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Showing posts from 2016

Argh - Powerpoint fail - lost narration after export to movie

One can record narration into a Microsoft Power Point for MAC presentation.

However, if you export the file into movie format so that it could be played on computers with no Powerpoint, the narration is lost.

Just discovered this while trying to do just that. As a result, am now conducting google searches to see if there is a work-around. But the first thing I found was this item in Microsoft Office that says exactly what I didn't want to read: Narration is not saved when you save a presentation as a movie.

UPDATE: Could not find any solutions on the internet. Fortunately, the project I was working on was fairly short and simple. I wound up doing everything in Keynote and that exports to movie with no problem.

Ranking the Star Wars movies

I'm one of those who likes both Star Trek and Star Wars. As a blogger, I had to have a list ranking the Star Trek movies. Now, it is time to rank the Star Wars movies.

Episode 5 - The Empire Strikes Back
Episode 4 - A New Hope
Episode 6 - Return of the Jedi
Episode 7 - The Force Awakens
Episode 3 - Revenge of the Sith
Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace
Episode 2 - Attack of the Clones

As a cultural moment, one can't beat Episode 4 - A New Hope. At the time, in 1977, the film was simply Star Wars. It was only because of its unbelievable box office success that the other films were made. For strength of story telling, I have to give the top prize to episode 5. The franchise was so strong that even though Episodes 1 and 2 were panned by critics and fans alike, the Star Wars property persevered.

In the years ahead, the films will expand to include a set of films Episodes 7-8-9, the newly released Rogue One that I haven't seen yet, and a set of films around Han Solo. Who know what …

2016 Exit Polling - the third party perspective

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Political pundits are pouring over the exit polls. Understandably, the focus is on who was supporting Clinton and who was supporting Trump.

But what about the approximately five percent of voters who voted for Johnson (~ 3%), Stein (~ 1%), and others (~ 1%)? What can we say about them?

The biggest question that is always asked is what would have happened if there was only two candidates on the ballot? Did the minor party candidates cost Clinton the election?

I think the CNN.com exit poll page has the most data of the major news sites. If you scroll all the way down, I think the screen capture of one of the items in the exit poll addresses that question.


This would suggest that if the 5% who went minor party, 63% would not vote on the POTUS if there were only two choices. Of the 37% who would make a choice, a slightly larger number would vote for Trump (21%) compared to Clinton (16%). Thus, the argument that Clinton was harmed by the presence of third party voters may not hold up. Howe…

Electoral College

Pretty much every four years essays are written for and against the electoral college. Go ahead and google and you'll get plenty of articles. This year (2016) and in 2000 when the electoral college result differed from the popular vote, the conversation is even more intense.

Whether the electoral college is "fair" or not depends on whether one accepts the premise of the system that the founders established.

My understanding is that the founders tried to balance population based representation and state based representation in our system of governance. Hence, the House is population based and the Senate is state based. Then the question became how to determine the Presidency? They opted to construct an electoral college that reflected both population and state based aspects by linking the number of electors to the number of House and Senate members per state. The net effect of this imperfect compromise is that the electoral college mostly mirrors the population but dimini…

Mixed feelings post-election

Am still processing the elections and am slowly trying to put my finger on where I am at. In the past, in some cases I voted for a candidate that would go on to be elected (1984, 1988, 2000, 2004) and so there was satisfaction in the result. In others, I voted for a candidate who lost and so there was disappointment (1992, 1996, 2008, 2012) but satisfaction that the political process was working.

This year was unique in that I knew I would feel no satisfaction in either candidate's victory and I am concerned our political system is failing. Clinton supporters would have felt elation at the first woman president. Trump supporters would feel the voice of the forgotten working class was heard. Reluctant Clinton supporters who were #NeverTrump would feel relief that Trump lost. Reluctant Trump supporters who were #NeverClinton would feel relief that Clinton lost.

But #NeverTrump #NeverClinton voters would feel disappointment no matter who would win.

I believe that George Will is also …

Political earthquake

Did not see that coming.

As a #NeverTrump #NeverClinton voter, when I left the ballot box Tuesday morning, I knew the next President of the United States would not be someone I voted for.

Nate Silver at 538 did hedge a bit on the morning of election day with his analysis piece. Excerpt:
First, Clinton’s overall lead over Trump — while her gains over the past day or two have helped — is still within the range where a fairly ordinary polling error could eliminate it. 
Second, the number of undecided and third-party voters is much higher than in recent elections, which contributes to uncertainty. 
Third, Clinton’s coalition — which relies increasingly on college-educated whites and Hispanics — is somewhat inefficiently configured for the Electoral College, because these voters are less likely to live in swing states. If the popular vote turns out to be a few percentage points closer than polls project it, Clinton will be an Electoral College underdog. 

As the night wore on, it became appare…

November 2016 Election Forecast

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Why should all the pundits have a corner on the market on forecasts? This pajama wearing blogger can forecast too! Below are two graphs from Real Clear Politics.

Graph 1 is the 3 month data on Clinton Trump in a "two-way" race.


Graph 2 is the 3 month graph of the "four-way" race.


There are two striking features from graph 1. 1. Clinton's numbers bounce between 45% and 49%. {hitting the mark with 47.6%} 2. Trump's number bounce between 40% and 45%. {stunning at 47.4%}
This would suggest Clinton has the advantage as the high end of Trump's numbers are at the low end of Clinton's numbers - the two lines never crossed. This scenario could happen resulting in a very long night. UPDATE: Nate Silver of 538 explains the probabilities due to the uncertainties in polling and the action of undecided voters. But nonetheless, the most likely outcome is that Clinton will edge out Trump by 2 to 3%.
There are two striking features from graph 2 regarding the two min…

And so ends the season for LA Galaxy, Elfsborg, and Falkenberg fans .....

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The Galaxy got the 1-0 win at home in leg one. However, in leg two, Colorado got a wonder strike to even up 1-1 on aggregate. Didn't see the game but from the reports, it seemed to be a struggle for both sides with Colorado generally getting the better of the chances. However, it wound up in PKs and Colorado won it. LA Galaxy off-season is going to be interesting as that is now two years in-a-row the team has fizzled out.

Meanwhile, in Allsvenskan, the final matches were held today. Malmo had locked up the championship previously and the last day was left for some final jiggering of the finishing rank for a few teams. Elfborg finished 5th and Falkenberg finished 16th and will be relegated. Looking forward to following the two clubs in the next year. Haven't followed the Superettan before. Will see if FFF can bounce back after a dreadful campaign.


Thus, now my soccer fan energies will be directed toward US Men's National Team, US Women's National Team, and Liverpool FC.

Local Items for November 2016 - LA County & Culver City Measures

There are a few local matters that are on the ballot (aside from the 17 statewide measures). So let’s put on our policy hats and compare methods of taxation. Which of the following taxes sound “fair” (recognizing that fair is often in the eyes of the taxed)?

A parcel tax of $0.015 per square foot of property (Measure A).
A sales tax of $0.005 per dollar (Measure M).
A parcel tax of $99/year on single family residents, $69/year on each unit of a multi-family dwelling, and $1096/year per acre of non-residential land (Measure CW).

Voters in LA County will decide on the first two items and Culver City residents will vote on the third.

First, one must decide whether these taxes increases are for a good cause. Measure A is for parks in LA County. Measure M is for transportation infrastructure in LA County. Measure CW is for clean water in Culver City. In my book, these are all necessary and proper functions of government.

Second, one must look at details like implementation. If I understand…

Crazy and unlikely but possible electoral college scenarios

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Using the RCP electoral college map.

Here is today's "no toss-up" map showing a very narrow Clinton victory.


Change New Hampshire and you get the 269 tied scenario! That means the election goes to the House of Representatives with two candidates qualified for the House of Representatives to choose from.

What happens if McMullin pulls off the upset in Utah and Nevada and Virginia flip? You get no one with 270 and three candidates qualified for the House of Representatives to choose from.


538 has a similar map to the RCP "no toss-up" map with the exception that 538 has Nevada in the Clinton column.


Galaxy vs Rapids in Leg 2

It is a two-legged conference semi-final which means the scores of the two matches are combined (aggregate). In the event of a tie, the first tie-breaker is goals scored away. If still tied, then the game goes to extra-time and if still tied to penalty kicks.

So what are the scenarios?

Currently, Galaxy 1 Rapids 0.

In leg two, what if ...
0-0 then Galaxy advance on aggregate having won 1-0.

Rapids 1 Galaxy 0 then the contest goes to extra-time as the aggregate score is 1-1 and neither team has an away goal.

Rapids 0 Galaxy 1 then Galaxy advance on aggregate having won 2-0.

Rapids 1 Galaxy 1 then Galaxy advance on aggregate having won 2-1.

Rapids 2 Galaxy 0 then Rapids advance on aggregate having won 2-1.

Rapids 0 Galaxy 2 then Galaxy advance on aggregate having won 3-0.

Rapids 2 Galaxy 1 then Galaxy advance on away goals (1) as the aggregate is tied at 2-2.

And so on ........

UPDATE: A easy and much better visual explanation of the scenarios!

Quick reference guides for the 2nd legs of…

As of October 31 - RCP Electoral Map

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The screen grab is from Monday morning. As you can see, the Clinton campaign is on the cusp of 270. Trump would need to run the table of toss-up states to win the election. However, the poll numbers behind the map haven't factored in the latest twist in the news. We have no way of knowing if there is yet another twist left in this crazy campaign.
In the abstract, this election was going to be difficult for the in-power party because running for the "third" term is always an uphill fight. The last time someone running for a "third" term was McCain and he lost in 2008 though a big factor was the economic crisis at the time. Gore was running for a "third" term and lost narrowly in 2000. The last successful election to a "third" term was 1988 when Bush defeated Dukakis
Clinton as a candidate has disadvantages: she has none of the charm of Bill Clinton and all the baggage of the Clinton brand name. She is an older candidate (fairly or unfairly…

November 2016 California Propositions - in progress

My general rule is that initiative generated propositions should be viewed with a degree of skepticism as they are put onto the ballot by interest groups that gathered up enough signatures.

Ballot measures can also be placed by the California legislature. I view these with skepticism as well but at least in theory these measures are vetted by the staffs of the legislature and debated by the State Assembly and State Senate and voted onto the ballot.

This year there are 17 ballot measures of which 15 are initiatives.

Will march through the ballot measures in this blog post over the next week as I prepare to vote on November 8.

Prop 51 - $9 billion school bonds. Sounds good but usually bonds for schools come from the legislature. This is an initiative; thus, it has been questioned as perhaps unnecessary. The LA Times and Gov. Brown have come out against this.
No on Prop 51.

Prop 52 - Medi-Cal hospital fee extension. Orange County Register and San Diego Union-Tribune, two of the more conse…

MLS Cup 2016 Predictions

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Knockout round: easy enough, home teams win.
Semifinals: Seattle and Dallas should be a good matchup but I think Dallas has enough to advance even without Diaz. LA vs. Colorado, even though I am a Galaxy fan, I'm just not convinced the Galaxy are up to par to other years when they made big runs in the playoffs Red Bulls over DC though it should be a good matchup. Toronto vs. NYCFC should be another good matchup and I think Toronto pulls off the upset narrowly. 
Finals: Colorado edges out Dallas as Dallas miss Diaz. Toronto pulls off a shocker and defeat NY Red Bulls.
MLS Cup: Toronto becomes the first Canadian team to participate in MLS Cup and to win it!
UPDATE: Heh. Good to see that some other peeps (Dave Zeitlin and Andrew Wiebe) are picking Toronto to win the whole thing. Though one wonders if Andrew Wiebe is jumping off the Toronto bandwagon in favor of LA Galaxy? Perhaps clickbait for LA fans?! 8-) Anyway, it was a good win for LA but even a somewhat novice and naive soccer vie…

November 2016 - California Propositions - Endorsements by Party

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17.

Count 'em: 17 ballot measures for the November 2016 election here in California.


Above is a chart of the endorsements from four of the political parties in California.
http://www.cagreens.org/elections/propositions
http://www.cademvote.org/endorsements
https://www.cagop.org/ballot_measure_endorsements
http://ca.lp.org/measures/

As you can see there are some differences: two of the parties like to support the initiatives while two of the parties are more skeptical about them.

The initiative process in California is of long standing (since 1911). If you are curious, this PDF gives, by year, the number of initiatives that attempted to qualify, qualified, and ultimately adopted/rejected by the voters.

Looking at the sum total over the years, initiatives are more likely to be rejected than adopted. And that makes sense: one, people may think the issue being raised by the initiative is not of concern, hence a NO vote; and two, even if they think it is of concern, do voters believe the i…

LA Galaxy 2016 Campaign

At the beginning to the season, the Galaxy brain trust made a lot of moves to strengthen the team for the 2016 season.

They gathered some European players (Van Damme, Cole, De Jong).

They gathered some MLS veterans (Larentowicz, Magee).

