Friday, November 30, 2007

Do I Have Content? Hell Yeah I Do.

I got a great piece I'm preparing to post this weekend. Well, at least I think it's great.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

He Shoots! Wide Left!

It took me all of one Monday to miss posting on Mondays. Awesome. To be fair, I was so enthralled by the absolute train wreck of a football game in Pittsburgh.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Distraction plus Pics

Trying to write a sports post during Monday Night Football: bad idea. Here are some some house pics:

Manny coming around 3rd to score.

Barister cabinet, sofa, and Manny on TV.

Sportsmanship Vs. Gamesmanship: What Is Right?

Unless you are avoiding sports news, you have heard of the New England Patriots' 10-0 run this season and their outscoring their opponents by record margins. Many pundits and fans have accused Bill Belichick, head coach of the Patriots, of running up the score and embarassing their opponents. 

Wait a second: embarassing their opponents? These teams are professional athletes: essentially paid performers, no different from actors. Embarassment is not the problem. The problem is gamesmanship as is compares to sportsmanship.

Review the definitions of those ideas. Gamesmanship means doing whatever you can to win, while staying within the rules. Sportsmanship means having good conduct during games, having respect for your opponents, and being gracious in victory and defeat. Those last two are the big issues with the Patriots.

Do the Patriots have respect for their opponents? Sure, they pay lots of lip service to respect. Listening to Belichick before the Buffalo game (which the Pats won, 56-10), you might've suspected the Bills were an elite AFC East team. Instead they were 5-4, and their star running back was ruled out for the game. 

Did the Pats respect the Bills during the game? You can look at this two ways. After the game was all but sealed up, the Pats did send in the second string. But they also didn't change the playbook; they played the same way they did all game, showing the Buffalo defense some respect. But that goes both ways; up 35-7 (four TDs), the Pats had 4th and 1 on the Buffalo 3 yard line. Up by 28, the respectful thing to do is to kick a field goal. But Tom Brady threw to Ben Watson for the touchdown. 

OK, fine, you're playing hard. Later that quarter the Pats had 4th and 1 on the Buffalo 10 yard line with about a minute left in the quarter and leading 49-10 (, and again Belichick eschews the field goal and has Brady pass to Randy Moss for a first down, leading to a touchdown two plays later. That is purely disrespectful; taking an unnecessary risk when you're already up by an nigh-insurmountable lead. That, my friends, is the reason everyone has a problem with the Patriots.

The Category For Today's Post Is: Sports

I was away in Cape Cod this weekend, so I didn't have time to write the post I planned to. However, I know what I want to write and what I want to say, so I will be writing it tonight. 


Thursday, November 15, 2007

All that Work Just To Do Work?

My work computer died this week; I spent all of Tuesday and most of Wednesday reinstalling applications and configuring settings. Here is a partial list of all the crap I had to go through:

Configuration options:

  • Set mouse speed
  • Set keyboard repeat delay and repeat speed
  • Set default browser
  • Set up quick launch and add folders/files/app links
  • Install printers
  • Set homepages
  • Set default applications

Developer applications:

  • Visual Studio 6
  • Visual Studio 2003
  • Visual Studio 2005
  • SQL Server 2000
  • SQL Server 2005
  • C1 Flexgrid
  • HTML Helpworkshop

Non-developer applications:

  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • VLC
  • Notepad2
  • Launchy
  • TweakUI
  • 7-Zip
  • Putty
  • Foxit Reader
  • Flickr Uploader
  • Roboform
  • Pidgin
  • Songbird
  • PSTools
  • Filezilla
  • Roboform

Not to mention all the Firefox extensions:

  • Adblock Plus
  • Roboform
  • All-in-One Gestures
  • Better GMail
  • Download Statusbar
  • Firebug
  • Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer
  • Greasemonkey
  • PDF Download
  • SafeCache
  • SafeHistory
  • StumbleUpon
  • Web Developer

And all the Greasemonkey scripts!

  • Hoodwink'd
  • Greased Lightbox
  • Plus tons that I'm forgetting

I'm not even convinced I've got it all. What the crap, man?!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Look At The Other Side

I was all ready to post an angry rant about people who cut in line, both as pedestrians and in cars, but I realized that it would just be me bitching and moaning about the same crap we all have to deal with. I started to think of the causes of people's rude behavior when I reminded myself of a policy I had when I first learned to drive. I remember driving with my mom sitting shotgun when someone cut me off on the highway and sped away. My mom got quite angry, but I said "well, he might have a good excuse for going fast. Maybe his wife is giving birth? I don't know, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt."

