Monday, December 9, 2013
My two cents
Welcome to the latest feature in the tradition of (all the other features where I just throw a bunch of random crap together in one post), My Two Cents! Today, I have several things to sound off about, including:
-The HORRIBLE refereeing in the NFL this year. NOT ONLY did not one, but two officiating crews get their wee-wees spanked by the league last week; not only can I honestly say that I heard announcers say to the effect of, "I can't believe that call" in at least half of the games Sunday (and mind you, that's just the sections of games you get on NFL RedZone), but one of those very refereeing crews that got disciplined last week (not to mention names, Jeff Triplette) reviewed a call in which everyone plainly saw that a player got tripped near the goal line, fell flat prior to crossing the goal line, and bounced across the line. The ref on the field called a touchdown, and even the announcers (Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf) said he had been tripped by an opponent and was down before crossing the goal. And when Triplette (oops, there I went and named him) announced his review decision, It went like this:
Ref: ...the runner was not down by contact before crossing the goal line, TOUCHDOWN."
Dierdorf: ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
Gumbel: What did he think made him trip?
Later, the ref explained to pool reporters that they had basically ignored everything but if he had been touched AFTER he hit the ground. Mind you, the runner never got up and crossed the line- he hit the ground and bounced across.
If that's not enough, at least two all-pro players (Minnesota's Adrian Peterson and Seattle's Richard Sherman) chanced hefty fines by speaking out (Sherman on the team's website, AP on Twitter) about poor officiating costing their teams their games.
In the meantime, the league's best ref, Ed Hoculi, was stuck in this mess in Philly:
A field that had just been swept prior to kickoff had two inches of snow on it before the first score went up, and Hoculi sadly said, "We can't see the goal lines."
Oh, speaking of Football, unless Dez Bryant and Dallas' kicker and Defense score 20 points to Matt Forte and Jason Witten's 0, those of you supporting "Team Laurie" will get your wish with an all-Laurie Super Bowl in our fantasy league. I'm down, but I ain't out yet!
Next, Nelson Mandela. Since he died, we've been barraged by those praising him (including our far from original President, who stole the line about Lincoln, "Now he belongs to the ages,), and those reminding us of his terrorist beginnings and communist leanings. And my first instinct is to go along with the latter, but consider- when he was fighting against Apartheid, the only way to get any attention in Africa was to be on one side or the other of the Cold War, and the US of A was using South Africa's Apartheid government as their proxy against Russia and their Cuban proxys in Angola. Thus, he had few other places to turn. Also, consider that his communist leanings were like those in the rest of Africa- once the money dried up, so did the communists. South Africa is a western-style democracy now- and no more Apartheid.
And a word about Apartheid. It came into power as the British colonial governments turned over the reins to the white citizens who were afraid of losing their rule to the blacks. Not necessarily noble, but look at any of the black governments from Mali to Zimbabwe, and what is happening in any of them (for example, the CAR where French forces are trying to re-establish order as we speak), and ask yourself if you REALLY blame them.
Next up, the anniversaries of Pearl Harbor on Saturday and John Lennon's murder on Sunday. I've gotten to a point that I avoid these anniversaries, because so many bloggers do a fine job without me. But for what it's worth, here's my tuppence. As for Pearl- it shouldn't have had to come to that. But nobility calls for us to wait to be struck before we can fight for what's right. In the mean time, the women of Nanking are raped. Or the citizens of Phnom Pehn are slaughtered. Or a US Ambassador dies in Benghazi. Then we can fight. If then. Because the United States is ALWAYS in the wrong. At least if you listen to the same people that allowed all that, we are. Never mind, they are of the same party that supported slavery, the existence of which is often used as proof that the US of A is always wrong. Funny, I've often heard it said that all white folks should apologize for slavery, but I NEVER hear that Democratic Party apologize for championing the cause of slavery for half a century.
As to Lennon, I mentioned this in a comment on Bouncin' Barb's tribute (see here) - Nobody deserves to die like that, just for coming out into the public. Even a "godless communist" like John.
At this point, I'd like to discuss the Multi-ply machine at work. This is kinda like my machine, purchased in order to cut the carpet orders that will one day flow into our plant. Right now, we're using it to cut enclosures. What's an enclosure?
The enclosure we built custom for pontoons. As you can see, there are sections of fabric (cut on MY machine), and sections of "glass" (aka thick clear plastic) and screen mesh, which we cut on the multi because it REALLY ruins my blades. But my point here is not the enclosure, but the multi, the most user-unfriendly machine not powered by some tiny, smart mouthed dinosaur deep inside. First, unlike my machine which has a plastic conveyor belt with holes for the vacuum to grip the material, the multi sucks through a half belt made up of what might best be described as 3X3 squares of the prickly side of Velcro all grown up. So you need to go up the side by the controls first, pulling up your material, which immediately sticks to the squares. Then you climb through the rack that holds the material roll to straighten it on the edge of the belt. THEN, you have to work your way around an enormous vacuum-exhaust tube in order to straighten the other side. All the time, you are trying to avoid hitting any of the two dozen emergency stop buttons that prickle the machine like a porcupine with mange. If you somehow get it straight enough, far enough up the belt, and covered sufficiently with the plastic necessary to hold in the vacuum, you next will have to watch out for where the "Velcro" part of the belt transitions to the more traditional "I don't need no steenkin' vacuum" belt that takes stuff to the other end. Because you then have a "cow-catcher" that (in theory) carries the material over the gap. Problem being, as the squares get used, they get gaps between them... and the vacuum sucks up the material into the depths of the gaps and thence under the cow catcher. If you catch it immediately, you have a 50% chance of getting your part out without damage. If you wait a little too late, you have a 75% chance of having the maintenance guy come over and remove the plate the cow-catcher is attached to FROM BOTH SIDES to pull the now destroyed part out. And woe to you if you decide to hit one of the many e-stops to halt the thing rather than the ONE pause button (which is on the constantly moving control panel), because at that point, the machine forgets what you're cutting, and the process to get it back is every bit as clunky as everything else about the damn thing.
Finally, here's how my hockey teams are doing.
Rouen, France, 12-0-1, in first by 12 points.
SonderjyskE, Denmark, 15-4-0, 1st by 1 point.
Reckord VSV, 18-9-3, 2nd 4 points out.
Stavenger, Norway, 14-6-3, 2nd 10 points out.
Sanok, Poland, 15-8-4, 3rd 14 points out.
Sheffield, UK, 12-7-2, 3rd 7 points out.
Val Pusteria, Italy, 11-6-2, 4th 6 points out.
JYP Jyvaskyla, Finland, 14-10-7, 5th 17 points out.
Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg, Germany, 14-8-4, 5th 4 points out.
Ocelari Trinec, Czech Rep., 13-12-4, 6th 14 points out.
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, KHL (Russia), 13-12-9, 14th (of 28) 23 points out.
Farjestad, Sweden, 10-11-8, 8th 25 points out.
Geneve Servette, Switz., 10-12-9, 8th 19 points out
Tohoku Free Blades, Asia, 9-10-3,th 22 points out.
Fort Wayne Komets, ECHL, 6-8-6, 13th (of 22) 15 points out.
Martin, Slovakia, 9-14-8, 8th 27 out.
Lida, Belarus, 9-19-3, 7th 58 points out.
NY Islanders, NHL, 5-17-8, 28th of 30 46 points back.