Baseball in Baltimore!

One week ago tonight I was at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. We entered via Eutaw Street, which reminded me of a small elongated county fairground, what with food vendors and team merchandise sellers on either side.

This ballpark was the first new stadium which attempted to recover the feel of the baseball-only stadiums of the earlier 20th century, and I’ve wanted to see it for a long time. When one of my classmates told me he had tickets to spare I jumped at the opportunity.

I’m sure I took a picture of Eutaw Street with my phone, but maybe I didn’t get the button pushed hard enough. I discovered on this trip that my LG phone’s camera doesn’t take the clearest pictures, whether because I push too hard and move the phone body or for some other reason.

On the other hand, this one came out pretty well.

The Orioles are horrible this season, which explains why the crowd is so small. They managed to beat the Blue Jays the night I was there, though, in a good tight 2-1 game.

Two days and a wakeup!

That’s military terminology for the number of days you have left in a specific place before the day you leave (that’s the wakeup part of it).

I’ve had a struggle with the COPD in that the pulmonary doctors said I should probably take a High Altitude Simulation Test to see whether I could fly in a pressurized cabin. Why should the doctors think I couldn’t? Well,

Based on FAA flight regulations, aircraft cabins are pressurized to between 8,000 and 10,000 feet, which means, compared to conditions at sea level, the amount of breathable air (including oxygen) is reduced by about 6%.

So the medical profession devised a test which would simulate the air that you get on the plane, and they measure the amount of oxygen in your blood.

[The test] uses a mask and a valve connected to an H-cylinder tank, which supplies the patient with a low FiO2 mix of 15% oxygen on inspiration. The patient also wears a nasal cannula connected to a pulse oxygen tank regulator that the technicians use to titrate additional oxygen, based on the patient’s oxygen saturation levels, which must stay at or above 90%…

They put an oximeter on my index finger, fit me with a mask and fed me the simulated cabin air. Poof! The oxygen saturation level in my blood immediately dropped from 91% to 87%. The nurse said “okay, you’re gonna need oxygen.” She fit a cannula into my nose and turned the oxygen on at a pace of 3 liters per minute. That bumps your oxygen level up from the 21% level found in ordinary air to roughly 32%, a richer mixture.

Okay. So now I know I have to lug a portable oxygen concentrator on the plane (you can’t carry tanks). That’s a damned nuisance, but I can live with it. But getting the authorization from the VA and then getting it to send the authorization over to the local medical supplier has taken a week and raised my stress levels considerably. Friday, nine days after my doctor requested it, the supplier finally got the necessary documents. I still need signatures on several forms from my doctor, I can’t pick up the oxygen device till Monday and I don’t know how big and heavy it might be, I have to notify the airline of the gadget’s manufacturer to be sure it fits United’s requirements (which include a 14-hour battery life based on the number of flight and layover hours on my schedule) and I’m supposed to get on a plane Tuesday evening.


Tiresome or scary?

This is a bad storm year. Norman just went by; now Olivia is scheduled to run into us Wednesday. By that time the forecasters expect it to be downsized to tropical storm intensity. I sure hope they’re right, because it looks like it’s gonna pass right through the island chain.

WTPZ32 KNHC 080254

Hurricane Olivia Advisory Number 30
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL EP172018
800 PM PDT Fri Sep 07 2018


LOCATION…20.9N 135.2W

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

Interests in Hawaii should monitor the progress of Olivia this
weekend and use this time to enact your hurricane action plan.

At 800 PM PDT (0300 UTC), the center of Hurricane Olivia was located
near latitude 20.9 North, longitude 135.2 West. Olivia is moving
toward the west-northwest near 15 mph (24 km/h), and this general
motion is forecast to continue through Saturday. A gradual turn
toward the west is expected Saturday night or Sunday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 100 mph (155 km/h) with higher
gusts. A slow weakening trend is expected during the next few days.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the
center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles
(185 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 975 mb (28.80 inches).


Next complete advisory at 200 AM PDT.

This widget will display the “cone of uncertainty” once the storm passes the longitude 140W. It’s five degrees from that tonight.

This should be handy

The Republicans are worried about the November elections, and they’ve got good reason. They’ve ginned up talking points about the horror show which might occur if Democrats win the House and begin doing real oversight of the Trump Administration. Axios obtained a copy of them. It’s interesting that the GOP didn’t do any original work here: these items are solely ones the Democrats have already demanded and been denied by House and Senate Oversight Committee Chairmen.

Among them:

  • President Trump’s tax returns
  • Trump family businesses — and whether they comply with the Constitution’s emoluments clause, including the Chinese trademark grant to the Trump Organization
  • Trump’s dealings with Russia, including the president’s preparation for his meeting with Vladimir Putin
  • The payment to Stephanie Clifford — a.k.a. Stormy Daniels
  • James Comey’s firing
  • Trump’s firing of U.S. attorneys
  • Trump’s proposed transgender ban for the military
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s business dealings
  • White House staff’s personal email use
  • Cabinet secretary travel, office expenses, and other misused perks
  • Discussion of classified information at Mar-a-Lago
  • Jared Kushner’s ethics law compliance
  • Dismissal of members of the EPA board of scientific counselors
  • The travel ban
  • Family separation policy
  • Hurricane response in Puerto Rico
  • Election security and hacking attempts
  • White House security clearances

The spreadsheet — which I’m told originated in a senior House Republican office — catalogs more than 100 formal requests from House Democrats this Congress, spanning nearly every committee.

The spreadsheet includes requests for administration officials to be grilled by committee staff, requests for hearings to obtain sworn testimony, efforts to seize communications about controversial policies and personnel decisions, and subpoena threats.

If we can win in November we can strike one helluva blow for Good Government.

Horrorcane approacheth

If the forecasts are right this monster (currently a Cat 5 hurricane with 160mph winds) will be off O’ahu’s southern shore at 0700 Friday morning. That’s a scary thing, because they’re forecasting that it will be within 100 miles of land.

Fiddle with the time bar at the bottom to see what Lane is going to do.

50th Anniversary, HS Class Graduation

It’s not precisely a 50th Reunion, although that’s standard naming. How many classes have met every year for 50 years?

Anyway, for months I’ve been on the planning committee for my high school class’s reunion, and it’s now just a month away. I’ve already got a hotel reservation and my plane tickets.

At one point we’d thought to ask some of the class members to play the rock songs of our youth, as they’ve done twice in the last ten years for these get-togethers, but it was concluded that there’s only one way to play that music — loudly. If we did that conversations would be drowned out, and since we’re all 67 or 68 years old our hearing’s not the best anymore anyway. So we told the band they could mingle with the rest of us instead of working.

What then do we do for background music? Well, I didn’t exactly volunteer to create an iTunes playlist, I just made one for myself and then offered it. I focused on songs released no later than 1968 and mostly hit my target. There may be a dozen on the list which came out between 1969 and 1972. Here are the first half-dozen or so, and here’s a link to a spreadsheet with the entire list of songs. I’ve got a copy of the mp4 files on flash drive and in Dropbox.

Song Artist
I Want To Hold Your Hand The Beatles
Ain’t She Sweet The Beatles With Tony Sheridan
All Day And All Of The Night The Kinks
The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore The Walker Brothers
Needles And Pins The Searchers
Downtown Petula Clark


I was listening to a shuffle of my iTunes library this evening when the studio version of this song from “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere” popped up (preceded by Hoe Down from Copland’s Rodeo, of all things).

This is live at Farm Aid at Bristow, Virginia in 2000. The backing band includes the late Donald “Duck” Dunn, who played bass with Booker T and the MGs and worked/appeared with many others. Listen to him.