Random Thoughts

Thought #17

I'm always sort of surprised that there's not more intergender competition in sports. While men and women aren't physically equal, there's a lot of overlap in their abilities, and a lot of low-contact sports that reward both power and finesse. While I don't expect to see men and women facing off on the gridiron any time soon, I can't think of a single good reason why they don't regularly compete in tennis and golf. Or baseball.

I'm always surprised that there aren't more women in baseball at any level. Yes, they may not be capable of developing the same upper body strength as their male counterparts, but speed, finesse, and instinct are also a large part of baseball and there's nothing stopping women from having any of those qualities. In some ways, they're in a similar position to Asian players, who used to be dismissed as no-power shrimps. And conceivably, they could break in the same way as Asian players — by proving their value as pitchers before producing a few outstanding position players. So why haven't they?

I blame softball.

Asian players may face an uphill climb, but at least they're playing the same game as the rest of the world. Most women, on the other hand, wind up going into fast pitch softball — bigger balls, under-arm throwing motions, smaller fields, shorter games. So right from the bat a female pitcher is automatically a conversion project, and, Rick Ankiel aside, those almost never pan out. So any break-through female player would have to be a freak case — someone who doesn't give up on baseball after Little League, who keeps going through high school and maybe college in spite of some tough opposition, and who has all the tools to catch they eye of some chauvinistic major-league scout.

I guess I shouldn't hold my breath.

Thought #18

I somehow wound up with a Canadian quarter today. Before, when this happened, I'd usually try to see if I could trick a vending machine into taking it, or set it aside to buy a newspaper with next time I wound up in Canada. Today, I found myself wondering if I could buy something cheap with it and demand some change.

Thought #19

I am apparently the Death of Headphones. Last year I went through ten sets — the longest of which lasted just over two months, and the shortest of which lasted just under a week. I managed to yank wires out, get wires wrapped around doorknobs and almost strangle myself in the process, dunk earpieces in coffee, roll earbuds over with an office chair, and even bend the plug. So in a way I'm glad that I just managed to make a pair of headphones last nearly four months.

Thought #20

One of the most wonderful times of day is the hour before dawn, when all the birds are out and about claiming their territory. I've been waking up early the last several days, and I've spent a few minutes just sitting there listening to the birdsong as I drink my coffee. It's just beautiful.

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