Friday, May 31, 2002

Excruciating Games
Such is the subject line of an e-mail exchange I'm currently having with Mike Develin about this game, which back in the beginning he already predicted would... well, as he puts it:

cory lidle vs. wilson alvarez, in tampa bay. what's the over-under on game
time? 4:00?

they're on batter # 8 and the game is 22 minutes old.

Given that the umpire just went down as I type this (and apparently very gruesome freak accident), a record pace is indeed possible. I honestly don't mean to make light of that part of it.
Boston Negativity
Only in Boston would a home team announcer, down one point after three quarters, claim that the visiting team was 12 minutes away from victory.

Paul Pierce for three ties the game.
Chairmat for Carpets
I've just been handed a new mat. It's unclear why.

The puns must stop.
nobody Boston-like was on AIM
still nobody Boston-like on AIM

"Kenny Anderson has taken over Game 6 and the Celtics have a double-digit lead"
Spot the Tim Keown Illogic
Read the first few paragraphs of his piece and tell me what the glaring error is.

(Hint: Suppose I told you, "if I bring a glove to the ballpark then I'll catch a foul ball." Whether or not that statement is true, there's no way in hell you can infer from it the claim that "everyone who catches a foul ball is wearing a glove." See the difference? Trust me, it's really really not hard. Are journalists that dense?)
And they complain about scoreboard-driven crowd noise at baseball games...
At the other end of the field, only about two dozen fans from Senegal -- banging drums and tambourines -- appeared to be among the yellow-clad fans supporting the African team. The rest were South Koreans, recruited by organizers for cheering squads. --ESPN Soccernet

For what it's worth, I'm rooting for Uruguay. There's no good reason for this. I have no ties to that fine nation other than having done a report on it once in middle school. Also, it has a fine tradition of World Cup excellence without being all trendy the way Argentina or England or even Germany is.

And no, not in a million years could I root for France.

Still, I have Uruguay going all the way in every World Cup pool I've entered, just because. (In at least one I have the "guay" gimick going with a Uruguay-Paraguay final.) So of course, coming off this shocking upset, guess who France gets to attempt to take out their frustration on?

But, one game at a time! Before France is even relevant, look out for Denmark. Blah.
One Ivy League school, one Third World country?
So what do Harvard and Senegal have in common?

To me these seem to be about the same level of upset.

Best of all we can add another unlicensed t-shirt to all the other variants on the same slogan.

Senegal: The Harvard of Western Africa
Sporadically but consistently, Brick Barrientos and I stay in touch. He's a Marylander, trivia buff, and baseball junkie. He also has a weblog that I keep forgetting to add a link to. Since he e-mailed me last night, now's as good a time as any. I put the link on the Geocities page. Someday I'll revise & update the Blogger template too.

He was on the Maryland team that won the CBCI title a few years ago. If you know a lot about college trivia competition but your lore doesn't go back more than five years or so, the idea of Maryland and CBCI together might surprise you. Then again, both college invitationals themselves and the idea that we can improve the game are relatively recent.

He also runs a local movie trivia competition and contributes (or at least used to contribute) to Questions Unlimited. So I first knew him from high school championships, when I was in high school. Now I'm probably about the age he was when I first saw him. I should probably drop a line to my old coaches, come to think of it. Dr. Zaller always enjoyed spending time with Barrientos. I remember listening to them chat as we walked to and from places in Houston, especially the shuttle buses that would take us to and from the Astrodome if there were a group baseball outing.

So as most readers know I'm a member of, and prolific question writer for, NAQT, a young but fast-growing trivia company. It's odd to think that my biggest achievements in high school and college -- being on national championship teams -- were facilitated by two companies that I now think of as NAQT's main competitors for market share. How ungrateful, eh?

Thursday, May 30, 2002

Arena Football Transaction
The Braves radio guys have one that they claim will amuse their audience. (Just then the inning ended.)

Is it:
A. New Orleans Voodoo?
B. Eric Zeier?
C. Tom Hicks wants a team?

Actually none of the above.
The Indiana Firebirds placed Sunungura Rusununguko on the injured reserve list. They claim it's the longest name they've ever seen but this seems wrong to me.
Senior Sales Executive
Seems pretty far-fetched that this fits my reading audience but you never know. My company has an opening.
copied and pasted from the job posting
Position Title: Senior Sales Executive
Department: Sales
Reports To: Vice President of Sales

Company: Vectiv is the leading enterprise store lifecycle management solution enabling retail companies to greatly improve profits through better alignment of their stores with their customer base. Using Vectiv, retailers can optimally manage and execute activities related to rolling out new stores, changing formats of existing stores, relocating and, when appropriate, closing existing stores. Vectiv’s solution is built on a robust and secure spatial data warehouse service that serves as the system of record for all real estate-related information for retail companies. Vectiv enhances this system of record with all current, relevant third-party location-based data and aggregates this information making it accessible to the organization and its vendors and agents, anywhere anytime. In addition, Vectiv’s solution provides capabilities to manage all store lifecycle related communication, tasks, plans and activities. The web-based Vectiv solution is fully hosted in conjunction with our partner, Intel Online Services.Vectiv Corporation is privately held, backed by Convergence Partners, Accenture Technology Ventures, and Sand Hill Capital, and is based in Berkeley, California. Current customers include Apple Computer Inc., Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. and The Quizno’s Corporation. More information on the company and its offerings can be found at

· Generate new system sales from new accounts through participation in entire sales cycle
o Prospect generation
o Relationship development at varying levels and areas of client firms
o Preparation and delivery of sales presentations
o Coordinate the development of scope and schedule for professional services with VP of professional services/operations
o Proposal preparation and delivery including development of business case as required
o Management of contract process
o Facilitate hand-off to operations and clients services at appropriate time
· All contract terms approved by CEO.
· All sales pursuits coordinated with VP of Sales

· Experience selling enterprise applications (i.e. PeopleSoft, SAP, Siebel) and/or retail enterprise applications (i.e. Retek, JDA Software) to all relevant areas and levels within large organizations
· Demonstrated enterprise sale performance track-record (proof of success with W-2, commission statements, sales performance awards)
· Excellent presentation and relationship building skills
· Strong written communication skills / effective written style
· Demonstrated track record of working with internal team effectively
· Existing relationships with senior functional and IS management from retailers, financial services, telecommunications and oil/gas companies preferred
· Demonstrated ability to work effectively in small company environment preferred
· An undergraduate degree (MBA preferred)


Compensation includes base salary, commission and stock options. Benefits include fully paid medical, dental and vision plans; the company also has a 401k plan. Commission based predominately on software revenues generated by new contracts. Commission rate subject to accelerators based on exceeding quota target.
On a lighter note
Today's unintentional comedy comes from Skip Caray's radio PSA about what to do with downed power lines. Don't touch them. Don't even look at them funny. Brought to you by Georgia Power.
I don't want to read about this.
If this story (I right-clicked on the hyperlink from ESPN's main page to get the URL for my own link) is the one I think it is, I've already heard about it a few months ago and it ruined my afternoon back when I did hear about it.

I suppose it pushes several of my buttons at once. Anything involving brilliant, precocious girls, that is. (I infer "brilliant" from her going to college at such an early age; your mileage may vary.) The tricky question is just how much of her current lifestyle is of her own choosing. It raises major issues involving... well, everything you think it would involve.
Who are you listening to?
Currently Jerry Coleman and Ted Leitner. The outspoken one is actually Leitner, who vaguely reminds me of Silicon Age alumnus Chris Nolte.

Along those lines I'm glad I'm not in the San Diego TV market. Then again, I honestly don't know: Is Vasgersian really that bad or do people just no longer take him seriously after those 989 sports commericals? I think of him as embodying the worst attributes of the cheap knockoff SportsCenter anchor caricature but this might be an unfair prejudgment.
On pitchers and pace
Earlier today the voices of the Pirates were comparing Jimmy Anderson unfavorably to Zane Smith.

Just now the Padres play by play guy accused both Denny Neagle and Bobby Jones of "doing their best Steve Trachsel impression."

What do you call the level one below "household name" where casual fans probably don't know who you are but dedicated fans not only know you but also associate some particular character trait with you?

Baseball fans reading this will readily identify: Steve Trachsel works at a glacier's pace. (My subjective impression is that Darren Oliver's actually worse but that's neither here nor there.)
Guess who now leads the NL in batting average?
My hero! (And no, it's not Bonds, though Bonds did enter the day on top.)
Let the wookie win?
Apparently some guys hate to lose. Quoting at length:

One day, my first girlfriend, beat me. By like one shot or something, but still, she won. I tore up the card immediately, and jokingly denied it ever happened. Looking back, this is about the time she started cheating on me.

I have no idea the significance of this.

Ah, I love self-deprecating humor from grown-ups looking back on their youthful foibles. At least I hope that's what it is. :-)

Me, I don't mind losing to a woman, especially one who's good at whatever game we'd be playing. It's one of those things that I'd take for granted yet seems disturbingly rare. Add that to the long list of reasons why I'd make a better boyfriend than just about any of you, for all the good that does me.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

By the way, fuzzy navels are allegedly a girly drink.
Or so I hear. Maybe I deserve to be mocked for ordering mixed drinks at a brewery, since come to think of it no other male in the group was drinking non-beer. One of my colleagues drank fuzzy navels in high school when she was first starting to drink.

I've hit this stage where people laugh at the things I say and do. Or maybe person singular. I hope it's not derisive laughter; I hope I'm being laughed with rather than at. The damnedest things inspire laughter though. Maybe this is a good thing. I think I've been at this stage before and in general it's good but not great.
Today it was ridiculously hot in San Francisco
I suppose what's ridiculous about it is just how little heat and humidity is required now to make me think of the heat and humidity as ridiculous. Nonetheless, everything about today was stuffy and stifling.

The downside to inadvertently wearing shorts one day is that when you wear long pants the next day you feel so weighted down.

Today, in isolation, would make a very poor business case to justify Vectiv's hiring me. In fairness, what's formally on my plate seems to me to be far less involved than other people think. That is to say, everything I can do without tearing things completely apart is done. Perhaps I am supposed to take a look at Chris's design doc (now that he's submitted it) and implement it? This is unclear to me. I doubt that Chris's ideas would work in the current timeframe.

I can always solve problems as they come up and be thankful when they don't come up (or simultaneously smug and peeved if they appear to be entirely data-related).

We went to the Gordon Biersch on Embarcadero today to mark the departure of a valued administrative assistant. It's unclear to me what she does (did), so I chalk it up as a little bit of everything including sales. Basically everything that code geeks don't worry about, so that code geeks don't have to worry about it.

The entire company went. It was during business hours. My absence would have been conspicuous and therefore probably unjustified. So I went, completely failing to feel any guilt for doing far less than eight hours of actual work today.

Normally I wouldn't drink around co-workers. Actually that's a crock of shit, given that I drank around my Howe Sportsdata co-workers whenever they drank around me. All of the Howe Sportsdata guys were male, though if I leave it at that then this paragraph seems to damn me far more than I feel is justified.

In any case I try for various and sundry reasons to minimize the drinking I do around Vectiv colleagues. Or at least I used to. Four fuzzy navels later you can go ahead and assume (especially if you're in law enforcement) that magic fairies transported me and my Dodge from the parking garage on Embarcadero, through downtown city street rush hour traffic, to the street in front of Rob's house for playtesting. (The playtesting happened in R's room but obviously I left my car on the street and didn't try to take it into his place with me.)

