A GRIP ON SPORTS • A weird confluence of American sporting events occurred over the weekend and you might not even have noticed it. Just call it the overlap weekend and move on.
• Winter may be the season of ice and snow, spring of rebirth and summer of the lazy day, but fall? Fall is special. It’s when everything in the sporting world intersects.
It’s hard to think of a better example than yesterday.
The NFL dominated, of course, as it would no matter which of the 52 Sundays it is. But it wasn’t alone on the stage.
The MLS held its final competitions of the regular season, deciding which teams would make the playoffs and where they would be slotted. All the games were played at the same time, forcing fans to continually check scores in the afternoon hours.
The NHL season is underway, with the regular season just a prelude to one of the best playoffs in all professional sports. Unless, you know, your team is based in Canada.
Golf is actually in the midst of the 2020 season, even as we wait for the Presidents Cup to fill our team match-play competition desire before 2019 hits the 19th hole.
And baseball? It’s rolling toward its finale, as summer held on in the Eastern part of the nation and the Nationals bullpen couldn’t hold off the Dodgers.
No matter which sport you love beyond all others, be it boxing, horse racing, college hoops or even tennis, there was something going on in the weekend just past. And not just some always some exhibition, even though, as Kansas’ basketball program discovered, too much of that can cause problems.
Yesterday, for example, we sat in front of the TV for a couple hours and watched, in order of excitement, the RedZone, baseball playoffs, a soccer match from Portland and Kevin Na make a whole bunch of long putts.
It was the Granny’s Buffet of sports. And it was all you could consume.
• What’s ahead this week?
Well, baseball continues its playoffs, with the Braves and Dodgers seemingly headed toward a National League showdown reminiscent of the 1980s, and the Yankees and Astros, both winners of 100-plus games, doing the same in the American League.
College football features a whole bunch of big games Saturday, including what was once the greatest intersectional rivalry in sports (USC vs. Notre Dame). The Cougars also return to the field with a new man (or men) in charge of their defense.
The NFL continues its regular season, as the Seahawks prepare to play the Cleveland Browns (and I read up on the correct way to grill a kielbasa). Will this be the week Russell Wilson finally throws an interception and the national pundits can declare him “overrated?”
Winter may be just around the next bend but, for a while at least, we can forget about it. Our thoughts can be on the smorgasbord of sports we have to consume. What a great way to fatten up for the cold ahead.
Gonzaga: Mark Few spoke out last week concerning the California legislature’s interjecting itself into the likeness and image discussion. As we reported, he wasn’t too happy with the “help.” He expounded on that a bit Saturday and his thoughts are part of this Justin Reed story. … Seth Davis came to Spokane recently and had a meal at Jack and Dan's. Ya, that's what he had there. More importantly, he spoke with a bunch of former Gonzaga players about the past – and the present.
Chiefs: Everett figured out a way to slow what had been a potent Spokane offense and it resulted in a 4-3 Silvertips win last night at the Arena. Kevin Dudley was there and has this coverage. Libby Kamrowski also has a photo gallery.
Sounders:Roman Torres returned from his suspension and scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Minnesota. The victory locked up second in the West for Seattle. … Portland won 3-1 and earned a playoff berth. … Real Salt Lake picked up a victory that moved into third in the West.
• Once, a long time ago, my father-in-law came up for a visit. He brought his tools with him. Nice man. He and I were doing some work in the back of the house. He was disgusted with my inability to complete many of what he considered simple tasks. I get it. My skills in that regard were – and are – limited. His were spectacular. Finally, he turned to me and said something I still remember today, some 25 years later. “If I had known (Kim) was going to marry someone like you, I would have taught her more.” I’m thinking of that today as a contractor comes out to my home to fix things I should be able to. At least I’m pretty good at writing a check. Until later …
A GRIP ON SPORTS • It’s a rare fall Saturday the past couple decades in which we haven’t had to work. Which opened an almost unlimited vista of opportunities on a clear, crisp day. We stayed (or went) inside. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t watch sports. And learn some things.
• Thanks to a family friend, Kim and I were able to attend the Kraziness in the Kennel with some VIP perks. What does that mean? Our line was shorter, we got to mingle and watch TV, enjoy a cold beverage – don’t worry, I had diet soda – and sit in decent seats.
