Thursday, 23 August 2012

My Neighborhood

There's a nifty thing about living in the DC area....the Metro tends to shut down at midnight from Sunday to Thursday, and for Friday &'s shut down at 3AM.

Well...the Washington Nationals (our baseball team which was formerly the Montreal Expos)....are in the position of perhaps go to the championship round.  There's around thirty games left in the season.....but folks here in the local area are getting excited.  They are also beginning to realize the implications.

The TV crowd kinda runs the game times once you get into the championships.  So they can dictate the game start locally at 9PM.  Normally, around two and half hours ends, and folks would get on the Metro and go home...just in time.

What if the game runs late?  Extra innings?  Maybe a rain-storm?  Come midnight....Metro would be shut down....unless somebody pays the Metro folks around $50k to run their operation on a later schedule (overtime and such).  The owner of the Nationals realizes the implications and has come back to the city now with some requests.

First, he's worried about this Metro deal and the problems with a game going past midnight.  So he wants the city of DC to pay the $50k....not him.  The city?  They have kept quiet on this.  They know there's millions that the city might take in with folks traveling in to watch the game.  But swearing to cough up potentially $100k for two night of extra train's not that easy.

Second, the team wants more security.  The city would have to pay overtime for that.

Third, the team wants more emphasis on scalpers, so figure two dozen undercover guys running around. More overtime for that.

For the first time in seventy years....there might be baseball championship games in DC.  The sad truth is that it might turn into a huge mess.  You just can't tell.

Speeches and Such

So this is what we know. Some kid in Oklahoma did well in high school and earned the right as school valedictorian. She makes up a speech….which has this theme of a bunch of folks asking what she wants to do after school, and the answer is “how the hell do I know, I’ve changed my mind so many times”. Well….the school principal was upset with the word ‘hell’, so he told her to change it….to heck. He gave her the new speech, with ‘heck’ included…..and she gave the ‘hell’ speech instead. The principal got all upset about this and denied her the diploma at the conclusion of the event. Words spoken so far by the school indicate that she can come by and apologize to the school, and get her diploma. 

The 18-year old girl has responded…..nicely….that she just won’t do that.

I would said to the school….’the hell you say’, but it would have taken the event to an unnecessary level. Her dad is kinda proud of her and doesn’t see much to get excited about. She will go off in the fall to Southwestern Oklahoma State University… study up to be a marine biologist, without the diploma.

There are various ways to ponder upon this. Valedictorian speeches are usually worthless. I know that bend some folks out of shape, but it’s usually four minutes that don’t mean an awful lot. The use of ‘hell’? Well….in 1977….you just didn’t utter the word unless you were in church and in some discussion over where Uncle Micky was going upon his demise. It has some effect upon a speech if you use it, but a guy who utters it forty times a day…..loses most of the positive effect. The potential for a descriptive location? Well….after you’ve been to Birmingham a dozen times…..there’s not much else you can say.

My guess is that the next valedictorian at this school probably will just talk about unicorns, wheat, and cows….playing it mostly safe with words. I would imagine there is a list of seven hundred topics which are forbidden and the list is safely kept from public view or discussion. The sad thing here is that this kid could have graduated on Monday….gone off to Marine boot-camp on Tuesday….and heard the word ‘hell’ at least three hundred times by Friday night.

My final observation is that if you ever intend to travel through Oklahoma…..put a sticker up on the dash to remind yourself to keep your words and thoughts pure and clean. Those folks are the type that actually might pray for you if they know you were out-of-state. Maybe that’s a good thing.