If a Tree Falls In a Forest …

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… and there is no one around to hear it, did it make a sound?  Silly question, isn’t it.  Of course it emits a stimulus that makes a sound, irrespective of whether there was anyone around to witness the auditory event.  End of discussion.  Or is it?

A philosopher might argue that it hinges on your view of radical skepticism.

A physicist might posit that it emits compression waves, but not sound until the vibrations are interpreted as such.

In other words, the question isn’t so silly when you consider the cilia.

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After all, an individual with hearing loss can still experience a sound event by detecting compression waves.  Perhaps it all boils down to this:

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Kondo Rules

Uh-oh!  Giving books away is an essential step in Marie Kondo’s method to decluttering and organizing your personal spaces.  (It’s a good thing Miriam doesn’t read my blogs.)

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But seriously … Dr. Christiane Northrup provides a nice snapshot of the Kondo deeds.  The challenge of course is not to let stuff accumulate in the first place that needs to be purged in your once yearly surge of Spring decluttering.  Easier said than done!

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A Student of the Game

It’s wonderful to see a young man like Ian Happ, who won’t turn 23 until August, handle himself so well on a public stage.  After all, he was called up in band-aid fashion to a team that won the World Series last year and has largely the same roster.  He’s impressing their cerebral manager along with the rest of the Cubs’ brain trust, who would have sent him back to the minors by now had he not picked up where he left off in spring training.  And Ian in his interviews gives a hint of what makes him such an effective student of the game.

Opposing pitchers will adjust to his tendencies, and Ian in turn will recognize their adjustment and make his own corrections.  That is the nature of the game for players who are able to adapt successfully.  Here is an example, toward the end of Friday’s game :

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One of Ian’s calling cards is patience, and many of his ABs find him working to a 3 ball count.  But he won’t shy away from swinging at the first pitch if he thinks he can drive it.  In this at-bat, Ian goes in the hole quickly at 0-2, and swings and misses on a pitch in the dirt.  If he has any weakness at the plate, it’s in laying off those sinkers in the dirt that they’ve been throwing him on two strike counts.  No doubt that’s been pointed out to him, and no doubt he will learn to recognize that because he’s such an effective student of the game.

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Like all ballplayers, Ian has a routine at the plate.  As he steps away in between pitches, he holds the bat vertically on the midline, gazing at the barrel during a conscious breath and visualizing how he’ll make contact before re-setting himself in the box.  He exhibits an economy of movement, and a quiet confidence as he readies himself to recognize the pitch.

Ian is a stealthy five tools player.  He isn’t flashy or demonstrative, which is why you almost have to be a student of the game to realize how well he does everything from running the bases to taking effective routes to the ball in the field.

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Above all Ian seems to be fitting in quite well with the clubhouse culture that the Cubs have cultivated, emerging as yet another catalyst on a team with enviable chemistry.

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Cubs’ Slow Start is Ian’s Happenstance

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I first became emotionally invested in Ian Happ’s performance during the Arizona Fall League.  The kid is immersed, and goes about his business in a very professional way.  He seems adept at blocking out background distractions, and was learning the ropes on how to handle the media.  All that served him well as he opened eyes during spring training and began pounding the ball for the AAA Iowa Cubs.

The Big League Cubs are off to a rough start and, to hear their manager tell it, they’re lucky to be a .500 team a month into the season.  With position players struggling or banged up, the timing was right for Ian to be called up.  One can only imagine the pressure to perform in front of family flown in and a healthy representation of Cubs fans in the stands at the sold out  New Busch.  He immediately jumped into the frying pan, starting in right field and batting second, with Manager Maddon dispensing the advice to enjoy the moment, have fun, and not change anything he’s been doing.  Easier said than done.

I wasn’t there, but I was as nervous as if I were in the stands.  Even with ice water in his veins, Ian struck out his first time up.  The second time he looked more confident, and patiently drew a walk.  The third time up he reached base on an error by the Cardinals’ first baseman Matt Carpenter but, on a Busch call, was ruled out at second base for interference when he slid through and beyond the bag.  We can only speculate on what was going through Ian’s mind as the run scored on the play by Kyle Schwarber was erased.

But then, in the 7th inning, Ian redeemed himself big time.  Joining an elite coterie of players who homered in their first major league games, Ian barreled up the first pitch into the right field stands where it was promptly retrieved by a Cardinals fan.  Take that, Mighty Casey — there is joy in Cubville!  Though it was disappointing that the Cubs didn’t win, a potential new star is on the horizon.

Ian was quoted before the game as saying that he might wake up tomorrow and not remember what happened.  He was trying to slow everything down, to be in the moment.  Well, just in case there’s any amnesia in the morning, here’s some photo-documetation as seen on the little screen.

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By the way — that was the slide sequence at second base on Ian’s second time up after drawing a walk.  Here is the controversial “interference slide” sequence into second base after Ian reached first on an error his third time up.

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And now, drum roll please …

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And what of the Cardinals fan who retrieved Ian’s first major league home run ball?  Present it to Ian’s mom, of course.  Happy Mother’s Day, Mary Beth!

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Twin Gymnasts Qualify for Nationals

Congrats to our granddaughters, Ayelet & Leora Goldstein, on racking up the points at this afternoon’s “States” in gymnastics, qualifying for the “Nationals” in their age bracket.

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Thank You to Dr. Robin Price

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A big thanks to Dr. Robin Price from Utah who collaborated with Pam Happ and Dr. Daniel Press to put together a tribute to deceased members of family and friends of COVD (the College of Optometrists in Vision Development) at this year’s annal banquet in Jacksonville, FL that included my father.  The photos and highlights they extracted from the blog series I did about Dr. Israel Press shortly after his passing, set to Dan Fogelberg’s “Leader of the Band”,  were a touching surprise.  Here it is, as it appeared on the big screen …

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Fun at Adventure Lookout

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