SWITCHING TEAMS, SWITCHING CHANNELS
What happens when your preseason “player of the year” decides to leave the team, after announcing he’s stepping away for “personal reasons”? If you’re Kelvin Sampson, head coach of the University of Houston Cougars, you shrug and “switch channels.”
Early this month, Caleb Mills entered the transfer portal, which sounds like something out of Star Trek. Whether he comes out the other side unscathed, Sampson certainly emerged looking good. Good? Three days later in a come-from-behind win against Wichita State, replacement player Quentin Grimes deposited 22 points in the basket. Another put in 28 points, including eight treys.
|Uh-oh. Now you done it. You done |
made the coach take off his tie!
Maybe Coach Sampson reached in to tweak Mills’s nose on his way to the other side of that portal. - January 15, 2021
One the great highlights in my life occurred when I was a teenager. I was at a music venue helping a friend set up equipment for a dance when in walked someone who meant more to me than any performer – Alan Shepard, the first American to get shot into space in the Mercury mission. I introduced myself, shook his hand, and went back to plugging in speakers.
Among the advantages to growing up in Houston was realizing that something of national importance was taking place right here. Although I was too young to truly appreciate the magnitude of what was going on, a sense of pride permeated everything. I knew men who worked at NASA. In fact, my oldest brother worked for NASA. I saved newspaper clippings of the exploits of our astronauts, and dreamed of becoming one. A fear of heights and claustrophobia is a bad combination for would-be space explorers, so I wisely set my sights a little “lower.”
Just a few years before Alan Shepard “slipped the surly bonds of earth,” Charles Lindbergh audaciously flew across the Atlantic. In fact, the famed aviator actually met Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan and Jim Lovell. (But for a mishap, one of them would have walked on the moon.) Barely 70 years separated the legendary solo flight and the flight to the moon. Now consider the sheer magnitude of technological knowledge necessary to expedite this mission, and consider the primitive state of computers compared to their ubiquitous presence.
Just a couple of weeks ago Lisa and I listened to Walter Cunningham of Apollo 7 speak at the University of Houston Clear Lake campus. A month earlier, John Glenn died. I was almost finished reading (again) First on the Moon when news of Gene Cernan’s passing was broadcast. The very last man to leave the moon was also the last to leave earth.
Another Greatest Generation has come and gone. I’m grateful that I was here for the ride. – January 19, 2017
Since the onset of summer my wife and I have been able to take in some leisure activities. Today we went to, of all places, a museum of funeral history. It was far more interesting than one would expect. There is an element of the macabre, to be sure. For example, there is an extensive exhibit on the history of embalming, dating from Egyptian mummification to present methods, complete with manuals and instruments. There is also an impressive fleet of cars used for funerals, including one equipped with sleds. A collection of fantasy casks from Ghana, and an exhibit for the Hispanic observation of the “Dia de Difuntos,” added a touch of whimsy.
Set aside two hours to take it all in. It’s to die for. You’ll get buried in details. - June 21,2016