Saturday, August 13, 2011

Two beaches

It's always fun to contrast two similar, but disparate images. Plus, it's more interesting than repeating scores of tennis matches between aging, but somewhat competitive, gentlemen. The first beach pictured is an artificial one set up along the Seine in Paris about two weeks ago. The city trucked in sand to make an artificial beach in a place where none exists anymore. They trucked in enough sand so that the guys from Disneyland France could craft a sand castle on the artificial beach. It was great fun for Parisians and tourists alike and they crowded onto the beach and enjoyed the day. And each other.

This other beach is a real beach at the end of Pike Island. It is also next to a river (or two), in this case the merger of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers. There are no people here to enjoy the day, nor any Disney sand castles.

We tried to play tennis this morning at 8:30, but it was sprinkling and the courts were wet. So we postponed the action and had coffee at Caribou. There we chatted about the Twins abysmal play of late, and the general lack of good U.S A. tennis players in the top tiers of pro tennis this year. The top U.S. guy at the moment is Mardy Fish (once a Minnesota guy) who is now number eight in the world. Andy Roddick is 12th. The top American woman is Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who is 31st. Venus Williams is 34th and Serena, who has been injured and just now making a comeback is 80th. It's been a bad year for American netters.

This afternoon we reassembled to try playing some more tennis. The weather had improved greatly, and although there was a bit of a wind, it was nice weather for some back and forth forehand smacking. It went well for about an hour until a wind squall blew up and it began to rain pretty briskly. We had to quit. We managed a set and a half, which isn't bad for a Saturday.

I've been harvesting some of my tomatoes from my backyard plants. I even had a couple of fried green tomatoes yesterday, and a bacon-less, lettuce-less BLT for lunch. Pretty tasty. I'm also battling with a rabbit that lives nearby, perhaps in PP's native grass garden, who has been eating the tops off my carrots. I think all those old Bugs Bunny cartoons which has Bugs stealing carrots from Elmer Fudd, were misleading. Bugs wasn't after the roots of carrots, he liked the leaves. That's my theory, at least.

And what the heck is a straw poll? In the one in Iowa, you have to pay $30 to vote in it. And you only get to vote once, because they make you dip your thumb in purple dye when you vote to discourage cheating.


Retired Professor said...

From Wikipedia,

A straw poll or straw vote is a vote with nonbinding results.

The idiom may allude to a straw (thin plant stalk) held up to see in what direction the wind blows, in this case, the wind of group opinion. Other possible origins include allusion to the insignificance of straw as in "straw man"

Santini said...

The first beach seems a little odd -- it looks like someone trucked in a ton of sand. Mother Nature's beach is more my style, I guess. Though that is an impressive sand castle. And it is Paris.

I used to ask essay questions like this -- "compare and contrast" A to B. You get full points.