Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Eli 18.0!

This still seems like it was only yesterday:

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Solid Idea

"It seems like everyone is either working out or getting high," I said. We had, in short order, driven past a crowded gym and an even more crowded dispensary.

"It's true, "Eli 17.11 said.

"I feel like there's a business opportunity here," I said. "What's the solution for somebody who wants to work out and then get high?"

"Put them next to each other?" he asked.

"I think you can put them in the same building," I said. "A high-tech gym with a lounge on the roof where people go to 'relax' after their workout."

"Seems promising," Eli said.

"The sauna space could be a hotboxing area," I said.

"We'll call that the 'Iguana Sauna'," he said. "And the logo will be an iguana with a marijuana leaf in its mouth."

"Excellent branding!" I said. "Now all we need is a gym name."

We drove along for a while.

"Wait, I've got it!" I shouted. "Gym 420!"

Monday, July 29, 2019

Reasonable Concern

Eli 17.11 will be Eli 18.0 on Wednesday.

For his birthday, we're going skydiving.

"Are you looking forward to skydiving?" he asked.

"Not so much," I said.

"You're not excited about jumping?" he asked.

"No," I said. "I'm excited about landing."

He thought that was hilarious.

I always wanted to skydive, but at some point, that feeling went away. Now I'm googling "what do do if your parachute doesn't open" instead of thinking about how great it will be to jump out of a plane. Plus, it's a tandem jump, so there would have to be a long string of things going wrong for anything bad to happen.

Still, googling.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Friday Links!

Two incredibly strong reads to start us off this week. First, it's The Last Days of John Allen Chau. Next, it's To Win An Ultramarathon Through Hell, You Need A Devil To Chase.

Also: Citroën Sabotaged Wartime Nazi Truck Production in a Simple and Brilliant Way.

From Wally, and this is fascinating: The Surprising Ways Blind Players Have Made Games Like Dungeons & Dragons Accessible. An excellent read: Remembering Rutger Hauer, Black-Armored Knight of the Genre. This video is kind of amazing: Guy Gets Annoyed At His Neighbor's Loud Party, Attacks It With A Fireworks Drone.

From C. Lee, and it's terrific: Matsuno/Miyamoto interview. This is interesting: Cooking (and Shrinking) the Modern Combat Ration. I had no idea: Apollo astronauts left their poop on the moon. We gotta go back for that shit. This is remarkable: Israel’s bodybuilding ‘Iron Lady’. Seinfeld will always be funny: What Seinfeld can teach us about science. This is a fantastic read! The bizarre, true story of Metal Gear Solid’s English translation.

Thursday, July 25, 2019


Q: Why would a Subway employee wear swimming goggles at work?
(yes, I saw one today with swim goggles around his neck)
A: To use while peeling onions, believe it or not.

Clever fellow.

People are Compelled to do Strange Things While Watching the Tour de France

Exhibit A.

In upper right of image, man in shaggy pink costume rides a bike on top of a vehicle (literally, he's actively pedaling as they ride by).

Exhibit B:

I'm guessing you can spot this one on your own.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

A Golf Post That Is Not About Golf

Really, it's not. I promise.

I've been practicing putting and chipping with a metronome, and I've noticed an unexpected effect. That bit of anxiety I often feel?


It's pretty remarkable. Something about my brain syncing up with the metronome keeps it busy enough to push out the anxiety. Plus, after practicing for 60-90 minutes, I'm in a state that is almost meditative.

80 BPM, in case you're wondering.

I'm going to keep experimenting with this, because it seems both unusual and surprisingly powerful.

While watching the British Open last week, the announcers explained how private golf clubs work in Ireland, and it's very different from how they are here.

In Ireland, almost all private golf courses are still open to the public. It's limited to certain times, and the non-member price is quite a bit more, but you can play almost any course.

Can you imagine the shit fit fit that private clubs in the U.S. would throw if it were like that here? Private clubs in the U.S. celebrate their ability to keep out the great unwashed. It's the very foundation of these clubs.

Imagine Augusta National being open to the public four hours a week.

Point (and pint) to the Irish.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Obscure References Vol. 3

I can't sing. Neither, importantly, can Gloria. Really, really can't.

"Every time I sing now, my throat starts to hurt," she said.

"It's nature's way of telling you something's wrong," I sang.

Ways in Which Golf is Like Gaming #1

Hitting a bad drive, taking a Mulligan, then going to retrieve the first ball is really just a corpse run.

Monday, July 22, 2019


We had a huge storm Friday night.

70 MPH gusts. Torrential rainfall. The most lightning strikes I've ever seen from a single storm.  145,000 people lost power, including us. The power was off for 17 hours, and we were lucky--as of today, 25,000 people still don't have power.

If you ever wondered what kind of damage that kind of storm can do to heavily treed areas, here's a sample (from our favorite golf course):

I couldn't put my arms all the way around that trunk.

I'm consistently surprised that the weather up here is so adversarial, but man, it takes a toll on nature and buildings and people. In winter, with its unrelenting persistence, and in summer, with suddenness.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Friday Links!

There are a ton of excellent long reads this week.

Leading off this week, from Scott Gould, and it's beautifully written: In Cairo, the Garbage Collector Knows Everything.

This is fantastic: Gregorian Voices: Early Roman Catholic Church Song Generator
Here's an absolutely fascinating thread about Kodak and nuclear testing: So, Kodak is weird. This is a terrific article that raises some uncomfortable questions: Zoos Called It a 'Rescue.' But Are the Elephants Really Better Off? A great read: What Really Happened to Malaysia’s Missing Airplane.

From Joshua Buergel, and it's devastating: Uber’s Path of Destruction.

From Brian Brown, and a Bob Ross link is never unworthy: Where Are All the Bob Ross Paintings? We Found Them.

From Steven Davis, and this is remarkable: The Forbidden Images of the Chinese Internet.

From Wally, and this is amazing: 720 Ton Dragline Excavator Rescue From Island. This is incredible: The battle to separate Safa and Marwa.

From Eric Higgins-Freese, and it's thought provoking: Seeing greenery linked to less intense and frequent cravings.

Outstanding links from C. Lee. First a two-part documentary on the Dreamcast, a wonderful console:
A Dream Cast, part one
A Dream Cast, part two
Interesting: DNA Changes Made Us the 'Fat Primates'. This is one of the most remarkable stories I've ever read: Overlooked No More: Ralph Lazo, Who Voluntarily Lived in an Internment Camp. A fun read: Space and booze, an anecdotal history. How do people not go to prison over this? Ford knew Focus, Fiesta models had flawed transmission, sold them anyway.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Downside to Wearing Yellow and Black

"Patrick Reed, looking like a school bus," Eli 17.11 said. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Obscure References, Vol. 2

We were watching the World Series of Poker, and they mentioned that one of the players had ten brothers and sisters. "His family dinners have better attendance than Marlins home game," I said.


We played today at a course that was having a learn to play program for kids.

These were young kids, anywhere from four to eight, and they were unbelievably cute.

I play with a "pencil bag", which is a really small version of a golf bag, only big enough to hold five or six clubs. Here's what mine looks like compared to a regular bag:
Image result for golf pencil bagImage result for golf bag

My bag was even smaller than the bags the kids were carrying around, believe it or not.

We started walking from the range to the first tee, and there were a couple of kids in front of us. One of them looked at me and said, "Cool bag," but he said it with a little smirk in his voice.

We walked on. I said, "Did I just get chirped by an eight-year-old?"

Eli 17.11 laughed and said, "Absolutely no question. That was stone cold."

"This is the greatest day of my life," I said, laughing.

"Because a third grader took you down?" he asked. "Not how I would react, but okay."

"I could have said, 'Is it? Do you want to go?'"

"Probably a good thing that you didn't," he said.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Still Timely

"We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people."
--Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from the Birmingham Jail

Racism is racism. Do not try to put a party dress on it and call it something else.

Obscure References, Vol. 1

Eli 17.11 is now a seven handicap.

He drove a 275-yard par four last week. With a ten mile an hour tailwind. And a five iron. And no, it wasn't downhill.

It's terrifying to watch this golf cyborg begin to methodically destroy the universe.

He went to an advanced putting clinic last weekend and learning one billion things about putting, including that the putting stroke of all PGA professionals is between 68 and 78 beats per minute.

Now he practices with a metronome, as suggested, and his putting stroke is, frankly, disgustingly good.

He teaches me what he's learned when he has lessons or clinics, but it's not so easy for me.

"You're putting way too fast," he said, watching me on the green. "Listen to the metronome. It's set for 78 BPM."

"It just doesn't make sense in my head," I said.

"Just putt to the beat," he said.

"I can, but only if its 128 BPM," I said.

Eli looked at me for a minute, then started laughing.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Agency (your email)

In all the years I've been writing, this was the most difficult set of email I ever received.

