Lottery Post Journal

WOTW was good

A very dark, disturbing sci-fi movie — exactly what I was looking forward to — but with a little too sudden of a deus ex machina at the end.

I saw the first showing of the day.

The only thing that hurt the movie for me was this one guy sitting one row behind me, who kept clearing his throat literally every ten seconds.  Annoying!

War of the Worlds

I'm looking forward to seeing the new movie as it opens tomorrow.  I'm a big fan of the 1953 classic George Pal film, although I understand that the new movie will be much more like the original H.G. Wells book than the 1953 movie.

I just pray that there will be a minimum of "touching" or "cutsie" Spielberg moments, and a maximum of cool, hip movie-making.

The Darkness

The dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins—but in the heart of its strength lies weakness: one lone candle is enough to hold it back.

Love is more than a candle.

Love can ignite the stars.



No, I didn't write that, but it a bittersweet ending to a book I just finished reading at 2:30 this morning.



State Lottery Report Card

I posted a message in the forums about this topic, but it's not generating much response, and I think members are making a mistake by not getting more involved.

This can and will be a very powerful tool with which to objectively and visibly "tell" the state lotteries what they are doing right and what they need to do better.

Right now, the page focuses solely on computerized vs. ball machine ("true") drawings, but will expand in the future to include many more lottery features that players want their games to have.

Some examples of rating categories will include:

  • Compliance with a list of "standard" games all lotteries should have, along with a priority rating for each (e.g., Pick 3, Pick 4, Midday versions of both, Pick 5, a classic Pick 6 game, a multi-state game)
  • cash option available on what percentage of games
  • ability to change your mind after winning as to cash option (and what length of time can you do it in)
  • features/info available on official web site
  • televised drawings?
  • etc., etc., etc.

This is something everyone should get involved with, and could be Lottery Post's most influential tool.

VB Shortcut for ceiling() function

For some reason, Visual Basic does not include a ceiling() function, which takes a fractional number, and gives you the next higher integer.  For example:

  • ceiling(1) = 1
  • ceiling(1.7) = 2
  • ceiling(1.1314) = 2
  • ceiling(0.1) = 1
  • ceiling(-1.1) = -1

And so on.

Well, I needed a ceiling() function this evening, so I figured out a very cool trick, without resorting to creating a new function.  To get the ceiling of a number x, do this:


The int() of a negative number returns the next lower number, not what you'd think, but perfect for our ceiling function.  Then, just get the negative of that result.  (I use all the parenthesis to make sure VB understands exactly what I'm trying to do.)

Deep Throat = Deeply Troubling

Finally it's been revealed who "Deep Throat" was — the #2 guy in the FBI at the time.

I think a lot of people are very surprised about that, since the conventional wisdom was that it was a politician of some type, not someone within such an important law enforcement role.

I could totally understand political back-stabbing that would lead to blabbing about something that would bring down a President — but the #2 law enforcer in the USA?

Troubling, to say the least.

Of course, this has nothing to do with the "rightness" or "wrongness" of what Nixon did in covering up the inappropriate actions of a few misguided people in his party.  It was obviously wrong.

This is about the #2 FBI man involved in numerous ethics violations, not to mention possible criminal wrong-doing.

The fact that he is being cheered by liberals as a hero is puzzling on the surface, but in reality fits in perfectly with their notion that anything in the furtherance of the liberal agenda is OK.  (Think: Earth Liberation Front.)  The end always justifies the means, if it means the setback of conservative principles.

These are the same liberals who were all over FBI leaders like Louie Freeh and Robert Mueller.  I guess they weren't heros because they didn't rat out a conservative.

As it turns out, the most troubling aspect of this Deep Throat thing is that the likely reason Mark Felt (AKA "Deep Throat") ratted out Nixon was because he was overlooked for the #1 job at the FBI.  What a hero.