Sunday, August 31, 2008

A. Time out

Q. What do you call after back-to-back kickoff returns for touchdowns?

Watching the Colorado–Colorado State game (Sports Pack +1) ... CU up 14-0, CSU drives for a touchdown, 14-7. Colorado runs the kickoff back, 21-7. CSU runs the ensuing kickoff back, 21-14.

Someone's tired out there. The next kickoff, CU runs it out to the 20. All the special-teams players promptly went to the benches and collapsed, or something like that.

Bug o' the day

This time, it's a well-known bug: if the other team attempts a field goal or extra point, it goes off the upright, and one of your players catches it, the other team gets the ball.

Yeah, I can't figure out how that would be possible either. My guess is that a) no one in EA's QA department knows college football or b) the people that do were screaming about this and some idiot decided to release the game anyway. What's a major, game-turning bug or twenty anyway?

I quit the game when that happened. Screw that. It's tied late in the third quarter, you're not screwing me out of a close game.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Follow-up

Today, I start by discovering a solution and a problem.

Solution: IE 7 and Firefox 3 do not treat <button> elements the same. If IE sees a button of type submit, it will assume that what you want to do when someone clicks this button is to submit the form; if there is any JavaScript in the onclick event, it will run that in addition to submitting the form. Firefox sees the JavaScript and runs it instead of submitting the form.

This is kind of a problem if your JavaScript calls the submit() function. :)

So I changed the type from submit to button and everything was fine.

Then I found my problem. We have passwords in a database, I want to check the user's password against the database password. Done: I use <cfqueryparam> in the query to ensure they don't put funny little things in there.

But you can also change your password. If you do that, and you log out, when you log in again, I want to check for your new password. I can't do that if the query is cached. The problem is that I can't make the query un-cache (we don't have CF 8 on this server, although I'm not sure that would help much) because you can't use cacheafter or cachewithin when you use cfqueryparams.

So I need a solution for that.

After a sub-optimal day, I return home and find poop in different places, of course. Here's one spot, right by the box I want to use to return my defective headphones. And look, there's something sticking out of it, like a twig. (Um, these are indoor cats ...)

And I pick it up, but it's light, and I drop it on my hand ... oh, at least it's dry ... wait a minute.

That is kind of a twig. This isn't poop. It's a leaf.

d'oh.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bad day ... or maybe not

So today ...

  • I got up after almost eight hours in bed and still was tired at work (okay, I didn't sleep for eight hours, but still, I went to bed about 90 minutes earlier than usual);
  • The stupid sore on the inside of my mouth that feels like it's on my gums won't go away (I can never remember what triggers these: stress? bad brushing? soft drinks? But I cut back!);
  • I discovered a mysterious bug in the little app we were going to roll out to the group that basically blocked our big project on the day that I met the group's leader;
  • There was YET ANOTHER UNANNOUNCED ROAD CLOSURE on the way to the gym, just cones across the intersection and no way through;
  • I forgot my water bottle at home and the gym's vending machine was out as well, so I had nothing to drink during my cardio workout ...
  • which was 15 minutes longer than usual because the machine decided it couldn't deal with me keeping my heart rate "too high", and instead of raising my target rate, it ended the workout;
  • I couldn't even put cheese on my burger tonight because I'm getting my blood drawn for my wellness screening tomorrow and Pepto + blood draw = a very long wait;
  • I'll be fasting for about 10.5 hours for said screening, so I should wake up tomorrow in a fine mood;
  • and the $100 headphones (I got for free with credit card points) I got to replace the crappy ones that Microsoft makes didn't work when I unpacked them.


But you know what? If that's all that life had to shoot at me today, well, that's not such a bad day, is it? :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Yet another reason for I-A playoffs

Drew Sharp opposes them.

It's actually an amusing article. I'm not sure what Sharp's connection to the BCS is, but after reading this, I'm convinced there is one.

