Saturday, September 28, 2002

Ask a pop culture question, get an answer in the strangest place...
The movie with "You had me from hello" and "Show me the money" was, of course, Jerry McGuire, as referenced in this personal ad (September 22), from a site linked to by Jesse Walker.

Some line from Roxanne seemed similar to "you had me from hello."

In other news, yes, Cyrano was indeed by Edmund Rostand. Confirmed this at IMDB, where I should have looked up Jerry McGuire too but was too lazy.
Flashback to the 1980s
As unintentional genre pieces go it's hard to beat this movie.

Two of us had planned to go to a party but lost the directions or perhaps just didn't feel like going (a little of both). Before that, a pleasant -- if perhaps too heavy -- meal at Chevy's, party of four. The other two had wanted to meet me. They seem like a nice couple. I hope I made a favorable impression. Maybe I did, unless either I was trying too hard or I came off as cocky or both. We'll see. Life is pretty good.

Friday, September 27, 2002

My City Was Gone
Every time I hear this song on the radio (as KFOG's currently playing it), I start to think it's the Rush Limbaugh program. (He uses that song as his radio theme. Apparently the Pretends don't mind. This actually came up once, one of those cases where a lawyer tried to raise a stink but the lawyer's own client called the dogs off.)

There's a Pavlovian response, where hearing this song makes me feel... not quite happy, not quite psyched, somewhere in between, vaguely like a cup of coffee's worth of caffeine. I wonder how many right-leaning folk (or children of right-leaning parents) get this same conditioned response.
Why some coaches are stupid
Craig linked to this football column but what interested me was one letter:

I hate watching games where an offense calls the same 1 or 2 screens 10 times each. Perhaps even worse than the redundant play calling, often defenses are still getting burned by the same play the 8th time it is called.

So, um, the fact that defenses are getting burned by it is the biggest reason why offenses keep calling it. I've found--in both tabletop football strategy games and dexterity-based videogames (say, NFL Blitz)--I do much much better if I stick to a bare minimum of plays (generally conservative pass plays: screens and safety valves) and get them down pat.

A human opponent would probably stuff me before long but against AI (computer responses) I'll get the job done.

Bottom line, the stupid thing I do is the same thing that some coaches do. Call it "West Coast offense" when it works, "a bunch of screen passes over and over again" when it doesn't work.
In other old-school news
I feel really sheepish asking this but how hard is PowerPoint to use?

Supposedly I need to prepare a slide (as everyone else in the company needs to) with my picture and a brief c.v., for corporate reasons.

I've never used PowerPoint before.

I'm ashamed to ask anyone (saving maybe our Unix sysadmin) because of the sheer irony that our (by reputation, though not by reality) best developer is so technophobic.
Old-School
Apparently I have a way of outflanking people in this department.

I'm in a make-believe baseball league that has a season draft every few weeks. The draft is held on-line -- not via Yahoo! Messenger or AOL IM but rather by Internet Relay Chat.

For reasons beyond me, there exist IRC clients for Windows. I didn't know such things existed, so I've always just signed onto a UNIX box (I still have an account on one through the benevolence of a friend-of-a-friend; in fact I have a very modest web page hosted there) and run command-line IRC.

Apparently by actually using UNIX for IRC, I've put myself in the minority.

Likewise you'll notice that my blogskin is a little... spartan. It looks as though it's now impossible to set up a blog that doesn't have one of those fancy backgrounds. So I feel a little special to be (relatively) bereft of background.
This is an allegory for something work-related but I'm not sure what
Maybe I shouldn't mock my colleague/roommate here so soon after several workdays on end of haranguing him over this strange buggy behavior that, while it really did turn out to be a problem in his code, didn't call for nastiness. (He finally confronted me about it in the car yesterday. Better to be confronted about it that for people to assume I'm that big an ass all the time.)

