Tuesday, September 27, 2016

SOM - and - weather.

Pretty big Amtrak crash in NJ.  Did not break as it entered the station. LOTS injured.  Pretty horrific.


Yea - I changed my Yahoo email password last night and this morning I have 30 emails that bounced . . .except I never sent any emails!


It's been a busy week.  I know I know, NORMALLY my most exciting thing to do in a day is going to get the mail.  Every retired person knows this joy.  But really, define retirement.  Retirement is when your life gets busy it seems.  60 years of putting things off and all that.

I have to get DJ busy on typing more of moms writings.  We are maybe half(??) done with the normal writings but then we found a good number of journals.


We have a cut off LOW that is stuck.  Most of this month Wisconsin was under a jet stream and every time a LOW pressure ventured from Canada it would hit the jet, create more rain and wash that rain over Wisconsin.  HOWEVER, a LOW pushed up from the south and the jet now has this big wave in it and the LOW just stopped.  Wobbling back and forth like a top, nothing to push it away in any direction. So there it sits for another 5 days at least.  Wobble west we get days like yesterday, wobble east and we get days like today.  High of 68 and 20mph winds.

This will be the best day in the next 5 days, enjoy it. And when you venture outside at noon, YUP, that is the good part.

I'll use the term I LOATH when I'm told this.



Fantastic news from the USS Indianapolis foundation.  The number of Survivors has actually increased by one up to 23 now.  YEA - a survivor has been found, A.C. (Tony) King who has not spoken of the ordeal and gave permission to announce to the world that he is a USS Indianapolis Survivor.  The only thing "we" know at the moment is that he has had an interesting life.

Shipmates are elated to find he is still with us.

That is him in the middle after the rescue.  There is not a lot we have been told about his ordeal but he was well liked.


Bad news - expect gas prices to go up as OPEC has decided to finally ease production of oil. Should not be TOO bad since America is not as dependent on oil from other nations as it used to be.


Don't expect any meaningful polls until at least tomorrow. Most polls use a 7 day average and while there have been two polls that have come out showing a Clinton jump it's just too early.  I thought it was freakishly entertaining and might watch the debate again.  Yes yes, Trump told 52 lies compared to 4 by Clinton . . .and people say they just can't trust Clinton ?????

ALTHOUGH Trump did tell FOX news yesterday morning that the CBS poll had him winning the debate . . .except CBS did not have a poll.    


The next few days I'll be starting to fill up The Workshop on James Street with images.  For example

I'll have 8x12 matted prints and the long long wall and the back wall filled with different sizes of prints.

I'll have 16 to 20 more wall images . . I think.  Everything was socked away in the basement for the winter.  This will be like moving across the parking lot.

DJ and I once moved to a new apartment that was across a parking lot.  It SEEMES like a good thing but DON'T DO IT.  We had a month. It was too close to rent a truck so we lived in 2 apartments for a month slowly moving things by hand.

Well, I don't want to get the trailer out so I'll load of up old car 5 or 6 times   LOL

Speaking of moving my daughter-in-law is moving out of Columbus to Elba. We will have to make a road trip all the way to Elba for visits now. I think the average age of residents in Elba will drop significantly.  


Pretty good article about Major League Baseballs Home Run surge.  The BIG HR hitters are hitting a few more but all other classes, the lower home run hitters are hitting a LOT more home runs. It's not the baseballs because then everybody would be hitting more.   But this year and the last half of last year the lessor home run hitters with less power are hitting a lot more.

One theory is a population change in MLB.  Just more young hitters.  We all know that baseball has had a HUGE increase of young and very very good talent.  There are going to be a lot of Hall of Fame players coming from this era of talent.

One study is former Brewer Jean Segura who became the 104th player this year to hit 20 HRs which breaks a MLB record. Last year he hit .336 and had a slugging of a poor poor .326.  And this year he hits 20 HRs and has a .496 slugging pct.  WTF!!

On a weird note I have my expansion draft Wednesday and the ball park I picked for my home park is Oakland a anti-HR Park. (many parks were already in use).          

