Sunday, October 30, 2005
Friday, October 28, 2005
“On the bird flu, it isn’t chickens or ducks it’s pigeons causing this. All the cities over there like Germany, everywhere it’s going, is nothing but pigeons, pigeons, pigeons. And pigeons are filthy birds. They drink water out of streams and eat all kinds of that old stuff that is what you give them. Pigeons, pigeons, pigeons is what you want. Quit killing the chickens and the ducks, it isn’t them.”
Woman from Norwich
Thursday, October 27, 2005
The Evening Sun won't leave the link up for long, but while it lasts, it's here.
Marauders take top seed into Section III playoffs
By Patrick Newell
Perhaps the defining moments of Sherburne-Earlville’s remarkable soccer season occurred last week in back-to-back comeback wins over Frankfort-Schuyler and Mt. Markham.
F-S was the Division One boys’ soccer champion in the Center State Conference and hosting the Marauders, who had clinched the Division Two title. Unofficially, it was a showdown for the overall league championship. The Marauders trailed early, but regrouped with a barrage of goals in the second half. Two days later, nemesis Mt. Markham, last year’s sectional runner-up in the Section III class tournament, held a 1-0 lead entering the final five minutes of the game.
Miraculously, S-E not only tied the game, but scored the winner with just six ticks left on the clock. The victory ended a near-perfect regular season in which the Marauders went 17-0-1. Laurels followed earlier this week when, they garnered the section’s highest Class B honor as the number one seeded team and an automatic bye into the second round of the playoffs. “It was exciting for us to get number one seed, especially over Clinton, who is the number one ranked team in the state (S-E is ranked 12th),” said junior Travis Tomaselli, who scored the winning goal against Mt. Markham, and established a team single-season scoring mark with 24 goals.
Guiding the Marauders is Mike Rodriguez, who was handed the reins as head coach seven years ago. Until this season, his most satisfying moments came with Matt Lake and Joe Marso leading the offensive attack a few years ago. That club was as talented a team as the Marauders have ever had, but even they were outshined by this S-E club that adheres to the terms of unity and cohesiveness. Tomaselli, when asked to identify the team’s strength on the field, pointed to every aspect - from the goalkeeper and defense on up through the midfield and forward line - as a strength. And, he noted a strong bench that fills in with little drop-off in play.
As for creating a sense of team unity, it was the Lake and Marso group that collectively dyed its hair blonde before the season opener. That tradition has continued each season since, and even Rodriguez joined the fray earlier this month. “Coach Rodriguez made a deal with us that he would dye his hair blonde after we won our first league championship,” Tomaselli said of his previously dark-haired coach. “He was hesitant at first, but he kept his word. He is all about the team unity and carrying on the tradition established by the players before us.”
The Marauders’ journey to the top of the class seems a bit unlikely considering its five-win season a year ago. It took six games before the Marauders picked up a win, but a victory over Mt. Markham late in the season gave evidence of the club’s potential. “When I look back, I think the Mt. Markham game was the turning point,” Rodriguez said. “Just the way we competed against them and possessed the ball. Someone who was at that game said that we were probably the best four-win team he had ever seen. We certainly had shown flashes of what we were capable of doing, it was just a matter of consistency.”
Consistent winning came early and often in ‘05. The Marauders swept their own tournament and Hamilton tournament. They also battled back from a two-goal deficit in the second half to force a tie with Oneida. It was that contest in which Rodriguez fully realized this team’s unwillingness to accept defeat and doggedness to compete. “The guys were determined to make something happen in the Oneida game,” Rodriguez said. “We fought hard and the goals weren’t pretty ones...the guys just have a sense of confidence about them. They don’t panic when they are down.”
Staked to the number one seed, Tomaselli believes his team indeed merits the position, but needs to prove each game in the playoffs it deserves the ranking. “We know we are a good team, but we also know there are a lot of good teams out there that want to knock us off and give us our first loss,” he said. “We want to prove we’re number one to the end.”
