September 30, 2007

Condolences...

...to New York Mets fans. Having been in a similar position the last two seasons (missing the playoffs on the final weekend), I can sympathize.

The Rockies, Mets and Padres have all finished with better records than the Chicago Cubs, yet only one of the three teams will play in the postseason.

I'm surprised that this oddity doesn't receive more attention from sports writers.

Incidentally, here's my 2002 plan for improving major league baseabll.

Posted by Ideofact at 11:31 PM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2007

Congratulations Cubs, sort of

I note that in the National League, the first team to clinch a spot in the playoffs has a worse record than the Padres, Mets, Phillies, Rockies and Diamondbacks (who clinched a spot later Friday night).

So a sucktacular team that is barely above .500 (they have won 84 games with two to play) is the first to clinch a playoff berth while teams with 87 and 84 wins (the Mets and Braves) may be excluded.

I'd love to see the Cubs win a World Series (note: This statement is inoperative if my Phillies make the playoffs), but they will be the weakest team to make the postseason this year. I think the Braves are a better team.

Posted by Ideofact at 04:30 AM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2007

Missing Patty and Nathan

And because I need some content to balance the navbar, how about another icon. I used to have a poster of this painting hanging in my room...

The Poet.jpg

Posted by Ideofact at 02:46 AM | Comments (0)

Miscellania

...offered with malice toward none and charity to all.

The Cure's Just One Kiss (now playing, courtesy iTunes random choice) is quite a nice song.

Three stories. I felt rather ill on Saturday, or rather, I was spectacularly ill on Friday and treating msyelf with kid gloves on Saturday. I picked up a copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Strange Case of Benjamin Button, then slowly repaired to a convivial Chinese eatery for a double serving of Wonton Soup and a pot of green tea, and the pleasure of reading Fitzgerald's sparkling prose. There's tremendous economy of language -- paragraphs speak volumes in this brief tale -- and an utter, pitiless lack of sentimentality. The story skewers parents expectations of children, spouses expectations of one another, and even children's expectations of their aging parents.

Quite the reverse is Pushkin's story The Captain's Daughter, which I read to the eight-year-old over the last few weeks. Pushkin's sentimentality is such that even the villain Pugachev has noble qualities, as do almost all the other characters, save Shvabrin, the traitor. Nonetheless, a charming story, about honor and courage and the pernicious influence of that "monsoo" -- the dissolute French teacher who supposedly corrupted the narrator. Great fun.

Because this hasn't arrived yet from Amazon, we started reading Gogol's Ivan Fyodorivich Shponka and his Aunt, which has always been one of my favorite stories. Gogol painted icons with language (a century later, Chagall would attempt them in paint).

Icon, oddly, in paint.jpg

The Latin lessons continue. The dreaded pluperfect is next.

I admit to a bias here, but in 2006, my Philadelphia Phillies had the fourth best record in the National League, but were not one of the four teams that went to the playoffs. In 2005, the Phillies had the fourth best record in baseball, but were not one of the four teams that went to the playoffs. As of this writing in 2007, the Phillies are tied with San Diego for the third best record in baseball, yet if the season ended today either the Padres or the Phillies would be excluded from the postseason, and an inferior team--this time the Cubs--would make the playoffs. Baseball should eliminate divisions and take the top four teams in each league.

I don't know why, but I really want to buy one of these (for the record, I have a new cellphone that I got for free -- well, that my cellphone company actually paid me $25 to take -- and that I'm very happy with. But something about having Chinese knockoffs strikes me as being very appealing these days).

Just ordered this book. We should measure the justness of societies by material progress, since materials are all that we can measure. God save us from Robespierre's Republic of Virtue! (I do not believe in God or Robespierre, and I'm rather skeptical when it comes to virtue, for that matter...)

That's all for now. Semi-coherent, semi-regular blather to resume soon.

Posted by Ideofact at 02:32 AM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2007

Can't remember...

...the last time I had a Lord Chesterfield Ale, which for some reason is hard to find outside of Pennsylvania. Slightly sweeter than I remembered it, but pleasant nonetheless.

Posted by Ideofact at 11:26 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2007

So Extreme

Listening to the Pet Shop Boys while doing a little actual work. How fantastic are they? "You, you're so extreme. I'd like to take you home with me." And my personal favorite, "I've been sitting here, looking out for you/Someone just like me, who's maybe had a drink or two."

Sinatra might well have said the same.

Then there's this:

This anticipation is a stimulation No need for conversation as we're driving home Put your arms around me, it doesn't mean you love me Just that you want me and you need my company

I can think of few other bands that have explored with such depth the full range of human sexual relations.

From "Why Don't We Live Together":

"You may not always love me. I may not care."

Posted by Ideofact at 01:16 AM | Comments (0)