Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Well, there’s something you don’t see every day

Raise your hand if you’ve ever seen an entire church moving down the road. Put your hands down; I don’t mean the whole congregation cruising caravan-style. I’m talking about the entire church building.

Well, thanks to the technological miracles of time-lapse photography and YouTube, now you can say you have:

A wave of the phin to Dethroner, and I have to agree with Joel that the video’s soundtrack totally makes it.

posted at 2:35 PM in God , music , tech
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links for 2007-01-30

posted at 12:20 AM in links
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Saturday, 27 January 2007

links for 2007-01-27

posted at 12:20 AM in links
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Friday, 26 January 2007

Yes, but could he tame T.O.?

An observation I’ve made repeatedly to my spouse is that given the temperaments and egos of the engines of the Sodor Railway, I believe Sir Topham Hatt is experienced enough to manage a NBA or NFL team.

posted at 10:10 PM in football , parenting
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Recent additions to ye olde iTunes library

All song and artist links are to the iTunes Store.

posted at 3:51 PM in music
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My first car

Kathy notes her first car, so I thought I’d share the story behind my first car, too.

It was a grayish-blue, 1983 Ford Escort hatchback (aka, “5-door”). This was in the fall of 1987, and it was a gift from my parents my senior year of high school. That little car was built like a tank, and my dad helped me install a decent stereo system. The car had 18,000 original miles on it, with all original equipment, including the tires. The only part that had been changed on this car in four-plus years was the oil filter. My dad couldn’t believe it, and contacted the original owner.

It is literally a “little ol’ lady” story.

The original owner turned out to be a nurse at Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, and she lived in the Sherwood Forest development. Sherwood Forest is down Goodwood Boulevard, across Airline Highway from Woman’s Hospital, so this nice lady was probably driving less than a mile a day, round trip. She was a widow, and lived with her sister, also a widow, and also a nurse. At Woman’s Hospital. The Escort owner’s sister owned a Toyota 4Runner, and the two took the larger vehicle on trips, shopping, etc. So that’s how I got a four-plus year-old car with eighteen thousand original miles on it.

It was a great first car for a teenager. Lots of great memories with friends from school, band, and church youth group.

Alas, another nice lady decided, one night in the fall of 1989, to total it for me. This story is worth the telling, as it’s probably the the biggest event involving my first car, other than when I received it.

I was a sophomore at LSU, and on my way to the Air Force ROTC’s annual Dining Out festivity, traveling on Greenwell Springs Road about a mile or so west of Airline Highway. Greenwell Springs Road is not—or at least it wasn’t then—a divided highway on this stretch of road. I was on the eastbound side, in the left-hand lane. I was in my dress uniform, and had the American and Air Force flags in the trunk, along with stanchions, gloves, etc., as I was leading the presentation of the colors that night.

As I reached the old Warehouse Foods strip mall (long-time Baton Rouge residents will recall the location), a wood-paneled station wagon pulled out in front of me. It was either broadside the station wagon, swerve in to the car to my right, or swerve in to oncoming traffic.

I broadsided the station wagon.

The seat belt caught me, ripping off three of the four buttons on my service coat as it did so. My forehead still connected with the rearview mirror, and I had a scratch at the hairline deep enough to bleed but not so deep I would require medical attention.

Traffic pretty much came to a stop. A few people got out of their cars to check on the lady in the station wagon, and myself. Station wagon lady was apologizing, and worrying about her cat, which was in a crate in the back seat.

This was before cell phones were ubiquitous, so I wandered over to the Kean’s Cleaners (another Baton Rouge institution) to ask if I could use their phone. I will never forget how unsympathetic and downright rude the lady behind the counter was. “It’s for business purposes only!” she told me. “Maam, do you see the wreck right outside? I was in that accident.” This did nothing to mollify her.

God was looking out for me, though. (As if He hadn’t been already. I was alive, walking, and talking.) There in the Kean’s Cleaners, picking up his mess dress for the dinner that evening, was Sgt. Chris Hester. (Chris, sorry I don’t remember your proper rank at the time; if you actually find and read this, drop me a line and I’ll correct it). Sgt. Hester was one of the two NCOs assigned to the AFROTC detachment at LSU. I became aware of his presence there in the cleaners when he said, “Chris, are you alright?”

