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Archive for August 2011

And into the stretch

There’s a month left in baseball’s regular season and when it ends, so does the Irrational League.

I’m still in fifth place, but inching inexorably toward the money. My pitching is finally approximating what it should and as go its fortunes, so go mine. Paul Maholm got hurt in time for me to ride Randy Wells’s hot right arm. Time is still my enemy, but all the trends are pointing in the right direction. The additions of Hiroki Kuroda (4 wins, 27 K,2.16 ERA, 1.14 WHIP) and Jose Altuve (.292, 3 SB) have helped. Compare these stats with last month’s.

.267 batting average (4th but only .0009 out of third)
199 HR (still 1st by 23)
782 runs (in 2nd 36 out of 1st and 23 ahead of 3rd)
793 RBI (1st by 55)
108 SB (4th but four out of 3rd and four ahead of 5th)
3.82 ERA (8th but now only 0.02 out of 7th)
1.28 WHIP (7th)
1012 K (tied for 3rd, rising from 7th in a month)
73 wins (4th but two out of 2nd)
5 saves (10th)

That’s 65.5 points, but I’ll only need four to show. It’s been worse. My last pick-up of the year was Kevin Kouzmanoff. I’m hoping for a batting average north of .275 in Colorado.

Dad-tastic voyage

My dad is stable. He’s steady at a poor quality of life and bedridden, but things aren’t any worse.

He’s on the waiting list for a long-term-care facility and meanwhile spends his time in a bed at the Royal Vic.

We know what’s wrong with my dad. I hinted at it, but to my surprise I never posted it. He has a blockage in the vein that drains the thalamus. At this point, no one has any hope that he’ll recover at all.

A month and a half ago, my brother Jeff played with the results of my dad’s various imaging tests. He’s produced some amazing 3-D models from them (QuickTime required).

Here‘s my dad’s bones, kidneys, heart, and major abdominal blood vessels.

This one shows my dad’s skull. I don’t think it really has wood grain.

This last image shows the veins that are causing the problem. It’s kind of zombie-riffic.

Is your iTunes not syncing?

Several friends and clients have lost automatic syncing in recent iTunes updates on the Mac. It even happened to me.

Somehow, the updates to iTunes 10.4 misconfigure iTunes Helper, which is behind-the-scenes software that, well, helps iTunes weave its magic.

Here’s how to fix it on Snow Leopard. This fix may or may not work in Lion, too.

Plug in your device and open iTunes. On your device’s Info page, uncheck “Launch iTunes when this iPhone/iPad/iPod is connected.”

Unplug your device and restart the Mac. Launch iTunes, then connect the device. Put a check back in the box next to “Launch iTunes when this iPhone/iPad/iPod is connected.” If this is solving your problem, iTunes should ask if you want to install iTunes Helper. You do.

That should do it for you.

Bonus reading:

Growing up, my favourite book was “Arty the Smarty”. It was about a small, wiseass fish who outsmarts everyone. I wonder what I saw in that. You can read its acid-browned pages for free online. My copy looks exactly the same.

August and I still hate my pitchers

Yep, it’s time to go over the middling Angels with Crystal Balls this month.

I made a trade, sending away Ryan Ludwick and demoted starter Kyle McClellan for Hiroki Kuroda and Juan Uribe. I’m not as fond of Uribe’s numbers as I am of getting rid of Ludwick’s low batting average, which may or may not improve a bit in Pittsburgh. For the August addition, I took Houston rookie Jose Altuve. We’ll see.

So, how is the gang doing? Middlingly well.

.263 batting average (5th but only .004 out of third)
160 HR (1st by 23)
639 runs (2nd but nine out of 1st)
652 RBI (1st by 88)
91 SB (5th but only five out of 3rd)
3.96 ERA (8th)
1.30 WHIP (8th)
755 K (7th)
55 wins (5th but three out of 2nd)
5 saves (9th)

I’m running out of time.

At least I can now sit Randy Wells and Barry Zito.

That was close

One heck of a storm blew in this afternoon. I have my office temporarily in the dining room to take advantage of the central air conditioning, which we used to have. Our heat pump decided to not turn on last week, just after the company that installed and would service it went on a two-week hiatus for the construction holiday. So did our lawnmower-repair shop of choice.

Whose idea was a midsummer construction holiday and why do lawnmower repair shops and air-conditioning companies shut down for it? Good thing they’re open all of February.

So there I was, tapping away in the dining room with the glass doors open to let in some of the cool air – the temperature had dropped ten degrees (Celsius) in a minute. There was a lot of cool air and it was moving at a good clip. I heard a tremendous clunk from outside the front of the house but I didn’t hear the house falling (further) apart so I ignored it.

What happened, I just learned, is that a limb fell off a tree belonging to the house across the street. It fell, hit the road surface, and toppled uphill. It fell 15 feet from my car, which was parked on the far side of the street. Had the limb decided to keel over downhill, my car would have been covered in branches and foliage at best, and probably would have stopped one of the thicker branches with something dentable or breakable.


I dropped the two younger kids off at the bus to camp. Elvi is at a conference in Quebec City. Child One and I are going to par-tay!

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