Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Keith's Word of Warning: Diesel Fuel

When your uncle hands you a fuel filter that he just removed from a Freightliner semi truck tractor, do not hold the filter between your arm and torso as you bend over to pick up a gasket off the ground, because the fuel filter is filled with diesel fuel that will pour out over your shirt and jeans and soak all the way through to your underwear.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Situation Wanted

I feel certain that given my current skillset I could pilot an investment bank, savings and loan, and/or an insurance company into the ground with at least as much efficiency as the Dick Fulds of the world, but at a much more reasonable pay rate.

Fuld took home in the neighborhood of $350M over the past five years; I would have been willing to croak Lehman Bros for $80K per (plus snacks of course) and I can almost guarantee I would have done it in half the time.

The Free! Enterprise! System!

This is from February 2008, when the Bank of England nationalized – ahem, nationalised – Northern Rock Bank, but pretty much all of it applies to the U.S. banking system over the last two weeks.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Convention Review

I am enjoying the little bits of the convention that I am watching. Trying not to overdo it.

I love-love-love Michelle Obama, so I was sure to watch her speech. It was OK, but not the best showcase for her qualities, and I thought her brother's intro was way too long.

I missed Hillary's speech -- seeing too much of her in the winter and spring is what led to my cold-turkey giving-up of the blogosphere except for Tyler Cowen.

Did see Bill C and Joe B last night. I like Joe B as a speaker very much and his mother is great. Will probably check out Obama at the Stade Fasciste football stadium tonight as well.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

So Long, Buchholz

The consensus on the Sons of Sam Horn website is that we won't see Buckminster Fuller on the big league club again this year. Many want him out of the organization entirely. His 2-3 innings per start screw up the bullpen for days afterward.

I said that Buchman Turner Overdrive was a flash in the pan way back in April. He lacks mental toughness. That no-hitter last year went to his head and according to reports he partied all off-season, dumped his straight-arrow agent and generally lost his bearings.

I briefly met the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox manager at an autograph signing last week. He'll have Buckyball running laps and sweeping out the dugout faster than you can say Frank Tanana Daiquiri.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Splashdown: Jays 15, Sox 4

Just got back from jumping off the Tobin Bridge with the rest of the Red Sox fans. Miraculously, I survived the plunge into the Mystic River.

If Beckett was going to pitch that badly, it's a shame they didn't pitch him against Halliday on Saturday, when we had no chance anyway. Byrd coulda beat Marcum.

Toys of the 1970s: Fisher Price Garage

The top floor of the garage featured a turntable mechanism that was fun to crank but which I have never seen in an actual parking garage; perhaps such contraptions were before my time. In addition, elevatoring cars to the various levels was made obsolete starting in the 1940s with the arrival of the reinforced-concrete ramp-up-to-the-next level system. On the other hand, outdoor glass elevators were just entering their heyday in the early 1970s and grease racks were still going strong in those days before the arrival of sealed joints. Also, a gasoline pump in a parking garage does seem like a good idea. All in all, hours of fun for the low low price of $10.85.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Zipcar Review: Mini Cooper

Very peppy and fast. A heavy and solid car, too, for its size. Only problem was, when I was stopped at an intersection, I couldn't see the stoplight-- the ceiling was too low! I had to lean way forward over the steering wheel and crane my neck up:

– or stick my head out the side window. Another option would have been a periscope through the sunroof but I lacked the necessary materials to make one. Later I found out that I could have cranked my seat down toward the floorboards so that might have helped.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Andrew Mellon: Friend of Tax Fairness

In his 1924 classic Taxation: The People's Business, Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon wrote:
“The history of taxation shows that taxes which are inherently excessive are not paid. The high rates inevitably put pressure upon the taxpayer to withdraw his capital from productive business."
Key words here: inherently excessive. That's obviously in the eye of the beholder.

But he also wrote:
“The fairness of taxing more lightly income from wages, salaries or from investments is beyond question. In the first case, the income is uncertain and limited in duration; sickness or death destroys it and old age diminishes it; in the other, the source of income continues; the income may be disposed of during a man’s life and it descends to his heirs. Surely we can afford to make a distinction between the people whose only capital is their mettle and physical energy and the people whose income is derived from investments. Such a distinction would mean much to millions of American workers and would be an added inspiration to the man who must provide a competence during his few productive years to care for himself and his family when his earnings capacity is at an end.”
So explain to me and Andy again why we tax capital gains and "carried interest" at 15% while nurses and office managers are taxed at a marginal federal rate of 43% (28% + 15.3% FICA tax)?