In any case, yesterday at work we had an afternoon cookout that I'd forgotten about. The VP of Operations hosted it, although it turns out his real name is Mike rather than Les. (His dad's name is Les, and he has the names Les and Mike in some combination where he was known as Mike all the way through childhood--vaguely amusing.)

After consuming burgers and kebabs, we went to a sandpit to play volleyball. Here comes the allegory:
I'm not all that fit a person. I did take off my sandals, roll up my khakis, and get myself down and dirty. I dove a lot, kept the ball in play a lot, probably ultimately did more harm than good (for example, when my knee collided with Jake's ankle he ended up bleeding), but got all sorts of mad props for hustle.

Chris, somewhat apologetically, stayed on the sideline. (Most of the time 14 of us were at the sandpit, with 12 people playing at a time and Chris plus whoever {rotated or was tired} laying out.) He'd forgotten about the cookout and had worn nice new pants.

(Come to think of it, I too had worn nice new pants. In fact I have the same pair on today, though they've been laundered overnight.)

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Warning: Drug Rant
For this blog, all you need to know is that Dan Savage is a good interviewer as well as a great sex columnist.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Things I saw at the Giants game tonight
Livan Hernandez, threatening to set a dubious loss mark (would have been one of the few times that a pitcher for a playoff team led a league in losses), instead pitched a two-hit shutout.

Hernandez also helped San Francisco turn a 3-1-5 double play. I kid you not. Runners first and second, one out, runners broke on the pitch. J.T. Snow dove to his right for the ball and flipped to Hernandez covering. Livan pretended to stop paying attention -- head down, lumbering towards the right field line -- but then in one motion turned and fired a bullet to third base to catch Phil Nevin making too wide a turn.

Reggie Sanders hit two home runs. Sanders is a stiff, even as lefty-mashers go. Tonight he was fine, though, and against righties!

A spilled beer from behind me and a fluid mechanics lesson, as the beer seeped down four stadium-row plateaus.

Other than the Sanders homers, none of the Giant runs scored on a hit. In the bottom of the 3-1-5 DP inning, David Bell beat out a bunt, then took second on a sac bunt by Livan, then only went to third on Kenny Lofton's double (flare to right, looked catchable), but scored on a Rich Aurilia sac fly.

People chant "Dodgers suck" when the Padres are in town. Nobody cares enough to bother with "Padres suck."

Some high school band must have played the anthem before I got there. They were all in their matching blue tops in a section of center-right bleachers. They tried and failed to start a wave. My exit time and choice of exit happened to coincide with theirs, right as they were getting instruments from storage. Also joining us was a guy with rabbit ears -- Bunny, the bleacher mascot -- who led us (his friend, me, and one other non-bandie surrounded by bandies) in a Who singalong.

Some drunkards who parked where I parked (I only hope the driver was sober) were walking up the street shouting "Get yer deep-fried mullets here! Short in front, long in back! Fresh-roasted mullets!"

As I blundered through the streets of SF (there's no efficient, traffic-avoiding way to go from that part of downtown to the western part of the city itself; I got caught in 280-southward madness), I got to hear both the Giants' postgame show and the A's postgame show, with highlights from both games.

(Oakland lost; both the wildcard races and the west division races are still unsettled, including -- most surprisingly -- San Francisco's sudden proximity to Arizona atop the NL West.)
Even though it's almost impossible to offend me
I am (having just walked past it as I came home) quite deeply offended by certain "ripped-from-the-headlines" television.

What, reality itself wasn't dramatic enough for you? Wasn't brutal enough? Wasn't made-for-TV enough?

There are at least two documentaries about real life (where by "real life" of course I mean last September) that I still have yet to see, and need to see, before I'll even consider indulging in... would you even call it escapism? What are you escaping from... life would be that much better with Charlie Sheen in office?

In fairness, this is a show I make a point of not watching (or, apparently, mentioning by name). Life is too short and there are too many better things to do. Maybe life is too short to be even blathering about it. Got it off my chest though.

