On the Peripheral of Baseball

I took my wife out to eat tonight at one of her favorites, Huey’s. Right after we ordered, she asked if I knew who Vin Scully is. Eventually she called to my attention the banner on the big TV screen behind me, “Remembering Vin Scully.

Of course I remember him. Being raised in Orange County, California, I listened to a great many of his broadcast of Dodgers games. Of course I never met him, yet he seemed to be a friend.

Naturally, one can say he was old. It was expected. Yet he is one that I would have preferred to hang around for a few more decades.

Of course, the banner was not an outright proclamation but it is the way the news speaks of those who are no longer with us. So I pulled out my cell phone and did something I never used it for before. I pulled up Google and then after entering just the letter v, his name popped up. It sort-of told me 2 things. Vin Scully was high the news for the day and he had a huge following.

Then, almost instantly after I tapped the top most listing, I saw the news story. I knew it would be there, yet I hoped it wasn’t.

As I said, I didn’t really know him but for the few hours each day during the season. However, as near as I can tell, he was a man I would have liked to know well.

He was an announcer, not one of the players. He was only on the periphery of the game. Yet, he truly contributed so much to baseball and all of us who enjoyed the game and couldn’t afford to go.

He will be missed. He is already missed.

Feeding the Bird

One afternoon, I was mowing my yard. I had an electric mower and a 50 foot extension chord. It wasn’t my standard way of mowing my yard, but I was going forward then backing up over the same swatch. I found it a convenient way of managing my power chord.

After I had gone about a fourth of the way, I noticed a bird taking advantage of my pattern. Every time I backed up, the robin red breast went where I just mowed and reaped the benefits. As I approached the bird, he filtered a short distance away and waited until I gain retreated.

I don’t know if I was the first one to feed him that way, but he seemed quite at home about it. He hardly seemed afraid of me or the mower, other than to get out of the way as I approached him. He likely didn’t mind having to go on the run for the short time. Somehow he figured out that every time I went back, there would be food just waiting there for his taking.

I wanted to get a video of it. I knew I would have been able to make a fortune from it. Alas, I could think of no way to get my wife to come out and get the pictures. Had I yelled, it might scare him away. If I left, I suspect he would too.

So, until my yard was done, he enjoyed the meal and I enjoyed the show. It kind of made the work a little lighter.

Besides, I do enjoy feeding birds, even if it was a little unconventional, even if I never had the chance to record it.

About the Numbers

In 1968 I stepped off a plane in Memphis, TN.  I was about to go through some concentrated electronics training.  At the time, I did not know that.  Indeed, I was going to go through 16 weeks of training in thirteen weeks.

Back then, they didn’t have calculators, leastwise not anything like we have today.  They had adding machines that weighed about 20 pounds.  Most of them didn’t even have the ability to multiply.

When I went through the school, we all carried slide rulers, often called slipsticks.  At best they were accurate to 4 places and we had to keep track of the decimal on paper.  Of course, we could simply perform everything on paper.  That would have likely taken 10 or 20 times longer.  Some operations (such as algorithms and trig functions) would have been virtually impossible.

This afternoon, I pulled my phone out of my pocket and started messing with it.  I noticed it has a calculator.  Moreover, it could be set to scientific mode.  WOW.  I thought how nice it would have been to have something like that when I was learning electronics.

Bottom line is, back then I had the problem without a solution.  Now I have the solutions without the problem.  I haven’t had to solve any trig functions in decades.

Of course, they have very advanced, programmable calculators nowadays.  They can solve problems in a few seconds that I spent three or four minutes on.  Not only that, the calculation can have an accuracy of 10 to 14 places.  Makes me wonder all the more why the dummycrats can’t do basic math.

New York Getting Bluer

More and more, New York is getting more socialist

More and more, conservatives are leaving the state.

More and more, New York is getting bluer,

Which in turn makes it more socialist.

I figure, in a decade or two there won’t be a conservative in the whole state.  Then we get to see what happens when socialists run things.

Then again, we are getting something of a preview already.  A good look at California will give us a good hint.  Then of course, a good look at almost every major city will give us a clue.  Every time those characters in Memphis think about raising taxes, it drives my property value up a dollar or three.  When people start looking for property just outside Memphis, it makes my little house worth just a little more, and the property they left behind a little less.

Those libs running Chicago have demonstrated how quickly they can take a bad situation and make it worse.

I simply do not understand how the African-Americans can look at what all the dems have not accomplished for them and yet they stand steadfast behind them at every election.

Let me state this as clearly as I can.  Socialists are not for the poor.  Their methods insure the poor remain poor.  America is the only nation where a poor man can become a multi-billionaire, if he puts his mind to it.  The reason is because of the capitalist system and the freedom to do what you want.  The socialists do not tax the rich, only those who are trying to get rich.

Consider, if I have ten million dollars, I can lock it up and take a few dollars out every now and then.  I’d not pay a dollar on income taxes.  On the other hand, if I make a million dollars a year and it is taxed at 60%, It will likely take me thirty years to save the ten million.  Hence, it is the man who works the hardest who is penalized by paying the higher taxes.  On the other hand, if I don’t work at all and rely on the welfare state, I neither work nor pay taxes.

Therefore, the only people penalized are the ones who work.  It is why every time New York raises their taxes, their revenues go down.  It is also why the rich leave town.  …and, it stands to reason, if the only people paying taxes are poor or indigent, the tax revenues will be greatly be reduced eventually to practically nothing.

I don’t know why I should have to explain this.  It has been demonstrated time and again.  Yet, when those socialists start talking free this and free that, it seems all past memories are instantly destroyed.  Everyone likes those handouts.

Just remember.  If you want to see what a future socialist US will look like, look to New York and California.  You don’t need a crystal ball to see our future.

The Cookie Tree

When I was stationed over in Japan, I worked 12 hour days.  When I got home, I wanted to rest.  I had no desire to read to my sons, 6 and 2.  Yet my wife insisted on it.  She gave me a Sesame Street book and said, “Read it.”

So I did.  It was a little book.  I guess it was about 40 pages.  Pictures filled about half of each page.  Yet I had a very difficult time finishing it.  You see, the boys started laughing, which of course, caused me to laugh.  So needless to say, the progress was slow.

The book was about a witch that didn’t want the Cookie Monster getting her cookies off of her tree, the one that grew cookies.  So she cast a spell on the tree keeping anyone from getting the cookies.  To her dismay, she found out the spell worked so good she was unable to get any of the cookies either, no matter how hard she tugged at them.

Actually, that’s about all I remember of the book.  I’m not even sure of the ending.  This much I am sure of.  I should have read to the boys far more often.  It is one of my great regrets.  Maybe you can learn from it.  Maybe you can get your kids to put down their electronic games for a few minutes each day so that you can read to them.  They just might enjoy it more than the game and you might enjoy it more than they do.  Even as they get older, there are some good books to read to read to them.  (Lassie, Come Home was one of my favorites.  Johnnie Tremain was good too, and patriotic.)

Even more, it just might add to those nice memories you want to hold onto.  Maybe it will help you let go of the bad ones.

As a side note, you might take a lesson from the story about the witch.  You might not want to cast a spell on your cookie tree.