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    Howdy. This is Bob. The Bob of Bob Blog. This blog contains about five minutes of my thoughts each day. A record. A history. And occasionally worth reading.

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    Friday, March 31, 2006  
    Deal or No Deal
    Deal or No Deal is a new game show that has almost no skill. But some interesting decision making. If you play the online version a few times, you'll realize the TV show has to be about the drama, voyerism, and our society's fascination with people making quick money or losing it all. The show is about the dream, not the game.

    And the game as it oughtg to be played isn't about winning a million dollars, it is about trying to maximize the return. There is the base situation when you start and a rapidly changing environment. The winning strategy is to avoid being lured in by the $1M check and instead use logic and averages to maximize the potential return. And sometimes this may mean giving up the chance at a million for one hundred thousand. Of course, under the bright lights and the emotion of live TV, don't ask me to make the obvious logical choice. I'll pick the double or nothing choice anyday.

    8:41 AM  0 comments

    Sunday, March 26, 2006  
    Sports: Day 8
    I'm missing some days because Yahoo wasn't keeping up. So 100 pardons. And after looking at the leaderboard over at espn.com I'll likely move to their tournament next year.

    In one bracket, all I have left is UCLA for the win. 48 potential points left. And in the other... nothing.

    The George Mason victory over UConn even had Sophia excited. And amazingly enough, there were some people at Yahoo who picked them for the Final Four. And several folks with 3 of the 4 teams. March Madness is extending into April this year though.

    I've decided NOT to play fantasy baseball. I don't have the time. And I have a lot of other things I'd rather be doing. Maybe next year.

    8:50 PM  0 comments

    Friday, March 24, 2006  
    Sports: Day 5 of Madness
    My brackets are now both officially in a mess. The first bracket has 48 points with a potential of 148 points. If things go my way (Texas over Connecticut in the final and BC making it to the final four) I will be surprised. And part of me is hoping for Washington to upset Connecticut tonight. And then if it wasn't officially a mess, the bracket will have crumbled.

    B has 47 points and a potential of 135. I'd like to take credit for predicting the Duke upset and UCLA comeback except very little in the bracket says "expert." The overall ranking of 570,000th echoes that. And the fact I picked LSU to win above. Go figure.

    Sophia mentioned, after skipping the crazy last 2 minutes of the UCLA/Gonzaga game, how exciting the games felt because they were so close. I think everyone can enjoy the emotion and the spectacle of the event. Almost makes me wish I was back in junior high school so I could start working on my game.

    8:41 AM  0 comments

    Thursday, March 23, 2006  
    March Mingle
    The San Diego user groups get together once a year at a networking event. Held at Dave&Busters again this year I had a really nice time. I tried to mingle but mostly hung out with Rich. I talked to some WoW players, a table of programmers from the xtreme programming group, some QUALCOMM friends, and a couple of random folks.

    It is time for me to make room for a meeting or two a month. Networking is important. Learning new skills is important. Playing video games is important -- so you can be sure Sophia and I will be back to D&B's to play some games as part of our "happy hours can be fun" program.

    SD ACM meeting page
    SD XP wiki Note: May 4th!
    SD CHI user group

    That's probably a good start. And be sure to join the San Diego geeks next year!

    8:44 AM  0 comments

    Book: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
    Dawn Treader is the third book in the Chronicles of Narnia series. The basic plot summary is that King Caspian is on a voyage to seek out 7 lost lords and end up sailing to the edge of the world. Lucy, Edmond, and their cousin Eustace join them in the middle of the adventure.

    The final leg of the voyage is apparently into heaven, at least that is what the symbolism led me to believe. The book follows the expectations set by the previous books and CS Lewis continues with his fabulous narrative voice. One of the questions I would like to see resolved is "who is the narrator?" Overall, a fun and quick read that would be suitable for nearly anyone.

    8:35 AM  0 comments

    Monday, March 20, 2006  
    Sports: Day 4
    Can you believe that leading the yahoo fantasy sports picks are 3 brackets with 57/64 points. One of the leaders has the potential of 181/192 points.

    So my 39 points and a possible 135 seem not so spectacular. And my second bracket has 40 points and 152 potential points. Which if were to come true wouldn't be so bad. So without lamenting the losses and now rooting for my MtAbbey(A) bracket, here's the path from the Sweet Sixteen to the Championships.

    [Duke]A over [LSU]B
    [Texas]A over West Virginia
    And ideally Texas to the Final Four. I have to root for Duke because that's my better bracket.

    Memphis or Bradley.
    [UCLA]x2 over Gonzaga
    And UCLA to the Final Four.

    [Connecticut]A over [Washington]B
    George Mason or Wichita State
    And Connecticut to the Final Four.

