Thursday, December 18, 2008

Weather madness

AccuWeather headline tonight read "Storms Target Major Cities Coast to Coast". Really? Really? It's bypassing rural areas, small towns, villages, townships, even lakes and streams, and mid-sized cities and metropolitan regions? It only targeting the Major Cities? This is new. This is scary. Wait till Al Gore finds out about this new phenomena. With this newly developed targeting ability, weather no longer must inflict global or even regional flooding. All weather can placed with surgical precision. Rain, snow, sleet or hail strikes on hand-picked targets, with laser-like accuracy. Amazing!

While I'm on the weather news, does anyone else think the Weather Alarms are getting a little carried away. It seems every time I check the weather there is an AccuWeather Weather AlarmTM. We get Weather Alarms in East Lansing for two and a half inches inches of snow, possible over the next four days. Two and a half inches ... over four days. If that's a Weather Alarm, Weather Alarms are meaningless.

Wait! Now it's becoming clear. These overused Alarms are just another part of the weather's master plan to destroy us all! First they overwhelm us with Alarms, until they're meaningless, then they drown us in a flood, suffocate is in snow, or slush us to death. I'm onto you Mr. Weather.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Mac Geek's Christmas Wish

I've enjoyed The Joy of Tech cartoons for many years now. Finally, I'm sharing it with you. A Mac Geek's Christmas Wish couldn't be truer.

Monday, November 10, 2008


bicycnical - jaded or scornful skepticism or negativity on two wheels.

Inspired by an e-mail exchange with my good friend, fellow bicycling enthusiast, visual artist, wordsmith, and storyteller extraordinaire, Bob Barrie, a.k.a. Blinker Bob.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Number 16

My brother, Andrew, completed his 12th Free Press Marathon, and his 16th overall, last weekend. This years training schedule included a DIY 3 story addition to his home. Quite impressive.

This year he has the privilege of getting a small deposit on his fifteen minutes of fame. He is pictured on the WXYZ 7 site AND in the video on the right as he receives his medal.

Note: Anyone who knows how to capture this video for future use, please educate me with a comment.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Late Bloomers

In our pop culture, it's easy to think you might as well hang it up after you turn 40. Malcom Gladwell's New Yorker piece, argues otherwise.

Late Bloomers: Why do we equate genius with precocity?

In a nut: Keep working. Your best work may well be ahead of you.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Seth Godin lets you choose where $2 of charity goes

Squidoo, a Seth Godin company, is letting votes decide where to send $80,000. Vote for the charity of your choice here.

I voted for Church! at Bethany. You can learn more about them here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Fastest Route to Faster Internet Speeds

I faithfully read Pogue's Posts. David is both entertaining and insightful. And I trust his thorough and honest reviews on everything from PCs to digital photo-capable binoculars. His post on The Fastest Route to Faster Internet Speeds made me check our routers firmware. It hadn't been updated since we bought it 7 to 10 years ago.

After updating the firmware, and running speed tests at SpeakEasy and our download speeds have increased from around 3.6M to 4.6M. That's a whopping 28% increase. Total time invested, five minutes. Total cost, zero dollars. Thank you, David Pogue.

If you're running an old router with old firmware, do yourself a favor and install the update.

Now I'm wondering if the spastic performance of AT&T DSL we tried out last winter was caused by our paleolithic era router firmware.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Why Stock Dividends are not just good for investors

Daniel Eran Dilger in his insightful post, Why is Microsoft Buying Back $40 Billion of its Own Stock? points out that executives and other option holders are enriched by stock buybacks without having to increase the value of the corporation.

Warren Buffett on Rewarding Failure.

In a 2005 letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett wrote:

Too often, executive compensation in the U.S. is ridiculously out of line with performance. That won’t change, moreover, because the deck is stacked against investors when it comes to the CEO’s pay. The upshot is that a mediocre-or-worse CEO – aided by his handpicked VP of human relations and a consultant from the ever-accommodating firm of Ratchet, Ratchet and Bingo – all too often receives gobs of money from an ill-designed compensation arrangement.

Take, for instance, ten year, fixed-price options (and who wouldn’t?). If Fred Futile, CEO of Stagnant, Inc., receives a bundle of these – let’s say enough to give him an option on 1% of the company – his self-interest is clear: He should skip dividends entirely and instead use all of the company’s earnings to repurchase stock.

Friday, September 12, 2008

How Videogames Blind Middleschoolers With Science

Clive Thompson's Wired article discovers that middle schoolers are secretly appplying the scientific method to their on-line games. It's so secret, the kids don't even know they're doing it.

At one point, Steinkuehler met up with one of the kids who'd built the Excel model to crack the boss. "Do you realize that what you're doing is the essence of science?" she asked.

