Saturday, August 10, 2002

The 15 Most Exciting Games of August 9, 2002
Every now and then (maybe once or twice a season) baseball has a night like this. You can argue with some of the ratings but the uniform greatness of these games is my whole point.

15. Mark Buehrle joins the 15-win club and beats the first-place Mariners, in arguably the least interesting game of the night.

14. Vlad joins 200 club, and he's exactly as old as Junior Griffey was.

13. Rookie Mike Maroth leads the Tigers to a combined shutout.

12. Royals in 12, but think about this: How often is a 12-inning game not even in the top half of the most interesting major league games that night?

11. Cardinals lose, Kubi sad. As Chad puts it: wouldn't you think a first-place team would at least play competitively once a week?!

10. Anaheim can't gain ground in the wild card, losing a (ho hum) one-run game.

9. In a potential playoff preview, a would-be rally ends with the tying run at third and go-ahead run at second, on a dramatic strikeout that barely cracks the top ten.

8. Green answers back Burrell, as some 8th inning longball drama enlivens the scoreboard-watching.

7. Shutout at Coors Field. I repeat, shutout at Coors. 2-0 at that.

6. Fucal's throw preserves the game in the National League's one potential playoff matchup of the night. Still haven't seen it (ESPN News had just too much material, especially with all the pre-season football that I'm ignoring) but from the recap it sounds like an awesome play.

5. Erubiel 2, Florida 1. Durazo's homers account for both Arizona runs, including a ninth-inning walkoff. ERUBIEL!!!

4. Midnight in the Bronx, as Oakland outlasts the Yankees in another battle of playoff hopefuls.

3. Boone goes deep thrice, including twice in the first inning. And yet Chargers manage to keep it close, ultimately missing a field goal to lose to the Bengals, 12-10.

2. Kenny Rogers retires first 21 batters. Rogers had a perfect game in 1994. They're very rare; as you might imagine, nobody has two. Even at that, he lost the perfect game, the no-hitter, the shutout, and the lead within a span of three batters. Rangers still won in the ninth.

1. Barry! Barry! Barry! -- but in a losing effort. I'm glad I wasn't there: Bittersweet night.

600


The more I'm up to on a night like this, the more interesting the baseball will be in my absence. You all heard about this but did you also hear about this? 16-inning marathon at Yankee Stadium and this time the visiting team won!

The Giants game I heard none of, though I'll be sure to listen to the replay tonight, just under way. The A's game I heard through Jeter reaching base in the bottom of the 8th, right after an RBI groundout had made it 2-1 with two out. Then I got to R's place. I took it on faith that the A's would get the last four outs they needed. I guess they actually needed 25 more outs.

Friday, August 09, 2002

This would have been sweet
Can you imagine two perfect games?!? I watched the first one. Briefly, early on, a subplot of the first one was Jose Canseco's pair of home runs. For a long time I had newspaper clippings related to the first one on the wall of my room.

This one I tuned in just in time to see him lose the perfect game (to Thome) and the no-hitter (to Milton Bradley).
Sunderland and Stat-Geeking
I'm supposed to root for Sunderland. I forget why. This came from a conversation Chad and I had once. It may have to do with uniforms that look like TGI Friday's.

So Brick (August 6) roots for Sunderland, as does Adam Fine (who, I think, crashed on my floor once in Boston). Fine has eight years worth of his own quiz-bowl stats. I have none of mine.

I got a few tossups right, and a few (too many) wrong.
Why Bonds will hit #600 tonight...
I'll be playtesting quiz questions instead of watching the game. Saturday's I'll find some way to either sneak into or loiter around.
Drinking Game Solitaire
When I read the latest news about WorldCom, I had a thought. It was kind of a trite one but it was a thought. I figured I'd run across the exact same reaction in on-line commentary somewhere, such as in this thread. Now, thanks to this post, I guess I get to drink.
Baseball Wh*res On Parade
(so on a side note, I'm on a one-man project to reclaim the word "whore" since the behavior I have in mind is far more closely related to prostitution than just happening to be sexy and sexually active would be)

UGH!! I'm appalled; I strongly attempt to disbelieve this. He has every right to do it but it's still craven.

So I was already planning a weblog entry about this story (Mark McGwire's quiet, classy retirement), especially since McGwire compares so favorably here to a certain other "classy" ballplayer, arguably the most overrated ever.

