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Blog Archives for June 2008

Season 3 Game 4

Monday, June 30th, 2008 - Comments (0) in Life, Softball

Yesterday our softball game got rained out in the third inning. The weather was beautiful all morning and nice when we got there before the game to warm up. As we were getting ready before the game, a breeze blew in that was probably 15-20 degrees colder than the air around us and in the matter of about 5 minutes it went from being lower 80s down to about 60.

It was so windy that just about every pitch was blown off course and ended up being a ball; it was a total walk-fest. When the game was finally called in the third inning the score was like 10-8 and 90% of those runs were walks.

When it first started raining we all huddled under near by trees. Every time it lightened up and we went back out it would start pouring even harder. The final straw came when I was up at bat. It was raining practically sideways and so hard I couldn't see because the rain was getting in my eyes and messing with my contacts. At the last pitch I had to shut one of my eyes or risk losing my contact lens, so I had no depth perception and couldn't tell where the ball was. I ended up hitting it way late and fouled, but the guy that went to catch it slip and fell on his face. Once the umpire saw that he called it quits.

World War Z

Thursday, June 26th, 2008 - Comments (5) in Books, Life

zombieI just finished reading World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brookes. It's the sequel to his 2003 Zombie Survival Guide and is basically a bunch of recollections by survivors of the war between the entire world and the millions of zombies that almost take over in the near future.

I thought it was an interesting way of writing a story; you see it at different points in time, in different countries and from the perspective of very different people. These perspectives ranged from a doctor in no-where China before the official outbreak of the plague examining "patient zero" to a US soldier on the front line trying to destroy a zombie mob thousands strong that was slowly advancing.

The logistics of what an actual zombie outbreak would be like were very well thought out in this book and many of them had never occurred to me before. They might not be too dangerous on their own, but in numbers they can do some serious damage. Even if one sees you, it'll moan attracting any other ones within earshot. Then those will hear it, start moaning and make for you too. Before you know it, you have a mob after you.

lego zombie

One of the recollections was from a general-type army guy who was discussing possible tactics for fighting an army of zombies. Normal armies can be defeated strategically by cutting off necessary resources; you disrupt their supply chain (food, ammo, raw materials for weapons, manpower) and eventually they won't be able to continue. Zombies don't need any supplies: no food necessary, they don't use weapons so no ammo or guns needed. The manpower issue was also unique because every time they would take one of our soldiers, our numbers would go down but the soldier would join their side increasing their numbers.

If you're interested in zombies (who isn't?), this is a must-read.

Season 3 Game 3

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008 - Comments (0) in Life, Softball

We played our arch-rivals Agatina's on Sunday for game three. It was a pretty good game considering we had some key people missing, but I have a feeling they had some key people missing too. In fact I can think of about 4 people from last year that weren't there, maybe they had to work.

I think the final score was 5-3. We have this habit of starting really strong and tapering off. We scored those 5 runs in the first two innings, and nothing for the other five. Luckily we were able to hold them off the whole time.

Street View

Thursday, June 19th, 2008 - Comments (5) in Computers, Life, Nerd Stuff

In case you've been living under a rock and are unaware, Google Maps has a feature called "Street View" where if available you can see (and move around in) pictures of locations you're mapping. First the maps were awesome, then they added the satellite view which was even more awesome and now you can see what your destination will look like from the driver's seat!

I haven't actually seen one of these cars in the wild yet, but they are around and snapping pictures in my area. I looked up my home address and was fairly surprised to see that they had streetview media available for my neighborhood. We've been living in this house for just over a year and since Street View is sort of new project I wasn't that surprised to see our cars in the garage. Their satellite data however is more than a few years old (depending on the area), but I can see that as being way more expensive to keep up to date.

Home StreetView

Yesterday I looked up Harley in Google Maps and saw that they now have Street View data available in that area too. So I took a look to see if anyone I know was walking through the parking lot at the time, and realized based on where I was parked that they must have driven by in the past week!

Harley StreetView

There are only two shady parking spots at Harley now; the ones in the picture that have cars in them near the street. I've only been parking there since school let out and that was a week ago.

Buggy Peaches

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008 - Comments (3) in Life

Remember my peach tree that I was so excited about when it started growing peaches? Yeah, apparently oriental fruit moths have taken a fancy to it. We've noticed a bunch of the peaches have clear crystals on them, like something was punching holes in them and the juice would leak out and crystallize. Then I noticed some of the peaches were getting eaten by bugs; they had brown spots and holes and such. Then I went out to check on it and I noticed 10 or 15 peaches scattered around on the ground around the tree. At first I thought maybe birds were yanking them off, but I found a couple diseased looking ones still on the tree and they were just hanging on by the skin of their teeth. According to the intarweb those symptoms are indicative of the oriental fruit moth.