On the other hand, maybe he just wants to be the last man on the ship, loudly proclaiming that there's nothing wrong here.

I won't dissect the "logic" in his column. That's too easy. I'll leave that exercise to you, the readers.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Two more things

Ha ha. The Google ad just now was for LASIK surgery. I don't think that's going to help EA write better games.

Also, Starbucks stopped making decaf frappuccinos, which means that probably happened about six months ago and I haven't asked for one since, which is also part of why they don't make them any more. Then again, the prospect of a company known for its service taking away some of your options ... hmm ...

Bug o' the day

If you get sacked by someone coming directly toward you, your throwing hand and the ball will magically pass through his body. When the ball comes out the other side, surprise! It's made contact with a player and is knocked free.

I'm sorry. I think that if my QB can stick the ball through an onrushing defender, he gets to keep it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Things I wish I'd known

Why is it that I get spammed by "news alerts", inundated with links to get alerts on all sorts of meaningless news, but I never see an option to get news on important things, like Melissa Stark's presence on television?

But hey, at least it made me add MSNBC (standard-def, sadly) to my favorites, and now I can watch actual Olympic coverage instead of Michael Phelps and commercials.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

More stupid playcalling

Same game. We have the ball with 2:40 to play, down 10-6 because they cheated. The ball is at the goal line. How would you line up? Goal-line formation, run up the middle, right?

No. You'd line up in the shotgun and call a QB draw. Stupid, but hey, it's going to work. We get everyone blocked up front ... and instead of scoring, the QB decides to slide outside the designed hole and he loses a yard.

Fine, third-and-goal from the two. This time, he does line up in goal line ... but drops back to pass and gets sacked. FG. Still losing, 10-9.

The playcalling is abysmal. Abysmal. I am beginning to think that they actually had Corso decide what plays to call in all situations.

Bug o' the day

This one is bad.

When an offensive player is near you, he can automatically engage you (in a blocking stance) no matter where he is with respect to you, and you must break free of the block before moving on.

Situation: leading Kansas 6-3, third-and-6 at our 8. Toss play to the right. I cut inside the receiver as I see it's a run and move to cut off the RB. As soon as the RB catches the pitch, I turn away from the RB, who is in front of me and slightly to my left, and move to engage the WR, who is still behind me and to my right! Turning so my back is completely to the play I had just successfully identified. To make matters worse, even though I want to get to the ball carrier who is behind me, I am stuck on the guy in front of me. Naturally, because I'm the CB, no one has a pursuit angle and the RB scores easily.

What is this crap? Offensive players carry mind-control rays that prevent you from moving in the direction you want to move? No wonder it's so hard to play defense in this game.

Congratulations, EA, you've crapped all over yet another successful franchise.

EA Sports. It's not in the game, we put it there because we don't test our games any more.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Strategy flaws o' the day

Legend mode, we're Missouri, 4-1 playing at 5-0, top-ranked Texas. Trailing 16-7 at halftime, we close to 16-14 in the third quarter, then force a fumble on a screen pass and return it to the 5. Three plays later, we score ... but then the stupid computer goes for 2. With a spread offense. Why? Because it's EA. When you're leading, especially on the road, you get the sure points. Make the opponents chase. Of course we miss, and it's 20-16. (Earlier in the quarter, we decide to punt on fourth-and-1 from the 31 instead of going for it or trying a 48-yard field goal with the best kicker in the country. Yet more stupidity.)

So on the ensuing drive, we have a great goal-line stand (thanks in part to a great play by me, crashing through the line and chasing down the RB for a one-yard loss on third-and-1), so we take over at the 5. 3:31 to play.

What do we do? Three straight plays out of the shotgun. Freaking morons. And on top of that, the punter kicks it straight out of bounds. So the three-and-out we force doesn't do much good, as they hit the FG to make it 20-19.

2:10 to play. What formation? Spread, of course, and of course we're running the ball. QB gets hurt on the first play, dislocated ankle, out for 10 weeks. Did I mention he's the backup? The third-string QB comes in, hands off once and throws a terrible screen pass, we punt. They convert on the short drive, field goal, 22-20.

