Monday, August 27, 2007

Sheepshead for 2007

I have had a series of post on the card game Sheepshead. As you now know we play the game at work because of the interesting play of power vs. points.

So we were trying to come up with a way to make the game easier for begginners to understand, and allow advanced players a way to keep the game fresh.

So here is the SpiderLogic take on Sheepshead 2007.
  • Specialized Sheepshead Cards
    • We want a way to quickly understand what the cards mean in the game. So, we want specialized Sheepshead cards. Instead of the pictures of royalty and number patterns on the cards we want In the middle of the card, just a big picture of the suit, for example, a big heart for hearts, a big Club for clubs, a big spade for spades, and a big T for trump. This would cut down on confusion on if the Jack of clubs is trump or not. Along the top the cards print the point value (11, 10, 4, 3, 2, 0) and down the side you can put the trump order. Each card would also have a unique bar code on them. Why a bar code, see 2, 3, and 4.
  • Computerized Help
    • Each player has a card scanner that after dealing the player could scan his/her cards. Then during each trick, the player would scan the card being tossed, and a computer could beep a warning if the player was not going to follow suit and make a misplay. I guess you could program it for other things like optimal play so if you are a beginner it could help you play better.
  • Computerized Point Totaling
    • This same system then would also be able to know who partners are and be able to total points for the hand. This would save time allowing for more hands played during a lunch period. I know what you are saying good Sheepshead players should already know the point count, well true, but you still need to do a confirming count at the end of the game.
  • Stats Keeping
    • I am talking the mother of all stats keeping. Not just basic things like how many times I pick and win. I am talking like how often does called suit walk, how many times did I pick and who was my partner, do I have a better win percentage in three handed. Does one player tend to pick and pull down others. Of course all this would be displayed on the web for all to see. This can easily be done, using the scanning machine again and a nice website. You can tell the computer who picked, the called suit, or if playing Jack of diamonds it already knows the partner. Then off the play of scanned cards it would be able to automatically be able to keep these stats fresh in real time. Talk about bragging rights.
  • Online Play
    • Improved online play. I have tried to play Sheepshead online and really it is not that fun. First it is really hard to get a table going if you are not a rated player. I have been playing Sheepshead for13 years but because I never played online I have no rating and people wont let you on their tables. Then if you are lucky enough to get on a table be sure you can trust people, because I was at a table and all they did was pass so they could double points. they would do this for like 20 deals in a row just so the point totals would be big. If you picked to soon, even if you had the boss queens, two jacks, and a couple small trump they would get mad.
So there is the wish list. Some items could be changed to make things easier for example. I guess you could use rf technology instead of bar codes.

Now playing: Akon - Sorry, Blame It On Me
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Now playing: Buckcherry - Crazy Bitch
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Now playing: Bowling For Soup - Girl All The Bad Guys Want
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Now playing: Blink 182 - All The Small Things
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Now playing: Barenaked Ladies - The Old Apartment
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Monday, August 20, 2007


Yes it is almost here, the second annual Papapalooza party is this Saturday August 25th.

Alright, I know what you are saying, what is Papapalooza. Well it is three local bands playing for free at Papas Social Club to benefit charity. There is no cover charge to get in. How it works is all money raised from raffles and a percentage of the bar goes to Penfield Children's Center.

The bands playing this year are Modern Giants, Single Barrel, and First Kiss. As an added bonus, yours truly will be playing cowbell with Single Barrel. That's right I will be making my first stage appearance and let me tell you I got a fever, and the only prescription... is more cowbell.

You can see the skit here.

Now playing: Sean Kingston - Beautiful Girls
via FoxyTunes

Now playing: Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, The - Face Down
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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Odds and Ends

Note 1
So you might have noticed that at the end of my last couple posts there was an inserted footnote of the music I was listening to when I posted the blog update. Well I use Foxy Tunes plugin for Firefox, and the latest update give the user the ability to attach that info in emails or blog posts or what not. I really don't use it in my email, however I thought it would be interesting to track what music I was listening to over time. Like five years from now when I am reading an old blog post and see I was listening to the Foo Fighters.

Note 2
I recently bought NCAA 2008 for the XBox360. I haven't really put much time into the game yet, however here are my initial thoughts.

