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Avia S-199 in Israeli Air Force Service

Archive for April 2008

Introverts and communication tech

I’m not a big Skype user, and my IM client (Proteus, by the way) is up only when I need to reach somebody instantly. My e-mail is up constantly, and my e-mail client (Eudora, still) checks for mail every five minutes.

When I work, or when I used to study, I never have music playing in the background. It’s just too distracting. I know many people do listen to music as they work or read, but I’ve never understood how or why they can do that.

Furthermore, when I work, I don’t like to be interrupted in the middle of a task unit. That doesn’t mean that if I’m writing an article or a report that I have to finish the whole thing, but I do need to complete my thought or paragraph before I get up from my chair (speaking of my chair, see below). It’s why I’m usually a few minutes delayed when called for supper or for something else. I have to complete that quantum.

All these characteristics are related, if Joe Kissell is correct. He’s written an article misleadingly titled “Instant Messaging for Introverts” for TidBITS. What he’s written is more of a primer on how introverts, with himself as the holotype, interact with technology and why. It’s fascinating, perhaps because I see myself in just about everything he explains. Give it a read.

Oh, yes, my chair. My old one collapsed on me and I had to buy a new one. It’s no tragedy – I use pretty much the cheapest chair you can buy, the $8.97 model at Reno Depot. No Aeron for me – I find the cheap folding chair perfectly comfortable. I have my chair on a plywood floor that’s raised a few inches on lumber. I built that (OK, Elvi did, but I designed it) so my arms could rest comfortably on my pine desk for typing. The problem with my set-up is that the plastic feet on the first chair I had came off and started to gouge divots in the plywood.

When I bought the replacement chair yesterday, I had the brilliant idea of adding extra feet with felt anti-scuff pads. The model chair I buy, however, only has feet in front. At the rear, the two legs are a single piece of metal bent into a squared U and the horizontal bar rests on the ground. I can’t put feet on it, so right now this chair is tilted ever so slightly up at the front. It adds a lot of strain to my back when I move forward to type.

I’m going to remove the additional feet for now while I figure out what to do. I think duct tape might be the solution. I’ll jerry-build some duct-tape “feet” by wrapping the tape at two places on the back bar. That could work, although it will detract from the natural beauty of the painted aluminum and vinyl.

Bonus frustration of the week:

First, let me remind you that it’s legal to download shared music in Canada. Now, on to the meat…. My copy of Human League’s original “Keep Feeling (Fascination)” starts with the quavering chords of a cheesy organ before it gets into the bass line. The problem is that my copy cuts out abruptly without the fadeout.

I’ve been looking for a better copy without having to dig out my vinyl, but the only files I can find online are a different version with synthetic tones at the start instead of the organ. It’s soulless. And I’m obsessed with finding a replacement.

Ladies and gentlemen, your Irrational League Angels

We held our Irrational League draft yesterday, in record time, I think.

(Interjection as I watch the Braves/Mets game: Wow, what a double-play by Mark Kotsay!)

It was an odd draft. At one point, the bottom dropped out of the talent pool. I never would have thought that Jack Wilson would be anything more than a reserve or last resort, but he’s an asset for me as a utility player.

Third base in particular is weak. I drafted Ty Wigginton with the intention of making him my second baseman, but instead I had to make him a sub-par option for the third-base slot. The outfield is also thin. I had to put my first baseman out there and go with Scott Hatteberg, who’s decent but only a part-timer (although I know how Dusty Baker avoids playing rookies and that gives me hope that Hatteberg will get playing time over Joey Votto).

Here’s what I wound up with and my broad estimates for what they’ll do this year. My four keepers were Young, Smoltz, Berkman, and Beltran.

C: Bengie Molina (SF): .290, 20 HR, 80 RBI
C: Miguel Montero (Ari): .275, 10 HR, 35 RBI
1B: Scott Hatteberg (Cin): .290, 5 HR, 50 RBI
2B: Ron Belliard (Was): .280, 15 HR, 65 RBI
3B: Ty Wigginton (Hou): .270, 25 HR, 80 RBI
SS: Miguel Tejada (Hou): .305, 20 HR, 85 RBI
CI: Jorge Cantu (Fla): .260, 15 HR, 60 RBI
MI: Rafael Furcal (LA): .285, 10 HR, 60 RBI, 30 SB
OF: Carlos Beltran (NY): .275, 30 HR, 95 RBI, 20 SB
OF: Lance Berkman (Hou): .295, 30 HR, 100 RBI, 5 SB
OF: Matt Kemp (LA): .290, 20 HR, 75 RBI, 25 SB
OF: Mike Cameron (Mil): .260, 20 HR, 60 RBI, 15 SB
OF: Wily Mo Pena (Was): .270, 20 HR, 60 RBI
U: JJ Hardy (Mil): .275, 25 HR, 90 RBI
U: Jack Wilson (Pit): .280, 10 HR, 65 RBI

You’ll note that I have a lot of players who will miss significant portions of April. Cameron is suspended for 25 games, Pena’s hurt, so’s Montero. But the injuries are short-term, although Wigginton and Wilson are hurt now, too – only Wilson is on the DL, though. I have Ryan Ludwick and Gabe Gross as fill-in bench players. I also have Andy LaRoche for when/if he comes back.

