100 thoughts on “February 7, 2014: The Mid”

      1. Eventually, the entire planet will become engulfed by the star about which it orbits and will be obliterated by the extreme heat. That's a ways off. Meanwhile, the sub-zero temperatures should end at least temporarily by mid-next week.

        1. I've always considered the winter of 1977-78, my first in Minnesota, to be the benchmark for cold. But looking back at the stats for that year, this winter has arguably been colder for longer (although 54 straight days without rising above the freezing mark is still memorable). And historically, there's not been a decade since the turn of the 20th century that didn't feature at least one very large, nasty winter storm.

          1. I remember 1975 being cold and the 83-84 winter being a bitch, but the 95-96 and 96-97 winters were the worst in my lifetime. Both were bone chillingly cold and the latter had 120 inches of snow, with an almost weekly blizzard in Jan. and Feb. to boot.

            1. Yes, those were two damn cold winters in the 90s. Our youngest was born in January 1996, two days after a thunder-snowstorm. We got several inches of snow, then rain on top of it, and immediately after the storm a clipper came down and froze everything solid before the plows could clear the roads. Two days later, too cold for salt/chemicals to melt anything and with the roads still covered by a few inches of rutted, flash-frozen slush, we set out for the hospital before sunrise, with a temp of about -17 F, in the wife's little pickup, with her in mad labor and clutching my arm like an industrial claw when every contraction hit. All I could do was pick a deeply frozen rut to get one of the front tires into and just let it guide the truck down the road, sort of like the antique cars ride at ValleyFair. Of course, it was 14 hours later before the baby actually arrived, but it sure seemed at the time like I'd be delivering her myself in the cab of the truck by the side of the road.

              1. I can only remember one instance of thundersnow, but it was not a fun time. I explained the concept to my friends in Ireland, where they have neither blizzards nor thunderstorms. They were baffled and slightly frightened.

              2. I remember this day pretty vividly.

                The lowest documented temperature for Fargo for the past 58 years in February was -39 most recently encountered on February 2, 1996, while the normal low measured temperature is 5. United States National Weather Service historical Fargo February weather data indicates that on February 2, 1996, the measured high temperature did not exceed -28 degrees Fahrenheit, the lowest high measured in Fargo in the past 58 years.

                That was cold.

                1. I remember this day in St. Cloud pretty well, too...

                  The coldest day of 1983 was December 19, with a low temperature of -41°F. For reference, on that day the average low temperature is 8°F and the low temperature drops below -12°F only one day in ten.

                  Nobody's car would start. By mid-morning it had warmed up to about -30. We took the lids from our garbage cans, filled them with charcoal and lit them up. When they burned down to just coals we slid them under the engine compartments of 2 cars and let them sit for 15-20 minutes. We got one car started that way, then used it to jump start the others. Bloody cold that was.

                  1. I likewise remember that week. It didn't get quite that cold in the Fargo area, but Williston, I believe, hit -50.

                    But, back to Feb. 2, 1996:

                    Tower, Minnesota -60 Feb 2, 1996


                    1. Yep, I remember it well. I was producing the morning news and we had crews in both Tower and Embarrass overnight. Brrrrrrrrrr.

            2. I don't know what you guys are talking about. Winters since 2000-2001 have been pretty mild. Although I did lose most of my mandarin orange crop this year to frost damage....

          2. So was looking at weather sites when we were having our blast this week. They said last year was the 2nd worst since 1888. This year sucks but we didn't lose power for 10 days.

  1. I know discussions of ignorance are usually dedicated to Jim Souhan and Philospher's employer, but I have to say how proud I am of my stepsister. She identifies as lesbian and goes to school in North Carolina. Yesterday, while in a study room, six African-American students were loudly discussing all of the reasons it's awful to be gay. She was feeling so hurt and, obviously unable to get any studying done, approached the group to try and engage them in a discussion. They became even louder and very angry with her, telling her they didn't care what lifestyle she chose as long as she minded her own business and didn't rudely interrupt other people. She explained why she felt it was important to engage in discussion on a topic they felt so strongly about, since they were students at the same university and common ground was important for people of all types to get along. They told her that people make up their minds about things and don't change them. She then (and I don't know if she added snark) pointed out that the Civil Rights Movements was significantly helped by people like Martin Luther King who were not afraid to speak up and engage in conversations with those who differed from him. They told her that talking and discussion had NOTHING to do with the Civil Rights Movement. Then my stepsister promptly gave up, left, and cried.

