two of the best plays i saw this weekend were both by g. the first was a hard hit ground ball heading for the gap between shortstop and g at third. he cuts over, fields it on the run. power step. throwing step. and the ball was rocketing away to get a very fast runner at first. the second best play, g was again at third. ball's hit to left center. runner from first takes the turn at second. the throw from the outfield to third goes awry and to the dugout fence. g fetches. the runner takes off toward third. no one covers third. so it's a race to the base. runner slides. g dives and gets his glove between the base and the cleats for the tag and the out. what was really pretty was he held onto the ball with both hands to keep it from being knocked out of his glove. and when he slid on his belly he slid past the runner. no collision. which again could have knocked the ball loose. not to mention, hurt. the only other notable play was by the catcher blocking out home plate. catching the ball. being slid into by the runner. not only kept his feet but kept the runner completely away from the plate. then leisurely making the tag. completely denying our big hitter of an inside the park home run.
the last two memorial weekends we played an 8u tournament at lakewood. it was fun. this year g is too old. the fossil. so we figured we could do something fun. but our league decided they wanted to host a 9-10 tournament. whew. okay. so we're back on the hook for baseball all weekend. wee. we entered two teams. our top team ended up in a tough pool. our weaker team ended up in a weaker pool. neither team finished tops or seconds in their pool. so none of our players will be playing in the playoff bracket today. sigh. ah well. maybe next year. heh. saw some really good plays. some of which were by g. that kid is way better at baseball than i ever was. at any age.
obama was smart alec. reagan was rawhide. osama was not geronimo. contrary to initial misinterpretation. geronimo was a code word meaning bin laden was killed or captured. i don't know what code name i would have given to him. maybe ole yeller. he used to be our ally. something happened to him while fighting for us. and he turned into a monster. and we shot him like a dog. so it mostly works. the difference is the boy still loved his dog-turned-monster. whereas we universally hated our man-turned-monster. and the dog didn't have a choice. the man did. and the dog-turned-monster was locked up in a cage and couldn't do any harm. the man wasn't. still though. the code name kinda conveys how i feel about his killing. equal parts relief that the monster is gone and unhappiness that the world got to a state where the trigger got pulled. net loss of sleep: zero.
a friend of mine has a touch of obsessive compulsive disorder. one of the ways it manifests is pulls weeds from public spaces. it's called removing invasive species. apparently there's a small army of like minded folks. the poor invasive species don't have a chance. course, they're called invasive because they're genetically superior to the native varieties. so they have to be harrison bergeron'd. heh. i've often wondered who gets to decide which are the invasive species. and how. when you get right down to it, most types of plants and animals came here from somewhere else. very few actually originated here. so how do you draw the line in space and time? this invasive species gets to stay and be protected because it invaded here before some other invasive species. weird. anywho. what about grass? yeah, that green stuff your neighbor's dog shits on. it's clearly not native. and there's more of it every year. "native" species lose habitat to it every year. we should outlaw lawns. cultivate a native species in your yard. be green. extreme green.
the rules for bunting seem to have changed this year. yet i can't find anything different in the rule book. my understanding has always been bunting is like swinging. if you attempt to bunt and fail it's a strike. now though if you put the bat in the strike zone and don't move it, it doesn't count as a swing. ie the umpire calls ball or strike depending on where the pitch crossed the plate. which strikes me as really really odd. so to speak. a little googling informs me i don't know how to play baseball. still seems like a silly rule. cause now the umpire's decision is subjective. did the batter try to bunt, ie "offer", or didn't he? whereas, the "wrong" timmer interpretation is simple: bat presented but not pulled back, strike. regardless of where the ball is.
when i started coaching little league five years ago, metro dominated. then something happened. and now they're looking really vulnerable. i'm not so much of an egotist to think that it was my coaching that elevated our teams to their level. so it must be something else. let me give you a typical description of a game at metro. late in the game we're ahead by four runs or so. suddenly, the strike zone goes crazy. maybe it's just the heat. or fatigue or whatever. but balls bouncing off the plate are called strikes. balls so far outside the catcher can't catch them are called strikes. kids are crying. fortunately, it only lasts half an inning. the zone tightens up again when we take the field. catcher doesn't move his glove. ball. huh? must have been lining up outside. or something. anywho. it's all to make the game more competitive. and more fun. right? hrm. yeah. nobody's fooling anyone. everyone knows exactly what's going on. and the loser is their kids. cause their victories are hollow. our kids learn the scoreboard doesn't matter. what matters is playing good baseball. winning sometimes happens when you play good ball. and they are. and they are.
last year, both boys were on the same team. this year, they're on different teams. so they have practices at different places at different times. and games at different places and different times. though the scheduling gods have been fairly merciful. so far, most of the saturday games have been on the same field one after another. makes for a kind of long day. but at least there's no extra racing about. and everyone gets to see both games. this weekend we were at metro. we won both games. hoo-ray! it was a wonderful way for the world to end.