For the nth consecutive time I left a Vectiv social event early to satisfy other social commitments. I like this in that it leaves the impression that I lead a far more active life than I actually lead. On my way out I was strongly encouraged by the CEO to give him some trivia questions. Even with a buzz on he knew not only who Jay Gatsby's love interest is but also the profession of Gatsby's beloved's husband's lover's husband.

(Apropos of nothing: Based on one of my readers' problems trying to leave comments, I think either the Woonsocket Call has very old web browsers or unorthodox ones or (most likely) default security settings that disable javascript. Can't blame them.)

By and large I'm pretty sure I avoided making an ass out of myself. Had a pleasant conversation with Susan, who does both accounting and HR. She and I think vaguely similarly. Last year we were often the last two people in the office on a given evening. It turns out she enjoys poker and various bar games, maybe even trivia. Best of all, it's highly unlikely that I'll ever have incentive to wishcast any special meaning into anything she says or does. (Normally what's implied by that last sentence would be very difficult to say without sounding rude or insulting. Then again, she smokes and she's also very directly responsible -- through both accounting and HR -- for the paychecks I get. That should suffice, and that's what it boils down to anyway.)

Lots of people are moving to Denver. Jeanette for good (the honoree of the going-away party), implementation people for the near-term. They'll be in Denver for much of June, with random unpredictable exceptions still to be mapped out. Should any of those exceptions involve a Monday, baseball outings might ensue. Should any of those exceptions either conspicuously avoid Mondays or sneak Mondays in so stealthily that it's too late to make baseball-related plans, then a huge clue or so later these weblog entries would be far less cryptic (far less entertaining)?

Perhaps the most interesting (to me) development within the Gordon Biersch outing is this: from overheard whispers I can now infer that one or two of the menfolk I work with have themselves been known to behave conspicuously after enough alcohol. My spider sense tells me there are some very amusing storylines here. Maybe juxtaposing my own story (to the extent that I have a story) is what makes it really amusing, like if you spent an entire baseball game having to bat against Pedro Martinez and then suddenly Tim Wakefield relieved him.

This might be a good time to wonder idly who reads this. Conceivably I could be feeling really sheepish by now. :-)
Think your life is boring and pointless?
Try being a South Carolina prison guard. What astonishes me is that the guy actually wants his job back.
Jim Bouton
To: Cooch
From: Me
Re: Ball Four

You must read it. In fact, I'll bring it next time I see you, which may be sooner than you think. The thing is, it's really not a tell-all book. By today's standards the "dirt" in it is really tame (lame?); in fact, by anyone's standards past about 1980.

Summary of the "dirt": Ballplayers have sophomoric senses of humor and like to "beaver shoot" (look up women's skirts). Some of them pop pills to get extra energy. Some of them cheat on their wives. Managers and GM's are frequently idiots and skinflints, respectively. Before free agency, owners ripped players off.

It's in diary form, not unlike Cooch's World itself, with an entry a day and about the same sense of humor.

Most of all, and the reason you must read it, is that it's extraordinarily insightful (about human nature, really) and well-written. Does Jose Canseco even know how to read? I'll believe it when I see it but I'm idly curious who his ghost-writer is.

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

Outing the Big Leaguers
I would really like for there to be a famous gay pro athlete. Then again, whoever it is, I want the coming out to come out "right," in the sense that Jackie Robinson was a good color-line breaker where less sweet-dispositioned people might not have been.

Did Rosie O'Donnell ever deny being gay before finally coming out? For the longest time she wouldn't say anything but c'mon, everybody knew. That sort of seems to be the case with Mike Piazza except for the fact that his denials seem reasonable and convincing to me.

Anyway, whoever it is probably should be a household name, an extremely good player, ideally an extremely well-liked player. Just for giggles, I'll go through the draft list of that "expert" keeper league I'm in:

1. Gay-Rod
Finding the marital status of star players turns out to be surprisingly hard but it looks as though this one will marry his longtime sweetheart in November. Just as well: Given his hefty contract, he's become a lightning rod of criticism. A little too controversial, too star-like, already. Random demographic fact: Openly gay people have well above average disposable income. There's obvious selection bias, though, in that blue collar people are probably far less likely to feel comfortable coming out.

