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Top of the 5th

5/31/2005

Things are looking rough, but were still within one
run. My call? Down by four at the end. Ill follow up
in the morning.



UPDATE: Am I good, or what? 10-6 Rattlers. Shame, Lookouts had last at bats too.

I love Little League

The annoying fat lady with the overly broad hillbilly
accent just got hit in the chops by a foul. I am looking
concerned.

Har har har.

I love baseball.

Now if the coach who
can't walk right because he can't stop flexing gets
kneecapped by a six year old with an aluminum tee ball
bat, my day will be complete.

Lookouts v Rattlers

Shaping up to be a game here in the top of the 2nd.
Gabes playing centerfield for the Lookoutsn and they
ended the first with a one run deficit after a series
of spectacular solo homers. First base, normally a
hot-wired ball of glue just gave up a double on an
unforced, but shit happens.

Outfield still in the game, but its early yet and the
bottom of the lineup will take its toll sooner rather
than later.

Bottom of the Fourth

Bottom of the lineup brought in two suprise runs,
bringing us within one.

In batting news... Welln no way around it, we got a
problem with stepping out again.
Im getting too old for this.

Looks like well hold them, but the new pitchers will
probably keep them ahead. Ill start up again from
machine pitch land.



Oh yeah, forgot the camera. No pictures.

Ballgame #1

2nd inning 3-1 Haydens team goes down 123. Big crowd
for the other team. POW! Big hit from the wrong
side,easy double. Ugly so far.

I Want to Believe

Not really, but what the hell is this?

Baseball tonight

2 Games. I'll take pitchers. Heh Heh. Har Har. Hee Hee... urgh.

McMenu

5/27/2005

I guess I'm not the only one who thinks McDonald's food doesn't taste the way it did when I was a kid. It sucks and I can't eat it anymore, my poor delicate tummy revolts and I end up riding the porcelin Honda for hours on end. Remember when Big Mac's used to be good? Now they taste like something off of the Ponderosa lunch buffet, and it's four o'clock. Well, here's a link to a PDF of McDonald's recipes, the way McDonald's used to make their food. Evidently Pre-1987.

The Reality of P2P

Of course, this NEVER happens to me.

UPDATE: I know it's old, but it's so true.

UPDATE: According to those people who use P2P.

The Scratchpad

5/26/2005

Draw a penis with people from all over the world.

Um. . .Mr. Abreu?

Your agent is on the line.

Disney's Haunted Mansion Tribute

5/24/2005

This took a lot of time. Very cool. Huge page, takes forever to load, lots of multimedia.

Why Republicans will Never Keep Power

They're Pussies Who want everyone to LIIIIIIIKE them.

Union rep: U.S. troops killing journalists

5/21/2005

Maybe they should start targeting Union Reps?


<Anyway, there's no pervasive anti-militarism in the press. They told us so.


Happy Birthday, Eoin!


Baaaaaaaad Man

I Just Want to See if this Works

5/19/2005

Sending this from the Blackberry. Why is there no free
WiFi in any of the airports Ive been in lately?


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Pretty Cool

I was out getting gas last night with the AM on (I'm big into Dave Ramsey which is another story) when I heard Hugh Hewitt have an interesting call with a guy with the unfortunate name of Terry Moran. Radio Blogger has the transcript. I'd reccomend reading it, I thought it was realy good radio. It got pretty loud, but not Crossfire loud, aud in the end it was an interesting exchange.

Hewitt is a talk radio guy and a HUGE Bush cheerleader, but he's also VERY smart and has a really good ear. If I was Bushmiller's boss, and I heard her make that remark, I'd make her apologize. But I'm not her boss, and her boss probably agrees with her. I think most of the country understands that, and that's going to be a big problem for the old established media companies.

In the airport I was watching CNN and a promo came on and they talked about how they cover the whole world, with video showing demonstrations, dirty forgien kids, American soldiers throwing grenades. At the end of the promo, the lady reporter, I can't remember her name, too damn early, come on and says, "It's our job description, to make people's lives a little better."

I thought her job was to report the news.

