Monday, May 28, 2007

UMass Comes Through

Andrew Card, former WH chief of staff was booed lustily when he was awarded an honorary degree at my "alma mater" - the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Nice job, folks.

Monday, May 14, 2007

State of the Nation

All's happy in Red Sox Nation, in case you were wondering. As of today, we're eight games up in the American League East. Yesterday's game was one for the ages.

For 8.5 innings, it was probably one of the quietest (even boring?) games this season. Red Sox were going quietly into the loss and our ace, Josh Beckett, had been taken out of the game early due to a finger "avulsion." (If you know what that means, you're better than me...I had to Google it, which brings you to some of the most hideous medical pictures. Be careful if you go there.) Orioles were leading 5-0 when we came to bat in the bottom of the inning.

With one out, the catcher drops an easy pop-up. From there, all hell breaks loose. Papi doubles home the first run, the bases were then loaded and the pitcher walks a run in. Then Varitek doubles a couple more runs in - score now 5-4. And finally, with Julio Lugo at the plate and the bases still loaded (2 outs), he hits a high chopper to the first baseman (Kevin Millar!), who fed the ball to the pitcher covering first.

OOOOPS, the pitcher misses the catch, crossing first base with an empty glove. Two runs score. Sox win 6-5! If I didn't see it with my own eyes, I never would have believed it.

Things are looking great this season, to say the least. Still a long way to go, but we appear to be positioned well for the long haul.

Go Sox!

Mother's Day

At least this year I wasn't wished "Happy Mother's Day" by some unsuspecting waitstaff or sales clerk. Happens 'most every year and when you are child-free, and it makes for an interesting dynamic.

Should I simply thank the person for their good wishes and return same? Sometimes I do. Should I announce my child-free state and embarrass them? Depending on my mood, this can happen as well. I have to say that there also have been times when the "Happy Mother's Day" comes with a free gift. For instance, one time I received a silky-soft jewelry bag that I carry to this day. So I'm not immune from a little freebie while I play-act at being someone's mom.

And, just for fun, here's a little history of Mother's Day from Wikipedia that makes me wish Mother's Day was less commercial and more in keeping with the original design:

Julia Ward Howe wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation in 1870, as a call for peace and disarmament. Howe failed in her attempt to get formal recognition of a Mother's Day for Peace. Her idea was influenced by Ann Jarvis, a young Appalachian homemaker who, starting in 1858, had attempted to improve sanitation through what she called Mothers' Work Days. She organized women throughout the Civil War to work for better sanitary conditions for both sides, and in 1868 she began work to reconcile Union and Confederate neighbors. In parts of the United States it is customary to plant tomatoes outdoors after mother's day (and not before.)

When Jarvis died, her daughter, named Anna Jarvis, started the crusade to found a memorial day for women. The first such Mother's Day was celebrated in Grafton, West Virginia, on May 10, 1908, in the church where the elder Ann Jarvis had taught Sunday School. Grafton is the home to the International Mother's Day Shrine. From there, the custom caught on — spreading eventually to 45 states. The holiday was declared officially by some states beginning in 1912. In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared the first national Mother's Day, as a day for American citizens to show the flag in honor of those mothers whose sons had died in war (with specific reference to The Great War, now known as World War I). Nine years after the first official Mother's Day holiday, commercialization of the U.S. holiday became so rampant that Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of what the holiday had become. Mother's Day continues to this day to be one of the most commercially successful U.S. holidays.

So, I hope the rest of you Moms were treated well by your young'uns...and the service person nearest you.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

How Low Can He Go?

Beating up on the Chimp these days is just way too easy, and even I have not wasted time on him lately.

But today's poll from Newsweek seems like a good time to renew acquaintenances with the ninny who is our fearless leader. Apparently, the Chimp has sunk to a new low in approval: 28%.

"It’s hard to say which is worse news for Republicans: that George W. Bush now has the worst approval rating of an American president in a generation, or that he seems to be dragging every ’08 Republican presidential candidate down with him. But According to the new NEWSWEEK Poll, the public’s approval of Bush has sunk to 28 percent, an all-time low for this president in our poll, and a point lower than Gallup recorded for his father at Bush Sr.’s nadir. The last president to be this unpopular was Jimmy Carter who also scored a 28 percent approval in 1979. This remarkably low rating seems to be casting a dark shadow over the GOP’s chances for victory in ’08. The NEWSWEEK Poll finds each of the leading Democratic contenders beating the Republican frontrunners in head-to-head matchups."

Couldn't happen to a finer bunch of dopes.