The Agony, And Occasional Ecstacy

The Browns were playing like crap and down 21-3 when I snapped off the TV in frustration this afternoon and suggested that Kish and I walk to the library — which we did.  It was a way to get away from another situation where I could feel myself beginning to lose my temper and yell incoherently at the lousy tackling and poor play.

We had a nice walk, and when we got back from the library I offered to take Kasey, Mighty Kasey, for a walk around the Yantis Loop.  Why not?  It would keep me away from the TV and make me feel less like I had wasted my Sunday on the Browns.  So Kasey and I took a nice walk, too.  But during the walk I thought well, I should just check to see if anything is happening in the game.  What could it hurt?  I checked, and it was 28-13.  Well, at least the Browns had cut the deficit and hadn’t quit.  A little later I couldn’t resist checking again, and now it was 28-15.  Hmm . . . a safety?  And the Browns were within two scores?

When Kasey and I got back, I decided to turn on the TV, despite the Steelers debacle earlier this year.  Hey . . . it was now 28-22!  Well, what the hell — why not watch?  So I did.  And I saw Head Coach Mike Pettine make a smart challenge on the spot of the ball, and the Browns D make a huge, goal-line stand-type play on fourth and inches — a decision that the Tennessee coach would like to do over — and then Brian Hoyer calmly drive the team down the field for the winning score.

Hey, who are these guys?  A Browns miracle comeback never happens.  I know that Tennessee isn’t one of the best teams in the NFL, but the fact that the Browns were able to turn it around and didn’t quit says a lot to me.  Their coach stays in the game, and his players do, too.  What’s not to like?  Now if only the Browns could actually play full games like they played the second half today and against the Steelers.

And by the way — I know it is stupid that a 57-year-old guy can find his mood change completely depending on whether a football team wins a game, but I just can’t help it.

Sad Sign

IMG_3264When I was up at Put-In-Bay several weeks ago, I walked to a park and found a nice group of colorful kayaks set against a rocky beach, with one of the island outcroppings and a pretty blue sky behind.  It made for a nice picture.

But . . . what’s that sign say, just above the “Have fun on the water” green triangle?

IMG_3268It’s a sign advising people not to drink Lake Erie water and cautioning about the potential presence of blue-green algae toxins.  The sign helpfully advises people to avoid water that looks like spilled paint, or is covered with scum or film, or has “green globs” floating just below the surface.  That’s useful information when you’re going out in one of those brightly colored kayaks, I guess, although it sure would put a damper on my ability to “have fun on the water.”

Ohio actually has a website that provides more information about “harmful algae blooms” and their potentially toxic effects on human skin, livers, and nervous systems.  The blooms are caused by excess nutrients, consisting primarily of phosphorus and nitrogen, that run off into the lake from fertilized farm fields and feed the algae.  The nutrient run-off and the algae blooms is a problem not only for Lake Erie, but also for a bunch of other lakes and ponds in Ohio — including the pond on the Yantis Loop here in New Albany.

Lake Erie is vastly improved from what it was in the ’60s, when I remember taking a boat ride in the lake with grade school classmates and being amazed at how filthy it looked and how terrible it smelled.  Careful regulation of pollutants, efforts to keep invasive species out, and other initiatives have had a significant positive impact.  As the sad sign on the Put-In-Bay shore indicates, however, there is still more work to do.