Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Mother of God this hurts

For those of you (everyone except my only loyal fan, Chris) who missed the game last night, here's an update.

We played the same team that destroyed us our first game this quarter. The pattern continued last night. We were down 0-1 within the first minute. Towards the end we hit 1-3 and scored again making it 2-3 with about a minute left. Instead of us scoring, they scored again with 10 seconds to go making it an unquestionable 2-4 loss for us.

Perhaps the highlight of my night was at about 90 seconds left. Their really fast guy and me start fighting for the puck as we fly to our goal. He's going to score because our goalie sucks--unless I stop him. We are jabbing and chopping each other the whole way, skating faster and faster. All this must have distracted me from the wall that was rapidly approaching.

We were now headed to the corner, not directly towards our goal. Good. He falls near the goaline. Good. He takes me down with him and I slide feet first into the boards. I am between the wall and this guy. My right ankle decides that it wants to stretch a little and bends inward a little. I get up and furiously fight back into the game. Wait, actually, I get up and fall down immediately. I can't put any pressure on my right skate. I keep thinking I can walk this off and tell the official that I'm fine--the game's still in high gear. I quickly realize that my ankle isn't designed to stretch as far as it did, which was apparantly pretty far, and I have a serious sprain...or a broken ankle. I do the "Mother of God this hurts" shimmy and hobble to the bench, hollering for another player to replace me.

I fall to the ground and Shelley comes over to assist. Shelley is, besides my wife, my best friend and I now owe her HUGE. She's a physical therapist in training. She works at the PT office for OSU and will have her PHD in PT in 2 years. Lucky to have her around ;). She gives me the ol' "you'll be fine, I know this hurts a lot, you are fucked--don't even think about walking ever again" look. Ok so I exagerated a little. She gives me a quick exam and tells me it's probably just a sprain but if I'm lucky, it's broken. Seriously. That's something I didn't know. Apparantly, with ankle injuries, the recovery is much smoother, more painless, and quicker if it's broken rather than a sprain. I guess the idea is that bones break and heal more cleanly while ligimants do not. I never thought that I'd hope for a broken bone.

So her and my other awesome friend Jeff push me across the ice to our gear (the games over, we lost, we're gettin' outta here!). The pain is unimaginable. I can put absolutly no downward force my right foot. Or is it upward force (normal force for you physics-geeks?). Whatever--no weight on the right foot. They set me down and Shelley ices my ankle and tapes me up while I think about passing out or vomiting in the recycle bin beside me.

Shelley is so patient and gentle. She really made this so much less painful than it could have been. Thank God for her. Actually, everyone was so nice and helpful. Upon seeing that I'd likely pass out soon, Jeff got me a soda. Sarah was still confused as to what happened but she talked to me and calmed me down. She returned all my gear and took care of me.

It is amazing how helpless you feel when you are missing a foot.

They get me home and Shelley ices it some more and tells me that I must go to see a doctor now or tomorrow. I decide to go tomorrow and sit it out. Then I reconsider and when I find out that our copay is pretty low and that the pain is amazing, we decide to head of to the OSU emergency room. It's not really an emergency but I don't want to wait until morning. It's about 3 am at this point.

[UPDATE 5/5/05]
I went to the hospital and after xrays, it was determined that nothing so broken...seriously. They gave me some crutches and meds and sent me on my way.

I went to the doctor the next morning and she confirmed that it probably isn't broken. She prescribed physical therapy. I've been to physical therapy a few times since and it's great. I do all these excercises that are pretty painful but help a whole lot. I can walk now with a slight limp and when I take pain meds I can run ;).

It's been over a week and some of the pain is still very acute. I don't have any pain at all unless I am walking or stretching. Pam, the PT said the acute pain may indicate that it was slightly broken afterall--like a small chip or something. Regardless, it's getting better. I should be able to skate again next week and play hockey again (if I'm careful :P) in 2 weeks.

Thanks again to Sarah and Shelley for taking care of me and putting up with my whining ;)

BTW: Those pictures were taken 5 days after it happened--the bruising didn't show up until then...weird.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Hockey Hockey Hockey

While our regularly scheduled games are each Tuesday night at 1:15 am, we had last week off. However, during our game 2 weeks ago, we were asked if we wanted to play anyway, just on Wednesday. Of course!

So we show up completely pumped and find that half of our team skipped out! Normally this would be a bad thing but for D-League hockey, this is actually good. We have 9 people and no goalie. The officials propose that we let one of their friends play goal and we agree. So these leaves us with 9 people, creating 2 lines. Since we switch lines every 3 minutes, every person will get to play 3-on, 3-off, 3-on, 3-off....except each time someone will have to stay on the ice for a double shift.


As it turns out, only our 'better' players showed up. This made for a great game. We lost our first two games but destroyed this team. The final score was 5-1. Spectators tell me that the final score should have been 6-1 but an error was made. There was just too much scoring action for me to keep track!

Now here's the crazy part--we all played really well! I know! We're terrible! We were lucky enough to play a team more terrible than ourselves! We were passing and setting up plays and everything! Frank had a goal, Sarah had an assist, and I had 2 goals and an assist. Yeah, I hardly believe it myself. You're probably saying the same thing my dad said when I told him: "did they have a goalie?" Yes...but apparantly he sucked. It wasn't all his fault--the other team wasn't really into the whole skating thing. :)

I learned a few things during this game. Most of these apply to people who are not very good ;). If skating with the puck through a weak defender, simply charge through them. I don't mean that you actually knock them over, but just go past them. 75% of the time you will end up with the puck on the other side. 50% of the time the defender will fall down, creating a makeshift blockade, protecting you from other defenders.

Another technique to use against unskilled skaters is to skate around them. They will sort of spin around but not persue you. It seems obvious, sure, but once employed this is a very successful tactic. This doesn't end with the defender falling down as often but since no one can skate backwards in D-League, it doesn't really matter.

Finally, a technique common to most sports: passing. Believe it or not, d-leaguers almost never pass. It occurred to me that when surrounded by 4 defenders, passing out of the group to a teammate would leave him/her almost completely open. This is another obvious one that we've only begun to use. The initial step is tough though: learning to pass. This, for me at least, seems to consist of a lot of bad passes which go straight to the other team, reducing its effectiveness.

I assure you, we are improving. Since we won last week we will be heading into the playoffs!

If this turn of events has inspired you to come out and see us play, we'll be on the ice at 1:15am tomorrow night (Tuesday night/Wednesday EARLY morning).

Perl - huh?

Perl is a scripting language that's been around a long time. Its claim to fame is its incredible ability to process text. I've been told that perl gurus can code up a perl script that will parse a set of input files, do a bunch of processing, and generate an output file, in less then 10 lines, less than 5 if they're sloppy. And it'll be damn fast, too.

So I'm doing a quick project for CSE694-DataMining and the instructor suggested we use perl. Not to step down from the great joys of learning another language, I started hacking away. It's like learning a foreign language, except you don't have to speak it and the vocab test only covers about 25 words. And everything's a cognate. And like the old languages you already know, it's in English, too. OK, so it's not really like a foreign language.

Moving on, we had to parse 20 files, each were about 2.5 mb. Each file consisted of articles. The total number of articles was about 2,100. Instead of parsing 20 files, which could be accomplished by a good ol' for loop, I used 'cat' to--get this--concatenate them into one giant 50 mb file.

Then using about 30 lines of perl (i'm not a perl guru) I read in the entire thing--bad for memory, good for performance. I do a bunch of processing and output a bunch of stuff that totals about 100 mb.

I mentioned speed earlier...the first pass takes about 10 seconds while the second pass takes about 20 minutes. That's pretty damn fast. The second pass does some weird algorithm stuff that runs something like an O(n^3) algorithm--terrible, i know. However, since I'm only doing this once, there isn't a huge need to make this optimal ;).

