July 9, 2014: So, This Was New

Two days ago a frantic Skim ran into the house and told me to come out with her. She said it was too immediately important to tell me. I went out and a guy had jumped the curb and was stuck on the sidewalk, unconscious in his car about 15 feet from my front door, if that. The only reason he didn't take out the stairs to the above apartment was that he scraped the side of the car to his right and had gotten stuck on the fender. The police came and had to take a nightstick to the backseat (he didn't wake up) and go in that way to help. Turns out he has heart issues. I'm not sure where things are at this point, but hopefully that's the closest my daughters ever get to getting run down on the sidewalk.

67 thoughts on “July 9, 2014: So, This Was New”

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  1. Ooops!

    They have top men working on it right now. Who?

    'Top. Men.' SelectShow
      1. I received those as well. It might be a weird hobby, but I'm always interested to see visible smallpox vaccine scars. For people in their 30s or below it's a pretty good indicator of military/other service abroad or that the person was vaccinated in their home country/former country of residence.

        1. Crazy to think that something which caused so many millions of deaths barely registers for most people in our age cohort. (Un)fortunately, mine didn't scar up much. You really have to look closely to see anything.

        2. Tip to others:
          Don't google "smallpox vaccine scar" just because you don't know what they look like.

          1. Somewhere there's a classic photo of a shirtless Kirk Douglas from Spartacus with vaccination scar prominently in view. Them Romans knew a healthy army was important.

  2. One day five or six years ago when I was home studying, a car of three teenagers couldn't make a decent right turn onto West River Road at two in the afternoon on an April weekday and were saved from a plummet down a 60-foot river bluff across the street from our house because they hit a 3-foot wide Burr Oak straight on. They were probably high, but that could have been the way most people talk after walking away from a crash like that while playing hooky. If that tree hadn't have been there, that would have been a ridiculous way to die. As it was, an ambulance came but none were taken to the hospital. (Seatbelts!)

    Earlier, we'd had our mailbox taken out by a driver on the far left (i.e. s/he was really far on the wrong side of the road), between two other mailboxes (all on recently-installed 4x4 posts) and two street signs (one for no Parking and one for the crosswalk).
    That was also during daylight, but I wasn't around to witness it.

    I don't think anyone's as much as driven on our lawn since we moved. (But the snowplow clipped our mailbox before we even moved in, then said that because there were tire tracks from where I missed the driveway on the other side [y'know: so I didn't hit the mailbox] backing in, that it looked that someone else had done it.)

    Wow, I must have a lot of work to do... That's a digression.

    1. A couple of summers ago I was eating breakfast before work and heard a lot crash just outside the house. I went outside (along with the next door neighbor) and an elderly man had blowed over the bus stop sign on the street, driven across the next street, and then come to a stop up against a tree. We helped him out of his car (another neighbor at this point had called 911) and got him seated and chatted with him (he was mostly lucid) while preventing him from getting back in his car and driving away (which is what he wanted to do).

    2. Wow, I must have a lot of work to do...

      So, this is going to be a thing.

      I did finish everything I was supposed to do yesterday, but that LTE was the last of my free moments. I didn't even finish my coffee that morning.

  3. Baseball rules discussion for you:

    Last night at our softball game there were runners on first and second, no one out. A pop up hit towards the pitcher. The pitcher flubs it, it lands on the ground, and the runners scamper up a base. After the ball hits the ground, the ump calls infield fly. At which point both runners attempt to retreat a base. The ball gets thrown to first, and the runner is tagged (and the base stepped on) before he is on the base. Then the ball gets thrown to second, but the lead runner has made it back to the base before the throw. She is tagged anyway.

    What's the right ruling?

    (I'm not one to gripe about umps - at least not in rec league softball - but last night was a doozy. We probably lose anyway (this team did beat us already too), but we have a lot more fun doing it when the game is called right.)

      1. We had the opposite problem in softball a few weeks ago. The umpire called infield fly (when we were on defense) on a popup hit in no man's land behind first base. The ball landed safely, and we tagged a runner but the other team (rightly) flipped out when the batter realized he was out on a ball no one came within 10 feet of catching.

