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calendar   Saturday - January 10, 2009

Let It Snow!

So the big storm that’s hammering the northern part of the US has reached NJ. Actually, it’s been snowing all day, but not too hard. But it started coming down hard a couple hours ago. And starting to pile up. In theory it’s supposed to change over to an ice storm later. Great. Just what I wanted. So this afternoon the phone calls went out, the decision was made: bowling league got canceled tonight. My God. I never thought that would happen. Now all I have to do is figure out how to push this week forward a week in the bowling software. It’s in there somewhere, I just have to find it.

But we had to go out in the mess anyway, to fight our way up county and up Mt. Kipp so my wife could get her fingerprints taken too. Not bad. Heavy snow is one of the few times I’m glad I have an underpowered little Saturn with a stick shift. Chug chug chug, and off we go. Having a set of the best all season tires doesn’t hurt either. I’m running the Goodyear Assurance TripleTred and I can’t recommend them highly enough. These are superb tires in the rain and snow. They ride well, and they handle pretty good too. Ok, they don’t handle as good as the Continental SportContact 3s do, but those are summer tires. The Contis suck in the snow, as my wife found out this morning. Wheee, and around she went in circles. Accidentally. Lucky she avoided piling into anything.

We stopped off and picked up some meat, chips, and beer, so it can snow for a week for all I care. We got the Leinenkugel variety pack. I’m sure all my Wisconsin readers are laughing at this, but Leinies are new to NJ. It’s rare and unusual beer here! And I’ve got to say that several of their varieties are really nice. Their Sunset Wheat is smooth drinking. The Red is pretty nice too, as is the Honey Weiss. But the flavor king of the whole bunch is their Fireside Nut Brown. Wow! It actually tastes like it was made with toasted nuts. And since it’s a Leine, there’s actually beer in the beer. We’ve been drinking the various Sam Adams flavors for a few years now, and while they are quite tasty, they seem to have little or no punch. Leinenkugel beer: the other thing Chippewa Falls is famous for.

I hope you are all home warm, dry, and safe. This might turn out to be the big storm of the season. Damn that Al Gore and his rotten Global Warming!


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/10/2009 at 10:43 PM   
Filed Under: • Bowling BloggingClimate-Weather •  
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calendar   Monday - January 05, 2009

Being League Secretary Sucks

I haven’t posted too much in the way of bowling blogging lately. Been too busy with other stuff.

Well, it’s a mix of good news and bad news. Which is typical.

The good news is that my Monday night team did really well in the position round we had last week. We took all 7 points but it wasn’t easy. We won the first game by over 100 and then we won the second game by about 50. But then the other team woke up and started bowling well, while our team got tired and began rolling poorly. It was neck and neck the whole game, and then we seemed to drop the ball [hur hur, bowling pun] in the 10th frame of the 3rd game. So when it came time for me, the anchor, to roll, we were down by 26. I had a spare in the 9th. Ron, the anchor on the other team, is pretty good. I expected him to go XXX or at least XX-something. Instead he rolled X 7 0, and that was on an open in the 9th. That gave us a small window. My first ball was a strike, which gave us 20 because of my earlier mark. So we’re still down 6. My second ball was a 9, and that was enough. I missed the spare, but it didn’t matter. We won that one by 3, and thus took all 7 points. That moved us up several positions in the standings, so now we’re in 9th place out of 18 teams as we go into the 2nd rotation. This is a very competitive league, but we still have fun. I don’t know if there will be a “Miss Congeniality” prize, but my team will win that if there is. We have such a good time, so nobody gets grumpy when we beat them. Conversely, we don’t get down (too much) when we lose. This is not always the case with some teams!

