Saturday, December 15, 2001

Dude!! Hippie Protest Musicians Are On Our Side for this one.

You know your cause is just when Neil Young writes an anthem in its favor.

I'm wearing my American flag t-shirt today for that one. If I had a Canadian flag shirt I'd consider wearing it.

This is a deeply inspiring radio moment. Seriously!
And also I'm clearly ahead in my poker-playing lifetime. I forgot about this one time (summer '97?) when I came out $15 or so ahead at Monkey's house. (that sounds like a bar or something) One or both Matt's were also there. I think this was my first night o' poker playing that ended in a net loss. And it was damn near minus $50 even (I ran out of chips on a lot of pots, and I sure as hell wasn't buying in for a SIXTH set of the things) until I started winning late.
Oh and Tim's out of the hospital. Yeah that merits its own entire entry. I went to visit him today but he was already discharged. Woo-hoo.
I lost $26.70 at poker tonight. Now I have to think back to a certain night in February 1997, when CBI Regionals were somewhere in New Hampshire, and try to decide if I'm ahead or behind in my poker-playing lifetime. I think my net is within ten bucks of zero.

Would've done fine except there was this one 7 card stud hi-lo game where I had club flush to the jack (for my hi) and 8-high (for my lo) and got beat on both halves of the pot. (Someone had a flush to the king, someone else had a lower 8-high than mine.) That was a $30-something pot that I thought was all mine and ended up with none of. Oh and there was this one "baseball game where I had a straight flush to the 10 and that wasn't enough to win. Crapola.

There's all this overlap now with our communal blogs. I think about four people read these things and three of us actually write stuff. Suddenly turns and stares at someone.


"Work was interesting today but hectic. Twice as many people died as usual so these three guys from the different funeral homes all ended up calling me. Then Meredith and I ended up talking about cheesy '80s bands...."


Okay, that was probably uncalled for. Still, it's all in good fun and I really do think it would make at least as good blog material as the crap I put up here.

Anyway, riffing off of the blogs that people we know do keep...
Yankee Swap: This is what the thing we did Thursday night was, couldn't think of the name. Ultimately I ended up with the Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook after voluntarily/apathetically trading with whoever wanted to swap stuff. Apparently whoever got that book decided she'd rather have the fish cooker I would have ended up with.

You know what's the lowest of the low? When you're at an all-ages Yankee Swap and someone "steals" a gift from a little girl. I mean, what's the point.

When I made a little money tutoring for HSA in summer '96, the 13-year-old girl who I taught computer stuff to was also hooked on Oregon Trail. Looked like a neat game.

Oh and Beanpot. For a brief shining moment Harvard was 3-0 in Beanpot games I had attended. (Boston University 0-2 in same, since unlike paying spectators the pep bands could only see whichever game involved the team from their school.) That lasted about a week and ended in an overtime debacle versus BC. The worst part about that game was, I arrived at Fleet Center completely pickled and sobered up just in time to be cognizant of the losing goal.

What a sucky note to end up sleeping on. Oh well.

Thursday, December 13, 2001

I'm posting this from upstairs at my office cube, with a Christmas party raging downstairs. This is astonishingly tedious. Christmas parties are not my cup of tea. Just add them to the list of things that other people enjoy that I, for whatever reason, don't. Party pooper? Eh.

So I'm gorged on food and the food was reasonably good. The problem is that it's hot and everybody's too excited and white elephant gift exchanges in particular are a big old hassle.

Also, when groups of people talk to each other at a party I tend strongly to prefer to keep my mouth shut. So there you go. In general my party highlights:

*- Petting and playing with Luna, the Dalmatian who I may have mentioned before in the context of my roommate disliking her.

*- Taking stock of the wives and boyfriends (almost no husbands or girlfriends, go figure) and offspring of Vectiv employees.

Among the highlights:
Rob the Unix Sys-Admin brought his girlfriend, a computer geek type who sorta resembles him. She has red streaks in her hair and a ballerina girl on her shirt.

Luke, the contractor who wrote his very own Java book, brought his boyfriend. They're a cute couple. :-) Note the reviewer comments. These highly amused some of us. The thing about working for (and learning from) incredibly talented programmers like R. is that by comparison everyone else's work looks like shit. Either that or Vectiv has been snake-bit w.r.t. the non-Silicon Age developers it's used.

Kimberly, my Product Team muse who celebrated one year on the job today, brought her boyfriend. I smiled at him outwardly and hissed inside. I've built up a harmless fantasy world on this front, harmless because I know better. More on Kimberly in a later entry.

On a similar note, Abby the redheaded marketing/finance gal, brought Jeremy. Presumably her boyfriend, she simply refers to "Jeremy" and it's pretty obvious in context that this is what she means.

The CEO, Frank Rockwood, Harvard '86, had his four(?)-year-old daughters in tow. They look alike but are not the same age, maybe one is two or three.

Both Bryan (VP) and Brian (grizzled Prod Dev veteran) brought their daughters, ages 10 and 11 respectively. You can see the father-daughter resemblance. They're also pretty but any further comment along those lines would be incredibly inappropriate. :-)

I called Tim earlier today; he is in good spirits. I'll visit him tomorrow if I end up with the info I need to work from home.
Skip down below this entry and read the news about Tim first.

JULY-AUGUST 2000



As mentioned before, campsix in summer 2000 was a place of free food (not only the catered lunches but also a snack area) and eye candy. All these people whom I saw and never really got to know but still they were around and reasonably friendly.

Lou Bega I am not. (When music-inclined people look back at the year 2000, they'll pause briefly to take note of Lou Bega and the Baja Men, then walk if not run to 1999 or 2001.) Nonetheless... there was Cara, a sweet, young-looking, white-haired girl who worked as an office assistant and in the reception area until deciding to go back to school. Her boyfriend Philip worked in desktop services or something. There was Diana, the tall outspoken blonde 20-something who was loud, uninhibited, and very enamored of plant life. I think she also had a boyfriend somewhere in the company. They probably all did. There was Monica, the short, well-organized 30-something redhead in human resources who always had a smile for me.

(Monica left the company in January 2001, weeks after we left that office space too. When she moved on, she sent a farewell message to basically everyone in her office address book. I invited her to coffee, figuring I had nothing to lose. Nothing to gain either as it turned out but oh well.)

After awhile Monica had become my favorite but my roommates insisted she was much older than I thought she was. There was Valerie, the rail-thin, athletic blonde in marketing. In a somewhat off-color theoretical discussion about her, the word "stamina" came up. The other thing I remember is that one day close to the election I saw her in the lunch line wearing her red, white, & blue Bush/Cheney pin. Go Valerie!

That's basically everyone I remember by name. Scott had his own favorites, many of them Asian. One was from Guam, I forget her name. We techies worked in the basement (which sucked, no daylight) and there was also a desktop support guy down there who looked exactly like Cal Ripken but he doesn't fit the "eye candy" theme now does he?

Oh yeah, Anna was Silicon Age rather than campsix and calling her eye candy completely misses the point but still, at age 17 (18 as of August 23, 2000) she could still code rings around other developers, to say nothing of the women who did campsix's marketing and office assistant work.

Kubi loved hearing about our favorite campsix women but insisted that Shelly, still in Kansas City at the time, was all he needed. They talked on the phone at least 2-3 times a day. Everyone who worked in cubes around him still remembers her office extension to this day and can quote the beginning of every one of these conversations verbatim.

Extension 6039 please
May I speak to Shelly please
Hiiiii-yeeeee
(random stuff)
Awww, listen to you!
(other random stuff)
I love you!

One late-July afternoon at campsix, shortly after the highly stressful "contact database" internal project was put to bed, a group of us were all called into this conference room. Somebody passed out several pages of printouts of an object model, what Zach, an energetic outgoing young Yale grad had been doing as contract work for the past few days.

The point of the meeting was to kick us all off on the Vectiv project. Dex (whose existence proves that not every Silicon Age partner was a Hentzel) and Scott (my roommate) had been holding requirements-type discussions with these people for what seemed like months. Work had gone in fits and starts. Apparently some other company had done design work that hadn't gone very well. Now the project was ours.

The meeting was essentially to go over what-all this application would contain and also some of the basic points of doing effective design work as a team, also where the code would physically live, what sort of tools we'd all be using. (I went with the flint hammer myself... just kidding.) In the next day or two particular pieces would be assigned to people and we all got a copy of this project schedule showing who was expected to be working on what parts of the system and when.

Afterwards we all went to this Thai restaurant in downtown San Francisco. I forget the name of the place, it's one I'd never been before and never would end up going to again, but two things stand out: First, hot pork and chilled cucumbers taste really really good in the same bite. Second, nobody could emphasize enough the combination of the fact that this contract was potentially lucrative but also highly incentive-based, with some time pressure to put out a kickass product on a fairly tight schedule but also a nontrivial amount of bonus money available for achieving some subjective standards of product excellence.

In other words, this was going to kick our ass but it might also make us, if not rich then at least highly reputed. (Well, not household names, but still, we'd come highly recommended and word of mouth would be very useful.)

Describing the technical work I did, or we did, is conceivably a waste of this space. No need to glaze your eyes over. In short... Tim produced an elegant data model and spent his coming days and weeks tweaking it and also working with Ian, Vectiv's own DBA, on load scripts. I started with quantities and units and moved on to the attribute package that Dex had wanted to do himself but lacked time for given all the meetings he was getting sucked into.

(There's this interface called Describable that refers to anything with a Description. A Description contains AttributeValues of various types, for example if people were Describable then Hair Color might be an Attribute and Blonde might be the value for that Attribute for a given person. Then there were Templates and TemplateEntries to control in what order some of this information might be displayed. All data-driven and so on.)

Kubi did the Party package (party as in entity, not as in wild celebration) and Scott worked on some of the enterprise objects like a Lead, AcquisitionEffort, DispositionEffort, RetailConcept (now known as Format), Market (now known as Territory), and so on. All the behind-the-scenes objects you'd want to have for a web site that lets big companies make better real estate purchase decisions.

There was this guy James who was supposed to work on data persistence and this expensive piece of software called TOPLink that all we came to hate. James was stuck with this product that has small flaws, possibly bigger flaws if the person operating it doesn't fully understand it. He kept telling us that TOPLink wouldn't like things to be done in a certain way and this kept playing havoc with perfectly good object-oriented models. James was also a surfer dude. Okay guy in general but he and I got into a ton of arguments. Shortly after that, not sure if there's any connection here, he just seemed to stop coming to work. This was right around when we were completing the project. Then Tim e-mailed us to say that James was no longer with the company and that if anyone had any questions about it we could ask him.

Sort of like a dishonorable discharge I guess. The honorable discharge would be that object modeling Yale guy, Zach, left the country shortly after our project kickoff meeting. Apparently he'd been making enough money that he now had enough saved to spend a year or so on a trip around the world. (He came back this past fall with lots of good stories.)

Dex's job (along with Will the business manager) was both to manage the project and also, I suppose, continue to have meetings with the Vectiv people to stay on top of ever-changing requirements and keep us in synch with Idea, the folks who were developing the map room.

Also Ben was in on those meetings. Plus Ben was in charge of the look and feel of the site so he designed some presentation objects with Steve's able assistance. (Clearly all these names are meaningless to anyone other than me. Oh well.) And Ben got to work closely with Eric, Vectiv's HTML-type contact guy and requirements document person. (Where it was just Eric for version 1.0, soon there would be a four-person Product Team for requirements for later versions.)

(Does that cover everyone? Partners: Dex and Tim; Rob and SWill were still in Pittsburgh working for BodyMedia. Architects: Ben; Chris was also in Pittsburgh. The rest of us: Will, Steve, SCoon, Kubi, Anna was working on her own project, James... that's about it.)

In late August, coincidentally right around when Anna went back to Iowa State, Dex sent out this message about it being the time "when the rubber hits the road." We each went from developing application classes to working on actual pages of the site. Kubi got the New Site Wizard. I got the site listing page and the comparison page and the column configurator and (it turns out) also the export-to-spreadsheet functionality.

Great story to tell about "export to spreadsheet" working perfectly in the first demo but that technically counts as September. Also, this entry is way too work-centered (hell, I myself was probably way too work-centered at the time :-) and I have random crap to mention about my non-work life and the Bush-Gore race and all but, ironically, must stop writing to get into work.

Long story short: Version 1.0 kicked ass. It wasn't on-time due to factors beyond our control but our own part of it was on time. We got basically all of the bonus money we could have gotten. This being Silicon Age, most of that money made its way directly to us employees and that's why I finally bought a car. More about the car in the upcoming December 2000 entry.
This isn't good...
Someone I used to work for is in the hospital and I don't know why. At some point there must have been a message that I flat-out missed. I can basically connect the dots though.

Everyone in my known audience knows of R. Robert Hentzel. His brother Tim is almost that brilliant (beyond a certain point just how smart do you need to be?) but also a dedicated gym rat, probably the most physically fit person I know and for all I know one of the handsomest. Also very confident, very no-nonsense, but despite all the things going for him never an arrogant person. Anyway, exactly someone who I look up to and who I imagine to be capable of just about anything.

-----Original Message-----
From: R. Robert Hentzel [mailto:topquark@silicon-age.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2001 1:11 AM
To: Irvin Roy Hentzel; Pat Hentzel; Anna Hentzel; Everyone@Silicon-Age.
Com; swill@silicon-age.com; doug@vectiv.com; carmen@vectiv.com;
ian@vectiv.com; Nick Cody; Ryan E. Wilson; Lisa Kies;
kieser@turgidson.strangelove.net
Subject: Tim' Status


All --

Tim was admitted to St. Luke's (room 913) tonight not because of a worsening
of his condition but because of the difficult logistics involved in getting
him his twice daily shots of Lovenox (a blood thinner).

The painkillers have reduced the pain to a manageable level (of course,
manageable for Tim would kill most of us) and he seems to be doing well;
he's very stable emotionally and mentally and is putting up with the delays
and redundant surveys with a remarkable sangfroid.

The first forty-eight hours are the critical ones in treating blood clots,
so do take time to think of Tim tomorrow; visiting hours are 12:00 to 20:00
and he does have his cell phone with him.

Shannon and I will be visiting him in the morning with a load of books and
other things; at this point it's not clear how long he will stay in the
hospital.

R.

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

Since I just now went back and updated the link anyway, it's worth pointing out that (as I type this) the entry here is way more touching (poignant) than even the one that I'd lauded before.

So many human beings have holes in their heart. It's just something about living life and being human, I guess. I feel very lucky, compared to many people I know. Thinking about my parents makes me feel especially lucky. That's usually in the sense of being glad I grew up with two happily married parents instead of shuttling between unhappily divorced parents the way so many friends had to. But when Harry Potter looks into the Mirror of Erised and sees his own parents, I realize that it's all the more special.

When my mother and I drove cross-country together with all my possessions, she said wonderful things about what great company I was, helping her deal with the grief since her own mother passed away as the trip began. I suppose I shared in that, she's my grandmother after all, but in general I've had a charmed life.

My sister is often sad. Brain chemicals play a very large role in this. What she overcomes to live a reasonably well-adjusted life is probably far beyond what I can imagine. Without sharing too much of her private life, the best way to put it is that I'm amazed at how self-reliant she is in terms of coping skills and how well she makes a good impression.

I was about to write "how normal she seems" but neither she nor I is normal. We always stood out in school, the way smart people everywhere stand out. She's brilliant far beyond what she would ever admit. Only she would know what she realizes about herself; I think to some extent the smarter a person is, the easier it is for that person to think that people as smart as she are normal and be continually disappointed at how stupid some of the rest of the world is.

The thing about holes in my own heart and defining emotions is that if you asked me about my biggest emotional disappointment in life, my answer would probably be the same as 3-4 years ago, still involving the same person. What's embarrassing about this, even apart from the vast difference between a crush and an actual misfortune, was my complete inability to keep this even remotely a secret. The entire known audience for this blog basically knows what I'm talking about. What can I say? I'm sorry.

Now that I already told a long story that probably casts her in a very bad light, it would be interesting to write about the good in her. For a long time I could do this at astonishing length. But it's one thing to pay tribute to someone and quite another to rationalize one's own feelings or actions. All the writing I ever did about her (most of it for an audience of me alone) ended up being the latter, either why she was the greatest thing since sliced bread or why everything bad in the world was her fault.

Both of those are terrible traps to fall into. Among other things it's terribly unfair to whatever person you're talking about. (Watch her come along and read this thing. That would be... awkward.) It's also terribly unfair to expose this to people who actually know her. But... unless you're a complete stranger to me (and probably also to her), you've probably heard me meander down this road before so whatever.

Anyway, Ashlie is the name of thousands of people, just counting people with homepages alone. Only about a hundredth as many as there are for Ashley or even Ashlee but still a lot.

Of the (just guessing) tens of thousands of Ashlie's on Earth, one of them decided to be very nice to me. She appeared to take an interest in my life and took the initiative (so to speak) in making plans to spend time with me.