Some of you told deeply personal stories, not stories that can be shared. Some of these were about very dark experiences in the military, and from this perspective, an authoritarian environment was deeply damaging.

I also, though, got emails about a military experience that was much more positive.

I found out that we are not, collectively, a sporting bunch. There were more theoretical emails about team sports than actual experienced ones.

My own experiences color this, to be sure. There is a difference between authority and authoritarianism, and in my lifetime, authoritarianism has been very, very bad. Coaches. Priests. Policemen. Any group that had absolutely authority and little or no oversight has produced very bad things.

And yet, strangely, some people crave this. I can't explain that, because it is in such absolute opposition to everything I believe, but some people want authoritarian leaders. This legitimately terrifies me, because it's the same attitude that produced WWII.

So I tried to sort through your email to try and find a common theme. It was there, I felt, but man, it was hard to tease out, because everyone had an opinion that was slightly different from everyone else's.

I did, finally, come up with what I believe is a common perception, and it's sort of a personality version of deviation from the mean. In general, you collectively felt that the more someone has deviated from the mean, the more beneficial it is to be in an "opposite" environment.

So, for instance, a kid who is absolutely wild and unrestrained would benefit from an authoritarian environment, from the structure and discipline.

On the other hand, a kid who is incredibly rigid and unable to think for themselves would benefit from a less authoritarian environment.

I don't know if I agree with this--I'm still thinking about it--but I do think it's notable that almost all the people telling us that authoritarians serve a positive purpose are authoritarians themselves.

I can say that I'm glad Eli 17.11 didn't grow up to be one.

Please note

"Burnt ends" are a foul, unholy form of brisket. That is all.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Friday Links!

Leading off this week, from Steven Kreuch, one of the most detailed stories I've seen about Action Park: Remembering Action Park, America's Most Dangerous, Daring Water Park.

This is from Bryan G, and it's amazing! However, be aware that it's a Dropbox file. I've downloaded it and scanned it, and there were no virus issues, but it is a download: .PDF of the Houston Mission Control Center plans originally published in 1965.

From Wally, and this is a staggering read: Subway Got Too Big. Franchisees Paid a Price. The only religion-based military unit in U.S. history: Mormon Battalion.

Such a shame: João Gilberto, Master Of Bossa Nova, Dies At 88.

From Geoff Engelstein, and it's fascinating: New approach could sink floating point computation.

From C. Lee, and it's just in time for summer (plus fall, since some of these aren't released yet): Hot new Japan book releases for the sweltering summer. This is excellent: Literature Versus Utopia: An Ancient Quarrel. This is a disturbing read: The dark side of Japan’s anime industry. Also disturbing: The millionaire day trader, the bunker under his home and a murder conviction. It's a disturbing week: Chinese border guards put secret surveillance app on tourists' phones. A terrific read: The Science of Saving the Declaration of Independence.

From Meg McReynolds, and this is fantastic: Faces of Iditarod--2019.

I called this fifteen years early (which means I was wrong). From Brian Brown: The world's biggest video game retailer, GameStop, is dying: Here's what led to the retail giant's slow demise.

From Marc K., and it's a touching story: Giants announcer Mike Krukow leans on his service dog, Patriot, for support.

Thursday, July 11, 2019


I saw this article over at ESPN today: 'These kids are ticking time bombs': The threat of youth basketball.

The 'ticking time bomb' referred to in the headline is injury. Kids are having serious injuries at much earlier ages than ever before. Here's an excerpt:
"They just march in here and out -- knee pain, ankle pain, head pain, back pain," says Dr. Chris Powers, a USC professor and the director of its biokinesiology program. "We see kids all the time that are 10, 11 years old with really bad tendinitis and overuse injuries all the time. I've seen ACL tears in 11-year-olds."

The cause, according to the article, is specialization. Specializing in one sport at an early age predisposes a kid to develop imbalances that result in more frequent and serious injuries than kids who don't specialize.

Of course, what the article doesn't say is that unless you're an athlete in the 99.99% category, you have to specialize. If you want to play in college, you have to spend an incredible amount of time getting seen, and getting seen means playing games. Lots of games.

Plus, you need connections. Lots and lots of connections. Sports is so inbred. Coach A is buddies with Coach B in another state who coaches at the next level and might give you a shot because Coach A vouches for you, and if coaches C and D vouch for you, it's even better. It's six degrees of separation. 

In basketball, kids who play both high school and AAU can easily play 100 games a year. In hockey, kids will play 65 games a year in AAA, then play spring hockey (10-20 games), and a few summer tournaments (8-15 games).

