New Shoes in the Rain

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Recent observations

No particular subject for this posting, just a few things that caught my attention....

Watching the Winter Olympics? I do not care at all for most of the sports featured therein, except during the Olympics. I mean, I don't ski, skate, sled, snowboard or shoot (I think that covers most of the sports one way or another) but I've watched several hours of coverage since the Games began last Friday night with one of the longer and less exciting opening ceremonies I can recall (but after the opening ceremony in Beijing a couple years ago, who could top that?). I felt especially bad for the final torch-bearers Friday night, standing there with their torches while waiting for the stagers to fix their technical problems. And whose idea was it to have all of these athletes clad as though they'd be sitting outdoors for several hours, and then march them all into an indoor football stadium? Nice seeing young, fit people sweat while at rest.

Next a larger-than-average person I took note of film director Kevin Smith (no relation) and his recent issue with Southwest Airlines. You can read the reports for yourself, but the basic premise is that Southwest is the first airline to make a serious attempt to crack down on oversized passengers by making them buy a second seat for most flights. For my part, I fly another airline most of the time and have never been made to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable for needing a seat belt extender or for preferring an aisle seat. This may be a "he said she said" story but you can bet there'll be more discussion of it in the days to come.

I don't know if it's just me, but does Dick Cheney seem more and more desperate to be noticed as time passes? Criticizing the current administration for.....doing what the administration of which he was part was also doing? Hmmm.....

Now let's talk about the home area of central Kentucky has been pelted with more snowfalls than I can remember, and it always seems to be just before or during the weekend that this happens. I admit, I think less about the impact of snow during the week because I work at home, but my wife works outside of our home and I worry about her when the weather isn't good. But, really, for heaven's sake, it's SNOW, not hydrochloric acid. Is it really necessary for all of the daycare centers and so many other businesses to simply close when the weather's bad? Are their services less essential in times of inclement weather?

The weather is so strange that I almost was stuck in Dallas last week. There was a point in time where you could just about bank on Dallas having at least decent weather during the winter, but not any longer. It seems that up is down and down is up when it comes to weather, as I have coworkers who've had record snowfalls around the country, and folks in Florida are seeing routine sub-freezing low temperatures night after night. Enough, already!

And, finally, in the surest sign of the coming of spring, baseball spring training begins later in the week, with pitchers and catchers reporting to their teams' camps to begin preparing for the season to come. Spring training may be one of those quaint activities that's a little out of date, as it originally began as a way for players to return to shape after a winter of not inactivity, but of working at a job. This was back when athletes weren't so highly compensated that they could devote their offseasons to workouts or leisure, but rather had to go to work to support their families. But make no mistake, this most definitely means that spring is just around the corner! And not a moment too soon!


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