Back in the saddle again!
A few, pretty random, thoughts from the break:
0) How about Jamie Christensen! Ugliest, wobbliest wounded duck anyone has ever seen and it wins the Cotton Bowl for 'Bama! Imagine if Tyrone Prothro hadn't gotten injured...
1) Saw the Monk, MaMonk and PaMonk. Always a nice visit. The wongdoer progeny enjoyed MaMonk's pasta and I enjoyed the strong egg nog.
2) Rudy Carpenter, the Arizona State redshirt freshman quarterback, is SPECTACULAR. California prep star has great mobility AND a cannon of an arm. Should vie with senior starter Sam Keller (who was injured) for the starting job in 2006. Sniffing Heisman candidate for 07...
3) Gotta respect the Jets for trying but...picking fourth will they get Bush/Young/Leinart... I also think Herm, if he gets a long contract in KC, should go. As good a citizen as he is and a decent football coach the Jets need a galvanizing, revolutionizing coach in a sport where the coaching really matters - that's a Parcells, a Belichick or a Jimmy Johnson.
4) The three day NYC transit strike was a disgrace. At the cost of an estimated billion dollars to the city during the week before Christmas the MTA won a potentially significant concession - in exchange to dropping its pension contribution demands, MTA workers will now ALL pay 1.5% of wages toward health care. Once a barrier has been broken...
5) Saw the Chronicles of Narnia. Faithful to the book, it's well done and the young actors and actresses playing the Pevensies are surprisingly good and Tilda Swinton is strong once again as the White Queen. One does get a sense of a poor man's Lord of the Rings but that isn't so much the fault of this film as Peter Jackson's opus was simply superb.
6) About a quarter of the way through George RR Martin's long awaited A Feast for Crows. It's been relatively panned on Amazon (3.5 stars). So far there's been no new major revelations (a couple of chapters had been published by Martin on his site earlier in response to the clamor of fans) rather the early chapters deal with the immediate aftermath to the events in A Storm of Swords, Martin's prose is still crisp and he is still an excellent storyteller. The sheer number of reviews on Amazon and the rating probably indicates that Feast might not be up to the calibre of the previous installments but there's no indication that he's caught the Jordan disease. He's the master of this genre and I'll take 3.5 stars from the Master.
7) 2005. What an annulis horriblus for the Dubya and the GOP. Rove, Libby, Katrina, DeLay the good news in Iraq ignored. The Dems are slavering seeing visions of regaining one or both houses in Congress and are praying that the Abramoff plea deal tarnishes the GOP sufficiently to realize their wildest dreams. A housecleaning perhaps we need but the thoughts of the likes of Pelosi and Reid gridlocking the country for 2007-08 was more than enough to make sure I sent a check to support the GOP.
Happy New Year.