August 13, 2018
It's 2016 All Over Again Last night the Cubs were facing Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals. If you're not familiar with the National League, Scherzer is on the short list of "best NL starting pitcher." And by short, I mean "him and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers". And for seven innings, he proved the old maxim that good pitching beats good hitting, completely shutting down the Cubs.
Meanwhile, the Nationals were having a difficult time with the Cubs newest acquisition, Cole Hamels. While not quite as sharp as Scherzer, he still had a great outing for a team that hasn't had many of those this year. Despite that, the Cubs were down 3 - 0 going into the bottom of the ninth.
The Nationals brought in reliever Ryan Madson to close it out. He got the first batter, then gave up an infield single. He hit the next batter, then coaxed a pop fly for the second out. Madson then hit another batter to load the bases. What happened next was magic.
Skip to 2:45 for the moment of a lifetime
David Bote has played a grand total of 35 games of major league ball in his career, all of them this year. He became the third player in baseball history to hit a walk-off grand slam with two outs and trailing by three... and he had two strikes on him,and he was a pinch hitter to boot. Good way to end a game.
I'm starting to get those 2016 vibes from this team, because this is exactly how the 2016 team did things. I'll take that, yeah.
August 11, 2018
Duckford Blue It was another late night at the job last night. 11 hours on the clock, almost 12 if you count the lunch break... by the time I finished my mandatory 10 hours of OT for the week, it was 945pm and I was the last person in the building that wasn't one of the three cleaning crew people. Even they were leaving out the back door as I was heading towards the front. Honestly, I think I had been the last person in the building since around 7pm... pretty much everybody tries to be gone as early as possible on Fridays. Except for me, of course, mostly because I enjoy singing while working and I don't want to disturb my coworkers.
Sure, that's the reason. Really. It has nothing to do with my not being able to drag my butt out of bed with any alacrity in the morning. Anyway. My work done, I grabbed my cane and headed out the door to the parking lot. Where I saw a police car sitting right behind the Duckmobile, headlights on and clearly running my plates, or whatever they do these days. Technology: ain't it grand? Immediately I began wondering what did I do wrong? Because that's the first reaction of anybody when a police officer begins an out-of-the-blue interaction with you: the police are talking to me, ergo I must have done something wrong. Even if, like me, you haven't had a traffic ticket in 32 years and the last time you were in court was for jury duty.
I began trudging towards the car, parked at the far end of a decent sized parking lot and after a long day of work... and ohbytheway, the police car too... when the police officer yelled "Is this your car?" I had to restrain an insane impulse to yell back "No, this one is," point at an empty parking spot, and start miming unlocking the door, getting in and driving away. Instead, I behaved like an actual adult and yelled back "Yes, that is my car." Another question came back: "Are you Wonderduck?" "Yes...?"
The officer backed up a bit, then drove right up next to me, driver side window to my left. He smiled, or at least that's what I inferred from the movements the big furry caterpillar on his upper lip suggested. "There's no problem, it's just that a lone car in a big darkened parking lot late on a Friday night... just thought it'd be good to check it out, y'know?" I explained myself, finishing overtime, last one in the building, yadda yadda. "Great, glad there isn't a problem. You have a good night, Mr Duck."
And he pulled away, leaving via the lot's back exit (coincidentally, the same way I usually leave). A few moments later, I see him go flying past, gumballs spinning, siren screaming.
So that was how my Friday night at work ended. Upon reflection after a day's separation, it wasn't as exciting as I thought at the time.
August 07, 2018
Yes, I'm Still Alive! Hooray! Overtime is really kicking my llama's arse. Weekends have been spent sleeping or doing even less than usual. Weeknights... well, I'm usually getting home between 9pm and 10.
