A Quote to Start Things Off

Somebody told me there was no such thing as truth. I said if that's the case then why should I believe you" -Lecrae - Gravity

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Snow kidding! These "kids" now range from 17 to 23

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Sunday, January 25, 2015

21 minute blog salute

One of the reasons why I don't blog as much as I used to, is because it takes so much of my time to type an then retype my posts. I'm a slow typist as it is, and now that I spend most of my work day behind a keyboard, I don't enjoy the prospect of going back home and sitting behind one again.

Another reason why I don't blog as much as I used to, is because since I'm easily distracted, and that tends to suck a lot of my time away and generally after 15 or 20 minutes I have nothing accomplished.

A third reason is that, as someone who is just one step ahead of being special needs and also a perfectionist(a unique but challenging combination)  I often struggle with writers block.

So  for today's post,  I am trying  to conquer those 3  reasons at  the same time.  I am using speech recognition software and speaking this post.  I am only using my keyboard when, for example, the software interprets this post as with both and then interprets with both as with bull  and then interprets with bull as with all.

I also, set my timer for 21 minutes, to avoid the time suck involved. I am also using the Amy plays Balderdash method of blogging.  Which means I am just saying the first thing that comes to my head.  I may edit my head later.

I set the timer for 21 minutes and now have six minutes left.  I'm going to play to the buzzer, but by the small content I have achieved in 15 minutes, you can see what kind of time suck I am up against.

I've been working a lot of overtime at my job lately, which may explain why this is my first post in eight days. It's better than the months at a time absences I usually experience. I am trying to use  some time to expressing myself in blog form at least twice a week.

I am not sure if this speech software will work for me or not. We actually got it for spider droid, so this is just a secondary use of it.

I am currently reading a book.  It is the first book in a mystery series that has Peter Rabbit author (that's the timer but I will finish this thought)  Beatrix Potter as it's protagonist. I read through the historical note at the end of the book today. And I'm going to put this Beatrix Potter quote on the blog masthead.  She said it of her rabbit Peter when he died in 1902. "Whatever the limitations of his intellect or outward shortcomings of his fur, and his ears and toes, his disposition was uniformly amiable and his temper unfailingly sweet. An affectionate companion and a quiet friend."

Well I am past the time I assigned for myself. So I will and now (but first I'll add punctuation).

Sunday, January 18, 2015

2015 HOF Postview

Earlier this month,  I posted about the 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.  I try to follow the same format  each year, although some years I string the format along over several posts.  The format goes like this,  I list those who remain on the ballot from previous years along with how long they have been on the ballot. This year I also mentioned the rule change that changed the amount of years for players on the ballot after 2005 from 15 to 10.  Those  still on the ballot  from 2001 to 2015 get  grandfathered in for 15 years. I then introduce the players on the ballot for the first time.  After that,  I list in reverse order who I would elect to the Hall of Fame if given  exactly 10 votes to do so.  I also reveal how many players would be on my official ballot (This year it was 8).  To end up the post, I always predict (without having looked at any leaked ballots) who I think the writers will select that year.  Here is what I said this year: 

Here is what I think Will happen

4 of the following 5 players  will be inducted this summer:

Randy Johnson
Craig Biggio
John Smoltz
Jeff Bagwell
Pedro Martinez

Pedro and Johnson being mortal locks,  and either Smoltzy or Bagwell being the odd man out.  My money says Bagwell won't make it, this time.
Well the announcement was made on January 6th and I was 100 percent right.
Here is a quick review of the election results:

Randy Johnson received 97.3% of the vote in his first year on the ballot.

Pedro Martinez received 91.1% of the vote in his first year on the ballot.

John Smoltz received  82.9% of the vote in his first year on the ballot. 

