Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, April 8, 2004 7:00 pm

It was 20 30 years ago today …

Filed under: Salute! — Lex @ 7:00 pm

… in the fourth inning, in the Atlanta Braves’ home opener, that Henry Aaron took an Al Downing fastball downtown, breaking Babe Ruth’s career record for home runs.

It’ll be interesting to see whether anyone ever does better — on this side of the Pacific, at least — without steroids.

And the kid catches like Muhsin Muhammad, too

Filed under: Panthers — Lex @ 6:58 pm

Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme has a commercial that plays off Steeler great “Mean Joe” Green’s famous Coke commercial.

It’s funny. And yet I also wonder, after years of headlines for all the wrong reasons, whether it’s a good idea for a Panther to do any kind of commercial besides warm ‘n’ fuzzy. I don’t know. I’m just sayin’.

(Link courtesy of my brother Hugh). (2007 UPDATE: Link disappeared. I have no idea why.)

Wednesday, April 7, 2004 9:53 pm

Why isn’t this man blogging?

Filed under: Blogroll — Lex @ 9:53 pm

I got to meet a lot of cool people in college — yeah, I know, it was Davidson, what were the odds, but it happened nonetheless — and among the coolest was a British exchange student, Nick Graham. Nick doesn’t know it, but he singlehandedly saved the world from my fiction career: When I read his stuff in the creative-writing seminar we both took my senior year, I knew instantly that I was kidding myself and decided to put my writing to better use.

Every now and again, Nick sends a lengthy e-mail to a long list of friends and college classmates (apparently he knows half of British Airways), telling us what he’s been up to since moving to Cumbria, apparently one of your more isolated parts of Britain. I always look forward to these “News from Beyond the North Wind” epistles, even though I never know from one to the next what will be coming.

His most recent missive discussed the problems of obtaining reliable Internet access in the Lake Country (if I’ve got my geography right):

It turns out that a while back Renaissance Man installed some whizz-bang new telephone circuits. The Arkleby boheme [where Nick lives — Lex], you see, is powered by fuel oil, which sloshes around in a large tank behind the house. The new circuits enable the tank to phone up the oil company and let them know that it needs topping up. Yes, a telephonic talking tank. It needed only a minute or two for us to realise that the start of internet connection problems synchronised ominously with the advent of the talking tank. It seems that the tank has been gobbling up bandwidth with the cavalier attitude towards finite resources one naturally associates with oil companies the world over. Either that or it’s been dialling a premium-rate Tank Dating line in the hope of getting set up with a cute little refinery from France. Anyway, it’s now been chastised and told to ask permission from a responsible adult before making any further calls.

(2007 UPDATE: It took a bit longer, but Nick and comrades indeed began to blog and continue to this day.)

You think you’re bad?, or, Don’t tell the HMOs or they’ll want everyone to do it this way

Filed under: Salute! — Lex @ 6:15 pm

A Mexican woman recently delivered a healthy boy via self-administered Caesarean section with a kitchen knife, the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reported this week.

She drank three shots of liquor before beginning. Good. I was afraid it might have, like, hurt.

Seriously, that’s just about as badass a performance as I’ve ever heard of. And for the rest of her life, she’ll be able to win bar bets on that one: Oh, YEAH? Well, I cut my OWN SON out of my OWN FREAKIN’ STOMACH with a freakin’ KITCHEN KNIFE, you CANDY-ASS! Top THAT!

No, I don’t think anyone can.

Tuesday, April 6, 2004 6:54 pm

Battle cry

Filed under: Braves — Lex @ 6:54 pm

What is my battle cry? Funny you should ask:

Prowling on the desert, carrying a bladed baseball bat, cometh Lex! And he gives a gutteral cry:”For the love of beatings, I shall avenge my ancestors!!”

Well, the truth is, I’m not aware of any ancestors who need avenging. My ancestors tended to be the kind who came home safely from the wars, sired a bunch of children and didn’t talk much about their experiences.

Still, the whole idea of a bladed baseball bat is just cool.

Here’s what else is cool:

Mets. Braves. Glavine. Ortiz. The Braves’ 2004 season starts in less than an hour. And the Braves’ 2003 season? Now that needs avenging, and the Mets are as good a place to start as any.

Monday, April 5, 2004 9:07 pm

‘Bout damn time

Filed under: Woohoo! — Lex @ 9:07 pm

My man Tony finally has started a blog.

This should come as no surprise …

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 9:06 pm

… considering what I paid, in blood, brain cells and treasure, for my Davidson English degree.

Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

If your mission in life is not already to
preserve the English tongue, it should be.
Congratulations and thank you!