The Marauders host their first Class B playoff game Friday against Ilion at 3 p.m.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Monday, October 24, 2005
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Last year, of course, S-E broke Mt. Markham's two- or three-year undefeated record, and since then quite a rivalry has grown up between the two schools. Mt. Markham obviously figured this was their opportunity to get S-E back by breaking our undefeated season. They came out amazingly strong and, for much of the first half, outplayed S-E. On the wet field, S-E had more trouble than usual with passing and footwork, and Mt. Markham took advantage. Still, S-E held them to a scoreless tie at half-time, and by the end of the half S-E was getting its rhythm back. In the second half, S-E controlled much of the play, but in spite of that, at the 16-minute mark, Mt. Markham scored. The minutes ticked down fast from there; S-E had several opportunities but couldn't finish them -- and then with 4 minutes left, Wes Tomaselli scored to tie it up.
Now, it looked as though the game would have to be decided in two 10-minute overtime periods in that cold nasty rain. The clock ticked down to zero, but the teams kept playing. The scoreboard clock was wrong by a few seconds because it had not been stopped quickly enough when the goals were scored. The refs had told the kids not to stop playing when the horn blew. When it blew, Sherburne was in the midst of an attack on MM's goal, and they kept right at it. In that few seconds after the clock hit zero, with six seconds left in the game, Travis Tomaselli scored and the game was won!
Maybe in another hour or two my heartbeat will get back to normal.
With that final goal, Travis broke Matt Lake's record for the most goals scored in a season at S-E. If you put the whole thing in a movie, nobody would believe it. What a season! We don't know the sectional schedule yet, but watch this space -- as soon as we do know, we'll post it. Go S-E!!
Thursday, October 20, 2005
There's a game tonight against Frankfort at 7 p.m. Frankfort has also had a great season. They are the champions of the other division in the Center State League, and this is their senior game, so it ought to be quite something. The final game of the regular season will take place this Saturday at 11 against Mount Markham, to be played in West Winfield. We don't have the sectional schedules or seedings yet. Go Luke!
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Here's my Lexis friend Helaine with Johnny Damon. She reports that he looks different in person and that after 10 seconds in his company, she thought perhaps he was a little bit intellectually challenged. But as you can see, she enjoyed it! (And don't miss the signature!)
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Friday, October 14, 2005
About depression at the NYT, but more generally about those who hope we fail in Iraq. Read the comments.
Longer. About Quaker pacifism. Read about the 1933 meeting at Oxford at the end of the piece. Excellent comments, including Orwell quotes. And this one:
"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay--and claims a halo for his dishonesty."-Robert A. Heinlein
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Exactly one year later, a fierce storm cloud covered the earth and all the seas of the earth went into a tumult. The Lord saw Noah sitting in his front yard weeping. "Noah." He shouted, "Where is the Ark?"
"Lord please forgive me!" cried Noah. "I did my best, but there were big problems. First, I had to get a permit for construction and your plans did not comply with the codes. I had to hire an engineering firm and redraw the plans. Then I got into a fight with OSHA over whether or not the Ark needed a fire sprinkler system and floatation devices. Then my neighbor objected, claiming I was violating zoning ordinances by building the Ark in my front yard, so I had to get a variance from the city planning commission. I had problems getting enough wood for the Ark, because there was a ban on cutting trees to protect the Spotted Owl. I finally convinced the U.S. Forest Service that I needed the wood to save the owls. However, the Fish and Wildlife Service won't let me catch any owls. So, no owls.
"The carpenters formed a union and went out on strike. I had to negotiate a settlement with the National Labor Union. Now I have 16 carpenters on the Ark, but still no owls. When I started rounding up the other animals, I got sued by an animal rights group. They objected to me only taking two of each kind aboard. Just when I got the suit dismissed, the EPA notified me that I could not complete the Ark without filing an environmental impact statement on your proposed flood. They didn't take very kindly to the idea that they had no jurisdiction over the conduct of the Creator of the universe. Then the Army Corps of Engineer demanded a map of the proposed new flood plain. I sent them a globe. Right now, I am trying to resolve a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that I am practicing discrimination by not taking godless, unbelieving people aboard!
"The IRS has seized all my assets, claiming that I'm building the Ark in preparation to flee the country to avoid paying taxes. I just got a notice from the state that I owe some kind of user tax and failed to register the Ark as a recreational water craft." Finally the ACLU got the courts to issue an injunction against further construction of the Ark, saying that since God is flooding the earth, it is a religious event and therefore unconstitutional. I really don't think I can finish the Ark for another 5 or 6 years!" Noah wailed.
