Saturday, October 29, 2005

Last Soccer game for Fall

Stardate 59102.9
Today was a day. It started up well enough, but things went south fast. Today was the last soccer games for the fall. I got Thomas ready, and we arrived for his game ten minutes early. The only downside was the black mass in the sky to the west. It didn't stay west that long. By the time the game started, the rain was coming down. Not a sprinkle, but a hard, cold rain. I am proud to say none of the kids that played complained. A grandmother of one who refused to play most of the games told me I should call off the game. I almost lost my patience then. Her grandson was dry and warm in the car, the rest of the team was soaking wet but toughing it out. I managed to politely inform her games were played unless there was lightning. April was picking up soccer ball balloons for the kids, so I wanted to hang around. We got through the game, and handed out the goodies.

I headed home to change, and got a call from Rachel's coach that her game was cancelled, and Patrick's soon after that. I had guilty feelings during Thomas's game, but the rest of the teams were playing, so I hung on. I headed back out to get Rachel from a friends house, met April and the boys. They went home, I stopped to get something to eat. After I had ordered I realized I left my wallet in my other pants. Now head home, and back out to get the food. Head back home, only to find out it's the wrong food. Back to the fast food, who had figured out someone got the wrong order, but they had no idea who. I've taken a little nap, and things seem to be back in order now.

Patrick and Rachel had a piano recital Thursday. Patrick was very stressed about it, but he did fine, as did Rachel. It was a short version of Peter and the Wolf.

I was given a problem on Monday to find a good programming solution to. If you have an array of unique numbers from one to one hundred, and another array of unique numbers that have all the numbers from the first array, what's the fastest way to find the missing number? I didn't have the answer at that time, but I do now. I'll post the solution, and the code, but for now I need to jet.

End of Entry

Friday, October 21, 2005

Armored Elephants

Stardate 59102.1
Playing with Rome: Total War for the last few days, I came to a number of conclusions:
1. Standing around waiting for the enemy to attack is not a sound strategy.
2. Don't concentrate on a single unit during battle.
3. Suddenly, without warning, you will lose the campaign mode. Save often.
4. Quick Combat is not random. Example combats I have done are Egyptians (me) vs. Seleucids (with armored elephants), Parthians (me) vs Seleucids (with armored elephants AND onagers, Greeks (me) vs Seleucids (with armored elephants). I sense a pattern here, and it is that I am a little tired of dealing with elephants.
5. Lost one battle because my archers apparently ran out of arrows and charged the last enemy phalanx. Archers do not good close combat make.
5. Campaign mode again, you start the pre-Imperial game about 15 years after the death of Alexander the Great. The phalanx is the premier formation. Learn to deal with it.

April picked up Age of Empires III for me. It's in a huge box, which contains a book of artwork, a music CD, and players handbook. I think this is a little overboard. The game is set in the early colonial times, and from the manual all the settings are in North America. I played the prerelease trial version for a while.

End Of Entry

Friday, October 14, 2005

Stardate 59101.4 (10-14-2005)

It’s interesting what you come across on
the World Wide Web while searching for something else. I was looking for a
solution to creating an instance of an object based on the description in a
config file.

Tim, the right jobs for you would allow you to be

Analytical and Creative

With your
skills, you could be earning up to $111,000
per year. (For the record, no, I don’t come close to this

As an Analytical type, you don't want to
be limited by established rules and regulations. Your inquisitive nature
demands that you sometimes question authority. Otherwise, you might not be
able to find fresh approaches, or come up with new solutions to a problem.
It's not that you act without weighing the pros and cons of a situation —
it's more that you're more willing than others to take justifiable risks if
they'll further your career success.

You're smart enough to know when you need help and are confident enough in
your abilities to ask for it. You understand that sometimes there are no
clear right and wrong answers, and that's just fine with you because you
tolerate gray areas better than most. In fact, pondering potential outcomes
can sometimes be more interesting than coming up with the definitive solution
for you.

Your right job doesn't have to be about self-expression, but it needs to be a
job you can be proud of.

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April says I am a little to analytical, though.

I find lots of stuff on management. One quip that caught my
attention was about adding more people to a project to get it done faster,
described as if one woman can have a child in nine months, nine women can have
the same child in one month. It captures the absurdity beautifully.

Rachel finished the mile run in P.E. in her goal of under 9
minutes. She is very pleased with it. I don’t think I can do better. I hate to
run. The pounding on the knees and the boring nature of it get to me. I love to
walk, though. I was getting on a treadmill and walking a mile and a half at
four miles an hour. I could have walked a lot farther, but if you do the math
that about twenty minutes, which all the time I could afford.
This minimal amount gets me a nice endorphin
rush, and I am not tired. I just need to
find some way of doing it on a regular basis.
I have tried setting my alarm for 5 AM, but I
end up thinking “ten more minutes” and hitting the snooze button.
After hitting the snooze twice I give up and
turn the alarm off. I also think how it
would be nice to combine this with walking the dog. That has the problem of
keeping a regular pace because he wants to stop and sniff something every five
steps. I need to think of something else.

I love to ride a bike. I’ve already mentioned that I find it
scary, though. One of the goals we did not get to this summer was getting
Thomas on a bike. I don’t mean a two-wheeler, just a bike with training wheels.
When that is accomplished, I have this idea we can pack up a bunch of bikes and
hit a trail. I have no idea what trails there are, and mountain biking is out,
so this is really a pipe dream.

End Of Entry

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Stardate 59101.1
Hackers' poster boy, Kevin Mitnick, gave CNN an interview. I remember the story of the guy who caught him, although now his name escapes me.

I went out to dinner with my dad last night. It was one of those nights when he is feeling good. He walked without his walker, and told me he has been trying to walk around a bit. This is good, he needs to try and strengthen his legs. He asked about my kids and my mother-in-law, which he almost never does. Most of the time he tells me stories I have heard fifty times over, or he complains the President Bush is ruining the country. (His case on that is based in part on selling his house for $142,000, when he brought it for $44,000. The inflated value is because Bush printed too much money. The fact that he bought it in the 70's and sold it in the 90's, when Clinton was president, does not affect his stance.)

I finally got out the Halloween stuff. We have yet to get costumes for the kids. We also were notified of a trunk or treat, so I am wondering if there will be any trick or treaters this year. Times change.

End of Entry

Monday, October 10, 2005

Star Wars: Battlegrounds

Stardate 59101.0 (10-10-2005)
Just a quick entry. The school play was good, but I thought the first one Rachel was in was more entertaining. Both Rachel and Patrick had a good time with it, although they were getting tired of rehearsals. Spending 12-13 hours a day at school gets old quick. It's impressive that two guys can get 30 odd kids to memorize lines and act in one week. Rachel was a little stilted, and she was initially disappointed she did not get to speak, but then found out she did get one line and a group song. This made her happy. Patrick was more relaxed, and maybe a little to much. He was an evil fly trap, and got to chase flies and knights around. He enjoyed being one of the bad guys, and did a little dance walking off the stage for the last act. Everyone thought it was funny, except for April.

I bought a cheap desk for the old computer, and got it set back up again. The bearings on the CPU fan are wearing out, because it screams when you power it up. The fan runs for a couple of seconds, stops, and starts running again. If I hold my finger on it just enough to let it turn, it runs fine. I'll have to see about getting a replacement.

I bought Star Wars: Battleground cheap at Walmart. It's basically Age Of Empires II with Star Wars units. Patrick and I had a good time teaming up against the computer in multiplayer mode with two computers. I could see him getting into MMOG's, but not yet.

End of Entry.