Oh, and catch up with some old friends, which is always nice. Then find out the oldest of Gonzaga’s friendly men’s basketball players is out again, though Mark Few wouldn’t term Killian Tillie’s absence Saturday injury-based. Sure, Tillie had surgery again, but it was preventative, sort of like why we take a cholesterol pill every night.
We do it to make sure there are no problems down the road.
As John Blanchette points out in his column this morning, that would go down easier with the Zag faithful if it applied to anyone other than Tillie, the most snakebit player Gonzaga has had since at least Josh Heytvelt.
The guy sitting in front of me sure had a lot to say about that, none of it positive. His response to the news of Tillie's surgery seemed a little out of proportion, venom-wise. And we thought GU fans were more of the nurturing, loving type.
Few is going to have to be a bit more nurturing and loving this season, that’s for sure. All but three players on the court yesterday afternoon were new to the roster (four when you count Tillie). Two are senior transfers (Admon Gilder and Ryan Gilder, both guards and both players who will contribute). The rest are freshmen.
Six of them.
Do they have talent? Of course they do. They wouldn’t be at GU if they didn’t. But nothing can make them older except time, practice and a tough non-conference schedule.
The Zags will scrimmage with Michigan State, a lot of folks’ pick to win the NCAA title. They will play at Texas A&M, Gilder’s old school. They will face quality in the Bahamas at a Thanksgiving tournament. They play at Washington and Arizona, two of the Pac-12’s better teams, in December. And they host North Carolina, the bluest of blue bloods.
No wonder Few told the crowd it would play a bigger-than-usual role in helping his team this season.
Their voices and support won’t help, though, as much as the passage of time.
• There is one nice perk when the Pac-12 team you follow (in my case, for work) has a bye. You get to focus on the conference’s other games. Sometimes that isn’t good.
If you happened to watch Stanford’s upset of Washington (and I did) last night, you were able to experience a little of why the conference has such a poor reputation concerning its officiating.
Sorry to go there, but there were so many little things done poorly, it undermines the fans’ confidence the conference’s representatives will get the big things right.
Case in point, a first-half punt. What happened seems minor, but it isn’t. Mainly because it was so embarrassing.
With time running down in the half and Stanford hoping to extend a 13-10 lead, the Huskies’ Joel Whitford uncorked a line-drive punt. It was so short it hit a Washington player in the leg at the Stanford 27-yard line, then kicked forward and rolled dead at the 10.
Everyone in the stadium knew it happened, including the officials and the ESPN announcers. What the former group didn’t know, however, was exactly where. Those of us at home did – as should of the folks in the replay booth. All we (and they) had to do was hit one button on the remote to see. It was the 27. That’s where the ball should have been marked. It wasn’t. When referee Kevin Mar came on our screen to explain, he told us about the touching and where it occurred. He said the 20-yard line, a point at which the ball had been rolling free. He and his crew were wrong.
This is what replay is meant for. The clock is stopped, the mistake is obvious. Buzz down and fix it. Nope. The ball stayed at the 20. Thousand of people watching at home, including the folks in charge of the conference’s officiating and those in charge of its image, knew it was wrong. Fix it. Nope. The ball stayed at the 20.
By the way, those seven yards may have ultimately cost Stanford a shot at a long Jet Toner field goal attempt. We will never know. But we do know the Cardinal didn’t start their possession in the right spot.
Gonzaga: The Kraziness in the Kennel was just that, especially in the way the Gonzaga students went out of their way to make a quartet of recruits feel wanted (Justin Reed has a story). Besides the Killie injury (as we said, covered in John’s column), the news was a nearly new roster for the Zags. In Mark Few’s years on campus there has probably a season with more turnover – after more than three decades as an assistant and a head coach, it’s hard to imagine anything new – but we can’t think of one. Jim covers that aspect of the day. … Jim has another story as he passed along the news freshman Oumar Ballo, the most physically impressive player on the court, is still waiting for the NCAA to rule on his eligibility. … Jesse Tinsley braved the crowds of cameras for the best shots in this photo gallery.
EWU: Our Ryan Collingwood was in Sacramento, probably to catch up with his yearly quota of In-N-Out, but also to cover the game. He has this story. … Around the Big Sky,
Idaho: A week after dropping a road game to woeful Northern Colorado – the Bears are 1-5 after losing at Northern Arizona yesterday – the Vandals looked like a Big Sky contender again Saturday. But fourth-ranked Weber State was able to hold on for 41-35 win in the Kibbie Dome. Peter Harriman has the coverage.
