Wednesday, October 23, 2013

World Series... uh, yeah

Tonight the World Series commences with the Red Sox-Cardinals match-up I prophesized after watching the Tigers and Dodgers squander their excellent starting pitching with no ability to have the bullpen hold the lead or to get runners in scoring position across (it's not out of the question to imagine both having gone up 3 games to 0 rather than be down 2 to 1 after three, making their odds of continuing on much higher). It's arguable whether the victors played that much better than the losers in their respective series but that they merely did what they needed to do in order to win (which, really, is what winning teams do). So we have a rematch of the 2004 Series, where whichever team comes out on top will have its third title in the past decade.

And the question is: Which team is more worthy of rooting against?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Useless Rhetorical Rumination: The conundrum of 'Pre-existing'

When discussing the Affordable Care Act proponents tout how one can no longer be denied coverage by insurance companies for "pre-existing" conditions. While we have all accepted that through its repetition I still find it a fascinating construction.

Existence is a binary condition; either something exists or it doesn't. To "pre-exist" suggests there is a third state of existing before existence, which from a rhetorical standpoint seems impossible. Clearly something only exists when it exists, not before the initiation of that state, but when we hear "pre-existing" bandied about in this manner we don't pause and consider its inherent contradiction.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Those idiots in D.C. get paid, no matter what; no big shock

That our elected officials in Washington D.C. get their pay even if they fail to do their job of keeping the government from shutting down is not surprising; those who would have to implement such a rule that they don't get paid are the ones who would be affected, and who in their right mind would choose to forsake their pay?

Not that there's exactly a surfeit of right-mindedness in that town, but even a nigh moron would see the flaw in bringing up the topic to all of one's colleagues that everyone should not get paid if they cannot figure out a way to justify why they should get paid. Nobody on either side of the aisle would go for that (although some would give it lip service to make it seem like they aren't the same ol' politicos that everyone complains about).

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Life decisions: foreign languages

Not exactly inspired by Hispanic Heritage "Month" but...
There are moments when I think that if I could go back and advise my young self I'd recommend taking three years of high school Spanish rather than three years of French, knowing that a better understanding of Espa├▒ol would serve me more later in life, especially living where I do (Southern California, for those who don't already know).

Of course, given how little I recall of Fran├žais it remains a strong possible I'd be in a similar position regardless of which other language I took. Unless I spoke it regularly—which clearly I would not have done during the years after high school—it would have faded. The best that would have come of it would be to be able to utter a few sentences, undoubtedly to the amusement of the native speaker having to endure me brutalizing their tongue. Still, had I done that then these days I'd be coming at the situation when I have cause to attempt to say something in Spanish it would not be learning words or phrases but trying to recall what I'd already (presumably) learned.

Granted, if I had the ability to go back and tell pre-teen Doug something to be of more use for later life, I imagine learning a different language probably wouldn't make the top fifty things that I probably should say.