This is a new record of the iteration number. 750 000 000 ! This value took more than 10 gigabytes of ram to render the reference.
Don’t worry, spiders,
I keep house
This is a new record of the iteration number. 750 000 000 ! This value took more than 10 gigabytes of ram to render the reference.
Don’t worry, spiders,
I keep house
Because I carry the equipment bags and make out the line-ups and provide ad hoc and amateur cognitive behavioral therapy interventions, I possess awesome power within the Free Play Softball League leadership, you know, the one I convened prior to this season. This power may be trumped by a harsh god with his passive-aggressive approach to guiding the weather. Due to this more powerful deity I worked out parameters with m=the co-leaders for starting softball games in the late fall, past the baseball world series. The conditions must be dry, the field playable, and, temp in the forties.
Still, in the face of such gods the free players turned out on a windy rainy Sunday morning. Not in force, here at the end of the season, (in which the league has expanded its base of regulars by the most new and second/third year players in years,) but turning out nine players. Sadly, once I got there a half hour late, summoned by a text, the drizzle intensified.
Smiling, I walked up to Francis and told him,
All these players are irrepressible.
He said, You can play in this, we just don’t have enough players.
Later Dave told me, “we used to play games in much worse conditions.”
Indeed. It is fitting in this 2017 Free Play Softball League season that the original spark of the league made its late season claim. We’ve played through falling snow once upon a time.
The assembled players convened a batting practice as the curtain started to very slowly unfold.
I started playing Free Play Softball League in 2002. At the time, the game was co-ed to the magnitude of six female players, Alice, Laine, Angie, Amy, Linda, Mary. By 2009, the attrition of female players had reached its “negative zenith.” The game labored on and became more spiky, masculine, boyish, and, mildly less civilized. However, the boyish part reflects aging and regression, not an influx of many younger players.
This year it appears Free Play Softball League has developed two women players.
Skill is fine, and genius is splendid, but the right contacts are more valuable than either. (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
I have no idea how they found their way to our game. East siders. I know Nicole played softball in high school. She and Mia are feisty, and I suspect both see right through the antics and legacy patterns of the recent league.
As a group, we had our most civilized season in many years. Just sayin’, (and suggesting something about the relationship between an increase in wholeness and courtesy.)
Another beautiful day for our Sunday Free Play Softball game. The weather has been mild all summer and now is unseasonably warm in the early fall. We’ll keep playing until the increasing cold knocks our numbers below twelve.
What is arrogance?
It is being oblivious and insensible to what is essential,
as the ice is unaware of the sun.
When ice becomes conscious of the sun, it doesn’t last
long: it warms and melts and flows away.
— Rumi; Mathnawi V:1941-1942
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
The world is run as much by folly as by wisdom, as much by order as by chaos, but–and this “but” is huge–these accidents may still intend something interesting.—James Hillman
Nicole joined us for the first time. Mia came back. There are several additional first year players. This year has seen the return of second and third year players.
To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness. – John Dewey
A 20-8 lead was almost completely vaporized by a nine run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning. I believe the largest comeback for a win was nine runs. Several years ago there was a fourteen run comeback that tied and ended the game, and, I vaguely recall a ten run comeback that tied the game but led to a one run loss in an extra inning.
Here And Now
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Here, in the heart of the world,
Here, in the noise and the din,
Here, where our spirits were hurled
To battle with sorrow and sin,
This is the place and the spot
For knowledge of infinite things;
This is the kingdom where Thought
Can conquer the prowess of kings.
Wait for no heavenly life,
Seek for no temple alone;
Here, in the midst of the strife,
Know what the sages have known.
See what the Perfect Ones saw-
God in the depth of each soul,
God as the light and the law,
God as beginning and goal.
Earth is one chamber of Heaven,
Death is no grander than birth.
Joy in the life that was given,
Strive for perfection on earth.
Here, in the turmoil and roar,
Show what it is to be calm;
Show how the spirit can soar
And bring back its healing and balm.
Stand not aloof nor apart,
Plunge in the thick of the fight.
There in the street and the mart,
That is the place to do right.
Not in some cloister or cave,
Not in some kingdom above,
Here, on this side of the grave,
Here, should we labor and love.
by William Butler Yeats
The intellect of man is forced to choose
perfection of the life, or of the work,
And if it take the second must refuse
A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark.
When all that story’s finished, what’s the news?
In luck or out the toil has left its mark:
That old perplexity an empty purse,
Or the day’s vanity, the night’s remorse.
by Robert William Service
If I could practice what I preach,
Of fellows there would few be finer;
If I were true to what I teach
My life would be a lot diviner.
If I would act the way I speak,
Of halo I might be a winner:
The spirit wills, the flesh is weak,–
I’m just a simple sinner.
Six days I stray,–on number seven
I try to be a little better,
And stake a tiny claim on Heaven
By clinging close to gospel letter.
My pew I occupy on Sunday,
And though I draw the line at snoring,
I must admit I long for Monday,
And find the sermon boring.
Although from godly grace I fall,
For sensed with sin my every act is,
‘Twere better not to preach at all,
Then I would have no need to practice.