Whitworth: The Pirates finally played at home Saturday and my, how did they play. How does winning 82-7 sound? Dan Thompson was at the Pine Bowl and has this game story.
Preps: There was one football game left over from Friday night, pushed back to Saturday after some lightning around Albi Stadium. The was some lightning yesterday, but it was all confined to the playing surface and most of it supplied by Lewis and Clark’s Keani Guthmueller. Dave Nichols was there and he has this story on LC’s 43-36 win over Post Falls. … Gonzaga Prep wing Liam Lloyd announced his college commitment yesterday, going on social media to tell everyone he will be playing at Grand Canyon College. Dave has a story on that as well. … Mead golfer Matt Jones was under par last weekend in an event at Pebble Beach. That news is part of our local briefs.
• Because Kim and I were out and about yesterday, I didn’t get anything I wanted done. Which means my Sunday will be busy. At least the sun will be out and temperature is going to be in the high 50s today, making the mowing and raking and fertilizing a little more enjoyable. Until later …
Monday, October 7, 2019. It's a snapshot that mentions Carly Simon, Aretha Franklin, Gore Vidal, Iraqi protesters, Hunter Biden and the supreme idiot Alyssa Milano.
Let's start with the race in the US for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. And let's start with one of the country's biggest losers, Alyssa Milano.
She was a child actress, she was not a child star. No studio came rushing to her saying, "Let's build a film around you!!!" Not even a movie about a child who ends up in an adult body. Drew Barrymore was a child star. Movies were built around her. As a young adult, both Drew and Alyssa starred in films about Amy Fisher. Drew did a wonderful job portraying Amy and Alyssa played Alyssa before the cameras but they called her "Amy Fisher."
As an adult, Alyssa got by on her boobs. That's all she had to offer. She never took to the time to study acting and she still gives the sort of 'performance' you'd expect from a child actress. She can recite lines very well, she just can't create a character.
She's latched on to #MeToo -- though she didn't create it. Rose McGowen has rightly called her out as fake ass. We have called her that too. Yes, Ileana Douglas is a friend of mine and, yes, Martin Scorsese had told me years ago about what Leslie Moonves did to Ileana. So, yes, I had a reason to defend her (and I noted all of that when I noted it here). What's Alyssa's reason for not standing with Ileana? Oh, that's right, she wanted Leslie to greenlight a TV show for her.
The whore stayed silent -- while preening and posing as brave and pretending to lead on MeToo -- because she wanted a TV show.
So the whore needs to shut up. She won't though.
She has no career and that's all the more pathetic when you grasp that she's married to a William Morris agent who uses the agency to get her jobs. So these pathetic jobs she's had in the last few years? From using the agency. Clients who aren't working and aren't married to a William Morris agent should register that she's getting jobs while they aren't.
She can't act. She thinks doing what she did as a child qualifies as acting. She's a stupid hick who's gotten by on her breasts back when she was young and now depends on hubby to get her jobs.
She can't act.
She's tried to play 'activist.'
One of those attempts include her pushing "PatriotNotPartisan" and she hectors Republicans whom she finds lacking.
But if she truly believed in patriotism over party, she wouldn't reTweet crap like this.
Any time the name Hunter Biden crosses a person’s lips, please inform them of this.
Neera Tanden added,
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Made $82 Million While Working in the White House Last Year fortune.com/2018/06/11/iva#utm_source=googlier.com/page/2019_10_08/21414&utm_campaign=link&utm_term=googlier&utm_content=googlier.com…
They note how you don't reTweet Neera if you're a feminist. They note Neera is a two-bit bitch who outed a woman who was being sexually harassed at work (Neera was the one who should have stopped the harassment, not covered it up, not outed the female who came forward), they noted that Neera, as revealed in her own e-mails, knew that Hillary shouldn't have used a private e-mail and what a scandal that was, they noted Neera herself has assaulted an employee and so much more.
A polite society doesn't reTweet Neera. And no feminist should ever do it.
But here's the point I'm making, Alyssa, don't say you put country above party when you reTweet that crap.
Hunter Biden is the portrait of corruption. That doesn't mean Trumps can't be as well. But on the left, we police our own or we are nothing but partisans.
