July 14th, 2010


Cubs Win The All-Star Game!

A Dark Period 1997-2009

The National League has lost to the American League 13 times since the NL won the All-Star Game in 1996 -- the 2002 All-Star Game was a tie -- and the drought is now over. And for once, I managed to see the key plays.

We weren't watching the All-Star Game, they've been too depressing with the Senior Circuit's run of defeats, but at around 10:55pm EDT I tuned in to FOX and saw the Chicago Cubs' Marlon Byrd was at the plate, facing a Chicago White Sox pitcher with an 0-2 count, 2 outs, runners on 1st and 3rd and the AL league up 1-0 in the top of the 7th. This is a classic Cubs situation. The sole representative of the Chicago NL franchise in the game, Byrd managed to extend the count to 3-2 and then walked, loading the bases. Atlanta Brave Brian McCann then sent one to rattle around by the right field wall. One run in, two runs in. And then Byrd had a marvelous slide across home plate, beating the throw and the NL took the lead 3-1. And that would turn out to be the final score. With the inevitable pitching change for the AL, it was time to put the kitties to bed. So I saw the best five minutes of the game. (grin)

As for the title of this post, you can forgive a Cubs fan for taking his victories when he can. While McCann hit the ball and was named the MVP, it was Byrd who kept the inning alive and scored the last run and put the AL down by two. Why? What were you thinking?

Dr. Phil

A Not Very Useful Writer's Meme

Name Dropping R Us

Tuesday everybody seemed to be playing with I Write Like... and then publishing the results. The idea is that this website analyses your writing and compares it to a number of Big Name Authors. I suppose this is supposed to be an ego boost, like those short Facebook IQ tests -- as if you could measure IQ with a handful of questions. I think the Which LOTR Character Are You quizzes are probably more interesting than I Write Like...

I ran a couple of pieces of various lengths, some published, some not, through the website. One story, comparing versions, went from Dan Brown to Douglas Adams. It was not a comedy piece, so I'm not sure what the point was. One scored a William Shakespeare. Really? Ol' Bill certainly had a way with those 29th century hard military SF war stories, complete with marines in armored fighting suits, didn't he? Nice to know I'm in such good company.

I don't think very much of their word analysis algorithm, based on other people's results and my own. Dan Brown, for example, shows up a lot because he's a best selling author whose books have a lot of technical issues and dialogue. Which sounds like a lot of SF/F, when you think about it. Duh.

Frankly, My Dear, I Don't Give A Damn

Whatever the algorithm being used, my LJ Friends linking to this are all SF/F/H authors -- and I doubt the people who cobbled this up are very well in tune with genre writing. And then there are people who've dumped in things like computer technical manuals and legal briefs -- and gotten similar results in terms of authors.

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And painting with a hammer as a broad brush not only is a bad mixed metaphor, but also likely to give really meaningless results.

Me? I prefer the jimhines method:

Now that I am happy to post for all the world to see.

Dr. Phil

UPDATE: I ran the text from the Declaration of Independence and it came back H. P. Lovecraft. Not useful, unless you are into the Mother Of All Conspiracy Theories.