Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Cardinals Are The Luckiest Sons of #*%@!!!

   WOW! Watching last night's World Series game was pretty entertaining. It was a close game. Either team had chances to win. I like it that way. I despise blow-outs. They're no fun at all to watch. But man, is it me or are the St. Louis Cardinals the luckiest sons of bitches?
   In game 3 last night, in the bottom of the 9th inning with 2 out, Allen Craig scored the winning run to give the Cards a 5 to 4 victory over the Red Sox. He did this by being 'obstructed' by the Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks who had just fallen trying to receive a throw from the catcher was called by the umpires as being in the way of Allen Craig who was trying to run from 3rd base to  home. Craig tripped over the 3rd baseman, delaying him a second or so, and although the later throw home and tag would have otherwise made him the 3rd out of the inning--the obstruction call superseded that, thus advancing him safely home for the winning run. Crazy huh?
   The Cards winning this way is starting to become routine however. Because last year, in the Braves vs. Cards wild card game, St. Louis benefitted from another controversial call by the umps in that game as well. The call last year, an in-field fly rule call, although in itself not costing the Braves the game, surely hampered their momentum and I believe probably cost them at least one potential run. At that point in the game the Braves were trailing 6 to 3 in the eighth inning and if the call had not been made would have had the bases loaded with one out. After this McCann walked, leaving the bases loaded with 2 outs. But then M. Bourn struck out and the inning was over. The Braves managed to get 2 base runners on in the 9th inning (C. Jones & F. Freeman), after 2 outs by M. Prado & J. Heyward, but then D. Uggla groundout for the 3rd out & the game was over.
   Later in the 2012 NLCS the San Francisco Giants defeated the Cardinals and went on to play in the World Series. This year in 2013 the Cardinals beat the Dodgers (who previously beat the Braves) to face off against Boston in the World Series. The call last night was the latest in bizarre situations that seem to happen in baseball, and quite often with the Cardinals. At least this year my team the Braves didn't have to suffer losing in such a disappointing way. I'm sure that Boston fans are still grumbling about last night's obstruction call, though truthfully even though I disagree with the umpire's call I think he got it right. Looking at the rule more closely I couldn't find anything to dispute his judgement. Yes, I know that the 3rd baseman did nothing wrong & did not do it intentionally, but technically he did obstruct the runner. You can second-guess intentions all day long, but it was the right call. In my view, if the catcher hadn't gotten 'greedy' and thrown the ball to 3rd base in trying to get the runner out they wouldn't have gotten themselves in that situation to begin with. He could have held the ball instead and let play resume. Maybe they could have gotten the next batter out & the game would have gone on to the 10th inning. Then maybe Boston could have won. Coulda, woulda, shoulda. It is what it is & we'll play another game today with the Cards leading 2 games to 1.

Update: Even with the Cardinals luck in game 3 they fell short again to win the ultimate prize and were bested by the Boston Red Sox in six games, winning 4 games to 2. So, after the bizarre turn of events in game 3 Boston then lost no more games to the Cardinals. And once again the Red Sox are World Series champs.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Enjoy But Don't Take Them Seriously

What is paranormal/supernatural?
According to wikipedia:
Paranormal is a general term (coined c. 1915–1920) that designates experiences that lie outside "the range of normal experience or scientific explanation" or that indicates phenomena understood to be outside of science's current ability to explain or measure.Paranormal phenomena are distinct from certain hypothetical entities, such as dark matter and dark energy, only insofar as paranormal phenomena are inconsistent with the world as already understood through empirical observation coupled with scientific methodology.
Thousands of stories relating to paranormal phenomena are found in popular culture, folklore, and the recollections of individual subjects.In contrast, the scientific community, as referenced in statements made by organizations such as the United States National Science Foundation, maintains that scientific evidence does not support a variety of beliefs that have been characterized as paranormal.
Okay. Thanks Wiki.
I guess another word for paranormal could be supernatural. Things like magic, witchcraft, ufos, etc. fit into this category too. Pretty much anything that can't be explained rationally or without speculation. IE: if you have to guess at what it was you saw, or heard, or felt, etc., it could be categorized as paranormal/supernatural simply because you  cannot positively label whatever it was. I think it's not only a shame that people in our current world believe that paranormal/supernatural things exist, but it is illogical. For instance: many people believe in ghosts. And yet there is no definitive proof that they exist. There is just conjecture and speculation. Saying that you saw a ghost is not proof any more than saying you saw Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster. I'll agree that you saw something-something you cannot explain. That gives you no right to jump to conclusions and say that what you saw was a ghost. This is just one example of the plethora of ridiculous stories that surface everyday. I try to look at things logically and without bias and not jump to conclusions. If I witness something I can't explain I don't then assume that black magic is involved or that aliens are suddenly visiting our planet. Here's another way to look at it: 2 + 2 = 4. (When we can see all integers in the equation the result is obvious). On the other hand: 2 + X = Y. (Until we have a value for X we cannot determine the value for Y). This is what is called logic. This is what is called using your brain.
On the other side of that coin, however:
I understand the need for imagination and fanciful thought. Hell, I thrive on such stuff. I'd much rather play a video game like WoW (magic/dragons/etc.) than Ghost Recon (current-day military simulation). In other words, I like delving into fantastical situations rather than playing a game than just simulates real life & things I could actually do in the here and now. To me there's no point in playing games that involve things that do actually exist. This goes for books too. I write stories about the things I like to imagine. Not about what already exists in the current world. Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Eragon, Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, these are the stories that interest me. Either take a familiar world and twist it into something different, or create something totally new.
At any rate, I just thought I'd rant about this topic as it was on my mind today. I wanted also to include a couple website links to Tv shows and movies of the paranormal/supernatural vein. As far as entertainment value goes I highly recommend them. As far as anything else goes just don't take this stuff so seriously.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Episode 1 of Season 4 Thoughts