The biggest theory is that players are just swinging for the fences more and it's working.  All I know is that when I picked Oakland (I can't change for 3 years) I figured since my pitching will suck I needed a park for my first 3 years that will keep scores down and give me a chance to win maybe 70 games.

Speaking of my new team.  This league makes it as close to possible to dealing with MLB financials. Restricted and unrestricted free agents, option years, Rule 5, minor leagues players yada yada. They did not miss anything when it comes to contracts, even insurance on players if you want to take it out.  
I had to do a crash course in MLB financials and finally understand "option years".  Not that I really cared before.  Here is a flow chart for salaries.

ANYWAY - no one cares about Strat-o-Matic baseball.  All I know is that before next spring I have 4 drafts of different kinds of players.  I picked Milwaukee as my farm system (they were available) which has one of the better farm systems in MLB at the moment.  I'm stuck with them . . FOREVER. so   GULP!!    HEY - what better system for an expansion team to have then a farm system for a MLB team rebuilding.

Doomsday Clock ticks down

To answer a question - I knew a few of the stories from my mom but not the details. I'm learning about these things along with you guys. There is a lot more my brother has told me about growing up that I did not know. Moving from house to house because we were so poor and sort of on the run and so forth.

I believe this is why I was so angry and people and their anti Hydro Street views.  Sandye and Aaron were good people. But very very poor.  They completely loved Columbus and tried to do good and raise a family here. People seemed to think they were here to scam Columbus when they were just trying to do good (although in an inept way), make a living to get out of poverty. They were horrible at running a brew pub but they did not stop trying.  They took a risk and lost, we all lost on that one but at least they tried.  That is more then most people do.

Perhaps that is my blind spot, poverty. I have empathy for the poor, hell, they even have a hard time voting now!  My buddy Elwood got a $15 raise in food stamps last month. That literally makes a difference for him. I spend twice that much golfing in league each week.

(where the heck did all THAT come from) 

There was a VERY emotional baseball game last night that had the lead off batter for the Miami Marlins hit a home run and break down in tears rounding 2nd base.

There was a football game last night that I literally know nothing about the game except the Saints lost.

But there was also a debate. I'm not getting into the debate but here are my immediate thoughts.  

I'm a risk taker. I believe if you do not take calculated risks you do not grow. But I feel people need to weigh the possible upside of a Trump Presidency with the possible downside. I personally feel the downside risk is so much greater this time around. The doomsday clock (a real thing . . sort of) is at 2 minutes to midnight so the world is on the edge. In 2015 it ticked down 2 minutes**.  Do we really want to toss the dice HOPING Trump will make things better?  Is this the moment in American history to really gamble?

I want change also but the things that come out of Trumps mouth scare the hell out of me.

I believe the two party's are hearing what America is saying with its hatred towards both candidates and I further believe that after this election there will be a reboot in BOTH parties. The DNC has heard the Bernie people and the GOP is horrified at their candidate.

I don't want to risk America at this moment in time and I look forward to see who runs in 4 years when both party's reboot.

People seem to think that with Clinton nothing will change.  Might be true, might not, we do not know.  But the upside and the downside are a much MUCH narrower realm of possibility. With Trump there might be change and he might bring the people together, or he might not, we don't know but the upside is so much smaller then the tremendous downside.

I'm a gambler and this is not the time to gamble. If you want to gamble, wait for better odds.

**Concerns amid continued lack of global political action to address global climate change, the modernization of nuclear weapons in the United States and Russia, and the problem of nuclear waste.

A good friend of mine just came back from Prague and London and he had a wonderful post.

Out of curiosity about European's opinion of our presidential race, while on vacation in Prague and London from Sep 16 - 25, I talked to cab drivers, waiters, store clerks, ticket sellers, etc .. 

