June 29, 2012: Fear

Long story short, my fearless little Sour Cream snuck away from me as we were about to leave the pool, trying to stay longer, and slipped underwater and thrashed about until I furiously scanned for her and pulled her out. I spent four hours in the ER yesterday making sure she hadn’t flooded her lungs so she wouldn’t be a dry-drowning victim. She’s fine, though I wish to whatever it is I wish upon that she just wouldn’t keep insisting she can do everything her sister’s capable of.

I am emotionally spent, and played a couple of Turbo Werewolf games last night to get the fear out of my system and to try to push the image out of my mind. I’m glad I go back to work today, so I don’t have to sit here and think about it every second.

Sour Cream will be the death of me. She’s been in the hospital more times than my wife, and always because she tried to do something she had no idea how to do. Having Skim first – a girl who always knows her limits and is careful about them, and dives into challenges slowly and methodically – has ruined me, and has made it tough for me to acclimate to the much more difficult Sour Cream, who requires close attention sometimes even during the most banal activities, just because she might decide to dive off of a futon or climb up to get her own brown sugar when I don’t even know she wants it.

Everyone with more than one kid knows that one poses more difficult challenges and causes more stress than the other, but these two are night and day.

God, she scared me.

It’s a pretty bad time for a $200 co-pay, too, but as fortune would have it, the Milkmaid’s stronger and restructured health insurance just came through so the rest is taken care of. So there’s that. Sigh. Breathe, Milkman. 106 LTEs written in response to June 29, 2012: Fear • Algonad I am glad she is alright. Our second one is the same way. She once hid at a campground for 20 minutes while the entire campground looked for her. I don’t know if the big biker guys walking through the woods and yelling her name helped or hurt the process. • bhiggum That’s a fun visual, Algonad. Of course, I’m picturing your daughter as one of the redneck family from the Simpsons with Snake walking around calling for her, so that makes it even better. • Algonad She does share her name with one of Cletus’s kids. • Algonad Somebody has been stalking me on Facebook! • Algonad It was really tough to decide what to do. On the one hand, I appreciated the help from other campers. On the other hand, this group had me scared so I can’t imagine how a 4 year old girlwould have reacted had they found her. • Jeff A That must have been really scary. The difficult part, as I’m sure you know, is figuring out how to rein her in without damaging her spirit. Good luck to you. • AMR Yeah, I don’t know what to say, Milkyspook, other than thank God she’s fine now. I’ve been lucky enough to miss most of the scary incidents with my brood. Worst for me was when I had HPR in the bike trailer and was teaching CER how to bike and I demonstrated how to stop suddenly on brakes, but forgot that I hadn’t belted HPR (due to frequent stops), and thus ejected him out of the trailer and into the back of my bike and he cut his cheek, right below his eye, on a screw of the trailer-connection. I was a half-inch from having punctured his eye… • That’s exactly it, yeah. I want her to be who she is, but much prefer the idea of her continuing to live. • SBG What a scary thing to go through, spooky. • cheaptoy Damn, good to hear she’s ok. Also good to hear you only have to pay a$200 co-pay for the ER trip. I miss having insurance like that. We just got a frickin $1500 bill for an urgent care trip for my wife (she had a cold but thought it was something else. Full disclosure, I’m none to pleased about it.) At my previous job, that would have been$150. Now, I have to foot the bill until I meet my frickin deductible. Insurance sucks.

