Sunday, January 29, 2006

Football, Video Game Fridays, and website upgrades

Playoffs for Football

So it is time for me to eat crow or whatever that phrase is. Or maybe I should say eat my Seahawk poo. They won when I had predicted that they couldn't. I could run this down to the psychological aspect that was that the Seahawks were one of the few teams that had never been to the big game along with my beloved and stupid Lions. Or that the fans went completely nuts after all the playoff games so far. And I mean nuts. Course Lions fans would do the same, but we don't have to worry about that. Sometime this next week I will post my not so indepth analysis and make another half-assed guess for the superbowl.

Detroit Lions

Maintain more Lions thoughts, we seem to have acquired a new head coach in the mold of Tom Conklin of the Giants. Someone who will run this team like a military harkening it back to when Lombardi and folks were running this league of blue collar workers. Only thing is the players are now multi-million dollar specialists and seem to work at their own pace, almost leaders in their own rights. In general, I think this is a good move. I hope that this also brings about a refocus on the Lions defense which I am a big fan of. I believe there is a lot of talent there and only needs a couple of tweaks. In fact, I think the defense for the Lions are responsible for more points being scored than the offense, but then again, that really isn't that hard with the Lions. We shall see with the draft in April and also with training camp in July and August. We shall see.

VG Fridays

So I set up my projector weeks ago, but that also corresponds with when I stopped playing Friday night video games with my friends. Not because of the projector but because I was either working or I had friends over to visit. People in person should get priority over virtual people even if they are real people. Mostly cause there were a ton of other folks playing and me not there is not a big deal. So this Friday, I decided to play. Right now there are only a handful of people that haven't migrated to the 360 so we few played a little Battlefield Modern Combat. Still a great game, but I have run into a number of problems where my version won't login to XBox live. When I select play online, it goes into the loading screen, but if I see a flicker (as if a window were closing and flashes in front of a screen) I know that it failed and is now hiding the error message. Also occasionally will hang when trying to connect to a board. Uggg. And to make matters worse, I have been playing on my old, archaic TV for the last few weeks and the low def has been driving me nuts, but switching to projector has it's own issues. The contrast ratio just plain sucks. So I can't see crap. Very irritating. Going from 30 points a map to 12, I now know that when I finally take care of some of my expenses and the baby stuff, that is the first thing on my list. Before getting a XBox 360.

Website Upgrades

I really didn't upgrade the boxes, but I finally got fed up with using phpWebSite as my content management system and installed Mediawiki on my server. Mediawiki is the software that runs the popular and controversial WIKIPEDIA and I have run that in various other places I have worked. I know other people are a bigger fan of other CMS, but I tend to lean toward different solutions for different feature sets. Tiki is nice, but I am not thrilled with all of it's features and prefer to install those separately and link them in a web like fashion. So at some point I am either going to install a Picture gallery software or sign up for flickr pro to handle my gallery management. Haven't decided. But either way, I will attempt to add more to the site and this gives me a better way of being able to put up various posts that I want persistent and whatnot.


Friday, January 27, 2006

Greedy S.O.B.'s

This is mostly aimed at the RIAA since the MPAA is complaining alot (yet).

Seems that for T.V. shows such as CSI and Lost make about $1.44 per episode from iTunes whereas they normally make $.57 for the advertising revenue for the show. I do not know if this includes production costs, but I can assume that if this is an apples to apples comparison, then regardless (assume $.40 per episode per viewer production cost....) the network is making a TON more money on downloads. So making the same assumptions on CD's and radio play for the RIAA, I can only make the assumption that their margin is much higher for their physical medium or no matter how much money they make they will still sue the customers. Seems awfully retarded. I think it is time for the distruction of the RIAA and let the labels work to sell their stuff. I am not likely to buy CDs because of my hatred for the RIAA. I would rather live in a music-less world then to pain those bastards.

I am a willing spender of money, but when I buy a CD and am punished by rootkits and various encryption schemes that destroy my experience, I have the right to take my money elsewhere. When they jack the prices of a 5 minute song to exceed that of a 30 to 60 minute TV show, I can do the same. My money can go to the TV networks instead!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Football: Conference Championships

Well Andy didn't do too bad. Missed as many as I did. However these events have made me rethink who is left.

Pittsburgh versus Denver

Now I feel that both games this weekend are going to be good games and therefore close matches. So these are both tough decisions. My personal feelings align more with Pittsburgh because I like the way they play defense and the style of offense they use. And on top of it, I am not a Bronco fan, it makes it hard to see anything other than a Steeler victory. I do have to hand it to the Bronco's in running some superb games and controlling the ball. They have a superb ground game as well as a strong defense that is quick. I am going to give this to Pittsburgh because of their emotional elements to this game as I feel we have two evenly matched teams with similar strengths and weaknesses.