I have the team pegged for a .280 average and 265 HRs – probably good for third place. I expect to finish near first in RBIs. I’m below average in steals. I have four starting shortstops, which gives me some trade bait.

The strength of my team is the starting pitching.

SP: John Smoltz (Atl): 15 W, 3.50 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
SP: Chris Young (SD): 15 W, 3.20 ERA, 1.15 WHIP
SP: Derek Lowe (LA): 15 W, 3.90 ERA, 1.35 WHIP
SP: Greg Maddux (SD): 15 W, 3.60 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
P: Justin Germano (SD): 10 W, 4.05 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
P: Orlando Hernandez (NY): 10 W, 4.25 ERA, 1.35 WHIP
RP: Manny Corpas (Col): 30 Sv, 5 W, 3.95 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
RP: Jon Rauch (Was): 5 Sv, 5 W, 3.80 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
RP: Cla Meredith (SD): 5 W, 3.65 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
RP: Jon Lieber (Chi): 10 W, 4.75 ERA, 1.35 ERA

And I have Pedro Martinez on the bench. You’ll observe that I expect Lieber to start before the season ends.

This staff will be near the top in wins (about 95), ERA (3.80), and WHIP (1.25). With one Proven Closer, I won’t be last in saves. One team has no closer, four (with me) have one, and five have two. Rauch is a wildcard and might become a full-time closer if Chad Cordero is traded or hurt worse than thought. I can dream, can’t I?

Figure 32 points in pitching (two second-place categories, one win, and one seventh) and 29 in hitting (two third places, a win, and an eighth in steals). That’s enough to win. I know that these Angels don’t look impressive but no roster looks great. I have players to trade, especially once Pedro returns to action.

Bonus funny spam:

If you’re unfamiliar with the “Step n: Profit!” meme, this won’t be funny, but I laughed. The spam hoped I would install an attached trojan, but the message body was this:

1. Think about your girlfriend
2. Look attached details
3. Visit our online store
4. Buy out goods
5. Profit? You ARE the BEST in BED!

He he.

Heh ha haha ha

It’s snowing again. A lot.

A Canadian no-call list

By the end of September, Canada will implement a do-not-call list by which most telemarketers must abide. A variety of organizations may legally ignore the list: registered charities; newspapers; survey companies; and, of course, political parties and campaigns. No, the politicians will not allow us to forbid them from asking for money. As well, any company that a Canadian has contacted may take advantage of a six-month window of opportunity to call back. That’s twice as long as American companies get under identical circumstances.

The CRTC will run the program and has some information on how to register your phone numbers. There’s an easier way, however.

Michael Geist, law professor and Canadian consumer-rights crusader, has opened iOptOut, which allows you to apply for the Canadian do-not-call list as broadly as possible or as targeted as you like. Want only Rogers, Columbia House, and Air Canada to reach you? Click a few buttons and it’s done. It’s an amazing service.

Bonus joke:

A woman meets a man in a bar. They talk, connect, and leave together for his place.

He shows her around his apartment. Three shelves line one wall of his bedroom, stacked with dozens of soft, cuddly teddy bears. It’s obvious to the woman that the man has spent time lovingly arranging them. She’s touched by the thought he’s put into the display. The smaller bears sit along the bottom shelf, medium-sized bears occupy the middle one, and several enormous bears run along the top shelf with their cute ears just grazing the ceiling.

The woman finds it strange that such an obviously masculine guy has such a large collection of teddy bears, and she’s silently impressed by his unexpected sensitive side.

The couple shares a bottle of wine and they chat. He’s smart, too. She finds herself thinking that maybe this could be the guy! He could be the one! The future father of her children!

She turns to him and kisses him lightly on the lips. He responds warmly. They continue to kiss. The passion builds. He lifts her in his arms romantically and carries her into his bedroom. They rip off each other’s clothes and make passionate love. The woman responds with more passion, more creativity, more heat than she has ever known. She’s overwhelmed.

After the intense, fantastic session with this sensitive guy, the woman lies in bed arm in arm with this amazing guy. She rolls over, gently strokes his chest, and coyly asks, “Well, how was it?”

The guy gently smiles, strokes her cheek, looks deeply into her eyes, and says, “Not bad. Help yourself to any prize from the middle shelf.”

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