Baseball Toaster Fairpole
Baseball Toaster To Be Unplugged, Disassembled For Scraps
2009-02-02 20:56
by Ken Arneson

If you've been paying attention lately, you've noticed that Baseball Toaster has had a bunch of its knobs and switches and dials and wires fall off in recent months.  Today, with the largest part of our engine leaving to join the Los Angeles Times, we are officially sending the Toaster to the scrap heap.

We'll leave the casing intact--the archives for the blogs that are not being redirected elsewhere will remain online here indefinitely. But after tomorrow, we will cease publishing new blog entries. A few days after that, we will close up comments. The Toaster will then be left here, frozen in time, a snapshot of an era that has passed, until it one day finally rusts away.

The cliches that baseball players spew when they retire are all true and appropriate here.  Thanks to all my teammates.  Thanks to the fans.  We've been through deaths and births and triumphs and disappointments together--you've been like a family to me.  The only thing I can think to say that would differ from a typical sports retirement speech is, "Bite me, Russian spammers."

Here's a list of where the Toastmasters are scattering to:

New locations (Updated 17 Dec 2011)

New blogs, but not just sports

Reply hazy, try again

  • Mike Carminati (Mike's Baseball Rants)
  • Philip Michaels (Catfish Stew)

Tearful retirement speeches

  • Derek Smart (Cub Town)
  • Score Bard (Humbug)

Yes, I am retiring from baseball blogging, as well.  But not before I post one final, epic, monster-sized (so large I had to alter my database structure to accomodate it) Catfish Stew blog entry on Wednesday, my 43rd birthday.  I'm going to get it all off my chest, leave it all on the table, use up all my fuel, and then I'll have nothing left to say or do but send myself off to the junkyard, anyway.  It will be the last post here on Baseball Toaster.

After that...see you around.

Server Downtime Wednesday AM
2008-12-14 23:41
by Ken Arneson

A note from our ISP (updated):

On Wednesday, December 17th, 2008 between 6:00AM and 8:00AM EST, we will perform maintenance on the server hosting your account. reboot of the server will be required.  We do not expect the downtime to exceed 15 minutes.

Be prepared to--gasp!--do something else during those hours.  Me, I plan to be shouting in my most evil voice, "Jag är vaken!  Jag är fruktansvärt vaken!"

Partisan Election Chat Dumping Ground
2008-11-04 09:14
by Ken Arneson

There's a Non-Partisan Election Chat over on Dodger Thoughts.  For those of you who cannot hold your tongue there, you can dump your thoughts here.  I'm posting it on Fairpole so that it stays on the "Hot from the Toaster" list for a while.

Be as partisan as you like on this thread.  Boo.  Cheer.  Argue.  But as always, my one Toaster-wide rule applies:  don't insult your fellow Toaster Posters, and if you do, apologize.

Server Downtime Scheduled
2008-08-19 21:57
by Ken Arneson

Our ISP has informed us that they will be installing an upgrade "on Thursday, August 21, 2008 between 2:00am and 6:00am EST."  The server will be down for up to 15 minutes sometime during that window.

Layout Experiments This Weekend
2008-07-25 10:09
by Ken Arneson

I'm going to be making some fairly big layout tweaks this weekend. These changes are not permanent. I'm doing these experiments, mostly moving ads around here and there, just so that I can get a better understanding of the economics of our site. We will return to our regularly scheduled layouts after the weekend.

Scheduled Downtime Completed
2008-07-09 11:58
by Ken Arneson

Our ISP is installing a server upgrade, and the site will be down for up to 15 minutes between 1am and 4am Pacific Time on Friday, July 11.

Are You Looking At Me?
2008-06-19 19:51
by Ken Arneson
Navin R. Johnson: The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here!
Harry Hartounian: Boy, I wish I could get that excited about nothing.
Navin R. Johnson: Nothing? Are you kidding? Page 73 - Johnson, Navin R.! I'm somebody now! Millions of people look at this book everyday! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity - your name in print - that makes people. I'm in print! Things are going to start happening to me now.

