Sunday, March 23, 2014

Some Small Good News

May I recommend for your reading pleasure the following, including the delightful comments:

Briefly, one Joel Osteen, who runs a "church" in Houston in what was once the Houston Rockets NBA arena, had his safe cracked last week to the tune of $600,000. There is much speculation and general guffawing concerning the relationship of Father Osteen to his professed religion. If you look the guy up you'll find wiki pages on him and his missus Victoria. His daddy was a preacher and he took over pop's mom'n'pop bidness. The missus also preaches in the mega church, has written books, and was tossed off an airplane for getting into a tiff with an attendant, although she won in the civil suit the attendant brought apparently aiming to cash in. Thanks to Mr. Norquist the IRS will not be bothering the Osteens any time soon. The Federal government was indeed drowned in the proverbial bathtub sometime back in the '90s, but no one noticed until Wayne LaPierre took the podium after Sandy Hook.

In other good news, the UNC basketball Tar Heels are still standing (at this early Sunday writing), last of the North Carolina schools alive in the March Madness thing. They won their game Friday on foul shots by James Michael MacAdoo, which is very close to an Easter Miracle, and as he made the shots I had the hope that maybe that clutch success would take the horrible monkey off his back--"MacAdon't," as the State fans call him, has been the second best player for the Heels all year, but his ability to hit foul shots is lacking and watching him at the foul line is like watching a game of pin the tail on the donkey. No two efforts are the same. An old friend reminded me of a Carolina player from my youth, York Larese, who shot the foul shots immediately upon taking the ball from the ref, and had a success percentage up in the 90s. I don't understand why the current team doesn't take meditation lessons, or at least listen carefully to what their only great foul shooter, Marcus Paige, might suggest. And while State fans certainly deserve a creativity prize for their wry Macadonian sobriquet, it has to be said that State's ACC player of the year, T.J. Warren, missed numerous foul attempts late in the game with St. Louis which could have won the game for the Pack. Baseball season has now begun in Raleigh.

Next week is Martinsville again. We're hoping it doesn't snow. Bristol was a disaster, with almost no fans and rain delays that pushed the race deep into Sunday night. I've never been colder than at Martinsville three years ago, and the sun was shining. I had the duffer idea that the cars would generate heat once we got into the stands. Ha ha. Maybe if we'd been suspended directly over the track. This week the prediction is another snow/freezing rain event for Tuesday. Oh, the good news ended one paragraph back. Happy Sunday. Go Heels.


Monday Morning Update: We watched the Heels go down 83-81 yesterday. Also Wichita State, which was a bigger deal since the Shockers were unbeaten. MacAdoo made two free throws to tie the game with about 15 seconds left. That may have left the Heels and Coach Roy in such amazement that they didn't do the obvious and foul someone on the Iowa State team immediately. Instead, Iowa State played it perfectly, scoring with a second left, and we were unable to even get a timeout called. Such is life, and the official end of winter in North Carolina. Kentucky looks very serious now.

After the game we watched the documentary "Chasing Ice." It presents a fine perspective adjustment after a basketball loss. I used to argue with people who rejected the facts of global warming, and was incredulous at the brick wall of opposition I'd meet. But then I understood that the goal was not to understand facts, but to thwart all efforts to form a political consensus towards acting in any way to avert the coming climate catastrophe. It's going to take the air conditioners stopping to have any affect on the Koch brothers and their ilk. Their money provides insulation aplenty until that day comes. I continue to be mystified as to why ordinary folks, people who don't own the world, fall for the denialist blather. One guy in the film says "I used to think humans simply weren't capable of causing such a disastrous change in the climate until I saw the glaciers." At least that's an observation, although you'd think the passenger pigeon would have been quite enough proof of the general principle.

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