Turned out Sgt. Hester was living in the apartments across the street from the Kean’s Cleaners. He picked up his mess dress and went over to get his car. I dealt with the cops who had arrived on scene, then went to the video store next to the Kean’s where they were nice enough to let me use the phone. First was a call to the folks, who weren’t home, but I left them a message which boiled down to: “Been in an accident, I’m okay, car’s not, got a ride to Dining Out, I’ll call you later.” Then I called Janet, my date, and asked if she could meet me at the Embassy Suites where the dinner was being held. Sweetie that she is (or was, since we haven’t spoken in like 16 years, so I can’t honestly say if she still is, but I would hope so), she offered to come and get me, but I told her about Sgt. Hester giving me a lift.

Next was dealing with the tow truck driver who was hauling my car away. The front end was totally smashed, the bumper kissing the engine block. Both front tires were completely flat, and a mix of transmission fluid, oil, and washer fluid was pooled underneath. Sgt. Hester showed up, and we transferred as much as possible out of my car and in to his trunk. I got the info from the tow truck driver on the junkyard my Escort was going to, and off he went. I don’t recall if the cops gave me any paperwork, other than whatever insurance info they had collected from the station wagon lady. She’d be buying me a “new” car.

At Sgt. Hester’s apartment, we called Colonel Hendrickson, the detachment commander, and he was filled in on the situation. A replacement for me in the color guard would be found. I would be declared off-limits from being sent to the grog bowl for being out of uniform. Sgt. Hester threw on his mess dress, and we were off to the dinner. Janet took me home.

A few days later, my dad and I stopped by the junkyard where my Escort was lying in state. We were there to check for anything I may have left behind, and to see if we could salvage the stereo system. The guy running the place didn’t mind, so we did. And that was the last I saw of my first car.

posted at 1:49 AM in auto
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Thursday, 25 January 2007

Only in America

As Chris said when he pinged me via IM, “Someone’s going to get a PhD out of this.”

posted at 10:18 PM in fun , learning
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links for 2007-01-25

posted at 12:21 AM in links
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Wednesday, 24 January 2007

“Can you go celebrate some place else?”

Brilliant decision by Versus to mike Marty Turco for the NHL All-Star Game tonight. Marty’s humor shined as the Dallas Stars goalie traded one-liners with Doc Emrick and Eddie Olczyk (who has to be one of the worst color men in hockey broadcasting, but then we’re pretty spoiled here in Dallas with our top-notch crew). And Turco did it while he played, shrugging off shots microseconds after talking with the announcers upstairs, and continuing to chat as face-offs occurred right in front of him.

His best line came after the Eastern Conference scored the first of three goals against Turco, when Marty, waving them toward their bench, said with a wink to the Eastern players congregating in front of the net: “Hey guys, can you go celebrate some place else?”

It made for great insight in to the game from a goalie’s perspective, and it was really great of Turco to make the effort. Best of all, he got the win!

posted at 11:03 PM in hockey
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You’ll almost forget it was a Cyndi Lauper song

I am mesmerized by Greg Laswell’s version of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” (iTunes Store link). (And my thanks to my wife for the iTunes gift card!)

posted at 12:28 PM in music
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links for 2007-01-24

posted at 12:20 AM in links
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Tuesday, 23 January 2007

FinderPop Universal has landed

Turly’s brought out a universal version of the venerable FinderPop, now a preference pane.

I found with earlier builds of the OS X version of FinderPop that I wasn’t using it nearly as much as I did under OS 9, due in large part to my use of Quicksilver. However, I can still find a use for FinderPop in my workflow, and I encourage you to give it a go and see if it has a place in your workflow, too.

posted at 8:24 PM in Macintosh
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Rearranging the furniture

I won’t go in to the whole spiel, because why say what’s already been said? Suffice to say, postings of a certain nature will increase in frequency here, because they are no longer being posted there. Links which appeared in the side bar there will be appearing in the side bar here. Some of you won’t care, some of you will. That’s just the way it is.

posted at 7:47 PM in web/site
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Traveling through stats ain’t like dusting crops, boy!

