August 20 Permalink
Went to the Knossos meeting where the book was Nine Lives to Murder by Marian Babson. Didn't finish the book so I'll have more to say later on. Most of the group liked it. Gene Pappas has a pick coming up and is trying to live down selecting two of the worst books. The Silver Tower by Dale Brown and Nevermore by Harold Schecter.
August 19 Permalink
Much has already been said about the coolness of holding an event, in this case the shot put, at the site of the first games in Olympia. I guessed we missed out in 1968 by not holding some event like handball at one of the Maya ballcourts. Of course in the modern case, the loser would not be ritually sacrificed.
The only event I'm taping for later viewing is the whitewater canoe and kayaking. The appeal for me begins with the hypnotic nature of the water itself. Add the proximity the sport affords to cameras, as opposed to surfing. The paddlers are not performing acrobatics like the extreme sport athletes, but taking on slightly unpredictable nature. These aren't the alpine skiiers who prefer the uniformity of man-made snow to the real stuff. There's the inevitable balance between going with the flow or paddling furiously and which technique will get you the faster time. Kind of a metaphor for life itself. Sheesh, who turned me into the Thomas Boswell-George F. Will of whitewater?
Both John Cooper and Tim Young have noted the resemblance of the Dodge Ram logo to a uterus. The sports logo crowd have long noted the resemblance of the Dallas Stars alternate logo to a uterus. This logo is known to that group as the Mooterus.
August 18 Permalink
The online TV Guide says that Comedy Sickness is on the Open Channel Friday at 10:30 pm. TV Guide is wrong. Silver Screen Test is on at that time.
Replaced a knob on our range. You have such a knob on your stove - it's the thing you turn so that the pot heats up. Just a little piece of plastic that I ordered online from General Electric and cost me $17, with the shipping and handling it came to $23! Talk about price gouging.
August 17 Permalink
Rather than take the word of Peter Angelos, let's look at the historical change in per game attendance when a new team moves into the area. Also included are changes in winning percentage since variations in gate also depend on the success of the team.
|Win Percentage Change
|Los Angeles Dodgers||1961||-19.9%||8.5%
|New York Yankees||1962||-13.5%||-11.9%
|San Francisco Giants||1968||-31.8%||-3.3%
So while the claim for 25% losses is overstated, it's not unfounded, based on past history. Here's the Baltimore attendance since 1998, the first year of the fourth place rut. The 2004 numbers are through last night.
My guess is that attendance effect of a second team has already taken place from a combination of a lousy team, anticipation of a Washington team and a backlash against Angelos. If there is a team in Washington next year, I think the per game attendance will be around 32,000, but definitely not below 27,000.
Here's another table with the effect of a team moving away. In 3 of the 5 cases, attendance actually dropped.
|Win Percentage Change
|Boston Red Sox||1953||-6.8%||11.2%
|St. Louis Cardinals||1954||19.7%||13.3%
|New York Yankees||1958||-5.8%||-6.1%
August 16 Permalink
I was recently reminded of friends from a while back. A divorced man and woman remarried, each bringing into the family a teenaged son named Sean. Fortunately, one was Sean Patrick, the other Sean Robert. Wendell Wagner joked that if they ever had a son together he could say,"This is my brother Sean. This is my other brother Sean." This brings to mind Larry, Darryl and Darryl from Newhart. A similar set of circumstances could explain how two brothers could have the same name. Maybe Darryl and Darryl had totally different parents. Then, after divorce and/or widowhood, they had parents who married each other.
Someone disagrees with me on the Coke commercial.
August 15 Permalink
Replaced some bulbs on the lantern outside. Had to clean off all the bugs that had crawled inside, attracted by the light. The mysterious gourd in the garden was an old plastic Halloween decoration that had fallen off the porch. Kauai and Ishtar are now sleeping together in front of our bedroom door.
August 14 Permalink
Hunkering down due to Hurricane Charley, we watched Monk episode "Mr. Monk and the Game Show". We begin with the assistant to a game show who discovers her boss has been facilitating cheating. Her brake line gets cut and she dies. Never mind she seems to drive way too far before noticing it.
The game show's producer is Trudy's father who asks Monk for help. Adrian is accompanied by Kevin who won the lottery in a previous episode. Now he's blown all the money, moved backto his old apartment and is filling in for Sharona this week.
Monk discovers how the host is tipping the answers: by the way he holds the card. There is an obnoxious reigning champion who is blackmailing the host because he knows how the assistant dies. On a live broadcast, Monk uncovers the plot.
First of all, game shows are almost never broadcast live. Secondly, producer fix shows, not hosts. Finally, there would have been a simple way to stop the fix: switch from multiple choice to non-multiple choice answers.
August 13 Permalink
GREEK SECURITY TEAM FAILS TO NOTICE GIANT HORSE: Mysterious Wooden Structure Causing Pre-Olympic Jitters via Jim Henley.
I know there are weirder things than this on the net. How would you like to be applying for a job and find out your potential boss is asking the posters on a computer baseball game board to help him make his decision?
