You be the referee

As the fall season heats up, just a couple of scenarios to think through:

Scenario A:


What do you do?
Scenario A-1 — what happens if the keeper smothers the ball one bounce before it is in the net?
Scenario A-2 — what happens if the keeper actually gets his hands on the ball as it hits the grounds on the near side six yard line?

Both of these scenarios I just sent into my rules interpreters for USSF and NCAA play.

Scenario B:
Red is playing against White. White is the superior team but Red is well coached. White has been playing a very high line for the first 55 minutes of the game. Red’s coach yells out a code word. The next time the ball is getting knocked around in the midfield by Red, their midfielder plays a long through ball. At the time the ball is played Red 1 and Red 2 are both in an offside position by at least three yards. They each take three hard steps towards the general landing area of the ball, and then break wide. At the same time Red 3 and Red 4 make clean runs from onside positions. White’s defenders have stopped and raised their hands looking for an offside call. The AR is sprinting hard to track the ball and has nothing. Red 3 retrieves the ball and shanks it.

Five minutes later, the same scenario occurs but Red #4 buries the ball into the back corner.

The White captain and coach are livid. Do you have anything?

Scenario C
Green #16 grabs Gold #4 shirt and runs stride for stride with her for three steps with the jersey visibly bunched up. Gold #4 then short arm chops Green’s arm. Gold breaks free to open space at high speed with the ball in clean possession. This happened in the seventh minute of play.

Scenario D

You’re an older, experienced referee at a field complex hosting a recreational tournament. They’re running six fields. You have a game on Field 3 in an hour. You’ve grabbed your water and found some shade between fields 2 and 3. The ref on field 2 is a 15 year old kid who is just having a really bad game. No one is going to get hurt on this U-10 game but the ref just is not seeing what he should be seeing and when he sees something he is not recognizing and acting on it. Ten minutes later, the game is over. What do you say to the referee?

My responses:
Scenario A — The first thing I noticed is that the referee was hauling ass. He was in good position and the surprise did not freeze him. Good job ref! Secondly, if I was in the middle, after I confirm a good goal, I am 100% sure that at least one if not both of my shoes need to be tied. I have the time, and if I can steal an extra five to ten seconds for the keeper to get his head on straight, I am going to do that. I won’t delay much, but I’ll make sure my shoes are tied and that I recorded the goal slowly and correctly in my book.

A-1 and A-2 start at the same point. The keeper would be committing a violation that is sanctioned by an indirect free kick (2nd possession using his hands before the ball is touched by another player) so there is no penalty kick. Play should be stopped unless the referee wants to give a second to see if the ball will squirt free and go into the goal. A-2 I am 100% sure that I don’t have a red card as the ball was not 100% sure going into the net. A-1 is where I need help. I don’t think I have DOGSO but I want confirmation.

Scenario B: I have a damn nice piece of coaching and execution by Red that was taking advantage of a lazy White team therefore I have good goal. Red 1 and Red 2 were never in the area of the ball, they freely took themselves out of play, never obstructed or interfered with White’s ability to recover and never blocked the vision of the keeper. It’s White’s job to run until they hear a whistle and then run two more steps after that.

Scenario C: This scenario occurred in a competitive college game. The referee and the assistant referee both saw the first foul (the hold). The assistant referee looked at the referee and saw that the referee recognized the situation but was waiting to see what happened. The short arm chop was a strong move without a ton of wind-up. The referee decided that both actions were “trifling” and did not constitute a net transfer of advantage. He did not call for a play-on, instead he just moved to a good position to look for anything that would rise to the level where he felt he needed to intervene.

This action in the 7th minute was one of three or four notable decisions the referee made in the first ten minutes to set the foul level for the day. Three no calls and one foul for a hard challenge through the back told both teams where the allowable contact line was. We were going to allow players to work through contact. And it worked. The players accepted the referee’s contact level. The game had twelve fouls total (7-5 Red) with one caution for a smart tactical foul.

Would that decision work in all scenarios?

Hell no. A non-competitive college game played at a low level of skill would see catch and release to become catch and beat down. The analogue to Gold would be neither strong enough or determined enough to try to run through the foul. The analogue to Green would not have been smart or skilled enough to not drag down Gold. Subtle/soft fouling is a skill. That type of decision making would fail miserably in high school play. It would lead to a fiasco game. We might be able to get away with that style of decision making on an older youth State Cup final as they’re the next round of college players but that is riskier.

