Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A rather famous singer was using our green screen Friday, and apparently at one point he was eating by himself at the conference table and I walked by and grabbed some food without even recognizing him.

The last time something similar happened it was with Peter Dinklage, and although he's not as big a celebrity, I recognized him almost immediately.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'll need to do some more research on Proposition 8 before writing my next post.  But here's the final paragraph from Nate's February 5th Super Bowl article:

Here, then, is a bet that you might be able to sucker one of your friends into, especially after a couple of pregame beers. Offer to bet him that the game won’t be especially close: one team will win by at least 7 points. He may think the bet is too good to be true, but you have a 60 percent chance of winning.

Final score:  Packers--31, Steelers--25.

That's petty, I know.  The Packers could have easily scored one more point.  I don't care.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Oh snap.  I think Nate Silver's methodology went 0-for-4 in predicting this past weekend's basketball games.  The new projected winner is Kentucky.    

Incidentally, I found his original bracket:

Also incidentally, Nate Silver wrote a fresh New York Times article this morning, but unfortunately I couldn't get past the first sentence without an intense feeling of rage overwhelming my core.  That sentence reads:

Somehow, my N.C.A.A. tournament bracket still ranks in the 76th percentile nationwide, a result which it owes to having performed very strongly in the first couple of rounds.

Oddly enough, Nate didn't link to his original New York Times bracket, which shows he's in the 33rd percentile.  Nor did he link to an ESPN bracket (, which shows, very clearly, any bracket's percentile--and which is also, I think, the largest bracket compiler in the country.  Instead, he linked to his "Yahoo Fantasy Sports" bracket, which conveniently doesn't list a bracket's current percentile, nor does it tell you how many brackets the system is tracking.  (The New York Times contest tracks about 35,000 brackets, while ESPN tracks about 6 million brackets.  No data could be found for Yahoo Fantasy Sports, because their navigation system is fucking terrible, but my guess is somewhere around 100,000 brackets.)

It took me a while to figure out why Nate linked to his "Yahoo Fantasy Sports" bracket, rather than his New York Times bracket.  After all, the Times is his employer, and both his blog and methodology article are located on the Times server.  It turns out his New York Times bracket has predicted 31-of-60 winners correctly, while his Yahoo bracket has predicted 38-of-60 winners correctly.  So clearly Nate Silver filled out multiple brackets and only linked to his most successful one.

Well, no shit.  If I had several different bingo cards, odds are one card would perform better than the others.  When you fill out multiple brackets, odds are one of them will not look pitiful.  Maybe Nate Silver will have some complicated reason for why his personal New York Times bracket isn't official, but his "Yahoo Fantasy Sports" bracket is.  But, truth be told, I don't feel like giving this C-3PO knockoff the benefit of the doubt.

Nate should try to have some integrity, like President Obama, who filled out his one NCAA bracket on national television.  As it happens, Obama, like Nate, didn't get any of his Final Four participants correct.  But Obama's bracket is still in the 94th percentile over at ESPN by dint of his having done well in the earlier rounds.  And that bracket is linked to on the front page for everyone to see.

Tomorrow I'll write more about how Nate Silver pissed me off in the first place.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My team was trying to organize a B-side scrimmage at the Four Leafs tournament.  There were about 60 clubs in total, mainly from New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.  It was twenty-two degrees outside, next to the river, and very windy.

At one point I muttered "Fuck you planet Earth."

A teammate said, "Would you rather play in Jamaica?"

 "Jamaica the country or, uh, Jamaica, like, the city?"

"The country."

"I wouldn't mind that."

"Yeah, but it would be so hot we'd lose twenty pounds of sweat every time we played."

Eventually a match was scheduled with the team from Turks and Caicos--who, to my surprise, were actually scheduled in this tournament.  We predicted we would have the elemental advantage, because they were, in fact, coming from an island in the Caribbean.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I wish there were a way to see Nate Silver's original NCAA bracket.  But the link to his bracket just shows a daily updated version, which now has Kansas as the most likely winner.  (Which is the third different pick, after Duke and Ohio State.)

Friday, March 25, 2011

A guy was playing as a one-man band on the ACE platform, and, it being midnight, I listened for quite a bit before my car came.  He mostly played drums, cymbals, and gimmicky sound effects.  

I bought one of his CDs for $5, saw by the artwork he was part of a two-man band, and later found out I couldn't stand any of his CD's songs for longer than three seconds.  There seemed to be no clear reason why his subway playing was decent but his CD was terrible.  (I mean, it was attributable to the synthetic humming which accompanied every song.  But there was no clear reason why they decided to add that sound.) Even worse, he has now ruined my proclivity to sample CDs from other subway music-makers.  

From now on I'm sticking with CDs from Peruvian flute bands.  They always bring the goods.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Some tenant had placed an old desk, a cabinet, a chair, and computer books onto the curb, along with several plastic bags full of trash.  A tall guy who looked like a skateboarder was quickly combing through them, and he already had a copy of Applied Cryptography nooked in his arm.