And whatzisname should stick to doing mushrooms.
More on the bong photo
Scary groupie here. I have newfound respect for Grant Roberts refusing to be blackmailed. The photo is still priceless though.
Props to Lon Simmons from an unlikely source
This piece ran on a conservative web site.

Don't get me wrong, I like Ernie Harwell, but I don't even think Harwell is the best broadcaster to call it a career after 2002.
Ironic spam QOTD
As the Giants continue their quest to bring the 2002
Postseason back to the bay area...


--from an e-mail urging me to mark my calendar for when SF playoff tix go on sale.

So, was the postseason in the Bay Area in 2001? Why yes it was. And which team accounted for this? And will that team be back in the playoffs in 2002?

So yeah, Giants, knock yourselves out to bring the 2002 National League postseason to the Bay Area...

I'll probably buy tix if I can get through. Either way I still have my A's strips.
Color Schemes
Courtesy of Kubi, compare the colors on the tables in this article to the colors of your favorite Monopoly set.

I see the Virginia group, the Connecticut group, and the Marvin Gardens group in that order.
The evolution of dry wit
Chris is about half the age of our VP of... hmm, I forget the VP guy's exact title.

He's a likable guy, extremely laconic, nice sense of humor.

Just now we were both in the men's room and I washed my hands split seconds before he did. The soap dispenser has come loose from its wallmount, and I inadvertently knocked it off while dispensing.

Thing come off again? I guess we're all too heavyhanded around here.

Exactly the wordplay Chris would indulge in.

j'accuse!
Being able to send an e-mail with that subject line almost makes software developing worthwhile.

I had a feature that worked fine until Chris refactored/optimized code in a section that my feature relies on. Things appeared to work fine on the pages he worked on but not the pages I worked on. Then I was able to show that things weren't as fine on his pages as he thought. I have both the theory and the practice for why the problem is on his end.

I suppose that means that the bugs he inherited from our recently-departed colleagues, I inherit (borrow?) from him.

In other news one of my co-workers has a copy of Lucky magazine protruding from her handbag. I've known (by some definition of "know") exactly one person in my life who I coul dpicture getting Lucky (see also this parody). The fact that this magazine exists makes my head spin a little.
Headline so obvious, I didn't even follow the link to the article
Report: Jordan not listening to his critics.

To be a superstar requires so much self-confidence that it spills into arrogance. Of course he's not listening to his critics.

The alternate view is that you listen to your critics in case you're wrong and because they might have some good ideas. Seems to me though that playing (or even owning) a basketball team is less about ideas than about hard work.

Does Mark Cuban listen to his critics? Yes and no: Won't acknowledge the ones attacking him but might take their advice to heart. Not that he'd ever admit it. Or Jordan.
This seems like a good idea
Clever suggestion by Mickey Kaus. (Caution: quasi-political. Then again, so was the very end of Tuesday Morning Quarterback.
A rough form of justice was achieved
This case worked out just the way it should have.

Could we deploy some high school cheerleaders to Iraq?

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

The All #25 Team
(cutting and pasting from what I just posted to Baseball Primer)

The following all wear #25 for major league teams, according to rosters on ESPN:
C Rob Fick
1B Jim Thome/Rafael Palmeiro/Carlos Delgado
2B Russ Johnson
3B Troy Glaus
SS Desi Relaford
LF Barry Bonds
CF Jim Edmonds/Andruw Jones
RF Jay Gibbons
DH Jason Giambi

PH David Dellucci
PH Derrek Lee
OF Troy O'Leary
OF Joe Borchard
UT Dave Hansen
C Sandy Alomar, Jr.
C Tom Lampkin

SP Joe Mays
RP Scott Strickland

Manager-Bruce Kimm
Hitting Coach- Dwight Evans
Granting that the manager sucks and the pitching is thin, you'll have a hard time coming up with a better all-number team.

