Thursday, September 30, 2004

Update: No Gehry in KC

Hi-De-Ho Rene!

About six weeks ago, I posted about the possibility of Frank Gehry designing Kansas City's downtown sports arena. Well, today a commission led by the KC mayor, and stacked with her direct-reports, interviewed the Gehry team and the Kansas City Downtown Arena Design Team, a consortium of KC sports venue architects. By mid-afternoon, after a closed meeting (which was the subject of some controversy), the commission had picked the local guys over Gehry.

It might have been interesting to see what a starchitect might have produced -- perhaps we'll at least get to see what he proposed at some point -- but for now the focus is on the chosen team and its design. It's hard to tell much from what we can see at this point, but it appears a bit space-shippy for my tastes:

OK, so that's the Close Encounters spaceship. But here's the design being shopped -- complete with color-changing lights:

I do like the glass-enclosed concourses that allow great city views. (See more views here.)


Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Hi-De-Ho Rene.

While your boys in blue are fighting for the pennant, my boys in blue tied the franchise record for losses last night (a nice, even 100) and still have five games left to write their names in the record books.

What hopes we had, you and I, back in the spring! My forecasting was not so very horrible back then, except that I underestimated the Cardinals' pitching staff and thought too highly of the Padres, particularly in comparison to the Dodgers. Then there's that whole "Royals winning the division" thing, which now -- not so much. At least I hedged and picked the Twins as likely alternatives. Then there was my unfilled wish for the Braves. Yeesh.

But that's why they play the games. And, even when painful, that's why baseball is interesting to follow from season to season. Here's hoping the Dodgers finish the season in style, and the Royals regroup for another turnaround season in '05.


Monday, September 27, 2004

Not out of the woods yet: it ain't over 'till it's over!!

Hi Kari:

The Dodgers were on nobody's list to make the playoffs. Nobody would pick an NL West team to be in contention for the wildcard.

But that is where things are right now.

The Dodgers left for dead on the road many times this season, and with good reason, are now 2 1/2 games ahead in the NL West. Yahoo!!

But the starting staff that pretty much has been falling apart the whole month of September will have to find a few more good starts to bring the team across the finish line atop the heap of beaten up exhausted teams.

Look at the pitching probables for the final week...

Monday: Edwin Jackson, the young hard thrower who was injured most of the season and who has exhibited control problems in AAA rehab starts, will have to set down the always pesky Rockies.

UPDATE: Yup, it isn't looking good. Jackson lasted 3 1/3 and gave up six runs. The only hope is that eventually the Colorado bullpen ignites a Dodger rally.

UPDATE: UNBELIEVABLE. Dodgers get two to tie in the bottom of the eighth and the winning run in the bottom of the ninth off the hapless Rockies bullpen. The magic number is now FOUR.

UPDATE: Great page 2 article at about the rivelry between the Giants and the Dodgers.

Tuesday: Kaz Ishii who has a walk to strikeout ratio that is scary and rarely gets past the 5th inning because of high pitch counts has to find the wicked curve ball and the control that can make him make hitters look bad flailing away.

UPDATE: Ishii gave the team seven good innings but leaves down 1-0.

UPDATE:UNBELIEVABLE. Dodgers get FIVE runs in the bottom of the ninth to win 5-4. The magic number is now THREE. Meanwhile, the Angels are now TIED for first in the AL West.

UPDATE: The bad news from the Tuesday game was the incident involving Milton Bradley and some fans. After he made an error which eventually allowed 3-runs in, some fans began to taunt him and one birdbrain tossed a container of beer onto the field at Bradley. It didn't hit him but the enraged Bradley emptied the container, stalked over to the field box, screamed at the fans and eventually tossed the container into the ground. At this point, security, Dodger players and coaches, and umpires were sprinting to the scene and Bradley was ejected from the game. He probably will be suspended and fined. The Dodgers have a bigger decision: what to do about the volitile Bradley? The Dodgers picked him up at the beginning of the season because he was cut loose from Cleveland for his anger management issues.

Wednesday: O. Perez who had a brilliant 8-inning outing against the Giants is one of the Dodger's more reliable starters but often has no run support needs another top notch performance.

