Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Olympic Torch

I hoped to see the Olympic Torch this afternoon so I went down to the Embarcadero about 1 PM. The original route was along the Embarcadero and would end in front of the Ferry Building.

I saw the torch in Boston in 1996. A guy ran beside the Boston Public Garden followed by a Georgia State Police BMW, which was bizarre (BMW must have been an official sponsor). The BMW was driven by a obese man in a Georgia State Police uniform, which was, well, not so bizarre.

Today was different. Lots of shouting, Chinese Flags, Tibetan flags, people chanting, etc. I got a free Save Darfur shirt and I was all set. There was a fair amount of people yelling at each other nose to nose, and occasional shoving, but thankfully no violence.

I couldn't help but notice the rather limited repertoire of debate skills by the pro-Chinese government crowd. Waving their brand new Chinese flags, they would generally chant "Liar Liar Liar" when a large contingent of people with Tibetan flags walked past. Often they would should "How much are you being paid to be here?" Which raises the question of how much *they* were being paid to be there.

A few of them tried to shout in my face, which I countered by talking back to them. Their first line was to ask why I would oppose China in Darfur when the US was in Iraq. They seemed surprised and puzzled that I opposed the Iraq war. Then they tried to point out that China never attacked other countries. After I mentioned Korea and Vietnam (where China was clobbered), this tack was swiftly modified to 'China never occupies other countries'.

There was some irony to all of the pro-China marchers. They were participating in public debate, where different viewpoints can be aired and people can disagree. It's the sort of event that couldn't happen in China itself.

In the end, I think changing the route was the correct decision. There was a risk of violence if the city had insisted on running the torch along the Embarcadero. The Chinese Government had hoped to have a cheesy preposterous tedius gala ceremony at the end. Thanksfully, the city pulled the plug on that. There's no need for someone to get hurt (the Chinese Government already has plenty of blood on its hands; no need to spill any more).

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


I admit, I thought that Cardinals were going to be bad this year. Really bad. They may well still end up as a bad team, but for now they're 5-2, half a game behind Milwaukee. Then again, I didn't think the Cardinals would have a team ERA of 2.32 and five quality starts in the first seven games. (All hail Dave Duncan!)

That probably won't last (Kyle Lohse, for example isn't going to sport an ERA of 0.00 all year), but if the staff can hang on until their actual starters get back later this year, maybe they have a shot at winning the division. There aren't any dominant teams in the division (sorry Eddie), so maybe 90 wins will be sufficient. This is a start.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

12 runs. 5 games.

Yep, Our San Francisco Giants! They've scored 0, 2, 2, 4, and 4 runs. One victory. It's going to be a looooooong year. You don't win much scoring 2.4 runs a game.

It could be worse. In fact, it was worse one year ago, when they scored but 14 runs the first 7 games. That team "recovered" to average 4.2 runs per game, next to last in the National League. But last year they had Bonds.

Friday, April 04, 2008

So bizarre it must be true

This is apparently not an April Fools joke.

A bunch of schoolgirls were touring Fenway Park and one of them was attacked by a hawk that apparently lives there. It swooped down and scratched her head, drawing blood. Incredibly, someone was taking pictures at the time.

The girl's name? Alexa Rodriguez. Score one point for the hawk.