A Good Week

Jesse Cornett

This has been a great week so far. After whining about the lack of snow in Oregon, I drove down to Lake Tahoe last Friday, celebrated Christmas down there with my wife and snowboarded at Heavenly (yes, it was) on Sunday – inaugurating my 11th season of snowboarding (only to have my calf muscles insist I limit my riding that day and then ask for a couple days off - am I getting old?).

Anyhow, over in Reno, we stopped to get a couple things at Costco (who goes to Costco on vacation?). While there, I found two wonderful books. One, “Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation,” I decided to purchase and enjoyed reading on the way home (enjoyed perhaps, learned much from doubtful). The other, "Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season," devoted a few pages to the amazing game I attended in July and blogged about right here at Blue Oregon. I didn't buy that one but bet I will soon. After I left it at the store, I had to wonder how many other baseball games I attend in my life will be written about in any book, much less one co-written by Stephen King.

The fun of snowboarding, casinos, and aimlessly wandering the Costco aisles quickly came to an end and the time came to head home. The ride home was rough, with lots of snow from just a few miles outside of the city until Mt. Shasta. Being the cautious driver that I am, if given the chance, I pull over and let the snow driving speed demons pass me. The only guy to really tailgate me in these conditions took his first opportunity to speed around me. After fishtailing several times, he plowed off the far side of the road where, thankfully, there was no ditch or drop off, but an embankment heading up from the road. It looked like he would spin out of control and then it looked like he was going to flip as the embankment got steeper, but none of that happened. When he finally came to a stop, neither he, the infant in the car seat, nor the truck had been injured. I never did see him in my rear view mirror again.

As for the lack of snow here in Oregon, I am heading up to the hill as many times between now the end of the upcoming weekend anyhow. Hopefully, I’ll see some of you up there. Cheers to all and happy holidays.

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    I feel duty bound, as a grammar nazi wannabe, that "Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation" is itself riddled with grammatical errors.

    I've got Phil Stanford's book on Portland's seemy past on my bedside table. Reports when available...

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    Is it riddled with errors from an American point of view (to those who haven't read it, the author is a wonderfully condescending Brit). I enjoyed reading it and saw a couple things that made me scratch my head, but just chalked it up to the whole across the pond thing.

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    And, speaking of book reviews, The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge : A Desk Reference for the Curious Mind is amazing! Anything that covers everything from ancient architecture to parts of speech in uder 1000 pages is impressive. I'll probably never complete it but, hey, it is a desk reference.

  • Aaron (unverified)


    I think that we, here on BlueOregon; need to inform your bosses that you need more to do if you have any free time too ponder on reading The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge : A Desk Reference for the Curious Mind. Have a great New Year's and I am glad that you escape the nasty roads unscathed.

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    Well, I'm shamelessly parroting what I read in the New Yorker. I, of course, wouldn't know a gerund from a pile of participles. All I really know is what I read in Garner's book.

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    I have the time to ponder reading it, just not the time to actually read it. And the only reason I have time to ponder reading it it because I am on vacation. My job dispells any potential notions of such nonsense (just because I stay so busy).

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    I've forgotten what snarky fun that review is. Listen:

    "I am not a grammarian," Truss says. No quarrel there. Although she has dug up information about things like the history of the colon, Truss is so uninterested in the actual rules of punctuation that she even names the ones she flouts—for example, the rule that semicolons cannot be used to set off dependent clauses.... That is the rule, she explains, but she violates it frequently. She thinks this makes her sound like Virginia Woolf. And she admits that her editors are continually removing the commas that she tends to place before conjunctions.

    For pure snark, you won't find a more entertaining review. Which is, I suppose, the best reason to read the book, too--comparison. Enjoy.

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    I actually went and bought "Faithful" today. The most amazing part is that I actually noticed the cover today -- which is the picture of Veritek shoving A-Rod at the aforementioned game.

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    I politics they say timing is everything. The same seems to be true in ski conditions. Last week when I was at Heavenly they had less than two feet of snow at the base. This week it snowed 8 feet! I guess my timing was off by a week. Ah well.

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