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An AP award, a hockey monster and Civic economics lesson

May 19, 2014 - Paul Giannamore
A few thoughts from a busy week and weekend:

1. While watching the Pirates live on Mother’s Day, I noticed how the ESPN cameraman would sometimes walk off the field with the camera an inch from a player’s waist, walking with the player all the way into the dugout. I want to be so important someday that somebody has to follow my knees around with a camera.

2. The Boss (at Home) is a hockey monster. We followed that Mother’s Day baseball game with great Wheeling Nailers seats, right on the glass. After warning her to pay attention at all times and getting over the initial shock of the first couple of hits, she began to smile. And giggle when guys got their faces smushed into the glass in front of us. And fired the puck at our heads. And smacked the glass with their sticks. This from a woman who, a couple of years ago, merely tolerated my son’s (and my) Penguins habit.

3. Tractor-trailer drivers are not the last knights of the American highway. They’re lane-blocking armadillos. We were humming along in Mr. Sulu the Civic, passing folks, passing miles and making great gas mileage when one semi decided to pass the other semi. And for about seven miles on I-70, the trucks stayed side-by-side in a cruise-controlled non-pass while we little car folks stacked up behind them. And once that rolling chicane was cleared, we came to another one later on the way to Columbus. And once people pass those rolling chicanes, they’re angry and they tend to floor it. The Boss (at Home) is normally a serene soul. She isn’t so much at 88 mph.

4. I appreciate all the congratulations from friends about the AP award. But I guess I’m too much of an auto racing fan. It was only third. If I had a little less wing on the straights, I might have gotten up to first. Or whatever the editorial writer’s equivalent of less downforce and more straight-line speed to capture the pole position would be.

5. The Franklin County Conservatory and Botanical Garden (Broad Street) is awesome. Can’t wait to go back when everything outside is in full bloom. The butterfly exhibit is really, really cool.

6. The Boss (at Home) remains an awesome tour guide. Not only did she find the last hotel room in Columbus so she could force me to attend the AP awards, she nabbed a full suite with living room, kitchen and huge bedroom. She found the conservatory. She found the little Catholic church for Mass that was as welcoming as any church where I’m not a parishioner could be. (Folks from St. Thomas the Apostle on Cassady Avenue, you really do treat the stranger as you’d want to be treated, proof that a small church still has a place in the world of gigantic parishes.) She found the barbecue joint where I ate ribs that will make my gym trainers beat on me for hours this week. And she puts up with me the entire time.

8, Mr. Sulu, the Civic, defeated the notion that hybrids are needed at all. We filled up at New Albany and drove the rest of the way home via Routes 161, 16, 36, 250 and 22. He produced an indicated 41.8 mpg at cruise speeds up to 75 mph. When we tanked up, the range indicator said “421 miles.” When I parked in front of La Casa Pablo, the range indicator said “363 miles.” It means we went about 150 miles while using the equivalent of 58 miles worth of range. Just a simple, well-designed, light and aerodynamic car. That can scoot around the semis and pickup trucks. And the auto magazines are right. The 2012 Civic does get a little boomy when cruising above 2100 rpm.

7. As for the news of the day today, I summed it up this way on Facebook (you do follow me there, right?): Today's news: Two people in the U.S. have a Saudi Arabian cold. And coffee is the latest product to undergo an overblown media hyping hoax to jack the price to the stratosphere. And if you're a racehorse, don't use a Breathe Right Nasal Strip. Better to compete with undetectable steroids, like baseball and football players. So, panic. And drink tea. And breathe deep. But only if you're not a horse.


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