February 9th, 2020

Beyond the Ocean's Edge

What's Up?

For me, not a lot, to be sure.
Yesterday I watched the first game of the new XFL, which pitted the Seattle Dragons against the D. C. Defenders.  Naturally I was rooting for Seattle, coached by the Seahawks first ever starting quarterback, Jim Zorn.  It was a good game but the Dragons ended up losing.  I understand they are thought to be the underdog in most games scheduled for the year.

The game itself has a few changes from the NFL to make it interesting, at least in my opinion.  Kick offs are different, largely in an attempt to preserve that aspect of the game, but to also limit or eliminate many of the injuries that occur during those evolutions.  There is no kicked point after a touchdown, but teams can elect to run an after scoring play from any of three different yard lines, with more points being awarded for the longer plays.  If they run the play from the two yard line, it's one point, from the five, two points, and from the ten, three points.  There are some changes in timing during the majority of the game and as well some changes in timing for the final two minutes of the half and the game.

So yeah, I'm a little bit excited about this new pro football league and I hope it goes well.  At the same time I looking forward to this years baseball season getting underway.  Spring training for pitchers and catchers starts soon and before we know it, the actual season will be underway.  With games for one's favorite team being played nearly everyday it'll give me an excuse for not getting things done... or so I like to tell myself.

Just finished up with the February issue of the REAR ENGINE REVIEW, the newsletter for the Inland Northwest Corvair Club.  It's gone out by e-mail to club members, other Corvair Clubs, Corvair and other automotive enthusiasts, family, friends, former classmates, or anyone I think might want to see it.  I'd tell you to visit the Inland Northwest Corvair Club web-site if you want to see it, but the club's web-master has had some health issues over the past several months and doesn't seem to post them anymore.  (I've linked it, just in case you want to visit anyway.)

I needed some filler material in the newsletter to I included the following bit about the number of guns aboard ships during the age of sail.
The Numbers Game During the Age of Sail

                During the Age of Sail, warships were ranked and identified by the number of guns they carried, but ships rarely carried the number of guns noted by their official rate.  Certain types or sizes of guns, or guns in certain locations did not count, and the general practice was to equip a vessel with as many weapons as possible.
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           Logically, a larger vessel, with a larger crew, and more and larger guns should be the victor, but what happened when opponents were evenly matched?  Then the deciding factor was often which crew was better trained and more experienced.  USS Chesapeake and HMS Shannon were close to evenly matched in terms of armament.  Shannon's crew had been together for years, her captain placed a great deal of emphasis on gunnery, and even provided additional powder for practice from his own funds.  While he had had success earlier in the War Of 1812, James Lawrence had just assumed command of Chesapeake.  Many of her crew were also newly reported aboard.  Thus when she sailed from Boston on June 1, 1813, to accept the British challenge, it was with a crew and captain that had never operated together.  This lack of experience resulted in a British victory after just a few minutes of battle.

More next time,