Old Flame vs. New Love

Iconic imageThroughout the summer, my affections have been pulled in two directions. I’ve been faced with the decision of whether to root for my current hometown White Sox or my former hometown Dee-troit Tigers.

Old loyalties die hard; I was 8 years old when the Tigers won in ’68, and without that, I might never be a baseball fan. But this summer, I was more inclined to the Sox, because if they were to falter, impatient GM Kenny Williams would start to dismantle the team, swapping a player here and a player there, until what was so powerfully delicious last season begins to resemble a college sophomore’s attempt at Sunday cooking. (Now his job involves which of his five starting pitchers to trade to make room on the roster for rookie phenoms coming up, as well as bullpen help. Good luck with that.) Besides, even with today’s communications, it’s hard rooting for a team from a distance. Even though I saw the Tigers beat up the Cubs in June here at Wrigley Field, they’re still strangers to me.

This week, the Sox made the decision for me by finishing with the fifth best record in baseball. Hardly sputtering, but not enough to move into October. Now I can cheer for the Tigers until the Yankees come up and clean their fridges out.

After that, it’s easy. Just cheer for whoever’s playing the Yankees.

Front-Line Fishies

Hail the beloved bluegill. This summertime staple, this amiable bream, this scintillating sunfish is now being used to fight terrorism in several major cities. This article explains how this patriotic panfish is being used to detect whether any type of toxins or contaminants have been dumped into our water supplies.

Small numbers of the fish are kept in tanks constantly replenished with water from the municipal supply, and sensors in each tank work around the clock to register changes in the breathing, heartbeat and swimming patterns of the bluegills that occur in the presence of toxins.

“Nature’s given us pretty much the most powerful and reliable early warning center out there,” said Bill Lawler, co-founder of Intelligent Automation Corporation, a Southern California company that makes and sells the bluegill monitoring system. “There’s no known manmade sensor that can do the same job as the bluegill.”

And here, I’ve been cursing them for stealing my bait. So put that bluegill back in the lake, little lady. He’s got to grow a little bigger so he can do his civic duty.

A Fraternal Shout-out

Wanted to alert the world (and especially that part of it in NY that supports the theater biz) that the showcase starring my brother Patrick Garner has had two performances added in the coming week.

“Desperate Measures” is the musical, an update of “Measure for Measure” set it in the Wild West. It’s playing as part of the New York Musical Theater Festival. There’s more info and photos at the link for Broadway World dot com.

So get out there and support live theater, unless you’re one a them lowlifes who hates both Shakespeare, musical theater AND cowboys. And if you are, I don’t know how you can live with yourself.

A Disconcerting Irony

For all of Dubya’s faults—all of em, he thought wearily, all of them—there are two things that people say about him through crisis after crisis. One is that of all the human virtues, he holds loyalty in the highest regard. The other is that once he decides on a path, he cannot be turned from it. He doggedly hangs on to what he considers his mission, regardless of anything else at all.

So, I started thinking: There must be a job somewhere in which these two traits would spell success. Dubya’s gotta be suited for some job somewhere, right?

Loyalty to his fellows, dogged tenacity toward a goal.

Loyalty, tenacity.

Then it hit me: Dubya’s talents would’ve made him a first-rate soldier!

What a shame those pesky National Guard types in Texas and Alabama kept him from truly shining in Viet Nam, making him complete training missions and stay sober, then went and lost his papers and everything.

What a shame.

Makin’ with the Funny

There’s so many things I want to write in this blog…

...and that sentence makes me sound just so diligent about things, doesn’t it?…

But they are going to have to wait for a while. Shock on shock, I have a new book deal. Well, six weeks old, but new enough, and the publisher wants it as of yesterday. So my apologies to those of you who want my salient opinions on circuses and CIA secret prisons, but my nose must be affixed to the handy grindstone for the foreseeable future.

Don’t want to say here what the book is about, but in researching it, I came across this movie quote that I’d never heard before. Clifton Webb delivers it in “The Razor’s Edge”:

You know, I’ve never been able to understand why, when there’s so much space in the world, people should deliberately choose to live in the Middle West.


PS:THere was a crazy thing on the Huffington Post this morning about a strange sea beastie that washed ashore in Siberia. It’s probably a hoax, but there are some cool pictures. Looks kind of like one of the Muppets used during the early years of SNL.