being a parent in a residential neighborhood i've become a bit more aware of cars driving in excess of the speed limit. as a wannabe inventor i keep thinking about ways to do something about it. my latest idea is smart caltrops. they're flat wafers that just sit on the road. until a speeding car tire zips over them. then they pop up into the classic spike shape that is the bane of a charging half-orc barbarian. the back tire runs over it and gets shredded. the calstop would have to quickly go back to disk shape. just in case the rear tire missed it. don't want to spike an innocent car who happens to be tailgating a speeder. hrm. anywho, i'm gonna be so rich.
so when was the last time i failed to post a daily blog? i'd check myself but i really need to catch up on some more important things. like baking my wife's birthday cake. her birthday was two days ago. sigh.
you make the call
little league rules. runner on first. no outs. batter hits an infield fly ball. runner advances. shortstop catches the fly ball. runner heads back to first. shortstop overthrows first base and the ball goes out of play. what's your call there ump? almost universally the ruling is the runner advances one base to second. is that correct? hrm. not according to the green book. if a fielder throws a ball out of play the runners are awarded *two* bases. so the runner should be advanced to third. most often this rule applies when the batter hits a ground ball to the shortstop who overthrows first and the ball goes out of play. the batter is awarded two bases: the base the batter was going to (first) and the next base (second). not sure what would happen if the shortstop held the ball for an hour while the batter stands of first staring at him (along with everyone else in the uh stands) before throwing the ball over first and into the crowd. clearly the runner has established rights to first base. and according to the rules, should be awarded two bases after the overthrow. weird how the written rules don't jibe with the established common law rules.
5 in 4
g is 7. he was recruited to play in an 8 year old tournament over memorial weekend. add the regular team's tuesday game and he'll play 5 games in 4 days. whew! one finished at 9:30 sunday night. the next one was 9:30 monday morning. the whole team was kinda tired. the rules were unfamiliar. otherwise they might have done better. fat bats are not allowed in real little league. so nobody had any. heck given the way the other teams knocked the crap out of the ball it's no wonder. course that's exactly the argument to use them in pony league. whatever. it was fun. there was a lengthy conference where the umpires were trying to figure out a fair thing to do after the first baseman interfered with the runner who was thrown out at second. 'course they never said anything to the fans. so we were all getting a bit bored and unruly while trying to figure out what the heck they could be talking about for so long.
so the boys and i were going to play some paper and pencil dnd. b had made a couple of characters: a cleric/rogue and a wizard/rogue. g didn't want to play the cleric/rogue. b had printed stat blocks for each character. one of which he handed to g. g stared at the writing working out the words. he was suspicious his brother was playing a trick on him. so he showed the paper to his mother. is state bloke a wizard/rogue?
A! are you hitting my foot? you better not B. or you'll be in the C. i'll be in D sea? well, E will be in the sea. what the F are you talking about? G, such language. yeah, act your H. I give up. want some OJ? K. bloody L. please, not in front of M. N front of who? O, you know who. he who just went P? there's a Q. R you serious? S. want some T? yes, do U? this tea is to enV. good thing W is no longer president. he's an X president. Y is that a good thing? too eaZ.
the world uses dollars as it currency. at least they have been for quite some time. that gives americans a huge economic advantage. one wonders why dollars occupy such an exalted position. well, a goodly part is because america is a good investment. ie we repay our debts. or at least we have in the past. our debt ratio is high enough that foreign investors ought to be feeling a bit wobbly. like maybe they should shop around a little.
if i leave my house at 8:45, the other drivers on the road are generally polite and courteous. they signal. they allow you to merge. they drive at a reasonable speed. and little birdies flit about tying ribbons on the grills. if i leave my house at 8:50, things are completely different. it's like there's a million dollar prize to get to the next red light. turn signals? ha! bonuses seem to be awarded for toilet bowling someone. so what happens in those 5 minutes? i'm tempted to try to capture this doctor jekyll mr hyde transformation on film. i'm gonna be so rich.
ever notice that appointment means different things depending on who you're making the appointment with. your doctor expects you to be there 15 minutes early. then they make you wait for 30 minutes or more before they see you. on the other hand. the cable can arrive at any time in a two hour window. hrm. what happens if the cable guy makes an appointment with the doctor? can he show up at any time within a 2 hour window and expect to be seen immediately? hrm. and what if the doctor makes an appointment with the cable guy? does the cable guy have to arrive 15 minutes early? hrm.
