Notes from around the Human Experience…
SLOW NEWS DAY: Usually a topic for this treasured feature presents itself before we sit down to write it. Something will grasp our attention – usually an item from the news, but not always – and thoughts will start forming and all that is left to do is put the words down.
Fly In The Ointment: Not today, though. As we sat down to write this our mind was all over the place, with several dozen different items popping in and out, but nothing really demanding our complete and undivided attention.
Uh-Oh, Now What?: So you double check your usual suspects to see if anything interesting is going on.
Hail To The Chief: In 2017 any columnist’s go-to source for inspiration is, of course, the Trump Administration. Headed by a man whose only real talent is drawing attention to himself, Trump is well on his way to presiding over the worst administration in the history of this republic.
Not much there is asserting itself, however. Trump is blathering about shutting down the government if Congress doesn’t fork over money for his treasured border wall, but that showdown is still a few weeks away.
Regular readers of this crap know that last year we said that Trump losing the 2016 presidential election – as then seemed likely – might well be the death knell of the GOP. Then he won, of all the silly things, and then we thought that might herald the end of the GOP.
It hasn’t yet, but we are starting to see the first significant cracks, as both GOP leaders and rank and file congressmen and senators are starting to publicly get their shorts in a knot, so maybe there’s still hope. But there’s not enough there for a full column.
Don’t Try This At Home, We’re Trained Professionals: Then you check the headlines. Our preferred news source is the Associated Press because of their objectivity. Nothing there is striking us, either. Sure, Hurricane Harvey is making news, but our job is to come up with funny lines and natural disasters are traditionally lousy sources of funny lines.
Dry, Technical Matter: Of moderate interest, however, is the havoc Harvey is playing with sports schedules. Crap like this interests the hell out of us, and we gleefully noted the Houston Astros will play their three game series against the Texas Rangers in Tampa Bay. A decision regarding their weekend series against the New York Mets has been made but hasn’t been made public yet.
Hut, Hut Hike: The Houston Texans football team moved their Thursday preseason game against Dallas to Dallas. The BYU/LSU college football game scheduled for Saturday in Houston has been moved to New Orleans. Why it was scheduled for Houston in the first place isn’t immediately clear.
You’re Not Really Writing About Anything, Are You?: We could, we suppose, have taken the day off, but here we are at the time we usually with a keyboard in front of us. Sue us.
ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE! An American Indian, given the name Ishi, wanders out of the northern California wilderness into the town of Oroville on this date in 1911. Though no one, especially Ishi, is entirely sure, he is believed to be about 50-years-old and this is his first contact with the Western world.
Up Against The Wall And Spread ‘Em: Americans being Americans, Ishi wasn’t taken in by a concerned citizen but rather taken into custody by the sheriff. His story caught the attention of two professors at UC Berkeley who took him in, hired him as a research assistant and gave him quarters at the UC San Francisco law school.
Fly In The Ointment II: Lacking immunity to some of the diseases regular contact with Californians produces, Ishi was often sick and died in 1916
Great Moments In The Cold War: The Soviet Union tests its first nuclear weapon on this date in 1951, in what is now northeast Kazakhstan. Though this and future nuclear tests were not conducted on anyone’s front porch, the effects on locals living nearby was as significant as it was tragic with exponential increased in, among other things, cancer and birth defects.
The Soviets didn’t broadcast the proceedings and the first signs the Western world got of the test was a US weather plane flying near Japan picked up traces of the fallout on September 1.
The Long And Winding Road: The Beatles appear on stage for the last time, playing at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on this date in 1966. A baseball and football stadium, Candlestick was set up with the stage behind second base with a chain link fence set up around it. With an attendance of 22,000 or so, the stadium was half full. The opening acts were The Remains, Bobby Hebb, The Cyrkle and The Ronettes.
Running The Numbers: The Beatles were paid $90,000 – about $666,000 is today’s money – and took 65 percent of the gross, which resulted in a net loss to the promoters.
Quotebook: All rising to great place is by a winding stair. – Francis Bacon
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Strom Thurmond served 47 years in the United States Senate, the third longest tenure on record.
Today’s Stumper: Who is the only musician other than the Beatles to receive label credit on a Beatles record? – Answer next time!