Friday, October 25, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: October 25th

Yesterday, in an email, the Chair announced the passing of one of our Professors.  It was really sad news to me in particular as he was my office neighbor.   A really nice guy, and a great sense of humor, he left us too soon.

It also disturbs me to know how brutal Pancreatic Cancer is.  The last time I saw him, months ago, he looked like he was in great shape, exercising, and in full command of his mental facilities.   Over the years, knowing him, he'd always say hello and goodbye, and had some good anecdotes to share.  He did retire in early summer, but that fact alone was not enough to suggest he had cancer.  Perhaps he did, and it didn't really take effect until he was out of the public eye.

Most workdays had him stop at the office, and I'd help him with Powerpoint documents and at the end of every session he'd say "Thank you very much" in his jolly voice.  Why do people like that have to go?  I learned the news yesterday at work, and I think some of us are distraught from it, to be honest.  For me personally, I didn't really show any reaction early on, but inside it was getting to me.  A newspaper clipping on the wall behind my desk was his.  He gave it to me because he thought it was a funny story.  I never got to say goodbye.  I somewhat did in the form of a card our staff sent out.  I just had no idea how badly he was doing.

I got an email about three weeks ago with his name on the subject line, also from the Chair.  I read the first few sentences and thought it was just a recap of how well his retirement presentation went, but later on I revisited the email and next paragraph got very grave, but I was so embarrassed at myself that I spent a few days thinking "oh, false alarm!  I thought this was serious."

Now it is over.   I'm comforted, in a sense, by the fact he is in peace.   As I remember from my Uncle two years ago, who died the same way, pancreatic cancer is extremely painful.   It's not only painful but it's incredibly swift and has a virtually nonexistent percentage of survival.   In essence, yesterday was a tough day.

It was tough, but I carried on as he probably would have wanted me to, with a smile on my face and doing what I do.  Our professor was a good friend and great contributor to the department, may he continue to rest in peace.

Farewell, Professor.

Other items on my mind...

Is Carolina that good, or is Tampa Bay *that bad?*   I thought last night would yield some answers, but I do like how the Panthers really put together a good game and went for the touchdown in the red zone.  Red Zone efficiency was really impressive last night.  All Tampa Bay did for most of the game was run a zone.  Zone, zone, zone, it was something like two way back and four middle, or maybe two two with the other front guys rushing.   The point is, it left the underneath routes open for the whole game and Cam Newton made great use of this on 3rd down.  He had passes up the middle early and often.  He played "keeper" more than a few times like he did in Auburn and that worked out really well too.  I think their overall running game is doing pretty well but again this is against Tampa so I can't use this as a good barometer.  Even so, DeAngelo Williams looks good.  Very good.

I'm still struggling to get into this World Series, but in terms of gameplay, I think it's been tremendous.  Good pitching all around, other than the two innings of Game 1, and up to now a 1-1 tie in the series.  That's all you could ask for on a pragmatic level.  Here's to some good games in St. Louis.

And all the Red Sox fans who think "oh it's over!   Cards in 5" can you calm down?  You sound like me now!   Let's see these games play out.

I had fried ice cream last night.  I enjoyed it, but I had to tough out the coconut used in the shell.  I usually don't like coconut, but I can be a team player for it if it's needed for food construction.

I have an unusual fetish:  CBS Sports opening montages, graphics packages, and intro animations.   I think some of you might remember the old NBA on CBS intros from the mid to late 80's.   My Dad and I *both* grew up on them.  The music stays in my head today.   The over the top corny arrangements, the requisite electric guitar, the obvious 80's style key changes, and out of nowhere, a tambourine.   To be honest, the theme music got out of date only three years in, but it must have been so iconic that CBS kept it going until 1989.  Every other sport CBS covered back in 1987 went with a newly updated theme, but the NBA stayed w/ the theme from four years earlier.

Once NBC took over the NBA, they started fresh with a new theme by John Tesh, and let me tell you, to date it's the best NBA TV theme that's ever lived.   It is, undoubtedly, perfection.  The best part of it is that it's timeless.  You really could pick  up the theme today, use it on NBC, and it wouldn't miss a beat or feel out of place.

I'm not sure what CBS Sports was thinking using a Disco theme for its NFL music back in 1981... and to compound it, they kept using it all the way until 1986.   Probably one of the more forgettable themes in music.

I've got a birthday to attend on Saturday and I'll get to catch up with everyone in the family.  I look forward to it!  It's been a while since I've seen everyone.  That's all for the moment.  Thank you very much for reading.

'Til Monday...

No comments: