Basketball

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Now that the Golden State Warriors are one of the best NBA teams ever, I’m interested in basketball. It’s like having the 90s Bulls around again. I love watching Steph Curry. He’s like one of the Globetrotters making everyone else look like a bumbling ass.

Even though I enjoy watching basketball, both college and pro, I freaking hate playing it. Of all the sports no one looks, or acts more douchey than someone playing basketball. For some reason, everybody that plays basketball thinks they’re great at basketball.

Most guys are total shit at basketball, yet don’t have any problem telling me not to take a shot, or to pass as soon as I get the ball. At my gym, you see all these frumpy middle age guys playing, thinking they’re pretty bad ass, and yet, like a pussy, they call every foul instead of just playing.

It’s like playing intramural sports back in college. There were all these guys who overcompensated for being cut from varsity sports back in high school who thought they knew what they were doing. Those guys have never moved on. Now, you’ll find them screaming up and down the sidelines or court side coaching your kids.

Scowl

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Physical therapy starts today. The swelling has gone way done and the pain has become more of an ache. My range of motion is decent, but it stiffens up and can be quite sore to move. I hope it won’t be too painful later today.

I have taken to wearing a knee brace on the outside of my pants to go along with the crutches. I don’t need it for support, it’s so people believe me when I sit in a priority seat on BART.

Two weeks ago, I learned the hard way that sitting in those seats will get you ripped a new one. I was in a priority seat on a crowded train, reading when a 60-something woman boarded. There isn’t a unit of time small enough to measure how quickly I was scorned – not by her, but other passengers. She and I established eye contact and after a polite exchange of non-verbal cues, traded places. She, rightfully, got a seat while I took my place standing among the eye rollers and cluckers who turned their backs on me and smiled at her.

Mind you, those seats are for anyone as long as someone else doesn’t need them. But the least people can do is give me a chance to be an asshole before implying I am one.

Granted, I know I didn’t do anything wrong. I just can’t stand that some people were smugly patting themselves on the back for merely being indignant. You know damn well they got more satisfaction out of me losing the seat than the older woman getting to sit down.

Drought tolerance

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Here in California, we are experiencing one of the most significant droughts in more than 100 years. Where we live is pretty arid to begin with, but that doesn’t stop people from trying to have lawns and landscaping that are more appropriate for the midwest and places with a surplus of water.

My town has imposed some heavy water restrictions. We have to reduce our usage by 25%. On the surface, that sounds like a good idea. However it’s an across-the-board reduction based on prior use. So if didn’t waste a lot of water to begin with, you’ll feel the pinch more than the people who have, and continue to use water for pointless purposes, like watering grass.

One of the most egregious water-wasters is the town itself. All around you can see them running sprinklers to maintain grass in places that don’t even need it, usually right near sidewalks.

The thing with water is, they aren’t making any more of it, and you can’t really spend your way out of the mess.

RIP PSH

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I have to admit, I never really cared for Phillip Seymour Hoffman, unless of course, you’re talking about his role in “The Big Lebowski.” He died Saturday night, and it came as no surprise to me. I said he joined the “Mile Away Club”. That’s for celebrities whose drug-related death comes as no surprise. I don’t like to speak ill of the dead, but he practically bragged about his impending end.

My kids knew who he was from the “Hunger Games”. My son said “uh-oh”, because he evidently was a crucial character.

How Much Should College Athletes Get Paid? – Businessweek

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It’s all but inevitable that athletes will start getting paid—the only questions are how and how much. In recent years, we’ve seen a lot of ideas floated, from the introduction of small stipends to the creation of a tightly regulated intercollegiate system with strict salary caps. But there’s another possibility: The best plan might very well be no plan at all. Or, if you prefer, it’s a plan called the free market.

It’s really hard to watch the cost of college skyrocket past everyone else’s reach to even entertain the idea of paying athletes in addition to scholarships. But I think there is some sense to it if done correctly.

I love college sports, but schools should just get out of the sports business. Don’t dump it, just outsource it…

  • Schools could sell the rights to their names to the highest bidders
  • Use the money from royalties for academics
  • Free market solution, let fans, sponsors, etc. pay the salaries through tickets and endorsements
  • Hire the best athletes, and if they want to go to your school charge them tuition

I’d rather see kids who want to go to college for and education and open up resources that are being wasted by athletes who are there only to play sports.

via How Much Should College Athletes Get Paid? – Businessweek.

Tell me you didn’t spend $6 on this card

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Good news, Hallmark has a holiday version of their mawkish “Tell Me” commercials. I used to think these commercials just pandered to a character flaw. After all, the people are needy and smug. I’m uncomfortable watching them dictate what you should say and feel.

Now I see the genius behind the ads. Hallmark is really telling me, you better get a card for that unhinged friend, spouse, parent, child, co-worker, dog groomer etc., or you’ll never hear the end of it.

If you want to know who those people are? Watch the commercials with them and see how they react. If they don’t vomit just a little in their mouth, then you probably need to get them a card.

No, Mr. President, Not Everyone Needs to Learn How to Code – The Wire

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The market is already over-saturated with self-taught developers who don’t know what they’re doing. This article gets closer to the heart of the actual problem. Our economy would benefit from more people developing a better understanding of technology. That doesn’t equal learning how to write software.

Just as every American doesn’t need to get certified as a mechanic, but should know how to change a tire, every American should know how computer systems work in the abstract but doesn’t need to code.

via No, Mr. President, Not Everyone Needs to Learn How to Code – The Wire.

iPhone Earbuds

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I know, I know. I’m not the first person to complain about this, note the cartoon (courtesy of “The New Yorker” magazine). Ever since the original iPod, Apple has continued to use the same rubbery material for their headphones.

It’s like they have a life of their own. I left headphones in drawers, and baskets, alone for weeks only to come back and find them coiled up and twisted into little clumps.

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Summer has blown by

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This has got to be one of the shortest, or fastest summers I can recall in a long time. Some of it has to do with it’s late start. Spring here wasn’t worth mentioning. What I think makes time fly more is having kids. Because school starts technically before during the Summer, it seems to end sooner for us.

Summer is also the reason I haven’t been making too many posts. I tend to be busier this time of year, and any extra time I have is spent being outside and not inside writing.

Unboxing the Leap Motion device

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My long-awaited Leap Motion device arrived the other day and I couldn’t wait to get my, um, hands on it. The interesting thing about the Leap is that while you operate it with your hands, you don’t touch anything. It’s can accurately track your fingers and hands and map them to inputs on the computer. Instead of turning any display into a touchscreen, it can be touch less. Essentially, you are the interface now.

The early reviews of the device mostly say it’s not ready for prime time. They may be right, but only if you’re thinking of this as an input device. One of the reasons I don’t think of it as very good for input is that it’s too accurate. This thing is very precise and can track your movements down to a pixel.

I wouldn’t go as far to say the device isn’t ready. It works, and it works well. It’s not buggy. It doesn’t crash my machine. The one thing I would change is the cable. The industrial design of this thing is elegant, then you have this cheap unnecessarily long cable dangling off of it. It’s incongruous to the device itself.

What’s not ready is today’s software. Most of what we use is optimized for the device on which it runs. Desktop software using a mouse or trackpad. Mobile devices use fingers. All these input devices provide some form of resistance which enables more accurate movements and nudges.

Nice Package(ing)

Nice Package(ing)

One place the Leap could be compelling is situations where eyes-free tasks are needed. For example, in the car. When I’m driving, I can have one hand free, or at least move my fingers while they’re on the wheel. Whether you think the windshield should be used for a heads-up display is debatable. However, you could control the navigation or radio in your car without having to lean forward and over to touch it.