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Entries from April 2017

Frost on Vines a Disaster, Here in Rural France

April 30th, 2017 · No Comments · France, Languedoc

Sometimes we forget that this part of France is not just thinly populated … it is rural. It is farmland. Vines, mostly, acres and acres of them, in every direction. Towns are small and grew up here as places to support working in the vines. In our town, population 600, many of the garages we […]

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MadBum, the Giants and the Dirt-Bike Accident

April 29th, 2017 · No Comments · Baseball, Dodgers

Dodgers fans certainly know about Madison Bumgarner. He was a key performer as the San Francisco Giants won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014, and especially in the latter, when he gave up only one run in 21 innings and won Games 1 and 5 and threw five innings of scoreless relief in […]

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Catching Up on Super Bowl Commercials and Other American Cultural Touchstones

April 28th, 2017 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, France

Geez. You spend most of 7.5 years out of the country … and homeland cultural references just blow right past. Until two days ago, I did not know that Bill Simmons‘s new website, The Ringer, had launched. As of June 2016. Which means it is not new at all but somehow had gone unnoticed by […]

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That Clippers Championship?

April 27th, 2017 · No Comments · NBA

Not going to happen. No championship for the Los Angeles Clippers. Not this year. Not next year. Not ever. This is a team that has had most of this decade to figure out how to take advantage of their core four players, who helped them win 50 games for five consecutive seasons … and they […]

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Journalism Layoffs and Quickly Reaching ‘Acceptance’

April 26th, 2017 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, Journalism, Sports Journalism, The National

It’s called the Five Stages of Grieving, and professional journalists by now know it by heart. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. An interesting development in the grim business of companies firing large numbers of journalists, which has been a primary characteristic of the profession for more than a decade now … is how those being […]

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Winter Clothes? Yes, Really

April 25th, 2017 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, France, Long Beach, Olympics, Travel

I’ve never really had winter clothes. Because I always lived in places that either were temperate or Just Plain Hot. Long Beach, then the Inland Empire, then Abu Dhabi. But here in Europe, in France, we can go weeks (!) without a single minute in the 60-degree (Fahrenheit) range in December, January, February. Granted, it’s […]

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Long Beach State: MLB’s No. 1 Feeder Program

April 24th, 2017 · No Comments · Baseball, Long Beach

So says the sports media department at my alma mater, which currently is ranked No. 11 in the nation by the NCAA. That’s a pretty prominent spot for a program which often struggles to separate itself from the NCAA masses. In any sport. By the calculations of the PR guys there, Long Beach State baseball […]

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Our Little Marine Le Pen Town

April 23rd, 2017 · No Comments · France

Polls closed at 8 p.m. in France tonight in the vote for the country’s next president. The results were announced one minute later. At 8:01 p.m., a polling company that an hour earlier had retrieved results from 200 key voting stations … announced which two candidates were going to get the most votes and advance […]

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Stat King Bill James and Another ‘Baseball Abstract’?

April 22nd, 2017 · 1 Comment · Baseball, France

Let’s get at this the long way ’round. Most of our possessions arrived in southern France, from southern California, in one big crush of boxes along about mid-October. We had them stacked on a big plastic sheet in the garage, and the boxes made for a pile about three feet high and maybe 10 yards […]

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Separated at Birth?

April 21st, 2017 · No Comments · Football, NFL

Maybe it’s just me, but I have trouble differentiating between Tom Brady and Matt Damon. No, really. (And the photo, above, in which Damon is wearing Brady’s uniform, makes things worse.) To me, they are pretty much the same guy. If asked, “Who starred in all those Bourne Identity movies, I might well pause and […]

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