Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

Copyright Notice

Everything that appears on this blog is the copyrighted property of somebody. Often, but not always, that somebody is me. For things that are not mine, I either have obtained permission, or claim fair use. Feel free to quote me, but attribute, please. My photos and poetry are dear to my heart, and may not be used without permission. Ditto, my other intellectual property, such as charts and graphs. I'm probably willing to share. Let's talk. Violators will be damned for all eternity to the circle of hell populated by Rosanne Barr, Mrs Miller [look her up], and trombonists who are unable play in tune. You cannot possibly imagine the agony. If you have a question, email me: jazzbumpa@gmail.com. I'll answer when I feel like it. Cheers!

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Heard - Detroit

On Saturday, Chicago based sculptor, dancer and performance artist Nick Cave brought his raffia soundsuit creation THE HEARD to Detroit.

The event took place at Milliken State Park in downtown Detroit, right by the river walk.

We captured video of it in 4 segments.  The first is the entrance, the second is just horsing around, the third is the choreographed portion, and the fourth is the exit.

Granddaughter Amanda was the lead part of the lead horse in the entrance, red in front and black and white behind.

Videos follow.

Part 1 - Entrance

Part 2 - Horsing Around

Part 3 - Dancing and Prancing

Part 4 Finale and Exit

An unusual event, to be sure.

Blood Moon

Some pics of last night's event.

Half way to total eclipse.

Within a minute the clouds rolled in.

During the time it was total, the clouds opened up again for a clear view.

Almost there.


Afterward, it clouded up again so I couldn't get any pics on the way out.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Household Debt Service vs GDP Growth

In conversation at Art's we wondered about the relationship between household debt service payments as a percentage of disposable personal income and YoY GDP growth.  A scatterplot of the quarterly data from FRED, covering Q1, 1980 to Q1, 2015 looks like this.

Graph 1 - FRED Plot

There's a broad hint of an overall negative slope.  But if you lop off a few points on the right and the left, the remaining central cluster is relatively shapeless.   But, there does seem to be some negative slope to at least certain line segments, so that might mean something.

My first cut at figuring this out was to download the FRED data and make a new plot - Graph 2 - with line segments separated in what I hope is a coherent fashion.  I did this by eyeball, then labeled the segments according to the dates they include.   In the process I inadvertently reversed the axes, but this shouldn't change whatever conclusions might be drawn.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Tigers and the Slough of Despond - 2015 Edition

Latest rumor I've heard is the Tigers dumping Brad at the end of the season, and hiring Ron Gardenhire, an over the hill manager with a mediocre track record.   Early in his managing career at Minnesota, Gardenhire did well with a low payroll team.  But from 2011 through '14, his best record was 70-92 (.432)

I suppose a disappointing season might generate a knee jerk reaction. If it were to be this, I see very little merit in the action.

Let's take a look at the Tigers season and see if we can identify problems.

Tigers have given up 5.06 runs per game. That's a run differential of -102, as of today. Only Colorado and Philadelphia are worse. They've actually exceeded their Pythagorean win expectation by 5 games. By the BaseRuns metric, they're exactly where they should be.

It comes down to pitching, not Brad.

One criticism is he leaves his pitchers in too long.

Brad's dilemma is - if you take a starter out, who are you going to replace him with? Hardy (57 Innings Pitched, 1.26 WHIP) and Wilson (65.1, 1.06) are the only decent relievers in the stable, and they can't go out every day. Next best is Verhagen (15.1, 1.37) but his sample size is small. League Average WHIP is 1.3 to 1.4. By this metric, everybody else is from below average to Awful. Also, per WHIP, the only decent starters are JV and Norris, but Norris is on the DL.

It's pitching, not Brad.

In games decided by 1 or 2 runs, the Tigers are 31-31. In games decided by 4 runs, they're 8-11. In games decided by 5 or more runs, they're 17-27. I would expect that if managing is gong to make a difference, it would be in close games. They're dead even there. The story of this season is giving up tons of runs, and getting blown out.

It's pitching, not Brad.

Tigers are tied for the highest batting avg in MLB with KC, at .271; 4th in OBP at .326; 4th in slugging at .427; but 11th in runs scored, 159 behind No 1 Toronto. Baseball statisticians do not believe that clutch hitting is a thing. All this hitting with a lower than expected scoring rate actually comes down to bad luck.

I don't see any rational reason for dumping Brad.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Quote of the Day

Jesus was a homeless brown-skinned liberal who gave out free health care and free food and spoke no English. Which is why Donald Trump would have proposed a wall between Judea and Galilee to keep people like Jesus out.
                                          ---  Badtux the Snarky Penguin