You'll have to excuse my near pathological dislike for the Joe DiMaggio legacy but the problem is, the thing that boggles my mind, the idea that so many people thought of him as something that he just patently wasn't. In the memorabilia department he was about as scuzzy as they come (you could maybe blame his "friends" for this), and even in pop culture... Simon and Garfunkel sang Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio at least a decade too late, seeing as how he'd already gone through shagging Marilyn Monroe and shilling himself for Mr. Coffee.

(Oh for crying out loud: Your Tax Dollars At Work. Hero?! Gag me already.)

Joe DiMaggio is a whore, by my own idiosyncratic use of the word, in fact he's as big of one as they come. In this case Bonds is too, but that just means he's finally even remotely living down to the anti-reputation his haters have constructed for him.

I start to agree more and more with the people who rail against pro athletes, with one exception: So many times they seem to be pining for a golden age that never existed, except as a fabricated, hypocritcal fake.

And then a true hero will be right under their nose but they just have no idea.
Newspapers
Of course, since one of the main subscriber groups to our paper is the elderly, I'm sure there would be even more outrage if we dropped Andy Rooney's column than there was when we changed the crossword puzzle to one that was harder. --Allyson

Apropos of nothing, Allyson says she really likes Cindy's page. One amusing effect of weblogging is friend cross-pollination. Well, not quite: I think most people read their friends' pages but not their friend-of-friends' pages, at least not more than once.

There's a certain quality -- I can't find a good adjective to describe it but it involves good storytelling, a certain kind of sense of humor, and a particular shade of personal warmth , oh and last but not least a curiosity about the world that makes one a voracious reader. Anyway, the three people I know who have the most of the quality are Allyson, Cindy, and my mom.

Speaking of my mom... she participated in a newspaper survey once, for the now-defunct Tulsa Tribune. (Afternoon paper. Afternoon papers are a dying breed. Out here, the Examiner lives on but now it's a tabloid, a deeply unreadable one that would make anyone at the Boston Herald or New York Post ashamed by comparison.) Someone called her (random survey caller) and asked, "on a scale of 1 to 10, how important are newspapers in your life?" My mom's answer, completely truthful: I'd have to say 11.

My mom lives and breathes newspapers and periodicals. She's always behind on her reading because she feels a compulsion to read all of anything that she buys or subscribes to. She's getting better: She now feels as though she has the liberty to skip the Auto Classifieds. You think I'm kidding.

Thursday, August 08, 2002

Or just skip Jacobs
And go here directly.
Deathly fear of our future
Joanne Jacobs writes so much about kids and education that sometimes it's a broken record. Then she goes and finds things like this.

Now, I'm, like, smart and stuff. Chances are (I know my audience) you, dear reader, are too. We have the privilege of, for most of our lives, not running across these challenged people. I hate to sound like a snob, but really, we're turning out morons. Who will then breed. :-)
More on women & shoes
Have you heard the cellphone commercial in with Catherine Zeta-Jones calling up a shoe place to hear about all the shoes they have?

I'm very disturbed this but can't quite explain why.

But nowhere near as disturbed as I am by the Denny's commercial featuring Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. You might guess why she's upset about the content of a Grand Slam breakfast.

UPDATE: Quoth Craig,

Watch the ad closely.

She orders THREE. So, is Miss Piggy a cannibal. No, because the bacon is not made out of felt.

Case closed.
Now Might Be A Good Time To Short-Sell YHOO
These days, from work, I consistently cannot hit mail.yahoo.com. (Just a 404 error.) The address I can consistently hit is http://login.yahoo.com/config/mail?.intl=us.

So it's obvious where the problem lies:
According to the information you have given us, it appears you are
having difficulties with your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Please
contact your ISP's system administrator or their Help Desk for further
assistance.


UPDATE: It actually probably is our fault. Boy am I embarrassed.
My favorite piece of "reader mail"
-----Original Message-----
From: DEK
Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2002 9:09 PM
Subject: Your proposed questions.


Engineer
Class
Alignments: All
Races: Human
+5% save vs Sleep
-3 Charisma
+1 Int
-10% save vs Natural light sources
May not wear metallic armor on Casual Friday.

