Archive for April, 2010

What were they thinking?

Posted in Uncategorized on April 25, 2010 by a4synapse

I had a neighbor, well actually two neighbors who were married to each other.  They were close enough so that I could hear them in the summer, but in cooler weather, with the windows closed, they might as well have been a mile away.  Still, I saw them coming and going.  He always drove, and they went out for fish fry every Friday evening, probably to the local joint a few blocks away, where everyone who was anyone in town (and only those) would gather for the weekly recap and opinion mart.  They had lived there for 20 years.  He worked for the town (and was a Korean War vet), she watched television and ordered things from QVC.  The UPS truck was a regular.  I knew they had a son who lived in Ohio with his wife and son.  He visited on holidays.

Last August, new cars began showing up.  One was a silver Buick enclave and there were others.  That’s when I realized that they had children in town.  You probably think I’m a busybody now and you may be right.  But sometimes you can’t help but notice things.  The cars began showing up nearly every day and they parked on the lawn.  I saw the wife occasionally, but never the husband, so I guessed that he was seriously ill.  He died in early November.  I looked up the death notice and stopped by the funeral home to sign the guest registry and pay my respects.  I felt that neighbors do that.  The wife was very surprised to see me.  The children even more so.  The wife had more than five children from two separate marriages and at least two of the daughters lived in town.  I gave my phone number to the wife so that she could get in touch with me if she needed something like groceries or help.

After the funeral, I expected to see one or both of the daughters’ cars over to visit.  Not so much.  On Thanksgiving day, the wife ran her car into the side of the house: there were cars in the drive.  She went out for groceries, but not much else.  One daughter came over each week to put the garbage out for collection and a grandson came over to shovel the walk, but that was fewer than a dozen times over the winter months.  I thought it was odd, but families communicate in their own fashion.  None of my business.

Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day – she stayed in her house, no visits.  On Easter Sunday, she went out for about an hour and a half – certainly not enough time for Easter dinner at her daughter’s house.  And then, no sight of anyone until Wednesday morning when the buick showed up with a black toyota with hospice on the dash.  Then the police and then an ambulance.  They took her out the back door.  Her son from Ohio showed up the next day.  They think she had broken her hip on Sunday evening.  But no one thought to check on her until Wednesday morning.  So she was lying somewhere away from the phone from Sunday evening to Wednesday morning.  She died on the 15th.

I know that sometimes people choose to die, and that probably is what was going on with this woman.  Most animals receive better/more attention from their caretakers.  I am profoundly offended by the treatment this woman received from her children.  It doesn’t matter what she did/didn’t do to/for her children.  They left her alone, newly widowed for months.  It would have been kinder to put her down after her husband died.

Vampire Diaries

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on April 11, 2010 by a4synapse

I am obsessed with this show.  I read the books and hated the so-called ending.  The show is very loosely based on the books – lifting names and general settings.

This week, I’m glad to see that Stefan is inching over to the dark side.  Bloodlust.  He’s been kind of predictable, which is the death of character.  They’ve been setting this up for the whole season; they have to make him do something new and interesting.  He’s shown an interesting intensity in staking Vicki and Noah (more enthusiasm than was seemly) and when he turned around and caught the stake that Alaric was firing at him.  He was also strangely enthusiastic in setting Ben on fire.  As his brother observed, he hasn’t been himself for a while now.  Let’s see what he does once he’s back on the hi-test.  It does make sense for him to ‘strong’ up for the fight to come, to protect Elena.  But the writers clearly want him to go over/close to the edge.  Damon can’t wait; at long last, he’s not the only bad guy.

They got rid of Frederick.  Hard to say what part Harper will play, but he’s a vampire who apologizes for killing.  Pearl is 560+ years old? Does that mean that Anna is also 500+ years old.  And why does her mother boss her around so much?  There’s some rebellion in the air.

Alaric is one of my favorites.  Matt Davis is doing a great job with him: stoic, shrewd, brave (just about the bravest).  Lots of grief in him – to know that the woman he loved left him for eternal youth.  Now he’s met her daughter and it’s hard to say how he feels toward Elena.  He must be hoping that Elena will pull Isobel back into Mystic Falls, and as the show goes, that must happen.  They’ll have to have an Elena/Isobel/Alaric confrontation.  And who is Elena’s father?  HMMM.  Will they pull in a new character (we know that David Anders is showing up as Elena’s uncle), or name a current character (maybe the mayor) as the culprit.  And is Isobel revenge-minded?

So how did the brothers become vampires?  It had to have happened very soon after the church was burned, while they still had Katherine’s blood in their systems.  In the books, the brothers kill each other; that’s a backstory they’ll have an opportunity to deal with.  Also, have to get back into what Stefan was up to in order to prompt the conflagration and why everyone blames him.  What did they do when they were first turned?  They had to have known what they had to do to survive as vampires.  Whom did they murder first?  How did they get away with it?  Were they both vicious killers, or did they manifest as they are now?  Why did Stefan decide to live on animal blood, since it’s now clear that human blood does something strange to him?