judges have to follow the law. and the law says the parents must give their kid chemo if doctors say so. even if they object on religious grounds. course in this case, the kid's 13. can't read. white but thinks he's an elder and a medicine man of an indian tribe. and can't explain what either of those mean or how he became them. dang. i'm thinking, let the kid die. the world would be a very different place if parents were allowed to kill their children. abortion becomes a non-issue. fitness of the species for survival goes way up. and discipline issues virtually go away. hell, parents should be encouraged to kill their children. god demands it.
dang. up until about a week ago i was on top of everything. i was ahead in every aspect of my life. now all of a sudden i find myself behind the eight ball. actually work's good. baseball's good. home is good. so by *everything* i mean my blog. heh.
i love my wife. she is beautiful and talented. but she's a girl. and as such missed out on some basic educational principles. like boy psychology. fire is hot. to a girl that means don't touch it. to a boy that means touch it to see exactly how hot. same with consequences of actions. if you hit your brother you will be in trouble. boy psychology. okay got it. i hit my brother i get in trouble. **SMACK**. how much trouble am i in?
i'm pretty sure this story is fake. but it's amusing. so i'm going to propagate it. anywho, it's picture day at school. girl wants to look her best. wears a nice skirt. doesn't want panty lines. simple. no panties. forgets. gets carried away. yearbook comes out with what appears to be a picture of her hoo hoo. girl won't go to school for the rest of the year. boo hoo. sheehs. pretty sure a crotch shot is a foreseeable outcome. and if you still choose not to wear panties, sheehs, keep your legs together. and for crying out loud don't tell the world you were shotgun on picture day. actually scratch that. be an attention whore.
a recent study purported that it's in a young woman's best interest to have a baby. they are more likely to quit smoking and finish school. it's newsworthy because it's an unusual result. it's also total crap. the comparison group was the slut's responsible sister. here we have a case of the subject and the control competing for the same family resources. one wins, one loses. american mind set is to sacrifice everything for the infant. and who's gonna make that sacrifice, the slut or the responsible sister? sheehs. i have a better plan. shoot the slut. you can spend all the family resources on the sibling that deserves it. now instead of two welfare moms and a double sized brood, you have a college graduate and future responsible citizens.
when one designs a scientific experiment, it's important to have a control group. the subject group and the control group should be matched. like same socio-economic mix. same ethnic mix. etc. details depend on what you're studying. it's also important that the control group and the subject group be independent. like students at different schools. they certainly shouldn't be related. and the two groups shouldn't be competing against each other. otherwise your results are garbage. sheehs. how hard is this?
i'm an excellent driver. i know this for a fact. b and i were on our way to the restaurant to collect the credit card i had left there the night before. i made a left turn and parallel parked on a business street. a bus driver stopped next to me. opened his door. and complimented my execution of what should be a very basic maneuver. apparently, though most people suck at it badly enough that it's worth delaying a busload of people to note it. sheehs. has basic american competence fallen so low? maybe it's not entirely the government's fault that we have a trillion dollar deficit.
i've read a few good things on the reason blog. agree with this
post. sheehs. if the economy's gonna recover all by itself... what's the point of spending the stimulus money? sheehs. i bashed bush for raiding the treasury for the benefit of a few. that was way before mr spendy pants arrived on the scene. heh. i'm tempted to make a shaw ayatollah comparison. but that might be a bit over the top.
i missed the first episode of dollhouse. which i think makes the show better. it's kinda like you have no idea what's going on. so you pay extra special close attention to every detail. maybe you can pick up a clue. like the doctor's a doll. i was pretty sure she was. even before alpha called her whiskey. heh. didn't figure there was a real (and dead) dr sanchez. but now it's like duh. alpha was a lot scarier as the monster in the closet. play on the fear of the unknown. now he's outed as a homicidal multiple personality psychopathic super genius. oh thank god. i was afraid alpha was something really scary.
so for mother's day the cub scout pack took alisa for a one mile bike ride at rancho santiago. the other venues were deemed to be too far for the precious snowflakes. sheehs. anyone who thinks a kid can't ride a bike 5 miles with ease has really missed the point of scouting. anywho. it was more crowded with people walking riding and jogging than our trip to yosemite. but at least they were polite people. sheehs. i've never seen such rudeness on a trail before. i got to the point were i wanted to walk on my side of the trail with my fist extended. guarantee someone would have run into it. anywho. we ate watermelon in the hay barn. found a geocache. did some impromptu skits. and made it home in one piece.
why do we call native americans indians? heh. why do we even call them native americans? sheehs. they're ottawas apaches mohawks cherokees blackfoot etc. cristobal colon was lost. he thought he was somewhere near indonesia. i mean, sioux um crow. you can't get much more lost. the island now known as the dominican republic is on the opposite side of the frikken globe from where he was trying to go. at least the name cristobian or colonians didn't catch on. hrm. heh. that's almost funny. anywho, in grade school we were taught everyone was stupid and thought the world was flat. except for columbus. sheehs. the greeks knew the world was round. they deduced the shape from observing lunar eclipses. they even knew the size of the (round) earth. columbus' great idea was they were wrong. and the earth was really much smaller. course he was the one who was wrong. and got really lucky he happened to set course for land. if the atlantic was the size of the pacific he probably wouldn't have gotten in the history books. i wrote a play for a high school class about the queen of spain not recognizing the name cristobal colon when he returned. her advisor reminded her she paid him to take three boatloads of convicts and sail off the edge of the world. hey, it was cheaper than housing them. anywho, learn the name of their tribe. or start referring to yourself as chinese.
the ocean is a really goddam big place. even ginormous ocean liners and super tankers are tiny specks easily lost at sea. so the $64m question, how do pirates find their prey? they must have some way of finding out what's going to be where when. an intelligence network as it were. seems like we could tap into it and disrupt it. or use it to ambush pirates. who i think should have their boats confiscated. and immediately be released. heh. give em a floatation device. and announce on the pirate intelligence network exactly where they are. let the pirates go get them.
why do politicians focus on the nugatory? it's a most excellent question. and a most excellent word. (look it up yourself.) neither of which are mine. both come from an extraordinary individual who happens to be average by every conceivable measure. anywho, in the same thread a commenter bashed obama for dispensing flu avoidance advice you'd expect to hear from grade schoolers. focus on the nugatory apparently isn't limited to politicians. seems to be more a part of human nature in general. perhaps people focus on what they feel they are qualified to comment on. which in the case of our elected representatives, bodes ill for all of us.
ben's a boy scout. damn. where does the time go? scouting is cool. it's an exclusive club. literally. it excludes girls, gays, and atheists. girls represent 50% of the population. which means girls have sufficient numbers to make their own alternatives. gays and atheists on the other hand, are small minorities. or at least, we think so. the supreme court has ruled that since bsa is a private club and doesn't get public funding it can make whatever rules it wants. so some people can't play reindeer games. there was a short fat dude with a big mouth going on and on about this particular topic. i think i'll accuse him of being gay. and threaten to kick him out of scouting. should be fun. anywho, the scouts are planning to go to another national park next month. so the new scouts were being taught to pitch tents. hey wait. national parks are maintained with public funds. heh. i wonder if anyone has argued in court that organizations that use national parks are in effect accepting public funding. and so would be subject to anti-discrimination laws. hrm.
apparently, i'm an ignorant fuck. i've been lumping creationism and intelligent design into the same category: superstitious claptrap. i sincerely apologize to all you nutjobs. creationism is the belief that the bible is literally true. it makes predictions about the world that can be tested. and frankly, don't pass the occam's razor test. intelligent design is a completely different thing altogether. adherents of id admit they are too stupid to understand how the universe could possibly be as complex as it is. they conclude there must have been some nigh omniscient omnipotent thing with a plan. that thing may be but doesn't have to be a god that may or may not require followers that it gives a shit about or not. summarizing the differences: creationism is superstitious claptrap. id is glorification of ignorance. they still go in the same bucket. you can't test either the biblical god or the intelligent designer. you can't bring either into a courtroom and have them testify under oath. you can't make predictions about what they're going to do next. feel free to put them in different garbage pails or the same one. your call. either way, neither belong in the science classroom.
there's a very dangerous intersection near to where i work. at least to pedestrians. i think i've blogged about it before. the other day i was nearly struck again. sheehs. i had decided to to give the next rude as shit driver what for. maybe even kick or key their car. pah. it's been a while though. got caught off guard. probably a good thing. it was a police cruiser.
