by John Walters

Gareth Bale Out

From the day Welshman Gareth Bale exited Tottenham for Real Madrid and every time we’ve thought of him since, we’ve believed his exile to Spain was a horrible idea. Bale, a frisky athletic god who’d have been a great NFL wideout, would have been the Premier League’s premier player the past seven years, i.e., in his prime. Certainly he would’ve been the league’s top player of British descent.

Instead, Bale, 31, left for more money and second-banana status behind Cristiano Ronaldo. He had some outstanding moments, and won four Champions League titles, but he was always in the shadows. Now, Bale is primed to return to Hotspur, which lost last weekend in the season opener, on a season-long loan. He will earn 600,000 pounds, or about $780,000, per week.

(Bale during his original Tottenham run)

It was only a few years ago that La Liga (Spain) boasted Bale, Ronaldo, Neymar and Lionel Messi. Now Bale will play in the Premier League, Ronaldo is playing in Serie A (Italy), Neymar plays in Ligue I (France) and Messi desperately wants out of his FC Barcelona contract to play for Man City in the UK. Spain hasn’t been this unpopular since the Inquisition.

There’s No Business Like SNOW Business

Yesterday Snowflake, a computer software company (something about the cloud yada yada yada over our heads yada yada yada), had its IPO (ticker symbol: SNOW). The company was valued at about $12 billion last Friday but after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway announced that it would buy 2 million shares and Salesforce announced it also would buy 2 million shares, well, the value skyrocketed to $70 billion.

The company was going to set its IPO price at between $75 and $85. Then yesterday it opened at $120 and then more than doubled to $319. We bought a first-day share at $248 (it’s trading below that now) on the concept that if it goes the route of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Netflix (etc.), we can at least say we were in on Day 1. The stock will almost surely plummet the next month or two, but let’s see where it is five years from now. 100-bagger, Susie B?

He’s Coming For You, Yeah, He’s Coming For You

We came across this performance on Letterman (not the actual show, but Letterman used to have quasi-jam sessions for bands in off hours and invite people who know people…we were never invited) by Foster the People the other night. Always loved the song, but have even more admiration now for lead singer Mark Foster (who is married to Julia Garner from Ozark). He puts his heart and soul into this performance, particularly the second half.

If you read Foster’s wiki page, you discover that he spent about 8 years in L.A. as a starving artist and was even the roommate of Brad Renfro (The Client), the brilliant young actor who died of a heroin overdose.

Triple-Feature On TCM

Phone the kids, wake the neighbors! A fabulous triple-header on TCM today beginning at 1:15 p.m EDT. First, it’s Frank Sinatra in The Man With The Golden Arm (1956), which is not a James Bond flick. It’s an early, some might say before-its-time, heroin addiction film.

Next up (3:30 p.m.) is one of those great relatively unsung films: Jimmy Stewart, George C. Scott and an incredibly sultry Lee Remick in the original courtroom procedural, Anatomy Of A Murder (1959). Dick Wolf owes some of his bones to this film.

Finally, they save the best ’til last (6:15 p.m.) with Laura, from 1944. You’ve got Dana Andrews, the transcendent Gene Tierney, and a wonderfully snitty Clifton Webb in a supporting role that got him nominated for an Oscar and should have won him the bauble.

Smoke outside too much? Stay in and watch at least one of these wonderful black-and-white gems.

One thought on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. A 100-bagger in just 5 years? Geeze, jdubs, why don’t you set your expectations a little higher. 😉 I heard about it, I’m already in the “cloud sector” with some holdings (“Hey, YOU, get offa my cloud”!) but this was too much hype for me. And I dunno, I see a buy-out or a merger before a 100-bagger but hey, I completely whiffed on NFLX, so proceed with caution. And even more recently, I waited too long for a “correction” & missed on SHOP too & I WANTED into that one!

    Anyhoo, here’s my belated Tour de France UPDATE : Slovenian former ski jumper Primoz Roglic has been wearing the Yellow Jersey while racing around France since 9/6 (i.e. he’s been in the lead) & unless he crashes out tomorrow in a non-impactful stage or in Saturday’s Time Trial, he will be standing on the top step of the podium in Paris on Sunday. Currently in 2nd & 57 seconds behind is fellow Slovenian “Babyface”, well, that’s what I nicknamed the then 20 year-old in last year’s Vuelta (Spain’s version of the Tour) where he won 3 stages & ended up 3rd on the podium toooooo winner Roglic. So yes, the past 3 weeks has been kinda like Groundhog Day for some of us (well, if you disregard the worldwide pandemic & the fact that for the 1st time EVER in more than a hundred YEARS, the Tour is not being held in July). Babyface’s real name is Tadej Podacar but if you see him sans helmet, sunglasses or mask you’ll see WHY I call him “Babyface”!

    Yesterday was the “Queen Stage” (accolade unofficially bestowed to the hardest/most impactful stage of each Tour & it’s always a mountain stage) & Columbian Miguel Angel Lopez (“MAL”) had been sitting in 4th as the day began but g’damn it, he was DETERMINED to get his ass on the final podium so he attacked on the the final mt with about 3K to go & sure enough, he won the stage, a 10 second bonus & beat what was left of the Yellow Jersey group by 15 seconds. Since the guy that had been sitting 3rd (fellow Columbian Rigo Uran) cracked at 4K to go & lost almost 2 minutes, he achieved his goal. It was impressive! Actually, yesterday’s final mt had never been used in the Tour before as it had, er, never actually been a ROAD until this year (was paved specifically for the Tour). Lemme tell you, this climb is a killer! 18-24 degree gradients in sections of the last 1-4K. EVERYONE was strung out & the only way you could see even two guys at a time was from the helicopter footage.

    Also yesterday – a shock but not a shock is that last year’s champ, Columbian Egan Bernal abandoned the race before the stage began. He had been doing increasingly worse & losing more & more time. We are told he was having “back & knee issues”. I feel sorry for the kid. He partly won last year on a fluke (a stage was stopped early due to rain washing out the road & he happened to be ahead at that moment so he leapfrogged teammate Geraint Thomas) & there’s been much controversy that his team left off 4-time champ Froome & 1-time champ Thomas & declared Bernal as their one & only guy for this year’s Tour. Pressure! Hopefully, if this experience hasn’t killed all his confidence, he’ll be back as a contender for many years. Althoooough, I’d be LYIN’ if I didn’t admit to a WHOLE LOTTA HOOPIN’ & HOLLERIN’ & DANCIN’ around the TV room when it became evident that Team Deathstar (Bernal’s team) would NOT be winning this year’s Tour! WHOO-HOOOO! 🙂 🙂

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