Moving the Pile

Jul. 23rd, 2017 02:59 pm
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There is no softball today, nor baseball, nor parties -- other than the end-of-season pool party for the softball league this evening -- so it is time to start moving the pile of things that need to be done. So far today, I have:

  • Bought memberships for Musecon
  • Reserved hotel rooms for OVFF and Windycon
  • Gone to Sam's Club to pick up staples and things for dinner
  • Started three loads of shirts
  • Updated the video drivers on the studio computer
  • Put the broken banister back up on the basement stairs
  • Thrown the ball for Ruby

    As far as that last, well, you have to have priorities or nothing gets done. :)
  • Well, At Least It Was a Good Game

    Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:44 pm
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    Softball being over for a while, I ventured down to Wrigley Field to see today's Cubs / Cardinals game. Normally, I would go to the Sunday night game instead, but the softball league's family swim party is tomorrow night. (Hmm. Ok, softball not quite over yet. :) ) It was a good game, but sadly, the Cardinals lost as the manager left Wainwright in just a little too long, followed by yet another bullpen meltdown.

    Ah, well. It's not like I have very high hopes for the Cards at this point, but you never know what will happen.

    Short Windycon Meeting

    Jul. 21st, 2017 11:19 pm
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    It was a short Windycon meeting tonight, which given that it's still July, was probably a good thing.

    Next meeting is going to be a good bit more busy. :)

    Back In the Swim

    Jul. 20th, 2017 11:31 pm
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    I finally made it back to the pool with the rest of the family today after work, although I left home later than they did. Katie and Julie were interested in playing a variety of competitive racing games to retrieve thrown objects; Gretchen and I eventually convinced them to do something less competitive in the interest of sibling peace. :)

    Tired

    Jul. 19th, 2017 11:52 pm
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    Well, at least there's no scheduled phone call for work tonight. Maybe I should go to bed. :)

    Timing Is Everything

    Jul. 18th, 2017 11:55 pm
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    Oh, look! My midnight phone meeting has just been pushed to 12:30 AM. I think I am going to try to beg off of this...

    Moss-Free

    Jul. 17th, 2017 10:56 pm
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    We are now through four chapters of Heinlein's The Rolling Stones. Katie is finding it greatly amusing, although she is occasionally annoyed at Heinlein "picking on" things like automobiles.

    I am waiting until she finds out about the flat cats. :)

    That's All, Folks!

    Jul. 16th, 2017 11:28 pm
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    The spring / summer softball season is finally over. The girls lost their final game today to the second team that they beat on Saturday and finished a game short of the tournament finals. But given that they were a team that hadn't played together all season, had had two practices, and one scrimmage game against a short-handed opponent, plus were playing with a massively different set of rules than they'd played under all season -- and lost to two teams that have all of the characteristics of travel teams, as nearly as we can tell -- they did a magnificent job.

    I am very proud of all of them.

    Today's Softball Action

    Jul. 15th, 2017 11:31 pm
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    The Des Plaines girls played today in the first day of a softball tournament over in Niles. It appears to be the first year that they're run this tournament and a great many things are being a mystery to us. :)

    For some reason, there are five teams in the tourney and rather than scheduling things with a seeding round on day one, two of the teams got a bye so that they only had to play two games on the first day; the other three teams would need to play and win three games to advance to the finals. We were one of the other three teams, winning the first two games; then losing the third game to one of the teams with a bye which appears to be a tournament team rather than a team or all-star team from a house league.

    But the girls played well overall. And by winning the first two games, we have postponed our first game tomorrow until 3:45. One win will put us into the finals, but then we will have to beat the team that beat us twice in order to win, this being a double elimination tournament, except when it isn't, because it's theoretically quite possible for a team with three losses to get to the finals if we've read the brackets correctly.

    As I said, it's a mystery...

    Wrapping Things Up

    Jul. 14th, 2017 11:37 pm
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    We had a lovely end-of-season parent/daughter softball game tonight, followed by a party and trophy presentation. Then it was home and off toward bed, where I finished reading The Star Beast to Katie tonight.