    1. The umpire may have blown the infield fly by calling it so late if it was apparent the ball could have been caught with ordinary effort as it began its descent. However, the runners blew it by retreating a base after the rule was called and the ball hit the ground. There is no need to tag up for an infield fly that is not caught.

      If first had been stepped on but the retreating runner not tagged, that runner would not be out. Only the batter is automatically out. There would be no force play at first, so the runner would have to be tagged with the ball (most likely in a rundown at that point) for the runner to be called out. The lead runner was safe if she was the sole occupant of a base (which it sounds like she was at second).

      1. That's my conclusion too. Batter and tagged runner at first out, lead runner safe at second.

        My reading of the rule is that the ump "blew" the infield fly call by waiting so long, but that nothing completely prohibits it from being called after it hits the ground. The early call is "for the benefit of the runners."

        I have no idea why the runners started retreating. That was odd.

    2. Infield fly = batter's out. If runner from first base is tagged when not on a base, he's out, too. If runner from second is safely on a base, then she's safe. Should be 2 outs and a runner on second.

    3. We had a 10 run inning against us last night where the 10th run scored from 1st (I think) on a home run ball. The umpire didn't count the batter's run because the rule for our league is written as follows:

      If a team scores ten (10) runs in its half of an inning that half inning is over and the other team comes to bat. This rule is waived during the final inning of a game.

      Because that's the rule in it's entirety, I agreed with his application of it - the 10th run triggers the end of the half inning. Play stops. We were losing (and lost) anyway, but there was a young man (an attorney, law student or clerk) on the opposition who could not let it go. He kept chirping and bitching about it for three more innings. I finally told him to give it a rest to which he responded with (what he apparently thought was an insult), "Why don't you give your Chuck Norris routine a rest?" I can only assume he was referring to the fact that I have a beard, but I don't know. Go figure that playing in a league full of lawyers would have guys wanting to fight about every close play or bad call.

      1. Speaking of jerks on the softball field...

        There was a play at third last night - a force place where I caught the ball, standing on the base. It was close, so the girl was running full speed, and ended up awkwardly running into my glove with her face (the glove was up to make the catch). No call from the ump (naturally), so when she stepped off the base I tagged her. The next play was a grounder to short, with another force at third. I ran to cover (but the ball went to first). My foot was on the outer edge of the base, but somehow the runner managed to step on my foot with his metal spikes. I assume it was "retaliation" for the previous play. That guy was a piece of work, and had several aggressive take out slides/rude comments throughout the game. I just don't get how anyone can take rec sports so seriously that they'd try to hurt people.

        1. Last week, a teammate was running to third on a throw to the plate. The catcher's throw was inside the base, so my teammate slid (something I, for one, would never do in a softball game) into the base to get out of the way, but the opposing third baseman jumped on him and twisted an ankle. One player on the other team then spent about 30 minutes stewing over a dirty take-out slide that was done to actually attempt to avoid a collision. He also went ballistic with a stream of obsenities (not the Dick Bremer kind, the real kind) when a teammate took a walk when no pitch was within four feet of the strikezone rather than swinging.

          1. ...so my teammate slid (something I, for one, would never do in a softball game)...

            I'm nursing a sore wrist and a shredded shin because I'm an idiot and can't help myself. Every year I promise myself that I'll finally buy some baseball pants and every year I avoid doing so by promising I won't slide. And yet, every year (again just yesterday) I slide and bleed.

        2. I just don't get how anyone can take rec sports so seriously that they'd try to hurt people.

          There was a brawl at the next field during last week's game. As we stopped our game to watch, it appeared that the wives/significant others were the instigators, though I later learned that an outfielder was continuously taunting the other team. It came to blows and the police were called. When most people had been cleared out, one of the main players stayed back to complain that the umpire took his name to suspend him from the league. He almost came to blows with the umpire, who told the player to "grow up" to the applause of the players turned fight spectators on the other three softball fields.

