I needed a lifetime with the man, or just more time to absorb all that would die with him when I was 13 and he was 86. This misalignment of lives left me with only vague notions of how he saw a world from which he could coax entire meals. But the feeling of it is still with me like a vestigial tail. Which is to say that I understand. And, again, I don’t understand at all. Still, I long for seasonal changes that come in subtle ways around here, in the way brittle avocado leaves stop falling and how the green on the sycamore and Chinese elms take on that brown just-nuked look. That is how I know that the planet is tilting toward winter. That and how Halloween shops start appearing around the South Bay in abandoned storefronts. And the Christmas trees! I love the Christmas trees, so unnaturally full, green, flawless, Chinese-made and in the hardware stores since August, along with those inflatable winter wonderlands with the swirling snow and Santa. Halloween, by the way, is still 27 days away, while Christmas is nearly a quarter- year distant. And don’t forget Thanksgiving. Not that you’ll be able to. Disregard the foliage and the early morning darkness. At an ever increasing speed, we have come to mark the passing seasons in fits of advertising, with only a slight assist from burning hillsides and people with death wishes remarking, “I’ve just finished buying for everyone on my list.” Do you know what that sounds like to a guy who doesn’t have a list, has never had a list and, even if he did, he’d misplace it? It sounds like yet another indication that we have all bought into this marketing hysteria. Which is so colorfully fueled by that other fantastic reminder of the approaching happy yule season that begins its pitch July 5 and doesn’t end until Uncle Leo blows a DUI on New Year’s Day. I’m talking about the glossy holiday catalogs that have been arriving for weeks, catalogs pushing images of a kind of autumn that doesn’t exist in Southern California. Which to say, I’m sitting here in shorts and flip-flops looking at holiday clothing catalogs mailed to me by capitalists who can’t read ZIP codes. Or maybe they can and they are just hoping that I plan to spend the next three months preparing for the holidays in another state, where I could actually wear a thick terry cloth robe (“Chinese- made from American fabric, initialing available”), woolen socks, tartan pajamas and pipe. Seriously, I was sent a Christmas pipe catalog. Naturally, I am smoking my meerschaum in a New England mansion, a white-folks palace with frost on the windows and snow on the ground and a big-carbon- footprint fire in the hearth. Then there’s my beautiful wife. ? Look, if I’m supposed to identify with the guy in the robe, then I might as well picture myself drinking cocoa from matching Christmas mugs with one of these models. There is a broad selection of them, too, and all are dressed head to toe in woolen garments of the sort worn by Queen Elizabeth II. Only these women make wool sexy. That’s because they all resemble former lacrosse players, a sleek selection of Missies and Muffies with fatal cases of the warm-and- fuzzies for me, the handsome husband who sits grinning like a cheap South American dictator at our Nordic children in their red Vietnamese-made holiday pullovers. No problems here. No illness, ugliness or boorish behavior. Heck with grandpa, I love these catalog people. I want to be clean and prosperous like them. Which is maybe why I want to buy all my gifts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store catalog. Roman bracelets, Egyptian earrings, Greek filigree. I feel suddenly so Upper East Side. Why don’t I just nip across the park in my Eddie Bauer Weekend Urban Parka and bound up the museum steps in my casual $500 Kenneth Cole chukka boots. That way I can finish my shopping in 20 minutes flat, leaving me with 81 days to pretend that this isn’t happening yet again. I want to hear your comments. Connect with me at email@example.com, call 310-543-6681 or send a letter to Daily Breeze/John Bogert, 5215 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503-4077. Hear my podcast at dailybreeze.com.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! My grandfather grew up with the rhythms of seasons and it never left him. Even the fat American life couldn’t kill his connection to the soil and to a half-acre garden where he grew food enough to feed a regiment. To me he was a mythic creature, like a movie Indian, a man who could read the components of loamy earth by squeezing it in his big hands. This was a man who’d lean in close to smell his dusty grapes when they’d arrive at the curb in blue-stained crates and, with a single deep inhalation, set a time for pressing. Sometimes it would be days. Once he scared me, shouting, “We start now!” Best of all was how lunchtime, quitting time, time to snack on provolone and fresh tomatoes, was written in the sky – in the movement of the sun – as it has always been for people who work out of doors.