I've I guess become a bit of a fan of the TV show The Walking Dead on AMC even though I have issues with it (the characters act stupidly for one thing-I could go on and on). Sunday they had a marathon all day showing all season episodes back to back and leading up to the premier of the new season 4 episode. Several things were happening in this episode including:
Episode 1 = "30 Days Without An Accident": (10-13-13)
* there are more children at the prison now & it seems that Carl is having to keep watch on them.
* Rick ran across a woman in the woods who had some 'issues' and ended up killing herself.
* A pig kept in a pen in the prison dies after becoming sick.
* Michonne is searching for the governor (from season 3-I guess to kill him).
* On a supply run to a large store seemingly devoid of walkers an accident alerts the dozens on the roof towards them and they start pouring in. Zach (Beth's new boyfriend) is killed when bitten and crushed by a falling helicopter.
* Beth when told of Zach's death shows little to no emotion over losing him.
* Patrick, a new character, becomes sick and dies in the shower room then reanimates into a walker.
Okay, this is a lot to take in. People die--several that we were just introduced to this episode. The one I wanted to talk about was Patrick. I caught a glimpse of something that happened before he became sick that I am wondering about. At one point in the show Daryl is introduced to Patrick & they shake hands. Daryl was eating some food and he 'cleaned his fingers' by licking them before he shook the boys hand. Previous to this he had hunted in the woods and bagged a deer (which I think they were now cooking over the grill). Okay, here is what I think might have happened: there is some sort of disease affecting the animals and Daryl has now brought it back with him from his hunt. It's already killed the pig & was spread to Patrick by contact with Daryl. I'm guessing that some people are immune to this disease (maybe adults) & only children and animals are susceptible (because Daryl seems fine & no others seem infected yet). We will have to keep watching future episodes to see if my hunch is right & that Daryl is the one that unknowingly brought this disease into the camp.
Episode 2 = "Infected": (10-20-13)
The reanimated Patrick proceeds to devour multiple people in his cell block, turning them into walkers as well. The walkers at the fences have multiplied after someone is revealed to have been feeding them with rats. The walkers inside the prison increase as the inhabitants evacuate the primary cell block, although the walkers, including Patrick, are quickly killed by the rest of the survivors. Carol goes to the care of a man, Ryan Samuels, who is the father of children Lizzie and Mika, and realizes he has been bitten in the arm and neck. Ryan, coming to terms with his imminent death, asks Carol to take care of his children, while Carol decides to bring his children to him to say goodbye. She comforts the children, and encourages them to stay strong. Rick and Daryl discover that Patrick has been killed by an aggressive flu strain that causes the infected person to choke on his own blood. The survivors decide to quarantine those who might be infected to prevent the virus from spreading. The outer fence of the prison is about to give way to the walkers, and the group tries to hold off the undead, discovering the rats in the process. Rick drives out the walkers by reluctantly feeding them his pigs, which are deemed to be a possible host for the new virus. As Rick scraps his pig pen, Carl discloses to his father that Carol has been teaching the children how to use weapons. Rick gives Carl back his gun, disappointed that his attempt to live a quiet life has failed. Tyreese visits his girlfriend, Karen, who had been infected; he is horrified when he discovers two burnt bodies, Karen being one of them.