Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday morning coffee

- Lost in the news of what David Booth paid ($4.3 million) to gain James Naismith's original rules of basketball were what other famous items fetched in the Sotheby's auctions of this past Friday. The last flag used by General George Armstrong Custer was purchased for $2.2 million and one of 25 known copies of the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by President Abraham Lincoln, went for $3.8 million. This puts into perspective the magnitude of Booth's bid for Naismith's rules and the impact of bringing those rules to the University of Kansas, where Naismith served as the school's first basketball coach.

- Dive of the Week: We've not provided a recent entry for our regular feature on "Dive of the Week" but now have a new entrant--Jerry's Cafe in south Kansas City, MO. Jerry's is located in a strip center at 103rd and State Line, just down the a few storefronts from Jasper's restaurant. The cafe offers up tasty breakfasts and lunch in a spartan space, roughly 50' by 60', filled with 12 tables. There are no booths here and no ambience other than the chatter of people enjoying good food coupled with banter from an overly friendly waitress and Jerry himself, who will pop out of the kitchen to refill coffee or say "hi" to customers. The breakfast menu includes a variety of omelets, homemade cinnamon rolls, waffles and french toast, "frisbee" pancakes, and, for the hearty appetite, an 8 ounce steak or ham. Lunch is what you would expect--burgers, chicken fried steak, and other items which will challenge your cholesterol level. Jerry's also advertises homemade pies. On the day when I dined there, I arrived around 8:15 a.m. with a couple of tables filled. The place had people waiting by the time I finished--clearly the second wave of breakfast diners on that weekday. I had the scrambled eggs, bacon and hash browns, along with toast, orange juice and coffee served in a Naperville, IL Jeep dealership mug. It was all very tasty and, judging by the crowd, is a dive which is developing a regular following.

- The University of Florida football program needs to get over their divorce from Cam Newton. On the evening when Auburn QB Newton was accepting his Heisman Trophy, the Gators interestingly timed their announcement of new head football coach Will Muschamp. Florida has long been rumored to be the one feeding pay-for-play news/speculation to the NCAA regarding their ex-player Newton, who stopped in Gainesville before leaving and then playing at Blinn Junior College and, ultimately, Auburn.

- What a trip for the New York Giants this weekend! First, the Giants get diverted to Kansas City when the airport at their destination--Minneapolis--gets closed due to a blizzard which dumped 20 plus inches on the Twin Cities. Then, after spending the night in K.C., the Giants learned this morning that the Metrodome's roof, in Minneapolis, collapsed due to the weight of the snow. The game between New York and Minnesota, which had been postponed until Monday night, will now have to be played at some other time.

- Blowing snow and sub-zero wind chills didn't do much to impact attendance at yesterday's Kansas-Colorado State basketball game at Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City. An announced crowd of 18,756 filled the arena, but likely impacted the number of post-game revelers heading to P&L District pubs after the Kansas win.

- Is it just me or is the prospect of a posthumous album from Michael Jackson a bit creepy? While it's one thing to read a late author's work, published after his/her death, it seems another to hear the voice of someone who has passed.

- Tis the season for...watching local newscasters being sent outside to report on the elements now that we've entered winter and snow season around the Midwest and northern U.S. Why do local networks insist on sending some pour soul out into blizzard-like conditions only to tell us that, "yes, it's a blizzard out here."

- Apparently one thing that the incoming Speaker of the House, John Boehner, has with President Barack Obama is that they both smoke. The congressman from Ohio acknowledges that he is addicted to cigarettes. And, at the President's last physical he was advised to stop smoking. Perhaps the new Speaker and the Prez can team up to kick the habit together.

- The Tourist features two of the hottest looking stars in Hollywood, Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. The reviews for the movie, though, are advising movie-goers to stay away. It's too bad if this one is a clunker given that the book by Olen Steinhauer was quite good.

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