First born

First born

Technically, Jane and I are empty nesters. All three of our kids are in college. But they are still dependent on us and not that far away at Texas A&M and Houston Baptist University.

Starting in 2020, Cassidy, our first born will be starting her career as a Labor & Delivery nurse at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Houston Medical Center. After getting her Bachelor of Science in Allied Health at Texas A&M, and graduating this December from The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, she will be moving to Houston for her much anticipated first job.

All three of our kids have given us much to be proud of, but this is definitely the biggest milestone for one of them and we could not be prouder! Every decision she has made to prepare for this day, every accomplishment she has received, she has worked so hard for. We are beaming with pride. The cartoon above does not reflect our joy of having our life back, it represents the joy we feel thinking about Cassidy starting her adult life having accomplished exactly what she set out to do after graduating from Lake Travis High School.

You rock Cassidy!

America Is Living James Madison’s Nightmare

America Is Living James Madison’s Nightmare

The Founders designed a government that would resist mob rule. They didn’t anticipate how strong the mob could become.

…To prevent factions from distorting public policy and threatening liberty, Madison resolved to exclude the people from a direct role in government. “A pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction,” Madison wrote in “Federalist ?10.” The Framers designed the American constitutional system not as a direct democracy but as a representative republic, where enlightened delegates of the people would serve the public good. They also built into the Constitution a series of cooling mechanisms intended to inhibit the formulation of passionate factions, to ensure that reasonable majorities would prevail.

…The people would directly elect the members of the House of Representatives, but the popular passions of the House would cool in the “Senatorial saucer,” as George Washington purportedly called it: The Senate would comprise natural aristocrats chosen by state legislators rather than elected by the people. And rather than directly electing the chief executive, the people would vote for wise electors — that is, propertied white men — who would ultimately choose a president of the highest character and most discerning judgment. The separation of powers, meanwhile, would prevent any one branch of government from acquiring too much authority. The further division of power between the federal and state governments would ensure that none of the three branches of government could claim that it alone represented the people.

…Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms have accelerated public discourse to warp speed, creating virtual versions of the mob. Inflammatory posts based on passion travel farther and faster than arguments based on reason. Rather than encouraging deliberation, mass media undermine it by creating bubbles and echo chambers in which citizens see only those opinions they already embrace.

…More recently, geographical and political self-sorting has produced voters and representatives who are willing to support the party line at all costs. After the Republicans took both chambers of Congress in 1994, the House of Representatives, under Speaker Newt Gingrich, adjusted its rules to enforce party discipline, taking power away from committee chairs and making it easier for leadership to push bills into law with little debate or support from across the aisle. The defining congressional achievements of Barack Obama’s presidency and, thus far, Donald Trump’s presidency — the Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, respectively — were passed with no votes from members of the minority party.

…Madison feared that Congress would be the most dangerous branch of the federal government, sucking power into its “impetuous vortex.” But today he would shudder at the power of the executive branch. The rise of what the presidential historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. called the “imperial presidency” has unbalanced the equilibrium among the three branches. Modern presidents rule by executive order rather than consulting with Congress. They direct a massive administrative state, with jurisdiction over everything from environmental policy to the regulation of the airwaves. Trump’s populist promise — “I alone can fix it” — is only the most dramatic in a long history of hyperbolic promises, made by presidents from Wilson to Obama, in order to mobilize their most ideologically extreme voters.

…During the 20th century, the Supreme Court also became both more powerful and more divided. The Court struck down federal laws two times in the first 70 years of American history, just over 50 times in the next 75 years, and more than 125 times since 1934. Beginning with the appointment of Anthony Kennedy, in 1987, the Court became increasingly polarized between justices appointed by Republican presidents and justices appointed by Democratic presidents. Kennedy’s retirement raises the likelihood of more constitutional rulings split between five Republican appointees and four Democratic ones.

For the full article go HERE (PDF)

Google Sheets Tips

Google Sheets Tips

To sort a row of columns:
Define the following formula on a blank row:
=transpose(sort(transpose(C3:H4)))
Then just copy the sorted row and copy...special..values only
Delete all but the copied row
Trying to Reboot Baseball

Trying to Reboot Baseball

Kristen Pitching 12u

Devin Gordon posted an article on Medium titled The Off-the-Radar Baseball League That’s Trying to Reboot the Game. It describes how too many home runs and strikeouts (“true outcomes,” in baseball vernacular) is taking the fun out of the game. Major League Baseball, is in a three-year partnership with the independent Atlantic League to test out numerous experimental rules designed to enliven the game.

Baseball was my primary sport growing up, and of course I enjoyed immensely coaching David and Kristen in youth baseball. When it comes to watching, however, it’s one of my least favorite sports to watch for all the reasons stated in the article.

Here is my radicle idea: Any ball hit over the fence is an out. It’s not original. I played in a coed softball team that had that rule in place.

PDF

grep tips

grep tips

The following will create a new file with lines removed containing given pattern:

cat file.txt | grep -v "pattern" >filtered.txt

Match two words:
grep -E -i -w 'word1|word2' sourcefile.txt

Kristen’s 2020 Sportage

Kristen’s 2020 Sportage

Kristen’s heading to Houston Baptist University in 2 months. We decided to finally retire the 2006 Sportage in our family (thank you Mom) and get her a new Kia Sportage with the latest collision avoidance safety features standard in the Sportage 2020. Doesn’t look too bad either!

2020 Kia Sportage

NYU Medical School offers free tuition

NYU Medical School offers free tuition

One of the best stories I’ve heard. Hopefully more medical schools will follow. I believe it has a huge potential to solve what’s wrong with our medical system in America.

60-Minutes coverage

New Your Coverage: Surprise Gift: Free Tuition for All N.Y.U. Medical Students

There is room for improving on the program:

CNBC: Why NYU’s tuition-free medical school offer may not live up to its hype

“In the field of medicine, schools have become worried that students saddled with steep debt are increasingly pursuing top-paying specialties rather than careers in family medicine, pediatrics and research. “

Phone wallet case

Phone wallet case

I use a wallet case for my phones. It holds my driver’s license, a few cards and some bills. Don’t have to keep track of a wallet and I think it offers some of the best protection for a phone. This new case with a strapless design does a sufficient job of keeping the cover closed. On the way home from Dallas during the Cleveland Cincinnati game I found this terrific use of the case. I was able to secure it by folding the cover and pinching the vanity cover on my passenger visor! It held strong the entire trip and offered a glare-free convenient position to watch the game on the road! Probably helped that my newest phone, the Motorola G6 is on the smaller size. So far it’s been a great phone!