## Weekend Recap and More

Didn’t post anything over the past two days because basically my day has been encompassed of sleeping, eating, LOTS OF STUDYING, some Smash and March Madness. All of this probably started Thursday night, (notice the last post is from Friday at about 4:20 AM). I looked over the Section 0 and 1 that night and played some Super Smash Bros. Brawl – a game that was probably not a fan of at first, because I was never really into character games like that but I think it is safe to say I might have rushed to judgment on that one. Whoops. As for the studying for this big exam goes, I breezed through Section 0 and 1 that night because it mostly reviewed Algebra and Pre-Calculus stuff as well as basic probability concepts. That wasn’t so bad and it only covered about the first 50 pages of this exam review book (out of 400+ pages). Then Friday I started a little bit of Section 2 – Conditional Probability and Independence. Yea that was a review of the Prob/Stats class I have already taken but that was about a year ago and since I haven’t used much of these concepts since then, there is a tendency to forget. I was real good yesterday with a solid 5 hour lockdown mode and completely finish Secion 2 with its 20+ problem sets that I did twice just to make sure I had everything down pat. Section I got through most of it last night and today and now I think this pretty much covered everything I knew, maybe another section on random variables I think. Then the new stuff starts.

Okay, enough math stuff for this post. I’ll try to limit those to one paragraph a post. I’ve been playing quite a lot of smash in the time where I have had nothing else to do but don’t confuse that with me being any good. You can probably apply that to March Madness brackets as well where it’s always good to get humbled by your sister and a fellow math major who didn’t even know what ESPN stood for – Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (for those who didn’t know). My two picks for today both went down the drain – Texas just stunk it up against Memphis who I have said all year isn’t a very good team (maybe they’re a little good now). Davidson who after everything was in the game even though Curry shot like 5/24 or something but those last 14 seconds… no excuses. They took too much time to bring the ball up the court. No excuses.

Here’s some good news for me I guess, I went 7/8 in my women’s bracket. Only incorrect pick was having #3 Duke in the Elite 8 over #2 Texas A&M. Looking forward to the UConn/Rutgers game on Tuesday – I really think the winner of that game will represent the left side of the bracket in the Championship game. On the other side I don’t think Pat Summit gets stopped this year either and will win her game vs. A&M and then beat UNC. I’m hoping for a Rutgers/Tennessee game – one can only hope.

Probably gonna go watch Valley of Elah now – a movie Joe recommended to me. I’ll see how it is, if I like it, might post about it tomorrow if I have time. Opening Day tomorrow for Blue Jays and Yankees. I might post a story tomorrow or something soon about my facination with the Yankees. Obviously there’s gotta be a reason everyone thinks I’m a closet New York Yankees fan.

## (A)ctuary, (B)aseball, (C)ollege Basketball

Well I haven’t really posted much about what is going on recently so I’ll try to hit as many of those as I can in this post. Gonna cover my ABC talk here… a little regarding my actuary test that I really need to start studying hardcore for, probably gonna talk a little baseball (who wins what division and makes the playoffs) and a tournament called March Madness.

I finally registered for my first Actuary exam. It’s called Exam 1/P – Probability. You can guess what topic is covered on there, but it’s a 3 hour test of rigorous stuff which I am not looking forward to at all. I’ll probably cut back on this blogging a little bit just a little bit because I really need to start studying for that. I am on Chapter 2 of the book which is really well written and I think there are like 10 in total and the exam is the 2nd week of May. Not a lot of time left and I know I will look for every opportunity to try not study, so if you see or talk to me where I am wasting time, tell me to go and study for my test. It’s really cool stuff though (yes I’m a math major) but the concepts and what not and calculating the probability of this event or that event happening given that you already know this or that about the situation. What else could you want?

Anyways, enough math talk and back to sports. I’ve woken up the past few days and really tried to get back to watching ESPN in the morning with my “breakfast” whether that be at 8am or 1pm and you can really tell baseball stuff starting to creep their way into the news. Before the season officially starts over here in the US, I’ll put up a little prediction for each division and why.

AL: Boston (East), Detroit (Central), Los Angeles (West) and Toronto (Wild Card)
NL: New York (East), Chicago (Central), Los Angeles (West) and Philadelphia (Wild Card)

I know I’m gonna hear a lot from my Yankee friends about how could I leave them out of the playoffs but here is why. Andy Pettitte is experiencing problems already before the season starts, you already can’t count on Moose after the season he had last year plus you throw in two rookies in the rotation and you are asking for trouble if you expect them to carry a team to the post season. Mariano isn’t getting any younger and what’s Joba gonna do if the pitchers that pitch before and after him can’t get the job done?

As for Boston and Detroit, they both just have ridiculous offenses that will carry the team. Boston I like their pitching more with Beckett having a solid minor league outing two days ago and Papelbon ready to slam the door shut in the bullpen. Detroit concerns me with their pitching injuries but I think they can overcome that in the early going with their monstrous lineup that they will field everyday with Magglio, Cabrera, Sheff, and company. For the West it was a toss up between Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim or Seattle and I went with Angels simply they have been there more often recently and even with the loss of Escobar and Lackey being injured in the early going, I think the West has fallen significantly talent wise and it will be a disappointing season for that division. Wild Card where most people certainly could through the Yankees in there but I think the East can produce three 85-90+ win teams and I think if Burnett can stay healthy, and the addition of Eckstein and Rolen on the left side of the infield from a team that won the World Series not too long ago should help Wells rebound and let’s not forget Rios who is about to sign a long term extension to stay with the team.

As for the NL, I don’t understand how teams don’t automatically have the Mets representing the NL in the World Series… some are even doubting if they will win the division. Here is a team that if they didn’t have the biggest collapse of all time would have easily won the division with 3 weeks to a month to go in the a season and now they go on and add without a doubt one of the most dominant pitchers in the league right now. How does that not improve the team? How does that not make them the front runner by a long margin in the NL? I just don’t get it. In the Central, could the 100 year anniversary of the Cubs winning the World Series mean something to the city and its fans? Can they stay healthy long enough to do something down the stretch of the season and make the playoffs? I think Kerry Wood will be a solid closer for them now that he is hitting 90+ on his pitches again in spring training, this team has a potential to run away in the Central. For the West, you could randomly choose any team (minus the Giants) and they have just as good of a chance to winning the division as any of the other 3 teams. The reason I chose the Dodgers are because they finally added a power hitter in Andruw Jones as their CF and let’s not forget who is managing this ball club now. Joe Torre knows how to win and you know he wants to stick it to the Yankees by having a very productive season on the West Coast. I probably would have taken Phillies to win the division had the Mets not made their move and I certainly don’t see too many teams giving them a problem although they could face an in-division foe in the Braves for that wild card. I don’t really see it but people have said to keep an eye out on them.

Finally, some March Madness. Yesterday wasn’t a good day for me… both Tennessee and West Virginia lost for me and today started off real well with impressive wins by Davidson and Texas but what a let down Michigan State was against Memphis. They really just blew them out of the water in that first half up 50-20. Intriguing matchups here in teh Elite 8 with all 4 #1 seeds still alive. Make a note that never in the history of the tournament have all 4 #1 seeds made it to the Final Four… and I don’t think it will happen this year either. I’m counting on either Texas to really use that home court and explosive offense to slow down Memphis just enough to pull out a victory where a #2 beating a #1 isn’t that much of an upset. My Upset special however comes at the hands of the Wildcats from Davidson. Kansas needs to be put on notice. Curry can light it up and he did against Wisconsin in the first half and that just led to more trouble in the second half. What I liked for Davidson was that other players stepped up as well and they will need to do that again if they want to eliminate a #1 seed. UNC and UCLA really shouldn’t have many problems even though UCLA gave me a score by allowing Western Kentucky to stick around that late in the game. UNC has really showboated their way through the tournament and nothing would make me happier to see Louisville beat them, but I just don’t see it happening.

An update on the 8th grade kid who went 16/16 on his Sweet 16 teams… he went 7/8 this round – his only incorrect pick being Tennessee losing to Louisville. This kid has made only 8 incorrect predictions out of 72 games that have been played so far. That is a remarkable 89% accuracy. Simply amazing. Congrats kid.

## Little Johnny’s Perfect Bracket… Almost

Here is this 8th grader – Johnny Gilbert who happens to be a HUGE Buckeye fan and he’s on ESPN’s First Take talking about his bracket where he had the all Sweet 16 teams correctly predicted. This kid is no joke either where he randomly picked teams and happened to turn out lucky. Watch him speak about his bracket and what he did to choose the upsets like Western Kentucky, Davidson and Villanova into the Sweet 16. He even has Davidson going to the Final Four but has UCLA beating the Tar Heels in the Championship game. I certainly want to see this kid get as many picks correct as possible and what an awesome story that would be for this kid who through 64 games so far, has ONLY 7 incorrect picks.

The ESPN video is below and for his bracket, click here. Man I wish I had his bracket right about now.

## Random Incident

It’s weird how my pipeline (Stevens) email address information was randomly reset this morning. I woke up to my Outlook telling me that my log in credentials were incorrect… go figure. I am a little paranoid about my passwords and as I was telling one my friends yesterday or the day before that I take quite a lot of pride in what I set it as and not only that but I really really like what I set as my password… my friend proceeded to call me weird and stopped talking.

Anyways since it did reset this morning, I went online to search and see what several sites give as recommendations when generating or selecting a new password. Here’s what I found.

Avoid using a word: It is not recommended to use words straight out of the English dictionary since those are more easily guessable
Characters and Casing: Use a combination of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and standard symbols (! @ # \$ % ^ & *) when trying to decide on a new password.
Common Mistakes: Don’t use personal information that someone could easily figure out. Avoid using your birthdays, bank account pin numbers, a phone number or even your pet’s name
Multiple Passwords: Have multiple sets of passwords. A relatively easy password that you can use for common use like newspaper registration or deal sites force you to register – primarily where you don’t really care if someone does end up finding out what it is. A harder password for your more private information like email accounts and maybe a login with a financial institution.

Not sure why I wrote an entire post on passwords but anyways, you’re probably just better off not telling anyone to avoid any hassle down the road.

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For you chess fans out there, I thought I would share an ending to a game I played yesterday with Krishna. The game went back and forth where I had asserted control at the beginning of the game and he made a comeback (one that I had very little faith in) but he wasted just a little too much time. As you can see from the picture below, he is one move away from winning when the game gets called off. Enjoy.

## Hockey Videos + Awareness Test

As per Rusty’s request… here is a hockey video from about a week ago is when I think this one happened. Vesa Toskala allows a goal from a puck that was shot from the opposing blue line. Just tons of bounces for the puck and a tough break for Toskala. Luckily, Leafs come back to win the game to keep their playoff hopes alive.