October 22, 2011
I’m in Whistler today for a meeting of the council of our strata (US readers, condo association). Was a must-do with a coming special assessment after 11 years of benign budgetary issues. I drove up last night and could go home this evening, but there is a Husky game to watch. So early tomorrow. And after all I have bandwidth here. And with bandwidth, I can be much more effective in getting things done.
Which leads to OmniFocus, perhaps the best known software of the Seattle-based OmniGroup and my way of Getting Things Done (GTD). In a too rare act of using “Context”, I found a significant task at Whistler: “Master French Onion Soup”. This has been lingering for ~18 months. And master in this instance means actually make it for the first time, which might then lead to improving and mastering.
This recipe seemed like a fine starting point, lots of 5-stars. I read perhaps 20 of the 395 reviews. The idea this would take 65 minutes seemed wrong from the outset, but a reviewer had suggested considerably longer times. I found 45 minutes with the onions, 20 minutes reducing, and 10 minutes with the flour step about right and it is now simmering. Somebody suggested I let it rest after simmering for several hours, then finish it off. As excellent as this advice might be, it is my dinner and I plan to eat it at half-time. I tasted about 30 minutes ago and added some pepper, but I think I’ll like the result.
The last piece of multi-focus is watching the Stanford-Washington game (and doing dueling commentary with Casey Rose on FB.) As I type this sentence Stanford 31-Washington 14. I bet (well better said regret) that our commentary slows down.
October 22, 2011
I am not a professional math guy, contrasted with my friend Ron. I just dabble. As an example to take the sting out of Big birthdays ending in Zero (most recently for me the Big-6-0), I prefer highlighting prime ages, of which I’ve had 16 so far and another four should be coming during my life expectancy.
My two friends Tracy and Michelle both turned 30 recently and I had the opportunity to explain the magic of 30: 29 and 31 are prime. Two prime ages surrounding an age usually dreaded. And this year I turned 60 having solace that 59 and 61 are prime. It is tempting to imagine that this might happen for ages divisible by 30. Alas 90 only works with 89.
Simple enough, but Tracy asked whether I had any prime ages in a prime year? And so I went to work on that. I have never turned a prime age in a prime year. (My friend Ron points out this is self-evident because I was born in an odd year, thanks Ron!) But I have been a prime age during three prime years (for me the magic window is January 1 through August 28): age 41 in 1993, age 47 in 1999 and age 59 earlier this year 2011. Won’t happen again in my lifetime.
October 2, 2011
I don’t follow the Mariners and baseball overall nearly as carefully as I used to. I follow the Seahawks, I’m watching the game out of the corner of my eye right now, but I am not a rabid fan. Even without the Supersonics, the NBA remains my professional sport of choice.
With the Sonics gone, I have taken to trips to Portland for live action coupled with TV. That the Jailblazer era is long over, that Mac 10 is coach, and UW’s Brandon Roy is a top player makes it easy to look past the Portland-Seattle rivalry of the past. And Snohomish’s Jon Brockman…the Brockness monster…gives me reason to keep Milwaukee on my radar as well.
Not surprisingly then, the impending NBA labor fiasco is disturbing. The NY Times’s Howard Beck reports today that yesterday’s bargaining session ended “without much progress”. David Stern makes empty threats, answering the press regarding his settle now or there will be “enormous consequences”: “I don’t take myself as seriously as you do.” Aren’t I suppose to take the commissioner seriously and at his word?
All this pain for fans is rooted in a simple situation, for which I hold the owners more responsible. The league taken together makes lots of money. But 23 teams lose money. Why: TV revenue is not shared. As an example, revenue in Portland is about 10% of that in New York. I am fine if team payroll is hard capped (which the players oppose, give that up players), but the owners seeking a cap level under which all teams can be profitable without instituting revenue sharing (not in the owners thinking) is not a workable solution. All speaks to the inability of the commissioner to do anything to offend an owner. Stern much prefers to bully players and fans. (Full disclosure: I am not very tolerant of Stern who has a long history of bullying behavior, best exemplified in destroying the Seattle Supersonic franchise.)
Why is it the NFL has this all figured out and the NBA cannot? There are storied small market teams in the NFL (for example Green Bay stands out), but one rarely connects the word dynasty with any NFL team. Makes for a competitive, interesting league. Figure it out Stern.