I'd planned to write a post tonight, sat down with my laptop, turned on WODU Studios for a little ORF Rock with Les Coole and Penny Baker as my audio, flipped over to NBA TV for some Marcus Thornton Summer League action, and...completely drew a blank.
But I'm a fighter, a scrapper, David Eckstein with a keyboard and a little more pigment. I'm not giving up that easily. People want me on this blog. They need me on this blog.
And so, for you, I fight on, stream of consciousness style.
I wouldn't fight on if I saw a Tarantula Hawk, though. I'd run screaming from that demon bug. According to invertebrate biologist Ben Hitchens of Texas Parks and Wildlife, “There are some vivid descriptions of people getting stung by these things, and their recommendation—and this was actually in a peer-reviewed journal—was to just lie down and start screaming, because few if any people could maintain verbal and physical coordination after getting stung by one of these things. You’re likely to just run off and hurt yourself. So just lie down and start yelling.”
That same peer reviewed paper, written by Justin Schmidt, inventor of the Schmidt Sting Pain Index (King of Pain being the highest possible value. Think about it.) tells the story of another scientist who managed to trap ten tarantula hawks, and then tried to grab one: “Undeterred after the first sting, he continued, receiving several more stings, until the pain was so great he lost all of them and crawled into a ditch and just bawled his eyes out.”
Oh, and these things procreate by stinging and paralyzing tarantulas, dragging them into a burrow, and then laying an egg on the spider that hatches so the baby wasp can eat the tarantula alive, "focusing on non-essential tissues to keep it alive for as long as possible—perhaps weeks".
Speaking of Marcus Thornton, as we were, I've now watched a grand total of two NBA Summer League games in my life, on his account. He only got about five minutes in his first action against Utah, but he played significantly more minutes against Philadelphia, as Marcus Smart rested. Thornton was fine, having no trouble getting his shot off against NBA (or at least summer NBA) competition, but nearly every one of his jumpers was short. He handled the ball well at the point, got beat off the dribble a couple of times by T.J. McConnell, had a steal that he converted into a coast to coast layup. He finished with seven points on 2-11 shooting in the C's 76-62 loss, but generally looked like he belonged.
In Summer League, anyway. I'm guessing the C's will send him to the D League or to Europe for some strengthening and seasoning, which is probably the best thing for him at this point.
But a W&M player held his own against a bunch of players with much stronger pedigrees. And I need a Celtics 27 shirsey. Or some Maine Red Claws gear.
Speaking of Maine, I leave Saturday morning for Grand Lake Stream, and my date with the St. Croix River. Right now, the weather forecast calls for highs in the high 70s and lows in the high 50s. Which is nice. Less nice is the 40-60% chance of rain each day of the four-day trip.
There will be no blogging from me, as Grand Lake Stream has a population of 109, and a cell tower population of zero. I will say hello to Yogi and Boo Boo, should I have the opportunity to meet them.
There were a number of incredible, indelible memories from the U.S. Women's National Team's comprehensive throttling of Japan in the Women's World Cup final. Carli Lloyd going all Pele, for one. The diminutive Megan Klingenberg, a girl after my own heart, dominating the left side of the defense. Morgan Brian, the youngest player in the entire tournament, completely controlling the tempo of the match from her holding midfield position. But for my money, this was the best:
Abby Wambach's embrace and kiss of her wife, Sarah Huffman, at the end of a long, emotional (and final) tournament for the greatest scorer in women's soccer history seemed almost a coda to the summer's celebration of legally-sanctioned love. And it was noteworthy for the fact that the Fox Sports cameras lingered on it as if it were no big deal.
Because at the end of the day, it was no big deal.
Love, and the U.S.A., wins.