I can also say with absolute certanty that the American soldier throwing grenades in the clip have done more to make "people's lives better" than all of CNN's international correspondents combined. Ditto for Fox News, NBC, CBS etc.

Who's running the show at these networks?


Cross Posted at Brew-masters

I guess I need this

5/18/2005

Cuss Control

Like a motherfucking hole in my head.

This is a pain

Pearl Game

One more thing. . .

5/17/2005

If a suspected terrorist in a prison camp in Cuba can have a toilet powerful enough to flush a whole freaking BOOK. . .why can't I? What's with that? I mean obviously the shit of the "Holy Warriors" doesn't stink, but does it float too?

What would you prefer? 3 gallon flush, 5 gallon flush, or the flush of the infidel Great Satan?

It Makes Me Wonder. . .

This particular bustle in my hedgerow actually
does have me alarmed.

goofiness aside, I believe the only answer to this is, "What the Hell?"

It is almost impossible to not come to the conclusion that the big media companies are nothing but anti-American propaganda outlets.

This story was designed to incite anti-American violence in certain Muslim countries. No way around it, it was a plant. How do I know? Easy. How many of those rioting jackasses in Kandahar read Newsweek? My guess is not a lot.

Since it's almost impossible to blog coherently with an eight month old baby on your lap, I'll leave you with this thought.

ABC News here is saying that this particular incident didn't happen, but we hear that incidents like this did happen, (conveniently almost identical incidents) and we have it on the authority of the prisoners in Guantanamo themselves. Because we all know suspected terrorists are more trustworthy than the US armed forces.

Like the man said, "fake but accurate."

Now I've got to go wash the Alar off of my apples. . ..oh, riiiight.

1998 Reprise

5/16/2005

I told you so.

5/14/2005


Happy Belated Mother's Day

Interesting Trivia

5/11/2005

Remember theWhy We Fight movies from WWII? One of them was filmed in Madison.

Is it really 1998?

5/05/2005

Maybe. I feel like it's 1998 because the company I work for is growing at an amazing rate, I was just bragging about that to my brother. I might finally be working for a company on its way up, instead of static or falling apart.

My silly opinion is that Banks are actually able to make a little money now that rates are up a little, they can rely on commercial money instead of mortgages. In addition Sarbanes-Oxley is the new Y2k bug. Meaning large companies spending lots of money to get new tech guys and product in the door to handle a problem that the companies had years to fix. The result? Tech boom!

The blog thing is a symptom, not the cause of the boom. Bloggers take themselves too seriously. Online advertising is up because High-Speed access is up and web companies can finally do what they promised everyone they would do in 1996. Now, we have a real portal, Google, and we have content, P2P. What's not to love?

Where's the pets.com puppet?


Just to let you know, I don't miss Pets.com. I've got the 1-800-PetMeds Commercials. Oh Yeah - Mini porm movies, so good.

Bob Hunter dies

OK, most of the people who read this (both of you, probably) will have no idea who this guy was, but he was pretty cool. I spent a whole hell of a lot of time in Ontario, between Don Mills and Penetang, probably about a year. When you are alone in Canada, you can do strange things and one of the strange things I would do was to eat the in room breakfast at the Inn on the Park after spending all night watching the Canadian version of HGTV and the History Channel and killing the minibar. The best part of breakfast was, of course, Breakfast Television. I know BT is cheeze. But it fascinated me, the host never sat down ever, and they had the best traffic cameras. But the best part of BT was Paper Cuts, where Bob Hunter would sit down at his kitchen table in his bathrobe with a highlighter and read from the newspaper. He was hilarious. It really didn't matter if you agreed with him or not, he was great to listen to, and seemed like such a nice guy (for a cynical old Canadian hippy) that you pretty much forgave him anything.

There's not a lot of people around like that.

Bob Hunter was one of the founders of Greenpeace, but he split with the group. And if you ever watched him on Paper Cuts, you'd know why. Bob had a sense of humor and a lot of common sense. One hippy we're not better off without.

Here's an obit

Well Damn! I always wondered about that. .