Is it that now that we have Social Security for workers, we need to give owners a little Investor Security as well, or what?

More Gove County Photos

Entrance to Cemetery at Grainfield, Kansas
Originally uploaded by ckhartman

I have added a few photos to the Flickr photoset of Gove County, Kansas that I started last summer.

Friday, July 25, 2008

So What's the Deal With: TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

So what's the deal with these TSA-approved luggage locks that supposedly foil pilferers but which have a mechanism that allows TSA employees to open them with a special key so they can rifle through our luggage looking for contraband?

Some not-mutually-exclusive possibilities:

1. A practical compromise between the competing interests of airline security and privacy.

2. Why can't the airlines just do something about the pilferage?

3. Give me a break! Like those special TSA keys never find their way into the wrong hands.

4. Just another part of "security theater," the government-manufactured illusion that terrorist attacks can be reliably prevented.

5. A violation of the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

6. Equivalent to walking ourselves into the gulag and handing the jailer the key.

I say, it's definitely Security Theater, probably not a violation of the Fourth Amendment, and not quite equivalent to self-gulagization, although it certainly feels like walking toward the gulag.

Also, no, the airlines can't do anything about the pilferage; yes, the TSA keys probably get left in restrooms or on break room tables from time to time; and nothing that is at root theatrical can ever be truly practical.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Business Advice Sought

Dear Ben Bernanke,

Like JPMorgan and Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, I am interested in buying an investment bank with the Fed's backing, but I'm not sure what to look for in an investment bank. What sorts of things are important? Also, I would like to minimize travel.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Keith's Word of Warning: Moths

Before bringing in a basket of laundry that has been hanging out on the line all morning, check for freakishly large, aggressive moths that may have attached themselves to a bedsheet or shirt.

Marginal Tax Rates

Following up on "Alex's" comment on the results of my cleaning study, let's turn now to the real Laffer Curve, which holds that there is a theoretical optimum marginal tax rate (if by optimum you mean revenue-maximizing). Too low, and you give up tax revenue that people would otherwise be willing (if not necessarily happy) to pay; too high, and people theoretically would slow down or stop working or investing, so there is less money made and taxed.

Certainly at 100% tax rate there would be no point in working, unless sustenance was provided by the state. For all but the most patriotic people, however, this amounts to slave labor, and such a regime would tend to be violently coercive.

Rather than get into trying to figure out what the optimum marginal tax rate is, I want to focus on an oft-repeated line from billionaire investor Warren Buffett. Here he is in a recent interview with Tom Brokaw:
Tom, I've been around rich people all my life. And I have seen capital gains taxes close to 40 percent. No one went home at 3 in the afternoon and said, "I've worked enough, and because tax rates are so high, I think I'll-- I'll go to the movies." ... I've been managing capital for 50 years for other people. No one left and said, you know, "This-- the taxation system's too tough. I-- I think I'll just stick it all under my mattress." They can't stick under their mattress. They're going to invest their money regardless.
This sounds good, but I wonder if it is really true. First, Buffett is conflating working and investment a little bit here. Certainly there are investments, especially hot-money financial investments (as opposed to cold-money capital investments like building a factory), that are especially sensitive to the tax rate. While Buffett is right that a financier won't stick her money in a mattress, a given tax rate might induce her to keep it in cash equivalents instead of taking a flyer on a new venture. None of this has anything to do with "working."

As for "working," I wonder: Has there really never been someone who took a look at the tax rate and decided it wasn't worth it to work an extra hour? Probably not, especially recently, with the top marginal tax rates at historically low levels, particularly on income from capital. But, it would only take one tax-deterred worker to falsify Buffett's claim, at least if we take the guy's word for it that he stopped working because of high taxes and for no other reason.

On the other hand, it would also be easy for someone to blame the tax system for making him stop working when he was actually just bored or lazy.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Keith's Word of Warning: Heat Transfer

When trying to keep coffee hot in a thermos, do not then absentmindedly place thermos in refrigerator.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Shopping List

The New York Times offers a list of the 11 best foods you aren't eating. Here's where I stand on these foodstuffs.

1. Beets. Convinced that I hate them, but willing to try again, especially raw and grated.

2. Cabbage. Check. Sauerkraut Liberty Cabbage on a grilled bratwurst anyone?

3. Swiss chard. Check. Sautéing seems to make any leaf palatable. I plan to try a sautéed hosta leaf someday.

4. Cinnamon. As in the toast.

5. Pomegranate juice. Am bigoted against it due to excessive trendiness; will try.

6. Dried plums (prunes). "Wrapped in prosciutto and baked" is mouth-watering.

7. Pumpkin seeds. Expensive sans pumpkin, but see #11...

8. Sardines. Small ick factor here. Someone I know is a fan; she likes them grilled, Portuguese style. Mashing them with dijon mustard and onions does sound very good. When in doubt regarding distasteful animal parts, mashing is always a good solution.

9. Turmeric. It makes things yellow. What's not to like?

10. Frozen blueberries. Smoothies.

11. Canned pumpkin. How about scraped out of an actual pumpkin, along with the seeds from #7?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Deep Cleaning

A recent study undertaken by me has found that the optimum interval for a really deep, thorough cleaning of the kitchen is eight years. (We're not talking wiping counters or sweeping floors here. This is every-nook-and-cranny empty-the-cupboards floor-so-clean-you-could-have-your-appendix-out-on-it type cleaning.)

The improvement brought on by the cleaning is so noticeable that it raises household morale and labor productivity for weeks afterwards, and possibly also makes food taste better.

More frequent deep cleaning is less efficient because the improvement effect is less pronounced per unit of effort. At the extreme, constant 24-7-365 cleaning would result in maximum cleanliness but no free time to enjoy it.

Deep cleaning that is less frequent than eight years would obviously require less lifetime effort but begins to tip the entire dwelling into a "the hell with it" spiral that ultimately settles at a bad equilibrium involving local health authorities.

Shooting the Breeze

George Soros, Martin Wolf and some other dudes get together to talk future prospects for the economy. [via]

The level of economic and financial experience I would need to confidently assess which of these experts is right about the future is so great that if I had it, I wouldn't need an expert. Who, exactly, are these symposia for? For the generalist reader, it's like a buffet of opinions...just take what you know you're probably going to like and forget the rest.

My take-away is to spend as little as possible, live as far as possible below one's means, keep short-term money in an HSBC or ING savings account and long-term money in a low-cost index fund. But that's the same thing I would do if the economy were booming and prospects looked bright. Again, if I was sophisticated enough to go beyond these basics in good times or bad, I probably wouldn't gain any insights by reading this symposium.

Therefore, I propose that all symposia, colloquia, roundtables, and panels be banned forthwith.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Señor Smoke

I found this old scrap of index card inside the cassette tape case of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" while digitizing some old cassettes recently. The writing is in the adolescent hand of a baseball fan I know, who was 15 in 1984 when her team, the Detroit Tigers, obliterated the rest of the American League and won the World Series in a sweep against the Padres.

She had wanted to be able to remember the lyrics to a promotional song about the Tigers that was produced that year. The song was based on "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" by McFadden and Whitehead, and featured a voice-over narration / old-skool rap extolling the virtues of the Tigers' impressive lineup.

The song streams here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

June Swoon

The scribes were wrong, all right? THEY WERE WRONG. Alert the media. What else is new? When were scribes right about anything? They're scribes, after all. Employed for their scribing abilities, not for their prognosticating.

The Loan Sharks have lost five (5) in a row. Swept in a doubleheader by the W'peckers. Humbled in a single game by Midway Rebellion. Swept out like yesterday's detritus in another doubleheader by Jah Energy. Jah Energy??? The Jah Energy with the pitcher with the bionic left knee?

Yes. That Jah Energy.

Mercifully, the Sharks' two games this week were cancelled by weather/carnival equipment on the field. Next games are a doubleheader June 30 vs. Ron's Auto.

