Turkey or Brisket

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* Thanksgivukkah

There was chaos in the kitchens on Thursday, November 28. According to the Religious News Service (RNS), the cause of this  anomaly “last happened in 1888 and, according to one calculation, won’t happen again for another 77,798 years: the convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. This year Nov. 28 was Thanksgiving and the first full day of the eight-day Jewish festival of lights, which began at sundown the previous night. Earlier this year, when the rarity of the synergy began to dawn on the American Jewish households, they began concocting “Thanksgivukkah” mash-ups.”

The chefs in the house didn’t know whether to roast a turkey or slice a brisket. Food neuroses may become endemic across the nation. “Cooks have created recipes for everything from pumpkin latkes (Hanukkah’s signature potato pancake) to turkey brined in Manischewitz (the syrupy kosher wine Americans love to make fun of but drink anyway). The quirk of Thanksgivukkah is that the Hebrew calendar, which follows the sun and the moon, and the Gregorian calendar where Thanksgiving sits on the fourth Thursday of November, have aligned such that the two holidays were on the same day for the first time since 1888 which is 25 years after President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a holiday. Pretty soon school kids will think Thanksgiving started when the Wampanoag’s sat down with the Maccabees and the yams lasted for eight nights.”

* A Jolly Good Fella

Most likely, by the time you read this, many others will have weighed in with the same thoughts. The USC football team could have a long hard winter as the Trojans and Athletic Director Pat Haden ponder the various head coach possibilities for 2014. Now there’s a happy fella who is liked by the players, coaches, alumni and fans. This good natured recruiter par excellence has magically transformed the team’s record from a flimsy 3-2 to a respectable 9-3 overall and 6-2 in Pac. As in “The Wizard of Oz” sometimes there is no place like home. Our Rhodes Scholar Haden should seriously consider interim USC Head Coach Ed Bergeron for the permanent head coaching position.

 * Go to the Bench

After another disappointing year, the Angels did make some positive coaching changes about a month ago. Dino Ebel was moved from third base coach to bench coach. He is well liked by the players and might be able to awaken the cemetery that is the Angel bench. Hopefully he should give the bench a less confused look. The third base coaching position will be taken over by Gary DiSarcina. A former Angel shortstop, he is well liked and respected by the players and fans. Perhaps the most productive change will be the hiring of Don Baylor as hitting coach. He is one of the best Angel hitters of all time and will have a lot of work to keep his interest. Also well liked, he has seen and done it all, and has the ability to relate to the players when they go into their perennial slumps. Maybe he can awaken the bats of Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton before mid-season. All three of the aforementioned new coaches have strong Angel ties. Now all the Angels need to do is add starting and relief pitchers that don’t arrive injured or 1000 miles over the hill.

* No Sooner Said Than Done

Last Friday the Angels traded OF Peter Bourjos and prospect OF Randal Grichuk for St Louis Cardinals’ 3B David Freese and RHP Fernando Salas. I hate to see Bourjos go. A short time ago he was one of the brightest, hottest and exciting Angel prospects. His speed in the outfield and on the bases was second to none. As usual the Angels are getting a player (Freese) who is coming off a bad year. Bourjos injuries will probably heal and he will lead St. Louis to the World Series.

 * It’s Isn’t Over Until the Last Extra Point

The other school is larger, has more students, more players, and a few guys who were the size of pros on their football team. In fact, to the naked eye, Newport Harbor had more cheerleaders than players and La Habra more players than cheerleaders. Kudos to the entire Sailor Team for their gutsy mind numbing 49-48 last minute victory over La Habra. An extra point means a lot. Also thanks to John Rowe, a Newport Harbor parent and rooter par excellence, who clued me in on all the players and their stats. His son Colin is a junior lineman on the Tars.

* It’s Always the Good Guys

Every night the news begins with a sickening string of the daily murders, suicides, vehicle accidents, and gang shootings. As reported by the TV news, virtually all of these involve the death or deaths of teenagers who are A students, great athletes and student leaders who are well liked and respected. Friends of those killed always comment that they will miss his/her wonderful smile. It seems as if those killed in these senseless murders are always the good guys. I am curious. Aren’t the bad guys ever eliminated?



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