Monthly Archives: May 2018

Sports of Kings

Robert finds is very difficult to understand why there are so many different racket sports.

In order of glamour:



Honorable mention to miniten, a racket sport developed by nudists in the 1930’s.  Try as he might, Robert could not find a video. Although he found some interesting stuff while searching.

Method of Complements

From wikipedia:

In mathematics and computing, the method of complements is a technique used to subtract one number from another using only addition of positive numbers. This method was commonly used in mechanical calculators and is still used in modern computers.

The nines’ complement of a number is formed by replacing each digit with nine minus that digit. To subtract a decimal number y (the subtrahend) from another number x (the minuend) two methods may be used:

Decimal example

Digit Nines’
0 9
1 8
2 7
3 6
4 5
5 4
6 3
7 2
8 1
9 0

The nines’ complement of a decimal digit is the number that must be added to it to produce 9; the complement of 3 is 6, the complement of 7 is 2, and so on, see table. To form the nines’ complement of a larger number, each digit is replaced by its nines’ complement.

Consider the following subtraction problem:

  873  (x, the minuend)
- 218  (y, the subtrahend)

First method

We compute the nines’ complement of the minuend, 873. Add that to the subtrahend 218, then calculate the nines’ complement of the result.

  126  (nines' complement of x)
+ 218  (y, the subtrahend)



Now calculate the nines’ complement of the result

  344 (result)
  655 (nine's complement of result, the correct answer)


Russian River

Lots of fun paddling the Russian River yesterday.


Neither Robert nor Mira brought many physical assets, or other assets for that matter, into their marriage.  Robert had a sports car for a few months.  Ahh . . . sports car (saliva dribble). Ahem, where was I?

Mira brought into this marriage all Robert was looking for. Beauty, charm, and grace under pressure. She had no family wealth, no cedar box full of goodies, no dowry other than one thing.  One thing that Robert knew would be his once her father gave his permission for this union.  One thing that would put the marriage and future family on a firm footing.  One thing that other men had in their sights, but could never quite capture.

That thing is:  The Lowe Alpine 100 liter Travel Tote (black).


Oh, the bag is not valuable for its contents (i.e., some smelly old boots and a mildewed backpack).  It is the bag itself that is priceless. This little puppy has helped us go everywhere. It holds all necessary camping gear (four sleeping bags, four sleeping pads, a tent, a hammock, and stove and kitchen gear).  Checkable by airlines. Indestructible. Just like the Schwirtz spirit.

Note to future husband of Cadie:  This is it, dude.  Don’t be lookin’ for more.


Yamanote Sen

Familiar Tunes for Anyone Who Has Lived in Tokyo

The Amazing Psychology of Japanese Train Stations

From Citylab.

“A song for a more peaceful departure

Commuting during rush hour in Japan is not for the faint of heart. The trains are jam-packed at as much as 200 percent capacity during the height of rush hour, and razor-thin connection times to transfer from one train to another leave little margin for error. Compounding the stressful nature of the commute in years past was the nerve-grating tone—a harsh buzzer used to signal a train’s imminent departure. The departing train buzzer was punctuated by sharp blasts of station attendants’ whistles, as harried salarymen raced down stairs and across platforms to beat the train’s closing doors.

To calm this stressful audio environment, in 1989 the major rail operator JR East commissioned Yamaha and composer Hiroaki Ide to create hassha melodies—short, ear-pleasing jingles to replace the traditional departure buzzer.

Also known as departure or train melodies, hassha tunes are brief, calming and distinct; their aim is to notify commuters of a train’s imminent departure without inducing anxiety. To that end, most melodies are composed to an optimal length of 7 seconds, owing to research showing that shorter-duration melodies work best at reducing passenger stress and rushing incidents, as well as taking into account the time needed for a train to arrive and depart.

The tunes feature whimsical titles like “Seaside Boulevard” and range from the wistful to the jaunty. Most stations have their own melodies, forming de facto theme songs that become part of a station’s identity. Tokyo’s Ebisu Station, for example, is known for its departure melody—a short, stylized version of the theme from The Third Man.

As more stations have added melodies over the years, the original thesis has proven correct. A study conducted in October 2008 at Tokyo Station, for instance, found a 25 percent reduction in the number of passenger injuries attributable to rushing after the introduction of hassha melodies on certain platforms.

The use of these jingles is not without controversy, however. Shortly after their introduction, residents living near open-air rail stations, weary of hearing endless repetitions of the same jingles all day, complained of noise pollution.”

Marin JTT Season End

The final standings for the Marin USTA U12 Junior Travel Team are in.  Rory’s Priory Tennis and Swim Club team came in sixth place (out of eight teams). On an individual level, Rory won 3 of his 6 singles matches and 5 of his 10 doubles matches.  Darn good first effort for a 10 year old.  Looking forward to the fall season!

Results and standings below:

League Results:

  1. Moreson Performance Tennis (Team B)
    2. Ross Recreation
    3. Boyle Park
    4. Lagunitas CC
    5. The Priory Tennis & Swim Club
    6. Mt. Tam Racket Club (B Team)
    7. Scott Valley Tennis Club

Rory Pierce Results

Singles Match Date Partner Opponent Winning Score Result
Match #2020394 04/20/2018 Elias Febbo
5-3 Won
Match #2020398 04/27/2018 Anders Jacobs-Frithiof
6-1 Lost
Match #2020398 04/27/2018 Jackson Adams
6-1 Lost
Match #2020401 05/04/2018 Audrey Gilmor
6-1 Lost
Match #2020404 05/11/2018 natalie popper
6-2 Won
Match #2020389 05/18/2018 Aiden Wells
6-2 Won
Doubles Match Date Partner Opponent Winning Score Result
Match #2020389 05/18/2018 Alice Elegant Maria Jose Stuart
Aidan Ring
6-3 Won
Match #2020389 05/18/2018 Roshan Kapur Calvin Caspersen
Ryan Ryba
5-3 Won
Match #2020404 05/11/2018 Leina Khan Oli Burrows
natalie popper
5-3 Won
Match #2020404 05/11/2018 Zander Alpert natalie popper
jack dauphinais
6-1 Won
Match #2020401 05/04/2018 Zander Alpert Antonio Campbell
Lindsay Reed
6-3 Lost
Match #2020401 05/04/2018 Roshan Kapur Audrey Gilmor
Lindsay Reed
6-5 Lost
Match #2020401 05/04/2018 Zander Alpert Lindsay Reed
Livia Klompus
6-0 Lost
Match #2020398 04/27/2018 Leina Khan Jackson Adams
Johan Jacobs-Frithiof
5-4 Lost
Match #2020394 04/20/2018 Leina Khan Aviv Shakked
Sarah Collins
6-2 Won
Match #2020394 04/20/2018 Leina Khan Aviv Shakked
Jude Paine
6-2 Lost