Which is not to say I haven't been keeping eyes on things, heavens no. For example, Smiley Ricciardio is going to be leaving Red Bull at the end of the season and moving to the Renault works team. Lets face it, with golden boy DH Verstappen on the scene, Dannyric was never going to be The Man at the Bull. Whether moving to Renault will be a good career move or not remains to be seen, but at least he's free of the Dutchman. Who will be replacing him at Red Bull? I don't know, because there's a huge X-factor involved, namely that Verstappen has the ability to nix any driver the team tries to bring in. So don't be so quick to say Pierre Ghastly, current hotshoe over at Toro Rosso, my friends. He'd be totally logical, which means that DH might just say "no."
In other F1 news, Force India nearly died recently... because Daimler-Mercedes and team sponsor BWT supported FI driver Sergio Perez essentially sued his team for $4million of unpaid debt. Force India's engine manufacturer Mercedes says the team owned them around $10million, while BWT claimed that their sponsorship deal was really "just a loan." The team went into receivership, and was quickly snapped up by a group of five deep-pockets, led by Pleasant Stroll's daddy and the billionaire father of GP3 driver and FI's test driver, Nikita Mazepin. I'm pretty sure I know what the driver lineup for Force India will be in 2019.
Okay, I'm tired. More sometime soon.
July 25, 2018
Note My Life I'm still on mandatory overtime, and with Monday night spent at Best Buy bringing home Triela I'm running behind. I was on the clock for 11 hours tonight, which leaves me with 5.5 hours of OT to do by 10pm Friday.
I've got a new gaming computer, and I haven't had a chance to actually DO anything with it yet! I'm d/l'g Fallout 4 to the SSD, but that's a 25GB game... it's taking a while.
So... how's everybody over there?
July 23, 2018
Step 3: See Step 1 The moment I expected, yet feared came Saturday. In the afternoon I started my old computer, browsed around for a couple of hours, then watched Quals for the German Grand Prix, shutting it down as I did. I then took a nap.
Saturday night, I hit the power button on my computer and... nothing. The hard drive just gave a rhythmic, constant, flashing light with no sign of life otherwise. She had finally given up the ghost after doing her best for me. Press F to pay respects.
So I spent the rest of Saturday night tearing down my computer setup, figuring out how to store the old computer until I can get around to beating the hard drive into a very small smear, the better to keep my info safe y'know? Also accomplished was removing the old 19" 1440 x 900 monitor... over 12 years old would you believe... and putting the new 24" 1080p monitor in position. And then I slept, ready to get the new computer in position and move up in the world.
This was duly accomplished around 4pm on Sunday. Everything plugged in, everything ready, I hit the power button, and...
...nothing. I tried another power cable.
...nothing. My brand new computer was DOA out of the box.
A quick run to Best Buy got me an exchange for another, this time with free setup. It only took an hour to accomplish this, an hour, two managers, two different salespeople, one customer service rep, and a sugar glider named Hugo.
I may be exaggerating part of that.
Monday rolls around, and after work I head back over to the BigBlueBox, getting there exactly on time for my appointment, and... I had to wait for a half-hour while two biddies who looked old enough to remember a time when the most complex computing device you could find was an abacus tried to understand what the tech was telling them... "power button is here on the side."
A quick demo of the new computer (it works! it works!) led to me loading it into the Duckmobile and driving home to Pond Central. At which point, I was faced with some difficulty. How do you get a 30 pound computer up a flight of stairs when you use a cane? The answer is "slowly, step by step." Carry the computer to the stairs, put it as many steps up as you can, go back to the car to get the cane, go up a couple of steps, lift the computer up another couple of steps, climb some more, repeat as many times as needed (five, in case you were wondering).
Just as an aside, at the time I returned to Pond Central, somewhere around 845pm or so, it was still in the mid-80s outside, with ridiculously high humidity, and no breeze whatsoever. As a result, Your Hero was drenched in sweat when he got the computer inside. Also exhausted: it had been a long day at work, and the whole "carrying things up stairs" gig was awkward. And painful: a poorly placed foot as I was trying to maneuver the tower through the door to Pond Central resulted in rather a lot of ankle pain. I'm hoping I didn't sprain it; we'll find that out tomorrow morning.