Via The Presurfer :

How to fold a fitted sheet

I usually just roll them up into a ball.

Public Notice

5/04/2005

I do believe the baby just shit an entire carrot cake.

I swear I can still see icing in there.

OOOO No He Di'ent

Smack!

Interesting Stuff Here

There's a writing requirement for the SAT now. and evidently a lot of people think it's a joke.(reg. req.)

OK, ignore the fun fact that it's the New York Times complaining about factual errors in the essays, and lets focus on a couple cherry picked arguments. One is that writing short, timed essays does nothing to show how well a student would do writing the long, serious and in-depth papers that college professors require; and another one is that the length of the essay is an almost 100% predictor of grade.

Let's take the first one first. The National Council of Teachers of English says, "Students are provided topics about which they may have little or no knowledge (or interest), yet they are instructed to ’support your reasoning with examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.’ Teachers wishing to help students prepare for such writing tasks will necessarily provide students with strategies focused on the specific textual features identified by the College Board’s promotional materials as important. Careful, in-depth inquiry into a topic, attention to stylistic or structural features that may be suitable for specific audiences or rhetorical situations, creativity and innovation – all of these important components of effective writing are likely to be implicitly or explicitly discouraged by teachers will understandably be concerned about helping students manage the required writing tasks in the short allotted time.” Really? Let's look to my personal experience for some illustrative anecdotes about Higher Ed.

Please keep in mind that I speak from my own experience, your experience may differ and if it does, well, consider yourself wrong.

At one point in my life I was considered a good writer. I had style. I had grammar down pat. I was poetical in my writing and yet strong in my arguments. In fiction I could draw portraits of real people through simple dialog, or through flowery descriptions that would make Fitzgerald puke.

Obviously, a lot has changed.

What hasn't changed is this, I don't like to follow rules. Any rules. Don't make a rule if you don't want me to hate you.

College writing is all about rules.

When you are given an assignment by a college professor, the professor usually lays down a set of hard and fast rules. And you are required to write about a topic about which you have little knowledge or interest, and in addition you are instructed VERY clearly how this is to be done. Sometimes to ridiculous extremes, margin size, no erasable bond paper, pica, font, etc.

If you were a savvy college student and spent all of drop-add drinking in bars and trying to get laid, you missed getting the rules. No matter how much of a snow job you laid on the professor, assistant professor or more likely in undergrad, graduate assistant, your sentences were too long. You spelled too many words wrong. Your margins were off and why, for God's sake, was there a Budweiser label stuck to the back of page six?

If later on in the semester, you were given an assignment to (God help you) do a careful, in-depth inquiry into a topic near and dear to the instructor's heart, And you actually did this, with creativity and imagination, you were screwed. Creativity and imagination? Junior year I had a 20th century European history class, a core requirement that I needed to get out of the way, a gut class. The section I was in was taught by a female grad student who was VERY interested in the Marshall Plan. In fact, for the purposes of this class, 20th century European history WAS the Marshall plan. And the Marshall Plan was a Very Bad Thing. Evidently it caused the destruction of the traditional European egalitarian view of economics and would result in the rise of an aristocracy who would own everything and control the government and workers would end up as serfs, loyal to and owned by the monopoly that employed them, just like they are in the US. Now, this was a shock to everyone. I mean, who could imagine an aristocracy in Europe?

You see what's coming, don't you?

We had a paper to write describing the effects of the Marshall Plan on the economy of a European country.

I picked Germany.

East Germany

It was actually a creative and interesting paper, focusing on the transfer of hard currency into East Germany after the war, and the effect of said hard currency on the lifestyle of the workers. (Basically it ended up being a study of the black markets in East Germany because there were a couple of really cool books in the library that I fell across while I was looking for sources.)

I was wrong.

I wasn't given a grade. I was, however, given the opportunity to re-write the paper according to the outline included in the syllabus.

Now, you're never going to convince me that the Marshall Plan was bad for Europe. But my Academic advisor did manage to convince me that an A a B two D's and an F would not be a great way to graduate on time.