It looks as though Tyler Lockwood is going to turn into a werewolf next week, and beat the crap out of his friend Matt.  So much for friendship when you’re under the influence of hormones.  I don’t really see that they need this extra complication right now.  I could be wrong.

Eventually, Katherine is going to show up.  Maybe she’ll stroll into town arm in arm with Isobel.  We have to figure out how all of that happened.  She’ll just turn Damon inside out all over again.  He’ll try to spurn her; that will last five minutes.

Bonnie has Emily’s grimoire now and probably her grandmother’s as well.  It’ll be interesting if they let her be something other than goofy.

Jeremy and Elena are another post.

Kentucky Derby Preps

Posted in Uncategorized on April 11, 2010 by a4synapse
‘k.  Yesterday showed us new players in the Blue Grass and the Arkansas Derby.  Stately Victor (who is the first Ghostzapper I’ve noticed) and Line of David  (a Lion Heart) I hate it when you accidentally hit a key and it changes things, but you don’t know which key, or how to undo it. Gack.
Not to diminish either winner, but I didn’t see anything in either performance to persuade me that either will be a factor in the Derby.  Which is a salient feature of the yearly confusion in the weeks between the final prep races and the big race.  It’s hard to know what will be the determining factor.  I’ve heard a lot of discussion regarding surfaces.  The most interesting is Jay Privman’s assertion that horses do better on dirt after racing and training on synthetic.  Another interesting remark was that the synthetic surface at Keeneland was faster on cool/cold days because the wax firms up.  It’s a nice break from the remarks about track bias.
I don’t think Endorsement will follow Mind That Bird’s path after winning the Sunland Derby.  I do think there is something to the notion that conditioning a horse in high altitudes improves their performance closer to sea level.
I was impressed with Odysseus’ effort in the Tampa Bay Derby, but he quit in the Blue Grass after 3/4 mile and ended up last, which means that something is wrong (maybe he bled?).  What makes me somehow crazy is that I can’t find out what’s going on with him.  Apparently, how a horse comes out of a race is not newsworthy.
So, in the run-up – I still think it’s between Lookin at Lucky, Eskendereya, and Sidney’s Candy.  Physically, I have to say Eskendereya looks like he’s got the motor and physique to run 10 furlongs the fastest.  If Sidney’s Candy gets loose on the lead, he might outlast, especially in a 20 horse field.  (I still wish they would limit it to 15 horses)  Just on sheer determination, I think that Lookin at Lucky must be considered.  A frontrunner, physique, and determination.  I don’t know which factor will out.  In the next three weeks, there will be defections, injuries, bad workouts and then a 20 horse field and 10 furlongs.  YUM!

Derby Preps

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 4, 2010 by a4synapse

Jackson Bend, Awesome Act, EightyFiveinaFifty, Schoolyard Dreams, Eskendereya, Sidney’s Candy, Backtalk, American Lion, Lookin at Lucky, Caracortado

That’s what I can remember.  Noble’s Promise, Endorsement, Conveyance did not run this weekend.  Next week: Arkansas Derby, then the Blue Grass and the Lexington.  No one pays attention to the Derby Prep.

Was very impressed with Blink Luck in the Fantasy Stakes.  She pulled it out.

Eskendereya and American Lion ran on dirt.  Sidney’s Candy ran on wax.  Times for the same distance: e- 1:49:97; al- 1:51:31; sc- 1:48:00    Last eighth:  e- 11:24;  al- 13:07;  sc- 12:05

All three won by daylight, Eskendereya and Sidney’s Candy were visibly eased.    Of the competition, I think the Santa Anita Derby was probably the best field (certainly the fullest).  If you accept that one second equals five lengths, then Sidney’s Candy was roughly ten lengths ahead of Eskendereya and fifteen in front of American Lion.  Does the track make that much of a difference?  The final eighth for Eskendereya was a half-second faster than Sidney’s Candy.  I don’t think that matters.  Neither was seriously challenged.

So, Lookin at Lucky was third after a trip that would have stopped many horses at the eighth pole.  Much has been said of Gomez and Espinoza’s contretemps.  IMHO, I think Espinoza ought to be suspended for a month for irresponsible riding.  He badly (and I think purposefully) interfered with Lookin at Lucky coming into the stretch and could easily have caused a disaster.  The horse had to stop, lose ground, regroup and come back.  He did it and got up for third in what I think was an athletic and courageous performance.  The horse wants to win and understands it; I’m not ready to say that about Sidney’s Candy.

No trainer of a quality horse will now run his horse again before the Derby, so this is what we have to go on.

Disregarding the clock, Eskendereya was visually the most impressive, but I’m having a lot of trouble with the pro-ride time coming out 2 seconds faster than the aqueduct sand/dirt.  So, on balance, I have to like Sidney’s Candy better for the mile and a quarter.