Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Day Thoughts: LinkedIn, Water Pipelines, and Baseball Sans Derek Jeter

They’re coming out of the woodwork. Like characters from The Walking Dead, people I hadn’t heard from in years have been sending congratulations messages and asking to re-connect, all because I failed to update my LinkedIn profile. So, they all think I am celebrating my third year anniversary at Green Retail Decisions as director of industry relations when in truth I stopped consulting for them last summer. Still, it’s nice to know some people still care enough about me to want to keep the relationship alive ... 

I cleared 11 inches of snow from the driveway and walkway around noon today. Thank god I bought that snowblower a few years ago. Waiting for the second round of snow from this storm …

Perhaps you’ve thought of this idea as well: If we have the capability to build the Keystone XL (crude oil) Pipeline from Canada to Nebraska, a distance of 1,179 miles, with the hope there won’t be any negative environmental impacts from leaks or spills, why can’t we build a water pipeline to take the inevitable runoff of spring flooding along the Mississippi River in Iowa and points south to the parched Texas landscape, a distance of about 1,000 miles? Or maybe divert flood waters from the Missouri River to Denver? Sure, each would be a massive project, but would provide jobs and much needed drought relief. Plus, we wouldn’t have a catastrophe if a few gallons of water leaked along the way. 

I just did a Google search and found several entries outlining the difficulties of advancing these projects, from structural, financial and, even more importantly, political perspectives.  We had massive public works projects during the Depression and the building of the interstate highway system beginning in the 1950s. But it is doubtful all the stars would line up to implement any such tasks in this day and age ...

O Captain! My Captain! I don’t mean to trivialize Walt Whitman’s tribute poem to the assassinated Abraham Lincoln, but one of the first thoughts I had upon hearing of Derek Jeter’s pending retirement from the NY Yankees at the conclusion of the 2014 season was the opening lines of the poet’s elegy:

O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won;

Nobody can play forever. Jeter’s departure, along with that of Robinson Cano in free agency and the joint retirements of Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte in 2013, will leave no internally grown superstar among pinstriped players. What a pity. The long line of Yankee greats, that started with Gehrig and wound its way through DiMaggio, Berra, Mantle, Ford, Howard, Guidry, Munson, Mattingly, Posada, Pettitte, Rivera and Jeter appears to be, at best, in hiatus.

My hope, probably shared by anyone who has appreciated Jeter’s professionalism, is that injury will not mar his final trip around the basepaths of major league baseball. Let’s hope that just as Mariano enjoyed a splendid comeback year after his injury-shortened 2012 season, Jeter will play to the level of 2012 when he led the American League in hits with 216.   

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