...And I got nuthin'. Not in that kind of mood, I guess. March just bagged its last chance to go out like a lamb; it warmed up a little yesterday, but we've got snow in the forecast. And now I really have to do my taxes, which is going to be gruesome.
I'm not a real basketball fan—I just learned that March Madness doesn't end in March. (When I woke up thinking, hey, how come I didn't hear who won the big tournament?) March is a very inconclusive month, apparently. Personally, I don't think they need to play the last few games—the purpose of the tournament is to determine the best team, and that's gotta be Butler. A mid-tier program that lost its standout star player from last year (Gordon Hayward, who went wayward, to the bizarrely-named Utah Jazz of the NBA*) and they still beat something like 17 seeded teams in a row and got back into the Final Four. Send everybody else home, I say. Crown Butler, yesterday. March is over.
Speaking of inconclusive, eighty-three readers have ordered this week's Book of the Week from Amazon, but, as of yesterday, Amazon has delivered zero of them. To be decided in April, like everything else about this March. I'm watching closely.
Immortal Sensei Oren-san procured a copy from alternative sourcing (he has been duly scorched for this disloyalty) and has pronounced it Good.
And speaking of basketball, they're supposed to be retiring Dennis Rodman's number in Detroit later today. Wouldn't it be a great April Fool's joke if he showed up and they were kidding?
(No hate for Dennis. He was just a hard player to like unless he happened to be playing for your team, is all. I was in Chicago when he came to the Bulls, and the complicated about-face of Bulls Nation—from flagrant hate to smug love—was worth a sociological study all in itself.)
I'm going to let you illustrate this post yourself. Do a Google image search on "Dennis Rodman." Who can pick just one? Captioning bon mot: "Dennis Rodman in drag, although it can be hard to tell."
Have a good April Fool's Day. As the Sarge on "Hill Street Blues" used to say: "Let's be careful out there."
*No more bizarre than "Los Angeles Lakers," which only seems less odd because we're used to it. The "Lakers," of course, originated in Minnesota, a.k.a. "Land of 10,000 Lakes." The nickname is not an exaggeration: there are actually 11,842 lakes larger than ten acres in size in Minnesota, which has more shoreline than California, Hawaii, and Florida combined. I wouldn't have liked to be the guy who had to figure that out.
At last, an illustration for this inconclusive post:
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Ed Gaillard: "The 'bizarrely-named Utah Jazz of the NBA' were of course originally the New Orleans Jazz. Man, I loved Pistol Pete Maravich. I maintain that the NBA made a mistake when the Toronto franchise entered the league. Instead of letting them be called the Raptors, they should have made them the Jazz (at least Toronto has a well-known jazz festival) and renamed the Utah franchise 'Utahraptor.' Not 'the Utah Raptors,' not even 'the Utahraptors'—just "Utahraptor.' Coolest team name ever, with the image of the whole team as one nasty fast predator. Imagine the sports reports: 'In Salt Lake City tonight, Utahraptor devoured the Knicks 108-93' and the like. Bizarrely, Google tells me that Utah's State Fossil is Allosaurus and not Utahraptor. Oh, come on!"
Featured Comment by GKFroehlich: "Yeah, and Utah's state bird is the California Gull (Larus californicus). They couldn't get their own?"
Featured Comment by Steve Weeks: "Coach for the Jazz Frank Layden once replied when asked his thoughts on an upcoming Jazz-Lakers series that the names bothered him. Paraphrasing, 'There aren't any lakes in Los Angeles and there damn sure isn't any jazz in Salt Lake.'"
Featured Comment by Chuck Holst: "Now that's a picture to warm the cockles of my heart. The upper half of the map is in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and I've actually camped on one of those lakes (Pine Lake, east of Trout Lake). The southeastern shore of Vermillion was recently purchased by the state and will eventually be Minnesota's newest state park. There's another state park, Bearhead Lake State Park, at the lower right edge of the map and yet another at Soudan, site of an underground iron mine where a University of Minnesota physics lab is trying to capture neutrinos shot its way through the earth from Chicago. There was a fire in the mine about a week ago, but last I heard, the lab is safe. Bet you didn't know there was so much of interest in your random pick."
Featured Comment by Ahem: "I'm from Finland, and we have Minnesota beat by an order of a magnitude with 187,888 lakes."
Mike replies: That is impressive. Seems the standard of measurement is a bit different between our references, however. But I sure don't want to have to be the guy who has to answer the question 'Which has more lakes, Minnesota or Finland?' either.
Featured Comment by erlik: "Mike, no luck now, either. April is the cruelest month."
Featured Comment by Timo: "Not such a random chunk for me: on your map, my father's birthplace, and his grave. In turn, his father was born in Finland. Let's just be clear: many, many, many more lakes there, by any measure, than fair MN; and its sea shorelines as intricate as anywhere in the world."