West Ham United have completed the signing of Andriy Yarmolenko from Borussia Dortmund.The Ukrainian winger has joined the Hammers for a fee of £17.5million and becomes the Premier League club’s fifth summer signing. targets Andriy Yarmolenko spent just one season at Borussia Dortmund 2 moving on Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father West Ham’s newly-appointed director football, Mario Husillos, said of their latest arrrival: “We are very happy to welcome Andriy. When we had the opportunity to sign him, we did not hesitate, because he really is the kind of player that we were looking for.“He is a left-footed player but can play on the right and is very quick, very good one-on-one against a defender. He gives the team a lot of attacking options and scores goals, is fast on the counter-attack and provides aerial threat with his height.“He also has very good experience, of playing for big teams and fighting for titles. At Dortmund, he had some good matches but perhaps didn’t quite show his very best. However, I think Manuel Pellegrini is the perfect coach for Andriy and his style of play.“I believe he is joining us in the perfect moment. He is 28, the prime age for football, and we have great expectation about what he can achieve with West Ham United.” targets Latest Transfer News Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland Yarmolenko, 28, has penned a four-year contract with West Ham.“Of course, I am very happy to sign for West Ham United,” he told the club’s official website. “West Ham is a big club with good fans and I am happy to come to play in the Premier League.“The Premier League is the best league in the world and I know that an interesting project is being built here at West Ham.“The team wants to achieve high things and I am excited for this challenge.” LATEST Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade RANKED LIVING THE DREAM REVEALED Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti Andriy Yarmolenko won three Ukrainian Premier League titles with Dynamo Kiev before moving to Borussia Dortmund in 2017 IN DEMAND 2 Yarmolenko only joined Dortmund last summer from Dynamo Kiev for a fee of around £23million.He made 30 appearances last season as the German club finished fourth in the Bundesliga.But Dortmund were happy to let him go as they target a new winger, with Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha reportedly on their radar.Having appointed Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager in June, West Ham have been making some ambitious moves in the transfer market.The deal for Yarmolenko takes their spending beyond the £45million mark, having also splashed out £22m on defender Issa Diop and £7m on goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianksi.There has also been a significant outlay on signing-on fees and wages, with Ryan Fredericks and Jack Wilshere have joined on free transfers, from Fulham and Arsenal respectively.
ARCATA >> Fireworks were going off at the Arcata Ball Park win or lose Friday night.The Humboldt Crabs just decided to get things going a couple of hours before the regularly scheduled activities were set to go off.On the back of home runs by Ryan Reynolds and James Outman, the Crabs offense got back to doing what it does best — hit the ball all over the yard. And with the two-run shots by Reynolds and Outman, Humboldt set a new single-season home run record in a 9-4 win over the Rally …
South Africa’s 2014 matric students achieved a pass rate of 75.8%, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced at the SABC in Johannesburg on Monday.(Image: Department of Basic Education)Brand South Africa reporterWhile the 75.8% pass rate represents a 2.4 percentage point drop from the 2013 pass rate of 78.2%, Motshekga said the bar had been raised to improve the quality of the examination outcome and enhance the quality and standard of Grade 12 graduates.“At the beginning of the exams, I did announce much more stringent marking criteria. Marker appointments were also audited and a tighter moderation process was put in place,” Motshekga said.The National Senior Certificate exam was written by 550 127 full-time and 1387nbsp;533 part-time candidates. This is the first year the new national Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) programme has been tested at matric level.Of the total number of learners who wrote the NSC exam, 150 752 (28.3%) qualified for admission to bachelor studies.The class of 2014 will be able to access their results on Tuesday.Motshekga said the 135 943 learners who qualified to write supplementary exams in February and March would will be given special support to prepare.