paul nicholson

Archive for the ‘Me’ Category

Station Identification

In Blog Stuff, Me, Pictures, Videos, Work on October 28, 2013 at 11:51 am
Paul Nicholson

Paul Nicholson

It’s been over two years since my last post went live on this blog. I’ve started to write three other posts in that time, but only one is even still in the “drafts” folder. We’ll see if any ever see the light of day.

Of course, any of you who know me know that a lack of posts on this blog does not constitute a lack of online activity from me. Quite to the contrary, my increased posting on other platforms continues to lessen the appeal of the long form blog for me as an outlet. It is basically now limited to times when I either have something that ranges longer to say, or something that I wish to be more permanent and really referenced. This post fits both categories to some degree.

This is a “station identification” post. An idea I’m blatantly stealing from someone else, though I can’t give them credit because I don’t remember who it was. Some random Tumblr blog I think. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent Records

In Family, Friends, Me on October 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Sunset over the wing
A post I just read over at The Art of Manliness just helped me think through something that’s been in the back of my mind for a while now – my mortality. The post is on how one grieves a friend. I got pretty choked up reading it, which is pretty rare for me. Normally it takes ‘Saving Private Ryan’ or ‘A Snoodles Tale’ to make me get misty. But this got to me. Though the writing was very good, I wasn’t sure why it affected me so. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was because I could so easily identify with the writer. While I haven’t had any close personal friends die, I do know of several men my own age – with families and young children like mine – who have died recently. I’ve been in that life stage for a while where many of the older generation of relatives and friends have started to pass. But seeing people who have always seemed ‘old’ pass away hasn’t effected the image of my own mortality the way seeing someone very much like me suddenly struck with cancer and die. Combined with annual insurance enrollments that this year included increased life insurance coverage on both my wife and myself, and I’ve been thinking about this stuff a lot.

(continued after the break) Read the rest of this entry »

Time to kill

In Blog Stuff, Family, Me on July 12, 2011 at 10:18 pm

As busy as my life is, I am finding myself with a good deal of forced downtime every evening as of late. My 2 year old son, Ian, has been scared to go to sleep by himself ever since he was scared by fireworks going off in the neighborhood over July 4th. So I’ve been sitting in his room every night (except when Christy has given me a break a couple of times) waiting for him to fall asleep before I sneak downstairs. The result has been a lot of social media reading, Peggle playing, and other general time-wasting on my cellphone. Here’s to hoping this post (and my recent move from GoDaddy to HostGator) gets me into the habit of blogging more so the time is of some potential value besides clearing all the new Angry Birds Seasons levels with 3 stars.

Thanks Paul!

In Family, Hockey, Me, Sports on March 10, 2011 at 7:01 pm

I had to make a quick post to say thanks to (and brag about) Paul McCann, the Nashville Predators PA announcer, for doing a huge favor for us.

For those that haven’t seen, our oldest son, Ian, is a huge Predators fan (like his parents, of course). One of his favorite parts of the game is the starting lineups. He cheers loudly through them, and frequently asks us to play intro videos from YouTube when he’s playing. Then a while back we started introducing him like he was a hockey player (I think my parents started it, actually). He loves it and frequently asks for us to do it “a-gin”. Over and over again. (Sometimes he also introduces himself)
See the video below for an example:


So that leads to what Paul McCann did for us.
Read the rest of this entry »

Inspiration

In Me, Pictures, Work on January 16, 2011 at 12:40 pm

If you don’t know already, I’m starting to get pretty seriously into photography. Or at least I want to get seriously into it, which I suppose is the part that matters right now. I’ve always considered myself something of a shutterbug, but since getting my Nikon D90 for Christmas last year, I’ve been getting much more serious. Taking tons of pictures, playing with lighting techniques, watching more than a few instructional videos for pro and semi-pro photographers online, and of course, contemplating gear upgrades – among other pursuits.

Not too long ago I was watching Jeremy Cowart do a cool online workshop (free when streaming live thanks to CreateLive) on experimental portraiture (read: doing weird stuff and seeing what looks cool). At one point when answering the question “how do you get out of a creative rut”, he said something which was fairly obvious after the fact: change what you’re taking in. Listen to different music, follow different people on twitter, watch different TV shows, etc. That got me thinking: lately about 90% of my twitter feed has been either NHL hockey or Dell (work) related. That’s all fine and good, but that’s not where I want to be going. I’m a hockey fan, and my job is a nice one, but the direction I want to be going is marketing and/or photography, and more so the latter. So lately I’ve been looking for more Nashville area photographers to follow on Twitter, Flickr, blogs, etc…

(continued…)

Movember 2010

In Family, Friends, Me on October 30, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Every Feburary there is a massive “Go Red For Women” movement for women’s heart disease – even though men have a higher chance of having a heart attack than women, and heart disease is the number one killer of both women and men in the US. Every October everything turns pink as people raise awareness for women’s cancer issues – even though 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lives compared to 1 in 2 men. Yes, 50% of men will have some form of invasive cancer in their lives. 1 in 5 women will die from cancer, 1 in 4 men will. 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer, 1 in 6 men will get prostate cancer. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for supporting raising awareness for women’s health issues. But where’s the equivalent focus on men’s issues?

