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July 2006 Archives

July 1, 2006

Great Day For Sports

Nice line-up available for consumption on a summer Saturday afternoon:

• Wimbledon third round matches, including Agassi vs. Nadal and the battle of the Andys (Roddick vs. Murray)

• World Cup quarterfinal action: England vs. Portugal and Brazil vs. France

• the Mets vs. the Yankees at the Stadium

• the first day of the Tour de France, which not only has lost its biggest star--seven-time champ Lance Armstrong--to retirement, but has seen the 2nd-, 3rd-, 4th-, and 5th-place finishers from 2005 bounced out of the event as part of a doping scandal

• PGA golf just up the road in Cromwell, while the women play the U.S. Open in Newport, Rhode Island

Not a bad range of offerings.

July 2, 2006

The Kid Can Play On Grass, It Seems


Nadal's thorough dismantling of Agassi in yesterday's third round match at Wimbledon suggests the young Spaniard has emerged as a threat in this tournament. He may not be able to get past Federer in a final, but it's hard to imagine anyone else in the draw would be a lock to beat Nadal.

July 4, 2006

The Final Four

The top four seeds in the Ladies' Singles Championship have advanced to Thursday's semis at Wimbledon: #1 Mauresmo will play #4 Sharapova and #2 Clijsters will take on #3 Henin-Hardenne in an all-Belgian affair. The latter match seems an easy pick, as Henin-Hardenne has dominated her countrywoman on the big occasions. The Mauresmo/Sharapova showdown is harder to call, because both players have shown themselves capable of melting down in big matches. Sharapova has the advantage of having won the title two years ago, but Mauresmo's game and athleticism may be better suited to the surface and she does have some added confidence as the 2006 Aussie Open champ. I'm picking JHH to win it all and complete the career Grand Slam.

July 5, 2006

Syncing Data

Well, after hours of experimenting and editing my contacts, lists of tasks, and schedule data, I think I have worked out a system of synchronizing all this information in Entourage/Outlook (on different machines, no less!) with the native Apple programs (e.g., Address Book) and with my Palm PDA. There are still some kinks to be worked out--categories don't sync properly across all platforms, for instance--but I feel like all my toys are starting to play together the way they should.

July 6, 2006

Computer Surgery

I spent over an hour re-installing iChat AV on my G5 iMac desktop--which was a lot more complicated than I had expected it to be. The application had been crashing every time I started it up the last month or two (though it worked fine on my iBook). The solution was to use a program called Pacifist to extract some support folders from the Tiger installation DVD and re-install them on my hard drive--a process I had to learn about from a Mac forum on the Internet. By the way, technical help on the Web is an encouraging affirmation of human nature: there are clearly some very conscientious (and smart) people who go out of their way to provide technological solutions to others of us who may be less computer-savvy.

July 7, 2006

This Is Why I Love The Internet

NBC Sports logo

This is a piece of music NBC Sports has used in its Wimbledon coverage since the late 1970s, something I never would have been able to track down and acquire had it not been for the good ol' World Wide Web.

July 8, 2006



Congrats to Amelie Mauresmo, who was impressive in winning her first Wimbledon crown, her second major championship of the year.


Congrats to the Bryan twins for winning their first title at "the Big W"--they've now completed the career Grand Slam. Like Mauresmo, they won in Melbourne in January.

And congrats to me for my 500th post on this blog!

Lucky Break


Yesterday afternoon, the power brick plugged into my iBook stopped feeding juice, so I stopped by the Apple Store in Westfarms Mall to consult with the experts at the Genius Bar. Because my machine is under warranty for another few weeks, I was entitled to a replacement power cord and transformer, but because this item was not in stock at the store, Apple would ship a replacement directly to me. Ordinarily, that would do the trick, but I am getting on an airplane to the southern hemisphere Monday, won't be back for a month, and I was counting on being able to use my laptop more than just the few hours that one charge would give me. I lucked out big-time, though, as a final check of inventory located a spare replacement in the back room, so I am back in business with regard to mobile computing (and so you can expect blogging and photos from Africa, loyal reader).

Thanks again, Apple Genius!

