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Stories from Mick the Umpire

My friend Mick is a little league baseball ump and has been for over 25 years. It is an unpaid and entirely selfless avocation, if you want to umpire in the world series. I am always entertained by his knowledge of the baseball rules and how they come into play in a game. He has to know instantly how to call a grounder that is fair when it goes bouncing fair past third base, but goes foul or a fly ball that is fair when it passes third, but goes foul. How to instantly react to base running situations is another puzzle for me, but not for him.

Some of his stories are just human interest stories. Like the time he learned “You do not embarrass the family.” Seems this part Oriental kid about 17 years old came to the plate. He was big for his age, six-three, 230 pounds. Maybe he was having a bad day for when he came to the plate, he didn’t wave his bat once at three straight down-the-pipe pitches. “Strike one!” “Strike two!” “Strike three, yer out and the sides out!”

As his teammates ran from the dugout to take their positions on the field, this big kid wound up the bat like a windmill. Mick says, “Don’t do it.” The kid keeps winding and lets it go. Mick says, If that bat LANDS, you’re gone!

Well it crashes into the dugout wall. “Yer outa here!”, Mick yells.

The kid goes to his dugout done for the day. His mom arrives and asks the manager if she can take him home. “Sure, go ahead.” The kid bends over to pick up his gear and the five foot mama grabs his earlobe and marches him out to the car. She shamed him in front of all his peers.



Tropical Storm Barbara

From DNN,

Tropical Storm Barbara, swirling off the southwestern coast of Mexico, could strengthen over the next few days to become the Pacific’s first hurricane, forecasters predicted. (See Storm Track)

Tropical Storm Barbara
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Tropical Storm Barbara weakened off the southwestern Pacific coast of Mexico on Thursday and forecasters said the storm was unlikely to become a hurricane.


Only twice before has the hurricane center had two named May storms, in 1984 and 1956, and forecasters have predicted a busy hurricane season.


Tropical Storm Barbara lashed coffee- and sugar-growing regions near the Pacific coasts of Guatemala and Mexico with wind and rain on Saturday, toppling palm huts but causing no reported injuries.

More on Lakeview Quakes

Posting about Lakeview earthquakes, Brad Alexander at West Coast Earthquakes has a program that shows all quakes in that area since 1982:http://www.fastlanevideos.com/quakes/DATA/SR/sr070530a.htm



Two Threes on Oregon Border!

UPDATE: We’ve now had five SEVEN quakes in the Lakeview area instead of three.

map 1.6 2007/05/30 22:40:26 42.108N 120.259W 3.5 12 km ( 7 mi) SE of Lakeview, OR

map 2.5 2007/05/30 21:57:26 41.934N 120.520W 23.0 32 km (20 mi) SSW of Lakeview, OR

map 2.5 2007/05/30 21:57:26 41.934N 120.520W 23.0 32 km (20 mi) SSW of Lakeview, OR

MAP 3.4 2007/05/30 19:00:57 41.989N 120.549W 29.4 28 km (17 mi) SW of Lakeview, OR

map 2.8 2007/05/30 18:58:09 41.614N 121.079W 3.0 15 km ( 9 mi) NNW of Ambrose, CA

MAP 3.0 2007/05/30 18:56:10 41.993N 120.494W 33.4 25 km (15 mi) SSW of Lakeview, OR

map 2.6 2007/05/30 14:32:51 42.114N 120.247W 3.4 12 km ( 7 mi) SE of Lakeview, OR

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I found this at Portland IMC:

One more interesting fact about Lakeview. As the water dries up there has been an increase in small earthquake swarms. Some locals believe that the underground aquifers are all but gone and there are a number of sinkholes beginning to appear in the geology. In effect, the ground is collapsing. The whole area is a natural hot geological area. Hot water from natural the natural volcano lakes region is rising up and drinking and irrigation water is disappearing from wells and streams. Few locals are willing to address the earthquake swarms. They blame the lack of water on Environmentalists who are somehow keeping the water from flowing to their ranches, farms and houses.


