Friday, December 16, 2005

West Wing Loss and Numb3rs

Just heard that actor John Spencer died of a heart attack. Spencer, who was in my modest opinion the heart and soul of the Bartlett Presidency, was 58. Fifty-eight? I really liked Spencer as an actor. Over the years he appeared in generally small roles in films and various TV shows. While I don't know, I assume he had a lengthy theatrical resume'. But, fifty-eight? I really thought he looked good for a man of, say, 68 or 70. Hell, I'm 59 and well on my way to 60. I look at myself and wonder. I know I don't look young any longer, haven't for some time. I don't smoke. I rarely drink. I don't do drugs. But. I am about 50 pounds overweight.

About a year and a half ago, I managed to lose just over 50 pounds, and I walked in the Indy 500 Mini-Marathon. I didn't run it, but still. Depending on how fast you walk, it takes around 3 & a half to 4 hours to complete the 13.1 mile distance. That's a long time to keep putting one foot in front of the other. It was hot on that particular day; one person died and 1 or 2 more suffered heart attacks. I thought I was going to die by the time I finished, but, by god, I made it, and I am still kicking.

Unfortunately, I have since gained back about 35 pounds. I didn't walk the Mini last spring, but I've signed up to walk it next May. I've got to lose these pounds, though. I hope I don't die. I don't want to follow Mr. Spencer into the great beyond too quickly. We're going to Europe to visit my older son after christmas. He, and his younger brother, who is going with us, have a tendancy to walk much faster than either I or their mother can. They often leave us in the dust. We visited him in Vienna a few years ago, and the two of them came close to leaving us behind at subway stations. I think I can keep up with them for a while, but I'm afraid my wife can't. This trip should be interesting. I don't want to die on foreign soil, either.

"NUMB3RS" You know, I struggled mightily in school (Thomas Carr Howe High School) to eke out "Ds" thru 1 year of algebra and 1 year of geometry. Now, anything beyond the basic 4 functions is beyond me. I have watched Numb3rs a number (ha-ha) of times since it began earlier this fall. It's one of those shows that try as I might, I generally haven't even the vaguest idea of what's going on. Actually, I sometimes had a similar problem with West Wing owing to the high energy chatter the characters maintained while hurrying thru the White House halls. But Numb3rs does me in simply with a glimpse of the chalk boards that usually pop up several times throughout every episode. However, even though I generally have no idea what's going on, nevertheless, I suspect that most of the math stuff that's flying around teeters on the edge of bullshit. I'm sure they hire math nudges to act as advisors, but give me a break? You have to assume that if it was possible to solve crimes as diverse as serial murder, rape, kidnapping and arson with a few theorems and a mess of calculations on a blackboard, they would do it. I ain't buyin' it.

But, I'll probably watch it again.

On another front: Oh, Ron Artest! We hardly new ye.

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