    [Boston College]A over [Villanova]B
    [Florida]A over Georgetown
    And Villanova to the Final Four.

    Final Four:
    [Texas]A over UCLA
    [Connecticut] over Boston College
    With Texas winning everything.

    But what I'd really like to see happen... Washington advancing in DC to meet UCLA in the Finals. I almost want to bring my ball down from the closet and work on my jumper.

    8:31 AM  0 comments

    Saturday, March 18, 2006  
    Sports: Day 3 of the Madness
    #7 Wichita State beat #2 Tennessee 80-73 today. So much for my one bracket with Tennesse going to the Final Four. After day 3, I have 33/48 with 143/192 potential. And in the other bracket, the potential is greater 170/192 with nearly the identical score (32/48). I should remember to vote a little more towards teams I want to win -- having to rout against someone just because it'll help out the predictions is dry.

    The incredible thing is that there are some predictions left with 43/48 correct. I guess if you get enough entries, you can cover all the possibilities. I would need a statitician for that though.

    8:38 PM  0 comments

    Sports: 2nd Day of Madness
    Day 2 and lots of basketball. I was sure hoping for couple of major upsets as the games were close. #4 Kansas lost. #3 Iowa lost. #1 Connecticut was challenged.

    I have two sets of brackets: Day two was not as good as day one, Bracket A has 23/32 points and is down to a potential total of 157/192. In the Atlanta Region, California had a disappointing loss. To add insult, #3 Iowa isn't going to the Final Four after its loss to Northwestern. Oops. Michigan State won't be advancing to the Sweet 16 either.

    Bracket B has 22/32 points but a strong potential maximum of 178/192. Luckily, Iowa didn't have such a prominent agenda. So I expect bracket B to start moving ahead soon.

    For today's games, both brackets only want one game to have a different outcome. I'm not sure what game(s) I'll watch if any. I'm starting a 9 day vacation and want to do as many chores as possible today so that the serious fun can start Monday without me having to feel guilty.

    7:11 AM  0 comments

    Friday, March 17, 2006  
    Sports: SDSU in March Madness
    The San Diego State Aztecs made the tournament field of 64 by winning their conference regular season and tournament. And ended up with an 11 seed, playing Indiana. Well, they outplayed the other team except for the last couple of minutes and managed to find a way to lose. It felt like they were playing not to lose in the end, which almost always means the team will end up losing. Its too bad but won't change my life any.

    I have two sets of brackets:
    After day one, Bracket A has 13/16 points and is down to a potential total of 181/192. The biggest impact losses were SDSU (predicted to go to the Sweet 16) and Oklahoma (going to the round of 8.) Apparently the OK choice was foolish. And I thought SDSU could upset Indiana (and nearly did) and would upset Gonzaga (which I still suspect will lose.)

    Bracket B has 12/16 points and a potential maximum of 186/192. The SDSU loss was the only game that will impact the next round. Not too surprisingly, there are quite a few people who picked all 16 games at yahoo. I'm currently ranked 49,389.

    7:19 AM  0 comments

    Saturday, March 11, 2006  
    Game: Albatross18 (Online Golf)
    Sound like a trip to the dentist? No -- it is actually quite fun. The game is polished and charming and looks like the developer is adding new stuff (like clothes for your character to buy.) And when I say "buy" I actually mean buy with real $. You can get items in game from ingame cash but the best stuff is reserved for real world cash.

    The interesting thing from the game design point of view is that a lot of their details like experience required per level is displayed on the web. A perfect opportunity to analyze the "hell levels". I'll have to reserve judgement about whether leveling is too slow -- I'm at level 2 after several hours.

    It really isn't an MMO in the traditional sense as the games I've been in only have up to 4 people on the course. But there is a tournament mode for up to 30 players. I think however that it gives further proof that basically free games have potential. You'd think that with some more polish they might be able to go after people like my dad. And if you manage to crack the real world golf market -- the sky's the limit.

    10:18 PM  0 comments

    Book: Prince Caspian
    The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a brilliant book. The second book by C.S.Lewis in The Chronicles of Narnia falls a little short. While there are a couple of scene that portray the awe, wonder, and fantasy I expect, much of it feels flat. I felt like I was being told a story this time instead of living it. During the duel at the end, I did think about my taichi sword training and whether or not I could actually apply it to a real sword fight. My guess is no.

    I will continue to read the series in sequence (for the second time).

    8:15 AM  0 comments

    Friday, March 10, 2006  
    Waiting for permission
    What a great excuse. But I'm waiting for a formal blogging policy at work before I write much of anything.

    I don't think anyone will buy that.

    10:30 PM  0 comments