    Now I just need to figure out what book to read next. :)

    Book review: Life of Johnson

    Jul. 14th, 2017 03:15 pm
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    The first quarter of this was pretty good, being a standard biography of Samuel Johnson. (The dictionary guy, that one.) Unfortunately it then hits the point at which the author (Boswell) became friends with Johnson. From that point on, it's a never-ending series of anecdotes, mostly with the goal of demonstrating just how cool it was that Boswell was such close friends with such a great figure. The density of the material increases non-linearly as we approach the end of Johnson's life, ending with pretty much every letter he wrote in the last year of his life.

    I stalled out a bit under 50% last December, but I recently dove back in to finish it off. It definitely was improved by >1 playback speeds, and I was able to go as high as 2x without any noticeable loss of absorption. Helps that it was pretty breezy material for the most part, and I'm now wondering if the narrator was unusually slow to begin with.

    I was a bit surprised just how turgid this book was. It's quite famous for inventing the modern biography. I guess I'm just glad it was the more grounded and human, less hagiographic aspects that caught on with other authors, not the obsessive day-by-day chronicling.

    As often in pre-modern contexts, I can't help but wondering if their friendship had a sexual component. I think I have some very close friends, but I really can't imagine expressing my deep affection for them in the overtly romantic ways that Boswell and Johnson regularly did for each other. But is that just a modern tendency to view everything through a sexual lens? Certainly the open acknowledgement of homosexuality has been a mass-extinction-level event for the expression of male-male affection in my culture over the last several decades. I don't know how to begin to detangle my own cultural programming in this instance.

    With this finally finished, I'm getting to the end of the Great Book series. (At least all the ones I'm ever likely to read. I doubt I'll ever be up for Plotinus or Aquinas, for instance.) I have a bit more John Locke on my Kindle right now that I'd like to get through, and I suspect I'll eventually get around to all 120 hours of Gibbon's Decline and Fall, but that's it. Oh well! It's been convenient, having a big list like this to work from, but it's not like there is any shortage of other things to be read.

    Practice Makes Perfect

    Jul. 13th, 2017 11:22 pm
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    We had a practice game against one of the other tournament teams today. It went well from out point of view, as our pitchers threw more strikes than theirs did. This whole "walking" thing will require some getting used to.

    But Katie walked once and reached base on a hit twice, so we will definitely declare the New Bat Experiment to be a success. The first hit was a hustle hit down the first baseline; the second hit better struck on the fly and where the shortstop couldn't quite manage to get to it before it touched down.

    And the team won, so there was much rejoicing. :)

    And Then It Rained

    Jul. 12th, 2017 10:44 pm
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    The hard rain started last night near the end of the All-Star Game, cutting off the DirecTV signal. It was about a minute later that I realized that I could actually stream the game on my phone using the DirecTV app. If I hadn't disconnected the Roku downstairs, I could have cast the screen to the TV. There was about a fifteen second delay relative to the broadcast, but since I wasn't getting the broadcast, that didn't seem to matter nearly so much as it might otherwise.

    There was more hard rain early this morning. About 9 AM the message came in that we were most likely postponing the practice softball game today. I was horribly surprised. :)

    And then there was some more hard rain while I was at breakfast. By the time I headed home, the right lane of northbound Elmhurst Rd. was not something you wanted to drive on.

    It's stopped raining now. With any luck, we'll play that practice softball game tomorrow.

    And try out the new gear Katie got yesterday. :)

    Softball Updating

    Jul. 11th, 2017 11:33 pm
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    We went out to Play It Again Sports to hunt for a new bat for Katie, since the one she's been using won't be in the same place she is for fall softball. An acceptable bat was found, along with a helmet that passes league regulations, a new and larger glove, and a bag to put all of this in.

    We'll see how the bat and glove do tomorrow. And the helmet, although the helmet doesn't do much unless you get hit in the head...

    Julie's Tablet

    Jul. 10th, 2017 11:01 pm
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    Julie's tablet is misbehaving again. This is really annoying.

    I've cleared the cache partition. Let's see if that helps...
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