?

4:31 - hm. It's the emergency radio for my buddy, an EMT. He usually doesn't leave the radio on when he goes to work. I almost had to tell them to come over here because they just gave me half a heart attack.

5:13 - I'd been following this post on a favorite blog for some time. The upshot of it seems to be that, because a few players (from an archrival, some objectivity right?) got mad at the Islanders' ice-cleaning crew, the poster (and a few of his commenters) have decided to take umbrage. But not because of the crew's behavior, but because that crew is made up of cute girls in tight outfits. I finally had to inject a couple of facts into the discussion (horrors), and quoted the rulebook. The reply I got is simply unsatisfactory to my mind. Again, let me repeat - the Islanders did NOT create this job. They simply hired different people to fill it. And what gets me is all of the harping on about their looks - as if a pretty young woman can't act professionally, and that having them on the ice during TV timeouts somehow detracts from the game. If they hit the rink for a few double salchows or something, I would fully agree, but how on earth can they distract from the game when the only time they're out there is when the commercials are running - and to do a legitimate job? It makes no sense, and the whole "get them wimmins off the ice while the menfolk play their hockey" attitude is a howling farce. What is this, the Syrian Hockey League?

5:23 - yeah, I ruined a perfectly good post with hockey.

5:26 - the past week, my computer has insisted every single day on running some cockamamie updates and then restarting at the drop of a hat. The only thing it seems to accomplish is to make me stop what I'm doing every ten minutes. Seems not to be happening after today's reboot, however.

5:33 - for the chess players in your life, a fascinating page from a fellow named Tim Krabbé. There's a lot of depth, and some fascinating stories behind some of the games and players: this gentleman, for example. (And "The Full Morphy," heheheheheh.)

More later...

7:07 - welcome back. (Gee, that's optimistic.) Did my taxes while I was gone, because I've been procrastinating. I had calculated everything on paper, but I remembered the mass of useless clicking involved in e-filing and it put me off until the third-to-last minute. Small refund. Anyone want to institute a flat tax? Mitt? Rudy?

7:09 - one thing that I did not claim on my return: the imaginary ten thousand dollars I won playing fake cards. Got pretty lucky, actually - I busted a player on the very first hand, and had an exceptionally loose player right behind me. Took him down on the third level of blinds, built a commanding chip lead, and bled the other folks dry. My one lucky call was catching three of a kind on the river to beat a guy with two pair (I had him on a straight draw and got very lucky). If it were that easy in real life I wouldn't have to ref games in my spare time.

7:13 - I should consider some sort of dinner product soon. Perhaps more soup? ...

8:15 - back again. The Ladybug talked with me, agreed that dinner product was good, and brought over some pizza. And now, the nominees for Luckiest Fella Alive.

8:44 - mmmmmm..... pizza. But the Ladybug was sad - at the counter of our favorite local place, she saw a sign reading, "Support the Revolution: Vote for Sanjaya." Uhm... NO. Stern can lay the hell off. It's terrible trying to spoil other people's innocent fun. Even the Vote for the Worst guy says that he doesn't expect to actually determine a winner, and his site actually helps the show's ratings and bottom line. So who is Horrible Howie, anyway, to try to decide what shows are good enough? How is it, when a parents group or something organizes a protest they're painted as intolerant, backward dolts, but when a single person decides to use his platform to dictate to others, it's a laugh? Or worse, a "revolution"?

9:00 - Life is Worth Living, from 1954. Speaking at the remove of three generations, Bishop Fulton J Sheen makes more sense in two minutes than most modern speakers make in a year. Oddly enough, his topic applies to Stern and American Idol - the two halves of freedom: freedom FROM and freedom FOR. To sum up - freedom from is concerned with means: to be uncoerced, free from violence, unrestricted; freedom for is concerned with ends: towards what goal is one directing those choices? His point is that either without the other leads to grave errors, and in a small way Stern displays this. He abuses the first freedom, with no positive goal in mind. He gains nothing and merely causes others trouble; at the worst, he costs people their jobs. As Sheen recognizes, in practice this means freedom only for the strong, who impose their choices on everyone else.

Sheen's analysis, with barely any updating, applies in a much larger fashion to the wider world. The West is guilty of having only the first freedom, as he well recognized - freedom of choice with no end to direct those choices. He used the analogy of a farmer. "I'm free to plant whatever crop I please on my own land," he says, but he has no goal in mind; he tries several different crops only to give up on them after a few weeks. The result is that he does much more work than other farmers, constantly ploughing and resowing; and for all that extra work he reaps no reward, no harvest. In Communism (Sheen argues), the reverse is true. They have the second freedom; freedom for an end, a definable goal. In order to achieve the goal, they simply deny anyone any choice that opposes it. "You are free to do and say what you please, so long as it pleases the state." And this destroys the will of man, made free by God, usurping His authority to such an extent that it enslaves man in a manner that God Himself does not do. It does not fulfill man's will, it abrogates it.

Well, read "Islamism" for "Communism" and you will be miles ahead of just about every expert in understanding current affairs.

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