He smiled at her. "Dude, I'm not doing science," he replied. "I'm just cheating the game!"

. . .

One of the reasons kids get bored by science is that too many teachers present it as a fusty collection of facts for memorization. This is precisely wrong. Science isn’t about facts. It’s about the quest for facts — the scientific method, the process by which we hash through confusing thickets of ignorance. It’s dynamic, argumentative, collaborative, competitive, filled with flashes of crazy excitement and hours of drudgework, and driven by ego: Our desire to be the one who figures it out, at least for now. It’s dramatic and nutty and fun.

via John Gruber

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's Your Ship

A few months ago I heard the author of It's Your Ship on the a local radio station. I read some reviews and an excerpt on Amazon. This was part that made me think I should get around to reading the whole thing.

"Pondering all of this in the context of my post as the new captain of Benfold, I read some exit surveys, interviews conducted by the military to find out why people are leaving. I assumed that low pay would be the first reason, but in fact it was fifth. The top reason was not being treated with respect or dignity; second was being prevented from making an impact on the organization; third, not being listened to; and fourth, not being rewarded with more responsibility. Talk about an eye-opener.

Further research disclosed an unexpected parallel with civilian life. According to a recent survey, low pay is also number five on a list of reasons why private employees jump from one company to another. And the top four reasons are virtually the same as in the military. The inescapable conclusion is that as leaders, we are all doing the same things wrong."

Surpised by Apple

On Monday evening, I sent my 3 year old PowerBook G4 in for repair under my Apple Care service plan. The display had a 3/4" wide area in the lower right of the screen that was slightly grayed out. I'd dropped the powerbook from about a foot onto the concrete a couple of times, so I thought they'd say this wasn't covered because of the visible dents in two corners.

I was pleased to see, via the on-line Repair Status system, that the repair was completed the next morning and the system was awaiting shipment. I received it on Wednesday morning at 10:15 AM, and quickly booted it up to see how the screen looked and confirm that my data survived the trip.

Because my battery is so dead, I usually receive a low battery warning shortly after booting up. To my surprise, this didn't happen. I turned it over and pressed the battery monitor switch. The LED's indicated a full charge. Weird. So I checked the estimated time remaining on the battery, 2:56. I was shocked. I even checked the paperwork and indeed it was true and not an error, they had thrown in a new battery. I never imagined they would do this. Batteries are not a covered repair.

Thank you Apple! Depending on how you look at it, they saved me $137 or extended the useful life of this little beauty.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tour de France Summary for Newbies

The BBC has a nice summary of the Tour for newbies.

A leisurely 3,500 km (or 2,175 mile) bike ride around France and neighbouring countries. That's roughly the distance from London to Cairo or Tel Aviv and an incredible 15m people line the route.

As many as 180 riders will set off from Brest to Plumelec in 20 teams, but many will have dropped out by the time the race finishes on the Champs Elysee in Paris on 27 July.

Le Tour Podium Prediction

1. Evans
2. Menchov
3. Sastre

The order may vary, but it will be these three.

Font Conference

What would it be like if the fonts gathered for a meeting? Thanks to this
Font Conference, you don't have to wonder a moment longer.

via Daring Fireball.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Think you're poor?

If you think you'report, check your work ranking here.

via Big Contrarian, Jack Shedd

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Key Tour Stages to Watch for 2008

If you don't have much time to watch the Tour, you'll want to watch the stages with the greatest probability of being decisive to the race's outcome. Here they are.

Five High Mountain Stages

Stage 9 Sunday, July 13th

Stage 10 Monday, July 14th, uphill finish

Stage 15 Sunday, July 20th, uphill finish

Stage 16 Tuesday, July 22nd

Stage 17 Wednesday, July 23rd, uphill finish on L'Alpe d'Huez

The uphill finishes in the mountains are significant because often on descents riders will lose some of the advantage they gained by working hard on a climb. Riders will often attack aggressively on uphill finishes, it can change the outcome of the race and it's exhilarating to watch.

Two Time Trial Stages

Stage 4 Tuesday, July 8th

Stage 20 Saturday, July 26th

Who will win the Tour?

VeloNews profiles eight favorites for the Tour this year.

Rider (Country), Team

CADEL EVANS (Aus), Silence-Lotto


DENIS MENCHOV (Rus), Rabobank



KIM KIRCHEN (Lux), Columbia (High Road)

MAURICIO SOLER (Col), Barloworld

ALEJANDRO VALVERDE (Sp), Caisse d’Épargne

You can read the complete analysis of each riders strengths and weaknesses here.