So Sabbath day I’ll sneak away,
And though the Church grieve my defection,
In sunny woodland I will pray:
“God save us from Perfection!”
They, the Free Play assembly, refers to me as ‘Cap’ or Commish, and, it was Kolb who dubbed me the ‘handicapper.’ I’ve been making the Sunday morning line-up out since the season of 2004. As I have had occasion to remind people, the handicapping task goes along with a leadership task I obtained in 2004 by also taking over the on and off season care of the equipment.
For my own part, I consider myself additionally to be the one who fulfills the roles, variously and often situationally deployed, of peacemaker, group therapist, herald, dictator, pastoral counselor, and parent.
Most of the players take me completely for granted. This is okay simply because I am also in the role of researcher, and this is best done under the radar. This season I have asked for help and so Free Play Softball has implemented a council of elders.
Last Sunday I became upset. It happens. Sometimes handicapper is confused with the projection of being a fixer or the softball equal of a button man. In truth, I attempt to forge a close game, and better than half the time I am successful. Other times what I term principal dynamic factors have their negative way, and these help make the outliers of the Bell Curve. These factors reflect one well known truism and another statistical nuance. The truism is that the team that fields the ball better gains a substantial advantage. Almost all the runs in our games are unearned. Players tend to overrate their fielding ability, yet, as handicapper, almost everybody is inconsistent, and is rated as such.
The other factor is that the better hitters regress to the mean more dynamically than the mediocre hitters. The hitter who hits three out of four with power falls farther on a hitless day than a hitter who hits 2 out of 4 and rarely hits for an extra base. This is to state a nuance of performance that cannot be anticipated before it happens: the handful of excellent hitters are sometimes inconsistent, and when a good hitter has a bad day, this regression hurts the team’s chances more than the milder regression of the more often encountered underperformance of the mediocre hitter.
My handicapping theory is to spread out the fielding and the good hitters. This is my theory of equity–as a handicapper.
Oh yeah I became upset when one of my elder colleagues suggested I had favored my team with faster players. This perception was incorrect, but, when the criticism was accompanied by the player’s sense that I had concocted a probable rout, I became sharply angry for a moment. Tell me what you do not like about my line-up making, but don’t imply I am purposely undermining equity. The games are decided on the field.
Anyway, the purportedly slower team won in a rout driven by, yup, several great hitter’s off day at the plate on the losing team. I have made out the line-up for over 300 games. Roughly 70% have been decided by 4 runs or less.
Free Play Softball League, a confrere open to anyone 16-96 who has the chops to enjoin a game that references an ethic, that a game may be literally played as an experiment in learning how to play the game itself, and, additionally, references the variability of human nature.
The affectual ecology of the latter comes to fault the enjoining ethic. That this ethic is referenced, rather than it is something to anchor to, was obvious in our third week of the new season.
A group of five elders, including myself, came to be convened prior to the second game so that we could figure out between ourselves how to dial back several behaviors that have become too woven into the game. The motivation to do this was to reset the game’s overly competitive mood for the sake of making the game more inviting for new players.
We established a protocol for transforming the way the game processes controversies. Such controversies are one of three grounds for negative behavior. (The other two are: disparaging other player’s actions, and, rooting against the opposing team.) Last Sunday the protocol, centered on eliminating arguing by situating the decision in only the judgment of the two team captains, got completely ignored in the one instance it was called for.
Actually, what happened was worse than this summary, although the argument itself was not terribly intense.
Transformation is difficult.
I violated the prohibition against disparagement when I became impatient at the plate, and beseeched the opposing pitcher.
patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue. (Ambrose Bierce)
Transformation is difficult.
Did Cap intentionally allow a ball to pass between his legs in the penultimate inning so as to guide the game’s score closer to the promised land of a one-run game?
Later, after the one run game was over, a player remarks to Cap,
I guess this is the ideal game for you, it was decided by one run and your team won.
I raised a beer mug to toast to Cleveland “being this unusual town where music and sports are held in the highest regard.” I was a guest of Warren’s at a dinner populated with members of the Long Live Rock donor group, at the Rock Hall. People were checking their phones while the game that would decide the ALDS was being played in Toronto. The main course had been served, but the tenderloins just sat there until a guy at the end of the table turned out to have the phone with the least delay. As he turned to the group we instantly understood the last out had been recorded. Uproar of positivity!
Tonight the Cleveland Cavaliers inaugurate their defense of their NBA world championship, the first for the city since 1964. At the same time, the Cleveland Indians, initiate a world Series against a loaded Chicago Cubs team and hope to reel in a baseball crown, and bring home a title that has eluded our baseball team since 1948.
Two confluences have never happened until this year: two Cleveland teams have never played for a major world championship in the same year, and, following from this, nor has a Cleveland team played to earn the city a second major sports championship in the same year. The first has happened, and the second may well happen.
Cleveland put together a safe RNC Convention, the Cavs won a historic come-from-behind victory over the Warriors, and now the Tribe sets its sights on vanquishing a Cubs team that won 103 games in the regular season.
My mantra as a sports fan is: you have to actually play the games. In believeland, the goal is turn anything is possible into four wins in a seven game matchup.