UPDATE: Perez more than held up his end of the bargain with 8 innings giving up only one run. But unfortunately, the Dodgers only scored one run the whole game. As the top of the ninth inning came to an end, this time it was the Dodger bullpen that ignited a rally. Brazoban got one out but then gave up a walk and a hit. Tracy, the "robo-manager," went with the situational lefty who gave up a single making the deficit 2-1. The side-arming lefty Venafro faced another batter only to yield a double and thus the game was further out of hand, 4-1. This time there was no last minute rally as the Dodgers went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth. Fortunately, for the Dodgers, the Padres came through in the bottom of the tenth knocking off the Giants 4-3. Thus, the magic number is TWO.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, the Angels defeated the Rangers and Seattle beat Oakland; thus the ANGELS now lead the AL West by ONE game!

UPDATE: On a worrisome note for the Dodgers, Gagne had an MRI which revealed mild shoulder tendonitis. He received a cortizone shot for it and should be available for Thursday's game. But I'm guessing that Tracy is not going to use him unless he absolutely has to.

Thursday: Jose Lima is one of those cotton ball throwing location pitchers who leads the team in surrendering home runs (yet has 13 wins) has a fractured thumb but because the Dodgers have no better option will be trotted out there to bring the NL West championship home if the Dodgers win Wednesday night and the Giants lose Wednesday night.

UPDATE: UNBELIEVABLE. The Dodgers win 4-2 in the bottom of the 11th when Dave Ross (batting .169) hit a two-run homer. Another key moment was in the bottom of the 10th when Hee Seop Choi (.254 average overall but only .158 since joining the Dodgers) got a double. Antonio Perez was sent into pinch run for Choi and scored when Jason Werth got an RBI on a fielder's choice to tie the game at 2-2 to set the stage for Ross the next inning. The magic number is now ONE.

UPDATE: Lima gave the Dodgers seven innings. He gave up eight hits but only one run. Thus, in the last four games, the starting staff has done better than expected. Now, three games against the Giants...

UPDATE: Angels and Oakland are tied for the AL West.

Meanwhile, down the Interstate-5, the Angels who also have been rightly been considered baked and done for the season are in a dogfight for the AL West title.

Go Angels! Go Dodgers!


P.S. I'll be in Seattle for a business trip and have gone on the internet to buy a ticket to a game. Maybe I'll get to see Ichero break the hit record? Stay tuned for an audioblog from Safeco field if there is signal strength to my cell phone!

UPDATE: Ichero is now one hit short of tying Sisler's hit record. If all goes well, I may be audioblogging the historic moment when Ichero ties and then breaks the record?!

Friday, September 24, 2004


Hi Kari:

More baseball blogging ahead!

Tonight, the Dodgers held on for a 3-2 win over the Giants making the lead 2 1/2 games.

LA Dodger manager, Jim Tracy, is sometimes criticized for being the robo-manager by going "by the rule book" on lefty vs. righty matchups.

Alex Cora is the starting second baseman for the Dodgers. But tonight, Tracy rested him in favor of Jose Hernadez, a right handed bat, to counter lefty Kirk Rueter.

Cora is a terrific fielder and having a good year (he has career bests in HR and RBI this year) with the bat. However, he has the starting job because of his fielding skills far more than his hitting. He usually inhabits the 7th or 8th spot of the batting order.

Hernandez has 57 hits 11 doubles 1 triple 12 home runs 28 RBI .294 ave in 194 at-bats.

These aren't great numbers but on a per at-bat basis, they are better than Cora's numbers: 389 at-bats, 103 hits, 9 doubles, 4 triples, 8 home runs, 42 RBI and a .265 average.

Thus, Tracy took a chance on a weaker fielder to get a little more umph at the plate. Guess who scored the third and winning run?

Yup, Jose Hernadez hit a solo home run.

Tomorrow, Jose Lima goes to the mound. He has a hairline fracture in his pitching thumb. He will be watched closely.

Also, Gagne has pitched 3 innings in the last two nights with a pitch count of 50. I'm guessing, if needed, he will still get the ball in the bottom of the ninth but you have to worry about how effective he will be.

Go Dodgers!


P.S. With the 3-2 lead, Tracy did put Cora in at 2B in the bottom of the ninth.

P.P.S. As I'm able to, I'll blog little "inside baseball" details that you might not get on ESPN Sports Center or in your local newspaper.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

LA Dodger Green to decide about Yom Kippur

Hi Kari:

Has the news about Shawn Green reached Kansas?

I don't have cable so I can't watch ESPN but is his story on the air?

Remember the film Chariots of Fire?

A thoughtful movie about life and faith and values. Eric Liddell refused to run on a Sunday which was the date set for one of the preliminary rounds for the 100M. As such, instead, he entered and won the 400M.