I re-wrote that paper, on Italy. Thank God for the Red Army Faction. Got a B+.

Skip ahead six or seven years to 1997. I decided that year that I needed to get moving on my career, and that meant, of course, more school. Specifically, Law school. Now by this point I had been married for a couple of years and I had had my first son, I was living at my in-laws and looking to buy a house, so really Law school was just a freakin' pipe dream. But it was a nice dream.

My wife didn't think it was so great; she has a much better memory than I do, about me anyway, and she knows precisely how much I hate school. So when we were talking about Law school and my plans for it, she insisted that the only way I could do it is if I PLAYED THE GAME, and FOLLOWED THE RULES. I agreed and settled down to study for the LSATs. I bought an LSAT prep program for my father-in-laws Mac and a whole bunch of logic puzzle books. The LSAT Prep course included twelve sample tests, that I took, one after the other. Once I had the freakin logic puzzles down pat, I read into the rules for the written section of the test. It was terrifying. The prep program stressed that there had better be a coherent argument (strike one), it had better be organized (strike two), and above all it must be of sufficient length to show that there is a coherent, well organized argument (strike three), basically in order to get a good essay going, I needed to finish each of the multiple choice questions in under a minute. Kind of stressful, especially since I had no idea what the essay question was going to be. The sample questions were really no help, since the computer couldn't grade the essay part, and it was to be written and not typed anyway. But I had one advantage, I had taken my wife's advice to heart, follow the rules.

When I got to Rutgers to take the real LSAT, I was scoring between 160 and 170 every time I took a sample test, so I was pretty confident that I would do well on the multiple choice section of the test, but I was still very, very nervous about the essay. I was pleasantly surprised when I finally took the test to find that the logic puzzles I had been doing every free moment were much harder than the questions on the actual test. I flew through the multiple choice part of the test. I can remember, sitting there, finished the section, and confident and watching people just give up and leave the room, just ditching the test. I couldn't believe they could afford to waste that money. I know I couldn't.

The essay was a shocker, we were given a page of stuff to read, then given a choice of essays to write. The essays were all different, but they all had one thing in common, they were asking for very, very specific writing. By this time, I was in a zone, I read the material and read each question before I picked one. Each question had multiple parts, but if you read the provided material with the same attention that you read each multiple choice question, and you carried that mode of thinking to the essay question, you were home free. That's what I did. I answered every part of the essay and even had time to run back over and spell check it. It was about two handwritten pages, and I write small.

In a couple of months my score came back, I got over 170. I kicked ass. My essay score, on the breakdown page, was kick-ass too.

Obviously, a lot has changed.

What the SAT is doing with their essay requirement isn't merely looking at how well you write, or if you even know what you are writing about. It's a question to see if you can follow rules, under stress, and make it of sufficient length so that the scorers can see that you actually did follow all of the rules. The reason the longer essays got better scores? A longer essay in all probability was a better essay, it probably answered more of the question. It probably answered the question the way it was asked. And I can guarantee you the question says, "use the time allowed". If you use 15 out of the 25 minutes allowed to write a 100 word essay and then spend the remaining time playing with your pencil , you get a worse grade than someone who can crank out 400 words in the same amount of time. Who's playing the game, who's going to be the better student?

So, does writing a longer essay about something you know nothing about, under a stressful time limit a sign that you will be a good writer? No. Is it a good sign that you will make a better student? Hell yes.

News from an old friend. . .

5/03/2005

Another girl, makes me giggle when I think about it. Can you imagine?

Happy Birthday

Yesterday was Madmom's birthday. We went out to dinner and then came home for carrot cake.




Gabe looks like he's about to bolt, doesn't he?

Hayden's on a swim team now, so we don't see him much in the afternoon, but here's a barrel of monkeys. I've had this swingset for ten years now, I've moved it four times, and only now, after it has been nearly destroyed by time and the elements are the boys interested in it. They've played on this thing more in the last month than in the previous ten years.

The tent thing that goes over the slide got broken by the wind last memorial day when we had a near-miss by a tornado in LaGrange, KY. I still have it, but I'm not putting it up.