The sky began to clear, the sun began to shine and the seas began to calm. A rainbow arched across the sky. Noah looked up hopefully. "You mean you are not going to destroy the earth, Lord?"
"No," said the Lord sadly. "The government already has."
Our political system does not compete with institutions which are elsewhere in force. We do not copy our neighbours, but try to be an example. Our administration favors the many instead of the few: that is why it is called democracy.
The laws afford equal justice to all alike in their private disputes, but we do not ignore the claims of excellence. When a citizen distinguishes himself, then he will be called to serve the state, in preference to others, not as a matter of privilege but as a reward of merit; and poverty is no bar…
The freedom we enjoy extends also to ordinary life; we are not suspicious of one another, and do not nag our neighbour if he chooses to go his own way. But this freedom does not make us lawless. We are taught to respect the magistrates and the laws, and never to forget that we must protect the injured. And we are also taught to observe those unwritten laws whose sanction lies only in the universal feeling of what is right.
Our city is thrown open to the world; we never expel a foreigner. We are free to live exactly as we please, and yet we are always ready to face danger. We love beauty without indulging in fancies, and although we try to improve our intellect, this does not weaken our will. To admit one’s poverty is no disgrace with us; but we consider it disgraceful not to make an effort to avoid it. An Athenian citizen does not neglect public affairs when attending to his private business… We consider a man who takes no interest in the state not as harmless, but as useless; and although only a few may originate a policy, we are all able to judge it.
We do not look upon discussion as a stumbling-block in the way of political action, but as an indispensable preliminary to acting wisely. We believe that happiness is the fruit of freedom and freedom that of valor, and we do not shrink from the dangers of war.
To sum up, I claim that Athens is the School of Hellas, and that the individual Athenian grows up to develop a happy versatility, a readiness for emergencies, and self-reliance.
(More thoughts about Athens and other interesting ideas here.)
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Schilling will be an ace next year and Pabelbon will be #2. Wakefield will be a great #5 starter and have another decent Wakefield year, leaving two spots on the rotation open for either Clement, Wells, another minor leaguer, (I like Dinardo) or an acquisition. Also, I found out from Mr. Seddon that there's a good possibility that the Marlins will be looking to trade MIGUEL CABRERA! If we lost Damon and got the 23 year old Cabrera, this team would be unstoppable. Another .300 hitter with great power, and speed, and a pretty good outfielder I think. Oh and I'll say it again, he's 23. Also, have you guys heard about one of our 2005 draft picks Jacoby Ellsbury? He's an outfielder who took I think Oregon to the college world series and then he had a great year in one of the lower leagues in our farm system. From what I've read I think he might be for real. But I'm drooling at the idea of getting Cabrera. Also his name is Cabrera, which from my experience in the last couple years is a good thing.
The Cooperstown coach is a lousy sport who complained all through the game, got himself carded, didn't congratulate his own players when they came off the field, and finally pulled his team off the field early and forfeited, only a few minutes before the game would have ended anyway. This was ostensibly because he didn't like the ref's calls, but in fact, the calls were well-balanced between the two teams and seemed quite fair. Both teams got physical; both teams got calls; players on both teams got cards. It was obvious that what the C-Town coach really didn't like is that his team was losing badly. They rallied for a little while in the second half, but other than that, S-E dominated throughout. It was too bad to end the game with the coach's tantrum, because it was really a terrific game. It is a lot of fun to watch these guys play!
Later on I will scan in Luke's picture and congratulatory paragraph from the program, if I can make the scanner do it.
Here goes. I have evidently made Dad insecure by pointing out to him offline that there was a grammar error in his Red Sox post entitled "No Joy in Mudville." I told him that, in the sentence below, he should have used the word might instead of may.
If Schilling and Foulke had been healthy it may have been different.
OK, class, why is this wrong? Now, now, don't all shout out at once. Raise your hands . . . Right! The reason that might should have been used is that there is no longer any doubt. We know how things turned out. Schilling and Foulke weren't healthy, the season's over now, and it's too late to change anything. So, the correct word is might and not may.
Here's why. May and might are "modal" verbs, used to express shades of possibility. In the present tense, there is little or no difference between them, and either one can usually be used correctly. For instance:
I may go grocery shopping later. I might stop at Wal-Mart while I'm out.