“After receiving their results, they should start immediately to prepare for their supplementary exams,” she said.There has been an increase in achievements by distinction in some subjects, the minister said. History increased from 3.3% to 4.1%; Mathematical Literacy increased from 1.8% to 2.4%; and Physical Science increased from 3.0% to 3.3%.How SA’s provinces fared“All provincial education departments have worked tirelessly and consistently hard,” Motshekga said. “Preparations for grade 12 start at grade R and therefore there is no grade less important than the other.”Gauteng was the most successful province, recording a 84.7% pass rate – down 2.3 percentage points from 87% in 2013.Gauteng contributed the highest number of candidates qualifying for bachelor studies at 36 843, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 35 724 and Western Cape at 18 524.The North West was the second best performing province, with a pass rate of 84.6% – down from 87.2% in 2013.The Free State, which was the top province in 2013, came in third with 82.8%, down from 87.4% in 2013.The Eastern Cape had the poorest results, achieved 65.4%. This, however, is an increase of 0.5 percentage points from 64.9% in 2013.KwaZulu-Natal achieved 69.7%, a decline from 77.4% in 2013, and a drop of 7.7 percentage points. It is the steepest decline of all the provinces.“We need to look seriously into the factors affecting KZN’s performance,” Motshekga said.The Western Cape achieved 82.2%, down from 85.1% in 2013, a decline of 2.9 percentage points.ImprovementsLimpopo achieved 72.9% in 2014, a 1.1 percentage point increase from 71.8% last year.“Limpopo needs to be congratulated for sustaining the upward trend in the midst of many challenges bearing in mind that this group of learners was the group that was affected by delays in the delivery of books in 2012,” said Motshekga.The number of bachelor passes in the province is also notable at 16 325.The Northern Cape improved its pass rate by almost 2 percentage points, achieving 76.4%, up from 74.5% in 2013. This is the highest improvement in 2014.Mpumalanga achieved 79%, up by 1.4 percent from 77.6% in 2013.District performanceMotshekga said none of the 81 education districts in the country had performed below 50%. Last year, one district in the Eastern Cape had performed below 50%.“In the Eastern Cape, the eight districts that performed between 50% and 59% have been reduced to five, with two districts from KwaZulu-Natal joining this category. Twelve districts from the Eastern Cape performed under 69%, four from KwaZulu-Natal and one from Limpopo,” Motshekga said.She said four out of five districts in the Free State performed above 80%, with the fifth district achieving between 70% and 79%.“In Gauteng, 13 out of 15 districts performed above 80% and the other two performed between 70% and 79%. In Limpopo, one out five performed above 80%, while in Mpumalanga one out of four.“In the Northern Cape, one out of four performed above 80% and in the Western Cape all districts performed above 80%,” Motshekga said.The top six performing districts are:Gauteng West at 92.7%;Sedibeng East District at 90.7%;Ekurhuleni North at 88.7%;West Coast in the Western Cape 88.4%; andOverberg in the Western Cape and Johannesburg South both at 88.1%.InitiativesMotshekga said the focus in 2014 was on improving performance in key gateway subjects and supporting under-performing schools and their principals.“These initiatives have yielded results. However, there is much more work that needs to be done and it starts on the first day of school for all grades,” she said.For the past four years, the pass rate has increased from 60.6% in 2009 to 78.2% in 2013.Motshekga said the quality of education of any system is predicated on the quality of its teachers.She said the qualification profile of teachers in the sector has improved from 53% in 1990 to 97% in 2013.“Going forward, we will work hard to sustain improvement in learner performance, enhanced accountability at all levels of the system, greater focus on basic functionality of schools, and protecting time for teaching and learning,” Motshekga said.Read Minister Angie Motshekga’s speech in full: Announcement of the 2014 NSC examination resultsWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
The mysterious death of over 170 monkeys in the last one week in Amroa district of Uttar Pradesh has the forest department officials worried.Forest department officials told The Hindu that the death of the monkeys started a week ago and continues. Villagers of Adampur first discovered the dead monkeys after which they alerted the forest department officials. The villagers alleged that the monkeys may have been poisoned by some.“We are trying to find out the possible reasons of these mysterious deaths. We have sent the bodies of monkeys to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Bareilly,” said the Veterinary Officer of Amroha, Dr. Tejpal Singh.“According to the initial medical reports it looks like they had not eaten anything for two days before their death. Their liver had stopped functioning. We are waiting for the viscera report to figure out the exact causes of deaths,” Dr. Singh added.Meanwhile as the news of mysterious death of monkeys spread residents of villages went into panic mode as they feared spread of some mysterious epidemic.
