My ape has been very busy lately. To earn my Purina I volunteered to write this week’s article. I wanted to show some of the sights around the compound, so I asked to borrow his camera phone. I sure hope he doesn’t mind the tooth marks I left on the iPhone case. How else was I supposed to carry it? […]
We have a saying here on the compound, it usually goes something like “I’m gonna need more popcorn.” It implies that there is something entertaining going on and a person is planning on just sitting and watching the event, eating snacks. Yesterday daughter-of-Snowball moved out and I ran out of popcorn. […]
When I was a very young boy one of my mentors asked me, “Which is heavier, a pound of lead or a pound of feathers?”
I was about eight years old and that question required a little bit of thought. I knew from watching Road Runner cartoons that whenever the coyote is carrying a case of Acme lead off of a cliff he falls faster than the lead so that it lands on top of him after he hits the ground. This made me think that lead must be lighter than a coyote. […]
Close friends know I’ve only recently become a serious baseball fan. I haven’t said much about the sport this year because I’m an avid Cubs fan and I don’t wanna do anything to upset the karmic applecart. So this is just a few comments about baseball in general.
If you have an interest in baseball at all you know that the last couple of years they’ve instituted the play review. It give a team a chance, up to a point, to question the umpire’s call. With the use of video replay, watched by a group of officials in New York, they can check out a play using frame by frame video to see exactly what happened. Its very cool and as many times as not its proven the umpire’s original call accurate.
One of the type of plays not eligible for review is the balls and strikes call at the plate. Now this to me would be a logical limitation dues to time constraints, etc. if it wasn’t for a little thing usually called Pitchtrax. There’s a few other copyrighted or sponsored names for them but they all come down to the technology that shows the exact position of the ball as it passes over home plate. It can tell to a high degree of accuracy if the pitch was thrown as a ball or a strike.
If you watch baseball for any length of time and keep an eye on the Pitchtrax you will see quite a few missed calls at the plate. I’ve seen missed calls that, at least in the long term, changed the final outcome of the game. Don’t get me wrong, I know umpiring is a tough job right up there with dog catching. I wouldn’t want to make split second decisions like that with literally thousands of opinionated sports fans watching. But thats the point! Let the machine make the call whether the ball passed over the plate, or not. The ump still has to determine if the batter swings at it, or if the ball hits the batter, or if its fair or foul or any number of other possibilities.
And while I’m at it I’d like to place my vote about intentional walks. That’s what its called when the defending team elects to walk a batter on purpose. They do it often when a very good hitter is at the plate. Currently its done by the catcher standing up and setting a target several feet outside so the batter cannot hit the ball.
There is discussion is about changing the rules so that an intentional walk can be done without the obligatory outside pitches and they just give a pass to the runner to first. I don’t like this one bit. The reason for the change is mostly to speed up the game but the game is also about ball handling. Even if this is usually a simple play, something weird could happen like it often does in baseball. As long as the pitcher has to throw the ball to the catcher they are using skill and ball handling. If one of them were to drop or miss the ball the offense could take advantage. With the simple pass to first, opportunities for both teams are lost.
Ok I probably won’t bore you non-sports types with talk about baseball anymore this season. But I have to warn you that football season is coming and am not a fan of that sport so I will be curmudgeony about it.
A boss once told me that “change is good!”. I told her that was only true when things were sucking to begin with – and I was happy with the way things were. Too bad! I really liked that job.
Well, nothing lasts forever – a much better way to express it – and things are starting to change here on the compound. Changes coming so fast I haven’t had much time lately to write.
To start with Snowball’s knees are getting worse. She’s doing the best she can with water exercise class and the like but stairs are becoming a real problem. And since her fabrication shop, photo studio and wash room are all downstairs at the compound, another solution for the location of her shop was looked for.
Another big change is daughter-of-Snowball has decided to leave the compound and move with her boyfriend to an apartment. This will make half of the duplex available for a new renter – after a lot of refurbishing the pet and other normal wear and tear. But in the long run we should be able to create an actual revenue stream with it.
The pieces began to fall into place when mother-of-Snowball, who lives alone, started getting a little worried about her own well being. She wished that we would find a way to spend more time with her and since she has a one-level ranch style house with no stairs, Snowball decided it would be cool to move her fabrication shop to her mom’s house so she could work there without stairs and watch mom at the same time.
Of course there were some necessary steps to be taken first. Like Snowball, mother-of-Snowball is an avid gardener. However, much to the family’s chagrin, in the colder month’s the entire house mostly the garage and a paneled, shag-carpeted studio is taken over by plants as she works to keep them over the winter. So many plants that there were years I wanted to contact NASA to see if they could see the grow lights from the ISS. Snowball’s solution was to add on a two hundred forty square foot sun room for the plants so we could make room for human occupation in the garage and studio.
If you’ve ever tried to put an addition on an old house you know the unseen infrastructure issues that crop up; An air conditioning compressor had to be moved and a quarter of the back yard deck had to be torn out. New tile flooring was put in the studio to replace the vintage 1970’s shag that had been in there for years. The electrician we hired to move the main feed and install new lighting had the gall to show up in a brand new truck which I claimed we as good as bought for him.
Things are moving along. Ninety percent of the stuff for the shop is moved waiting to be organized. The footings for the sun room are waiting for a nice day to be poured. So far, whenever anyone has gone ballistic we’ve be able to talk them down. There’s been a few hiccups with the electrical but they are being worked through. Fingers crossed everyone!