Friday, December 15, 2006

Two Tickets to Paradise

The title for this post just seemed appropriate, because Michael on The Office made a reference to that song last night. Anyway, basically I was just going to post a couple of YouTube links that I like, and they're not really related, so that came to mind.

The first one I happened across, and it was the best thing since the first time I saw Napolean Dynamite dancing! That's about all I can say about it, check it out: Here It Goes Again. I almost have the feeling everyone has seen this already... if so, people need to keep me in the loop! :)

The second video is Evanescence on David Letterman. I just happened to catch it last night, and I was captivated. It reminded me of seeing Cirque du Soleil the first time. Amy Lee's voice is awesome. I had heard their stuff before, quite a bit of it is popular, but I had never paid much attention to it. So here's the song, pretty cool. Oh, her voice reminds me of Sarah McLachlan at times.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Church potluck

Working on the weekend is kind of like a church potluck when we were kids. As I came into work this afternoon, this thought finally registered. I had the thought before, it just stayed more on the subconscious level.

It's not so much the dinner portion of the potluck, but getting to run around the empty church building afterwards. All the rooms have the lights off. Everything is very quiet. Doors are locked that are usually open. In general it is just a ghost town type feeling. It's fun though. Makes me want to use the women's restroom just for the heck of it (of course I wouldn't do that here because there are a few people actually working), or be really loud and sing in the hallways. Or go fly paper airplanes off the balcony. Dang, I don't know of any balconies here.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bust A Move

I'm setting here at 1 AM listening to Bust A Move, by Young MC. It's not my fault though, I accidentally took like a 3 hour nap this afternoon, and then I saw this post on Noel's blog about Pac-Man. That was hilarious. I started clicking around and within a few minutes I found this pie chart, which is also pretty funny.

That was funny enough, or it was late enough, that I had to listen to the song. I think I'm going to hang these pie charts up in my cube at work. Luckily, I had just downloaded the song a couple of months ago, I guess that was my fault. :)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Misery loves company

But apathy doesn't really have a problem with it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I had a dream...

Not to be confused with the famous I Have a Dream speech by Marin Luther King Jr., this was an actual dream I had last night. Kristy McNichol had come to work at my company, along with a bunch of other new hires. Only she didn't really look like Kristy McNichol in my dream, but she looked like someone I can't put my finger on. Funny, because in The Pirate Movie she has a dream too (which is what the whole movie is). What was kind of freaky about it, when I pulled her up on Wikipedia, I saw her birthday is September 11th, 1962. Kind of freaky, huh?

I don't claim my dream to be as important as the historical speech by MLK Jr. ... but hey, if Kristy coming to work where I do will promote racial equality, isn't that a small price to pay?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

When Netflix goes online

I finally signed up for Netflix, and I'm totally excited! I mean watching lots of movies and shows will be really fun, but also their website is really good. You can see pop-up movie descriptions anywhere they list a movie name, the friends feature works good, they have online previews, just overall everything is intuitive and fun to use.

A few years before it was available, I got excited about being able to burn my own DVDs of shows I like. First they came out with some of the high dollar DVD recorders, but I wanted more control than that. When my brother Leland got his Media Center PC, I was amazed because there was the technology I wanted, and I didn't realize it was available yet. I could finally record shows from TV digitally, and keep the ones I wanted on DVD.

So now I am similarly excited about a future development of Netflix (or whatever company does it). I can't wait till Netflix has a 100% online option. There are already companies offering cable TV on the internet, and obviously it's really only a matter of bandwidth. Imagine what it will be like to pay $20 a month or whatever, and have the entire Netflix library online, ready to be streamed in DVD quality right to your TV on demand! Pretty sweet. Eventually, you'll have every movie and every TV show ever made right at your fingertips. It will become as easy to watch something as it is to look up information on the internet today. For example, today if you are trying to remember the words to the Brady Bunch theme, you can hop online and find them lickity split. Demo: here they are, it took me about 1 minute, but that included looking at a couple of sources to make sure I had a pretty accurate version. So in the (hopefully near) future, if you are discussing with friends the episode where Bobby and Cindy get lost at the Grand Canyon, and someone never saw it, you could just get on Netflix and watch it and laugh. It's pretty fun to think about to me, technology is cool.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Pilot Assembly

There's a lab close to where I sit at work with a sign by the door "Pilot Assembly." Every time I walk by there I envision a life-sized G.I. Joe doll having his arms and legs snapped into place. Can I get a "woot, woot"?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Fun with statistics (yes, I feel nerdy today)

Walter Ray Williams Jr. is unarguably one of the best bowlers ever, and arguably THE best bowler ever. He has a degree in Physics, and likes statistics as well. I was thinking about the chances our team has of winning our bowling league on Wednesday night, and so I'm going to e-mail this blog to Walter and hope he posts a reply, or responds to my e-mail.