Christians play NFL football on Sunday these days without a second thought. The same is true for all the other major sports.

But what about other days of religious significance? I'm figuring there are many sporting events on Easter Sunday or Good Friday? And what about Christmas day?

Thus, Dodger Shawn Green faces a decision. Last night's recap detailed yet another Dodger loss and now every game may make the difference between making the post-season or not. At the very bottom of the report was this item: Dodgers 1B Shawn Green is expected to announce in the next few days whether he will play in two key games against the Giants on Yom Kippur, the holiest holiday on the Jewish calendar. Yom Kippur starts at sunset Friday, and the three-game series at San Francisco begins that night. Tracy said he and Green have discussed the situation.

What will he do?

Whatever he decides he will be criticized. Looking on the bright side, perhaps a discussion about religious values will ensue.

In other years, Yom Kippur hasn't fallen on a game day or if it did, the Dodgers were no longer in contention so for him to miss the game was not problematic for the team. This year, the Dodgers are still in the race and this decision will be considered a big deal.

As a Christian, I wonder if I would play in a sports event "that counted" on Good Friday, Easter Sunday or Christmas day?

I'd like to believe I wouldn't because in the end it is only a game. Some would say, it is his job and he gets paid to do his job. And I'd agree if his job was a doctor or a fireman or some other job that really matter to the well-being of society. In the end, it is only a baseball game. Sure lots of $$$ are involved but in the end, it is still just a game.

What do you think?


P.S. If I were the Giants management, I'd consider changing the time of at least one of the games. Yom Kippur will be observed from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. As it is now, the games are set for the evening of Friday and afternoon of Saturday.

UPDATE: Here is an item from the LA Times. Excerpt: "I've been struggling hard with it and I need another day," the first baseman said. "The team is obviously really important to me and my religion is really important to me. It's just a tough, tough deal."

Green, who is Jewish, informed Dodger officials and teammates Tuesday he had decided not to play Saturday in observance of Yom Kippur — the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Although the games Friday and Saturday fall within the holiday, which starts at sundown Friday and ends at sundown Saturday, Green figured he would be letting down his teammates if he skipped both games against the Giants with the division race tight.

However, Green said he would either stick with his compromise solution of playing in only one game or sit out both.
Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax is the only Dodger to sit out a postseason game because of his religious beliefs. Koufax skipped a start in the 1965 World Series against the Minnesota Twins because of the holiday.

Koufax said Wednesday he had not counseled Green, a close friend.

"That kind of call is totally up to Shawn," Koufax said. "There's no way anyone can advise you on something like this.

"It's totally up to the individual. It's not the type of thing I would bring up to Shawn because I know how personal it is."

Koufax said the decision might be more difficult for a position player.

"It's a lot easier for a pitcher," he said. "As a pitcher, I always had the choice of moving up in the rotation if the holiday was on the day I pitched. The only time I didn't have a choice was in the World Series because there was no game the day before."
"I talked with some people in the organization and told them I was leaning toward playing in one and not the other," Green said. "I bounced back and forth. I'm trying to do the right thing and it's hard to know what that is.

"I'm committed to getting to the postseason and winning. At the same time, I'm committed to my religion and what I've stood for in the past. I wish there was an easy solution, but there's not.

"There are different ways I could go about it and still show commitment to my religion and to the holiday. I have to figure out what I feel is the right thing to do."

Green's teammates said they would support his decision.

"If he wants to play one game, that's going to be better for us because Greenie is a huge part of the lineup," Beltre said. "We appreciate the fact that he was even thinking about playing in at least one game, but we're always going to support him no matter what."

UPDATE: Green to sit out on Saturday. Excerpt: The Giants will get a partial break Saturday because Dodgers slugger Shawn Green has decided not to play. There was much speculation that Green, who is hitting .269 with 27 homers and 82 RBIs this year, would miss the first two games in observance of Yom Kippur.

However, Green announced Thursday that he would play the series opener, then sit out Saturday's contest in respect of the Jewish holy day.

Green said he agonized over his decision, but believes he did the right thing.

``I learned that you've got to do what you believe is right, and I feel real good about my decision,'' he said. ``It comes from within. You can't try to please people. This is what I feel I need to do.''

Friday, September 17, 2004

CBS and Rather got conned big time

Hello Kari:

The sequence of events of the "Rathergate" unfolded at "internet speed." If people had doubts about the seriousness and weight of the blogosphere, I think this case has sealed the deal that the bloggers are a force to be reckoned with.

