Dear Adam Silver

Do you really want to restart the National Basketball Association season in Orlando, FL with the 346 cases per 100,000 people in Orange County rising rapidly?Screen Shot 2020-06-21 at 10.04.47 AM

Especially when you could push “restart” in Thurston County, Washington with only 78 cases per 100,000?Screen Shot 2020-06-21 at 10.02.43 AM

I would be happy to work with your advance team who will find the Olympia, Tumwater, Black Hills, Capital, North Thurston, River Ridge, Timberline, South Puget Sound Community College, and Evergreen State University gyms to their liking. And I have no doubt the players will love the Motel 6 Tumwater mostly due to the outdoor pool and it’s proximity to McDonald’s, Subway, and Lemon Grass.

And then there’s the local golf courses which will be welcome respites from Florida’s brutal heat and humidity. Tumwater Valley is a fine test not to mention Capital City and  the underrated Delphi Golf Course.

Assuming a team is not scheduled to play, nighttime entertainment is no problem. The hotel provides free wi-fi.

Also, unlike Florida, Washington State’s politics are much more in line with the Association’s. The person posing as President even called our Governor a snake, so we have that going for us.

I challenge you to find a nicer place to be in July, August, and September.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Eschew the South

According to conservative pundits, liberals like President Obama and myself don’t really like the United States. “Love it or leave it!” they ignorantly insist. They want everyone to believe they’re the true Americans because they mindlessly subscribe to American Exceptionalism. Nevermind that our independence resulted from intense dissent born of the freedom of speech the Constitution enshrines.

One of the things I like most about the U.S. is distinct regional differences compliments of its great expanse.

As viewed from the upper atmosphere, I live in the very uppermost left hand corner of the country. And sadly, moms lives in the very bottommost right hand corner. I’m writing this at 36,000′, halfway home on my most recent cross-country voyage. I’ve made this trans-continental trip probably 30+ times since my parents’ long ago move to the Peninsula (known to some as Florida). As a result, I’m declaring myself a Southeastern U.S. expert. Meaning I’m qualified to make extreme generalizations about it even if Southerners take offense.

For example, the conventional wisdom that Southerners are more hospitable is something they like to tell themselves probably to feel better about how inhospitable life can be “down South”. Take the Southerner in the Enterprise car rental office today on Kennedy Boulevard right next to the University of Tampa. “You KNOW you guys need some fuckin’ better help in here don’t you?!”

That warm Southern hospitality is also extended whenever you dare cross a busy street. As I stood at intersection after intersection this past week, speeding drivers shot me angry looks, upset that eventually I’d step foot onto their road. Sunday afternoon, at one intersection, loose wires peered out of the street light so there was no way to trigger the cross walk. After five minutes I moved to the middle of the block to eliminate turning cars from the total amount of sheet metal I had to dodge. Then I did my Usain Bolt impersonation, and now, the humble blog readers rejoice that I (barely) lived to write another day.

Have you heard the joke about the Southeastern city planner? That’s the joke. An oxymoron if there ever was one. Most egregious, there are more Cuba-loving liberal Democrats in Florida than there are bike lane miles. My advice, if you sometimes enjoy walking outdoors or riding a bike, eschew the South. In fact, I hereby announce an Eschew the South movement until pedestrians and cyclists are acknowledged to be fully human. Bumper stickers and t-shirts are now available.

Then there’s the stuff I can’t pin on Neolithic Age city planning–hellish heat and humidity. One of the best things about the upper lefthand corner is our built in air conditioning. Our politics are liberal, but our temps wonderfully moderate. Even on the rare warm summer day, temps plummet at dusk. We also get to run and cycle up and down hilly, even mountainous trails and roads.

I’m going to skip the planned paragraph about the preponderance of fatty and fried Southern food at the risk of being mistaken for a self-absorbed foodie.

This began innocently enough as an appreciation of regional differences, but somehow morphed into an unprovoked regional rant. Fair enough if Southerners hold it against the PNW.

Long story short, I could easily live without the SE, but not Mother Dear. So the diagonal pilgrimages will continue despite their deleterious effect on my life expectancy.

Mailbag

Whad’ up in FL? Mother Dear isn’t getting any younger. Love her a tad bit more than I hate flying. Just hangin’ with her. Helping her with her new iMac, swapping stories from the last several months, even accompanied her to Ybor City for the Saturday morning Cuban coffee/toast confab with the girlfriends. And there’s no (provable) truth to the rumor that I timed this trip to overlap with the Cal Lutheran college roommate reunion at the crib.

Where are the fitness updates? Stopped moving? Nah, still moving. Weird summer in that regard. One week, no teaching, getting every work out in, pushups, stretching, planking, solid 12-15 hours of swimming, running, cycling. Next week, full-time teaching, missing some workouts (no bike in Eastern WA), cutting others short. So not enough of a rhythm. Zero races and I’m skipping our local triathlon breaking my nine year streak. A couple of new events on the calendar over the next six weeks. Average swimming/running shape, slightly above average cycling shape. Getting soft(er). Niece asked me if I wanted to work out with her today at 1p. Heat index north of 100. I politely declined.

Starting college in a few weeks, top three suggestions? 1) There are power outages, dropped internet connections, empty printer cartridges. Never leave printing until the morning something is due. Even if it’s 2 a.m. the “night” before, print all final drafts before going to bed. You’ll sleep better and “tech glitch” excuses are tired. 2) Backwards plan. Who are you going to get to write recommendations to grad school or other post-grad first steps? Go to office hours with genuine questions about the course content and/or your work in the course and get to know at least one prof a quarter/semester. 3) Study abroad. Bonus suggestion: call or (even better) email your dad regularly. 

Best blog discovery of recent weeks? The best five books on everything.