Turns out there is a movement for men’s health – I caught on too late to do join last year, but I won’t miss out this time. And yes, I’m asking for a donation…

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Mustachioed Me

Mustachioed Me

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Wherein I explain (but do not excuse) my actions

In Christy, Family, Friends, Me, Pictures on September 5, 2010 at 11:07 pm

(Note that this is a long, cathartic, touchy-feely post about me. And my friends. And family. If you’re looking for hockey stories or insight into social media marketing this isn’t the post for you)

I feel like I’ve been a bit of a jerk lately. I know don’t exactly have a reputation as being cuddly. Most of my life I’ve heard the criticism that I’m too sarcastic, too quick to voice my opinion of others and their work, and too casual with my communication of said sarcasm and criticism. But lately I find myself regretting more and more that has been coming out of my mouth or fired off on Facebook/Twitter, etc.

I suppose for those that aren’t up to speed, I should backup provide a bit of a preface before I proceed.

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Android Apps

In Cool Tech, Me, Reviews on November 2, 2009 at 9:09 am

(Caveat: This is an old post! Not necessarily what I’m using today)

With the arrival of high-profile Android phones on so many new devices this holiday season, many of my friends are finally jumping on the Android bandwagon. First off: Welcome!

Second, many of you keep asking me (as someone who’s been using Android for almost a year already with my 1st gen G1) what apps you should install.

So, here is a list of the apps I currently use, in no particular order. I’ll try to update the list occasionally, but no promises. If you want my latest recommendations, hit me up on Twitter. Also, keep in mind I’m using a 1st-gen G1 with Android 1.6. Those of you lucky enough to be using a phone with 2.0 or 2.1 will have a different experience. Some of these apps will not be necessary since the OS has features built-in, while others may not run if the creators haven’t ported it up to 2.x

APPS

  • Advanced Task Manager – One of the few pay apps I run and worth every penny. Allows you to manage which apps are allowed to run and which ones aren’t, etc. One of Android’s biggest features is also one of its drawbacks: multitasking. Much like WinMo devices, it can run multiple apps at once but many of those apps don’t “quit” when you leave them. They simply go to the background. This costs you battery life and CPU cycles. Sometimes that’s a good thing, other times not so much. This app lets you kill apps that need killing and even lets you schedule regular termination to squash some pesky apps that auto-start periodically in the background. I got an immediate boost in battery life and performance with this relatively inexpensive app.

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Pixar’s 3D Headache

In Cool Tech, Entertainment, Me, Movies, Reviews on October 16, 2009 at 11:27 am

To say this wouldn’t fit in 140 characters is an understatement. Sorry for the long-winded post. Just takes some explaining…

I just got through seeing the Toy Story 1 and 2 in 3D double feature. Those that know me, already know that i’m a huge Pixar fan, so i won’t go into a long review of the movies. They are amazing, life changing events and you should see them (though amazingly, i think i was in the theater tonight with several people that had never seen either movie). This is more a review of the 3D-i-zation of the movies.

Interestingly i was both very pleased and disappointed. In that chronological order. I also made a discovery that i had often wondered about but never gotten the chance to test. It explains why i have always gotten a bit of a headache when i’ve watched just about any 3D movie.

First a little background: “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2″ were, of course, not originally created for 3D presentation. They were originally created using 3D computer animation (“Toy Story” of course being famous as the first feature length all CG film), but rendered to flat 2D images for traditional exhibition. The great thing about this process is that, of course, Pixar still has the original files they used to create these movies so it was a relatively easy process to re-render the movies in 3D (after making lots of minor tweaks to lighting, etc). This means old movies in 3D, but in true 3D – not kinda hacked apart and “spatialized” like we’ve been hearing George Lucas threaten to do with Star Wars.