I didn't see the 60 Minutes II broadcast but I heard the traditional media talking about it on GMA the next morning while I was still half asleep. I think George S (I can't spell his last name!), you know of whom I write, thought the National Guard controversy was serious but felt it would nonetheless blow over in a few days. It would seem that in his mind even if the documents of the story were true it simply wasn't that big a deal.

Then I checked some web pages during the day and analysis of the documents was popping up on the blogosphere. By 3pm PDT, I turned on Hugh Hewitt, a political talkradio show, and he was interviewing a leading document analyst, Farrell Shiver, by phone who had no politcal dog in the fight. The expert made his statements carefully but from what he saw of the documents on the internet, he explained his doubts about their authenticity.

Hewitt wondered aloud: it has taken the blogosphere a few hours of analysis and him one phone call to come up with questions and serious doubts about the controversial memos. How long did CBS "fact check" their story? They wanted it to be true? They rushed the story onto the air? Hurumph!

This case is definitely going to wind up in journalism classes I hope! And tangentially, I wonder if it is also going to wind up being discussed in virtue epistemology courses?

In the end, my perspective is that Vietnam era politicians have always faced questions about what they did: Clinton exploring options aside from the draft, Quayle signing on with the National Guard, Bush signing on with the Air National Guard, Cheney getting various deferments, Dean getting deferments, Edwards geting a high draft number when the war was winding down.

In my mind, I really don't care all that much what they did at age 18-22. What I want to know is what kind of person they grew into.

Sen. Kerry served in Vietnam. Thank you for your service. If there are questions about the service being raised, answer them and move on.

President Bush joined the Air National Guard. Thank you for your service. If there are questions about the service being raised, answer them and move on.

Military service in of itself tells you very little about a candidate's qualifications for president. FDR with no combat experience led the US in WW2. Lincoln with no combat experience led the US during the Civil War. In recent memory, the only candidate where military service had a substantial bearing on his qualifications for president was Eisenhower.

I just don't know what the Kerry camp was thinking trying to build an entire campaign on 4 1/2 months of Vietnam era service that happened 30+ years ago. Eisenhower was Supreme Allied Commander of Europe in a war that had ended less than a decade before when he ran for President. At least in that case, it made logical sense!

Virginia Postrel who lives in Texas has some interesting perspective in this post. She made the following remark: the memos are forgeries AND George Bush got preferential treatment in getting into the Air National Guard.

She rounded up some comments from readers, one who wrote her said: I have lived in Texas all my life. I became eligible for the draft in 1968. No way, no how could I have gotten into *any* National Guard unit back then. We all knew the Guard was for special guys, and everyone could else was hosed......... Actually, I don't care about any of this one way or the other. I'm voting for Bush because I think he believes *something*, which is more than I can say about Kerry.

Another one of her readers said: The connections necessary were not necessarily the high-powered kind that GWB could bring to bear.

A final reader she quoted said: I haven't read any discussion of this point: while joining the National Guard might have kept Bush out of Vietnam (not a foregone conclusion at the time), training as a fighter pilot is one of the riskier things you can do. If you recall the first couple of chapters from "The Right Stuff," washing out often means a closed casket funeral.

Postrel, ever the hard headed realist and libertarian, concluded: I think the reason this story can't get any traction as a scandal is that nobody thinks George Bush came from obscure poverty. And everyone old enough to care about the Vietnam-era draft knows that most young men were eager to find alternatives not only to Vietnam but, if possible, to the disruption of their life plans by conscription. The draft is a really bad idea, incompatible with both a free society and an effective, professional military.

In the end, CBS really got taken to the cleaners on this one and they kept insisting otherwise for so long. Very strange.

Hopefully, this puts big media on notice and we can return to the issues of the 2004 campaign.

Take care and be well,

P.S. Tangentially, perhaps in some future we could discuss the pros and cons of the draft and some form of national service. I reached 18 years of age in the post-draft-era so all I had to do was fill out a card and drop it off in the mailbox. I'm open to being persuaded one way or the other on that issue.


Seen at Hugh Hewitt's site.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

What was that frequency again?

Hi-De-Ho Rene!

Sorry for another lapse in postings on my part. I've enjoyed yours -- particularly the audioblogging. You're always the one on the cutting edge in this duo, partner.

So, I assume you've been following Rathergate.

Instead of focusing on the details of the "It's a Forgery!" vs. "No, it's Not, Because We Say So!" fight (I'll leave that to the Professor and Drudge), as a former journalist I've been wondering how CBS should have handled the situation publicly once questions about the document surfaced.

