Halloween 2014

Another Halloween has come and gone. Unfortunately it was kind of a let-down as the number of kids was the lowest ever. However, I can say the kids were quite polite, most saying “trick-or-treat” and “thank you.” And all loved that I give out full size candy bars.

In years past Nadia and I would trade answering the door. But, as Nadia had to work it was left to me. So, what do I do? I make a game out of it for me! Since I couldn’t play my typical computer games as there isn’t pause when you’re playing against others online.

No, I wasn’t mean to the kids. Instead I took stats – YES! Stats are fun to me (to a point). Costumes? No, though zombies seemed most popular (more so with the girls than boys). Number of boys vs. girls? No, and I think there were more girls. Parent / older sibling escorts vs. not? No, but I think more with escorts than not. I kept it simple: what time and how many kids. And here are the results:

First arrival: 6:19 pm
Last arrival: 8:32 pm
Total visits: 13
Total kids: 30
Average kids per visit: 2.31
Median: 2
Mode: 2

Visits & Kids per visit for 2014 Halloween

Visits & Kids per visit for 2014 Halloween

Shockingly, not only did we not run out of candy, but I think I gave out less than half, and that includes two pieces I gave to two adults (not included in numbers above). I even bought slightly less than the last few years!

I do feel bad though, as I was closing the door I heard a girl give a squeal of excitement that she got a Snickers, but she actually got a Milky Way – similar colored packaging, but very different candy bars.

Take away: I don’t know if I should bother with candy next year.

Mmmm… Soda

Soda Can

What is it about soda that is so tasty? I never really thought about it until recently. What are the main components of soda?

Carbonated water & flavored syrup.

Water, I like. CO2 I’m indifferent. But when you combine the two as carbonated water I can’t stand it. Almost to the point that I’d rather go thirsty than drink it. Which is a problem because the few times I’ve been to Europe ‘water without gas’ is difficult to come by at times.

I’m not going to break-down flavored syrups as there are too many and for the most part one doesn’t consume too many of the components individually. However, I can say as a lone ingredient I could probably do a shot or two of flavored syrup, but I’d have to tap out after that.

I would think when two ingredients I don’t like much are combined it would not be an enjoyable flavor. Au contraire mon frere. For some reason the bubbles and the syrup combine into something wonderful (well, not all flavors). I don’t know if it’s due to the dilution of the syrup, the addition of flavor to the bubbles or a more complex chemical reaction, but it just works so beautifully.

Something else to consider is the delivery method, that is, fountain vs. can vs. plastic bottle vs. glass bottle. I actually wrote that list in no particular order, but after looking at it, it’s generally my preferred order for almost every flavor of soda, with fountain winning by a long-shot. And as a fountain is poured into a cup, I gotta admit, some amount of ice is desired even if the soda is already code.

The one exception is Henry Weinhard rootbeer in a glass bottle. I’ve never seen it any other way, but honestly, why mess with perfection?

Take away: I freaking love science (and soda)!

Star Trek Foreign Language

Yes, I watch Star Trek. I grew up watching ST with my dad, then during the last season of ST: The Next Generation I saw just about every episode of STTNG. I never got into Deep Space Nine or Voyager or Enterprise. Then, about a year ago I decided to watch STTNG on Netflix start to finish. It took some time and there were a few episodes I didn’t recognize, but I got through it. About a month ago I decided to try watching STDSN… It’s a bit better then I expected.

During a particular episode in which Quark was trying to speak Klingon I had a realization about ST’s concept of a universal translator. Warf was helping him and mainly speaking English, but then a few words came out as Klingon, and then back to English. My realization? How? How was it one second everyone is hearing Warf speak English then Klingon and back to English without any button or other device being accessed, shouldn’t the UTs translate the Klingon phrase?

Based on an episode where Quark travels back to 1950’s Earth (USA to be precise) the Universal Translators are in the Ferengis heads, which leads me to assume it is true for all races [in the future] vs. the UTs used by Kirk and Bones in ST6 (The Undiscovered Country) when they are in a Klingon court and sentenced to blah blah blah. If the device is in someone’s head it could lead to the idea that while speaking something I could think, “keep this in my language.” Plausible, except what about the humanoid hearing the word, what’s there to tell the listener to hear the desired language?

I understand the UTs could be networked to send signals back and forth to say what language to hear, but I don’t see that happening. Again, I reference Quark going back to 1950’s Earth. Quark, his brother, and his nephew had the UTs but the humans did not. This implies the UTs can sense the language it needs to translate to and does not network. Or the UT concept is just straight up broken.

Take away: I’m a dork.

What Constitutes a Sport?

This was a long-standing, friendly debate I always had with my dad and just the other day at work it came up with a coworker so I figured I needed write it up for the world to see.

  1. Objective-based vs. subjective-based scoring. Your score is based on completing an action vs. how well you complete the action. And don’t throw refs calling penalties into this as that would remove everything and you’re missing the point.
    Not a sport: gymnastics, diving, cooking, etc.
    Still a sport: football, golf, racing, etc.
  2. Reasonable amount of physical exertion. Basically, enough that you sweat, or at least someone new to the game would. Water polo gets a bye on this as rarely when I’ve been swimming, particullarly indoors, do I sweat.
    Not a sport: poker, chess, video games, etc.
    Still a sport: basketball, weight lifting, hockey, etc.
  3. Direct interaction between the competing sides. One side must be able to stop the other team from scoring and, likewise, is trying to score against while they both take the field, I know, baseball barely gets a pass on this.
    Not a sport: most racing events, golf, discus/javelin throw, etc.
    Still a sport: soccer, fensing, tennis, etc.
  4. There must be an intermediate object that can change posession. This rule definitely threw my dad for a loop for something to be called a sport. He understood what I meant, but never the why. Well, why not? To me, it’s part of the skill of the competition at hand. To me, it goes along with the preceding rule.
    Not a sport: bocce, archery, all other forms of racing, etc.
    Still a sport: water polo, hackey sack, football, etc.
  5. Completely sober people should want to watch for more than five minutes. It needs to be watchable to the massses on an ongoing, regular basis. (I figured I needed an ironic rule.)
    Not a sport: hackey sack, frisbee golf, fensing, etc.
    Still a sport: basketball, baseball, tennis, etc.

Take away: what constitutes a sport?

Over Categorized

I’m loving how easy WordPress makes blogging (vs. my previous desire to roll my own). But I’m starting to question two of my categories: General Thoughts and Pointless. I guess they are really the same (ask my wife). Maybe I need to combine the two categories and distinguish between the two via Tags…