Fastball (Short Story)

Picture by Stephen Nakatani

Picture by Stephen Nakatani

by Jason C. McDonald

Lefty McCorsky was quite possibly the best pitcher in minor league baseball. In fact, he might be the best pitcher in the history of baseball altogether, but none of the statisticians were ever present at our games to prove it.

As popular legend has it around here, before a batter has a chance to react to one of Lefty’s pitches, his curveball has already come around and smacked them in the back of the head.

Lefty was really the only redeeming element of our local team, the Thompsonville Pluckers. We didn’t have any stats on our team because, as it turns out, a zero-win record makes for difficult number crunching. Apparently you can’t divide by zero – at least, according to the local bookkeeper, the only person in Thompsonville to remember anything from math past basic multiplication. Of course, there are the rumors that he’s just avoiding doing the math, because he’s part owner of the team, and looking at the numbers depresses him.

Skills aside, we were a baseball town. You could find us in the stands every Friday night. The hot peanuts were worth the humiliation of our perfect losing record, and anyway, there wasn’t much else to do on a Friday night.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Continue reading

The Cake Is a Lie

Kiev_cake_sliceAllow me to turn your world on its ear for a moment – programming is not a science. Sure, we call it computer science, but there is nothing inherently scientific about the process.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Continue reading

How to Bomb a Job Interview in 8 Easy Steps.

trash can

It has been an interesting experience for me to get used to job interviews as the interviewer instead of as the interviewee. It isn’t that I haven’t had to interview for a job before, but I’ve spent more time on the boss’ side of the table than anything.

In the process, I’ve learned something: articles and classes on how to nail a job interview are crap. Guess what, ya’ll? Interviewers read those too. We know when you’re putting on an act.

So I would like to present to you the truth about job interviews from a different angle. Here’s a handy guide on how to tick me off during the hiring process and ensure you DON’T get hired.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Of Beauty and Rage

Of Beauty and Rage (RED) album coverI’ve been playing the living daylights out of this CD since it was released late February, and even more so since it arrived in the mail. I don’t normally review albums, but this isn’t a normal album review.

“Of Beauty and Rage” releases almost coincidentally with some life events that I feel are worth sharing, and it touches on themes that have been quite prevalent in the events of the past few months. To be honest, based on interviews, I don’t know if RED realizes what they’ve tapped into at times, but that’s not really uncommon for Christian artists in any field. Case in point, I’m still discovering lessons and truths tucked into some of my books that I had somehow missed before. God is good.

So, this is more than just an album review. I’m going to try and outline what truths seem to be hidden in these songs. Just give me a second to start the album over for the fifth time today…

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Continue reading

Excuse My Nostalgia, I Think I Can Be Considered “Old” Now

Unplugged computerfogey gap (n): the amount of time passing between feeling “with it” and catching yourself saying “kids these days”, thereby being designating as a “fogey” by the current generation.

Okay, yes, I made that up, but perhaps someone should have beat me to the punch, because the fogey gap is getting shorter. How do I know? It’s simple: I think I recently landed on the other side of said gap.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Continue reading

The Lady in Red

If you were in elementary school during the 1990s, you more than likely have chased your share of villains around the world, ultimately pursuing one in particular.

If you haven’t filled in the blank yet, you might as well stop reading. Otherwise, Rockapella just started singing in your mind.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Continue reading

Ubuntu, Why You’d Love It, and How To Install It

Things went a bit haywire for me recently. I pressed the wrong button on an OS repair and wiped out my hard drive. I managed (thanks to Testdisk on Linux) to get 80% of my files back.

With my files salvaged, I decided to rethink my computer setup. I’m not going to lie, I hate Windows 8, which I call “Windows Ape” (big, ugly, hairy, and takes up a lot of space). I’ve had an on-again-off-again relationship with a version of Linux called Ubuntu. Finally, I decided to give it the reins on my computer.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Continue reading

How Dumb Do I Look?

800px-WreckHonestly, I rather enjoy sorting through the spam comments on my blog. Most of them are obviously Engrish copypasta, and frankly, they turn out kinda funny. Thus, I present, the Engrish Spambot Hall of Fame!

Remarkable issues here. I am very satisfied to
peer your article. Thank you a lot and I am taking a look ahead
to touch you.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Continue reading

Falling Trees, Selfies, and Antisocial Media

Fallen_tree,_Pitmedden_Forest_-_geograph.org.uk_-_120427If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is there to Tweet about it, does it happen?

That was the question that I posed to my philosophy student friend, Dave. His response, “No Tweet? Never happened.” Of course, he’s totally kidding (I hope), but it brings up a relatively disturbing point: at what point did social media become so incredibly anti-social?

Now, I’m all for using the internet to communicate with other people (I write this blog, don’t I?) My company’s workday is about 95% telecommuting. I keep in touch with my friends around the country and the world via Facebook and Twitter. Besides that, I’ve moderated several forums and an IRC channel over the years. I know how much good can come of social media. I also know how much bad can come of it.

There are basically two ways a social media platform goes down: A) quietly, without so much as a death whimper, or B) in a fiery explosion of flaming and ranting that leaves everyone ticked off. In my experience, it tends to be the second.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Continue reading

The Art of Shutting Up (and still getting heard)

Silence is an art form – this coming from someone who, by all accounts, can talk a camel into sprouting wings. I’m like most Americans in that I have strong views about politics. Very, very, VERY strong views. And, like most Americans, I had little trouble sharing them. I just opened up and let ‘er fly.

Then God challenged me, two days after New Year 2012: spend the entire year without once sharing my political views. Some of you may remember this resolution, and how it turned out for me. (I got off a month early, after the election, but only to share this message.)

Talk about your paradigm shifts. For the longest time, I thought I had a corner on political (and otherwise) truth. I had the best solutions, and everyone else was crazy. I know I am far from alone in that flawed sentiment. (If you doubt it, read the comments on the online news sites.) Now, for the first time, I realized that all my political views, even the correct ones, were in some way wrong!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Continue reading

prev posts