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Category: Technology

The Minnesota Twins are Good at Baseball

I enjoy watching baseball. I’d call myself a casual fan, not because I only watch when they’re good, but because I’m not one of those folks who can tell you all the reasons why they are good or what they should do to get even better. I just like watching baseball. It’s a reliable presence with an even tempo and also there’s a lot of statistics.

As the Twins have been leading their division, league and even all of baseball quite frequently this season, my cousin started tweeting whenever they had the best record in baseball. Of course that got tedious so he inquired about automating it. I thought that sounded like a fun project. And if something is worth doing, it’s worth overdoing, so I made a ruby gem that includes the leader executable that’s useful for determining whether or not your favorite team is leading their division, league or all of baseball. It can also report to you which team is leading baseball, a league, or a division as well as print out a nice leaderboard with sort and filtering options.

Some results:

$ leader is minnesota-twins -l && t update "Today is the 27th of June and the Minnesota Twins have the best record in the American League."
Today, the 27th day of June, 2019:
The Minnesota Twins are the leaders of the AL C division.
The Minnesota Twins are the leaders of the AL.
The Minnesota Twins are not the best team in baseball. They are #2.
Tweet posted by @schlazor.

Run `t delete status 1144439948352692224` to delete.

Using it isn’t quite as straightforward as installing an app on your phone, but keep reading and I’ll walk you through it if you’re interested.

Crustimoney Proceedcake

Hallo, Pooh,” he said. “How’s things?”

“Terrible and Sad,” said Pooh, “because Eeyore, who is a friend of mine, has lost his tail. And he’s Moping about it. So could you very kindly tell me how to find it for him?”

“Well,” said Owl, “the customary procedure in such cases is as follows.”

“What does Crustimoney Proseedcake mean?” said Pooh. “For I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words Bother me.”

Iver has been laser focused on this particular chapter of Winnie-the-Pooh (Chapter IV, In Which Eeyore Loses a Tail and Pooh Finds One). Repetition is not something I cherish in bedtime stories, but I know it’s huge for kids and he laughs at Crustimoney Proceedcake every time we read it.

I bought a WiFi MCU for $9

Usually when I think about the spacetime in which we occupy in relation to the advancement of technology, it’s a negative thing. Why don’t we have flying cars? Why haven’t we bred trees that don’t shed leaves in the fall that have to be raked? Can’t we make emo grass (that cuts itself)? Etc. But. No more. You can buy a WiFi enabled MCU for about nine (9) USD on Amazon, including one day shipping (if you’re a Prime member and spend enough and live in certain areas probably). The possibilities are endless.


Yesterday I had the pleasure of returning to the Best Buy HQ campus for Minnebar12. I’ve been to many and continue to be impressed that an event that large continues to be free, well attended, and full of pretty decent content. For my first session I chose to attend @eryno’s talk on being a lead developer. She breaks down the lead’s role into three categories: Facilitate, Advocate and Motivate.

To illustrate what a good facilitator does, she told a story about her brother in law giving her a pretzel. After starting to eat it, she realized it was salty and would require some water – so she went to go ask for some but there was her brother in law with water in hand who said “duh, pretzels are salty.” The point being, try to anticipate roadblocks and get them out of the way before they happen if you can.

Advocating is basically the art of saying no, but having evidence to back you up so an actual negotiation can take place rather than a battle of emotions. One of the things people often ask me is “can we just do X” and my typical reaction is something like “anything is possible with enough time and money!” Which is my way of letting them know that yes, we can probably do that, but something else that you also think is important won’t get done when you thought it would.

She had some good perspective on motivation as well – starting with the notion that no one is going to be more optimistic about the feasibility of a project than you are, so make sure you’re presenting a positive attitude to your team.

I also attended Andrew Rahn’s talk about the mini yarn skein winding robot he made for his wife, which was a lot of fun. I’ve recently started trying my hand at some electronics stuff, but nothing with stepper motors or even a proper case yet, so I learned a couple things.

Another session I enjoyed was an intro to Kotlin, a newish JVM language that is type safe and heavily influenced by functional programming. Looks very interesting, and I’m definitely hoping to try it out on something soon.

Also attended sessions on reactive functional programming as well as one on genetic algorithms, so as to cover 2016 and 2004 buzzwords adequately.

As always the food was great, got to see old friends, and I got a new T-shirt.

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