The Watering Hole, Saturday, April 7th, 2012: Signs of Spring




Forsythia (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Daffodils and other spring flowers are blooming all over, and forsythia, having gotten over their confusion in November, blaze like floral sunlight in yards and along roadsides.

Opening Day at Shea, 2003

Of course, there are other signs of Spring.
Shea Stadium, Opening Day 2003

Shea Stadium, Opening Day 2003

For baseball fans, Spring means Opening Day. The New York Mets began their 2012 season by hosting the Atlanta Braves for Opening Day, and won by a score of 1 – 0. Of course, as die-hard Mets fans know, it’s likely all downhill from there.

This is our daily open thread — What’s on your mind today?

114 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, April 7th, 2012: Signs of Spring

  1. Since baseball was mentioned I’ll pose the question I just asked my neighbor:

    Theoretically, in a 9 inning baseball game, what is the least number of pitches that could be thrown by a pitcher?

    My neighbor, an idiot extraordinaire, got extremely pissed when I told him the answer. Not because its a trick question, its a theoretical question.

      • You are correct.

        My neighbor began his answer, “Let’s see, 3 strikes per out times 9 innings is 18!” I’m serious about that. Then he said, “But what if its longer that nine innings?”

        Fortunately, the neighbors brother was present and laughed as hard as me while confirming I had said “theoretically” and “9 inning game”.

    • I wouldn’t even include the theoretical. If every batter hit the first pitch and it resulted in an out for all but the 1st batter in the bottom of the 9th hit a home run…game should take about 35 minutes. Unless it was televised and then it would be closer to 3 hours.

    • “Theoretically, in a 9 inning baseball game, what is the least number of pitches that could be thrown by a pitcher?”


      “A pitcher” could, theoretically, sit out the entire game on the bench.

  2. 1 – 0 ? Sorry a game where a successful player is one who hits the ball once in every three tries does not sounds like a spectacle. Hope the hot dogs were hot and the beer was cold and not made from corn starch.

    • Some people don’t think it’s sport unless there is an enormous amount of (fruitless) running back and forth. Throw in the possibility of a nil-nil result and they’re ecstatic.

      It’s all about the tension in baseball, although I love a good small ball game. Notice, too, that the baseball fans here do not make fun of the footie fans. Much.

      • I remember watching a ballgame once. Back in the fifties, I think it was. It was boring. Very very boring. Nobody scored a touchdown during the first nine quarters so they had to go into overtime. I finally turned off the TV and went to bed. Not sure if it’s over or not. Yet. For anyone but me, that is.

  3. What the hell does this mean?

    Invalid Server Certificate
    You attempted to reach, but the server presented an invalid certificate.
    You cannot proceed because the website operator has requested heightened security for this domain.

    When you connect to a secure website, the server hosting that site presents your browser with something called a “certificate” to verify its identity. This certificate contains identity information, such as the address of the website, which is verified by a third party that your computer trusts. By checking that the address in the certificate matches the address of the website, it is possible to verify that you are securely communicating with the website you intended, and not a third party (such as an attacker on your network).

    In this case, the server certificate or an intermediate CA certificate presented to your browser is invalid. This may mean that the certificate is malformed, contains invalid fields, or is not supported.

  4. Easter sunrise in the badlands of New Mexico was barely visible through the whirling dust. The pilgrims who hiked to Chimayo alongside the interstate highway carrying crosses remedied their aching feet by drinking heavily last night, and are now nursing hangovers and looking with nausea upon the chocolate and jellybeans the kids wave under their noses.The ravens and the jays went about their usual egg hunt, at the expense of smaller birds, and somewhere I’m imagining the bunny was carried aloft screaming it’s death cry in the talons of a golden eagle. Myself, I’m going for a stroll and roll away some stones.

  5. TP has a post up about KO. I began to wonder where Keith could go and OWN popped in my mind. Any thoughts here about that?

  6. Why I love Easter.

    Went to the local market today to get some coffee and they had Cure-81 hams on sale for a buck a pound. Since they’re closed tomorrow for the Rising of the ______, I guess they figured they were a little long on the expensive ham and so marked it way down. I bought one, have deboned and defatted it and will have enough breakfast ham in refrigerator and freezer to last, at my 3 oz per day diet rate (130 calories), perhaps as much as seven years, give or take a pkg of turkey sausage or two. All for less than fifteen bucks.

    I love Easter! Also am pleased I’m not Jewish either, what with preference for ham over lamb, and allathat stuff. πŸ˜€

    Oh, and yesterday was indeed Good Friday. We finally went to town and got our Colorado Driver Licenses (we figured that after nearly four years of residence, we really should at least TRY to play fair). What was Good about Good Friday was that they didn’t ask us how long we’d been in Colorado, so we didn’t have to lie. There’s a hundred dollar late fee per person for those who wait even six months, much less four years. Anyway, now we’ll be able to vote this year. Last week, the fucking state legislature passed their stupid voter-ID anti-voting-fraud-official-picture-required bill. The gov hasn’t signed it yet, but still, as my Scoutmaster used to say a lot, “Be Prepared.”