Actually, if you become a professional engineer (PE) by taking the exam,
you could sort of look at that as similar to the rules for level gain for
druids. As for guilds, see ASME, NSPE, IEEE, etc.
FREE GIANTS FEED
Today at least. See RealOne for details (probably requires dowloading the RealOne audioplayer, or just upgrading your RealPlayer).
And SportsCenter for the nightcap...
They let me hear Dave Niehaus call a 10th inning home run (extra-inning homers are rare but not that rare), and yet for T-Long's grab they let me make due with the dulcet tones of... Chris Berman. Guess that's what happens when it's a game ESPN actually broadcast.

Have to wait for tomorrow's A's pregame to hear the King/Korach version. The Jerry & Joe version will just remain a figment of my imagination.

Likewise, had Bonds gone deep tonight I'd have gotten easy access to both the Jon Miller (or Joe Angell, or maybe Duane Kuiper depending on the inning) radio version and the Mike Krukow TV version. Then, odds are my mom would have a tape of Chip Caray.

UPDATE: Indeed my imagination is fertile. It's Joe Castiglione with the call...(there's no way to convey how high his voice goes with printed text)
...and he hits it high and deep to right, Long racing back by the bullpen, leaps, and it's a home...--NO! He caught it! He (sudden downward/whiny inflection) CAUGHT THE BALL, and the A's mob Terrence Long, and the Red Sox have lost another one.

That about right? Radio anguish at almost but not quite the level of Pat Hughes and Ron Santo beholding Brant Brown's game-losing dropped fly ball.
How many times in my life have I missed a chance to see Poison?
Several in Tulsa when I either wasn't old enough to go or didn't feel up to asking permission.

Once last summer when their bassist's back gave out.

Once this past June, the Thursday before the high school quiz championship weekend, when I had nobody to go with and didn't want to feel like a loser at a concert alone.

So I guess I have empathy without sympathy.
I can't sleep knowing...
1. That Long made such a great play. I could watch it on SportsCenter, except that my unemployed roommate is watching trashy late-night TV. Well, not trashy so much as inane.

(I will forever question Chad's music tastes and Scott's TV tastes, hoping that neither takes it personally.)

2. That I'll never get to hear Chick Hearn broadcast a game lie. Surely tapes exist. Whether I get a chance to listen to those is an open question.

There's so much greatness in this world, even beyond sports.
Is it too trite to say Dilbert reminds me of my company?
The thing is, today's Dilbert reminds me of a very specific incident that I would have thought of as company-specific rather than universal to business. Maybe it wasn't as out-of-the-ordinary as I thought it was.
Why do A's-Red Sox games always end like this?
This one beats that one because I'd much rather have a hero than a goat.

I wasn't able to listen to the end of today's game, since it lasted well into the start of the Giants game. I can only imagine how Bill King called it (or how Jerry & Joe called it).
Chutzpah!
Giants 4, Cubs 3 (10 innings)

Tonight I saw neither #600 (double and a walk) nor #301 (blown when Shawon Dunston misjudged a two-out fly ball into a game-tying double) but it was still fun.

In the first inning, the crowd got on its feet, flash bulbs went off throughout the stands behind home plate, people clapped and chanted. Then, cutting through it all like a bullhorn through glass (pardon the mixed metaphor), I heard a teenaged girl behind me shouting: C'MON, KERRY, STRIKE HIM OUT!!

She was with her parents, whom I briefly sized up as potential in-laws.

This brings up a question: Everyone knows the "NINE-teen EIGH-teen" chant, accented the way all such chants are accented. But how would you do "nineteen oh eight"? Same emphasis?

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

How to tell when a comments widget goes down...
As of when I type this, check out the lack of feedback on Megan McArdle's most recent posts. (By tomorrow morning it may no longer be true.) Jane Galt gets scads of comments.

I can't decide whether to tip her or hit on her. She probably gets way too much of the latter and not enough of the former.
Rick Leach: Mystery Solved
I didn't realize he was a former Michigan Wolverine quarterback. Given that, you can guess who filled me in.

Here's the latest on him. As Craig puts it, The consensus seems to be that he would go off on drugs and sex benders and while he would usually find his way home, some times, he would not.

Speaking of these things, does this count as a google-whack? I'm shocked that there's only one link but highly amused by the accompanying ad.

Can match.com set me up with an all-glove, no-hit second baseman whose glove failed him when he needed it most?
Women and Shoes
This is the last place I expected to find that reference.

My co-worker did mention a couple weeks ago that women notice shoes, though she claimed not to find them all that important. It's always other people who behave any given way.
Nielsen!
No, not the Boston University quiz player but rather the user interface expert.