Kudos to the gang at Feedburner for the gratuitous usage of Star Wars references in their Hackathon post. My favorite:

Traveling through stats ain’t like dusting crops, boy! Without precise calculations we could fly right through an aggregator or bounce too close to a subscriber and that’d end your trip real quick, wouldn’t it?

posted at 12:06 PM in fun , tech
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As if they don’t talk about the Cowboys enough in this town

I’d really hoped that Bill Parcells would stick around for another year as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, if for no other reason than to eliminate it as a topic of conversation and media salivation.

It’s not like this town isn’t hosting the NHL All-Star Game tomorrow night, or has a playoff-bound hockey team or anything…

posted at 11:30 AM in football , hockey
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links for 2007-01-23

posted at 12:22 AM in links
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Monday, 22 January 2007

iRebecca


iRebecca
Originally uploaded by paul beefs.

I don’t recall Steve Jobs talking about this new product during the Macworld Expo keynote.

posted at 1:40 PM in fun , ipod
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Isn’t technology sometimes pretty awesome?


I’d say 4D ultrasound has to be the coolest in pre-birth baby tech. I would have loved to have seen our little phisch this way. Maybe with the next one.

posted at 12:33 AM in parenting , tech
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links for 2007-01-22

posted at 12:20 AM in links
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Sunday, 21 January 2007

The new Master Race

Steven Berven:

The Global War on Terror is not about revenge for 9/11. It’s not about an eye for an eye. It’s not even about eradicating the Taliban. It’s about fighting against the same sort of Master Race mentality that made the Imperial Japanese and Nazi Germany a threat to our people and our way of life. We are the infidels. We are the subhumans to the Islamic sense of racial elitism.

I confess, though I always picked up the superiority aspect of radical Islam, I hadn’t thought of it in the terms of Muslims being a “master race”.

posted at 9:51 PM in national security
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links for 2007-01-21

posted at 12:21 AM in links
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Friday, 19 January 2007

Twittering just got easier with Tweet

Scott McNulty noted Tweet in his Twitter feed as well as on TUAW. I downloaded Ted Leung’s Growl-modified version of Coda Hale’s script. Coda has good installation and usage instructions in the original Tweet script, which you can use if you don’t care about Growl support.

Tweet combines the power of AppleScript with that of Quicksilver (you are using Quicksilver, aren’t you?) to make posting to your Twitter account easier and faster than ever. Sorry, Windows users, but all of this, except the Twitter service itself, is Mac-only.

posted at 10:42 AM in Macintosh , fun , tech
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My sister’s responsible for a big ball of learning?

The McWane Science Center in Birmingham, Alabama, is getting a cool new invention, courtesy of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. My little sister wrote the grant application that landed McWane the exhibit. Way to go, sis!

posted at 10:38 AM in learning
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Thursday, 18 January 2007

Once again, we learn why they’re called analysts

So let me get this straight:

Apple sets new company records for revenue and profit, beats the Street’s estimates, and ships 28 percent more Macs and 50 percent more iPods than they did this time a year ago, but because a bunch of analysts don’t like future estimates, the stock price takes a dive?

No wonder monkeys do just as good a job at the stock market as analysts.

posted at 8:25 PM in Macintosh , ipod , rant
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Tell me again why I should upgrade

Walt Mossberg reviews Windows Vista for the Wall Street Journal:

Nearly all of the major, visible new features in Vista are already available in Apple’s operating system, called Mac OS X, which came out in 2001 and received its last major upgrade in 2005. And Apple is about to leap ahead again with a new version of OS X, called Leopard, due this spring.

There are some big downsides to this new version of Windows. To get the full benefits of Vista, especially the new look and user interface, which is called Aero, you will need a hefty new computer, or a hefty one that you purchased fairly recently. The vast majority of existing Windows PCs won’t be able to use all of Vista’s features without major hardware upgrades. They will be able to run only a stripped-down version, and even then may run very slowly.

In fact, in my tests, some elements of Vista could be maddeningly slow even on new, well-configured computers.

Something tells me that the only Vista-running PC we’ll see in our home will either be my wife’s company-provided laptop, when their IT department decides the latest version of Windows is “safe” enough with which to conduct business, or if I decide to throw Vista on my Intel-powered iMac. The latter would, at most, be for web site testing, and pure kicks.

I’m pretty much done with Windows PCs at this point. The Mac does everything I want, does it better, does it more intuitively and elegantly, and the Mac is safer. Sure, you can argue this locks me in to a single company, Apple, but then Windows users are pretty much locked in to a single company, too, aren’t they? Oh, you can buy your PC from Dell, HP, Sony, Toshiba, or build it yourself, but you still have to go to Microsoft for the operating system.