Craig Biggio received 82.7% of the vote in his third year on the ballot.  
Biggio missed induction in 2014 by 2 votes 

Players with 3 or fewer elections remaining are listed in red
* indicates this years percentage of vote highest received while on ballot.
Mike Piazza 3rd year on ballot received 69.9 % of vote*
Jeff Bagwell 5th year on ballot, received 55.7% of vote*
Tim Raines 8th  year on ballot, received 55% of vote*
Curt Schilling 3rd year on ballot,  received 39.2% of vote*
Roger Clemens 3rd year on ballot, received 37.5% of vote.
Barry Bonds 3rd year on ballot, received 36.8% of vote*
Lee Smith 13th year on ballot, received 30.2% of vote.
Edgar Martinez 6th year on ballot, received 27% of vote.
Alan Trammell 14th year on ballot, received 25.1% of  vote.
Mike Mussina 2nd year on ballot, received 24.6% of  vote*
Jeff Kent 2nd year on ballot, received 14% of vote.
Fred McGriff 6th year on ballot, received 12.9% of vote.
Larry Walker 5th year on ballot, received 11.8 % of vote.
Gary Sheffield 1st year on ballot, received 11.7% of vote.
Mark McGwire, 9th year on ballot received 10% of vote.
Sammy Sosa, 3rd year on ballot, recived 6.6% of vote.
Nomar Garciapara, 1st year on ballot, received 5.5% of vote

Off the ballot - Time elapsed

Don Mattingly failed to receive 75% of the vote in his 15th and final year on the ballot.  Mattingly's  highest %  28.2, came in 2001 on his 1st year on the ballot.  Mattingly spent his entire career 1982 to 1995 for the New York Yankees.  Mattingly was a 6 time all star, the 1985 American League MVP and in the top 5 of MVP vote receivers from 1984 to 1986.  He won 9 Gold Gloves and 3 Silver Sluggers.

Off the ballot - 1st year on ballot , received some votes, but less than 5 percent. 

Carlos Delgado 21 votes (3.8%)
Troy Percival 4 votes (.7%)
Aaron Boone 2 votes (.4%)
Tom Gordon 2 votes (.4%)
Darin Erstad 1 vote (.2%)

Off the ballot, - 1st year on ballot, received no votes

Cliff Floyd, Tony Clark, Brian Giles, Rich Aurilla, Eddie Guardado, Jason Schmidt, Jermaine Dye

 2016 Hall of Fame ballot preview 

Like this year, there will be 17 players returning to the ballot. 15 of those players will be on the ballot for at least  the third time.   2 players, Mark McGwire and Alan Trammell, will be in their final year  of consideration.   McGwire in his 10th year and Trammell in his 15th.  Newcomers to the 2016 ballot will include: Ken Griffey Jr., Trevor Hoffman, GarretAnderson, Jason Kendall and Jim Edmonds.

Closing the book on 2000

2015 was the first year no players from the 2000 Hall of Fame ballot were remaining on the current ballot. There were30 players on the 2000 ballot, 16 returning from previous years, and 14 on the ballot for the first time. Carlton Fisk and Tony Perez were elected into the Hall of Fame in 2000. Jim Rice, Gary Carter, Bruce Sutter, Rich Gossage, and Bert Blyleven were all voted to the Hall of Fame in subsequent elections.  

No players aged out of the ballot in 2000.   Nine returning players, who received more than 5% of the vote in 2000, failed to get elected to the Hall of Fame in their  remaining time on the ballot.  These were Luis Tiant, Jim Kaat, Steve Garvey, Dave Concepcion, Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Keith Hernandez, Dave Parker, and Dale Murphy.  One returning player, Bob Boone, failed to receive the 5% needed to stay on the ballot.

