Pickleball Wars: The Bouncing Menace

Yesterday at pickleball a women told me about one of the other players calling out a teenager who was kicking his soccer ball into one of the pickleball nets. The player asked the kid to stop but he refused and continued booting his ball into the net. She said things didn’t escalate but couldn’t believe how rude the kid was while being confronted about damaging the nets. The woman asked me what I would have done and in the moment I said, I would have told the kid off. I’m not sure why the story hit me the way it did or why exactly I felt the need to establish the fact that I would have taken such a hard line about someone damaging the facility’s equipment but I’m sure it was part of what set me up for what happened next.

So today at pickleball, I got into a row with a different teenager. Two teenagers, actually, but one more than the other. The kid rubbed me the wrong way with our first interaction. He strolled listlessly through our court and in front of me as I was about to serve. We all shared a “what’s up with this guy” look. The teenager went on to meet with a buddy beside our court and each commenced bouncing a tennis ball off the wall. After a missed bounce came near our court my partner politely asked if they would take the bouncing balls someplace else. They pretended to agree but then immediately continued bouncing balls off the walls next to our court. After a short spell my partner once again asked them if they would mind going someplace else because their bouncing balls were distracting and coming into our play area. They said that they were waiting for their turn to play volleyball on this court. My partner asked if they would mind going to an empty court in the meantime? One of the boys acquiesced to go, but I guess the other one talked him into staying because in that very moment they resumed bouncing their tennis balls. I clenched my teeth.

More time passed and the fact that they agreed to leave but then just stayed was hitting a nerve. I went over and explained to him why we wanted them to move and asked him to please go. He told me no. I started to repeat the word please a few times, each time adding more emphasis and feeling a little more agitated and then quite loudly asked him to go to the empty court. He wouldn’t have any of it. At this point I was feeling heated and I told him to take a hike. I guess the point got through because they finally moved on. They still didn’t head over to the empty court but at least they were no longer throwing balls against the wall next to our court.

When I finished my match Andrea asked me if I told somebody to, “take a hike”? She seemed amused and later commented how she thought it was so out of character for me to have an interaction like that even when she agreed, the kid deserved it.

A worker at the facility came over and asked us if we had told someone to leave our court. Even knowing that those kids had no right to be bothering us I wondered if I was somehow going to be in trouble. The other player said yes we did and the employee said no problem but next time just come get him and he’ll get them to move.


Insert Title Here

I’ve been reading Dave Winer’s blog lately and it’s made me jealous of his blogging software. Because he was blogging before he invented RSS he’s never felt the compulsion to title each of his posts. It’s a lot more like tweeting than blogging when everything doesn’t have to fall neatly under a title.

I guess WordPress will technically let me post without a title, but it’s not the same as his stream of consciousness posts that build from the start of the day to the end, as well, he’s got a separate link-blog stream which I also think is pretty nifty.

That’s it, that’s just what’s been bothering me and every time I have gone to create a new post lately I keep thinking about how I wish I didn’t have to be so formal. Maybe getting it out there will clear my writer’s block.

Apple finance

Apple Earnings Q1 2023

Apple News:

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2023 first quarter ended December 31, 2022. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $117.2 billion, down 5 percent year over year, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $1.88.

Breakdown per category:

• iPhone: $65.775 billion (down 8% YoY)
• Mac: $7.735 billion (down 29% YoY)
• iPad: $9.936 billion (up 30% YoY)
• Wearables, Home & Accessories: $13.482 billion (down 8% YoY)
• Services: $20.766 billion (up 6% YoY)

Sixcolors has the charts.

artificial intelligence backmasking

ChatGPT on Backmasking

GPT-3 (short for “Generative Pre-training Transformer 3”) is a state-of-the-art language generation model developed by OpenAI. It is designed to generate human-like text by predicting the next word in a sequence based on the words that come before it. I’ve been excited about the capabilities of ChatGPT and the ease at which one is able to generate human sounding responses to questions on obscure topics. I was also intrigued when I found out what it could do to explain how a specific section of code works.

Here is its quick response when I asked it to tell me about backmasking:

Backmasking is a recording technique in which a message is recorded backwards onto a track that is meant to be played forwards. This technique has been used by artists in various genres of music, from rock to hip hop, to add hidden meanings or subliminal messages to their music.

Some people believe that backmasking can have a powerful and even dangerous influence on listeners, particularly when it comes to subliminal messages that are meant to manipulate the listener’s thoughts or behavior.

However, the effectiveness of backmasking as a means of influencing the listener is a topic of much debate. Many scientists and experts have conducted research on the topic and have found that, while it is possible for subliminal messages to be processed by the brain, they do not have the power to significantly change someone’s thoughts or actions.

In addition, the use of backmasking as a means of subliminal messaging has been largely debunked by the scientific community. While it may be possible to hear a backwards message when a track is played in reverse, the brain is not able to comprehend and process the message in the same way it would a message that is played forwards.

