Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rock Band spreadsheet under construction

I would like to thank all those people who've stopped by to grab a copy of my Rock Band spreadsheet. I hope it's helped.

I also know it's out of date, and for more reasons than one: with Rock Band 2 out, I've really not gone back to Rock Band much, if at all, so it may be a while before (if) I get those updated. Also, I know I need to add the new songs for RB 2 ... just keep in mind those difficulties seem to be a bit screwy. I know there are some songs that just don't seem to match the ratings in RB 2. Oh well ... thanks for your patience, and I'll do what I can to get those up soon.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


So. I'm poking around on Amazon for who knows what reason Monday, and suddenly it tells me "Dude, you're not even trying to lose weight. Stop disguising your fat ass and get Wii Fit."

Well, to be more accurate, my body is fortunately shaped in such a way that I can hide the 20-25 extra pounds I carry, and Amazon doesn't (yet) word its requests in such a way. (Rest assured that if Apple designed an e-commerce site of that size, it would have a "Genius" that would absolutely talk to you that way. If it's such a genius, why doesn't it figure out a way to play the songs I like without taking up half of the application's real estate?) But Amazon did point out that Wii Fit was in stock, and would I like one?

I said yes please, and I added that $4.99 for next-day shipping. And I went back to work. kind of. (My Facebook profile updates? Yeah, that must be some weird thing on their part. I mean, I'm not really on Facebook all the time.)

So yesterday, Wii Fit arrives ... but there's more to the story. Certainly you're aware of the snowstorm, right? Yeah, for once, the forecasters were right on target. In fact, I'm typing this from the comfort of my home right now, after spending 30 minutes shoveling about a foot of snow from my driveway. So anyway, the roads are bad, I know, but I have to get home, because they lock up the building at 6. (I need to see if I can get a key so I can hang out longer in such situations.) Not that last night would have worked ...

... because I registered for the online Jeopardy test, just so I could convince my friends I'll never appear on the show. (Okay, not true: just so I could actually try to be on the show. My knowledge isn't near broad enough to qualify. How do I know? Well, when you know you miss at least 7-10 questions, you aren't going to make it.) The Tuesday test was at 8. I left at 5:30.

At 7:55, I pull into the driveway, after gathering enough speed to get through the snow and go uphill (the Civic isn't a big car, you know, although at least it's heavier than my old Protege). I dash around the corner of the garage, grab Wii Fit off the porch (yeah, my neighborhood is old-school: no one messes with packages), rush inside, drop coat, gloves, and package, and log on.

Last year, I had to take the test at my server/old computer, the one wired to the modem. Proxy stuff and all that. This year, no issues at all. I log in immediately and see I have 6 minutes. Hang up coat, bathroom break, then take the test. After knowing I failed, I go outside, get the mail and the little package that was underneath the big one, and set up Wii Fit.

Of course I try to sync the board without a disc in the drive. duh. I sync it up and we begin.

First sign of trouble: there's no 5'8½". Height is measured in inches. (Ha. Should have done metric. I'd be ... um ... 68.5 * 2.54 ... um ... about 170 cm? Okay, 174, but not bad off the top of my head, right? In that alternate world on a Sliders episode where academics were valued like athletics, I'd have my own harem. And no, there is no link, because most of the episodes on IMDB don't even have keywords, much less a plot synopsis.) So, like at work, we round up. No, really. For this health thing, they measured me as ½ inch taller than I thought I was, and of course their system wouldn't accept halves. So I'm 5'9". Bonus!

It weighs me fairly accurately (maybe a little light), and suggests that I'm overweight. Um, yeah. Knew that.

Basic test. Balance? Done. I can haz balans. My Wii Fit age is 33. I quickly looked around to see if anyone had seen through the blinds that I kissed the balance board. (I didn't really. Figure of speech. Poetic license.) Sounds nice, but three years ago at Lifetime, I did their little assessment thing, and my "age" there was 30. That involved a bit more strength and cardio testing, so I suspect this one is a little easier on me.

So we need to get the BMI down, right? Makes sense. I'm 28, or 27.5, or something. Pick your weight goal, it says. 152 with abs of steel, I says. No, in this universe, it says. Right. So I click down. Tenths of a pound, huh? Our goal is a BMI of 22, and the BMI is updated as you set your goal. (Higher? You could use this to gain weight? I don't know about you, but motionless video games and pizza on the couch do that for me. Did I say couch? I meant sectional. Theater seating. Whatever.) So we begin the journey. I click it down ... 2 ... 4 ... 6 ... man, this takes a while ... 8 ... 10 ... suddenly I realize there's no weight goal, just a weight-loss goal, so now I'm doing subtraction in my head ... two years ago ... Discovery Health Challenge weight ... many years ago ... possible weight in col-

what? stopped?

It won't let me set a weight-loss goal higher than 22 pounds. And my BMI at 164 is not 22. It's higher.

So you're saying I need to lose weight, but you won't let me lose the weight I need to? How cruel.

Okay, seriously, it's probably just an initial limitation, that you really shouldn't be trying to lose too much weight at once, and 22 pounds is about 12% of my weight, so it's not a bad goal at all. Other than the fact that when I did the DHC a few years ago, I got down to 170. Maybe a touch under 170. And that was with eating plans, weights, cardio, all that. And I was younger. And not working on my MSE.

