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  • Mon, 00:27: @Paskhowl running your FHL game, have an injury to Richard Thicke and need your pick for a sub

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Furry Hockey League ELO system
The following is a combination of posts for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd seasons for a new rating system I am working on for the Furry Hockey League ( )....
So I have created an ELO system for the fhl  fhl Furry Hockey League. I used season one to tweak the variables and I think I have a good system. Home ice and goal differential are factored into this system and I will constrict the ratings 25% between seasons (for balance). For those who aren't familiar, the ELO system is a weighted rating system that allows you a quick glance of the strength of players or teams based on past performance. A well configured ELO system can also provide probable results of future matches. All new teams start at 2000 and any transferred teams maintain their existing ratings. I can also explain my methodology in a future post if anyone is interested...

Anyway, here were the season one results...let me know what you think:

Pre Post
2000 2147 Hamilton Wanderers
2000 2124 Portland Roses
2000 2043 Colorado Springs Pioneers
2000 2041 Lexington Stallions
2000 2013 Erie Tail Storm
2000 2012 Bridgeport Bandicoots
2000 1973 Las Vegas High Rollers
2000 1951 Green Bay Tundra
2000 1942 Saskatoon Prairie Dogs
2000 1929 Houston Cosmonauts
2000 1928 Victoria Totem Paws
2000 1898 Jacksonville Gators

The remaining seasons will be scored this weekend more than likely.

Here are the results for season two of the FHL  FHL Furry Hockey League. I listed the season high and low for each team first followed by the season pre-rating and post-rating.

All time Season
High Low_____Pre Post
2153 1991 | 2062 2126 - Portland Roses
2087 1992 | 2000 2065 - Salt Lake City Killer Bees
2086 1999 | 2007 2048 - Erie Tail Storm
2053 1928 | 1964 2037 - Victoria Totem Paws
2036 1960 | 2000 2024 - Newfoundland Beothuks
2067 2000 | 2021 2021 - Lexington Stallions
2045 1963 | 2000 2011 - Baltimore Blue Herons
2000 1939 | 1975 2000 - St Louis Spirits
2036 1961 | 2000 1998 - Omaha Stampede
2147 1985 | 2074 1997 - Hamilton Wanderers
2075 1981 | 2006 1981 - Bridgeport Bandicoots
2000 1898 | 1949 1977 - Jacksonville Gators
2043 1918 | 2021 1950 - Colorado Springs Pioneers
2000 1919 | 1971 1947 - Helena Vigilantes
2000 1880 | 1964 1917 - Houston Cosmonauts
2011 1915 | 2000 1915 - Seattle Guardians

All time high - 2153 (Portland Roses)
All time low - 1880 (Houston Cosmonauts)

A basic explanation of the ELO system can be found here:

As you can see, it's pretty basic (for statistical math anyway). I am using the k-factor to score goal differential which means OT games are worth less than regulation wins and the margin of victory increases the k (maxes at +5). The home team also gets a +50 rating bonus which equates to a 57% win probability between 2 equally rated teams (before the bonus is added).

After running season one, I also discovered that scoring playoff games in the same manner as regular season games was too punitive for losing teams (they were falling below teams that missed the playoffs). So I am scoring those games without goal differential and the minimum k. Basically, they are all rated as "OT wins".
Here are my ELO ratings for FHL  FHL season 3. Interesting to note that my system caught Thunder Bay on a hot streak at the end of the regular season and has them as the highest rated team going into the playoffs. And despite them being a #3 team, they DID win.

..All time........Season

2179 1991 | 2091 2179 - Thunder Bay Puffins
2120 1992 | 2046 2110 - Salt Lake City Killer Bees
2131 1939 | 1997 2094 - St Louis Spirit
2147 1985 | 1994 2094 - Hamilton Wanderers
2086 1966 | 2033 2020 - Erie Tail Storm
2036 1951 | 1995 2001 - Omaha Stampeders
2034 1898 | 1980 2001 - Jacksonville Gators
2045 1933 | 2000 1995 - Bakersfield Buckaroos
2011 1901 | 1933 1980 - Seattle Guardians
2075 1965 | 1982 1976 - Bridgeport Bandicoots
2067 1906 | 2013 1968 - Lexington Stallions
2045 1906 | 2005 1948 - Baltimore Blue Herons
2062 1928 | 2025 1936 - Victoria Totem Paws
2036 1914 | 2015 1914 - Newfoundland Beothuks
2000 1877 | 1957 1905 - Helena Vigilantes
2000 1876 | 1934 1880 - Houston Cosmonauts

All time high: 2179 Thunder Bay Puffins
All time low: 1876 Houston Cosmonauts

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  • Wed, 19:11: So if pumpkin spice is the official flavor of October, can turkey spice be the official flavor of November?

