Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Drudge Top Headine not Dean

At this point, the top headline at Drudge Report is Bush Wins.

This is quite boring. There are many more entertaining headlines.

Dean Goes Nuts comes to mind. Especially when you think about the implications of how that headline and others like it probably helped eliminate Dean from the Dems race.

And the scream still doesn't get old in terms of enterainment.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Belated Toronto Trip Pix

Here's a bunch of pix from our journey to Niagara Falls and Toronto that we took in September. Long overdue, I know, but it's been very busy around these parts.

I don't know why Frankenstein eating a Whopper amuses me, but it does. And that's Niagara Falls for you...striving to become a mini-Vegas:

The falls at night:

The falls at day:

Lori and a rainbow:

Both falls from the Sheraton:

Toronto from our room at night:

Toronto from the Casa Roma

Cool fountain in the Casa Roma garden:

T-Rex at the ROM:

CNTower Views:

Toronto skyline from the ferry to the island.

Riding a bike built for four on the island.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Some Fry's Marketplace Hope?

Last weekend, I drove by the old Mill Run Big Bear store, and noticed they were having a "HUGE GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE".

I thought they already were? I'm guessing they're selling all of the fixtures that they have yet to move from the prior liquidations. With any luck this means that Fry's Marketplace is still coming to Mill Run.

Watching the Wheels

So on Monday, my little sister's appearance on Wheel of Fortune was broadcast.

I have never been so amused by a broadcast of any show, with the exception of my 30 seconds of fame on the WCW Souled Out PPV, and 15 seconds on an old broadcast of WWF Raw (yeah, before they got sued to change their name). The main difference being, no one knew who I was. :)

Amy did really well in that she won some coin! She got to validate how short Pat Sajak is, and got to experience the vocal stylings of Oklahomans. Actually, that's what I learned from watching the show :)

So this shout out goes out to my sis! Way to go!

TED FM admits playlist driven by an iPod

It's Internet radio, over the air...and they now admit it.

Friday, November 26, 2004

TED FM, the oddest format in Columbus

So a few weeks ago, 103.9 FM in Columbus changed formats from a 70-80s hit rock radio station, to what they call TED "We Play Everything".

This can best be best described as taking everyone in your extended family, and pulling out every hit from their record collection, no matter how old, and playing it on shuffle.

Case in point. This morning around 6:30 AM, the station played, Unskinny Bop by Poison (yes, that Poison), followed by a bumper and A Hard Day's Night (yes, the Beatles), followed by Sunglasses at Night (and no I don't remember who did that). I've also heard artists like Peter Gabriel, U2, Pet Shop Boys, the Clash, Eric Clapton.

That's just a sample of the random shuffle. The station could almost be run by iTunes or some other PC jukebox running on shuffle and inserting bumpers and commercials where applicable.

Not sure how long this format will last, but I guess it may be one of the only stations that truly has something for everyone (as long as they're into pop/rock).

Thursday, November 25, 2004

New Game Reviews

It's been a while since I've posted. There's lots going on, but I'm not ready to talk about all of it yet.

So I'm going to go easy this time, and talk about a couple of new games that I've been played over the past few months.

First we need to talk about The Sims 2. The game is simply brilliant. While the original Sims was brilliant in its own right, it soon grew stale for those of us who just weren't into playing with virtual dolls. In addition, the immense number of add on packs just became gratuitous.

The Sims 2 takes it back a few steps. There are no pets, no acting career paths with games to advance. However, your Sims have lifespans, and offspring that grow up, and have their own children. They even have DNA. While that is cool enough, it's not the key part of the game to me. What makes this game more than playing with dolls is the aspirations and needs and fears. The fact that each character has his or her own goals for the short term and long term makes it much more interesting and challenging. That's what hooks me in for hours when I decide to pick the game up.

There are some pretty funny/disturbing elements of the game. The biggest being the Romance aspiration, which you might as well call the "Skank" asipriation. These sims want to "WooHoo" (at least they don't call it sex outright), all the time. They want to WooHoo with their significant other, friends, strangers whatever. They want to WooHoo in public (dressing rooms), they want to keep score with how many they sleep with.

The only thing missing is WooHoo diseases to make it more interesting (or maybe I haven't discovered that yet). Is that too sinister? I don't think so. I mean, when you get a goal that says, WooHoo with 5 different sims...

Then again, the most disturbing one was the Family aspiration where the woman had a goal for 10 babies! At least it's rated T for teen...but honestly, IMHO, it is borderline to an M rating.

Now of course, they've announced an expansion pack. Only took them what, 2 months?

So the other game, rated E, is Roller Coaster Tycoon 3.

Again another brillant game. Not as deep as Sims 2, but has more entertaining game play for me. That's mostly because it connects with my youth more clearly.

I remember spending afternoons playing in my room, or my little brother Brian's room with Matchbox cars and track, hooking it up to our dressers and creating these rollercoaster type setups with loops and everything. When it was nice out, we did it down the driveway outside.

This brings it all to life, as you get to ride your creations. In addition, you get tons of classic rides that didn't exist in the first two versions. The Rotor, the Zipper. It's great! Themed versions of rides. Night time lights, firework shows. It's a ton of fun.

I've pretty much played it exclusively since I got it, only to get frustrated with the crashes in the GoldRush scenario, which were recently resolved with a new patch. My only complaint is that Atari was slow to link the news. It's there now, but until yesterday, you had to go to Frontier's site to find out the scoop, and hear about the patch.

If you liked either RCT or RCT2, you will love 3. It's that much better in 3D with night and fireworks and the ability to ride your creations.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Microsoft and Piracy

Whoops! Microsoft has been delivering XP with files created by hacked software for at least 2 years.

I don't completely blame the developer who did this. Because more than likely they worked from home and had the software there, or they brought it into work. Why? I'm assuming it's because that software did a good job for them.

My question is, why didn't they ask to purchase the software they needed to do the job? Or did they ask? Were they rejected in their request?

Regardless, what's most interesting is that it took 2 years to discover this. If you're running XP, you should go and have a look for yourself. It's facinating.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Struts Shale 2.x and JSF

There has been a lot of talk throughout the Java community on the new Struts Shale proposal and its decision to embrase JSF.

As usual, I am highly confused and dissapointed in the "outrage" of many who see this as the death of Struts. There appear to be many JSF haters out there who want "their" open source framework to be used in place of JSF or just like to complain against anything Sun related.

Here's the way I see it. It's the only move Struts could make. They aren't replacing JSF, they're providing a framework to work within JSF. JSF provides a great API and set of configurations for doing dependancy injection based upon the page, session or application. It has a very nice view layer. I've enjoyed using it on a small app that I wrote at work for documentation viewing.

The Shale proposal takes the point of view that it would be silly to reinvent the wheel. Hence they are looking at using JSF's API as a link up to the view controller piece of the application. In many respects, they're looking to create a way to wire JSF with a bunch of other pieces and parts to create a platform to build applications upon.

This is really no different than IBM building JSF support into their Websphere and the developer choosing to use WDO to access business data. The developer is using JSF, but they're using some specific IBM technology to help out.

One needs to remember that JSF is an API, not an application. JSF is also an API for the view layer only. By deciding to use the JSF APIs, Shale doesn't need to reinvent the wheel and can concentrate on adding value in areas that JSF does not provide, like Dialog management, Authentication, etc. In essence, providing pieces to the application puzzle that don't exist in a nice concise package.

And yes, I'm sure someone will tell me that AppFuse does all that. But you know...even my non-technical management has heard of Struts and JSF, even if they don't know what it is. They don't know what AppFuse is. They don't know half of the stuff that is talked about on message boards. WebWork? Tapestry? HiveMind? No clue.

It comes down to this. Is it a standard? JSF is. If not, is it a defacto-standard? Struts is. That's 2 points. Next question is, can I hire someone who knows something about it. Yes on Struts, no on JSF, but that is going to change as Oracle and IBM roll out products to support JSF.

Struts Shale had only one goal, find a horse to hitch its cart to, and figure out what it needed to put in the cart. It hitched to JSF for view. From my perspective, there is no other horse to use.

Is Fry's Marketplace Still Coming to Mill Run?

All of the recent talk has been about Kroger Marketplace which opened its first store in Graceland shopping center this week.

But in the "way back when" machine, there was an article in the SNP in June that discussed that not only is Kroger Marketplace coming, but a Fry's Marketplace was going to show up in Mill Run where the old Big Bear existed.

But there's no activity at that store. Nothing being done at all. So the question becomes, was that article wrong? The email response I received from Kroger about the new store in June suggested that it was going to happen, but the lack of news is troubling. The Di$patch ran an article today that mentioned the 4 Kroger Marketplace's that were going in, but said nothing regarding the new Fry's store.

So Kroger, is it going to happen? Or not?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

It's over

Thankfully the election is over.

I hope that this stuff still isn't being talked about 24/7 when I get back to Columbus on Friday night. I can't envision Ohio actually switching to Kerry, but I suppose it's possible. Anything's possible, the chances of it just seem very very small.

Just let the thing end.

No more commercials.

No more campaigning.

Life back to normal once again. We should all be thankful for that.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The Big Day, and I'm Away

I cast my ballot for the election on Wednesday last week.

That's because I'm down in Atlanta for training this week. Really an odd time for training with the election, but I guess it's OK.

I'm actually quite happy since I didn't have to wait in a 2 hour line to vote. However, the consequence is that my vote won't be tallied for another 2 weeks.

I voted on a punch card. I have no idea how anyone could have a "hanging chad". It's so freaking eazy. You should always check the bottom of your card to validate that the hole you punched out is completely clear.

After voting via punch card, I do not know how you could possibly count any "hanging chad" votes. They should be all the way through, or invalidated. It's that easy to vote using these cards. It's common sense, and apparently common sense is no longer required to vote. This year we even had the Secretary of State in Ohio have a statewide ad on television and radio urging voters to check their ballots and be sure that the vote went through.

There is no excuse. If they do a recount...there is no reason that your ballot should count if the chad is at all connected to your ballot.

Anyway, I'm glad it's getting on. I want a decisive win for somebody. I don't even care who. Someone should win, and win big so we don't have these lingering questions for months like last time.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Annoying Bush Calls

So for the past 3 or 4 weeks, we've been getting recorded phone calls from the Republicans supporting Bush.

A few weeks back it was a redneck sounding guy, and this week it was Ben Stein.

It doesn't really matter who it is, but it's really freaking annoying to pick up the phone at 10:45 when you're getting ready to go grocery shopping and have it be some recording.

I'm guessing they're timing it so that people get the message on their voice mail or recorder when they come back from church. Either way, it's pretty damn stupid.

It's the one thing that really, really, really sucks about being in a "battleground" state. The amount of campaigning and ads is obnoxious. I'm pretty much numb to it, which is something that folks outside of the area may not understand.

To give you an idea, about a month ago, 25-30% of the ads on TV during primetime and evening news were political, and they were all Presidential ads. That meant you got at least one ad from a candidate or a 527 on each "block" of ads.

Now that we've added senate and local issues into the mix, we're probably running around 60-70% of ads being political.

Yesterday, "Get Out of my Way Traffic" on 1460 The Fan was brought to you by George W. Bush. The traffic guy read the reports, and then followed up with a Bush ad.

It's getting surreal out here. Last night I saw an anti-Bush billboard on US-33 heading downtown from Grandview that was brought to you by Rednecks for a Better America! Props for creativity on that 527.

I can not wait until this is over.

Mary Jo Kilroy "Dean" Attack Ad

So David Goodman launched what had to be the funniest of the local ads over the past couple of weeks. The ad attacks Mary Jo Kilroy using her support of Howard Dean as the prominent reason for sucking.

It's unfortunate the ad is not online somewhere, as you need to see it for pure humor. It launches several claims against Kilroy, after which Howard Dean's scream is heard. The "claim/scream" chain goes about 4 or 5 times, after which you're bursting out laughing.

That's just how funny Dean's scream still is.

Now, I've learned nothing from this ad, which makes it a straight up attack ad. I mean who cares if she endorced Dean? It's just going for laughs and it works.

Now, Kilroy has struck back with a radio ad which I've only heard on 1230 Air America in Columbus. This ad stars Howard Dean where Dean in a calm voice questions why would you talk about him, when he's not even running? He then endorces Kilroy and Kilroy approves the message and endorcement. It's a brilliant ad, but is that lost on radio? Maybe it's running on other stations, but why bother on 1230? Your base is listening to 1230 isn't it? Or is putting Dean out to the undecideds a bad move?

I guess I'm just surprised in that Goodman will get a lot of run out of his TV ad in a race where people just tend to look at the party next to the name and vote that way. Where's the Dean TV responce from Kilroy?

Oh well, I was surprised not to see anything about this ad online. But then again, it is just the Franklin County Commissioner race.

Friday, October 22, 2004

The Guardian Gives Up, Flops Like a Fish out of Water

Nothing more really needs to be said about this. Except, HA!

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Kerry Pool Reporter Hunting Report

Drudge has a post from one of the pool reporters for Kerry's hunting trip.

It is absolutely hysterical.

Hopefully we'll get some more reports before the campaign ends

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Struts vs JSF

This article has a good summary of why JSF is a good solution vs. something like Struts.

The basic advantage to Struts is its maturity and support. JSF grew out of some of the "mistakes" in Struts. They weren't really mistakes, but were just less flexible.

Anyway, I can't add much to the article. Check it out for yourself, and give JSF a try, it's a fun framework.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Operation Clark County

This is just sheer brilliance.

Thanks for pushing Clark County even more towards Bush! British Socialists. Nothing like people who don't even research what Clark County is trying to sway votes in the metropolis of Springfield OH.

Just read some of these royally screwed up messages:,13918,1326066,00.html

There's a reason there was a revolutionary war.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Crew Take League Points Title

Congratulations to the Columbus Crew for finding a way to make sure Greg Andrulis will stay around for at least another year.

By somehow having more draws than wins (12-5-13) the Crew wins the league point title and the Supporters Shield on the 3rd tie breaker. They now get down to business of the much more prestigious, MLS Cup when they take on New England in a home and home.

New England beat Chicago on the last match day to earn the right to play the Crew. As long as the Crew gets a draw out of choppy Gillette stadium, they should be well positioned for the match on Halloween evening in Columbus.

Unfortunately I probably will not be able to attend, since I have to go to Atlanta for training that week, and may need to leave on Sunday night. So, they must win so I can attend the semi-final match against the DC/MetroStars winner.

Friday, October 15, 2004

The Genius

Word has it that Senator Kerry is a big fan of "The Genius" as done by Lanny Poffo. I recently received this from an anonymous source.

Here's Lanny:

And here's the Senator:


I am normally not very outward with my politics. But this year, I have been. What has helped that is my neighbor who is part of the Bush campaign in the Columbus office.

So this year, I put up a yard sign.

So sometime between 6:15 am (when I came back home with Barkley), and 8:00 am when I left the house for work, someone replaced my yard sign with the opposition!

Thanks to this person of low class, I've now placed the "Don't Be a Girlie Man" Bumper Sticker on my rear window.

Because only girlie men stoop so low as to try to take away someone's free speech rights.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

What's the Big Idear?

Was that odd last night?

What was up with John Kerry's pronounciation of the word idea? It came out of nowhere and sounded very out of place. It was almost as if he reverted back to his childhood or something, as idea pronounced "i dear" as opposed to "i dee a" is a common Northeastern US pronounciation.

It just sounded completely out of place, and very strange. It was almost as if he lost his concentration or got rattled for a second.

Very odd. It may be that he hasn't said idea in a debate and that's why we didn't see it before?

Are there any other ideas as to why this came out that way?

Monday, October 11, 2004

Maybe a Better Tale

This commentary is probably even better than the one offered prior.

Yeah...why isn't Blair a liar too?

The sheer brilliance of this article can not be stated in words.

It took what I already believed and expounded upon it. I mean, everyone loved Blair when Clinton was in office...and now, you don't hear a word about him. Why is that? Everyone afraid to say something because he agrees with the President...and he speaks well, which of course makes the President look like he never passed 8th grade English. That's good when they don't agree...bad when they do.

It is unfortunate that this is the main issue that makes me choose which side to be on. This issue is by far #1, followed by economy and jobs. And on those issues, I stand by the President.

There are several which I disagree with him. The biggest you can figure out by clicking on the link under Important Posts. It's just that the risk of losing our choice is so small compared to the issues raised by terrorism. The fact that we have a debate on that issue right now speaks to our culture.

It's just not that important.

Good To Be in DC

Just in case you haven't seen the latest JibJab movie yet.

The McGreevey stuff is just...well...over the top.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

The Debate No One Saw

Drudge reported that the viewers for the debate were much lower for Friday's debate. NBC/ABC/CBS from 7.4-4.9 in terms of a rating.

Well duh! It was on a Friday. Now, in Texas, Ohio, most of PA, that's football night for high schools.

In Columbus, each big school game will draw about 4-5000 fans. With the number of schools in the area, it's a large percentage of the family populace out to the games.

In addition, if you're're on a date, or drinking with friends after a hard week at work.

So of course the ratings were lower. That's why this debate wasn't that important. It was imperative for Bush to get a draw to gain momentum, and he did that. But no one saw it. Everyone's learning about it from the media.

The debate in Tempe is the last debate and will be the most important. People will be around for that one.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Virginia for Real?

We don't know just yet do we?

Virginia came out lackluster against Clemson, but pours it on the second half. As I write this they are up 30-10, in control after scoring 14 points in the 4th quarter.

But, does it mean anything? So far they've accumulated over 400 yards, split 50/50 between rush and the pass, and defensively have been adequate, giving up 200 yards.

It doesn't mean anything though. Not until they meet up with Florida State next week. Their schedule has been weak, playing Temple, North Carolina, Akron and Syracuse. Clemson was supposed to be better than they are...but...they aren't.

I've seen Virginia lose to Florida State twice. They didn't just lose. They got destroyed. It will be about defense vs. offense on both sides of the ball, as the clear strengths will be on the defensive side this time. The games I saw, there was no contest between the Florida State offense and the Virginia defense. What should make this one different is that Florida State is having trouble at the Quarterback position.

One might do some analysis with the three games that will have identical opponents. Both teams beat North Carolina by 20+ point margins. And both teams will beat Clemson by about 3 touchdowns as well. Florida State will play Syracuse this weekend which might tell us something...Virginia won its matchup by 21.

All in all, it's setting itself up to be a huge matchup next week on ESPN, and maybe a visit from College Gameday in Tallahassee.

Crew Sets Record, Clinches East TItle

Yesterday, the Crew beat Chicago on a swerving slider of a set piece from Edson Buddle to clinch the Eastern conference title.

The camera angle for the goal on the FSN broadcast was one of the best I have ever seen. The ball drove around the wall and hooked hard right at the end to tuck into the upper right hand corner of the goal, leaving Chicago's Ring helpless. You saw this from ground level, directly behind Buddle as he took the short pass from Simon Elliot and drove it in the net from about 25 yards.

The 1-0 win gives Columbus its first conference title, and was their 16th game without a loss, setting an MLS record in the process.

I haven't been to a Crew game in quite some time, mostly due to other priorities. I was a season ticket holder for 4 years, but just didn't have the time to continue. It is great to see the club succeed. And you have to give tons of credit to Andrulis, who despite a large number of hardcore fans against him, has found success in bringing in a mulititude of veterans to guide an excellent group of young players.

It is a good feeling to eat crow on Andrulis and the Crew this season. I hope to be there on Halloween for the playoff match.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Two definitions of War on Terror

It amazes me how there are apparently two definitions to the "War on Terror".

Kerry apparently believes that you only eliminate the terrorist organization that has struck at you. Take out bin Laden and that's pretty much it.

Bush believes that you eliminate all terrorists.

At least that's what I got out of the debate last night. It was pretty clear when Bush outlined his plans in 2001 that bin Laden and Al Queda was just the first target.

Now, if you have had the opinion that you only needed to take out bin Laden in 2001, then good for you, I'm glad that you know where you stand and haven't budged. I disagree with you, but it's good for debate.

What gets me is the way the media and some Americans have suddenly shifted their thinking pover the past 9 months What will it take to get them to realize that what we're doing is the right and just thing for our security?

It's not about getting rid of Al Queda. It's about going into a place that you have a chance of being successful. Edwards brought up Iran last night. Gee Johnny, do you think we're all morons? Of course Iran is a freaking problem, but it's a much more difficult place to have a chance of success in. We needed to go in where you not only had the legal right...Iraq shooting at our planes for 10 years, ignoring the UN, etc....but you had a chance of success.

If you think Iraq is the last place we will go, then you're wrong. If the two Johns win the election, we will revert back to being an easy target. This is no longer about punching back when you've been punched.

This is about getting kicked in the groin, and seeing a line of people waiting to kick you again when you get up. Only this time, you crack the kneecaps of the next guy in line before you get up.

Is it that hard to understand the Bush Doctrine? Or is everyone so scared of the reality of the world that they're trying to ignore it all?

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Great Debate for Case

It was wonderful to see good ol' Emerson Gym turned into a well manicured debate stage. You could only see the refelection of windows from the "coaches" level of the gym once or twice.

Then you get the wonderful live coverage from Veale Convocation center, which was being built while I attended school. It was great coverage for the school, and a wonderful move by the administration to energize the top students in the country to consider Case.

When I was at Case, we often complained about the lack of social activities, or that nothing cool happened at Case since the Mickelson-Morely experiment. The best we could do was a Toad the Wet Sprocket show, an appearance by Carrot Top, seeing Major League 2 as a sneak preview.

Many students may not have been able to attend...which is very unfortunate. But some did. And those students won't be saying that nothing important or cool ever happened at Case.

As far as the debate goes, it's not going to change anyone's mind. But Cheney setup Bush very well for the Friday debate. It's too bad it's on Friday and no one will watch it...especially in Ohio with all of the high school football going on. Edwards hung in there, and attacked Cheney, except that he should have attacked Bush. Bush is running for President. Cheney did well not to answer questions that were dumb attacks. Edwards on the other hand, let Cheney get to him, which was not a strong stance.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Bush Sandbag?

I hope that this article is correct in terms of tactics. Otherwise, I'm very dissapointed in the President.

Bush did so horribly during the first debate. I know he stayed on topic, but that assuming that the public wants you to. These votes that are undecided (and I don't understand how you can be undecided at this point), are the target market. Not I, not Michael Moore. We've got our minds made up.

For the President not to take the bait shows a lot of smarts, but makes him seem very cautious. I did not listen to media reports before I thought that Kerry had a better showing at the debate. And if I have my mind made up, and I'm generally moderate/conservative in my politics, what do the true moderates think about what transpired last Thursday?

It will be interesting to see what happens in the 2nd debate and in the next few weeks as the Bush team trys to take advantage of the holes Kerry has left open.

Kerry running this country would be a horrible victory for those that oppose freedom and American ideals. American ideals have always been for America first, and that means positioning ourselves for the global marketplace. Moving into the middle east opens that ground to become part of the global economy. Some see it as being just about oil. It's not about oil. It's about creating markets for western (and hopefully American) goods and services so that those countries can begin to develop their own.

If we stay the course in Iraq and Afghanistan, we will allow those people to develop into the next Japan and Korea. That movement creates freedom, which nullifys fundamentalist movements. Even now the "liberals" in Iran are rising up attempting to overthrow their corrupt theocrasy.

This is why Bush must continue the work he's started. This is much more than bin Laden. This is about changing the world for the better so that bin Ladens do not manifest themselves, or are at least a small problem (like the psychos we get about every 10 years here). So as some on the left are doing, I'm doing what I have to do to convince you to vote for Bush. Kerry's plans will cripple the US economy and will isolate us from the world. We need to take a stance in the world, rather than let countries manipulate us.

Edwards & Cheney - smelling my sweat

Tomorrow, the Vice Presidental debate takes place at Case in Cleveland.

In the past, these have been the most entertaining debates, and I certainly hope that trend continues, since the first presidental debate was boring. About the only thing that was entertaining was watching the two morons sweat. Kerry sounds like a robot, and Bush sounded irritatted to be there.

Regardless, the best part about the VP debate is it takes place in Emerson gym. What's really great about that is what that facility was used for when I attended Case 10 years ago. It was an intramural gym. I've played basketball, volleyball and all other sorts of games on that floor, especially during my freshman year when we had to take gym classes.

I am happy for Case that it gets the honor of holding the event. I am very dissapointed to learn that classes had to be impacted as much as they were. Classes were cancelled for Tuesday. The Quad closes on Monday at 11 pm. There are no classes on North Campus. Sounds like someone should be throwing a party tonight. The new Veale convocation center has been closed since September 8, so they can build a huge media center. The workout rooms have been closed and students have had to uses 1 to 1 Fitness center instead (gotta be great for the football team).

But all in all this is great for the school. MTV comes and provides promotion for the school and gives them another place to consider. Parents get to see the school and think about it as a place for their children to attend.

But hey, just remember what they use that gym for, when debates aren't there.

And enjoy the smell of sweat.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

NetBeans 4 Still Rocks

NetBeans released the Beta 2 of their 4.0 product, and it's still looking great.

I'm now using it exclusively as my IDE in place of 3.6 and Eclipse. Once you "get" the UI, you'll never go back to 3.6, and probably won't see any need for least until the WebTools version of Eclipse comes out.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Islamic Europe?

There is a facinating article at the Weekly Standard called: Islamic Europe?

The metaphors for Communism and Islamic Fundamentalism are quite compelling and interesting. It helps to explain why people go to such extremes. It also explains why those driving that movement are able to stay in power with the same kinds of promises given to their people that the Communists gave.

Big ups to Sachin of BigSoccer for sharing this article.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Debate Tomorrow: Will it Entertain

Or will it blow?

I'm really concerned for myself. I'm looking forward to the debates tomorrow. Not because it should be particularly good, but because I'm hoping to be entertained.

I'm waiting for the train wreck, waiting for the WWF (err....WWE) style smackdown. But I think I'll probably be waiting for quite some time. Due to the negotiated ground rules I think it's going to be quite boring. Which is dissapointing.

In Ohio, we're getting bombarded with ads...90% of them are complete crap. They contradict each other, and quite frankly, I'm getting sick of them all. The Media Fund ads showing uneducated workers who somehow feel they should be in the middle class because they used to be...the Bush ads talking about health care...the Kerry ads talking about Iraq.

They all just suck. They're not entertaining. is entertaining.

But anyway...I hope I'm not holding out too much hope to be entertained tomorrow...I just somehow feel I will be, and for that I blame the GOP. Which sucks since I'm pretty much on their side in this one.

The Bastards!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Experimenting with JSF

I've been fiddling around with Java Server Faces the past few weeks.

I find it to be quite a compelling framework and very easy to work with once you get used to how it functions. I don't have any experience with Struts or and of the other alternative frameworks out there, but I can say this much. Using the limited documentation available on the net for JSF and the tons available for Struts, I was able to figure out that JSF could handle my needs in a much quicker fashion.

Once I figured out how it worked, it took me about 2 hours to get my first simple app up and running. The rest of the time I spent learning how JDOM and XSLT worked to read my XML documents in for presentation.

I am encouraged by JSF, and plan to recommend using it for larger apps, and will probably use it quite often for prototyping in the future.

RFK National Team Venue no more?

The impeding sale of the Expos to a DC ownership group could be bringing the end of national team matches at the old vernable venue.

And I couldn't be happier.

RFK was a nice facility for the team to use....but match after match of (at best) 50/50 support for the team has long overworn its welcome as a place for the USSF to rake in the coin.

The baseball team will make the facility marginal at best. That nice dirt infield will certainly make DC United matches barely tolerable. There is no way the USSF allows a match to be played on it...and if they do (even with sod)...the outrage will be immese from the online community.

I will love to see the National team playing in the new facility for United when it's built...but thankfully the days of highly partisan (anti-US) matches will be over in Washington.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Vacation Thoughts

Got back from vacation late on Thursday, but as you can see, haven't had the time to talk about it.

It was a good trip. We went to Niagara Falls, and then on to Toronto. Finally on the way back we hit the Detroit area.

Niagara Falls sure has changed since I was there last. I believe I was there when I was 13 or so. So it's been 16-18 years since I was there. Last time, I simply remembered the falls, the three observation towers, and the strip of tourist trap things that existed on what they call Clifton Hill.

Now, you've got even more things to do on the Hill, including the first Casino they built. But that's not the half of it. What is really interesting is the Fallsview area. This area is up where if I remember two of the observation towers to be. There's only one remaining. And that tower is hidden behind the enormous new upscale adult hotels that surround the new upscale casino complex in this region. It's almost like a mini-Vegas style casino, only it has no competition. The surrounding resorts are there and make no bones that their location is close to the falls and the new sparkling marble floored casino and shopping complex.

It seems like Niagara Falls has grown up. And it gave me a lot of hope. Because it just goes to show that although our Canadian neighbors lean quite a bit more socialist than we do, they understand that it takes capitalism to fund it. The place stinks of capitalism. I wonder how all the lefties in Toronto deal with it?

Which brings me to Toronto. What a beautiful city. Clean blue water. They did it right by pushing the industry out of the downtown. It doesn't belong there. If Cleveland had the stones to do something similar, it would do wonders for that city.

We stayed in a Quality Hotel just outside of downtown, in that you could walk there in 10 minutes. Not bad! We ended up hitting a lot of the touristy things. Casa Roma, which was interesting in how out of place a castle is in Toronto. Very beautiful as well. The ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) was quite nice as well, even if a lot of their exhibits were closed due to the construction of a large expansion. What was really nice there was the collection of dinosaurs and the collection of upscale funishings and high class plateware from the 1600s on up. The travelling pearls exhibit was cool too. I was amazed at how modern the Art Deco look still appears to this day.

We caught the play Hairspray at the Princess of Wales theatre there. What a fun show! It starred a girl who was on American Idol two seasons voted off very early, and seemed more broadway anyway. Well, she proved that she had the pipes and moves to star in the Canadian production...which I'm guessing is the AAA of theatre. Not bad. Regardless, the show was very very entertaining. Highly recommend if you get a chance to see it on Broadway or in Toronto...or even on tour.

The next day we saw the CN Tower, which was a lot of fun. We went up the additional 400 feet to the Skypod, which put us some 1500+ feet above the ground. It's pretty freaky at first, but you get used to it.

We then took a tour of the Toronto islands, which were a lot of fun as well. We drove a bicycle type thing around the island for an hour before taking off to Detroit. Unforutnately it smacked us in the beginning of rush hour since we left at 4 pm. That probably delayed us a good hour since the traffic was very bad all the way past Hamilton airport.

In Detroit we decided to go and do the Greenfield Village.

If you can't get in for free...don't go. It's a waste of $20. It really isn't that fun. Maybe we're too young for it. It was neat, but $20 is outrageous. It's just not that interesting for $20. The way I see it is it's a museum....a demented museum, considering how Ford collected these homes, but a museum nonetheless. It cost us abotu $15 USD to get into the ROM in Canada. That was far more interesting than the village. There's just something eerie about it as well since these homes were bought and moved there.

I'll have pictures to post later this week.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Batman quickly exiting kittenhood

Batman will be 10 months old next weekend.

It's quite interesting as I've noticed some things about him over the past two weeks.

The voice is changing and getting deeper. I miss the kitten mews from 6 months ago.

He's sprouting hair in his ears.

His tail is getting quite longer.

Barkley has been very good for Batman. Before Barkley arrived, he was not eating, and hanging out upstairs alot. He didn't take well to us moving his food and litter box downstairs out of the master bath. But Barkley really helped since his crate is downstairs and Batman would go and observe/torment him at first. This of course got him eating. Now he eats, hangs out with the dog, no longer torments it...and now just eggs him into chasing him.

Barkley, on the other hand, is dumb. I mean, he just doesn't get the joke...he just likes to go up and give Batman kisses, which is good :)

But, yes, Batman is moving towards being a "cat" in 2 will be interesting to watch him fill out over the next few weeks.

Heading to Canada

Heading on vacation on Sunday. Going to go see the falls, and then head up to Toronto for a couple of days, and see the Hairspray production there.

If you have any tips or thoughts on visiting Toronto, I'd love to hear them as I've never been there. You've got 24 hours :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Firefox RSS Bookmarks - WOW!

You must go out and try Firefox's Preview Release 1.

It contains something called "Live Bookmarks" which allows you to subscribe to RSS/Atom feeds in your browser.

So for example, if you browse this blog in Firefox, you will see a little "RSS" image appear in the bottom right corner in the status bar. If you click on it, you'll be able to save a bookmark to this page's RSS feed.

Now when you look in your bookmarks, you will be able to see the posts that exist in the RSS feed and link directly to them.

Finally, a feed viewer that is easy to use and shows off the power of the format for the workplace

Metal's facination with Dance

What's up with metal bands coming up with covers of dance songs for greatest hits albums?

First Korn came out with it's cover of Cameo's "Word Up", which sounds like it will be a huge crossover hit when Top 40 radio gets over the fact that it is Korn. It wouldn't sound out of place at all.

Then Marilyn Manson came out with his cover of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" for his greatest hits album. It also sounds like it could crossover, but much less likely because the image of Marylin Manson is much "worse" than Korn's. Marylin Manson didn't have his songs in Addias commercials after all.

What's next? Metallica covering "You Can't Touch This"? Considering how poor their albums have been recently, it might be a good change.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Media Bias? What Media Bias?

According to an economic study, there is a media bias when it comes to reporting similar news items depending upon who is in office.

Just goes to show that you have to remember to listen to the media and extract the facts and judge for yourself, rather than play dumb, relying on that talking face to tell you what to think.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Three Years Ago

Three years ago I was playing hookey from work.

OK, that's not entirely true. I did go into work that day. I just had decided to get in my car around 6:45 and drive out to Darby Creek Golf Course where they were running a special: $18 to walk before 10 am.

I had done this several times over the past month. Go out, start playing by 7:30 at the latest, and be done by 9:30, and head into work. Work through lunch and leave around 6-6:30.

It was a good deal.

Three years ago, it was a very unusual outing.

I recall walking off of the course and getting into my car around 10:30. It was slow that day, and I had gotten stuck behind some other groups that prevented me from playing in about 2:30-2:45.

I got into my car and was surprised to hear Howard Stern still on the air. I had no idea what was going on, but it sounded like a CNN feed. I remember being so confused by what was going on that I took a wrong turn and added 15 minutes onto a 15 minute trip to Dublin for work...and instead went to Marysville. A few minutes later I found out what was going on, and was shocked.

I remember that WBZX stayed with Howard even though he could have easily been pulled. I appreciated that because his coverage was nothing short of amazing. I remember going into the office, and the security guard being extra hardcore. I remember the shocked looks, getting nothing done at work, and going home at 2:30 to be with Lori just because I couldn't get anything done.

I remember feeling sick for a good week, and I remember the President doing a tremendous job of getting the country pointed in the right direction on what we were to do about it.

I'm sure at some point, my children, or nieces and nephews will ask me where I was when this happened. I'll have to say...I was on the golf course, and had no idea what was going on. The only solice I have is, there were plenty of other people on that course that day who were just as clueless as I.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Glen! Glen, Glen, Glen! Glen, Glen, Glen....

Starbucks DoubleShot Ad with Survivor

I guess I'm slow on the go, saw the 30 second version of this spot several times over the weekend during the college football games. I guess the 60 second spot has been out for a while.

It's Super Bowl caliber in terms of humor. Props to the band Survivor for doing the spot, it is excellent.

Monday, August 30, 2004

(Sir Charles) Barkley

Well, we ended up with a puppy this weekend. He is a lab mix, and was born on June 16th. We found him when we went to the franklin county animal shelter. A gentleman had brought in two pups on that day, and was going to give them to the shelter since he could not afford to take care of them and their mother. He did not want to give them up, but had to. So we couldn't resist taking one in.

Lori named him Barkley. I gave him his full "royal" name of Sir Charles Barkley. Here are some pictures of him:

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Batman at 9 months

Batman turned 9 months old on the 25th of August. Here are some photos from that day:

Tuesday, August 24, 2004 and North Korea agree

That Bush is like Hitler.

You can still find that Hitler ad on MoveOn site someplace I bet...unless they cleaned up the hole after Drudge reported on it a month or so ago.

Wow MoveOn, you've gotta love it when the North Koreans agree with you!

If I was really playing politics, I'd claim there was an obvious link between MoveOn and the North Koreans.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

The Media Fund's Outsourcing Ohio Ad vs. Google

Sounds like that AVP movie doesn't it?

The Media Fund is currently running an ad in Ohio featuring Ohio residents talking about the loss of their white collar jobs to outsourcing. They are all Cleveland area residents, supposedly.

Let's ignore the fact that the ad completely bastardizes the idea of outsourcing and the proper solution to it...making America a more difficult place to do business in will only speed up outsourcing in that whole businesses will move to other countries.

Let's ignore that for a moment and concentrate on the ad...more specifically the people.

My first question was, are these people real, or is the ad like the sleazy lawyer ads that run in every city in the country? You know the ones in black and white, "OOOOOH, them? We're gonna settle?"...where they just change the name of the law firm depending on the market you're in. Kinda like the Trunk Monkey ads that Byers Auto used in Columbus.

So I thought, what would Google tell me? I began to search for these people, and found some entertaining results.

Namely, it seems that they probably do really exist...and that one of them may not have been smart enough at least use a different town. This has nothing to do with my position on the ad. I'm waiting for a dumb GOP based ad to do the same sort of thing so I can search again on those people, to see if they're "real" or memorex.

Enjoy these links:

Louis Russo, Cleveland - Macedonia is practically Cleveland, so this might not be him.
Edward Lucas, Mayfield Heights - Again, there's no Mayfield Heights listing, so it might not be him, but two Cleveland addresses link up pretty close to Mayfield.
Sherease Ranking, Maple Heights - Well here's the worst...two listings in Maple Heights for a Rankin. Even if it's not her, I'm betting someone's related somehow.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Whistling Straights Finally Showed Up

So it took until day 4 of the PGA Championship, but the course everyone was saying was the most difficult course finally showed up.

It was a flat out puppy dog the first day, and didn't get too much tougher for the 2nd and 3rd day. But today, it showed up for the leaders, which is why there is a 3 hole playoff starting now. Not at -12 where Vijay Singh started the day at, but at -8. Vijay Singh shot a 76 and Justin Lenoard shot a 75 to tie with Chris DiMarco who blistered a 71 to get to -8. DiMarco's 71 was amazing considering the conditions.

A total of 14 players managed to go under par, and they all shot up several places as the majority of the field looked at +1 or worse. Paul McGinley shot a 69 and moved from the 30s to 6th.

Those that teed off early had the advantage of better conditions, but the wind that hit the players in the afternoon looked like the type of thing that we were expecting to see from the hype that the course got. I am happy to see it actually show up...even if it was at the very end.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Quakes sold to Club America

So fresh off of the heels of the Chivas ownership setting up an MLS expansion team in LA, it seems that their big rivals are planning to purchase San Jose and move them to Houston or San Antonio.

And my question is...why is anyone surprised?

The Quakes haven't been able to draw flies in their current situation, and apparently can't make headway in pulling in a sizeable fan base. All this when you have a championship team, and you have one of the two "faces" of American soccer in Landon Donovan playing for you.

Now, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that this is a difficult market to play in. Everyone knows the stadium is not a good place to watch soccer, and from my limited knowledge of the area, to folks in the northern bay area and San Francisco, San Jose might as well be on another planet.

I know that they have loyal fans, I know that they've sought a place to play up in the San Francisco area. But as with everything, it comes down to money. And if the Bay area people can come up with a stadium, there's a good chance that AEG will be back in town with an expansion team. It's a market they clearly want to be in as a league. But if they can't make money, then it's not a good place to be in.

So now lets look at Club America getting involved.

There's been a lot of talk about people getting upset that Mexican based clubs are purchasing American clubs and essentially making them farm teams for their clubs. But I'll wait until I see it. At this point, these guys are investors in a single corporation who have asked to run a division in a city. And they need to play by whatever rules exist overall for the corporation. And with a grand total of four investors in MLS, I welcome a fifth and sixth. If anything, the owners meetings will be very entertaining considering that America and Chivas are like the Red Sox and Yankees.

And that will be something to look forward to.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Wolfgang is back, and I missed it...

I suppose it's something to do with getting married, getting older, and just not being able to do the rock show thing every weekend, but I just don't get to see too many rock shows anymore.

Those who really know me know that I love to see local original acts. I like to see them trying out real original stuff rather than the party covers you see at the party bars. I really enjoyed hitting Chelsea's when it was across from the White Castle in the Short North. It was a favorite hangout.

One of my favorite acts to catch was Wolfgang Parker. He and his band became very close to a guy (Steve), that I worked with while I was working at AEP. Steve became their webmaster, and I became a pseudo groupie because of it, hitting as many shows as I could, because I got to know the guys. It was a blast. Used to hit the shows, drink a lot, hang out, hit Tee-Jays for 3 am breakfest and crash until about noon.

Then, I started to date heavily, which limited my time to see Wolfgang and bands like Fenster. Soon I found that Wolfgang had ended up dissapearing as I think some of the musical tastes changed and didn't quite see the brilliance of where he was taking his punk/swing fusion based sound. It is really good to see him back, as the guy was supremely talented. I still hold out hope someday to see that "The Mice, the Demons, and the Piggies" would end up as an opening track for a film of some kind. Even if it's some little independant flick (actually that would probably be best).

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to search for him today while I was ripping CDs. And I found his new site, which is great! I hope that he will have some more shows coming up soon, because I clearly missed the May show. Had way too many clearly ugly things going on at the time, which wouldn't even have caused me to think to look for him.

Anyway, to Wolf...much luck, I hope to catch a show soon. And if you did try out for INXS, as one of your posters suggested, I would be extremely entertained. They're not just going to want someone with "talent" who's got potential. They're going to want someone who's talented, knows something about the business, can be controversial, and can perform. I think you've got all three for sure. If nothing else, it would increase your fanbase on a regional basis. But it all depends on what you want for your career. I mean, how long can INXS actually last after this? 5 years at the most? That's plenty of time for other projects.

Anyway, get that gig list updated so I can plan to make one sometime!

Friday, August 06, 2004

Rip it...Rip It Good

Shows you how far behind I am when I have just started to rip my CD collection my PC. Should only take me...months, or so it seems. So far it's taking 10-15 minutes a CD...perhaps I need to try the other CD-ROM in my PC for better speed. I figure I have a good 300 or so CDs to go through, so that would take a damn long time at 15 minutes CD.

Ah, that fixed it...the old DVD player is probably only a 16x, while the burner is a 52x

Monday, August 02, 2004

The Phallic Phillies Logo

Over at one of the Crew boardies was displaying a Phillies logo upside down in protest.

It was then that I offically was frightened at the phallic nature of the logo.

I now provide the proof so that you too may be phrightened! Enjoy...

The Village

I'm by no means a film critic. I generally miss the nuances and sublties of films in terms of symbolism.

So it is by no surprise that I am completely confused by the use of yellow in The Village. I don't think it's a spoiler by saying that. I just can't quite put my finger on the purpose of it. I have an idea about it, but it's so trite that I don't believe it can be correct.

As far as the film itself. I found it, dissapointing because I had 2 theroys on the "twist". One of which would have been cool, the other of which was about 60-70% correct. Not that the second one wasn't cool. It's just that I had the idea nailed, but I couldn't figure out the "real" secret that they beat over your head at the end of the movie.

They also left quite a few questions unanswered about the specifics of some of what actually occured, and that was dissapointing. Equally as unsatisfying was the lack of furthering of the story. What happens when more people understand the secret? What happens in 30-40 years? Those would have been much more intriguing than the actual events that cause the dominos to fall.

Hopefully there's nothing in here that spoils it more than the reviews I've since read at Yahoo Movies. They tend to tell a lot more...and bitch about the ending quite a bit more...than this commentary. To me, since I had the twist pretty much figured out, I guess I expected more from the film in terms of answering real social questions.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Thank you Hooters Air

I had to go to Atlanta for work yesterday.  Normally we must drive to Dayton to fly instead of coming out of Columbus because of a $4-500 difference in air fare between the two major airports.

That is, until Hooters Air arrived and began to fly out of Rickenbacker Airport south of Columbus. 

Hooters Air went for about $30 more than a Dayton flight...But that's okay considering the 140+ mile round trip to Dayton that gets charged at .36 a mile.  So instead of dealing with the 75 minute drive to Dayton and back, I dealt with a 25 minute drive to Rickenbacker, which is generally a freight airport, but has some charter flights out of a small terminal.  I walked 100 yards from my car to the terminal, through the non existent line to get on a plane with 80-90 others to head to Atlanta.

The Hooters flight was professional, and had real food!  We got a sausage and cheese biscuit for breakfast on the way down, and got celery, carrots and grape tomatoes with veggie dip on the way back!  Who needs peanuts!

I don't know what some of the other discounters are doing...But Hooters is doing it right.  Currently they aren't targeting business travelers like me, as in general they look for people who want to go to Myrtle Beach or Nassau connecting from Atlanta.  But there's no question the addition to Rickenbacker was done for two reasons.  To get use of a great facility, and to try to get some of the traffic that is heading west on I-70 to Dayton to get to Atlanta. 

Hooters Air has won my business as long as it makes business schedule sense for me to go down there on their limited flight schedule.  I'm only hoping it becomes successful enough for them to add flights on every day.  Even if the big guys drop their fares at Port Columbus, little Rickenbacker is so convenient that I'd pay the $20 "service charge" in a higher fare to be able to show up 45 minutes before the flight is going to leave.

Friday, July 23, 2004

J2SE 1.4 Programmers Exam

It's finally over!

At high noon today, I began taking the J2SE exam. I started studying for this thing over a year and a half ago. The only problem back then was that I really hadn't done nearly enough Java programming, so although the concepts seemed easy enough, I didn't have the experience to do well. So I never took the test and laid low on it for about a year

Then in December and January we started to study using a guide at work. It started off as a rather large group, but as time went on the numbers dwindled, as more and more people ran into the same issue that I had almost a year ago.

Once the study group was over, work happened, and eventually in May I started studying with Ryan at work. Eventually we got through the chapters again, and again work happened.

So finally over the past month I decided to really work at it, and go nuts on the mock exams, and everything. The thing was, I wasn't doing well on them. I was passing with 55-60% scores, which isn't what you want at all. But I had set the date for today, and I just went in there armed with studying this tutorial this morning and getting about half the 1.4 questions correct on a "really hard" mock exam.

And what happened? It paid off. I scored a 75%...better than any of my mock tests! I got 46 questions correct out of the 61. The fact that I got a 62% on operators and assignments doesn't bother me so much as those were the really tricky questions on the exam. I'm estatic that I got 87% of the Threading quesitons right!

In the end, it doesn't matter. Some claim that this exam is worthless. It's not. What this exam tests is:
  • Your ability to write good syntax so that you do not have to waste hours upon hours debugging poorly written code or designs.
  • Your understanding of how to use the special objects provided by the language to handle things like threading, data storage, and OO designs.
These are things that many people think they know, but really don't know. I know many Java programmers who have not taken this exam, and they are good coders. But since I began prepping for the exam, I have learned much in terms of good design, and I see mistakes that are made. You will become a better developer from taking this exam, and I disagree with the assertion that this exam isn't that important.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Time Warner Suckage

Boy is TW Columbus on my s-list.
On Sunday, I'm watching The Open, and right before the playoff starts, everything goes static. 
After about 5 minutes of swearing, I began to watch the playoff through the over the air channell, which basically just gave me sound.  I then proceeded to call TW, and got a message telling me that there was a service outage in the Upper Arlington area.
That's pretty close to where I live, so I figured that I was part of the outage, and when the TV came back online at 4pm, I was happy.
At 8pm I was not so happy when it went out again.  Again I called TW around 9:30pm, and heard about a problem in UA, but decided this time to tell someone about mine.
I come to find out that the issue was not impacting me, and no one knew why my cable and internet access was f-ed.
All yesterday, the service went in and out, sometimes good for 10 minutes, sometimes unbearable.
What was really odd, however, was this morning, service was perfect.  No static on the screen, no fuzzyness, just perfect.
Now I've got the service dude showing up at 5pm, and there may be nothing wrong.
How are we supposed to solve a problem, and find root cause, if no one is willing to come out when an issue occurs.  Basically TW has said, don't listen to the outage messages, make sure you pound our Customer Care department with calls, which makes the outage message worthless!!
On top of that, I was treated like an a-hole by the 1st rep I called on Monday.
If Wide Open West offers service to my neighborhood, I'm gone...this crap isn't worth it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

When will the small DLP TV arrive?

So I've been daydreaming about DLP TVs. It appears to be a better technology than Plasma or LCD. I've heard mixed things about Plasma, and I use LCDs at home on my PCs. I like LCD, but I don't like the fact that they can have pixels burn out.

DLP, however, should rock. You just replace the lightblub every 4-5 years for $250 and you're good to go. The issue is this. I've got a nice Armoire that I'm not getting rid of. Not only does it look nice, but Lori likes it, and well...that's got to be part of the deal, you need to make the TV go away when company is over, which is what the Armoire is for.

Anyway, the Armoire I figure can fit a TV that is 38" wide in the front of the box, and it can taper to about 37.5 inches about a foot back and we would be OK. The problem is, the DLP TVs are too big. Samsung makes a nice unit, that got a great review. The problem is, it's 40.5 inches wide, for a 43 inch set.

The nice thing about it though, is it doesn't waste space on the sides of the screen like a lot of LCDs, and doesn't contain the speakers there, which makes the screen better. I figure, if they decide to make a 40" DLP TV, it would be under 37.5" wide, and it would fit in my armoire, no problem-o.

So, I guess what I'm waiting for is for them to take the good DLP technology and shrink it to compete with the 36-32" TV tubes. DLPs weigh about 100 lbs, while the 36 inch tubes are over 200 lbs sometimes. Gee, I wonder which one I want to move?

Maybe someday soon, we'll see it. Because as much as I like LCD, it will make me have a smaller screen, and I will always have the pixel issue...and I don't feel like fighting the warranty people on those issues for a TV. A $500 monitor is bad enough, let alone a really expensive TV.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Java Weenies and the Real Work

I've been hanging out a lot at The Server Side reading about the latest goings on in the Java community. I soon realized that I am about 2 years behind on technology, and that apparently everyone is up and using the latest and greatest tool.

When I first started this blog, one of the things I was looking to do was to get back in touch with the technology world and get involved again. But I needed to take a step back and learn what the heck was going on in the technology world again.

When I took a few years off from hardcore geekage, to meet my wife, get married, get the advanced degree from SMS, I had a pretty good idea that I would be behind. I knew this for several reasons...when I did that I was without a technology. Perl/COBOL didn't seem to be a tech path at the time...little did I know that it could be...but I digress. I went to school without a technology, starting a new job, etc.

When I finished school, the wedding, assloads of work and everything else kept me from really learning about So for the past 6 months...and really hardcore over the past 2 months...I've been trying to get caught up. Not an easy task.

Unfortunately, it's complicated by Java Weenies. These tools are so caught up on standards, doing things the "right" way, that they can't possibly have real jobs, or they'd never get anything done. They talk about standard this, standard that, yet they don't appear to have worked with the technology in any capacity. Meaning, they don't get involved with the data of business. They build cool tools, talk about frameworks, try to make things look pretty, but don't get involved with how to make the data dance.

There are some tools out Hibernate, that do object persistance on databases. The problem with this idea, is it's next to impossible to migrate your data to a new database in a piecemeal fashion. Everything is an all or nothing proposition. I've dealt with IBM's VAP...same issues.

Yet, bring these issues up, and Java Weenies think you're on crack. They talk about that's why they went to work for tool vendors. That's why they speak at conventions, to bring their wisdom on how to do things to the clueless.

Java's a clue...if you're building a tool...remember your customer. I'm your customer. Not other weenies. The customers that keep you employed are the ones actually being used in mission critical systems...not the ones that are building another cool toy to play with.

If you don't find ways to make migration from one platform to another easy...then you're shooting yourself in the foot. No one's going to use your cool new toy if it's too costly to get started in using it. Remember...cost is not just "free software"'s support costs and migration costs.

The Open

Ben Curtis returns to the British Isles this week to defend his Open title.

A repeat winner is highly unlikely.

But I don't think Curtis will do poorly. He'll make the cut....The Open suits his upbringing.

In 2002, I played Mill Creek Golf Club in Ostrander, where Curtis learned to play. It's public golf at it's finest. Fairways that are somewhat well manicured...yet are long enough to be the first cut of rough on the PGA Tour. Rough that is 2-3 inches high...unless they didn't cut it that week. Greens that aren't fast.

Many of the top US pros have grown up on courses that are very well manicured with lightning fast greens. Mill Creek is not that. It's got a few really good holes...#1...well, OK, just #1 is really good, with a challenging drive that you must fade. But otherwise, you've got to put the ball in the fairway, hope you don't land in a divot and try to put it on one of the small greens.

What did Curtis encounter at the Open? Greens that weren't fast...fairways that bumped you into rough that played like the fairways he saw at home. Small greens that weren't all that fast in comparison to what they normally play on.

