Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Soarin challenge update #2

As I noted in my previous post, I wrote about how I stopped playing the game myself. And mentioned that I had created another player who was at #3. 

Allow me to elucidate. I wanted to get all the way to #1, but getting there actually playing the game was improbable, given how everyone in the top 10 keeps playing to maintain their position. 

So I decided to write a *very simple* script that played for me. I won't bore you with the details of how I set it up, but essentially, I had the cursor move and click on random answers for each question. 

Boom. It took off. I climbed quickly into the top 20.  The hit rate was about 20% correct, but that's close to what I'd expect since I randomized answers and was really just guessing…

Of course, I could have written better code, or even tracked answers to up the percentage correct. 

But I didn't want to do more than my initial 30 minutes of work building the code. And I could just let it run, so why bother? I opted to leave it. 

I figured the program could outwork everyone, get to #1 and I'd set the number really high. 

Except … the person who was at #1 clearly had a similar mindset. 

As far as I can tell "he" has a more sophisticated automation, and it kicked off every time I pulled within 300k, and pushed his lead back to 500k. 

I started to think my "life goal" would remain unfulfilled. 😆

And then…something unusual happened. While it was running today, I slipped past him. 

I took the lead!

(That's my auto player at #1, bruh!)

I don't know how or why. And I don't care. 

I also don't care that in the evening, he started playing again and retook the lead. 

For a few glorious hours, I was on top. 

And no one can take that away. 

And if I continue to challenge the player, he and I can have scores so high that no one will EVER catch us. 

That was a lot of fun. And I'm glad I did it. Hopefully I can see my name in lights when I go back to the attraction one day. 

Oh. And I should point out that my personal game moved back up to #7 without me playing. I was getting points for other red team members playing while I was tracking my rise to fame. 

Soarin challenge. Update #1

I kept playing. Got to 1,500,000 points and was sitting in the #5 position.

But what I noticed was that everyone in the top 10 was playing at times, and trying to hold their position.

So I kept getting pushed backwards.

I decided that my stated goal of moving to #1 was going to be unachievable by just playing the game.

….and that's when I decided I couldn't take that laying down!

I opted for a new approach, which I'll detail in a subsequent post.

But I'll tell you this: in the screen shot attached, the player in the #3 position is also me. And that's why my relative position is #6.

An update on the job situation

A month has passed since my last official day at work. And I have to say I love being unencumbered by the nonsense that is work. My days of leisure are wonderful.

Being slightly older, I have friends in my age group who are retired, doing their own thing, or just living their best life. And their general advice is to follow my own dreams and not go back to work for "the man" … which is good advice but I'm not sure if that's feasible. We'll see, I guess?

In any event, before I left my old company, I had applied to around 30 jobs. A few were somewhat immediate rejections based on geography, desired skills, etc.

Most were still open but looked like interviews might happen after I left.

And 6 were in active status. For those, I had been through 11 interviews, including two on my last day in what was a very awkward sort of series of events that I won't detail here. But it was memorable.

And then…A little under a week after I left, I heard from one manager that I was THE candidate they wanted, and they wanted to make me an offer.


There's always a but!

They couldn't because they needed a senior level person to sign off on hiring.


Oh good another caveat.

That same day, the company announced that due to the debt ceiling issues, there was likely to be an economic downturn and all positions are closed. No hiring will be done until further notice.

Thanks 11 congressional mother fuckers for impacting my life. Dumbasses. I need to send them a thank you letter for looking out for everyday Americans. (Quick aside: if it turns out I want to do something else then this was a blessing in disguise. But I'm in a unique situation. Most people will get royally screwed by this)

So that one job…it has to be approved by someone high up in the company. I'm not holding my breath.

And all the other jobs went into limbo. I got some rejections. A few nice well wishes from people I'd interviewed with. And a lot of nothingness in the void.

I did look at internal jobs just to see what was up. And there were just a few jobs - in the entire US - all in sales.

So here I stand. Trying to make my next move.

As I've noted before, my life is a bit different than it was in "the before time" and I need to figure out who I am And what I want to do.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Soarin' Challenge

Recently I was at Epcot, and went into soarin…great ride.

