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Lightly Seasoned

If I'm not mistaken (or if my calendar is not mistaken), today is the last day of summer here in the top half of the world. (I was going to use a different metaphor and actually Googled "drain swirling by hemisphere," only to find that drain swirling is hardly affected at all by which hemisphere the swirling occurs in. Macro events, like tornadoes and hurricanes, however, are another story. Fascinating stuff, if that kind of stuff fascinates you.)

This wasn't a typical summer in the Bay Area. Ordinarily we would have two or three hot days and then a day or two of fog and overcast, all summer long. We might have one stretch where it was very hot for a longer period, but no more than a week or so. This year, it never got oppressively hot and there were fewer days of overcast, and almost none when we didn't see the sun at all. So what gives? Am I complaining that the weather has been pleasant and mild? It almost seems that I am.

There are ways in which this was a great summer around here. Our two major league baseball teams won enough that they will probably both be playing in the postseason. And both of them seemed to be having fun doing it, which can't be said of some of the monolithic corporate entities in other parts of the country. The Giants and A's showed that it's not how much money you spend, it's how you spend your money that brings success. That seems a good lesson, even though it's one that can be only vaguely applied in other areas of life.

And, you know, heading into fall we can count one good professional football team in the area. The other one, not so much. It's not well known, but I grew up as a diehard Raider fan. It was part of how people thought of me in the freshman dorm at UC Santa Barbara, lo these many years ago. Then the Raiders moved to Los Angeles for a few years, and I dropped them just as quickly as I felt they had dropped me. (You can't do that with a baseball team, by the way. If you fall in love with a baseball team as a kid, you are forever tied to that team.)

It took me a long time to warm up to the 49ers. Even after the Raiders moved back to Oakland, I felt like a fan without a team for a few years. But eventually you absorb the local culture, and during football season that was all 49ers, all the time. To the extent that I'm a football fan now, I'm a 49er fan. Don't confuse me with the faithful who have been loyal to the team through the lean decades. I've overcome my bitterness, though, and don't take much glee from the fact that the Raiders are horrible.


The change of seasons also means that the days are getting more noticeably shorter. (I read that three times, and it's correct. Grammatically, anyway.) Of course, to me the days get shorter only at the end. How a day begins is a matter for those who are awake to see it happen. It's always plenty light out by the time I fall out of bed.

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