Sunday, November 06, 2005

A fun & sneaky family...

I was working on my bowling tracking app a few days before Halloween when my doorbell rang. I wasn't expecting company, and I didn't particularly welcome any distractions.

I reluctantly got up and went to answer the door. As I approached the my front door, I could see something had been taped to the outer glass door. It turned out to be this:

I opened the door, and no one was there. This bag was sitting on my front porch.

The bag wasn't empty. It contained:
  • A Quaker Oats Chocolate Chip Granola Bar
  • A mini Hershey's Milk Chocolate candy bar
  • Two rolls of Smarties
  • A bag of Chewy Sweet Tarts
  • A pack of Whoppers
  • A Vampire Bobblehead contain Jack O' Lantern gum
  • A pair of Halloween socks
  • A Halloween Poem

Here is the poem:
    Happy Halloween!

    A fun & sneaky family has come to town
    To leave you some goodies that was see you have found
    If you do not wish to disappoint all
    Continue this greeting, this sneaky family call!
    Buy or make some treats, 2 paper ghosts, and 2 notes like this
    Deliver them to 2 neighbors who may have been missed
    Don't let them see you, be sneaky, no doubt
    And make sure they put their paper ghosts out!
    Next, you have only two days to act, so be quick
    Leave it at doors where there is no light
    Ring the doorbell and run, and stay out of sight!
    Last but not least, come join in the season
    Don't worry, be happy - you need no good reason
    Be cool, have fun, and remember don't be seen!
    Share the spirit of Halloween!!

I don't think the author had much regard for meter. Then you have the line "Next, you have only two days to act, so be quick". It doesn't rhyme with anything. But I understand because sometimes when I am writing a traditional poem, I forget and think I am writing a Haiku. Then when I proofread it, I notice, but I decide I can't do it any better and leave it. I also have to applaud the random use of exclamation marks. But the most troubling thing is expectation/obligation to Pay It Forward.

So, I would have to buy two large pieces of white construction paper, an assortment of candy, a Halloween themed bag of the appropriate capacity, and some Halloween themed socks, and I would have to make a copy of the poem. Not only that, but it appears all the other houses in my neighborhood had been "hit", so I would have to drive around local neighborhoods looking for a mark. Creepily driving around neighborhoods that aren't mine looking for a mark would look very suspicious and wouldn't be very smart on my part. I was not ready to risk looking like a kidnapper or burglar or serial killer just to get in the Halloween spirit. But let's assume I find a mark without being reported as a suspicious individual in the area. So now, I have to return to the neighborhood at night, sneak uncomfortably close to a stranger's home, tape the ghost to the door, drop the bag, ring the doorbell, run away, and drive off without the luxury of a getaway driver. Oh yeah, wait, I am supposed to do all that twice. Needless to say, I didn't pay it forward. The whole process would have been a big pain in the ass not to mention the potential for an unpleasant brush with the law.

That is my left hand in the picture next to the Halloween themed socks. I don't think they are going to fit. Anyone with small feet need some socks?

Bowling App Update

Coding has slowed down at work, but it has significantly picked up at home. I have been putting a fair amount of work into my bowling tracking application for my phone.

First off, I have name for the application, "Brandt", after the late great Allie Brandt. Allie Brandt bowled record 886 three game sanctioned series in 1939. That record stood for nearly six decades. He bowled that set long before urethane, reactive resin, and all of the other crutches that allow certain off the corner bowlers think they are good enough to average 220.

These screen shots are of the PC-build since I can't take screenshots of my phone, and I haven't ported the application back to the phone yet anyway. I am going to show my high game of bowling, which also happens to demo a number of the (near) completed UI features. I remember it like it was yesterday.

Yeah, so I left the 2-4-8-10, a leave I had only spared once in my life, on the first shot. I was not expecting this to be my high game at this point. I remember the pinsetter even knocked over one of the pins, and I had to call the front desk to have the leave re-spotted. I made a joke about it being a waste of time to re-spot since I was only going to miss it anyway.

As you can see, the 2-4-8-10 is a split, and my application can determine a split and provides a visual indication similar to today's automatic scoring systems.

But lo and behold, I spared it.

You may notice that I diverge from the behavior exhibited by most automatic scoring systems in regards to updating the score for a frame after a mark. I think most scoring implementations were too infatuated with the paper and pencil scoring metaphor. I personally want as much explicit information as possible when I am bowling.

So, I settled in and threw the ball really well for the rest of the game and continued striking. And that is the story of the first time I shot 290. I have done it since leaving a 10-pin in the first frame which I obviously converted.