I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

October 28, 2015 - 12:27 p.m.

Baseball Has Been Berry Berry Good To Me

This can get interesting, I spent much of yesterday sleeping. I'll blame the infection and the antibiotics for having no energy. I couldn't stay awake watching Blake's 7. Of course it was a terrible episode, Sarcophagus. But still I needed to go out and buy milk and then make dinner and I had so much trouble doing it. I finally shook the cobwebs from my head and made it but it wasn't easy. By the time I was back from getting the milk the World Series had started. I was feeling bad that I couldn't watch. I decided to Google to find a way that I could and I found one! If you have a cable account you can watch online, Fox Sports. I could use the account of the house I live in but my landlady never responded when I asked for the password so I use somebody else's. It's the same way I watch HBO. So I got to watch my beloved Mets in their first World Series appearance in 15 years. I picked it up in the second inning, or was it the top of the third? In any event I got my money's worth, 14 innings of baseball. Sure the end was disappointing but I got to watch. .I'll watch again tonight. I'll watch every game I can. It's baseball. It's a part of my life I've been missing. It's the Mets! I was wrong about the team this year, they did far better than I thought .That hardly ever happens but everything clicked for them this year except for Wright. Most importantly deGrom showed that his sudden emergence last year was not a fluke. He is now my favorite Met. I still think they need to pick up some new position players next year but I no longer think they need 8 position players.

I started getting annoyed at the announcers early. There was that entire discussion on how the shift against Duda gives a huge base-running advantage to the Mets like it's such a shock that Murphy went from first to third on a ground ball single to right. That's what usually happens. It's not from the shift. And do they really think one play means that a strategy that has been shown to be effective should be dropped? Idiocy.

That wasn't what bothered my friends but they were bothered by the announcing; I saw it all over my Facebook feed. Jack Buck was a particular target of ire. I'm with that. I have never liked him. But even before I read what others were saying I started to wonder, why are national baseball announcers worse than the local ones. The Mets have been lucky or perhaps skillful and have usually had very good and even great announcers. There have been exceptions of course, Fran Healy, need I say more? And it took Darling and Hernandez a little while to work the kinks out, but they did. So why are national announcers that have more resources to work with worse? My hypothesis is that their audiences are worse. Local sports teams are watched for the most part by the serious fans, people that watch many games and understand baseball. In the post-season there is a far wider audience that is not as familiar with the game ; the announcers feel the need to educate them on the fine points. But that often means talking out of their hat. They say all their unsupported notions and hunches. More importantly they are afraid that they need to entertain an audience for which the game isn't enough so they talk and talk and talk. If it were Dizzy Dean singing Wabash Cannonball it was be fine but Jack Buck is no Dizzy Dean.

What I just did there, try to find structural reasons for a systematic weakness is something I do. When some group of people is so often bad there's going to be a reason for it. It's not because people are evil or everyone is incompetent. Football coaches kick too much, field goals, punting, and PATs because they get far more flack for being wrong by not kicking than they do for kicking. It's not that they are too stupid to understand the analyses that show they kick too often. There are reasons certain businesses are rife with corruption. There are reasons almost all competitive cyclists doped their blood. Economists say there are no bad people only bad incentives.

None of that makes Jack Buck easier to take. I was actually less annoyed at him than usual because I have not been able to watch baseball on TV for years and I'm thrilled to be able to watch again. The Natural is perhaps the greatest baseball film ever. There's a scene where Roy is trying to explain his feelings to Iris. He struggles and he fumfers and ends up saying, "I love baseball." That's true and simple and he can understand it. I love baseball.

I must have missed taking one dose of oral anti-biotic this week. I should have taken my last pill this morning but I have one left. Maybe that's why my leg still hurts. I hope the infection has cleared and there's just residual damage. I will be relieved to not have the digestive side-effects. The constant running to the bathroom is probably responsible for much of my enervation.

Oh I didn't talk about dinner last night and it was so good. I had a Cajun chicken breast and Gnocchi. I now make my own version of cream sauce for it. It's basically what I put in mashed potatoes, butter, half & half (last night I used milk), olive oil, and garlic salt. For dessert I had choco-Lavinator. I'll finish that off today. Now to make breakfast. Bacon and eggs? I think so. Here's a tip, do not buy Krasdale bacon. It's terrible. The slices are paper thin and there's not enough fat. I can't even cook the eggs in the fat when I'm done. I have to add oil.

I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.

Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
Wise Madness is Now In Session - May 28, 2018
The NFL and the First Amendment - May 27, 2018
On The Road Again - May 26, 2018
Oliver the Three-Eyed Crow - May 25, 2018

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Horvendile October 28, 2015
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