Monday, October 29, 2007

It must have been me

I just realized that since I went into business in 2004, the Red Sox have won two titles. I apologize for taking so long to get started.

I didn't wake David up for this one. He has school in the morning, and although fantastic, it's not historic like 2004 was. Still pretty darned cool, though. And especially for a team that looked absolutely cooked just over a month ago.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Here, kitty kitty...

Leopard has come to the Turiel Mansion, and here are my very quick thoughts:

- No idea what it really means for battery life, because Spotlight has been reindexing since it finished installing. I was down watching TV and reading, and it sucked the battery pretty dry in that time. After the reindex is done we'll be able to get some real numbers.

- It had to recreate my .Mac iDisk. Hopefully it's using a .sparseimage file now (I will check tomorrow). Blocking off all that disk for very little content has been annoying.

- The new, informative AirPort menu is spiffy. So is the new Network system preference.

- The translucent menubar and menu is very visually bleh. It really needs more opacity. 3rd party opportunity present!

- Quick View is a nice feature. The live icon previews are a little tough to get used to, but handy.

- The new folder icon look is not good. Very industrial, and not as useful as the old ones (the icons are more difficult to discern the "special" symbols on them for system folders)

- Mail is spiffy. iCal is fast. No server experience yet for another week or so, so I can't tell you if the iCal server's any good.

- Bonus feature: My MS Wireless Laser Mouse 800 now works fine - no hoops necessary. The Mac just pairs with it. Before, I had to repeatedly power-cycle the mouse to get it to work, and go through a weird procedure with BT File Transfer to get it to work at all (it's not Mac-compatible in theory without the special MS dongle, but I'm stubborn and I liked it's ergonomics). I turned the mouse on and it saw it, filled in the info properly and just started working.

- No noticed incompatibilities so far. Office appears OK. No CS3 testing yet. It's bedtime.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pre-Series random thoughts

- Papelbon is one strange dude. And I love him (in a manly way) for it!

- After all the fuss, Matsuzaka gave us about what you'd expect from a decent number 3 starter. 5 innings, 2 runs, sort of shaky towards the end but enough for the win. He should be better with some rest in Game 3 of the Series. I think Wakefield will be a little better as well.

- I'm told that there was more riverdancing tonight. I think I am glad I missed it. Though it will be repeated on-air for the next three days...

- Dustin Pedroia's got a pair. They may be bigger than he is. Youkilis, too.

- Kevin Millar's throwing out the first pitch was strange. Righteous, but strange. Isn't he a current player on a division rival?

- Why didn't Lofton get sent home? Not complaining, but you've got to play for the tie opportunity there.

- Was anyone really expecting JD Drew to hit another grand slam? Even I wasn't fantasizing about it (OK, maybe I was a little).

- I miss Orsillo and Remy. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver make me wish I was adept enough to synchronize my radio with my TiVo to get the WEEI broadcast. Even though they replaced Trupiano with dual sucktards this season.

- How many of you were expecting Beckett to drop a few F-bombs during his MVP speech, just because he's entered the "I'm Keith Hernandez!" zone. He could say or do anything, and just pull it off because he is absolutely Da Man right now.

- And wasn't that last Coco Crisp catch amazing? Good thing he was saved on the bench all game to keep him fresh for that moment.

- If the Sox win the Series, does Gagné get a ring? Or should it be a special "despite your contributions" ring?

(Yes, I thought it was a great deal at the time. We all make mistakes. Let's try and move on, shall we?)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

12-2, and...

Eric Gagné is in to pitch the top of the 9th in this blowout. Call him the Human Victory Cigar. Even he can get through three outs without giving up more than 9 runs.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

State of the Tooth

As most of you know, I am a sucker for a Bluetooth headset. When the latest, greatest stuff comes out I just have to try it. It's a relatively cheap habit. And I've been through a bunch of them. As of right now, I own five different ones, three of which are in my regular rotation now. Here's a short summary of the ones I've had so far, their strengths, weaknesses, and fates (the three current ones will be at the end):

- Jabra BT250: Huge. Great battery life. State-of-the-art at the time I used it (back about 5 years ago). Long since retired - David used to play with it and pretend he had a headset like Daddy.

- Palm Treo wireless headset: Not bad, relatively compact. Good battery life. It had a really annoying light on it. I gave it away to a tech freak at one of my clients.

- Jabra JX-10: Worked better with my Treo than any other headset. Light. A little uncomfortable for some reason, and had very good sound for a device with no DSP. It broke after about a year.

- Plantronics Discovery 645: Very good sound, but was unstable as hell with my old Treo. The battery life was awful. I tried to resurrect it when I got my iPhone and it was more stable, but the battery hadn't aged well and it could only hold up for about two hours' worth of talk. Currently sitting on the back of my desk at home, where it blinks forlornly every day or so.

- Cardo Scala 700: Very good sound, great battery life, cheap, and it worked well with my Treo. But it was also really uncomfortable. I used to keep it in my car as an emergency headset, since it could hold a charge for months at a time.

- LG HBM-730: Nice, but horrible with my old Treo. When I bought Jane an iPhone, I gave it to her and its been a hit so far. Fits her well.

And now the keepers:

- Aliph Jawbone: Great sound. Great battery life. The noise cancellation works as advertised. However, it's not great in outdoor conditions with any breeze at all, getting the right fit is tricky, and it looks like you're wearing a blinking cheese grater on your face when it's on. I use it now when I'm indoors, typically at home. I used to wear it all the time but the Dork Factor was too high.

- BlueAnt Z9: It could be perfect. Really good sound quality, comfortable, and excellent battery life. The noise cancellation is almost as good as Jawbone, but not quite. It's easy to turn off the blinking (hold both volume buttons down for 3 seconds). And, unlike all the other ones I've had, it can be software-upgraded. Why don't I always use it? Because it's prone to interference from other devices. If I use it in a room with a lot of electronics, I'll have nasty noises occasionally getting in the way. I'm hoping that it can be fixed in software. If not, I'll probably have them replace it soon.

- Plantronics Explorer 520: It's dorkier than the Z9, but less so than the Jawbone. Pretty comfortable, very good battery life (I haven't killed it yet), and the sound is impeccable. No, it doesn't cancel out all the background noise, but it does filter it down somewhat. I wish it didn't blink, though. It's my current everyday headset.

Oh yeah - I'm really tired of 8:30 start times for playoff games, too. It's about to turn midnight, and the game's not over yet.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

If the Sox make it through this series

I think it's clear that they can't afford to waste a roster spot on Eric Gagné in the World Series.
Other than that, theur chances remain pretty good here.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I'd say I'm sad, but...

I'll miss playing the Yankees in the ALCS. Not. Seriously.

On the other hand, the Indians are playing really good ball right now, they'll have their fearsome top two starters rested and ready, and polished off the Yankees pretty easily. On paper, the Yankees are a much easier opponent. But I'd just as soon take my chances with Cleveland, thanks for asking.

Looking forward to Game 1 Friday.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The solution

I promised a few posts ago to solve the WWE's problems. Well, since today they announced that John Cena would be out 6-8 months from a pectoral tear, I figure now's as good a time as any to make my suggestions (even though I know nobody from Stamford reads this blog, and none of them would care if they did).

First of all - cut down on the number of chairshots and other high-impact objects. If you must use weapons, go back to the good old days of tin trashcan lids and objects you can cushion with your hands (like Triple H's sledgehammer - it looks nasty but he could whack a kindergardener with it - not mine, though - and not even cause a bump).

Second - more mat wrestling and holds. Yeah, it's not quite as exciting all the time as highspots (and Randall F. Orton uses chinlocks in 3-minute specials), but there's less chance of injury. Fans'll adjust.

