GSL Update

After tonight's win over University, Ferris has a half game lead in the race for the fourth and final playoff spot. University only has three games left and their next two are against Gonzaga Prep and Central Valley, a challenging road ahead, but two teams they actually played close in their first meetings. Ferris has four games left: Lewis & Clark tomorrow, Gonzaga Prep Tuesday, Lewis & Clark again Thursday and then finishing out the season with Mt. Spokane. At this point Ferris controls their own destiny, but only if they win out which will be difficult given that two of those games are against teams that are higher up the standings. If we end up tied with University my understanding is that there will be a playoff Monday, February 10 to determine who advances into the district playoffs.

I think Central Valley is virtually assured of a tie for first play because they play Lewis & Clark twice and I can't see them losing those games. Mead and G-Prep are separated by a game and finish off the season playing each other back to back because of the crazy weather cancellation makeup scenario. I could see Mead winning one, but I would lean towards Prep winning both. I think the odds are that Prep will end up winning both and I would be quite surprised if they lost more than one game in their last four. I think Mead is most likely to pick up the win against Lewis & Clark and then lose to CV and G-Prep twice, but they'll still be securely in third place unless Ferris wins out which is a tall order for my Saxons. Should be a competitive and entertaining finish to the regular season regardless of how it ultimately shakes out.

Domain Name Sale

Hover has a sale going on right now for the domain names that have a .club top level domain so I was inspired to start trying a variety of different ones. Shortness and humor were my guiding principles. The first one I thought of that was actually available right now for the relatively low, but not sale price of $21.99 is melee.club. I think there's a whole set based on plays on fight club even though there's no young character around to pick one up1.

One of the reasons I'm interested in picking up a cheap and simple domain name is for use with the SSB pub I'm thinking about setting up. I didn't have a lot of luck thinking of some chat related names, but I did find a couple available that were reasonably good right now: chiptunes.club (singular form was already used by a Japanese website) and 8bitfun.club. Pixelart.club is currently taken, but the search screen tried to convince me that pixel.art2 is available as well when it's actually already taken was kind of weird.

I discovered that hype.club is going for $1899.99 right now, but lowhype.club, maxhype.club, and hypermax.club are all still available at the $4.99 sale price. I feel like a weird semi random club domain would be better for my purposes than a specific topical one that is cool, but not really applicable like the 8bit and chiptunes ones. I like those domains, but they're probably not good fits for this project. Cosmic.club is close to that generic ideal I'm going for, but it's another $1899.99 for the first year. Luckily cosmichype.club, megahype.club, and ultrahype.club are all curently $5 sale options. I haven't picked one up yet, but I think I'm zeroing in on what I'm actually looking for.


  1. What does this last part even mean? I was tired as I was writing this last night, but I'm at a loss this morning. It's weirdly amusing though so I feel compelled to leave it

  2. There's just no way on that one for less than a big fee up front.

Thoughts on the end of Arrow

Arrow Season 8 wrapped up tonight and brought one of my favorite super hero television series to an end. The quality of the show certainly fluctuated over time, but Oliver Queen's journey of redemption and growth will always hold a special place for me. I'm really glad we had this last season to have an extended goodbye to the show and fully tie off all the loose ends in a pretty satisfying way.

I actually came late to the show, picking up midway through Season 3 and after The Flash spinoff launched1. I had been intrigued by some of the commercials that I saw, but being a Marvel guy historically, I never took the plunge and started watching until I realized several people I follow online were big fans of the show. Once I started, I quickly became hooked and managed to catch up on the first three seasons by the end of June that year. I've been tuning in on a weekly basis ever since even as my interest in The Flash waned over the last few seasons. Somewhere during that time I also latched onto the Speedy Arrowcast podcast hosted by three of my favorite Mac tech scene podcasters: Dan Moren, Guy English, and John Moltz and being able to tune into their weekly jokes, jabs, and outright criticism of a show we all love despite its many flaws made the experience that much greater during the run. I'm just glad they're carrying on with Biff! now and continuing to have fun talking about the shows that interest them in this age of super heroic television. Anyway, back to the topic at hand.

