Saturday, April 14, 2007

Now that's a Ball Game!

Friday night's Red Sox game was a lot more fun to watch than the last one. Things that ruled included:

  1. Actually having seats. I bought a 10 game package of seats on ebay for this year, and this is the first time we got to see them. Turns out to give a heck of a view (section 12, unobstructed view, etc), quite a bit more fun than the standing room seats.
  2. The offense actually supported Wakefield, who pitched a hell of a game. This stands in stark contrast to his last game where he also pitched a hell of a game, but got screwed because the rest of the team couldn't get any runs.
  3. After some slightly strange moves in the 8th put us in a bit of a sticky situation Papelbon came out and took care of things. I'd never actually seen him pitch in person, and man was it something. The crowd really went nuts, and he certainly delivered.
  4. The crowd continued singing "Sweet Caroline" well past the point where the music faded out and the bottom of the 8th started. I always wonder what the opposing teams must think of that when they play in Fenway...
  5. Once the bottom of the 8th yielded its 6 runs they decided not to waste Papelbon on a situation where he really wasn't needed and Timlin came in to finish things out. I definitely like the idea of using Papelbon when he's needed and pulling him out when it's clear that he's done the job.

Anyway, a great time was had by all. Next time I'm going to have to bring my camera, as those seats have a great view of home plate and a pretty decent view of the rest of the field. With any luck I'll be able to come home with some great shots.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Another Season At Fenway

Last night was the first Red Sox game we had tickets to this season. Standing room only, which sounds kind of lame until you realize that the standing room seats have pretty decent views (when some idiot isn't standing at the top of the aisle in front of you anyway). It was a bit cold though. The t-shirt, shirt, sweater, and jacket I was wearing were apparently not quite enough. Next time maybe something with a hood...

As for the game itself, we got shut out by Hernandez. Heck, it was almost a no hitter until J.D. Drew managed to get a single off of him in the 8th. I guess Joanna's technique of incessantly talking about the fact that a no-hitter was going on did work in the end. Dice-K managed to give up 3 runs, but as Rob said, if he pitches like that in every single game this year he'll win more than he loses and nobody would think of complaining. If you're going to complain about anything from last night it's gotta be about the fact that the offense couldn't get their shit together. Doesn't matter how well a pitcher does if his team doesn't score any damn runs.

I must admit though, it was pretty crazy watching Dice-K's first outing at Fenway. The stands were practically white from all the flashes during his first pitch, and I'm still trying to figure out how the guy dressed in a sumo outfit managed to avoid frostbite. The fact that one of the vendors outside the park is now advertising Sausages, Pizza and Sushi will take some getting used to though.

Next tickets are for Friday night versus the Angels. Hopefully it'll manage not to rain. Heck, hopefully it'll manage not to snow...

Monday, April 9, 2007

I'll take "Things I didn't think I needed to double check" for $500, Alex

So, is it just ridiculously outside the realm of normal expectations to assume that when you purchase a picture frame that claims on the package to be 5 inches by 7 inches in size you'd actually get a picture frame that measures 5 inches by 7 inches? Am I the only one who thinks that's a pretty basic requirement and one that you really shouldn't need to confirm before purchase?

I only ask because the 5 by 7 variant of the IKEA clips picture frame (which in all other ways is quite nice really, I'm a big fan) apparently measures 5 1/4 inches by 7 inches.

Naturally, while my printer's software (and once again, I'm more than happy with it in every other regard, it's quite lovely stuff and when combined with this printer makes some beautiful prints) is more than happy to print 5 by 7 or various other sizes that are largely a function of the paper size it totally refuses to print something as arbitrarily odd as 5 1/4 by 7.

Of course, I didn't think it would have to since, let me reiterate, THE PACKAGE SAYS THEY'RE 5 BY 7!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Required Reading: Scalable Internet Architectures

So, last week I managed to find enough free time to finish up my copy of Theo Schlossnagle's book Scalable Internet Architectures. It is, without a doubt, required reading for anyone thinking about working on a large scale internet facing web application today.

Theo is a regular speaker at various open source conferences, and much of the content from his talks made it into the book. That means you get a combination of just plain old good advice on how to make things scale up (worry about logging, think about caching, plan your upgrades), tips you might not have thought of (you can use cookies as a rather effective per-user caching system as long as it's for small amounts of data) and as might be expected from someone who went to Hopkins a hundred and one tricks you can play with the Spread group communication system.

Even if you don't build your application using the techniques that Theo specifically discusses you'll absolutely benefit from his advice on what sort of things you should be thinking about as you design your architecture, since if you don't think about them then you'll just have to do it when you rebuild it later for greater scalability.

Anyway, go grab a copy, it's worth a read.