A Good Try

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:44 pm
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Katie's softball team was playing one of the team's from the "major" division in the league. These are generally the older, more experienced girls. Despite this, they came very close to winning, taking an 8-4 lead, but a bad inning did them in and they lost 9-8.

It was a heckuva game though. They done good. :)
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So last weekend, Katie's team lost to a team that we've played in the past in other incarnations of the league. They're a good team, but they tend to be, might I say, a little aggressive about the rules. Aggressive to the point where, on at least one occasion, the folks organizing a tournament had to tell them "No, you can't do that," after they had pushed the ump into allowing them to do a certain thing against our team. Of course, that didn't help us; only the teams they played subsequently.

Anyway, last weekend, we got caught by a rule that is supposed to allow teams that are trailing going to the last inning a chance to catch up by allowing an unlimited number of runs to be scored in a half inning instead of five. The problem was that we hadn't done something that is required by the letter of the rule, so the spirit of the rule could go to heck. Ok, our fault. I've talked with the manager and we're adding armor to our process so that this doesn't happen again.

As it happens, the other team from Des Plaines was playing this team this weekend. So both our manager and I had briefed them on what had happened to us.

This time around, it happened that the Des Plaines team had a big lead. They scored five runs in the top of a late inning and called their girls off the field. The manager of the team that we had played then came out to argue that this was the last inning and that the inning should continue so that they would have a chance to score unlimited runs in the bottom of the last inning and, thus, have a chance to win.

That is to say, they tried to talk the ump into doing exactly the opposite of what they'd asked to have done the previous week when they were playing us.

Properly briefed, the other Des Plaines team pulled out the rule sheet, pointed to the rule and said, "We don't think so."

And the team that had (admittedly correctly) had the rule enforced against us last week got it enforced against them this week.

Oh, darn.

The rule is actually fundamentally broken as written, because it requires both managers and the umpire to agree that the last inning is the last inning. If one team is ahead by more than five runs going to what would obviously be the last inning, then I cannot understand what -- other than a belief in sportsmanship that appears to not always be in evidence -- would cause them to agree that this is the last inning. I mean, the sixth inning is the theoretic last inning, but since there is a hard two-hour time limit on the games, none of the regular season games go six innings. Most go four.

Ah, well. In any case, justice was served today.

Cold. :)

Half Day

Sep. 12th, 2017 10:36 pm
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The girls had a half day off from school today, which maximized the amount of chaos around the house. But nothing too odd happened, so...

I am continuing my work on porting our C++/C# code up to Visual Studio 2017. This would be less entertaining if Microsoft hadn't changed their locale support in the CRT library around to hide all of the internals. Gack!
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Well, the girls played hard today, but they lost. In this case, they lost to a team where it seems like every time we play them there is at least one more dispute over the league rules for the division.

Now, I'll say that the rules are not well-written (in my opinion, as someone who has to write rules in a way that a computer can execute them -- and remembering that a computer is not smart, it is merely accurate), but after a while, this becomes tiresome.

Ah, well. Another valuable life lesson for Katie about sportsmanship, I suppose.
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The good news is that I seem to be recovering from my head cold, but it has left me very tired. And I have to get up early tomorrow morning, as Katie's team has a softball game at 9:30 AM.

The girls won today's game by a score of 11-1. All of the girls pitched well, including Katie, who allowed the game's only run due to an errant pitch that hit the first batter that she faced and who eventually came around to score. But strikes were thrown, which is the objective. :)
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Katie's softball team has five coaches including me. This means that there is usually plenty of help.

Except tonight was Curriculum Night at Katie's school, so I had begged off so that I could go while Gretchen watched Julie at home. I'd made arrangements to drop Katie with Coach Tina so she'd have a ride to practice tonight, which was supposed to be a scrimmage against another team.

Except that Tina was sick. And Coach Jennifer was planning to go to Curriculum Night at her school. So I swung by Tina's house, picked up the team gear, put it in my trunk, and make plans to drop Katie at practice and go tearing back across town to Curriculum Night.

Except that Coach Bob's daughter became ill. His wife was going to Curriculum Night at our school, so he needed to take care of his sick daughter.

