In an extended family divided along the Michigan and Michigan State divide, a game like this shouldn’t be allowed to fester. It is best to get such events out into the open. They should be discussed, because only through dialogue can we reconcile our differences. I just couldn’t resist doing this…Laces out! ;-)
For a Friday the 13th, today was a pretty sweet day. I only had to work half a day. I took the afternoon off so that I was home for my appointment with AT&T. We switched from DSL to U-verse, twisted pair to fiber. The serviceman got the new service working in only two hours. We’ve gone from 6 megabits-per-second (Mbps) to almost 30 Mbps. I can now stream high-definition movies, websites load faster and Anne and I no longer have to fight over bandwidth. Most of all, when the kids come home again they will no longer be able to ridicule me for still nursing my DSL, which they came to believe stood for Dad’s Slow Line.
Anne’s been substituting up a storm this year. She had hoped to have a day off yesterday, but got an early morning call instead. She worked fourth grade and she got a field trip to boot. This is a rare treat for her; she almost never gets to work field trips. When she is called in to substitute and the class is going on a field trip, she usually gets to handle the malcontents that were not allowed to go along, but not this time. The fourth grade went to Soulard Farmers’ market. This is part of the school’s curriculum teaching the children about the food they eat, where it comes from, how to grow it and how to eat healthy. According to Wiki: “Soulard is the oldest Farmers’ market west of the Mississippi, filled with over 100 vendors that include, farmers produce, meat shops, a spice shop, florist shops, amazing food, and it’s world-famous Bloody Mary’s.” Anne never mentioned anything about Bloody Marys, but that does help to explain all the winos that hang around the market. Anne lucked out; her class didn’t have to lineup right next to the bums.
One more story from last weekend’s MS-150. To protect the guilty, Anne has asked me to obfuscate some identifying facts. Let’s just say that this story involves two marketing reps for a left coast smoothie chain. We camped next to them. Friday night they left about nine, returned about two and there was an empty liquor bottle on the roof of their car in the morning. There was no sight of them in the morning, but after Saturday’s ride, we saw them manning their marketing booth. Saturday night went pretty much like Friday night. Sunday morning the rains rolled in and their tent got a lake in it. We saw them out on the course that day and like the rest of us, they were doing their best just coping with the weather. They were wearing their sponsor’s jerseys, which appeared to be in women sizes, so they fit rather snugly. Afterwards, while we were all packing up to leave, they promised to be back next year.
I biked on Saturday, for the record, my mileage was well short of 4000 miles. It was very windy, which always makes for harder cycling. I kept being passed by the younger, more spritely riders. This made me feel old and tired. Since Anne is not yet regularly riding and I am currently riding alone, I listen to podcasts to pass the time. This normally works well, except that day, when I turned into the wind; I could hardly hear the shows, over the baffled wind noise in my earbuds.
This is Super Bowl Sunday, one of those unofficial, official holidays. I mean, what else are you going to do on a Sunday in February except watch football on TV? I’m going to root for the Niners, like most of the nation. I haven’t queried Anne on her allegiance yet, but I don’t think that she has any real dog in this fight. I don’t either, but I don’t want to stir up my California Bros. I do have a few asides to add.
My first aside is of a literary nature. The Baltimore Ravens are named for the poem by Edgar Allen Poe, “The Raven”. I did not know this until this week. Poe, America’s first commercially successful author came from Baltimore.
I guess that the biggest human interest story of this game is the duel between two brothers. The two team’s head coaches are brothers. Whether you call this game a Harbaugh Bowl or simply a Harbrawl, this nationally televised family spat makes for great press. My aside on the John and Jim Harbaugh controversy is that they both attended my high school. I was long since gone, but John, the one year older Ravens coach, graduated from Ann Arbor Pioneer High School. Jim, the San Francisco Forty-Niners coach, the younger brother returned to Ann Arbor as a quarterback for the University of Michigan. They are both roughly Jane’s age, but since they went to Pioneer and she went to Huron, it is unlikely that she met either of them.
About the hats, a while back, Anne knitted Dave a cap [loosely] based upon the design of the Saint Louis Rams football team’s helmets. Both Dave and Anne’s pictured facial expressions, are more attributable to the iPhone self-portrait process than any criticism on the knitted cap. Although, Dave did complain the cap was too big for his head. He needs more college education, if you ask me.
Speaking of the Rams, they were victorious in their arbitration decision this week. This makes them more successful off the field than they were on it this season. The Rams and Saint Louis entered into arbitration over their stadium dispute. Saint Louis offered modest improvements to the existing stadium, while the Rams are seeking a more comprehensive makeover and have threatened to leave town in 2015, when their lease is up. There was a nasty spat last year, when the Rams proposed a trial separation, by playing a number of their home games in Europe. With Rams home games already looking like an endangered species, Saint Louis offered some serious pushback to this idea.
My final aside is also about the Rams and comes courtesy of the NRA. On their website they have their long enemies list. This list enumerates organizations and individuals that have had the temerity to support gun control legislation. Most of the individuals are Hollywood actors and most of the organizations are healthcare related. A notable exception to the later generalization are the Saint Louis Rams. Go Rams!