Wednesday, January 28, 2015


The common view seems to be that the meteorological haruspexes are guilty of overhype and unnecessarily fomenting mass hysteria because the recent storm turned out to be no big deal in New York City. I wish you all to know that there is life outside of Manhattan. When I went to bed Monday night there was  coating of snow. When I woke up, there was two feet. I struggled all morning to get the driveway open with my little tractor but it was impossible. And it kept snowing. All day. We wound up with more than 30 inches.

That is a huge amount of snow in one dump. I wound up hiring a guy with a honking F-150 who managed to open a road to my house. But before the days of F-150s, country folk who got hit with snow had to wade through it to the stable and hitch up the sleigh if they wanted to go anywhere. No fun for the horses, I expect. The Indians had snowshoes but it must have been a hard time for them. According to William Cronon (Changes in the Land), they just took it as normal to be hungry all winter.

So that's two days I couldn't get to work. Not the end of the world but still a disruptive event. I am now frustrated, tired and grumpy.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Athletic non-competition

Here in the otherwise great state of Connecticut, the only major league professional sports team we have is the WNBA Mohegan Suns, and let's face it, professional women's basketball is not that impactful.

So, it's out UConn basketball teams that get all the attention, and the women's team even more so because they win all the time. The problem is that there isn't enough talent to go around in NCAA women's basketball, so there are only four teams in the country that are competitive. We already know who the Final Four will be. Meanwhile, in conference play, the Huskies smash everybody, ending games with two or three times as many points. The whole season is just cupcake after cupcake.

Whether this will be good for the team's popularity in the long run is hard to say. It's fun  to win but watching these games just makes you cringe. You would think the success of the team would encourage high school girl's basketball in the state but in fact the only Connecticut natives on the roster are two walk-ons who only play in garbage time. Well, the entire last 30 minutes of every game are garbage time but what I really mean is the last 3 or 4 minutes. They could be regulars, of course, on any of the opposing teams.

How long can this go on?