After taking a while to regenerate some action points, I found myself back where I had been Sunday evening: everything hooked up and just needing to hit the power button. Filled with trepidation, this I did.
Everybody, say hello to Triela.
July 16, 2018
Step 2: Get New Monitor COMPLETE!
I love Amazon Prime. After realizing that I was going to need a new monitor for my new computer, I immediately went to the Retail Giant and ordered one. It arrived today. Now, I have a great relationship with the not-receptionist at work. I tell her I've got packages coming, and she usually brings them to me once they show up.
Not today. Today, Amazon shipped the monitor in a HUGE box lined with, I dunno, sheets of lead disguised to look like crumpled paper. The thing weighed a whole bunch... not as much as the computer, true, but still a whole bunch. Too much, considering the monitor itself is allegedly only nine pounds.
I'm terrified it's too big for the available space. I know I've got the room... my measurements confirmed it... but it still feels too large.
Unfortunately, I don't know when I'm going to get to set up and go! I've got 9.5 hours of OT to do in the next four days. That means late nights at work and dear god the Windows setup process is... well, you know.
But it's here! And who knows, maybe I'll get the flu or something.
July 15, 2018
Step 1: Get New Computer COMPLETE!
I'll admit the name "Inspiron 5676" does nothing to make the heart beat a little faster but that's okay, I take medicines to prevent that from happening anyway. It's what's inside that counts, and the new 2nd Generation Ryzen 7 2700X is AMD's top-of-the-line processor. It has a 1TB hard-drive, but it also has a 256GB SSD, which I'm told is important these days. That's all matched up with a Radeon RX580 graphics card, which is ATI AMD's best card that isn't in "ludicrous" territory.
So what I'm saying is that this girl should be quite the performer! I'd have it hooked up already except for one little thing. That is, it only has a HDMI port to hook up a monitor and my current monitor, which is 10 years old, only has DVI. I knew this ahead of time though, and ordered a ViewSonic 24" monitor beforehand... it'll be delivered on Monday, and THEN I can get it all set up.
Darn thing weighs about 1573 pounds, though.
July 09, 2018
Let Me Explain... I'm tired. I've been on a month of mandatory 50-hour weeks and it's been wearing on me. Okay, I guess I didn't work 50 hours last week, but since I DID have to work on a national holiday, that makes up for it. So I'm getting home from work late, I've been sleeping poorly, and quite honestly the atmosphere at work is... dark.
Of course, I've also got computer problems of late, but the thought of going to BigBlueBox to buy a new one is... exhausting. It's always very loud there and it makes me sad to see what's happened to this company that I used to work for.
And to be blunt, I'm not enjoying Formula 1 very much. Oh, this race at Silverstone was actually pretty decent, but even that felt more like a chore than an experience.
You guys have any requests? I'm willing if its something that'll kick-start my brain. Gimme an idea!
July 08, 2018
Computer Issues Well, my computer, purchased in 2013, is showing signs that it'll be passing away soon. Last night it refused to boot, in a manner that I've seen it do before, that indicates the hard drive is failing. While I've managed to get on now, I may not be able to later. So if there's no sign of me for a day or two, that's why. F1Update! may be unavoidably delayed.
July 07, 2018
Farming Seems Pretty Metal! While you're waiting for me to get off my tucus and post the F1 Quals results, here's something for you to watch.
Ben, your thoughts? Because to me, it looks like farming is straight out of Warhammer 40K.
July 03, 2018
There Are Times... Holiday! I was really looking forward to having the day off tomorrow, relaxing a bit, setting up my photo studio, taking a few pictures of figures, eating hot dogs, watching baseball, and just generally being American on the 4th of July. A good time!
So there I am today, hard at work, pushin' data through dem tubes, secure in the knowledge that while I had to put in 10 hours, it was going to be an easy 10 hours. I'd already put in two with no hiccups, no worries, and a tasty ham samitch to boot. Because a good ham samitch makes everything better, don'tchaknow? All in all, a good plan for the day. Better still, the last three or four hours would almost certainly be spent alone in the room I'm currently residing in. It's the smallest of the three workspaces, I was moved there back at the end of May because a new training class was taking over the old office... 25 people, would you believe? Anyway, I'd be alone in my office, and perhaps the entire building come to that... people want to leave early when there's a holiday involved, go figure. Anyway, why does that matter to me? Because it lets me sing!
