The Eclectic

Time moves in one direction, memory in another. – William Gibson

Archive for August, 2007

The Road

Posted by David Leslie on August 23, 2007

A few weeks ago, I was reading a book review for “Last Child in the Woods: Saving out Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder” by Richard Louv. The idea is that unless kids experience the joy of the outdoors, they won’t care about protecting it. Plus they are at risk for, well you know, the bad things American kids are at risk for when they don’t get out and play.

So on Daddy and John nights when Jean is at work, John and I have been taking walks at Indian Run Falls park which is near the entrance to my office.

These walks took a deeper turn after reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. First, I found the book after catching the trailer for the new Cohen Brother’s movie based on another McCarthy book, “No country for old men”.

Reading the Wikipedia entry, I saw that McCarthy had set “The Road” in a post-apocalypse world. Given that I’m an avid reader of post-apocalypse and dystopian fiction and the fact that The Road won the 2007 Pulitzer, I had to read it.

The book is stunning in how it expresses the pure love between the father and the son when all else has been stripped from the world. The simple things like rest, shelter, food and safety are not taken for granted in this book. They are things that must be sought after and come with risks.  

The father is not made to be perfect, a yelling ‘man’s man’ nor a fool which tends to be the extremes that fathers in our culture are viewed. He has only one purpose in life, to protect his child.

You won’t find long passages of dialog expounding on life or whatnot. You will find something so basic and pure that you’ll be haunted by it.

I can give no higher praise than this: I’ve never cried while reading a book. Gotten upset and spooked but never cried. At the end of this book, knowing already the ending from the Wikipedia, I still cried.

So now when I take these walks with John, I find myself appreciating our relationship, our safety, our home, and our food. I think about the parents in places like Sudan, Afghanistan and Iraq who right now live “The Road”. Maybe not in a post-apocalyptic world as McCarthy’s with ash and cannibals but a world where there is a dark fear in doing the simple things of life and yet still the light of hope that a child’s heart can bring into that darkness.

Posted in The Arts | Leave a Comment »

Welcome back, Paula Cole

Posted by David Leslie on August 10, 2007

In the summer of 1994, my girlfriend Heather and I got to see Peter Gabriel’s WOMAD tour which featured a singer named Paula Cole.

She has one of those voices that is beautiful as it is powerful. Oddly enough, she’s also one of the few singers who sounds better when she is performing live. Needless to say both of us we’re floored. So was JP Collins, the station director from CD101 who pushed Cole’s music back when Collins was going to personally will Columbus to improve it’s musical tastes.

Later that year, we see her solo show at Ludlow’s along with my sister that was opened by Jeffrey Gains (whom Heather called the most beautiful man she had ever seen). Gains jammed with his acoustic and pitch perfect songs (His ‘In Your Eyes’ is up there with Peter’s). 

Cole in her black dress with combat boots charmed everyone and managed to capture everyone with her voice as the sound guy appeared to be trying to screw up the mix.  This show is in my top three live events I’ve attended.

So while she won the kiss of death Grammy (best new artist) it looked like she was going to be fine.

Then things went to free fall. She had a disc tank and a label who rejected another. She got dropped and she just left only to tease on the rare jazz vocal track.

But thanks to Bobby Colomby, Paula has a new disc out and it is fantastic. Much love to David Dye and the World Cafe’ folks for having Paula live in studio so I can reconnected with her music.

Posted in Stuff | Leave a Comment »

Berry Bonds and 756

Posted by David Leslie on August 9, 2007

I was watching SportsCenter and got to watch 756

fly over the right center field wall live.

Given the whole mess about Bonds, I wanted to take a beat to talk about what this means for the game.

First, Steroids do not help you hit the ball. What they do is help your body recover so that you can be in the batter’s box with muscles that are less sore.

Pop Fisher: People don’t start playing ball at your age, they retire!

That’s the crux of the problem for Bonds. The ‘roids didn’t cause him to hit those home runs but they put him in a position to have a chance to hit them as his body aged and took longer to heal as he past age 34. (34 is an important baseball age because of “The Natural”)

At a time when Bonds’ number should have been dropping, they were going up. That hasn’t happened before.

But the urge to hit the ball the older you get isn’t just an MLB thing.

Where I play softball, there are guys who drop $300 a season for a Miken bat.

Think the bat doesn’t matter? Well here is a story from my batboy days.

The Men of Steele (Steele softball bats) came to Cooper Stadium for a pregame home run contest. Best softball power hitters in 1989 played for Steele. One 1 ball got close to going out of the park.

The Easton Long Haul Bombers are hitting over 10 balls out per man on average. One of them even hit one out of the new yard in Cincinnati last year.

Oh, and Berry uses a maple bat that is harder than the white ash Hank used.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter. Baseball will not be hurt by this. Chicks dig the long ball as the ad goes.

 

In a way, I wonder if Bonds will go after Sadaharu Oh’s mark of 868?

Posted in The Locker Room | Leave a Comment »

S’Up

Posted by David Leslie on August 9, 2007

It’s been a while since the last post. Needless to say a few things have happened:

  • Shaved my head
  • I had a dye job go bad. Jean wanted me to try it and hated the results. After two months of trying to get it to look right, I just shaved it off. I’m now two months into my life as a bald man.
  • Took the family to King’s Island
    • Great time had by all. Great kids area plus John road his first roller coster
  • Had an unexpected family medical emergency:
    • Talk to me off line for details if you want them.
  • Prep’ing for the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
    • The first step on the road to being a web architect. I wish I could take the PMP but I don’t have the hours needed to sit for the test. I’ll be taking a prep course from Cheetah learning

    Posted in The Dump | Leave a Comment »