Saturday, August 03, 2002

Clearing up musical questions that had been bothering me for months
By the power of google...

The lead singer of Living Color (black guy with the long colorful ponytail) is Corey Glover, previously known for his part in Platoon.

!!
In baseball, the management is so screwed up nobody seems to notice the game is still great, while in the NBA and NFL the management is so smooth nobody bothers to cast a critical eye on the games.
--Tim Keown, too true
Craig's team is pretty good
Or is that Craig's team? In any case, seeing Zito lose is shocking.

Also, Oscar Henriquez is plus-sized. You might call him husky.

The Tigers had a surprisingly large, predominantly female, cheering section, in homemade-looking black shirts with orange lettering.

Friday, August 02, 2002

Other things in my life
I seem to have lost my ATM card. I appear to have succeeded in getting it cancelled though.

My car has a trick tire. It keeps leaking air. This can't be a good thing. Found out at my favorite mechanic today that they don't stock tires. They'd have to order one. The guy recommended I go to a Goodyear dealer, one of which exists on Telegraph either a few blocks north or a few blocks south of where Telegraph intersects the street my mechanic is on.

I forgot to ask which way to turn. It was a 50/50 shot, plus some extra driving if I ever reached a point of deciding to give up and try the other direction. Instead I kept driving and driving in the direction towards work. When this turned out to be the wrong direction, I pulled into a gas station instead and got more tire air and continued to work.

Re tonight's game, I hope Mike doesn't mind driving.
Just asking?
1. Why does Blogger think I'm on GMT?

2. Had Pakistani food for lunch. Define "South Asian" food to include Pakistan and India (maybe Afghan food too) and ask yourself: Why is there no good South Asian chain restaurant? Okay, not good good, just something on the order of The Olive Garden or Panda Express.

People here would despise and resent it but people in the hinterlands, who have essentially no access to good Indian food, might be better off for it. Like they are with the Barnes & Nobles.

(I had never eaten Indian food until college, nor had a chance to.)
Sorry about that. I seem to have dislodged a day-and-a-half's worth of posts from some gremlin. Actually less than a day's worth. At some point I gave up on this weblog and didn't post what I would have. So you have some catching up.
testing

Thursday, August 01, 2002

I think I walked past this place in June!
The last pr0n shop on 42nd Street, closed for good. I was tempted to peek inside but I had a plane to catch.

By the way, why aren't these publishing today? Did I hit my limit?
QOTD
His lies aren't even good lies. Selig doesn't tell his wife she looks good in that dress before they head out to parties; he'll tell her they can't afford that dress, and that even if it was the most flattering dress in the world, there's no way she'd be able to compete with the other women who will be at the party, who are way more luminous than she is.
--Derek Zumsteg
Business Objects versus Application Code
Even if the former are b0rken, it's the authors of the latter who get the bugs reported to them.

Meta-reason to write unit tests: You can then say catty things to people who don't (if their stuff is b0rken).
To: Dan Iassogna
From: me
Re: premature ejection

I really don't think Dunn hit by pitch was intentional. Granted that I'm listening and not watching, I somehow doubt that a closer, even a high-strung one, puts the tying run on base on purpose.

I want the Reds to win this game but you're still wrong. Marty Brennaman definitely wants the Reds to win and he thinks it was a terrible call.
Theory of Poker
There don't seem to be good on-line cheatsheets mapping win probabilities against type of game and number of players. This goes far beyond those odds you see everywhere of a given five-card hand being a flush or whatever.

The best way to learn (this completely ignores tells and other psychological stuff for now) seems to be to deal out hands to oneself and see how they play out. Who will win -- who can win. In community card games, quick mental exercise of figuring out the best possible hand.

Take Omaha: Each player gets four cards. Five end up dealt face up on the table (three, then one, then one). Form hands with exactly two of your own and three community cards. If there's a low hand that's 8-high or lower, then low hand splits with high. (Your high candidate can use different cards from your low.)