(Yeah yeah, that sounds way more extraordinary than it is. Obviously we worked closely together in a common activity. It's not like this was this person who saw me on the street and thought, "hmm, he seems intriguing." :-))

Anyway, her inviting me to hang out with her led me to actually get out of the house now and then and have some semblance of a social life. Maybe I was an interesting person, maybe I was convenient. Actually I'm dead convinced that five years ago I was an asshole. The worst part is that I can't remember when the phrase "five years ago I was an asshole" wouldn't have seemed true to me. I'm dreading the idea of thinking it of myself five years from now.

The best of the times that I'd spent in her company were happy times, among the happiest I ever remember being at any given moment. The key word there is moment: The defining feature of any of the times I'm thinking about is that, as they happened, the past didn't exist and the future didn't exist. For me of all people that's pretty earth-shattering: my head is almost never in the here-and-now since I'm so frequently either living in the past or looking too far ahead.

Pardon the low self-esteem that's dripping from these paragraphs. If anything, what I'm learning to take as a major compliment is the fact that after all that (where the contents of the "that" differ from person to person), any given person will still find me worth actually making an effort to talk to and spend time with. I must be doing something right, probably listening (which never translates well to a blog :-)) or maybe being witty.

But not a major compliment in the wrong way... If I had never misunderstood Ashlie's interest in my friendship then our lives (me and my known audience) would have been a bit more uneventful, a bit less interesting in the sense of the apocryphal Chinese curse, "may you live in interesting times."

Actually who am I kidding? We'd have still fought like cats and dogs. :-) Two stubborn, ambitious, somewhat egotistical people with honest differences of opinion and different managerial styles both trying to be influential in the same organization? The overtones would've been different though. And if there was actually anyone who saw the soap opera unfold but didn't catch on to those overtones then in a weird way I'll be very relieved.

I completely forgot what my point would be. Never mind.

Oh yeah, I was going to blog this one anyway: The saddest human interest story I've ever seen, at least lately. Reading that story brought home the importance of forgiveness. Maybe even for that that hip-hopping Taliban guy.

Basically, if I obsess about you it means I like you rather than hating you. (Note to the handful of people who might be reading this: I do not, in fact, obsess about you. Please don't be offended that I don't, since I nonetheless do like you.) People whom I like to talk about are people whom I think are awesome. If there's something you don't like, in general you do your best to avoid discussing it and do your damnedest to live in time warp of denial.


#^@#^*@^*@&^@#^#&$^$*$#**&@^*@!*!^*#*&$&*#*^@#&(@&(@*)*(&)@(&)*@&*()@&*()@&*()@*&()@&*()@*(&)@@&*()(&*)#(*&)#&()* - There, out of my system.


When motivated, I can effectively pretend that events don't exist or even that people don't exist. There's probably an anecdote along these lines but this blog entry has grown tiresome. It kinda fizzled. Eh. "Onward," as one might say to get people to shut up and listen to the next tossup.
This should actually be one of those brain-teaser sort of problems that I inexplicably hate (I'm too impatient, that's all):

A bunch of guys are on IRC together, trying to make a decision. Someone mentions Satan. Someone else mentions Madalyn Murray O'Hair but is soundly rejected. Then someone finally comes up with the name L. Ron Hubbard, and everyone else is all like "yeah!" "perfect!" and the decision is made. WHAT ON EARTH ARE THEY DOING?!?

...answers below, sort of...

Jesus Saves!!


Jesus link won't work for another week or so.

...because Ra couldn't

Question:
What do
John Cocke
Cletus
Jesus
Alyson Hannigan
Melissa Joan Hart
Sabrina Spellman
Omar Khayyam
Jaime Cocanower
Yosemite Sam
Qlzqqlzuup
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
George Steinbrenner

...and...

L. Ron Hubbard

...have in common?

Answer:
All were drafted prior to Season 10 (each season is about 4-6 weeks of real time) of this baseball league I'm in. Thought you'd be amused.

