76 thoughts on “January 30, 2014: Rhododendron”

      1. When we visited the Arizona on our honeymoon nearly 20 years ago, we watched a film about it and the attack on Pearl Harbor. The seats for the film were full and about 3/4 of the room was Japanese tourists. I wasn't sure how I should feel about that.

        1. A large percentage this time around as well, although I'm not qualified to identify them all as Japanese.

          Learned a couple new things; 59 civilians died (mostly by friendly fire) including a 3mon old and a 7mon old. Also, did not know that FDR had halted oil sale to Japan, which precipitated their action (because saving face).

          (Taking the LOST tour today -- visiting different film sites. Gal downstairs saw Jorge Garcia checking into a nearby hotel and showed us a pic she snapped)

          1. I think it's a bit too tidy for a historian to claim that FDR's embargo on the oil sale precipitated Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. The Pacific region had been headed toward armed conflict for some time as Japan's colonial aspirations came into conflict with American expansion. The US Navy had been aware of Japan's power since Japan's rout of the Russians in 1905, and War Plan Orange was adopted by 1924. Japan had made its ambitions to control the Pacific and most of East and Southeast Asia very clear. Halting an oil sale to a belligerent regional rival was a sound strategic decision on FDR's part. For a historian to say that Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor was an attempt to "save face" strikes me as a bit deterministic and a reliant on cultural stereotypes, and it sidesteps the fact that while the exports were halted in July, both nations were involved in negotiations that lasted through November. The Emperor didn't authorize the attack until after he received the Hull note, which demanded the withdrawal of Japanese forces from French Indochina and China. Pear Harbor was a target-rich environment for the Japanese Navy, and attacking it made every bit of sense from a broader Japanese strategic perspective once they came to the conclusion that made no sense to delay war in favor of further negotiation.

            1. Heh, I wanted to say something like this, but my brain not as good. Agreed with everything you said here with 2 extra points. First, there was a minority within the Japanese Army that thought attacking the United States was a resoundingly stupid idea as, to this point, the American public had no desire to enter the war (especially in the Pacific to simply protect European colonies as they saw it) and attacking them (which would frighten America into submission as proponents of the attack hoped) would only "wake a sleeping giant". The resulting attack indeed galvanized the public for war, or at least allowed FDR to reason to enter the war (a highly simplified conclusion on my part, yes).

              I also think it's fair to note that the war in the European theater was a political war, while the war against Japan was a racial war. Germans could be separated from the Nazis. All Japs were Japs. As Dower points out in War Without Mercy (again and again and again), these were yellow people playing a white man's game (colonialism), which, whether consciously or not, could not be accepted. While that certainly wasn't the cause of the war, the decades leading up to it were filled with the resentment of the Europeans and Americans.

              1. Good point on the racial aspect of the conflict in the Pacific, hj. Dower's book is very well done. Anyone inclined to read on the Pacific theater specifically or race & war more broadly should have it on their list.

      2. Be sure to get some loco moco while you're out there, Rhu_Ru. One of my grad cohort amigos is from Hawaii and introduced me to it, and now it's one of my favorite comfort foods.

  1. Express bus didn't come for 25 minutes, so I hopped on the local that goes through GleemanLand (Uptown). Local traveled 18 blocks in 15 minutes, perfectly acceptable to me. Local then reached GleemanLand and traveled 12 blocks in the next 45 minutes. Things picked up slightly from there. Total time from leaving my house to getting to my office: 1 hour and 48 minutes.

        1. I know I'm just bringing it on myself at this point, but Gleeman made a big point out of asking Dave St. Peter what his favorite brunch spot was downtown when DSP was a guest on the podcast. I think it was one of three questions Gleeman asked. Dude has no room to complain about sportswriters asking players stupid questions or not asking substantive questions of front office representatives at this point.

          1. I've never listened to his podcast, so I am still a little curious. What exactly is the reason for his brunch fixation? Is it because he recently started liking booze and brunch is an excuse for socially acceptable day drinking? Or is it just an arbitrary affectation that he decided to make the cornerstone of his persona?

            1. I'm not sure. As Gleeman's actual baseball analysis & writing has become increasingly stale and predictable (I wouldn't even call him HardballTalk's second-best writer at this point), he's relied more on cultivating a Twitter following based on his personality, tastes, and activities. Brunch is his shtick now, kind of like Souhan and poultry.

            2. What exactly is the reason for his brunch fixation?

              develop a popular social media presence, kept talking about the places you go to eat, get free food from that establishment.

          2. That was actually one of the better GATG podcasts. St. Peter came off very well, other than his overuse of the phrase 'Let me be blunt'. Any of those GATG podcasts where the ratio of Twins talk : random blathering is at least 1:1 is a small victory.

            1. I agree. St. Peter did a very good job representing the organization, and it was pretty cool to hear from Scott Erickson. Bonnes could have done more prep for that interview, however.

              1. Who was your catcher? Heh.

                I thought the what did you have against Brian Harper question got a much franker response than one would have expected. Also, the I thought the Tom Kelly a lot more after I left response was pretty good, too.

                Bonnes was taking the lead on the interviews, no doubt. He tended to start talking over his guests, which is one thing when it's Gleeman, but another when it's St. Peter or Erickson.

                I figured out that later in the podcast that it was Seth Stohs asking questions, although I didn't ever hear him being introduced.

                  1. Bonnes asked him what he had against Harper and Erickson said that Harper couldn't catch the ball.

                    With TK, he said that when he was there, he didn't get along with TK, but after he was traded, he talked with TK more than when he pitched for the Twins. Said that they got along after that.