"That one is really good," he said, pointing to Operating System Concepts.
I picked it up.  "Really, you recommend it?"
"Yeah, I've got an older version of it myself."
I examined it and shrugged.  "Guess I'll take it."
"May as well, right?"  And then he bustled down the sidewalk. 

So now it's sitting here on my bed.  There are pictures of dinosaurs on the cover.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I had a dream about a man who befriended a female bear outside of his home.  The man took the bear inside and showed her his living room.  The man's wife was coming home later, and the man wanted the bear's opinion on the furnishings.  The man had a magical remote which could change the style of the furniture and decor so that it borrowed from any culture imaginable.  He hit a button and the living room had an Iraqi theme.  He hit another button and the room was now decorated in an Indian fashion.

He asked the bear whether she was impressed.

The bear said that the man's taste was still terrible no matter what culture he borrowed from.

The man asked how this could be, given the vast variety?

The bear further explained that sampling from different cultures doesn't actually enhance your ability to pick well.  The bear then went back into the woods to tend to her cubs, and the man stood there defeated.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dogs always look like they're on a mission.  And that mission is to smell things.

Monday, March 21, 2011

My life always seems so bland in comparison to the people in the iPhone tutorials.  They're always telling their friends about hiking trips or rafting trips that they went on with their other friends, or with little girls who may or may not be related to them. And they take lots of pictures to document their day.

And where was I on Saturday evening?  Lying drunk on a couch watching "Billy Madison."

I mean, I did some fun stuff before that point.  But I didn't take any pictures of it.

I probably should have bought some Trader Joe's Wine and had a cooking party or something.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The power cord accepter on my laptop is cracked and somewhat smashed-in.  It no longer accepts power, which is its primary job.  Now I've got to make weekend posts either via my phone or at the Apple store (which is where I currently am).  In theory, I could also schedule posts ahead of time, but I prefer to make one post each day, rather than setting up a long queue.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I wonder if one of the larger subway hubs (e.g. the 14th street/8th ave. one) would be a good place for a Subway restaurant?  The challenge would be you can only serve people who have already passed through the turnstile, and who, after passing through the turnstile, decide they want a sandwich. 

You know, I don't usually say this about things I write, but that's a goddamn terrible idea.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Back on Valentine's Day I was walking along the Hudson River Greenway and found a couple sheets of folded notebook paper lying by the curb.  My first thought was: "Hilarious love letter found in the street!"  But instead it was a diary entry all about how the person detested herself.  That's not hilarious.  And it's not something I can quote, either.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I was browsing some old XKCD comics, and in one the author (Randall) mentions that "The Lion King" is one of the movies he knows word-for-word.  However the only line quoted from "The Lion King" is misquoted.  It's the line: "But thick as you are, pay attention!"  Randall writes it: "But as THICK as you are, pay attention!" That line is part of the opening stanza of a song, so it's got a memorable rhythm.  The moment I read that, the error was ridiculously obvious.  (And I don't bother to boast about knowing certain movies word-for-word.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

One of the 6-subway stops features large windows that look into the adjacent K-mart.  So you can watch people shopping while you wait, which is kind of cool.  I made up a song about the people inside, which goes like this:

I'm just shopping at K-Mart...
K-Mart is where I shop.
I'm just shopping at K-Mart...
K-Mart is where I shop.

And it's sung to the same tune as "Mellow Yellow."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A while ago:
I was riding on a bus at night.  The bus was mostly empty, and I thought, "Right now I don't need any company.  My reflection is sitting right here beside me in the window; he's all the company I need."  I leaned my head against the window so that our two heads met.
I looked across the aisle and noticed my reflection in the other window had no one to keep him company.  There were three of us, after all, and he was also leaning his head against the window, expecting someone to meet him there.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The lights at the Red Hook fields won't turn on until April, so for now all practices will be held in relative darkness.  Tuesday, during stretching, a cop car mosied alongside our circle and continued down the path. 

A guy remarked, "Little does he suspect, this entire rugby practice is just a cover for us to do drugs."

(Couldn't that philosophy apply to most people's entire lives?)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Borges played with the idea that there existed a single word which encompassed all human knowledge.  I wonder if, likewise, there exists a single nap which encompasses all the naps of a lifetime?  I'm not talking about naps as, like, a metaphor for death.  I mean naps in the literal, non-metaphorical sense.  Thus whoever experiences this one nap will have their mind refreshed for their entire life. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Three guys I'd like to fight:

1.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt
2.  Urijah Faber
3.  Michael Cera

I think I'd have a good chance of winning two of those fights. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

I wish I could take 100 naps right now.  But I know I have to resist that temptation--no matter how tempting it is; there's work to be done, and only one man who can do it, and that man just happens to be me.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I napped my way through parts of a training seminar today.  It felt like old times.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sometimes I feel discouraged, thinking I will never become a true blogger of legend.  But since I only have to write once sentence per day, there's no reason *not* to continue on.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

