Utah Fans are Classless

Monday, May 10, 2010

I'm watching the NBA playoff game pitting the Los Angeles Lakers against the Utah Jazz. In the crowd there are two Utah fans that have shirts that read "Fisher Lied".

Some background. About 3 years ago Fisher's then ten month old daughter was diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer. This required her to get immediate surgery and chemotherapy at a New York City hospital. Fisher accompanied his family to New York City to be with his daughter. He flew back to Salt Lake afterwards to try and be there for his team. In one of the most memorable playoff games, Derek Fisher helped the Utah Jazz defeat the warriors that evening with several crucial plays including a steal and a clutch three pointer.

After the end of the season, Derek Fisher asked the Utah Jazz to be released from his contract so that he could hopefully sign with a team that had specialist nearby that would be able to help his daughter. With no guarantees that anybody would sign him, Derek Fisher left $22 Million on the table. Read that last sentence again. He gave up a guaranteed $22 million to do what was best for his family. He could have very easily not been signed by any other team and made $0. The Jazz also had the option to make Derek Fisher honor the contract but they chose to let him off the hook. It was a mutually agreed upon solution.

The Lakers would eventually sign him but at $8 million less than what he would have made at Utah.

I am not a Derek Fisher fan. Despite the success the Lakers have had while he has been on the team, you will often here me complain about his lack of defense or his inability to consistently shoot the three. But I have no doubt that he did not make up the situation with his daughter. If there is one thing everyone who knows him agrees with is that Derek Fisher has class. I hate his ability but I don't question his character. For the Utah Jazz fans to suggest he would use his daughter's life threatening illness for some nefarious purpose disgusts me.

We often debate on this blog if athletes are overpaid. People argue about the greed that athletes exhibit and they are unworthy of making that money. Yet here you have a very clear instance of an athlete taking LESS money to do the right thing and a bunch of jackass fans decide it would be funny to make fun of the situation.

Stay classy Utah. Stay classy.

My Brute - Tips and Strategies

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

I've been playing a game on the iPhone called My Brute. On the surface, it is really not that interesting or fun. I'm actually not even sure why I play it but I do.

The basic premise is that you have a warrior and you build it up. You challenge other people with Brutes and as you fight you level up. Each level brings with it different skills, weapons, etc. Now here is the idiotic part. You have absolutely no control over the game other than who you fight. Let me say that again. You have absolutely no control over the game other than who you fight.

This is not an exaggeration. You don't control how your character levels up. You don't control what skills they get. You don't control anything during the fight. Heck, you don't even get to really know anything about the fighter you choose to fight. It seriously might as well be a roll of the dice because that is pretty much what it amounts to.

So those who don't like mindless games, this one is not for you.

So how can there be any strategy in this game? There really isn't. If anybody reads this actually thinks of any, please share in the comments because I would like to know. Here are the only things I have found to be true
  • At least at the early levels it REALLY matters what animals you have. If you have a polar or grizzly bear, be prepared to win a lot of matches.
  • How much health you have is not that important. In fact, it kind of sucks to have a lot of health. More on that later.
  • Weapons make a big difference early on. If you get hit with a club, you are toast. Later levels you can avoid weapons so this becomes less useful
  • I read that abilities become more important later but I have yet to see that materialize. I'm on level 11. Not very high but that is because it is impossible to control how you level up.
Now here is the really stupid part. Remember, I said you have no control over your leveling up. So you can't even pick what animal you want or what skills you pick up. You can't control how much health you get. And that is the kicker.

Since gaining extra health cost you an upgrade slot when you level up, and health doesn't matter that much, it actually leads to the one strategy I can give to you

Pick opponents who have high health.

The only thing you can see about your opponent is their level, ability level, and health. Since I haven't found the ability level to be that important the only thing you have to go on is health. Since health takes an upgrade slot, that means your opponent was much less likely to get an upgrade giving them a good weapon or a good animal. Since those seem to matter so much early on, this is the only thing that might give you an edge in the game.

I doubt I will play much more of this game since I actually like some level of control of my game. I still mindlessly play it when I am riding the elevator or just trying to kill time but that is it. The only thing I haven't tried yet is to get "pupils" which is this games method of trying to spread socially. Since I haven't tried to get any of my friends to actually pay for this app I am pretty sure I won't be building a very big dojo and thus won't advance very far. But hey, if you are reading this and you want to join one, please feel free to join mine. My code is

Best of luck to you and like I said, maybe I don't know all there is to this game. If you actually think of something that will be useful to people, please leave a comment for others.


Monday, March 29, 2010
Continuing my tradition of blogging on my birthday (or in this case the day after) I will now post a blog about how 31 was and how I hope 32 will be.

Overall it has been a fantastic year. No big surprises and that in itself is pretty pleasant. The biggest news by far was my wedding which took place in October. We did a destination wedding and ended up having what I can only describe as the most perfect wedding I could have possibly had. The setting was amazing and the memories were wonderful. I'm not a huge fan of travelling somewhere where I can't speak the native language but we managed to get by and had a great time doing it.

Job wise things are OK as well. There are times I think I need to look elsewhere, and I may eventually do that, but it isn't for anything more than having the itch to do something a little more meaningful than the things I do now. The opportunities for advancement at my job are great. I'm considered one of the top performers in the company and my future will be bright if I decide to stay there. I have major influence on the things we work on and I like the feeling of having my decisions matter. The only drawback is always what is next. I'm not sure we have a great roadmap laid out in front of us but what company ever has all the answers? At least at my current job, I have a pretty big say in what gets on that roadmap.

Everything else is pretty much the same. The cat is another year older but who of us isn't? I'm actually starting to feel my age in very meaningful ways. While 32 is not old, it isn't young anymore either. My body doesn't heal as quickly anymore and I get sore from doing things I really shouldn't. I've started playing softball again and I'm sore from doing that a few days after our games on Sunday. We are talking softball here.

I did start training for that marathon but I never could commit to it the way I wanted to so I didn't end up running it. I will try again to find the time and energy to do it this year and run the LA marathon before I post this blog next year. I am going to attempt to commit to work out more than I have since turning 31. My attendance at the gym was horrific this past year. By far the worse year I have ever had. Got to try and turn this one around.

My wife has started studying to be an interior designer in earnest. Most of her time is spent taking classes and doing her homework. This doesn't leave a lot of time for us but it is her dream and I have come to the conclusion that one of us should be able to do something they are passionate about. Since I like work (I'm just not passionate about it) and I can actually support us on my salary, the natural choice for this benefit is her. I just hope she is really happy doing this.

People always ask me about either kids or a house. The answer to both right now is no. Definitely no to the kids. I don't see that in our future at all. Our stance on this might change over time but given that both of us seem to be focused on other things I don't think it will change soon. Lots of my friends are having kids now but I've never been one to do things just because everyone else was.

Equally unlikely is us getting a house. Housing, despite the fall, is still way overpriced, especially in our neighborhood. Still seems ridiculous to me that a household in the top few percent in terms of income can only afford what amounts to a mid level house. Until that equation changes I will be sitting on the sideline. For those who have followed my blog over the years, you know I've been complaining about this for over five years. That's five years of patience on my part. No need to get anxious now, even if it is another five years.

One odd thing that has happened is I'm spending a lot less time investing my money. This is especially odd to me because I would have thought securing my future would become more important to me as I got older and as I started my family but lately I haven't had the motivation to track things that closely. Investing right takes discipline and time and it hasn't been something I've been willing to spend that much time doing. I really do hope to change that this coming year.