My Prediction: Barring a crash, Evans will ride into Paris in the Maillot Jaune. He can hang with the climbers and he can put time into them in the time trials, as he demonstrated yesterday. Yesterday, during the Time Trial, or what the French call the race of truth, Liggett and Sherwin kept talking about how Cadel has spent a lot of time working on his climbing. I expect this will pay off. He'll be the first Aussie ever to win the Tour.

Th exciting thing about the race this year is, anyone could win. As the roads turn upward, we'll see the contenders separate themselves from the pretenders. The attacks in the mountains and the ripping apart of the peleton is quite fun to watch. The hills begin tomorrow, but they hit the first high mountain stage on Sunday.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tour de France cliffhanger

In 1951 Wim Van Est, a Dutch rider was in yellow and crashed twice descending Col d'Aubisque trying to catch the leaders. The second crash took him off a cliff. Spectators had to squint to see him. After they rescued him with a rope made of bike tires, he asked for another bike. Gotta love it.

Get the full story, with pictures here.

Get your brain in gear for Le Tour

I've been holding out on my readers. There are several great sites I've discovered on cycling. One of these is It's a combination of racing news and mere mortal rides in some beautiful locations. The race coverage is convenient because it provides the basics plus images. I think what sets this site apart are the photos and videos and great outside links. Go check it out.

The Tour de France Dashboard has some great images and videos of the mountain stages for 2008. The Alpe d'Huez page has highlights of Lance's 2001 "look" and subsequent obliteration of Ulrich. If this doesn't make you want to go ride, you never will.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Not getting it.

Unfortunately, I've never seen Zoolander, so this video at Riverview last Sunday was lost on me.

Much funnier if you've seen this scene.

[Upon seeing the model of the "Derek Zoolander Center For Children Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too] What is this, a center for ants? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read if they can't even fit inside the building? The center has to be at least... three times bigger than this!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Becky's Recital

For those who missed it and want to hear Becky's recital performance. You can listen individual songs or download them to enjoy later at this site.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

If gas prices are getting you down . . .

. . . be thankful you don't fil your car with HP ink. David Pogues posted some cost per gallon stats and here's the math on the HP 02 Black Ink Cartridge, 16 ml $18 online = $4,294.58 per gallon.

Ouch! Gas is almost a thousand times cheaper.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Check out this memealicious Weezer video. If you don't get it, well. you haven't been wasting enough of your time.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Harvard of the Bronx

My dad is a Fordham grad. Apparently, it's the Harvard of the Bronx.

I was born after dad finished graduated and we moved away from the area, so my thoughts of Fordham are of the Seven Blocks of Granite, which I learned about when reading an incredible football history book I read in junior high. The pictures and stories inspired me. I began my career in organized football to demonstrate my zeal. The coach did not concur. Ballerinas were referenced, I returned to backyard ball.

"Change is inevitable . . . "

"Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine."

- Robert C. Gallagher

Monday, May 05, 2008

Giro d'Italia

Just a week before the Giro d'Italia begins, the race organizers have invited the Astana team. They promise to bring the strongest team possible. I'm hoping for a Leipheimer or Contador win, though they didn't obviously prepare for the course.

Here's a video of the final kilometers of last year's Giro Stage 14. Even if you don't know Italian you will hear some words you understand, and the announcers' enthusiasm is energizing.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Quote of the day

I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.

Mia Hamm

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Quote of the day

"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." - Albert Einstein

Friday, April 18, 2008

Could your water bottle be killing you?

The Canadian's are looking to ban a chemical that is present in hard plastics bottles, like Nalgene's, and some baby boottles.

Some quotes from the USA Today story.

Earlier this week, the U.S. government's National Toxicology Program said that there is "some concern" about BPA from experiments on rats that linked the chemical to changes in behavior and the brain, early puberty and possibly precancerous changes in the prostate and breast. While such animal studies only provide "limited evidence" of risk, the draft report said a possible effect on humans "cannot be dismissed."

"At best FDA gave Americans a false sense of comfort about a questionable substance. At worst, they put millions of Americans directly at risk," Schumer said.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Soccer Technique

More Soccer videos for me to find easily later.

Play in a V Back each other up with the off the ball player at the bottom of the V.

Closing an Attacker Down

First Touch Away from Pressure

Dribbling Stepover Turn

Dribbling Roll and Scissors

Dribbling: Double Cut

Dribbling: Cruyff Turn

Dribbling: Shielding the Ball

3 Player 2 Servers Passing Drills

Ball Control Dribbling Drills

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Goalkeeper Training Videos

I was surprised to find a plethora of goalkeeper training videos on YouTube. I'm putting these so I can find them again to use with my goalkeepers.

34 goalkeeper drills.
This one is quite thorough but you have to watch and replay to catch everything.