Foul levels beyond the blindingly obvious cleats through the knee are driven by a shared negotiation between the referee and the players until everyone gets on the same page to produce a safe and fair game.

Scenario D:
Unless I know the referee because they either live on my block, babysit my kids or I assign them youth games for my home town club. I am saying nothing. I don’t have the relationship with them to help them. They know if they had a good game, a decent game or a game they wish they had back. Another adult telling them that they sucked (as that is what they will hear from anything that an unknown ref) won’t help them. It will just make refereeing less enjoyable. At the most, point them to where the ref relaxation and rehydration area is so that they can clear their head. If you’re at the ref tent and they are actively trying to figure out what happened, then maybe a few very simple observations can help. But as a referee or just as any adult, let the ref get out from the immediate area of the game.

ICYMI Weekend Open Thread: Hillary’s Big Anti-Alt-Right Speech

In Case You Missed It, because not everyone has even half an hour free during the work week.

She may not be the “natural politician” of our Obama-fueled fantasies, but Hillary Rodham Clinton is willing to do the homewok. And we need a president like that, if we’re to keep President Obama’s gains from being chipped away at the hands of the Rethugs.

It takes a lot of nerve to ask people he’s ignored and mistreated for decades, “What do you have to lose?” The answer is everything!

Trump’s lack of knowledge or experience or solutions would be bad enough.

But what he’s doing here is more sinister.

Trump is reinforcing harmful stereotypes and offering a dog whistle to his most hateful supporters.

It’s a disturbing preview of what kind of President he’d be…

Open Thread

Here’s a nice shiny thread while I go take a nap with Lily.

These are my favorite naps. Thurston and Rosie are off doing thing, and Lily and I get to take a calm, no drama nap and explore the space.



Ole Walter is now en route to his forever home. Tim (the driver) showed up, and he’s a good ole boy, former Navy, and a decent fellow, and Walter took to him nicely. Walter actually bolted right into the minivan (he likes his car rides), but I made him come out to make sure he had been, um, evacuated.

Good thing, too, because Walter took a world class dump right in the front yard, and Tim remarked “Wow, Walter’s not messing around.” No he is not, sir!

Got him back in his sweet chariot, said goodbye, and Walter basically ignored me and was in between the seats trying to get up front before I knew it.


Such a good boy, and Tim even remarked what a happy dog he is. Adios, Walter, and you can come back any time (but I have a feeling you won’t want to leave Debit!).

Presidential Potty Training

Critics frequently note that Donald Trump acts like an overgrown toddler. That’s because his handlers and enablers treat him like one. Here’s an example in the context of Trump’s current public vacillation on whether to round up and deport an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants:

“He has been listening to a wide range of opinions on that,” said former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has been at Trump’s side nearly constantly over the past week. “As you might imagine, there are different opinions on this, even in his campaign. In a very thoughtful way, he’s trying to figure what the right position is.”

“By the way,” Giuliani added, “that’s what everybody criticized him for in the past: that he’s not able to do that. He actually is able to do that.”

trump pottyAnd we’re supposed to applaud because Trump made a poopy in the big-boy bowl.

As was demonstrated so vividly during the administration of Incurious George, it’s important for presidents to be able to take in new information and adjust their policies accordingly. But that’s not what’s happening here.

The U.S. government has been debating what to do with our undocumented immigrants for decades. It has been a political flashpoint forever, and the underlying facts haven’t changed. Trump has demagogued the issue for more than a year. It’s absurd to claim he’s just now trying to figure out the right policy, let alone praise him for it.

A similar potty-training moment occurred after Trump expressed vague regrets about using “the wrong words” and causing “personal pain” during a speech. That non-specific non-apology was apparently supposed to address every bigoted and racist comment Trump has ever made, from birth to the present day, including his inexcusable and politically damaging broadsides against Judge Curiel and Captain Khan’s family.

Here’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway in the role of a preschool teacher awarding a sticker for a well-targeted poopy:

“He was talking about anyone who feels offended by anything he said. He took extra time yesterday going over that speech with a pen so that was a decision he made. Those are his words. I hope America heard him because of all the people, David, who have been saying, ‘Hey, let’s get Trump to pivot, let’s get him to be more presidential.’ That is presidential.”

No, it’s not, Ms. Conway. It’s really, really not.

Great googly-moogly, this election can’t be over soon enough. Open thread!

Saturday Morning Open Thread: “Not Really A Pet Bleg”

satby boomer top

From beloved commentor Satby:

I mentioned on various threads I had a previously adopted dog come back, ostensibly because he supposedly bit the owner’s mother on the foot. I know the backstory, mom and her hubby both are alcoholics, and later the story changed to mom being bit because she was holding a broom. My guess is that when the owner wasn’t around mom was abusive. I think the owner, who was in tears when he brought the dog back, suspected that too.

The dog’s name is Bubba, a beagle-Boston terrier mix, and he’s shown no aggression at all. I really pushed this sweet boy with Safer testing to try to see if he’d snap at me. Nothing, not a nip or a snarl, only a waggy tail and cuddles. He gets along with the other dogs and cats, he’s been fine with older kids (as a smaller dog I wouldn’t adopt him out to a family with a young child), but he’s a bit timid until he knows he’s safe. He is crate trained, but in my house he has his own room (the bathroom) for his safe place.

I hate to break Bubba’s heart because he’s clearly happy to be home again with old Rosie and Hershey; but in my new home I will already be over the city limit with the dogs I have and may need to foster the younger ones out if I get busted. So I’m hoping to find a home with people who can appreciate this guy’s sweet and sensitive nature and would like an obedient and loyal little friend.

I want to keep him in the Midwest region so that I’m available just in case a new home doesn’t work out, but I don’t believe that will be a problem. He’s a good boy who went to a loving owner, but the owner’s situation changed when mom moved in.

The top photo is him sitting pretty, with Shiva: Destroyer of Sheets and Dog Beds glowering in her cage behind (she’s a bit of a bully to my old girl, they take turns being out).
Photo at the bottom is Bubba with Hershey in the background.

If someone is interested they can contact me via the Etsy shop.

satby boomer

Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: What News of Maine’s “Human Bowling Jacket” Governor?

I have a mild case of the spindizzies, and it’s making me even crankier than usual. But I’m still about 80 IQ points and some head trauma away from “cranky like Paul LePage.”

I will also point out, for any Purity Ponies lurking, that LePage is what happens when the “True Progressive” becomes the enemy of the “at least he’s not Paul LePage” mere Democratic machine candidate.

To quote Mr. Charles P. Pierce, Paul LePage always brings dignity to the office.”

The Only Commercial Clinton Needs

That. Just have a voiceover that says “Donald Trump says he only hires the best people and that is how he will run the country. This is his doctor.”

Let the bad SNL doctor roleplay speak for 50 seconds, and then say “I’m Hillary Clinton and I agree with this commercial.”

The end.

Friday Recipe Exchange: Pears and Grilling

Pears Pecorino Walnuts

Pears, Pecorino and Walnuts over pasta

I am heading out for the evening, hoping this will post okay in my absence. This was one of my favorite new recipes, I’d never heard of mixing pears and cheese over pasta, but come to find out, it’s actually a very popular ravioli. I think this recipe has all the flavor without all the work. From the recipe blog:


Sometime contributor Michael Fallai shares a lot of terrific recipes on Facebook. The only hitch is they are often in Italian. Tonight’s featured recipe was one of those. If you ever want a laugh, let Google translate a recipe for you…and don’t let dissolve cheese in a water bath, or let your wine evaporate on flame lively intimidate you.

Perusing the weekly ads, I pulled together a few recipes based on what was on sale this week and headed out to the grill.

First up, Curried Turkey Burgers, recipe here. Great served on fresh pita and grill some fresh eggplant from the garden.

Collard greens were everywhere at the farmer’s market last weekend, so Collard Greens with Bacon seems timely, click here.

The dinner menu took advantage of the abundance of pears right now, Grilled Salmon in Dill Sauce with Pear Raspberry Salad. Click here for recipes and full menu.


JeffreyW and Mrs. J made some delicious looking Cream Horns (and to this Italian girl, seems the only difference between these and Cannoli is the filling). Purty pictures and directions can be found here.