We were now down to one coach.

We decided the better part of valor was to call the other team and cancel out rather than make everyone crazy.

I think this was a good call. :)
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I got more and less accomplished this weekend than I might have hoped. I never did make it to the studio to do any mixing. But the house is ready for the cleaning lady to come tomorrow, thanks to a couple of rounds of cleaning over the weekend.

And the ceiling in the bathroom is finally painted. The girls had a lovely sleepover with one friend and a pool party at a different friend's house today.

I am now ready to go to the bank to handle a variety of deposits that need to be made to sort out various financials. The late sales tax return for ISFiC was filed.

And the steaks, which I had purchased to grill on Saturday, were finally introduced to the charcoal today. :)

I so needed this weekend. :)

Empty House

Sep. 3rd, 2017 11:01 pm
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Katie and Julie are over at a sleepover at a friend's house tonight. It is remarkably quiet here, at least now that Ruby the Dog has stopped barking and gone to bed. :)
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Gretchen and I have been married for 23 years today. This is somewhat amazing, all things considered.

Katie's softball team delivered a lovely anniversary present, as they played their second game of the season (and the first that Katie was there for), and ended up winning by a score of 20-8. We were suitably impressed. So was the other coach who, after the game, thought that the girls were a travel team. They aren't. In fact, they're sort of the number two team in Des Plaines at this level. But, like Avis, they apparently try harder. :)

When we got home, I grilled some T-bone steaks for anniversary dinner. In a little while, there will be home-made key lime pie for dessert.

And then there will be sleep, because I have four days of meetings in the Loop starting tomorrow.

I guess it's good that we got married on this date and not any later.

I love you, Gretchen.
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After numerous failed efforts to fix Katie's computer without doing a bare metal reinstall of Windows 10, I finally gave up and did so. Tonight, I finally got around to configuring it, installing anti-virus software, and getting Katie set up to log back in.

Then Windows decided to install updates. Now, the computer is in the same Automatic Repair failure loop that it was before. There are two System Restore points, but neither of them will allow a restore to actually occur.

I am not happy.
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(Which is a lot like "Squirrel!!!!", but with a stripey back and smaller tail.)

This morning's entertainment: Katie went down and let Ruby out this morning, then settled in to watch a video. Because the weather is good, she left the back door open so Ruby could come and go as she pleases, which pleases Ruby a great deal.

Shortly thereafter, there was a chirping sound in the house which was eventually localized under the bench and bag of charcoal next to the back door. Ruby was greatly interested in this. There was chirping. And barking. And chaos as yelling up and down the stairs occurred.

Me? I was in the shower for all this.

Katie reported that there had been a little brown kitten there that Ruby had chased, apparently under the curio cabinet. Gretchen looked under the curio cabinet and came up empty, but there are little nooks under there where it is dark and hard to get an angle to see, so this was by no means dispositive. Julie started Googling for "animals that chirp".

No, dear. Not a cricket. Yes, maybe a chipmunk.

Fine. Ruby to kennel, girls to school, Gretchen and I off to breakfast.

When we got home, we let Ruby out of her kennel and she returned to the curio cabinet. I cleaned off the many items on top of the cabinet and moved it away from the wall.

Aha! Something brown with stripes down the back flashed out and ran behind the TV cart. As I had suspected, it was indeed a chipmunk that had decided this was an interesting place to investigate before encountering Ruby the Dog. Who is now, to make matters more entertaining, trying to crawl under the plant stand that is holding the Christmas cactus that came from Gretchen's mom and is well over 50 years old now.

I moved the Christmas cactus, the grape ivy on the other side of the TV, and the two plant stands to a safer place. Then I moved the TV stand. Chipmunk!

Ruby chased the chipmunk underneath the craft shelves on the other end of the dining room. I moved the shelf. Chipmunk! Back underneath the curio cabinet.

The back door is, of course, wide open and we are hoping that the chipmunk will get the idea.

Move the curio cabinet. Back under the TV. Move the TV again.

The chipmunk took a left turn at Albuquerque and headed for the back door with Ruby in hot pursuit.

All critters went outside, the chipmunk escaped, and there was peace in our time.

