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.