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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Aesir's Notes

Sometimes you find the strangest things while walking in the woods. See the full set of ten here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Football Facts

Have you ever noticed that NFL coaches have short first names? This is the list of Super Bowl winning coaches with one-syllable first names:

Vince Lombardi, Weeb Ewbank, Hank Stram, Don McCafferty, Tom Landry, Don Shula, Chuck Noll, John Madden, Tom Flores, Bill Walsh, Joe Gibbs, Mike Ditka, Bill Parcells, George Seifert, Mike Holmgren, Mike Shanahan, Dick Vermeil, Brian Billick, Bill Belichick, Jon Gruden, Bill Cowher, Tom Coughlin, Mike Tomlin, Sean Payton.

24 in all. The list of Super Bowl winning coaches with names longer than one syllable: Jimmy Johnson, Barry Switzer, Tony Dungy.

So it's clear. If you want to win the Super Bowl, you need a one-syllable name, or at most two syllables ending with a "y". It doesn't look good for Raheem Morris or Marvin Lewis. Romeo Crennel never had a shot.

Monday, May 31, 2010

2010 Indy 500 Thoughts

A pretty good race; they saved the best for last.

The most memorable thing was how everybody was trying to be the slowest near the end. Racing is about being the fastest, but not this time. The need to stretch the fuel to the end led the drivers to get slower and slower. It was edge-of-your-seat stuff, but it was bizarre, too.

I thought Helio would be able to go to the end and might be able to steal the win, but he had to pit for fuel. Tony Kanaan ran a surprisingly strong race, but had to pit as well. Dan Wheldon could have won it if his team had known he had enough fuel left to run flat out to the finish, but he settled for second.

Give the ironman award to Ryan Hunter-Reay, who injured his thumb in a collision on pit road. The collision caused the steering wheel to spin and catch his thumb, tearing the ligaments. He realized it was serious when he went to push a button and his thumb bent back. It must've hurt like hell, but real race car drivers don't get out of the car just because they broke their thumb.

There were more wrecks than usual, including a spectacular one at the very end. I don't need to post it here. If you didn't see it on the news, you can find it on YouTube.

They're Everywhere!!!

Saturday I was out looking for a good place to put a new geocache, and once again came upon some deer. Sometimes all I see is their tails as they go bounding away, but I've discovered that if I'm quiet, they'll mostly ignore me. So of course I took some pictures, and this time I even got a movie.

After taking the pictures, I decided to creep quietly away from them. They followed me. It was spooky. They're just not very afraid of humans. Maybe they've discovered that they outnumber us. If they had opposable thumbs, they'd take over.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spice Cabinet

The jar of Old Bay is required for all Marylanders. I think it's a law or something. The hot sauce is used fairly often. I use whatever-- Crystal, Frank's, Texas Pete, etc. Anything but Tabasco, which is too hot and has a distinctive taste. Cayenne pepper sauces are better.

The Pumpkin Pie spice isn't used much; I think it's cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. The Italian seasoning is oregano, basil, rosemary, parsley, and garlic. It goes in tomato sauces. The unlabeled jar is oregano; it and the minced garlic go into tomato sauces, too.

The paprika gets used fairly often; it's a part of the perfect tuna fish salad recipe. The pepper's been getting used more lately, and the salt is a mainstay. Too much salt in the diet? Impossible.

That's it. Anything missing? It's probably not needed. Mostly just a dash of hot sauce or a bit of paprika is all that's required.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Something Strange in the Woods

A geocacher named brentbeebe posted in the cache log for Careful, I bite back on on July 12, 2009 about seeing a "stage" located at N39 01.095 W077 05.950, and included a picture. It made me curious, so I decided to investigate. On March 18, 2010 I visited the spot.

The snowpocalypse of February 2010 was hard on buildings; this is no exception. The structure was in worse shape than in brentbeebe's picture.

(click any image for bigger)

I found a bag of nails under the floor. The bag came from Whole Foods, which has a store a few miles north of here in Rockville. I can't say the bag definitely came from the Rockville Whole Foods store, but that store (originally called Fresh Fields) became Whole Foods in late 1996.

There was a rusty saw tucked into the rafters. I found other objects nearby which appeared to be a sleeping bag and a parka. In the general area were a candle in a vase, an empty bag of "Hotsticks" (a brand of kindling wood), and a black plastic tarp (which was also used in the structure's roof). I did not find many food-related items. There was an empty plastic yogurt cup, but there is plenty of random litter of that type in the area.

The floor joists are viewed from below. Notice the nails (rather poorly) hammered in along the length of some of them. I don't know if the nails actually held anything together. None of the wood was painted or finished in any way. There was no writing, carving, or other marks on any of the wood. The general level of decay suggests that it has been abandoned for several years.

My best guess is that a homeless person built this as a shelter around 2000. I don't know where the wood came from or how it got there, although it was probably carried in. The barriers formed by the Beltway and Rock Creek, as well as the soft ground and many trees would make it difficult to bring in a vehicle. If the parka and sleeping bag came from the structure, it suggests that it was abandoned without removing anything. Perhaps the occupant was arrested, sick, or injured and unable to return.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Reading List

  • Man Is Wolf to Man, by Janusz Bardach
  • Don't Swallow Your Gum! by Aaron Carroll & Rachel Vreeman
  • Instant Replay, by Jerry Kramer and Dick Schaap
  • New York, by Edward Rutherford
  • The Mother Tongue, by Bill Bryson

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