i write my blogs in advance. i'm writing this one before the rapture. we've arranged for the boys to get the account numbers and passwords for all of our accounts. just in case they're still here and we're not come sunday morning. i've actually written quite a few in advance. so that you have something to read while the world ends. not six months worth though. cause i'm pretty sure electrical power will be one of the first things to go. too bad. some of the later ones are pretty funny. oh well.
hmm... i might be getting old. my memory isn't what it used to be. but... i'm pretty sure i never snorkeled at school. things sure are different here and now. pretty sure we never snorkeled cause the middle school i went to didn't have a pool. the closest thing to a pool we had was a river. the closest thing we ever did to snorkeling was one friday when the gifted class walked to the river and spent the day slunging mud at each other. monday morning one of the hygienically challenged still had mud caked on him in gym class.
folks say the president doesn't understand the reality in israel's situation. heh. au contraire. it is netanyahu who doesn't understand the reality. we need arab oil more than we need an anti-arab ally in the middle east. apparently, this has been the inside washington position for a long time. the big o is the first person to actually officially state it. course it's a pretty dangerous thing. starting with those obama-is-a-muslim rumors. the other side of the coin needs to be addressed. it is *not* open season on israel. it needs to be made clear to israel's hostile neighbors that they have to entirely give up on the idea of destroying israel. speaking bluntly. if you attack israel, or support an attack of israel, the united states will attack you. and we will take your lands. and keep them. and everything in them. like say, oil.
birds are dumb. a flock of small stupid birds decided to buzz trouble aka bongo, our boy cat. he swatted one out of the air and into the leaves under the rose bushes. where he couldn't find it. apparently, cats aren't much smarter than birds. princess starlight, our girl cat, knew exactly where it was. she darted in. grabbed it. and made off with it. not far enough though. the beautiful and talented alisa took it from her.
a friend of mine collects penises. we were in san francisco last weekend when we happened to walk past the glass dildo me shop. hrm. they weren't exactly cheap. otherwise i might have bought one for said friend. i assume they're novelty items and not actually meant to be used on living flesh. no no no. i /really/ want to believe they're novelty items. this way they're pretty art things that sit on a display shelf. otherwise they'd be uhhhh scary.
so b went bike camping with the boy scouts. it rained. he still managed to make a fire and cook breakfast. two out of three things he was hoping to get signed off for second class. apparently he can't use sharp tools in the rain. anywho. since we were down to one child for the weekend i called in a few favors and pawned the other child off on friends. so for 24.5 glorious hours i had the beautiful and talented alisa all to myself. she hates surprises. and i kinda suck at springing them. so i kept dropping subtle hints. /subtle/ hints. like casually asking what kinds of touristy things she'd like to do in the city. specifically. ;-> anywho. it was kinda hard to find a room. i pretty much took the first one i found. it reeked of old smoke. we opened the windows and went out to dinner in china town. nice view. didn't order the shark fin soup. stopped at the cheesecake factory for desert. we hiked a bunch. walked across the golden gate bridge. the next day was bay to breakers. oh. well, that explains why we couldn't find anywhere to stay. heh. we went across town to visit the walt disney family museum. and tootled around fort point. then, too soon, it was time to go home. i think she enjoyed her surprise. i sure did.
i know that sound. that's the sound a baseball makes when i hit it. except i didn't hit it. and neither did any of my players. they were on the field defending. i looked up and g was horizontal. a meter off the ground. which is pretty impressive cause he's only 132 cms tall. he'd snagged a screaming line drive from third base. landed kinda heavy on all fours on the infield grass. popped up. and gunned the ball to first base for the double play. later he hit a double over the right fielder's head. pitched a good inning. his curve balls totally messed with them. good enough for a game ball. only the third one awarded so far this season. that's the best play i've seen him make. ever. go kid. daddy is appoint.
jedi mind tricks
i was looking into doing a thing at work needed for some future features. and was asking around as to how hard would it be. apparently, i accidentally used my jedi mind trick power. cause the next thing i know, the feature's being pushed out. which wouldn't be so bad. except the pointy haired types didn't approve it. whups. sigh. i need to be careful with this newly discovered ability. i need to find its limitations. i tried it on the beautiful and talented alisa. what exactly i tried i'll leave to your imagination. but alas, the power only works on lesser minds.
