Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday Potpourri 2/11

I'm sorry folks. I'm in a really, really foul mood. My Wahoos lost a basketball game last night. It wasn't just a "basketball game" though--it was more than that.

If UVA had won, the team would have likely risen from #2 to #1. But that isn't important.

If UVA had won, they would have delighted a rabid HOME crowd. But that isn't important.

If UVA had won, they would have capped off a wonderful day hosting the ESPN College Game Day crew, showcasing the world's most wonderful center of learning. But that isn't important.

What IS important, is that UVA lost to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, our dread rivals, our instate nemesis, a team we beat on THEIR home floor a month ago by 26 points.

It was embarrassing. We shot the ball terribly from outside, which (to me) means you need to work the ball inside. But we don't have much of an inside game, or at least we don't with our starting lineup. And when we had the right people to challenge Tech's defense, we didn't challenge. It was like we said, "look, there are three guys there clogging the lane so we can't go there". Yes you can. You just have to be smart about it, and we weren't. It doesn't happen often, but UVA was outcoached.  Plain and simple.

To top off my intemperate reaction to the game, was this comment from one of our players:

No Ty--it wasn't about #1, it was about Tech. Beating Tech. It wasn't UCLA we were playing. It wasn't St. Bonaventure. It wasn't even some other ACC foe. It was Tech. The quicker you understand that, the quicker you'll find the reserve to beat them in close games, something we failed to do once last year and then again this year. Losing to tech is simply not the same as losing to anyone else.

Enough kvetching about this. On to other matters.

I have to head into DC tomorrow to be interviewed for a Smithsonian Channel film project called "Carriers at War:  USS FORD". They've set aside three hours for it, which means they'll probably harvest about 3 minutes to go into the piece. But I'm excited to once again have the opportunity to talk about the single most flexible and powerful thing we buy in our military, and its continuing importance to the national security of the United States.

The Kitten has decided to capitalize on her investment of 10 years of understanding and patience to dragoon me into getting qualified as a "belayer", or the dude who stands on the ground at a rock climbing gym working the safety mechanism that enables the climber to move safely up and down. We had a class yesterday morning at the local YMCA (big plug: Easton MD YMCA is the bomb), but I need to go back today and practice a bit--before taking the "test" sometime this week. She is already qualified for this position, so she belayed me on a trip up the bunny slope yesterday, one in which my nearly immobile hips barked at me in anger but which was definitely fun.

I'm having a good deal of fun watching the White House work its way through the Junior Varsity that was available to them for staffing after those with scruples absented themselves from service (or were absented through their statements and actions--like me). The plain truth of the matter is that a tremendous number of solid citizens decided not to take on the virtually certain reputational diminishment that comes from serving Trump--and also, that those who were attracted to service with the President did so in many cases because their characters were as flawed as his and felt kinship with him. Birds of a feather flock together. Not everyone who went in is morally and ethically compromised; saying so would be unfair. But plenty are, and many who weren't will become that way in further service to this charlatan.

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