The Hat Season

This is a crappy time of year for the glasses-wearing population of Columbus.  It’s been raining for days, and it’s like the scene in Forrest Gump where Forrest talks about the rain in Vietnam — sometimes big fat rain, sometimes sharp stinging rain, sometimes drizzle that seems to blow on the breeze.  Inevitably the spectacles end up coated with moisture, leaving the now-blinded, hapless glasses-wearing wretch stumbling through the mist.

Umbrellas aren’t a great answer, either.  For one thing, they’re cumbersome and a pain to use in the wind.  And if you’re lugging a satchel and notebook, you’ve got no hand free to hold an umbrella, anyway.

So, I’ve decided to wear a hat and trench coat on foul weather days.  I’ve had a Country Gentlemen Lite Felt hat for several years, but I haven’t worn it much.  This year, I’m going to change that.  I’ve worn the Country Gent the past few rainy days, and it’s perfect.  It’s warm, water repellent, and has an exceptionally wide drop down brim that keeps the raindrops off the lenses.  So what if I look like a bit player in a ’40s crime movie?  It’s worth it to be able to see on Columbus’ drizzly winter days.

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Elvis Costello: His (Anti-Gouging) Aim Is True

I’ve liked Elvis Costello since he came out with the timeless My Aim Is True album when I was in college.  I like him even more after reading an article today about Elvis telling the world that his latest offering has been ridiculously overpriced by his record company.

It’s hard to argue that with conclusion.  It’s a 3 CD, concert DVD, vinyl record, coffee table book “boxed set” called Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook that carries an absurd $225 price tag.  Costello tried to get the record company to reduce the inflated price.  When it wouldn’t, he wrote on his website that he couldn’t recommend the boxed set to anyone because the price was either “a misprint or a satire,” and he recommended a collection from Louis Armstrong instead.

Good for Elvis Costello!  He’s showed that he’s not just in it for the cash and that he’s willing to call his record label when their price gouging gets to the point of ludicrousness.  If only more artists were willing to stand up to the money-at-all-costs views of their publishers and record companies!

Coach K Comes To Columbus

Tonight at 9:30 p.m. the Ohio State men’s basketball team will take on the Duke Blue Devils at Value City Arena.  It’s a match-up that will pit no. 2 against no. 3 and the winningest coach of all time, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, against a strong up-and-comer in the Buckeyes’ Thad Matta.

The game is part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the annual event that until recently hasn’t been much of a challenge for the ACC.  The ACC won the first ten Challenges, but the Big Ten eked out the last two and hopes to make it three in a row.   As always, there are many intriguing games, including Wisconsin at North Carolina, Miami at Purdue, and Indiana at N.C. State.

The most anticipated contest, in Columbus at least, is Duke at Ohio State.  Despite the constant rain over the past few days, OSU students have camped out so they can get into Value City Arena early and start raising a ruckus.  Duke has beaten several ranked teams already, won the Maui Invitational, and has five scorers averaging in double figures — guards Seth Curry, Andre Dawkins, and Austin Rivers and forwards Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly.  The Blue Devils have the size — and three towering Plumlees — to bang down low with Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger, and William Buford, Aaron Craft, and the OSU back court will have their hands full with the Duke guards.  Ohio State will have to play tough defense to stop the high-scoring Duke attack and will need to be aggressive in rebounding and keeping Duke from getting second shots.

Year-in and year-out, Duke is the premier program in America, and they are used as a kind of measuring rod for other programs.  This year is no different.   We’ll have a better sense of how Ohio State sizes up after tonight’s game.