Monday, December 10, 2001

oyyyyyyyyyyyy
New sure-fire diet plan that's almost certainly NOT worth the resulting personal hell:
stay up until 4 a.m. tossing and turning in your bed (after couple nights in a row being up past that)
get up at 8 a.m. because basically you have to
on your way out the door remember that you were going to eat a good breakfast, and because you damn well still can do this, bring the box of Quaker Oats with you to your car.
obviously you can't eat cereal with milk while driving, so do the next best thing:
box in the front seat, can o' Diet Dr. Pepper in the cupholder


I was telling someone about this breakfast combo in the morning, and they made this knowing chuckle, something about both oat bran and Dr. Pepper having the same effect on one's system


then the capper of course is an iced latte in the largest size that Peet's sells.

all this combines to leave me...
bouncing off walls
bug-eyed
nearly psychotic
sprinting to the bathroom every 15 minutes all afternoon

I feel much thinner now though. not very healthy but somehow thinner
Bloggging at work must be a serious no-no and yet I had to write to tell you:
This is the best comic strip ever.
(Not necessarily the one today, or rather not only the one today. It's been great several days in a row, I'm thisclose to ordering t-shirts with some of my favorites on them.)

And now back to object modeling...
The problem with the TV set was solved. It involved a remote control that I never actually use. The TV was in "INPUT" mode, whatever that be.

Still, today was a reasonably solid way to waste a Sunday afternoon, playing chess into the evening. The only thing is, it took forever for me to get on a hot streak and then once I did I had the Oompa Loompa song stuck in my head.

Through the magic of Yahoo! game histories, here's the game that stuck that song in my head. I took the liberty of bolding the moves made by a simple pawn, a pawn that (in the main line of this opening) would have been captured as soon as it moved, yet somehow survived. I don't know if any of my known audience reads chess notation, but it's easy. The letters a thru h go left to right if you're White, right to left for Black. The numbers 1 thru 8 go from the rank closest to White to the rank closest ot Black. So if you know where the pieces are to begin with, it's just a simple grid thingy.


White: Rooks on a1 and h1, Knights on b1 and g1, Bishops on c1 and f1, Queen on d1, King on e1, pawns on a2 thru h2
Black: Rooks on a8 and h8, Knights on b8 and g8, Bishops on c8 and f8, Queen on d8, King on e8, pawns on a7 thru h7


Anyway, what you have to understand about pawns is that they have something in common with Hedwig of Angry Inch fame: Every pawn aspires to become a Queen.

;Title: Yahoo! Chess Game
;White: frosty_fjord
;Black: matt979
;Date: Sun Dec 09 23:14:10 PST 2001

1. d2-d4 c7-c5
2. d4-d5 g8-f6
3. c2-c4 b7-b5


The main line here is 4. c4xb5, the Benko Gambit. This is a fine way to decline the gambit though. I'll spare you further commentary unless some known chess fiend starts reading this thing :-)


4. b2-b3 b5-b4
5. b1-d2 g7-g6
6. e2-e4 f8-g7
7. f2-f4 d7-d6
8. a1-b1 o-o
9. g1-f3 c8-g4
10. f1-e2 b8-d7
11. o-o a7-a5
12. e4-e5 d6xe5
13. f4xe5 g4xf3
14. d2xf3 f6-e4
15. c1-b2 e4-c3
16. b2xc3 b4xc3
17. d1-c2 d7xe5
18. f3xe5 g7xe5
19. b1-e1 e5-d4+
20. g1-h1 d8-d6
21. e2-f3 a8-a6
22. g2-g3 h7-h5
23. e1-e4 g8-g7
24. f1-e1 f8-e8
25. c2-d3 d6-f6
26. e4-f4 f6-d6
27. e1-e4 e8-f8
28. h1-g2 e7-e6
29. d5xe6 f7xe6
30. f4xf8 g7xf8
31. e4-f4+ f8-g7
32. f3-e4 e6-e5
33. f4-f3 g6-g5
34. e4-d5 a6-a7
35. f3-f5 g5-g4


Here I start to get my butt kicked. Oh, the other thing about chess notation, the plus sign means "check." Double-plus would be checkmate.


36. f5-g5+ g7-f8
37. d3-f5+ f8-e7
38. g5-g7+ e7-d8
39. g7xa7 d6-h6
40. a7-a8+ d8-c7
41. f5-f7+ c7-b6
42. f7-e6+ h6xe6


I'm way down in material, only she forgot one tiny tiny thing... and there's no way of stopping it!


43. d5xe6 c3-c2
44. a8-b8+ b6-c7
45. b8-c8+ c7-d6
46. e6-f5 c2-c1


And now it's a Queen.


