Thursday, February 23, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Turned 79 today. Not bad, except for the unnerving reality that almost every obituary I see is for someone younger than I am. Well, since I can’t do nothin’ about it I won’t dwell on it.

Enjoy, Dan!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Science Times!

Today’s Science Times section of the NY Times was thought provoking. For example:

In “There’s More to Nothing Than We Knew” they talk about the cosmos, a subject that fascinates me. I’m a Big Bang junkie – how did it happen, when did it happen, where did it come from, etc. I’m not interested in philosophical or religious explanations. But now I’ve got a new puzzlement. How can something come from nothing? If it started from nothing does it all go back to nothing? Just askin’.

Four new species of chameleons have been discovered in Madagascar. They’re tiny. Smaller than a fingernail. Incredible little reptiles. Go figure.

Researchers tell us that birds are more unfaithful in severe or uncertain weather. You may not care about marital fidelity in our avian friends, but it may matter to the jilted birdie. Or not. Apparently this increased promiscuity applies to both sexes. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, so to speak.

In “Aging of Eyes Is Blamed for Range of Health Woes,” I learned that the gradual yellowing of the lens and narrowing of the pupil that occur with age (didn’t know all this was going on) disturbs the body’s internal clock. And when our clock is messed with, bad stuff happens. Betcha didn’t know that.

Finally, if you’re one of those people that think ice therapy reduces muscle soreness, think again. We don’t know for sure. It may be that other treatments, like compression sleeves or ibuprofen, are just as, or more, effective. And ice can create unwanted side effects. So there you have it.

You’re welcome!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Yesterday was our first visit of the year to the Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park. It’s Magnolia Season!

Said to be the best array of Magnolia trees outside of China, the blooming beauties were stunning. Several white and pink flowered trees were at their peak. A few were past their prime. Some were on their way to full glory. A couple hadn’t yet got started.

Over the years we’ve made it a habit to make this pilgrimage in February. But we’ve never been able to predict which trees will bloom when. This year the blooming seems a little later than usual. And unlike in the past, when the whites opened up later than the pinks, this time both colors were blooming – or not.

It was a beautiful, sunny day. Crisp but not uncomfortable. I thought I’d see more visitors, but there were only a few. Part of the reason is the ridiculous decision by the City to charge out-of-towners an entrance fee of $7/per person at the Garden gate. I saw several people choose not to enter rather than pay. A dumb, inhospitable move. A tourism disincentive that yields almost no revenue. The Magnolias deserve better.

Thursday, February 09, 2012


I am not surprised the Fabio Capello resigned as Manager of England’s national football team. In fact, I expected he would.

There’s no way that a passionate, autocratic, successful Italian manager would do otherwise. Machismo wouldn’t allow it.

What unforgiveable affront was perpetrated by Capello’s bureaucratic bosses, the Football Association (FA)? Without consulting him they stripped John Terry of his position as Team Captain. Terry is charged in a civil court action of racially abusing an opposing player. The trial will be in July.

Choosing who will captain a team is the manager’s prerogative. Theoretically, an owner (or in this case the FA) has the power to overrule the manager. But as a practical matter no self-respecting manager would allow his authority to be undermined in this manner. He would, and should, resign.

When told of the FA’s decision on Terry, Capello said he thought in England a person was innocent until proven guilty. And since the trial hadn’t yet been held, he was standing behind his captain. That is his public position. The real issue, though, is that he wasn’t consulted before the FA made its move. A humiliating act and an affront to a proud man with a world-class record of managerial achievement.

Clearly, Capello should have been part of the decision-making process. No executive in any business would do what the FA did and fail to see what the consequences would be. If they had gotten Capello on board he could have accepted their decision while disagreeing with it.

An even better alternative would have been for the FA to have given Capello a chance to have a quiet talk with John Terry, explain that it would be better for Terry and for the team if he would voluntarily step aside until his legal issues were resolved, and move ahead into the European championships this summer with the team and the huge egos involved left intact. (Capello had already announced that’s he’d be leaving his position when the summer games were complete.)

But the FA, in its smug arrogance, isn’t known for making wise decisions. And so, the never-ending saga of waiting for England to convert great players into a great team, continues. Good luck, laddies!

Monday, February 06, 2012

Super Bowl!

Good game!

Good teams!

Satisfying result!

Best ads: Coke & Fiat!

Halftime: High tech waste of time & money to showcase an aging singer with mediocre talent!

Friday, February 03, 2012


Good News: Trump endorses Romney. Mazeltov. They deserve each other.

Bad News: 74 people die in Egyptian riots after soccer match and then more in subsequent demonstrations. Not such a beautiful game when this happens.

Good News: Employment is up and unemployment is down in January. Maybe Bad News for the Republicans.

Bad News: The Occupy movement is being taken over by the bad guys. A surefire way to lose the support of ordinary people who saw Occupy as a legitimate protest.

Good News: Romney isn’t concerned about the welfare of poor people. So what else is new?

Bad News: Newt is slipping. We need a strong Newt to keep the internecine warfare going for a few more months.

Good News: 49’ers get more money from the NFL to assure move to Santa Clara. Good riddance – says the jilted San Franciscan.

Bad News: Assad keeps killing fellow Syrians.

Good News: Spring training starts soon.

Bad News: More planets capable of sustaining life are discovered. Maybe that means God doesn’t think we’re the chosen ones anymore and is mad at us.

Good News: Murdoch faces more hacking charges.

Bad News: The arrogant hubris of American exceptionalism is having a revival. False bravado is a sign of weakness. Unfortunately, pointing this out is as powerful as a fart in a hurricane.

Have a nice day!