Tuesday, September 24, 2013

On This Date in 1998

Today started our cloudy and remained that way in spite of the promise of afternoon sunshine in the Weather Channel’s forecast. I drove to Portage this morning to attend a continuing education workshop sponsored by the South Central Library System. I took a scenic route on the drive back to Middleton. County Highway U literally snakes its way through the rolling terrain southwest of Portage, following the path of the Wisconsin River, although the river is only occasionally in view. I had never been on this road before and was entranced by the vistas it offered. With numerous 90-degree turns and squiggles, I couldn’t linger on the panoramas. At the tiny community of Merrimac, located at the western point where the Wisconsin Rivers bulges into a good-sized lake, I took the car ferry across the river. The ferry is nothing more than a barge that can accommodate a maximum of 12 cars. It’s free and cut about ten miles off my return trip.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve started one of my annual projects: cleaning the mildew off the sides of the house. Starting with the front of the house was intentional. We’re hosting a fundraiser for Jon Erpenbach’s tomorrow evening, and I don’t want our guests to find dark blotches framing the front door. Our guest of honor is Senator Herb Kohl, who will be introduced by County Executive Kathleen Falk. We’re expecting a good turnout. JoAnna’s not preparing any of the food for this shindig. No time, for one reason. (She worked late again last night.) She ordered some meat, cheese, and vegetable trays from the deli department of a local grocery store.

I was supposed to make a budget presentation to the city’s finance committee this afternoon, but two members couldn’t make the meeting, which meant there was no quorum and business could not be conducted. I’m rescheduled for Tuesday. The library’s budget proposal includes a request to open the library on Sunday (September through May) and the hiring of a ¾-time Young Adult Services Librarian as well as some additional support staff.

After yesterday’s Cub’s debacle, Mets fans are probably somewhat heartened going into the regular season-sending series with the Braves. Actually, I think the Giants have the best chance of winning the wild-card spot. They play the weakest team. But then those games don’t always play out like you’d expect. Who would have thought the Mets would have been swept by the Expos at home. Actually, I wouldn’t mind seeing an all-Texas World Series: the Astros vs. the Rangers. The Yankees have certainly cooled down during the past month, which I think makes them less of an automatic shoo-in. Boston is in its usual September swoon, still struggling to clinch the American League wild card. If they do make it into the playoffs, I predict they’ll fold like whipped egg whites in my cottage-cheese pancake batter. (A recipe I haven’t made in 15 years, I bet.) Cleveland’s lucky to be in a weak division. The Rangers seem to be the team of destiny, getting their act together in a most timely manner with an impressive three-game sweep of the Angels.

In the National League, San Diego seems to be on a momentum-killing slide, and whoever wins the wild card has no chance against Atlanta or Houston, who I hope will not be paired against each other in the first round. Based on what happened last season, I don’t think baseball understands how to do pairings in scheduling its playoff games. The two teams with the best records should play the teams with fewer wins. That’s how it works in basketball and hockey, and I’m pretty sure football follows this same game plan, too. 

Well, enough rambling for now. It’s time for me to get ready for bed, but first I’m going to have some graham crackers and mile.

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