Except Ruby is still wandering around, wondering where the chipmunk has gone. Maybe under the curio cabinet...

No, Ruby.

*whine* *bark*

*sigh*
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We had about 89% coverage of the sun here in the Chicago area which is, well, not really all that exciting. But with the eclipse falling on the first day of school, I had finally decided that we should just let this one go. Maybe in seven years or so...

Having seen totality once before, it wasn't as big a deal to miss it. :)

In the meantime, the girls had a good first day, so that made staying home more worthwhile.
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Today was the last day of the girls' summer vacation. I got up early to go coach Katie's softball team (in her absence). Then it was home and off to the park to wait for the Girl Scouts to return from camp. From there, we proceeded briskly to a late lunch. Then it was home, work on a few things around the house, and off to the big pool which will be open next weekend, but the forecast for next weekend is not favorable for swimming. Back home for dinner and cleaning up various things before school starts tomorrow, including starting a bare-metal reinstall of Windows 10 on Katie's computer, because nothing else has worked so far to try to get it running again. And then another half-chapter of Have Space Suit, Will Travel for Katie.

Bed. Bed is looking good. It was a busy day.

It should be. It was the last day of summer vacation. :)
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I got up early this morning for softball practice, despite Katie being off on a Girl Scout trip that is going to result in her missing the first game of the fall season on Sunday. (I think this is a good choice on her part; this trip was booked months ago.) It was a good thing that I did, because by the end of practice, there were only two of us running it for a variety of good reasons. :)

This was followed by joining Gretchen and Julie for lunch and a bit of shopping. I now have a new pillow, which I needed badly. Julie has claimed my old pillow for her own. Oh, dear. And some glove oil to help break in the new catcher's mitt and some scorebooks. And deli meat for dinner.

Late in the afternoon, we all went to the pool.

And now, I am really tired and have to get up early tomorrow morning for the game.

You know, the start of school on Monday may actually allow me to get more sleep... :)

Camp!

Aug. 17th, 2017 11:42 pm
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Tomorrow, Katie is off for a two-night stay at Girl Scout camp. This will be an experience. :)

Sadly, she will miss the first softball game of the season on Sunday, but that's just the way some things sort out.
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I finally made it back to Wrigley Field for another game. It was running long and late, so I ducked out after the seventh inning stretch and ended up missing a lot of excitement, as the Cubs ended up blowing the lead and then winning on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth.

But there's something to be said for being home in time to read to Katie. :)
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In the top of the news, the Cardinals have won eight games in a row and find themselves in a virtual tie for first place in the NL Central with the Cubs.

In other news, no one on the North Side of Chicagoland is speaking to me. :)

I have backed up the critical files on the studio computer preparatory to reloading the OS. After doing that, I discovered that the Windows 10 Creators Update has a new feature that will reload the entire OS, boot out all of the installed non-Windows applications, and leave your files intact.

I am, nevertheless, happy to have spent the time backing up the files.

But think about it! An OS that is so wonderfully stable that it now comes with its own built-in option to reload itself to clean up the trash that it's left lying around while leaving your files intact.

It's sort of the neutron bomb of operating system functions.

Windows 10 -- what an OS!

Ah, and we had the first serious softball practice for fall ball today. It went very well. Yay!

And Katie got her hair cut much shorter today.

That's the news. Time for bed!
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Being up obscenely late the night before does nothing at all for your schedule the following morning. Happily, by afternoon, things were more or less on track. I even got to catch up with Gretchen, Katie, and Julie at the pool, although I arrived an hour and a half after they did, just a bit after 7 PM.

Ah, well. The summer is winding down and there are only a limited number of days left for getting into the pool, so we'll take it as a victory.
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The home recording panel went well this morning. The girls have had a good time playing with assorted other little girls.

But it is pretty much time to go to bed now. :)

Flat Cat

Jul. 26th, 2017 11:51 pm
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Katie has now been introduced to Fuzzy Britches, the flat cat in The Rolling Stones. She insisted that I read into the next chapter so that she would find out how the youngest child would take to the flat cat. (Well, as you might remember.)

Little does she know what is going to happen soon...

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