Archive - Oct 2005

October 9th

Beautiful October day

Avian flu

Some fascinating stuff has come to light in the past few days about the great flu epidemic of 1918 and the similarities of it to the present avian flu which has health officials worried.

In what is a strange coincidence, scientists only now, in an article published October 6th, have figured out the 1918 bug. It started in birds and mutated so it could be passed from human to human.

I hope this flu never hits--perhaps it will be just another unjustified public panic like Y2K, which amounted to absolutely nothing. I suspect that is the case.

Fall photos

Some moss grows on a poplar stump.

October 8th

Twins start cleaning house

Joe Mays is gone, mercifully. Matt LeCroy was cut yesterday, an unfortunate but necessary move. Luis Rivas is gone, which had to happen due to his inability to improve and make better use of his considerable abilities.

October 7th

Downtown Grand Forks

The setting sun sets off the sign of a law office in an old building while causing one of the new buildings built after the flood of 1997 to glow.

Cold snap

It froze the past couple of nights. Some sort of storm came through. There was a little dusting of snow here yesterday morning, but nothing which stayed past morning coffee.

Apparently things were worse out in Dakota. The storm was big enough for the Grand Forks Herald to name it "Zach."

Zach needs a public relations consultant. He's not getting nearly the attention of Rita or Katrina. He's probably just as bad, but when you have people so widely scattered as they are in North Dakota, you just don't have the compelling pictures of jam-packed freeways.

October 6th

Internet research

After writing about the Pine Tar Incident, I looked on the internet for more details. Billy Martin, it turns out, didn't notice Brett's bat. Graig Nettles, his third baseman, did, and alerted Martin. Nettles was well aware of the rules on doctoring bats as he was always trying to get by with such things himself.

Grand Forks

Here is a panorama shot Lance took of the bridge over the Red River between Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. It is looking towards the Minnesota side. You can see the everpresent steam trail of the beet plant on the upper right. Lance and a friend crawled through some elevator shaft in an old building to reach the roof and sneak a few photos.

October 5th

More Billy

I can't resist passing on another Billy Martin story concerning one of baseball's most controversial incidents, the Pine Tar Controversy of 1983. It wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been for Billy.

The Yankees and the Royals had a tremendous rivalry at the time, having faced each other in the league championship three times. With two outs in the top of the ninth and the Royals trailing by 4-3, Royals great George Brett came to bat with a runner on. He hit a home run, putting the Royals in the lead 5-4.


On this miserable day, a pickup pulled into the nursery. I happened to be in the office. It was Arnold, a retired local farmer. He wanted rhubarb roots and he was none too happy to find out that we hadn't dug them yet. He quickly got to the real reason he was chagrined: He and his wife have moved to town, and he is sick of sitting around and he wanted to dig in the dirt, even on this miserable day. He's not used to going to the cafe and he doesn't sit in the bar, so he's sort of out of sorts living in town.