Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fart Sandwich Takes 3rd

I previously posted about the Lumines competition in which my friend was competing. It took them the better part of 60 days to finally post the results. Though they have not yet contact my friend or sent him his prize.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Cubs tickets on sale today

Last year I blogged about the first day of ticket sales for the Cubs. By 3:45pm last year, 21 games were sold out. Of course "sold-out" doesn't really mean all tickets int he 40k+ stadium are gone, just most the general seating. They reserve blocks for group sales, and the remaining "close to the field" seats that aren't season tickets go on sale at a later date to kind of even out the rush I guess. This year, by 5pm only the following 15 games were sold out:

April 9th – vs. Houston Astros
April 21st – vs. St. Louis Cardinals
April 22nd – vs. St. Louis Cardinals
May 18th – vs. Chicago White Sox
May 19th – vs. Chicago White Sox
May 20th – vs. Chicago White Sox
June 2nd – vs. Atlanta Braves
June 16th – vs. San Diego Padres
June 30th – vs. Milwaukee Brewers
July 14th – vs. Houston Astros
August 4th – vs. NY Mets
August 5th – vs. NY Mets
August 17th – vs. St. Louis Cardinals
August 18th – vs. St. Louis Cardinals
August 19th – vs. St. Louis Cardinals

I think the discrepancy between this year and last year can be attributed to some of the following:
-The Cubs has a worse season in 2006 than they did in 2005.
-There is one fewer home series against the Cardinals this year (last year even had 1 four game series)
-Last year had Ryne Sandberg jersey retirement day.
-The Braves played a series in Chicago, which doesn't happen very often, and I guess some people like the Braves.
So those four factors, plus others I am sure, led to games not selling out as quickly. Plus I think their system was not functioning very well today, as I will explain below.

My personal ticket buying experience was pathetic. I was granted the opportunity to buy tickets online only twice throughout the day, running with 2 different web-browsers. The first time I caught window right as it flipped at around 11:30 am or so, but was unable to actually "purchase" any tickets because it said the system was busy - this did not happen last year, perhaps they reduced system capacity to lessen the ability of people to snatch up tickets? The 2nd time, I didn't catch the window in time and it kicked me back out. The 3rd time was a repeat of the first, but it was 5:23pm and still I can't buy a ticket!??!?!

Finally around 5:40pm I was able to buy tickets. I choose the 9/19/07 night game against Cincinnati because it is the final night game of the year. Should the cubs be doing well at that point, it might actually be a fun game to go to. Also I got bleacher seats...hoping for a drunken good time. Then I got in again about fifteen minutes later and got some terrace reserved tickets for the 6/26 night game against Colorado. Finally at aound 6:20pm, I bought my final set, Saturday 4/14 against Cincinnati again. Much cheaper tickets but decent enough seats in the upper deck infield. Figure I will invite the family to come in (and bring jackets.)

I really wish it was easier to get cubs tickets. Perhaps next year I will bite the bullet and go to the field to get tickets in the morning on the first day. I figure I would get a better shot to get decent seats.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Zazzle - It really works!

I previously talked about Zazzle.com. Zazzle is a site where you can create merchandise like t-shirts and hats and stuff, with your artwork printed on it (similar to a lot of other sites like threadless). Zazzle lets you earn a commission on every item you sell. Well a total of 4 people bought my t-shirt and Zazzle sent me a check for about $10. I was going to make the t-shirt anyway, so now I recouped about 60% of the cost of the original t-shirt for doing absolutely nothing! Now...if only I can find a way to get people to buy other fun t-shirts I make....

Farewell Chief Illiniwek - Goodnight Sweet Prince

Last night was the final halftime performance of Chief Illiniwek at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The NCAA has decided to discard its stated mission of "governing competition in a fair, safe, equitable and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount." Instead it has decided to regulate politics and free speech in America. Mascots and symbols have nothing to do with "fair safe equitable and sportsmanlike competition." The despicable and underhanded way the university and the NCAA handled the situation is deplorable. Adding fuel to the fire, schools such as FSU can retain their "symbol" because they have a relationship with the Seminole tribe. So because there is no existing Illiniwek tribe, Chief Illiniwek has to go. Dumb...really dumb.

After years of battle the politically correct left have finally won by using the almighty dollar! Since the UofI was prohibited by the NCAA from hosting post-season championship tournaments and competitions, they would be losing sponsorship, brodcasting and general revenue from these events, and I guess they couldn't bear that loss anymore. I assume that there is some financial considerations going on with the Seminole situation...so again they win, we lose.

While I couldn't make it down to the game last night, and also couldn't watch it on tv (stupid local broadcasting combined with crappy Illini record this season), I was able to scrape some videos off of Youtube showing the halftime performance. An honorable end to a longtime tradition. The curtain call at the end was probably the best part (probably the only time the Chief has ever acknowledged his own performance).

*Full performance with the pre-roll video, from higher up in the stands.

*"Official video" by Illini Productions including high quality pre-roll footage, continues until Chief stops to wait in the hallway for the team.

*Full performance from television feed. Shows Chief exiting into the hallway.

*Courtside view of whole performance, little shaky, but good enough.

*Better quality courtside view of whole performance, 1st half.

*Better quality courtside view of whole performance, 2nds half.

Apparently there was also a large movement to coordinate a switch to black clothing for the 2nd half of the game. Partially documented by this picture.

Chief Illiniwek

Update: illinoishomepage has some good videos and news coverage as well. Though their streaming sucks right now (probably because they don't use Cachefly). Should be better tomorrow or in another day.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Chris wanted these books

Chris wanted these books, so I decided to get them for him! (Please file under professional dev :)

MySQL and Perl for the Web


CGI Programming with Perl

Enjoy Chris!