He gets savaged a bit here. For example:

Anyone else think this is Jakob trying to encourage this just so he might, one day, know what it's like to touch a human of the opposite sex?
I am not an engineer.
Today's best bad Slashdot quote:
I've said it here before a zillion times over the years and I'll say it again. Nearly every problem in the software industry today can be traced back to handing over an engineer's job to a non-engineer.

Really? Nearly every?

Also, for these purposes what is "a non-engineer"? Are engineers their own separate race of creatures, with unique character bonuses? What's their Armor Class?

I take issue with the idea that this category is well-defined or useful. Is there a process by which one becomes an engineer (or becomes not-one)? Is there a guild membership card I should acquire? (Does my Sun Java certification count?)
More about problem-solving greed
(Warning: I probably sound like a pompous ass)

Other pointed questions you could ask yourself:
What's the best possible deliverable (buzzword alert! sorry) you can achieve by the end of today? By the end of the week? By an hour from now?
(For that last one, "an amusing blog entry" doesn't cut it.)

If the problem you're currently trying to solve absolutely had to be solved by tomorrow (or by the end of the week), how would you solve it? What can (must?) you do now versus pushing to later? Are there features that you can hold off on?

(Nothing that you're working on is ever as atomic as you think; there are always smaller parts to break it into.)

If your goal is to push as soon as possible (and when you're satisfying customers, why wouldn't it be?), a corollary is: How can I do this while making as few code changes as possible? Better yet: How can I do this in a way that results in as few future code changes as possible?

Maximize the ratio of added value to developer time. (Or more generally, "resource cost," though few resources in this industry cost as much as prima donna developers.) Also, minimize the externalities that you inflict on other people since you do have to work with them.

Sounds so trite doesn't it?
Workplace Do's and Don'ts
(is that apostrophe usage right? Google thinks so but I'm not so sure)

Getting in at 11 a.m. is probably a very bad idea, especially for the second day in a row.

If you find yourself doing this (good old first-person "you"...), it behooves you maybe even that very day to do something that singlehandedly justifies your employment, makes up for your lateness, and so on.

Then you can overhear somebody ask, for business purposes, How soon will X be done? (Meaning, how soon to tell the customers to expect it.)

Thinking to yourself, hey, it's basically ready now, is incredibly smarmy, but not a problem if you keep that thought strictly to yourself.

Within reason it's acceptable silently to curse the vagaries of the build processes, the version management processes, the skeleton-crew staffing level of QA, and everything else that figures to delay the pushing of your pet feature. In doing so, you must reflect on how much of this is actually your own fault, and how much more of it would be your own fault if they decided on a whim to break all the rules and push your pet feature literally today.

So... it compiles. And people were astonishingly impressed by the internal demo. And for once, the quickest, most painless possible way to do it may turn out to be clearly the right way.

Greediness, even moreso than laziness, is my programming stock in trade. No matter how difficult the problem seems, you'd be surprised how far you can get if you ask yourself this question:

If there were a solution that took half a day to implement, what would it be? What would it look like? The more you think about it, the more you can convince yourself such a solution exists.

Failing that, If there was a solution that took half a week to implement...

This seems to be the opposite of the doubling principle that goes into most good business-case estimates. All I know is it works more often than you'd think.

Nowhere does it work better than on the Putnam Math Exam.

The flip side is when something sounds intuitively easy but you suddenly discover why it's actually butt-hard. Hate it when that happens.
Another worthwhile lawsuit against Major League Baseball
Nelson Doubleday has a good point, and a great baseball name.
"No disciplinary action"
Nice to see a league admit its officials screwed up. (Did something similar happen to the Steelers two seasons ago?) It'd be nicer to see the umpire get--not disciplinary action but either remedial education or firing for incompetence. This is arguably the worst judgment call in major league baseabll since I've been alive.

I'm not even a Dodger fan and I'm still a little riled about this.

"There were a whole lot of things that happened to the Dodgers as a result of the umpire making that call, and we just really felt that nothing else needed to be done," Watson told the Times. "Their closer and manager were ejected, they lost the game and had to make roster moves because of all the pitchers they had to use."

No fooling.
How many committees like this have you been on?
I can think of at least two myself.
More about writing how you talk
My new "person who doesn't have a weblog but ought to" is Kubicek, so he can post things with titles like Let's hear it for CONCACAF! when the North Americans do well at the World Cup.

