Friday, October 22, 2004

Back in the Saddle: In the past couple of weeks I have been to New York City and New Orleans. Truly fine trips, but damn -- the other night I woke up from a nightmare where I was stranded in the middle of this enormous city when a hotel where I had a reservation turned out to be closed for business, so I was standing in the street trying to call Travelocity to sort things out and, oh wait…that really happened. More on that to come.

While I'm on the topic of travel I should make another special travel related note. In my piece on Savannah and Hilton Head, Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season, I slammed Northwest Airlines over a bad bit of interaction. I also mentioned that I sent them a scathing email and they had not responded. I was wrong. They had responded but I just missed seeing it in my inbox. And they were very conciliatory and even gave me 5000 miles for my trouble. In the service industry, that's called a "save". Northwest is back in my good graces.

Not ready to get back to football picks just yet. In fact, I have an idea for a new method of picking based on the work done at Football Outsiders. With any luck I will have something ready for that by next week. Like everything else, more later.

As soon as I got to New Orleans I planned to drop some cash on Sunday's games. I printed out the latest spreads and made my picks on the way down. Naturally, when I arrived, I quickly discovered there is no sports book at Harrah's Casino in the Big Easy. Turns out I was lucky because my picks would have been losers. (Instead I did my part to finance the casino through craps and blackjack.) Whatever made me actually believe, however briefly, in the Lions? Since I didn't officially make the picks, they don’t count against my record. That's the rule.

I was really more interested in following the Yankees-Sox drama anyway. An amazing thing to see. I was actually grateful not to be from NY or Boston because I probably would have spent the better portion of the week staggering around like Fred Sanford having the big one.

Also, I'm in the process of reading a remarkable novel called The Moviegoer, by Walker Percy, set in the late fifties in New Orleans, which is where I bought it (in New Orleans, not the late fifties, Einstein). I'm only about halfway through, but I have never encountered a character more like me than Binx Bolling, or at least how I think of myself. I'm sure a complete review will be coming.

For now, I'm writing as fast as I can. I will work like a speed freak this weekend and with luck I'll have more on everything this early next week.