Friday, January 15, 2016



    Lana, a decades long veteran of jigsaw puzzle work says this ditty from Liberty Puzzles is the toughest she has confronted.
    Alone and with friends she has worked much larger puzzles and with hundreds more pieces. This wood puzzle with interesting shaped cuts may be small, but mighty.
    Al Hunt is one of the last of the old boy political analysts, descending from a craft where watching and observing were the tools. Unlike most talking heads now, eager to predict or pontificate, Hunt watches and takes measure, often finding foundational facts. Hunt believes what Eric Sevareid said many years ago, you cannot predict politics.
     The other evening as a pollster and other political technicians were doing a horse race assessment and talking about likely outcomes, Hunt reminded them it was impossible to predict what could or might happen or how it could affect a race.
      Too much time and too many words are spent  handicapping outcomes. Coverage is numbers crazy, doing the simulated sports coverage of the campaign, how to win or lose the game. A lot of wordage seems motivated by career posturing or boosting a media profile. Missing in the heat is illumination or thoughtful analysis. Attention spans and historical perspective seem to suffer a deficit disorder.
      Spend a couple minutes here, time traveling to 1977 when television news analysis was indeed thoughtful and provided depth and significance. Sevareid provided this role for CBS News. You'll better know  the quality and intellect of that time and work by seeing this, Sevareid's last comment at the time of his retirement. Walter Cronkite's follow also shows us a perspective that we miss.

cow and lens
    San Simeon Creek Road, northern San Luis Obispo County, California

     See you down the trail.


  1. Tom, how many times do I have to tell you, it's lose, not loose!

    "how to win or loose the game"

  2. Apparently not enough. Stay vigilant Mr. Editor and eventually both me and my spell check will get it right.

  3. Wow. Eric Sevareid valedictory was beautiful. Not sure anyone under 35 has a 3 minute attention span to listen.

  4. I fear you may be right. I'd love to hear Sevareid weigh in on this election cycle!

  5. It always seem like intruding here, a impostor slipping into a lunch meeting. The Manet would be a horrible puzzle to try to put in place.
    Yeah, I was a 31 year old in '77, so remember it well. Or at least as well as one who was in Alaska with a three year old and a Smith graduate for a wife can be, getting the newscasts a day late.
    Leaving Alaska to get a superfluous PhD at Cal only made me a political maverick, at least in my chosen field.
    I've never seen anything like this year, even in the Nixon Disgrace, the gop did not wilt, but came back with pains me to say that, being a JFK Democrat all my 70 years.
    It'll be interesting to see what happens this year.
    Cheers, and nice writing.

    1. Getting the news on a delay while living in Alaska is a unique angle. All of that is profound.
      It seems this year we are even tossing the pretense that election campaigns are supposed to be about ideas, issues, values and goals.
      Thanks for the kind words.

  6. Jigsaw bridge in Giverny is indeed a challenge. So is politics. I miss Mr. Sevareid's directness and fairness, his respect for viewers' intelligence. Thanks for this, Tom.

    1. Three enormously important words and concepts in your response-fairness, respect and intelligence. Thanks.