However, the game's not over. The bug where the clock doesn't run on kickoff returns comes into play again, and we get one more play. Oddly enough, the third-string QB fails to throw a touchdown pass and we lose.

EA's playcalling is absolutely terrible. Don't run out of the spread. Run out of a running formation.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

New blinc

http://reasonsnottovoteformccain.blogspot.com/

I mean, you really shouldn't need any more than you already have, but just in case you are still thinking about voting for the senior Senator from Arizona ...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Terrible idea o' the day

Not a bug, a design flaw.

When you're in a tight situation, like a big third down or a fourth-down try, EA decided it would be "helpful" to have legendary coach Lee Corso recommend plays for you.

Now, first of all, that's about the biggest joke in the game. If you see anything on this page that makes you think he's qualified to give any kind of playcalling advice, much less in the modern game, you'll be the first.

But more importantly, what it does is wastes time. It's not so important when it's third-and-3 with a minute gone in the first quarter. It's very fucking important when you are driving for a winning TD and have no timeouts left and it's fourth down. I do not want to waste any seconds throwing away what that jackass set up for me. I want to use the formation I just had, maybe even the play I just called.

If I haven't mentioned this before, I'll say it here. Do not buy NCAA 09. It's a piece of crap.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

What he said

Genius.

He explains many of the things I dislike about NCAA 09 much better than I could, and his key point is right on the money: EA made such a mess of the AI defense over that unless you're great at NCAA 09, you're screwed, because you will get no help at all.

In fact, I agree so much I'm registering on those boards just to say so.

A drop in the ocean

Hey, look! EA is bothering to fix some things, including:

  • Improved coverage on kicks
  • WR screen routes improved
  • Ball carrier will no longer run out of bounds when changing hands and heading towards the sidelines


(There are more, but these two are the only ones that fix bugs I've personally seen.)

Note that there is nothing about stat accuracy, nor about the mysterious "servers down" crap that I get pretty much every night after 9 or so, even when the servers are very clearly not down. For that one, what I've seen online (which isn't much) recommends shutting down, disconnecting the 360 from its internet connection, and starting it back up.

Um, no. Your shit's broken, you fix it.

Bug o' the day

This is a fun one. Legend mode, Alamo Bowl against Michigan, we force a punt. Coach finally has me on the punt return team (but not returning, yet). I cover my guy, but realize the guy on the right side is coming in untouched. I miss him and he forces a fumble, but I'm right there. I scoop it up and run it for 13 yards. (Of course, the camera doesn't switch. The camera angles are one of the worst things about this game, compounded by the fact that you can't choose them. at all. EA, this is the 21st century; 21st century, this is EA. But that's not the bug.)

The Super Sim pbp shows the returner, the guy who fumbled it, as having a 13-yard return.

Um, no.

On top of that, the stats do seem to show his return correctly (should be 1 return for 0 yards), but don't show me recovering the fumble or returning it for 13 yards (which is how my yards should be shown).

At this point, I believe no one at EA even bothers to verify stats in these games. Sure, some of these situations are unusual, but a company EA's size should have a large enough testing team to see some of these events, and there's no excuse for recording or announcing stats improperly, not when the NCAA's entire set of rulebooks (for all sports) are available on line for free.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Eggcorn: hoist by my own retard

Awesome day in Chicago. Just awesome. Sun, good weather, Cubs win, scantily-clad women (I need to get out more), good times.

Took the Metra into Chicago (no one rides it at 8 AM on Saturday: shocker), then the el up to Murphy's, met the gang, off to the game, then ended up at Retro on Roscoe. Pretty cool: live bands, lots of good food, $5 entry. So we stayed there for a while. A little too long, as it turned out.

I'd decided not to plan too much and just go with things, so when the group decided to head off to the key club, I headed back to the mass transit system: back to Belmont to catch the Brown Line to the Loop. Didn't check the time.

