It's On

I have a wager for $5 with Dan Rubin of the Philadelphia Inquirer that the sun will not set tomorrow. It's pretty much giving him $5. I also threw in there other conditions like if I drop a brick, it will go up instead of down, and also that I will be struck by lightning within the next 10 minutes.

Ok, not really, but close to it. I bet him that the Phillies will make the playoffs! In my short 26 years, I have seen stranger things. I'm just hoping that I will see another strange thing. $5 is not chump change, that's like my morning coffee and smokes (i.e. everything you need).

There is also a side bet on the Red Sox not making it. I bet that they won't make it, even though it's not how I really feel, it's just for fun. Dan's from Boston, so he knows what it's like for your baseball team to not win for way more than 12 years or 25 years. Hopefully Boston loses this time or I'll owe 10 bucks.

The Cubs won last night so the Phillies have a chance. The chance may be minuscule, like winning the lottery, but if everyone thought they can't win the lottery, then no one would play.


This happens to be another Phillies post. They aren't out, yet. They won last night, and are now 2.5 games behind the Astros. The Phillies are off tonight, and the Astros play the Cubs. The Cubbies are going into Houston with a 2 game losing streak, are 10 games behind (are out), and have no motivation to win any games against the Astros, other than to help the Phillies (and possibly maintain some dignity). Our E# (defined as "the Elimination Number, which is the combined number of wins (by the first place team) and losses (by the trailing team) that will eliminate the trailing team from winning the division") is 2. It's like in golf match play. If the winner is 3 up on the 15th hole, if he wins that hole, it's over. He wins "4 and 3". At 3 up on the 15th hole, the golfer who is behind will have an E# of 1. It gets more difficult when the teams aren't playing each other, then golf is no longer a valid analogy.

It's this in baseball: if Houston wins every game they have left, and the Phillies win every game, the season is over when there's 2 games left. Or the Phillies can just make it easy for them and lose 2 to the Nationals. Hand them the Wild Card.

But how about those Phillies?!!? 16-6 last night over the Mets. Chase Utley, I swear, doesn't even swing the bat and he hits homers half way up the foul pole. I'm not sure of the distance, but let's do some educated estimation and call it a mile. Another analogy with golf. You don't have to look like you're killing the ball to kill it. You take a nice easy backswing, follow through and down, generating massive clubhead speed, hitting the ball with the sweetspot of the club, killing the F@#%!@#$!@# out of the ball. It's what Chase has realized. You can look all calm up in the box, take a nice easy swing with a short follow through, and f@#%@#$!@ing smash the F%!#^!!ing thing 40 feet up on the f@#%#$!#!ing foul pole. Hit the sweet spot.

The Phillies had too many bogies this season, they need a hole in one on the last hole, a Par 4.

More Lemonade Tycoon

So, I've realized this after 3 days (Lemonade Tycoon days, which is like a minute of game time) of selling in the "Mall". The beach and the mall are capable of making the same amount of sales if the weather dictates it. If it's 80 - 100+ degrees out, I'm selling at the beach. If it's 50 and raining, it's the Mall or bust. I can keep the price the same, if it's 50 and raining, the mall people still pay $1.10 for a cup of lemonade, just like the beach people will if it's 100 and sunny. Obviously. You just have to learn the rules before you can assume that a program realistically simulates human tendencies. Especially one written for a cell phone.

Here, check out GameSpot's story on it... Lemonade Tycoon. I'm addicted, but soon, when my popularity in the mall gets to 100%, I consider that game over. I just want to be famous :)

From GameSpot:
Start small, and focus on the fundamentals. Lemonade Tycoon is a business simulation for our uncertain times. Beginning with just a tiny stand on a suburban street corner, you buy supplies, mix up a batch of lemonade, and hustle your drinks on the street. If your price is too high, the line is too long, or your recipe stinks, you'll be stuck with melted ice and spoiled lemons. With finely honed marketing skills, a canny grasp of what customers want, and a double-squeezing of luck, you can work your way into bigger stands, better equipment, and big-time venues, like the beach or a mall.


The sim is deep and complex, with hours of gameplay for the dedicated sidewalk lemonade hustler.

one more:
As mobile games go, this sim is quite deep. Not only must you set the right price and buy appropriate supplies, but you've also got issues of weather, market awareness, demographics, and advertising. Stripped to the essentials, the dynamic and interconnected nature of business is represented here in a fun and clever manner.

They just make it seem harder than I do :) I have to admit, I am quite awesome at the game.. you might even call me a Tycoon.

Phillies MUST Win Tonight

Mathematically, here is the situation. Phillies are 2.5 games behind the Houston Astros with 4 games left to play in the National League Wild Card Race. Here are the possible outcomes for tonight's games, both Houston's and the Phillies'.

Outcome 1: Phillies Win, Astros Lose
Result: Phillies 1.5 back with 3 left

Outcome 2: Phillies Win, Astros Win
Result: Phillies 2.5 back with 3 left

Outcome 3: Phillies Lose, Astros Lose
Result: Phillies 2.5 back with 3 left

Outcome 4 (AKA The Doomsday Outcome): Phillies Lose, Astros Win
Result: Season Over, Phillies 3.5 back with 3 games to play.

Essentially, the Phillies have to win every game and HOPE that the Astros lose at least 3. The Astros have 5 games left, and they play the Cubs for 4 of those. We have to assume that they are going to win all of those games, effectively stabbing a knife through the hearts of every Phillies phan, twisting it over and over again and laughing in our faces so hard that little bits of saliva spit out of their mouths, driving us insane as well.

The last reason that the Phillies have to win every game is because of the fans. Do you want to be hated, Phillies?! Wouldn't you rather win the last 4 games of the season and not get into the playoffs, than lose 1 or 2 of them and not get in? We are harsh (registration required). We'll rip you a new one. We chant E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!! at the games, and yesterday I heard a distinctive Flyers chant (Here we go Flyers, Here we go!!) I'm getting "flyered up" for that. Point: win every game.

Captivating Game

Over the past week or so I've been playing a game on my cell phone on the bus and train ride into work. It's incredible. It's called "Lemonade Tycoon". Don't laugh. Obviously, all you do is sell lemonade, but, there's lots of twists.

First, you invest $40 of fake money into your venture. You get a stand and apparently the tools to make lemonade. You have 4 things to buy: lemons, ice, sugar, and cups. There are multiple places you can set up shop. The suburbs are free, so that's where you start. The places that cost money are guaranteed to be more populated. Before setting out on your first day of sales, you have to decide a few things. The recipe is first. You pick how many lemons, sugar and ice to add to each pitcher of lemonade. People will not buy bad lemonade. The next thing to consider is your price. This is based off of numerous things like how popular your brand is in a particular location, and of course the weather. Don't charge $1.00 per cup on a 50 degree day! Lower your prices, you'll sell the same amount of cups as a 100 degree day, but you won't make as much, but you'll still cover your costs for that day. People will pay $1.50 for a cup on a hot day.

Repeat this as desired. You'll notice that it takes a long time to make a pitcher, and also a long time to serve someone. Lemons go bad after a few days, and you're always buying ice, always. There are upgrades. To make the time between pitchers go down, buy a "Lemon Juicer 9000". It's now instantaneous. Customers will complain of long waits if they are in a line with too many people in front of them (which I've found you can't control), if they are in line when you have to make a new pitcher, or they are in line and you don't have this upgrade: the cash register. Processing a sale is instant with this thing. You go up from maybe 25 sales at a location to easily breaking 60. They have an ice machine, but I noticed that it only gives you 100 ice cubes (which is nothing, I'm now buying 500 on top of the 100 given with the ice machine), and it will slowly regenerate them during the course of a day. It's useless when you start making 100+ sales in a day. Another thing is a fridge, so you can stock up on lemons and they won't go bad. The last upgrades in the game are pretty convenient. You have all this new technology for speeding up sales, capable of making hundreds of sales in a day, but you might not be able to hold enough supplies to support those kinds of sales. You can buy 2 different types of lemonade stands, which will hold all your stuff and increase your capacity. I now buy hundreds of lemons at a time, and up to 800 cups at a time, along with my 600 ice cubes and 100+ sugar kept in stock at all times, I'm pretty much set. I am using the second most expensive location, the beach, rented at $40 a day (the mall is $50 a day), and selling different amounts of cups a day (sometimes 160, sometimes 50), charging an arm and a leg when the temperature spikes over 80... like $1.20-$1.50. I have all the upgrades. The most expensive one is the Lemon Stand (a stand shaped as a lemon), and it goes for $999.99. The cheapest upgrade, the lemon juicer, is $149.99. This price, $149.99, seemed insurmountable when I was selling 10 cups a day, making $.36 profit on each cup. Now, my cash on hand is $1,500 with plenty of stock, and the market is ripe for the picking.

It makes me want to make a game like it.