Monthly Archives: October 2012

Blogger on Hiatus

I need a break while I focus on the new job and regain some sense of balance. I will be back, so keep your hands off my stuff!

While I’m gone, feel free to browse through the archives… there may (or may not) be a secret treasure map encoded in previous posts… anything is possible…


Target Field: First Time!

(Click on pics for full-size.)

The new job has  continued to really suck up my creative juices, which has made it very hard to write blog posts. It’s not for lack of ideas, I have months worth of those in the pipeline. The problem is that my job now consists of writing lots of formal documents and endless emails to try to get others to implement designs.

That makes other writing seem like more of the same; just another day banging out thoughts and ideas. Not fun. I miss the fun. Unless this job stabilizes somehow, I may have to all but give up blogging until I retire.  (Fortunately, that could be as soon as this June… I’m very tempted!)

Anyway, for now, a post from last year from my all-but-defunct baseball blog:

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The Truth About Gourdians

Today you get a re-post of a post from last year at this time. And it was a re-post then, as well. It’s piece I wrote several years ago for a writing exercise in another venue. I thought it turned out pretty well, and I still like it after so many years, so I thought it was worth sharing again.

The original writing exercise (and it was just an exercise; there were no winners or judges) was to write a short piece from the point of view of a pumpkin. The exercise was given to us around this time—fall—just before Halloween. (It was the same guy who gave us an exercise to write a piece from the point of view of our car!)

Most writers took the tack that pumpkins suffered horribly at this time of year. Naturally, I took a different tack, and so I give you…

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Giant Monday!

So there was a small happy hour thing after work where I got to see a couple of friends I haven’t seen in a long while and eat some tasty appetizers. It was at a place I’d never visited, so that was an added plus. The onion rings were very tasty, the deep-fried cheese ravioli and the jalapeno cheese curds were pretty good, and the wings weren’t bad.

Then I got a speeding ticket on the way home. Had me dead to rights, so I can’t complain. Gonna be expensive, but such is life. Considering I’d had a couple of beers, it could have gotten sticky, so I’m really not complaining. Two beers, lots of food and three hours, so I’m very sure I was fully sober and legal, but the cop could have made it ugly.

Then there was some sort of political debate thingy on TV I felt compelled to watch before I could turn to what I really wanted to watch… The Giants winning the NLCS!

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Still of the Heart

I usually lean towards descriptive writing more than prescriptive writing. I feel more comfortable describing my views and experiences than I do trying to prescribe a path for others.

But some blog articles I’ve read in the last months have made me wonder if I should try a prescriptive approach. This is something new for me, and I already sense a challenging path. How likely is it that someone who would benefit will read such a post, and how likely is it they would follow any prescription I might offer? And of course, what makes me think I can offer any prescription for another person’s life?

In any event, for whatever it’s worth, this prescription is labeled for those who feel dissatisfied with life, who feel a gap between what is and what they feel ought to be.

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Infinity is Funny

You probably have some idea of what infinity means. Something that is infinite goes on forever. But it might surprise you to know that there are different kinds of infinity, and some are bigger than others!

As a simple example, a small circle is infinite in the sense that you can loop around and around the circle forever. At the same time, your entire path along the circle is bounded in the small area of the circle. Compare that to the straight line that extends to infinity. If you  travel that line, you follow a path that goes forever in some direction.

What if we draw a larger circle outside the small circle. If there are an infinite number of points on the small circle and an infinite number of points on the large circle, does the larger circle have the same number of points as the small one? [The answer is yes.]

To understand all this, we have to first talk a bit about numbers.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

This seems to be my week for having blog contests catch my attention. Last Saturday the Count of Three captured me, and today it’s the Photo Challenge from WordPress.

I’m not normally a photographer, so I don’t usually pay much attention to that Challenge, but this week’s reminded me of a photo I’ve been looking for an excuse to use.

The Challenge read:

SILHOUETTE. The proper definition of a silhouette is “the outline of a body viewed as circumscribing a mass.” In photography, often we achieve that effect by putting light behind the object whose silhouette we want to capture, effectively darkening out the features of the subject instead of highlighting them.

And I immediately thought of this (admittedly a bit of a gag entry):

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Little Big Town

Tonight a very brief post to introduce you to a band I really love and to share with you one of their tunes that us very close to the top of my favorites list.

The name of the band is Little Big Town, and I first encountered them on the cable music channel Palladia. I  happened to channel surf into a concert video that featured four musicians I didn’t recognize playing with someone I immediately recognized (for his unique guitar-playing style, if nothing else): Lindsey Buckingham.

Any Rock and Roll fan knows who Lindsey Buckingham is: one of the key members of Fleetwood Mac!

Buckingham is an amazing guitarist, definitely one of the best, and that unique string-flicking guitar-playing style of his is always fun to watch (I cannot for the life of me figure out how he does it).

So naturally I stopped surfing and started watching, and I’m very glad I did! It led me to discover that the four musicians behind Buckingham comprised a country rock band, called Little Big Town!

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Baseball vs Other Sports

After another long day at work, I’m watching the Detroit Tigers take on the New York Yankees in game 3 of the ALCS. The Tigers won both earlier games, and I understand no team has come back from an 0-2 start. With Justin Verlander on the mound, the Tigers have a very good shot at winning, which would put the Yankees in an even deeper hole.

Putting a little icing on my oatmeal cookie, the San Francisco Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals last night, so those two are tied 1-1 in the NLCS. Dare I dream that the World Series will be Giants vs Tigers?  (I do, I do!)  The Championship series is best of seven, so—assuming the Tigers win tonight—they just need to win one more game.

Tonight I’m republishing an article I wrote earlier this year on my baseball blog. This is about some of the reasons I’ve come to love this sport so much.

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Computer Haiku

It’s shaping up to be a killer week. I thought my first task in the new job would involve designing a system, but it turns out much of the business process analysis hasn’t been done yet. Given that they have a target date of December, I have my work cut out for me.

So this is likely to be a very light week blogsphere-wise (and I hate to think it could actually get worse in the weeks ahead).

If I post much at all, it’s likely to be fairly light, possibly pulled from my past writing or maybe even some golden oldies from the days of the USENET era.

With that in mind, here’s a set of computer haiku error messages that made the rounds back in the day. Enjoy!

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