Thursday, 3 June 2010

The Perfect Game

I rarely follow professional baseball anymore. I haven't watched a complete game in fifteen years. My patience with the business side...the steroids....and the patience with the wannabe stars who aren't worth $5 million a year...have given me a bad taste in my mouth.

Yesterday...came another episode. It's rare that a perfect game is ever thrown. For the Tigers...they had one...and then, in a matter of "crashed".

Armando Galarraga pitched the game, and did in the end...get the win. But an umpire call late in the game...where a runner supposedly beat the throw to first base....was viewed by everyone in the stadium as a screw-up. The Tigers...Galarrage...and everyone in the stadium stood there shocked. The throw beat the runner by half a step (observed easily on video).

The umpire involved....came back after the game to apologize to Galarraga over his mistake...but it was too late to change the situation.

Then the team turned to Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig...the temp guy who has been around for over a decade....who could have reversed the situation...and he refused.

I watched the clip several times. The guy is out.

The only way to remember this game. I'd put a Armando Galarraga's name somewhere in the stadium....put the score down...put "perfect game" next to it, and a asterisk (*). Ruled by every fan that night in the stadium as a perfect game...and cannot be argued by or dead.

Numbers Can Lie

There is a great story over at Fox News:

Amid a drop in the crime rate, the nation's local jail population has declined for the first time since the federal government began keeping count nearly three decades ago.

The government says the number of inmates in county and city jails was more than 767,600 at the end of June 2009. That's down by nearly 18,000 inmates from a year earlier.

Growth in the U.S. jail population has been slowing since 2005. The latest figures are down 2.3 percent and represent the first decline since the Bureau of Justice Statistics began its annual survey of jails in 1982.

The reversal took place as crime in the United States fell dramatically. Violent crime fell 5.5 percent last year and property crime was down 4.9 percent, the third straight year of declines.

I read through this...and it begs some questions.

First, the number of inmates really decreased or did most states just release prisoners early because they can't really afford to hold them. The statistics are unclear here...for good reason.

Second, violent crime fell...5.5 percent...or did cops and prosecutors(as we see in the immigration business)...simply overlook issues and not prosecute? Again, you can't be sure of anything.

Third, did more cops get arrested as part of crime rings? You don't know.

Fourth, on the episode of marijuana crimes....did we just say "no"...we won't arrest you or charge or anything other than confiscate your grass? Did we make it a misdemeanor and just avoid any jail-time? Not that I have any problem with this....but it muddles up the statistics of a decade ago.

When folks start citing statistics....I usually ask stupid questions for a reason. I really don't believe you or your numbers....for a good reason.

My First Visit

Yesterday, for the first time since age 18, I went to a non-Air Force doctor. Since I arrived in DC and now have government-procured healthcare....and pay a fair sum each month for it...I decided to utilize it. So I went to the insurer's web page and found the list of doctors in the Arlington area...and then found the nearest one.

It's not exactly on the subway or bus I came to discover yesterday. After exiting the subway...I had my map and proceeded to walk. I made one wrong turn and then compensated....and I think I walked almost a mile to get to the building.

As I walked was something out of the 1960s. The chairs? All from guy's dining room....the old fashion wood type. Then, there were the lamps from some guy's living room. The pictures...all stuff from yard sales. There were four ladies running the desk and nurse duties.

The facility was run by "dad" and "junior". I came to find out that "dad" is about 75 years old and "junior" is about 50 years old. I got "junior".

The Air Force was always big about taking temperature and doing blood pressure....EVERY SINGLE TIME. These guys? I was moved into the room and five minutes later came "Junior" blood pressure check or temp check. He asked 15 questions to fill in a brief history, and my main request was skin tags to be frozen off. Fifteen minutes later, I was finished.

My cost? Ten bucks. Simple and easy.

I then proceeded to walk back...and missed another turn...and it took another mile to get back to the Metro. It was pushing 92 degrees and 80 percent humidity. I could have gulped down forty ounces of Gator-aid.

I have this desire go back to military healthcare....but I know that this policy deal is the better long-term situation. Besides...the Air Force facilities look like some ultra modern rocket science facility...not this 1960's garage atmosphere. And the last thing to note? There were seven folks waiting in the place as I arrived....all were over 65. I was the only youngster there. Maybe a positive because "Dad" and "Junior" are keeping the old geezers going.

When Facts Cease to Be Facts

Buried out in the news a humorous piece on law and interpretation.

The Supreme Court of Ohio has determined that if a cop says "he thinks" you were speeding, and then he says "he thinks you were going twelve miles over the speed limit", then that's enough to hand out a ticket.

The key? They believe that a officer's visual estimation of speed is enough to support a conviction. Naturally, they tossed in training, certification, and experience.

The same logic ought to hold on alcohol consumed....if the cop thinks you are wasted...then just a ticket and jail...without any real test. Well...they didn't suggest that part, but you can see this coming.

There's a point where you realize that judges are incompetent.

This all came from a ticket that a cop wrote in Ohio...with no radar gun involved. The driver fought it to the state supreme court and he's likely shocked at the final result. Even more shocked? Probably the cop who kept saying he knows what he's doing and they just accepted that statement.