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Showing posts from January, 2005

2004 Steelers R.I.P.

I originally wrote this in MS Word the night of the Steelers loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. I couldn't post it because I lacked Internet access at the hotel:

It’s frustrating to become emotionally dejected because of the outcome of an NFL football game. I guess my hope got in the way of reason, but I really thought the Steelers were going to win tonight. The problem with losing a playoff game, especially a championship game at home, is that you understand how hard it was to get to this point, to put yourself into this position to advance to the super bowl. All of the sudden, the ultimate goal is out of reach, and all of the season seems for naught. It seems improbable that you will be able to repeat the success of this season so quickly again next year. The wait until the next season seems imbearable. You want next season to be here right now, for another shot at the title. But, rationality informs you that you will unlikely be in such a great position …

Adios, Estados Unidos!! Hola, Puertos de Aventureros

We are departing KC tomorrow at noon. We would leave earlier, but I am scheduled to be a lector at church at the 11:00 mass. We will try to leave right after mass so that we can be sure to arrive in St. Louis to settle into the Marriott in plenty of time before the Steelers kickoff at 5:30.

Our plan leaves from St. Louis at 6 AM Monday morning, so we will need to be at the airport around 4 or 4:30, since we need to go through customs. Early! However, we will all be super-excited, and I don't anticipate anyone will have trouble getting out of bed.

We will be spending an entire week at an all-inclusive resort in Puertos de Aventureros, Mexico. We plan to swim, bask on the beach, visit some ruins, tour a rainforrest, swim with dolphins, snorkel and potentially scuba-dive.

It will most likely be dark on Streams of Consciousness for a little over a week, unless I can find an Internet connection to give periodic updates. However, if I don't get a chance to write while I am in Mexico…

2004 AFC Championship Game, Patriots vs. Steelers, January 23, 2005

What to say about tomorrow night's game? Naturally, I've been thinking about the game all week long. I am far from a shortage of thoughts raging through my head regarding some of the things I have read, seen or thought about with respect to this classic matchup of teams that combined in the regular season for 29 wins. But, I don't think I'll write too much. Different people have different opinions. Stats can be cited to support any viewpoint. I will say this:

Personally, I am more excited than I am nervous. I just want the game to begin, because I think it is a great matchup. I am not necessarily predicting that it will be an NFL classic for the ages, because ANYTHING could happen. However, it certainly has the ingredients for a historic type of game.

The Patriots are favored, and the Steelers don't seem to be receiving the majority of votes from the 'analysts.' However, this Steelers team (like the Patriots, I might add) are extremely well-coached and focu…

Ukrainian man hasn't slept in 20 years--Now that is insomnia!

via kottke:

Ananova - Ukrainian hasn't slept in 20 years

File this under 'simply unbelieveable'. Even doctors have not been able to get this man to sleep. Maybe he should watch the Lifetime channel!

Imagine how many books this guy could read!! I wonder if he gets tired? This effectively adds 25-30% time to his conscious life. Assuming it is quality awake time, that is quite a bonus. Heck, I can barely go 12 hours without sleep!

The buzz over satellite radio

CNET's quick guide to satellite radio - CNET reviews

CNET's quick guide to satellite radio - CNET reviews

I seem to be hearing more and more about satellite radio. My dad even bought some Sirius stock. I don't know much about this concept. I don't listen to much radio--mostly NPR, of which I could really care less about the sound quality. Sometimes reception is a problem, but not often. The biggest area that interests me is sports. Both XM and Sirus have been contracting with major sports leagues to allow the broadcasting of games. This would come in handy for listening to Pirate games in the summer. In recent years, I have been listening to the Pirate games over the Internet at home. A satellite radio tuner would theoretcially allow me to listen to games in more places. Then again, with my new wireless network at my house, I'm not so tethered to my desktop computer for Internet access. Some of the receivers and services seem relatively cheap. This might…

Web-based application fear

Does anyone else worry about one of the many excellent web-based applications that they use suddenly crashing, charging fees or otherwise becoming inaccessible? This is a growing worry of mine as I find more and more useful web based applications. Right now, the ones I use most often are:

Blogger
Bloglines
Del.icio.us
Flickr

These are all great services that I am increasingly using. I don't think I would suffer great harm if any of these crashed in the near future, but after years of using such services, it could be a major problem. Maybe I am being cynical or pessimistic. Maybe this is the risk of using a free online web service. I wonder if there are some kind of backup utilities available for any of these services (not that I would use one at this point.) I also wonder if there would be a place for some type of innovative "blog insurance."