I walked over there ... in retrospect, that didn't hurt me too much. I thought it was a long walk, but Google says like 1.5 miles, which is 20-30 minutes. I could maybe have caught a cab, but I wanted to save money and needed the exercise.

I get to the station, and of course it takes all 10 minutes for the next train to show up. Off to the Loop, and then to Union Station. Check the schedule, uh huh, next train leaves at 8:40, it's 7:10 now, should be able to board soon.

oh wait.

8. 7. I don't have 30 minutes, I have an hour and 30 minutes. crap. The last hourly train left at 6:40. At first I thought it was because I'd walked, but really, that wouldn't have saved me enough time.

I waited it out, but I had to spend way more time in the station than I wanted by myself. And on top of that, while my legs recovered (mostly) from my weightlifting adventure, I was once again not dressed for long walking, and so I now have chafed the skin in an area where I really couldn't ask anyone for assistance if I needed it, because I'm not dating anyone.

You'd think I'd remember, but no. I need to buy compression shorts or otherwise deal with this better before next year. Yes, maybe losing weight would help. Point taken.

But hey, I lucked into the $5 weekend Metra pass. Saved $3+. sweet.

Friday, August 01, 2008

FOG

Wednesday, we're playing another new team. (New being a relative term, meaning they weren't in our league last session.) I'm front row, right, playing off the net mostly. Now that the nets are close to regulation height, my ability to block is mostly gone. There's an older guy playing across from me. Seems all right, except that he's one of those guys who thinks that coed leagues were made for outstanding male players to show off their talents; women are there simply to fill out the roster.

What I mean is that when he's supposed to be the setter, he works out something with the woman to his left so that they switch on the attack. Um, whatever, if it makes you feel better. It certainly wasn't helping them at all: in fact, it cost them a couple of points because he wasn't in position in time. (On top of that, it nearly set us up for a nice little point by yours truly, except I bumped the ball straight into the net instead of into a recently-vacated area. anger. anger.)

So anyway, once or twice he's pretty close to the net, maybe even reaching over it, but whatever, it's just C-league. And then on this point, someone sets me, and I pop the ball over, and I hear this flip-flip-flip-flip sound, like someone's raking his hand through the net.

The guy opposite me says nothing. Uh, sure, whatever. We keep playing the point, and then finally the two other people in front on our side ask him "weren't you in the net?" Even the woman front right (remember, he switched) is asking him this.

Finally, as the point is about over, he says something like "Well, I guess I might have touched the net a little, but it didn't have anything to do with the play, are we counting that now?"

a) Now? We count it every time, jackass, whether or not the ball is anywhere near you. Especially when you try to pull the net down.

b) Didn't have anything to do with the play? Either you jumped when the ball was there and raked the net, in which case you're a liar, or you jumped when the ball was nowhere near you, in which case you're a retarded monkey.

c) FOG. He wasn't happy when we won the game, and of course didn't say "Good game" as we went through the handshake line.

FOG? <earmuffs>Fuckin'</earmuffs> old guy. You know the type: usually 10-20 years older than the guys they're playing, but isn't anywhere near in that kind of shape, so they have a certain style of play to make up for it. In basketball, it's the guy who grabs your shirt every time you cut through the lane, or pokes you when you go up to shoot, or elbows you when you jump for a rebound. In softball (slow-pitch, of course, these guys can't handle fast-pitch), it's the guy who calls strikes when he's pitching in a pickup game, or pounds his glove in the infield every time a runner comes by, or tries to take out the five-foot-tall girl at second on a forceout.

And when you call them on it, they never admit to it. ever.

If you have a 50-year-old body, and you want to compete with 20-year-olds, play video games, know your role, or get the hell off the court. It's C-league coed volleyball, not the Olympics ... and if it were a serious match, we'd have refs, and you'd have been called for being two feet into the net, so STFU.
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