Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Your Answers, Plus...

We had an unusual situation at home last week. We were actually both watching the same thing, on the same TV. To make this happen we had to bring in a folding chair from the garage.
Oprah was on, scheming with her huge staff how to surprise her unsuspecting guests, a group of military spouses, with a pile of gifts. I chose the moment to ask one of my annoying questions (which usually focus on the tie being worn by whoever's on screen). "Who would you rather have for a neighbor?" I asked. "Oprah or Mitt Romney?" For once I didn't get the "Who cares?" answer from Mona, who instead blurted out "Oh, Oprah!" as if there could have been no other possible answer. Sorry, Brother Romney.

Last week, I asked for your answers on several election-related questions. I didn't get 400 answers or 4,000. I got, ah, four. No one seemed to have trouble voting, not even daughter Anna in Columbus, OH, who I thought might have a problem. No one but me saw Romney's post-election "gift" remarks as a window into a cynic's soul. Anna nominated her brother Jake as a future candidate, while other nominees were reasonably familiar - Christie, Huntsman, Hillary. And most found it necessary to hook up their votes with at least one group that they weren't too comfortable with. Maybe I'll do this again - and maybe I'll get 4,000 responses. 

A friend who doesn't live too far away had a disturbing thing happen in the wee hours of Thanksgiving Day. The police knocked on his door at about 3 AM. They had a question for him. Did he know a certain man? No, he didn't. Well, replied the cops, he's in you yard, and he's dead. Sure enough, there he was. The good news, if you can see it this way, is that there were no signs of violence, and the man's wallet was still in his pants. The bad news? Well, just having him there would be bad enough, but now someone has to try to figure out how he spent his last moments in the yard of someone he didn't know. The last I heard, indirectly, is that he was a heavy drinker. So - there's one more reason to lay off the stuff.

If you live in Poweshiek County in central Iowa, yours is the opportunity to view something not everyone gets the chance to see. Grinnell College, located in a town with the same name, is a pretty well known college, though the enrollment is less than 2000. They have students from everywhere, a large endowment and a first-rate academic reputation.
And they have something else. Over the years they have taken to a style of playing the game of basketball that's used almost nowhere else. Without going into detail, lots of players get playing minutes in this system, and it generates LOTS of points, although not always enough to win the games. In fact, it's pretty common for the Pioneers to rack up 100 points in a forty-minute game, sometimes more.
Last week, though, they rewrote the record book, or at least part of it, defeating visiting Faith Baptist (who must have had their faith tested) by a whopping 179-104. A previously unheralded Grinnell player, Jack Taylor, launched 108 shots and finished the game with 138 points. That means he shot the ball an average of three times each minute he played, making 52 of them. What's more, Taylor's not a big man by any stretch, coming in at 5'10". I am not making any of this up, because it would be unbelievable if it weren't true. An unknown player at a college not renown for athletics who has no doubt never dunked, now has scored more points in a single game than anyone, ever, for any team. Young Mr. Taylor even got a mention in this blog. Wow.         


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