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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

June 4, 2005

you compete your way and I’ll . . .

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 5:11 pm

called third strike–
the slow roll of the ball
back to the mound


at bat neg

two outs in the ninth–
the reliever bangs the ball
against his cup

behind barbed wire
the banter of baseball
in two languages

jim kacian,

Co-editor, with C. van den Heuvel of Past Time: Baseball Haiku,

(Red Moon Press, 1999) Sorry, it’s out of print.


 moonless night
on the river
the Goodyear Blimp floats by

… ………………………………. by dagosan [orig. July, 2004; edit June 5, 2005]

potHot potluck

tiny check HMMMMMM. I discovered this morning that neither the noun “ethics” nor the
adjective “ethical” appears as part of any definition in the dictionary.

tiny check Alphagrams & Alphamales: Amber, at Class Maledictorian, gives her perspective
on John Tierney’s op/ed in the May 31st NYT, “The Urge to Win,” which uses
evolutionary theory to explain why men dominate competitive Scrabble. Tierney
suggests that men have always had bigger payoffs from winning big (and downsides
to losing) — such as getting the most desirable women. This makes the most-competitive
male Scrabble players memorize lists of two- and three-letter words, and even lists of
which words can be made from thousands of 7-letter alphagrams (the arrangements of a
group of letters alphabetically). Amber would rather make an enjoyble word than use the
highest scoring word. Even in the noncompetitive Scrabble world, I bet that most men —
myself included — still go for the high score (even if — again like myself — they inwardly
also enjoy discovering a creative or fun word that appears on their racks).

  • I’m always amused when female Scrabble partners act offended (as if I’m
    somehow cheating), if I use an unusual two-letter word, such as the names
    for letters of the alphabet (e.g., “en” and “em”.) The two-letter-word problem
    has been reduced considerably as my vocabulary slides down the drain of
    peri-dementia, and I forget a list learned many years ago. When a distaff
    Scrabble opponent plays a non-word and then wants a do-over, I always
    point out that it would be paternalistic and insulting of me to not enforce the
    rules. [It’s a whole different game with do-overs.]
  • Tierney points out in the op/ed that there are Scrabble groupies at the
    tournaments. Like him, “I’m not sure how many women want to marry
    someone who spends his weekends memorizing alphagrams.”

iPodIssa Issa for the iPod: Eric Antonow of, has made 300 poems by
Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue, available for iPod. What would our lovable,
mendicant poet think? [Not me, Issa.]

Jerry’s angels on the Hill

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 1:25 pm

Mayor Jerry Jennings of Albany, NY, had good news this past week for

residents of troubled neighborhoods, such as the crime-ridden Arbor Hill. 

As the Times-Union reported:

“On Tuesday, city leaders stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the

Guardian Angels, welcoming their volunteer patrols to some of

the toughest neighborhoods, and Gov. George Pataki announced

that uniformed troopers will be riding shotgun in patrol cars.”

Albany gets both state-paid Troopers and help from The Guardian Angels, AngelBeretN 

whose well-trained Safety Patrols have helped tame the streets of New York

City since 1979, and which now has chapters in about 60 cities.  Indeed,

Guardian Angels started patrolling Schenectady’s Hamilton Hill section earlier

this year, and have the blessing of local police, the mayor, community groups

and residents.


even for me
there’s a guardian god…
blossoming spring


translated by David G. Lanoue


Sounds great.  Everybody’s happy but the criminals, right?  Wrong.  The

Albany Police Union is quite upset and held a press conference of its own

on Thursday. (CapitalLand News 9, Guardian Angel controversy, June 2,

2005)  Union President Christopher Mesley said:

“We don’t want our officers babysitting them or putting themselves

in a circumstance where they have to get to them in an instance where

they’re requiring assistance and an officer might place themselves in

danger racing across the city or place the citizens in danger.”

The Union’s solution is to hire more Albany police.  Jerry Jennings responded:

 “They’re living in the dark ages when it comes to policing. As far as

I’m concerned, I’ll take any proven available resources to help stabilize

and protect the public safety people in this city, whether they like it or not.”

According to the Times Union, (“Officers’ union at odds with Jennings on patrols,”

June 3, 2005),  Mesley also explained that “We appreciate the extra eyes and

ears, but there’s got to be some interaction.  It’s going to be my guys racing to

backup a Guardian Angel who’s got some guy in custody.”


even the outhouse
has a guardian god…
plum blossoms


ISSA, translated by David G. Lanoue


As with most things local, the situation is complicated.  The Union says they have

not been included in any discussion about how the Guardian Angels will operate

and cooperate with the police.  If Jennings was too busy rushing to announce the

good news (in an election year) to coordinate with the Angels and the Union, that

needs to be corrected, now.   The Union’s position is a bit suspect, however, since

it also complained about having State Troopers ride along in cars that otherwise

have only one officer.  The Union says the Troopers don’t know the City or how

to deal with urban problems. 


AngelBeret  Curtis Sliwa, whose almost as famous for his red beret as Farrah Farrah

is for her red swimsuit, says he’s willing to come to Albany himself to work things

out with the Union.  I hope he does, and that the Union and APD leaders work to

develop a home-grown, well-trained Albany Chapter of the Guardian Angels.



Jerry’s Angels aren’t as foxy as Harry’s Angels (a/k/a Charlie’s Angels), and they’re

not as cuddly as Jerry’s Kids.  But there is no doubt that residents of neighborhoods

like Albany’s Arbor Hill feel far more secure with Guardian Angels patrolling their

streets than without them.   The Union and the Mayor owe it to the citizens to make

the relationship work.

  • It’s still not too late to make the Guardian Angel’s  “FFPoster”

    Annual Gala, this Thursday in NYC (June 7, 2005).

    RSVP here.  With tickets starting at $750, Prof.

    Yabut won’t be able to go unless Farrah takes him.

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