Low-scoring and edge of the seat exciting matches don’t mix. But Saturday’s ODI at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg not only mixed but gelled rather well with India winning the match by one run. SCOREWith this win India have squared the five-match ODI series 1-1.Man-of-the-Match Munaf Patel. APAnd the result wouldn’t have been so had India bowlers not come good at death against host South Africa.India batsmen after scoring a meagre 190 had left a lot to be done by the bowlers and still they performed.India’s Munaf Patel took the cake finishing with figures of 8-0-29-4. Undoubtedly, the wickets of openers Hashim Amla and Graeme Smith earned him the Man-of-the-Match award.The wickets though widely spaced brought about the desired result. Amla fell early but Smith’s wicket came towards the end. In a way it was Smith’s wicket that proved to be the turning point of the match.Munaf knew that early wickets can make the difference in an ODI and he struck really early. He scalped Hashim Amla on 4 with a ball that came in from the off to take the edge of his bat and settle in skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s gloves behind the stumps. The hosts were 7/1 at this juncture.Still, a target of 191 was an easy call for South Africa batsmen. And Colin Ingram and Graeme Smith wanted to make sure that it stayed easy. The two batted on to numb the Indian bowling attack and kept the Protea scoreboard ticking.advertisementThe duo had put on 59 runs for the second wicket before Harbhajan Singh claimed Ingram on 25 with the umpire adjudging him LBW even as the South Africa score was 66/2.Unfortunately for the hosts AB de Villiers, who wasn’t looking confident, fell to Ashish Nehra on eight.Later, Rohit Sharma accounted for J.P. Duminy on 13 as the South Africa score was 120/4.But, Smith was still at the crease and had found his lost form. Finally, Munaf Patel sent him back on 77 with an inside edge from his bat crashing into his stumps.At death, Zaheer Khan claimed David Miller and Johan Botha to bring India within striking distance of a victory.And then Dale Steyn’s run out and Morne Morkel’s wicket added to the excitement, but again it was Munaf who performed the final act when the hosts were just two runs away from a win with just one wicket in hand.A short ball saw tail-ender Wayne Parnell go for a big hit but Yuvraj Singh caught him at point and that was the end of South Africa batting. They could only manage 189 on board.Lonwabo Tsotsobe. APEarlier Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who had claimed four wickets in the first ODI in Durban, came up with another four-wicket haul to reduce India to 190 all out.He scalped opener Murali Vijay, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina to nip in bud any designs that the visiting batsmen had of scoring at a brisk pace.After scalping opener Murali Vijay early, Tsotsobe came back to send Yuvraj Singh packing on 53, breaking the 83-run fourth wicket partnership between him and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.Yuvraj went for a big hit but failed to cross the boundary and Dale Steyn lapped it up in the deep as India score read 150/4.That wicket started the slide as batsmen kept paying the crease quick visits.Suresh Raina, who picked up from where Yuvraj Singh had left too fell after staying in the middle for a few minutes. He had put 11 on board before Tsotsobe claimed his third wicket of the day. India score then was a poor 169/5 in 41.1 overs.Soon, he struck again to send skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni back on 38. India now were 172/6 with the tail popping up. And the tail managed to put just 18 runs before heading back to the pavilion.Earlier, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli too could not stay in the middle for long.Tendulkar fell in the 19th over when the India total was 67/3. Off spinner Johan Botha foxed Tendulkar with a turner as the batting maestro failed to read his delivery that turned in sharply from the off stump line. He fell for 24 with an edge from his bat striking against the stumps.Virat Kohli, who had scored a resolute half-century in the first ODI in Durban, was run out by David Miller in Morne Morkel’s over. He fell on 22.India skipper M.S. Dhoni had won the toss and elected to bat.The two teams now meet at Newlands in Cape Town on Tuesday.advertisement