That mental outlook always made me feel very calm on the road. I am less tolerant of idiots on the road (a whole other issue) these days, but I still try to think of what others might be thinking. That guy that cut into the line in front of me for the staircases this morning might have had a rough morning. Maybe he deserves a little slack. We've all had that morning.

I guess the net take away I had (and maybe you should get) is before you get pissed at some anonymous stranger, think about what might be going on for them. It sure makes it easier to forgive and chill out.

Monday, November 12, 2007

My Least Favorite Pedestrian

This person technically isn't a pedestrian, as you encounter them in mass transit, usually on a bus or train. I'll call this person Pat, because both males and females do this. Usually you encounter Pat when you are forced to stand up on a crowded train with little room to spare. As the train approaches your stop, you gather your things and prepare to "excuse me" your way to the door. But Pat is not willing to wait for the train to stop. Pat stands up behind you and loudly asks "Excuse me!". You have three options here: 1) get out of Pat's way, 2) tell Pat you're also getting off here, or 3) do nothing. I refuse to do #1 because Pat is no more important than me (if Pat was really important, he'd have his own car and driver). Option 3 is the most satisfying, but you might get Pat really angry. So option 2 is usually best.

But what about when you're standing right next to the door and you've told Pat you're getting off, but he still tries to wedge in front of you? What the crap, man? This used to happen to me all the time on the subway, and it's happening again now that I'm taking the bus twice a week (commuter rail travellers are much kinder). I just think it's funny that some people are in so much of a rush to get off the bus that they're willing to push other people out of the way.

I don't really have a point to this post. I just hope you're reading this, Pat, and that you chill out!

Proof of the Apocolypse

Plans For the Future

So I decided that if I'm going to blog, I should blog regularly. Starting today, I will be posting a new blog entry every Monday. And it won't just be a short "goddamnit I was up late last night" post; it'll be a full, interesting post. I'll still do the other variety as well.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Quantity Is Better Than Quality

So I opened my email today and had a new friend request on Facebook. It was from someone I knew in high school but was never really friends with. In fact, I probably only ever spoke to her twice. Now she sends me a friend request. Do I accept? She was an aquaintence at best, never a friend. It's not like we were mortal enemies or anything, we just weren't friends.

What does a friend request even mean? If I have 100 friends in my friends list, is that better than having 50? What if I have 20 people, but they're all my good friends who I spend time with and care about? Is that better?

I just don't like the "I'm going to friend request everyone I've ever know" policy for most people on MySpace/Facebook/LinkedIn/whatever. I used to deny those people, but then they'd just request again. So I'd ignore them, but then they'd message me. I decided it wasn't worth offending people because I didn't consider them a friend, so I just started accepting the requests.

But seriously people. If I haven't spoken with you in 10 years and you send me a friend request (and nothing more*), what are you trying to do: increment your friend count or actually catch up?

*I've had a few people send friend requests then send lengthy emails of the catching-up type. I'm down with that.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Wishlist: Implementation

Once upon a time a few years ago I was thinking about an old movie I saw as a kid. I couldn't recall the name, but I did remember it was about personified home appliances (like toasters, electric blankets, and whatnot) and that it had a profound effect on me. After a brief interwebz search, I found it: The Brave Little Toaster.

I almost bought it on the spot at Amazon, but I realized it would be kind of a frivilous purchase. Plus, at the time I was not exactly flush with cash. I noticed a link on the Amazon product page that said "Add to wishlist." I sorta figured it was kinda like the same thing as a shopping list, so I added it, thinking it would be nice to have a place to list things I thought about buying but didn't. That way, if I randomly think about it again and see it's already on my wishlist, then I can see that I've thought about it before, and it becomes less of an impulse buy. So I kept adding things to the list like this.

Then, one fateful October, Annie asked me what I wanted for my birthday. In an uncommon moment of clarity, I thought Hey, I've already got a birthday list! I sent her a link to my wishlist. Her response: "Are you serious? You want all these things?" After I calmed her down, I outlined the prinicples of a wishlist:
  • I don't expect to get everything on the list.
  • I provide the list to help people know what to give me; someone can get me something from the list and know that I will like it.
  • The list gives people an idea of the kind of stuff I like, so if they want to get me something off the list, they have an idea.
  • Having a large list maintains the surprise for me. Even if I knew for certain that 10 people were getting me gifts from the list, if I have 100 items on my list I will still be surprised.

She seemed to lighten up after that, and even embraced the idea.

So I say to all of you out there: Make a wishlist, keep it current, and let people know about it!

All rights reserved. Take that!