Friday, February 14, 2020

Three Beautiful Things 02/13/20: New Cell Phone, Back to Daft Badger, Ducks Win During Walton's Latest Magic Carpet Ride

1. Last summer I busted my cell phone. I replaced it by resurrecting the older cell phone I kept around after buying the one I busted. The older, resurrected cell phone worked fine, but its battery was crapping out, making it necessary to carry a portable charger with me, especially when I went out of town.

Well, a group of us plan to go to St. Regis and then to the Old Montana Bar and Grill next week. I am also hoping to travel to Maryland and New York sometime this year. I don't want to have to carry a portable charger, so I drove to CdA and went to the Verizon store on Prairie and Hiway 95 and bought a new cell phone.

2. After completing my purchase, I realized I hadn't eaten anything all day and I recalled seeing on Facebook that the weekly lunch special at Daft Badger is a creative and really tasty sounding sandwich: thin sliced smoked beef, cucumber, spinach, cilantro, gruyere cheese, and Thai green curry mayonnaise on a baguette. It sounded pretty close to a Banh Mi, a favorite of mine. This week's lunch special also includes clam chowder.

I also realized that I hadn't been to Daft Badger (located in CdA on 2nd between Spruce and Poplar) for ages, a sorry situation.

I strolled in and, as is always the case at Daft Badger, I was immediately greeted by a friendly server (today it was Brittany), eager to be of help, who brought me water and menus. All I had to do was decide on a beer.

I decided to give Daft Badger's New England IPA, called Coast to Coast, a try and it was perfect. It came on my tongue pleasingly with a citrusy juiciness followed by a dry finish, just a hint of complementing bitterness. I enjoyed my 12 oz pour (no imperial pint for me!) and wished I weren't driving because I would have enjoyed trying the brewery's Imperial Stout or Kalua Porter. Another time.

I enjoyed my sandwich a lot. The vegetables were fresh and crunchy. The smoked beef was tender and perfectly cooked. I loved the understated spicy kick the curry mayo gave this sandwich. The clam chowder served as a perfect compliment.

3.  "Magic Carpet Ride" by Steppenwolf

I like to dream yes, yes
Right between the sound machine
On a cloud of sound I drift in the night
Any place it goes is right
Goes far, flies near
To the stars away from here

Well, you don't know what
We can find
Why don't you come with Walton, yeah
On a magic carpet ride

Every morning, I check the day's men's college basketball schedule at to see which of that day's games are on television and I go the Twitter page called "Announcer Schedules" to see who will be doing play by play and analysis for those games.

This morning, I looked up the Colorado at Oregon game on ESPN and, lo and behold, on Twitter, saw that Bill Walton would be on the mike tonight.

I smiled. 

Oh! My! God!

It's going to be another Magic Carpet Ride at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, OR!

Bill Walton will be baked, high as a kite, and fired up. He loves the University of Oregon, he loves the state of Oregon, he loves being in Eugene. 

I wondered, hmmm, where will Walton's Magic Carpet Ride take us tonight?

Will he eat a jar of peanut butter with his hands on the set like he did last time he was in Eugene?

Will he rhapsodize about Eugene's beautiful bike trails and teach us where we can find the headwaters of the Willamette River?

How many times will be lobby for Oregon coach Dana Altman to be enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame?

I was eager for 6 p.m. to roll around so I could drop the safety bar across my lap and brace myself for a ride on Bill Walton's Timber Terror.

I was going to see where Space Truckin' Billy would fly tonight. 

Tonight, the Space Cowboy was joined by his usual sidekick, the long-suffering Dave Pasch, and a guest analyst, Mark Jackson.

A couple of times during the broadcast, Bill Walton commented on the game before him. He barked at the referees. Walton is a proponent of "let them play". Bill expresses his displeasure with the refs and with things players do that he disapproves of by bellowing, "PLEEEEASE!"

Otherwise, Bill spent much of the night otherwise disposed, not letting the game get too much in the way of what was on his joyful, joyous, trippy mind.

Having Mark Jackson at his side opened up frequent opportunities for Bill to effusively praise what an outstanding player Jackson was and what an honor it was to be on the broadcast with him.

Early in the game, Walton decided that Mark Jackson didn't need his broadcaster's notes, so he picked them up off the table and tossed them to the floor. 

Walton quacked frequently. 

He also made several references to grass.

In the second half, while holding a Mark Jackson cardboard fat head on a stick in front of his face, Walton informed us that the battle between Oregon and Colorado was putting the fate of the known universe in the balance. (The universe survived.)

We learned that the Amazon River and the Chicago River are the only two rivers, in addition to the Willamette River, whose flow had reversed direction over the course of geological time.

Twice, Walton ordered Mark Jackson's son, Christian, to stand up. He and Mark Jackson had a wonderful discussion of dogs they've lost to old age and Walton spoke affectionately of the two dogs he and his wife currently have. 

At one point, on a Colorado possession, Walton took over Pasch's play by play duties, but instead of saying what the Colorado players were doing, he suddenly inserted the names of former Indiana Pacers Dale Davis, Reggie Miller, Chris Mullen, Rik Smits, and Mark Jackson into the action, and had them playing for a former Pacer's coach, Slick Leonard.  Not one of those late 1990s Pacer players had Leonard as a coach. Leonard's career with the Pacers ended in 1980. 

But, no problem.

It's the Magic Carpet Ride.

Walton goes far.

He flies near.

He goes to the stars away from here. 

Like Deep Purple, he's Space Truckin'. 


The game. 

Oregon got its offense going in the second half, tightened its defensive effort, in large part thanks to a full court press, and they roared from 12 points behind in the second half and defeated Colorado, 68-60.

One last thing. Walton announced during the game that all of these Duck fans would be back in Matthew Knight Arena in July for this summer's Phish concerts. Pasch and Jackson had no idea what he was talking about. 

I have a ticket for one night of Phish in Eugene in July.  I hope I can go. If I do, I'll be keeping an eye out for Bill Walton who will be living large, living high, and living full of joy. Who knows? Maybe Phish will have him come on stage and drum! 

Witnessing that would represent the snow-capped summit of my concert going career. 

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