After my first experience with perl I immediately see that it is very similar to PHP and C++, both of which I am very familiar with. It has a few interesting syntaxes that PHP didn't adopt that threw me but I'd have to say that I'm a big fan. It definately is well deserving of its fame.

So, of the two or three people who read my blog, one of you might not be interested in this at all. And if you're still reading, I've got good news and bad news. Bad news: there's no upshot for you, this is the end. Good news: I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance.

Poker updates

3 posts in one day? You betcha!

I've been doing pretty well. Sarah and I play every Thursday (cash) and Sunday (tournament). On the last couple Thursdays I've doubled my money to a whopping $10 each time. I'm trying to focus on new strategies and it seems to be paying off.

Three Sundays ago I suffered my earliest elimination ever. I think I was out by 9:15 (started at 8). I usually make it to the final 3 or 4 but finished 2nd to last (8th?). Two Sundays ago, however, things went much better. I finished 2nd place after going headsup for over 1.5 hours. It was some of the best poker I'd seen in a long time. Several of the players did very well and made some awesome plays. Finally, this past Sunday I was again eliminated early. I had one semi-bad beat that started my sharp decline. I was up to 250 in chips (start=200) so I was slightly above average. Two seats to my right Jeff goes all in for 94 chips. He is called by Chris A., immediately to my right. I look down and see KK. I call. I should have pushed right here to get Chris out of the pot (I had him covered). The flop comes out pretty harmless 2, 5, 8. I push all in and Chris folds. Jeff reveals pocket 8's for trips. I was probably an 80-20 favorite over him but never tell a poker player the odds. After he made trips I was looking to be a 9-1 underdog. I lost another 100 on a few plays that didn't work out and my final 50 chips to a race situation.

I haven't updated my spreadsheet for a couple weeks but overall, I'm still up about $90 for the year. Clearly it's not paying the bills :). We play for fun--with money--not for money. If anyone reading is interested in a game on Sundays or Thursdays at 8pm let me know!

Also:
Now hear this: Poker Tournament on May 13 (the Friday AFTER Mother's Day, don't worry moms). It will run just like the last one. We'll start around 8:30. Buy in will be $5 with rebuys. The usual snacks and drinks will be provided. All money will be paid out to the top 4 places (I'm not taking a cut, that'd be illegal here in Ohio :)). Please let me know if you are planning on coming!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Items on the horizon

Updates very soon:
  • hockey (preview: it was sweet!)
  • perl - every coder's resume's friend
  • poker updates - hi/low? who knows!
  • potentially others...

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Hockey Madness!

We have a hockey game tonight at 1:15 am at the OSU Ice Rink. Come on by for the show!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

random updates

This is lengthy...

In this edition:
  • school
  • rovisys and UNC
  • hockey game 1
  • hockey game 2
  • disease transmission - food for thought...err [updated]
  • Six Feet Under
  • Movie:Resident Evil (hint: what?!)

School

School is going pretty well, I guess. I've got a couple tough classes but I'm pretty sure I'll pass all of them :). I'm taking ECE320 (ridiculous circuits), Phil 215 (Asian religions), CSE694Z (datamining), math 566 (i'm not sure what this is), and ice skating. THe classes are all pretty interesting and not too tough. I particularly like ice skating ;). Man, i am just out of witty banter. Normally I'd have funny stuff to say....

RoviSys and UNC

I accepted the RoviSys job in NC. Since we have the apartment, the job, and the grad school (for sarah - she finally got her "congrats" letter!), all we need are diplomas and we'll be all set! I'm very excited for the move. It will be a lot of fun to be completely on our own (without roommates and families so close by).

Hockey Game 1

As promised, hockey updates! This quarter we are playing D-League, the lowest you can go. You might recall that we played C-League last quarter and got stomped every game. As it turns out this second time around, many of those that played C-League also moved down to D-League because we are again getting our assess handed to us.