    Not only did she confront a group of six people who were marginalizing and borderline harassing her, she did it believing she might have a chance of affecting them. I encouraged her not to give up and that just because these people had their opinions today doesn't mean they might not change them later, or if not change them, at least learn how to respect other human beings. I firmly believe anyone can change and improve themselves as people, though it can sure be exhausting being patient. I've seen it happen, though. Love thy enemy can be really, really hard.

      1. Yeah. As a product of my bigoted small-town environment, I was extremely homophobic until someone finally forced me to confront it and asked a few simple questions that changed everything. I don't know if your stepsister got anyone to think that day, but she tried, and that's a start.

      2. Even if people don't change their minds, there is no excuse to treat anyone as sub-human. That is absolutely despicable behavior, and she should be very proud to have taken a stand for herself and her beliefs.

      3. I kind of love this point (and Beau's original "just because these people had their opinions today doesn't mean they might not change them later.").

        I'm the type of person who discusses politics on the facebook. I often get frustrated with the fact that those conversations never seem to change people's minds, but the fact of the matter is that change usually takes time. The arguments/conversations/confrontations by Beau's stepsister are the exposure that can start people down that road. I know it's worked that way for me personally many, many times.

        I frequently have to remind myself of that when I get frustrated. Changing minds takes time.

        1. Sometimes in these discussions we change our minds as well, if not about our own beliefs, about the other people. My father and I have butted heads quite a bit on various political topics, but our opinions are slowly meshing the older we get as we're able to talk mostly civil about it. I think his son becoming a social worker and educating him about what I do has made him way less black/white about the world than he ever thought he'd be.

          1. I enjoy talking politics and, aside from one social issue, have very little in common with one side of my family. I really enjoy discussions of philosophy and policy as long as people aren't just defaulting to spouting ideology. My wife, however, cannot stand talking about politics and shuts down conversations immediately, even with me. I find that kind of response more infuriating than debating people who won't deviate from talking points.

            Good on your sister for standing up for herself and making the effort to open a dialogue.

            1. When I was in college, I was extremely conflict averse and I had a boyfriend who enjoyed being argumentative just for the fun of it. That . . . didn't go so well.

        2. Just remember this: Loving v. Virginia wasn't decided in 1867, it was 1967. It took 100 years after the Civil War to make interracial marriage legal throughout the US. The social change in this country since then has occurred at veritable lightning speed as compared with the rest of human history.

        3. I know for a fact that my calling out certain h.s. friends on FB (usually by message, not publicly) has had a positive impact on certain issues. (for those of you who ever wander past my wall, you can probably attest that my commentary has not had such impressive effects on all of my h.s. friends).

          “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
          ― Edmund Burke

    1. Kudos to your Step-Sister, that took guts. But I found it curious your term "identifies as lesbian." Most people say that they are or are not. Given her gutsy stance against a bunch of dudes she didn't even know, I say she is a lesbian, through identity and being.

      1. there's some pretty powerful identity politics involved in "identifies as" language. I know this from working on survey question language with various stakeholders.

        there's also the matter of being "out" or not. "Identifies as" pretty clearly signals "out".

    2. Good for her. And even if none of them think more about what she said or change their minds, she should always be proud of how she handled it.

  2. I got a call from the little brother this morning. He'd just gotten off the phone with his CO and found out he's going to flight school after graduation. I'm glad he's getting to do what he wants in life.

      1. His first choice is helicopters, but I don't know if he's going to try to fly Hueys or to do search and rescue in a Pave Hawk. He wanted to be a rescue diver for the Coast Guard for a long time, so it wouldn't surprise me if he went into search and rescue. (Edit: Yup, Pave Hawk, I was right.)

        His second choice is a Warthog. I asked him specifically about flying a giant people mover and he said that was last on his list.

        1. There's a lot of back and forth about retiring the A-10, which is ridiculous; it's one of the most economical and effective aircraft in the inventory.

          As a passenger I'm not crazy about helicopters, but I can understand the attraction for a pilot. My resolve to never fly in an a MV-22 Osprey was thankfully never tested, but my time in a CH-53 was eye-opening.

          Giant stuff or people movers would be last on my list, too, though a AC-130 might be an interesting challenge for a pilot.

          1. Why on Earth would anyone want to retire the A-10?* I know it's built for one thing, but it does that thing insanely well.

            *Rhetorical. Defense contracts, I'm sure. Joint Strike Fighter morass probably.

    1. That's actually better than I thought it would be. We also got rain last night for the second time this week, so it's a start in the right direction. Of course, Jan-Feb is supposed to be the biggest months for rain, so it is starting late.

