Surveillance of Midwest Feedlots

Are those black helicopters or what?

Apparently the Environmental Protection Agency has gone roguish in the last couple of years. If only Eisenhower had been correct in warning us about a military-industrial complex. Sadly, it turns out that an academic-governmental complex is what we must be wary of.

What is next? Drone attacks?


“Take Time For Paradise…

“Take Time For Paradise” according to A Bart Giamatti, erstwhile Commissioner of Baseball.

Down the Line at SafeCo Field

Here is a view of SafeCo Field from the far right field. When I go to a ballpark I like to walk around the perimeter to see what I can see from wherever I am. It seems clear from this picture that the foul pole is really the “fair” pole in that it is in fair territory, so that if a ball strikes the pole it is a fair ball.

Because this is not so easy to see from home plate or the infield where the umpires usually hang out, they can, if they so desire, get help from the TV replays. I wonder if they will ever seek help on balls and strikes.

There are any number of peculiar calls from behind home plate. This calling of balls and strikes is not easy. The problem is that every umpire has his own idea of what constitutes the strike zone. And so the zone changes every day.

I remember when the TV people first started showing what might be the electronic strike zone. Tom Glavine was a very effective pitcher because he could throw a ball between 6 to 8 inches off the outside corner of the plate, which most umpires consistently called strikes. For most batters, balls out there are almost unhitable. When the umpires one year decided they wouldn’t call those strikes any more poor Tommy Glavine suffered a devastating loss of pitching skill.

Review of Old Gazette Story

While cleaning out a drawer, looking for something else, I came across a slightly yellowed article from the Billings Gazette of January 9, 2004 by a good and friendly writer from the Gazette, Donna Healy. Not surprisingly, the other people mentioned in the article seem much more interesting.

Sadly, Bill Drum has cashed in his chips. I would hope the others are doing well.

If I had the chance to do the interview over I would make the following changes: The current read is almost always about 3-4 books at a time. I just never know when one will bite me badly and hold on ’til I finish it. And, though I hate to admit it, I simply can’t remember The Nice and the Good. Iris Murdoch I remember but not that title. By the way, Donna, if you read this please note the spelling of her last name—not Murdock. A great lady, writer and philosopher.

I think I would have put in more pictures too. How many words is a picture supposed to be worth. A thousand? Ten thousand? Granted, many pictures are not worth much but some are priceless.

The thing about a library is that it changes. Just as your bedroom table has to juggle all the books you are currently reading, so too must your whole library keep the books moving, else they will become heavier and heavier ’til at last you will be unable to carry them to their final resting place.

As I age, I see that I am starting as many books as always, in fact, now that I am not working, perhaps more, but I finish quite a few less than I used to. I suspect that is because a great many books are simply not worth finishing. Perhaps that aging thing is the reason we like to see more plays than we did when younger. Even if it is bad it is over in 90 to 120 minutes. As long as you know something will eventually end, and you are sharing your misery with friends, then it is surprising how much awfulness one can put up with.