Spoilers filled thoughts about the finale:

  • It was good to see so many of my favorite supporting characters one last time including Quentin Lance, the al Ghul sisters, Thea, Roy, Rory, young William, and of course Felicity.

  • I'm excited about the possibility of Diggle becoming Green Lantern, but it sucks that that show is going to be on HBO Max. On the other hand if that means a bigger production budget for a show that's going to need more special effects to do really well I can live with it.

  • I'm a lot more enthused about Green Arrow & The Canaries than I was during the initial Star City 2040 run, but I'm kind of worried about what they're doing with William so far. I also want to see what they do with Sarah Diggle.

  • I'm glad that we got to end with the final reunion with Oliver and Felicity.

  • I'm curious to hear what the Biff! guys think about the episode and where we go from here.


  1. A show that I was initially more excited about, but ultimately finally bailed on last season.

The iPad Awkwardly Turns 10

(daringfireball.net)

Software is where the iPad has gotten lost. iPadOS’s “multitasking” model is far more capable than the iPhone’s, yes, but somehow Apple has painted it into a corner in which it is far less consistent and coherent than the Mac’s, while also being far less capable. iPad multitasking: more complex, less powerful. That’s quite a combination.

I couldn't agree with Gruber more. I am a Mac power user who has been troubleshooting and repairing them for 20+ years. I've had multiple iPads over the last ten years. I still don't fully grasp split screen multitasking mechanics on my iPad Pro and never intentionally use it.

Scuttlebutt Update

There's been some significant announcements regarding the Scuttlebutt distributed social network protocol over the last couple weeks. The news that jumped to the forefront of tech social media was the announcement of planetary.social, a VC backed play aimed at competing with Facebook. Nothing has been released yet, but they have a website with some basic info and you can sign up for future notifications. Manton Reece and Daniel Jalkut even discussed it1 on their most recent episode of Core Intuition. I'm going to watch this development with interest, but it's not essential to what I'm doing now.

I actually missed a much more significant announcement at the beginning of January. The Manyverse SSB2 client was finally released for iOS after debuting on Android in 2018. This makes creating a private family network much more viable for my uses at least. I experimented with using Patchwork on a few computers at home at the end of last summer and though it worked well, I found that the way it ties an account to a specific device is tricky when the kids share computers, and it's limiting when you can't have it with you at all times. But we do have a few old iPhones and iPads that could be assigned to the kids for their individual accounts on the network.

After I installed Manyverse on my phone yesterday and created a new phone specific account I fired up Patchwork on my desktop computer to see if it appear as someone I could follow on my iPhone. Sure enough it did appear and I was able to subscribe to the accounts that were already known to that computer and pull in their information. The contents of my network aren't very large at the moment so that went quite smoothly. Then I did the reverse and followed my mobile account from that desktop computer so that my new account should be discoverable to everyone on our home network as long as Patchwork is running on my desktop. Next steps will be to add a few more mobile clients to the mix over the next few days. iOS 9 appears to be the main requirement so I should be able to easily come up with enough devices for the older kids.


  1. Fairly skeptically and without fulling understanding the technology in my opinion.

  2. Short for the Secure Scuttlebutt protocol.

Getting There: Plans for Centennial Trail through West Central draw pushback that could result in new connection

(www.spokesman.com)

That plan would use a $2.53 million federal grant to replace a series of sidewalks, some of which are deteriorating under the melting snow, with a raised path between about 10 and 12 feet wide and buffered from the street.

“All we want to do is just improve what’s here, make it nicer for all users,” Loreen McFaul said while walking the route on a recent rainy afternoon.

As someone who has run the segment in question countless times over the last 10 years I am 100% for this project. The safety and traffic calming benefits of expanding the path into a separate protected route and narrowing the nearby road slightly would be tremendous for walkers and cyclists. I think the main source of conflict has to be the quarter mile from Mission to NW Point where the trail will cross people's driveways. The proposed alternative route looks like a good trail, but is going to take at least 5-10 more years to come to fruition and doesn't serve the people coming from the neighborhood on the east side of Pettet drive at all.

