Friday, March 31, 2017

Hope Springs Eternal!

“Hope springs eternal in the human breast,” said Alexander Pope in 1734.  I don’t think Pope was referring to baseball fans, but he could have been.  It is Spring, and in a couple of days the Boys of Summer will smell the grass and swing their bats.

Before it starts we’re all even – no wins, no losses.  162 games later most of us will be disappointed and we’ll need to wait ‘til next year.  I loved baseball as a kid, and then lost interest.  However, when our new ballpark opened 18 years ago I became an active fan again.  When I go to a game, for sure I want the Giants to win.  But win or lose, just being in our friendly, beautiful ballpark is a pleasurable experience.  Sandra and I purchased one of the bricks in the sidewalk outside the main gate.  It says, simply, “We Love This Place.”

I’m not too optimistic about the upcoming season.  We’ve got pretty much the same team as last year, competitive because of good pitching, but no bats that are going to wow the aficionados.  Good management and a cohesive clubhouse will help us.  Injuries and subpar performances could hurt. 

But all that aside, I’m looking forward to “Play Ball.”  Hope does indeed spring eternal!

Saturday, March 25, 2017


A great day to read the news:

“Stunning Defeat On Health Care”
“GOP Revolt Sinks Bid To Void Health Care”
“In Dropping Vote, President Swallowed Need For A Showdown”
“Unbending Faction Deals Blow To Its Own Party As Bill Falters”
“Divided GOP Drops Health Bill”
“Trump Confronts Major Setback”
“Ryan Fails To Bridge Divide In GOP”
“Bracing For Fallout After Bill’s Collapse”


Friday, March 17, 2017

Wasted Ink!

I am always surprised by how interested people are in conjecturing.  The ‘what ifs,’ ‘how abouts,’ and ‘maybes’ get more attention than the thing itself.  It is an excuse for the self-styled experts and pundits to opine, predict and wax eloquent (well, maybe not eloquent, but wax nonetheless) about the subject du jour.

If you get your news online, all this is wasted data.  I’m still a newspaper reader, so it’s wasted ink.  In recent days the hot story has been the Trump budget.  Will it be changed?  If it isn’t, what will happen?  If it is, what will happen?  Who will it help?  Who will it hurt?  Etc., etc., ad nauseum. 

Why should I waste my time on all this stuff?  The story will go on for a long time before it is resolved.  I’ll be interested in how the saga ends.  But until then, I’d rather watch a Champion’s League game or read a book.

In our 24/7 world, the demand for new breaking news which generates new conjecturing is insatiable.  I can even sympathize with the need to fill the space with something.  But that doesn’t make it worth my time.  You, of course, may have a different opinion, so go ahead – opine!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Lingering Memories!

It doesn’t take long to return to my daily routine after being away.  Even so, lingering sweet memories are gifts that don’t easily disappear:

The magic moment in Varanasi at the BrijRama Palace when tabla and flute combined to make tangible and present a world long gone.

Cruising through the Kerala backwaters to the sound of Thwap, Thwap, Thwap as women do what women have done for thousands of years, beat their clothes against a flat stone.  Thwap, Thwap, Thwap.

Looking across the lake from our balcony at the Leela Palace in Udaipur at sunset as the lights of the City Palace illuminated the horizon.

The women in the airport who, unbidden, pointed us in the direction of the escalator so we didn’t have to climb the stairs.  The men in Delhi who showed us the way to the ATM.

Delicious vegetarian dishes, often cheese-based, in Varanasi.  The extraordinary dinner at the Indian Accent in Delhi.  Our final lunch on the boat in Kerala, a dozen unique South Indian dishes.  Dining under the stars in Udaipur and Hyderabad.

Visiting the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib to see how the Sikhs serve everyone who comes in.  And the Nizamuddin Shrine, a frenzied atmosphere to honor the Sufi saint.  And the Jama Musjid, India’s largest mosque.  And the Jagdish temple in Udaipur, a holy place for Hindus.

Watching the cremation rites at the Manikarnika burning ghat on the banks of the Ganges in Varanasi.  Sitting on the steps of the famous Dashashwamedh Ghat to soak in the scene.  Wedding parties, beggars, families, tourists, sadhus, all out in force.

And more . . .  And still very glad to be home.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Back From India!

Takeaways (admittedly generalizations) after spending the last month in India:

People have a positive outlook, especially young people.
They think the Modi-led government is on the right track.
Mobile phones are ubiquitous, seemingly growing out of everyone’s ears.
Traffic is more chaotic than ever.  Macho drivers rule.
Walking down narrow streets is a battle with motorcycles for survival.
Little attention is paid to the past.  Today is about today’s India.
Traditional values may be less visible but below the surface are still powerful.
Trump is on their minds.  What does he mean for America?  For India?
Air pollution is not limited to Delhi or Mumbai.  It’s everywhere.
People are both pushy and quick to provide acts of small kindness.
Indians are unabashedly proud of their country.

I had a great trip and am happy to be home.