Wednesday, August 15, 2007

In the News

A few quick hits for a gloomy Wednesday afternoon.

Of Mite and Men
I have given a name to my pain and it is the oak leaf gall mite. Details are sketchy, but this microscopic annoyance mite (tee hee) be responsible for the strange and numerous itchy red bumps that have been plaguing my entire family since last week. The bumps don't seem to heal or fade away, they just get more intensely itchy. They also don't look much like mosquito bites, so we were at a loss for what the cause might be. Apparently, so is everyone else. On the upside, I guess this means we don't have West Nile Virus. By the way, if you don't want to get your own coating of attractive red bumps, doctors are offering a very useful summertime tip: stay indoors.

"Tribute" is such a strong word
August 16 is the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death and his daughter Lisa Marie is celebrating by doing what any respectable daughter of a deceased music legend would do--shoehorning her less-than-stellar vocals into one of Daddy's beloved hits. On Friday she will honor the King's legend with the release of a video duet of "In the Ghetto." (I'm not sure why she chose this particular Elvis song. Maybe because of its eerie similarities to her gritty experience growing up in Graceland.) But don't bother waiting until Friday--there's an even better Elvis tribute to be had online. Check out Wing's cover of "Love Me Tender." No, not Wings, it's just Wing. She's got a pretty good version of ABBA's "Dancing Queen," too. Long live the King!

Stretch Run or Stretch Walk?
With the baseball season quickly winding down, there's more "will they or won't they?" tension between the Cubs and the playoffs than there ever was between Jim and Pam. For once, the Cubs are talented enough (or the rest of the Central Division is just lousy enough) to make the playoffs the old-fashioned way, like they did in 2003. Unfortunately, the team's will to win seems to ebb and flow with the Lake Michigan tide. One day they play like champions, the next day they look like they might struggle against my softball team. This is what I've come to expect as a Cubs fan though, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Actually, I did have it another way last year, when the Cubs finished in the basement of the Central Division and the only (de)pressing question was "will they lose 100 games?" This kind of tension is preferable. (SOX FANS PLEASE NOTE: I wrote an entire paragraph without making a single disparaging remark about your team's horrendous season.)

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