The bad news concerns my Saturday Night league. While my team is solidly in 1st place there, the league itself is struggling to survive. We lost a lot of teams this year, and have been barely surviving with 5 and a half teams. How can you have half a team? Well, the half team started out as a whole team, but nobody showed up. We didn’t find out until later that all the members had quit the league, at least for this season. Nice of them to tell me this when I went to all the effort of finding out their phone numbers and calling them up. (all our league’s records were lost at the end of last season, so everything had to be rebuilt from the beginning. As Secretary, all of this was my job and my job alone. Great!) Then the alley found us 2 guys who said they’d take over that team. They came for a couple weeks then stopped showing up. Did they call and say, Hey, sorry, we can’t make it anymore? Heck no. They just evaporated. So I had to figure out how to figure in forfeits, which required bending some rules. After 4 weeks of no show, I had to just about force our league president to admit that these guys were gone, which made that team the BYE team. Ok, fine. More work for me, but at least it’s settled. The bowling alley doesn’t like to lose money by having BYE teams - they are an empty slot which brings in no cash - so they told me they found some guy who wanted to join a league, and he had a whole team of friends to bowl with him. Hey, great, come on down!

So the first week the new guy shows up. And nobody else. Uh oh. Here we go again. The second week he shows up. By himself. And then spends an hour on the phone, forfeiting the first game, trying to get his buddies to show up. At last one of them does. His girlfriend. So now we have 2 on that team, but at least one M one W as we are a mixed league after all. So they forfeit one game and bowl 2. This is a difficult thing to enter into the bowling score software, so things got screwed up in the database and I didn’t notice. This last week they both came, hurray!!, and both bowled the full series. Hurray twice! And they paid their money and their sanction fees. Hurray to the third! But the software was really messed up. I spent more than 3 hours today going into the database, going back several weeks, changing scores, rosters, averages, total pins bowled, etc., until I finally got it figured and straightened out. So now everything is perfect, and my hope is that none of the whiners on this league will notice. Which means I’d better get the old standings sheet taken down tonight and put the new one up. But the thing is finally correct, so I’m happy.

Being League Secretary is a lot of work under ordinary circumstances. But when your league is “dynamic” it’s a huge pain in the posterior. And nobody will ever know just how much work it is unless they do it themselves.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/05/2009 at 08:57 PM   
Filed Under: • Bowling Blogging •  
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calendar   Friday - November 07, 2008

Oooh, you’re a cheater!

This is what a score sheet looks like for league bowling:











bowler Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 Total
Bob 125 147 159 431
Carol 155 163 114 432
Ted 215 246 211 672
Alice 113 151 132 394
Total 608 707 611 1929
Handicap 15 15 15 45
Grand Total 623 722 631 1974



A series in bowling for the bowler is 3 games. Since the score can be from 0 to 300, each game has 301 possible scores. Since each score is unique to it’s placement - Game 1, Game 2, Game 3 - all scores are unique to the series, even if your game scores are 174, 174, 174. The series totals are the ones added up horizontally

Thus there are 301 x 301 x 301 = 27,270,901 possible game score combinations in a bowler’s series.

On a bowling league with teams of 4, the team’s game total is the total of each bowler’s score for that game. Plus any handicap,which is always a static amount, so we can ignore it. These scores are added vertically.

Thus a 4 person team’s total is the sum of one of the 301 x 301 x 301 x 301 = 8,208,541,201 score combinations. Do these numbers matter at all?

The scores are written in pencil. Then pencils do not have erasers. Let’s consider that someone tried to cheat by adding 2 points to one of the bowler’s scores after the score sheets were signed off and handed in. In the above example it was Alice in Game 1. She actually rolled a 111, but didn’t want to catch any grief for rolling yet another “shithouse” score this season. (It’s a bowling thing.) So she changed the trailing 1 to a 3. Then she changed her team’s total for that game from 606 to 608. Then she changed to total with handicap from 621 to 623 [all in green] Can she get away with it?

You can fudge a 1 to look like a 3. You can fudge a 6 to look like an 8. You can fudge a 7 to look like a 9. Trying to fudge any of the other digits by sneaking in an extra 2 points gives you something weird looking. That won’t work.

