Archive for category General

Intentional Walk unsportsmanlike?

In our Little League board meeting last night, the president of the league refused to consider a person eligible for managing a Little League “Honors” team because of what he considered “unsportsmanlike conduct”. During the regular season, the manager in question “intentionally walked” a particular player from the other team. The manager claimed that this was a strategy: In a game with two outs, and players on 2nd and 3rd, he intentionally walked this particular player to make it easier to get the next out (because all bases are a force out with bases loaded). When this happened, he noticed that the player in question was “rattled”, and didn’t pitch well when their team was on the field. He then chose to intentionally walk this player in a subsequent game. Do you think this is “unsportsmanlike conduct” as the president claims?

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McDonalds wants to change the Oxford English Dictionary

According to this article at Time, McDonalds is lobbying dictionary companies to redefine the term “McJob” because it reflects poorly on the company.

I think it is a great idea. Perhaps we can redefine other terms that reflect poorly on the US to better improve our image.

For example, we could redefine “unconstitutional” to mean something that inspires a happy warm happy feeling. That would solve a lot of problems. For example the sentence: “The White House policies toward enemy combatants is unconstitutional.” has a much more pleasant meaning, and would change the nature of the discussions happening today.

I’m sure there are other terms that would benefit from redefinition. Perhaps “sarcasm” is a good candidate.

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Plunking at Meldrum Bar

I have been spending some parts of some of my weekends trying to catch a Steelhead at Meldrum Bar in Gladstone, Oregon. I’ve been using a technique called “Plunking”. The name sounds derogatory, and I believe it is intended to be. Plunking is generally looked down on by “real fishermen” whoever they are. I’ve been using it as a means to get some “me time” without a lot of driving, as well as an opportunity to see a different segment of society that I don’t normally.

Typically, the weather is terrible. It is usually cold, and rainy. I’ve been going some various weekend days since the middle of December. Occasionally it is a nice day on the bar. This photo is an example.
Plunking on the Willamette at Meldrum Bar

Plunking, involves hammering a pole holder in the ground, setting up a heavy weight rod with heavy weight line, and using a spin-n-glo, or something similar anchored by a heavy weight above the lure. This is cast into the river. The spin-n-glo floats a bit on its own, and the current makes it spin in place. Some place bells on their poles so they know when a fish decides to commit suicide on the gear. On a good day, I’ve seen five fish landed in a ten hour period. A typical day only one or two fish are landed.

The people that regularly commit time to this odd form of fishing are odd themselves. Many of them are retirees, that appreciate the proximity to their homes, as well as the ability to go crawl into their vehicles when the weather turns bad. Did I mention that you can just about drive up to the water?
Drive into the water, why don't you?

Most of the people there drive American vehicles and use the “F” word as an “every-other-word” concept in English language construction, both of which I choose not to adopt. Aside from a bit of brusque language, the people are generally friendly. This is a positive, because as I mentioned before, when the weather is nice, it gets very crowded. I’ve seen over 40 poles in the water, with about 6 feet of ground between them. This situation leads to regular tangles, and few fish caught. Fortunately the tempers seem to stay in check. The Gladstone sheriffs make regular drives through the area just to make sure.

The only fighting I’ve seen is from the local fowl population. There are a good collection of geese, and ducks that seem to hang around all the time. They get regular feedings from the kids that show up, which must encourage the birds to remain. Occasionally one of the birds does something antisocial to one of the other birds. This leads to a large amount of carrying on and occasionally some feathers flying. I’m glad this, and the occasional fish death on the bar, is the limit of the violence there.

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Yahoo Messenger 8.1 DOESN'T fix that annoying bug

The REALLY annoying bug that I posted about before has reappeared. Since Yahoo doesn’t seem to respond to any support requests on the subject, I thought I might try to help them debug the issue. Here are the Window’s messages that are processed by the main window every second or so:

