BBL|06 final standings

January 23, 2017
Scorchers 5 3 .625 2-2 3-1 8.15 7.53 W1
Heat 5 3 .625 1-3 4-0 9.18 8.66 L1
Sixers 5 3 .625 2-1 3-2 7.50 8.35 W1
Stars 4 4 .500 1 1-3 3-1 8.47 8.08 L2
Renegades 4 4 .500 1 1-3 3-1 8.87 8.83 W2
Strikers 3 5 .375 2 2-2 1-3 8.20 7.87 W1
Hurricanes 3 5 .375 2 1-3 2-2 8.78 9.31 L1
Thunder 3 5 .375 2 2-3 1-2 7.52 8.12 L1

January 22, 2017

A convenient liberal interpretation of the recent presidential election would have it that Mr. Trump won in large part because he managed to transform economic disadvantage into racial rage — the “whitelash” thesis. This is convenient because it sanctions a conviction of moral superiority and allows liberals to ignore what those voters said were their overriding concerns. It also encourages the fantasy that the Republican right is doomed to demographic extinction in the long run — which means liberals have only to wait for the country to fall into their laps. The surprisingly high percentage of the Latino vote that went to Mr. Trump should remind us that the longer ethnic groups are here in this country, the more politically diverse they become.

Finally, the whitelash thesis is convenient because it absolves liberals of not recognizing how their own obsession with diversity has encouraged white, rural, religious Americans to think of themselves as a disadvantaged group whose identity is being threatened or ignored.

BBL|06 standings

January 4, 2017

NBCSN is showing a few Big Bash League games this season live (read: middle of the night in North America). I woulda never followed the BBL; if do bother being up at weird hours to watch Twenty20 it’s usually the Indian Premier League. But I feel like it’s my patriotic duty to support cricket in the U.S. I heard Melbourne was kind of like San Francisco and the Renegades have Trinis Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine, so I think I’ve found my team.

Scorchers 6 4 2 .667 2-1 2-1 W1
Heat 6 4 2 .667 1-2 3-0 L1
Sixers 6 4 2 .667 2-1 2-1 W2
Stars 5 3 2 .600 ½ 1-1 2-1 W2
Hurricanes 7 3 4 .429 1-2 2-2 W1
Renegades 6 2 4 .333 2 1-3 1-1 L3
Strikers 6 2 4 .333 2 2-1 0-3 L1
Thunder 6 2 4 .333 2 1-2 1-2 W2

Limited Time Originals Peppermint Chocolate Sandwich Cookies vs. Oreos

December 7, 2016

So, because I’m a disgusting glutton, I bought packages of both the cookies on the prominent all-peppermint display at the grocery store, as well as from the Oreo display. I mean, ’tis the season, right?! And because pleasure must be analyzed and quantified, I shoved both in my mouth (washed down with delicious Ritchey’s Reduced Fat 1½% Chocolate Milk which beat all contenders; possibly more on this later) and weighed the results.

The box of Giant’s store brand advertises “double filled with candy cane crème filling,” and the Oreos appear to be roughly Double Stuf thickness as well. I agree with Operation Nutrition’s assessment (don’t know what a nutrition and fitness blog is doing reviewing candy cane sandwich cookies, but whatever) that the “Limited Time Orignals” store brand is actually better than Oreo’s Peppermint creme cookies. Of course the Oreos aren’t bad—they rarely are—but the candy cane crème filling in the Limited Time Originals pretty much does what it says on the tin—it tastes like a mint—whereas the filling in the Oreos tastes like peppermint-flavored Oreo filling, if that makes any sense. That is, the Oreo crème is sweeter, and tastes like the standard Oreo filling with peppermint flavor added, whereas these other sandwich cookies, perhaps freed from the strictures of preconception, just taste like a candy cane, slightly mintier than the Oreos. In addition, there are little tiny crunchy chunks of peppermint candy, which is less unpleasant than maybe it sounds.

In the end, both leave your tongue feeling a bit frosty, but back to back, I think I slightly prefer Giant/Martin’s. Of course, I wouldn’t turn down the Oreos for the holidays, but at over twice the price by weight (even with your bonus rewards card) I don’t see ever getting them for myself if the Limited Time Originals Peppermint Chocolate Sandwich Cookies are around.

Notes in English on the Italian constitutional referendum

November 30, 2016

Do you approve the text of the constitutional law regarding "Provisions for surmounting equal bicameralism, reduction of the number of members of parliament, containment of institutional operating costs, elimination of the National Council for Economics and Labor and the revision of Title V of Part II of the Constitution", approved by Parliament and published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale No. 88 of April 15, 2016?

Not all Italians speak fluent Italian, especially when it comes to complex and nuanced policy discussions. So it’s been somewhat difficult to be fully participate in the conversation surrounding the upcoming referendum this weekend. But I have run across a few helpful English-language resources.

There are a couple “everything you need to know” guides—of course, though, these are mostly predicated on the idea you’re a worldly interested foreigner, not a voting citizen.

The BBC has a piece on italiani residenti all’estero—specifically British ones, of course.

