Thursday, June 30, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Because I do not like hot weather, summer is my least favorite season. But there are still things I enjoy about it, and surprisingly, some of them are specific to this sweat-soaked state in which I live. So here are some thoughts on summer’s first day:
I love opening the season with our annual Beach Weekend.
I love Independence Day.
I love that there is one time of year when I am able to prefer chilled white wine over room temperature red wine.
I love when evening breezes carry the sweet scent of orange blossoms across
I love watching swallow-tailed kites, one of my favorite birds of prey, as they soar in the air and seem to stay up there forever without flapping their wings.
I love watching fireflies illuminate the woods at dusk.
I love the dramatic pulse of
And I especially love that on the second day of this summer, we will get to meet our son.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Sarah is 6½ and Erika and I have taken several trips without her. This week she is in the mountains with her grandmother, aunt, and cousin, and it is her first trip without us. The first night she was gone, I almost walked into her room to check on her when I went upstairs to get something. It was muscle memory, force of habit, whatever you want to call it -- and it made me feel sullen when I remembered she wasn’t there. I always miss her when we are apart, but it’s strange how much larger her absence seems to loom when she is the one away from home.
Do you need another reason to ignore what you read in the MSM? Last week, the punditry was going on and on about how Mitt Romney can not possibly beat Barack Obama in 2012. But yesterday, a poll showed Romney ahead of Obama. And then today, a headline said “Obama holds big 2012 lead over Republicans.” This schizo-style inconsistency reminds me of a quote I read many years ago, which noted that “when you hear two eyewitness accounts of an auto accident, it makes you wonder about history.”
Here is an excellent editorial by Mark Steyn, which uses the Weiner affair to illustrate just how big government has gotten.
And here is one by Jonah Goldberg, about politicians’ destructively irresponsible impulse to pass the buck.
When it comes to a much more inspiring topic -- hockey -- I must admit that I love the edgy tone of violence that has taken over the Stanley Cup Final. I love that after being the perpetrator in Game One’s biting incident, the Canucks’ Alex Burrows rang up three points in Game Two, including the winning goal in overtime. But even more than that, I love that the Bruins responded by taking the fight right to the Canucks in Games Three and Four and bloodying their noses while outscoring them 12-1. I love the finger-wagging at Burrows, and the way Tim Thomas leveled Henrik Sedin on Monday and then chopped Burrows’s leg on Wednesday. This has become a man’s series and I have to question the manliness of anybody who does not enjoy watching it.
Sticking with hockey, one of the things I wrote on June 1st -- that “as the series unfolds and I see how
And lastly: Am I the only one who thinks Tim Thomas resembles Yukon Cornelius?
Monday, June 6, 2011
67 years ago this morning, human beings from the naval forces of eight Allied nations laid their lives on the line in ways most of us can hardly fathom. Two-thirds of them were from the
Traveling in ships and amphibious vessels, they set sail from
Slogging first through waves and then through sand, they were sitting ducks for the Nazi gunners positioned on shore. Bullets rained down on them amidst a cacophony of explosive reverberations. The men at the fronts of the landing crafts were the first ones to step on the beach, and they stepped onto it knowing they were likely to get shot. Each of them was acutely aware he might be entering the final seconds of his life.
Approximately 10,000 Allied men were killed or wounded that day. However, in bearing that brunt of brutality, those who were first on the scene helped clear the way for 100,000 of their fellow soldiers to reach shore and advance against the enemy, freeing occupied towns as they went. By the end of the month more than 800,000 men had done so, and the war’s momentum had swung in the Allies’ favor. Within a year the Nazis surrendered unconditionally.
In military parlance, the phrase “D-Day” refers to the first day of any operation, but in the public’s mind, it will always refer to the events on the beaches of
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Tonight the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins will face off in Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals, and the battle will be on to win the most sacred trophy in sports. When it comes to writing about this match-up, there are so many ways to approach it that it’s hard to know where to start.
As a Lightning fan, I ended last Friday boiling with anti-Bruins rage. But my cooler head has since prevailed, like cream rising to the top, and now I am looking at the SCF intelligently instead of emotionally. For what they are worth, here are some of my thoughts.
Conventional wisdom says Canadians will cheer for the Canucks and Americans for the Bruins, and there is probably some truth to that. However, in reading comments left on some Canadian blogs I have encountered a surprising (to me) amount of anti-Vancouver sentiment. From what I can gather as an outsider, it appears that some Canadians, especially from the interior provinces, look at
In any event, the idea of national rivalries among NHL franchises seems overblown because every NHL roster is multinational. Vancouver’s highest profile players are the Sedin twins, who are from Sweden, while Boston’s highest profile player is Zdeno Chara from the Czech Republic...And Vancouver has eight fewer Canadians on its roster than Boston has…And when you look at the most effective performer on each of these teams during this post-season, you will find that both of them (Ryan Kesler for Vancouver and Tim Thomas for Boston) are Michigan natives…Need I say more?
East vs. West
There is a school of thought that Western Conference hockey is wide open and freewheeling while Eastern Conference hockey is defensive and hard-hitting. That same school of thought holds that Western Conference teams lack the toughness that is needed to win against the more physical teams from the East. People who subscribe to this school of thought tend to overlook the fact that the last ten championships were divided evenly between the conferences, and that three of the last four were won by teams from the West. They also tend to overlook the fact that
Tim Thomas was a journeyman who spent most of a decade bouncing around foreign leagues and the minors. But since reaching his mid-thirties he has become
Roberto Luongo backstopped Team
For Thomas, a Stanley Cup championship would be a testimony to perseverance and to the reality that people can bloom late. For Luongo, it would silence his critics and vindicate his unfairly maligned career. No matter which team wins, the story of the man in net is sure to inspire.
“Original Six” vs. “Newcomer”
I have heard some people depict this as a kind of old vs. new final, with the Bruins playing the part of the old, storied organization and the Canucks the part of the yappy young gun. That storyline rubs me wrong.
Yes, the Bruins are one of the “original six” franchises, but the very concept of the original six is misleading because the franchises in question were not the NHL’s first six. They were simply the ones that happened to be playing in 1966, one year before the league’s famous 1967 expansion. Many others had opened and folded in the decades leading up to then.
Meanwhile, the Canucks are far from a new franchise since they have been playing hockey in
…I will be satisfied. The Bruins have been knocking on
…I will be satisfied. The Canucks are fun to watch, and their defense is just as stout as their offense is creative. Plus, I am sympathetic to fan bases that get dissed by fans of the original six. And even though I am an American, I have to admit that after an 18-year drought it would be nice to see a Canadian franchise win the Cup and take it “home” for its fans to see.
Of course, if the Lightning was playing in the SCF there is no way I could say “I will be satisfied” about the prospect of anyone else winning. And as the series unfolds and I see how
I hope you watch and enjoy it as much as I plan to. And although the Lightning are sitting home at this point, I have to close by saying this again: Go Bolts!