Daily Archives: November 5, 2008

Afghanistan…again

The Atlantic has this article from a very disillusioned civil affairs officer who’s served several tours of Iraq and (most recently) Afghanistan.  I’m torn in terms of recommending it because I can’t agree with his cynical, semi-nihilistic outlook.

My deal with the devil is finished.  I’ve honored my commitment.  I am back in my own country where the two main party candidates, despite all the cultural differences they represent, and despite the fervor with which red-team competes with blue-team, agree on Afghanistan, the bailout and everything else that matters to me.

When asked about my plans, I’ve replied “I’m going to buy a bunch of guns and quit paying taxes.”  This, of course, is a joke, but if had I less to lose, I’d consider it.

Well, maybe my idealism just hasn’t been snuffed out yet but I just can’t agree with that line of thinking.  Yes, we’ve seemed to go out of our way to follow wrongheaded policies over the past eight years and I’m not so naive to think that everything will be fixed come January 20th.  But is the only alternative to turn (individually and collectively) inward?

Sorry, that’s just not for me.

It’s hard to comment on this article since it focuses so much on Roman’s personal feelings about his experiences rather than a discussion of policy.  Normally, I don’t think I’d comment on it but it’s left me so uncomfortable (although I still can’t pinpoint why) I figured I should put it out there to share the discomfort.

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Ah…Eddie, I hardly knew ya

I know virtually nothing about professional sports.  I really mean that.  I think I could probably tell you what sport most of the teams play but I wouldn’t put a lot of money down on it.

I mention that because sports is a frequent conversation at work and I’m the guy who looks like a dork pretending like I’m actually following the conversation.  Once in awhile, however, a sports related subject comes up and I get interested.

So, as there World Series talk was going around I wondered why teams today don’t use the ‘Eddie Gaedel‘ strategy.  For those of you who don’t know, Eddie was midget little person who was signed on to a major league baseball team.  His strike zone was so tiny that he was essentially guaranteed to get a walk (which he did).

As I was thinking about how cool it would be to see a modern day Eddie take the field (hey, even I’d turn in to watch) I think I stumbled upon a foolproof strategy for a major league team to make it to and win the World Series consistantly.

  1. First, you’d have to buy a baseball team.  Ok, I know this may seem like a pretty big obsticle but trust me, it wouldn’t need to be a good baseball team.  In fact, it could be the worst baseball team.  Once you see step 2, you’ll understand why.
  2. Next, fire all your players
  3. Take whatever money you’ve got and buy the best pitching staff you can get (once you fire your team you should have several million lying around)
  4. Once you’ve got your pitching staff, go out and fill out the rest of your team roster with little people

Now, think about it.  When your little people get up to bat, they’ll all get walks, racking up the score.  It will be virtually impossible for the opposing team to get three outs.

In the unlikely event they do manage to get three outs on you don’t worry if your little people can’t field well.  This is where all that money you spend on a top notch pitching staff comes in.  They’ll just need to pitch a lot of stike outs but even if the opposing team gets some runs it’s no big deal because there’s no way they’ll match your slow scoring juggernaut.

Now, my boss argued that the way to counter such a strategy would be to create a team that focuses on a bunting strategy.  He thought that exclusive bunting would exploit the inablilty of the little fielders to move quickly and result in massive scoring opportunities.

I’m not entirely sure that strategy would work or be worth the time spent training a team for skills they’d need against only one team in the league.  Perhaps teams would just take the loss and hope to make up their rankings (or whatever they call them) in other games.

So…what do you think?  Does my scheme have any hope of success?

The perfect gift for your favorite viking

Is this the coolest thing you’ve seen in a long time, or what?

Now, the zombie killing potential is limitless although the designer mentions some gibberish about home invaders (or some other outlandish scenario that has no basis in reality).  I think if you own one (or more) of these you can definitely label yourself ‘Uber-prepared’ for the upcoming zombie invasion.

I thought it would be perfect for my own Swede.  It seemed like it would trigger some sort of latent genetic memories and encourage her to take up pillaging, which would be a cool way to bring a little more income home.  She didn’t seem as thrilled as I was about the potential of the table though.

Probably for the best.  I’d rather not make it easier for her to act upon any impulses to whack me on the head while I’m sleeping.