I started playing the soarin' challenge and was doing pretty well. For some reason, I wasn't geo blocked once I left the attraction, though my son was (go figure). So I kept playing. And I'm currently 7th best all time.

Monday, May 8, 2023

Missing the point…

Disney made an announcement this afternoon about vacation packages, for trips beginning in January, 2024.

And the bloggers seemed to have focused on the wrong things.

Disney said that the dining plan would be returning. Everyone was looking forward to the return of a free plan. But Disney didn't say "free dining," just a tiered plan. Perhaps it will wind up being included in the vacation package, but I'm sure it will be relatively expensive. But people will, ahem, eat it up. Assuming it's included in some way.

One thing Disney is particularly adept at is selling something to the paying public and telling them how great it is. Even if it is actually not a cost effective thing - because it's all about how you position it.

The second part was something that actually made me chuckle. "Disney is doing away with the reservation system" …. The fine print part was "for date based tickets; other tickets will still have to make a reservation"

If you are buying a vacation package, and have dates to visit. And you select your park (which is a component of the booking). Then you are, in effect reserving a date. Even if you don't call it a reservation.

And for annual pass holders, you still need to help them plan so you still need a reservation. But I'd wager they'll change the name from reservation to something else so they can say that did away with reservations.

Strange feelings

My 30 day displacement period passed, and nothing came up. Some "possibilities" for future employment are out there. But nothing specific.

I returned my work computer, my badge, and any other items I had.

And unceremoniously 5pm came on Friday. And I was done.

I am now effectively unemployed. It's a little scary and oddly relieving.

The ship has sailed without me.

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Be careful what you read…

I do keep up with Disney news. 

And it's always amusing how the writers are in it for clicks using totally misleading headlines. 

To wit, there was an article about how fans are complaining that the Indiana Jones stunt show has become woke. 

The author points to a Reddit post, which says that someone was disappointed that the stunt show stopped with the over-the-top violence. Guns aren't shown "killing" anyone and the mechanic doesn't get cut by the airplane propellor. The poster says it's a sad loss and not authentic to the movie (that came out over 40 years ago!). He does say it's a sign of the times. He doesn't decry it as a political thing. He doesn't mention woke. I didn't read the comments, but I'm sure someone did. Just not him. 

And yet the author of the article claims it's woke. Which gets him clicks (including mine, I suppose). 

Then there was another article that says Disney is cutting ties with Dewayne Johnson because of a kidnapping charge. 

Scroll. Read. Scroll. Read. 

The lawsuit in question is someone from many years ago who was involved in the WWE who claims she and her children were held against their will. The statements in the claim are wild and seem a little off. And she is suing for $3 billion, which is attention grabbing to be sure. 

Celebrities frequently get sued for all manner of things. This is no different. I mean there could be truth to it, but it fails some of the "sniff test" and that alone wouldn't be enough to make a movie studio steer clear. 

What else do they have? Well, it's that there was a comment that Disney made during Johnny Depps trial that maybe they could replace depp with  "the rock" in future pirates movies. 

But they negotiated with Depp after the trial and he looks likely to return as Jack sparrow - so that means that they're dropping Johnson! Right!


What am I missing here?

The attached article is titled “The 4th Largest Cable TV Company is Considering Outsourcing Its TV Service In New Markets”

That sounds kind of weird, right?

Apparently the cable company has been losing customers to cord cutting at a quick rate, so they are offering new customers YouTube tv instead of traditional cable. 

The whole point of going to YouTube tv (or any other streaming service) is that you “cut the cord” … yes you still need a cable in order to have wifi in your house, from which you can stream, but the point is that you buy wifi and that’s it, then you pay a subscription to YouTube. 

So why would anyone pay the cable company for the service? Surely they have to make money on it, so the cost would be higher than going directly to YouTube. 

I can’t imagine they could “bundle it” with anything that would be cost effective, or cheaper than doing it yourself. 

It kind of makes no sense. But they think it will make them more money. 

The only thing I can think of is that they’ll charge more for internet only, and less for wifi + YouTube + phone. 

Maybe internet only would cost $100 for a low bandwidth option, and the combo would cost $90 (and I know that number is much too low).  I guess that might be a way?

Seems strange to me…