someone compared different password requirements for how long they'd take to crack using different methods. some sites require you to use at least one of each of the following: upper case letter, lower case letter, digit, and symbol. like say Ab12Cd@$. which is secure. meaning it'd take 1000 years or more to crack. the reason is it's only crackable by the brute force method. that particular phrase is not likely to be in a dictionary. unless of course you use it everywhere. and of course none of you re-use your passwords. right? right!?!? heh. a dictionary attack looks for fools using words as their password. like panda. swear to almighty god, a manager at the dmv used panda as the super user password. omfg. then she got all pissed off when i called her on it. jeesus. i don't care if you put your information at risk. but crikey mate. did she really think that five letter word was sufficient to protect the identities of every person who's ever had a driver's license in california? anywho. /vent. the interesting result is that a string of all lower case words is just as secure as Ab12Cd@$. and a hell of a lot easier to remember. for example: "i like cats with chicken pox". just as secure. it's also a lot easier to customize a long password. for example: "blogspot likes cats with chicken pox". so you devs out there, when you are deciding what requirements you want to impose on your users, remember "digit symbol upper and lower case" is just as secure as "1@Ulpass". and much more pleasant to work with.
so we took the ipad geocaching. it's actually an ipad 2. i shelled out the $10 for the geocaching app. it's really an iphone app. so everything looks like it's scaled up. which it is. there were many many caches where we were going. i really wanted to have the damn thing save maps for *all* of the nearby caches. as it was g and i took turns saving 60+ caches. we didn't know which trails we were going to hike. it would have been nice if they used a different color pin for the caches i've already saved. as it was, we looked at the same caches several times. pah. out in the field we didn't have internet access. so caching the maps and descriptions caches was good. the gps was pretty accurate. ie no more inaccurate than our real aviation gps. the big bonus was we didn't have to print all this info on paper. the bad thing was we spent a lot of time hiking around with eyeballs on the ipad instead of talking to each other or looking at the scenery. or watching where we were walking. had at least one near collision. wee. using an app for the first time is always kinda frustrating. even more so cause the damn thing crashed often. the compass map was pretty nice. though there was confusion about which symbol is us (the blue dot) and which is the cache (the green pin). it did reduce the prep work. and certainly reduced the paper work. so i guess all in all it was better. maybe a future upgrade will fix the aforementioned gripes.
i think the beautiful and talented alisa had a good day. she went to church with her dad. at 8 am. with the priest whose sermons are pointless streams of consciousness. she came home chipper. she got some bracelets we picked out in hawaii. g made her a really nice ceramic mug. b gave her an iou. cause the dork child left his mother's day creation at school. we joked about giving her an easter egg containing the gps coordinates of his locker. but ended up just telling her that we thought that. which i think was better. she ordered a chicken wrap for lunch. i fed the boys their usual peanut butter sammiches on homemade bread. then we took the ipad hiking. more about that later. the weather was perfect for blondes - cloudy and sometimes windy and cold. provided you're dressed appropriately. which we were. we hiked some of the steepest hills in almaden quicksilver county park. we found 3 geocaches. picked up a travel bug. and a tick. which got squished before it could bite me. we made salsa stromboli for dinner. with lots and lots of mushrooms. alisa helped while the boys bathed. cause we were running late. it must have been really yummy. cause everyone ate all of theirs. or maybe they were really hungry after hiking all afternoon. and oh yeah, my mother got a phone call.
this is probably old news. but it's the kind of old news that becomes new news over and over again. we estimate the age of dead things by the ratios of certain radioisotopes. this technique suggests the earth is billions of years old. not thousands as estimated by people who limit the input of their "knowledge" to a single source. ergo the technique must be wrong. so it comes under scrutiny. one assumption is that the decay rate is constant throughout all of time and space. evidence collected from super novas which are far away and happened long ago suggest that it is indeed, constant. every once in a while someone comes up with data that is unusual. like that decay rate varies with the season. presumably this is because the earth moves closer and farther from the sun during the year. so maybe something from the sun triggers radioactive decay. this something would have to follow an inverse square law. so a 1% change here would imply an absolutely HUGE change in decay rate on say, a space probe which is very far from the sun. they get their power from radioactive decay. but nasa data shows there's no change in their available power. ergo it's much more likely the something that's unusual is the study and not the decay rate.
should bush get any credit for the death of ubl? sure. he did sorta lull ubl into a false sense of security. made him complacent. made it kinda easy for a competent president to succeed at the task. despite it being dauntingly hard. despite the political usefulness of a scary bogeyman out there, somewhere gonna getcha. despite being distracted by war spontaneously breaking out in an oil rich country. still, some will argue, see? torture paid off! hrm. seems really unlikely. seems like most of the useful reliable information came after we stopped torturing people. simply cause we could trust the information from the interrogated to not be made up by someone desperately trying to to say whatever the torturer wants to hear to make the torture stop. gafc.