This championship was made for his style...he'll do well at the Open. Hopefully prove his showing last year wasn't a fluke. He doesn't even need to win to prove that point...contention on the weekend and maybe a top 20 finish would do that.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Batman at 7 months

Here are some pictures of Batman as he hit 7 months of age. He's now been declawed and can go around the whole house when we are home. He really likes our bedroom since it's become his "den".

Thanks to All

I wanted to take a minute and thank my friends and family for writing to me after I told them about the message to Lilly. I really appreciate it.

It is very difficult to go through something like this. And you never really understand until you go through it, or something quite similar. Makes you think differently about life and what's really important.

I need to get more skilled at figuring out customizing the templates for Blogger. I don't think it's too hard, but I just need to find the way to put the permalink to Lilly's message on the "menu". At some point over the next few months it will fall off of the list as more posts appear. It's part of the reason I haven't posted in over a week. I wanted to keep it up there for a while, in the spotlight.

Anyway, I've been emailing a lot...but to those who haven't and are reading's cool, you're reading this...don't worry ;)

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

A Father's Day Message to Lilly

Father's Day was this past Sunday. It was my first as a father.

My dear daughter Lilly passed away on March 9, 2004. She technically has no age, as she stricken with a deadly condition known as anencephaly during the first 25 days of her existance as a cell dividing in the womb. The condition prevents proper formation of the brain, and if they make it through the birthing process, they might live for a day before they pass away. It is a cruel condition, as the child is not ever able to think or react to you...their reflexes act in overdrive because that's all they have.

There's nothing that Lori or I could have done to prevent it, which makes it hurt even more. If there was a single thing we could have done, we would have done it. But we couldn''s hard because you want to do something, and you can't. You're helpless.

We believe that our daughter would have done the same thing that we would have done, if we were able to think for ourselves. I know I would tell Lori to let me go, and move on with her life, and I know Lori would do the same if she was in those shoes. It's the only thing you can do as a parent is try to think what you would do if you were the child, and could truly understand what's going on.

After Lilly's passing, Tigger (Lori's cat for 11 years) began to rapidly decline in health. Two weeks later, we put Tigger down as he dropped to about 8 lbs, and looked like he was in pain. We both knew that Tigger was just trying to hang on, and he was doing so to support Lori during her pregnancy. When it ended, Tigger's plan and purpose changed. He had to move on, and go and be a friend to Lilly. He knew us, and would be able to let her know how much she was loved by her parents. He would be able to tell her about us and let her know where to look on Earth to see us. More importantly, he could show her the love that he gave us during his time here.

We have an little statue of an angel in our front garden that Lori found. It represents the daughter we never really knew, yet loved from the start. I think of her every day, and am reminded of her when I see the little angel.

Lilly, I know you'll be able to read this on your Internet terminal (they've gotta have really cool high tech gadgets where you are)...and I want you to know that your Mother and I love you very much. When my time here has passed, I look forward to really getting to know you in the life beyond this one.

Until then, just remember your Mommy and Daddy love you, and we can't wait to see you.

Bill Clinton "My Life"

Don't pick up Billy's book until you read his blog

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Drew Carey Show

So the end of the Drew Carey Show is here. ABC has already ripped through 6 episodes over the past three weeks. I don't know if they produced a full 26 episode season or not...

Anyway, it's great...they've gone all out...jokes are very rude, and funny. The show is took a step back towards being outrageous, and why not? It's not like ABC cared about the show anymore.

Now that we've got the Time Warner DVR, it's easy not to miss an episode. These DVRs are going to really help shows like Drew Carey...Scrubs comes to mind...where they are well written, but get moved around a bunch because execs don't think they're "safe" enough to just hold a specific time slot for 10 years. Fraiser was in a similar boat as well.

At least now with TiVos and DVRs around, we can set it to record and then just check the database now and then to see when epsiodes are's going to help to save these shows, just like DVDs and reruns have saved Family Guy and brought it back for 2005. What's going to happen is, people will begin to really find the good shows that are buried on TV....and they will change their viewing habits to stop watching the crap (like Friends became over the last 3 years), and start to watch the good.

Ed Rooney

I've just finished watching the finale of Deadwood. Very good show, very interesting characters. I've gotta believe that the actors really enjoy doing the show since the characters appear to have big ranges in depth....keeps it interesting.

The most intertaining character by far has to be Merrick, the town's newspaper publisher, played by Jeffery Jones. Jeffery Jones was Ed Rooney in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Unfortunately, he's also somewhat of a pervert, having a Paul Rubens episode in 2002. It happened about the same week as Pee Wee's incident, which is why it was buried. I'm pretty sure there was a plea bargain involved and an eventual No Contest so he couldn't get nailed in civil court. Who knows what the true story is, but its clear he is having trouble getting work, since Deadwood is the work he picked up.

And let's be realistic...these shows are showcases for the lesser knowns...and he's a minor character...which makes him even lesser known. Regadless of his past, he is simply amazing in this role. He's into it, and is very entertaining. It is somewhat unfortunate that the character is so minor. Perhaps in a year or so when the next season starts up we'll see more of him...not because he's got issues...but because he's good.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Naked Warrior 5 Days Later

So I've been doing this Naked Warrior routine from Pavel for the past 5 days. Not bad I say...since I've actually been keeping up with it.

I've switched my routine such that I'm doing a total of 15-20 of each exersize for each limb per day. That is, I end up doing 2-3 reps per session with each arm or leg.

At this point, I've modified the routine to use Airplane Lunges instead of the Box Pistols. For me, it's more satisfying to complete full reps of an exersize, than to have to stop in mid air. If there's no bench around, it's tough to do the box pistol. The lunges are a full fledged rep. If I miss on a lunge, I only miss by an inch or so from the ground, which is measureable. Missing in mid air on those pistols makes it hard for me to be consistant.

So I'm basically doing 40-50 degree angled one arm pushups, depending upon the wall, or table/chair I am near, and airplane lunges, and try to get in 5-7 sets of 2-3 reps per day. So far I have noticed a slight difference...nothing to write home about, but the 30 minutes scattered throughout the day to accomplish this goal is much more entertaining that going to a gym for 30 minutes. I do these in my cube at work during breaks.

Obviously, the real payback is in a couple months...that's when we see how much better I can do these exersizes and how much more strength I have gained.

Test Audio Post

this is an audio post - click to play

Friday, June 11, 2004

UEFA EURO 2004's Website


I'm not sure if I have seen an uglier site in a long time. It looks like a 4th division football club's shirt with it being clutters with ads and nonsensical fonts.

I'm not sure who the crack addict was who designed this one, but it's bad. Those people bitching about the redesign of the JRoller front page have nothing to complain about after looking at this.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Strength Training by Pavel

Pavel is this hardcore Russian dude who writes books and such about strength training. Not bodybuilding, but strength.

Ryan let me borrow this book called the Naked Warrior by this dude. The idea is that you can gain great strength by performing two exersizes (and simple variations there of) without using weights...just your body weight. The pistol (a one legged squat), and one armed pushups. There's a technique to tensing your muscles to get them to work properly as well.

Since I'm generally a lazy bastard, I'm intrigued by this. Not because of the lazyness, but because it doesn't require going to a gym. In fact, he talks about just setting up a routine to do the exersizes that you always follow....go upstairs, do 4 pushups with each arm. Come back down, do 4 pistols with each leg. Which is a thing I can get into...I just hope I don't get OCD because of it.

Anyway, I think I'm going to give this a shot...since I'm so weak, I'll be starting with the simple one-armed pushups...leaning against a chair...and the simple pistols...coming up out of a chair. They say you can see results in terms of doing more reps than you thought possible in seems worth try it anyway.

It's just that I end up being so busy, it's tough to find time to do anything...I'm working right now, monitoring runs for a large I can't really be at the gym, or running a couple miles around the neighboorhood. Well, we'll see how it goes...hopefully pretty good...I'll post in a few weeks what happens.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Stanley Cup Game 7

Hey, so, no one in the US, save real hardcore hockey fans is watching the Calgary/Tampa series and it's unfortunate. This is a great series, with both teams playing entertaining attacking hockey, yet also having strong defense.

It's good to see teams actually attacking and still being committed to the defense. Defense wins championships, but these teams are playing an attacking defense. It's like playing full court presses instead of half courts all the time. Very entertaining to watch. And how about Richards? Talk about boosting your stock. All you heard about was St. Louis...but Richards is my kind of player. Richards and Iginla have been tremendous, and the role players for both teams have boosted their play.

I'm concerned about the lockout, but right now, I'm enjoying the hockey. I don't think Game 7 goes to OT, but I expect a 1 goal margin in victory, and at this point I think both teams have a great shot...but I have a feeling about Calgary.

Fry's Marketplace Part 2

Since I've been working so hard, I haven't gotten to talk about Fry's Marketplace.

I emailed them the other day to ask them about the new store to go in at the old Big Bear at Mill Run. Then on Tuesday afternoon Kroger (the parent company) left me a message on my home phone telling me to keep an eye out this week for a real press release.

So this is good for many reasons....