We are currently sitting in 3rd place in our league. Here are the standings. Wednesday is our final night, and a position round which means #1 bowls #2, #3 bowls #4, etc. We bowl 4 games a night, there are 2 points for each game, and 2 points for total pins, so a total of 10 points a night. A quick look at the standings and you'll see that if we win all 10 points, and "Shoe Up!" wins only 2 points (1 game), we'll tie for first and get to have a playoff. If "Shoe Up!" wins more, or "Aggressive Flavor" wins them all, we can't catch them. On the other hand, if we win all 10, noone else can catch us. So I wanted to try and figure out what the odds are that we tie for first, and then win the playoff. Of course keep in mind, when I took a graduate level statistics course at SMSU I got a B. That's the only B I ever got in a math course, and I had plenty of math working on my BS in Electrical Engineering at OC. I attribute it to not being very motivated, but it's still kind of embarrasing. So...

I assume each game to be a statistically independent event. I guess arguments could be made that mental momentum, etc., would change this, but I won't worry about that. I do not take into consideration any teams tying either. For each game, handicap is pretty close to the same for all the teams involved, so that is another variable I have considered insignificant. For the match between #1 and #2, there are 16 possible outcomes for 4 games. If we were to list this for the first place team as W or L for win or loss, the outcomes could be WLLL, WWLL, WWWL, etc. Out of these 16 outcomes, only 4 will work for us, the 4 with 1 win... WLLL, LWLL, LLWL, or LLLW. So the odds of this is 4/16, or 0.25. Given one of these 4 outcomes, we need the odds that second place also wins totals, which I think would also be 1/2 (think of totals like one big game). So the odds that everything goes right for us with the match between first and second is 0.25 * 0.5 = 0.125.

Now the odds that we sweep our match. Pretty simple here, 16 outcomes again, and the only one acceptable is WWWW. So the odds we sweep are 1/16 = 0.0625. Given we win each game, we automatically win totals, so we are done with the odds of winning what we need to. So the odds that both matches turn out the way we want are 0.125 * 0.0625 = 0.007813. Then of course we would have a playoff, and since we don't have any league rules governing this, USBC rule #113b states that the playoff must be the same 4 game format that the normal season used. The chances of us winning the playoff are 1 in 2. This seems intuitive, but can also be derived using the logic I did for the other matches. There is 1/16 way we can win all four games, 4/16 ways to win 3 games, and 6/16 ways to win 2 games. Anything less than 2 we will lose the playoff even if we win total pins. If we win 4 games or 3 games, we win the playoff even if we lose totals. If we win 2 games, we win the playoff only if we win totals, which we again say is a 50% chance. So we can compute the probability of winning the playoff as the sum of weighted probabilities that we win the playoff in any of these three fashions (by winning all 4, winning 3, or winning 2). This gives us the equation (1 * 1/16) + (1 * 4/16) + (0.5 * 6/16) = 0.5. So that is my "proof" that we have a 50% chance to win the playoff.

Now, the overall chance of us winning this league is equal to the chance of both matches going the right way, and us winning the playoff, or 0.007813 * 0.5 = 0.003906. Cool, we have almost half a percent chance to win! Now that I've done this, I'll be even more excited if our team is able to win.

Friday, August 18, 2006

How they get ya!

It 'minds me of a story our friend Chris Nelson told. A friend of his went to eat with her dad and one of her friends. They went to a steak place. Not a buffet keep in mind, just a regular old steak restaurant. Keep in mind as well this was not a close family friend the dad knew well, but just a friend of his daughter's. Well, when they brought out rolls and the girl's friend started to eat, the dad went into a tirade. He exclamed, "Don't eat those!! They bring you all these rolls, and you get full on them, and then you can't eat your meal, and that's how they get ya!!" Of course noone was sure why he felt like the restaurant would do that, not like you can't take it with you.

So at Wal-Mart the gallon of milk is more than twice the price of the half gallon. I'm not sure how long it's been that way, but I buy a gallon of milk now in two containers. I've noticed you have to watch stores about stuff like that. One day the smaller quantity of an item will be cheaper per unit, and later it will flip and the larger quantity will be the better value. And that, my friend, is truly how they get ya!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


I had a visitor today at the house, a cute little kitten. It was really friendly so I let it come in for a while. It ate a whole can of tuna, and then laid with me on the couch while I watched Boston Legal. I let Buddy come in to see how it acted, since Buddy is a lot calmer than Zaria. It hissed a little, but didn't get mean or anything. Then later when I let both the dogs in it got kind of scared and went to the room. When I went in there, and the dogs followed, it got under the bed. I went ahead and put it back outside then, besides, might have rabbies. Holly had seen it this weekend when she let the dogs out (who?, who?, who?, who?) for me, but this was the first time I had seen it, so it will probably be back. Here's a picture of it.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I'm in the mood...

... to be silly. So, here's some interesting facts I am about to make up:

- The average American household uses enough plastic Wal-Mart sacks each year to go to the Moon and back 18 times. (With the help of a space shuttle)
- Cars were not really invented until 1997. All the cars you remember before that are the work of a memory implant by the government... part of their plan to confuse us on the usefulness of hemp.
- Speaking of cars, the next time yours breaks down try flying to work... on your PC monitor! Most monitors today support being used like the flying skateboards from "Back to the Future".
- "Fruit Loops" cereal is not made of 100% fruit. Check the ingredients, they add sugar!
- Air conditioners don't really work. They are just machines that make some noise, the cooling effect is purely psychological.
- You knew Barnes and Noble was a book store, but did you know this... today's Barnes and Noble carries more books in stock than Spencer's Gifts.

Ok, now I'm tired of this. Talk to you all later.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Garage Door

For some reason, my garage door seems to have a vendetta with me lately. Saturday Christina and I went IHOP. When we got home I opened the garage door from the street, checked the mail, and then after I parked I forgot I already opened the garage door and hit the button again. I saw it closing and laughed and hit the opener to stop it, so it was only slightly closed. Then as I was walking in, I guess I was paying too much attention to my leftover sausage and pancakes, because I rammed my head on the garage door. Christina of course thought I was kidding, as my sausage came flying out of the styrofoam container, and I was standing there holding my head. After laughing for a few seconds, she realized it really hurt. And of course I couldn't help but almost laugh too, don't you hate it when you hurt yourself and you almost have to laugh? Anyway, this is the cut I got on my head from that (taken tonight, you'll understand all the junk on my head in a minute):

So then tonight I was about to go to Wal-Mart for some groceries, and I get in the car and shut the garage, and it comes down about half way, stops, and goes back up. I try again, and I notice this cable on the sides of the garage apparently stopping the door somehow. I get out to look at it, and this cable connects to the bottom of the door to help raise and lower it (I didn't know much about how it worked). The cable was off the spool and all tangled up. I tried winding it up properly, but couldn't get it all the way. Then I figured out to just take the wire off the bottom of the door (it just had a loop around a bolt thing), and I was able to wind it up. Off course the door is quite heavy, and half the time I was holding it up and all kinds of craziness. At least twice I was seriously doubting whether I could get the door shut again tonight. Some of the rollers on the door came off the track a few times too, which made things worse. I was really hoping the whole door didn't fall on me. So after unhooking both cables, re-wrapping them, and connecting them I tested the door. It closed successfully, it opened successfully, I was excited. I tried it again. The cable popped off the spool again and locked up. I tried rewinding it all again, and when I tested it that time more rollers came off and things seemed to be getting worse. Here are some pics of the cable that gets tangled up, and one of the bottom rollers that also came off:

Well, after messing with it for an hour and a half, I was worn out and filthy, and it was 10:30. I decided to put off Wal-Mart till tomorrow. I got the door shut again, but it's not working now. This is me after messing with it, I think the pic conveys the mood well:

Monday, July 17, 2006

What would we do, baby?

It's been a long standing point of social tension the way the "Friends" theme song contradicts itself. You know, one part says, "So no one told you life was gonna be this way (clap clap clap clap)"... and then later on goes on to say, "Your mother warned you there'd be days like these." Some think the song uses figurative language, while others insist the maternal warning spoken of is in something other than verbal communication, thus no one "told" you. I'm sure this has caused us all many sleepless nights.

However, today I started singing the "Family Ties" theme to myself, and I had a shocking realization. It too seems to have a contradiction of sorts, or at least a stupid question. The song ponders the question, "What would we do, baby, without us?" Well, isn't it obvious? Without "us" there would be no "we" to do anything. So I started thinking... maybe I was running a fever and getting confused... maybe the song really went, "What would we do, baby, without love?", or some other variation. But, a quick Googling confirmed my suspicions, as seen here (this also has some sound and video samples).

Kind of makes you wonder if this is all part of Hollywood's attempt to distort reality, and gradually take control of our minds. I mean we knew about "Friends", but how long has this really been going on? What if they are exercising mind control without words?... Yes, next I must listen to the theme from "Sanford & Son" backwards, and see if I can dig any deeper into this mystery. And the most disturbing thing about the whole night? I found out Tina Yothers is older than me!!

Thursday, July 13, 2006


It's been a busy couple of weeks for me too. I say too because I just got done reading Christina's blog, and she has been very busy. Is that where the word business comes from, because it keeps you busy?

