March 15, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday - Vol. 13

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So where were you when the white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel? My wife and kids were kind enough to pick me up at work and take me out to lunch on Wednesday. While we were sitting at the table finishing up, my iPhone vibrated with a breaking news alert about the white smoke. It wasn't until I was back at work a little later when Pope Francis was introduced. I had to multitask and keep one eye on my work and one eye on the papal coverage on the internet. Thank goodness (and more importantly, God) for modern technology. What a powerful moment.

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I also had my eyes on the Sistine Chapel on Tuesday, the first day of the so-called Smoke Watch. I took that day off to help out with the kids since it's Spring Break and my wife had to go to the dentist. So we made it a family trip and I entertained the little ones in the waiting room where the dentist's office conveniently had a TV tuned to live coverage of the Cardinals taking their oath before the voting began. Unfortunately, the network dumped out of live coverage and went back to regular programming once the doors closed. But thankfully in this age of 24-hour media access, we were able to watch the Smoke Cam via smartphone. Later on Tuesday, while waiting to get my hair cut, the first puff of black smoke emerged.

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While we're on the subject of the dentist and the barber, these are two places where as an introvert, I wish I could keep the small talk to a minimum. Sure, I'll be polite and chat a little bit. But in these situations, once the hygenist and the barber start doing their thing, I really would prefer to just sit there and let them do their job rather than maintain an ongoing dialogue. It's less of an issue at the dentist because you can't talk with bunch of equipment in your mouth anyway. But when I'm getting my hair cut, I just want to sit there in silence and not engage in an indepth conversation while I'm a captive audience.

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Later that day, our six-year-old blurted out something about the devil. Actually, it was deviled chicken, and we wondered where in the world that came from. She said, "It was on the Rachael show." When we were at the dentist earlier watching the Vatican coverage on TV, I stopped paying attention as soon as the network went back to regular programming. But my daughter didn't. The regular programming was The Rachael Ray Show (never seen it), and she was cooking deviled chicken. That's quite a rough television transition going from coverage of the papal conclave to a chicken recipe named after the devil. (Okay, so maybe it's not really named for the bad guy downstairs.)

From the Pope to deviled chicken (Courtesy:

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I loved growing up in Florida and having easy access to Atlanta Braves spring training games since I lived just a few miles from their old facility in West Palm Beach. So you can imagine how disappointed I was when I read this Baseball Nerd blog about the potentially precarious future of spring training in Florida. As a kid I always perceived the Grapefruit League games as mainstream, while the Cactus League games in Arizona were something inferior. Apparently, the tables have turned. 

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I saw a Tweet from a Braves fan who was very angry at some of the players for not taking the time to sign autographs and supposedly openly laughing about how they ignored the fans. Of course baseball players making millions should appreciate and be respectful of their fan base. But I also recognize that baseball is their job and sometimes they really do have to walk away from a hoard of autograph seekers and get back to work, even during the more casual atmosphere of spring training. This wouldn't have been a problem for me, though, because even though I've always been a huge baseball fan, I was never into seeking autographs. Since I'm an introvert, standing around in a crowd of people screaming to get the attention of players was never appealing.  Maybe those particular Braves players are introverts too.

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Let's end this with some quick (and respectful) papal humor. For some reason one of Johnny Carson's old Carnac the Magnificent jokes always stuck with me. Remember when Carnac would hold the envelope up to his head and mystically say the answer to whatever question was sealed inside? On this particular instance, he said the answer was "John Paul, Ivory, Dan Quayle." They opened the envelope, and the question was, "Name a pope, a soap and a dope!"

Courtesy: Wikipedia

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