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New Digs

In Blog Stuff, Me on October 11, 2009 at 10:59 am

Exactly three years ago today I made my first post on my first real blog. I’d had several different iterations of personal and business web pages with various forms of personal writing, but my Blogger blog was the first real, dedicated, regular outlet I had tried. Worked pretty well too. I actually kept up a post-a-day schedule for nearly a year. After a while that dwindled to a post a week or so. Then Twitter came along and suddenly all those thoughts I had during the day that used to combine into a post every night were suddenly being instantly shared with my friends 140 characters at a time. This was especially true for any and all Predators related stuff after Garrett and I made ReTweetBot. My game blogs and rants about coaches were (for the most part) going out to the @PredFans group instead of my blog. (I have to say, i think Twitter honestly did good things for my communication skills – forced me to be much more concise and allowed me to communicate more frequently with friends). Then of course, along came Ian and then a new job (and Rock Band…) and what little spare time I had was being completely sucked up.

But a few times lately I’ve been getting the urge to write more and more. I also began to recognize how cathartic it was for me to express myself – even if it was about hockey, much less something else. And so much the better when anyone actually reads it (especially considering my writing is nowhere near what Christy’s is) though that’s almost beside the point.

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Eulogy

In Family, Me on August 8, 2009 at 2:41 pm

My grandfather passed away a few weeks ago. I was asked to say something at the funeral. Normally i don’t write out full speeches, but i knew given the emotion involved and the things i didn’t want to forget to say, that writing it out would be the best choice this time.

So, since i had it written out anyway, i decided to post it here, if for no other reason that 1) to honor him and 2) i haven’t posted anything in a really, really long time.

me, my father, and grandfather a several years ago

For a long time growing up, to me Papaw was just Papaw. One of those constants that was always there and never changed. As I grew older and became a teenager, I saw him as kind and gentle. A man of reason and intelligence. Always quiet and understated – but also through the eyes of a teenager I’ll admit: he seemed a little boring. He was an architect and engineer, and that was ok I suppose, but I didn’t exactly see him as exciting – and he ate at Luby’s a little more often than a 13 year old thought was normal.

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BNA refuses to modernize

In Cool Tech, Family, Me, Nashville, Work on August 8, 2009 at 2:00 pm

My new job requires me to travel quite a bit more than my last job (which required basically no travel at all). I’ve begun the life of a road warrior to a small extent, already going in and out of BNA (Nashville’s airport) a couple of times a month in the last little bit.

Anyone that knows BNA and knows me, knows this means frustration. You see, i’m a geek and like my power-hungry gadgets, and BNA is practically void of convenient power outlets. While most airports in the country have rows of waiting area seats complete with A/C and USB power outlets, BNA has only a few power outlets scattered under payphones, behind doors, and at the base of columns, like the picture to the right. With few exceptions, all of these require sitting on the floor to access.

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Little Help!?

In Cool Tech, Friends, Me on April 24, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Just a quick post to beg for money. Ok, kinda.

For those following the saga of the ReTweetBot (vote here for a new name, we don’t like that one), you’ll know that it is a cool Twitter app that i had an idea for, and i talked Garrett into coding for me.

Well, i’d like to pay Garrett back for his trouble (and ok, i might keep a little for myself).

So… ChipIn here. Heck, even if it’s just $0.50, that’s fine.

Thanks!

Summer Movie Update – 2009 Edition

In Entertainment, Me, Movies on April 21, 2009 at 10:56 am

It has started to become a tradition for me to chronicle what movies i’m particularly excited about seeing, or plan on seeing during the summer movie rush. (2007, 2007 update 1, 2007 update 2, 2008, 2008 update 1, 2008 update 2)

This year’s slate is a bit lighter than the past few years, due mostly to me being crazy busy and just knowing that i’ll get around to seeing fewer movies (especially since babysitting is now an issue). Here’s what we have so far:

Planning/Hoping to See:
May 1 – Battle For Terra
Looks very cool, little buzz about it though

May 1 – X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Looks awesome!

May 8 – Star Trek
I’m still nervous of what they’ll do to my Trek…

May 22 – Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
First flick was great fun

May 29 – Up
Pixar movie. Will be awesome. Period.

July 15 – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Looks great, and loved this book

August 28 – The Boat The Rocked
Very cool subject matter and great cast. Music history!

October 16 – Where The Wild Things Are
Kinda on the fence, but i want to be excited about this one

Interested In Seeing: (Probably waiting for video)
April 24 – The Soloist
Obvious Oscar bait, but looks good

May 21 – Terminator Salvation
I hated the first 3 so much, but no James Cameron gives me hope

June 24 – Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen
I will see this movie eventually. Can’t avoid it. Michael Bay stinks though.

July 1 – Public Enemies
Great cast, great subject matter

July 1 – Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Liked the first movies

September 3 – Moon
Sam Rockwell + trippy sci-fi = cool

August 7 – GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Gonna be cheesy fun

August 14 – The Time Traveler’s Wife
Romance + sci fi = cool?