(Linux zealots are not invited to this discussion, so pipe down already. Besides, most of you are fawning over Ubuntu nowadays, which still locks you in to a single distribution/company for that particular flavor of the OS. Or you like SUSE, or Debian, or Red Hat, for whatever your reasons may be. And most people don’t feel like hunting down drivers for their Sony notebook just so it can properly display all available resolutions or connect wirelessly to the Internet, things you still have to do with Linux variants.)

For the record, in his review, Mossberg does acknowledge that as far as Windows itself goes, Vista is the best version yet. Which isn’t surprising, since each version since the original has been successively better, with the exception of Windows ME (what a disaster that beast was).

When the desktop PC I built my wife two years ago outlives its usefulness, it will get replaced with either a hand-me-down iMac, or a Mac mini. It’s one thing to do Windows tech support for a living, but when it comes to home computing, that’s something I’d rather not have to worry about.

posted at 2:40 PM in Macintosh , tech
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Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Night at the Museum

I was going to blog about this yesterday, until I got slammed with the norovirus, aka, the stomach flu.

My beautiful bride had Monday off (if the stock market’s closed, her office is closed), so we did some shopping, sans little phisch, and decided to take in a movie. I wasn’t in the mood for anything too serious, and the movie I really did want to see, Eragon (great book), has all but disappeared from most theaters. So we decided on the Ben Stiller vehicle, Night at the Museum.

We at the phischbowl heartily recommend Night at the Museum. It’s wholesome fun for the entire family, and you may even learn a thing or two. (Regarding the “entire family” bit: I wouldn’t take my three year-old, mostly because he’d probably be bored, but I can see my friend’s second-grader thoroughly enjoying the film.)

Ben Stiller is, well, Ben Stiller, though not in a goofy Zoolander sort of way, more like in an Along Came Polly or Meet the Parents sort of way. Robin Williams is great as Teddy Roosevelt, though not in the usual obnoxious Robin Williams sort of way. I thought Steve Coogan was very amusing as Octavius, and a great foil for the uncredited Owen Wilson’s Jedediah. Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, and Bill Cobbs are great as the three retiring security guards Stiller’s Larry Daley is taking over for.

One hint: don’t leave immediately when the credits roll; there will be two more scenes within the credits you don’t want to miss.

posted at 12:05 PM in fun
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Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Today’s rowing

Thirty minutes, 4,995 meters.

A lousy five meters away from five thousand. Two strokes. Two strokes were all I needed before the machine cut off.

At least I got my pace up from last time.

posted at 11:36 AM in fitness
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Sunday, 14 January 2007

It’s Twitterrific!

I confess I’ve been sucked in to the world of Twitter. It’s kind of addictive, watching what folks like John Gruber, the Iconfactory boys, Maury McCown, and even Darth Vader, are up to.

I’d love to know if my friends have accounts, so I can add you as a friend to mine, and please feel free to add me as a friend to yours. Ping me via IM, drop me an e-mail, or leave a comment.

One cool thing Twitter did last week was they created a Macworld account. By adding this account as a friend, you could follow the postings of those at Macworld Expo as Steve announced the latest and greatest tech from our favorite fruit company. There were so many messages coming in to Twitter through AOL Instant Messenger that Twitter exceeded its allowable AIM traffic, and that service was unavailable for about a day. (To clarify, you couldn’t post to Twitter via AIM; Twitter and AIM were each unaffected.)

You can post to Twitter via your Twitter page, by instant message (Jabber or AIM), or by text message from your mobile phone. (Text message charges from your mobile provider apply, but there’s no charge from Twitter.) If you’re a Mac user, you can also use Maury McCown’s TwitterPost, or the just-released-today Twitterrific from those aforementioned boys at the Iconfactory. Both apps are freeware.