Both of these sentences are correct. As used here, there is actually a subtle difference between them -- the first sentence suggests a possibility that is a bit more likely than the possibility suggested by the second sentence. May indicates that it's possible that the speaker will go grocery shopping. Might indicates that it's also possible, but a little bit less likely, that during the trip, she'll also stop at Wal-Mart. But this difference is minor, and in practice, the two words are used interchangeably.
In the past tense, on the other hand, may and might are not interchangeable at all. They carry distinctly different meanings, and this difference is what sometimes causes Mom to shout at sports broadcasters on TV. May is used to describe a possibility in the past about which there is still doubt. Might is for possible past outcomes that we now know did not happen. So:
The battle was so intense that Private Jones was lucky to survive it. He might have been killed. Private Smith, on the other hand, is still missing in action. We hope that he is all right, but he may have been killed.
See the difference? Both Jones and Smith were in danger, but we now know that Jones is okay. We still aren't sure about Smith -- he could be alive, or he could be dead. So, for Smith, we use may. For Jones, who is safe, it's might.
Some more examples, with the first two sentences in the past tense, and the second two sentences in the present tense:
I am angry with myself for failing last week's grammar test. If I had studied harder, I might have passed it. I studied much more carefully for yesterday's test. I am not sure yet, but I think I may have passed this time. The grades may (or might) be ready by now. I might (or may) stop by the classroom later to ask Mrs. Grundy how I did.
(A side note: May, used in the present tense, also carries a second meaning of ability, as opposed to possibility, with an overtone of permission. Thus: Mother, may I leave now? Yes, you may go, but not until I have finished this lecture about grammar. Here, may indicates both the ability to go, and permission to do so. In the present tense, might does not have this additional meaning. That brings us to this sentence of Dad's, from his long-awaited Farm Update:
You may (might?) submit names for heifer calves anytime.
This sentence is not about possibility -- it's about ability and permission. Dad is saying, with no doubt, that anyone can submit names, and that he grants permission to everyone to do so. May, here, is the correct word. Might would be wrong unless Dad wanted to change his meaning to add the layer of doubt and possibility that might conveys: I know that it's hard to think of heifer names, but if you can think of any, you might want to submit a few. )
So, now, a quiz! Some of the following statements are grammatical; others are dead wrong. The first person to post the correct answers in the comments gets an A.
1. If Dave Roberts had not stolen second base in last year's ALCS, the Red Sox may not have gone on to win the World Series.
2. If Dad had not happened to see "Flight of the Conchords" on HBO, this family might never have started making jokes about racist dragons and sick monkeys and big fat crazy pictures of New York.
3. It's a good thing that Panda chased those sheep and got himself banished from Virginia. If he hadn't done that, we may never have gotten a dog.
4. The summer drought made a big difference in the cows' productivity. If only it had rained sooner, they may have made more milk.
5. (From one of Dad's Red Sox posts. Extra credit if you can spot an error unrelated to may and might.) Pedroia can back up, or be the regular if Graffy can't be signed. He may be kinda hot now that we "discovered" him.
6. Did you check the family blog yet? I haven't had time to look at it yet today, but from all the excitement in the streets, I think Dad may have posted a new farm update!
7. Nobody has posted song # 73 yet. That may mean that we are running out of songs, or it might mean nothing.
8. If Dad had not posted "I am sixteen going on seventeen" in the first place, the whole song project might never have gotten started.
9. On the other hand, just think how terrible it would have been if we had not started the song project. In that case, you may never have heard that unforgettable recording of "Ayy Wah Doopah! Ayy Wah Doopah!"
10. If I hear the words may and might used incorrectly one more time, I may scream.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
So, the late summer heat and drought nearly killed the pasture season. The cows were in at night, being fed valuable winter feed. It was a low point. But then came hurricane Katrina, bringing rain to the northeast, and the pastures recovered to a surprising degree. I've been able to keep the cows out on pasture during the day, and should be able to continue doing so until the end of the month.
But it has been difficult to maintain production at a comfortable level due to the changing of the diet between hay and pasture. When it was so dry it looked as if good hay would be hard to find this winter. So I put a together a concentrate that included heavy amounts of high fiber by-product feeds such as citrus pulp and soy hulls, the idea being that these ingredients function more as a forage than a grain, thus stretching the hay supply. Turns out that very nice hay is readily available. So I am removing some of these high-fiber ingredients and replacing them with starches and sugars. I expect to see a production boost this weekend when I start the new concentrate.