I don't remember the score of this first game but it was brutal. I think I was -1 or -2 for the night which is no good and I didn't even get to trip anyone. It turns out that our "awesome" goalie who "allowed only one goal last season" actually sucks. We must have him confused with someone else. Either that or we are just so bad in fact that the best he could do was allow something like 5 goals the first game. To his credit, he's not getting much help from the team. Most of us don't understand the concept of defense or this crazy thing called "hockey" and the when-it-goes-into-your-net-the-other-team-gets-a-point thing.

Then again, it's all just for fun. It'd be nice to win one game so we can go into playoffs but it's not a big deal.

Hockey Game 2

This game was much better! We were playing against a team that didn't completely dominate us (...at first). About five minutes into the game we are down 0-1 but manage to tie it. We're playing well and getting in some good shots. Our glory is answered with another goal and we find ourselves down again 1-2. Then another. 1-3. We answer making it 2-3. Chris A., some other guy, and me are responsible for this one! Chris A. is pretty good at this stuff, it seems. Then we have a unique line change in that those entering the ice have limited ability to play defense or skate. During 3 minutes, the other team scores 3 times on the same line. No joke! We were within reach and then all of the sudden, we're down 2-6. There's only 6 minutes left so the game is over. We play hard anyway and keep them to 6-2.

Believe it or not, this game went MUCH better than our first game. We just forgot to play for 3 minutes. The game is getting much more fun, too. I'm becoming a better skater which allows me to play faster and rougher. It's really a lot of fun. If you have any skating ability and the opportunity to play, I highly recommend it!

Disease Transmission - Food For Thought...Err

Update: Sarah has found a website that describes the difference between various methods of disease transmission.
Completely changing gears...I've been thinking about some stuff lately. I was sick a couple weeks ago and that got me thinking: how are germs/bacteria/viruses transmitted? If something is airborn, what does that really mean? I'm told by my biologist wife and biologist roommate that it means the virus or bacteria can survive in water droplets that float through the air. I just have to ask, if it is in water droplets, what distinguishes an airborn virus from a virus that survives only in body fluid? Aren't they both liquids? Is it that airborn viruses have the unique ability to survive in saliva? Do they require only a small amount to survive? What's the deal? I've been instructed to ask a pathologist or microbiologist. I don't know any of those :(.

Here's another (more) interesting question: how much do these air born droplets weight? Can they float around endlessly? Here's an idea: if they float around, does having a heating/cooling system in which the vents are in the ceiling and the intakes in/near the floor help to prevent disease transmission by sucking the little droplets towards the ground (away from faces) rather than the reverse which would stir them up into the air at face level? Man that's a long sentence. Seriously, though, if you have an air filter that can catch these little droplets would the direction of flow make a difference? My house is bottom-fed, which I hypothesize is bad but my dad's house is top-fed, which I hypothesize is good. I have again been instructed to ask a pathologist. This could make any interesting research topic, i guess.

Six Feet Under

Sarah and I have started watching HBO's Six Feet Under. She found the first two seasons at the library and we're plowing through them. Basically, it details the workings of a family that owns and operates a funeral home. In the beginning of ever episode, someone dies. This person then talks to the funeral guys during the episode. Other stuff happens to make it worthy of HBO's R-rated TV.

I find that it's not as good as the Sapranos but pretty much on par with Oz. I recommend it.

Movie:Resident Evil (hint: what?!)

Let me first acknowledge that this movie was based on a video game. Even the fact that it stars Milla Jovovich can't change this. Keeping this in mind, the movie wasn't so bad. I enjoyed the action and the humorous attempts to explain zombies. They even through in a crazy AI computer. In fact, things were going great for everyone until the silly humans turned off the computer! OOPS! Ok, as I write this I am realizing that the movie actually sucked. I'm looking for good points of reflection and they aren't there. Sorry Milla, I tried!

I know it's been a long time since my last update. I'll try to keep on it! Unfortunately, I cannot control when interesting stuff will happen to me. Maybe I should just start making up stuff.

Time for lunch!

Hockey

Just in case you are interested, you can drop by an impromptu hockey game tonight at 1:15am (yeah, yeah, technically, it's Thursday morning at 1:15am).