I know this is hard for you because you're not just a hack, you're also an uneducated hick. You never went to a real school, you never went to college, you're just a really dumb person who spits out what people tell you. You lack the energy to educate yourself, you lack the skill to analyze. It's why you're so tired and pointless as an actress. It's why your idea of being 'political' is a bigger joke than you are.
Take your botched plastic surgery and your Democratic Party talking points that you try to pass off as insight and just sit down. Don't stand up again until your lazy ass has gone to college. And forget anyone voting you into public office. You're an uneducated idiot. No one in California will want you to represent them and I will back your opponent in the primary and get everyone I know to back them as well.
You are a menace to the public square. You try to use your fleeting fame to promote the ideas of party hacks, you offer nothing original, you only repeat and steal.
I don't have time for you and, frankly, the country doesn't either.
Let me note thanks to ____ for typing this dictation.
I am literally spitting blood. I had a tooth crack last night and had to have surgery and, apparently due to the diabetes, the bleeding hasn't stopped yet.
But I am taking the time to call out Alyssa because she is a danger to the public square. She has an audience of desperate shut-ins.
Alyssa's nonsense gives the appearance of celebrity but she's a faded actress who couldn't make it in the real world of adult acting. She was miserable on MELROSE PLACE because the stars of that show didn't like her (nor did the fans). She went to CHARMED and promptly began causing problems. She was a producer for the last half of the show's run -- a producer of a show set in San Francisco. So why didn't 'woke' Alyssa ever insist upon a gay or lesbian character? There were none -- apparently Phoebe lived in a special part of San Francisco inhabited by straights only. In addition, all the African-American characters (really just two) were created before Alyssa was a producer. "Woke," my ass. When people note her cultural appropriation these days or her racist portrayals of Native Americans, they should grasp her history. CHARMED ended 13 years ago. Her 'acting' since? Everyone hated her on the set of MY NAME IS EARL. Her sitcom ROMANTICALLY CHALLENGED resulted in the suit that championed the show getting fired and was so bad that ABC only aired four of the six filmed episodes and issued an edict that Alyssa wasn't to be cast in any ABC sitcoms. On MISTRESSES, she tried to pull the crap she pulled on CHARMED and get people fired but ABC backed KJ Steinberg and Tina Mimoun and told Alyssa she could leave. (Which Alyssa then pretended was her decision and was a result of the series moving to Canada. Did no one notice that "I can't leave my children" Alyssa now films in Georgia?) She was a witch on that set and all the actresses were thrilled when Alyssa was let go. Her current show? The actual stars of INSATIABLE are pretty damn tired of Alyssa billing herself as a star of the show. Not only is it a show about a teenage girl, but adult Alyssa isn't even in every episode. She is not a star of the show.
Alyssa and her shut-ins need to grasp that Alyssa's career ended some time ago and that's there's something deeply disturbing about a 46-year-old woman who delivers the same performance -- over and over -- that she did as a child.
The standard lines from Democrats about Hunter Biden and his business dealings in China and Ukraine have been consistent: Donald Trump has abused the office of the president by asking foreign leaders to investigate Biden’s son, and there is absolutely no proof that either Joe or Hunter Biden have done anything to break the law. Any questionable dealings by Biden’s son also pale in comparison to ethical breaches on the part of Ivanka, Eric or Donald Trump Jr, who have routinely blurred the lines between the extended Trump Organization – the family’s business empire –and their presence in the White House.
This is all true, and arguably these are the right lines vis-a-vis the long overdue impeachment proceedings. What’s harder to shake is the fact that Hunter Biden’s career is undeniably shady in the way that only the son of a longtime Washington insider could muster, failing upwards into positions of influence and power on the merits of his last name. And that should be considered a huge liability to Joe Biden, for months now considered heir apparent for the Democratic party’s presidential nomination.
It's interesting when educated women speak and write -- Sarah Chayes, Kate Aronoff. They're not screaming, "Say Trump! Say Trump!" No, educated women -- pay attention, Alyssa -- realize this is a real issue and that is needs to be discussed.
If you believe that Donald Trump and his family have done corrupt things since he became president, great, call him out on it. But grasp, it's going to be hard to call him out in a general debate -- to call him out on corruption -- if Joe Biden is the nominee. That's why you need a strong nominee -- and, yes, strength does include (and always has) integrity.