    1. The local and "express" bus didn't come for me. Had to wait the additional 30 minutes for the next local bus. Took about 40 minutes (versus usual 25) to get downtown, but part of that was just due to the bus being packed.

      1. I waited 15 minutes for a bus only to have one show up that was too full for any other passengers. Another 10 minutes and two half-empty buses arrived. It took me about an hour from arriving at the bus stop to get to work; normal time is 25ish minutes. Fortunately, I still had a few more 99% Invisible podcasts to listen to.

        1. Fortunately, I still had a few more 99% Invisible podcasts to listen to.

          You're never truly stuck when you've got some 99% Invisible on your playlist.

          1. I'm in the #70s now. I'm enjoying them all immensely, but at the same time a little sad I'll be caught up and not have a seemingly limitless backlog.

    2. I commute west out of GleemanLand around Lake Gleeman (Calhoun). My drive to Plymouth took around 1 hour 15 minutes, but I passed at least half a dozen spun-out/stuck cars on the way.

      1. I more or less take the reverse route and it took me two hours.

        Later I was stuck underneath the Warner Rd/Shepherd Rd bridge in downtown St. Paul for an hour because five separate cars were unable to climb the hill.

        My blood pressure is falling, at least.

    3. Express bus didn't come. After a 30 minute wait, the guy waiting a block further up left and got his car, drove by and asked if I wanted a ride to the park and ride 2 miles away.
      I took him up and he dropped me right by the bus before he left. I have no idea if he was able to find a parking spot, the lot was packed. (New ramp across the road coming in Summer.)
      Overall, I got in about 80 minutes later than I usually do.

      The morning busdrivers have had an awful week: -15F, -15F, -10F, 4 inches of fresh powder.
      Tomorrow's forecast says -14F at 6am. Whoooo!!!

        1. For some reason, all of Sheenie's friends and family who were complaining the other day didn't respond kindly when I told them to stop acting like Marshawn Lynch was running at their home town.

        2. Some folks in our ATL office come with the I can't understand how you people can live up there with all that winter. I'm not feeling sorry for them this week.

          1. I've been to Atlanta in late July with temps in the high 90s and ungodly humidity. I'd say it's a push.

            1. Yeah, I go to ATL every July for a week. It's hot. My philosophy on weather is that I want to live where the weather is best during the summer months.

              'Spoiler' SelectShow
              1. You might want to include me on that, too. You'd be hard-pressed to find any weather better in the summer than Seattle. No humidity and the temperature is rarely above 90. I miss Minnesota in the fall and sometimes in the winter, but definitely not in the summer.

                1. The one time I was in Seattle in the summer it was 97 degrees and no where has air conditioning. It suhucked.

            2. Except summers in Atlanta rarely affect driving conditions like winters in Minnesota (although I had a lot more problems with winter driving in Idaho than I ever did in Minnesota mainly because Minnesotans knew how to clear roads).

              1. 1. As someone who drives a lot, yes, this is a problem.

                2. mainly because Minnesotans knew how to clear roads This is very true, especially as compared to ND. My tax dollars at work! (Something to be proud of, for sure.)

                1. I'm convinced winter driving in StL (when it really IS winter) is worse than MN; most all the time in MN you know what you are driving on -- packed snow. Here it can be freezing rain turning to snow then back to sleet, thawing then refreezing...plus all said above about MN drivers knowing how to drive and MN knowing how to clear snow.

              2. Dude, eff that noise. As a Minneapolis kid, whenever we had a decent snow I had to watch the crawler on the morning news and see every city and suburb around me have school cancelled except for Minneapolis ("Maple Grove... Maplewood... Medina... Mendota Heights... Minnetonka... Damn it.") Stupid Minneapolis and their snow plow army.

                1. Don't forget Richfield. My brothers went to Holy Angels FOUR BLOCKS FROM MY HIGH SCHOOL and always had school cancelled. I blame the Pope.

                2. I went to school in Osseo from 8th through graduation and I think I counted a total of 2 1/2 snow days in those years. I think I lost more days because of power outages.

              3. Based on everything I've heard about Atlanta traffic, driving conditions there are already sufficiently effed-up year round as to make no difference what the comparative weather advantage might be vs. Minnesota.

                1. From the handful of times I've driven in Atlanta, it doesn't take much of anything for the traffic to become nigh-impassable. A heavy rainstorm on one of the days I was down there (around Christmas time, 2002, I think) pretty much brought the freeway to a screeching halt.

  2. I'm managing production of a dozen new print collateral pieces that have to be finalized, proofed, printed and shipped to our sales meeting in St. Thomas for arrival by next Wednesday. It's quite the logistical challenge but it will be very satisfying when I pull it off. People from here who are attending can't wait to get out of Minnesota for a week. My commute was actually not that bad this morning, about double my normal drive time. But I'm a bit miffed at Weather.com, which told me before bed last night to expect up to an inch of snow overnight. They only missed by four inches.

  3. Had a great time on the LOST tour -- will have to post photos someday. Also dipped our feet in the Pacific then strolled through the Army Museum in Battery Randolph, which featured the history of Hawai'i tribal warfare, Hawai'ian contributions to US warfare, and a nice tribute to General Eric Shinseki.

    Also, it's going to kill a lot of you, but we'll be eating here tonight and I won't be partaking of any of their beer selection.

  4. My mother found out tonight that the Rolling Stones are English. She graduated from high school in 1963. I know.

          1. Nope, I'm not. We're watching back episodes of "Boardwalk Empire" at the moment. And I've followed the Sabres more closely in the past year or so after having been in Buffalo.

              1. Yeah, I probably deserve that. My interest in Avs, and hockey in general, waned without access to it on TV. Living in Buffalo and working at the rink meant I saw a lot of Sabres games.

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