Archive for the 'Life’s Stories' Category

Taffy in the Window #1

This, folks, is the first photograph I ever took with a digital camera. It’s a bit over-exposed, but my first photos are rarely this good….

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I’ll Be Home for Christmas

My Cam Ranh photos are the earliest I’m confident I can date. One (it’s of the parade ground) was taken on the 14th, four (more or less like this) were taken on the 15th, and three were shots taken through our airplane’s window of the sun rising over the Pacific on the 16th.

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Richard

Another version of the story is that I’ve been walking South Haven’s beaches my entire life. My family loved–and still loves–Lake Michigan’s shore. South Haven’s the closest shore to Kalamazoo, so that was our easiest destination.

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Farmyard

For the first few years I lived in the Lansing area I didn’t own a car, so I’d bicycle between my apartment in (or near) Lansing and my parents’ home in Kalamazoo a couple times a month. I’d leave from work on Friday evening, spend the weekend, and return on Sunday afternoon. Most of these trips took about 5 hours; if I hurried I could do the 75 miles or so in four.

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Lake Michigan, with dunes

Five years ago we headed north for our usual Traverse City vacation to celebrate Joan’s birthday. It occurred to me that I didn’t remember making a reservation, so I got on the horn with Pointes North. Found I was right; hadn’t reserved a room. They could accommodate us starting tomorrow….

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Millrace

The park’s mostly a rather steep wilderness on the side of the gorge, but its most famous feature is Glade Creek Mill. This is that mill, as the sign testifies, but it’s none of the usual pictures.I’ve taken those photographs, too, but….

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The Broken Maple

Got home; found the neighbors out in the streets. Seems a twister’d hit Mulliken. A quick survey of our yard showed three young trees ruined, a wee bit of damage to our garage, and a bunch of knocked down flowers. We were fortunate.

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The Last Tulip

A few stubborn plants refused to move. This was the last; the photo was taken nearly two decades after I made the original plantings.

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Of Old Baseball Gloves and Sabermetrics

Anyway, the thing which strikes me about Baseball Between the Numbers is that it’s largely grown obsolete in just a half-decade. For almost 20 years, baseball management largely resisted serious statistical analysis. Management largely consisted of former players, and few were inclined to take outside analysis seriously. This was partly willful blindness–“He never played the game”–and partly statistical ignorance. But a generation later, baseball’s management’s (unexpectedly) become more businesslike, and a newer generation of baseball players–and coaches and field managers–includes a sprinkling of folks who grew up reading James, Pete Palmer, or authors influenced by James and Palmer. Some of those players have moved to front office jobs. And while fans still have blind spots, they’re generally more aware that many numbers are influenced by ballpark and batting order, and that there are legitimate reasons to debate baseball’s accepted wisdom.

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Automation

All in all it was a fun summer. I’ve always claimed this was my favorite job. Three years later, I gather, I’d been replaced by a computer. Hmmm.

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