July 3, 2006

Some various assorted items of interest on this very quiet workday before tomorrow’s holiday.

While Americans rightly focus on this time of year as an occasion to commemorate the founding of this country and the day the tide turned in favor of the Union in 1863, across the pond it means a time for somber reflection of the carnage that took place on the Somme in 1916. National Review’s Andrew Stuttaford has some remembrance links.

By all accounts, the opening premiere of Cirque de Soleil’s Beatles-themed show “LOVE” at The Mirage was a dazzling success, and critics everywhere – even the usually-dour British press – are agog over it. I’d love to see it, but given the heavy demand for tickets, I think I’ll wait. lt’ll certainly be around for awhile.

Jon Stebbins, who wrote an acclaimed biography on late Beach Boys’ drummer Dennis Wilson and is soon to publish a similar effort on original member David Marks, has a preview of his next project, a history (biography, if you will) of the famed Santa Monica dining establishment Chez Jays. What’s so special about this particular restaurant/bar? Stebbins provides this look-see into why it poses such an intriguing subject. Personally, it sounds like a great project, and I can’t wait to read the book.

Sports-related stuff:

* What a great idea! Suggested baseball road trips to celebrate the America’s pastime at the height of mid-summer, courtesy of ESPN. Me, I think trips 5 and 6 would be a gas.

* Annika Sorenstam swamps Pat Hurst in their 18-hole playoff to win the U.S. Women’s Open in Newport. Is it just me, or is anyone else sick of all the attention Michelle Wie gets at the expense of those on the LPGA Tour who have been around a hell of a lot longer and have toiled to make that tour what it is today. Look, I know she’s cute, already good at 16, and soon to be great, but it would be nice if she would just shut up and show some respect to those who have blazed the trail for her? Y’know Michelle, it’s not always all about you.

* People in Boston are grousing about Curt Schilling being left off the AL All-Star roster, but I think it’s a good thing. While I’m sure Curt – as much of a competitor and lover of the limelight as he is – would have loved to have been heading for Pittsburgh, I’m also sure he appreciates the breather.

* Is there any more an exciting a player to watch right now than the Red Sox’ David Ortiz, especially come the 8th or 9th innings? And I’m still amazed at that catch Coco Crisp made the other night.

On the political front:

* It just keeps getting worse for the NY Times and LA Times in their continued pathetic attempts to justify the outing of the SWIFT banking terrorist-monitoring program last week. Word on the street is that both papers are hemorrhaging subscriptions, which is as it should be. Michelle Malkin has the latest.

* Along those same lines, what would have happened were the NY Times publishing back in 1775? Something like this, perhaps?

Some upcoming summer viewing and reading, courtesy of Amazon.com:

* All The President’s Men (my all-time favorite movie) in a special 2-DVD release. Can’t wait.
* The Endless Summer – Bruce Brown’s classic surfing movie. In digital sound and audio, should be fantastic.
* Rome, Sweet Rome – Scott Hahn’s account of his spiritual journey that led him from Presbyterianism (of which he was a pastor) to embracing Roman Catholicism.

Here’s wishing everyone in the Nation and elsewhere a happy, healthy, and safe 4th.

Filed in: Golf & Sports,Politics & World Events,Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 12:26 | Comments (3)
  1. I think you’d probably be disappointed after a couple of days. The minor leagues, as depicted in Long Gone and Bull Durham, are nowhere to be found any more. Most minor league parks are like Zephyr Field in Metairie, LA, and most minor league teams fly now instead of bus. The minors have all of the modern amenities. The character, the charm, the romance, and the grit are lost forever. That’s getting to be true in college baseball, too. LSU is building a spectacular baseball stadium. Interleague play, the DH, the scandals, the strikes, the players and owners, and the modernization have never dampened my love for the game, though. The game is still simple and still perfect in spite of the buffoons. On second thought, maybe those trips wouldn’t be so disappointing.

    Comment by Rob — July 4, 2006 @ 10:04 am

  2. Dear Nephew: I’m not sure you are aware of the fact that your great-uncle Frank (Papa’s oldest brother) was wounded in the first battle of the Somme – the Battle of Beaumont Hamel – in which the Newfoundland Regiment lost the largest percentage of men of any battle. Read up on the Battle of Beaumont Hamel and next time you’re home, I’ll lend you my book “What Happened to Cpl. Pitman”…… this was a book we “inherited” from Don’s mother when she died. It kicked around here for four or five years and in the course of cleaning out the bookcase, I almost chucked it out. Have no idea what made me look at it, but in the back the names of all the dead and wounded were listed and just curiosity made me look at the lists to see if there were any Stares or Fudges there. I was dumbfounded when I found Uncle Frank’s name. Bet you didn’t even know it. Cheers, Auntie Marge

    Comment by Auntie Marge — July 4, 2006 @ 10:36 am

  3. Thanks Rob and thanks, Auntie for the comments. As for minor league baseball, I’ve always wanted to see a game in Davenport, IA since it’s right on the banks of my beloved Mississippi River. Believe it or not, we have minor league baseball here in AZ; why anyone would want to attenda game anytime between the months of April and October is beyond me.

    As for the battle of Beaumont Hamel, I’ll “Google” it and see what I find and report back.

    Thanks again for both your comments!

    Comment by The Great White Shank — July 4, 2006 @ 10:58 pm

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