2. Vlad Gay-rrero
He's single! He's the biggest star on a really obscure team. I don't think casual fans have any impression of him one way or the other. He's perfect... except that if the Expos leave Montreal, whatever new city won't have gotten accustomed to the "straight" Vlad before getting to know the hypothetical gay Vlad. Not sure if that's good or bad.

3. Big Gay Unit
Has a wife and four kids. Reputedly ugly. (I think this is overstated.) Still, wouldn't "Big Gay Unit" be a great nickname?

4. Gaydro
He's still single, isn't he? Lives in Jamaica Plain, buys Presidente beer, and so on? I think he'd be the perfect coming-out athlete (obscene Yankee bleacher bums aside). Then again, does anyone else have trouble picturing a prominent gay Hispanic? I'm not sure why, maybe something to do with Catholicism. This came up when I was talking about the Mets with someone: The only plausible non-Piazza "star" player on that team is Rey Ordonez and somehow we don't think Ordonez is the Out editor's boyfriend.

5. Gayson Giambi
Speaking of obscene Yankee bleacher bums... Says here he's single. I think he could pull it off, now that fans in the Bronx trust him. (At least after his game-winning grand slam, they'd better.) Some of the A-Rod moneygrubber factor here but not as much.

6. Todd Helton
Sorry, there's just no good way to mess with his name. Married, which takes the fun out of imagining how the legions of Volunteer football fans would react if he came out. Then again, maybe Gayton Manning? As for Helton, we'll have to go back to the "are his MVP-type stats inflated by Coors?" arguments.

7. Mike Piazza
Say no more.

8. Sammy Sosa
Married to a woman named Sonia. A shame, since of all the Latin players so far, he's the only one with much of a gaydar reading.

9. Curt Schilling
Also married (see link under Randy Johnson entry); has by far the least gaydar reading of anyone so far on the list.

10. Magglio Ordonez
(Yes, I wanted to spell it that way, but I just couldn't: Uncalled for.)
There are shockingly few Magglio Ordonez fansites, at least none that Google flagged for me. He doesn't look gay to me and isn't famous enough to pull off the best-case scenario. I don't want people to know of whoever it is as "that gay player," I want them to already know him as a player and then have him also turn out to be gay.
New Jersey Nets vs. Sacramento Kings
Or so ESPN currently claims. Data entry error, or odd prescience?
Discretion being the better part of valor,
I have to ask why Jason Kidd brought his family to enemy territory in the first place. Not to excuse the behavior of drunken pricks, but it seems to me that letting the newspapers make your family into something so publicly gooey is just asking for trouble. I'd mock the hell out of them myself. Not threaten of course, but definitely mock.
All the rookies suck this year.
Toby Hall just got sent down, probably Sean Burroughs soon to follow.

This underscores just how special Albert Pujols and Roy Oswalt and Jimmy Rollins and Ichiro and the 2001 rookie class all were.
Journalism 101
Do you get a glossary in a COM class? Look up innuendo and you'll probably see something like:

Texas pitcher Kenny Rogers told Sports Illustrated: ``Basically, steroids can jump you a level or two. The average player can become a star and the star player can become a superstar. And the superstar? Forget it. He can do things we've never seen before.''

Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants, who set the single-season home run record with 73 last season, denied using steroids and said tests would show he's clean.

--from ESPN

Take my rant with a grain of salt: The closest I've ever come to fighting in the stands was when some guy at PBP wouldn't stop heckling Bonds. It's become a hot button issue for me.
The secret to good code maintenance is good guessing.
The fix is almost always in the last place you look and the fix proper is almost always trivial, at least if it's the correct fix. If it's the correct fix then you feel really good inside, both because it's such and easy change and because you know to a certainty that it does what it's supposed to do.

Every time I've looked like God's gift to coding for solving a problem in record time, it's always been from guessing right the first time.