• AMR

Well, at least you’ve used up much of your deductible for the year now…

• Dunno.. My deductible used to be $6000! I’m an employee now, so a bit better. • Jeff A The sky is so dark in Gettysburg this morning that the street lights have come back on. I’m not aware of any storm warnings, but it really looks strange. • AMR Radar shows me a huge cell just to your west. • Jeff A Turned out to be full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Lots of lightning and thunder, but not much else. The good news: no hail or destructive wind. The bad news: very little rain, which we need. • bhiggum Glad she’s OK, spooks. She must swim like I do. My theory is that the second child of the same sex tends to be the challenging one. I have two daughters and a son- the second daughter is the kamikaze. I have an older sister and a younger brother- my brother was always trying to keep up with me, with some success and a lot of bruises. • My little brother and I support your theory. I’ve had issues in life, but my brother, while successful, is a trainwreck of a person who simply refuses to learn from his mistakes. I am legitimately surprised he’s still alive. • rpz As a father of 2 girls, the younger of which can’t move on her own yet, this thread scares me for the future. GRZ is pretty much like Skim sounds -- careful and deliberate, and fully aware of her boundaries. Hopefully OGZ will prove to be the exception that proves the rule to bhiggum’s theory… I too am glad that Sour came through this apparently unhurt. • brianS there is a lot of research on birth-order effects, but I think those effects are swamped by underlying randomness. Kids are boxes of chocolates. that said, I too am glad that Sour Cream is going to be ok. • SBG Correct. My younger brother, second boy in line, has kept his head down and worked hard all his life. • Our second is much more rambunctious than our calm, pragmatic first. Thankful that she’s not quite sour cream level, though. And thankful sour cream is OK. Wow! • Similar here, though probably heightened some by our younger being a boy. And a crazy person. I’m glad she’s okay. I can’t imagine. • AMR We’ve got almost 7 years between CER and AJR, and she’s been the most cautious, in a very independent way: she checks as best she can that she’ll be safe while doing dangerous things. Example: before walking, she practiced falling on her butt. Over and over, until she was sure she could catch herself. And she’s never fallen down the stairs, and now she’s getting out of her crib, but we just wondered when it would happen because she’d been getting into her crib often. (We nixed a toddler bed after two nights when it led to two hours of wrestling: with the newborn, we weren’t willing to force the issue. • AMR HPR was only 2.5 years behind CER, but he was a boy. • hungry joe according to my mother, i was fiercely independent as a child and would either wander off frequently if not actively hide from my parents. can’t wait for the boy to start in on that. • socaltwinsfan We were once at a pool party and the pool had a ledge you could sit on but it was a pretty big dropoff off it (for the kids, anyways). I was sitting on the ledge holding Trey and Junior, who’s very cautious, accidentally went off the ledge into water that was too deep for him. The scary part was he never made a sound and no one noticed immediately. I just happened to look that way and saw him struggling. My wife, who was on the swim team in high school, happened to be walking by, so I yelled at her to save Junior. It ended up being no big deal but it scared me how he made no sound and could have drowned only a couple feet from me. Sometimes, careful and quiet isn’t all that great either. Trey is much more outgoing, but he still is pretty cautious. It’s hard for us to get either of them to try something new. • I did essentially the same thing as Junior when I was about 3, only deliberately. We were at a friend’s pool when I decided I was big enough to swim without Mom’s help and jumped in the deep end on my own, even though I hadn’t learned to swim yet. It took what seemed like forever for someone to come get me. People really didn’t notice straight away. • ubelmann Maryland forced to cut varsity sports because its football program loses a lot of money. Personally, I don’t expect an athletics department to be profitable--these sports should be treated extracurricular activities, not big business. But costs should be reasonable and efforts should be made to contain them. Even though you might get lucky and have a good return on your$4M/year football coach, spending $4M on a coach for an extracurricular activity is insane. It’s to the point where most D1 universities seem to have fewer varsity sports than big (or even some small) high schools. Football roster sizes are preposterous. From here, in 1934, the Gophers had 32 players on the team. That’s probably undercounts the total by some amount, but surely they had no more than 50 guys on the team. According to this, the Gophers have about 115 players on their current roster and 30(!) coaches(!). Call me crazy, but that looks like enough coaches for at least 15 sports to me. Their travel schedule isn’t actually too ridiculous--5 road trips to Las Vegas, Iowa City, Madison, Champaign, and Lincoln. Going to Vegas is pretty dumb, but it shouldn’t be incredibly hard for a team to fund-raise for one big trip. If they make the Big Whatever Championship (ha!), then they’d go to Indianapolis, which is pretty regional. Men’s basketball rosters are still pretty reasonable, though I see the Gophers list 9 coaches for the men’s basketball team--enough to field their own team, essentially. Their travel situation isn’t as bad as I thought it might be. Conference destinations are pretty close (with either State College or Lincoln being the longest trip) and since they hosted their ACC/B10 challenge game, a trip to Orlando was their only pre-season/non-conference trip. Their travel in the NIT was a little ridiculous--seems like that tournament could find a way to cut travel costs--but I can see allowing for some extra travel in a post-season tournament. Still, the season is pretty long for a team whose players are supposed to be full-time students. 34 games with plenty of mid-week games (which half the time means mid-week travel) as opposed to a 20-game schedule back in ’33-’34. Would college basketball be worse off if all the pre-tournament games were held on Saturdays? They would lose out on some TV revenue, but considering that other sports are still getting cut, it doesn’t seem like the TV revenue is all it’s cut out to be. A shorter men’s season would also mean a shorter women’s season. Anyway, I digress. It seems like a lot of sports are getting cut outright for the sake of having a few extravagant sports programs rather than many modest sports programs. • davidwatts what helps the Gophers some is the revenues from the BigTenNetwork. What doesnt, is the football program paying North Dakota State a couple mil to play at TCF Stadium and losing. It will be interesting to see what the new Gophers AD will do with some non revenue sports, especially since some of his goal is to upgrade facilities (Tubby’s practice court!!!) • Algonad I know I am in the minority, but I really don’t understand athletic scholarships for any sports that don’t bring in enough revenue to cover the costs. Why should they go to school for free or for less than other students? It seems like with the ever-escalating tuition, one way to save money is to get rid of subsidized hobbies. • This is probably true, though I think it also probably pales in comparison to the new aquatic center/science building/rec center/student union/whatever the hell else universities build to keep up with the next guy. • ubelmann I wouldn’t be opposed to cutting some scholarships--not every athlete on every team needs to be on a scholarship--but I think there’s value in athletic scholarships. Someone who has the discipline to become a top-level gymnast is probably also going to work hard at their coursework and get a lot out of their degree. (And the academic performance of many non-revenue sports teams is often quite good.) Personally, I don’t like to look at it in terms of which programs make money and which don’t, because there is no guarantee that the sports with the biggest potential for profit will actually bring in a profit. Look at the article I linked to--the University of Maryland’s football team lost$500K, and it cost them around $12M to get that return. Their athletics program is running a$4.7M deficit. They were spending $24M on coaches--enough money for 1,200 scholarships at$20K/scholarship. At that level, I’m pretty confident they spend more on coaching than on scholarships. If they spent even half as much on coaching--obviously a $12M coaching staff would be terrible--they could flip the$4.7M deficit into a $7.3M surplus. So really, I think scholarships rank low on the list of places that universities could cut their athletic budget. Cut coaching salaries, find ways to cut travel (why on earth wouldn’t Iowa and Iowa State be in the same conference, for instance), shorten seasons, make do with adequate facilities rather than continually building new state-of-the-art facilities (there’s no sane reason to have separate men’s and women’s hockey rinks, etc.) Really, just stop running the sports department like it’s a major league sports franchise and run it like an amateur sports club. It would be lower revenue, but it’ll also be lower cost and could serve more students. • So I’m in DeMo for the weekend for a rugby teammate’s wedding on Saturday. I came down early last night to play softball with my old team. We won 9-6 even though we only had 9 players. One of our girls didn’t show up, so there was an automatic out right behind me in the lineup. So during my 2nd AB, I really smacked the crap out of one. I put it on a line and one hopped the fence. Since the inning is over after me anyway, I just kept going and just got in for an inside-the-parker. It was good fun and great to see some friends. • davidwatts I see the Wolves drafted the 9 year senior from Purdue Robbie Hummel. Because the Wolves need more power fowards, I guess. • SBG He’s white! • Algonad I just read the article in the Pioneer Press about the Twins and statistics. Gleeman has a great point when he says that in any other industry, you would be dismissed for scoffing at new data. I have a theory on why the Twins are so secretive about their data analysis. I think they hire Ubelman as a consultant but he doesn’t want the academic world to know he moonlights as a baseball stathead. • sean Notable excerpts: Three relatively new statistics, in particular, have gained credibility: “OBP,” or on-base percentage, which, unlike traditional batting averages, credits hitters for getting walks; “RISP,” or runners in scoring position, which is a hitter’s batting average with runners on second or third base; and “WHIP,” or walks and hits per inning pitched, which gauges pitchers by how many players they put on base. Besides the strange disclaimer of “relatively new”, the RISP “stat” is just wrong. In 2003, a Pioneer Press story contrasted Gardenhire’s “gut instinct” style of managing with the more data-oriented approach of Tom Kelly, … “Numbers lie a lot,” Gardenhire told the Pioneer Press then. “I have a hard time believing all that stuff (about the increasing use of statistics). Our scouts do that, they show me all those numbers. I show them the door. You go by the numbers and a lot of guys wouldn’t be playing.” Gardenhire employed similar language in April 2010, when Sports Illustrated did a piece on the rising use of baseball statistics by MLB teams. “… I like the human element, and I like the heart way better than I like their numbers,” he told the magazine. “And that’s what I’ll always stay with.” Gardy’s opinion probably doesn’t surprise