It's kind of like a no fucking clue how great a career John Stockton has had only with more mirth and less obscenity.
Funny thing about blogs
If you know personally the people who write them, you can picture them saying out loud what they write. Every blogger I know "writes the way (s)he talks." Except maybe me. I can't tell.

(Obvious question: What inspired this post?
Answer: A combination of Coen's Mr. Do reference and Kidder's "building on fire" MCI phone call.)
Notes from a Transaction Analysis
Worth quoting verbatim:
The only thing missing from Jose Offerman's release and the subsequent whirlwind of orgiastic public joy were angry peasants with pitchforks and torches. Boston is parochial enough for the peasants, but pitchforks are probably outlawed by the same local ordinances that close the bars early.

Bad news: Matt Lecroy and Ben Broussard being sent down in the same week. As for the latter, Chris Kahrl is suitably peeved.
The other problem is that the Tribe is playing Lee Stevens, still lingering in mediocrity's slums, and going so far as to start him in the outfield corners. Why the Indians would do this defies description.

And last but not least, now that Kahrl has also mentioned Rick Leach in the context of Russ Johnson, I have to ask (because I've forgotten):
What was the problem with Leach? Did it ever become public?

Monday, August 05, 2002

Linkages
Two seemingly contradictory policies: I almost never add a link to another person's weblog unless that person asks me to. Then again I almost never ask people to add links to my weblog(s). I figure they will if they want to, and yet in an analogous position I don't.

Or in Dwight's case, until now I don't.

Hmm, some old-school exceptions: I think neither Mike nor Cindy asked for links, and neither link to me. *shrug* Actually I guess the "not linking until asked to" is a recent policy.
Music's friend-finder
I know Cooch reads this, can't remember whether David does. (Page update alert: He's long since no longer a senior at UC-Berkeley.) But I think David's lyrics quiz is right up Jon's alley. Hmm, maybe Craig's too.

Warning: I just got reamed by "the easy part."
Incoming homepage futzes.
I greatly fear (or at least question) the scope of some of the UI changes they want at work. Therefore I will play around mercilessly with my own UI and probably leave everything mostly the same. But you never know.

Techie readers (you know who you are), should I be ashamed that my homepage is static HTML and that even my blogger templates are no more dynamic than Blogger (and Rate Your Music for the comments widget) drop into my lap?
In a perfect world...
...everyone around me would be psychic and know (during any given SportsCenter) what times are good to talk to me and what times aren't.

Last night I unwittingly helped to solve a math problem during the Sunday Conversation with Barry Bonds. Well, it turned out to be a programming problem but the help consisted of verifying that the math itself wasn't wrong. I'm glad the error turned out to be non-math because I didn't think about the math as much as I probably should have. "Yeah, that sounds right." (Well, it did sound right...)

Right now Sex in the City is on. I suppose there are times during that show when it's good to talk to someone viewing it and times when it isn't. And times when the person watching the show will start the conversation with you.

For various reasons I'll need to figure out soon whether I still want to live here after August.
Cool things are afoot in the comments widget
An actual thread! (One comment plays off another.) Making a big deal out of this is like making a big deal out of a dunk but it's still neat, maybe the second-neatest thing about that set of comments.
It suddenly stopped breaking. I hate it when you make random incremental changes and the one that fixed things is so out-of-the-blue that there's no good way to see why it worked.

Then again, I love it when things work.
I never realized that overclocking was so inherently funny
BBSpot, here but better yet here.
Correction: Whiny Woman
Jewel, of course.

Remember the SNL skit where somebody won a weekend in an Alaskan cabin with her?
Have you been following the Russ Johnson saga?
I didn't know there was such a thing until reading some ESPN baseball roundup type blurbs.

(By the way the guy currently at the top of that list spent a lot of time in the CBA. I had to enter data on him or write recaps of his games a lot.)

The big quote:
"Hopefully Russ does come back in the near future, and when he does, the explanation will come from him,'' LaMar said. "I think it needs to come him''

This stuff fascinates me, it's unclear why. Many years ago a journeyman outfielder named Rick Leach left his team in midseason "for personal reasons." (I think it was Toronto at the time.) It has both a stigma to it and an aura of mystery. Could be alcohol or drugs, could be a messy divorce. Could even just be mental health issues.

