Pine Ridge Cattle

Cow

On the third day of our road trip to Burning Man, Aug. 22, Nick and I drove from the Valtiroty castle in Mitchell, S.D. to Pine Ridge, S.D. After stops at Wall Drug and Badlands National Park, we turned South onto a dirt road towards Pine Ridge. Empty fields rolled for miles in either direction from the road, lined with rusty fencing and spotted with an occasional abandoned shed.

After some time, we passed a herd of hundreds of black cattle, and we stopped so I could take some photos of them. Farther east in the state, we stopped to photograph some fields of sunflowers. I was excited to get up-close-and-personal with the cows, but the feeling was not mutual. A few stared me down angrily, and all of them kept a safe distance. After a few snaps, a chorus of moos broke out, and the herd quickly stampeded away. (I got a few seconds of this on video.)

Me with cows

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The Game Goes On

Foam FingerJonathan Mahler believes baseball has fallen from the forefront of America’s cultural landscape. As a 23-year-old Nats fan, I cannot remember a time when it was the contrary. He writes:

More to the point, baseball seems simply to have fallen out of the national conversation (unless the conversation happens to be about steroids, that is). The last time baseball felt front and center, culturally speaking, was the 1998 home-run race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. And we all know how that turned out.

I don’t agree. For me, the 2004 World Series was just as exciting, if not more. The Nationals’ playoff series last October was awesome. For its fans, baseball not being as popular as the NFL or NBA is not a problem.

Mahler pointed out all the reasons why baseball is great right now: young stars, new stadiums, etc., so what is the issue here? Perhaps a fear that baseball will have a harder time attracting new fans as it caters to lovers of a bygone era.

Maybe a new generation of fans won’t grow up thinking the game represents something more than it is. Maybe baseball will stop auditioning for another chapter in the Ken Burns saga. Maybe baseball can just be baseball.

I am all for that. Without a focus on the present, there will soon be no past to mythologize. The issue is not whether people will care about baseball, but why people will care about baseball.

Possum Alley Podcast No. 2

We’re one for one on keeping it weekly.

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Elliott Day is a close friend of mine who I know from summer camp in Vermont, where he teaches water skiing. He is a Physics major entering his senior year at Syracuse University. He once tried to eat 20 McDonald’s hamburgers in 2 hours (DNF) and has been called a personification of Bart Simpson.

In the podcast, we discuss life at Syracuse, his recent shoulder surgery, skateboarding and the upcoming camp season.

Last week, I found the Greenberg House in Woodley Park. I had no idea it existed, but there it is. According to its website, the Greenberg House is a hub for student recruitment, and alumni and government relations in D.C.