One: The article was true
Two: It looks like they might actually have a store up and running by the fall, which would be wonderful
Three: Kroger customer service/policy is good because they actually responded to me, which I honesly didn't expect at all....especially since I slagged the Kroger about 2 miles down the road to the West of this store location.

So props to Kroger for bringing this brand in, hopefully it will work out...I like shopping at Kroger, just not the close ones to me....I end up always going to Giant Eagle instead because of its produce section.

Working my arse off

I've pretty much logged 20 hours this weekend working. My big client just put in a new processing routine, and it's having challenges. Quite frustrating, as I'm working day and night trying to get them caught back up.

I'm probably going to spend all week looking for ways to change what I am doing and get it working faster and more efficiently. Anything that improves things would be good. :)

More posts on other things to follow

Saturday, May 29, 2004

I've found the Cicadas!

I've found the Cicadas! And they're at the Columbus area metro parks.

I was quite sceptical. Everyone said they were coming, and I waited, and waited, and heard....nothing. You see, I live in a newer community, which was once farmland until about 6 years ago. But, we are very close to a quarry, which has clearly been around for years. We have lots of wildlife near our home. Every nice day you can go out and see large predator birds soaring over homes, sweeping back in circles towards the quarry to hunt their prey. So, I theorized that the quarry might have cicadas. I'm guessing I was wrong because I haven't heard jack or shit of any kind of cicada.

But today Lori and I found them! Of course forgetting all about Cicadas we went to the Battelle Darby-Creek Metro Park, which is a short 10-15 minute drive from our home. It offers lots of hiking, canoeing, and all kinds of activities, not to mention some really pretty creeks. Anyway, we get there, and we begin to hear them.

It was odd, as outside the park is nothing but farm land. Farms as far as the eye can see. But when you turn into the park, you enter thick woods, and you just heard this eerie pitched signing of the cicadas. It's similar to what you hear from the annual cicadas, except you multiply it by 100,000. I'd liken it to crowd noise at a ballgame. Two people whoop and holler, and it sounds like a couple of drunks. Get 100 people, and you can't really tell what people are saying, but you can make one or two things out. Get 10,000 together and you can't understand a thing anyone is saying, but it sounds the same...a roar of sound.

That's what this was like, except it was bugs. We got out of the car, and you could see them flying around in the trees, and could make out their wings. They're pretty slow and dumb, but that's why they figured out that they need to burrow in the ground for 17 years before they come back out...that keeps the predators away.

We didn't stay long, and I didn't really want to go hiking with these bugs batting into we went to the heritage trail and walked it instead. But I'm happy I ran into them, because I would have been upset to have missed really is a sight to see.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Fry's Food

Fry's Food

Well, I know nothing about these guys, other than they're owned by Kroger, and they're helping to save Mill Run. You see when Big Bear went under we lost the closest grocery to us. It sucked, but it was easy to get to.

Now I have hope...maybe this place will be decent. It's supposed to be a Fry's Marketplace, which sounds a lot like a Meijer or a SuperWalmart. Because it will have "other stuff" there besides food.

I don't care, just so long as I can have a new place to shop...because the local Kroger sucks, and yeah I can drive all the way to Meijer or Giant Eagle or the new Super Walmart when it opens...but I want someplace on the way home from work, and this would be it.

Here's hoping it doesn't suck....

Saturday, May 22, 2004


Yesterday I got JRoller up and running at work. I've been working on getting a spare Linux system up and running with Productivity tools, and the like. The first thing I rolled out was Bugzilla, which was followed several months later by JSPWiki. Now JRoller is installed, which links into JSPWiki to create a dynamic website that allows our group to document history and provide a place to get the latest news, etc.

Now this experiment of implementing the new wave of collaboration tools will really begin to take off after Memorial Day. I figure that will be a great time to formally launch the new tools. It will be interesting to see how many people go in and start to document how things work. Right now, the basic idea is to send out emails, that announce how something happened. IN that case, it is the job of the email reader to comprehend, and catalog that email someplace. If anything changes, you need to do the same thing over and over. If you dare miss an email, you'll need to access that information by asking someone for info.

The idea of the Wiki and Weblog is that by combining these two mediums, we can start to have a living document, that people are free to modify when it comes time to do so. There's a lot of inherant trust in using a Wiki, since anyone can update anything with BS info. However, I've got to be able to trust my employees.

What will be interesting is to see if the Wiki and the JRoller begin to take off. I'm not going to tell anyone they can't have a Roller account. What will be interesting is to see if people begin to just start using our Wiki for their own purposes. That would be amazing. I'm not holding my breath, but I am going to plant the seeds of Roller with some external people that interact with our group.

This all makes me start to wonder why I'm using Blogger to handle this site. I got to thinking about it, and I'm going to stay with Blogger for now..mostly because I like hosting the page at "my website". When I get around to deciphering RSS/Atom feeds and importing into this site, I might lauch a roller site for Java/Programming type rants.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

College Fair

So today at work, they had a college fair. A bunch of the local university type places were there, with full recruiting style presentation boards. It felt like I was back in college at a job fair!

Anyway, besides the absurdity of how it was presented, I was happy to see the company make an effort in this arena. What was disappointing was the number of schools that represented fully accredited graduate programs. There were some colleges that did have accredited undergraduate programs, which is good. But places like Franklin, Phoenix, DeVry, they just don't have AASCB accreditation for their business programs. I think that's where the students miss out. Even though the majority of people don't know a thing about SMSU's program it is accredited, and that gets you noticed that when you start applying to jobs that are outside of Central Ohio. Should any of these people get a degree and move to one of the other company sites, their degree becomes worth much less.

Now DeVry and Phoenix have a national reputation, but I don't know if it's the best, but at least people know what it is. Franklin University, they have no idea what that is in Atlanta or Raleigh.

Anyway, the point is, it's a shame that these schools pander that they are MBAs on the path to greatness. Only one school in this town can attempt to make that claim, and it's Ohio State....which was conspicuously absent today.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Open-source development models fall flat - Computerworld

An interesting article was posted yesterday on Computerworld dealing with the open source development model being applied to corporate settings.

The title itself is quite misleading, IMHO, as although it suggests that open source is not for business, it contradicts itself later on in the article. The difference is if the product is highly techinical in nature, not if project managers determine requirements. Something like Apache works because it is extremely techinical, not because project managers are not involved. Even if you look at something like Apache, NetBeans or Eclipse, there is someone, or some group that plays a project manager role. However, their role is more to set vision and push the developers in that direction, rather than develop requirements.

Can the open source model work in a commercial environment with specific customers. No, with one exception. That customer has an extemely open mind....such customers are very rare.

I also look at this a different way, as applies to my current work situation. I recently developed a set of JUnit extensions to use for testing the product we develop for our customers. I declared that this product was open source. In that sence, I expect people to determine what types of things they would like, and feel like they have the freedom to take and play with extending the toolset, without politics getting involved.

Too often, I've worked in groups where people are afraid to have someone take their work and make it work better. Too often I've worked in groups where people won't touch someone else's work because they don't want to piss them off. And they'll start bitching about how the product sucks, and eventually, no one will use the tool. We'll see if this little experiment works. As stated in the article, the users of this tool are the it should have some hope.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004


Batman is our new kitten. He's just inching up on being 6 months old come the 25th of May. The thing is, I can't stop expecting him to be as mature as our first cat...or should I say Lori's cat, since she only raised Tigger for 11 years.

Oh the name, Batman? You like it? I always thought that it would be cool to name a pet Batman. Much cooler for a cat than a dog I think. Mostly because cats generally think they are superheros. They climb and jump all over everything and anything. They tend to have no fear, until it really hurts. Batman will continually jump for a feather, and will make the same mistake of overshooting his hind legs. This will have him promptly do an ass flop on the ground. Yet, he still jumps...maybe after 100 misses, he'll figure it out...he is a kitten afterall.

Anyway, today I hear the story about how Batman. Batman somehow got up on the five foot high dresser, onto the television on top of the dresser, and then onto the valance, which is a good seven feet off of the ground. Now, there's nothing to sit on, except for about an inch of mini blinds. Yet he was perched up there when Lori found him and tried to get him down.

He is a hell spawn. I hear children can be like that too. ;)

World Elite Soccer's Cape Town

So one of the things I do in an effort to amuse and distract myself from the everyday annoying crud that you deal with on a daily basis is run a soccer team. Cape Town is the team that I have on World Elite Soccer. WES, is by far the best simulation out there in terms of these games. There's a bit more strategy involved than something like Hattrick, where I also run a team (or two...shhh, don't tell).

Honestly, on WES, they try to make it fun an competitive for everyone by implementing the salary cap. On Hattrick, you really have to be up all night and day scouring the player transfer markets to earn loads of cash. There's no real strategy no matter what anyone might tell you. I've pretty much given up winning games at this point, instead focusing on selling players to eventually stockpile about $200 million. By then, I'll be able to buy my way to the top and earn enough interest to buy the salaries of the stud players. Then again, inflation might make that strategy fail.

Well, back to setting my team for Thursday's I said, WES is more fun.