How they did handle it: CBS immediately issued a statement standing by its reporting and claiming that each of the documents "was thoroughly vetted by independent experts, and we are convinced of their authenticity." Rather said his source was "unimpeachable," but would not reveal the source (I guess that's what made the souce unimpeachable -- anonymity). Even now that Rather has backed down a little, the official CBS position is still that the documents are authentic.

In retrospect, we know that at least two of the document examiners CBS employed raised questions about the documents' authenticity, and that the main expert relied upon says he only examined the handwriting, so CBS was, in fact, aware of questions about them before any of its critics even knew about them.

So how should CBS have handled it?

I'll take a stab, with obviously limited information, and invite you and our readers to do the same. How about:

"While CBS News had received conflicting expert opinions regarding the authenticity of the documents in question, our reporting led us to conclude that the preponderance of the evidence was in favor of their authenticity. We regret not initially reporting that we had received contradictory opinions. We will continue to report this story, and will address any additional information that may arise regarding the documents as we investigate."

OK, it's not great, but if they'd led with that instead of, basically, "Our experts authenticated it!" when they knew that was not accurate, they'd be in a much better position to proceed. CBS should not have run with the documents, but finding itself in a hole like this, why does the Tiffany network continue to dig?


Sunday, September 12, 2004

Audioblogging, part II

this is an audio post - click to play

UPDATE: Well, Kari, I tried to do a second audioblog right from my seat in Dodger's stadium! The little clip was from the bottom of the fifth when the Dodgers managed to tie up the game at 6-6. Alas, the Dodgers gave the lead back in the top of the sixth and after that neither team would score. Here is the Yahoo! Sports recap of the game.

Dodgers do face some issues with their number 4 and 5 pitching slots. Ishii, Nomo and Alvarez who have all been starters have all had trouble of late. Weaver, Perez and Lima remain solid. Ishii is having an MRI so his status is uncertain. Nomo was only hitting in the mid-80s with his fastball and got rocked pretty hard today. Alvarez has returned to the bullpen where he seems happiest but he maybe pressed into service again. Jackson pitched some relief today and may get a start. There is talk that Penny might be able to return in the final week or so for a start. Certainly, that would be a big boost to the banged up starting staff.


Audioblogging, part I

this is an audio post - click to play

UPDATE: Kari, this first audioblog attempt was made while the Dodgers were down 6-2. Last year, people would have given up on the Dodgers as the offense last year was so weak. But this year, hope remains and indeed, the Dodgers rallied to tie it up in the fifth inning. Here is the box score.

Anyway, this weekend was my Dodger baseball weekend and while I was at it, I figured it was time to try some of the technology that Blogger makes available.

Go Dodgers!


Saturday, September 11, 2004

(Cell Phone Blogging)K, it's top ...

(Cell Phone Blogging)K, it's top of the 5th la 1 st.L 0 solo hr by finley. R

UPDATE: So I tried the email posting today. I emailed in the above short report on the game using my Nokia phone I got for free when I switched to T-Mobile cell phone service giving up as a long-time ATT Wireless customer.

I'm told ATTWS is trying to deploy GSM technology and phase out its older TDMA network. This issue along with the merger with Cingular has apparently made an already weak service even more discourging to its users.

9/11 was remembered at Dodger's stadium with a recognition of Heros in a march of local law enforcement and military personnel. The crowd gave a standing ovation as they came onto the field in dress uniforms and formed a line in the outfield. A military honor guard brought in the US and California flags. The National Anthem was sung by a local female FBI agent. This was followed by three fire department copters dropping red, white and blue powder on the hillside near the stadium.

After this, an exciting ball game took place... it was a pitcher's duel for the first five innings. In the 6th, the Cards got runners at 2nd and 3rd with two outs and for some strange reason the Dodgers pitched to Edmonds who crushed the ball for a 3-run homer pushing the Cards to a 4-1 lead.

But the Dodgers weren't done. In the bottom of the 6th, in a strange sequence of events, two hit battters yielded one run making it 4-2.

In the bottom of the 7th, rookie Antonio Perez pinch hit for Weaver. He looked like a rookie flailing at the first two pitches. He settled down and took a few outside the strike zone and fouled off a few and then got hit (there were three hit batters in this game!) by the pitch. In yet another strange event, a hit and run play went awry (batter struck out) but the throw to 2nd got loose and Perez advanced to third. Finley singled him home, making it 4-3. Beltre singled. Green walked loading the bases. Bradley who has been slumping was demoted to batting sixth came up to bat and hit a hard smash that seemed quite playable. But somehow Renteria couldn't get it to second base fast enough for the force thus the game was tied 4-4!

Just when the Dodgers got back into the game, in the top of the eight, a first pitch double by Luna was followed by a sacrifice that moved him to third. Walker singled him home... and just like that the Dodgers were down again, 5-4. Then there was yet another strange play... Pujols singled and Walker advanced to third ... the Dodgers tossed the ball to Izturis at second and Walker was called out for missing the bag!

In the bottom of the eigth, still more strangeness... Ross the catcher who is batting below .200 but when he does connect has show lots of power ... bunted! A stunned third baseman charged for the ball but wasn't able to get there in time to throw out the slow moving Ross! Hernadez gets onboard on an error setting the stage for Izturis who singled them both in giving the Dodgers the winning margin, 6-5.

Gagne came in and retired the side on two grounders and a strike out. Dodgers win and the crowd goes wild!

Remembering 9/11

Dear Kari:

A part of me says, it is time to move on. But a part of me says, no, we have to continue to remember.

Last year, when this blog just got started, we remembered, here and here.

Glenn Reynolds is of two minds also but did post. He remarks, One day, I suppose, these images will be like the images of the exploding Hindenburg, or woodcuts of the Chicago fire: historical, without much power to move people. We're not there yet. And we won't be, for quite a while.

Today, as I post, I went to volunteer in Los Angeles to serve food to the poor, I'll swing by the lab to take care of some things and in the evening it will be a guy's night at the ballpark. I would imagine at the stadium there maybe a moment of silence or some other kind of simple way to remember the lost and honor their memory.

For this blog post, I'll direct you to some photos I took of New York 11 years ago when the Towers stood tall. They maybe gone but what makes America great are the people of the city of New York and for that matter the people throughout our great and blessed land.

Take care,

Friday, September 10, 2004

Dodgers 7 Cardinals 6

Hi Kari:

You know it is high drama in the baseball season when a manager lifts a starter after 2 1/3 inning and the score is only 4-2. Tracy pulled Ishii.

You know it is late in the season when two teams slug it out and the lead keeps changing hands. The Cards got a 1-0 lead which the Dodgers erased 2-1 then the Cards got it back 4-2 then the Dodgers got it back 5-4 then the Cards tied it 5-5 then the Dodgers got it back 7-5 and the Cards in a last gasp make it 7-6.

You know the manager wants the win desperately when he brings in the closer to get five outs. Tracy brought in Gagne.

You know the manager is really being cautious when he brings in a right handed relief pitcher to face a right handed relief pitcher who is batting (top of the ninth). LaRussa took out Cali and put in Reyes.

UPDATE: In post-game Dodger talk, the host speculated that LaRussa used the pitching change to "ice" Gagne much like calling a timeout so the kicker has time to think about the field goal. What a shrewd manager!

In any case, the Dodgers finally beat the Cardinals!

I will be at the game on Saturday and Sunday!


P.S. I attempted to buy NLDS tickets via the internet (I got to the "virtual waiting room" page and then if I got past that I got the "unable to process your request due to high demand" error message) and by phone (I tried every 15 to 30 minutes only to get busy signals). Alas, by the time I got through on the phone at 3:30pm the sales rep said all tickets were sold out.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Simply Sublime

Dear Kari:

What is sublime?

Got an example or two for me and our readership?

Me and my classical music buddy were on our way to the Hollywood Bowl last evening and on the shuttle bus, we were trying to hash out a definition for sublime. We kind of got stuck. We tossed out words like indescribable, a elevated sense of joy, something artistic that lifts us beyond the ordinary... how are we doing so far...?

A visit to Merriam-Webster gives this:

Main Entry: sublime
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): sub·lim·er; -est
Etymology: Latin sublimis, literally, high, elevated
1 a : lofty, grand, or exalted in thought, expression, or manner b : of outstanding spiritual, intellectual, or moral worth c : tending to inspire awe usually because of elevated quality (as of beauty, nobility, or grandeur) or transcendent excellence
What do you think?

Anyway, we got to the Hollywood Bowl and settled into our seats.

I think we heard sublime.

Cho-Liang Lin's playing of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35 = sublime.

Giancarlo Guerrero, the last minute substitute conductor, leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic's performance of Holst's The Planets = sublime.

If I had to assemble a desert island pack of classical music, these works would be in it.

How about you?

Be well,