Of those on the ballot for the first time in 2000, only 2 (Gossage and Jack Morris) managed to get more than 5% of the vote. Morris stayed on the ballot for 15 years and received over 50% of the vote from 2010  to 2014 and aged out last year. Players who were on the ballot for the first time in 2000 and received some votes were: Jeff Reardon, Willie Wilson, Rick Sutcliffe, Kent "Buy a vowel" Hrbek, Charlie Hough, Dave Henderson, Steve Sax, Bob Welch, Bill Gullickson, Lonnie Smith, and Bruce Hurst. Hubie Brooks was the only player on the ballot in 2000 to receive zero votes.  
To sum up of the 30 players on the ballot 2 were elected to the HOF that year, 5 more were eventually elected for a total of 7.  10 players received greater than 5% support in 2000 but failed to be elected to the HOF,  13 players failed to receive 5% of the vote and were elinated from further ballots.  Only 1 of the 14 players on the ballot for the first time in 2000 made it to the HOF. 

Next year, I hope to close the book on 2001 prior to my Hall of Fame coverage.

Coming Soon:  New Look Bears? 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Why Homeschool: Carnival of Homeschooling - Change

The 9th anniversary edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling is up at Why Home School.  Congratulations and keep the change!

Why Homeschool: Carnival of Homeschooling - Change: A wise man said " That one of the few constants in life is change ."  Homeschoolers know this.  From the moment they decside to hom...

6 word Saturday:Polar Bear Follies

I can't believe it's been 6 year since Amy and the kids did this at the zoo.  It hasn't been quite 6 years at since I shared a post for 6 word Saturday.  My 6 words are.  "Do it again, do it again!"  Which Wolfina shouts very loud at the end of this video.

For more 6 word Saturday go to Showmyfacedotcom

Friday, January 16, 2015

Home School Dad: Boyhood: A 12 in 12 Review

Yesterday, I started ny review of Boyhood like this.

Home School Dad: Boyhood: A 12 in 12 Review: Boyhood is a movie 12 years in the making.  Written and Directed by Richard Linklater, Boyhood was filmed over a 12 year period with the sa...

I was only kidding about coming back next year.  I will finish off the review today.  In preparing for this view I found this quote from film director and writer Richard Linklater on his IMDBpage ...

 "These days we can be sued for disparaging an industry. It's like it's a felony to say something bad. I think they should make it a felony to criticize a film product. Particularly my film product. It's anti-American. I'd like to see people get sued if they wrote a bad review of my movie. If you can't say something nice you shouldn't say anything at all."

I can say something nice about Mr. Linklater's movie and will. But I guess I might be subject to litigation because my main question while watching this film was "If your going to take 12 years to make a movie, why can't it be better?"

I give Linklater an A+ for effort, To film a movie over the course of a dozen years is a mammoth undertaking. The length of the project was so long that the actors could not be signed to a contract. My wife and I were entrigued by the concept and gladly spent parts of 2 nights watching it. I did not enjoy the movie as well as I hoped to for 3 reasons.

1. The movie seemed to lack continuity and cohesiveness. Sure the family moved a lot and Mason and his sister split their time between Mom and Dad. However, I did not see threads weaving through the movie as a tapestry of 12 years. True, we watched over 2 nights, but it was still very segmented. I guess that's a risk you take when you film in segments, but if this was the epic character study it was intended to be, I would have liked to see more cohesiveness.

2. The movie lacked a sense of humor. It started with one, with the comic relief of a precocious older sister. Now of course the movie dealt with difficult issues, but it is possible to deal with family dysfunction and still have humor intertwined throughout. Robert Redford's Ordinary People is a prime example.

3. For the most part, Boyhood depicts life as hopeless and circular. Now, some people may view life that way. But I don't. It's not necessarily a fault of the film or filmmaker if he feels that way. But since I don't, I can't embrace such despair. It may not be that the film is meant to be hopeless, it could just be my interpretation. At the end of the film,Mason goes off to college meets some new friends takes some drugs and go on a hike in a scenic area. Some people may view this as poignant or hopeful, I do not.

