After a few weeks of emailing crossword completion times back and forth with Eric Zorn, I stopped doing the Chicago Tribune/LA Times online puzzle on a daily basis. We were both shooting for a sub-five minute time, and once we made it, the fun went out of the game.
But I’m back into it, and lately my interest is in seeing how my aging brain works. Today’s asked for the first name of the former Soviet premier named Kosygin. I knew I knew it, but my Russophile brain refused to cough it up. As it turned out, I got it via the clues in the other direction, but didn’t go back to check the answer. At mid afternoon, it popped into my brain: Alexei. Of course, Alexei. Alexei Kosygin. I knew it at 3 p.m. but couldn’t dislodge it with dynamite at 8 a.m.
Maybe Dave Barry is right — as we get older, our brains fill up with song lyrics and there’s no room for anything else. At 2:30 p.m., driving home from the boatyard, I heard Burton Cummings on a Canadian talk show called Q. He sang “Laughing” live in the studio, I sang along in the car and didn’t miss a word.
Mental exercise. It’s the easiest kind, except when it isn’t.
My time today was over 7 minutes. Crappy, for a Tuesday.
Yeesh, I’ll be glad when election season is over. I know the animosity will remain, but it might drop a few notches. Perhaps Janice Daniels, mayor of Troy, will be recalled. A Tea Party darling, her first significant act of office was rejecting a transit center the local chamber of commerce had been working to put on the ground for years. Oh, and she also mentioned on her Facebook page how she was going to give up her I (heart) NY tote bag because “queers” could get married there now. For a taste of how she rolls, here she is in action just this past Monday, maing a mess of the simplest and easiest duty of her office — presenting a proclamation to a worthy local resident. Deadline Detroit sums it up, if you don’t have video capability:
For some reason (maybe voices in her head told her it would be a good idea) The Janice interrupted reading the proclamation to say Kerwin’s “Distinguished Citizen” honor was awarded by the “Troy Democrat Club.”
For starters, there are two kinds of people on the planet. The first kind of people understands the Democratic Party’s name is the Democratic Party. The second kind are the clinical morons who say Democrat Party.
Ah yes, the Democrat party.
So, a little non-political bloggage?
Hank Stuever gave his lecture at the University of Montana Monday. Read all about “Liner Notes for the End of the World: My Adventures in Covering American Pop Culture” in the Kaiman, the campus paper.
With all that my colleague Ron has been writing about the importance of early childhood education, I was amused to read this, in the Journal Gazette, although frankly, I’m not surprised to learn that a contributor to the Indiana Policy Review finds the idea “thorny.”
Back to work tomorrow, after a Tuesday off to take the boat out. It’s out, with hopes for more water next year, or else we’re screwed.