The secret to writing good maintainable code seems to be coding such that any future developer with a pulse is almost guaranteed to guess right.
The two different kinds of rebel.
There are people who flaunt rules just for the sake of doing so. Then there's me; I ignore the rules that don't suit me or that I simply forgot about.

Allegedly I've set a good precedent by wearing shorts today. The thing is, I honestly believed that the pant-like things I grabbed this morning were long pants. It's not entirely clear how one can confuse the two or believe that one has long pants on if they're actually shorts, but I didn't notice the problem until I was already in my car and en route to work. Given that I was almost about to run late to a meeting that I'd singlehandedly gotten postponed by half an hour, turning back wasn't an option.

I don't consciously think of myself as a rule-flouter, and yet this almost certainly reflects something insipid deep down about my approach to work.

Oh well: I'll continue to deliver results (for some value of "results").

Sat in on two meetings today where the point of my presence was not immediately clear. There's some new development to come except that to me it doesn't look as though people fully understand what it is that they want. The condensed version of what it is they want -- that is, the set of core functionality that they have agreed on -- dovetails quite nicely with what I was already able to fix (simply and transparently, too! no kludges here -- seriously). So what I put in place is perfect if nobody ever changed their mind about what they want, or even if they don't change their minds very often. It is, alas, not data-driven. Nonetheless, other people have meetings to decide how they want things to work. While they have these meetings, I actually make things work. Even in the worst case, it's still a good prototype.
Pacific Bell Park was privately funded!!
Most people don't seem to realize this. And it singlehandedly ruins an otherwise best-ever Onion article.
May I rant about German pronunciation?
When spelled with a character set that includes umlauts, the German word "Ueber" does indeed have an umlaut. (Put two dots over the 'U' and take out the 'e' immediately after it.) This strongly affects how the word should be pronounced. At a meeting this morning I heard pronounced twice as oober, which is just wrong. Think of it as 'eu', not 'oo', if that makes sense.

And don't get me started on angst (British 'a', please, none of this American crap) or even der (rhymes with "care", not "fur"!). Why is it that people can so easily remember 'die' (rhymes with 'me', not 'my') and yet the never get der right?

Monday, May 27, 2002

Two ballgames passing in the night
Although I hate geographic separation from my friends and loved ones, I love the idea that I can go to a baseball game one day and know people who were at a game in a different city on the same day. This happens all the time when the Red Sox are home; today it happened with the Giants game and this "boring" White Sox game (yep, 10-2 in the 6th, I'll concur with "boring"). It might be a triple-confluence since now that I think about it, I heard about the six-run first inning from listening to Jerry and Joe call this game, which some of my Boston readers probably watched or listened to.
I hate interleague play for exactly one reason...
...and yet it's probably the only reason that the mainstream actually likes interleague play.

Namely, we're about to be treated to practically a whole month of asinine Mets-Yankees rivalry stories. They don't even face each other for at least a week-and-a-half, yet it's begun already.

What especially sucks about this is that it's exactly the time of year that Fox suddenly notices baseball's existence and begins broadcasting Saturday afternoon games nationally. At least being on the west coast inoculates one from exposure to New York circle-jerkery. Even at that, I don't even think I want any part of the annual A's-Giants extravaganza.
Socialize With Me!
There's a random Monday trend coming up...

Monday, June 3:
Oakland vs. Seattle
(Guest TBA)

Thursday, June 6:
Poison, Cinderella, and Winger at Shoreline Amphitheater
(Guest TBA if any -- no tix yet and it's unclear if I'll even get to go to this but I want to)

Monday, June 10:
Oakland vs. Milwaukee
(Guest TBA)

Friday, June 21:
San Francisco vs. Baltimore
(exactly one ticket, sorry)

Monday, June 24:
San Francisco vs. San Diego
(Guest TBA)

Monday, July 1:
Oakland vs. Minneosta
(Guest TBA)

So if you're in the Bay Area and you want to go to these, contact me. Even if you don't know me -- especially if you don't know me. In a perfect world you're female and about my age, with a similar outlook on life. Dream on, right? :-) But it can never hurt to ask. Which is why you should ask me. Score a free ticket. Like a well-behaved dog, I won't bite!
The heartbreak of facing one's vocational shortcomings.
I wrote a lot of code a year to 15 months ago, most of which was somewhat difficult to understand and very difficult to maintain.

