Other stuff (not Wayne Shorter-related)

F1 racing – is getting ready to tear itself apart.  Teams refuse to be subject to standardized technology and budget caps.  To make matters worse, the proposed changes are voluntary, meaning that the 2010 Championship is expected to be a two tiered affair.  I’m very much in favor of some measure of fiscal control on the sport, but standardized technology takes away a key element that is really integral to the tradition and definition of F1 racing.  And a two-tiered championship is absolutely unacceptable.

Phillies – pulled out a nice squeeker tonight.  Hamels gets the win, although it seems he’s not quite as sharp and dominant as he was last year.  Same with Lidge – BIG TIME.  But he did get the save tonight and was a damned entertaining game to listen to.  Franzke is coming into his own (as Scott Graham did, a few years back) on those exciting calls at the end, particularly Lidge’s strikeout for out number two with two on in the bottom of the ninth.  Nice job.

John Scalzi – is a fine SciFi writer, a real professional.  He’s been blogging prolifically since 1998.  That’s some pretty good output for one guy.  Getting the benefit of really good writing on a daily basis is quite a treat.  But when its Scalzi’s twisted sense of humor, well then it’s priceless.  And, hey, it is priceless, totally free!  He recently featured an interview with a stick of butter, and today confronts his inner geek as he contemplates the purchase of a new computer powerful enough to play fancy new games:

As an example of this problem, note the picture above, of CyberPower PC’s “Lan Party Commander.” Leaving aside the name of the PC, which screams “I am encrusted in the residue of Cheetos and Mountain Dew,” this rig is one of the more subtly-designed of the gaming rigs CyberPower puts together, and it still looks like a cooling tower at Chernobyl. If I walk into a room and something is glowing like this thing is, my first instinct is to dive toward the lead shielding.

Read the entire post here.  I particularly like image of him encrusted in the residue of Cheetos.

WordPress – is ready to getting ready to go to 2.8 and only just installed this version (currently I’m using 2.7.1) on March 26.  That’s less than two months ago!  But it’s a dilemna because the last update (that I just installed) was terrific.  Fortunately, it’s still in beta testing, and I’m not feeling that adventurous at the moment.

Shorts and Stuff

Torture – Sorry about that nasty picture from yesterday, but torture is a nasty business.  I don’t want these pictures released because of some perverse pleasure that results from seeing them.  I want them released because they are horrible.

Trilok – His new record is called Massical and it’s coming out in the UK on 5/25/09.  The original date was to have been early this month, but clearly that didn’t happen.  When will I be able to get my copy?  Who knows.

Em’s extraordinary writing continues to wow people over at Planet Cancer.  Here’s an excerpt:

…wandering through the array of plants, designing my window boxes and picking out flowers for the back yard. I did it all myself. A year ago, standing in the heat would have been intolerable, and driving myself ten minutes to the nursery, unfathomable. But I did it. And I felt like Superwoman.

*  *  *

I realized, in amazement, that I could do it – make something beautiful, take care of something living, exert myself in the hot sun, and not collapse in a heap, crying with exhaustion. My plants are alive, and so am I.

You can read the whole post here.

Phillies – are killing me.  Yesterday’s mid-week, day game was a great performance by ace Cole Hamels with not offense against the Dodgers’ ace Billingsly.  Then we fell behind, then we came back and got the game to extra innings and then we lost.  Em and I checked out a little early to miss the traffic, but not the empty feeling of disappointment.  They’re starting a nice long road trip – hopefully they can figure things out away from home.


Glanville on Manny and Mom


Our former center fielder has been out of the game for a while, but he”s a distiguished Penn grad and has scored a column at the Times.  Here’s a link to his latest.

I like the column and the sentiment, especially the bit about Mom, but the Matrix anology is a disaster.  Sorry, Doug.  In the Matrix, Neo takes the hard way and suffers for the chance to save the rest of us.  In his baseball career, Glanville took the hard way by no going on the junk.  A fabulous world of supermodels and riches was kept away from him, but it’s not like he continued on as a drone attached to a malevolent machine that sought to manipulate and control him.  Good article, bad analogy.

Not going nowhere

2616159561_cf5e6547bfActually, the plane we were on was much smaller than this, but you get the idea.  The plan was to fly from Rochester, MN (home of the Mayo Clinic, get it?) to Chicago, enjoy two hours worth of the hospitality to be offered by O’Hare, then about two hours to Philly.  It all seemed so easy, so straightforward.  Alas, it was not to be.  Instead, we spent enough time sitting on the runway to get back and forth to Chi-town while waiting for the all-clear to take off.  Apparently the weather over the windy city was not going to cooperate.  Eventually, we taxied back to the terminal and decided we’d try it all again tomorrow.

Now we’re much happier and warmer, back at Em’s parents’ place.  The ‘sun’ room is serving as an excellent place to watch the rain fall all around and turn the garden green before our very eyes.  The Phillies are pounding the first-place Marlins (1213-1 in the 8th) and I’m sipping a bit of Earl Grey.  It’s all so peaceful and calm that whetever trouble I’ll have missing a day of work while in transit is outweighed by our current tranquil state.

Free at last!

Destroy your TV

Destroy your TV

We finally cancelled television at our house. What a relief. We never watch it. Programming is 99.99999% unwatchable. Everything is geared toward the lowest common denominator. The commercials are louder than the actual program. The ads for pharmaceuticals all make me feel like I have whatever dread disease is being described. Reality TV is not real. I don’t want my MTV. Anything that is worth watching can be seen via computer and internet.

Now, baseball is a different story. I have undying love for the Phillies under the worst of circumstances, but now, they are the defendning champions and they look like they could do some damage again in ’09. But you know what, I don’t need to sit and watch these games on TV. I have always loved listening to Phillies games on the radio and last year, even in the thick of a title hunt, we still preferred the radio. If they make the playoffs and we need to see coverage on the idiot box, we can head down to the local pub.

So that’s that. Goodbye Comcast. Don’t let the door hit you in the but on your way out!

Baseball = Steroids

We’re big baseball fans at our house, so this constant talk of the corruption and drug abuse in the game is depressing. On the other hand, how cool is it that there’s wall-to-wall baseball coverage all over sports talk radio and the web? Here are two excellent articles. The first is by Sam Donnellon of the Daily News. He’s calling out Fehr and Orza for taking the union too far.

The second article is a rant from a great Phillies comedy blog called The Fightins. I certainly don’t agree with everything in this essay, but if you want a rant with bile, invective and profanity, you will find nothing better. You can almost see the spittle on the keyboard!