Watch again likelihood 75 to 80 %

This may seem high for a movie that I am panning, my expectations were high for this film, and the concept is novel enough to give it a second look. My wife and I may also be watching the before films soon, as the concept of following the same characters over an extended length of time continues to intrigue us.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Boyhood: A 12 in 12 Review

Boyhood is a movie 12 years in the making.  Written and Directed by Richard Linklater, Boyhood was filmed over a 12 year period with the same actors and actress telling a slice of life coming of age story of Mason from K-12. Each year he revisited the characters and moved along the plot.

Linklater is no stranger to revisiting characters.  As he  made 3 films with Boyhood star Ethan Hawke Before Sunrise 1995, Before Sunset 2004,  and Before Midnight 2013 revisiting the same couple at 9-year intervals.

I am about 1/12th of the way done with my review.  I will be back this time next year with my next installment.

Monday Morning Memories: Remembering Millard

I like to look at my blog stats for old posts that are recirculating.  This post I wrote shortly after the passing of Millard Posthuma in 2009 frequently appears on my top 10 list.  I believe people Google Millard and this post pops up.

Since I wrote this post, Millard's wife Trudy has joined Millard in heaven.  The Posthumas posthumous influence on my life remains strong.  Here is what I said then ...

Home School Dad: Remembering Millard: Millard Posthuma 1916 -2009 Heaven centered living provides own eulogy. I have recently discovered that there is a new blog c...

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Dragon practice

Hi, my name is Dave. But if you read this blog, you knew that. I am not typing this post. I am dictating it to Dragon software. I purchased the software for my sons spiderdroid.  I am just trying it out, to see if it works.  I am a pretty slow typist, and sometimes it is easier for me to dictate my posts to my wife. She is a fabulous typist.  I think sometimes I will use the software to type my blogs. When I  said typist a moment ago, it wrote down type s. When I said it in context,it got it right.

I hope this will help my son  with his writing.  This is working much better than the Dragon app I had with my ipod touch. I lost my iPod touch hospital years ago, that's a different story. Do any of you use Dragon software? How is it working for you?

Well, this was just a practice. I will be reviewing boyhood very soon.  Please check out my daughter's blog Wolfina's Secrets and  her most recent  post, my Christmas vacation.

My name is Dave Roller, and I approve this message!

New Year? 12 New to me movies.

Every year I set a goal to watch 12 movies I have not seen before.  I like movies and often watch the same ones over and over.  So I try to watch movies from time to time that I have not seen.  As many of you know there are 12 months in a year.  I decided to maybe try and add a new movie to watch each month for a year.  I may have accomplished this goal in the past, but I have always failed to chronicle it.  So, this year, I am going to write a post each month about the "new" movie I have seen.

Let me explain the parameters I have placed upon myself.  When I say new movies, I do not mean 12 2015 movies at the theater.  I mean 12 movies no matter how old or young they are.  Well not exactly because since I believe myself to be fairly well rounded, I want to see movies that I have not seen before from differing eras.

Here is how I am doing it: Since I am turning 51 this year, I have lived in all or parts of 52 calendar years.  52 divided by 4 is 13. I am dividing it only by 4 because, I am a big believer in watching movies older than me.  I have divided  the eras in 6 13 year periods, 4 spanning my life time and 2 predating my life time.  I will attempt to watch 2 movies from each era, and report back here each month with a review

The Eras are
2003 through 2015
1990 through 2002
1977 through 1989
1964 through 1976
1951 through 1963
Anything prior to 1950 (The main era would be 1938 to 1950, but this gives me  the freedom to watch movies even older than that)

Over the weekend I watched  a movie called Boyhood.  It came out in 2014 and will be my January selection.  The review should come out some time this week. I am thinking of the Big Broadcast (1932) for the February installment.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hall of Fame

Branch Rickey

Jackie Robinson

I love baseball.   Last year Spider Droid and I went to Cooperstown to visit Baseball's Hall of Fame.

I wanted to go to see Frank Thomas be inducted.