So the question remains, what are you doing?

posted at 2:33 PM in fun , tech , web/site
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Saturday, 13 January 2007

links for 2007-01-13

posted at 12:19 AM in links
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Friday, 12 January 2007

Stevenote on iTunes

Apple has posted Steve Jobs’s keynote address for the 2007 Macworld Expo on the iTunes Store. It’s a 1.21 GB download, so make sure you’ve got the space to watch it on your iPod.

posted at 3:30 PM in iphone , ipod
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DiskWarrior 4 now shipping

I just received my shipment notification from Alsoft that DiskWarrior 4 is on its way.

posted at 11:42 AM in Macintosh
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The countdown has begun

For those of us who are such fanboys we can hardly wait: the iPhone Countdown.

(This post prompted the creation of a new category/tag.)

posted at 12:41 AM in iphone , phone
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links for 2007-01-12

posted at 12:22 AM in links
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Thursday, 11 January 2007

Today’s Shuffle

I haven’t done this in a while, so here are the first ten songs played in shuffle mode today.

  1. “Suspicious Minds” - Elvis Presley, Elvis 30 #1 Hits
  2. “It’s Over” - The Goo Goo Dolls, Gutterflower
  3. “Hollyann” - Boston, Third Stage
  4. “Tell The World” - Ratt, Ratt & Roll 81-91
  5. “Road of the Righteous” - Dropkick Murphys, The Singles Collection
  6. “Million Dollar Man” - Kutless, Hearts Of The Innocent
  7. “Take California” - Propellerheads, Decksandrumsandrockandroll
  8. “Forever” - Chris Tomlin, I Could Sing of Your Love Forever 2 (Studio Disc)
  9. “A Boy Named Sue” - Johnny Cash, Complete Live At San Quentin
  10. “You’re Not Alone” - Amy Grant, Heart in Motion

Bonus song
11. “Further On Up The Road” - Johnny Cash, American V: A Hundred Highways

As usual, individual songs link to the iTunes Store, where as albums link on Amazon.

posted at 12:47 PM in music
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Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Riddle me this

Why does my artificial tree shed?

Does that not defeat the point—or at least one of the points—of the artificial tree?

(Yes, I’m just now putting the artificial tree back in the box and storing it away for next year.)

posted at 11:01 PM in fun
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Scarier words

There are few words I can think of at the moment which are scarier than “First Officer Chris Lawson”.

Except, of course, “Captain Chris Lawson”.

Seriously, Chris, congratulations on the job. Our Mr. Lawson will be flying the skies on behalf of American Eagle in the very near future.

posted at 5:19 PM in fun
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Monday, 08 January 2007

SEC: Best conference in the land

Congratulations to the Florida Gators, who have secured their second national championship in 100 years of playing football. The Gators not only answered the question of the sports punditry—whether the Florida defense could slow down Troy Smith and the Buckeye offense—they trampled on it, threw it around, and crushed it in to the earth of the stadium in Glendale. Much like they did to Heisman Trophy winner Smith.

I’m sure the manhandling of Ohio State by Florida comes as a surprise to those who spend little time paying attention to SEC football, which, judging from the press coverage of the last month, leading right up to the kickoff, includes pretty much every sports writer and television personality in the country. These are the same pundits who seem fixated on the Big Ten, an independent team continually in the national mind only because of a TV broadcast deal, and a former-glory team from a mediocre West Coast conference. Perhaps now that two SEC teams have soundly trounced the aforementioned independent team and the season-long number-one Big Ten team, they will sit up and take notice of the powerhouse that is the Southeastern Conference. (Somehow, though, I doubt it.)

Lest, dear reader, you think I speak too quickly with this post’s pronouncement of the SEC being the best conference in the land, allow me to recap the post-season bowl records for you:

  • The Big Ten, from whence the former number-one Ohio State Buckeyes hail, finished a woeful 2-5 in bowl play.

  • The Big 12 finished only one game better at 3-5.

  • The pathetically mediocre Pac-10 finished at a pathetically mediocre .500, going 3-3.

  • The “up and coming” ACC, which was supposed to become a powerhouse conference after the uniting of Florida State, Miami, and Virginia Tech under the same banner, also finished even, at 4-4.

  • You may point to the Big East’s 5-0 record in bowl play as something worthy of note, until you compare the fact that the bowls in which the Big East played were of little consequence, with the exception of the Orange Bowl, which I am sure will be the lowest-rated of the BCS bowls because it featured a pair of teams pretty much no one cared about, nationally speaking.