Underdogs, thunderdogs! Play ball!
We’ve managed to put together enough free play personnel to play half field. Players who were regulars during the season lose their stones and are gone, while the hard core core remains.
It seems we’re all going to vote for Hillary–so, there’s that!
I dislike half field, but I’ve been in the worst slump of my softball career over the last few months, and it hasn’t been because for half of those game right field has been absent as a target due to playing the half field. Meanwhile, my declining skills are so apparent as a fielder in the field that all I can do is own it. Still, the golf course, my athletic Plan B, remains far away from consideration.
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,–
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
John Keats, 1795 – 1821
It would be somewhat illogical to make the Tribe the underdogs, but if it must be so!
After years of pain, Cleveland is four wins from being America’s sports town
We’ve seen teams go from worst-to-first in a single year before, but never an entire sports town. It’s unprecedented. And win or lose the World Series, there’s no reason Cleveland’s stay at the top – or at least near the top – of the sports world won’t continue. LeBron and 24-year old Kyrie Irving aren’t going anywhere and the Indians have their own franchise cornerstones in Kluber, the 22-year old Lindor and manager Terry Francona, who has proven he can win with any team, any payroll, anywhere.
My mom would have got a super kick out of this.
Sunday, Free Play Soft Ball league enjoyed a funny game amidst: the mildness of early autumn, the goose shit, the late rolling ballers.
My ‘worst ever since 1970’ hitting slump continued, yet, because I can play all fielding positions in a mediocre manner, I pitched a scoreless inning. Lost a one run game–that is a win in my book.
Never will you reach that silver mountain which appears, like a cloud of joy, in the evening light.
Never can you cross that diamond of dirt which treacherously smiles at you in the morning mist.
Every step on this road takes you farther away from home plate, from flowers, from spring. Sometimes the shade of a cloud will dance on the way. Sometimes you rest in a ruined caravanserai seeking the truth from the blackish tresses of smoke
Sometimes you walk a few steps with a kindred soul only to lose him again.
You go, and go torn by the windy disputes about what actually happened, burnt by the sun, and the shepherd’s flute tells you “geese have flown”
until you laugh no more
until the puddles in the grass is only your dried-up tears which mirror the mountain of joy that is closer to you than your mitt.
apologies to Ms. Schimmel, for this version adapted from:
~Annemarie Schimmel ‘Nightingales Under the Snow’ Variations on Rumi’s Thoughts
Two notes: yesterday the game was won when a throwing error on a successful force out at home allowed three runners to score in the top of the first extra inning. This is the kind of unusual stuff that helps make Free Play Softball Great, again.
I’ve mentioned before that as far as I know, in our core group of twenty or so players, two have earned pages in Wikipedia, an astronomer, and an educator/theorist, (the “DaVinci” in his field.)
But, I will put my money on Andre being the most interesting man in our world. He is a chef, actor, director and wicked left handed pull hitter.
Andre, one of his daughters, grandkids
It was not a close game Sunday. …except one team won the first three innings, and the other team won the last four innings. This is what is meant by the underlying score.
Nobody keeps score this way!
A Necessary Autumn Inside Each
You and I have spoken all these words,
but as for the way we have to go,
words are no preparation.
There is no getting ready, other than grace.
My faults have stayed hidden.
One might call that a preparation!
I have one small drop of knowing in my soul.
Let it dissolve in your ocean.
There are so many threats to it.
Inside each of us, there’s continual autumn.
Our leaves fall and are blown out over the water.
A crow sits in the blackened limbs and talks about what’s gone.
Then your generosity returns: spring, moisture, intelligence,
the scent of hyacinth and rose and cypress.
Joseph is back! And if you don’t feel in yourself the freshness of
Joseph, be Jacob! Weep and then smile.
Don’t pretend to know something you haven’t experienced.
There’s a necessary dying, and then Jesus is breathing again.
Very little grows on jagged rock. Be ground.
Be crumbled, so wildflowers will come up where you are.
You’ve been stony for too many years.
Try something different. Surrender.
Rumi, source of version unknown
Actions have consequences. Skilful actions have beneficial consequences. Patient, enduring effort in skilfulness of body, speech and mind brings about spiritual progress. Patient, persistent effort in ethics, meditation and study brings about spiritual growth. Patience is a Perfection (paramita) because it is an aspect of Reality, an aspect of Wisdom. The Wisdom of Enlightenment is expressed in the concept of the law of conditionality. The law of conditionality states that everything arises in dependence on conditions. Spiritual progress too arises in dependence on conditions, and in the absence of those conditions it does not arise. We need to patiently and persistently create and put in place the conditions for spiritual growth to arise. This is in accordance with the law of conditionality. – Ratnaghosa
After seven weeks that saw seven games decided by seven runs, the regression shifted. A rout was evoked. This is in accordance with the law of conditionality.
In any complex string of events in which each event unfolds with some element of uncertainty, there is a fundamental asymmetry between past and future. Leonard Mlodinow
Over the last six weeks, Free Play Softball league has shown six games decided by five runs. As the handicapper, I’m enjoying the regression to the mean. This too shall pass.
Packing up on a very hot day, after a fourth one-run outcome in a row.