Category Archives: Passion and Pursuit

March Sadness 2020

Today is the Ides of March, and this time
something bigger than Caesar has been killed.

Like a prior post about the 3pt shot, the topic is college basketball, but specifically  “March Madness,” the NCAA Tournament. Today should have featured the selection of 68 teams to compete for the championship.

The Sunday “Selection Show,” with its reveal of the tournament bracket, tips off three upcoming weekends of action, glory, surprises, reflection, deflections, perfection, and escape. For some (me) it is bigger than Olympics, World Cup, World Series, Kentucky Derby, Super Bowl, Christmas, birthdays, New Years’ Eve, you-name-it! Yes, even Hamilton Musical.

Maybe killing March Madness
isn’t “bigger than Caesar”
but today I lament…

the cancellation that brought March Sadness. Continue reading March Sadness 2020

‘Leap’ into March, 3Pt Shot 2020

This is a free day; no charge for the extra 24 hours of Leap Year 2020.

I’m leaping off my usual topics of travel, books, and occasionally movies or stage shows to something that has been a passion since the 1970s: college basketball, particularly the “March Madness” of the NCAA Tournament.

Today I’m analyzing the 3-point shot. Here’s a history lesson for that shooting distance (feet and inches) during the existence of the three-point shot in the men’s game:

2007-08: thru that season, the 3pt line was 19', 9"
2008-09: the line was moved back to 20', 9"
2019-20: the line was moved back to 22', 1 3/4", the International distance

It seems there has been no drop-off with this season’s longer line. Things are not always as they seem, eh? Analysis makes those “things” clearer. I’ll get to the data in a moment. Continue reading ‘Leap’ into March, 3Pt Shot 2020

Day7: Paris Redux

Concluding this tour in Paris puts us back where we started. We view islands in the Seine and old Notre Dame. There are more eyefuls of the Eiffel day and night, a spectacular war museum, and two new points of interest “discovered” that will be favored memories.

‘You2’ could visit ‘where the streets have No. Dame’
and sites near its Paris island; a 6-photo GIF
Paris Isles
Click any thumbnail below for a large image from the set above.
Paris Isles Paris Isles Paris Isles Paris Isles Paris Isles Paris Isles

Continue reading Day7: Paris Redux

Day6: Napoleon Domicile

If you had a ‘Bone(a)’ to pick with me, ‘apart(e)’ from my wordplay, one might wonder how “France” and “history” have been topics throughout this trip yet Napoleon Bonaparte merits no mention save a day-5 statue in Rouen.

On day six, his house is ours to visit. This is not the Palace of Versailles that was residence to kings since 1682, over 100 years before he made himself Emperor of the French people (1804). It is a generously landed estate and not a bad house, as the name “Malmaison” might literally imply.

Malmaison chateau of Napoleon and Josephine

Continue reading Day6: Napoleon Domicile

Day5: Rouen Realism

The charm of the day-5 port stop is the realism of Rouen. Streets bustle with the working class. Old buildings have been restored to function as a city hall, courthouse, or retail shop, not simply as monuments to the architecture they exude.

Five street scenes of Rouen should scroll automatically below.

-Rue de la Republique architecture evoking the Paris “Haussmann” style
-New(er) architecture that is less ornate but similar in height, theme
-Wide pedestrian passage with street cafes,
-Government office building was once a palace,
-Colorful floral shop.
Rouen Street scenes

Continue reading Day5: Rouen Realism

Day3: Abbeys, Honfleur

In the land of Normandy on the flow of the River Seine, the Avalon Tapestry II continues a northwest heading down-river to our farthest docking point from Paris, Caudebec en Caux.

We are attuned to the hayfields being harvested everywhere, reminders that Claude Monet painted haystacks and cathedrals on the route now journeyed.
Haystacks at the coast of Normandy

Haystacks today are rolled, not stacked as they were in the day of Monet.

Haystacks along the highway in Normandy

Haystacks along the highway with modern art spirals in the background.

Tour guides and ship personnel are fully fluent in English, thus only bits of French language are learned. We gather that Caudebec en Caux rhymes with the English word for the grazing bovines seen in the Norman meadows. I sarcastically wonder if perhaps “Caudebec” is the word for “bus;” it seems everything to be seen from here is via motor coach, often at significant distance. Continue reading Day3: Abbeys, Honfleur

Day2: Monet, Monet

Our first berth outside Paris is Vernon, where we clawed our way on a road under repair to Claude Monet’s gardens at nearby Giverny. This is his home, the second most visited tourist site in France, where every day people flock to see the magical inspiration that he termed his “greatest masterpiece.”
Monet's Water Garden where flowers and light are featured

The “masterpiece” quote refers not to art, but rather the flowering gardens of beauty, color, and light nurtured by his own hand. He worked them as delicately as his canvas creations. Continue reading Day2: Monet, Monet