Cedar Springs, Michigan
Monday, October 4, 2010
It's getting down to the wire. Just two weeks until the resumption of the trip. Every day I go out and turn the key in the ignition of the motor home, just to hear the sound of the properly-functioning starter, thinking about many more starts to come.
Yesterday afternoon my son-in-law and I pulled the old non-working refrigerator out of the motor home and got it out the door, with a nice fat sixteenth of an inch of clearance on either side. If I didn't already know differently, I'd swear that refrigerator had been installed at the factory before the rest of the thing was built. Talk about a perfect fit. (That's what she said.)
Tomorrow I'll take a trip down to a place near the Indiana line that sells used and surplus motor home equipment, to look for another refrigerator and a generator. After that, if the RV gods continue to smile, there should be nothing left to do but begin packing in provisions. But considering how things have gone so far, I anticipate a comedy of errors between now and time to go.
It's one of those sunny fall days that makes me think of baseball and football simultaneously. For most of my life growing up as a Tigers fan, the beginning of October would mark the end of the baseball season. In fact, it would usually be all over by about the All-Star break. But since I converted to Yankeeism, the dawning of October has come to betoken the beginning of the real season, the one all players wish to be involved in, whether they admit it or not. And the Yankees have played in October more often than any other team in baseball, period. By a wide margin, and not just lately, but for about 90 years now. This year my guys spent September squandering their comfortable lead in the AL east division, and yesterday they finished with a loss to the hated Boston Red Sox, letting Tampa Bay into first place in the division. But New York goes forward as the wild card team, to play the Minnesota Twins, a team that has built a reputation as sort of the anti-Yankees, due to the fact that they manage to do well with a relatively small payroll, while the Yankees of course have the largest in baseball. However, this year I did notice that the Twins have outspent the Devil Rays and are ranked roughly in the middle for money paid to players, not at the bottom. The question is, will that jinx them? Still, I think Minnesota's entire budget only slightly exceeds what Alex Rodriguez pays the guy who cleans his cleats. As for the outcome of the ALDS, well I'm going out on a limb to say that in real life Goliath beats David most of the time. So here we go again. And for for all you Tigers fans there's always next century. (If you're lucky, by then the oceans will have risen enough that there won't be any more competition from New York, Boston, or Tampa Bay.)
And then there's Michigan football. We somehow have to figure a way to clone Denard Robinson so he can play on defense and special teams, then we'll be okay. The guy just doesn't spend enough time on the field. Seriously, I think that's what messed them up against Indiana. Put a shaky defense out there for, literally, almost three-quarters of the game, and it doesn't get any stronger. They have to get Robinson to pace himself, use all four downs, and move the chains like a mere mortal. Naturally it's a temptation to just run thirty yards, then pass for forty yards, and get it done that way. But when it only takes 30 seconds off the clock, well, it just leaves the other team with more time to do its mischief. And that's just not long enough for the big uglies on the U of M defense to catch their breaths, or eat steroid-laced cheeseburgers, or whatever they do. I wouldn't have thought so, but apparently it's possible to have too efficient an offense.
The Spartans will be cocky coming in on Saturday, and that one will be a much bigger test of Michigan than the Indiana game was. I'll be there. Look for me on TV. I'll be the guy wearing the blue shirt with the big yellow "M" on it. You can't miss me.