Truisms or Not

Truisms or Not (shamelessly ripped off from a friend)

— If I had a dollar for every girl who found me unattractive, they’d eventually find me attractive.

— I find it ironic that the colors red, white, and blue stand for freedom, until they’re flashing behind you.

— Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation towards the local swimming pool, so I gave him a glass of water.

— I changed my password to “incorrect” so whenever I forget it the computer will say, “Your password is incorrect.”

— Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

— I’m great at multi-tasking–I can waste time, be unproductive, and procrastinate all at once.

— If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

— Never tell your problems to anyone, because 20 percent don’t care and the other 80 percent are glad you have them.

— Doesn’t expecting the unexpected mean that the unexpected is actually expected?

— Take my advice — I’m not using it.

— I hate it when people use big words just to make themselves sound perspicacious.

— Hospitality is the art of making guests feel like they’re at home when you wish they were.

— Television may insult your intelligence, but nothing rubs it in like a computer.

— I bought a vacuum cleaner six months ago and so far all it’s been doing is gathering dust.

— Every time someone comes up with a foolproof solution, along comes a more-talented fool.

— I’ll bet you $4,567 you can’t guess how much I owe my bookie.

— Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.

— If you keep your feet firmly on the ground, you’ll have trouble putting on your pants.

— A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.

— Ever stop to think and forget to start again?

— When I married Ms. Right, I had no idea her first name was Always.

— My wife got 8 out 10 on her driver’s test–the other two guys managed to jump out of her way.

— There may be no excuse for laziness, but I’m still looking.

— Women spend more time wondering what men are thinking than men spend thinking.

— Give me ambiguity or give me something else.

— He who laughs last thinks slowest.

— Is it wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly?

— Women sometimes make fools of men, but most guys are the do-it-yourself type.

— I was going to give him a nasty look, but he already had one.

— Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

— The grass may be greener on the other side but at least you don’t have to mow it.

— I like long walks, especially when they’re taken by people who annoy me.

— I was going to wear my camouflage shirt today, but I couldn’t find it.

— If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.

— Sometimes I wake up grumpy; other times I let her sleep.

— If tomatoes are technically a fruit, is ketchup a smoothie?

— Money is the root of all wealth.

— No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.


Oh, yeah — please, no more political posts, calls, emails, ads, snail-mail, etc — I voted today.

Huntington Beach Airshow

p1010142bsmallSometime early this year of lat last year, I began seeing items touting an airshow involving the U. S. Air Force Thunderbird aerobatic team on the beach. Yeah, right. Well, last February (I think) an F-16 did a preliminary recon of HB — hmmm . . . maybe, maybe.

Well, this last weekend it became a reality.

Late Thursday morning I took Charlie (my wife) to an appointment at her hairdresser’s in Newport Beach. I returned home to read and wait for her call. About 1 pm I heard a tremendous roar and looked out to see a flight of jets (the p1010158bsmallThunderbirds) flying over our house heading southwest to the coast. It was their first practice flight over the beach for the Saturday/Sunday show.

Charlie called a few minutes later and I climbed into the car to pick her up. I saw a good deal of the jets practicing their maneuvers on the fifteen minute drive to the hairdresser and on the return pointed them out to Charlie. It was the first she had heard of their being a show and was thrilled to see the planes — and wanted to go.

p1010172bsmallI thought Friday, the practice day, would be best because the crowds would be smaller than those on Saturday and Sunday but as luck would have it Charlie wasn’t feeling up to it. Sunday was supposed to be cool so we decided to make the visit to the beach and show then.

Sunday dawned cool and moist. I had charged up her scooter (the same one we p1010200bsmalltook to Europe) and loaded it onto the Buick’s carrier. About noon we headed over to Mike and Sandy’s where we were going to park the car for a short, block and a half, “stroll” down Beach Blvd to the show.

After speaking with our friends for a few minutes, they were going to Long Beach p1010214bsmallto see a live theater show that afternoon and had already seen the airshow, we set out for the beach. Di had her British jacket and I had a USC hoodie and an umbrella in case it decided to rain — it decided to begin sprinkling just about the time we crossed PCH and got to the beach.

We missed the opening parachuting but saw several solo aerobatic acts and both of the jet aerobatic demonstration teams. In addition to the U. S. Air Force Thunderbirds the Breitling Jet Team also gave an impressive demonstration. p1010228bsmall

Airshow Jets

The Breitling Jet Team flies the Czech built L-39C Albatros. The Albatros is a sub-sonic twin-seat military jet trainer.

The Thunderbirds fly the Lockheed Martin Fighting Falcon F-16 supersonic single-seat air superiority/ground attack fighter.

There was also a demonstration flight conducted by a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet.

At the airshow

p1010243bsmallThe weather turned steadily wetter and I quickly had to don my hoodie and unfurl our umbrella, but the rain was an inconvenience, not an outing killer — and we do need the rain.