Behold the $50k/month international business genius: “Hunter...aske#utm_source=googlier.com/page/2019_10_08/21414&utm_campaign=link&utm_term=googlier&utm_content=googlier.comd a homeless man in Pershing Square where he could buy crack. Hunter said that the man took him to a nearby homeless encampment...He returned to buy more crack a few times that week.”
HunterBiden at least served in the military the great kids of Don have no experience, don’t know how the government operates and no degree related to government or defense. Throwing stones at glass houses can be quite dangerous.
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Poor, dumb Debbie.
Beau Biden served in the military. Hunter? He was in the Reserves, yes, but they kicked him out for cocaine use.
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Trumpets ACORN: "On Feb. 19, ACORN members will launch a new tactic in fighting foreclosures: civil disobedience. Participants in the ACORN Home Savers campaign nationwide will simply refuse to move out of foreclosed homes, or in some cases, will move back in. ACORN homesteaders intend to squat in their homes until a comprehensive, federal solution for people facing foreclosure is put in place."
ACORN's foot soldiers, funded with your tax dollars, will scream, pound their fists, chain themselves to buildings, padlock the doors and engage in illegal behavior until they get what they want. It's a recipe for anarchy. Threatens Baltimore ACORN's Louis Beverly, who calls himself a "Foreclosure Fighter":
"After you've used all your legal options, your last resort is civil disobedience. We're talking about families who have been in their homes 20 or 30 years. People who are assets in the community, who look out for the elderly, who have community associations, and these are the people being kicked out of the community."
We can all sympathize with good folks who can't pay their bills. But as I've said repeatedly in my criticism of the mortgage entitlement mentality embraced by both parties in Washington, home ownership is not a civil right -- and neither is home retention. Artificially propping up the housing market will only result in more of the same costly borrow-spend-panic-repeat cycles that got us into this mess in the first place. Failing corporations need to fail. So do failing home borrowers. This is borrowing from frugal renter Peter to pay profligate Paul's home loan.
Now that's the kind of theft that should be the subject of civil disobedience.
Instead, ACORN offices, funded with your tax dollars, are training teams of "Home Savers" -- described as "people ready and willing to mobilize on short notice to defend the homesteaders against attempts to evict them." Ready, willing and able to mobilize on short notice because they are either unemployed or employed full time as ACORN shakedown artists.
Guess who's encouraging them to defy the law. Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, who told them: "Stay in your homes. If the American people, anybody out there is being foreclosed, don't leave." The housing bullies will be assisted by left-wing propaganda documentarians at the Brave New Foundation, headed up by Hollywood lib Robert Greenwald, who will disseminate sob stories to crank up pressure while Obama pushes his housing entitlement plan.
ACORN is targeting the following cities: Tucson, Ariz.; Oakland, Calif.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Contra Costa County, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; Baltimore, Md.; New York, N.Y.; Houston, Texas; San Mateo County, Calif.; Denver, Colo.; Bridgeport, Conn.; Wilmington, Del.; Broward County, Fla.; Boston, Mass.; Flint, Mich.; Detroit, Mich.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Raleigh, N.C.; Durham, N.C.; Albany, N.Y.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Cleveland, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Dallas, Texas.
ACORN has waited three decades for this moment in the sun. And as Obama promised ACORN members at a forum in December 2007, "We're going to be calling all of you in to help us shape the agenda. We're gonna be having meetings all across the country ... so that you have input into the agenda." The moment is nigh. Prepare for lawlessness.
Nell Foster’s garden blog, Joy Us Garden, celebrates all things garden as she shares her passion for plants, pruning, and the great outdoors! Nell recently packed her bags and moved to Tucson, Arizona after living in Santa Barbara, California for over 30 years. I love Nell’s perspective after working almost two decades in design and landscaping. Nell also has a fun YouTube channel which is filled with lovely DIY tutorials.
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers!
Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota.
P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
*Madison Bumgarner is SI Sportsman of the Year: No quibbles. (Only because THE event of 2014 was the World Cup, I would give runner-up to Tim Howard.)
*NFL Sunday: The Super Bowl pairing is coming from the Pats, Seahawks and Packers.
*The two college hoops wins from the past week that I'm filing away for March: Duke over Wisconsin in Madison and Arizona over Gonzaga in Tucson.
*On a personal note, I am so saddened by the death of Olivia Barker, a standout USA TODAY reporter who was my journalism "protege" (as we liked to joke) back in high school. My deepest condolences go out to her family, friends and colleagues -- and especially her husband and 5-year-old son.