But what the hell. I mean, might as well shoot for "damn", and if I miss, I end up with "not bad at all". So yeah, now we're looking at 164. In three months. Which is more aggressive than I was originally.

Oh wait, no it wasn't. oops. Right, so an invisible, forgotten goal doesn't work. right. So I gave myself three months, because there wasn't an option for 11 weeks (2 pounds per week).

And maybe at some point in the future, it'll let me pick a weight that'll give me a BMI of 22. Of course my frame probably won't sustain it - I've long ago conceded that my build is "stocky", I was just running around like crazy as a teenager and constantly burning calories to hide that build - but if I end up at 170, I mean, that's not so bad.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I'm sorry, Mr. Mayhew, he's unavailable right now

Tim Tebow is returning for his senior year.

Translation: "I'm not going to Detroit."

Sam Bradford is returning for his junior year.

Translation: "I'm not going to Detroit."

Now Matt Cassel says he'll back up Brady in New England again if Brady returns.

Translation: he's not Lucifer.

So who's going to pull the trigger for Scott Linehan in 2009?

Probably not Kitna, because he was thrown under the bus and likely won't return even if Schwartz wanted him to. While some combination of Orlovsky/Stanton/Henson will return, it'll likely be in a backup role (unless Detroit does pick a QB high, and I don't see that happening).

I'd guess the guy who happened to shine under Linehan in Minnesota.

You think Culpepper's happy to be reunited with his old OC?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

When is SQL Server not SQL Server?

When it's MySQL, of course.

(note: programming-heavy content. Normal sports, gaming, and random content resumes tomorrow.)

You see, it goes like this. We're using ColdFusion 8 and want to use Windows Authentication to login to SQL Server databases (2005, for the most part). Of course that's not directly supported, so we have to set up the data sources as Other and use Microsoft's JDBC driver to connect.

Now for the most part, that's not that big a deal (once you remember that you have to grant access to that user to the database itself - oops on my part). But when a sequence is involved ... (tangent: SQL Server is absolutely stupid when it comes to sequences. I have no idea why they don't separate them from tables like Oracle does)

So when I add a record to a table, either I have to use janky code that runs multiple queries in a single cfquery tag, or I can take advantage of the new feature in CF 8 that returns the identity (SQL Server's name for sequence) value that was just used. Duh.

Of course Adobe "helpfully" set it up so that each database returns a different key-value pair for the same purpose, rather than using a single key for any database. That would have been entirely logical and reasonable. And of course Microsoft's driver prevents CF from realizing that it's connected to a SQL Server database for these purposes, so as a result, it returns the key for a MySQL database (GENERATED_KEYS) instead of the one for a SQL Server database (IDENTITYCOL).

not. helpful.

+1 to me. -1 to Adobe. times 2.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Today, we had bagels for breakfast. There were donuts as well, but I had a bagel.

Why? Well, for one thing, I'm trying to be a little careful. (Not that the bagels I eat are really better than donuts.) For another, there were cinnamon crunch bagels.

I can't explain it, but for whatever reason, I love cinnamon. Maybe it's as simple as the cinnamon toast my dad would make on special occasions. He'd make it in the toaster oven - it looked burned (and maybe sometimes was) but we didn't care. Basically, it was butter and cinnamon and sugar, thick enough so that it made a crust kind of like you'd see on creme brulee. Now, maybe it was good because we didn't get really sweet stuff often, or something, but whatever the reason ... anyway, to this day I really, really like cinnamon.

Of course, it's also possible that I've simply taught my body to crave sugar in any form, and now that it doesn't get alcohol, it needs to make up for it in whatever way it can find, and there's something about cinnamon that gets me to eat more sugar, or whatever.

I like the toast theory myself.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Speed check

Not bad. I'm happy with it. I suppose someday I'll want faster service, but for now it's fine.

Late night laughs

Courtesy of the Consumerist.

This review on Amazon. The ultimate self-help book.

That is all.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Boycott the BCS

Why? Because Bill James says so.

Okay, I don't mean it so literally, but I do respect James' work, and obviously I'm no BCS fan myself. I recommend you read the article and do as he says decide for yourself ... I think he makes some good points, in particular about how the BCS standings have been manipulated through the years.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

How it's done: the first-down line

One of the great inventions of the modern era, the first-down line on a football telecast, has been dissected for your perusal. Please to visit Gizmodo. kthxbai.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

That's not really him, right?

So I've got the NBC pregame show muted, because it's usually full of crap like all pregame shows. (Keys to winning: stop the other team.) But I look up, and I see a man who looks suspiciously like the worst GM in NFL history. Sure enough, that's him.

What's he doing? Spouting some crap about how the Lions aren't that far away from winning.

The old Dan Patrick would have ripped him to shreds, right? Right? This one? Well, I could only stomach about ten seconds before I muted it again, but it sure didn't sound like he was holding Millen's feet to the fire.

What a joke. The only reason for Millen to appear on TV is to apologize for all the damage he did to that franchise.