Carolina versus Seattle

I am going to stick with my original prediction. John Fox is going to coach his team to victory. I know Carolina is beat up, but they are playing with a vengeance on this one. Seattle wants to win but there is a missing aspect of a player that is really pulling for it other than the MVP Alexander. The man can run. Holmgren is a good coach and puts together teams with lots of talent. Hasslebeck is a good quarterback with plenty of seasoning. The defense is a solid unit, but with some gaps due to free agency losses at the beginning of the season. Carolina has injuries plaguing the running back position, but has decent backups. Their quarterback is a workhorse. Their defense is flashy and inconsistent. Based on what I saw with the Bears and how they have performed this whole season, I put my money on the Panthers because of their inconsistency. Offensively they are going to run the same game they normally do, but defensively, I think this will be the week they put their stuff together and pull out a win.

As for the superbowl, I am leaning towards a Pittsburgh win. Which I might again chalk up to defensive inconsistency from Carolina. I won't be sure until the dust settles for the battles of the weekend.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A message from the fat kids

For the first time in human evolution do we have more calories consumed in the median of the population than they are burning. So what do we have but a growing level of obesity and specifically in the younger generation? One group of individuals has decided that the best course is to introduce a higher level of state control of society. Socialism in a non-equal society? So what are they really doing? Seems that Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is in league with The Center for Science in the Pubic Interest to bring a lawsuit against Viacom and Kellogg to stop having commercials for high-sugar cereals. Forcing them by using the government to attack their wallets. Almost sounds pseudo-capitalist, except there is the government.

So if parents are so concerned that they children are eating foods that are not good for them or contain too much sugar, why not just not buy it? It must be because Kellogg and Viacomm are responsible for the fact that their kids eat this. I guess these kids are using their allowance money on cereal instead of G.I. Joe and Barbie. I find this highly doubtful. Here is an option, since cereal has so much sugar, why not use it as a sweetener in such foods like cream of wheat and oatmeal? Huh parents? Or just not buy it?

Maybe boycott's are vogue. Maybe your conviction is not strong? Either way, I can only conjecture that you, as parents, are not strong enough to stand up for what is right for your kids on your own, that you need the government to step in.

So, Aaron, how do you really feel?

Well, I think we turn to government and law and PUBLIC funds when we really don't need to. First we are a very strong centralized government, which I am not that thrilled with. And then we are taking the funds that we pay into the government to help with education, roads, foreign policies, feeding the hungry, etc and wasting it on a totally frivilous lawsuit which involves many public servants. Totally idiotic.

In closing, we only avoid Darwin so long.

Rant set off by: Viacom and Kellogg sued over television ads

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Round 2 complete.

Well, another weekend at 2 and 2. For me the big surprise wasn't Pittsburgh versus Indianapolis, but more the Patriots versus Broncos. I could have sworn with the confidence of Tom, the running of Corey, and Patriots "D" close to old form, they would be unstoppable. I was so wrong.

The frustrating game for me was the Steelers/Colts game. The officiating really had it in there head that the Colts should have won. I saw 3 major miss calls. 3. Totally unexcusable. For the most part I can accept a couple mistakes a game. It happens, but these were easy to see. The one that stands out to me right now, was the calling of an incomplete pass instead of interception. IT WAS AN INTERCEPTION! There was a big 3rd down pass interference call that was never seen? I know there are mistakes but geez. Luckily the Steelers won, or I would be faced with the prospect of boycotting the rest of the Indy games even if it included the super bowl.

On a different note, I decided to try the game Starport: GE since I had heard interesting things about it. And it's free. In terms of a MMO, I don't see much, but for general feel, it is Civ plus asteroids. Try it, it's free.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Ninja Burger

Just recently bought a Steve Jackson game, Ninja Burger. Quite fun. Although this just isn't as fun as Munchkin. Premise wise, it has the potential of being super cool, but doing missions feel overly short. Maybe at some later point, I will reach a level of "role-play" that will make it super cool. Maybe.

In my reading, I am nearly complete with "The Search" by John Battelle. As much as I feel the author is pretentious and aloof, I find that this book has a high gold nugget to crap ratio. Great way to create ideas as well when it comes to internet technologies or perhaps adding internet technologies to other industries.

I think I will setup a book reviewing system for business books where I will measure their cool neat ideas against the amount of pages with bonuses for excessive amounts of what I consider bad ideas. Next business reading: E-myth masteries.

