I have become a rabid FC Barcelona fan. They're a soccer (football, please!) team in Spain. Many consider them to be the finest team in the history of the sport. Maybe, but whether they are or not, they are wonderful to watch.
The other day, I found a way to subscribe to BeinSports, which streams the Barcelona games live on the internet, with English commentary. That beats waiting a week or so for Bein to post the game on YouTube. I have access to other sports channels, too. For $9.99 a month. About the cost of a movie. I subscribed, and have already watched three football matches. So I'm down to $3/match. Barcelona plays today at 12:30 my time. Hot dog!
Barcelona owes much of its excellence to its front line - their three forwards Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Neymar. They are all in the top 5 football players in the world, Messi being #1. They like each other a lot, are unselfish, and uncanny in their sense of where each other is, and is going. Considered to be the best front line in the history of the game, they are magical to watch. They have a fine supporting cast, too, including two fine goalkeepers, wonderful midfielders, and tenacious defenders. Barca has currently gone 30 matches without a loss - an all-time record, I believe.
BeInSports commentators are fun, too. The play-by-play guy is an American, and good. The color man, Ray-somebody, is a gray-haired Scotsman, who constantly, and accurately, describes Barcelona's play as "astonishing," "majesterial," "magical," even "Shakepearean." And always at full volume. He's fun, and his enthusaism is contagious.
I'm already planning a cheeseburger for the first half.
Infidelity. Marga Cargo Van and I have been together since three years ago today. I bought it three weeks before heading off on my trip around the country. It has been a fabulous vehicle, nearly maintenance-free, and easy to drive (if terrifying to back up). It was my companion for nearly 40,000 miles on my trip, and for another 25,000 since then. I have a strong sentimental attachment to it.
But I'm strongly considering trading it in. Infidelity.
Marga gets about 16 mpg in the winter on studded snows. It gets about 19-20 in warm weather on regular tires. It is very big, a little tough to park, still terrifying to back up, and well, feels like a heavy presence on the Earth. It seats two. Or one. But not three. Yes, it can cart a ton of stuff, and handles 4x8 plywood with ease. I kept a 3'x11' cherry butcher block in it for four months last winter until I had four hearty soulls to carry it inside.
But I think the days of my needing to carry lots of stuff are mostly over. If I need to, Lowe's and Home Depot rent Marga vans for $20/day. I'd like to be able to carry more than 2 people, while still having enough space to fit camera equipment.
So I'm looking at Ford Focuses (Foci?). Used, prefereably hatchback, automatic transmission, late-model low-miles to still have some warranty left. Leasing makes this easy, as does the popularity of the Focus as a rental car. Many pop up at the local Ford dealer in Wiscasset, which has the added benefit of being close by for service. I think I can almost trade even off the lot, including Maine's sales tax. I'll probably get about 30 mpg in the summer, which I'll gladly take even with low gasoline prices. It will take up a lot less space in the carport, not that it matters.
I have another year to go on the loan I took on Marga to keep it out of the mess of my divorce. I want to check the remaining balance, and probably pay it off. Then I'll have the title in hand, and can trade on a moment's whim. It will likely happen this spring, all sentiment aside.