I am now a task leader at work, which is proving to be interesting and challenging too. I am getting asked to do things that I don't know how to do, or have barely heard of, but I have a supportive team and management that is very good out pointing me in the right direction. Task leader is kind of like a promotion you never get :) It's not a new labor grade, or pay raise, but it's increased responsibility over what I was doing. However, I'm not complaining, because it is also the normal progression of advancement at our company... task lead comes before moving on to other things. I am leading a tiny team too (2 of us now), so that means I should be doing plenty of coding, which is what I like best.

I don't know if it is feeling the extra responsibility or what, but the latest I've gone in to work all week is about 6:45! That's early for me, I used to get in between 8:30 and 10:00 :) I like being real busy at work though, and I definitely am right now.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Just a little more bowling...

I won the little weekly tournament slash league mix that we have on Thursdays tonight. It was fun. There were only 8 bowlers this week, but my score would have made the cut last week when there were 18. I bowled pretty well. The scores are not online for this, but I averaged just a little over 200 for 5 games. Game 4 was low, and came at the right time in my first match against an even lower score. Sometimes you're just meant to win I guess. But even with the breaks I did get, it felt good to also make the other good shots to go along with them and win.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

703 !

Well, I finally bowled a 700 series again tonight for 3 games (703 to be exact). We bowl four games on Wednesday, but to get awarded for a 700 series it has to be your first 3 games. Or it could be your second 3 if you bowled 6 games, but it can't be like games 2, 3, & 4. It's kind of a weird rule, but you can see it for yourself at this link on (rule 51b.1.a.). My fourth game tonight did not work out that hot, I left 3 splits which I missed, and chopped off one other spare I should have made, so ended with 154. You can see all my games I've bowled this year here, it's pretty cool to have standings online. I think this is only my 5th sanctioned 700, and the first since the bowling alley in Greenville opened. I really feel I should bowl them more often than that, but oh well. Like Andy Varipapa once said, if you've been bowling 20 years and still aren't very good, give it another 20 and you're bound to improve (or something like that).

Of course the funny thing about it being tonight is just last week I was commenting how I couldn't believe I still hadn't bowled 700 in this "house" (what we bowlers call a bowling alley).

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Doors let you go in AND out

I usually am quite cognizant of the fact that when I am about to pass through a moderate to high traffic public door, there is a non-trivial probability that another person could be about to access the door at approximately the same time. I often get a little tickled at people who do not seem aware of this. You know the type (or perhaps you are the type), that when you push open a door and they are on the other side they gasp, scream, start flailing their arms around, and fall writhing spastically to the floor (or some slightly lesser startled reaction).

Well, today I guess I was distracted by my new blog, or some such, and I myself was somewhat startled as I passed through such a public door. I don't think I "acted" that startled. In fact, I'm not sure if I would have even noticed I was startled if the other man coming through the door would not have said "excuse me" twice. I then realized that I jumped a little as I went through the door, and started wondering how much. I thought it would be fun to post photos of what I think my face usually looks like going through a door, and what it might have looked like this afternoon when I was startled. But it's late now, maybe I'll do that tomorrow.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Me and CL hangin'

Tonight, me and cat litter hung out and watched some CSI. Trash can was in kind of a weird mood.

It's a bloy!

Well, I decided to go ahead and set up my Blog. You see, I've quit drinking caffeine and eating sugar on a regular basis. I'm not going hardcore (take grape-nuts with me if I go to Six Flags style), but I'm just not drinking coffee or soda at work, and not going to purchase any sugary bits at the market. Well, today we went and ate at Pappa's Pizza. Not only did I have a Dr. Pepper there, the first I have had in several weeks, but we also stopped at Starbucks on the way home and I got a Caramel Macchiato. So now I'm feeling quite wired up, and I thought I'd go ahead and start up my very first Blog!

So a little about my Blog's title, "A Curious Blog". (And yes I left that period outside my quotes on purpose because I like it, and it makes sense to me) . I've always been somewhat of a curious person. I remember once in college I was riding in Jason Newton's car, and he said that I was like a kid because I kept fiddling with his visor, ash trays, cup holders, etc. You know I was just checking out all the nifty gadgets. I took that as a big compliment, usually when someone compares me to a child I do feel complimented. After all, Jesus encouraged us to be like children. I hope this Blog can be curious in many ways. Helping to encourage others to be more curious about life and all the wonder that God has surrounded us with. Or sometimes curious in the sense of being odd or random, which has always been an entertaining way for me to look at the world.

Well, that's the end of my first post, it sure was fun! The first paragraph felt a little like I was doing a commercial with all the brands I put links to. I don't know how consistent I'll be about posting to this, time will tell. For now, good night and God bless!