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May 2001 Archives

Links were checked and verified as active only in the month the Eucalyptus entry was published. Links outside the silverscreentest domain may be inactive from this archive.

May 16

Here's a link for the World Adult Kickball Association. Steve Czaben on WTEM said that kickball was a game for losers. This from a man who loves golf. I think golf is God's way of saying you have too much time and money, but not enough for a mistress.

May 15

Another day testing a computer system. The training environment, which is a completely different environment from the testing environment or the actual execution environment, move much too slowly. Some computers are so far behind that some students will get so frustrated because the rest of the class is so far ahead.

I was surprised to find one of the Information Technology honchos making quite a few admissions. He admitted that OS2/Warp is more robust system than Windows NT. When was the last time you heard anything about OS2 at all?

May 14

Suzanne Somers as Crissy in that silly sideways ponytail. Saw a woman last week with one those off-center Suzanne Somers/Crissy ponytails. It looked cute on her 20 years ago. It doesn't look cute on you.

May 13

They've added ductwork to the house. I think the basement foyer needs a closet.

Douglas Adams died of a heart attack last Friday. He was only 49. These are my favorite characters from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Marvin, the paranoid android. A relative of Eeyore, we all identify with him when we're manically depressed.

Zaphod Beeblebrox. A being of supreme arrogance that only served to mask even more massive insecurity. Bill Hussar made the astute observation that Bill Clinton was this universe's Zaphod Beeblebrox. Clinton may have wielded more power, but no one personified arrogance and insecurity like him.

Gaglavar, custodian of the Total Perspective Vortex. A being of mind only whose body left him for getting in the way at parties. Before I started working out, a character I closely identified with.

Agrajag, whose every incarnation in killed by Arthur Dent. On those days when you find your life seems pointless, consider another's existence with purpose drenched in bathos.

May 12

Yesterday on Gummi Bears, the characters confronted creatures called hairy gobbers. They were a cross between minotaurs and satyrs. One of the gobbers had a voice that was a dead ringer for Bullwinkle. A regular viewer could recognize that the moose clone was probably the voice of Gruffi Gummi - Corey Burton. The original Rocky the Flying Squirrel - June Foray - is also on the show as Grammi Gummi. I could imagine between takes Burton and Foray running through the old Rocky and Bullwinkle lines like,"Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat."

May 11

Much to my surprise the XFL folded. I thought they'd go longer. I still believe there's a market for their product as evidenced by Arena football. Perhaps McMahon should have followed the business model of other minor leagues by focusing on the in-stadium experience first and letting the attendance build before moving on to prime-time network television.

May 10

Randy Johnson fanned 20 hitters two nights ago. The sports radio stations are discussing whether this is a proper record because he didn't finish the game and it went ten innings. In one sense, it can't be the record for most strikeouts in a nine-inning game because it wasn't a nine-inning game. On the other hand, it should be mentioned with the performances of Clemens and Wood because they are equal. The Unit's only shortcoming was that the game went on and that wasn't his fault. Steve Carlton continued to hold the previous 19K record even though he lost the game in 1969 against the Mets. The record is about the number of strikeouts and nine innings, not about winning.

That's why I hated about a decade ago when the record-keepers decided a no-hitter wouldn't be classified as such unless the team won and at least 9 innings were pitched. This removed Harvey Haddix's 13-inning masterpiece, Andy Hawkins' 8-inning performance in a loss, and all the rain-shortened no-hitters. Despite the fact that Haddix's performance was the most amazing of them all, removing him makes the most sense since he actually eventually allowed a hit in the game. I think he should still be mentioned with no-hitters because of those 13 perfect innings. But all a no-hitter means is allowing no hits. Nothing in the name mentions winning the game or pitching 9 innings. Obviously, pitching less than 9 innings is less valuable than pitching nine, but it's a no-hitter nonetheless.

Maybe somebody out there knows if a reliever has ever retired 27 consecutive hitters. In some ways, this could be considered more impressive than a perfect game. A perfect game can result from several favorable circumstances occuring only on one night such as the weather, the stadium, the condition of the pitcher, and the characteristics of the opponent. But 27 consecutive retired batters takes several days, different conditions, different ballparks, different batters, and requires consistency of the pitcher. Much more impressive in my mind.

May 9

Walked through our house under construction. Worked out with our building supervisor some of details such as the locations of cable and phone outlets. Our house is the first version of the model that the builder has ever constructed. This is both exciting and terrifying. On one hand, we participate quite actively in many of the details. On the other hand, it's sometimes disconcerting when they don't really have an answer to a question. This particular model was originally built by an architect for himself in Kensington and named for his wife's family. We've hashed out the delineation between the hardwood of the foyer and the carpet of the living room. The line looks a lot like what I worked out on Sierra Home Architect. The living and dining room are separated only by two columns. The blueprints put them four feet from the wall. Again, playing with Sierra Home Architect, we decided to place them two feet from the wall. Finally, the plan calls for an open doorway between the master bedroom and master bathroom. We thought there should be a closeable door in that location and they're putting one in.