Third - every wrestler should take at least two consecutive weeks off the road a minimum of twice per year. Stagger the vacations so as to not completely shut down, but even though WWE "Creative" is riding a horrible streak, they still can manage to handle it in their writing. Two consecutive episodes missed due to vacations will not kill a push if you write around it. And do it every 4-6 months after a feud gets blown off and it flows naturally.

Fourth - besides forced vacations, take the end-of-year holidays off. They pretty much do this anyway, but scale back the USO trip and run some more highlight clips. Nobody watches those two weeks anyways. And by most wrestlers having at least six weeks off during the year you should be able to cut down on a lot of those overuse injuries and the constant grind that puts a lot of the guys on meds to begin with.

Fifth - many of you have forgotten already, I'm sure, but before Dwayne Johnson was the thinking man's action hero and character actor, he was "The Rock" Rocky Maivia. And he was arguably the biggest mainstream superstar the business has ever produced, with two SNL hosting gigs (while still wrestling) and now a very lucrative Hollywood career. The thing is, he was a crappy wrestler. What he actually was (and still is), was a performer who mastered improv, had loads of charisma, and could take a crowd and work it. He didn't work from scripts. Rock had points to get a cross in a promo, and he made it work. In fact, virtually all the big stars were better talkers than workers (Ric Flair and maybe Kurt Angle excepted). They were so good they generally didn't have to bring five-star workrate to the table.

The current method in Stamford is to take performers and script everything they do in the hope of creating stars. What that does, though, is mess up characters and get in the way of a performer's really connecting with the audience. Wrestlers don't get into the business because they are great linereaders. And most of them sound lame enough to make my point. Sure, without scripting some of them might flop completely. But others will take their place.

Finally - save the giants to be special attractions, and lose the muscle freaks. The best of the big guys (Taker, Nash in his prime, Kane - to just name a few) don't have bodybuilder physiques. They don't need them. And except for maybe Triple H, I can't think of any mega-muscled guy (and H has shrunk a lot over the last few years) who was also a really first-rate worker or even that over to begin with. We don't need everybody to look like Spike Dudley, but more realism would be fine by me.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Playoffs?

Why the Sox will thrive in the playoffs:

- They've done a very good job resting regulars over the last couple of weeks and still managed to hold on to win the division.

- Curt Schilling has managed to become very effective even with his diminished velocity.

- Jacoby Ellsbury. Things happen when he's on the field.

- JD Drew appears to finally have started playing like he's capable of.

- Manny's healthy now.

- Same with Okajima. The rest helped (and with Dice-K, too).

Why there's no World Series in our future for 2007:

- Eric Gagné.

- Not enough bullpen (even with a healthier Okajima).

- Too much of a battle down the stretch - what have they got left?

- Yes, he's played spectacular defense. But offensively Coco Crisp's been a black hole for much of the season. Awesome trade bait, though.

- Kevin Youkilis is exhausted.

- Same with Varitek.

The actual results? We'll see. At least they didn't pull a Mets (I was really worried about that until a week ago).

Meanwhile, we spent the weekend in New Jersey - Jane's dad was given a nice honor by a local business group to recognize all he'd done for the town in his career. Cool, except the catch was we had horrible traffic en route, stayed at the hotel, and were back on the road by 11AM Sunday. So we really didn't get to spend any quality time, which David would have really enjoyed. He did get to swim a lot with his cousin in the afternoon Saturday, which was good. I hung out in the pool with the two of them for an hour or so and then left the supervising to others.

He had a blast, but finally he slurped down enough water that he got out and barfed on the patio (a lovely mix of pool water and pizza - bleh). He was fine after, though. And he was pretty good for the most part. A couple of moments here and there, but he was also pretty tired from all the travel and the weird hours we were sleeping due to it. No harm.

We got home last night at 6:15 (after stopping for 45 minutes in CT so we could have lunch and I could fix my mom's printer) - I was out right after to go fix a server back in Beverly. Got it done, though.

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