It all feels like the Crimean War at this point. Totally pointless, and yet honor is involved somehow.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Loan Sharks Walk All Over Jah Energy, 13-12

Another warm, sunny evening for softball at Shattuck as the wily Loan Sharks led for most of the game, lost the lead in the top of the 7th, came back to tie it in the bottom of the seventh, and then, in bottom of the 8th, patiently allowed Jah Energy reliever Ronnie to walk home the winning run, giving the Sharks a 13-12 victory. It was their second victory in two days, both by one-run margins, and the Sharks improved to 3-4 on the season. The scribes in the press box were unanimous: the Sharks are now clearly the hottest team in the league, going two-for-June so far.

The Sharks jumped out to an early 8-1 lead after two innings via productive at-bats up and down the lineup, including a 2-run homer by Matt Henzy in the first. The Shark bats fell silent, however, in innings 3 and 4, as Jah crept back into the game, tying it 8-8 after four and a half innings.

Then, for some reason, Jah manager Seth replaced his pitcher Dewey with Ronnie, who normally plays in the outfield when he’s not causing havoc on the basepaths. Immediately, the Shark bench noted Ronnie’s control problems. He tried to throw the cutter, the slider, the curve, the slurve, the changeup, the circle-change. He featured the 4-seamer, the 2-seamer — and once in a while, the 3-seamer. But he could not find the plate. Three walks in the fifth to the bottom of the order led to two Shark runs and a 10-8 lead.

But Jah came back with one run in the 6th and three more in the 7th to move in front, 12-10. In the bottom of the seventh, the bottom-of-the-order Shark batters again kept their bats on their shoulders as Ronnie’s control problems resurfaced. The Sharks drew three more walks, setting the table for Stewart Wolfe's dramatic bases-loaded, two-out, two-run, game-tying single that sailed just over the shortstop's glove into left field. On to extra innings with the game tied at 12...

After holding Jah scoreless in the top of the 8th, the Sharks remained patient at the plate. With one out in the bottom of the 8th, Peter Holladay walked. Jess Rousselle followed with a hard single up the middle that tied up the Jah fielders, allowing Holladay to advance to third. With the winning run at third and one out, the Jah bench spied Catfish Hartman loading up his bat with pine-tar and opted to intentionally walk him to load the bases, rather than give him the opportunity — for the first and possibly the last time in his Walter Mitty existence — to hit a glorious walk-off game-winning RBI. No matter. With the bases loaded, Naomi Shelton strode to the box and expertly appraised six of Ronnie’s pitches: a ball, a ball, a called strike, a ball, a called strike...and another ball. Ballgame.

Jah Energy 104 031 30 12 19 3
Loan Sharks 440 020 21 13 15 3

Monday, June 02, 2008

Loan Sharks Repossess Ron's Auto, 12-11

It was a beautiful evening for softball, and a beautiful evening for the Loan Sharks, as they held off a late charge from Ron’s Auto to prevail, 12-11, at Shattuck Field at Franklin Yards on Monday. The Sharks took a 12-7 lead into the bottom of the seventh, gave up four runs to make things interesting, and then stranded the tying run at third and the winning run at first to preserve the victory and improve to 2-4 on the season.

The Sharks posted 3 runs in each of the first two innings on the strength of timely 2-out hitting. Mize Jonas delivered a 2-run triple in the first with two outs, and in the second inning, all four hits came with two outs as three more runs crossed the plate.

Trailing 6-2 in the bottom of the third, Ron’s began to organize a comeback by scoring two quick runs, but after Automaton Ron hit a triple into the trees, he got greedy, and Mize Jonas and Jonathan Spack caught him in a perfectly-executed rundown between third and home for the second out of the inning. The putout would prove decisive as the next batter hit a home run which would have scored Ron had he stayed put at third. That extra run would turn out to be the difference in the game.

For the Shark bats, the pivotal inning was the fifth, when the lineup batted around, scoring six. Stewart Wolfe started the proceedings with a single, and then Rachel Carlson reached base on a Ron’s infield mixup. Jonathan Spack singled Wolfe home from second, and after Naomi Shelton reached on a fielder’s choice, Matt Henzy delivered a 3-run homer. With the bases again empty, Kevin Whalen contributed a single, and Kenji Foster followed with a double, and David Spack knocked them both in with a double. The big fifth inning gave the Sharks the cushion they needed to hold off Ron’s seventh-inning rally and pay back their 28-4 shellacking at the hands of Ron’s Auto earlier this year.

