Monthly Archive for January, 2003

Jesus green pathlike my week didn’t start bad enough with the raiders’ poor performance on sunday….i left for work extra early on tuesday to make up for calling in sick on monday with my super bowl emotional hangover. i’m on the a14 motorway for five minutes when i hit a traffic jam. this was no ordinary jam as a lorry (that’s what they call trucks here) carrying vegetables overturned, destroyed a small, passenger car and layed across all lanes of traffic, going both ways. it had stripped off the center median and had spilled its load. the police ended up closing the motorway (it was unknown at the time, but was to remain closed until the evening). note that this is the major east-west artery for everyone traveling in southeast england. i was parked on the road for over two hours until i was finally able to get to an exit and turn around for home. waited there for another two hours until, i presumed, things had loosened up. i hit the road again, only to have to take a diversion route which got me into work another three hours later. this is typically a 30 mile, 35-40 minute drive.

fast forward to thursday. started normal. it’s very cold, windy, and a bit of snow is in the forecast. we start seeing snowfall just after noon and the powers that be at work allow all but essential personnel to leave early due to hazardous traveling conditions. i have some work to finish so i stay until about 6:30, at which point there’s maybe an inch or two on the ground. as i’m warming up my car, i hear about the nightmarish conditions of the roads and how traffic is at a standstill on practically all roads in eastern england. the routes i need to take are particularly bad. i figure i’d rather be in the office working than in my car parked on the motorway. i go back in and finish a project i was working on and depart again around 9pm, hoping that traffic will have thinned out. i was so wrong (again). it took me over 6 hours to get home. i walked into my flat at 3:30am. it’s the worst experience i’ve ever had with traffic and, funny thing is, the second worst happened earlier the same week. i haven’t yet heard anyone from the traffic authority fully explain why a few inches of snow caused such a disaster. there were literally thousands of motorists stranded in their cars all over england. at the time, the traffic reports couldn’t even explain why or help people find alternate routes, although by all accounts every route was hideously gridlocked. i saw only one ‘gritter’ truck and a single police car go by the entire six hours. it was a frustrating and helpless experience. the roads were still terrible today and i stayed home. the only positive thing to come out of it was the beautiful scenery created around cambridge, with the snow coating the trees. the photo posted here is of the much-photographed, tree-lined pathway around Jesus green (digital photography by cja).

commitment to excellencethe greatness of the Raidess is their future

“I’m saying Tampa Bay is the NFL Super Bowl champion, and deserving champions. Champions come and go. It’s the great dynasties, the larger than life characters like Al Davis that impact generations of lives and teams and Super Bowls plural squared, they are the constants, the forever, what the champions must play off in order to be champions. Even losing they are essential because they are always there, the eternal verities, like villany, or heroism. If you’re around, and even some years when you’re not, Al Davis is going to have an effect on your life. Barret Robbins is about to find that out. Al will read that situation, then act. I’ve seen him save guys headed for the abyss, if they were Cliff Branch and could help the Raiders. I’ve seen him cut guys loose. I’ve seen him be nice to children. Al’s a great football man, a good ally, and a bad adversary. I don’t really recommend the latter. All I can say is, bring a lunch if you’re the latter….”

….The Raiders dynasty is already a fact, whether they win or lose on Sunday, and the dynasty is moving in full harvest mode. Stand back. Prepare to salute and pay tribute … That is how Davis and his people are seeing it, anyway, and I think I agree with them. This is a serious football team, folks…..

note from fro-boy (courtesy of espn’s ‘inside the numbers': The Raiders have the best record in professional sports over the past 40 years (372-219-11, .618).

There is nothing more to say. I have obviously made my decision about the Raiders. They are simply a better football team than the Buccaneers, and they will win. A realistic line for this game would be 10 or 11, but right now it is hovering around 5 or 6….

and more from hunter thompson.

someone tell the national park service to lighten up.

yes, the raiders have a chaplain.

“It’s like resurrecting something that should have existed in the past”

antoni gaudi is probably my favorite architect and barcelona, filled with his art, is an remarkable city that i want to visit again. i really hope they incorporate his original concept for the wtc area in the redevelopment. his old (in age only) design is pretty amazing and none of the previously released plans excite me too much.

c woodson goes retrowhile players were wearing the retro, mesh ballcaps (i had at least two) at media day, ralph wiley (who i read regularly when i subscribed to the oakland tribune as a youngster) reminisces about the champion raiders of the 80s….

I know this Raider team’s secret is the same as that old Raider team’s secret. It’s got nothing to do with personality. It’s got to do with knocking somebody down. The large, open secret back then was Shell, Uppy, Dalby, Otto, Vella, Lawrence, Buehler, Marvin …

The same Big, Huge, Obvious Secret now is roughly 90 pounds larger and two inches taller per man. Kennedy, Collins, Robbins, Middleton and Sims.

Raiders of the Lost Art? Lost Art Shell, you mean.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that the Raiders can be out-personalitied now, by Warren Sapp or Keyshawn Johnson.

It’s really déjà vu all over, up and down the defensive front.

It’s going to be tough for Sapp to talk with a mouthful of black jersey and history. Good stories, all over.

i was there, click for proof from the viewing platform at the peak of the zugspitz, they say you can see four countries (germany, austria, italy, and switzerland). it’s over a mile and a half high and, if all is right in this world, i’ll be even higher than i was there after this sunday (err, monday morning here).

schloss neuschwansteini was so obe (overtaken by events) with the raiders that i forgot to finish writing about my fab trip to the beautiful schloss neuschwanstein and my skiing adventure on the 2950m high zugspitz. actually, not much to say about the latter, other than i survived and had a great teacher with a lot of patience (she’s actually quite good for a girl). as for the castle, it’s the one that walt disney modeled his theme park castle after. though a bit girly (romantic) and kitsch (i prefer the medieval style of burg eltz, which i visited last year), it was nevertheless quite impressive. it has a very interesting history. bavaria’s king ludwig II, who built it in the late 1800s, barely lived six months in it, before being declared insane and shortly thereafter was found mysteriously drowned in a shallow lake outside of munich. my photos don’t do it justice, especially the setting, as it sits nestled on the side of a mountain. the conditions were too slippery to get a better view of the castle from a nearby bridge or trek up the mountain. and we were a little disappointed in that the front portion was cloaked in scaffolding, but the visit was well worth it anyway. there was even another castle nearby, hohenschwangau, where the king spent most of his life, though we didn’t have time to tour it.

oooh, now i know who i’m voting for for president in 04.