William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

California

Somebody told me that the place we call “California” was actually real and, as we have supposed upon surveying the news that emanates from there, not fictional.

So I decided to check for myself and go. I knew that I was actually in “California” when the radio announcer said, “Gov. Schwarzenegger today said…”

Now, I had heard of the governator before, but I never quite believed it. When I was confronted with the reality I broke out in giggles, startling my companions. They knew instantly the reason for my mirth and said simply, “We’re used to it.”

Yesterday, I gave a talk to the Engineering folks at Livermore Lab dressed in my typical gear (a suit, of course). I started, “Before I begin, I should explain my strange costume. Back where I come from, many people look like me.”

This eliminated the strange looks I had been getting, caused, no doubt, by the suspicion that I was some mysterious inspector.

I am now looking forward to the wine. Wente Vineyards tonight.

Anyway, I’m behind in answering the comments, which I promise do when I return early next week.

8 Comments

  1. Ah, my homeland (though I am from the southern reaches). Enjoy yourself and try not to be run over by a Prius. They run wild in them parts!

  2. Welcome. Hope you brought enough cash, in case the ATM’s go out again.

    I had heard of a disturbance at SFO late the other day when “some guy” in a suit deplaned midst a large group of jean-clad business class passengers. So it was YOU. Might have known a numbers guy would come to the best coast and still think he should wear Dickey-brand work apparel. Apparently the memo enabling a five-fold extension of “casual Friday” didn’t make it past Denver.

    TIP: Stay out of the diamond lanes unless your rental car will rapidly accelerate to 95 MPH.

    Is it possible for you to find a position for Benedict Ahnold back on the least coast to save us the trouble and expense of “Gray Davis-ing” him? I will contribute to his room and board back there if that would help make up your mind.

    PS. If you make it to the Monterey Bay I still owe you a latte.

  3. Earle Williams

    May 8, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    I left the old country at 18 and haven’t been back except for weddings and funerals. Having been California-raised the church teachings never stuck, and I emigrated before I could be properly indoctrinated in the cultural value of bottled water, feng shui, and reiki.

  4. Mr. 49erDweet, I don’t know if Mr. Briggs has rent a car. Just to be on the safe side, I would like to recommend that you stay off the road for a couple of days. ^_^

  5. Yeah, or I’ll sneak around on the 280 and a few similar that tourists never find. Oh, well, I understand his vinyard destination has a place where folk in suits chase a little white ball. Fascinating game for some, I’m told. Possibly he’ll never leave Contra Costa county.

  6. Matt,

    Completely off topic (sorry). Wanted to point this out, in case you hadn’t noticed and might have an interest. http://statpad.wordpress.com/2009/05/09/imputation-em-and-regem/ Jeff Id pointed to it. I liked Roman’s “about” statement on the blog —

    “RomanM’s Blog
    This blog is intended to be used as a scratchpad for things mathematical and statistical and whatever else may move me.

    I am a recently retired (after 40 years of teaching) professor whose academic interests have been stirred by the appallingly commonplace misuse of statistical methodology in climate science. “

  7. Enjoy the 3 pages of warnings that front the restaurant menus there! Also – look up an In N Out if you want a fantastically good burger and fries.

    If given a chance, do not miss a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway – lovely!

  8. I’m sorry to call you on this, Hilfy, but a compassionate west coaster is not supposed to mention I ‘n O to visitors. Once they experience any of those delights their lives will be forever altered, never desiring to shovel snow again.

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