Star Trek: Picard

Note: Minor spoilers ahead (but there are still like 10 episodes worth of plot reveals and twists left in the season).

I thought the trailer I saw last year looked pretty compelling, but it's taken me a while to finally get around to watching the first episode of Star Trek: Picard. Now that I've seen episode one I'd say it's off to a good start. Patrick Stewart is as good as ever. It's kind of wild to see him play an elderly version of my favorite captain- he's the same Jean-Luc and yet time has taken its inevitable toll. His mind remains sharp, but his physical limitations are apparent. He's going to need a lot of help if he's going to start gallivanting around the galaxy again.

I think the premise of a synthetic life ban and Data having one or more daughters (possibly thanks to a missing radical superfan scientist who may be behind his outlawed offspring) is pretty compelling. I was kind of shocked that the Dahj character was killed off so soon after being introduced, but it turns out she has a twin and that one's still out there (apparently in some kind of Federation assimilated Borg cube!) for Picard to track down. And the dream sequence conversations between Picard and Data have been really good as well, it's awesome to see Brent Spiner reprise his role.

Other random things I liked in no particular order:

  • Number One is a pretty solid dog even if he pretends to not know French.
  • The Romulan refugee staff that help Picard run his vineyard are pretty great.
  • The fight scenes were a lot better than at least one person I followed on social media described them as being.
  • It seems like the synth hunters are some kind of Romulan special forces group, but there's got to be more to it.
  • Data was really the only other STTNG character out of the gate and hopefully they'll dole out the old cast appearances slowly and they'll be more than mere cameos.
  • Sounds like Patrick Stewart personally asked Whoopee Goldberg to reprise her role as Guinan- I'm particularly looking forward to that one.

CV vs. Prep

I caught the big showdown between Central Valley and Gonzaga Prep tonight since I was nearby and we play CV Tuesday. It was an entertaining game even though Central Valley was pretty dominate from the beginning. I was kind of surprised to find out Hodges Flemming ended up with 18 for the Bullpups because he was ice cold from outside the arc, but he had a bunch of sweet drives and pullups in the key that obviously added up. Liam Lloyd was held to 10 points so that was a big reason Prep struggled offensively.

Gavin Gilstrap continues to dominate against smaller teams, which basically means the rest of the GSL. Prep had no real answer for his 6'10" size and Jayce Simmons is the best point guard in the league hands down. It's to Simmons' credit that he's able to fit his game into the confines of an offense that plays at a slower pace1 than one that would best suit his speed and talents.

With five games left in the regular season I don't see Central Valley dropping two games barring a significant injury or a surprising collapse. Their defense is looking really solid and I'm still puzzled that they lost to Richland earlier in the season. They're going to be a tough test for Ferris once again when we face off on Tuesday.


  1. As it absolutely should to take advantage of Gilstrap!

Adam Savage Tests Boston Dynamics' Spot Robot!

(www.tested.com)

Adam welcomes a new member to the Tested family: Boston Dynamics' Spot robot! All throughout this year, Adam will be conducting builds and projects with Spot, integrating it into the workshop and taking it on adventures in the field.

I've always thought that Boston Dynamics robots are amazing1, but giving Adam Savage access to one of their Spot robot dogs for a year is going to be incredible. Can't wait to show my kids this video.


  1. And maybe just a little uncanny valley creepy too.

Spokane's new flag design will be a community effort

(www.spokesman.com)

Over the coming months, the newly formed Spokane Flag Commission will undoubtedly review a deluge of designs for a new city flag. But one thing almost everyone appears to agree on is that Spokane’s current banner, adopted in the 1970s, should be neatly folded and stuffed into the city history books.

“In a nutshell, the design is very complicated,” said Joshua Hiler, chairman of the commission, which held its first meeting last month.

I'm happy to see that thoughtful work on a new Spokane flag continues. The current incarnation is atrocious and we're long past due having a sound design that adheres to vexillological principles.