good wicked weekend
Posted on 2005-11-07 09:41:00
Tags: baseball baseballstats
So I had a good weekend. The plan for the weekend was to see "Wicked" in Houston on Friday, visit Vickie and Mae-Mae (sp?) (some kids that David homeschooled a while ago) on Saturday, and go to the Renaissance Festival on Sunday. Mission accomplished!
Friday - Unfortunately the show was at 8:00 so we decided to leave Austin by 3:30 to make sure we got there on time (and we could meet up with abstractseaweed and Leigh Ann and carpool). This meant I had to leave work at 3, which would have maybe been OK except that I was kinda in the middle of debugging something important with someone else and I had to 'fess up I was leaving early, at which he was not terribly pleased. (the good news is that the problem turned out to be nothing) Anyway, so djedi and wildrice13 and I drove down there, and all was going well until we stopped on 290 for an hour and 15 minutes (there was apparently an accident a few miles ahead). So we turned off the car, switched drivers, got out, etc. Which was OK, except now we were worried about making the show. After traffic started moving again, I was driving as fast as I could while still being safe. We stopped at Wendy's to grab dinner and eat it on the way. Note to self: if you have to eat in the car while driving, don't get a hamburger! Get chicken nuggets or something.
Anyway, we made it to the show skipping both of our planned stops (abstractseaweed ended up not coming) and made it with 10 minutes to spare. The show was quite good - djedi and I had only listened to the soundtrack, so we had a basic idea of the story, but we missed a lot of important points!
- Who Nessa was - she's referenced in a few songs, but she turns out to be pretty important.
- Elphaba's mother cheated on her father, not the other way around. In retrospect, this should have been painfully obvious.
- The bit in "Dancing Through Life" where Glinda tells Elphaba that she and this hat "deserve each other". Hah!
- Boq is pretty mean/evil, it turns out.
- Glinda and Elphaba are friends at the end.
- The ending is actually surprisingly happy from what I expected. It was a little too happy for me at first, but I guess it's OK.
Anyway, the singing was top-notch (although there was a time or two where there should have been a "moment" between the singers and the orchestra that was a little out of sync) - even the random chorus members had fabulous voices. I really liked the "As Long As You're Mine" song between Elphaba and Fiero...they both had especially nice voices. The lighting was very well done - lots of colors and patterns and whatnot to really set the mood of particular scenes.
Anyway, enough about that. It was very good, and I was reminded that I should get into more musicals (and thanks to onefishclappin for giving the "Wicked" soundtrack to djedi :-) )
Saturday - We slept late and watched "Eulogy", which was pretty good although a bit weird. We then met Vickie and Mae-Mae at the Cheesecake Factory in Sugarland - unfortunately I had eaten a lot at lunch so I wasn't too hungry, but still managed to split a piece of cheesecake with djedi. Mmm! Anyway, they're cute kids, and I got a couple pictures that I'll put up sometime this week.
Sunday - Went to church, picked up wildrice13 and headed out to the Renaissance Festival, which is a good hour and a half away from Houston. By the time we got there we were starving for lunch, so we ate, saw a few shows (including the Ded Bob Show, always a classic) and walked around a lot. Unfortunately, it was very warm, so we left a little early and headed back to Austin.
That's about it. I wrote a baseball Win Expectancy grapher that uses the probabilities from my Win Expectancy finder, so I'm probably about done with that project for now.
quick update, since there have been lots of posts today
Music: various Michael Jackson songs (IMH)
Posted on 2005-10-28 17:09:00
destroyerj, another friend, and I went to the Michael Jackson singalong at the Alamo Drafthouse last night. It was very fun - lots of dancing and singing. Although my voice is quite sore today (although I'm not hoarse, and my voice hasn't cracked yet! Yay...) I bought a DVD of all the music videos, so that's fun.
George Takei (Sulu on Star Trek) and Sheryl Swoopes (WNBA player, 3-time MVP, plays for the Houston Cometa both came out this week. Good for them! And maybe this will help ease the stigma of gays in sports.
vote next tuesday!
Posted on 2005-10-28 12:21:00
For people that are registered to vote in Texas, there's an election next Tuesday (November 8). Please vote No on Proposition 2, which would not only ban gay marriage in the Texas Constitution, but prevent any "legal status identical or similar to marriage". So, clearly civil unions are not permitted, but perhaps even legal documents that would give djedi and I some rights associated with marriage (visitation rights in the hospital, next-of-kin type status, etc.)
This is a special election, so turnout will likely be low, which means that we do have a chance to reject this amendment!
You can go to friendsvote.org to find your precinct number and polling place.
'Topes lose! 'Topes lose!
Music: nothing yet
Posted on 2005-10-27 09:22:00
Tags: astros worldofwarcraft
So even before the Astros lost yesterday, I decided to take a more Zen approach to watching them lose. I mean, last year was the first year they won a playoff series at all, so winning the pennant and just making it to the World Series is definitely a step forward. And it would have been nice if they had won at least one game (so they could have played another game at home), but that's just gravy. They had a good season, and we should be happy about that. It's tough to get over the frustration of being so close to winning every single game in the World Series, but that's the way it goes (and the fact that they didn't win any probably means the White Sox were a better team). So I've made my peace.
I took a few sick hours yesterday and went home early - I wasn't feeling horrible, but a combination of allergies and being tired was enough to make me completely incapable of concentrating. So I watched a few episodes of "Murphy Brown" (which is on Nick at Nite now! Very nostalgic for me...my mom loved that show...) and took a nap. Magic was pretty fun, then came back and played a little WoW (mostly gathering silk), although I had to play on David's laptop because I couldn't download the patch. Grr.
Tonight is the Michael Jackson singalong! I am much anticipatory.
Good day so far - stock is doing decently after good earnings yesterday, and Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to the Supreme Court.
Music: Clandestine - "Babylon"
Posted on 2005-10-25 13:53:00
Things are going well! I had a bunch of stuff at work to take care of this morning, which flustered me a bit, but I'm done with most of them. Yay!
The "Firefly" theme was IMH most of yesterday. Luckily listening to music today chased it away. I want to start talking like they do in Firefly, but it's hard to come up with examples when I'm not watching. I'll need to work on it.
When I get old, I want to have white hair. It looks so...distinguished or something. Is that weird? The shepherd on Firefly has white hair.
Just another day...
Mood: confused (at work)
Music: Phil Collins - "Another Day In Paradise"
Posted on 2005-10-24 13:06:00
Tags: baseball astros baseballstats
Wow...the weekend did not treat the Astros well. Down 2-0 isn't horrible, though, especially because they're coming home. And Berkman has had two good games, which is promising. The walk-off home run last night hurt, but not nearly as bad as the Pujols one. I'm mostly just happy they made it here at this point. (although I do hope they win a few at home!)
I threw together a PHP script, so you can now calculate baseball Win Expectancy given a situation. I may work on it some more at some point...
The last week or so, I've had some trouble getting to sleep - nothing serious but it's been taking me at least half an hour to get to sleep. I'm gonna try avoiding caffeine this week and see if that helps.
Edit: meant to link to this article about win expectancy. So now I did!
Mood: hopped up on baseball
Music: E. J. Jones -"Castle of Dromore"
Posted on 2005-10-20 09:21:00
Tags: baseball astros baseballstats
My nervous energy yesterday launched me into a new project. It started when I read the Crawfish Boxes (an Astros blog that is part of a network started by the founder of Daily Kos) after the 18 inning Game 4 of the Atlanta series. They talked about how amazing the game was, and talked about WPA, which after reading a link to the Hardball Times, discovered was the statistical relative frequency that a team will win in a given situation. They linked to the Win Expectancy Finder, which calculates WPA and is based on the data file that Phil Birnbaum put together that he made from Retrosheet game data. However, he only did games from 1979-1990, and Retrosheet has many more event logs for games.
So I decided to try to write a parser for them and create a data file like Birnbaum's, except with more games. It turns out the data file format is kinda hard to parse, but I have a script that mostly does it, so I'm somewhat close to my goal. I need to test it on more games - almost finished testing it on all 2004 games and tweaking it to make it work (luckily, there's redundant data in the files so I can fairly quickly tell when I did something wrong).
Anyway, that's my new project, and hopefully I'll put something up soon. I worked on it a lot last night before going to magic and while watching the game.
Posted on 2005-10-19 21:20:00
So I'm posting this in the middle of the game - Astros are up 4-1 in the bottom of the 6th. Just wanted to link to this good column on ESPN, although he's a little down on the Astros' chances.
Update (10:05 PM): It's Astros 5-1 going into the 9th inning. Could this be it? I'm so excited I can't sit still!
Astros and such
Music: Dave Matthews Band - "What You Are"
Posted on 2005-10-18 13:55:00
Tags: todolist astros
So, yes, the astros loss was heartbreaking. Being one strike away from the World Series and then giving up a monster 3 run home run tends to be. That Pujols kid can hit, I'll give him that. But the Astros are still up 3-2, and Oswalt is on the mound tomorrow, which bodes well for the Astros. (Astros in 6!)
Been working some more on my todo list - I added showing entries from my Palm calendar on there, but only on my private version. *shrug*
Gamenight should be fun tonight!
Posted on 2005-10-14 23:29:00
Thanks to abstractseaweed!
src="http://www.bbspot.com/Images/News_Features/2004/10/file_extensions/mpg.jpg" width="300" height="90"
border="0" alt="You are .mpg You live life like it was a movie. Constantly in motion, you bring pleasure to many, but are often hidden away.">
Which File Extension are You?
Posted on 2005-10-14 15:32:00
A woman in NYC gets Chris Rock's old cell phone number - a cute story.
Librarian gets back at junk-faxer - good stuff!
I like reading kottke.org - he has lots of interesting links.
that's my life in a nutshell...
Posted on 2005-10-14 14:35:00
Tags: todolist robolab charlottesweb
Another busy week here - did my first robolab on Wednesday and shadowed interviews at UT on Thursday. Robolab went pretty well - this year I'm working with older kids, which is good, and there are fewer with them (around 6), which is also good. Also, I have some experience, which is good. All sorts of goodness going on there.
The interviews went fine yesterday - doing 8 of them in a day is pretty grueling, though...and I wasn't even doing the talking! I was just observing, and I do feel that I have some idea of how to do it now. When I'll get to do it at Rice is an open question, however.
Go Astros! You can register to be in a lottery for World Series tickets if you hurry - closes at 5 PM (CST) today. Contrary to what I heard, there is no obligation to buy tickets if you win the lottery, so I'm going to sign up right now!
The last Charlotte's Web show is this Sunday, and it's already sold out from what I hear. I'm glad it went so well, and I'm going to miss it (especially the people I've gotten to hang out with), but it will be nice to have my weekends back. I heard that there will in fact be a video, though, so wonderjess and Carrie will get to see it, as well as any of y'all who are interested. :-)
Worked on my todo list app some more - now the notes are saved and you can have newlines in them. I bought a copy of "Getting Things Done" today, so I may improve the todo list with suggestions from there. Or I might get fancy and let you drag and drop entries to reorder them. We'll see :-)
Hope everyone's having a good Friday!
things to be happy about
Posted on 2005-10-04 16:25:00
1) A few months ago, I closed a credit card account, not realizing that I had a credit left on it (from paying something twice). Last week, I decided to try to get that money back, and called them up, expecting to go through a lot of hassle (how often do credit card companies pay you?). Turns out it took like 3 minutes, and I got my check in the mail a few days ago. Hooray!
2) The Astros, after starting off the season 15-30, made the playoffs, and some people are even picking them to win the World Series. I'll be following them closely!
3) I got a promotion today! Hooray!
family made it
Mood: relieved, tired, thankful
Posted on 2005-09-23 09:24:00
So my family made it to my apartment at 4 AM this morning. For those keeping score, that makes a 17 hour trip from Houston to Austin. Luckily they were able to get gas near the end (they didn't use the A/C to save gas...), and they made it just fine, albeit tired and such. Maggie (our cat) made it as well, and although she was a little skittish at first, she seemed fine this morning, although a little starved for attention :-)
So whatever else happens, I feel a lot better. Although I am tired (stayed up late, went to bed before they got here and then I was kinda wound up so it took me a while to get back to sleep), but that I can deal with. And my mom brought banana nut bread :-)
Rice trip and other things
Music: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - "Mike Teavee"
Posted on 2005-09-20 08:43:00
Tags: charlottesweb worldofwarcraft
So the trip down to Rice went well.
The drive down was uneventful in a good way - we watched a Simpsons episode and listened to my iPod. Unfortunately, our hotel was out 290 a ways (hard to find hotel rooms - maybe because of Katrina evacuees?), which meant the next morning we had to get up early and spend like half an hour in traffic to actually get to Rice. And on the way, we saw someone pull over, get out of his truck, and hunch over to pee. That was...interesting.
The day went well - we showed off our demos and had a pretty good presence. I talked to some people who seemed excited about NI - yay! Although the demo I had put together didn't actually work. But that's OK, since it wasn't very exciting anyway (using a camera to count change). Maybe next time!
By the end of the day, we were tired from standing from 10ish-4 (well, most of the time), and we had to pack up all the demos into the van. We got on 59 right at 5, so of course traffic was horrible, and we pulled off at 6 (still in Houston, mind you, just past the beltway) to eat dinner, then we continued on and made it back to NI, unloaded the stuff, and finally I got to go home. Yikes, I was tired!
Charlotte's Web was decent on Sunday - not great because it had been a week, and I forgot to get my hair pinned so it kept coming out of my pig head. Also, my voice was dry for whatever reason, so I had to talk loudly and it didn't sound (or feel) as good as usual. Oh well. Hopefully this weekend will be better, since my parents are coming up to see it! Which I'm excited about. Although they might have to evacuate from Tropical Storm (presumably a hurricane by then) Rita, which would be irritating.
Here are the Celebrity Jeopardy videos from SNL - haven't watched them yet, but I want to. Maybe I'll have time today!
Apparently there's a "plague" spreading in WoW. Very interesting, although I'd imagine it would be annoying to just randomly die. Dunno if I could heal myself fast enough to avoid it...
off to houston
Posted on 2005-09-15 16:23:00
Tags: pictures charlottesweb
So I'm gonna be in Houston tomorrow doing recruiting stuff at Rice for NI - we'll be in Duncan Hall from 10-4ish or so. Come check it out!
Also, Charlotte's Web was reviewed, which is pretty nifty. Only show this weekend is on Sunday, which'll be a nice break.
Gotta run to the van soon, but I'm trying to finish up some work stuff!
Oh, right, and there are new Charlotte's Web pictures up.
Music: X - "Crystal Ship"
Posted on 2005-09-07 15:34:00
Here is an excellent article about health care by Malcolm Gladwell (author of The Tipping Point, which I highly recommend!) - talks about "moral hazards" and why they don't apply nearly as much to health care as some think.
This has been around for a while, but Michael Chertoff saying that "no one" had predicted the disaster of Hurricane Katrina is so patently wrong that CNN comes right out and says so in the byline. The New Orleans paper is highly critical of FEMA, which seems appropriate given what I've read and seen.
ups and downs
Posted on 2005-08-31 15:10:00
I took some time last night when I should have been sleeping to help destroyerj put up www.scipionus.com, which is a place for people to provide and get information about conditions after Hurricane Katrina.
I heard this morning on the way to work that over 800 Iraqis were killed in a stampede during a religious procession after a rumor spread (no word on whether this was true or not) that there was a suicide bomber in the crowd. According to NPR, the procession involved taking food and candy from passers-by (I think this had some religious significance), and 100 people died of poisoning which was presumably deliberate. This is really horrible.
Lots of people are using www.scipionus.com. I know it isn't much, but I feel like I helped out a little bit.
(Edit: Wow! I didn't realize this entry was going to become such a big deal. Credit where credit's due: the map was destroyerj's idea (he also goes by Scipionus, which is where the name came from), and he helped out with the implementation.)
lots of stuff
Posted on 2005-08-30 13:59:00
Tags: pictures projecteuler referrer
I meant to post yesterday, but didn't have the time. And I don't really have the time today, but if I wait another day I'm sure to forget stuff. So here goes!
I put pictures of my recent vacation up, which means I'm now caught up on pictures. Woohoo!
I'm going to see "Wicked" in November, which I'm psyched about! It should be a lot of fun. I just need to stop listening to the music for a while so I don't get sick of it :-)
Still having fun with Project Euler - I've moved up to #130something on the rankings, which is good, I guess. I'm averaging about a problem a day, which is a nice and slow pace...
Fun referrer links:
- Searching for cow riding on Ask Jeeves leads to this picture, which seems appropriate.
- Another "naked" query (naked rice university run pictures on Yahoo) leads to Jonathan's album. No luck for the searcher, though!
- Barbara Stoll on MSN gives my gallery page, which makes sense. But I don't know of a Barbara Stoll related to me...
pictures, rehearsals, and movies! oh my!
Posted on 2005-08-27 13:22:00
Tags: pictures charlottesweb
I put pictures from the musical up. Next up, pictures from vacation! And then I'll be caught up. Which will be nice.
So for two consecutive nights, I've almost been in a car accident on the way back from Charlotte's Web rehearsal. This is not good. The first wasn't really my fault, but the second was, sorta (I was passing someone even though I had a feeling that he/she wanted to get over, which turned out to be correct). I really need to be more careful. Hopefully catching up on sleep and relaxing more this weekend will help.
But rehearsal last night went really well - we ran the whole thing in 62 minutes, and we're aiming for about an hour show, so good stuff! I only missed one of my cues (starting Monday, no more lines from the stage manager, which will be interesting...), and I felt pretty good about it even though Ron gave me in particular a lot of notes. And he let us out early!
So I went up to destroyerj's and met djedi there (and wildrice13 showed up later) to watch "Garden State" and "I (Heart) Huckabees". Both weird movies. I liked them, though. Especially Zach Braff. :-) After that, I was so tired I slept way late today, which is why I feel grrrreat!
That's all I got. Thanks for reading!
Long week. Also, long next week.
Music: The Killers - "Mr. Brightside"
Posted on 2005-08-26 14:01:00
Tags: charlottesweb worldofwarcraft
Rehearsals for "Charlotte's Web" are going pretty well, in that I'm surviving them. Actually our runthroughs are getting cleaner (sidenote: it's really annoying not to be able to tell how I'm doing until it's done and Ron tells us how we did. I wish I could know whether things are going well or not (I can guess, but I'm mostly not terribly right) during the show), and I'm 95% there on my lines (mostly now is remembering which goes where, and the occasional missed cue). Having rehearsal every night gets tiring, though. Luckily no rehearsals this weekend, and (I'm big on the HTML tags today, I guess) no rehearsal next Thursday! Hooray! Unfortunately we do have tech rehearsals Saturday and Sunday of next weekend, which is a huge bummer because that weekend is already crazy busy with random stuff. *sigh*
Once rehearsals are done, I'll enjoy WoW more - I'm enjoying it now, but I'm always having to catch up with people, and I'm making djedi take me back through my old quests since I can't solo very well, being a priest and all. I do like the whole guild thing, though.
I tried out Google Talk, and I'm not really impressed, although the sort of integration with Gmail is kinda nice.
Hopefully I'll get rid of my backlog of pictures to post this weekend, including ASMC pictures. But no promises!
Work is going decently well...but since I have 6:30 rehearsals all week, I have to leave a little on the early side to make it there on time (and they're much more strict about getting there on time than ASMC; that is, you will be admonished (that's a word, right? I'm tired...) for being late). So I just need to get more done.
