Football

It wasn’t all that long ago I would gnash my teeth at the unavailability of Wyoming football games despite their being in the same conference as then-ranked Boise State.

This season I’ve been able to watch most of their games as they dominated the Mountain West Conference’s Mountain division — even beating Boise State, to my surprise and great satisfaction. This coming Saturday they’ll host West division leader San Diego State for the conference title.

It wasn’t all that long ago Wyoming was the sad sack of the conference under a coach more interested in designing uniforms than winning games. The turnaround undoubtedly has a lot to do with their increased TV presence.

Last night’s final regular season game in Albuquerque was alarming, and I stopped watching when New Mexico’s lead widened to 28 points. In the end Wyoming lost, 35-56. If they play like that on Saturday the Aztecs will avenge their loss of last weekend by winning the title.

Here’s hoping the Cowboys get their act back together.

Update: Two weeks after edging San Diego State in regular-season play in Laramie, Wyoming lost by a barely wider margin in the Mountain West title game — also in Laramie.

There’s always next year.

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That’s Gratitude for You

I’m thankful 2016 only has less than six more weeks to go. I’m less thankful that immediately after 2016 will come 2017.

I’m thankful the same mob of rent-seekers and power-fellaters I desperately wanted to be rid of a year ago is in place now to (hopefully) keep Trump in check.

I’m thankful Hillary Clinton’s political ambitions appear at last to have been ended. Something tells me Bill is too. I expect him to turn up appearing haler and more energetic soon, after a few Waffle House breakfasts and steakhouse dinners. He’ll have earned them.

I’m thankful it hasn’t been made mandatory to watch or listen to presidential speeches; if it were, my year’s liquor budget would have been spent before St. Patrick’s Day.

I’m also thankful for all those maudlin, Frank Capra reasons everybody else is saying today. But you already knew that. Saps.

It Was Nothing Personal

Eight years ago or so, I placed a curse on then-President-Elect Barack Obama — as I’ve mentioned in the past year.

The curse was that Obama should suffer a long post-presidential retirement knowing his presidency had been a failure. Judging by what I’ve been reading, the only part of the curse yet to play out is his living to a vast age.

I’m loath to amend it so that he never sees another black POTUS, though I was born into a Catholic family during the tenure of America’ first Catholic president, and there hasn’t been a second one yet. Maybe one reason Hillary lost this election was so that the first female POTUS wouldn’t sour the nation on electing another one for half a century or more.

Before 2008 I was convinced the first black president would be a Republican. I soon amended that to the first successful black president. At the rate the Democratic Party has gone, that could be a tautology — as long as our first orangutan president doesn’t ruin the GOP.

New background image (may be) coming soon.

Snow is falling on Red Canyon, but the webcam I’ve previously cadged images from is currently blocked with snow or ice hanging across the lens guard. Hopefully that will be gone before the snow on the canyon wall is.

Update, about two and a half hours later: The preferred camera is back up but still mostly obscured. In the partially obscured view on another camera that shows part of the canyon wall it appears the snow was pretty heavy there too.

I think I’ll look around for a good snow pic from the larger vicinity to use until Red Canyon has the balance of cover and uncover that I’ve been hoping for.

Update, Friday afternoon: Got the pic I wanted, thanks to the ice falling off the camera and a bit of the snow on the canyon wall melting away. I may replace it in a few days as more canyon wall shows through. Meanwhile, enjoy.

Update, Sunday afternoon: The melt-off has commenced and the current pic, though still snowy, looks a bit sad to someone who’s seen months of snowpack disappear in mere days in interior Alaska. I won’t inflict it on you. Snowmen, to your safe spaces!

The Easy Way to Fix the Electoral College

…is to repeal or, preferably, amend a 105-year-old law that didn’t directly affect the Electoral College.

That law is the Apportionment Act of 1911, which capped the United States House of Representatives at 435 seats. I wouldn’t be surprised if most people thought that number was set in the Constitution. Well, it isn’t.

How would this fix the Electoral College? See Article II of the Constitution:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electoral College is capped at 538 because the House is capped at 435. Amend the Apportionment Act to set a higher total number of House seats and not only does the House become more representative, so does the Electoral College.

Any other adjustment to the Electoral College would require a constitutional amendment. This one can be done by the 115th Congress and signed into law by President Trump.

If, that is, those butthurt over the outcome of the 2016 presidential election are really upset over the un-small-D-democratic outcome, and not just the un-capital-D-Democratic outcome. Call it an integrity test.

What Hasn’t Happened

The financial markets didn’t fall through the floor.

Some have argued this means the markets like Trump’s plans better, but that’s like arguing that the Loch Ness monster’s eyes are bluer than the Abominable Snowman’s. In reality, all that the the markets have known for months is that one of these train wrecks would be president, and that there is less difference between them than either would have anyone believe. It was easy for the markets to prepare for 95% of what lies ahead regardless of the election’s outcome. That was all they needed to know.

As for the other 5%, that’s why investors hedge.

Under the Constitution, presidential elections are scheduled millennia in advance. Nominations are finalized months before any new appointments or policies will be implemented. It’s unfortunate that this would have any effect at all on the economy, since the Framers intended otherwise, but the markets have had generations of practice at anticipating anything and everything that can be anticipated. They are susceptible to surprises and shocks, but elections don’t qualify.

When you know what’s going to happen and have the time and the know-how to prepare, panic is impossible.

Unless you’re personally making all of your financial decisions, and are a complete idiot. Some of the former are not the latter, but most who are not the latter are smart enough to also not be the former.

Ten More Episodes

I wrote here about the relative merits of C.J. Box’s Joe Pickett and Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire. Of necessity I also referred to differences between the Longmire in Johnson’s books versus the one on the TV series.

Now that the expiration date seems to have been set for the series, I suppose it’s time I said how disappointed I’ve been with the TV Walt since “Longmire” became a Netflix show after its cancellation by A&E after its third season.

The Walt Longmire portrayed on television became far more paranoid and vindictive in the fifth season than ever before. Even though it’s entirely possible his suspicions about Jacob Nighthorse (a character created solely for the series) are correct, the lack of confidence in himself, his daughter and his best friend seen in the last ten episodes seems totally out of character even for the TV version, which was never as secure about the people around him as Johnson’s original.

I can only hope the producers will use the upcoming last ten episodes to put their show’s lead character back on an even keel. The long waits between new Longmire books will mean the Walt they show us at the end of Season 6 will be in our minds for a long time before Craig Johnson can cleanse the taste from our palates.