Cards dealt out in front of me at my desk. Face up we have:
9 (diamond)
7 (spade)
10 (diamond)
8 (spade)
2 (heart)

What's the best possible high? What's the best possible low? How likely is any given hand to be the high versus the low?
(Straights look really good; flushes are impossible. No pairs on the board. There's a low but it requires the 2-7-8, "clobbering" any of those cards.)

On the last card, anyone with a good low sighs in relief but anyone with two spades or two diamonds grumbles.

Six face-down hands in front of me that I followed along with, not betting at all but rather comparing what potential I thought the hand had to where it came out. (For example, the guy with paired kings felt good to begin with, much less good when no pair came up on the board.)

The second-from-right hand is:
10 (club)
6 (club)
4 (spade)
Ace (spade)

No flush for him. He does have the second best possible high (10-high straight: use 9-8-7 from board, 10-6 from hand) and the second best possible low (A-4 in hand, only A-3 beats it).

Sure enough, there's an A-3 in one hand (best low) and a J-9 (use 10-8-7 from the board) in another. Our second-best high, second-best low hand wins nothing. Other than seeing that it actually happened, I'm not sure what the odds are here. Didn't simulate any betting but this guy probably lost some money. Sort of like me. Maybe I should stop brooding about poker and just ignore the game.

Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Weakest Column Ever
Who is Bob Halloran? He's right that baseball on radio is cool but get over yourself already.

There was a time in America when the screen door slammed, Mary's dress waved, and the radio played Roy Orbison singing for the lonely.

No there wasn't. Two paragraphs later: I don't know if that time ever really existed, but I like to think it did.

Whatever floats your boat.

Here's what's weird about me. At least, here's the one weird thing I'm willing to discuss publicly at this time.

Resolved: I will never again write sentences like that. It's embarrassing even on a personal weblog, let alone a column somebody paid you to write.

The gist of the column seems to be that people don't inflict their auditory tastes on each other anymore. Other than that -- baseball's radio broadcasts are alive and well if you're willing to find them on-line. (And pay a small fee, I suppose. Great marketing there, guys!)
An annual rite of passage
Later than usual this year but I finally heard the snippet from The Natural that they play at The Ballpark when a Texas Ranger hits a home run. Of all people it was Ruben Rivera, in the 8th inning of this game.
Something in common
Giants pitching matchup tonight: Jensen vs. Duckworth. They were Little League teammates -- batterymates for each other.
What he said. I feel phenomenally cranky today. At least people are saying things I agree with.

Good pickup for Boston, obviously.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

The Mariners are beginning to marinate a bit here, two men on and one out.
--Ernie Harwell

Marinate! Who knew?
The Sounds of Safeco
Choo! Choo! I hear in my headset.

Seconds later, Choo! Choo! I hear outside our window.

Alas, nobody at Vectiv has those distinctive Seattle noisemaker/cowbell things. Not sure what they are but it's a sound I can immediately identify with the Mariners.
Chad thinks this is interesting
(NYT, reg. req.)
It's generating considerable IM content. Remind me to look at it later tonight.
NFL Rocks!
See, this is what a league that knows how to market itself looks like. As a baseball junkie I'm insanely jealous.
High Concept
This Bill Simmons piece is deceptively brilliant. Kubi was disapppointed; as was I, at first. I'm not interested in reading about the Halloweeen movie series (as it happens, I've seen none of the movies) or all that keen on SportsCentury. Then I realized what it is Simmons was actually doing, that most of the point was to parody various people.

Have you ever heard Bob Ryan on one of those shows? Or Mike Lupica? Or a football broadcast featuring Frank Gifford or Dan Dierdorf? I'm sure a lot went over the heads of people unfamiliar with any given talking head, just as a lot about the Halloween movies themselves went over my head. But what I did get, was priceless.

Admittedly he had a tin ear for at least two people he "quoted" -- the McCarver seemed a little off to me and the Rob Neyer was light years away from reality -- but when he nails someone, it's hysterical.

