Saturday, March 28, 2009

G's gone

Billy Gillespie was fired. Good job. One down, one Mitch Barnhart to go...

I think Billy would have gotten a third season if he'd just have signed the contract. Yes, the UK coach gets millions a year, but most of that money doesn't come directly from UK. UK pays around $600k - $800k (or so) of the salary directly from the Athletic Association. The rest comes from advertisements, endorsements, and speaking engagements. I think Billy G. wanted to keep getting his millions of dollars, but not do the advertisements, endorsements, and speaking engagements that paid for those millions. That just wasn't going to happen.

I'm disappointed that UK is paying some of the $6 million parachute, but I can understand why they did pay it off. First, they have to fire Gillespie to hire someone else. Second, the next coach has to know that UK will pay off their golden parachute if the deal doesn't work out. I don't think that the letter was a contract (they can argue that Gillespie failed to make a good faith effort to sign a deal), but it's cheaper to pay out that sue.

I personally like the idea of Travis Ford for UK coach. Donovan needs to really consider it, but his wife is probably already told him no way. (Tip to Mitch Barnhart: woo Mrs. Donovan more than you've ever romanced your own wife. It might just get you the #1 coach in the country.)

If John Calipari comes to UK, then we need to take pitchforks and torches to Maxwell Place. Calipari is a sleezeball who cuts corners and leaves storm clouds behind him. If we hire him, we'll have the death penalty within 10 years.

One final aside: I'm surprised that Billy G. can't outrun Alan Cutler.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Evaluating Dave Wilkerson

Dave Wilkerson has had a vision of New York City burning. He is advising the stockpiling of food and water. In general, I find most modern-day "prophets" unreliable. I used to watch Hal Lindsey's TV show, until I started totaling up his predictions and realizing how many hadn't come true. I also like Perry Stone, and think he can speak the truth more often than not. Even so, he has a tendency to go towards the deep end of "connecting the dots".

David Reagan is one end-times ministry leader I like. He doesn't make predictions or set dates. He just preaches God's word. However, on Lamb and Lion Ministry's blog, he is supporting Wilkerson a second time. Since I believe that David Reagan is a Spirit-filled man, I took a second look at Wilkerson's message and some of his others.

I'm not sure about his message. I do know it's easy to test: it will either happen in the next couple of years, or it won't. I do think his suggestions are wise: storing up supplies are essential, just given this economy. Any significant jolt could disrupt our current "just in time" supply chain (like the Atlanta-area gas shortages).

Fortunately, I'm not headed anywhere near the Megalopolis until next year at the earliest, so I don't have to put this theory to the test.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

UK rant, based on a post for Vox Day

(The original post is here.)

Jamsco: 3/19/09 12:15 PM:
Nate: 3/19/09 12:10 PM:
10 losses a year at UK gets you fired.

Okay, I'm ignorant: Why is that?

A historical culture to win more? Better players? They pay the coach more?
Yes, to all three. We have a "tradition of excellence" and a record of good coaching. Rupp was in a league nearly all his own, and Patino was close (I still respect Patino as a coach). I still believe that Tubby Smith is one of the best active Division 1 coaches, but his last 2 UK years showed a deep level of burnout and lack of quality in his staff. He wasn't recruiting players that played well together, and he wasn't taking the kids he did recruit and make them into a cohesive team. I wish him well at Minnesota, because he needed to go when he did.

Now, if we can just get some minor-league professional basketball team to unload Billy Gillespie from UK, life would be perfect. He has a work ethic that can be admired, but its obvious that he's not that good of a coach.

First, you can't ask a team to do every-day full-speed practice sessions, even on game day, for 5 straight months and then expect them to have that extra step at the end of the season. You could tell in the SEC tournament that there just wasn't much left in the Cats. He needed to work them hard at the start of the season, and then back off (physically, at least) towards the end.

Also, our current team was a two-trick pony. Let Jodie Meeks drive. Post Patrick Patterson up. Run Man to Man. Lather, rinse, repeat. While Meeks and Patterson are two of the best players in college basketball today, they aren't God's gift to basketball. They set their early scoring levels because they played (and LOST!) to teams like Virginia Military Institute. When the SEC got to around the halfway mark, the opposition finally figured out how to shut down Meeks and Patterson (can we say zone and "double team"?). Gillespie showed no ability to change things up, or to vary UK's style to match what was happening. No other player could come out of the doghouse long enough to make an impact, letting an SEC full of other "two good player" teams compensate for Meeks and Patterson.

I'm also not a fan of "doghouse" coaches. UK would have a player shine for a game, but then said player will enter the doghouse and never come out again. OTOH, a non-doghouse player will quit or commit a rules violation, and the entire thing goes away. I don't care how great a coach is, that randomness messes with a team.

