Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Middle of the Week Mélange

Being Opening Night and all, baseball is on my mind. I haven't been reading The Johnson Post as faithfully as I should, but Marc Johnson's post today on catchers and Mickey Cochrane landed in my inbox this morning and everyone should give it a read. It isn't a surprise to anyone who reads this blog or follows me on Twitter that I was a catcher and I pay more attention to catchers than any other position by far. Cochrane is of a generation of catchers that are hardly present in today's game--guys who devoted their entire career to their craft and weren't asked to fill in at first base or DH. Go give the piece a read and acquaint yourself with the great Mickey Cochrane.

I was asked by Kent Covington of the Southern Fried Baseball podcast to write a piece for BravesWire.com on the Braves' acquisition of Juan Francisco. I hope this is the beginning of a great run at Braves Wire.

On a topic other than baseball, the Idaho Democrats aren't dropping the issue of ethics in the Idaho Legislature just because the legislative session has ended. Democrats in the legislature put out a press release on the role of ethics in the 2012 session. Not surprisingly, Democrats point out that the session began after a series of events that have challenged Idahoans faith in state government. The Democrats continue to hold the line on the creation of an independent ethics commission, something Republican leadership seemed somewhat open to at the beginning of the session then put a kibosh on at the end of the session. The Democrats mentioned the sexual harassment case that brought the end of Senator John McGee's career, in their press release, something the Idaho State Police are still investigating McGee for, but likely didn't know about the accusation of blackmail against McGee by former Idaho Transportation Department Director Pam Lowe. The ethical lapse that led to the state's firing of Lowe has already cost taxpayers upwards of $500,000 and could easily cost the state more than $1 million before all is said and done, a highly likely outcome after the latest federal ruling in the case. Add to the McGee and Lowe stories the ongoing case of tax dodger Rep. Phil Hart (R-Athol), his legislative privilege allows him to not pay taxes argument rejected in court yesterday, and the Democrats certainly have plenty of ammunition on the ethics front.

Two more stories that have caught my eye today. PBS has finally decided to do a show on the items contained in special collections and archives in this country. Treasures of the Special Collections is said to be a cross between History Detectives and Antiques Roadshow (imagine!). It sounds quite a bit like Mysteries at the Museum, actually, but a little more academic. Hear that noise? That's the sound of rejoining by every one of us who have ever worked in a Special Collections department or used a Special Collections department or archive for research.

Last, but not least, I hate when events exploit historic prisons and former state psychiatric hospitals or asylums for Halloween, Friday the 13th, haunted houses or ghost sighting television shows, but I'm glad that this April 13th, the Old Idaho Penitentiary will be marking the anniversary of a double execution in Idaho history. The Old Idaho Pen has an amazing history and it's a great place to visit. If you haven't been there or haven't been since your fourth grade Boise field trip, I highly recommend it. And I can't speak highly enough about the Idaho Inmate Project that produced the Inmate Catalog. It is an amazing resource. You can find more information on the event April 13th at the Old Pen on the Idaho State Historical Society events page.

Listened to quite a bit of Seven Mary Three this morning and then did some online listening/viewing of Ryan Star's music video for "Stay Awhile" and the video premiere of needtobreathe's "Keep Your Eyes Open" on MTV's website. Nothing like tunes on a sunny, albeit chilly, day.

Happy Opening Night, folks!

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