(Note: Also, excellent choice of format. I tried to write a baseball column as Jayson Stark once. You can get away with it one paragraph at a time but over a whole piece it gets old. You get around that by aping a variety of people.)
Please tell me you liked this Onion article as much as I did.
Why not to become a drifter...
I don't think I could put my family through this.
Why not to discuss religion...
...at least not with idiots.
I saw Jason Beverlin's Major League debut, and you didn't.
Cleveland 8, Oakland 6

Who's that? you ask. Just some guy whose name I remember from minor league statkeeping. Last night was a banner night for sitting right behind the visitor's bullpen mound. In order of appearance (everyone who warmed up made it into the game):

Jaret Wright -- former postseason hero but wrecked his arm in the process. I didn't have the heart to heckle because he's too good but also too damanged. Left after 2 2/3 innings and 90 pitches thrown. Mercifully.

Jason Beverlin -- just came up from AAA when the Indians traded Paul Shuey. Let's go Bi-son!

Terry Mulholland is ancient, terrible, and left-handed. He wears #45 but no, that's not his age. Grecian formula, Terry?

Sean DePaula is a Masshole, if memory serves. His name also came up a bit with my old statkeeping chums.

Ricky Rincon -- situational lefty, rumored to be trade bait. ...only to find Gideon's Bible...

Mark Wohlers -- you'll remember him as Braves closer of the early 1990s. Goat of Game 4 of the 1996 World Series. Mysteriously lost his control soon after that. Closed last night because Cleveland's closer is on the disabled list.

Don't think about your control problems, Mark, you'll be fine. As indeed he was -- 5 pitches, 5 strikes.
Morning Radio Watch
(fewer hyperlinks than usual here to save time; you know how to use Google)

Behold classic rock: Heard "Misty Mountain Hop" and "Stairway to Heaven" within half hour of each other on two different stations.

The 10@10 today was 1977, the start of it interspersing Queen's "We Will Rock You" and "We Are The Champions" with Jimmy Carter nostalgia. Sorry, that combination just doesn't work.

(Personal memory: I bought that Queen album -- on cassette tape -- the day of Super Bowl XXXII. If your team is in the championship game, you cue up "We Are The Champions" just in case. Favre, leading his team on the wannabe game-tying drive, threw incomplete on fourth down and Freddie Mercury was coming over my speakers within seconds. Pardon me while I savor the image of John Elway's midair spin for a first down.)

While I waited for the longest train ever (delaying my commute a good five minutes), I heard Stevie Wonder's "I Wish" on that same 10@10 compilation. Our high school jazz band had a kickass version of this song.

Last but not least, two morning DJ's I listen to are getting married but I can't figure out whether it's for real or just an airplay stunt. Meanwhile, the Chicago-area morning talk radio DJs my parents listen to are married, though for a long time they kept that secret from their listeners. They used to pose as Right vs. Left except that the wife wasn't too far left of center nor very convincing. She was his foil, the Colmes to his Hannity. Now the idea seems to be more she listens to him rant but tells him when he's crazy. Don't trust me, though, I only ever hear Don and Roma on the way to the airport.

(Speaking of which, I still need to book some tickets. If you're reading this and it's relevant to you, I'll have the info soon.)

Monday, July 29, 2002

Coding with Courtney
There's some fine music out there, where by "out there" I mean in my drawer of CD's. Just a matter of taking the initiative to change the CD every hour or two. Baseball comes on in about an hour too.

Every time that I sell myself to you I feel a little bit cheaper than I need to.
Human Clay
I'd almost overplayed this album a few months ago but going a long time without hearing it has made me appreciate it all the more.

...to a place with golden streets....

Creed fan, unashamed.
Hoffman versus Koch
KSJO played an interesting pair of songs back-to-back this morning (AC/DC, followed by Metallica). If you know which songs, and the relevance of the title, then you're as hardcore as I am. I waited in vain for the next song to be some Deep Purple; instead, it was a generic Led Zeppelin song that I'm willing to bet no major league closer uses.

Sunday, July 28, 2002

Okay, that was fun
I figured out how to delete my "bad" post, the one with the corrupted HTML that resulted from an ill-fated attempt to include javascript in a post.

More on my weekend later. It turned out better than I thought it would.