In case you hadn't noticed, I have been away for a couple of weeks, on vacation.
Last week, Diane and our niece Lindsay took off for performing arts camp in the Redwoods on the California coast. Since this is the 13th time I have attended, I guess that makes it kind of a tradition, and though we get spotty internet at camp, our cell phones don't work at all.
Which is great, because vacations are supposed to be a respite from whatever it is we face on a daily basis in our lives.
We did return home for a couple of days, but then took off again for the place we own up in Serene Lakes, about 25 miles south of Lake Tahoe.
Though we do get pretty solid internet at the Lake, again our cell phones are toast. We can play games on them via the wireless router, but, no calls, no texts, and so for the most part we go through a couple of weeks having very little contact with the outside world.
The reality is, I find it kind of refreshing, for it reminds me that our wonderful planet ticks on with or without my sanction, and for some odd reason that makes me hopeful for our species.
Over the years, while we have been "off the grid" as my mate Lord Zola likes to call it, there have been holocausts. For instance, around ten years ago, there was a huge heatwave and brown-out back east and a lot of people lost their lives as a result. Famous people have died during our absence, like Bernie Mac a few years back, and Dyan Cannon this past go-around.
This past cycle, Egypt has been going through the pains of revolution, again costing many, many lives, reminding us that freedom is certainly not free, while our own National Politics pretty much stayed with the gridlocked business as usual that our leaders have self inflicted.
In fact, I believe the Affordable Health Care Act was subject to its 40 recall attempt, suggesting the mental health aspects of the bill should be administered to those who cannot grasp repeating a mistake is not always such a sane thing to do.
Just as we were leaving, a cluster of ballplayers, including Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera joined some lesser names, along with the previously disciplined Ryan Braun, in the Biogenesis debacle, so I largely missed those players acquiescing, turning in their spikes until spring of next year.
It also meant I missed seeing how the contenders, like Texas and Detroit, are adjusting around a lineup hole, let alone the fantasy teams trying to adjust to such an instant hole, for especially in a deeper format, everyday players and at-bats are essential to success simply because the player pool is thinner.
Similarly, I completely missed the feisty Alex Rodriguez and his return to Yankee Stadium, in defiance of the ban, as he challenges the right of the Commissioner's Office to essentially end his career. Which, is why it makes sense for Rodriguez to challenge, for at age 38, returning to baseball at age 40 does not bode well for any kind of success, so he has very little to lose by challenging (actually, if anyone needs to rethink, it would be the Yankees front office who have to pay their aged third sacker through the 2017 season). Because this is the end of the line on the field for A-Rod no matter what happens.
Of course, it was interesting to see the reactions, for A-Rod, like Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa and probably even Barry Bonds, might find himself blacklisted out of Hall of Fame consideration much like Pete Rose, who self admittedly had the wrong kind of addiction. But, as all these actions play out, just like the Affordable Care Act, and promotions and earthquakes and weddings, it will be interesting to watch how us goofy human beings compartmentalize and process all the rights and wrongs about all of this.
All of these machinations I had missed, along with the first few preseason games for the NFL, which in retrospect proved to be no more important than anything else in the grand scheme.
At camp this year, a particularly devout Athletics fan and friend asked if I wasn't concerned about the pennant races and play while I was away, and I shook my head, noting "it will still be there when I got back home."