We took a quick one day trip to watch the ultra-overpriced friendly match between Real Madrid and Manchester United in Houston, which happened last night. This is what a good father must do with two soccer-crazed boys.
This is the first time I see Manchester United play live. But it’s the second one for Real Madrid: as we all remember, I watched them get their butts royally kicked back in 1990 by a much superior squad.
This was one of the most attractive games for us. It was a good game but unfortunately not very spectacular: 0-0. Al Bayt is both the farthest (about 1 hour drive) and the most beautiful stadium we’ve visited. It’s made to look like a Bedouin tent, impressive.
It took an eternity to go through the extremely buggy app. And it took an eternity for them to arrive over mail. But we finally – and just 2 days before kick off – receive the very last and most important Panini stickers for our album.
They sell for a lot of money in the black market. Best of luck.
With this post, I am proud to announce Polla Qatari 2022. This is the fifth FIFA World Cup pool / game / quiniela in a row I’ve organized and the sixth polla overall (since I did Polla América 2007).
With a little over 36 days until kickoff, I think this can be the best and largest polla ever!
I do this for fun and for learning. I find that it makes me enjoy the tournament, which is exciting on its own, a lot more. And my friends do as well. And I find that it forces me to play with corners of the software worlds I don’t get to use at work.
But it is a lot of work. The code is 100% custom written by me. Back in 2006 I wrote the original polla in a few coding all-nighters. Since then, every polla has started from the same codebase as the last one but goes through a lot of work and improvements on each iteration.
For this year, I had pondered a big rewrite using Python and microservices and other cool newer technologies (I do this for learning, remember?) but adulting (those pesky children! that pesky job) got in the way. I ended up reusing the same old codebase which actually required a lot of work to get back up and running with the latest versions of PHP and MySQL.
I set up Docker, Docker Compose, and hosted the code in a private GitHub repo. I’m using a package manager for dependencies. This is a nice improvement on my workflow and makes development and deployment a lot easier. It should make the code easier to maintain. And after getting it all working I made many small and big improvements both internal and external.
I am adding a few new features to the game: Winner selection, filters.
There are three things all readers should do right now: