Monday, May 29, 2006

Racin' thought

Because there aren't many...

After my annual two-race day (I've liked watching both the Indy 500 and the evening NASCAR race on Memorial Day weekend for years - even since before I learned anything about it), I had a thought on how to make the NASCAR points system more competitive. Right now, the rules say that the top 10 in points, plus anyone within 400 points of the leader are the ones to make the 10-race "Chase for the Cup" that they finish the season with. This is the third year of the system, and in both the prior years it's been just the 10 drivers to make the playoff.

The reason for this seems to be the points system itself. So long as the leader manages to stay catastrophe-free, it's almost inevitable that he will add to his lead weekly before the points reset for the playoff race. With the leading team playing pretty safe, they can still wind up with top-10 or top-15 finishes that just don't really hurt too much in the overall standings. So, for instance, unless Jimmie Johnson has an early DNF in one race between now and September, he'll do no worse than maintain the spread for the rest of the "regular season".

My idea is simple: stretch the points gap allowable out to 500 instead of 400 (as of right now, that would allow 2 extra people into the Chase, with 2 more on the bubble), and also increase the points for a win (right now, you get 15 points over 2nd place) to 20 or even 25 - giving more of an incentive to go for a win instead of playing it safe. Maybe even get rid of the "5 points for leading a lap" bonus - all that does is let the multi-car teams make deals with each other to allow each driver to lead and pick up a few points (the Roush drivers do this every race). Make sure incentives (and points) drop off sharply after the top 10 at most.

What should result is a more competitive sport and a more inclusive playoff - which can only help make the sport more watchable. Besides, it's in my interest to have a better sport - my kid likes it so I'd have to watch it anyways!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The terrible twos (continued)

When do the Terrible Twos end, anyways? David turned four this week (on Wednesday), and with the exception of a few moments of nice, he's been a walking disaster for a while now. Yikes. Today, we had to take the step of marching him out of the bakery this morning when he simply wouldn't behave - leaving his cookie behind. A terrible waste of a cookie, but oh well.

Yesterday we went to Ikea and bought a hew home office rig for me - a wraparound table that I am using to properly move things around in there - it's a fairly small bedroom that I work out of, with limited storage. I have two regular desktop computers (a Windows box and an iMac G5) that I need to accommodate, plus I need a place for my work laptop (a MacBook Pro) when I'm in the house instead of at the "real" office. I had an old particleboard desk that I'd owned for around 13-14 years or so, and a newer rig that is kind of an avant-garde setup designed for one small PC. So now I have both my desktops and the laser printer on the new desk (with plenty of room for my other stuff), and I can reserve the small desk for the MacBook - which lets me keep my work life separate. I need a new chair, too (the old one is really battered and broken in a couple of spots), but I couldn't find anything compelling there.

Ikea trips are kinda fun (despite having to drive about 45 minutes to get there) - we get a nice lunch, the stuff is cheap and pretty good quality, and David can go play in the supervised play area while we keep shopping. Swedish furniture rules, though assembling it isn't always a joy.

Tomorrow, I get to take the holiday off - we're going to head down to the Willows and try to both have family fun and keep our boy from misbehaving too much. Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Grim Determination

Today, we had David's 4th birthday party (he actually turns 4 on Wednesday, but Mom's going away for her annual sales meeting tomorrow morning - so we had the party this weekend). This year we kept the group size down some, compared to the previous three, which worked out well. And unlike years past, this time he managed to not cry when everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to him (he'd promised me he wouldn't).

But the really notable thing was that he ate a second piece of cake - even after everyone else finished and went back out to play, he kept at it. Here's proof:

See? That look on his face gave me a good title for the post...

Other than that, I'm pretty busy (as usual), but I deliberately booked a slightly less intense schedule than usual for this week so that I could have more time for David while Jane's away. And on an unrelated note, I'm looking forward to the D-X reunion (if it happens as the WWE has been teasing for the last couple of months). In other sporting news, I did not watch any of NASCAR's all-star race last night. Yes, I've come to like stock car racing somewhat, but not enough to watch it when it's not on Hi-Def. I will, however, be watching both races next weekend - I've always enjoyed the Indy 500 (I like the signature events in most sports - even ones I don't normally follow) and I plan to stick around for the later NASCAR event as well.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

It's launch Tuesday...

The Apple Store online just went dark. Expect MacBooks (the iBook/PowerBook 12" successor) to be launched today - maybe some other goodie or another, but probably nothing major other than that.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Howdy - I've been meaning to post, but we're underwater. Glub glub.

Actually, our house isn't too badly off. We've had enough rain that our roof's been leaking some, and the front window in our bedroom is having some issues (when we get a hard, persistent rain out of the due east, it's prone to leakage in the frame), but overall our 100-year-old house is holding up well. The basement is fine, unlike some of our friends in town.

However, getting in and out of town is another story. Neighboring Peabody's entire downtown is underwater, and one of the main roads through our town is seriously underwater as well - the local McDonalds is flooded to the counters as of right now. Several of the secondary roads are having some issues as well. I went out for a little while this afternoon to do errands and navigating wasn't easy at all.

As for everything else, David's been sick since Thursday night, when he got home and started running a fever. He's been ill since, though his temperature is mainly down and his spirits have been pretty decent the last couple of days. I took him out for a while yesterday in the rain and he bought Jane a card, flowers, and a bag of Trader Joe's corn puffs for Mothers' Day. We were slated to go out this morning for brunch but he really wasn't up to it.

Given the current weather, we're pretty lucky we even have a house to hang around in right now! The forecasts say that after tomorrow we'll be drying out for a few days some. I'll believe it when I see it.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Memo to Barry Bonds

On the eve of tying Babe Ruth for the all-time #2 spot in career homers, I just wanted to tell you something important. You've misunderstood us, the American sports-watching public - I would like to set the record straight.

Yes, many of us (not me - I was a child of a more progressive era) in this country hated Hank Aaron because he was black. As a nation, most of us got over that as we adapted to changed times. It was shameful, though. But that said, virtually nobody hates you because you're black.

We hate you because, in the single-minded pursuit of baseball's loftiest record, you went from being possibly the greatest all-around player in the history of the game, a feared slugger in your own right, and a guaranteed first-ballot Hall of Famer to a bloated human lab rat. Between the steroids and the HGH, you now are a joke in the outfield, you've got a head the size of a small sedan, and your muscles look like they popped out of a Popeye cartoon. It's obvious, what you did to yourself to hit more home runs, and it's a waste of one of the all-time best players.

We also hate you because you've demonstrated that you can't look in the mirror. You refuse to acknowledge that we, the public, are on to you, and you insist on passing the buck and trying to blame things like racial tension. Racial problems exist in this nation, but that's not the problem with you.

And most importantly, the reason we hate you, Barry, is because you're an asshole with a 20+ year track records of being one of the most miserable, arrogant pricks in the sporting universe.

Nothing personal. But I hope you get indicted on the same day you hit number 714.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


I'm in the middle of a weekend project - one of my biggest clients is moving from their office on one side of town to a gorgeous new space across town (only about a mile away - it's a small town). Today was the longest day - I brought my friend Greg out to help me and we took down the servers and moved them to the new site (updating DNS for the new IP addresses). Tomorrow I'll be heading back up solo to help get workstations online - I'd have done it today but the desks are still being built!

Beautiful place, though, and it's coming along well. I may even post (or link) a picture once it's all finished.