--The Jerk

I feel a little like Navin R. Johnson at the moment. I just discovered that Google recently sent its Street View car to Alameda, and now when you go to Google Maps, there are pictures of my house, my office, my kids' school...very cool.

OK, here's a picture of Baseball Toaster Headquarters:

View Larger Map

Do you see me waving at you? There up on the second floor, behind that fourth window of four on the right? Hi there! But you better move, though; you're stopped right in front of a fire hydrant.

One Millionth Object Pops Out of Toaster
2008-05-28 18:22
by Ken Arneson

Congrats to SF Yanks, who created object #1,000,000 in the Fairpole system, a comment on Bronx Banter:

 I wouldn't mind if Arod started being MVPlike again....the good ol days.

Just missing was Andrew Shimmin, who created object #999,999, a comment on Dodger Thoughts that read:

250- La la la la la; I'm not listening. . .

How utterly appropriate...

One Million
2008-05-26 17:45
by Ken Arneson

Any day now, the Fairpole system will pass 1,000,000 objects.  (Every object--a blog entry, a user, a comment--gets an object number.)   What will happen when the odometer turns over?  Will the world fall apart, as we feared in Y2K?  If it doesn't, should we throw a party?  Should we throw the creator of the 1,000,000th object into a volcano as a sacrifice to the Database Gods?

Downtime Complete
2008-04-09 18:07
by Ken Arneson

Our ISP had scheduled us for another upgrade in the 7pm hour on Friday, which would have been in the middle of either or both of the Yankee-Red Sox game and/or the Dodgers-Padres game.

I managed to talk them out of that idea, and they have offered to do it tonight instead. So sometime tonight, not sure exactly when, we will be down for between one and fifteen minutes.

Update: This is complete.


Scheduled Maintenance: Tue 8 April
2008-04-05 13:46
by Ken Arneson

Our rebootless streak will come to an end early Tuesday morning after 417 days of consecutive running. Our ISP will be implementing an upgrade to the server sometime between 1am and 4am Pacific Time. The server is expected to be down no more than 15 minutes.

I knew I shouldn't have said anything...

Unauthorized Access, Please Enjoy
2008-03-21 10:33
by Ken Arneson

Simple question I haven't seen anyone asking:  if the software is capable of detecting unauthorized access to the passport files of Obama, Clinton, and McCain, why doesn't it just block access?

Blocking access should be simpler to program (just throw an error--one line of code) than sending a notification in the background while allowing access to continue.  Right?

One Year Without Reboots
2008-02-17 19:00
by Ken Arneson

I totally shouldn't say anything, because I'm sure I'm jinxing something, but the machine that Baseball Toaster runs on has been running without a single reboot for 366 days now.

Of course, that's just the operating system...I restart the web server software regularly as part of normal maintenance. But what a trooper our little piece of hardware has been!

Server Maintenance Complete
2007-08-13 22:07
by Ken Arneson

The server maintenance described below has been completed.  Sorry for the inconvenience.

I need to take down the web server that serves our images for about 15 minutes or so. I will do this at 11pm Pacific. If your browser has our images cached, you might not notice anything; others may find during this period that the pages load slowly or have bad layouts.

In addition, I added a little bug fix:  if you click on a numbered link to a previous comment, and the comment is in a hidden section of the thread, it will now un-hide the section, and move you to the comment.  Thanks to Daniel Zappala for the tip.


Baseball Toaster Code of Conduct
2007-05-27 15:00
by Ken Arneson

There is no "Code of Conduct". In civilized conversations between mature people, codes of conduct are not necessary.

I will not manage people's behavior. I'm a busy man, I have better things to do. If someone fails to behave in a civilized, mature manner, I just delete their accounts. No warnings, no notification. I don't have time for that.

If and when such a deletion happens in error, human beings with a mature and responsible character will figure out the best course of action to correct the problem.

For the truly clueless, I offer this one clue:  if you offend someone--even if you are right, and the offended party is wrong--apologize.  Sincerely, and without sarcasm. 

--Ken Arneson,