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Thursday, June 24, 2010

USA 71 - FRANCE 68

Huh? How can this be?  I'll explain, but first, tomorrow I'll cover portions of the 67th day of the oil spill, Obama-Medvedev meeting in the White House (Medvedev was on the Stanford campus yesterday), the beginning of the G8/20 summit in Huntsville (140 miles north of Toronto) and whatever else of import is happening on Planet Earth.

For today, this will be all sports, and, 71-58 is the combined score of the U.S. versus Algeria (territory of France for more than a century until independence in 1962) World Cup victory (1-0) and the 70-68 game five ultra marathon of John Isner (USA, ranked #19, AP photo) over Nicolas Mahut (France, #73) at Wimbledon.  

My only true athletic passion was during a two year period from my sophomore to senior year of high school (and I covered this in one of my Epilogues) when I actually played tennis on 698 of 700 days.  This was always in the heat of the afternoon, and, there was no such thing as sun block then.  My face shows it today.  This was way before Kurt Vonnegut didn't warn MIT graduates in 1997 about sunblock.  This was, it turns out, a cyber-joke, leading to the following statement by, Chicago Tribune reporter Mary Schmich:

"Oh, Kurt Vonnegut may appear to be a brilliant, revered male novelist. I may appear to be a mediocre and virtually unknown female newspaper columnist. We may appear to have nothing in common but unruly hair. But out in the lawless swamp of cyberspace, Mr. Kurt Vonnegut and I are one. Out there, where any snake can masquerade as king, both of us are the author of a graduation speech that began with the immortal words: "Wear sunscreen".

But back to that incredible tennis match, I've gone, maybe, 10-8 in a game, but not much further.  You can click on Wimbledon for the details, and in a clip wonder what a shrimp Mahut must be.  He is 6 feet three inches tall!  It's just that Isner is 6'9''.   Ivo Karlovic is reportedly just a shade taller.  The match was called for darkness twice (meaning they were on Day 3, but they "only" were on the court for a little more than 11 hours), and the previous highest score in a professional match in my memory was in the low to mid twenties for both players.  Isner, incidentally, next plays Thiemo de Bakker (Netherlands, #49) who squeezed by to win his fifth by a score of 16-14.  There is something about the grass surface and dominance of serves that induce such numbers. For people living in Hawaii, they play at 11PM tonight (9AM GMT on Friday).  You can live stream online, but those ads are irritating.  Also at Eurorivals.

THE U.S.-GHANA SOCCER KNOCKOUT ROUND WILL BE SHOWN SATURDAY ON ABC BEGINNING AT 8:30AM HAWAII TIME, OR 6:30PM GMT.  The World Cup Championship will be aired by ABC at 7:30AM (Hawaii time, 5:30PM GMT) on Sunday, July 11.

My lunch today was a Rainbow Drive-In spaghetti special:  kind of a bolognese, with a hot dog, macaroni salad and two scoops of rice, just what my body does not need.  If I die prematurely, this take-out bento place will be to blame.  I had this terrific meal with a beer close by this golden tree on the slopes of Diamond Head.

The Dow Jones Industrials sunk 146 to 10,152, and the Japan Nikkei might have been the only market to remain plus for the day.  Gold went $6/toz to $1243 and crude oil is at $76/barrel.


That minor disturbance in the Caribbean, still at 30 MPH, is appearing to strengthen, and most models show it striking the Yucatan Peninsula, but recovering in the Gulf of Mexico.  How serious?  Not sure yet, but two of those pathways go right by the gulf oil spill.

Those two Pacific storms are now hurricanes, Celia and Darby.  Celia is at 130 MPH, but expected to weaken over the next few days as she heads towards Hawaii.

Darby is at 80 MPH, and, if anything, should veer towards Mexico.


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