In watching the Olympic opening ceremonies, former Greek athletes passed the Olympic flag to Greek sailors and all I could think of was this song. And what's with this crazy singing lady who's got a purse of open Coke bottles?
August 12 Permalink
Concentration camp advocate Michelle Malkin calls for the firing of Norman Mineta:
And then there's, if the Bush administration wants to do one single concrete thing, it could get rid of Norm Mineta, who embodies this problem. He is somebody who experienced the evacuation during World War II. He was evacuated to a camp in Heart Mountain, Wyoming. And it has clouded, it has absolutely clouded his view of what needs to be done now.
God forbid we have anyone in power who has their mind clouded with first-hand experience.
Downloaded some episodes of Silver Screen Test for computer editing.
August 11 Permalink
Doctor Who's new companion is Rose Tyler, played by British pop star Billie Piper. I was expecting a Buffy-ization of the companion, but this is like having Hillary Duff as a new Star Trek co-star. A boyfriend has been cast for Billy which hints at gay Doctor suspicions I've had. She couldn't be worse than Mel or Peri, could she?
Watched the Cold Case episode "Fly Away". In May 2001, a mother and her little girl are cowering in the child's bedroom from some male abuser. The mother hears footsteps and soon we see both flying through the glass onto the street.
It's two years later and we learn the girl died, but Rosie, the mother has just awakened from her coma. The best the original primary had was a black man running away from the scene. The usual suspects such as a boyfriend, Rosie's father and their social worker are interviewed.
The social worker did not kill them, but had a history of abusing the girls in his case file and threatened to take away the girl. That night, the black man was a friendly young pizza deliverer who was bringing over leftovers. Rosie thought it was the social worker and took the dive with her daughter. The pizza guy never recovered from the guilt and slid into a derelict state.
Typically shallow piece on ESPN about Native American major leaguers in connection with the start of Bobby Madritsch. They showed Jim Thorpe because he was a great Olympian, but he was a lousy major leaguer. ESPN also showed Allie Reynolds because they actually had old video of him. Totally ignored was Hall of Famer Charles Albert Bender.
August 10 Permalink
Watched the new Pax game shows On the Cover and Balderdash. On the Cover stars Mark Wahlberg but the online biography does not mention his gig hosting the Texaco Star National Academic Championship. This Pax offering is a passable pop culture show where most of the questions are based on magazine, CD or DVD covers. The worst segment is when they concoct their own covers of fake magazines. This could be tolerable if the punchlines simply consisted of the bogus magazine name and the celebrity pictured, but no. We have to read the lame tagline or tease like "The comedy stylings of Teddy Roosevelt - Speak softly and carry a big schtick". You're not funny. Just show the covers and ask some more damn questions.
I couldn't sit through all of Balderdash. Hearing fake explanations works better in the sardonic British format of the radio show My Word. The celebrity panelists were not particularly funny and one of them was Eric Roberts for heavens sake.
Mission Control Gets the Wiggles. These are the days I'm glad my daughter has outgrown this stuff.
Constantia needs an audience.
If the Expos actually move next year and don't go to San Juan or Portland, the National League, which introduced artificial turf in 1966, will have grass fields in all their stadiums.
August 9 Permalink
Been watching some PBS documentaries. 1421: The Year China Discovered America? was interesting and accurate with respect to what can be historically verified about the Treasure fleet commanded by Zheng He. When it comes to the contention that they reached America, the evidence was reaching Von Daniken territory. The Bimini Road could not have sunk so far in 600 years if it was a slipway. Also, the Shark Mounds should have artifacts if they are in fact shipwrecks.
Nothing really new to me in Apollo One: Tragedy to Triumph. I just hadn't seen it before. I didn't catch the copyright date, but since Alan Shepard appeared, it must have been made before 1998. From what I can gather, Apollo 1 remained unnumbered until 1969. It was just called the Apollo Fire. AS-201 in February 1966, AS-202 in August 1966 and AS-203 in July 1966 were designated Apollo 1,2 and 3 respectively. After the fire was restored to Apollo 1, AS-201 became Apollo 2, AS-202 became Apollo 3 and AS-203 lost official status because neither a command module or lunar module flew on this mission. AS-203 tested the Saturn S-IVB and therefore none of the manned Apollo capablities.
August 8 Permalink
Cut the grass and put some mulch down around the bushes in the well. There's a weird gourd-like object in the garden now. There's an area quizbowl get-together at Tricia Southard's apartment because James Quintong is in town that I couldn't make because of the backlog of yardwork.
Everyone seems to believe Greg Maddux will be the last 300-game winner. No one mentions Mike Mussina who is currently 35 years old with 208 wins. This would require him to average 16.7 wins over the next 5.5 seasons to reach 300 by age 40 and 12.2 wins per season to reach 300 by age 42. He's had 11 seasons of 13 wins or more and 7 seasons of 17 wins or more. Bill James' Favorite Toy gives him a 1% chance. Here are some favorite toy projections using numbers from the end of the 2003 season:
|Pitcher||Age||Current Wins||Chance of Reaching 300 Wins
There's a 63% that none of them will win 300 games, but that also means there is a 37% chance one of them will.