The Fall Classics

Its that time of year. World Series, Halloween, Daylight Savings Time, and Thanksgiving. 

It’s a wonderful time of year even though the days are getting shorter, it’s dark outside on my way to the gym in the morning, and I have to wear a coat to work.

There is something about the change of seasons, kind of like cranes actually, that reminds us that change is never ending, and that is a good thing

Happy Halloween everyone.

#life lessons

Comments (Archived):

  1. JimHirshfield

    That picture is just gourdgeous

    1. Twain Twain

      Forget the Trumpbot! Someone needs to make a Jim+Jessebot to churn out wordplays for everything on the Web.

      1. JimHirshfield


        1. Jess Bachman

          Reporting for duty! bleep**bloot*

          1. JimHirshfield

            Ah, but there’s a typo in your bot name. Sent me for an infinite loop.

          2. Twain Twain

            Haha, such a purposeful gait and then it … tomato-faces!

          3. Twain Twain

            Typo was deliberate. Jessebot is female version of @jessbachman:disqus!!!

    2. sigmaalgebra

      Yes. My father in law, a farmer, etc., liked gourds and did enough gardening to be sure to have a nice collection of gourds each fall! They were curious. Fred’s picture finally explains to me some of why my father in law liked gourds: A lot else in his life was really complicated, but the gourds were simple!

      1. jason wright

        What’s a gourd? I’ve not heard of it before. An American thing?

        1. sigmaalgebra

          As my FiL did them, he grew them from some seeds or whatever. They grow above the ground but close to the ground.About this time of year, maybe a month or so later, he picked out the ones he liked and brought them into the house. There they dried and became hard and hollow.There were various colors, with lots of oranges. He just had them around the house, e.g., on the kitchen table. E.g., from Wikipedia:https://upload.wikimedia.or…He was a great guy, Army Captain staff officer, good high school baseball coach, good mentor to young men, good farmer, e.g., raised 40,000 chickens at a time, soy beans for the chickens, winter wheat, head of the local Rural Electric Membership Cooperative (REMC), that is, the local, last mile, electric company, Member of the BoD of the local bank, Member of Lions, active in REMC politics at the state level and then the national level, usually wore work boots and his REMC shirt with his name above the pocket, down to earth guy.He built his house from plans from Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping or some such, nearly all from his own hands (got some help with roofing and a little more but fabricated his own baseboard heating radiators, etc.) while his young family lived in essentially an old chicken house in the back of his mother’s house, right, with a little house out back with a half moon in the door and a copy of the Sears catalog, got his water by knocking a small hole in concrete floor of his basement and pounding a pipe down about 20 feet, made innovative use of tire inner tubes and car radiator hose clamps as joints in his sewer pipes, for color in the rooms, just added paint to the plaster before applying it, made most of his own furniture, e.g., kitchen and dining room table and chairs, beds, storage areas in the bed headboards, for his three daughters put in a huge bathroom with double sink and big, rectangular tub, in pastels.He built his own chicken houses and feed mixing facility, mixed his own chicken feed with some help from the local USDA Extension agent, got farm equipment by shopping at auctions of farms that went out of business, planted a grove of walnut trees, likely valuable now, had a nice wood working shop, e.g., used for the house furniture, equipment for the chicken farming, and used it to make beautiful cribs for the grand children, really liked the grandchildren/At the top of his chicken business, he worked 20 hours a day except only 10 on Sundays, yes, was active in his local church, etc.Good guy.In a blizzard, stopped to help a neighbor get unstuck in the road and died of a heart attack.Once at the kitchen table, we were trying to diagnose a problem with the fuel injector in one of his tractors, and I helped him with whatever talent I had in mechanical things.Once his supplier of electric power was converting to nukes, and he had me explain to him how nukes worked, e.g., still boiled water to turn turbines to turn generators.Once I explained to him why his engineers put large capacitors just outside of the plants of his industrial customers who were running a lot of electric motors — right, get the power factor back where it belonged, since the motors were inductors, he needed some capacitors to make the electrical load look more like a pure resistor and, thus, reduce power losses on his power lines. I.e., in physics in college, I’d had a course in E&M with AC circuit theory, Maxwell’s equations, etc. but, right, with totally sloppy, physics-style treatment of the Gauss, Green, Stokes, and divergence theorems — much later, with a good background in integration theory got a decent treatment, quickly, about an hour, from one of T. Apostol’s advanced calculus books, later got exterior algebra from Rudin and Fleming but have yet to return to physics to connect with Maxwell’s equations, general relativity, etc. — sorry ’bout that!He liked to keep down costs but for each of his REMC trucks needed a powered mandrel — so that is a heavy, iron cylinder rotating slowly on its main axis, that is powered with a lot of torque for pulling on a rope. So, just wrap the rope a few turns around the cylinder, turn on the electric power, and pull on the rope with, right, maybe several hundred pounds of force. So the other end of the rope might go through a pulley and lift something that weighs half a ton or some such.Well, the mandrel units ready to mount on the trucks, were expensive but had electric motors of only about 1 HP. He knew that he could buy a 1 HP motor for much less than such a mandrel and wondered why the difference in cost. So, I explained the difference between power and torque!Ah, his daughters didn’t know such things either, and couldn’t have cared less about them! Instead, his daughters were from fairly pretty to very pretty and just fantastic actresses, manipulators, etc. All his daughters were bright, and the one I married was genuinely, astoundingly brilliant — yup, she still didn’t know the difference between torque and power, between a capacitor and an inductor, how nukes generated electric power, etc.! Such are the ways of Darwin, Mother Nature, and the world!His wife was convinced that her mission in life, and she wouldn’t give it up, was to save the world, even 12,000 miles away. So, yes, she was a mother, in most ways a very good mother, but bitterly resented that work. Then with her resentment, and her shame from not saving the world, she cut off intimacy with her husband, when pressured to go to work, worked a night shift, and refused to communicate with him, even in daily small talk. So, after all the astounding things he did for her and the family, her reaction was to torture him. She liked doing that. She tortured me, too — really enjoyed that. Nasty woman.So, my FiL liked to have some gourds around the house in the fall and winter!

