post

Tribute Rerun: We interrupt this blog to bring you the World Series of….Sailing!?

I’m not a really fan of sailing–I don’t even play one on T.V.  But after Team Oracle USA’s stunning comeback victory–8 consecutive race wins to retain the Americas Cup after trailing New Zealand 8-1–I felt inspired to repeat this post from September of last year, a recount of probably the only time ever in my life I will watch a complete world class sailing event, in person or on TV.  And hats off to Team Oracle for staging perhaps the greatest comeback in sports history.

“What do you want to be a sailor for? There are greater storms in politics than you will ever find at sea. Piracy, broadsides, blood on the decks. You will find them all in politics.”–David Lloyd George
Sailing?  Really?!!  If you know me, you were expecting baseball, golf, poker–anything but sailing.  What do I know about sailing?  Put it this way: when I arrived in the San Francisco Bay area Saturday night, I had no idea that the first event in the  America’s Cup World Series 2012-2013 season was going on here this week.  But leave it to my 90-year-old stepmother, Elizabeth, to know exactly what’s going on in her territory.  We hopped on the ferry from Alameda to pier 41 in San Francisco harbor Sunday morning,  found a great and uncrowded vantage point at the end of pier 45,  and watched the final race in the first of 4 series events leading up to next year’s  Louis Vuitton Cup and America’s Cup final.   It was surprisingly colorful and fun to watch, and during the two legs of the race that came right by us, we had a better view than anyone other than the helicopters and seabirds overhead.
The results:  Defending champion Oracle Team USA–Spithill came on with a rush at the finish of the 11-boat fleet race but fell three seconds short of the winner, Italian  Team Luna Rosa–Piranha;  but the second place finish was good for a one point victory for  Sptithill over Piranha in the week-long final standings.   The Vuitton cup held here next summer will determine the challenger to Oracle USA for the  34th America’s Cup final in September 2013.
post

Keridatch Aphibarnrat and the Funniest Names in Golf

My monthly guest post on The Blog of Funny Names. Appropriately enough, I’ll play 9 holes this afternoon. Sadly, neither my body nor my sense of humor will hold up for 18,

The Blog of Funny Names

“They call it golf because all the other 4-letter words are taken.”–Raymond Floyd

Next to the ripsnorting humor of baseball and football names, I have to admit that Golf is a bit funny-name challenged.  But all is not lost: seek and ye shall find.  Here is a look at some of the funniest names, past and present, from the game Mark Twain called “a good walk spoiled.”

Keridatch Aphibarnrat is a rising 24-year old Thai player who qualified to play in his first two majors this year.  He has also won on the European tour.  According to Wikipedia he is also known as Anujit HirunratanakornHuh? Don’t ask, I have no idea.  I do know that regardless of what they call him here or in Thailand, any name with “barn rat” in it has to look funny to us.  I must admit that, in my own professional field…

View original post 307 more words

post

Photo Op #6: The U.S. Open

“This taught me a lesson, but I’m not quite sure what it is.”–John McEnroe

“I smile a lot, I win a lot, and I’m really sexy.”–Serena Williams

My golf AND tennis games feel like this sometimes.

My golf AND tennis games feel like this sometimes.

Check off another bucket list item.  I finally spent a day at the U.S. Open tennis championship, on Tuesday, September 3.  It taught me a couple of things, and unlike John McEnroe, it think I know what they are.

The first is, what in the world was I waiting for?  I should have done this years ago, considering I live only about 65 miles (or 100km) from the Billie Jean King Tennis Center.  The second?  If’ I’m going to take pictures, maybe I should bring something more advanced than my iPhone 4.  Yes, I actually am considering the upgrade to the 5S based on the reviews I’ve read of the camera.  In spite of my previous post, I’m betting I can’t  get any more distracted than I already am.  Take a look at the following images and then take the poll to provide me with your opinion of what I should do for a camera if I go next year.  Oh, as far as the question of Serena being sexy, we’ll keep those opinions to ourselves.

.

.

The view from my seat from the loge in Ashe Stadium. The iPhone 4 picture only makes it look like nose bleed territory.

The view from my seat from the loge in Ashe Stadium. The iPhone 4 picture only makes it look like nose bleed territory.

.

.

.

THE DRAW

THE DRAW

.

.

The top seeded women's doubles team of Errani and Vinci going about their business.

The top seeded women’s doubles team of Errani and Vinci going about their business.

OK.   So now, tell me what I should do for capturing images if I go to open next year.

post

Equations of Everday Life #1.1: Smartphone Distraction Update

“What’s the killer app?  Making a phone call.”–Steve Jobs

“I only have dummy phones.”–Don Rickles

With the announcement of the new iPhone models 5S and 5C its time to revisit, with slight modification, the original post of this series.  Appropriately enough, I now use an app on my iPhone for tracking my bicycle treks.  So now I have distracted cycling to go along with distracted everything else.  To paraphrase Don Rickles, we only have dummies with phones.  Present company?  No comment.  For the original version of this post, click here.

.

.

.

.

.

THE ALGORITHM OF SMART PHONE DISTRACTION

Don’t be deceived.  It is far more complicated than it looks.   Where attention to the outside world in the absence of a smart phone (Aa)equals 1, then attention to the outside world in the presence of a smartphone (As) is approximately equal to the inverse of the number of cool apps on said smartphone (n) times the I-Phone or equivalent model number (m).    Yes, approximately equal to—because nothing is that precise in the quantum mechanical world of electronics, and anyway I like using that smart looking squiggly thingy over the equal sign.   Taking the example of my own I-Phone 4, I have 14 apps I would describe as being “cool.”  As 14 x 4 is 56, then when I am packing my phone, my attention level to the outside world is an astonishingly small 1/56th of normal.  This is dangerous.  As I’m reputed to be a major space shot to begin with,  I should probably be banned from breathing and texting at the same time.   But that calculation can wait for another day, as even the basics get much more complicated.

Siri

What will happen if I upgrade to the new I-Phone 5s and add the pernicious feature known as Siri?

It gets ugly in a hurry.  The equation now looks like this:

NEW SIRI

Yikes!  We now have to square the denominator and in the personal example stated above, my attention level would be 1/702of my normally spaced out self.  This computes to 1/4900.

I don’t know if the Planck length applies to this,  but a few more apps and new models and my attention level will certainly approach it.  Also note that the “s” on the right side of the equation stands for Siri and has no numerical value.  It just makes the equation appear more complex and disguises my general ignorance of advanced mathematics. Anyway, this demonstrates why I don’t yet have Siri.  If I did, I would have proposed to her long ago and been off to Vegas for a quickie divorce from my wife by now.  Ah, for the days when the internet was still in black and white.

Endnote:  The addition of the new model 5C creates a conundrum.  How should we calculate for that, and for that matter, what’s the difference? Well, C apparently stands for cheap, and that’s as in construction, not price.   Any suggestions how to compute that?

%d bloggers like this: