Tuesday, July 31

Old post I found in Gmail Drafts

+ Great name: Communications Major, English Minor

+ T-shirts, these from Pure Pwnage[sic.]
for Cory: Boom Headshot
for me: T-shirt of Pure Pwnage

+ Great way to obviate a franchise:
"Everybody's going to take care of their individual business," O'Neal said. "Everybody's going to do what's best for themselves and their families. We'd like to come back and get one more run at it, but all the other teams are reloading for us, so we also have to reload too."

One nice thing about YouTube is sports highlights. Three I've enjoyed:
1. Dwayne Wade highlights
2. Larry Bird follows his own shot
3. The Bo Jackson one is good if you block out all the silly self-promotion and just watch him run over and by people.

Talkin' football

+ Vikes training camp: Peterson's in camp (only 3 days late). Williamson better hold onto the ball this year . We have a new DC. And basically a new QB.

Hard to be real optimistic...

+ Bill Walsh died yesterday. He was a great coach especially distinguished by those he influenced who later went on to coach. His website

Dangerous living

+ Jaq has a nice post reviewing the Indiana Jones movie in anticipation of the next (hopefully good) one.

+ Coming Anarchy has a good post on real threats v. imagined threats (especially the graphic).

Reminds me of that chapter in Gladwell's Blink about what's dangerous v. what we're afraid of. Cars and backyard pools are dangerous compared to other stuff we're afraid of, like terrorism and air travel. What's the difference? Control. When we feel like we're in control, even if we're not, we feel safer, even if we're not. We're foolish that way.

For most of us, driving, eating junk, smoking, drinking poison, and sedentary living are far more dangerous to us than most of the stuff we're afraid of.

(CA makes the point, and I agree, that security still matters. The provenance of this graphic is probably 'Fighting terrorism is a waste', with which I totally disagree. My point here regarding the graphic is tangential.)

Saturday, July 28

Finished Deathly Hallows

I have to admit, I really liked it, maybe the most of any of the books.

As much as I have been a critic of all of the new introductions (concepts and characters) in her books, Ms Rowling did a really nice job of tying up the essential threads.

The humanization of Dumbledore was nicely done.

I assumed, with so many Horcruxes left to destroy, that the introduction of the Hallows was a bad idea. But it actually turned out ok, especially the decision of which to pursue (although, there's quite a bit of Deus ex machina with how the ten together (is that right?) get resolved).

(Upon further review, Jaq sorta says the same thing.)

All in all, very good. Now for your comments...

Friday, July 27

Dummy locations, awesome mice

+ Stuff you never thought of linking before: a really good, even sweet, ventriloquist act. Of course, it hits my soft spots for Wonderful World and Kermit pretty hard.

I also have a pretty good Kermit impression, usually performing the song Rainbow Connection.

+ Brad linked the new Money top places to live, along with Storm Lake and me. Christine's dad is from Storm Lake. Nice, little Iowa town ... IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE! ;-)

So I thought: I'll look through the list of top places to live with affordable housing and see if there's anyplace we want to live.

Blast! We already do! Irmo, SC. Only problem is, we're not too crazy about living in SC. Too hot and the closest family is 90 minutes away.

That's part of the reason it's so hard to contemplate moving anywhere else: we've already got such affordable housing. The sticker shock for Iowa City or Charlotte (two top contenders) is brutal.

Oh, yeah: and no place hotter than here ;-)

The Equator , at altitude, is looking better all the time.

+ Awesome banner Jason Shellen's kids (and wife! ;-) made for him when he came home from his last day at Google.

+ Paul links a computer mouse for your feet . I would love to have one if I computed at a desk. Alas, I computer from my recliner. But if I ever have a desk again, I think this would be great.

Plus, it's one of those keep your brain young by trying new stuff things.

Reading Harry Potter(n)

+ I'm enjoying Deathly Hallows, you know, within reason. When I do read it, I read very fast, maybe 75 pages an hour. Mostly dialogue.

+ I am a total sucker/hopeless romantic re: the Harry-Ginny relationship. Not sure I knew her name was Ginerva (you know, because I skip a lot ;-)

+ Apparently Jo was on the Today show yesterday and gave some more epilogue-type material (via). Sounds like she's going to write an encyclopedia next.

That would actually be perfect for her since she obviously takes such delight in making up stuff and little details. Too bad she probably won't ever turn some other people loose in the Harry Potter universe, like George Lucas has done with Star Wars.

Because I bet there are a lot of chihuahuas out there with some pretty good ideas ;-)

(Pretty impressed with myself that I spelled 'chihuahua's right on the first try ;-)

+ If I ever write any Potter fan fiction, it'll be the just death of Dolores Umbridge. How I hate her! In some ways, her banal evil is worse than Voldemort.

Saturday, July 21

Deathly legos

+ Christine's trying to steal responsible moments to read Deathly Hallows. She was waiting when the library opened at 8:30 this morning, and no one else was there. She's giving me a few updates, because I find the whole JKR process too annoying to really want it to unfold. I'm the guy who's looking for spoilers.

+ Ken's let's fly with a critique I really agree with: I can call them 'legos' if I want to!

Friday, July 20

Are you addicted to weblogging?

Brad came out 82% 'addicted to blogging'. I, of course, came out higher than that, but I'm a pro ;-)

87%How Addicted to Blogging Are You
Brad commented, sort of in passing:
It used to be considered healthy to have an avocation or hobby. But now anything you really get into is framed in the language of addiction.
That inspired my comment:
unfortunately, 'addiction' has come to commonly mean, among other things, 'really love'. like the CCM 'I'm addicted to Jesus'. too imprecise.

for my part, i think we should keep a semi-clinical definition of addiction. everyone who fails to comply must read Gerald May's excellent Addiction and Grace ;-)

the only question in the survey i thought might point to actual addiction was 'Have you ever skipped something you were supposed to do, like a deadline or homework, to blog'

but i fit other intimations in the quiz in that i'm thinking i'll cross-post this excellent comment to my own weblog ;-)

Tuesday, July 17

More Cubs

Give me a whiff of success and I'm back on the bandwagon ;-)

Whoa. The Cubs picked up Jason Kendall from the A's. Former All-Star though not doing so hot this year. Does this show commitment to making a run at the playoffs?

Of course, there's a whole book about the A's ability to evaluate talent and ROI that I happen to buy into. So...

In other news, Zambrano says he wants to stay .

Monday, July 16

Evolutionary psychology and the Cubs

+ I asked Dan about this article, Ten politically incorrect truths about human nature, and he was kind enough to give his opinion. Interesting stuff. There's a rebuttal here that I haven't read yet.

+ Cub fans must always hold onto hope in their hearts. So I took notice of the brief in SI that said one Baseball Prospectus formula has the Cubs making the World Series this year.

But not winning. Can't decide if that would be a good thing or not. Pretty sure I don't want the Vikings to go again if they're not going to win. Don't want to be the only team who's been 5 times without tasting the 'Sup' (thank you, Buffalo).

Yes, the Phillies are the losingest professional team in sports. But at least they one won World Series.

Saturday, July 14

Can I post?

A few of you have noticed that I haven't been posting. Much obliged, I'm sure. It's not intentional and there is no interesting subtext. I just haven't felt like it. The biggest part of that was driving to Iowa to weekends ago, being in Iowa for 5 days (working during the day; I was not on vacation), and driving back. Nice and all, but exhausting.

So thanks for the concern. Normal posting may resume ;-)

+ The Blogger backup tool, mentioned here, worked like a charm for backing up two of my Blogger weblogs.

+ My buddy Jim has a new crusade: Universal Health Care! I'm not ready to write my Congresscrats like he urges, but he definitely has a point.

My offering: BusinessWeek's article comparing French health care quite favorably to the US.

+ Story I'm following: woman hit hard by 9/11. Starts reading. Starts visiting jihadist websites. Learns Arabic. Contributes to the arrest of several would-be terrorists.

Then, Michael Tanji, intel expert, has this interesting comment on Tom's site about not drying up a good source of intelligence. His latest post of his own.

+ Jaq would be so proud: We watched Star Wars on the 30th anniversary weekend. And last night we watched Singin' in the Rain (because the twins have shown some interest in that kind of dancing).

+ Speaking of movies, we saw Ratatouille July 2nd and loved it. No flaws detected during the first viewing. Wil even opted to get the game for his DS. It has some fun, touchscreen cooking mini-games.

+ Speaking of games, I saw some headline about the console wars this week. Baloney. The console wars are over and Nintendo killed Xbox and Playstation. They understood that people just want to have fun, on the Wii and the DS, and opened up whole new markets with innovative gaming. Nintendo saved us from the first major video game dark ages with the NES, and they've done it again. What a great company!

I think that's a good (re-)start for now.