    And now we is.

    Happy Rising to all.

    • If you had to pay anything to get those licenses (and I find it hard to believe you wouldn’t have to), and if there were no other ID you could get in order to be eligible to vote, then you have just paid a poll tax. Since poll taxes are specifically banned by the Constitution, it sounds to me like you have grounds for getting whatever you paid for your licenses back. Might be worth a try just to make a point (provided you can get the ACLU or someone else to pay for the lawyers.)

  7. Saturday in Hell

    “Hey Scratch, I’m back!”
    “Christ, has it been a year already?”
    “I’m not early am I? It’s boring, just sitting around in between my birthday and my resurrection…”
    “I hope you’re not complaining, if you’ll remember I did offer you a job once upon a time.”
    “Eternity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I keep bugging the Ol’ Man to let me get on social media to have something to do, but he just says “Free Will dude, Free Will!”
    “Yeah, well I’m busier than a lobbyist in Congress. Jesus, one war after another! And I’ve got to say that it’s starting to get to me, your churches up there getting all the credit. For over 1,500 years now there’s been one pogrom, crusade or genocide after another, and all in YOUR name. I’ve got nearly the whole lot of them under direct supervision, and they think it’s you who they’re doing it for!”
    “Beautiful, isn’t it? Your wildest dream come true! Got anything to drink?”
    “Just that bottle of Sangria you brought the last time, you know I won’t touch it.”
    “Room temperature I suppose…”
    “Sorry pal, I just don’t have time for this anymore… I’ve got bush wars flaring up all over the globe, and now I’ve got the United States dry as a popcorn fart, just waiting for a careless smoker who’ll make the first civil war look like a backyard barbeque. Do you think we can skip this annual charade about you rising from the dead for awhile? Like, maybe till you return again with the trumpets and all that…”
    “Now you’re getting mean. You know I’m kind of touchy about that, I thought we were friends…”
    “Oh quit being so maudlin. You had your day, now it’s mine. Just go home, tend your lilies and quit bugging me.”
    “You’re being cruel! I hate you!”
    “That’s the spirit!”
    “I’ll be back! You just wait!”
    “Promises, promises… so long Snowball…”

  8. I’m nearly finished making my yard presentable for the holiday, not so much because tomorrow is Easter, but because it has rained three weekends in a row, and this is the first weekend the grass was dry enough to mow and use the grass catcher. Nice cool temps out there too, as it barely broke 70. If the neighbors want to think I did it for Easter, so be it.

  9. America is such a Christian nation. It is incredibly obvious. Christmas is about Santa and presents and pagan trees and such and Easter is about eggs and bunnies. Is there a Christian holiday people recognize for its divine significance? The two big ones seem to be all about something other than the holy stuff.

    • I will suggest August 28, the Feast Day of Saint Augustine, the Patron Saint of brewers. I’m not catholic much less christian but I drink religiously. πŸ˜›

  10. If you leave an even layer of dust – no one’s the wiser.
    It’s when you begin to clean the work never seems to end.

        • To keep his creatures occupied?

          I’ve looked at a lot of geology over the past few months, and still struggle to grasp the eons of time in the forming of it.
          When I see smooth round wave washed beach rocks now embedded in a compressed convoluted mass of stone with it’s own growths of crystal in between, I can almost get my mind around it.

          • Those sound like things a supreme deity would be concerned about. God has OCD or he wants everyone else to have it. And we laugh at the other mythologies?

  11. The white pelicans are still here on the Rio Grande! (Caballo Lake)
    A whole flotilla went sailing down the wind, far on the other side.
    Knowing where they’ll end up this evening, I’ll finish up the camp (household) chores and go for a drive. In a little while… maybe.

    • Don’t have to go anywhere, they just flew over to my beach. A reward for doing the dishes before I need them again!

  12. The dog and I went to visit my friend Bob on his farm. We’re enjoying one of the first really beautiful Spring days, so Bob and I sat out in the sun while Ralph explored. For a hound there’s nothing to compare to wandering around on a farm. Bob has all sorts of trees and bushes and bird feeders everywhere, so I could “bird” from the comfort of my chair, viewing all the varieties that never show up around my place. It’s pretty much the perfect day in the country, with lots of green fields, horses frisking and llamas lying around like piles of wool.

  13. The new voter ID laws are not only disenfranchising the elderly and minorities, they will work against women, too.

    Here’s where women get stuck. American women change their names in about 90 percent of marriages and divorces. So newly married and recently divorced women whose legal names do not match those of their current photo ID will face opposition when voting, especially in the seven states with the stricter voter-ID rules. They cannot provide personal information like a birthday or take an oath swearing to their identity in lieu of showing a photo ID. Instead, they will have to fill out substitute ballots and later return with valid documentation like a certified court document showing a divorce decree or marriage license.

    How convenient…

  14. Pope holds Easter candle at basilica vigil – Yahoo! News

    “Life is stronger than death. Good is stronger than evil. Love is stronger than hate. Truth is stronger than lies,” Benedict, wearing white robes in a symbol of new life, told the faithful in a packed St. Peter’s Basilica.