Finally, I have no respect for whining. Gillespie said our pre-conference schedule was too hard. No, says I. We lost at home to VMI and Miami! UK has the longest home winning streak record, and probably has the highest home win percentage, in Division 1. With the SEC in the toilet this year, UK was ranked 236th in schedule strength. You expect that from VMI or Miami, NOT from a team bringing VMI in to play at home. If Gillespie can't coach through that kind of schedule with two all-SEC players (one in contention for the Naismith Trophy), he needs to pack it in.

The players on this year's UK team should have taken the SEC championship and tournament, and at least made the elite 8. In my humble, and completely unexpert, opinion, they were overworked and miscoached. A better coach could, and would, have taken this team much farther than Billy G did. When a coach fails a team like he did, then he needs to go.

No, I don't feel the need to rant about this....

Fraud on the Scientific Method

Normally, I won't post on something Vox Day talks about, because I can rarely add to the discussion (and if I can, I post there). I just couldn't ignore this post.

To trail the links back to a root post, Scott Reuben did all of the foundational work in multimodal analgesia. Unfortunately for analgesia, Dr. Reuben partially or completely fabricated enough data to undo most of the foundational studies he did.

I find it most interesting that peer review had absolutely no part in discovering Reuben's fraud. Instead, he forgot to falsify patient consent and human test permission forms. A hospital administrator went to verify the patient consent forms, and didn't find them.

Essentially, an auditor found what a peer reviewer couldn't. How appropriate.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Feed update

I've got most of the feed stuff sorted out.

feed:// will work correctly now. feed:// will start working sometime today or tomorrow.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"Leopard Theology"

"The Bible is inspired in spots, and I'm inspired to spot the spots." -- Robert Jeffress paraphrasing W. A. Criswell on Christ in Prophesy.

I absolutely adore this quote.

Feed change

I thought that I had to create an all new blogger feed because FeedBurner wasn't going to recognize my old one. Then, I logged in and magically, it converted. Supposedly, all 4 of you will automatically get redirected to the new feed address.

If you don't, please manually change over to feed:// .

Sorry for the trouble.

EDIT: If you're trying to use or, they may be broken. Sorry. Use the address above.

Save Me, Obama!

There's one minor bad word, but I think it's worth the risk. Just put your headphones on at work, since it's certainly not politically correct.

Save Me, Obama from The FuMP Project:

My favorite line from the lyrics:
Purge the graft from hell-holes like Zimbabwe
And Illinois!

Go download it now!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Secret White House Transcripts

Staffer: Sir, Mr. Brown brought some gifts. He brought your kids some expensive clothes, and you some nice books and a pen set.

O: That's nice. We have something to give him back, right.


O: [deleted expletive] Flunky #1, run over to the gift shop and purchase something for the kids. Flunky #2, there's a box of swag in the back of my closet in the bedroom. Find something nice looking with the wrapper still on it.

Fearless Leader has outdone himself. He received two priceless historical artifacts, one that relates to his own personal history and the second the paperwork that goes with the desk. His kids gets expensive clothes.

What does he do? Hands out two toys from the White House Gift Shop, and gives a nearly-blind man who doesn't like movies a collection of DVDs. It sounds exactly like what I would have done before marrying Milady.

Not very reassuring for the professionalism of the White House.

Selling Sqlite encryption patches, maybe

While I'm not fond of programming, I am capable of doing it. I tend towards filling needs I see in my own life. One of the needs I've seen is -- well, let's not go too deep into that since I'm still working on it before looking to sell it.

That said, I needed a product called Sqlite to do my database storage. Sqlite is an awesome embedded SQL database product that I've already used for stuff at work. Because of "Program1", I needed it to do encryption inside its code. Since I'm broke, I couldn't pay for the encryption that Hwaci sells for Sqlite. Rather than give up on encrypted Sqlite, I went ahead and rewrote the code myself.

Now I'm divided. Normally, I'd just put this kind of code up under a BSD or GPL license and let it be free. OTOH, Hwaci sells it, why not me too? rms would be terribly disappointed, but I've always been a BSD kind of guy anyway.

The fundamental problem is that the value of software is approaching zero. The work that has funded Hwaci and Sqlite cost me a couple of bus ride's worth of code; a pastime that would have otherwise been wasted elsewhere. I could price my labor at $100, and drive their $2000 down. If I license it with the new BSD license, then it drives their $2000 down to $0.

So, if you need Sqlite encryption and can't afford Hwaci, talk to me. Otherwise, wait and I might just pull an rms and release it for free.