Despite the lack of scientific evidence supporting the power of backmasking, the technique remains a controversial and interesting topic in the world of music and popular culture. Some people continue to believe in the power of backmasking, while others see it as a harmless and even humorous gimmick.

Regardless of where you stand on the issue, it is important to approach the topic of backmasking with an open mind and to be aware of the limitations and limitations of this recording technique.

While it’s still early days as far as GPT-3 taking my job as a teacher, I also checked out what it could write up for lesson plans for grade five health class and it was impressive. It does play fast and loose with the facts however — I was asking about world record information and it remixed some real world divers and their records.

I would warn users that just like the complacency that can overcome drivers in a “full self-driving car”, the facts gleaned from GPT-3’s responses should be considered with the same dose of skepticism one would apply to secret backward messages. Not everything you hear, read, or see, is as legitimate as it appears.


2022 Playlist

Once again1 in 2022, Andrea and I made a playlist for the year:

Just like last year I used to collect the same songs in a Youtube playlist and also exported My 2022 Apple Playlist in .CSV format.

  1. Previously: 2021 playlist. ↩︎
family Sport

Lucy Wardle Streeter – High Diving Record Holder

I came across this post about a men’s world record setting high dive and it reminded me about my mom’s first-cousin, Lucy Wardle Streeter, who in 1985 set the women’s record for high diving and still holds the Guinness record today.

From Stacey A. Morse’s biographical article in Easy Reader News (March 2022):

In 1985, Rancho Palos Verdes resident Lucy Wardle Streeter climbed the ladder of a swaying, 120-foot steel tower, built to her specifications at the edge of a pool in Ocean Park, a marine mammal amusement park in Hong Kong.

At the top of the tower, she stepped onto a platform barely as wide as her stance, and stood with arms outstretched, for 10 seconds. Then she lept, and executed a beautifully arched, backward flip. Three seconds later she entered the water at 71 miles an hour, knocking the wind out of herself.

According to the 2022 Guinness Book of World Records, the 120-foot, 9-inch [36.8m] dive remains the highest dive ever performed by a woman.

I met Lucy once while on a family vacation to Los Angeles. I remember seeing her world record certificate and a photo of her on the platform. Just today I discovered a video of the record breaking dive on YouTube:

Wardle’s dive of 120 feet 9 inches bettered the record of 109-4 set by another American, Debi Boccia, in Rome in 1982.


Top 10 Posts of 2022

Title Views
Stairway to Heaven Backwards Full Lyrics 4,475
Secret Hitler – Print and Play 2,516
Laughing Wild – by Christopher Durang 916
Tab Cola Commercial 569
Pattern Rule for 5, 10, 15, 30, 45, 50 244
Backmasking in Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi 222
Shooting near the Bowen Ranch 176
Dell Laser Printer 1100 Driver for macOS Big Sur 140
Robert Plant on Stairway to Heaven Backwards 137
Mathler 129

One Second Everyday 2022

I’ve been making One Second Everyday compilations for ten years now. It’s so hard to believe because when I started I just thought it would take a year and be done. It turns out, it’s a Sisyphean task but I get such a positive response each year that I don’t mind. Below is the one I just wrapped up for 2022.

advertising culture

Did Coca-Cola Invent Santa

My daughter, at age 4, is already questioning the legitimacy of the Santa Claus story. I haven’t been much help in keeping her in the dark because I try and follow a strict radical honesty policy with my kids. She wants to believe so badly though, so despite my inclination, I try not to destroy the façade. When she could tell I was doubting, she explained that she’s a believer because she actually met Santa when she was little. I guess, in a way, she has me there.

Where did Santa even come from? It’s widely known he’s based on St. Nicholas, a fourth century Christian bishop of Myra, hence his penchant for red outfits, but the Santa Claus we think of today was shaped largely in part by Coca-Cola and a 19th century poem1.

  1. The poem, of course is, “A Visit from St. Nicholas” commonly known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas” ↩︎
bad review revue

The Bad Review Revue

Black Adam: “Should really be called ‘Bland Adam’.” — Brian Lloyd,

Emancipation: “It’s a fantasy that can’t match the power of the photograph from which it’s derived.” — Adam Graham, Detroit News

Empire of Light: “There is a certain odour wafting out of writer-director Sam Mendes’s Empire of Light that approximates the stomach-churning scent of scalding, rancid butter ladled atop stale popcorn.” — Barry Hertz, Globe and Mail

Ticket to Paradise: “Ticket to Paradise has actors saying lines on locations and sets and enacting characters in a scenario, so one supposes it meets the technical criteria to be called a movie, but that is the absolute best thing that could be said about it.” — Matt Lynch, In Review Online

The Mean One: “Amateurish…I did not care for ‘The Mean One’ mess. I do not like bastardized Seuss, I confess.” — Roger Moore, Movie Nation