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Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Pumpkin Carving

April was here on vacation this week, and (inspired by bloodyp), we decided to carve some pumpkins. I’ve never really done it before, but the hardest part ended up being deciding what to do. We ended up going with these:

Pumpkins A pumkin for change! amp_40D_081021_5463

The Red Ring of Death pumpkin has been getting a lot of attention. It was linked on DVICE, and then picked up by Gizmodo. It’s got a blinking red light inside. I want to fix it to make the middle part of it green, like it’s supposed to be, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it. I think the funniest part of this whole thing is that a few people on Giz think they’re not real, that they’re photoshopped images. The others are an emoticon (“Bob!”), the Obama logo, and yes, the Ubuntu logo.

I also got an email from a reporter at a news service who wanted to write an article about them. I wonder if anything will ever happen with that.

I don’t think they’ll last quite until Halloween. I will have to make more. I have big plans in store for that, but I’m not sure I can pull it off. Stay tuned…*

*this is not a guarantee that I will ever write any more about this

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Posted by alan to [geek, politics, video games] at 2:27 pm PT | Link | Comments (3)
Friday, October 17, 2008
Joe the Plumber

I watched the final Presidential debate on Wednesday night. It was the only debate I’ve watched this election season. During the debate, a guy Barack Obama talked to, Joe the Plumber, was brought up quite a bit. McCain brought him up so he could point out Obama saying “spread the wealth around,” which he did say while he was talking to Joe. But that was the only thing McCain took from that conversation. He ignored the substance and got his sound bite, which is typical of politics these days.

Unfortunately, ABC doesn’t let me embed videos here, so you’ll have to click through to see the whole conversation: http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/10/spread-the-weal.html. There’s video of the whole thing, and a transcript. What is clear to me from this video: Joe the Plumber knows the answer he’s going to get, has no intention of ever voting for Obama, and just wanted to get him to say “Yes, I’m going to raise your taxes.” I’ll be the first to admit nothing McCain can say would make me vote for him, either, but I’m not out there asking him questions I already know the answer to.

In an interview with Katie Couric, quoted in this NYT article (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/17/us/politics/17joe.html?_r=2&partner=rssnyt&oref=slogin&oref=slogin), Joe said he wanted to “ask one of these guys a question, and really corner them and get them to answer a question for once instead of tap dancing around it. And unfortunately I asked the question, but I still got a tap dance.” Watch the video. He didn’t get a tap dance, he got a very clear answer from Obama: Yes, I’ll raise your taxes on anything over $250k, but your health care costs will go down. Also, if my plan had been in place the past 15 years you’d been working as a plumber, you’d have been able to buy your own business sooner.

It seems to me Joe the Plumber is just a Republican trying to get an “I’m going to raise your taxes” sound bite out of Obama. He didn’t get it, so he claims he got no answer to his question at all.

In any case, you too can now be Joe the Plumber…

T-shirt from TeeFury. They sell a new one every day, so tomorrow there will be a different one on their homepage.

Also, not really related, but found on the comments on TeeFury:

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Posted by alan to [politics, t-shirts] at 10:47 am PT | Link | Comments (3)
Monday, October 13, 2008
Dodger Stadium

I went to Game 3 of the NLCS tonight at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers scored 5 in the first, and beat the Phillies 7-2. Great game. When buying my ticket, I searched StubHub for a seat that would let me get a picture similar to the one I got at PETCO. I succeeded.

Dodger Stadium

I think I want to try to get the same shot at other stadiums, too.

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Posted by alan to [baseball, photography] at 1:01 am PT | Link | Comments (2)
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
why the Daily Show rules

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Posted by alan to [baseball, politics, television] at 1:51 pm PT | Link | Comments (0)
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
2008 MLB Awards

Here are my picks for the MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year this year. These choices are who I think should win, not who I think will actually win the awards. I look at things differently than most of the people who are allowed to vote, probably. Most importantly, I don’t think the MVP needs to come from a contending team, or even a good team. The “P” stands for PLAYER. You can have value and help your team even if the rest of the team sucks. Contributing more wins for a last place team is more valuable than fewer wins for a division or wild card winner. If you disagree, fine, you’re allowed to have your opinion. I’m not going to argue with you, and keep it out of the comments. I’ll never convince you, and you’ll never convince me. Don’t even try. It’s worse than arguing politics. RBIs depend as much on getting the chances as driving them in. Low RBI total doesn’t phase me. Also, I’m not a huge fan of using win/loss record as a good judge of pitchers. Just look at the 7 blown saves and lack of run support for Santana this year… he should be 22-6 or so instead of 16-7. Or better. I’m not even against giving the MVP to a pitcher, though not this year. In 2006, I would have given it to Santana instead of his teammate.