          1. Back when I was reffing soccer games all the time, I was scheduled for a men's league game starting at 7:30 one evening and was at the field stretching waiting for the previous game. That game was from a league of Spanish-speaking teams. At one point, a player got really mad at something, ran off the field into some hedges and pulled out a baseball bat which he then used to chase other players around. Somehow they ended up congregating around my car in the parking lot and the guy with the bat was at one point standing on the hood of my car shouting and waiving it like a maniac.

            Needless to say, I just watched and was glad that the people in my league were a little more sane.

      2. Go get that Dictionary Act.
        I believe the ump applied it correctly, but I'd assume there's caselaw on one side or the other. Can't be that few cases where the 10th run was from a baserunner when a homer was hit.

          1. All I know about it is that she doesn't necessarily have to be a librarian, just dressed like one.

    4. I agree with everyone else's comments.
      It should have been called in the air.
      As the ball was dropped, there was no need to tag-up to the prior base.
      Runners shouldn't have retreated (that's why there's an infield fly rule: to keep them from guessing where to go based on defensive execution — which leads to defensive shenanigans).
      There were no force-plays but the runner from first was tagged, so out.

      It sounds like the ump didn't think of it in time and then created confusion by calling it after it was clear the ball was not caught and the runners were off without fear of needing to tag up — which was appropriate as the ball was dropped.
      I can imagine the ump making up for the late call by waving it off and letting the batter take first if s/he got there without being tagged. Outside the letter, but what are you going to do: protest? Plus, it would be fairer.

    5. The infield fly rule is tricky because it relies so much on the ump announcing the call as the ball is in the air. Usually as a base runner, I try to be aware of IFF situations and say something about it if the ump doesn't immediately say anything. If it is borderline on whether the play can be made using ordinary effort, I'll go part way and see if I can get the next base if it is dropped. If I get forced out at the next base because I got a late start, oh well, I'll be drinking beer soon enough!

      I really only ever discuss calls with the ump if a less diplomatic teammate tries to argue something. In the end, if you want to win, the long play is to be friendly with the ump so he biases in your favor, rather than trying to get him to call everything perfectly, which will never happen.

        1. Our team was fairly civil at the beginning of the game, but got less so throughout.

          The first play of the game was a ball hit well to RF. Batter got a triple, and took a few steps towards. Ball came into the infield and the ump held his hand out, as if indicating time. No one covering third, as the third baseman drifted away, so the batter just kept taking a few more steps. As the ball was tossed to the pitcher, the runner broke for home, and scored. Ump indicated then that he hadn't called time. We were polite on that one.

          The IF botched call was the next inning. We were fairly polite on that one. The bad strike zone, we let pass, since it was consistently bad. At some point though, it must have switched. Because the bias definitely started working against us, including in the final inning when, having avoided the 10-run rule the inning before, the ump complained that he should have been home already, and called literally every pitch against us a strike, including one that bounced on the front of the plate. That, we complained about mercilessly.

  4. Minor Details will be posted soon, but I wanted to let you know that right about now, Jose Berrios is making his AA debut. You can find the radio broadcast here.

  5. Braunschweiger with mustard and Muenster on a pretzel roll for lunch today. One of my favorite treats.

    1. oh, man. I loves me some braunschweiger (Hormel!). With a slice of raw onion, cheese, and spicy brown mustard on pumpernickel. About once per year.

      1. About once per year.

        I'll be having it all week because nobody else in the house eats it (well, I suppose the cats would) and it comes from the local producer in a ten ounce log. But I probably only buy two logs per year, just because I don't want to get gout.

  6. At a railroad industry course today, heard and jotted down a phrase I hadn't ever considered:
    "Beaver Dam Management"

    To be fair, the course was in Canada.

    1. certainly no term I'd heard in the RR industry. I have coined the phrase "Just-Too-Soon production" to characterize what some areas of IT seem to code by.

    1. I have a really hard time thinking LeBron James is going back to Cleveland under any circumstances, but I guess we'll see.

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