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Time for a change.
So, tomorrow, I become the proud owner of 2 mortgages.  With any hope, this will be a very temporary situation (anyone want to buy a house?).  Anyway, it's true that we needed a bigger house and we were blessed to find one and to be able to afford it, but in order for this move to be a true blessing, there is a lot that needs to change.  No, this is not a post where I complain about all the stuff everyone else in my family needs to do to make this work, this is where I admit my own shortcomings and commit to change them.
1st, the obvious.  We all have too much stuff, and yes, while I love my mom, I hate to say that I did get her hoarding tendencies.  So over the next several weeks, there will be a pairing down of stuff.  While packing, I discovered a box of stuff that came from my old house 13 years ago.  It was shoved into the back of the closet and forgotten about.  Needless to say, it will likely go away.  And yea, basically, if I haven't used it in a while, it's gone.  I'm really tempted to document exactly how much stuff I get rid of, mostly out of curiosity, but also to demonstrate how stuff can accumulate over time.
I think I shocked everyone tonight.  I had to take a friend home and when I returned, I whipped my phone out in front of Tina and the kids and started deleting games.  I have a list of unfinished projects (personal and professional) and all my life, they have not gotten done.  I am done being idle and allowing myself to be drawn into time sinks.  We budget money, but I have not budgeted time and this was the first step.
On the subject of budgeting, I signed us up for the Dave Ramsey class our church is offering.  While we are currently standing beyond step 3 (full 3-6 month emergency fund), the 2 mortgage situation will tighten our budget severely and likely force us back into step 3 for a while.  While we somehow managed to pay off our other debt, I feel like there are a lot of things we could do better and officially going through the class will solidify our knowledge.  One of the things I have always found frustrating about this is the fact that, in college, I majored in Business Computer Programming.  That involved a LOT of accounting classes and it seemed like every time I attempted to apply what I had learned in school to our personal finance, I never could get it to work.  It wouldn't take long for me to get frustrated and quit.  A few weeks ago, I was listening to Dave on the way into work and in that hour's 'debt free' testimony, the wife talked about how she was a finance major (and graduate) and had the same problem of not seeming to be able to transfer her knowledge to her family budget.  She discovered (the hard way) that there IS a difference between personal and business finance and those things were not taught in school.  Knowing this, I now feel free to forget everything I thought I knew and relearn how to apply this system the right way.
So, in short, I am declaring war on three major areas of my life....time, money and stuff.  And moving into a new home will definitely stress all 3 of those things and FORCE the change.

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ConRecap (sort of) zones and hyphenated Christianity
Crossposting from FA, since LiveJournal will automatically spread this to my other accounts....and yea, it's time to test your tolerance....
I usually write con recaps and had intended to with the convention I attended this month, but something has been nagging at me. Now, the convention itself was a blast and, for me, it was they typical fursuiting hijinx.

Before I go forward, I must go back to the time of the last furry convention I attended, roughly 7 years ago. At that time, I was recently recommitted to Christ. As I have grown in my faith, I have been challenged by the Holy Spirit on several fronts. In that fight, I was called to limit my participation in the fandom. I still attended local events, but I kept the fandom primarily at arms length. During that time, I was delivered from several sinful things that are prevalent in the fandom and were potential stumbling blocks to me. The nature of these things is not entirely relevant to the telling of this story and will distract from my point. I am now strong enough in my faith that, with prayerful discretion, I can stand in the face of these things and even help others who might be struggling with them.

During that time, I did not stop attending conventions, but I found that I enjoyed non-furry conventions more. Primarily because, at furcons, when I am in costume, I simply blend into the crowd. And with a heart condition, I suffer far too much to simply blend it. As one of the only furries at a sci-fi con or an anime con, I stand out and get TONS of attention. Also, I have found that, sci-fi cons have a robust debate environment. As someone who holds generally unpopular views, I am, not only tolerated, but over time, and because I am, myself, very tolerant and civil, been given the opportunity to participate in debates and to share my beliefs with others. Ironically, other fandoms have demonstrated far more acceptance and tolerance than the furry fandom.
I have to admit, perhaps I've been a bit spoiled by this, because while Leo is perfectly welcomed as a furry, I (and the individuals I attended this convention with) am clearly not. As is typical in liberal environments, tolerance only applies "so long as you agree with me".

My issue is not with the atheists and agnostics. They are consistent in their opposition to what I believe. It is those who profess to be Christian to whom this is really written for. I have 2 observations to what I saw and experienced that weekend.

POINT 1: "Hyphenated Christianity"
2 Cor 5:15-17 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Galatians 3:27-28 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

There is a tendency in our world today to boldly express our identity, but as a Christian, my identity is entirely and solely in Christ. While we all have interests, hobbies and talents, and it is healthy to have those things, it is not healthy to place our identity in those things. This is the reason I was lead into a hiatus from the furry fandom. My fursona was an idol in my life and I had to either reconcile that, or give it up altogether. Where I used to see Leo as an actual part of my personality, he is now just performance art. A character I pretend to be sometimes for the entertainment of others.

If we are truly Christians, then that is what we are. Not Baptists, or Catholics, or Pentecostal or even hyphenated terms like "Liberal-Christians", "Christian-Conservatives" or even "furry-Christians" (as I used to refer to myself). This, of course, becomes even more insidious when you place your own sin nature in front of Christ which brings me to my 2nd point.

POINT 2: "safe zones"
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

I really could just drop the mic and walk away after citing a verse that so clearly demonstrates why any REAL Christian would not need a "safe zone", in fact, for the true Christian, persecution will come and we are to rejoice in it (2 Cor 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.). No doubt you will see that in the comments here. So for all you delicate little flowers out there, devout Christianity is probably not for you. But wait, there's more.....

When you are attempting to justify an action of life style that so clearly goes against God's will, you have to find echo chambers to yell into. Not only to justify yourself against those of us who will rightly rebuke your actions, but even more-so to drown out the voice of the Holy Spirit, deep inside of you, who is insisting that you are outside of the will of God. And therein lies the problem. God will not recognize your safe zone, but over time, he will leave you alone and let you have the the desires of your flesh (Romans 1). And if you have read this far, pray that that never happens to you....

But what we are seeing with this phenomenon is prophesied.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

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