Happening's

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Baseball and robots and king sticks

Beezboll practice is too much for old men. Particularly when they want you to pitch batting practice.

Ouch. If it's bad tonight.... in the morning it will be a woweee.

And yes, I've done the hot shower and two Advils bit.

But I do love to watch the kids play. They hustle and slide and hit and pitch and throw.

I can remember doing that. Well, almost remember. Except we didn't have $60 gloves, $30 bats and at least 50 balls. And cleats? Ya gotta be kidding. If we had a ball with its original cover, a pair of tennis shoes and a bat that was only cracked (but taped carefully!) we felt great.

And we never had batting helmets. Didn't need'em. Well, I did hit Joe C in the head with the bat but it was an accident. No matter what his Mother thought. Besides, he walked a bit sideways even before the unfortunate event... err accident.

After we tired of baseball we would often play "King Stick." This consisted of finding a stick of about 30 inches, sharpening the point and slinging it into the ground. Others would come and try knock yours over, or better yet, split it. There were certain rules and protocols that had to be followed. Any violation could result in direct retaliation of the pushing, shoving, fist slinging kind. Helped get us ready for growing up into the Cold War.

I once had a stick made out of an oak shipping crate that I found behind Holmes' funeral home. I worked for hours sharpening it and declared it was empowered with death rays from the casket it had been shipped in all the way from Memphis. Being oak it was super hard and was never defeated. But I lost it over the winter of 1950. Probably wound up as kindling for the Warm Morning stove that heated the house. But by spring we were into kites and tops and no one knew I had been disarmed.

After practice Grandson and I did the MacDonalds trick. A double quarter pounder and a big shake for him and a Big Mac for me and he ate half my fries. Greater love has no Grandfather than to give up half his fries to the boy who eats continually and anything left near him.

Grandfather is still in AARP. It's politics suck but it offers such wonderful fringe benefits. Among them is this list of the 10 worst places to retire. They are, from the awful to the bad:

Illinois, California, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Ohio, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Nevada.

Well, hellooooooo. As Brother Dave Gardner said, "You ever hear of anybody retiring Up North?"

I was surprised to see Nevada in the Top Worst Ten but the article says its real estate market is bad. Worst foreclosure rate in the nation. Uh.... I wonder if the author understands that you want to retire to a place where $200K will buy you 4000 sq feet in a gated community... Probably not.

Sarcasm aside.....

IF UT DOESN'T FIRE AD HAMILTON THERE IS NO JUSTICE!


1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

And, of course, that comes from Issac Asimov who not only laid out future history for thousands of years, invented ethics for robots.

Now, if we could just adopt them for our politicians.

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"Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them." - Karl Popper

“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves.” - William Pitt

"Logic. There is little logic among the cultural elite, maybe because there is little omnipresent fear of job losses or the absence of money, and so arises a rather comfortable margin to indulge in nonsense." - Victor Davis Hanson