Mix these guys in with the Designated Players (Dos Santos, Gerrard, Keane) and spotlight a few youngsters and some solid role players and make a run at the MLS Cup. And they were running roughshod over a lot of teams. But as the season wore on, injuries piled up and it seemed the team was sputtering on offense and defense.

Though the club has surrendered only 39 goals, the fourth lowest in the MLS, they often look very shaky in the back line.

Thought the club has scored 54 goals, the third highest in the MLS, the most recent games have shown the Galaxy offense to be somewhat sleepy.

Fans are thinking whether Gerrard and Keane, the high priced DPs, should be benched in favor of the younger lesser known - but faster and fitter - players. At the moment, G…

Swedish Soccer FFF and Elfsborg Update

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Falkenberg's run in the top league of Sweden for all practical purposes will end after two magical years.


I had mapped out a potential route to avoid outright relegation (see table above). At the moment, the 14th spot (qualifies for a relegation playoff match) is occupied by Helsingborg with 22 points after 25 matches. Alas, FFF has only obtained a few draws and no wins over the recent stretch. Even if they win the next four matches, they would reach 22 points tying Helsingborg only if Helsingborg fail to collect any points over their next five matches. In the unlikely event this were to happen, I think goal differential is the tie breaker and right now FFF is -45 while Helsingborg is -21. It was a fantastic run for Laget Vid Havet. Will be looking to see how they fare in the Superettan. 
Meanwhile, Elfsborg are mathematically eliminated from Europa league. Norrkoping sits at the third spot with 53 points. Even with five wins by Elfsborg, they only reach 50 points (see table below…

2016 NLCS Dodger Roster Guesses?

With the new series, the rosters can be changed.

In the 2016 NLDS, the Dodgers carried 11 pitchers and 14 position players.

Starting pitchers (4): Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, Julio Urias
Relief pitchers (7): Kenley Jansen, Joe Blanton, Grant Dayton, Pedro Baez, Josh Fields, Luis Avilan, Ross Stripling
Catchers (3): Yasmani Grandal, Carlos Ruiz, Austin Barnes
Infielders (5): Adrian Gonzalez, Chase Utley, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Charlie Culberson Outfielders (6): Howie Kendrick, Joc Pederson, Josh Reddick, Yasiel Puig, Andrew Toles, Andre Ethier

Since the NLCS is a seven game series and the Dodger relief pitchers put in a lot of innings in the NLDS, we could see the Dodgers carry 12 or even 13 pitchers.

In the NLDS, Kershaw started game 1 and 4, Hill started 2 and 5, Maeda started 3.

How many innings did we get from the starters?
Kershaw 11 2/3 (he had 2/3 as a reliever)
Hill 7
Maeda 3
Total from starters 21 2/3 innings.
Five games x 9 innings = 45 innings. However, i…

What a choice .......

It is a real mess we are in.

On one hand, we have 35-40% of the public supporting Trump. Some of these voters are doing so because they want to give Washington DC the "middle finger."
To his supporters, a vote for Trump is a way to flip the middle finger to the system, the media, the elite, the liberals, the know-it-alls and the people who pretend they're better than "us." (excerpt from Mel Robbins at CNN.com) Of course, that may feel good but do we really want that to be the basis for selecting POTUS?

I wonder what percentage of the Trump support is from the "lesser of two evils" voters versus the I want "to flip the bird" to DC voters?

On the other side, we have 40-45% of the public supporting Clinton. I don't know what percentage are doing so because they see Clinton as the "lesser of two evils" choice and how many have the fawning "Saint Hillary" mind-set.

I can understand the "lesser of two evils" voter…

Episode 7: The Bowels Awaken (albeit rather slowly)

Day 8 - Tuesday September 13

The overnight MD for 8-West is usually just one person for the unit but since the team showed up it must have been the transition to the morning shift that happens around 5AM.

The MD in charge asked a few questions and the order was given: nasal gastric tube insertion. In a matter of minutes, the tube was placed and in a matter of minutes hundreds of milliliters of fluid was collected in the vacuum trap. This would be the eighth time I've had this medical device utilized for my medical care - the second time during this hospitalization.

Eight days earlier .....

Day 1 - Tuesday September 6

On this day, I was scheduled for Laparoscopic Lysis of Abdominal Adhesions (video) (text explanation) at 1pm.

Briefly, I had surgery for small bowel obstruction in 2004. As a result, I was at risk for recurrent small bowel obstruction (SBO) due to adhesions from scar tissue formation resulting from the surgery. Most adhesions don't cause problems but some do and in…