Steelers Talk

I told myself that I was not going to read much commentary this week leading up to the Steelers/Patriots AFC Championship game, but I can't resist. It's reminicent of the addiction I had to political blogs during the run-up to the election. Although I think the Steelers will respond better as underdogs than they would as favorites, I am surprised at the negative press they've been getting in general, and the small chance they are being given by most pundits of winning on Sunday. Let's not forget the Steelers do have some advantages:

They are playing at home, where they have not lost this year.
Indeed, they have only lost ONE game this year.
Position by position, they match up well with N.E. I think they have a physical advantage at most positions.
Dick LeBeau has historic success against N.E.'s type of offense.

There is a certain mystique that seems to surround N.E., and after winning two out of three Super Bowls with last second field goals, and then posting a…

The Federal Censorship Commission

Yahoo! News - Fox Blurs Cartoon Rear End on FCC Worries

Networks are rolling over in front of the gestapo-like FCC. O.K., maybe that is too harsh, but this is getting ridiculous. I also read in Time magazine that Fox is refusing to air a commercial during the Super Bowl that shows Micky Rooney's backside flesh. As Rooney himself said, "there is nothing sexy about that!"

Trains :: NYC High Line, 2/29/04 (kottke.org)

Trains :: NYC High Line, 2/29/04 (kottke.org)

When I was reading Esquire's December issue of the Best and Brightest, I ran across a feature of an architect that was developing NYC's High Line railway into a unique blend of walkways, parks, etc. At least if I remember correctly, it was the High Line. Anyway, I thought I had remembered reading someone's blog one time that had pictures of the High Line posted. Well, I just ran across it again today. It was kottke's blog. He toured the High Line a while back, and posted about 20 pictures of it. It really is quite amazing what the architect is going to try to do with this project. If I can find more details on the web, I'll post them.

Curtis Martin a football star by accident--from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

AFC Playoffs / The Jets: Curtis Martin a football star by accident

Today's Post-Gazette ran a dossier on Curtis Martin. I have always been a Curtis Martin fan, and this article increased my respect for him. It is interesting to hear such an excellent running back say that football is not his "life." It's reminiscient of Ricky Williams. Believe it or not, to some of these guys, football is just their job, albeit a high-paying job in some cases. On the surface, it is surprising to learn that Curtis didn't follow the Steelers when he was growing up in Pittsburgh. However, upon further reflection, when you think about his difficult circumstances growing up, you can understand how football wouldn't be all that important. He says that New York is his new home. I wish that he would make Pittsburgh his future home, but I'm sure that he will always have a positive connection with the people of Pittsburgh. I hope the Steelers beat his team tomorrow, but I l…

The No Fun League

Yahoo! Sports

Please!! Look, I don't condone mooning the crowd at Lambau field, for the primary reason that I wouldn't want to upset big, drunk, Wisconsin cheese head dudes. But, this is getting a little ridiculous. First, the NFL fines John Lynch for a hit that looked pretty darn legal, and at worst, borderline. Now, Moss gets fined for pantomooning after a touchdown catch. I've been watching nfootball for a lot of years, and I've seen much more "offensive" behavior and gestures on the part of the players. Let's face it. The crowd gives these guys hell. No, the players shouldn't react, but they are human. I would rather see a fake mooning than a player charging into the stands a la Ron Artest. For all I care, let Jake Plummer flip off his fans. Let Randy Moss moon the crowd. If the league is so concerned about this type of behavior, they should stop promoting tough hits and stop allowing the networks to show players on the sidelines. The …

The New Yorker: The Talk of the Town; ODB mistaken identity

The New Yorker: The Talk of the Town

via Sean, via kottke.