Normally Europeans don't follow American politics, but they are watching THIS race closely.
Hardly any mention was made of Hillary Clinton. ALL of the talk is about Donald Trump.
The reaction was universal; European's just do NOT understand how so many Americans can support such a HORRIBLE, HATE-FILLED person.
While in Prague I had the news on and the anchor said they were going to air a clip of a Trump press conference. It was Trump saying that President Obama WAS born in the US, and that it was CLINTON who had started the Birther Movement and HE was ending it! I'm sitting there thinking "WTF !". But then the clip ended and it was back to the anchor who said "The statement Trump just made about Clinton starting the Birther Movement is SIMPLY FALSE". Then they aired Trump saying that "since Clinton wanted to abolish the 2nd Amendment and take away people's guns, maybe all of her armed security guards should have their weapons taken away and we should see what happened to her". Immediately it went back to the anchor who said "the statement Trump just made about Hillary Clinton wanting to abolish the 2nd Amendment and take away people's right to own guns is JUST NOT CORRECT".

I LOVE European news. They take seriously that their mission is to bring people the news (truth, NOT lies and made up stories). They fact check and call bullshit.
Another segment came on shortly afterward where a journalist said that Trump had finally crossed a line. He has said things in the past with the sole purpose of putting the image in people's minds of violence being done to Clinton, but now it seemed like he was actually encouraging someone to "do something".
Europe has it right. This is one horrible, hate-filled person.

---Mark Mills

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Entertainment - EV Melotte

I went over 750,000 page views recently - GOOD LORD PEOPLE are you really that bored?


I wasn't going to blog today but with all the rain I thought I would give a recap of who got what.

That tall house is Jason's (Cardinal Comics) and it is still standing!   I took is yesterday about 1:00.  

First of all we have now reached our yearly total in rainfall.  If we do not get 1 more drop of rain for the rest of the year we will still be over our yearly average.

Columbus has been spared though.  Here are the days we received rain this month (always ending at 7:00AM)

9/07  2.98 inches
9/08  1.40
9/10  0.02
9/11  0.22
9/13  0.21
9/14  0.03
9/16  0.57
9/17  0.13
9/20  0.76
9/21  0.65
9/22  0.74

A CoCoRaHas reporter 5.7 miles WSW of Portage received 5.7 inches yesterday, Chippewa Falls 6.68 inches Eau Claire 4.90, Necedah 4.51, Viroqua 5.60.

And there is plenty more on the way.

On a different note - my lawn REALLY needs to be mowed, Maybe Saturday?  This year I seem to be mowing, with my lawn mower at the highest setting, every 5 days.  The next time we see sun should be Tuesday but that means a good chance of rain for only 5 more days (yes, Saturday has gone down hill a bit).


I was accepted into the GABL.  A Strat-o-matic (SOM) league that has been around for a long LONG time.  I'm busy reading over the 42 page Constitution.  I think our city attorney would love this document.  LOL

I started playing Strat-o-matic in 1965 and was a manager in the DELCAL league for 15 years starting in the early 80s.  Then when the first baseball strike happened I drifted away and have had my application in to some of the major leagues for a few years.  I was awarded an expansion team last night!  Me and Bob Costas and Spike Lee have something in common  LOL  

My parents purchased an AR50, my first 4 function calculator because of SOM and I put away the slide ruler (which I still have).

Buzz Bissinger who wrote Friday Night Lights says SOM changed his life and I will guarantee it changed my life when I was growing up and my love for numbers developed.

That shot on the right is me playing SOM in 1969.


It's brew day as I brew up my East Indian Porter III.  One of my favorite recipes.




Entertainment - EV Melotte

This assignment makes me feel as if I’d been tooling happily along on a little red tricycle and have run slam into a brick wall.

It wasn’t that Pa forbade entertainment—he just considered it frivolous, foolish and a waste of time.  My mother wasn’t in sufficient emotional health to consider it at all.

There was the radio.  Sometime, in the Goodrich years, Pa put a wind charger on the roof, connected it to the tired battery of the car we no longer had, and ran a secondhand radio off of it.  The radio was missing all its tuning knobs, but it only got one station anyway.  After supper we could hear a half hour of the news.  On Sunday nights we got a full hour of news on “The March of Time.”  If there was enough oomph left in the battery we’d leave it on for the Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy program.  On a windy night we might even get to hear the whole program before the battery went dead.

Probably my favorite radio experience of all time was one of the first newscasts I ever heard, when King Edward VIII made his abdication speech to “Marg the woman I love.”  I got all starry inside, and thought it was incredibly romantic.  Pa said the man was a damn fool.

