bunt sign

Wednesday, June 5, 2002

Since I don't work in an air-conditioned office, there's only so much I can do on a day when the thermometer reaches three digits. (Actually, the hottest I saw on my porch was 94F, but I'm making a point here.)

It's on a day like this when working at home means lying on the sofa on a Wednesday afternoon, listening to the ballgame as the ceiling fan hums above me. More often working at home means doing payroll Tuesday night with Buffy on TV in the background, or working on spreadsheets on Saturday afternoon.

So if I decide it's too hot to work today, you can be sure I'll have plenty of chances to make up whatever time I lose.

As little as I know about the world soccer scene (and it's precious little indeed, and most of what I do know has been picked up in the last week, and most of that from Mike Reed), I do know that the best national teams are from Europe and South America.

I also know the U.S. team wasn't given much chance to beat Portugal, but they did, 3-2 (at 2:00 am today my time, so I didn't see it live). It probably wasn't as big an upset as Senegal beating France (its former colonial master and the defending World Cup champion), but it was unexpected. It upset the balance of power in Group D, from which two of the four teams will advance to the Round of 16.

If the U.S. can beat Poland, they should get into the next round, but they can't overlook South Korea (11:30 pm Sunday my time). Not only is South Korea one of the home teams (with Japan), but they've already upset Poland in group play.

Another thing I know, thanks to MK of Observing Now, is that the Dutch are absent from this year's World Cup, at least as a national team. But South Korea has a Dutch coach, and the first U.S. goal today was scored by a player, John O'Brien, who was trained in Holland. So the Sunday night/Monday morning match-up should be of some marginal interest there, at least. I really have no idea if that's true, but let's go with it as an educated guess.

It's sort of like all the hoopla around here about how the Giants haven't played in Yankee Stadium since the 1962 World Series. Now they're headed to New York for a weekend series there, and it's supposed to be of great interest to them. Of course, none of the players was even born then, so what do they care? It's of much more interest to old fans like me.

I couldn't talk about soccer very long without going back to baseball, could I?

By the way, all the soccer stuff is off the top of my head and I really have no idea what I'm talking about. I might have even dreamed some of it. If I got any of it wrong, feel free to correct me. Or if there's anything else you think I should know, let's hear it.


Bowl of light. (Lit by natural light from the dormer window.)

It cooled off just right tonight for me to go outside after sunset. And I was out there just long enough for the bugs to swarm around me and leave visible welts on my arms and legs. Yeah, I'll be doing that again soon.

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By the way, Earnie Stewart of the U.S. team also played in Holland, and he's from Northern California (Point Arena). I did look that up.