The bug fix from this weekend turned out to be extremely straightforward but if it took that long for me to notice what was going on in my own code then heaven help anyone else trying to get at it who was new to that particular code.

Basically it's a little bit of demon magic involving deep clones, managing things in the HttpSession, and fooling TOPLink (data persistence layer: expensive, frustrating, ultimately unsatisfying) into not making any updates on particular objects unless/until the user explicitly elects to "save" or even "save as" under a different name.

The point is that the way I wrote code a year ago turns out to be really time-consuming. Time-consuming for me then as well as for me now, not to mention anyone else I've unwittingly screwed along the way. The idea ultimately makes sense (I'll vehemently argue) and seems to be the least bad way to handle a really sticky problem and achieve really cool functionality. Still, to the extent that even software developers have lives, it's just evil.

In hindsight what I did really poorly a year ago was not only time management (some really crack-addled estimates resulted in my serious ass-hauling out of personal pride to live up to almost impossible self-set goals) but also requirements management, specifically avoidance of creep and avoidance of slipping-through-cracks.

Also in hindsight there's a potentially disturbing backstory (if you don't know what the hell I'm talking about ignore this, if you do, humor me), but as far as I can tell I honestly didn't think about things that way a year ago. Maybe subconsciously, who knows?
It's always the last place you look.
I may have found the cause of the bug. If I'm right then it's ridiculously simple.

To celebrate, or maybe just to postpone the moment of truth (I'd really hate to be wrong), I went on a fast food run. KSJO played Fly to the Angels and The Ballad of Jane (it's by L.A. Guns but I'm shocked at how little Google knows about it), back to back. As 1980s hair metal goes, this is the daily double of "love and death" morbidity!

Between that and my friend Mike's anguished soliliquy, I may have some thoughts about love and death tonight. You'll know where to look. While you wait for it, read Mike's piece. It's long and thought-provoking.
Two Hilarious Comic Strips
One for my shallow sense of humor, one for my deep sense of humor.

These are two of the best ever. Honorable mention (I keep meaning to mention this in a weblog but probably haven't yet) to a Rhymes With Orange from about a week ago.
Major League Baseball Scheduling Gripe
There is absolutely no reason for teams to be idle on Memorial Day, yet two National League teams and six American League teams are off today. And if that weren't enough, the Toronto Blue Jays are at home, which means one less Memorial Day game on U.S. soil. Gah!
Best Music Sequence Ever
Meant to write about this last night but forgot. Heard two of my all-time favorite songs back to back on the San Francisco airwaves. Start with the "Bone 500" countdown (classic rock), with Van Halen's Jump somewhere in the 90s. Since the next song was a Pink Floyd tune that I don't like much (forget which one), I switched over to KSJO and its "Lost '80s Weekend" just in time for Nothin' But A Good Time.

Poison? No, we're Cyanide, a Poison tribute band.
Scoundrels and Thieves in the Rangers System
John Rocker (who needs no introduction) finally reported to Oklahoma City. Meanwhile, Ruben Rivera (first item) is doing fine at Double-A Tulsa. I dunno, if I were ten years younger I'd probably be at Drillers games, booing Rivera every time he came up.

Thou Shalt Not Steal, and so on.
AZ 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 - 3 8 1
SF 0 3 0 0 1 0 3 0 X - 7 11 0

WP - Hernandez (5-4)
LP - Anderson (0-4)
HR - Sanders (6), Bonds (18)

Box Score | Recap | Game Log

Gorgeous day today. Saturday at Oakland there wasn't a cloud in the sky; today at PBP there were a lot of clouds, mercifully enough. Also a lot of sun. A soft-tossing lefty like Brian Anderson is not a very good match against the righty-laden middle and bottom of the Giants order. A 4-thru-6 of Jeff Kent, Benito Santiago, and Reggie Sanders: Can you say lefty-mashers?