This reminded me of a story I once heard on one of NPR's programs about a guy with the name Willie Nelson. I don't think it was even his real name, but he thought it was fun pretending to be Willie Nelson. People would call his answering machine and leave detailed stories, cry and otherwise ramble on. One day, the "real" Willie Nelson called and left a message, wondering if the guy's name really was Willie Nelson, because the "real" Willie didn't think there were too many Willie Nelsons left in the world (of course, this seems like it would be a popular name, to me). Anyway, the "real" Willie Nelson was a bit upset (in a polite Wille Nelson kind of way) that somebody was listening to messages that were meant for himself. He felt it was an invasion of pricacy toward the people that left the messages. I tended to agree with him, and so did the "fake" Willie Nelson, who…

Technosatire

I found this via Sean's website. It is funny.

Audio Posting

Hmmmm, I made some audio posts earlier this evening that have not shown up on my blog yet. It's been at least 5 hours since I've called. I don't really miss them, because they were mostly trivial posts, but it does make me wonder if using audio blog is always a reliable service. I would hate to make an important post, and then not have it show up. Of course, such are the risks of technology. My guess--they are probably suspended in cyberspace somewhere, and will appear on my blog in the near future.

Novelty Car Horns

The Late Show with David Letterman had on its "know your current events" segment this evening. One of the categories was "know your novelty car horns" in which the contestant had to guess the song of which the car horns were playing.

This reminded me of Pappy's car horns on his antique Model T Ford. Good memories. I remember how Pappy used to take us for rides throughout the southwest Pennsylvania countryside. We always felt special, as we were allowed to "toot" the many varied horns that he had attached to the car. One of these days, I'd like to post a picture of his old Model T, and write more about my cherished memories of Pappy. It's been almost 5 years since Pappy passed away, but he continues to be a strong influence in my life.

ABC News: People of the Year: Bloggers

ABC News: People of the Year: Bloggers

ABC report on the importance of blogging, via the Blogger website.

The Goddess Athena

The Goddess Athena

Here is a link to an interesting website regarding the goddess Athena, the goddess of wisdom in Greek mythology.

Us.ef.ul (beelerspace)

Us.ef.ul (beelerspace)

A good essay on why to use del.icio.us....

Great Performances . Leonard Bernstein's "Candide" in Concert | PBS

Great Performances . Leonard Bernstein's "Candide" in Concert PBS

I clipped a review from People maganize a few days ago regarding this PBS showing of "Candide." It caught my attention because I recently completed reading this Voltaire classic. Of course, if I would have seen this review two months ago, I would have had no interest. Indeed, I would have had no idea what (or who) "Candide" even was. Since I now have a cursory knowledge of "Candide", this show interests me. I remember reading in my encyclopedia that "Candide" had been adapted into an operetta by Leonard Bernstein. The PBS show, courtesy of the Great Performances franchise, is based off of the Bernstein operetta.

Since I missed the original airing of the show at 7 PM, it forced me to relearn how to program my VCR. It was actually quite simple. Now, I've got the VCR set to program the 12:30 AM airing. Programming the VCR reminded me of when I was a kid, and when I …

Mark Cuban

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Wireless surfing

My new wireless router has enabled me to reach yet another milestone on my path to ultimate laziness:

I can now surf the Internet from the comfort of my own bed!! (Pathetic, but cool!)

Yahoo! News - Steelers QB Gives $18,000 to Tsunami Aid

Yahoo! News - Steelers QB Gives $18,000 to Tsunami Aid

Ben Roethisberger is the genuine article. This guy has class, and he plays for an organization that is the epitome of class in the NFL. I, like many fans, can become 'fair weather' during times of poor play, but I am always impressed by the way that the Rooney family runs the Steeler organization, and how they contribute to the city of Pittsburgh. Roethisberger's action is an awesome indicator of his character, which translates to his leadership on the field. I'm sure that this donation will receive plenty of publicity over the coming week, and I'm sure some will cynically observe that, among other things, $18K is a paltry amount to a millionaire (or soon to be) quarterback. Still, I haven't seen any other quarterbacks step forward with the same proposal, yet. Some will likely see it as a calculated action to bring publicity to himself. Such is the cynicism of the sports world and its fans. At the ri…

Privatization of social security

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Google Toolbar Help

Google Toolbar Help

Sweet! I just downloaded the google toolbar on my laptop computer. I have had the google toolbar on my desktop computer at home for some time, but I hardly ever use my desktop computer anymore. The Blogger button is really handy, allowing you to post a page to your blog immediately. This beats the old way that I was posting pages, usually by some arcane cutting and pasting mechanism.

Portable computer memory

During my first week of orientation, my company gave me a Lexar Media JumpDrive, which plugs directly into a USB port on the back of my laptop. Evidently, this is the "new" way to store data on "disc". No more floppy discs. My laptop does not have a floppy disc drive. I suppose I could attach a floppy drive remotely to my laptop, but I shouldn't have to do that with the JumpDrive. I've never actually used it, but I finally took it out of its package today. I plugged it into my laptop's one free USB drive (my mouse also uses a USB port), and Windows immediately recognized it, and mapped it as my E: drive. It's very easy to use. I copied over a file from my desktop using Explorer. I didn't need to format, partition or do any other technical hooey after plugging it in. That is true plug and play! According to CNET, the price range on my particular model, the Lexar 128MB Jumpdrive Flash USB Mini Storage Device is $26-$48. 128 MB is not a…

2005 Merriam-Webster Words of the Day

1/1: emancipation (n)
1/2: soigne (adj)
1/3: coterie (n)
1/4: emote (v)
1/5: redoubtable (adj)
1/6: couloir (n)
1/7: claque (n)
1/8: doughty (adj)
1/9: trenchant (adj)
1/10: injunction (n)
1/11: earwig (v)
1/12: serendipity (n)
1/13: tendentious (adj)
1/14: Typhoid Mary (n)
1/15: efficacious (adj)
1/16: emprise (n)
1/17: importune (v)
1/18: fiduciary (adj)

What would you choose for your final meal?

Now, I love pizza, tacos and chili alomst equally. I'm also a big fan of gereral Mexican and Chinese food. Not too big on sweets, and never have been, but I'll eat chocolcate if its laying around. I like burgers, steak, pork, turkey and all kinds of meat. There is just so much, and I like to eat a large percentage of it. But, for my last meal, I'd have to choose:


Raman Noodles

Jaq linked a post about Raman Noodles on Byzantine's Shores today, and he added some commentary of his own. I provided my take on The Noodle Of Choice in his comments section. Quite simply, I love them.

Home Network

Finally, after toying with the idea for years, I purchased a wireless router/switch yesterday at Best Buy so that I can create a network at home. Of course, I only have one computer at home (desktop) and one computer from work (laptop), but I plan to buy another computer soon. It will be nice to be able to share resources such as my scanner, printer, Internet connection, etc. I bought a Linksys router. Linksys is a division of Cisco systems, probably one of the companies that Cisco bought out in the past 5 years. According to CNET, the Linksys router is a good choice, and easy to set up. Networking terminology confuses me, and security confuses me even further, but I am excited to see if I can get it working. We are going to have a wired (or wireless) house!!

Update: Well, after fiddeling around with the settings of the router, the encryption and both my desktop and laptop computers for about 2 hours, I finally enabled a wireless connection to the Internet from my laptop. Unfortunatel…

Some "surf-storming" links...

How the brain works, courtesy of How Stuff Works

A description of art, courtesy of How Stuff Works

All about the "digital home", courtesy of CnET

The homepage of the Pulitzer Prize website.

Peeing in the snow, really.

Daddy Eric and his boy

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Daddy Eric and his boy