August 14, 1997

Phone tag, phone tag, rolly polly phone tag. Headhunter still outta contact, but narrowing in, likely. Hee.

Dreamed of web pages last night, after reading a set of articles on push technology (i.e. PointCast and the slew of derivatives). Great, big 3-D sight, sound, touch web pages that were surrounding and a whole lot like the holographic deck of the newer Enterprises with info and multiple page push technology in mosaics like a minds eye. And I was doing support and design of the puppies. Whee.

The game last night was rough. A lot of it was that I was bruised, sore, and still abraded from the game last Monday, and I didn't think that I could play as energetic a game again so quickly. I am still somewhat surprised with how hard I did play. It was the team that creamed us when we were down to only seven people on that grass pitch a while back. This time, though, we still didn't have a full team, we were, however, only missing one woman and we beat them handily. Mostly because they played the same game, i.e. forcing up their strong guys and ignoring their women.

Why is it that so many teams do that? It makes absolutely no sense to me why anyone would ignore half their team. Though I guess it must make sense to them, perhaps because they believe their playing skills are so much better, or something. And maybe the reasons we pass so well to our women is just because we believe our women play as controlled a game, sometimes, as our men. Anyway... the ref wasn't calling much 'incidental contact' and their defense was just beating up our offense, so I played the same game and just got in the way and got in the way and got in the way of their striker, over and over again. There were three plays that really stood out in my memory. Most of them near the end of the game, which was pretty tight. One was where the two biggest guys on their team are barreling down the middle of the field, passing the ball back and forth between just them, and they get by three of our guys doing this, though the last of the three manages to just touch the ball a little more towards the center, so their two guys converge in the middle of the field about a yard outside the 18 yard line[1] at exactly the same instant both Yura and I converge. Yura, being a smart player, takes two steps back. I, being a reactive player, take a step right into both of the guys, get between them, and accidentally pop the ball directly back to Yura.

Smart Yura. And I'm screaming, at that point, for him to get it outtta here, clear it, get it AWAY from...

Thinking Yura does a simple back pass to our goalie, who then drop kicks it far, far, far away. Whew. I thank him for having a brain, he just grins at me. "You're doing okay." he says. <blush>

I play defense because of three reasons. I'm fairly quick, I've got pretty good reactions, but most of all it's because I'm easily motivated by fear. On offense, it's cool, logical, set it up and try it and if you fail, you just try, try again. Failing is far more typical than not, you just do and do and not worry about it. Defense is pure fear, for me, in some ways. I must not fail, because I should be able to do the right thing on defense pretty much all the time. When I set down a line of defense and let no one cross it, I succeed time and time again. The other good thing, for me, about defense, is that it's a team thing. It's not just me holding the back line, I can rely on others, usually. But when it does happen to come down to only me, the best motivater, the thing that gets me to run the fastest, is knowing that I might fail if I don't. What an odd fear.

It's a fear that gives me courage, sometimes. Courage to yell instructions at people so that they'll do what they have to do to make my job possible. It makes is possible for me to charge guys that are half again to even twice again as big as me and not be nearly as afraid of the impact as I am of the consequences if I don't dive in. It's probably the sort of fear that got me through Caltech, when I think of it, and likely the one I'll rely on sometime in the future.

The other play I remember clearly was chasing down a ball with their female wing right on my heels, and instead of just kicking it out, I played it between her legs, towards the sideline. If it went off off her, I'd get the throwin; but as it turned out, it went through her legs, so I could just turn and kick it up the line right to Elena, with time to spare. That worked out nicely. Which reminds me of the time their hot shot striker came at me with the ball and just barely lost it to me, and as he started to lunge towards me to try and take it back, I popped it between his legs to my center halfback. Had the striker swearing at himself for a good ten minutes after that.

Anyway... we won. I don't even remember the score. I'm bad about that.


Had a chocolate Americano this morning, from Victor's. A guy had ordered one several weeks back and, intrigued, I thought I should get one sometime and remembered that this morning, when I didn't want to deal with my milk allergy and didn't really want a straight Americano with no sweetener. Basically, it's a cup full of ice, with two shots of espresso, a shot of chocolate syrup and water to fill. Mix with a spoon and it's sweet, chocolatey coffee on ice. Yum.

Food allergies are a pain. Kathy, my sister, talked with me for a couple of hours on Tuesday evening, talking about allergies and other things she's been doing and thinking of doing. Included in that is a trip to London at the end of October for the World Fantasy Convention, perhaps as much an excuse to go to the U.K. as anything. Whenever I actually sit down and really talk with Kathy, it amazes me, just a bit, how much there is that we still share even after more than a decade and a half apart.

A lot of the things that make me long to not be an engineer anymore, even after all the pride and accomplishments I've had while being one, echo some of Kathy's unexplained feelings about 'just not being an engineer' and not being able to do things like think in recursion. Small echos and sympathetic vibrations. It's odd.

Oh! Talk about vibrations. Data I/O sold all it's property to a developer, which is going full blast with the development, so there are all kinds of heavy equipment rolling around outside, and it's shaking the building so much that I'm literally vibrating in my seat sometimes. It really makes concentration hard, and makes for a sucky environment for coding.

Work has gotten a little bit better. I still have as much to do, but it's getting gradually done. Also a few things, like planning the next generation tool set, were things I really wasn't expecting to be able to do, and it's actually happening in some ways. So, that's been good.

Nearly makes up for all the trees that were mown down by the developers. Nearly.


[1] The 'eighteen' or the eighteen yard line, is the line that's, surprise, eighteen yards out from the goal line. There's a six yard line that's the smaller box in the goalie's box, and the 18, which is the limit of the goalie's box. The only dimensions of a soccer pitch which are actually defined are the dimensions of the goalie boxes. The rest is up for grabs, so long as it can contain both boxes.
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© 1997 by Liralen Li

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