I forgot just how dark "Shattered Dreams" was, really. Although if you were a wrestling fan during the WWF's "Attitude" era, shattered dreams brings something else altogether to mind. Anyway, yes, singing is fun to do at work when there's nobody around.
I don't sing that one though. A little out of my vocal range, really. I first heard this song as the backing music for a gameplay video and liked it a lot more than the game. Yes, it's another entry in the "electropop + random female singer" genre, but it's better than most. At least I like it.
Heavy rotation on the mp3 player. Don't sing this one either... it tends to generate a lump in my throat and tears to form in my eyes. I'm a soft-hearted sap of a duck, what can I say? Also, hey look fireworks! It's a July 4th reference! *ahem*
So yeah, singing at work. I was looking forward to that, maybe break out Straight Outta Hidamari. Good times, good times. And then the data... stopped. The part that serves me claims fell over. No biggie, that happens. Except it stayed down. A few minutes turned into 15, then 30, then a hour... and the boss sent out the e-mail: we don't know when it's coming back, clock out, you have to make up any time missed by the end of the week or you lose your holiday pay AND get two absence points.
I sat there feeling like I had been hit in the face with a lobster. Make up the unfinished time? Five hours for the incomplete regular day, plus two to cover part of the eight hours of OT we have to do... SEVEN HOURS??? All of a sudden, my midweek holiday had gone from a day of relaxation to... well, a normal work day. Oh crepe. By no fault of my own. After waiting for another hour (off the clock) hoping the program would start working again, I went home... but not before stopping at the boss's office. "I'm taking off... is anybody going to text us if the system is still down in the morning?" Don't know, this is all happening fast. "Great. Well, if I don't see you here tomorrow, have a great 4th of July holiday off." And I walked out.
For all my fellow Americans, enjoy your 4th of July holiday with grilled meat and explosives! For everybody else, have a good Wednesday!
June 13, 2018
Video Players Gone Bad On the Sunday after the Australian Grand Prix, in an attempt to figure out just what the hell happened with the virtual safety car (and to watch the race in a form that wasn't ESPN's first try), I yarrrr'd the broadcast. It was a 5GB file, nothing at all out of the ordinary and actually somewhat smaller than either Kimi No Na Wa or the KanColle film. No huhu, in other words. Which is why it came as such a surprise to me when my video player grabbed its throat, choked, and died when I tried to watch it. And froze, then crashed, Windows.
My software of choice, ZoomPlayer, hasn't worked since. Oh, it will eventually load any video you throw at it, but only after about five minutes of frozen computer. Then it stutters until you back the video up, at which point it plays okay. But god help you if you want to watch the video again immediately because nothing else will. I've moved to my backup viewer, Media Player Classic which comes with CCCP, but only for viewing. For the life of me, I cannot make subtitles go away in MPC, which makes screenshotting a little difficult.
So here's my question to y'all: what program do you use to watch stuff? I used ZoomPlayer for at least a decade, I have no idea what-all is good anymore. So help me out here, and maybe I'll have more lobsters on the face pictures!
June 10, 2018
"...And THAT Will Retire The Side."
Submitted without comment.
June 06, 2018
Ubu, I Also Accept Credit Cards, Amazon Gift Cards, And Rye Bread "I would pay good money to see a train do that in real life."
At no time did you say it had to be successful real-life multi-track drifting.
Y'know, if it wasn't for the train the cameraman is on, that looked like it was going to work.
June 03, 2018
Test Test This Is A Test
I think we're back!