That adds up, on the high end, to 100 games a year. Of hockey!

Baseball is the same way. So is soccer.

Travel sports (in this case, AAU) gets the blame in the article, but I don't know why. Sure, travel sports exploit kids, but so does the NCAA. College coaches at the D-1 level have kids play two to four years of juniors in hockey. They go to junior college for baseball, basketball, and football (usually for two years, so almost the equivalent of juniors).

Why is it like this? Because everybody needs to make their money.

There's absolutely no way that anyone needs to be playing more than 50 games a year in any youth sport for optimal development. But optimal development would mean that a whole bunch of people wouldn't make their money.

The NCAA? Absolutely the same way. It's all about people making their money. Money, money, money.

Eli 17.11 has been, in comparison, very fortunate. We always talked about how important it was to avoid injury. He didn't start playing huge numbers of games until he was 15, and it was only for two seasons. He was in a workout program specifically designed to strengthen his hips and other areas that are are particularly stressed in goal (you wouldn't believe the problems that goalies have with their hips and knees). He had a stretching coach--seriously, he did--that had him on an extensive program designed to protect him from injury.

It worked. He doesn't have any options at the D-1 level unless he played juniors for 2+ years, which he's not going to do because he knows it's bullshit, but his body is remarkably healthy for having played at such a high level.

It's a very exploitative system, and I'm really sorry to say that I don't have any positive ideas for reform because the system is so entrenched. Layers and layers and layers of people who need to make their money, and consider that more important than the welfare of kids.

Sure, it's a little disappointing that Eli didn't make it into a D-1 program, because he worked so hard, but I'm really, really happy that he's still in one piece, and his academic options, unlike his sporting ones, don't involve him waiting until he's 20 or 21 to start college.

Oh, and he starts the University of Michigan with 34 credits, too, thanks to AP tests and the two college Spanish classes he took when he was a senior. To graduate? 120.

It's entirely possible he'll graduate from the Honors College before some of the kids he played with even start college. That is a very messed up system.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Larger than a golf ball, and yellow

I watched a bit of Wimbledon today, thought about something, and went to Wikipedia for confirmation.

I found an article referencing 'the Big Four' (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray), which I assume was written by one of Murray's family members, because I see those four names and immediately think "Which one of these things is not like the others?"

Single quotes, double quotes, whatever. I'm eating shredded cheese and mini-saltines for lunch. With difficulty.

The numbers are incredible. Those four players have won the following:
13 out of the last 14 Australian Opens
13 out of the last 14 French Opens
14 out of the last 14 Wimbledons
12 out of the last 14 U.S. Opens

That's incredible, but I think it's starting to hurt tennis. Federer is 37, Nadal is 33, Djokovic is 32, and Murray is 32. These guys (the Big Three, anyway) have been so dominant for so long that the younger players haven't been in championship situations in the Grand Slams. It's like a forest where there's no new growth because the existing trees control the canopy.

There's a normal process of aging and replacement in tennis. Male players after 30 win Slams as an exception, not the rule. But the normal relationships between age and performance have been entirely upended.

Making it even more complicated is that at least two of the three (Federer and Nadal) have an enormous amount of charisma. Their personalities are as large as their games, and that squeezes out interest in young players.

In the semis at Wimbledon: all three. And if Murray hadn't been hurt, it would probably be all four.

Agency (update)

Thanks for the excellent email I'm getting about this subject. I apologize for not compiling it yet, but the jaw is reducing my productivity pretty significantly.

Also, I'd be very interested in hearing from anyone who worked for a charity on a regular basis when they were kids, and how that affected your perspective on the world and on yourself.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

The Drive-by

We were eating lunch at Chipotle yesterday.

I bit into a soggy taco. "Ow!" I said.

"What happened?" Eli 17.11 asked.

I started experimenting with moving my mouth. It did not go well. "It almost felt like my jaw dislocated," I mumbled. "I think that ends lunch for me."

"I'm sorry," Eli said, and continued to eat.

I sipped my drink. "This is getting old," I said. "Just sitting here, having lunch, and I'm the victim of a drive-by." Eli laughed.

A few minutes later, when he was done, I noticed something. Somehow, it was quiet, which is never true of Chipotle. Still mumbling, I said, "It's actually really peaceful in here."

"You know, it is," Eli said.

"I mean, after my agonizing screams stopped," I said.