We spent most of the afternoon around the Beach/PCH area and tried to stay away from tall people who could block Charlie’s view of things. She (I) bought a Thunderbird t-shirt and was most disappointed that she couldn’t get closer to the HB Police horses. p1010127bsmall

We were there for a bit over three hours and thoroughly enjoyed the show. It was the second time I’d seen the Thunderbirds. Dad had taken my brother and I to see the air races at Fox Field where the Thunderbirds were also performing. this was some fifty plus years ago when they flew the F-100 Super Sabre. The thing I remember most about that show was being able to walk up and “touch” some of the racing aircraft: P-51 Mustang, P-38 Lightning, F8F Bearcat, etc. I’ve also seen the Blue Angels perform.

p1010251bsmallWhen the Thunderbirds finished their show, we (and most everyone else) headed home. Many of those walking and riding their bikes were thoroughly soaked. Charlie got wetter on her scooter than I did walking. It took a few minutes to get the scooter secured to the carrier while Charlie waited in the car, but we still made it home by 4:30 pm. She changed into dry clothes while I made p1010272bsmallher a hot cup of tea.

And I, I poured myself a nice whisky . . . all in all, it was a very pleasant day.


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Election 2016 — Reading Level

Election 2016

California Voter Guide Reading Level Analysis

In my previous post I stated that I was thinking of doing an analysis of the reading level of the California Voter Information Guide. Well, I’ve carried through on my threat.

election voter information guide for californiaI am not a reading teacher nor a statistician, but I have used the Grammar Analysis tools available in various editions of MS Word to analyze the textbooks I have used as well as many of my assignments, tests and notes to both students and parents.

This involves either the typing or a Copy/Paste of the text to be analyzed into a MS Word document and then running the Spelling and Grammar check on the selected text.

MS Word gives you two measures of reading levels: (and, no, they do not move in lock-step with each other)

  • The first, Flesch Reading Ease, gives a number which indicates how easy or difficult the text is to read. A high number indicates the text is easy to read and a low number indicates that the text is difficult to read.
  • The second, Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, gives a number which indicates the grade level difficulty of the text.

As an example, the text above has a Flesch Reading Ease number of 57.3 and a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of 11.1 with my edition of MS Word. (Word for Mac 2011)

In doing my analysis I used the on-line edition of the 2016 California Voter Information Guide which is available at: http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/

The MS Word document I created to do the analysis came to some thirty-two pages in length and I am not going to post it to this blog.


Analysis — The California Secretary of State’s Letter to California Voters

  • Flesch Reading Ease:                        47.6
  • Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level:         9.9

Analysis — Quick Reference Guide to Proposition 51 (School Bonds)

  • Flesch Reading Ease:                        36.2
  • Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level:         10.9

Analysis — Quick Reference Guide Proposition 64 (Marijuana Legalization)

  • Flesch Reading Ease:                        32.6
  • Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level:         11.6

Analysis — Analysis of the Legislative Analyst of Proposition 51

  • Flesch Reading Ease:                        36.2
  • Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level:         12.0

Analysis — Analysis of the Legislative Analyst of Proposition 64

  • Flesch Reading Ease:                        30.7
  • Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level:         12.0

Analysis — Argument in Favor of Proposition 51

  • Flesch Reading Ease:                        41.6
  • Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level:         10.6

Analysis — Argument Against Proposition 51

  • Flesch Reading Ease:                        48.3
  • Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level:         9.7

Analysis — Rebuttal to the Argument in Favor of Proposition 51

  • Flesch Reading Ease:                        58.2
  • Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level:         7.4

Analysis — Rebuttal to the Argument Against Proposition 51

  • Flesch Reading Ease:                        52.1
  • Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level:         8.3

Analysis — Argument in Favor of Proposition 64

  • Flesch Reading Ease:                        30.8
  • Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level:         12.0

Analysis — Argument Against Proposition 64

  • Flesch Reading Ease:                        38.5
  • Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level:         12.0

Analysis — Rebuttal to the Argument in Favor of Proposition 64

  • Flesch Reading Ease:                        33.5
  • Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level:         12.0

Analysis — Rebuttal to the Argument Against Proposition 64

  • Flesch Reading Ease:                        39.2
  • Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level:         11.4

Analysis — Text of the first three paragraphs of Section 2 of the proposed law (Prop 64)

  • Flesch Reading Ease:                        19.5
  • Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level:         12.0

Analysis — Kamala D. Harris Candidate Statement (Senator)

  • Flesch Reading Ease:                        45.8
  • Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level:         11.5

Analysis — Loretta L. Sanchez Candidate Statement (Senator)

  • Flesch Reading Ease:                        41.2
  • Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level:         12.0

Analysis — California Voter Bill of Rights

  • Flesch Reading Ease:                        62.9
  • Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level:         8.6

Conclusion

As I stated earlier I am not a credentialed reading teacher nor am I statistician. I am an American citizen and voter with an interest in our current election and our nation’s future.

election bannerThe above “analysis” is not scientific; it is personal. I have taken what I believe to be representative sections of the Voter Information Guide and subjected them to an easy to use and verify reading level analysis. Other tools and sections may (and probably will) give different results.

If you are interested in the California Voter Information Guide, it is available at: http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/

If you are interested in analyzing reading levels, there are numerous articles available on-line via any search engine.