        2. Vasudev Ram

          Gourd, squash, zucchini, pumpkin, cucumber. melon, bitter gourd – all members of the gourd family, I think.

  2. Joe Marchese

    Change is never ending, but at this very time, change is accelerating, which for adrenaline junkies, makes life pretty interesting. Best coping mechanism is to enjoy the moment.

  3. William Mougayar

    … and the start of the NBA season!

    1. fredwilson

      joanne and I went to the Knicks home opener on sat night. was nice to get the W

      1. JaredMermey

        if only they stay healthy [fingers crossed]

  4. pointsnfigures

    There will be November baseball.

    1. JimHirshfield

      That’s weird, but true.

    2. jason wright

      Is there such a thing as the snowball pitch?

  5. Tom Labus


  6. Twain Twain

    I wasn’t in NYC for the H’ween parade this year but this is a typical example of the best H’ween parade in the world:

  7. sigmaalgebra

    Yes, as a math grad student, I was expected also to teach. So, for the first fall, I taught trigonometry. Since there were a lot of students that fall, classes had to start early, IIRC 7:30 AM. Well, when the class was out, it was still dark!I could teach a MUCH better course in trigonometry now: Turn it into an introduction to Fourier theory, signal processing, the partial differential equations that Fourier theory solves nicely, sonar and radar, beam forming, X-ray crystallography, holography, music theory, beginning quantum mechanics and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle (basically just a standard result in Fourier theory), power spectral estimation, Wiener filtering, the Riesz-Fisher theorem! Fourier theory is nice stuff!Yes, fall is my favorite time of the year!Fred omitted the one of the great things about fall — pretty girls in red and black plaid wool skirts!Hillary, NYT, MSM, no, no girls were molested in writing this blog post! Sorry. Better luck next time!Yup, for AI, fall of failure right before another AI winter!

  8. karen_e

    Look at you, photoblogging! Much appreciation for all you do and have done over the years.

  9. LE

    Really nice photo (and the one of the crane as well).

  10. awaldstein

    I”m with you.To me its very early walks in Central Park.Sunday was perfect and as we know pre 8am everyone with a dog mid town goes and let’s them run free in the leaves. This is New York’s fingerprint of Fall to me.AndI immediately went and booked 4 days of skiing in Aspen.Enjoy!

    1. LE

      New York’s fingerprint of FallGreat expression. And doing a google search it seems to be 99.99% original.

  11. LE

    Its that time of year.Elections 8 days away.Interesting to see what is on those emails that Weiner had on his laptop that Huma claims should not be there. Either he was reading her emails w/o her permission (entirely possible my speculation) or she is lying. There are other less likely explanations (hard drive swap or other technical reason). It’s clear that the higher ups at the FBI have put the kibbosh on the investigation by the lower level people. This is their payback for that. Or perhaps it’s the Justice dept. that is putting the squeeze on the FBI higher ups and this is their payback for that.

    1. JLM

      .She was backing up her smart phone to the laptop. Screwed!JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. LE

        Her closeness to Huma is unsettling. Been around her since she was 19. Given huge amounts of responsibility yet she marries a guy like Weiner. And you know even if he hadn’t done those sex things if you watch the documentary on him you’d have to wonder why she couldn’t spot the flakiness and lack of character. Spitzer and Slida made more sense.I was trying to explain to my wife that (the Huma loyalty) it is similar to in business when someone has a trusted associate that they keep around because they know they can trust them with their secrets. Huma knows where the bodies are buried. If Hillary weren’t such an operative she wouldn’t need a person like Huma, she could easily have replaced her. So it’s not a loyalty thing. At that level and in that business there is no loyalty.Interesting how with Hillary she is getting bitten by something similar to what happened to Nixon. Not fully understanding the risks and relying on others.

  12. Dan Epstein

    Some nice football this weekend, too.

  13. jason wright

    Just walked home from the city in the dark. Kids everywhere all costumed up.Next up Bonfire Night on the 5th. Fireworks, effigies, and burnings. Good Old England.

  14. JaredMermey

    Moved to LA.Good thing: The weather. As much as I love fall, always knew what was coming next in NY.Bad thing: Favorite holidays often tied to seasons do not feel so special anymore. Christmas/Chanukah for winter. Passover/Easter for Spring. Memorial Day for coming of Summer. Thanksgiving for Fall.

  15. creative group

    William Mougayar:Off Topic: (Bitcoin)On Monday, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held the first-ever Congressional hearing on Bitcoin. Later in the day, the currency’s value reached an all-time high of more than $800. (Should had held onto the 10,000 Bitcoins at .0001 we possessed, talk about giving up on a position)source: Wapo

  16. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:The weather in one State has not been below 85 degrees and it is 31 Oct 2016. Keep this change in climate going. We are in a positive total denial.

  17. Vasudev Ram

    Here are a couple of other kinds of uses of gourds:…Both are musical instruments of India, the first one used in the South, the second in the North, in the classical music of those regions.And the sitar is supposed to be derived from the veena:…I thought of mentioning these here, because I just commented on this post on HN about Music for Programming:My comment:…The HN thread, which has a lot of suggestions on music for (i.e. to listen to while) programming: