We Are The Change We Seek
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This isn't where I thought I was going to be when I looked forward into my life, but here I am....

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Catching Up: Softball, Damon Wayans, Work

I finally got my Softball wish! No, not a win. We played one of the really good teams in the league and they were NOT dicks! :) They were actually really nice and even paid us a compliment on how much we've improved over the season. The highlight of the game for me was my last at bat. I don't know what it was, the timing, the energy in the air, catching the ball just on the sweet spot of the bat... but I CRUSHED the ball. I mean, I hit this ball so frickin hard that it NEVER came down. I dropped the bat, and started full tilt for first. The ball was still zooming through the air.

Now, let me take a moment to talk about the structure of the field. At the end of the outfield is a parking lot and some buildings. If the ball rolls into the parking lot, it's considered an automatic home run.

So I've rounded first and I'm heading toward second. I haven't heard the Ump call that it's an automatic home run yet. I'm expecting she will because it certainly had the distance... and mean, like I said, I CRUSHED this ball. So much in fact, that it's not going to roll into the parking lot, it's going to LAND there. So... just as I reach second and begin turning for 3rd I hear the "thwap" of ball meeting glove and I hear the Ump yell, "Out!"


What? I stop running and look into the outfield.... there is their Center fielder... standing IN the parking lot with his glove held over his head. He caught it. He caught it! *sigh* I apparently not only hit it REALLY far, but I hit it REALLY high and it gave him enough time to run all with way out to the parking lot and get under the ball.

I was robbed.

Even the other team knew I got robbed... 2 of them apologized to me as I made the long walk back to the dugout. It was a long walk too... I had managed to run to SECOND BASE before that ball came down. *shakes head* Bastards. :)

Ah well. Pressing on. I've noticed recently that much of my enjoyment of the game has been eaten away by being the Captain. It's generally because I get a list of RSVPs for the game and I spend 20-30 minutes making up the roster (who plays what positions, who sits out each inning, making it fair so everyone gets a chance, etc).. but then when I get to the field the players who show up aren't the same as the RSVPs. Some who confirmed will flake, some who didn't confirm will show up, etc. So I spend all of the time I'm not actually playing the game desperately trying to rearrange all of my calculations and it makes me stressed.

So, I say, screw that. I'm a computer scientist for goodness sake. On Tuesday, I wrote a file that contains all of the people who might possibly show up at a game, their preferred positions and what positions they can possibly play. Then I wrote a perl script that takes a list of players (a subset of the whole roster) and generates 7 innings worth of positions! It evenly distributes the players so everyone gets the same amount of play time. It assigns positions based on preferences and will balance players who have the same preference so they both get to play it a fair number of times throughout the game.

Wait, I'm not finished. So, this is good, but all it does it remove the 20-30 minutes I spend before the game. It doesn't fix the REAL problem that I have to redo it when I get there. So, I wrote another perl script that takes the aforementioned list of player names, permutes them and calls the first script to generate a roster for about 100 different combinations. First... all the people who RSVP'd. Then a bunch of rosters for all the possible combinations of one person flaking. Then all of those combinations again but adding all the possible combinations of the people who RSVP'd as "maybe." THEN... all of those possible combinations combined with all the possible combinations of an extra player who didn't RSVP showing up.

Wait, I'm not finished. Then I have the script take the generated rosters and write them into a special Excel-readable CSV format that will exactly fit a roster onto one page, so that I can just open this huge roster file in Excel and print. Then with some special Excel printing magic, I reduce the number of pieces of paper neccessary to print it all. :)

Ok, I'm finished. You may now hurl insults or chairs.

There is a little coffee house down the street that Jenn goes to all the time and sometimes I go down there with her and work on my laptop. It's always really fun and nice to sit and work next to her. Every once in awhile, there's a celebrity there and most recently Damon Wayans was sitting at the next table. Small world.

Work has been going really well lately, my projects have finally taken shape and I've totally always got something to do. It's really nice, I like to keep busy! I don't have as much time to work on the goofy little projects I was doing in my spare time before, but that's ok because my projects are still really fun. :)

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