Hey, 75 is a multiple of 25, could we add in Barry Zito and any good pitchers who wear #50?

Then again, I hear Nomar and friends griping from the #5 bench about just who's a multiple of whom.
Write your own punchline
Vikings coach Mike Tice said he couldn't comment until he knew more.

"I'm still trying to figure out what's going on,'' Tice said.


Story here but really, it could be anything to do with that franchise lately.
"being totally stupid is not a crime"
Boys play with fire. Courtesy of Paul.
Drop or Not A Drop?
Had a lively discussion yesterday about the end of this game. I called it a drop. Others disagreed. Well, at least one columnist sides with me:

Trailing by six with 30 seconds left, Detroit reached the Green Bay 35 in the debut game at Ford Field. Joey Harrington hit TE Mikhael Ricks in stride with a beauty pass at the goal line for the win. Storybook ending -- magnificent new field, heralded new quarterback, huge comeback victory! Ricks dropped the ball as if it were a CIA anthrax sample.
Coffee, Donuts, and Positive-Sum Games
This story is remarkably similar to this one.

Monday, September 23, 2002

"I don't think they get Wheel of Fortune here."
Fascinating story here. The second half is all political but that's really not at all why I linked to it. Just an interesting story, whose moral is unclear to me.
Huh
Instapundit had a topless photo to go with this post; now it's gone.
Carleton College, call your office
A new record; isn't there some annual game at Carleton that used to own this record?
Satan Pleads Guilty to "Carnal Knowledge"
Rape Charges Dropped Against Devil

(At least, that's what the headline reads if you get to it in time before they fix it.)

Found on Opinion Journal's Best of the Web.

NOTE: Arguably the most disturbing thing about this article is the Bernie Mac ActiveX ad I got.
Food Lion
How many things wrong can you find with this article?

(One hint: do the math!)

Sunday, September 22, 2002

Fortunate Son
They're using it now for a blue jean commercial.

Words can't describe how appalled I am.

The best part is just how badly the ad misunderstands the "patriotic" spin on the verse they use. It's light years worse than the whole Reagan "Born in the U.S.A." thing.

(And yes, you know me, I like Reagan. That's why the mixup was so painful.)
Contemplation
I'm in the mood to be overanalytical. I'm in the mood to be wishy-washy, to seek advice from others, to talk about myself at length. I'm in the mood to post reams to the TMI-blog, though I will not actually do so. The long and the short of it is that I had a really good time today and I think it's an unambiguously good thing but self-doubt remains.

All these thoughts raced through my head as I got on the highway just now, but I found the perfect cure for them at the perfect time. Weeks ago you may recall that I impulsively added Radio Disney (after an alternative DJ was mocking it) to my AM pre-sets. I started flipping stations when the A's post-game show went to commercial. Caught Pink's "Get The Party Started" but didn't really think about what station I'd found it on. Turns out this was the Disney Radio Countdown and that the next song was one that I'd never ever heard before:

THE HAMSTER DANCE

This left me (mercifully) incapable of any thinking at all, much less overanalyzing, for most of my drive. Then when I did lapse back into needing to overanalyze (really, just needing good-old-fashioned validation), I bugged Kubi and his fiancee for awhile, and then I even got to bug Cindy (having finally added her # to my cellphone settings when we went to the same ballgame ten days ago).

Then I got a situationally appropriate song stuck in my head, which would have been perfect except that instead of the Motown version, my head stuck me with the crappy Phil Collins cover. Aargh.
Pairs that frighten me
After the two videos I did see earlier today, I caught enough of the next one to see the credit and immediately change channels. Artist credit was Santana featuring Michelle Branch. Nothing good can come of that. Maybe nothing good can come of "X featuring Y" period.

It's still not nearly as bad as making John Ritter and Katie Seagall a TV couple. That's just wrong. (And also seriously over-advertised on the radio stations I listen to.)