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AZ-Tucson, What you will do Fire Sprinkler Installation employees are responsible for the installation, service, and repair of fire protection systems including: wet, dry, pre-action, deluge, and foam suppression systems; as well as fire pumps and back flow devices. Installer III and IV employees are also responsible for the execution of the installation project plan including equipment delivery, accurately
From Tucson to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, it’s 126 miles of largely open road. There’s just one area where traffic is likely to slow down, right after the barely-there town of Why and just before you hit the park.
Overwhelmed with emotion at the beauty one feels on Isle of Skye!
"Once there was a way
to get back homeward
Once there was a way
to get back home.
Sleep pretty darling
do not cry
and I will sing a lullaby.
Golden slumbers fill your eyes
Smiles awake you when you rise
Sleep pretty darling, do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby.
Once there was a way
To get back homeward,
Once there was a way
to get back home.
Sleep pretty darling
do not cry
and I will sing a lullaby
Boy you're gonna carry that weight
Carry that weight, a long time...
I never give you my pillow
I only send you my invitations.
And in the middle of the celebrations,
I break down...
Boy you're gonna carry that weight
Carry that weight, a long time...
And in the end the love you take
is equal to the love you make."
--John Lennon/Paul McCartney and The Beatles
* * * * *
Deke's Note: Okay Patrick, you have blasted this trip far and wide from abroad. Glad you enjoyed it in spite of all the whisk(e)y you consumed. We have all enjoyed your pictures and notes on FaceBook. I have taken a step back from blogging to take a while to reflect upon my own life and this writer's muse. We eagerly await your reflections abroad, albeit spotty and sparse. Hey, however long you need, it's all good. The more you write the less I need to. This blog has become a heavy burden. Keep reflecting as long as necessary. Meanwhile, I have a bus to drive! Our vacations are respectively finished...
* * * * *
Patrick Sez: Thank you Deke, for allowing me to give you a break from your six years of blogging to describe my experiences traveling in Scotland and Ireland. Apologies for not being regular or detailed in my reports, but as this was our 25th Anniversary Adventure, my wife insisted I spend more time with her than writing on the blog. As it was so much fun, I supremely enjoyed obliging her. Now, after the longest journey of my life (so far), I'm home again. On the first anniversary of my dear father's passing, I offer my first detailed report of our time in Caledonia. Dad was elated about our trip, and I felt his presence the entire time. Thanks Dad, for giving me the bravery to boldly venture forever onward.
* * * * *
Early morning initial view of Ireland from above.
The one thing which struck me most profoundly while in Scotland and Ireland was their attention to detail and profound politeness. Even when they're pissed off, Scots and Irish are helpful and kind. You can feel their annoyance, but ingrained into their DNA is an overwhelming tendency to be efficient yet decent. It's something we Americans often forget to display. A trip to the countries of our origins sets the wandering Yankee right, if that's what we search for. And yes, that is the result of our trip, a desire to touch upon what made us great to begin with.
A year of detailed planning was helpful but could never prepare us for the delights we shared upon our arrival in this ancient and elegant land. Our first glimpse of the countryside as we flew in was awe-inspiring. Pastures of emerald in every shade were delineated by miles of neatly-lain "dykes." These fences, as we know them, contain no mortar, but are boulders fitted together so precisely, they are solid. And so they remain for centuries, delineating one pasture owner's land from the next. From the air, each section seems divinely drawn. One field might lay fallow while the next is alive and bright green. Adjacent lies another just a shade lighter or darker. Trees are more sparse and often densely-grouped on the forested hillsides. Stark lines exist between them, as if God Himself gripped a paintbrush and decided which pasture neighbors a pristine and ancient patch of Caledonian pine.
Oregon offers a beautiful variety of conifers, but they are thicker in build. What we see daily hardly prepares us for the wonder that lies beyond. The pines in Scotland seem dainty in comparison, sparse in fact. Yet they retain an ancient grandeur when witnessed anew.
I had just one grand opportunity to venture into the forest on my travels upon the Isle of Skye. I discovered the going can be quite treacherous unless there's a sharply-delineated path. The dampness of the deep forest makes the going quite mucky. Each step required precise placement. I found my aging body merely-qualified for a tentative few steps into its stately magic. It was as if some ancient spirit told me to tread gently, that my presence there was a gift I must not take lightly. One misstep could have landed me in the hospital, and that would be a tragic footnote into this ethereal retreat.
