June 29, 2016

Santa Cruz Harbor Gets A New Dredge

Numerous enormous chunks of the new dredge were borne on oversized tractor-trailers all the way from Louisiana to the temporary yard in the parking lot adjacent to Santa Cruz Harbor's launch ramp this month, there to be reconstituted by the crew that came along with the parts. Moving this caravan of massive things from Louisiana to Santa Cruz took more time than originally planned. The target date of June 13 was missed by ten days. But eventually everything was there, and the crew got to work putting all the pieces of it together, and in a week they were done. Today the dredge was eased on enormous air mattresses down into the waters of the Santa Cruz Harbor, where its career of sucking and spewing will soon commence.

The Now-Rejected Dredge of Santa Cruz Harbor, Seabright, And Its Faithful Companion, Dauntless

June 25, 2016

Along the Relinquished Coast

For no particularly sound reason roadmakers guessed that setting roads meandering on the existing seaside cliffs along the coast between Santa Cruz and San Francisco was an eminently doable task, and set out constructing them with the confidence (emboldened all along the West Coast of America by the example of the Panama Canal) that any conceivable project could be accomplished with the proper application of enough concrete, a belief leading, understandably, to more than a century of collapsed roadways on the coast from Big Sur to the Golden Gate.
These coastal cliffs aren't finalized. Geologically, they are composed of the compressed muck of an earlier seafloor, and, exposed to the unrelenting seasonable rains of a climate literally bordering on a rainforest, they are distinctly impermanent.
East Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz memorializes this untoward confidence. Plates of concrete, stubs of what was once roadway balance on the cliffs above Seacliff State Beach.

Looking Southeast across Monterey Bay, a plate of concrete roadbed balanced on an eroding bluff  in the foreground

Objectifying The Impassible

In the distance, a fence of the same sort as that cutting across the foreground. Beyond that fence Eastcliff Drive resumes

June 17, 2016

Today's 42

What findings can be gleaned from our previously published report are comfortably vague.

The Giants 41st win was achieved in the seasons's 62nd game in 2014, and in the season's 91st game in 2013. 2014 turned into a very good year, culminating in a a World Series victory, and 2013 into a 76-86 failure.

The 2010 season ended with a World Championship, too, but the 41st win of the 2010 campaign came almost a month after that of the 2014 season.

The 2010 team, with its lackadasical 41-39 record after 80 games, on the eve of the Fourth of July, the traditional date on which the actual play of the clubs thus far can be taken seriously as an indication of their viability in that year's pennant race, parlayed a mediocre first half into a Wild Card slot in the playoffs by the end of the season, and from there, luck and talent rode them to the club's first Championship in 56 years, and first ever since arriving in San Francisco 52 years before.

No matter how quickly the club ever reaches 41 wins, they'll do no better than that club, with its 41-39 mark and World Championship, pretty much the minimum a club can do and still eke out a World Series victory, playing barely better than .500 ball as late as the Fourth of July.

This year's club reached 41 wins in it 67th game, the second quickest pace in our record of seven recent seasons. This puts the club in a favorable position to reach this year's playoffs, which, of course is better than the position, genrally agreed to be supine, of the 2013 team by the time of its 41st.

June 16, 2016

Department of Relatively Obvious Tentative Conclusions, Buttressed by Facts

The earlier in June the Giants reach 41 wins the better, and the later in July the worse for them. Mostly.

SeasonWon-LostDate of 41st Win
2010 41-39 July 3
2011 41-34 June 23
2012 41-33 June 25
2013 41-50 July 11
2014 41-21 June 6
2015 41-35 June 27
2016 41-26 June 15

June 13, 2016

Beach House

Houses Along The Bluff at Seabright and East Cliff, Santa Cruz, CA, May 2016

Looking West Past The House On The Corner of Seabright and East Cliff, Santa Cruz, CA, May 2016

June 11, 2016

The Satisfactions of a Well-Won Game

Until the tenth inning of today's game between the Giants and Dodgers, the Giants had three hits, all stroked early in the game against Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir.

The pitchers who replaced him yielded no hits, so the Giants went into the bottom of the tenth inning having produced just those three hits and facing a one-run deficit following Adrian Gonzales's solo home run that led off the top of the tenth inning for the Dodgers.

Then, with one out in their own half, the Giants strung together four straight hits, scored two runs and won the game.

An altogether entertaining game overall, during the course of which the Fox TV announcers noted the presence of Dodger right fielder Trayce Thompson's brother, Klay, the Golden State Warriors player, whose club is now one win away from bringing consecutive NBA championships to the Bay Area. Up there in the stands Klay was wearing a Dodgers cap, and when his image was shown on the scoreboard screen the assembled crowd booed heartily. One analyst wondered if anyone wearing a Dodger cap would go unbooed, proposed the Pope and immediately allowed that the Pope would likely get booed, too. Giants fans. Tough crowd, satisfied tonight.

June 09, 2016


I see that Duf Sundheim captured 8% of the vote in California's Senate Primary this past Tuesday. Sundheim isn't a name familiar to many Californians, though even given an understandable amount of puffery, Sundheim's CV suggests a string of professional accomplishments that would have made him prime Republican material 40 years ago. But this is not your father's Republican party anymore, so even an endorsement from George Schultz himself could do little to collect the fractious shards of the state party together behind him. He led all twelve declared Republican candidates for the office with his 8%, but together they mustered only 27.9% — a fringe party percentage — of the vote.

Only the top two vote-getters in California's June Senate runoff move on to the general election. Both of them are Democrats this year. For the first time ever, no Republican candidate will appear on the ballot for U.S. Senate in California since the passage of the 17th amendment made popular election of senators possible.

June 07, 2016

I Voted And All I Got Was This Lousy Senate Majority Leader

Mitch McConnell gave a very odd interview to Judy Woodruff of the News Hour on PBS tonight, an interview ostensibly about his newly published memoir, the Long Game, but turned instead to his position on the candidacy of Donald Trump, freshly recognized presidential nominee of McConnell's own party. The people who voted for Trump in the Republican Party's primaries really want something different, advised McConnell, allowing as how they seem to have succeeded with their chosen candidate. McConell took the occasion to upbraid Trump for recent remarks that even elected Republicans were inclined to label racist. McConnell is inoculated against charges of racism himself by virtue of being married to an immigrant Asian American, and we can be assured that his refusal to let immigration reform advance in the Senate, for example, is a matter of politics, and nothing personal.

Can he inoculate his party's current Senate majority against the strong tide of revulsion directed at Trump and the party that would nominate him which, for all we know, the general electoral may demonstrate in November? This is what the boys in the back room are wondering.

June 01, 2016


An observation made Monday which profits from its own skepticism, since the W-L records of the clubs no longer balance in precisely the way they did only days ago as shown here, nor are those records likely to resume anything like this sort of balance anytime soon:

A note on Memorial Day in Major League Baseball:

Thus far this season in the National League, the New York Mets have won 14 games at home and 14 on the road, the Washington Nationals have won 15 games at home and 15 on the road, the San Francisco Giants have won 16 games at home and 16 on the road, and the Chicago Cubs have won 17 games at home and 17 on the road.

Some statistics are so transient that there's no profit in collecting them for the purpose of making some point, though it can be a chore to distinguish between stats to be rightfully ignored and those which may be harbingers of some truly useful understanding of the game, when a subject like baseball propagates sets of stats so readily.