How grammatically sound are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, April 4, 2004 8:45 pm

A profoundly depressing thought

Filed under: Hooper — Lex @ 8:45 pm

Earlier this evening I watched Hooper raise cain for two hours at his friend C.’s 3rd birthday party, not only disobeying rules and instructions but also encouraging the other kids to do so along with him, often quite successfully.

A more optimistic sort might look on that behavior as evidence of leadership. Knowing my genes, however, I see it simply as evidence that he is quite likely to be the “bad crowd” the other parents’ kids fall in with.

Imaginary play

Filed under: Hooper — Lex @ 11:53 am

The diaper rash and sore bottoms Hooper’s stuffed animals were suffering from: imaginary.

The diaper creme he put on his stuffed animals’ sore bottoms: real. And voluminous.

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Career coaching record: 0-1

Filed under: Tigers — Lex @ 11:52 am

The Tigers led the Daisies 3-1 after the first quarter, and I thought my coaching career was off to an auspicious start.

Bzzzzt. Wrong answer. We didn’t score again and lost 5-3.

I’m not sure why. Part of it seemed to me that although the Tigers had the energy to get back and play good defense, they didn’t quite seem to have enough left to put it away at the other end. Slightly poor shooting hurt, too; two unopposed shots clanged off the iron.

But the team did its best ball handling and protection of the season. Victoria had several great pullbacks (“great” = pulling it back so hard and sharply that all the Daisies overran the ball, giving the Tigers a chance to race downfield for an unopposed shot) and scored a goal. But especially at the end, when everyone was tired and a couple of players were hurting, they couldn’t quite put it away.

No games next weekend because of Easter, and the regular coach returns the week after that.


Friday, April 2, 2004 9:28 pm

Because I’m all about helping you

Make-Up Tips for the Bleak

Now don’t say I never did anything for you.

New jobs — and lots of them

Filed under: Woohoo! — Lex @ 9:27 pm

Wow. About 308,000 jobs created in March, almost twice what most experts were predicting.

One month does not a recovery make, manufacturing gained net zero new jobs, and we’re still in the hole about 1.7 million jobs since the start of 2001. And remember, we need to gain about 150,000 to 180,000 jobs a month just to keep up with growth in the working-age population.

But still. This is very good news, and the first news about job creation this good in, well, years. I hope it lasts.

Blogging, deconstructed

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 9:23 pm

“Meta,” as the term is used in blogging, means blogging about blogging, just as metajournalism is understood to be journalism about journalism. The prefix “meta-” means “above,” which strikes me sort of weird because I always think of meta stuff as being inside rather than above: Blogging about blogging is something only bloggers, not “outsiders,” would find interesting, and journalism about journalism generally thought to be of more interest to journalists than the general public.

But — and not for the first time — I digress.

Thanks to my nonblogging friend John (who really should blog), I’ve found the. Best. Meta. Blogpost. Ever.

I am in awe

Thursday, April 1, 2004 6:03 pm

Where everything but the electrons has died

Filed under: There but for the grace of God ... — Lex @ 6:03 pm

I remember the day Chernobyl happened.

I don’t remember the exact date, but it was in April of 1986. I had come home close to 11 p.m. after a day that began at 5 a.m., and I had nothing more on my mind than mixing myself a screwdriver, reading for a few minutes to wind down and then going to bed. But the glass half-gallon bottle of orange juice slipped out of my hands. I got my hands under it, which turned out to be a mistake because just as it hit my hands, my hands hit the floor, and the force was enough to shatter the bottle. This had two results: My palms were filled with dozens of fragments of glass, and stinging orange juice immediately got into the wounds.

The pain was sublime. The only pain I can recall that was worse was in eighth grade, when stitches were being removed from the places on the first three fingers of my left hand where my nails used to be. I nearly fainted during that. Anyway.

I gingerly wrapped a clean rag around each hand and drove myself to the emergency room, steering mostly, and not too precisely, with my elbows and forearms. When I got there I learned that a gunshot victim and a couple of wreck victims had gotten there ahead of me and that I should have a seat and make myself comfortable.

So to speak.

So I’m sitting in the ER, looking up at the TV, and “Nightline” comes on and it’s all about Chernobyl. Gee, I remember thinking, if we’re all gonna die maybe I shouldn’t even bother getting stitched up.

Of course, I did, and after not all that much time I and pretty much everyone else forgot about Chernobyl. Well, everyone except the people who have to live with it, one of whom recently took a motorcycle ride through the area and posted a bunch of photos and commentary. It’s pretty sobering.

(Thanks to Tony for the link.)

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