Every now and then I'm surprised that I still seem sane to people (where "people" includes myself).
If I died tomorrow...
Please tell me you'd play better music than this. (Thanks Craig!)

Actually, seriously, here's what I'd request:
Dignified, yes, but happy.

Good old funeral standards are fair game (say, "Nearer My God to Thee") but as hymns go I'll have to insist on "Beautiful Saviour" -- best hym ever.

Pop sap is expressly forbidden. If you want uplifting -- and, this being me, you'd better make it uplifting, since I'd rather have no funeral at all than a sad funeral -- get to the good stuff. Namely, (in either order)
1. "Jump" - Van Halen
2. "Higher" - Creed

Just those two songs, plus a moratorium on people being gratuitously sad (okay, my immediate family can cry all they want, but for everyone else life goes on already), and I'll be satisfied.

Then again, what'll I care? I'll be dead by then. I guess a funeral is really for the living.

(P.S. I guess it's okay to skip "Jump" if my death is untimely and/or involves falling from some great height.)

(P.P.S. If you so much as TRY to play Celine Dion at my funeral, so help me I will rise from the dead to put an end to this nonsense. Don't test me on this one.)
Thank you Jon for ruining my day
Def Leppard? At Mix Fest?!?

Mix Fest!?!

This would be neither the "High and Dry" classic rock Def Leppard nor the "Hysteria" hair-metal Def Leppard but rather something gone horribly awry, not-unlike late 1990s Clapton.
Hey Baby Hey Baby Hey
Lots of music to write about, no time for links. Running very very late and work has connection problems to the point that this feels like a dialup.

One station promised me "the new No Doubt song," among other things, after their station break. Another station was playing a U2 block: "Where the Streets Have No Name" followed by "Walk On" during that break. After the break the first song wasn't No Doubt but rather some whiny women whose identity I should remember but don't.

("or am I standing still?")

The U2 block ended and gave way to what seemed like three or four songs, during which the whole time my No Doubt-promising station was still stuck on the whiny women ("or is life just passing me by? Passing me by!")

One of the post-U2 songs was, coincidentally, a No Doubt song but not "the new" one, rather the one that titles this weblog. I still think I hate it, vast difference in quality between the two. But I'll respect any song that includes the lyrics, "he knew my mom and went to my high school." (By comparison, "do you love me like I love you?" I never realized until now how much I despise that song.)

The whiny women finally got the hook, only to be replaced by Generic Lenny Kravitz Song. (They all sound the same. I hate to say that because whenever someone says that about an artist or band they're failing to appreciate important song differences. But still, specific to Lenny Kravitz it's true. One you dig in, I've got to get away. Really, same song.)

Before any of this, heard the Pink "I'm a hazard to myself" song. On Friday I'd suggested to someone that she was starting to (try to) fill the Courtney type misfit-girl role. This is false. She's way too poppy and non-metally to come close to Hole.

Let's say my favorite bands are Hole and Creed. (Close to the truth actually.) Almost diametrically opposite moods. Any significance to the one band being all-guy and the other being all-girl? Could there be an all-girl quasi-Christian metal band? They'd probably attract a weird mix of groupies and guy-lust, and be non-trivially hated by the same people who hate Mary-Kate and Ashley or whoever.

More interesting question is which guy-band best approximates Hole. For a few crack-addled minutes in the car I thought Metallica(!) but they don't have quite the right amount of angst. The "obvious" choice would be Nirvana except that Hole had two different periods-of-influence, the songs with the Nirvana influence and the songs with the Smashing Pumpkins influence, depending on who Courtney had most recently been sleeping with. Anyway, Metallica is too much metal, not enough angst. Staind is too much angst, not enough metal. Smashing Pumpkins seem to come close but fall just short on both counts. Maybe a cross between Metallica and Staind? (Imagine a Metallica cover of "Outside." Or, for giggles, imagine Metallic and the San Francisco symphony slaughtering "It's Been Awhile" by over-orchestration.)

Actually the best Hole analogue, speaking of who Courtney sleeps with, might be Nine Inch Nails. (She did sleep with Reznor. As she put it, "I was slumming.")

Still more also-heards from this morning:
Did indeed hear "It's Been Awhile" (live, minimalist version) as well as the end of "In the End." And that inane Faith No More masturbation song. And that one hit by Better than Ezra. I felt stoked over correctly identifying the band. And the obligatory Led Zeppelin.