What you should take from this then, dear reader—other than the fact that there are way too many bowl games now—is that the SEC finishes 6-3, and is home of the national champion for two of the past four years. The SEC earned more bowl spots than any other conference, and won more bowl games than any other conference. Yet I’ll wager you there won’t be more than one SEC team in the pre-season Top 5 for the 2007 season, given the fixations the sports media and coaches are afflicted with.

The 2006 college football season is now at an end, and I already await the 2007 season’s start in August. The SEC will be leading the way. Sports pundits, please pay attention.

posted at 11:41 PM in football
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links for 2007-01-08

posted at 12:19 AM in links
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Saturday, 06 January 2007

Question for Cowboys fans

How do you like Romo now?

:D

Sorry, I’m a little giddy at the moment. I wonder what Drew Bledsoe is thinking.

posted at 10:28 PM in football
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links for 2007-01-06

posted at 12:21 AM in links
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Friday, 05 January 2007

This rowing, I like

Normally on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I take a workout class at the gym. I had been going with my wife to the 7 PM class, but, for reasons we won’t detail here, we decided I would switch to the 9 AM class. The next set of classes haven’t officially begun yet (they start on the 8th), but the gym’s been holding “demo classes”, and the trainers have been letting those of us already enrolled in the class take part in those.

So I show up today for class, but no one’s there. So I ask Vince, the trainer tasked with running the demo class, if he’d show me how to use the rowing machine, since it’s something I’ve been wanting to try.

I rowed for half an hour, completing just over 4,200 meters. Not even a really good pace, but for the first fifteen minutes it was all about getting used to the rhythm of the machine, then settling in to my own rhythm.

I really liked it, and I will definitely do that again. I’m pretty sure I’ll feel it in my arms and thighs later today. It would have been infinitely better, and I might have rowed longer, had I had my iPod with me, but since I thought we’d be having class, I didn’t bring it. I won’t make that mistake again.

posted at 10:44 AM in fitness
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links for 2007-01-05

posted at 12:20 AM in links
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Thursday, 04 January 2007

Speaking of overrated Notre Dame…

Mark Schlabach perfectly sums up my feelings regarding the constantly overrated Fighting Irish. Those pollsters who had them at #2 in the rankings at the beginning of the season look, well, pretty stupid right now, don’t they?

posted at 9:58 AM in football
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Sick of Saban

Dear ESPN,

I realize that it’s a pretty big deal that Nick Saban deserted the Miami Dolphins to become the highest paid college football coach in the country, but don’t you think it’s newsworthy that LSU exposed how overrated Notre Dame is in the Sugar Bowl last night, and that that should dominate the College Football home page?

Please rectify this at your earliest convenience.

Thanks,

Retrophisch

Update: It appears I’ve been heard. (Shush and allow me this delusion, will you?) As of 12:20 PM CST when I checked the College Football home page, the upcoming championship game between Florida and Ohio State has replaced Saban as the main news of the moment. Still no love for my Tigers from the SEC-bigoted blowhards at ESPN.

posted at 9:49 AM in football
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links for 2007-01-04

posted at 12:28 AM in links
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Wednesday, 03 January 2007

Sick about Saban

Nick, Nick, Nick, Nick, Nick. How could you do this to us? How could you do this to the team you already had a commitment to?

I think I can speak for a lot of LSU fans in saying that we wanted to see the coach who brought the Tigers their second national championship do well. I’m not a huge fan of the NFL, and I don’t really cheer for any team in particular, but I wanted to see Nick Saban turn things around at Miami and lead a successful career as a NFL head coach. While I, like many, was disappointed to see Saban leave LSU, I could certainly understand his departure: after summitting the highest point in college football, he was ready for the next challenge.

Except Saban didn’t really give the next challenge the time—and thus, the effort—to do the same in the NFL that he did in the NCAA. It takes an extremely rare coach to turn a football team in a complete one-eighty in two years or less. Nick Saban, for all his prowess as a football coach, is not amoung that rare number. For Saban, the 2006 season in Miami was actually worse than 2005, and there must have been something in the Dolphins’ organization that told him 2007 wasn’t going to get any better. I could certainly be wrong, but Saban has never struck me as the kind of guy who would shy away from a challenge, unless he knew the challenge wasn’t worth it.

