October 22nd, 2009

needs a hug

blowing fuse

The Parking Enforcement Man visited me while I was writing my physics midterm (which I bombed), and gave me his gift when I was in math class. I would have gone out at some point to move my car, but I had to scramble to work on my extra-hard chemistry assignment, which was due a day earlier than usual because of our chemistry midterm tomorrow, which I am probably only slightly better prepared for.

The stupid thing is that I'd have no problem getting an all-day curbside spot if it weren't for the stupid Halifax Urban Greenway and the associated construction. What was parking for a lot of people is now Coneworld. Just like everything else in this stupid place.

So I paid the ticket on my phone, and that reminded me that I have no way to pay the phone bill I received yesterday, nor the credit card bill I will accrue from the parking ticket. I paid for my last 1/4 "fill-up" with change I had stashed in my glove compartment. It's winter tire season, but I can't afford them. But if I get into an accident because I don't have winter tires, I can't afford the consequences! I won't be able to afford my insurance bill when that comes around next year, either.

It's looking like I may have to take a year off - I will be lucky if I can even do these two semesters together! I mean, I have money for second semester tuition, but that's it. I suppose I could rob Peter (Saint Mary's) to pay Paul (everybody else), as SMU does charge late payment fees, but last I checked they weren't usurious.

Of course I applied for a SMU bursary and also an industry scholarship from my father's job. I'm also going to apply for another award targeted at "mature learners." The award is laughably small, but it would look good on a résumé.

Just... I dunno, some days it just seems like things are unnecessarily difficult.

Epilouge: I get to my math recitation and first thing I know is that we're doing a quiz that includes factoring by completing the square. It wasn't on the assignment, so I thought I was prepared for the class - but it was in Tuesday's class, which I missed because...

Well, that's another frustration. You see, to have a shower in the morning, I have to be up at 6. Mom has to get ready for work, and Paul sometimes stays in the bathroom between home care shifts. (They justly take priority, but it doesn't leave me with much to work with.) So my alarm goes off at 6, but because I was up so late preparing for my chem lab and astro lab (which ended up being canceled, and the e-mail went to my bulk folder, so I ended up staying unnecessarily late that day, but I did get some work done), I end up just shutting off the alarm, deciding I'd take a quick wink and wake up at 8 and just wash my hair in the basement set tub like I've been doing most days (I was starting to smell, but I was really tired). But I closed my eyes and next thing I knew it was 10am. I'd miss physics, and I felt that math was going so slow, what would be the point of going? This was the same damn class that spent 30 minutes on y=2x!! So I had a real, honest-to-God shower, and then I went to my chem lab. And now tonight they spring this pile of crap on me. If it was SO important to learn completing the square, why the heck wasn't it on the homework like all of the other weekly quiz topics so far?

I am honestly at my wit's end. This is zarking retarded. I don't know what the hell I'm going to do next semester when I'll have one more course, be obliged to be here for 8:30 three days a week, and have to contend with snow and ice and slush every day. Gah!
long beard

Replay for Baseball

Here's how you do it:

OK, first let's establish that the strike zone is not up for review. That would get ridiculous. Also "did he swing or not?" The fuzziness of that stuff is kind of part of baseball tradition anyway. Unless you want to take away the home plate umpire entirely and use a machine? Yeah, I don't think anybody but me would even entertain that notion for a nanosecond. [Well, actually, people are starting to talk about this now! We have the technology! It'd be cool to see what would happen if balls and strikes were even 95% consistent with the rules, and I don't think they're even close to that now. My hunch is that it would favour the batters.] And how can a machine call a pitcher for a balk? [The answer here is that the computers call balls and strikes, but the officials watch for the other, more qualitative stuff.]

Like the NFL: A challenge system! With limits - let's say each manager gets two.

Not like the NFL: Don't put the head umpire in a little booth behind a curtain.

Instead, like the NHL: The umpire calls a video review headquarters, where a special unit handles the review. Don't make the umpires watch screens - take it out of the ballpark entirely.

Also like the NHL, the general rule is: If not conclusive, the ruling on the field stands.

Also, the umpires should have the power to invoke a review if there are differing opinions among them.

Make a list of what's reviewable and what's not. Safe or out at bases absolutely must be included, as fair / foul will probably be, and home run / not already is.

People are saying it would make baseball games even longer, and while that is nominally true, I sincerely doubt you would see this system abused - it most likely won't even be used every game. Managers won't issue pointless challenges - they probably won't issue any unless a team employee watching the broadcast calls down and lets him know about something the umpires may have gotten wrong.

Now, what happens in cases where play continued / would have continued after the disputed call? This could get messy, but a careful set of rules could take care of most of the permutations. We already have a "ground rule double," where if a ball bounces into the stands off the field, it counts for two bases. Similarly, things could be judged as "that should have been a out / single / double / triple," whatever.

It won't be perfect, and there will still be mistakes. In fact, as it is in the NHL and any sports league, not every game is equally televised - or televised at all! For instance, the net cam in the NHL only comes out in certain games, IIRC. But more often than not, the right calls will be made.