Sign you're running really late: KFOG's 10@10 ends and you're still not at work. Sign you're really really late: the Howard Stern station is playing music now because their tape-delay of Stern has finally ended.

Sunday, August 04, 2002

Courtesy of my Mom
Hi Matt -- Thought this column might take you down memory lane. Love, Mom

If this link doesn't work for you (when I tried it I got an error), I can e-mail the article on request, but Bob Verdi nominates a sleeper pick for worst trade in Chicago Cubs history.

There were many throw-ins on both sides (Paul Kilgus and Curtis Wilkerson come to mind) but the gist of it was Rafael Palmeiro and Jamie Moyer for Mitch Williams. The column focuses on Moyer, who is still going strong as a soft-tossing lefty now in Seattle.

That deal marks when I stopped thinking of myself primarily as a Cub fan and started thinking of myself as a Ranger fan. (Ironic, given that neither Palmeiro nor Moyer stayed in Texas long. For that matter the Sammy Sosa deals should have somehow left me mainly a Cub fan again. But still, all the best Tulsa Drillers (Double-A) became Rangers.)

Supposedly the (first) Carlos Pena deal was when I realized I had become primarily an A's fan, although Aaron Harang for a half-season of Randy Velarde (who returned to Oakland after that season) contributes, as does actually living around here.

Still, where I live apparently isn't the only factor:
When the Rangers came to Fenway, I rooted for Texas.
When the Rangers came to San Francisco, I rooted for Texas.
When the Rangers came to Oakland... I went from being torn to fully rooting for the A's.

The first time I saw Texas play at the Coliseum, I actually had a visitor in town from Boston. For various complicated reasons the outcome of that game wasn't the first thing on my mind.
This seems out of character for Alice
But I have a hard time explaining why. Would it be implicitly insulting if I wrote, "she's too smart to be a Holy Roller"?

I also can't decide if this post was meant for a political weblog instead of the main one. But it's more about the act of producing a comic strip than a value judgment of the strip itself.

Seems as though Adams had a topic (probably from several readers) worth pursuing but only two ways to do it: Either have the prayer come from a recurring character, or introduce a new character. He got bad enough criticism when Tina the Tech Writer was too stereotypically feminine.
Broke in an unexpected way
Right now I have no greenbacks on me. I can't find my ATM card -- realized this when I went there Friday. I'm going to get a new card in 5 to 7 days. Meanwhile if I need money then I'll need to show up at a bank in person for it and so far I've been too busy/lazy to do that.

Yesterday I paid for my share of Thai food takeout in quarters.
Embarrassing Confession
Until about a week ago, I thought Avril Lavigne was the Cajun cooking guy who had his own TV show. His show was enough of a disaster that I figured a career in music couldn't be much worse.
August: Settlers
Last year I spent much of August playing Settlers of Catan. That and trying to implement a feature that seemed impossible at the time, or at least deeply unwise, only to discover later that customers love this feature (and that the code is surprisingly robust for being so rushed-and-crappy). This year... more on the new feature(s) some other time (maybe I already mentioned this), but R. is back from Europe and so he came over to play Settlers.

(So many bloggers use initials to refer to their friends/loved ones that I wonder how many people will understand that R. really does go by a single initial in day-to-day real life.)

We played not once, not twice, but seven times. Twice with four players, twice with the expansion set (five players), and thrice more with four players (the new guy replacing one of the original four). Surprisingly, I won three times. I say "surprisingly" because I've been disturbingly prone to going an entire day playing a game like this and never winning. Those times surprise me because I always figure I'm smart enough to win more often -- or at least no less often -- than random chance would suggest. Then again, my friends are all smart too, smart enough that it really does neutralize any one person's advantage.

Well, that's not always true. I do know one person who consistently wins his games (not Settlers so much as any given game) despite being in an extremely intelligent peer group. Also, I'd have expected R. to be the person who wins over and over again; indeed, he mentioned to a new acquaintance that throughout his life people have been reluctant to play games with him.

The answer is obvious: I need to introduce Mike to my roommates instead of always playing with his roommates. Add R. to the mix and see whether Mike still dominates the board/cards.
Hobbies
He likes fake college football, I like fake baseball, although I'd like it better had this team done anything in the playoffs (scroll down). Oh well, wait 'til next year (which, in real time, is on the order of next week for the season to start and a month or two to finish).