Just 20 steps into its majesty, I had to stop and treasure the sights, smells and sounds of this intense patch of what I had always dreamed of. I stood there and listened. Present only was the wind in the branches, whispering the tales of ancient Scots who had herded, hunted and lived here. My soul was instantly filled with the peaceful serenity of an intense brightness enveloping its depths. Perhaps I was guided by ancestors who stood in that very spot, reveling in the beauty I beheld.
The music of Dan Fogelberg ran through my mind as the wind ruffled my hair and soothed my soul. My happiness at finally feeling the depths of a Skye forest enveloped me until tears flowed from my eyes. I was so grateful to have this opportunity it was overwhelming. I stood there transfixed, losing all sense of the ticking from my Timex. In fact, other than the breeze, its second hand was all I could hear. It was amazing, having been mired by the sounds of city life for years. My heart told me: STAY! My soul cried out that this was the solace I have longed for. My practical side be damned; I was on holiday, and rejoicing in the moment.
The intensity of writing this reduces me to tears of joy in remembrance. I can go no further tonight, my first back home. Hopefully, my initial reminisces are intense enough to describe the magic of this trip. There is much more to recall, and hopefully Deke will allow me a few more posts to describe a few more of these magical moments.
My body is exhausted from the daylong trip home. Only the incredible emotion from my initial memories, coupled with a desire to immediately express them upon our arrival, am I even remotely conscious now. It seems if I allow myself to sleep after 30-plus hours, the magic will escape forever. It's a feeling I am loathe to release.
Tears stream from my face as I recall the many magical memories I never fathomed possible. Twenty-five years prior, when my beloved promised me she would endure life with me no matter what hardships we faced, I offered her the same. We renewed this solemn vow of love for one another in an 18th-century cathedral in Edinburgh on September 24. Our experiences together are more precious than we could fathom on that hot Tucson afternoon in 1994. We raised three beautiful children together, and are rewarded with their love and great success today and far into our future.
While I promised Deke to describe this trip in detail, I failed because of one promise that remains precious above all: to fully rejoice in my time alone with Stacey Lynn Coomer, the one soul who understands, accepts and loves me despite my many faults. We deserved this, as one. Forgotten were my daily toils as a bus operator under horrid conditions. My desire to write was blown away by the promise to her that we would enjoy every precious moment of this Celtic Odyssey... together.
Just down the lane from Taigh Ailean Hotel on Isle of Skye.
Transit was used only as necessary, and my desire to connect with fellow transit workers was secondary to simple fun. Most important remained our renewed promise to enjoy our time as the best friends we began as so long ago. It was more than either of us imagined, and I believe my beloved Stacey feels as wonderfully satisfied as I do upon its completion. It is with a deeply-ingrained sense of understanding that I can firmly state that yes, she agrees. It was a divine slice of time together, and these memories will remain long after both have us have left this Earthly plane.
I leave you with this: may your days be blessed with the love and closeness with one as deep as that with which I share with Stacey Lynn Coomer. I would give my life for her in hopes that she lives to be 120, if only these two weeks guide her to take footsteps into lands we never ventured upon before. Also, I hope our magical time prompts you who read this to boldly travel beyond the comforts of your homeland. You will surely grow from such experiences. Ventures abroad remind us to be humble in the shadows of those who came long before. Our United States is grand, but it is a child compared to the lands of our ancestors.
Next time, if Deke continues to rest while I spout forth this spigot of incredible memories, I will step beyond the depths of emotion to describe the majesty of Scotland and our brief excursion to Dublin, Ireland. My mother's great-great grandfather emigrated from the Emerald Isle to Canada, and I am named for his grandson. It was ethereal to spend my birthday in James Strong's homeland.
Thank you for all your kind words and prayers for our safe return. They worked magic. Bless you all; I am humbled by your love. Now I must do laundry, refresh myself and prepare to return as one with a more-worldly view. Maybe now I'll become the bus operator I hoped to be when I began.
Peace and love to you all, and to those you love and hold you close in their hearts. Slainte!
Испытания нового «Тушкана» провели по горному серпантину, засняв сразу несколькими камерами работу подвески паркетника. Модель с небольшим количеством камуфляжа продемонстрировала отличное функционирование ходовой части. Читать дальше