anyone. What annoys me is the “a lot of guys wouldn’t be playing” straw man. I think at least 90% and possibly as high as 98% of current MLB players would still be playing. Lineups might be different a bit, but I imagine there would be little churn. Plus, there’s the point that maybe those players simply suck. • SBG This might explain how Gardenhire could justify throwing the franchise player under the bus so often. • ubelmann And he’s obviously not using any stats to evaluate Butera. • Jeff A Plus, there’s the point that maybe those players simply suck. Exactly. There are some guys playing who shouldn’t be playing. There are other guys not playing who should be. I don’t think it’s huge numbers, but there are some. • brianS Double exactly. The lesson of Billy Beane’s book isn’t that scouts are completely wrong, it’s that they may not be giving enough weight to some marginal factors. • SBG I thought Brad Pitt wrote that book. • socaltwinsfan He just showed up to the book signings. • punmanbowler Look, I love the game of baseball and have as much heart as anyone. But it’s very clear that I don’t belong anywhere near a MLB field. • AMR a) lack of grittiness b) doesn’t have the drive to win c) makes jokes that make coaching staff and veterans feel stupid when they don’t get it • Maybe this is only tangently related, but apparently (and take this with a boulder of salt given the source) the Twins are more open to dealing Span than The Hammer. Willingham was a great signing and he’s been a hell of a hitter, but I would rather they move him than Span. • ubelmann I think it kind of makes sense from a personnel management standpoint. How often do you see someone sign a 3-year contract and get dealt before the first year of the deal is up? For the same reasons that you like Span more than Hammer, other teams would probably like Span more than Hammer and offer more in return. And the Twins probably have more upcoming talent that can cover in CF than they have good all-around right-handed hitters. • brianS I like DSPAN as much as the next guy, but it is entirely plausible that the dude has already had his career year(s). I would be ok with trading him for some prospects. • ubelmann Career years, sure, but he’s probably got plenty of productive years left. Not sure the Twins really want to pay him free-agent-like prices for that production, though. If they can Pierzynski him, it would make plenty of sense. • brianS If they can Pierzynski him, it would make plenty of sense. exactly. particularly if we had a JoeBoo waiting in the wings to replace him. • sean Revere Benson Hicks …Rosario! • socaltwinsfan Speaking of which … • I am hoping for a September call-up next year. • brianS How do you say in spanish: “We gotta play it one day at a time.” • socaltwinsfan Rosario is being converted to second base, last I checked. Hicks is following the minor league track of Span. • brianS so, Lasik? • you’re stealing my shtick. but well placed • brianS sincerest form of flattery…. • sean Yes, but he’s still playing the outfield at times. • SBG I hope that doesn’t mean everyone would boo him. • Agent Smith: “You hear that Mr. Anderson?… That is the sound of inevitability.” • Rowsdower Just received my Notice of Annual Meeting of Shareholders, Proxy Statement and 2012 Shareholder Letter from Green Bay Packers, Inc. I bet all you Viking followers(fans?) are jealous. • Rowsdower Well, now I feel better about the Twins, Hawk says everything is going to be okay. • One for twayn: • Rowsdower Dude, it’s a Spitfire!!! • Rowsdower Try that again. • Rowsdower Speaking of which we’re off to dinner with the car club. Nothing like riding in a convertible with no A/C when in the 90′s and humid as heck. • Oh, so YOU have our humidity! Well, thanks bud! • FirstTime "hitman" LongTime A question to the nation’s keg drinkers: So I am not great with putting stuff together. My keg conversion kit is turning into a bit of a frustrating quest. I think I figured it out but now I have terrible pressure coming from the keg. Any ideas on what this could be? • brianS Just tell the keg that you’re busy and to shut up. • Employ a local frat douche to stand there and pump it continuously so that it comes out as a giant block of foam. • cheaptoy My first, obvious question: did you remember to get the co2 tank filled? If yes, double check to make sure there is still some in there in case you have a leak and it drained. I would also recommend filling a spray bottle with soapy water and squirting all the joints and connections to make sure there aren’t any leaks. Finally, if you would like, feel free to take a bunch of pictures and email them to me. Maybe I can see something that might be causing your pressure issues. • FirstTime "hitman" LongTime If those jerks at the store gave me an empty co2 container today there is going to be a strongly worded letter to the Better Business Association in their future. With that said, it is loaded. I didn’t tighten the co2 enough at first and heard it loud and clear. I have a buddy coming by to take a look at it in a few. If nothing comes of it I will shoot some pictures out to you. • FirstTime "hitman" LongTime Called the company I ordered it from and it would appear that I am not the only person to call them this week with this problem. Bad batch of regulators I guess. Oh well. • *cc to meat The Easel has Landed. Repeat: The Easel has Landed. Super cool, Tex. Thanks. It will all go to good use. • FirstTime "hitman" LongTime The Onion on Simmons. • I’m bummed that the dead tree version of The Onion (and it’s accompanying AV Club Twin Cities) is no longer available locally. Boo. • AMR That gal singer who worked with faithless. • socaltwinsfan Doumit signs two-year extension for$7M. I like that. Only small increase on his \$3M this year and it gives the Twins a viable option when Mauer needs a rest. Plus, it keeps him through 2014, when the Twins are more likely to be competitive (at least more than 2013).