Of course, I couldn't let my fun reading go to heck, so I picked up The Moon is a Harse Mistress for evening reading to unwind with. I really love it. I am kinda surprised by that. It really goes into creating a revolution and the parts and pieces. What I have particularly enjoyed is the creation of a new us vs. them mentality where one has changed... Was a U.S. versus Russia versus France versus etc, that has now changed to Loonies versus Earthlings. Very interesting.

Monday, January 09, 2006


Well as promised to ish, I am going to throw out my picks, which based on my previous scorecard, I will definitely be updating as we go through.

Washington versus Seattle

While Washington was able to beat my prediction last time with some incredible defense, they are now going against a team that has proven to be more than a match for many tough defenses. I feel the factor that will take down Washington is it's ineffectual offense. I rode the Clinton Portis bus at one point. He is amazing, but he went for someone doing almost 4 yard/carry to 3 this year. And that is with his explosive speed which means that most of the time he can't get out of the starting block before being tied up. I think that being said you have to take a look at the two QBs and it is easy to say that experience is nearly equal, but Hasslebeck is the better captain of the ship.

New England versus Denver

Well Patroits, you have taught me again to not doubt you. You have my vote this time. Denver's receiver core is mostly lackluster all lead by the scrambling man, The Snake. Sorry but you are going against a LEAGUE LEADING 4100 yard QB in Tom Brady. I am still a little shocked at the number. From Tom "friggin'" Brady. Plus you throw in Corey Dillon? No contest. Luckily for the Patroits, they can get a bit of rest for their secondary.

Pittsburgh versus Indianapolis

Peyton and Edgerrin and Marvin have enough to say without me spouting off. 'Nough said.

Carolina versus Chicago

GAME of the WEEK. You can't win if you can't score and I don't think the Bears defense is going be able to score for the offense so we are looking at an amazing defense struggle, but I don't think Carolina will up the turnovers to allow the Bears to win. This is also the game I am swaying the most over. Bears could upset just due to the fact that Carolina defense seems to have only two speeds. 150% and reverse.

Continuing on:

Carolina versus Seattle

New England versus Indianapolis

Carolina versus Indianapolis

We shall see.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Football picks Round 1

Washington Redskins versus Tampa Bay Bucs

Nothing against the Redskins, but the Bucs have an x factor in that of Cadillac Williams. The Redskins can put up a bunch of points but they are going to have trouble with Simeon Rice and Derrick Brooks. The Redskin defense has been hot and cold this year as some show of the Hogs of old and some games are ridiculous.

Jacksonville Jaguars versus New England Patroits

Again similar aspects. I am going against my better judgement to pick the Jags just because of Byron Leftwich and Jacksonville's D.

Carolina Panthers versus NY Giants

This is basically because I think Eli will fold under the pressure of a first playoff game. Nothing else.

Pittsburgh Steelers versus Cincinnati Bengals

I feel the Steelers just have momentum on this one. With Big Ben at the helm they just play well. Plus I feel the Steeler big D is going to show up big for this one. Cinci has some amazing big play potential and a solid offense, but their defense depends on turnovers that Pittsburgh tends to not give away.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Interesting Words

Over on the right you will see a link to interesting words. It is an application that was created by a friend of mine that takes a RSS feed and pulls out the commonly used words (minus the obvious ones) and puts it into a "Tag Cloud" format. Check it out.

Plus I wanted to manipulate it... poptart jesus poptart jesus poptart jesus

I am waiting for him to pop of the mirror and give me poptarts now. Bah.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Happy New Year... Late

New Years and Christmas were good this year. We spent alot of time with Karen and Ben who are leaving the great state of Washington. We played just a ton of cards and that was pretty darn cool. I now have my computer kinda setup in the new office as we have everything but about 6 pieces of trim around the door and window. Also I am missing a desk, but for a now a folding desk is sufficing.

Next is the baby's room before I tackle the last little bit of trim. I will be glad when that is taken care of. I must say, one thing about living in a city is that public transportation is suddenly an option. I now get a ton of reading done on the train.

I recently finished The Number of the Beast by Robert A. Heinlein. I am not really sure what he was thinking when he wrote that. It starts out be a sex novel and finishes off and a sort of self-bashing rehash of old characters. Just bizarre. I am sure that Andy the Poptart Jesus would be able to explain the book, but it just felt . . . not right to me.

So I now I am taking a foray back into the business side by reading The Search. So far it is light reading which has amounted to nothing more than Stanford lovin' and empty text. But enjoyable empty text.

One of the authors of fantasy books that I really enjoy is Raymond Feist. I had read a couple of his later series but I decided it was time for me to explore the works that started it all. So I read the first four books that he did and wow did I enjoy them. I did however like the series that I started with. Particularly the book that I started with in Shadow of the Dark Queen. His other stuff is good, but I like that one in particular.

So many books to read... after that either more Heinlein or the E-myth Mastery books.