does it make any sense to spend a trillion dollars on stimulus? maybe. i can imagine a few hypothetical scenarios. 1) you can employ people for $1t instead of paying them $1t in welfare. course why would people do work and pay taxes on $1t when they could stay at home and drink beer all day and get $1t in handouts? 2) it gets you elected and re-elected. 3) we spend it on infrastructure for the common good. now everyone can work more efficiently. buy and sell more stuff. and pay more taxes. 'course that scenario also assumes people would rather be employed than unemployed. i really want high speed rail, electric cars, internet 2, and moon tourists. but man, it's just not going to happen as long as we keep paying people to be idle.
so the other day a coach of an opposing team freaked out and told me i was killing my ball players. i taught them to square up to bunt. so they're facing the pitcher. apparently that's the #1 cause of little league baseball deaths. heh. here's some advice. never take anyone's word for anything. always do at least a little research yourself. guess what i found? easily the most dangerous thing about youth baseball, like by a factor of 100, is the commute by car. after that injuries happen kind of as you'd expect. get hit by ball. mostly batters. slide poorly and break a leg. sheehs. a factor of a 100. that's the difference between a light beer and a bottle of vodka. that's the difference between me talking to your daughter for 5 minutes and spending the night with her.
anyone who's opposed to spanking children should coach little league baseball. or any other sport that has safety rules to keep kids from getting hurt. sheehs. recently, we had a player pick up a bat in the dugout (breaking a safety rule), wander out of the dugout (breaking a safety rule), turn his back on the batter (breaking a safety rule), and get creamed by a line drive foul ball. i'm absolutely certain we've gone over those safety rules ad nauseum. yet they still weren't followed. why not? i found myself prepping a lecture along the lines of, does someone have to get hurt before you start complying with the safety rules? and ding! the light went on. this age group learns by positive feedback and by negative feedback. ie hit the ball, win the game. positive feedback. turn your back on the batter, get hit by a line drive. negative feedback. now, we can't really give a player a treat for performing the simple trick of staying in the freaking dugout until it's their turn at bat. and if we can't swat em with a switch then they never learn the rule. unless of course they wake up in the er with a killer headache.
the world is running out of fresh water. well, sorta. that's one way to put it. if the human population on earth keeps growing the way it is we will soon not be able to produce enough fresh water for everyone. presumably, this will cause our population to stop growing. people die without water. we're humans. and we're stupid. if we were smart we'd lower our birth rate and cap our population while there's still plenty for all. but most of the world is violently opposed to even talking about birth control. catholics go to hell when they take the pill. muslim women are commodities whose value is to make babies on demand. and africans have a level of promiscuity that's legendary. which really, is quite the coalition. anywho. suppose this doomsday scenario plays out. the world's death rate goes up. and to compensate women will need to have more babies. cause fewer of them will reach adulthood. which will exacerbate the problem in a sadistic feedback loop.
i was reading the latest fear mongering about the impending water crisis. we're consuming our fresh water supplies at unsustainable rates. huh. i wondered how much water exactly we pump from the ground every year. so i prayed to google. and they answered sorta vaguely. as is fitting for some cloud dwelling oracle. anywho, it's some 2000 cubic kilometers. give or take a factor of three. to put that in perspective, it's enough to raise sea levels by 6 mms per year. unfortunately, in the 15 minutes or so i dedicated to this line of thought i was unable to get more precise numbers. so the theory that pumping what's amusingly called fossil water from underground aquifers is raising sea levels at the observed rate, is in mythbuster parlance, plausible.
i was thinking more about sea level changes. the numbers in this post
conclude that if we took all of the sun's energy that strikes the surface of the earth and used it to melt ice we could raise sea levels by 100 mms per year. that's 50 times larger than the observed rate. so sunshine has the capability. however, it's 20 times larger than the amount the brightness of the sun fluctuates. so it's unlikely that pure solar variation can be melting ice to make sea levels rise. so what can? albedo is the fraction of sunlight that's not absorbed by earth and is immediately reflected back into space. it's about 30%. if albedo decreased by 2% points, like say from 31% to 29%, we'd have enough energy available to melt ice and raise sea levels at the observed rate. in mythbuster parlance, i'd call this one plausible.