47. c8-d8+ d6-e7
48. d8-d7+ e7-f8
49. f5-g6 c1-d2+
50. g2-h1 d2-e1+
51. h1-g2 e1-f2+
52. g2-h1 f2-g1++

...even if you begin life as a lowly pawn, you too can come out the big winner.

This game was played with one minute on each side (plus an additional two seconds for every move we played). So it's not exactly perfect. But still. I had to inflict me chess on you at some point.

At time controls as fast as 1/2, there's not much chit-chat. Which is a shame. I've played frosty_fjord before but never actually looked at her(?) profile before. In every Yahoo! Game, not just chess, you get to choose an icon for your player, basically a face. There are various guy faces and girl faces and a cat (me) and a dog and an old man and an old lady. Astonishing many male geek chess players use the blonde pony-tailed girl as their icon. frosty_fjord is one of the few chessplayers to use the old granny-face for her icon.

I wonder how old that picture is and who the picture is. The Internet being what it is, I suspect that the picture isn't actually of frosty_fjord herself (himself?) but you never know.

Sunday, December 09, 2001

Why I Like Having Sports Geek Friends
Now with cool formatting through the magic of < and >
-----Original Message-----
From: Chad Kubicek [mailto:kubiwan@silicon-age.com]
Sent: Sunday, December 09, 2001 4:50 PM
To: matt.bruce@silicon-age.com
Subject: Re: the year that neither BCS nor playoffs would have improved
on tradition


Well, the answer depends on how far back you want to go, and whether the
year you choose has conference champion tie-ins, whether the SWC exists,
etc. Lets try this.....

Rose: Illinois v. Oregon
Sugar: LSU v. Nebraska (SEC tie-in to Sugar)
Cotton: Texas v. Tennessee (SWC tie-in to Cotton)
Orange: Miami v. Colorado (Big 8 tie-in to Orange)

Maryland gets Citrus due to ACC tie-in against, let's say, Florida.

Fiesta makes do with Michigan and hmmm.....Pac-10 disallows teams in the
Fiesta to avoid head-to-head with Rose, leaving Oklahoma as their opponent.

K-W

----- Original Message -----
From: "Matt Bruce" <matt.bruce@silicon-age.com>
To: <kubiwan@silicon-age.com>
Sent: Sunday, December 09, 2001 4:18 PM
Subject: the year that neither BCS nor playoffs would have improved on
tradition


> Prior to BCS, what would have happened this year?
>
> 1. Illinois vs. Oregon in the Rose Bowl. GREAT GAME, well worth watching.
> Kittner versus Harrington
>
> 2. Miami vs. Texas in the Orange Bowl. 'Canes massive favorites with the
> effective home field advantage, yet they somehow manage to lose to Texas
> anyway.
>
> Texas and the Rose Bowl winner declared co-champions. Bitching ensues but
> to not nearly the extent of this year's.
>
> Matt
>
Disclaimer: I am in a foul mood because somebody hooked our upstairs TV to a Sega Dreamcast but not only failed to rehook it to cable when he was finished but left the system in such a state that I can't for the life of me figure out how to get the cable back. This with NFL Primetime coming up.

I'll Take Sore Losers Who Can Bite Me For $100, Alex

It's pretty simple. If you lose TWICE, you don't play for a national title at the expense of teams who lost ONCE.

Teams who really got screwed but who are at least keeping their mouths shut:
Erratum: BYU lost to Hawaii yesterday. So why is BYU listed as 12-0 in the AP poll?
BYU, who lost never. Until somebody beats them, they're the co-champion who never got a chance. If somebody beats Miami then they're the champion who never got a chance. (Then again, it's come out the other way before, I vaguely remember people being upset in the Robbie Bosco Championship Era.)
Illinois and Oregon, who like Nebraska, each lost once, but unlike Nebraska, actually won their conferences. What bitter irony that the two jilted teams with the best case for a Rose Bowl entry this year are the teams who should have played in this year's Rose Bowl anyway.

Call me a sucker for tradition but there are some that, if you mess with them, you'd better end up with a net improvement. Unless and until college football had a national championship system that actually worked (I take no position on whether the BCS is better than explicit playoffs), the Rose Bowl is a place for the Big Ten champion and Pac Ten champion. It's not a place for Colorado or Nebraska.

Will you watch the "national championship" game? I didn't think so. Would you have watched Illinois-Oregon? Kurt Kittner. Joey Harrington. I sure would have. Bring your own air raid sirens.