Sunday, February 6, 2011


Thursday's loss to the Spurs was bitterly disappointing. Yes, my team played better than of late, yes they were in it right up to the last micro-second - the Spurs winning by one lousy point on a McDyess tip-in off a Duncan miss.  Still, it hurt.  We haven’t fared well against the league’s best teams this season.

I had no heart for posts, no burning desire to blog.  Much of the nation was caught up in a weather system, bitterly cold here in Austin with sporadic rolling blackouts due to plant failures. It snowed that night, into the morning - actual snow that stuck on the ground.  At morning light I watched hapless drivers slide sideways down my hill. Took the old dog out, he was confused, having never been in the white stuff before.  My daughter came out as well - snow was thrown in the air, the dog acclimated and old antics were rediscovered, prancing, rolling and leaving yellow Pollock designs in the snow.  The sting from the night before, forgotten.

Friday bought this and that and when the witching hour arrived again - reading other sites and returning home to Slava - I discovered something interesting.  There were ten viewer hits from Moldova. Say what? I looked it up on the map, geography not being my strong suit.  Found it right there between the Ukraine and Romania.  I did a little digging - currently a democracy and a republic, around three and a half million people with a long and complicated political history and I’m not going to even try and parse it all out although I will mention that they make great wine and have a lot of railroads.  As for the ten hits, I’m assuming it was one Moldovan ten times rather than ten Moldovans once.  Details aside, I was stoked at the idea of a new reader from far away and eventually went off to bed, reflecting as I have before, on the universality of sports in general and basketball in particular.

And today - Saturday night actually - listening to the Lakers/Hornets game on a radio feed. Pau’s been lighting it up brilliantly but New Orleans keeps chipping away and they’ve finally taken a lead.  Doesn’t seem like there’s been a ton of defense, the momentum shifts back and forth as I type.

Readers and comments are both the lifeline and holy grail of blogs in general.  Micro-blogs are the most nakedly vulnerable, mostly written in a vacuum, rarely garnering the kind of interaction accorded to the heavy hitters, the ESPN’s, the SB Nation’s, the major market newspapers.  If you’re looking for an overused analogy, indie-blogs are the little family farms - plow, plant, water and wait for the sun but the rays are weak - I click and scroll though favorite threads, beautifully written and too often gone. Good work, hard ground.

Halfway through the 4th, Pau finally coming back after a rest on the bench.  The lineup’s Pau, Odom, Kobe, Brown and Fisher. Tough night for Fish, one-for-five and Brown not much better.  Artest comes in, Brown goes out. Kobe hits from outside, Lamar tips in a Kobe miss and the last few minutes are just a mess, turnovers leading to turnovers, missed chippies inside, neither side scoring until the final seconds.  Pau hits a couple free throws, Belinelli hits a trey but it’s for naught, Kobe finishes it off at the charity stripe and the Lakers have eked out a much-needed win, this being their first of seven games on a grueling road tip that will end up back in Los Angeles for All-Star weekend.

And so it comes back to nightly perusing, feeling alright after a win, see who’s writing what. Visiting a blog named after a
foot ailment, a journal from a fake general manager (write something new, please) and a wonderfully informative examination of the triangle offense. Getting lost in YouTube for an hour and typing again, skipping a flat stone across the cyber universe - the Netherlands, Germany, the U.K., Italy, Argentina and the Philippines, wondering how many times it can touch the surface and take flight again.  Maybe it'll find my newest friend - Moldova!   I've got no good way to end this thing and it's getting seriously late.  Coda.

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