Haven't had any babies born in a month, and we're still at 99 Jerseys on the farm. Bazooms, Java and Toot are due in a week. You may (might?) submit names for heifer calves anytime. Bull calves don't get a name. Blossom and Buffy are due in Novemeber.
I have purposefully not bred any cows or heifers for the last 5 weeks and won't until November 1 for a variety of reasons. One, to give us a vacation from calving next june and July. Two, to reduce our dependence on a successful pasture season (i.e., enough rain at the right time). Three, to take advantage of higher fall milk prices. We'll see how it works out.
We had some fun a couple of weeks ago when Mom and I went four-wheeling, she on my ATV and me on Jeremy's. We went down on the nature trail and up through the woods with Panda running along with us. You have not beheld beauty until you've seen Mom driving an ATV. What fun!
Monday, October 10, 2005
I will do a Farm Update in ten days or so. I'm planning on making a feed change this weekend. I'm sure you'll be fascinated by the results.
In the meantime, Joy and Polka are doing okay with their dislocated hips. They hobble out to 1L every day while the rest of the cows go to further pastures. I became quite concerned that they were in too much pain, so I asked them if they would prefer to stay around and milk as long as they were able, or would they like to go to the slaughterhouse. They said, "What's
the slaughterhouse?" And I said, "You know, go for beef." And they said, "What's beef?" And I said, "It's what's for dinner." And they said, "We thought we were having alfalfa for dinner." At this point, I decided to drop the subject, figuring that they would find out soon enough. But this morning they asked me why I hadn't bred them back. I told them that curiosity killed the cat. They said, "Oh NO! Which one?" At this, I fled.
Farm Update soon!
Saturday, October 08, 2005
C'est la vie.
Next year: Sign Mueller for a couple more years at not too much money if possible. Leave him at third. Put Youkilis at first. Let Millar and Olerud walk, but thank them for their contributions. I'll miss Millar's friendliness. He's a good teammate. Sign Graffy for two years at not too much money,. if possible. Pedroia can back up, or be the regular if Graffy can't be signed. He may be kinda hot now that we "discovered" him. SS-Renteria. He should be better next year a la ARod. Catchers are set. RF-Nixon is set. CF-Damon worries me with his shoulder, etc. I'd love to get Rocko Baldelli. No long term contract for Damon. LF-I hope Manny stays. He is so unlike any other. But, if he wants to go, get rid of him for value. DH-set.
Pitchers, starting: Pick from Wakefield, Arroyo, Wells, Schilling, Clement, Papelbon, Alvarez, Lester, Dinardo, Meredith, Hansen. Go with the youth. Let the 40 yo guys wither on somebody else's vine.
Pitchers, relieving: Pick from Papelbon, Dinardo, Delcarmen, Resign Timlin? Resign Myers? Foulke comes back? Not sure I like Foulke. I guess I'd like him better if he could pitch.
Please no more end-of-career guys like Wells, Schilling, R. Johnson. I'd rather watch the young ones lose than the old ones struggle to win.
Friday, October 07, 2005
"If Bill O'Reilly and government officials itching for price controls and tax increases get their way, repeating the mistakes of the 1970s, we'll get no more investment in energy production, and that will guarantee one thing -- higher prices for energy in the future."
Thursday, October 06, 2005
What I'd like to see next year is Papelbon, Hansen, Delcarmen, Alvarez, and Dinardo on the staff, and less reliance on Wells/Shilling/Miller types.
In the meantime, there should be 2 or 3 exciting games left, minimum.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Excellent Column by Bob Ryan on Manny. Papi and A-Rod both deserve MVPs, but so does Manny, though he is rarely mentioned. I love those major league-leading 17 assists, especially the one yesterday. I also like that he remains an individual. Quirky, yes. But he makes up for it in spades.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
CSI: San Francisco
Communism-100 Million dead and still alive and kickin'. On the left.
I get most of my Red Sox news from the Globe. A couple of days ago they started this column, which is blog-like or diary-like. It's in the upper right corner of the Red Sox page. Try it. You'll like it.