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New and not

Good Monday to all.  Hope everyone had a great weekend.

I want to start by addressing Pope Francis' visit to Washington, New York and Philadelphia in the last week.  I believe I have mentioned here that my wife is a devout Catholic, and while I often attend services with her, I am not.  With that said, I have to say that I was most impressed by everything that I saw and read of the Pope's time in the U.S.  From the mutual public outpouring of love and respect to the reverence of his visit to Ground Zero in New York to his meeting with victims (and their families) of past sexual abuse by members of the Catholic clergy, Francis seems to have struck the right note right along.  And I found his addresses in English to be all that much more endearing, since that is not his native language.  He is most likely back at the Vatican now, and enjoying some well deserved rest.  But given everything we hear of him, he's probably not resting at all.

So we now move from that visit, filled with grace and mercy, to baseball players confronting and choking one another in the dugout yesterday.  You're reading correctly, Washington Nationals pitcher Jonathan Papelbon apparently took exception to the way that star outfielder Bryce Harper handled a certain play.  Words were exchanged and there was a physical altercation between the players.  This morning I saw a photograph of at least one hand (not his own) on the throat of Harper.  Nats manager Matt Williams, who is already under scrutiny for "losing" his team along the way this year and allowing them to relinquish a lead in the division to the New York Mets, said he was in the other end of the dugout and didn't see what happened.  This is most certainly not over.

My Kentucky Wildcats certainly came up big Saturday night, defeating the nationally-ranked Missouri Tigers at home.  Missouri had won 11 straight road games coming into the contest, but Kentucky outplayed them when it counted.  The Cats are now 3-1 on the season, with two SEC wins already.  It seems that they are indeed poised to turn that corner that the 'experts' keep referencing.

New television shows and new seasons of existing ones began last week.  I'd say the entire lot is kind of uneven.  My wife and I systematically discuss the new shows and try to divine which ones might be of interest.  One, called "Blindspot," proved very interesting indeed last week.  We also tried out "Heroes Reborn" and "Minority Report," based on the Steven Spielberg film of the same name.  The former was a retread of the series from five years ago, and no better, and the latter blended a few elements of the movie into a reasonably good but predictable plot.

It's getting so bad that my wife asked me over the weekend if I might be willing to try Netflix again.  At this point we may have to.  Bruce Springsteen was right about everything but the quantity when he sang "Fifty-seven channels and nothing on..."

Had to buy a new Blu-Ray (high-definition DVD, if you're unfamiliar) player over the weekend.  The old one decided to make an annoying screeching sound while playing a disc, which is not exactly how one wants to enjoy a movie.  The original machine was six years old, we paid several hundred dollars for it.  The replacement, which is the same brand (helpful when considering our universal remote control), cost about $75.  That's progress, I suppose.

While at the electronics store we looked at new televisions.  4K is the coming thing, folks.  Several times the resolution of our "old" 1080P flat panel TVs.  Even more real looking than before.  Nice, sharp, clear, but not a must-have at this point.

That's good for now and hopefully a good start to the week.  Have a good one!




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