Surprisingly for a pro-free-market publication you’d think would oppose anything that threatened the euro or EU membership and support anything streamlining government and cutting down on bureaucracy, but The Economist has endorsed a No vote.

I also remembered this graphic, which I ran across a while back:

Popolazione: 60.000.000
Senatori: 315
Deputati: 630

Popolazione: 300.000.000
Senatori: 100
Deputati: 435

Se facessimo come gli USA avremmo 20 senatori e 87 deputati.


However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all this, and straining your Italian skills watching Telegiornale trying to follow along, a recent survey found that 9 out of 10 Italians have not understood the upcoming referendum—and while frightening, at least we’re in good company.

Final standings

August 2, 2016
Denver 10 2 48 .833 403 273 130 56 5-2 5-0 L1
Ohio 9 3 47 .750 476 273 203 69 5-0 4-3 W6
San Diego 4 8 25 .333 335 413 -78 39 3-3 1-5 L7
San Francisco 4 8 24 .333 339 454 -115 45 2-4 2-4 W1
Sacramento 3 9 18 .250 294 434 -140 34 2-4 1-5 L1

2016 PRO Rugby standings

July 18, 2016
Ohio 11 8 3 42 .727 5-0 3-3 444 248 196 W5
Denver 10 9 1 41 .900 5-1 4-0 347 217 130 W3
San Diego 11 4 7 24 .364 3-3 1-4 308 378 -70 L6
San Francisco 10 3 7 17 .300 6 2-3 1-4 278 389 -111 W1
Sacramento 10 2 8 11 .200 7 1-3 1-5 225 370 -145 L2

2016 NFL final standings

April 4, 2016

…although maybe not the NFL you were expecting

Dublin 7 0 1.000 113 85 +28 W7
Kerry 5 2 .714 2 124 92 +32 W5
Roscommon 4 3 .571 3 125 101 +24 L2
Donegal 3 4 .429 4 108 96 +12 L4
Mayo 3 4 .429 4 101 110 -9 W2
Monaghan 3 4 .429 4 101 112 -11 W1
Cork 3 4 .429 4 116 132 -16 L1
Down 0 7 .000 7 66 126 -60 L7

How to activate an old, 15-digit SIM card on T-Mobile

March 14, 2016

I have thought about blogging my ordeal trying to unlock a Sprint iPhone 5 on T-Mobile, and I may well do that. But right now, since I have yet to successfully get this out-of-contract, paid-for phone off its software-tethered carrier, I need to deactivate the teeny-tiny SIM card I got for the iPhone, and reactivate the same old SIM I was using in my Android phone, the same one I’ve had for 10 years, so I have some phone to use.

When I called customer support, however, I was told it couldn’t be done. I asked if they had a way to look up my SIM cards and just use whatever they showed the previous one to be; I was asked for the number so they could look it up. (It’s still unclear whether they have access to those records; I assume not.) I wasn’t sure which number they were asking for, since there is one printed horizontally and one vertically, but assumed the 6-digit code was too short to be any kind of unique identifier. So I read off the other number that was printed. “I’m sorry, sir, the system won’t let me activate a card with fewer than 19 digits.” The SIM card I had had three groups of four digits and one group of three at the end. Searching for images of T-Mobile SIMs, I saw three groups of five digits followed by one group of four. “Well, then put four 0s in front of it,” I suggested. “If that doesn’t work, put four trailing zeroes.” Still no luck. The computer wouldn’t accept it. “That’s ridiculous!” I screamed in protest. “This card was working just a week ago! If it worked then, there has to be some way to make it work now!” I even bugged the poor kid till he put his manager on. No dice, I was told. Finally, I hung up in defeat. I vowed to call again in the morning and harass their American customer support, who of course would be able to connect me to a tech who actually knew what they were doing.

However, after I mulled over “the code will start with 8901,” for a few moments, looking at those pictures online, a lightbulb went off. I called back and said I wanted to reactive my old SIM card. “No problem, sir,” I was told. “Could you please give me the number off the back of the card?” “89012…” I read off. The old 15-digit code starts with a 2, so I just read off the following digits in groups of five, followed by the last four digits. “OK, sir, that SIM card has been activated. Is there anything else we can help you with today?”

TL;DR: To use an old T-Mobile SIM, just give them the old number prefixed with 8901, giving you a total of a 19-digit code.

I can’t lie, I kind of feel like a bad-ass hacker right now.

Belated insights about the Indian rupee symbol

July 17, 2015

Can you imagine how petty it would look if the U.S. said, “We’re tired of sharing a currency sign with Canada and Mexico. Even though $ is a perfectly good symbol with historical pedigree, it’s too easy type in ASCII, and we’re special. We’re going to make up a new one, just for us, and then because we have a consumer market of 30 crore, manufacturers and standards-making bodies will be forced to implement it.”

While staggering numbers of fellow citizens drink from the same water they shit in, Indians on the Internet were circlejerking over their government’s decision to spend money and effort instead on a hollow show of their economic might and inferiority complex. (You saw this evidenced in utterly fallacious, ignorant statements like, “Other world powers, like Japan, the U.S., and Britain, have their own symbols not shared with any other countries.”)