It's good tomato weather, hot days, some rain at night, and occasional gusts of wind to blow the bugs off. Congress is in recess, the carpet-chewers have gone home, so the Republic, for now, is safe. A rumor spreads, launched on public radio, that some calamari is actually deep-fried pig parts, so squid sales to liberal-arts grads have plummeted. Meanwhile, jubilation erupts among NASA engineers as little Juno reaches the end of its five-year journey and goes into orbit around Jupiter.
Back in college days, we literati felt superior to engineers in their high-water pants and half-rim horn-rims and plastic pocket protectors, people who wound up giving the world the little gizmo that is camera, compass, calendar, encyclopedia, weather monitor, newspaper and telephone, and what was our gift to the world? Unintelligible narcissism that called itself "poetry." I have just now asked my iPhone how many times did Rod Carew steal home. Answer: 17. Seven in 1969 alone. I saw him do it once. Talk about competence. He took a big lead off third, raced for home, dove for the plate, safe by inches. Chutzpah, timing, speed, and smarts, right there before your eyes.