easter came late this year. literally, it was about as late as easter can get. and it happened while we were in hawaii. so we celebrated a week even later. the family tradition is to solve riddles to get clues to where the next egg is hidden. usually the boys each get a starter egg. this year they got one egg. inside were gps coordinates. it was a team effort. the boundaries were our house and g's school. so they had to wear real clothes. not just pajamas. anywho. they were skeptical of something different of course. but in the end they had to admit they had fun. though they kinda missed the riddles. maybe next year there will be gps coordinates *and* riddles. we can't wait until they can drive. heh. easter road rally.
no more tax breaks
obama wants to cut $4b in tax breaks for the oil industry. $4b. sounds like a lot. and in absolute terms of you and me, it is. a whole lot. but it's kinda paltry compared to the $100b in profits shared by the oil companies. so really. they don't need tax breaks. course let's think about what will happen. most of the $4b won't come from profits. it will be passed on to the consumer. you and me. which works out to about $12 a person. less if you spread it over all consumers in the world instead of just us americans. and yeah there's gonna be a big stink. but really. we're over budget by *trillions* of dollars. to put things in perspective, suppose you owe me $1000. enough to be painful. your kid wants to help. so he gives you the $4 profit from his lemonade stand. sweet gesture. but you still owe me $1000 to three significant figures. xkcd put it another way. the difference between trillion and billion is the difference between a sip of wine and 30 seconds with your daughter. and a bottle of gin and spending the night with her.
so i was on my way to work. specifically i was fishing the key card from my backpack so i could get in the building. when a smoking hawt chick walked by. she stopped texting on one phone and talking on another to say, love you guys. now this sort of thing happens to me all the time. yeah, hef wants me to write articles for playboy. swear to god. so anywho, i just took it in stride. smiled and waved and said, uh... we love you too.
every month a cowboy magazine arrives in the mail. which is kinda strange. cause we didn't order it. and we didn't pay for it. it started showing up shortly after we ordered (and paid for) other magazines for a school fundraiser. so i imagine somewhere in suburbia a wannabe cowboy is not getting his horsey rag. bummer. didn't really think much of it. but then last week a box of baby formula arrived. hrm. it's been 7 years or more since we last needed baby formula. is our name on some really old list? or did we send in for a freebie and it took a really long time to arrive? heh. or... are these subtle clues that something really bad has happened? like someone who isn't the beautiful and talented alisa is using her identity. hrm. we ordered a credit report. one thing looked funny but was otherwise clean. whew. false alarm. but it was good to check. the funny thing was a credit card with an unrecognized number with a $0 limit that has never been used. apparently, one of those comes with a macy's card. wee.
1957 - 2011. vengeance was served. not justice. make no self delusion here. tempered vengeance, granted. which is about as best an outcome as could possibly be hoped for. and yeah, some part of me would have preferred if he was dropped live and screaming from where the top of the world trade center used to be, covered in piss with a pig's penis in his rectum. then whisper chipper his corpse, mix it with manure, and spread it over the heartland of america. let him do some good as fertilizer. which, while emotionally more satisfying, is probably inferior in the long run. many people divide the world into "us" and "them". certain politicians leap to mind. some might fantasize, even shoot their mouth off, about killing all of "them". but it ends there. for most. ubl was exceptional. and hopefully rare. cause he actually went about killing as many of "them" as he could. christ taught, love your enemy. ubl loved only his friends. and became a monster. which is a good thing for a christian nation to remember when folks start drawing targets on "them".
"The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there's no good reason to go into space--each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision."
dad, can we get this game for the ipad? uh... are there boobies? no. are there intestines? no. is it free? yes. sure. download away.
i'd like to send out a nice big fuck you to microsoft. i did *not* give you permission to install ms live on my computer. and i especially did *not* give you permission to make the damn thing run when i start windows. you wasted several minutes of my life trying to a) find the option that says don't run this piece of shit just because i started windows. nice hide there by the way. first you have to show the menus. then you can find the options item. then you can find the mystery pain with the checked box. fuckers. and 2) when i say close i mean, fucking close. don't just hide. get the fuck out of my task bar. and stop running on *my* goddam computer. keep your fucking malware to yourself. thank you. /vent
suppose i have a perfectly ordinary six sided die. except it has two sixes and no one. ie a loaded die. now, i roll that die and i get a six. is that a normal six? or is that a loaded six? it's impossible to tell. it might be a perfectly natural six. after all, i could have rolled a six with a normal die. on the other hand, after many such casts, it's very clear that i'm cheating. unfortunately, that whole would have rolled a six anyway argument tends to paralyze the reasoning abilities of most humans. and with it, the law. we as a population really need to get our heads wrapped around basic math. we desperately need to up our education game. instead we dumb down america at every turn. which will lead to more of the following types of conversations: i'm very sorry you got lung cancer. not our fault. love, the cigarette manufacturers. i'm very sorry your trailer park was destroyed by a tornado. i'm very sorry your wheat crop was destroyed by drought. not my fault. love, global warning.