Sunday, January 23, 2011

A View From A Mountain Looking East

An old high-school friend and soccer teammate is a regular reader of this silliness. There is many a day on which Schiff reads and goes about his business without comment. I enjoy the days he decides to say something before he goes. Yesterday was just such a day. In response to my lament about the (even for us) unusually brutal winter weather, he suggested that I might want, "to open a bar in Jamaica (not the one in Queens)".

I smiled and laughed a bit at what he wrote -when I read it - and upon further reflection realized that his recommendation to me was straight out of Running Scared, which was a stand-alone buddy picture from the mid-1980's starring Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines as Detectives in the Chicago Police Department. At one point in the movie (in response to almost being killed in the line of duty) they decide to put in for retirement and buy a bar (albeit in Key West instead of Jamaica). Damned entertaining film. If you have never seen it then check it out on DVD. The scene where Gregory Hines persuades an attorney who is looking for Billy Crystal that he (Hines) is Italian is worth the rental price by itself.

I do not know why no sequel was ever made - perhaps Schiff does. The absence of the existence of a "Running Scared II" or a "Still Running Scared" or whatever it might have been called - had it been made - is a mystery to me but it is not the only thing I cannot understand. Far from it.

For instance, I cannot understand why certain police departments (the NYPD is one) have a unit identified as "Anti-Crime". Are not all the units in every police department "anti" crime? I understand the notion of specialization, i.e. the homicide squad, the organized crime task force and the like but "anti crime" seems more like a slap at the other men and women in blue than a way to identify one particular unit. Unless somewhere in the same precinct house there is a unit known as "Crime Facilitation", the whole "anti-crime" thing seems a tad unnecessary.

I do not quite get it either why my e-mail server (Outlook) sends me an e-mail to tell me that one of more of my mailboxes is "over its allowable limit". Would it not be better for them to be part of the solution and not part of the problem? Do not misunderstand me. I have no idea how they would notify me if not by e-mail. Nevertheless it seems that there has to be a better way. I am sure that somewhere there is a twelve year-old computer whiz working up a solution to that conundrum right now.

I am not entirely certain that we all watched Brian Cashman plotting his exit strategy last week but his public declarations - basically washing his hands of a transaction that landed his club an 8th inning set up man for Mariano Rivera.....while the guy they just signed was in the building for his "Welcome to the Yankees" press conference - and then confessing to the fact that he had actually spoken to Carl Pavano's agent and discussed BRINGING PAVANO BACK TO THE BRONX to pitch for the Yankees in 2011 - certainly suggest a guy who is thinking of his next gig. Huh? Signing Soriano was a bad idea but re-signing Pavano is a good one? Cashman is the one person alive who thinks that Pavano could actually get in and out of the Stadium wearing pinstripes. Then again he is the genius who engineered a second act for Javy Vazquez, which ended not quite as ignominiously as the first go-round. But considering the Yankees stopped allowing Vazquez to pitch in actual games shortly after Opening Day in 2010 that is not nearly as much of an accomplishment as it might have appeared at first blush.

I also do not understand why exactly the Scientologists have taken to buying advertising time on network TV but on not less than three occasions this past week there they were - selling whatever it is they peddle exactly smack dab in the middle of prime time. If it turns out that we have Ricky Gervais to blame for this, his punishment should be having to host the Golden Globe Awards every year for the next decade.

I did laugh at the fact that among the shows on which they bought time was "HOUSE", given the good doctor's well-stated position on God and religion. But then again, given how well things did not turn out when L. Ron's crew ventured into the motion picture business , perhaps television is a better medium for them to operate in.

And among the myriad of things I do not understand at all is who I know who lives in or near a place called Mountain View, California. On a daily basis - or pretty close thereto - someone who apparently lives there reads what is written here. And I have absolutely no idea who it is. I actually Googled Mountain View to see where the hell it is (California is a tad bigger than Rhode Island after all) but even having a general understanding of where it is has not helped me figure out who it is.

For a person who fails to comprehend a lot of things, it is just another log on the fire. And given how damn cold it has been in these parts these days, maybe that is not such a bad thing after all.

-AK

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