TRAIL MIX 10/06/08 -- the view from Torquay (pronounced "tor-KEY")

Well, I've got a friend visiting from the UK, so this will necessarily be towards the terse end of the verbosity spectrum... Actually, he's sleeping in at the moment, after a very long day following two hours sleep, so maybe not...

Mike's 60 or something like that and hasn't been to the US before. He flew in directly from Amsterdam, so the first actual USA that he saw in person was out the car window leaving PDX for Cornvalley yesterday... He said he felt like he was on TV -- he says American shows are ubiquitous over there (actually, he didn't say ubiquitous, but he meant it) -- he estimated 60-70% of British programming was American content of one sort or another. I think he's probably on the high side, but I've never been there, so who am I to argue...

Mike was a steeplejack by trade, later becoming a retailer. I'm not sure if there's an American word for "steeplejack," does anybody know? He basically used to work on scaffolding around tall structures, brick chimneys and the like, and repair them. Says his best friend fell to death and that caused an abrupt change of career plans after 20 years...

Mike notes that the UK has had a financial crisis of their own lately, with several big banks being nationalized. Mike's a conservative, rather obsessed with things like East European immigration and crime, which makes for interesting political conversation. He's pretty well convinced by the saturation coverage of the US political scene in the UK press that our conservatives aren't like their conservatives though, which is very true. We share an antipathy for New Labour, so we have that much in common... Along with a love of loud distorted guitars, which is how we met.

Anyway, here are some of Mike's observations about the US -- specifically Oregon:

(1) Where are all the mountains?

(2) It's green here and everything is very big. It looks like England.

(3) We get the same crappy weather that they do -- but he says they had rain all summer.

Mike hates cricket and thus hates baseball, could care less about rugby and thus American football, but loves soccer. Which means he would be a huge hockey fan, I suppose. I haven't asked him about basketball.

Well, I guess that story didn't go anywhere, did it?

- - - - - - - - - -

Seahawks suffer worst defeat of Holmgren era. Giants fans gleeful. 44-6. Ouch.

Chargers lose to Dolphins. Timmy is distraught.

Angels avoid series sweep with a 5-4 win at Fenway. It only took 5 hours and 19 minutes. Of which I watched the bottom of the 10th inning, probably the only 15 minutes worth watching. People pay money to watch that sport. Isn't that amazing?

Detroit wins WNBA championship. No one notices.

Detroit wins NBA exhibition opener. Even fewer people notice. But this means that the exhibition season has begun. Hornets edge Golden State as well...

Speaking of Golden State, I saw something in the paper about Ahnold stating that Cali is looking at a multi-billion budget hole and might need to be bailed out by the Federal Government. No specifics because I skimmed it and scoffed and moved along -- but no kidding. They're gonna have to change the name of the Warriors. "Golden State" somehow seems inappropriate...

Speaking of inappropriate, was Tina Fey back on SNL this week? I need to check that out. Post links if they exist.

I see that George Fox U meted out like four year-long suspensions for the Obama-in-a-tree escapade. How do you spell "draconian"? Ignorant political protest is still political protest and should be protected, albeit condemned, in my opinion... Tossing people for a year is extremism of its own sort...

OJ convicted, held in isolated custody pending a Dec. 5 sentencing, from which he'll probably go to the state pen. Make-up call, anyone? Sorta reminds me of the way they got Al Capone -- skates on the killings, gets rung up for tax evasion...

Well, that's all I've got at the moment.








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