Then, of course, there’s the money. Nick Saban has become the highest-paid coach in college football, and he hasn’t won a game in Tuscaloosa yet. For all appearances, it appears that Pat Forde is right, and Saban is just as shallow as, well, pretty much anyone else. Not surprising, but certainly disappointing. Those who keep their word and stick around to the end of their contract become increasingly rare with each passing season.

But, Nick. Alabama? Alabama? LSU fans would be glad to welcome you back to the ranks of college football, even to the ranks of the SEC. But Alabama? Of all the teams you could have chosen to come back to, you have to pick the one with the most obnoxious fans in the Southeastern Conference. Fans who, though some of them aren’t old enough to remember Bear Bryant, pine for the glory days of Alabama football, and hope to see the ghost of the Bear return again to lead them to another championship. (And it doesn’t help that the same sports punditry which lauds USC and Notre Dame today for what those schools accomplished in yesteryear, do the same for Alabama and the days of Bear Bryant, as if there are no other schools in the south playing football and winning national championships.)

Then again, perhaps the Crimson Tide will get what they deserve. They want to win, and Saban has shown, at the college level at least, that he can deliver in that department. (After all, under Saban the Tigers were undefeated at Bryant-Denny Stadium, so we know it’s possible for him to win in Tuscaloosa.) But as Ivan Maisel points out, Saban is no Bryant, and now, having shown his true color—green—Alabama fans should in no way place any amount of trust in Saban sticking around for the long term. He may bring them a championship, but it’s unlikely he’ll deliver what they most lust for: a dynasty.

posted at 4:24 PM in football
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links for 2007-01-03

posted at 12:21 AM in links
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ATPM 13.01

Welcome to 2007! The January issue issue of About This Particular Macintosh is now available. With this issue, ATPM enters its thirteenth year of publication! I am very proud to be a part of this staff, and would like to thank all of the staffers for a great 2006. I’m looking forward to the next twelve months of celebrating “the personal computing experience” with all of you!

Our thanks to Charles Anthony for this month’s cover art. We’re always looking for artwork, so if you’re interested, please let the editors know.

Recently, Michael and I had a discussion regarding sponsorships for the publication. ATPM has always been a free, volunteer-staffed magazine. We don’t make a profit, and any monies generated by sponsorships or ad revenue is pumped back in to the publication’s hosting costs. With twelve years of issues hosted online, the potential of high bandwidth costs is always hanging over us, and our parents taught us the value of being prepared for a rainy day. The result of our discussion is that ATPM will no longer accept direct sponsorships or advertising or advertising. The revenue generated by the Google and Yahoo ads you see on the site, coupled with those of our affiliate shopping links, is currently sustaining us. For those former sponsors and direct advertisers, we thank you for your sponsorship and enjoyed the many relationships they enabled. Our best wishes to your respective companies in 2007. If you enjoy reading ATPM, please help us cover our costs by clicking on the ads which may be of interest to you, and using the affiliate shopping links.

As the new year dawns, we welcome two new staffers. Linus Ly will be assisting on the editorial side of the fence, helping lay down the grammatical law in the copy-editing trenches. Chris Dudar is very much in to 3D graphics, and will be covering applications in that realm. We’re glad to have you guys on board!

Mike kicks the new year off by exploring his hopes and dreams in the Macintosh realm for 2007. Lee continues the Photoshop for the Curious tutorial, with Palettemania! He also provides some outstanding fireworks photos for this month’s desktop pictures section. Speaking of outstanding, er, out-stepping, er, stepping out—yeah, that’s it, stepping out—Cortland learns that some times you have to swing in the right direction for the one you love.

Wes reviews Audio Hijack Pro, a tool I’ve found quite useful in making my own MP3 ringtones. (You’re not actually paying three bucks for a ringtone, are you?) I found coconutBattery, examined for the ATPM readership by David Thompson, fit the bill last year (wow, it really was last year) in diagnosing my PowerBook’s failing battery. As noted above, Chris Dudar opens up the 3D realm to the ATPM readership, this month with a review of DAZ/Studio, better known as D/S, and this one’s not from Nintendo. Finally, Lee’s not as impressed with the iTalk Pro as he was with the original iPod recording unit from Griffin.

You can always find ATPM in a flavor of your liking, and we hope we can serve many more appetizing morsels in the coming year.

posted at 12:06 AM in Macintosh
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Monday, 01 January 2007

links for 2007-01-01

posted at 12:20 AM in links
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