May 31, 2018
So, About That Doctor's Appointment... Some good, some bad, some "eh, whatever"... about what I expected, in other words. Unfortunately, my doctor couldn't make a judgement on my hip because he still needed to see the x-rays. Seems the immediate care place I went to isn't part of the same medical network so I had to officially request that they be sent to his office. He did give me more of the muscle relaxant (cyclobenzaprine, if you're wondering), so that's a plus.
In the bad news department, I probably have carpal tunnel in my right hand... and yes, it may very well have been caused (or at least hastened) by my hip injury. See, back when my hip was really darn bad I had to lean on my cane quite a bit... and I don't mean that in the metaphoric sense, but in the "put weight on cane" sense. This had the unexpected side-effect of causing my right palm to hurt, making me wish for a padded glove or something. Shortly thereafter, my thumb, index and middle fingers began to give me a hard time, alternating between numbness, tingling, and extreme sensitivity (that last one is a kick... today it felt like I had sliced my finger open when I picked up a ham sandwich on generic white bread. Who knew white bread was sharp?). Now it's pretty much all the time.
Getting back to the hip thing, my doctor had a hip replacement a few years back, so we discussed that in detail. For him, it was the greatest thing ever... he went from having constant, incessant, not-quite-crippling-but-awfully-awful pain to... well, nothing. Which is a GOOD THING! I'm not at that point yet, and he wasn't suggesting that I was, but if this continues to worsen, well...
In point of fact, my hip basically doesn't hurt right now. Don't get me wrong, I'm not exactly going to be a danger to Shakira any time soon, but it only hurts when I lift my leg (like when I step into the bathtub) or if I lie on it for more than a few minutes. Oh, and getting into the car is still a nightmarish scenario that's at least as painful as it is embarrassing. I get in back-first, squirm as far in as I can (or as far as the steering wheel lets me), get my right foot in... not so easy with size 14-EEE, it always gets caught up by either the door or the sill... pivot to face as far forward as I can, hook my cane under my left foot, then lift that into the car... remember, it hurts when I lift my leg manually, but getting it airborne with a tool doesn't as much... then either swear or groan in pain, depending on my mood. Until I figured out how to do this, it could take me 15 minutes to get into the Duckmobile. Nowadays, it's only a couple of minutes... still slower than your normal person, but every bit helps when it's raining.
One big surprise that I got was that I had lost something like 35 pounds in the year since I last saw the doc. No, not surprised... stunned? Shocked? Completely and totally amazed? Pick your favorite word or phrase, I was that. Still, there had been indications... loose pants, mostly... so maybe I shouldn't have been surprised, but... well.
So that's it... oh, and there was blood drawn as well. Somehow it'd been five or six years since the last blood test, which surprised me. In any case, the results of that are of some interest as well... doc says that carpal tunnel is often found in diabetics, for example... but that's a test I'm not worried about getting the right answers for. We shall see what we shall see.
May 29, 2018
Deja Vu! Okay, we all know the song from Initial D, right?
Right. And we know it's spawned a gazillion memes, with the best known being Multi-Track Drifting...
...though I've become fond of Initial Duck...
...but just a few minutes ago, I stumbled upon one that I've never seen before, one that made me laugh out loud until there were tears coming from my eyes (as opposed to my fingernails maybe?). What is this paragon of memedom? Why, this:
Well, it worked for me.
May 28, 2018
So, About That F1U!... After watching Monaco yesterday, I flipped over and watched the last half of the Indy 500. I then puttered about until around about 6pm, when I decided to take a nap. I figured I'd just do the F1U! after I woke up, no problem.
I didn't get out of bed until Noon on Monday.
F1U! is now on "sooner or later" mode, probably tonight but maybe Tuesday evening.
May 15, 2018
Figure Foto Test Thwee
Sometimes, simple is best.
May 09, 2018
Still With Us I'm still alive, still kicking. Compy chair is still killing me, despite memory foam pillow and another pad to boot. It's taking a toll on me, though. Broke down twice at work yesterday... went on my lunch break intending to take a nap, and just couldn't get comfortable no matter what I did.
Hope to get the broadcast schedule up tonight.
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