Archive for August, 2007

Fantasy Football.

So I’m in two fantasy football leagues this year. One is the office league, which hasn’t drafted yet, and only has five teams signed up so far. The other league, with Rob and some other friends, we did a live draft yesterday, with the big board and everything - kudos to Mikey for setting that whole thing up.

Anyway, since I don’t really know that much about football, and I didn’t want the rest of the crew to figure that out, I started poking around yesterday morning, and putting together a list of people I’d look into getting - the obvious ones like Tom Brady or Ladanian Tomlinson, down to wideouts who might be around in the tenth round - all together it was about 50 or 60 names, most of whom I figured I’d never get.

Rather than write this down like a chump, I was going to email it to myself and read it on my phone. But that wouldn’t allow me to remove players when they were drafted, so instead I spent the next hour to two coming up with this. It’s a quick little web app - 68 lines of code and one database table with 3 columns. You can’t add anything, or re-sort the list, basically all you can do is look over the options and delete things. It’s ugly and has no security at all, but it worked on my phone, and you bet your ass that thing helped my draft.
I turned off the deleting for the moment, because it would all be gone the first time Dustin or Rob looked at it if I didn’t. I also re-imported some of the data from before the draft, so you can see it with more data intact (I think about 6 of my original ranked players didn’t get picked, and thus weren’t deleted).

Neat little application, through, in my admittedly biased opinion, and with a little bit of work I could use it as a general-purpose to-do list, particularly for shopping lists and the like. At the very least, I’m going to plug more data in there and use it for the work draft next week.

Happy Birthday

To Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA. The Genius turns 41 today, so go listen to Liquid Swords to celebrate.

Football season starts now.

And the Ravens are making the Eagles look like assholes. The O-Line doesn’t seem to protecting McNair as well as I’d like, but other than that, I’m feeling 16-0 and shutting out the Cowboys in the Superbowl, 41-0, when they muder Tony Romo in the second half.

OK, Eagles offense looking a little better on this drive. Welp.

UPDATE: Couple of bad plays on that drive, but our second-stringers are leaving the Eagles second-stringers in flaming ruin. 19 shut outs and 12 on-field murders this year, book it.

Yeah, you should probably stop wasting my time.

I wasn’t sure if I should post this, since it’s a) horrible lame E/N, and b) kind of a call out, but whatever.

I got a phone call at work last week, from someone I haven’t seen in a while. We used to work together, back in my working-retail-during-college days, but fell out of touch shortly thereafter, given my propensity to forget people exist if I don’t see them every day (speaking of which, I need to call my parents).

Anyway, I don’t answer the phone, because I’m at work, but I check the voicemail when I get off. Apparently her computer died, and she needs help fixing it, or at least for me to tell her what broke.

This actually doesn’t bother me. I have to help Sean with his computing woes every time he breaks something, but it usually turns into a thing after that - we hang out, eat some food, drink some beers, it’s a pretty good way to kill an evening. The dude is genuinely grateful that his stuff is getting fixed, and what the hell, I like fixing things. Not saying I want to do help desk for a living ever again, but problem solving, particularly tech problems, is why I got into the field I’m in.

So, anyway, I call her back, and the conversation goes right to business. Just “Hello”, and then “So here’s the problem…”. Not even a cursory “How’s work?” or anything like that. It doesn’t bode well, but I explain what I think the problem is (for the curious, hitting the power switch does nothing, not even spin up the fans, so I’m pretty sure the power supply croaked), and give the most detailed description I can on how to fix it. And what do I get for it?

“Ok, thanks. Talk to you later.” Conversation over.

I’m sorry, but what the hell is that? If I can squeeze answering your question into my schedule, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for you budget time for some small talk or something. You know, at least pretend you aren’t calling specifically because there’s a fire to put out.

Look, I know I’m pretty much the last person allowed to criticize anyone for their behavior, but this is just insulting. It says, with no degree of subtlety, that “we will only talk when I want something from you”. I’d have to be out of my mind to think that was a fair deal.

That said: Whatever, it really isn’t a big deal. I’m not going to hold a grudge over it, and in all matters not-fixing-someone-elses-computer, I’m (schedule permitting) down with hangouts. But don’t take it for granted that I’m going to field these questions out of the blue, for someone, functionally speaking, that I don’t really know.

Contrast this with another former co-worker I haven’t seen or talked to, this one for close to three years, who randomly sent me a Facebook invite yesterday. Even though I generally hate social networking, and it’s more than likely a fetishistic “collect em all” sort of thing, it’s an unexpected surprise, and maybe we’ll end up hanging out. Probably not, since I don’t even know which state she lives at this point, but you never know.

That’s how you get back in touch, folks. By acknowledging that we might actually be friends, or at least interact in a social context. Not by pretending I’m your personal fucking tech support.

Rant over. Back to not updating but every two weeks.

Are they even trying anymore?

I’m sitting here watching Shark Week, because I love the Discovery Channel, and I see this commercial, that might be the dumbest ever.

It’s for some Mitsubishi SUV, the currently vogue “crossover” type, which is basically a Station Wagon with pretensions of being a half-assed Jeep when it grows up. I hate these things, but that’s unrelated to my point here - I don’t even remember the name of the thing, but frankly, I don’t care. It’s one of the many uninspired and unnecessary such vehicles on the road.

The commercial posits the following: a family, with requisite rebellious skateboarding teen sons, are going on vacation. To a dilapidated shack in the desert. The punchline is that there’s an empty swimming pool out back. The kids shred to their little hearts’ content, oblivious to how hollow their dreams will ring in a few short years, when their knees start to go bad, and dropping out of community college begins to look like a bad choice.

This touching story aside, what do we learn about the car itself? Two things, as a matter of fact:

- Magnesium shift paddles.

- 30 gig music and navigation system.

That’s it. The paddle shift is a nice touch, if you want to play Formula 1 with your four-speed automatic, but I’m actually mildly insulted that the geniuses in marketing think I give a shit what metal the paddles are made out of. Not “100 millisecond shift times” or “seven-speed transmission”, but “the paddles are made of exotic metals”. That is seriously the best you have to offer?

The other major point is that the car is a sub-standard iPod. Great. The two people who care about that feature, don’t already have a MP3 player, and would make the huge mistake of buying a Mitubishi, both of them will be thrilled.

It’s a welcome change from the ads that play on financing deals and leasing, and I’m sort of pleased that they’re competing on features, but aren’t there better points you could be advertising on?

Anyway, back to Shark Week, but that was just so thunderously stupid, and this blog so seldom updated, that I had to share.

UPDATE: Saw the Ad again. It’s the 2007 Outlander.