Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hello From Istanbul

Vacation in Turkey has started with a wet, cold, rainy day.  A fun ferry ride, nice lunch, visit to the spice market, and then to the one of the Ottoman palaces built in the late 19th century as the Ottoman empire was in decline (their response to the decline in power--start building palaces, the more ornate the better!).  At least I can prepared for the weather.  By that, I mean I brought clothes.  Oh well.  

Trying to figure out how to get to a recommended jazz club tonight or tomorrow night. 

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Four-Letter Words





Alan Greenspan speculated that the current economic crisis might be described as a once-in-a-century event (let's put aside for now that he may have been one of the chief arsonists in that fire). That's still more frequent than a Cubs World Series win. Which all brings to mind another four-letter word familiar to Cubs fans:


If I may be permitted to offer one observation to those Cubs fans who read words on this space: A few years back, the Cardinals won 105 games in the regular season and were the class of major league baseball. Then they got whacked in four straight in the World Series by the dreaded Red Sox, ending the fabled Curse of the Bambino. It hurt. But, you know, it was a great season. Last season (2007), we stunk. Flat out. You know, it's much better to have a great season, even if you come up short.

I first got turned on to this concept being a Knicks fan back in the early '90s. The Knicks had gone to the finals (in a Jordan-less NBA) but lost in 7 to the Houston Rockets. Then Pat Riley promptly quit as head coach of the Knicks. "A wasted season" complained the players, and the NY sports press amplified that sentiment with their massive megaphone.

Not so fast, one astute writer observed. This was a great season and a great run of seasons for the Knicks. Yeah, they came up short, but they were competitive as hell, and it was fun to watch. In a few years, when no-one is showing up at the Garden on a Wednesday night to watch them play Golden State, the fans would look back with fond memories of the "glory years." It sure beat being mediocre.

Which all brings to mind yet still other four-letter words familiar to any Cubs fan:




Saturday, October 4, 2008

Put to Rest, Finally

Well, I am happy to report that the fabled "liberal media bias" myth has been dispelled once and for all! Why do I say that, you ask?

Well, how has the VP debate been covered? Either it was a tie, no damage done to either campaign, but no "game changers" either. Or alternatively, Sarah Palin "won" because (pick any or all that apply): (1) she was more folksy, made a connection with the people (you know what I'm saying, "wink, wink, ;)"); (2) Biden was "boring" (all those facts and figures); (3) Biden was off his game and "lost" the first part of the debate (too passive); (4) Biden generally did not attack back ever (didn't take the bait, for example, on the "white flag of surrender" poke); and/or (5) Palin "exceeded expectations", in part because of the disastrous Katie Couric interviews, and did not run crying from the stage, vomit on the stage or freeze up -- generally saying some combination of words that vaguely resembled sentences, including nouns and verbs. [Matt Lauer asked Guiliani the next morning whether she had "mastery of the facts" or whether it sounded like she crammed for a test for a week. Guiliani said he didn't know how you could separate the two. To Matt's credit, interupted and said, well, "one is knowlege of subjects built up over years, and the other is cramming for a test." Seems pretty simple to me] []

Am I right on how it's been reported? You betcha!! (Ok, maybe not the NY Times editorial page, but Palin will pick that up, because she reads "all" of the newspapers, remember?)

So that's the media reporting, including the "liberal elites." What's the objective evidence? CBS poll immediately following debate: Biden over Palin, 51% to 36%. CNN poll I just saw reported tonight: Biden 51%, Palin 36%. What about the "gender gap", you ask? Men: Biden 51%, Palin 36%. Women: Biden 51%, Palin 35%. Hmm. That's starting to sound like a Biden victory. But put facts aside--it's about personal connection, right? Now what was the most moving moment of the debates so far, on personal level? Was it Joe being emotional about being a single dad, not knowing if his sons are going to make it after he tragically lost his wife and infant daughter at age 29? Say it ain't so!!!

Now, doggone it Joe, there you go again....


Finally, someone has written that Sarah Palin didn't tie or win the the debate. And I think we have a new phrase:

"Sarah-phonics , a mash up of sentence fragments and colloquialisms glued together with misplaced also’s and there’s — gibberish really."

Here's the entire post:

Don't worry, Sarah Palin will never see it - it was in a newspaper (NY Times).