    “Truth is stronger than lies.” My irony meter just exploded; that the pope would say that on a day in which they which they continue to celebrate a 2,000 year old lie. And from a guy who thinks he’s infallible and talks to an invisible being directly.

    Yeah. Right.

  15. Okay on the subject over voter ID measures, the on in Minnesota is being sent to the voters. While Republicans lacked votes to override a veto, they had enough votes to put an amendment resolution on the ballot. (Why the threshold is lower to change the constitution than to override a veto is a bit odd to me.)

    Voter ID amendment is now up to Minnesota’s voters |

    The ballot question asks voters whether the constitution should be amended to “require all voters to present valid photo identification to vote” and to require the state “to provide free identification to eligible voters.”
    The language that would be inserted into the state Constitution sets up a new system of provisional ballots, equalizes eligibility and identity requirements in a way that could affect election-day registration and absentee voting, and requires the IDs to be “government-issued,” which would limit the range of IDs that could be used. That language would not appear on the ballot. The ballot question as written also makes no reference to the end of “vouching.”

    It seems to me that if you’re going to change the wording of an existing constitution by popular vote, the EXACT wording needs to be on the ballot. This feels like bait-and-switch.

    • Totally agree on the use of language, zxbe. If it’s so important, it’s important enough to do right.

      So will the state also pay the fees required for people to obtain copies of their birth certificate, marriage certificate, or divorce decree?

      Those fees constitute a poll tax, as well.

      • Indeed they do. The language they’re going to have on the ballot will make it seem like it’s all free. It says the state will provide a photo ID at no cost. All that really means is there won’t be any fees for the ID itself. The cost of getting to the county building, and producing all other documentation will likely be up to the individual to bear.

        • Exactly, and people usually don’t think about things like that unless it affects them directly. Just what this country needs, another shitty law/amendment.

          • Although, opponents are already gearing up for a court battle since what is on the ballot does not reflect the actual change. Courts in other states have struck down such amendments due to the misleading language.

            • The thing these rightwing bastards achieve in this is a level of obfuscation, in that they try to seem like completely reasonable people (Hey, we’re just trying to protect the vote. Is asking for ID really so difficult?), and at the same time manage to make those of us fighting to make things fair for everyone look like unreasonable nitpickers.

              And it friggin’ works.

  16. I found this article encouraging, Andrew Sullivan
    (I have little clue about who he is or what he does) decries the ruination of Christian thought and the basic teachings of Jesus by Republican politicians and their ilk.

    • Hard to easily summarize Sullivan. He is an openly gay, Catholic, conservative blogger. He’s a frequent guest on Bill Maher (and I just saw him in the last couple of weeks on there). He’s quite outspoken on just about every issue.

      He was pro-Iraq at first, but ultimately soured on it when Bush bungled everything.

      He’s intelligent and articulate, but I do find a little goes a long way, and if I watch him too much on Maher or other problems he quickly starts to annoy me.

      From the Maher program I just watched he’s down on the hierarchy of religion and views that it should be more of a grass-roots thing.

      At least that’s my Reader’s Digest version of it all.

      • That’s pretty good, Zxbe. Sullivan is also a regular on the Chris Matthews Show, a once a week show with Chris and other journalists/tv news people in a panel. Sullivan is HIV positive, He was for Obama in 2012, and probably will be again. He reminds me of David Frum, another conservative that just can’t sign on to the radical agenda the current Republican party is pursuing.

    • On an episode of Maher I watched last night (but I think was from a week or so ago), they also had Neil Degrasse Tyson. A scientist.

      They also had on Bob Lutz, a rightie who used to be head of GM.

      The subject of global warming came up and Lutz of course started spewing the talking points. They put Tyson on the spot to defend the scientific consensus that supports it. Lutz was having no part of it. So Tyson came up with a brilliant answer. This is my paraphrasing and not his exact quote:

      If you don’t want to be believe the scientists, just look at nature itself. The migratory patterns of animals and plants are changing as they can now survive in areas previously too cold. And nature doesn’t have an ideology.

    • Disheartening! Farms should definitely have to share more of the water received.
      To allow the decimation is criminal.

      It boggles my mind the use of whole birds and fancy feathers to adorn hats, lo those many decades ago, with no regard for the species being ‘done in’.

  17. The thing these rightwing bastards achieve in this is a level of obfuscation, in that they try to seem like completely reasonable people (Hey, we’re just trying to protect the vote. Is asking for ID really so difficult?), and at the same time manage to make those of us fighting to make things fair for everyone look like unreasonable nitpickers.
    And it friggin’ works.

    Sadly it does work. Because they know people don’t pay attention and that little slogans and sound bites work. “Right to work” is a great one. I have a friend who leans Republican (but denies it) and he was telling me how excited he was that they were about to pass “right to work.” Literally all he knew about it was the phrase “right to work” and it sounds good and so he was for it.

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