    1. The ceiling dreams go a little further and more historic than Trout, though. Baseball Prospectus' Jason Parks told SB Nation that a non-Twins front office executive described Buxton's floor to him as Torii Hunter, and his ceiling as Willie Mays

      ii is the floor. Willie is the ceiling. So, Griffey, Jr. is a reasonable target? I've always thought that I could be a pro athlete, I'd want to be an elite CFer. I don't have any of the skills, but that's like who I'd want to be. In other words, Buxton is who I'd want to be.

      1. Junior is the reason I loved baseball as a kid. Baseball, and sport in general, has lost some of its luster for me over the last few years. Probably a combination of just getting older and real-life stuff being exhausting. It would be really nice if Buxton could bring a little excitement back for me. (No pressure on the kid, of course)

        1. Byron Buxton = Ken Griffey Jr.
          Joe Mauer = Edgar Martinez
          Miguel Sano = Jay Buhner

          Now if Alex Meyer can turn into Randy Johnson, we have some excitement!

            1. Actually, only Edgar was on the 2001 team that won 116. Buhner played, but just 19 games. I'll take Sano as Bret Boone (7.6 rWAR), Buxton as Ichiro (6.2 rWAR and the MVP), Dozier as Carlos Guillen (3.2 rWAR), Mauer as John Olerud (5.2 rWAR), Arcia as Edgar (4.8 rWAR), Meyer as Freddy Garcia (4.2 rWAR) and Diamond as Jamie Moyer (3.4 rWAR).

          1. Edgar's average line in his age 31-37 seasons was .328/.444 /.570. I think I could probably handle seeing that from Mauer now that he's not catching anymore.

            1. In the late '90s though. That was a 160 OPS+ and Mauer did have a 171 in '09, so it could happen.

              Aside: 39 wins from just the bat for Edgar is pretty amazing.

            1. I was going to say I hoped Sano wound up more like A-Rod as a hitter than Buhner, but that made me feel gross. How about Willie McCovey to Buxton's Willie Mays?

              1. This is Mariners era A-Rod, who I don't associate with being as slimy as present-day A-Rod. Maybe I'm wrong in that perception.

                  1. ARod left for Texas when I was 14*, so I probably don't have a very developed sense of who he was then. He was good and played with Griffey ==> he was OK in my book.

                    *Seriously? Damn...

      1. Sadly, it is usually the veterans that play the home ST games and the kids play the road ST games. I'm guessing Gardy will give the kids a few home games but I wouldn't count on much.

  3. Listened to game 7 of the 1965 World Series. A few notes:

    1. No analysts in the booth. Ray Scott, the Twins' announcer in 1965, got to call the first half of the game, with Vin Scully (the Dodger's announcer) taking the last half of the game. I'm wondering why they just didn't put them in the booth together. Either way, this was the last year the World Series featured (exclusively) each team's announcer getting the call. Ray Scott was fine; good voice, but dull. Vin Scully was a joy to listen to.

    2. Stupidly, they sent Vin Scully down to the Dodgers locker room in the 9th inning as they wanted him there when the Dodgers won. So, Ray Scott was calling the final outs.

    3. I haven't been able to find anywhere why Sam Mele started Joe Nossek (54 OPS+) so much ahead of Jimmie Hall (124 OPS+). Seriously, Nossek never approached non-awfulness his entire career. Hall did not hit lefties (i.e. Koufax) but Nossek hit them even worse, and he was a rookie.

    1. From Cool of the Evening:

      Despite being named to the '65 All-Star team, Hall played sparingly in the 1965 World Series as manager Sam Mele believed that Hall's left-handed, uppercut swing would prove to be useless against lefties Sandy Koufax, who started three of the games, and Claude Osteen. Mele was probably right.

      Hall started against only right-hander Don Drysdale and struck out five times in eight plate appearances. Hall's replacement, Joe Nossek, did what Mele expected him to do against the left-handers: put the ball in play against a very stingy Dodger pitching staff.

      Nossek batted only .200 during the Series, but that paralleled the Twins' .195 batting average, and while the Twins struck out about once every four plate appearances, Nossek fanned only once in 20 appearances.

  4. Neutral Milk Hotel ticket update: After getting to the pickup details I had another ticket fall through this morning when they had a friend pop up and claim the ticket. Thanks, friend. However, I found another person that was actually able to drop off a ticket right next to my office. Score. $40, which is actually about $5 below face (after fees). It's a print out, and while I really would have preferred hard ticket, I didn't really have any alarms go off in my head during the transaction, so I'm thinking I'm good. Looking forward to a good show tonight.

  5. Looked like уничтоженный on the fifth Olympic circle on the opening ceremonies… Technical difficulties - heads will roll.

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