Okay, enough of that, on to the awards. I’ll start with the AL, because I care about it less.
Note: The names mentioned below are not the only people I considered; just because someone is left out from my rambling doesn’t mean I didn’t think they deserved to be in the running.

AL MVP: I have no fucking clue. Carlos Quentin was going to be the obvious choice until he got hurt. Milton Bradley has had an amazing season, but hasn’t played quite enough games for me. I don’t see any clear-cut winners here. If Grady Sizemore was hitting .290 instead of .268, I’d go with him.

  • My pick: Dustin Pedroia
  • Runner up: Joe Mauer
  • Who I think will win: Justin Morneau (struggled the last week and his team didn’t make it). No idea. Pedroia maybe, but Youkilis will split the Red Sox vote.

AL Cy Young: Is there really a question here? Cliff Lee is 22-3 for a mediocre team, and he’s earned every bit of that. I don’t wanna hear anything about Francisco Rodriguez. There are at least half a dozen closers this year that would have 62 saves if they’d been given 69 chances. An 89-90% save percentage is typical for top of the line closers. The only difference this year has been opportunities.

  • My pick: Cliff Lee
  • Runner up: Roy Halladay
  • Who I think will win: Cliff Lee

AL Rookie of the Year:

  • Evan Longoria
  • Runner-up: eh
  • Who I think will win: Evan Longoria

Now, on to the NL, which I have followed a whole lot more closely.

NL MVP: Lots of good choices here. The best hitter in the league is clearly Albert Pujols, but he did miss a little bit of time. In the absence of an obvious choice, the contending team factor does come into play some for me. Four Mets are legitimate candidates (seriously, this isn’t just my bias), as is Ryan Howard. Chipper Jones missed too much time. Hanley Ramirez hasn’t been quite efficient enough with his stolen base percentage (barely ahead of the 70% break-even point). Manny Ramirez wasn’t in the league long enough. Tough call.

  • My pick: Albert Pujols
  • Runner up: Lance Berkman
  • Who I think will win: Ryan Howard

NL Cy Young: My pick here is going to shock a lot of people, I think. Brandon Webb struggled down the stretch. He has the high win total, but is only 9th in ERA. Santana has the best ERA, and is up there in strikeouts, and should have more wins. I believe he also leads the league in quality starts, though a 4.5 ERA is hardly “quality”. Tim Lincecum’s ERA is only a touch behind Santana’s, and he’s got more wins for an awful team. He’d get my vote over Santana if not for the guy I’m going to pick.

  • My pick: Brad Lidge. Yes, you read that right. Converted 100% of his 41 saves. Didn’t lose a game. Most of his saves in a high-pressure situation, and a lot of them in games closer than three runs. His ERA was under 2. 92 strikeouts in 69.1 innings pitched. That’s almost 12K/9. About the only knock against him I can find is he’s walked too many batters. As far as I’m concerned, he’s been the best pitcher in the league this year.
  • Runner up: Tim Lincecum
  • Who I think will win: Tim Lincecum

NL Rookie of the Year: Easy.

  • My pick: Geovany Soto
  • Runner(s) up: Joey Votto and Jair Jurrjens
  • Who I think will win: Geovany Soto
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Posted by alan to baseball at 1:11 pm PT | Link | Comments (1)
Sunday, September 28, 2008
The Worst Part…

…is probably this:

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Posted by alan to baseball at 6:17 pm PT | Link | Comments (1)
They are just … so damn bad. (1)
Monday, September 15, 2008
twitter conversation

metsfan @donkeypuncher that would be awesome, but i’m about to start watching, so there’s no way…

[Mark Loretta, the first batter I watch, gets the first hit of the game off of Ted Lilly. In the 7th inning.]

metsfan @donkeypuncher told you. my fault.


donkeypuncher @metsfan damn you!

thisisnotapril Icon_red_lock @donkeypuncher @metsfan @maigrey if alan is runing anything that has to do with the Cubs, i am all for it.

Update: That was the Astros only hit of the game, though Lilly came out after the 7th.

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Posted by alan to baseball at 12:42 pm PT | Link | Comments (2)
Girsh Park Fireworks

A couple of weeks ago, we had some fireworks out here. They were supposed to be on July 4th, but postponed because of the fire, so they were on Labor Day instead. I took a few pictures, but didn’t think I got much of anything. I finally looked at them this weekend, and they came out much better than expected.

Girsh Park Labor Day Fireworks Girsh Park Labor Day Fireworks

You can see the whole set here: http://flickr.com/photos/penner42/sets/72157607296248409/

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Posted by alan to photography at 9:43 am PT | Link | Comments (2)
The collapse has officially started. That is all. (2)
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