<00002> 000B09E8 P message:0x0466 [User-defined:WM_USER+102] wParam:00000000 lParam:00000203
<00003> 000B09E8 P message:0x052E [User-defined:WM_USER+302] wParam:00000000 lParam:00000203
<00004> 000B09E8 S WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGING lpwp:0012F23C
<00005> 000B09E8 R WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGING
<00006> 000B09E8 S WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGED lpwp:0012F23C
<00007> 000B09E8 R WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGED
<00008> 000B09E8 S WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGING lpwp:0012F23C
<00009> 000B09E8 R WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGING
<00010> 000B09E8 P message:0x0466 [User-defined:WM_USER+102] wParam:00000000 lParam:00000203
<00011> 000B09E8 P message:0x052E [User-defined:WM_USER+302] wParam:00000000 lParam:00000203
<00012> 000B09E8 S WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGING lpwp:0012F23C
<00013> 000B09E8 R WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGING
<00014>000B09E8 S WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGED lpwp:0012F23C
<00015> 000B09E8 R WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGED
<00016> 000B09E8 S WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGING lpwp:0012F23C
<00017> 000B09E8 R WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGING
<00018> 000B09E8 P message:0x0466 [User-defined:WM_USER+102] wParam:00000000 lParam:00000203
<00019> 000B09E8 P message:0x052E [User-defined:WM_USER+302] wParam:00000000 lParam:00000203
<00020> 000B09E8 S WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGING lpwp:0012F23C
<00021> 000B09E8 R WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGING
<00022> 000B09E8 S WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGED lpwp:0012F23C
<00023> 000B09E8 R WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGED
<00024> 000B09E8 S WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGING lpwp:0012F23C
<00025> 000B09E8 R WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGING
<00026> 000B09E8 P message:0x0466 [User-defined:WM_USER+102] wParam:00000000 lParam:00000203
<00027> 000B09E8 P message:0x052E [User-defined:WM_USER+302] wParam:00000000 lParam:00000203
<00028> 000B09E8 S WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGING lpwp:0012F23C
<00029> 000B09E8 R WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGING
<00030>000B09E8 S WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGED lpwp:0012F23C
<00031> 000B09E8 R WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGED
<00032> 000B09E8 S WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGING lpwp:0012F23C
<00033> 000B09E8 R WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGING
<00034> 000B09E8 P message:0x0466 [User-defined:WM_USER+102] wParam:00000000 lParam:00000203
<00035> 000B09E8 P message:0x052E [User-defined:WM_USER+302] wParam:00000000 lParam:00000203

Another bit of information that I thought was interesting: When this bug is occurring, Yahoo Messenger won’t pop-up in front of Command Prompt windows. Start->Run->cmd. As long as they are in the foreground.

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Colbert: I have a dreamsicle

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Georgia doesn't really like the taste of snow…

At least that is what this expression says to me. It is hard to tell what an 8 month old is thinking sometimes. This time it isn’t much of a mystery. 🙂
Georgia doesn't like the taste of snow

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Music leads to curiosity

It has been said that music is a means of broadening perspective. I believe this to be true. It isn’t always a good thing, though. On the way to school this morning, we were listening to Weird Al‘s “Running With Scissors” album, and came across the “Jerry Springer” track. He has listened to it many times before and never asked questions about things in the song he didn’t understand. Today was an exception. He posed the question “What is a she-male?” a block from school.

Morgan is nine. This isn’t the sort of question I would expect to come out of a nine-year-old’s mouth. I encourage him to ask when he doesn’t understand something, and this is a good example. I’ve yet to come up with an answer he will understand, though. I managed to avoid the question temporarily because he was moments from school, but it still deserves an answer. I want him to keep asking questions. Any ideas?

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Yahoo Messenger 8.1 fixes that annoying bug…

Yahoo has released version 8.1 on the Yahoo Messenger page that seems to fix that annoying bug I posted about earlier.

Given my experience with this issue I think Yahoo! could learn a few things about software distribution:

  1. Respond to user queries through your customer service.
  2. Tell users when there is a new version of software.
  3. Put a release notes document on the messenger page so you can actually figure out what to expect in the new version.

Of course, you get what you pay for, and Messenger is “free” software.

I like the features of the Yahoo! software (Messenger, and Jukebox), but they are both resource pigs. I stopped running the Jukebox regularly because the thing chews up so much RAM.

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You are being watched…

There are some pretty dramatic views available on the new maps.live.com site of Portland. One of the features of this site, aside from the map, and satellite views that google maps and Yahoo Maps provide, is the “Bird’s Eye View”. I have explored the results of this for a few places in Portland, and in Las Vegas too. They have an amazing amount of detail, and being able to look at the given location from four directions is pretty impressive as well.

Check out these links for some samples:
The Hawthorne Bridge
Pioneer Place
Airplanes at the airport

It would be interesting to know how these images were captured. I assume from the angles that it had to be an airplane.

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Yahoo Messenger 8.0 has a really annoying bug

It looks like I’m not the only one that has run into this issue. I’ve had to stop running Yahoo Messenger 8.0. It has a bug in that it steals focus from all applications running, including its own windows. If you minimize it when you are signed in, it pops right back up. Even if you aren’t signed in, the window keeps popping up in front when you switch to another application. I have noticed that when you aren’t signed in, you can minimize the window and it doesn’t appear anymore.

I’ve turned on and off (it was already off) the “keep yahoo in front of other applications” option. It doesn’t help. The odd thing about it is that it seems to be some interaction with another application. It seems to happen less often if I launch YM before other applications, although it has started happening after it has been running for a bit. I tried to submit a defect report through the menu option, but the main window kept stealing the focus from the defect report window. I had to keep clicking in the defect window between each letter I typed (including spaces). It took me over 10 minutes to type a couple of sentences. In the link I mentioned above, someone has been seeing this issue since September, and I couldn’t find anything on the Yahoo site about it. Are you listening Yahoo???! You are losing users over this issue.

Updates:
Yahoo Messenger 8.1 fixes that annoying bug
Yahoo Messenger 8.1 doesn’t fix that annoying bug

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