Maupin Quake

map 1.4 2007/05/30 09:58:21 45.110N 120.928W 8.0 14 km ( 9 mi) ESE of Maupin, OR


Shaniko Quake

map 1.1 2007/05/29 23:17:16 45.128N 120.868W 15.2 17 km (10 mi) NNW of Shaniko, OR

In addition, Michael Hall points out that the Humane Society in Bend is filling up again. Last two times that was a precursor to a 3+ quake near Maupin.


Two Oregon Quakes

map 1.8 2007/05/29 10:58:50 45.003N 122.633W 23.6 5 km ( 3 mi) SSE of Scotts Mills, OR

map 1.7 2007/05/29 00:49:27 45.519N 122.637W 17.0 1 km ( 0 mi) SSE of Portland, OR

This quake is centered one block from the east end of the Lone Fir Cemetery and one block south of Stark.


Assault On Freedom of Speech from Both Sides

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

On May 13th The Oregonian carried an article Live Free. Tell the Truth. And Die by Doug Bates. Bates writes about Russia where 14 journalists have died in cases that are suspect.

The vicious boot heel on these journalists is part of a sweeping clampdown on all the freedoms Russians won after the Soviet Union collapsed at the dawn of the 1990s. Americans ought to see this slide back to dictatorship as more than just a threat to our country’s security, but also as a reminder about the fragility of our own civil liberties.

Bates continues in two striking paragraphs:

News media in the United States have their problems, including relentless and increasing government secrecy and unending attacks on First Amendment rights.[…]

I came away convinced that the Russians’ struggle holds lessons for an America that has become dangerously blase about freedom of speech. The same pernicious self-censorship that pervades Russia’s national media poses a threat in any democracy where political leaders forge alliances with billionaires hellbent on amassing power and wealth.

I would gather from the tone of the article that we should be on guard from threats from the right, government allied with business out to achieve power and wealth.

There is another threat, and it comes from the left. The Liberal Attack on Freedom of Speech
The American left has adopted a totalitarian mindset; they’re actively working to stamp out dissent.

Robert Knight writes of the The Liberal Attack on Freedom of Speech. He points out six areas where liberals are trying to stifle free speech:

Targeting churches – monitoring churches for evidence that pastors are engaging in political speech.Reviving the “Fairness Doctrine” – frustrated with the power of conservative radio, the idea is to force stations to air leftists like Al Franken, if they want to continue airing winners like Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin or Sean Hannity.

Restricting grass-roots lobbying – force officials to keep copious records of their contact with public citizens

Sponsoring a federal “hate crimes” bill – would greatly expand the scope of federal power and lay the foundation for “thought crime” and suppressing speech

Using the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) as a liberal mouthpiece – while shutting out conservative voices.

only ideologically predictable scientists – decertifying any meteorologist who won’t toe the line on human-caused “climate change.

I would add one more to this list: The use of force to impose politically correct speech on society.

I see both the right and left putting pressure on our right to express opinions. This pressure is one more sign that both sides are statists!

First Amendment


Music to My Ears

Fred Dicker of the NY Post writes about serious feuds between the Hillary Clinton NY Camp, that got her elected to the senate, and the Wash D.C. camp that is working the national campaign.

(Dicker’s) source said many New York Democrats believe Clinton “isn’t doing so well out there, that she may not have what it takes to become president.”When you’re out talking to real Democrats in the field, you hear them say, ‘She has no pulse.

Hillary Clinton


Kamchatka Volcano Spews Ash

Koriakskaya Sopka Volcano, Kamchatka

This volcano, seen here from the slopes of Avachinskaya Sopka, lies just a short way north-west of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii. It is 3456m high. Volcanoes dotted over the landscape of rolling plains, covered in sparse forests, hills and rivers make up the typical Kamchatkan landscape. Many of the volcanoes reach up to and over 4000m and are glaciated. Kamchatka boasts the world’s most exciting and rich areas of volcanic activity.

Experts monitoring Russia’s massive Klyuchevskaya Sopka volcano said Monday it was spewing ash more than four miles into the sky.

In addition to the huge ash column, volcanic station head Yuri Demyanchuk said the volcano launched volcanic dust nearly 5.6 miles into the air Sunday

The Kamchatka Peninsula is found on the west side of the Pacific Ocean from the US between the 50 degree and 60 degree latitude. Would ash find its way to the Pacific Northwest?

Koriakskaya Sopka

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