Woodstock for Nerds

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That’s a great description of the social phenomenon that the eclipse has quickly turned into today, as I’m watching ABCs live coverage of “The Great American Eclipse”.  An all-time record for the number of “Oh—My—-God”s and “Awesome”s will be uttered today.  And today, even Donald Trump would be forgiven for saying that this is “the best”, “the greatest”, “the most spectacular” event …  believe it.  Of course the media is doing a fine job feeding into the celebratory mania.

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Unfortunately Bill Nye is broadcasting right now from Beatrice, Nebraska, where the sun wasn’t bathing him – instead being obscured by clouds that were raining on the parade there.

But the sun was out in St. Joe’s Missouri, where a would-be-astonomer bride timed her nuptials for this special cosmic event.

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Weekend Scenes

 

 

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State of Mind

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The cover of the summer issue of Granta speaks to a series of short essays on State of Mind, my favorite among them by Siri Hustvedt though I can’t share it beyond the subscription lock and key.  But the best piece in the summer issue is freely available, and it is Penelope Lively’s “Books Do Furnish a Room”.  Apparently still lively at 84, she writes:

“At eighty-four, I have to see my relatively meagre assortment of around three thousand books as a record of where my mind has been over about eighty years (the Beatrix Potters of my childhood are battered but cherished, a seminal influence, I know, for their linguistic elegance). I seldom get rid of anything; I need this confirming backdrop. There is an element of intertextuality, too; here and there, what has been read meshes with what has been written – that book on the shelf primed the writing of a particular novel or story. But, mainly, this is the accumulation of interest and influence over a lifetime.”

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Puntastic

Energizer Bunny arrested – charged with battery.

A pessimist’s blood-type is always b-negative.

Practice safe eating – always use condiments.

A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.

Shotgun wedding: a case of wife or death. (probably from Lodz)

A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

Corduroy pillows are making headlines.

Is a book on voyeurism a peeping tome?

Sea captains don’t like crew cuts.

A successful diet is the triumph of mind over platter.

A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.

When you dream in color it’s a pigment of your imagination.

Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.

Dijon vu – the same mustard as before.

When two egotists meet, it’s an I for an I.

A bicycle can’t stand on its own because it’s two-tired.

What’s the definition of a will? (Come on – it’s a dead giveaway!)

A backwards poet writes inverse.

In democracy, your vote counts. In feudalism, your count votes.

A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

If you don’t pay your exorcist you get repossessed.

When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.

A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

You feel stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it.

He often broke into song because he couldn’t find the kkey.

Every calendar’s days are numbered.

A lot of money is tainted – t’aint yours and t’aint mine.

The shortest fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

Once you’ve seen one shopping center, you’ve seen a mall.

When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she’d dye.

Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

Acupuncture is a jab well done.

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Letterman on Retirement

“Here’s what I have learned.  If you retire to spend more time with your family, check with your family first.”

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With tongue only partially in cheek, Dave is still dispensing his unique brand of observation and wit.  He could pass for a learned Rebbe, a Sufi scholar, or a slightly crabby hermit these days, though I see him more as symbolic of those of our generation who’ve torn up the blueprint for retirement.

These days I find myself drawn to a Tallis that’s a bit different than the one in which I was formerly enveloped.  Raymond Tallis to be precise, a retired physician and clinical neuroscientist who has been writing full-time for the past eleven years.  Despite the fact that I am still working now as many hours in the practice I owned for 32 years as I did when I paid the bills, people wish we well in “retirement” because they’ve heard that we sold the practice.  Though my circumstances may have changed, I am far from retired in any conventional sense of the word.  I confess however to a bit of Tallis envy.

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A Kid’s Kind of Day

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Minor Entertainment

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Had been looking forward to taking in a Lakewood Blue Claws game, the “A” level affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, who are more competitive than their major league counterparts.  Aside from putting a better comparative product on the field, there’s the family entertainment.  Take for example Irish Heritage night, though we got there too late to be among the first 1500 fans to get the free green Irish special edition cap.  I think I know why they may have run out.

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Was looking forward to seeing the Phillies heralded pitching prospect, the recently turned 19 year-old Sixto Sanchez, but he bumped up to the high A level in Clearwater.  Oh well, Mickey Moniak would surely be worth a look.  After all, the Phillies used the #1 overall pick in the draft last year to nab Moniak.  I couldn’t figure out Mickey’s stats were so pedestrian in basic A, but after watching him his struggles at the plate and in the field attest to a young ballplayer riddled with doubt and uncertainty.  Baseball can be a humbling game, and hopefully it isn’t an omen that when I typed in “Moniak” in the subject line of my email, Apple auto-converted it to “Minimal”!

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Oh well … good think there’s always face painting and other family entertainment to take your mind off a tough game.  It’s almost enough to tempt us to go back for Beer Yoga Day at the Ballpark!

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Archimedes was a famous Greek polymath, well-mown for his discovery of the relation between the surface and volume of a sphere and its circumscribing cylinder.  The Blue Claws don’t have an Archimedes, but they do have Arquimedes Gamboa whose name gives him an edge.  This is in contrast with other names that don’t exactly inspire confidence.

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There were a few height mismatches at the ballpark, one between the BlueClaws manager who wasn’t able to see eye-to-eye with the home plate umpire.

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Another mismatch was the gentleman in the seat in front of me.  Funny how when I purchased the tickets online, there was no mention that my seat behind on the first base side, a few rows above the Blue Claws dugout, came with an obstructed view!

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But, all in all, a beautiful evening to be out at FirstEnergy Park!

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