At work I couldn't get the Flash to work for our website.  It required Flash 10.2, and Flash 10.2 wouldn't install itself on my computer because it was a "PowerPC."  Not knowing what "PowerPC" meant, I found a two-week old article titled: Adobe strikes back! Adobe Flash Player 10.2 doesn’t support PowerPc based Macs.  The author gave a pretty good recap, and ended with: 
"...the news should send shivers down the spines of all those Mac users still revving up their ole’ Emacs or whatever other kind of PowerPC based Mac they still happen to have lying around and depreciating in market value.
Update: This was all tongue in cheek folks, we realize this is everything but a big deal. Carry on."
You ass-munch.  I'm directly affected by this!

Monday, March 7, 2011

I had a dream of sitting in a large auditorium, and the lector had an image up on the projector screen:  It featured a red-haired girl whom I didn't recognize, a bunch of other random images (including an axe), and some numbers (488, 545), and the riddle for the audience was to try and figure out what phrase this giant image represented.

After a while I blurted out, "Is the answer: 'She's smoking hot'?"  This turned out to be the correct answer, because the numbers could be combined to form 451--which, as everyone knows, is the temperature at which books burn.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Boy do I hate Mo Rocca.  I mean, I just can't stand the guy!  Whether it's a "CBS Sunday Morning" segment, an episode of "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" or a 30-second Blackberry commercial, his presence always makes me want to change the channel.  He's the type of guy you might have accidentally listened to as a teenager, back when you were too young to realize that most of the people who have jobs in creative fields are just older versions of the people you went to high school with. 

One day during the Fall of 2008 I was riding an Amtrak train.  I picked up the copy of Arrive magazine and saw Mo Rocca on the cover, looking befuddled and perplexed while wrapped up in an American flag.  (Dammit.  Get out of here Mo Rocca.  Nobody likes your style!)  The cover story, which featured additional photos of Mo Rocca, was about crazy presidential campaign stories throughout American history.  This exact same theme had been done in Mental Floss magazine, not more than a month ago.  I began browsing the piece, and discovered that Mo Rocca and the Mental Floss writer had used the exact same source material to research their respective articles.  What luck!  What a coincidence!  Here was a case study to determine whether or not Mo Rocca, working with the same material, could fashion a better article than a no-name, non-celebrity writer at Mental Floss.

I read the article from start to finish. 

It turns out....Mo Rocca's article was fucking terrible!

It wasn't funny.  It wasn't informative.  It wasn't entertaining.  It wasn't intelligent.  It wasn't insightful.  It wasn't compassionate.  It wasn't mildly pleasant.  It wasn't the least bit inspiring.  It didn't accurately portray the human condition.  It didn't accurately portray the mind of a person doing hard research.  It didn't accurately portray the mind of a person trying to write a good article.  And it didn't accurately portray the mind of a person who gets offended when he reads lousy articles in Arrive magazine--because if Mo Rocca were such a person, he wouldn't have written this article.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

There's an anecdote about Navy Seals who, as part of their training, are strapped into a straitjacket and tossed  into a pool.  Their task is to stay afloat (keep their heads above water), and if they start to panic or thrash their legs they'll never make it.  The solution is to let themselves sink to the bottom of the pool, strongly kick off the bottom of the pool with their legs, grab a mouthful of air when they reach the surface, and then repeat.

Some people would interpret the meaning of this story as: "Go with the flow."  But those people would be dumb.  The "flow" is trying to drag you down and drown you. The lesson is to calmly figure out the best way to fight against the flow.   

Friday, March 4, 2011

There was originally a different blog post sitting here than the one you're currently reading. 

But I wasn't satisfied with it, and made the executive decision to delete it.  The main difference between yesterday and every other day is that I 'published' the post within one second of typing it out, sort of like stream-of-consciousness.  And as a result it sucked.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sometimes I get sad when I realize I'll probably never become a professional wrestler.  Not because it's the greatest job in the world--though it probably provides a big adrenaline rush--but because I've already got the perfect name picked out:  Following in the footsteps of the Brooklyn Brawler, I would be the Jersey Slammer.  And the cool part is, let's say years from now I became this infamous bad guy, feared throughout the land, and people would start asking "Who is this guy?  Where'd he come from??"  And then some clever 13-year-old would realize "Jersey Slammer" is actually an anagram of my former identity.  (I got that idea from reading Harry Potter.)  Thus I would achieve the ultimate goal by having my name form an anagram that describes myself.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The key hole to my new apartment building is problematic, and I've damn near bent my key trying to force it to turn.  Then I discovered the oddest trick.  I can't force it with my right hand, but it slides easily with my left.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Whenever it's 9 P.M. and I figure, "I'll just take a two-hour nap and make my daily blog entry when I wake up,".... it never works.