• davidwatts

One thing I like about Doumit is that he has the second coolest walkup music on the team: ‘Mother’ by Danzig (I think Plouffe’s use of ‘When the Levee Breaks’ by Zeppeling is cooler.)

• bhiggum

Good signing. If you’ve signed a guy on a make-good contract, why not re-sign him to a longer deal if he’s playing well?

(cough, Jared Burton, cough)

• FirstTime "hitman" LongTime

There is some chatter as of late about this topic on the internet but I wanted to chime in too. If Minnesota is able to trade Derek Williams for Pau Gasol straight up I think that is a huge win for the Wolves.

• davidwatts

I am not a great basketball mind, I am not sure.

+ He would be an upgrade over Darko.
- But his contract is huge.
+ But, with im on the team it could lead to more wins.
- But, he would be taking playing time from Pek!
+ I bet a Rubio, Love, Gasol trio would be awesome basketball
- No draft picks in return for Williams

• But he comes with a free Frogurt!

• davidwatts

thats good!

• socaltwinsfan

But the Frogurt is also cursed!

• AMR

• brianS

+ He would be an upgrade over Darko.

The droll matter-of-factness of this statement had me howling with laughter.

• bhiggum

A Spaniard from Los Angeles is better than manna from heaven? I better re-check my value charts on this one.

• Re: taking time from Pek. There are 96 minutes between C and PF per game. Love 36, Gasol 30, Pek 30. We would have two top level bigs playing at all times. Additional benefit of not playing any of those guys too many minutes over the course of a season.

If Williams fulfills his potential, then we lost a cheaper player under team control for more years than Gasol. But a bird in the hand, etc. I like the deal in theory. Gives Ricky one of his countrymen to play with. And feeds the “white out” theorists…

• davidwatts

JeffA alert: where are you now, bounties from the Scott Erickson trade

• Jeff A

Cool! Thanks!

• brianS

It’s nice to see the folks in charge of visas can recognize extraordinary, ah, “abilities”.

• brianS

a one-hitter by Madison Bumgarner against the Reds last night?

• Philosofer

Quick SABR check in --

Terry Ryan was excellent this morning. Chatted with Gleeman for an hour or so this afternoon. Hoping to see DPWY tonight. If anyone is downtown and/or wants to come hang out, drop me a line in the very near future. mbnovaksju on the yahoo service.

Sorry we couldn’t connect, Gleeman mentioned that he chatted with you. The latest I’ll be done tomorrow is 415 (and I’ll likely be done earlier) so I’ll head home and immediately hop on the bus. Hopefully I’ll be downtown by 5ish. If we can’t connect again, we’ll just have to find another time this summer.

• Did Gleeman mention why he doesn’t link to us anymore?

• New Britain Bo

Our man, Rafa.