July 9, 2006

Too Good


Federer repeats, though Nadal acquitted himself admirably after a slow start in today's final. For someone not given much credit on this surface just two weeks ago, Nadal proved his critics wrong and should be even more of a threat in future years.

Four in a row for the Swiss #1 in a pretty terrific feat, one made sweeter by a long-overdue win against his younger rival.

July 10, 2006

On The Road Again

I'm in Kennedy Airport today, getting ready for a night flight to London and then--after a hellacious nine-hour layover--on to Cape Town for three weeks. After that I'll fly to Johannesburg for a few days, including a bit of a safari, and then back home.

July 12, 2006

The End Of A Long Journey

I arrived in South Africa this morning after a lot of sitting on airplanes and in airport languages since midday Monday. It breaks down roughly as follows: eight hours in and around JFK Airport in New York, six hours flying to London, nine hours in Heathrow, and a bit more than eleven hours in the air en route to Cape Town.

July 13, 2006

Rainy Weather

First impressions of South Africa have been colored by continuing wet weather. It's winter here, of course, and while the temperatures have been cool but mild, we've seen a lot of precipitation. It has felt more like Ireland than Africa thus far!

July 14, 2006

Cape Flats Townships and Cape Town


I spent the morning visiting potential community service sites for the SACT program in the black and colored townships of Cape Flats: a soup kitchen, a day care centers for AIDS-infected and -affected children, a shelter for homeless teenagers, and a shelter for single women and their children. The poverty in these townships was ovewhelming. In the black townships, typical dwellings were shacks assembled from crates and metal and wood scraps. In the early afternoon, our small group of teachers had lunch in Cape Town at a restaurant that might well have been in New York, London, or Sydney--perfectly modern, comfortable, and upscale. The effect of the day, of course, was the odd juxtaposition of poverty and affluence within a few miles of each other. I suppose one could find similar examples of economic dissonance so close to each other in the States, too. But it's quite jarring.

July 15, 2006

Teaching A Diverse Group

I am teaching a class called Modern Africa and Global Relations here at the Summer Academy at Cape Town. What makes this experience so different from teaching at home is the diversity of the students in each class. While I am accustomed to having students from all over the world in my Choate classroom, the presence of Africans and Europeans (as well as a geographically and racially diverse smattering of Americans) in each group adds a lot to our discussions.

July 16, 2006

Robbens Island

Our group took the ferry from Cape Town to Robbens Island, which served as the prison for Nelson Mandela from some thirty years until his release in 1990. Pretty moving to see where so many political prisoners were incarcerated simply for opposing apartheid.

The afternoon brought a leisurely exploration of the V&A Waterfront--a touristy shopping area in Cape Town--and the Greenpoint market--what we would call a flea market, with dozens and dozens of vendors set up in a parking lot outside a stadium. I didn't have the energy or desire to engage in haggling, though.

July 18, 2006

Happy Birthday, Madiba!


Happy 88th birthday, Nelson Mandela!

It's kind of cool to be in South Africa on this occasion.

July 19, 2006

Community Service

I have spent much of the past three days with the kids in the Summer Academy at Cape Town program engaged in community service. I've been working with a group in a colored township known as Mitchell's Plain, on the Cape Flats, in a place called Heaven's Shelter, which serves children and abused women. Much of our time is spent with very young children and helping to improve the meager facilities. It's pretty tough sat the end of the day to leave the eager faces, a couple of whom offer big hugs at departure time. When we arrived this morning, the kids were so excited to see our group get off the bus. It will be hard to leave this place for the last time next week, especially knowing that these kids have had people leaving them throughout their very young lives.

July 20, 2006

The Tour De France Gets Interesting


In year one of the post-Lance Armstrong era, another American has emerged as the central figure in the world's most famous bicycle race. After surrendering the yellow jersey after a disastrous outing on Wednesday, Floyd Landis rebounded to put himself back in the title hunt with an incredible performace, winning the race's last Alpine stage. Landis lost more than eight minutes to the race leader in a punishing stage just 24 hours earlier, but reduced the deficit to 30 seconds earlier today in a five-hour effort that blew his rivals away. He now is a legitimate threat to finish on the Champs Elysees as the victor of the 2006 Tour. It will be interesting to watch what happens.

About July 2006

This page contains all entries posted to As Far As You Know in July 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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