What’s on your menu this last weekend of August? What garden fresh items are you enjoying right now? What are you grilling up?

Tonight’s featured recipe (pictured at top) became a poignant reminder of the earthquake in Italy. I had pulled it off the Italy site, translated it and put the ingredients on my shopping list just days before it hit.

Here is my version:

Pasta with Pears, Pecorino and Walnuts

  • 10 oz linguine pasta
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 3 large pears, very ripe, cored and cubed
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano (plus extra for garnish)
  • 4 oz cream cheese or Mascarpone, cut into small cubes
  • dash of white wine (opt)
  • salt and pepper to taste

skillet, large pot

Bring water to boil in large pot, add salt and pasta and cook to al dente.  Drain but do not rinse and add back to pot, off heat.

While pasta is cooking, heat skillet on medium heat, add walnuts. Stir constantly until lightly toasted, remove and set aside.

Add butter to skillet and melt before adding pears. Stir gently until well coated with butter. Cook until softened, gently stirring occasionally (you don’t want to break up the pears).

Add both cheeses and stir in completely. Let simmer on medium heat until lightly boiling. Add wine and let simmer away (about 5 minutes). Salt and pepper to taste.

Combine pasta, pear mixture and walnuts in large pot and mix well. Serve with extra Pecorino for garnish.


That’s it for this week. I’m sorry I don’t have a new photo of Bixby for National Dog Day.  Have a great weekend, enjoy the fading days of August – TaMara

Update your iPhones and iPads Immediately

An Israeli company, the NSO Group, that sells hacking solutions to governments to allow them to access people’s tech, has found a way to get around iOS security.  So if you’ve got an iPhone or an iPad or anything else running iOS, go to settings and software update and download and install the patch that Apple pushed out yesterday!

T-14 Hours


Here’s a picture of sweet Ole Walter taking a look around the yard after dinner. Spoke with the driver, who is actually from around this area even though he and the company are down in Kentucky, and he knows right where I live, so another uncanny coincidence. Small world.

People are coming by to say bye bye, and before you know it he will b e whisked off to his new forever home with Debit. Such a lucky doggie.

Everyone keeps asking if I am going to miss him, and the simple answer is I am not. I mean, he’s a sweet, wonderful boy, but when I found him I never once got it into my head that I would keep him. I just never thought of him as “my” dog. I don’t know why, but I just didn’t. I knew what had to be done- he just needed to be picked up, fixed up, and sent off on his way, and thanks to you good people he can and is going to be heading west in style.

Soccer Open Thread

Good evening all. I don’t really have much too add, except that I am glad that Arsenal finally loosened their purse strings a little.

Feel free to share what’s on your mind. Some suggested topics:

  1. Is Hope Solo’s punishment too harsh?
  2. Thoughts on the transfer market.
  3. Champion’s League Draw.

Have at it!

Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite! Liberte and Egalite Have Won Edition


(Eugene Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People)

France’s highest administrative court, The State Council/Council de Etat, overturned the local burkini bans that had popped up in French beach towns over the past several weeks. The panel of three senior judges ruled that the ban:

“has dealt a serious and clearly illegal blow to fundamental liberties such as the freedom of movement, freedom of conscience and personal liberty.”

They found that no evidence produced in favour of the prohibition proved a risk to public order was being caused by “the outfits worn by some people to go swimming”.

 There will, of course, be pushback. The Mayor of Villeneuve-Loubet, who is also a member of France’s parliament, has indicated that he will push legislation in the next session to address the issue. Municipal authorities in Nice, Frejus, and Sisco have already stated that they will keep the ban in place despite the ruling. We will now have to wait and see how the different levels of French government, and the French themselves, reconcile themselves to the Council de Etat’s ruling.

The Best People

There is this guy.  He’s running for president.  He himself is not particularly experienced at most (all) of what a president does, but we’re not to worry.

Why not?

Because he’s not the detail guy.  He’s the big picture guy, the boss.  He hires the folks who lift and tote.

But that’s OK.



“My motto is ‘Hire the best people…”  (Donald Trump: Think Big, 2007).

