October 2017

I Assume the Butterfinger® Is a Comment on the Opposing Player

Wyoming Head Coach Craig Bohl doesn't do sideline props to reward his players for forcing turnovers.

Tennessee has its trash can. Miami has its gold chain. Boise State has its wrestling-style belt, as do other teams.

Wyoming doesn't have any of that. There's no sideline gimmick awarded to a Cowboy who forces a turnover. Wyoming does have 24 takeaways. No Football Bowl Subdivision team has more.

Mrs. McG and I saw a gold chain being passed around on the sidelines during IIRC, the Dallas-Washington NFL game last Sunday Mississippi State-Texas A&M game last Saturday (guess which sideline?). Yet somehow the Pokes from Laramie are doing better at the effort than those prop-wielding teams. How can that be?

The Cowboys have a corresponding candy reward for numerous defensive achievements. A sack results in a Snickers, a tackle for loss equals a Crunch bar, and a pass breakup earns a player a Butterfinger, according to Ghaifan. He should know; the sophomore's nine tackles for loss and three sacks are both second on the team.

Maybe it was Wyoming's sweet tooth that produced a program-record seven turnovers on Halloween weekend, as the Cowboys blew out New Mexico 42-3.

"You kind of wake up on Sunday, you're kind of thinking about your game and going, 'Oh, man. I get a candy bar this week,'" Hall said. "It's cool."

I guess when you're an FBS athlete on a strict diet and training regimen, that works. And those stats do say it works. Boy howdy.

© Tuesday,  October 31, 2017  Kevin McGehee


"Will Work for Catnip"

Animal lovers in Wyoming are starting a Jobs for Cats program.

The Rock Springs Companion Animal Committee is starting a "working cat" program in Sweetwater County. Committee Vice President Dorothy Savage said the program will start immediately and would be a great resource for businesses experiencing problems with rodents or interested in saving a cat.

"They're really overwhelmed at Animal Control," Savage said. "Cats are great rodent deterrents; even the odor of a cat on the premises is enough to scare rodents away."

Savage said the Companion Animal Committee came up with the idea after reading about similar programs that have reported great success.

Cities and suburbs can motivate cat adoptions by simply promoting them as pets -- rural communities have to get a bit more creative.

© Tuesday,  October 31, 2017  Kevin McGehee


Program Note

Up to now I've been copying the October archive page as the index page of the blog whenever I edit same, in effect maintaining two distinct copies of the monthly archive page. With the end of the month coming I've decided to turn the index page into a redirect page, automatically bringing you here -- and once I've posted a November entry, you'll be taken automatically to the November archive page. I'll still have to edit the index page, but only once a month.

I guess I should put a hyperlink on the index page for those whose browsers for some reason don't support redirect. BRB.

© Monday,  October 30, 2017  Kevin McGehee


29.8°F

First frost of the season here on the home acres.

Well, last weekend Mrs. McG and I watched four sporting events, and in every single one of them the team we were rooting for, won. We were up until damn near 2:00 a.m. watching the Dodgers and Astros exhaust their bullpens trying to break out of the continually retying score. Was that really only ten innings??? By comparison the preceding football game -- Cowboys @ Redskins -- was hardly even interesting. We joined the game in the 3rd quarter when Dallas was leading by just one point. In the end they won, 33-19.

This is is how fall should be.

© Monday,  October 30, 2017  Kevin McGehee


Ends and Odds

I don't want to jinx it, but according to my spam folder it's now been almost two weeks since the last one I got. Is it just me?

Update, next evening: And now the two-week mark has passed. Sure is quiet out there. Too quiet.

Last night both Mississippi State and the University of Wyoming played at almost exactly the same time -- and no, they weren't playing each other. Best proof of that is, they both won. The Bulldogs from Starkvegas soundly defeated favored Texas A&M 35-14 in College Station, while the Cowboys, hosting the New Mexico Lobos in Laramie, beat them by 39 points, allowing only a field goal.

Last year the Lobos were the Pokes' last regular-season opponents, and beat Wyoming by 21 at home in Albuquerque. Clearly New Mexico lost a lot of talent between then and now.

This year it's unlikely the Cowboys will make the Mountain West title game, but if they'd ended last year's bout with the Lobos like last night's, they would have gone into the title game with San Diego State with a lot more confidence.

My preferred text editor in Windows defaults to windows-1252 text encoding, and makes it hard to find where to change that default to UTF-8, which I prefer. Why would anyone not use Unicode? Anyway, I finally tracked down the setting, and also converted pages I'd created in that editor (like this one) to UTF-8.

It's only a nuisance because I came back to Windows and reinstalled this text editor, knowing I needed to fix that default but never getting around to hunting it down until this morning.

For some weeks now I've been lusting after a new cowboy hat on Sheplers.com that's totally unwearable in this climate -- a buffalo felt hat -- and every day its rather largely discounted price is good only until midnight, whereupon the price is discounted again to the same price it was the previous day.

I wonder how many hats they sell with this trick?

Update, mid-December. The "one day only" discount is still in "Groundhog Day" mode.

© Sunday,  October 29, 2017  Kevin McGehee


Aaaaahhhh, Shaddap!

You know what I need my phone to make noise for? When I get a phone call.

Everything else is optional -- and except for specific things, I opt for silence. So it annoys me when Android and the makers of apps that I use on my phone decide to turn on noises after I've already turned them off.

Actually the apps that are the worst about this are made by Google or Amazon. Until the latest version, the Kindle app didn't even seem to have a working "off" switch for noisemaking. It remains to be seen whether the "off" switch in the new version works.

One of many reasons why I stopped buying ebooks through Amazon was because of this bad behavior. I reinstalled the Kindle app when Mrs. McG and I were finally able successfully to set up Amazon's family library thing. If the app keeps nagging me, it goes overboard again.

© Saturday,  October 28, 2017  Kevin McGehee


Thoughts My Brain Made

Confucius say, "He who looks for a reason to take offense will find it. Because he is an ass."

© Saturday,  October 28, 2017  Kevin McGehee


Hands Across the Aisle

In an example of the way politics should be, I'm in agreement with a Democrat in Maine who wants to dump Daylight Saving Time.

Earlier this year, Bailey sponsored a bill that would move Maine to the Atlantic Time Zone, an hour ahead of its current position in the Eastern Time Zone, and no longer observe Daylight Saving Time. The bill passed both chambers of the Maine state legislature. But the Senate added a provision that Maine voters must approve the change in a referendum, and the referendum could only be triggered by neighboring Massachusetts and New Hampshire changing their time, too. Since neither of those states had immediate plans to change their time zones, the move seemed doomed.

But now there is hope. Massachusetts is considering a permanent change in its time zone.

Yup -- deep red McG agrees with Democrats in deep blue Massachusetts. Mark this day.

Actually, I'd prefer this happen across the country (Daylight Saving Time as we know it is a fairly recent innovation, by the way), with the time zones all set to split the difference between their current "standard" and DST settings. But any progress is still progress, and shifting all the time-zone boundaries about 7½ degrees west -- building on Bailey's proposal -- would have essentially the same effect.

Reminder: We go back to "standard" time (which is only in effect for 19 weeks, or just over four months) on November 5 -- a week from Sunday.

© Thursday,  October 23, 2017  Kevin McGehee


Perspective, Please

One of the surest ways to turn The Mustache off of a pundit, a blog, or a TV show is for it to devolve to a constant drumbeat of My team rocks! Your team sucks! -- if it is not (a) about sports, or (b) ironically meant.

And most especially if it's about politics. I'm one of those weirdoes who expects politics to be about debating issues and solving problems. Partisan allegiance-signalling belongs at a rally, not in our daily lives.

National allegiance-signalling is a different matter of course, but unless at a parade or sporting event, a nice lapel pin should suffice.

© Thursday,  October 27, 2017  Kevin McGehee


37°F

This morning's low on the home acres was not quite frosty, but encouraging nevertheless. It's always good when we here in subtropical west Georgia experience fall-like weather before the end of fall. In fact, at this moment, we appear to be on temperature parity with some places out in Wyoming.

It's still too crowded here though.

© Thursday,  October 26, 2017  Kevin McGehee


Better Luck Next Time, Cousin

Back in June I learned that collegiate bareback bronc rider Lane McGehee of south Texas had placed second in the College National Finals Rodeo. I said then,

Can't wait to see him in some PRCA events, but I gather that'll be a while.

"A while" turned out to be four months. At weekend-before-last's All-American ProRodeo Finals in Waco, a PRCA event, Lane turned out on a horse named PTSD Power Play, only to get bucked off before the eight-second whistle. Here's hoping he keeps showing up, and stays on his next horses as well as he did in Casper.

Incidentally, I wish CBS Sports Network would either learn to edit their rodeo telecasts better, or stop showing the PRCA rodeos after the PBR events. I record the real rodeo programming on our Tivo DVR, and since the PBR events always seem to end a few minutes late, I often end up losing the last few bull rides from the subsequent PRCA broadcasts. That's like bumping the finish of the Daytona 500 because the Facebook Celebrity Demolition Derby ran long.

© Monday,  October 23, 2017  Kevin McGehee


It's Better This Way

A real cowboy's tally book would be a paper-and-pencil affair, and typing content and format into a static HTML file with a text editor comes a darn sight closer to that than using an online HTML editor that auto-formats it all and pastes it up without me having the faintest idea how it all works.

Now, granted, I am using an auto-uploader, but I installed that on my laptop and configured it myself. It's about a step and a half more advanced than using an FTP application to upload the pages after I've edited them, though that step-and-a-half does save me having to switch over and upload after every edit. Them old cowboys were practical men, not Luddites. Also, the automation works both ways, so I can edit the actual online page -- such as, if I were away from the laptop -- and it saves the edit to my on-disk copy. This gives me more direct control of the formatting, which means cleaner code and a cleaner, more legible page.

I've never heard of a hacker inserting malicious code on a purely static web page. Maybe it's happened, but I'd have a hard time imagining it could do him any good.

Update, Thursday: Charles Hill has an example of it happening.

© Sunday,  October 22, 2017  Kevin McGehee


As If I Needed A Special Reason

The University of Wyoming Cowboys take on the Boise State Broncos on the smurf turf in Boise tonight.

Years ago I rooted for Boise State when Mrs. McG was after a position in Boise, and afterward I especially remember how much I enjoyed watching them beat the Georgia Bulldogs at a season opener in Atlanta. The Broncos remain a football powerhouse in the Mountain West Conference, though Wyoming defeated them last year. When I was first able to watch Wyoming's football games on TV I was a little torn about them and Boise.

Not so much anymore. I don't like to let politics get into my football, but this isn't really politics so much as academic self-immolation by a university. It's sad to see this happening at an institution with such a good football team. You'd think they'd have learned from what's happening to the University of Missouri, but no.

They deserve to lose tonight's game. Let's hope it teaches them a lesson.

Update: Nuts.

© Saturday,  October 21, 2017  Kevin McGehee


Yup, This Is the Place

As posted here, this is where I'll be blogging from now on. Since I resumed blogging in 2015, I really never did get into a pace that demands a CMS, and in my present situation I'm spending around $120 a year to maintain two webspaces when I really only need one. The old posts are already archived at WordPress.com, and if I find I absolutely must resume using a blogging platform again, it'll be there.

© Friday,  October 20, 2017  Kevin McGehee

 

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