Loan Sharks 330 060 0 12 17 2
Ron’s Auto 203 110 4 11 20 1

Monday, May 19, 2008

Late Shark Rally Falls Short as Wanderers Win, 25-19

Trailing New England Home 24-9 after five innings, the Loan Sharks refused to give up. They outscored the Wanderers 10-1 over the final two frames to make the final tally respectable in their 25-19 loss on Tuesday at the Ballpark at Shattuck. For the game as a whole, the Sharks mounted a balanced offensive attack, with every spot in the batting order scoring at least one run.

Tim Sullivan, 3-4 with a walk and an RBI.
Maz Ali, 3-5 with two doubles and two RBI
Kenji Foster, 3-for-5 with two doubles and four RBI
David Spack, 3-for-5 with 2 RBI
Steve Schnapp, 2-for-2 with an RBI
Kevin Whalen, 2-for-3 with an RBI
Stewart Wolfe, 2-for-2 with a couple of singles, an RBI, and a run scored.

Karla Goldman had obviously done her homework on the Wanderers, positioning herself perfectly to catch a couple of fly balls in the late innings. Rachel Carlson played catcher in the early innings and got on base with an infield grounder.

Hustling down the line in the seventh, Naomi Shelton made the Wanderer shortstop pay the price for bobbling the ball, reaching first on the error and scoring the Sharks' 16th run.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Moving a Church in Manning, Iowa

Makes me a little nostalgic for the old home state. I would say that this video captures Iowa about as well as any 4-minute video ever could. From the National Geographic series "Monster Moves."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rebels Overthrow Loan Sharks, 14-7

The Midway Rebels scored 10 unanswered runs in a late-inning coup d'état to topple the visiting Loan Sharks 14-7 on Tuesday. Pitcher Jonathan Spack baffled the Rebel batters the first two times through the order, scattering four runs over the first four innings while next-of-kin David Spack’s three-run homer in the top of the fifth gave the Moneymongers a 7-4 lead. But the top of the Insurgent batting order broke through for four runs in the fifth and six runs in the sixth to salt the game away.

As the young 2008 season gets going, the Sharks’ defense continues to steadily improve. With two on and nobody out in the third, Tim Sullivan made a spectacular running-leaping-gliding grab in right field to rob “Tom” of extra bases and turn what might have been a big inning for the Rebels into something more medium-sized. New recruits Jessica Rousselle and Rachel Grubb coolly handled everything that came their way at short field and second base, respectively. First baseman Mack McNamara recorded the first out of the game on a tough, twisting pop fly and then used that big mitt to scoop everything within reach at first. Over at the hot corner, Peter Holladay made full use of the entire diamond to record outs, throwing to second and first for assists and making a put-out of his own at third.

On offense, leadoff hitter Joe Lieber went 4-for-4 with a double and two runs scored, while Maz Ali went 2-for-2 with an RBI and two runs scored. Tim Sullivan delivered a two-out RBI double in the first, and Kenji Foster raked a big two-out single in the third to knock in two runs.

Loan Sharks 103 030 0 7 11 2
Rebels 102 146 X 14 20 6

Next up for the Sharks: New England Home on Monday May 19 at Shattuck.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Loan Sharks Chomp Woodpeckers, 22-15

The Sharks avenged their opening-day drubbing at the hands of the Noisy Birds with an assured 22-15 triumph on Tuesday at Shattuck Memorial Coliseum. Kenji Foster’s two-out moon-shot triple to left in the top of the first plated two of the inning’s three runs and got the Sharks off to the proverbial “good start.” Veteran twirler Steve “The Monk” Schnapp gave up 5 runs (3 earned) in the bottom of the 1st, but then settled down and held the Woodpeckers scoreless in the 2nd and 4th, allowing the Sharks to build up what would prove to be an insurmountable lead.

The Sharks’ canny patience at the plate — they drew seven walks — served them well all evening. Rachel Carlson worked a crucial lead-off walk to begin the second. Two batters later, a Kevin Whalen round-tripper knotted the score at 5. Then, with two outs, a walk to Joe Lieber was followed by a quartet of singles from David Spack, Foster, Schnapp, and Mack McNamara that scored two and put the Sharks up 7-5. In the bottom of the second, The Monk’s diving sinkerball and the Sharks’ airtight infield defense kept the Hammerbeaks off the scoreboard while stranding two of their runners at first and third.

