Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Three Beautiful Things 02/17/20: Bloggin' at Starbucks, Breakfast at the Garnet, Johnnies Don't Hang On

1. I was at Ed's at 6:30 this morning. He drove us to CdA where he had an imaging appointment first thing this morning.  Ed, Stu, Lars, and I made a plan to meet around 9:00 at the Garnet in Coeur d'Alene for breakfast.

While Ed was having the scan done, I camped out at the Starbucks on Ironwood Dr. with a morning bun and a grande Pike Place Roast coffee and blogged away. Whenever I visit Eugene, I often do the same thing at the Starbucks near 6th and Lawrence. I have often daydreamed of having a similar place to go to in Kellogg to write in the morning. Both of these Starbucks have numerous tables and lots of windows and, in both places, I'm in the company of other people who also have laptops open and are working on one thing or another or playing computer games. I also enjoy the activity in both shops, and, in both places, it's rare that any one knows me. I can enjoy writing in the company of others and with the comfort of anonymity.

2. Back in October, I wrote about my ongoing disappointment that several places where I eat breakfast serve corned beef hash from a can and that I enjoy corned beef hash made in house.

Well, Mary Elizabeth commented on that blog post and told me that the Garnet makes their own corned beef hash.

So, when the guys and I sat down for breakfast this morning, I hardly had to look at the menu.

I knew I was going to order corned beef hash and I'm very happy I did. It thoroughly enjoyed the Garnet's generous serving of their meaty and well-seasoned corned beef hash and the eggs that accompanied it. I ordered a biscuit, too, and enjoyed in with the Garnet's own lemon curd, but was so full from the hash and eggs, that I could only eat half of the large biscuit.

We guys covered a lot of territory as we yakked away: Zags basketball, a little high school basketball, travel, retirement stuff -- Social Security, Medicare, etc. --, the feature Ed had seen Sunday morning on Air Supply, and some medical/dental tales. It was great time, made even more enjoyable by the clear weather, excellent driving conditions, and great conversation when Ed and I headed back to the Silver Valley.

3. For many of the two hours between 3:30 and 5:30, donning my St. John's hoodie, I felt some of the excitement I felt a year ago for the Johnnies of St. John's University. The Johnnies hosted Xavier in Madison Square Garden today and it was fun to see how much they've improved since I last saw them play a month or so ago.

St. John's strategy is to create chaos, force their opponent into multiple turnovers, and score points on fast breaks generated by their defense. They press their opponents from baseline to baseline the entire game and work hard to create frustration.

It worked tonight and players like Rasheem Dunn, Nick Rutherford, and Marcellus Earlington who are new to the program or, in the case of Earlington, barely played last year, played great tonight. This year's St. John's team is responding well to their new coach, Mike Anderson's patience, low-key demeanor, and very demanding style of play.

With 2:05 left in the game, Nick Rutherford scored on a dunk off of LJ Figueroa's steal and the Johnnies were up by five. But, the Johnnies could not close out this game. Rasheem Dunn missed the front end of a one and one at the charity stripe with 25 seconds to go. They missed their last four shots from the field in the last two minutes. And, Xavier, fought through the pressing Johnny's defense, scored eight points in the last two minutes, and secured the win, 77-74.

St. John's may not get over the hump this season of learning how to close out close games. Tonight, they were the best I've seen them all season in scoring in the open court and Dunn, Earlington, and Rutherford scored better than ever out of their set offense.

But they couldn't close out this game.

Xavier, on the other hand, kept their hopes alive of possibly securing a spot in the NCAA National Tournament. They are definitely, as they say, on the bubble, and this win was crucial to their hopes of being chosen on Selection Sunday.

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