Thursday, February 17, 2011

Here and There

I was there... Cannon Airplane Patch... for to refill my meds, of both the prescription and the non-prescription sort.  So now I'm back here and the medicine chest and the fridge are both well-stocked, as we speak.  We are enjoying the fruit of our labors as we speak, too.  It was yet another top-down sorta day and we cruised there and back in a most jaunty manner, as befits a Gentleman o' Leisure.  The trip out to Cannon and back is just perfect for a one-cigar burn; it's funny how that works.


There's this in today's "Get Off My Lawn!" category:  I live amongst pigs.  Not one single gotdamned day goes by where I don't have to pick up someone else's trash off of my lawn weeds, be it pop cans, fast-food wrappers, or worse.  Not one.  What IS it that makes some people act like the world is their personal trash can?  Litterers make me hope I'm wrong about the afterlife, in that I can visualize these bastards consigned to walking around for all eternity picking up dogshit and then being forced to eat it as their only sustenance... nicely wrapped in Mickey Dees paper, of course.

About that image:  I don't agree.  I think littering should be a capital offense.  On some days, anyhoo.


I REALLY wish tonite's Wings game was on my teevee.  Why?  This:
After transitioning from a Hall of Fame playing career to the Detroit Red Wings' front office and then assembling Canada's gold-medal winning Olympic team, Steve Yzerman having the ability to turn the Tampa Bay Lightning into a contender wasn't in doubt.

Few expected him to do it this soon.

The Lightning are atop their division with 74 points -- just like the Red Wings -- heading into Thursday night's showdown at the St. Pete Times Forum, the clubs' first since Yzerman left Detroit to become Tampa Bay's general manager.
I can't imagine what tonite's game must be like for StevieY.  On the one hand, he's a professional and he will do everything in his power to ensure the Lightning win, especially when this game is being played in their barn.  On the other hand, how do you root against a team you played your entire career with, won three Stanley Cups with, and one that still contains a handful of players you played with for years and years?  Wow.  It sucks to grow up sometimes.

That said... and as much as I love Stevie (he IS in the B-rank of my heroes)... Let's Go Red Wings!

Update, 1415 hrs:  Wow!  How did I miss this?
YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. — In the end, the humans on “Jeopardy!” surrendered meekly. 

Facing certain defeat at the hands of a room-size I.B.M. computer on Wednesday evening, Ken Jennings, famous for winning 74 games in a row on the TV quiz show, acknowledged the obvious. “I, for one, welcome our new computer overlords,” he wrote on his video screen, borrowing a line from a “Simpsons” episode. 


Watson, specifically, is a “question answering machine” of a type that artificial intelligence researchers have struggled with for decades — a computer akin to the one on “Star Trek” that can understand questions posed in natural language and answer them.
Blog-Bud Jim, who recently tried out for Jeopardy! (again), will NOT be pleased.  Here's a lil sumthin' from an off-line between us:
No, I didn't see it. The contest between the machine and Ken Jennings (and one other player) is airing next week on Jeopardy, and I didn't want even the slightest hint of a spoiler.
(That means don't YOU send me one, either!)
In a message dated 2/10/2011 1:32:58 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, Buck writes:
Buck has left a new comment on your post "Jeopardized":
Hey! Apropos of not much... didja watch Nova last night?
Heh.  I hope Jim doesn't have to play Watson if he passes the test.  It would really suck to be beaten by a machine... even if your name happens to be Ken Jennings.


  1. I'm with you on the trash thing Buck. When we were kids we had to pick up the trash that had blown over from the highway and the neighbors every spring. It's definitely given me a revulsion to people dropping it wherever they happen to be (which in my case just so happens to be within walking distance from the MickieDee's and Ask and Wait across the road from my house). What kind of pig thinks they can just drop their trash in someone else's front yard?

  2. BTW That was on the front half of a 20 acre parcel!

  3. I know I'm not alone in this, Deb. I had to pick up trash as a kid, too... but NOT off 20 acres!

  4. It weren't a whole lot of fun.
    On the Jeopardy! front, I just caught the tail end of it and laughed out loud at Ken Jennings response.

  5. Supposedly, the computer is fed the questions via text. Given the speed of the computer, it seems the game was slanted against the humanoids. While its impressive that a computer can be programed so well, it still doesn't wow me.

    Regarding the littering... I clean a mile of road each spring with a group of Boy Scouts. One thing that helps to cure people of trashing an area is to make them clean up a large parcel of land that they didn't crap up.

  6. Some people are just pigs. They are the same people who expect free lunch, food stamps, etc. Around the Lazy B we have lots of trash to pick up near our gate - for some reason. It is usually beer cans, coke cups, and such - making me think that it is kids who drive around in the country looking for secluded spots to do their partying or oil field workers who don't give a crap about anything and just spread their trash.

  7. I am so stealing that sign and mounting it on our fence come Mardi GRAS parade time! I always put out a lined garbage can --which does get used -- but there's always plenty to pick up, too.

    About The computer. Um, isn't that kinda what computers are supposed to do?

  8. One thing that helps to cure people of trashing an area is to make them clean up a large parcel of land that they didn't crap up.

    Except for the guys wearin' county-issued orange suits while policing the area. I'm bettin' THOSE guys don't change...

    Lou: I'm thinkin' it's kids here in Beautiful La Hacienda Trailer Park, as well. We have some REAL winners in life's lottery around here.

    ...but there's always plenty to pick up, too.

    I suppose there always WILL be plenty to pick up. But I feel for you the day after Fat Tuesday, Moogie. Really, I do.

    About the 'pooters: getting a box to "understand" natural language is what makes this feat so impressive. And it IS impressive.

  9. I watched all three nights of the man vs. computer thing, and it was extremely entertaining. Despite the large win by Watson, I'm convinced that the humans would win some matches if more were played. Jennings was actually mathematically alive to beat the machine going into Final Jeopardy, I believe.

    I think the biggest advantage Watson had was that he played TWO humans. If the scenario were either ONE human against Watson, or One human against TWO Watsons (with some variance in programming), I think the human (given a human such as Jennings, of course) would win more often than not. Just my opinion based on scant evidence.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.