Saturday, October 13, 2007

They Call Him the Streak

I know that it is a day late for this post, but I thought that I would go ahead and get the info in before the next set of games start. I am torn this week between my favorite sport and the sport that my entire city is talking about. Since it is the playoffs, my favorite sport gets my top nod.

The Major League Baseball playoffs have in recent years become more of a "who is hot right now" contest than a "who is the best team" challenge in my opinion. This year I think that it would be hard to argue that the NL is anywhere near as close to the AL in overall competitiveness. However, just like last year, a hot NL team could run the table.

The Red Sox have been scary all year; their problem has been getting everyone on the same page at the same time. And oh my have they clicked at the right time. Their firepower at the plate seems quite superior to me in the ALCS and that should take them through to the next round. Fausto Carmona is throwing for Cleveland tonight and gives them their best shot to take a game. Sabathia has as good a chance as any player to take the Cy Young award, but his performance last night was not good at all. Pitching, like it does so many years in baseball, made the difference yesterday.
Boston 4 games - Cleveland 2 games

The Colorado Rockies have quite an explosive lineup and their pitching the past month has been good enough, if not excellent. Taking out Brandon Webb in game 1 was the key to this series an basically spoiled the Diamondbacks chances. With their lineup, the Rockies streak is even scarier than a typical hot team. This team has some sustainability. It all rests on their pitchers to see how far they can go.
Colorado 4 games - Arizona 1 game

Now to the granddaddy of them all, the NFL. Nothing has stirred Dallas in quite a while like this Cowboys team. I predicted a good year, but nothing this solid. I am personally pumped that they had their screw-up game last week vs. the Bills. The Patriots however are a different beast. I think we match up quite well against them except for our pass coverage. I think our running game is better, but in the end we will get burned too many times. So I will have to go against my beloved team overall, but I think they will cover the spread.
New England Patriots 31 - Dallas Cowboys 27

Overall record on outright winners, 3-0

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The New Revolution

Every time that I turn around, another stock with the word China in its title is going nuts. It is hard to go a single day without seeing a different stock go up double digits percentage wise. This sort of reminds me of '97 or '98 when anything tech would seem to jump like nuts. However, this new wave of stock mayhem stems from a billion people strong country that is unleashing companies out of communism. This could easily be the basis of major economic growth across the globe for years to come. Here are just a few examples of recent movers:

That is an average return of 82% over the past 2 months. All that I would have had to pretty much do is pick a random stock with the word China in it, and I would be set. And too bad that I didn't. Now the current question is whether this has true merit or is just a bubble of hype. For that, we will have to wait and see.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


I have been recently studying for the Java 1.5 certification exam. The book that I am using is over to the right of this page. It is over 800 pages, but I am making it through. It is also quite thorough and good for preparing for the exam. I know enough to pass the exam, but not enough to do it all perfect afterwards.

Therefore I am for the first time since college, seriously studying for a test. It is at this point that I realize several things. First and foremost, it is really hard to create a programming competency test. It is far too easy to say that you know a language or concept. Resumes are filled with supposed knowledge, but applying it to a job is entirely different. So after 3 years of applying my knowledge, I find it hard to translate that knowledge back to the academic realm. It is not that the information needed for the test is pointless, but the hypothetical situations that the test turns into 'gotchas' just drive me batty. Who on earth sets up a polymorphic tree with 17 levels and every access modifier in the book? I have not seen the situation arise in my line of work, and I write enterprise level software. At the same time, I don't know that if someone completed this certification they would be ready for real life work.

So today is my day to rant about the large gap between learning syntax and knowledge that can only be gained with experience. I certainly don't know a solution off the top of my head, but it seems near impossible to tell on paper is someone is worth a hill of beans in real life situations.