On way there we stopped at Niagara Falls
Here we are at the entrance.

We also worked toward a family goal of bowling in every state.

I thought of that trip today since the HOF class of 2015 was announced.  Earlier this week I posted my annual list of who I would vote for at my sports blog

Congratulations to Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio on their election.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2015 HOF,

Happy New year!  A new year means a new HOF class will be announced shortly for indu
ction in Cooperstown this summer.  Having attended last years festivities gives me even more of a thrill to do my annual prognostication

In 2014 there were 36 players on the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) ballot. 3 of those players were elected to the Hall of fame for induction in 2014,  Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine.  1 player Jack Morris failed to receive 75% of the votes cast for the 15th year and fell off the ballot.  15 players were removed from the ballot after failing to appear on at least 5% of the ballots cast.  14 of these players were in their 1st year of eligibility as well as Rafael Palmeiro who was on the ballot for the 4th year.  This leaves 17 players who  are returning from the 2014 ballot.

In 2014 the Baseball Hall of fame amended their election rules.  Previously a player had 15 years to receive the 75% of the vote needed for election to the Hall,  The time period is now being shortened to 10 years with players who have appeared on the ballot for 10 of more years already being grandfathered in to get up to 15 years if needed.

 The 17 players returning from last years ballot listed from highest percentage of votes received to lowest are ...

Craig Biggio  74.8% of vote in 2014  3rd year on ballot,  Additional time to be on ballot: 7  years.  Highest vote total 2014.

Mike Piazza 62.2% of vote in 2014.  3rd year on ballot,  Additional time to be on ballot: 7  years. Highest vote total 2014.

Jeff Bagwell 54.3% of vote in 2014. 5th year on ballot with 5 years remaining.  Highest vote total was 59.6% in 2013 his 3rd year of eligibility

Tim Raines 46.1%  of vote in 2014. 8th year on ballot  with 2 years remaining. Highest vote total  was 52.2% in 2013 in his 6th year of eligibility

Roger Clemens   35.4% of vote in 2014.  3rd year on ballot,  Additional time to be on ballot: 7  years. Clemens received his highest % (37.6)  in 2013 his first year on ballot.

Barry Bonds  34.7% of vote in 2014. 3rd year on ballot,   Additional time to be on ballot: 7  years.  Bonds received his highest % (36.2) in 2013 , his first year on ballot.

Lee Smith 29.9%  of vote in 2014. 13th year on ballot  with 2  years remaining.  Lee's highest % 50.6  was in 2012, his 10th year on ballot.

Curt Schilling 29.2% of vote in 2014. 3rd year on ballot,  Additional time to be on ballot: 7.  Curt's highest % of 38.8% was on his frst year on the ballot in 2013

Edgar Martinez 25.2% of vote in 2014. 6th year on ballot  with 4  years remaining. Edgar's  highest %  of 36.5 came  in 2012 his 3rd year of HOF consideration.
Alan Trammell  20.8% of vote in 2014. 14th year on ballot. Next year would be his  last year on ballot.   His highest % , 36.8,  came in 11th year of eligibility (2012) 36.8 in 2012 (11th year)

Mike Mussina 20.3 %  of vote in 2014.  2nd year on ballot (8 additional years remaining)

Jeff Kent 15.2%  of vote in 2014. 2nd year on ballot (8 additional years remaining)

Fred McGriff  11.7% of vote in 2014.  6th year on ballot with 3  years remaining)  Highest % 23.9 in 2012 (3rd year)

Mark McGwire 11.0 % of vote  in 2014. 9th year on ballot, Next year would be his  last year on ballot.  His highest % 23.7 in 2010 (4th year)

Larry Walker 10.2% of vote in 2014. 5th year on ballot  with 5  years remaining. Larry's highest  % 22.9  came in 2012, his 2nd year on the ballot

Don Mattingly 8.2%  of vote in 2014. 15th and final year on ballot. Mattingly's  highest %  28.2 came in 2001 his 1st year on the ballot

Sammy Sosa only  received 7.2% of the vote in 2014.  This is 3rd year on the ballot and would have 7 more elections if he is able to continue to receive more than 5% of the vote.  In 2012 Sosa received 12.5%, his highest percentage so far.

Joining the 17 returnees are 17 players on the ballot for their first time.  They are listed alphabetically with each team that they played for.

Rich Aurilla (Giants, Reds Padres, Mariners)
Aaron Boone (Reds, Indians, Nationals, Yankees, Astros, Marlins)
Tony Clark (Tigers, Diamond Backs, Mets, Red Sox, Padres, Yankees)
Carlos Delgado (Blue Jays, Mets, Marlins)
Jermaine Dye (Royals, White Sox. A's, Braves)
Darin Erstad (Angels, Astros, White Sox)
Cliff Floyd (Marlins, Expos, Mets, Rays, Red Sox, Padres, Cubs)
Nomar Garciaparra (Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, A's)
Brian Giles (Pirates, Padres, Indians)
Tom Gordon (Royals, Red Sox, Phillies, Cubs, Yankees, Diamond Backs, Astros. White Sox)
Eddie Guardado (Twins, Mariners, Rangers, Reds)
Randy Johnson (Mariners, Diamondbacks, Expos, Yankees, Giants, Astros)
Pedro Martinez (Red Sox, Mets, Expos, Dodgers, Phillies)
Troy Percival (Angels, Rays, Cardinals, Tigers)
Jason Schmidt (Giants,Pirates, Braves Dodgers)
Gary Sheffield (Marlins, Dodgers, Brewers, Yankees, Braves, Padres, Tigers, Mets)
John Smoltz (Braves, Cardinals, Reds)

In the actual HOF voting process, each writer can  vote for up to 10 players on the ballot.  So each year, I state who I would vote if I had to vote for exactly 10 players and keep on lowering the amount until I state who I would vote for if I had only 1 vote.  I also state how many players I would vote for on my official ballot if I could vote for up to 10.

Here are my votes for this year ...

If I could vote for 10 players, my 10th vote would go to Edgar Martinez.

If I could vote for only  9 players, my 9th vote would go to Mike Piazza.

Last year I voted for Piazza 8th, and revealed my actual ballot would have 7 players on it.  Again this year Piazza barely misses the mark.

My official ballot would have 8 players on it and  my 8th vote would go to Jermaine Dye.

Yes , Jermaine Dye.  I voted for JD, much for the same reason why I put Robin Ventura on my "official" ballot a few years back.  As I explained then, I feel people who watch local great players owe it to the nation to keep the great but not necessarily HOF players on the ballot a few years so others can come to appreciate their greatness.  I just could not bring myself to not vote for the 2005 World Series MVP,

Speaking of the 2005 World Series, my 7th vote would go to Jeff  Bagwell.

Just like last years my 6th and 5th votes are virtually a tie between a Cubs reliever and a Braves starter.  However, this year I will put the Braves starter, John Smoltz as my 6th vote.

Given only 5, my 5th vote would go to Lee Smith.

Just like last year, my 4th vote would go to Craig Biggio.

If I had just 3 votes, my 3rd vote would go to Pedro Martinez.

If I could only vote for 2 players on the 2015 ballot, my 2nd vote would go to Tim Raines.

If I could only vote for 1 player this year, that vote would go to the Big Unit, Randy Johnson.

That's what I would do.

Here is what I think Will happen

4 of the following 5 players  will be inducted this summer:

Randy Johnson
Craig Biggio
John Smoltz
Jeff Bagwell
Pedro Martinez

Pedro and Johnson being mortal locks,  and either Smoltzy or Bagwell being the odd man out.  My money says Bagwell won't make it, this time.

I will check in after the announcement to talk about what really happened.

A to Z 2023 Road Trip

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