And now, let us savor:

Donald Trump’s new presidential campaign chief is registered to vote in a key swing state at an empty house where he does not live, in an apparent breach of election laws.

Stephen Bannon, the chief executive of Trump’s election campaign, has an active voter registration at the house in Miami-Dade County, Florida, which is vacant and due to be demolished to make way for a new development….


Election officials in Miami-Dade make clear to prospective voters that they are required to actually live in the county and to use their home address in election paperwork. “You must reside in Miami-Dade County,” their website states. It adds: “When you register to vote, an actual residence address is required by law.” A county spokeswoman did not respond to questions relating to Bannon’s situation.

Three neighbors said the house where Bannon is currently registered to vote had been abandoned for three months. When the Guardian visited the property on Thursday a large window in the front aspect was missing. A soiled curtain was blowing through it. The driveway was a mess of tree branches and mud.

Bannon never appeared at the house, according to the neighbors.

What’s most striking is that this apparent prima facie  voter fraud — while the more likely to get Bannon into actual legal difficulties — is in a moral sense the lesser of two scandals that have dropped over the last twenty four hours.  Because we’ve also learned this:

Stephen K. Bannon, the new CEO of the Donald Trump campaign, was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery and dissuading a witness following an incident in early January 1996, though the case was ultimately dismissed, according to a police report and court documents.

That witness:

The Santa Monica, Calif., police report says that Bannon’s then-wife claimed he pulled at her neck and wrist during an altercation over their finances, and an officer reported witnessing red marks on her neck and wrist to bolster her account. Bannon also reportedly smashed the phone when she tried to call the police.

The details get uglier:

Bannon then got his lawyer on the case, who allegedly “threatened” Piccard and told her she “would have no money [and] no way to support the children” if the case went to trial.

Bannon then told Piccard to skip town.

He said “that if I wasn’t in town they couldn’t serve me and I wouldn’t have to go to court,” she claimed in the document.

Piccard left for two weeks before Bannon’s attorney said she could return, according to the declaration.

“Because I was not present at the trial, the case was dismissed,” she said in the documents.

That second quote is from The New York Post. That would be the Rupert Murdoch-owned Post, which is an added twist to this tale.  What is the true state of Trump-Murdoch relations?

But leave aside that kind of political inside baseball.  The most compelling element to the story of Bannon’s thuggery is that it is an unexpected, deep look into his character.  Through it we can discover what kind of person Donald Trump — a major party nominee for President, with a genuine, non-zero chance of achieving that office — thinks is one of  “the best people.”

It ain’t pretty.  The Post‘s coverage continues:

Bannon had allegedly also earlier told Picccard, who was then his girlfriend and the expectant mother of their twin girls, that he would only agree to marry her if the kids were “normal.”

He married her on April 14, 1995, three days before the twins were born.


Worst of all — at least it seems to me — Bannon is a man who would do this:

Piccard alleged in another document that Bannon believed in corporal punishment for the girls, even though he rarely saw them.

She cited as one example that Bannon allegedly spanked one of his toddler daughters to try to stop her from hitting her head against the crib.

Piccard claimed that when she intervened, he exploded, calling her “f—ing crazy” and saying if he hadn’t been interrupted, “she wouldn’t be banging her head anymore.”

Beating any adult is reprehensible.  Whacking on a child, a toddler? (And no, I don’t think “spanking” in this context is likely to have been a gentle swat on the bum.)  There are special circles of hell for those folks.

I left out the last half of the Trump quote at top.  In full, it reads “My motto is ‘Hire the best people, and don’t trust them.’”

As none should him.

Images:  John Sell Cotman, Ruined House betw. 1807 and 1810.

George Romney, Mother and Childundated, before 1802.

It would be, it would be so nice

This blog was talking about The War On Christmas before The War On Christmas was cool. We’ve been waiting ten years for TWOC to become a general election campaign issue. That day has finally come.

While listing the reasons why his father ran for president in an interview published Thursday, Eric Trump pointed to the tree on the White House lawn and claimed it was renamed the “Holiday tree.”


“Or, he sees the tree on the White House lawn has been renamed ‘Holiday tree’ instead of ‘Christmas tree.’ I could go on and on for hours. Those are the very things that made my father run, and those are the very things he cares about.”

Fuck yeah.