To be effective, a good “+2” cheat must change the score for that bowler’s game, that bowler’s series total, the team’s game total, that games Grand Total, and the overall Grand Total for the night. In this example, her cheat is the number in green. All the red numbers are the ones that also have to be changed to cover her tracks. Bowling score sheets are in a grid for exactly this reason. If the scores add up going across, but not down, or down but not across, it’s a math error. This happens all the time. Especially after several beers.

To narrow things down even further, a “+2” cheat would not only have to change these 6 numbers, those numbers would have to all end in either 1, 6, or 7 for the fudging not to stand out.
Maybe she doesn’t have to change all 6 numbers, but she will have to change her score for that game, her series total, and one of the team totals. The rest could be written off to poor math. Could they? Or would her changes stick out like a sore thumb?

In this example she only changed 3 of the numbers. The errors stand out. In most “cheating” circumstances only one of the numbers is changed. What are the odds that Alice can come across a perfect scoring opportunity that would let her skillfully changed all the right numbers and get away with it? Pretty darn slim. And she’d have to have that numeric event happen at the same time she had access to the score sheet with nobody looking. Even less likely.

Well, of those 301 possible scores per game, you can meet the “ends in 1, 6, or 7” criteria with any of these scores: {x1, x6, x7}, where x goes from 0 to 290 in increments of 10. Which means 29 ranges. With 29 ranges you thus have 87 matches out of 301 choices. That’s 28.97%. If I get to multiply that out 3 times, once per game, I should find the percent of series totals that match the criteria:  0.2897^3 = 0.024147 or 2.41% rounded off for now. About 1 chance in 40.

If I get to multiply it across, I can also multiply it down, so a “cheatable” total for a 4 person team can happen in 0.2897^4 = 0.6995% of all possible totals. Around 1 chance in 150.

For the Overall Grand Total, find the odds by adding up the exponents and raising the number to that power; 0.2897^7 = 0.000171253504046166, then taking the inverse, 1/0.000171253504046166, and rounding off, which gives the odds: less than 1 in 5840. Pretty long odds. And that’s with perfect pencil skills.

So it is possible to do a perfect “+2” cheat when nobody is looking, but the perfect opportunity will never actually arise; you will either leave obvious math errors or some strange looking squiggles that are obviously not numbers. Cool. Good to know. Always good to have this kind of ammunition in the back of my mind. Yes, I’m still pissed over those accusations. Can you tell?

See what happens when my wife goes on a business trip? My mind just wanders, and tries to eff with the ineffable.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/07/2008 at 05:15 AM   
Filed Under: • Bowling Blogging •  
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calendar   Monday - November 03, 2008

nothin from me

I’m tapped out here folks. I can’t stomach to make another post about what a leftist clown Obullshit is. By now you’ve heard it all 100 times over. Get out and vote, and vote for McCain/Palin even if you have to hold your nose the whole time. Our very future depends on it.

Other than that, I’m having a rotten problem with one of my bowling leagues. I’ve spent the better part of today writing things down, and composing a long letter. The league that I am secretary for has a team, all of whom are, um, “natural” Obama supporters and redistribution beneficiaries I guess you could say, who cause a whole lot of dissension. Even though every one of them is a highly experienced bowler, and every one of them drives at least 50 miles to take part in our dinky little 5 1/2 team bowling league up in the sticks of NJ, they make “innocent” mistakes just about every week that cause the scores to appear better for them than they actually are. And when I bring this to their attention, just letting them know that mistakes were made -no accusations from me- the denial and reverse accusations are instant and thunderous. Our league had a lot of problems last year, and we lost half our membership because of it. Those few who did return have told me many times that this same group caused trouble all of last year too. Maybe I should just refer to them as “Team Sharpton”, but that isn’t at all subtle. True though, just not subtle.