Music: "The Tick" background music
Posted on 2005-08-23 22:42:00
Tags: pictures charlottesweb
I put up pictures from my family's Father's Day trip to Lake Conroe. Does anyone have problems loading my gallery in Firefox? Because I do (it takes a really long time and sometimes the pictures never load), and I thought it was my webserver, but I just tried it in Konqueror and it worked fine. So maybe it's just on my computer or something. Anyway... (Edit: the weird thing is that it seems to work in Firefox when I click on a link to it - it doesn't when I type in the address directly. *confused*)
Charlotte's Web rehearsals are going pretty well, although they are quite tiring. I mostly know my lines...now I need to learn blocking and whatnot. And work was really stressful today - lots of interruptions and stuff so I never got a good flow going, although I did accomplish a few things. Oh well - I'm sure tomorrow will be better.
busy week, fun weekend
Music: Wicked - "Dancing Through Life"
Posted on 2005-08-22 14:11:00
Tags: projecteuler charlottesweb worldofwarcraft
The weekend was good - played a bit of World of Warcraft. I got it working on Windows and Linux (some sort of memory issue - doesn't seem to be isolated to one stick or one slot, but only using two (and maybe keeping it under 1GB?) works great), which was nice.
I'm really getting into World of Warcraft, which is unsurprising because I often throw myself into new things. Having Skype working to chat with people while playing is way cool, too - much more efficient than typing all the time.
I have Charlotte's Web rehearsals M-F this week and next week, so I'm steeling myself for that. Luckily the rehearsals are 6:30-9:30, so I get out at a reasonable time (although I have to eat dinner quickish to make it there), and they work us pretty well so I feel like we're accomplishing something. I'm supposed to be off-book tonight for the first time, and I think I can (mostly) do it.
My other latest thing is Project Euler - it's a bunch of math programming challenges. It's fun because it's a lot less frustrating than the Python Challenge, but there's still definitely some depth to it (and I'm using Python to do them :-) )
A random thought I had at some point - say I remember part of a song, but I don't know what it's called or whatever (this happens to me a lot!). Is there some way for me to hum what I remember, then take that sound file and do some sort of correlation with a bunch of known songs and return the best match? I don't know much (really anything) about signal processing, but it seems like humming it in a different key would make things difficult, as well as faster/slower than the original tune. Just thinking...
I'm addicted to WoW...
Posted on 2005-08-18 13:12:00
...installing it, that is! I tried many times to get it to install under Linux, only to fail (eventually I just copied files and registry entries over). But then it ran horribly and crashed all the time. So after fiddling around with lots of random settings, I decided to bite the bullet, install Windows, and do that. Never did I imagine that it wouldn't install under Windows either, in much the same way that it didn't install under Linux (but it did). So now I'm thinking that it's a memory issue, since I just got a new stick of memory and sometimes it complains about checksum errors. That would be sweet, because then I could just return the new memory (I hope...) and everything would all work and stuff. Trying to install now...
A man was arrested for using a bot in a MMORPG to mug a person and then sell those items for real money. Crazy!
The Two-Variable Intuition Test (ganked from
Posted on 2005-08-18 09:24:00
62% SCIENTIFIC INTUITION and
55% EMOTIONAL INTUITION
The graph on the right represents your place in Intuition 2-Space. As you can see, you scored about average on emotional intuition and above average on scientific intuition.Keep
in mind that very few people score high on both! In effect, you can
compare your two intuition scores with each other to learn what kind of
intuition you're best at. Your scientific intuition is stronger than
your emotional intuition.
Your Emotional Intuition
score is a measure of how well you understand people, especially their
unspoken needs and sympathies. A high score score usually indicates
social grace and persuasiveness. A low score usually means you're good
Your Scientific Intuition
score tells you how in tune you are with the world around you; how well
you understand your physical and intellectual environment. People with
high scores here are apt to succeed in business and, of course, the
My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
Link: The 2-Variable Intuition Test written by jason_bateman on Ok Cupid
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