If you wish to analyze any of the California Voter Information Guide for yourself, MS Word’s Grammar Check is easy to use. I do not know the status of reading level checks available on other currently available word processors.

If you are concerned about the “average” American being able to read the California Voter Information Guide you might start here: https://nces.ed.gov/pubs93/93275.pdf   —   It’s a 2003 document and I don’t know if there is a more recent study available.

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You might just enter: “average reading level of the American voter” or something like it into your search engine.

And, please, remember that your vote counts just the same as that of Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton (and just the same as that person you think is an idiot who lives down the street) so: VOTE!election - register to vote

Best Wishes for an “interesting” election season. Ho, ho, ho . . .

Election 2016

Election Cats

A few thoughts on the 2016 Presidential Election

Yesterday, my copy of Orange County’s Sample Ballot & Voter Information Pamphlet arrived containing quite a bit of information.

The beginning was devoted to how, when and where I can vote. I’ve been voting Absentee / Vote-by-Mail for the last few elections. I can fill out my ballot at home in peace and quiet, without any lines, and drop my ballot at my neighborhood fire station, which is just a couple of minutes of walking down the street. I used to drop it off at the polling place in the auditorium of the school at which I was teaching.Election Cats

One page showed the endorsements of the Democratic, Republican, and American Independent parties on the Senatorial, Congressional and State Legislature races.

Another explained items concerning the Presidential (party-nominated offices), California Top-Two Primary and County or Local Offices (nonpartisan).

Then came a page listing party name abbreviations (e.g.: DEM – Democratic) and also listing candidates for the State Senate and State Assembly districts in Orange County.

The next page listed the Voting Service Centers (6) where you could drop of your Vote-by-Mail ballot, get a replacement ballot or receive other voter assistance.

Next, several pages of candidate statements for those running for Congress and state and local offices.

Section 7 contained six pages on Measure O — a bond issue ($63,000,000) for repairs and upgrades for the Fountain Valley School District.

Election CatsThe Sample Ballot / Practice Ballot followed; three pages in length and fourth blank page — “This page left intentionally blank”

Page 34 contained a plea to volunteer on Election Day; page 35 had a copy of the Voter Bill of Rights and then a final page asking if my information was correct.

The back cover had my mailing address, my polling place, a postage paid postcard so I could volunteer and in the lower right hand corner a paragraph on how to sign up for a “paperless” Sample Ballot.

Oh, yeah, I should get my Vote-by-Mail Ballot sometime next week — they begin to get mailed out on the 11th (Tuesday).

Now I’m waiting for my copy of the California State Voter Guide — maybe I can then figure out how to vote on the seventeen (17) state propositions without having to depend on the always too rosy / too gloomy / too deceptive / too self-interestry television commercials and newspaper endorsements.


While reading following the baseball and football games last night (and having the late-evening news on in the background) Smoke and Mist kept me company — thus, the gratuitous cat pictures in today’s post.

Reading Retired

One of the nice things about being retired is that I usually have quite a bit of time to read: newspapers and books, primarily.

Unfortunately, my favorite authors seldom write more than a book or two every year or two (or three or four). This means I re-read a number of books every year as well as find new authors to read. It also means that I sometimes am “inundated” with several new books at about the same time — publishers do not go over their schedules with me before releasing their books.

I received my copy of Peter F. Hamilton’s new Commonwealth novel — A Night Without Stars — last Tuesday and dove right in. By Friday I was on page 264 and Ian W. Toll’s The Conquering Tide (in paperback) arrived. The Conquering Tide is the second in Toll’s trilogy of the Pacific war. At 542 pages, not counting Notes and Index, it was a good quick read. Yes, I finished it today while sitting on our exercise bike and watching parts of Day of the Jackal on the room’s Apple TV.

By the way, I give The Conquering Tide 5 Stars.

Now I can resume reading A Night Without Stars and Spoor’s Spheres of Influence. And tomorrow my copy of Flint’s Castaway Odyssey should arrive — even though I saw it already on the shelves of HB’s B&N last Saturday.

Next week Modesitt’s Treachery’s Tools should also be delivered to my front door. I have several other books on order that should be arriving in the next month and a half . . . ahhhhhhh. Now, if I could just get an advance copy of The Gathering Edge before Christmas . . .cats and reading

Reading Humor

On a side note — p. 433 of The Conquering Tide:

Many who worked with Nimitz later recalled his shrewd use of the well-applied joke. While winding down a testy planning session in the spring of 1944, the admiral said he was reminded of history’s “first amphibious operation,” conducted by Noah. “When they were unloading from the Ark, he saw a pair of cats come out followed by six kittens. ‘What’s this?’ he asked. ‘Ha, ha,’ said the tabby cat, ‘and all the time you thought we were fighting.'”


Oh yeah, I went to our new Senior Center last Friday to get my annual flu shot and made the “mistake” of stopping at the library and getting a new card. Found a copy of Sue Grafton’s X. Now I just have to find time to read it. Hmmmmm . . . such a problem.