This has never happened to me, but after a quick visit to the dentist, he confirmed that I had indeed dislocated my jaw (momentarily), and that all the muscles on the left side of my face had gone into spasm in response. If you're wondering how you treat that, well, you don't. You take ibuprofen and don't eat solid food until the pain goes away to the point where you can chew (not there yet). After the swelling subsides (a week, approximately), you have the dentist verify that your bite hasn't changed.

Rating: 1 of 10. Would not do again.

Monday, July 08, 2019

Team Sports, Agency, and the Development of Character

This might be a multi-day topic, depending on the email.

Ex-Denver Broncos wide receiver Nate Jackson wrote an article for Deadspin a few weeks ago titled How Playing In The NFL Ruined Me For Life On The Outside. I encourage you to read the full article, because behind the humor, it's very revealing, but here are a few excerpts:
When I am struggling in the “real world,” is it because I am conditioned for a different reality? Or because I actually have brain damage? Nobody knows, because frustration can read as dementia. It’s the world that drives us mad, not football! It’s the way people communicate: Vague. Non-committal. Via text. Email. Waiting for a response. Fake smiles and faker laughs. Superlatives and exclamation points and the making of plans that never come to fruition. Sorry for the delayed response, things are crazy over here. “Really?” I want to say. “How crazy?” Every conversation is a game of double-dutch and I cant seem to time it up.

Because in football, there is only one rope, and it’s tied around your neck. Everything is Clear and Direct. They look you right in the eyes and tell you where you stand. If you forget your assignment on a play for example, practice comes to a screeching halt. Everyone turns to you and watches your coach say something like: “If you cannot remember the plays, then we can’t put you in the game. And if we can’t put you in the game, then we can’t have you on this team!” Duly noted. You are evaluated at all times. Coached at all times. 

So how’s retirement? Aside from trying to get writing gigs and hanging out with my wife, I basically just wander around waiting for something to happen, something off-script, because it feels like I’m the only one without a copy.

If I hear a crash, I get excited. A scream. Yay! Glass breaks. Sirens ring out. Killer! Smoke fills the air. Tires screech. Someone yells fuck. A ball rolls out into the street. A crustpunk stalks a tech worker. A Lyft driver backs into a fire hydrant. These are the moments I live for. And when I think about it, I always have. I was a reckless child, always leaning forward, always banged up, stitches in my head, black eyes. I was perfect for football, but my participation came with a price. It rewarded my recklessness, made aggression a virtue, and disconnected me from the emotional reality of violence. Not only that, but it seems as if, even 10 years later, that my dials have been fixed.

The longer that Eli 17.11 played team sports, the more something nagged at me. Everyone was talking about how team sports build character, but the kids who play team sports are developing obedience, not character. The more agency they show, the more they get yelled at. Coaches don't want kids with agency--they want scheme execution, and that is precisely defined, even in hockey.

Obedience without true agency is not character.

Plus, everyone also talks about how it teaches kids not to be selfish, playing on a team. When you're playing on a national level team, though, your family's life revolves around you. It has to. There is so much travel and so much outside coaching and so many workouts.

It's a situation where everyone you write the checks to says writing that check will help your kid develop character, but I started wondering if--all else aside--a kid might develop more character if they worked at a charity for fifteen hours a week and just played regular, local sports.

So when I saw this Nate Jackson article, it struck a chord, because he was saying life inside a team sport made it more difficult to live in the regular world, not less.

Then, in the comments section, there were several military veterans who said they couldn't adjust to the real world after being in the military, and what they described was almost identical to what Jackson described.

We have several readers, including some of my favorites, who were in the military for long periods, and I'm hoping they weigh in on this.

So we have two topics here for discussion here, although they're closely related. Are team sports actually helping kids develop character, and does being in a highly regimented system (college/pro sports, the military) reduce one's ability to live in the outside world?

Friday, July 05, 2019

Friday Links!

From Simon Jones, and this is a fantastic read: The Man Who Walked His Life Away.

From Steven Davis, and this is just incredible: Boeing Outsourced Its 737 MAX Software To $9 Per Hour Engineers.

From Wally, and wait, what? Jersey is being terrorised by 100-strong gangs of feral chickens waking up locals and chasing joggers. An interesting read: The Century-Long Evolution of the U.S. Army Helmet. Always fun: Pass The Salt - Joseph's Longest Machine Ever. This is both unnecessary and kind of irresistible: Clock of the Long Now.