May 8

My favorite books push my buttons in just a particular way. In magical realism, it's House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende. In horror, it's The Witching Hour by Anne Rice. In fantasy, it's Little, Big by John Crowley. All of these novels center around a big house. My favorite science fiction novel is Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany, but it's not a house story. The closest big house idea in science fiction was in Hyperion by Dan Simmons. There, the wealthy had homes with rooms on different planets. Instead of giant beach front condos, the prime locations would have huge buildings consisting of single rooms facing that beautiful sea or sunset.

May 7

President George W. Bush meets with the Famous Chicken. Bush says-I give up. Why did you cross the road?

May 6

Saw news the other day on the Ave Maria Growth Fund. This is a mutual fund that excludes companies involved in abortion and what it considers "anti-family policies", whatever that means. A Catholic advisory board will write procedures for screening potential investments. I found it a little incongruous that Schwartz Investment Counsel sponsors this vehicle. Now for all I know, the Schwartz family converted to Catholicism. Barring that, nothing prevents a competent and ethical investment advisor from doing a good job and respecting your beliefs, even if they do not share them. It was just a little jarring to see the Ave Maria Growth Fund from Schwartz Investment Counsel.

May 5

During last night's get-together, I realized that my name had become a term of art. When the gang at Wunderland play games, someone who is familar with the rules and serves as custodian is known as the Brick. A common analog among mundane game players would be the banker in Monopoly, when the banker also plays. The current Brick seems to be Jacob. Some of the folks there last night had not ever met me, but knew the term Brick. They finally got to meet the original Brick after whom the term was named.

May 4

Visited Ginohn last night. They live in a three-room co-op condo in Greenbelt, MD. Their upstairs neighbor is moving out soon. Ginohn will buy their neighbor's condo and knock out the wall, effectively doubling the size of their home.

I played Fluxx with Kathleen, another John, and a different Kristin. Gina sold a whole bunch of pottery from the bedroom. I told John they should start selling ceramics on the Internet.

Ginohn intend to convert the living room upstairs to a game room. In the interim, some folks went out to the back yard and played card games on a picnic table by the light of hurricane lamps. From inside they looked like ghostly gamers from another time.

May 3

Last night, Twins fans twice interrupted the game against the Yankees by pelting former Twin Chuck Knoblauch with debris. Owner Calvin Griffith moved the Senators to the paler expanses of the Upper Midwest in 1961 because he was afraid of the growing number of black faces in Washington. He'd take drunken Swedes over African-Americans everytime. I just picture some Klingonoid Viking descendant trying to outdo Bronxers tossing Energizers towards players by heaving Diehards instead. In the ten years since the Twins last won the World Series, Minneapolis must have been practicing their boorish behavior for just this opportunity.

What I don't get is why it took four seasons for this reaction to take place. The good people of Seattle booed Alex Rodriguez the first time he returned to Safeco Field, then sat back and finished their lattes. Did the fans costumed as empty seats in the Metrodome since 1998 not care that Knoblauch left? Did the front-running fans who just show up spend the last half-decade in suspended animation? "Let's go to the Twins game. Do you think anybody can break Roger Maris' home run record? Think maybe they can do it in less than 154 games so we don't have to deal with the asterisk crap? Regis Philbin's career is over. He should just die and put us out of our misery. Consumers will stop going to malls and buy everything over the Internet. George W. Bush won't get any higher than Governor of Texas. Hey, is that Chuck Knoblauch playing left field for the Yankees? Eat alkaline you f------- traitor!"

May 2

When last I left you in early January, the Information Management section was showing us software that didn't quite work, but wondered whether it was complete enough to train on. Today, we looked at the same system, that worked slightly better, but still pretty far from functionality for training. Many show-stoppers still lurk in the bugs. I hope they expect the system to be ready for roll-out around Labor Day. When I first heard of this plan, the original delivery date was Memorial Day 2000. Maybe they can fix the bugs by September. I'm afraid the management who doesn't actually work with the software may push to release the buggy product this Memorial Day.

Diane Donaldson now has pictures of her new baby Koob, born last month.

May 1

In cleaning up and packing I found an 1995 article from Baseball America. The Cubs first-round draft pick and number 4 pick overall was 17-year old righty from Grand Prairie High School from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. But just two days after the selection, the young pitcher threw 175 pitches in a doubleheader during the Texas state championship tournament. Several Cubs executives wondered whether the school should be sued.

That pitcher was Kerry Wood.

It's possible that day of work may have ruined Kerry Wood's arm. It's possible Don Baylor's abuse led to Wood's troubles. The article stated that both Kerry and his father Garry both fully agreed with his use on that day. Ultimately, they bear responsibility for the 175 pitches, not Mike McGilvray, the Grand Prairie coach.

How many Cubs executives does it take to change a lightbulb? One, he just holds the lightbulb and the universe revolves around him.

All through the minors, the emphasis is on development. Winning doesn't matter. You may love going to minor league games, as do I, but those guys aren't there to win. A championship would be nice, but if they get a call to higher level, they're out of there before the phone goes back on the hook. So with an attitude like that, a player is taught that his own development is what matters. Then, when he gets to the majors, suddenly he's supposed to be a team player?

The high school coach's problem was that he actually thought he was supposed to win that state championship. He didn't realize he was working for the Chicago Cubs, for free.

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Last revised June 20, 2001
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