When you’re living ten miles from town and don’t have the money for gas, or the money for tires, when you eventually don’t have a car at all, there is not much you can do for entertainment except walk to church, or visit neighbors or have family songfests or play games around the kitchen table.  We had no church, my parents were staunch atheists.  We didn’t visit.  As a matter of fact, no man, woman or child except family ever set foot in our house, and at least my parents and I never set foot in anyone else’s house, and we weren’t the kind of family that plays games together.

Saturday nights in town?  Up to the age of fourteen I had been within a town less than a dozen times.  At least eight of those times were trips to the dentist.  One was a spelling contest in which I got massive stage freight and failed miserably.  One was to the county courthouse for my 8th grade graduation.  None included entertainment.

When I arrived in Whitewater, supposedly ready to start high school, I had never been in a city store, had never walked down a sidewalk to look at store windows, had never seen a restaurant, had never tasted ice cream.  I’ve still never seen a circus.

At Holway, we had no radio or newspaper.  My entertainment was talking with my Amish friends to and from school and at noon recess.

In Iowa there was no time for entertainment.  In addition to all my usual chores I was given full responsibility for the housing, feeding, health, welfare and production of forty-something chickens, and of an immense vegetable garden.  My father plowed and harrowed it, my mother planted it, the rest of the year’s work was mine.  After my last brother left—all my brothers ran away from home at age fourteen—I became a general farmhand as well.

The most enjoyable activity I had in Iowa was to ride the little quarter-horse mare, bareback of course, down to the pasture to bring up the cows.  Technically that was work, rather dangerous work in fact.  That horse was a genius at ways to deviously unseat her rider, and then look surprised and innocent—even reproachful, before wandering off.  One of the cows was a mean one with sharp curved horns, and she would attack me if she could reach me while I was on the ground.  The cow belonged to the farm and the farm belonged to my grandmother, so we couldn’t sell her or otherwise dispose of her, much as I would have liked to.  Luckily there were a lot of trees here and there around the pasture, and I could move really fast then.

But I loved that horse, and loved riding her, and she deserves a chapter all to herself.

When I arrived in Whitewater, I felt really disoriented.  I knew how to work, but I’d never learned anything about how to play.  Luckily we lived only one block from the Public Library.

I don’t like writing about the next four years, after my father left us.  I don’t like even thinking about them.  They were pretty grisly for me.  Lack of money was only one of the problems and bad though it was, it wasn’t the worst.  Still, it had an effect on entertainment.

I didn’t have the money for the entertainment offered.  Sometimes an out-of-town boy would take me to a movie or a dance.  Sometimes my girlfriend and I would go for long, long walks in the country.

 Sometimes we’d walk to Fort Atkinson, and if either of us had a dime we’d treat ourselves to a coke at Herro’s Restaurant and then walk home.  Sometimes we didn’t have a dime,--she was almost as poor as I was—so we’d get a long drink at the corner water fountain, sit on the Methodist Church steps for a few minutes to rest, and then walk home.  Sometimes we’d stroll down to the Armory to watch the roller skating.  Sometimes we’d go to the bowling alley and watch the bowlers.  If my friend wasn’t available sometimes I’d sit under the bridge and watch the water go by.

Then I met Dev Melotte, and Dev was more entertainment, just sitting on our front steps, than I’d ever known in my life.  He was fun, he was funny, he was laughter, so I married him.


The entire story about mom and dad is amazing.  I hope I can find some stories about that courtship. I believe my dad asked for my moms had after 12 hours or something but she said he had to wait at LEAST 24 hours.  He waited for 24 hours . . and then she said yes.

But they wanted to wait until he was out of the air force (he flew the same make of plane that rescued DJs dad) and mom was out of high school.

 DJ and I have this Lincoln/Kennedy thing going on.  I'm 7 years older then DJ, My dad was 7 years older then my mom, DJs dad is 7 years older then her mom.  My brother is 7 years older then I am, DJs brother is 7 years older.   DJ and both grew up next to slaughter houses, and it goes on an on.