... all of you that I scarcely know where to begin. Well, let's start with ... ...
The flu has flown
Well, of course it hasn't "flown", per se, but it dropped out of the top of the nightly/hourly/minute-by-minute/second-by-second news even quicker than it first came into prominence.
You might remember my writing that our illustrious governor, in his utter panic - and perhaps in an effort to try and reclaim some sense of dignity, self-worth and importance - had declared the entire state of Texas an emergency. Remember that one? Here it is, just as a refresher.
Hundreds (thousands?) of schools throughout our state, in the subsequent 'swine flu epidemic' stampede, announced closings of upwards of two weeks where even "suspected" cases of swine flu were present.
The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Woe be unto us, the sky is falling! This sort of c r a p - sorry, guys, there's really no other word for it! - predominated the airwaves for days.
Then, yesterday - or was it the day before? - it was announced that the CDC (Center for Disease Control) said schools that had closed due to confirmed or even suspected cases of the swine flu should reopen immediately, that the threat in the US was much less than had originally been feared.
Why were the schools closed? "Well, because the CDC told us to," was the response by public school officials. Why are all the schools all of a sudden being re-opened? "Well, because the CDC told us we should do so."
The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Woe be unto us, the sky is falling! Oh, oh! Now, all of a sudden, the sky is not falling?!? Whaat!!
I found myself laughing out loud yesterday when a national news reporter asked how it could possibly be that the American public is blaming the media for the panic. How, indeed? I think all of you pretty much know my general feelings about the media and their seemingly never-ending search for ever more sensationalism in their quest to be #1.
Please do not mistake my intentions here. We should all be aware at ALL times of the need to wash our hands diligently and not unnecessarily expose ourselves to extraneous germs and viruses. That should go w/o saying. But it doesn't, does it?
My beloved Astros
They "suck", what more can I say? I mean, sucksville!
Do you know that, in the last three games, my 'good guys' have thrown over 530 pitches?!? Come on, now! That's more than just a touch incredible, wouldn't you say? I hereby move that we all listen to what (imo) is the most moving rendition ever of our National Anthem and start the season over. Any seconds to my motion? Now, I grant you that Whitney is singing at the start of a Super Bowl (football, not baseball) game, but still!
Wasn't that just wonderful? My goodness!
My plans for the next few days ...
... include a trip to New Orleans, publishing another article in the "Examiner" (it'll be my fourth), one more post on this blog (it'll be a funny!) and doing a load of laundry. Exciting, huh? (Well, let's except the load of laundry.)
OK, let's do first things first. Why am I going to New Orleans? Good question! This came up totally 'out of the blue'. I read in Houston Unit 174's (duplicate bridge) newsletter that someone, whose name sounded more than just vaguely familiar to me, had died. She was a black lady and my mind - in its wandering state (you know me!) - got to thinking about Leonard Jefferson, with whom I had often played many years ago when I lived in New Orleans. A lovely man, just lovely! We had a nice partnership and won many local events playing together. (And, if we didn't win, we always had a good time.) Was he black? Yes, he was. Was he married? Yes, he was. Was I married? Yes, I was. Did we have an affair? No, we did not. (Hope that answers all of your unasked but yet anticipated-by-me questions.)
During my efforts to try and find out if Leonard was still around, I reached the nicest fellow at one of the bridge studios in New Orleans. I didn't remember him at all, nor did he remember me, but we spent almost a full hour on the phone. (And no, Leonard is not still with us.) However, I found out that John Onstott, who was another one of my partners 'back in the day', is going to be the recipient of a special event being held in his honor Saturday in recognition of his having garnered his 20,000th (!) master point. (I didn't put that figure in bold, but I easily could have. Those are almost inconceivable numbers!)
I am SO looking forward to this trip. Will be playing with Marilyn Methvin, a regular partner of mine from 30+ years ago. I need to have all of you wishing me "staying awake while driving" luck and Marilyn and me good fortune in our game Saturday afternoon. (There'll be a big blowout-type of party Saturday night following the game.) I'll definitely be reporting back on this ... that is, assuming I make it back in one piece and still of a coherent mind. :)
What's the "Examiner"? Well, you'd have to go back to this post. It's where I first began telling you about how I was trying to fill out their fairly extensive application. Since that time - about five weeks ago - I have been accepted and am now known as the "Houston Duplicate Bridge Examiner" ... ... all of their writers are known as 'examiners', OK? Here's the link to my page, just in case you're interested.
And last but not least ...
Wendy's now back 'down in the valley', well below Base Camp. She's OK, and has been posting like crazy on her site (twice in the last couple of days). Here's the link again, just in case you need it. I'll let you read what she says for yourselves. Among other things, she talks about how they have to thaw out their clothes each morning.
Talk atcha next week! (There'll be another post between now and then, but it'll stand on its own with little or no commentary.)