Pre-match warm-ups

More pre-match warm-ups

Make yourself big in the goal and proper drop-kick technique.

Goal technique from Real Salt Lake goalie

How to practice on your own

And one more, in German with some good drills and conditioning

Friday, April 04, 2008

Quote of the day

I was going 70 miles an hour and got stopped by a cop who said, "Do you know the speed limit is 55 miles per hour?" "Yes, officer, but I wasn't going to be out that long..." - Steven Wright

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Wreck in one paragraph or less

Riverview is currently doing a series called "Wreck" that walks us through Solomon's wisdom gained by making all of the wrong decisions. I decided to open my super-spiritual* Ryrie Study Bible to Ecclesiastes today and came across this summary, which I enjoyed . It dove tail nicely with the "Wreck" series and what I've been learning lately.
The message of the book may be stated in the form of three propositions. (1) When you look at life with its seemingly aimless cycles (1:4ff.) and inexplicable paradoxes (4:1; 7:15; 8:8), you might conclude that all is futile, since it is impossible to discern any purpose in the ordering of events. (2) Nevertheless, life is to be enjoyed to the fullest, realizing that it is the gift of God (3:12-13; 3:22; 5:18-19; 8:15; 9:7-9). (3) The wise man will live his life in obedience to God, recognizing that God will eventually judge all men (3:16-17; 12:14).

*In my college days, we used to joke that this is how you demonstrate how spiritually mature you are. By the condition of your Bible. This Bible looks quite worn and is literally coming apart at the seams. I only wish I had been that much of a student of the Word. The truth is, it's a poorly-constructed book. I purchased 1981 or so, around the time Detroit was making some poorly-constructed cars, too. It showed signs of structural weakness very early in it's limited-use life. I keep it because I like the study references and in fond memory of bygone days. Twenty some years after purchasing this Bible, I found myself enjoying the teaching of one of Charles Ryrie's students Arnold Fruchtenbaum. I guess it's a small theological world.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I used to enjoy essay exams in college. I've since been stuck when it comes to writing. I'm reading Paul Graham's "Hacker and Painters" and he points out:
The word "essay" comes from the French word "essayer", which means "to try". An essay, in the original sense, is something you write to try to figure something out.

Writing to try to figure something out, is a lot easier than writing what you've already figured out. There's certainly a broad range of material available to me in the former.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Picking an investmet guru

I saw an ad for an investment adviser today and in researching him I found a useful site Their scoreboard ranks investment gurus investment performance on several time window and interestingly enough, Warren Buffet come out #4 for the last 6 months and #1 since inception. Impressive.

Maybe it's time for me to give up trying to beat the market by selecting smarter or investing in indexed ETFs and invest in Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A or BRK.B).

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Updated Becky Video

I converted the Vision 22 video of Becky's Spring 2007 performance at the Haslett Cabaret. The video and audio quality from Vision 22 surpassed my camcorder, but I'm afraid my conversion process didn't do them justice.

For the video editing experts in the audience, who can hopefully clue me in on where I went wrong, I used HandBrake to convert the DVD video to AVI, imported to the AVI to iMovie, edited down to the two clips I wanted and then exported for iPod. If anyone knows how to get this from DVD while better preserving the video quality, please, chime in. If you'll need more details, I'll understand.

I Could Have Danced All Night

The Rain In Spain

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

So you want to be a mountain biker?

A little fun with mountain biking via .

So you want to be a mountain biker?

1. You must get a tattoo.
4. You must choose a tribe.
7. Be prepared to be injured in new and interesting ways.

My Brother & Sister's High School

My brother & sister's High School, Miami Palmetto High School produced Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos and world-famous street fighter Kimbo Slice. My brother came out somewhere in between. He works with a fortune 500 company and his street fighting skills are all in his feet (he's a marathoner). My little sister has a world-class concern and compassion for all creatures great and small.

Why didn't I go there? We moved a couple times after Warren Area High School in Warren, Pennsylvania, the high school I graduated from. (As the link indicates, it isn't listed on Wikipedia yet). I only spent a year there and made some great friendships.

Quote of the day

"Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving."

- William Shakespeare

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Who's reading?

I'm curious who's tuned in. Please comment or send me an e-mail if you read this blog.

See how fun road cycling can be

A little road comedy sketch.


Andy Rooney's iPhone review

I don't take the time out to catch Andy often enough. I guess he's older than I thought.

Why I like road cycling

Last week Noel posted a video link on why he thinks road cycling.

Although that looks like fun, this video explains why I prefer road cycling.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Bill Gate's Final CES Keynote

Funny. With appearances by Bono, Al Gore, Hillary, Barack, Jay-Z, Jon Stewart, Clooney, Spielberg, Napoleon Dynamite, and Brian Williams.