More From the Races
Okay, I got the last of the pics from Jeff Ziff and combined with some of my own photos here's the rest of the photographic record of my trip Saturday to the races at Saratoga.
The race track can be a confusing place.
The better to see the way.
Was this horse named after me?
A view of the track.
Waiting for the race to begin.
Of course there is that famous trumpet blast before each race. I thought it might be recorded, but after the race, when we went into downtown Saratoga, I found out that an actual person plays it and he is a celebrity of sorts. His name is Sam (never got his last name) and he played a little on the street and signed autographs for the racing fanatics.
Believe it or not, to get his autograph and that of some of the jockys costs ten bucks! Yet there was a line of fans waiting to pay. Later in an art gallery I saw that Sam was even included in one of the paintings.
All over downtown bands were playing outside on one of the last perfect summer nights. The music ranged from country....
To new psychedelia....
This sign in a bar window reminded me of Springfield's long vanished Blue Moon Cafe, where my grandfather had been a notorious character before I was born.
A coffeeshop for superheroes.
A majestic lion on the steps of City Hall.
The Kiddie Address
All the fuss about the speech President Obama gave to the nation's school kids yesterday strikes me as a tempest in a teapot, but I'll let the wise folks over at Reason magazine have the last word.
Children shouldn't be taught that the president—any president—is a beloved paternal figure with a grand plan for everyone. Children should be taught the truth: that presidents are polarizing figures who are constantly dogged by controversy. That Americans don't always agree about proper public policy, and sometimes they disagree enough to do something as drastic as keeping their kids home from school. That politics is about conflict, not listening in unison while a friendly face on a TV screen dispenses instructions.
If the president's address took place with no protest, it would be—at best—a waste of classroom time. The protests, by contrast, are a lesson in the passions of American politics. And if your real parents are at odds with the faux father in the White House, they can offer something yet more valuable: the chance to hear an authority figure remind you that it isn't always best to submit unthinkingly to authority.
Bo Goes National
Despite some national TV appearances, Massachusetts' favorite comedian Bo Burnham has been pretty much stuck in the New England comedy circuit. Now he's doing a national college tour which if nothing else promises to make him a rich young man. Bo stops by UMass this Saturday on the 12th.
Speaking of UMass, sleepy ole Amherst has come roaring to life in the past several days as the students have returned to UMass and the other north Valley colleges. All the merchants have their welcome signs out, such as the Amherst Big Y.
However, not everyone is happy, such as the American Legion Post.
On campus today iconic posters meant for dorm walls were for sale.
I was a member of the Science Fiction Society when I was at UMass.
Recruitment has already started for this semester's zombies vs. humans war.
It's nice to know that after all these years I still have friends in high places.
Wow, today is the ninth day of the ninth month in a year ending in nine! Superstitious people all over the world are having a nervous breakdown trying to decide whether that's good or bad. Today is also the day the new Beatles computer game is coming out, but haven't we given enough of our money to the Beatles over the years? Choosing a day full of nines to release the game is significant among Beatlemaniacs, relating as it does to John Lennon's Revolution #9, one of the Beatles' rare unlistenable tunes. The following however is one of their great ones.