Outstanding links from C. Lee. First, and this is very clever, it's Japanese Picture Book Photoshops Prehistoric Creatures Into Contemporary Settings. These are stunning: Delicate, Miniature Sculptures Made From Dandelion Seeds by (euglena). An excellent read: The Patents Behind Toy Story’s Beloved Characters. Very useful: Download Scale Drawings of Everything at Dimensions.Guide. What a story! Objects of Intrigue: The Medieval Knight With a Chinese Sword, Who Was Once A Bridge.

From Meg McReynolds, and good grief: Smartphones aren’t making millennials grow horns. Here’s how to spot a bad study Science.

Thursday, July 04, 2019


Hey! You there. Young person. Stop opening the door for me. I mean, it's nice that you're opening the door for me, but stop doing it because you think I'm old. I mean, I am old, but--oh, never mind.

Thanks for opening the door.

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Life: The Subscription

Do products even exist anymore?

I'm watching Wimbledon, and ESPN shows some of the matches, but they offer many more on some special package. Additional fee required.

Then there's ESPN+. ESPN spends more time promoting ESPN+ than they do actually showing content. That's an additional fee, of course.

NBC Sports has NBC Sports Extra. The Golf Channel has Golf Channel+ or something like that.

Every content provider, it seems, has an additional fee channel that they're constantly pushing you towards. And, inevitably, they're going to extract more and more of the base content and put it behind the paywall.

Gaming, meet your sibling.

It seems like life is a subscription now, which I find pretty discouraging. I told Eli 17.11 that I feel like an orange where every last drop of juice is being extracted. In this country, at least, the constant and suffocating levels of advertisement have become overwhelming.

Want to fill up your car with gas? Ads will play at the pump. Listen to the radio? A third of the content will be advertising. Same with television, unless you're on a premium channel (and check out our new + service that's even better*).

*additional fee required.

What's even more frustrating is that many of these subscription services conflict with each other. Want to start streaming Netflix in 4K (yeah, that's an additional fee)? That counts against your data cap, which is your ISP subscription.

It's all a big, tangled bird's nest, and given the state of consumer protection in this country (almost none), it's hard to imagine any kind of improvement.

On the plus side, Los Espookys is very funny. And strange.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

You Should Have Seen the Holiday Advertising Campaign

"Oh, sure, I'll eat at Noodles and Co.," I said to Eli 17.11. "I had a salad a few weeks ago that was fantastic."

I ordered the fantastic salad. "This salad has corn and avocado," I said. "That really puts it over the top."

The salad arrived.

I had a few bites but something wasn't quite right. I investigated. "This salad actually has zero corn and zero avocado," I said.

Eli laughed.

An employee came by. "Hi," I said. "Could I get some avocado and corn? My salad didn't have any." She apologized profusely.

A few minutes, she came back. "I"m really sorry, but we're out of corn and avocado," she said. "Could I bring you some of our other ingredients?"

"Thanks, but I guess it's okay," I said. Really, it wasn't.

I looked at Eli. "We are literally out of everything in this salad except lettuce," I said. He burst out laughing.

I thought about it later. Do salads come with season passes, or DLC? Maybe this was an F2P salad, and I needed to grind for hours to get those ingredients if I wasn't going to buy salad coins.

This salad was barely an alpha.

Monday, July 01, 2019


We were walking off the range. There's a lot of golf going on around here (Eli 17.11 shot an 81 last week).

"Why are those two woman sitting on the edge of the green?" Eli asked.

"I think they're watching that guy practicing pitches," I said. We watched him hit a shot. "That man is not good at golf," I said.

"They can't take their eyes off him," Eli said.

"This brings up an interesting question," I said. "On a purely looks basis, would you rather have two lower-rated women or a single higher-rated one?"

"Super inappropriate, but okay," Eli said. "Lots of hurdles there."

"Ignore legal and ethical issues," I said. "Purely a thought experiment."

"Well, I'd rather have a nine than two sevens," Eli said.

"Sure, but what's the threshold?" I asked. "At seven point five, it's still not quite there for me, but it's close. What about two eights?"

"I think that's the crossover," Eli said. "I think I'd take two eights."

"Agreed," I said.

On the way home, we passed a fish place with one of those towable signs.

"Four pounds of fish and twenty-two pounds of french fries for twenty-five dollars," I said.

"That's a deal," Eli said.

"Is it?" I asked. "Who eats french fries and fish in over a five-to-one ratio?"

"That's a good point," Eli said.

"Here, son, have some fish and five pounds of fries," I said.

Eli laughed. "Seems like a problem," he said.

"Unless you have someone in your family on an all-potato diet," I said. "That guy drives past and reads the sign and says 'FINALLY!'"

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