One, there are too many turnovers in the game. I have noticed that there are like 4+ fumbles a game and 4+ interceptions per game. This might not seem like a lot but I play 5 minute quarters, and you might only get 10 possessions a game. Plus on top of that sometimes the game cheats since the computer AI is poor. What do I mean by cheat, well the cool thing in the game is that you can view replay in super slow motion and watch when the football passes through the body of my defender and into a the arms of a wide reciever.

Two, I am upset the EA still hasn't added the create a school back to the game. It was present on the last XBox release but failed to make the cut in the two 360 releases after. It was one of my favorite parts of the game. When I play dynasty, i like being able to create a weaker school, join a small conference, build it up to a conference power, then jump up the chains of conferences and win at every level. It made the game fun. Anyone can take over the reins of a powerhous and lead them to glory.

Three, the graphics are awesome.

Now playing: Foo Fighters - My Hero
via FoxyTunes .
Now playing: Rihanna - Unfaithful
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Now playing: Barenaked Ladies - Brian Wilson
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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Dotnet 2.0 Generic Lists

So I am working in .Net 2.0 and have to deal with a lot of generic List<t> types. I have been using anonymous delegates to find items in them since I am not in .Net 3.5 and can’t use lambda expressions. So for example if I need to get one item out of the list I simply use the following code...

<t> = List<t>.Find(predicate<t>) or for some code

String dogName = "Max";
List<Dog> dogs = some list of dogs;
Dog aDog = dogs.Find(delegate (Dog match)

That will return the first dog in the list that is named Max.

There are many operations you can do this way and none of this is all that new or really interesting, except I came across ForEach(Predicate<T>).

To use this, it is List<t>.ForEach(Predicate<t>).

So I found it interesting that they would include the ForEach on the list. I started a message post at work asking about this. When should you use the list ForEach vs. the regular foreach. Is one better than the other and what not.

Geoff shared that by using ForEach looping becomes a natural part of the list and it reduces the amount of code that needs to be written. Grant took it one step further in summing up Geoff's response.

He states "Imagine you want to be able to talk about solving problems using some sort of “natural” set based language. The chained delegates *do* this, and in doing so reduce boilerplate code. Still, the question of why do this at all, why bother, why does this exist, why solve problems this way exists. The answer is *list comprehensions*; and it is well worth the read."

You can find out more about List Comprehensions here.

I am not going to lie and say I understand List Comprehension fully, however my point of the story is I like that when I ask the people I work with a question about why use a ForEach instead of a foreach, the discussion ends with a lesson on list comprehension.

By the way, I can't wait for Lambda Expressions in .Net 3.5.

Now playing: Amy Winehouse - You Know I'm No Good
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Friday, August 03, 2007

Brewers Slump

For the last three weeks I have seen the Milwaukee Brewers drop a 7 game lead on the cubs in the NL Central division race. Yesterday it got even worse with manager Ned Yost and some Players getting into a heated argument in the dugout during the game.

I knew the Cubs were playing well, but I thought the Brewers would be able to hold on to the lead. Don't get me wrong, I think the Brewers will come out of this slump and win the division, I am just surprised that is all.

here are some keys for the Brewers if they are to win the division (in no order of importance).
  • Clean Sheets
    • Ben Sheets needs to come back from injury and not miss a beat.
  • Long Outing with the Guys
    • Starters you need to start pitching seven inning and help your pen so they can help you.
  • Rolaids
    • The pen needs to stop the leak and start pitching like they are capable.
  • All Hail the Prince
    • Prince Fielder needs to start producing like he did in the first half of the season
  • Rookie of the Year
    • Braun needs to continue his high level of play on offense, and improve on defense.
  • Help the Prince and the Rook
    • The Brewers need soem other players to get hot. It doesn't always need to be the same people, but they need six or seven people in the lineup that are producing daily. Hart, Hall, Hardy, Estrada, Graphy, Mench, Council and Jenks I am talking to you.
I honestly don't think all these things need to happen, however if the brewers can achieve four of these goals, I think they will enjoy their first post season game in 25 years.

Now playing: Plain White T's - Hey There Delilah
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