It’s a solid two hours even without traffic to get from my house in Loudoun County to the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville. People from Northern Virginia never speak about our flagship state university, down there in, you know, the red part of the commonwealth.

But put us in the championship game of the NCAA Tournament?

We are all bleedin’ orange and shouting Wahoo! at the tops of our lungs.

This is what Jefferson had in mind.

Twilight Zone 4.0

I’m a big fan of the Twilight Zone franchise, now appearing in its third reincarnation on TV. You remember TV, right? The screen that was like a big computer and you had to tune it at a certain day and time to watch a “show”? Well, all that tuning in business is history, replaced by something even Rod Serling may not have foreseen.

I think the most interesting aspect of the new Twilight Zone is its presentation. Not the presentation by Jordan Peele (who’s no Serling on the screen, but gets the job done I suppose), and not the Mad Men-like costume and set design. No, it’s the way CBS is bringing us the material, at least those of us who don’t have “TV.” (Can you even see this thing on TV? Is there anything just on regular TV anymore?)

I watched the first two episodes of Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone on something called CBS All Access. It’s a subscriber service, and is kind of genius in the way one can purchase material. Five ninety-nine a month gets you “all access” with limited commercials. Nine ninety-nine a month gets you all access with no commercials. Oh, this is delicious; I can pay a different rate depending on how many commercials I want to see. Can I say I’m being paid to watch commercials? In a manner of speaking I am. I’m paying to view CBS’s content; they’re paying me to watch their sponsors’ content. This is exactly how the world should work.

Impetus behind all this? Gotta be Netflix. Again. They really changed the way the entire world operated. Basically it went caveman, fire, wheel, Netflix in that order.

Slight exaggerations brought to you in… the Twilight Zone.

Final Four is set

I’m hardly the first person to point this out. As a matter of fact, the Internet was abuzz with this moments after Michigan State’s win over Duke yesterday evening. Ho-hum Final Four, they buzzed.

Buzzed, Tweeted, Instagrammed. There was no love for this quartet.

Yeah, it’s CBS’s worst nightmare: no Duke, no Carolina, no Villanova, not even Loyola-Chicago. The only number one seed to make it to this year’s Final Four? That would be the flagship university of my home state’s higher education system: the University of Virginia.

Who very few people care about outside the state of Virginia.

Some back-to-back it would be, though. To lose as a one seed one year then win the championship the next?

Stranger things have happened.

I can feel baseball in the air

They say the game is dominated by pitchers now.

Two of the best squared off yesterday at Nationals Park. That would be last year’s Cy Young winner, Jacob deGrom, and three-time Cy Young winner, Max Scherzer. Quite an Opening Day.

On the mound Mr. deGrom was just a little bit better than Mr. Scherzer, earning the win as the Mets beat my hometown Nationals, 2-0. Scherzer’s bugaboo, the home run, bit him in the first inning, as none other than newly-minted Met Robinson Cano connected for a first-inning blast. Cano’s presence in the Mets’ lineup and locker room is no doubt mostly to bring some gravitas and veteran leadership, though I’m sure the occasional game-winning home run doesn’t hurt either.

Cano’s 36 years old now, an old man playing a young man’s game. The first professional athlete I realized was younger than I was, Cano in fact is still younger than I am. Yesterday’s home run was the 312th of his career. One wonders how many more he has in him.

I’d say he was over the hill, but…

he’s younger than I am!

New excuses are always useful

Like everyone else in the world I am “tidying up” these days, attempting to spark joy in the process. Whether or not I’m achieving true enlightenment I’m not sure, but the Marie Kondo revolution has given me one benefit I hadn’t foreseen.

I used to have to justify keeping old, odd, or unusual objects through various exercises in stammering and muttering, but now, thanks to Marie, I’ve got a new, simple phrase:

It sparks joy.

Bowling trophy from 1989?

Sparks joy.

Mix tape I made in 1992?

Sparks joy.

Movie stub from 20 years ago?

You better believe that sparks joy.

The winning phrase, “Lawyered!” is now…


Don’t B.S. the math teacher

I do my best to patronize the sponsors of things I appreciate. Things like… the NCAA Tournament, which consumes my life every March. Coca-Cola already got me on that new orange vanilla flavor (delicious, by the way), so I thought I’d go Pizza Hut next.

Plus I had a coupon.

My coupon was for a “one-topping large pizza.” When I was apprised of my total something seemed a bit off. I’d asked for half pineapple and half extra cheese. I was charged for an “extra topping.”

Whoa, whoa. Half plus half is one. Don’t tell the math teacher anything else. I nearly pulled the do-you-know-who-you’re-talking-to card.

Math expertise aside… how about my pizza credentials? Fourteen years in the industry. No stranger to “toppings.”

All this to show my support for a little basketball.


Heaven can wait

March Madness, baseball just around the corner, and a new product from our friends at Coca-Cola. Yes, they keep coming out with new items after 132 years.

Just in time for Spring: orange vanilla Coke. Yes, you read that correctly. Oh that my father could have lived to see this day.

I definitely appreciate that the Coke folk are putting out “sample”-sized versions of this new treat. My local Harris Teeter had single cans for 79 cents. Usually one has to buy a few gallons of the new stuff just to get a taste.

Now to go back and buy a few gallons.

After all, March Madness is upon us.

Everybody into the pool

At school I call it “March Mathness.”

Try to make the traditional office pool as unusual and complicated as possible, so that just picking who has the better mascot isn’t going to work.

Or maybe that’s what they want you to think.

Either way… it’s on.