Yesterday I pulled off a small peach that was just dangling and cut it in half. Sure enough there was a little grub in the middle. What I find curious is that I did the same thing to a bigger peach that was really stuck to the tree, but looked like those moths used it for a blow-up doll, and it was fine inside. So maybe just the peaches that fall off are the bad ones.

Either way a co-worker told me that you can mix up some home-made bug repellant that works really well for fruit trees. Basically you just mix 1-2 tablespoons of liquid soap with 1 quart of water and spray it on the tree. The soap is unpleasant to the bugs and they leave it alone. I looked this up online to confirm, but no sites would say how often you have to do this. I would imagine you would have to re-spray after each rain, but who knows.

peaches

Used and abused

clean inside

Season 3 Game 2

Monday, June 16th, 2008 - Comments (0) in Life, Softball

Ugh, we lost game 2 with a score of 7-8. Normally a close game like that would be a good thing, but we did not play very well at all. He had some major fielding problems; one particular inning we just couldn't get an out. We were finally saved when the batter hit in in-field fly ball. Our second base player missed the catch, but there is some in-field fly rule which caused it to be an out anyway.

We were actually winning for most of the game, they started bad and got better while we started strong and ended up pretty weak.

This was a rather unique game because of the number of players we had; just about everyone who said they'd play showed up. Usually it's just the same old people plus or minus a couple. As a result a bunch of people had to sit out for the first half and go in the second. Hopefully next week we'll play better and kick some ass.

Season 3 Game 1

Sunday, June 8th, 2008 - Comments (0) in Life, Softball

SoftballI've mentioned before that the summer softball season is starting up and today was our first game! I have no idea who we played, what organization they represented, but we killed them; the mercy rule was put into effect. I don't know if the mercy rule is a standard thing in other leagues, but basically it says the game is over if there is a 12 run lead by the 5th inning. I think the final score was 14 to 2.

We played really well; not many fielding errors, no wild throws and we were very patient at bat. I got up to bat twice during our five innings and I got a pretty good hit the first time. I was able to put it pretty far into right field (even though I bat righty) and they totally weren't expecting that. I got walked the second time (remember I said patience) which was great because in this league if a guy walks and a girl is next in the lineup, he gets two bases! I've heard it's some deterrent to them walking the guys who might have big hits and just letting the girls hit.

I saw the other team warming up on the next field and they looked like they were good, but they had some problems. The guys were all decent but it seemed like they just got all their girlfriends to play since it was a co-ed team. I'm not saying having a few warm bodies on your team is a terrible thing, everyone has to learn somehow, but they had quite a few. I shouldn't say all, their best player was some girl they had at shortstop. Her first hit was a dud, but she smacked the crap out of it on her second. My friend Curtis hit the ball hard at her every time he was up at bat and she caught it every time, he wasn't too pleased with that.

Over all this was a great first game, not just because we won, but because we played well and it set a great climate for the start of the season.

Doing the Dance

Sunday, June 8th, 2008 - Comments (0) in Computers, Life, Rants, Work

It's that time of year again, where I have to order replacement workstations and servers for the school. Nothing is more annoying than playing the quote game with manufacturers. You email/call some guy from some company and say "Hey I need 40 computers with these specs, send me a quote", and get an email later (hopefully that same day) with some outrageous price. Then you repeat the process with a different manufacturer.

Once you have quotes from a few different places, you start setting them against each other. You take the lowest price and tell others that companyX is beating them and see if they can do any better. They'll usually come back with a slightly better price. Then you repeat the entire process over and over again until you can't squeezing any more deals out of them and you finally go with whoever gave you the best price.

One of the companies I'm looking at for servers this year is HP, and I'm kind of astounded how difficult it's been to get an accurate quote from them. I went on their website and chatted with some support rep, gave him the specs I want and he said someone would be in contact with me about it. Later that day (at 10pm) I get an email from some rep with a quote attached. The quote was for $4k and the specs were no where near what I asked for. She quoted me for 1 dual-core processor instead of 2 quad-core processors and 1GB of memory instead of the 24GB of memory I asked for, among other incorrect specs. I replied reiterating the needed specs and asked her to update the quote. When she finally got back to me, the new quote is for $20k!! Obviously something was messed up since that was more than twice what everyone else (Dell and IBM) gave me, but I couldn't tell since the quote isn't itemized. Finally a few days later I got an accurate (and competitive) quote from that HP rep, I can't wait to see how hard it'll be to get the price down.