Monday Musings

Ten days until Thanksgiving…

This is the 40th post with the exact title “Monday Musings.” Do any of you get tired of a specific post title or concept? Please let me know.

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I have to report that I don’t miss Twitter. It’s amazing how quickly I went from checking my feed 5-10 times a day to almost not remembering that I was ever on the platform. “Social media” is not for me and, once again, is a phrase that I believe is an oxymoron. Yes, some might say this blog is part of “social media.”

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On this day in 1966, still a few weeks shy of his 31st birthday, Sandy Koufax announced his retirement. When I first became a baseball fan around the age of 8 or 9 Koufax quickly became one of my heroes although he had already retired.

With the modern age of baseball analysis, of which I am a founding “father,” it has become fashionable to discount Koufax’s accomplishments, at least somewhat, because of the fact that Dodger Stadium was an extreme pitchers park during his heyday. Dodger Stadium opened in 1962. In the five seasons that Koufax pitched with that venue as his home park, he had a 57-15 record with a 1.37 ERA in home games. On the road his record was basically the same, 54-19, but his ERA was more than a full run per game worse at 2.57. Koufax led the NL in ERA all five seasons he pitched in Dodger Stadium. That’s an impressive accomplishment almost regardless of home venue.

BIll James, the father of modern baseball analysis, once wrote (I wish I could find the exact reference in my library) that Koufax was better than his otherworldly W-L records because he seemed to pitch better when he received little run support and had an incredible record in such games…the Internet isn’t all bad. I found this data here although I’m not sure of the time period:

 

When the Dodgers scored 5 runs or greater Koufax was: 23-0

When the Dodgers scored 4 runs Koufax was: 12-1

When the Dodgers scored 3 runs Koufax was: 9-3

When the Dodgers scored 2 runs Koufax was: 9-4

When the Dodgers scored 1 run Koufax was: 8-8

This is incredible, when the Dodgers scored one, two, or three runs in a game Sandy Koufax’ record was 26-15. He was given only one run to work with in more starts than any other total.

 

Koufax retired early because he had developed severe arthritis in his pitching elbow. He actually pitched his last two seasons with the condition. In order to continue pitching Koufax used Empirin with codeine for the pain, which he took virtually every night and often during the game. He received numerous injections of cortisone. He also took Butazolidin for inflammation, applied capsaicin-based Capsolin ointment before each game, and soaked his arm in a tub of ice afterwards. (By the way, Butazolidin is used to treat inflammation in thoroughbred horses and its use must be publicly noted. It is no longer allowed for use in humans except very rarely as a treatment for ankylosing spondylitis because no other treatment is available.) When Koufax was asked at his retirement press conference why he was retiring, this was his answer:

 

“I don’t know if cortisone is good for you or not, but to take a shot every other ballgame is more than I wanted to do. To walk around with a constant upset stomach because of the pills and to be high half the time during a ballgame because you’re taking painkillers, I don’t wanna have to do that.”

 

Of course, Koufax’s regimen to keep pitching ties right in with the decision to play Tua Tagovailoa in a game that his team would have won without him less than a month after he had ankle surgery. Teams put enormous pressure on their players to play, almost regardless of circumstance, and players are tremendous competitors who want to play. Fans and other laypeople have no understanding of the intensely competitive nature of successful athletes.

In closing I present a picture of Sandy Koufax from MLBShop:

See the source image

 

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Wednesday Wandering

I found this piece on CNBC to be quite interesting. Christina Farr, health-tech reporter for CNBC, stopped using Facebook and Instagram in August after seeing just how much she was using them, particularly Instagram. Her conclusion: I haven’t been back, and I don’t really miss them at all…By about the fourth week into my social media detox, I started thinking about my life differently.

While on Facebook and Instagram, I would see a lot of affirmation for people’s milestones: Their engagements and weddings, their world travels, pregnancies and births, their new jobs. I unwittingly started to think about my life in that way, relegating the in-between periods between these major milestones as mere filler.

If I didn’t have anything worthy of a social media post coming up, I felt that I had nothing very important going on in my life. I’d feel a growing urgency to start planning something big or make a change to stay relevant.

Without social media, that pressure melted away. I started to enjoy life’s more mundane moments and take stock of what I have today — a great job, a wonderful community, supportive friends and so on. I could take my time and enjoy it rather than rushing to the finish line.

In short, I started to feel happier and lighter.

In the aftermath of that realization, I read up on the latest research regarding the impact of frequent social media use. A few recent studies do suggest that I’m not alone: A group of students who limited their social media usage saw a significant decline in depressive symptoms [emphasis mine], and a survey in the U.K. found that Instagram is the most damaging for young people’s mental health.

 

Social media is not the real world. I am aware that some will see that statement as hypocritical coming from someone who blogs almost every day and who has a (very small) presence on Twitter. You are entitled to your opinion and I don’t have to agree with you. Life should not be a crusade to get everyone else to agree with you because NONE of us has a monopoly on truth, wisdom, good taste or good judgment. To quote Shakespeare, “There are more things in heaven and earth…than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

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So, what do you think of the looks of this car?

https://i2.wp.com/www.factorytwofour.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/2017-Jaguar-F-Type-SVR-Convertible.jpg

From factorytwofour.com a picture of a Jaguar F-Type SVR convertible. Is it total heresy to say I like the looks of this car more than those of the legendary E-Type? Do I really care if it is heretical?

I believe I have mentioned this car only one other time on Disaffected Musings, in my Valentine’s Day post to my wonderful wife. She is a big Jaguar fan despite her less than satisfactory experience with the XK-8 convertible she used to own.

The top of the line F-Type has an AWD layout and is powered by a 5-liter supercharged V-8 engine that produces 575 HP/516 LB-FT of torque. I think the exterior design of the F-Type is just about perfect and I think this is one of the few cars that, for me, looks better as a convertible with the top down than in any other configuration.

What do you think?

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

 

Everything is a trade off

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/28/jaron-lanier-most-people-in-silicon-valley-have-regrets-right-now.html

I realize that some, or even most, people might think it’s hypocritical for someone who writes a blog (even anonymously as I do) to be so critical of social media. (To tell you the truth, I even think the phrase “social media” is an oxymoron.) Still, the recent news about Facebook should make people think first and post later.

In the CNBC article, Microsoft scientist Jaron Lanier is quoted as saying, “developers knew they were making tech addictive and treating humans like rats in a behaviorist experiment.” He also said that these mechanisms are making society paranoid.

I would hardly be the first person to note that the bubbles in which so many people seem to live are, in large part, due to the Internet and to social media. It’s OK to say no to social media.