In the top of the third the Usurers capitalized on a throwing error by the Woodpecker shortstop to push across three unearned runs, making the score 10-5. The Woodpeckers struck back in the bottom of the frame, scoring four quick runs to draw within one, 10-9. But the Avian rally was snuffed out when “Kenny,” trying to stretch a double into a triple, was gunned down at third by the old reliable 8-1-6-5 relay from centerfield to third via the pitcher and the shortstop. The baroque put-out was followed by a Woodpecker double which was rendered harmless when the next batter grounded to third for the final out of the inning.

In the fourth frame, the Sharks conjured up a two-out, four-run rally, powered by Matt Henzy’s RBI double and David Spack’s three-run homer that rolled all the way to the tunnel in left field. In the bottom of the fourth, with the score 14-9, The Monk calmly set the Woodpeckers down in order to preserve the 5-run bulge.

In the top of the 5th, the Sharks displayed their depth as a phalanx of so-called “subs” entered the game and then hung the crookedest number of the night on the scoreboard. Jonathan Spack got things started with a leadoff walk and one batter later Naomi Shelton followed suit. A grounder through the third-baseman’s 5-hole loaded the bases for Tim Sullivan, who obliged with a single, and Maz Ali, who cracked a double. Dave Hinchen later contributed a single and when the dust had settled, the Sharks had added five runs to make the score 19-9.

In the bottom of the fifth, “Tim” hit a solo home run for the Woodpeckers, and then their cleanup hitter launched a towering shot into the trees. A Shark outfielder tracked it down and fired it to shortstop Ali, who whirled an threw an absolute bullet to third-bagger Rich Cowen, who was in position and ready to tag out an extremely surprised cleanup hitter chugging into third. The crisp throw-relay-catch-and-tag pinched a Woodpecker rally and the Winged Ones would manage only one more run that inning to make the score 19-11.

The sixth inning saw yet another two-out Shark rally, as Mike Whalen launched a two-run tater to left. Sullivan followed up with a single, and then Ali laced a hard shot up the middle. As Sullivan rounded second and cruised into third, the throw from center hit him squarely in the back of the head, the ball ricocheting into the Shark dugout. Apparently none the worse for wear, Sullivan was awarded home for the Sharks’ 22nd run of the evening.

Down 22-11 in the bottom of the sixth, the Feather Patrol refused to fly away quietly. They assembled a two-out, five-run rally, complete with Grand Slam™, that made the score 22-16 and tightened collars a bit on the Shark bench. But after failing to score in the top of the seventh, the Shark defense clamped down to focus on getting three outs in the final inning, doing so while allowing a solitary run to score via a smattering of singles and fielders’ choices.

Loan Sharks 343 453 0 22 22 3
Woodpeckers 504 025 1 17 20 3

Monday, May 05, 2008

Ron's Auto Runs Over Loan Sharks, 28-4

The Sharks fought valiantly, but could never quite get on track in this, the second game of the young 2008 season. Ron's poured on 11 runs in the top of the second and never really looked back. The Sharks hit some line drives right at people, and then the Automatons would hit a soul-destroying bloop or a hope-crushing bleeder at the most inopportune moment. On the plus side: good weather, a raft of energetic new teammates, no injuries!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Woodpeckers Smother Loan Sharks in Season Opener, 27-5

Ouch. Not exactly the most auspicious Loan Sharks home opener in recent memory, but at least we had some warm weather (can be rare in April) and a few laughs. It was close until the third inning, when the Woodpeckers erupted for 11 runs that put the game out of reach.

But there were some bright spots! Joe Lieber launched a majestic 3-run homer to left in the fourth inning, following up on Bob Paret's seeing-eye solo home run in the second.

The father-daughter team of Mize (shortstop) and Maya (second base) Jonas turned in some stellar defense up the middle, including a great play by Maya to knock down a wicked grounder and flip to her dad for a force out at second, drawing applause from all assembled Sharks and Woodpeckers alike. Joe Lieber and Mize also turned a nifty double play to kill a Woodpecker rally.

On the bench in the late innings, Kenji Foster explained the finer points of sunflower seed eating to the youth of Jamaica Plain. Speaking as someone who has to crack each individual sunflower seed with his teeth before prying open the shell with his fingers, I salute the transmission of this vital dugout skill to the next generation of Loan Sharks.
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