The slagging continues: Livan Hernandez threw 120-something pitches in seven innings. Felix Rodriguez continues to look awful, as though he caught what Heathcliff Slocumb came down with six years ago. Nonetheless, Robb Nen came on despite the four-run lead; Smoke on the Water was played, and within ten minutes Tony Bennett was crooning.

Beautiful day, patriotic day. Challenger the Bald Eagle was on hand. Military planes did the flyover things. At 3:00 on the dot, the game stopped for a brief tribute to heroes. This is one reason why I always go to a baseball game on Memorial Day if one is available.

I always wonder how tribute-related stoppages of play affect ballplayers. I was at Fenway once when Matt Anderson fell apart both before, during, and after the 3:00 ceremony. Other odd things about that game:
1. If memory serves, this was the game in which Mark Portugal pitched so badly that he packed up his things and went home. (Odd coincidence: The first MLB game I ever saw in person the matchup was Portgual vs. Mike Morgan. Morgan worked in today's Giants-D'backs game.)

2. I was on a "date" that game. Had a pretty good time there too.
On Memorial Day stop and think about the people we commemorate. Better yet stop surfing the Internet. Do what you'd do with the family and friends around you.

I'll go to a baseball game; in theory I was going to look at a bug after that. Maybe I'll go sit on the beach and watch the sunset instead. Or reintroduce myself to my roommates, especially the ones I used to work with. (I guess only them, since Nelson seems to be away on vacation.)
Bad News
Tragedy in Oklahoma. Not how I'd want to die. One briefly gets the idea that nothing is safe.
Department of the obvious, if quite gruesome.

Somewhere along the line I lost the capacity literally to cry. I want to. The tears flow, but the rest of the act of crying -- the whimpering part? -- isn't there.

More Eminem hoopla. His newest release (the single) is reasonably good.

Saturday in the car, while I was in a fit of stress, I heard a radio commercial that claimed that Memorial Day weekend is all about vegging out and doing nothing. I shouted very rude things at my radio. Something has to give. Something has to change.
Mmm... new balls...

I don't follow soccer. I probably should. We inexplicably watched the Mexican League finals today, in which one team came back from a 2-0 deficit (it's a two-game cumulative match, so the first leg was 0-2; the second leg was 2-0) and scored in sudden death. A "golden goal." I wonder if I can find a recap of that game...

Here's the closest I could find.
Five Single Men
Everybody I work with seems to have a wife or boyfriend or girlfriend or husband. Actually one or two of my female colleagues may have neither a husband nor a steady significant other, though I'd be shocked if they're not at least dating. Marriage or steady relationship is the overwhelming majority anyway.

I think a vast majority of the people I write trivia questions with/for are married or in longterm relationships.

Of the three guys at whose place I spent most of my Sunday, one has a girlfriend(?) who was visiting him and is moving to the area. The other two are single. Of my three roommates, two are definitely single; Nelson's status is unclear.

I'm single in a place where being single seems really really rare except among the guys whom I know best. You'd think we'd band together and do something about this. Which in my personal case would probably involve a gym membership.
Well, that would have been useful information to have
There are so many things in life that you don't know and can't know. I'm fine with that: Life is short and our brains are only so big. Then again there are the things that you should have known but didn't, things that suddenly become blatantly obvious entirely too late. Those are the ones that make me feel like a total idiot. I guess stuff like that happens.

In other news I played a game of Settlers of Catan today (part of a very long gaming/party dealie) and played the percentages perfectly. I was sitting on nine points, when the player to my left suddenly revealed that he had all five victory cards (they were in the first nine of the 25 cards drawn - lousy shuffle). Grr.