So now I am a lying cheating mother fucker who is out to get them. I’ve been told that right to my face. No witnesses of course. I’ve been accused of stealing points, changing the scores, ripping them off, rigging the rules, etc. To say that I am a bit upset by this projectionist BS is about the largest understatement in the world. I fully understand why people got into duels back in the day. I am doing my best to overcome my reflexively violent reaction and to devise a diplomatic solution. If that does not work, then I will be faced with a no-win decision: I can walk away from this league and it will die, or I can push for adjudication and get this team kicked off the league, in which case this league will die. The only way forward that I can see is for me to suck up my injured honor, ignore these accusations, and create a “we all have to try harder” speech to present to the whole league. I am not a happy camper here. I will try to contact our league president and get some advice, though earlier attempts have been fruitless. He doesn’t want to be bothered. I’ve put together some pages that I want to share with the bowling alley owner too, just to keep him appraised of what’s going on.

I’m not sure what to do here. Maybe the best approach is to accept that some people are whiny little crybabies, that some people feel entitled to push as hard as they can, screw other people’s feelings, to get what they want ... and just let the whole thing slide. Ignore it. Eat the whole shit sandwich and hope it’s the last one that shows up on my plate. Yeah right.

Don’t worry about my league though. When Obama becomes President I’m sure the rules will change so that this team wins automatically just because they show up. Have to give certain folks more opportunity you know.

UPDATE: I’ve been advised that this kind of thing is par for the course. So I will do nothing other than let my league president know about it. Some people are just scum, and reacting to their petty nonsense is beneath my dignity. Like using logic to argue with a liberal, it’s just not worth it.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/03/2008 at 09:54 PM   
Filed Under: • Bowling BloggingDaily LifePolitics •  
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calendar   Monday - September 22, 2008

Mr. Pushy

So the woman who was running my weekend league last season really screwed up. She had a computer breakdown and didn’t tell anybody. So the scores and averages were a big mess the last 8 weeks. And there were other problems too. So I got myself elected as secretary. And she quit the league without doing any turnover at all. I had all summer to figure out how to put in a system that was wired tight. I mean, no issues, no errors, no mysteries, and no screw-ups. Nada. Every scrap of paper gets saved in it’s proper place. I have receipts for everything. And I’m Mr. Personality, talking to everyone every week, instead of sitting off in a corner being grumpy like my predecessor did. So far it’s working pretty well, but we’re only 4 weeks into a 35 week season.

This league had half a page of hand written notes that passed for the bylaws. Now they have 2 full typed pages worth. And everyone voted to accept them. Just so there won’t be any misunderstandings.  Even the alley staff are working with me, cleaning the place up a little sooner and making sure our lanes are oiled first. That’s nice.  We used to have to wait for the score card - what bowlers call the standings sheet - to be posted each week so we would know where to bowl and who we were playing. Now I have it posted 5 days before league. And I have it up online in two places. Heck, I can even send it to you via email.

Once I figured out how to upload the scores, I went and looked for the other leagues in my association ( the local grouping of the national organization ) and found that not too many leagues are doing this. Hey, come on man, this is the 21st century already. Every league has a secretary, and every secretary uses a computer to keep track of the scores. And if you have a computer that means it’s almost a guarantee that you have internet access. So now I’m pushing the association administrator to push the associated alleys to push their leagues to get more of them to post online. It’s pretty easy to do, all the bowling software packages can do it, and it gets a lot of pain-in-the-ass bowlers off your back. Plus having all the leagues online lets you keep an eye on how everyone else is doing, which helps for county-wide and association-wide tournaments. Fewer surprises.

But, somehow, to my amazement, I’ve found out that a large number of people who bowl are also people who do not have internet access. How about that? Bowling. Still stuck in the 20th century. Go figure. High tech equipment, low tech users. The Dude abides.


Post your score sheets online. Avoid this kind of problem!

image

“You think I’m fucking around here? Mark it zero!”


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/22/2008 at 06:54 PM   
Filed Under: • Bowling Blogging •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
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  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.

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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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