Game 7 From Another Dimension

With the help of the 18th edition of Out Of The Park Baseball, I’ve been running my own 2017 season all year long. I was the “general manager” of the Tampa Bay Rays, while the computer controlled the other 29 teams. I thought I did well getting the Rays to go 85-78 (in my sim, they beat Houston in a playoff for the last wild card spot, then lost to the Twins in the wild card play in game) with a team that went 80-82 in real life.

What I found interesting about my specific simulation was that it correctly predicted six of the ten playoff teams that made it this season. It had the Red Sox, Indians, Twins, Cubs, Nationals, and Dodgers right, while the Rangers, Rays, Mets, and Reds all made the playoffs in the sim while not making it for real.

The World Series in my sim went seven games. I type this on Tuesday afternoon, so either Houston won the world championship last night (as you see this) or the real life Series went the full seven games.

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The Reddit Revolution

reddit

I’m really starting to enjoy using Reddit, though I haven’t mastered the learning curve of it, its nooks and crannies.

In particular, I’m a fan of a subreddit (that’s the proper name and usage of one of its forums, right?) called Ask Me Anything, where people tell of what they do or what problems they have, and they invite people to…ask them anything. Even some celebrities, the famous and the not so famous, go on and invite fans to fire away.

Could Reddit be the new Internet phenomenon like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook have become? I guess that depends on perspective. Some say that they’re already there, and I’m of that opinion.

I’m “TBPauly” on there, if you want to look me up. Might even do my own AMA someday.

The Start Menu Hot Mess

Maybe this is happening to some of you, but my Windows 10 computer has been acting up lately.  Not the entire computer, but the Windows 10 operating system itself has gone a bit wonky on me.

When I try and hit the start button (the windows logo on the left of the taskbar if set on the bottom of the screen), occasionally nothing would happen. So, as anyone can do, I consulted the oracles of both Google and YouTube. I tried many of the possible solutions, but for my particular problem, but none of them worked.

I remembered that there were some programs out there that offer a Windows 7-type environment for the Windows 10 computer, and I'd rather have a start menu that functions as opposed to an unreliable one. So, I downloaded a program called Classic Shell, and voila, the problem has gone away.

Maybe sometimes, you have to go back to get to the future.

Language Barrier

Perhaps I should have known something was wrong earlier on in the evening.

Friday night, I'm watching the Rays game with Texas. I'm also on the computer which sits to the right of my TV in the bedroom, which prevents me from noticing the ore-game show has no sound. I don't have the TV on mute, so there should be sound.

I do some chores and get back to the game at about 7:30. Now there's audio, but it's in Spanish. Again, I'm not generally concerned about it, so I fiddle around on the computer some more. I know the Spanish announcers will go into some high pitched exclamations if something good happens, plus it could be some sort of technical issue on the broadcasters end.

Midway through the game, it's still in Spanish. Now I'm thinking its something wrong on my end. I pour through the various audio settings, and restore settings to their defaults. BOOM! There's the voice of Dewayne Staats calling balls and strikes.

Somehow, my TV had found and switched over to the SAP audio channel. Don't know how it happened, but it did. Weird.

Educating Pandora

Technology, especially late in the second decade of the 21st century, is ever evolving.

There's so many apps you can get on your Android or IPhone that most of us don't really play around with it all that much. It's kind of like revolving addictions, really.

Recently I got hooked into Pandora, the service where you pick an artist and it delivers a radio station based on that artist and music like it.

But as in the case with many applications for your phone and computer, there are hidden intricacies and nuances that make the apps addicting. In the case of Pandora, there are "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" buttons you're encouraged to press to fine tune the station.

What I've learned is not to hit "thumbs up" too much, or you'll hear that same damn song every time you fire up that particular radio station. Hit it when it plays your favorite artist, but not too frequently.

Example: one of my stations I'm fine tuning in Pandora I call Goodfella Radio. A lot of the Rat Pack, modern day crooners like Matt Dusk and Michael Buble, some older music from mob movies, stuff like that. It'll want to play "Mambo Italiano" by Rosemary Clooney. But it's Goodfella Radio I want, not Good People Of All Genders Radio.

For some reason, the station wants to play Harry Belafonte music. Don't get me wrong. I love Harry. His Carnegie Hall album on 8-track was the first album I ever heard. But he's not a perfect fit for this niche I'm trying to develop.

That's the addiction. Thinking of what fits on the station you develop and what doesn't. Looks like it's hooked a few people other than me.

Addictions

I was amazed to read Tuesday that Facebook now has 2 billion users. 

That’s 2,000,000,000 users. 

The latest estimates I’ve heard is that the world has a population of 7 billion. I don’t know how accurate that is, but it sounds close to what I can perceive as the actual number could be. 

If that’s within the realm of accuracy, then we are closing in on 30% of the world’s population being Facebook users. 

Does this mean we’re all addicts?

North Korea Proofing The Computer

I’m writing this entry on my IPhone, because I’m having one of my programs, Advanced System Care, check any possible vulnerable spots on my Windows PC. 

In light of what happened last week around the world, where “ransom ware” got unwillingly installed on scores of computers worldwide, I could use the piece of mind. 

Now, I have time to get the latest Windows updates when they come out, but not everyone has the time or patience for it. That’s how these hackers get you. As Robert De Niro said in the movie Casino, they are lions looking for weak antelope. 

No, I’ve never thought about becoming a hacker. I enjoy life without the threat of going to jail. Some people don’t care of course, and that’s no way to live a life.