October 9 – The Informant
Cast, director, curious…

October 23 – Astro Boy
Good buzz around it

December 11 – The Lovely Bones
Peter Jackson + great cast

Macroblogging

In Blog Stuff, Cool Tech, Me on April 13, 2009 at 8:08 pm

For those that have followed this blog for a while (Hi Christy, mom, dad, etc) you’ll probably recognize that i haven’t posted in a while. In fact, this is probably coming up in your RSS feed reader and you’re wonder what this blog is and why you subscribed. Many of you may have subscribed because you were told by many other people that this was a blog that covers the Nashville Predators. And it does. Or did. Kinda still does. It covers the Predators about as much as it covers anything these days, which is to say, not much.

I have increasingly been using Twitter to share my thoughts with the world. The tool of instant spur of the moment microblogging has sucked me in completely. So much so that i actually created (or helped create) a tool specifically so i could have a place on Twitter to talk about the Predators and not annoy the general population.

However, a strange thing has happened lately. I have begun having more frequent thoughts which i would like to share with the world, but can not be expressed in 140 characters or less. Personally, i blame the long hours minutes of holding my son Ian while waiting for him to fall asleep. With that much unoccupied time, my mind wonders on long tangents it hasn’t been able to in a while.

Anyway. I also remembered that i can quickly blog from my phone from anywhere via email in a manner not dissimilar to how i use Twitter. This allows me the freedom to quickly express that brilliant thought that will change the lives of everyone who reads it, but do so in an unencumbered fashion (and with pictures!). For instance, i can now afford the characters to use words like “unencumbered”.

So, be prepared to have this space active once again. Or at least a little more so. But to be clear, a lot of what i have to say, especially about the Preds, will probably still be on Twitter.

Ian Patrick Nicholson

In Christy, Family, Me on April 4, 2009 at 7:43 pm

I’ve been a bit busy lately, so haven’t posted in a while. What have i been busy with?


My son, Ian Patrick Nicholson was born 3/27/09 at 12:29pm. Weighed in at 9 lbs, 8 oz – 20.5″ long.

Hopefully i’ll start getting more posting in soon. In the mean time, check cute pictures here, here, and here. You can also follow Ian on Twitter here, and his blog here.

Radio Stars

In Christy, Entertainment, Hockey, Me, Nashville, Sports on March 22, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Real quick post here…

A while back the Predators asked a bunch of season ticket holders to come in and participate in recording clips for some new radio ads. They said they would post them online, but i haven’t seen them yet…

Well, i finally caught a few fast enough to record (though only one from start to finish).

Christy and I are featured pretty prominently in a few of them, so i decided to take what clips i’d been able to grab so far, chop them up, and make a version with just Christy and I :-)

Oh, and here’s the one complete original i’ve been able to grab so far for anyone else that wanted to hear the commercials.

ReTweetBot: Instruction Manual for Users

In Cool Tech, Me on December 15, 2008 at 6:33 pm
(Note: We’ve finally launched ReTweetBot.com
these instructions are mirrored there along with much more info)

After essentially borrowing and tweaking the idea from a few others, @phragmunkee (Garrett) and i put together what he accurately dubbed the ReTweetBot. A very simple tool that allows for Twitter users to form permanent groups that have a large numbers of users, with a common interest, follow each others’ tweets without having to follow all off-topic tweets.

You can check my first post on the topic for a bigger explination of what ReTweetBot groups are and how they got started (and how this differes from hash-tags for topical twittering).

What follows is a quick instruction guide for users of the groups (a set of instructions for managers of the groups will be posted shortly).


(For all examples below, I will use the group @PredFans as the group in question. Just substitute the name of whichever ReTweetBot equipped account you want to use when you are posting.)

There are two basic ways of posting to a ReTweetBot equipped group.
1) Using an @ reply. Simply start your Tweet with “@PredFans”. Anyone can post to a group this way (if the administrator has the option enabled).

Send a tweet like this…
And it will appear like this…

As you can see, this method has the disadvantage of “double posting” and making what you say show up in your regular Twitter feed as well as going to the group account. Sometimes that is fine, but the point of these accounts is to move topical conversation ‘clutter’ to the group account, so there is a better way…

2) The other posting option is to send a Direct Message (sometimes called a DM) to the ReTweetBot enabled account. For this to work, the admin must have the option enabled (it is “on” by default) and the ReTweetBot enabled account must be following you on Twitter. If they aren’t following your Twitter account, then the @ reply option above is the only way you can post.

The advantage here is that your Tweet will only show up on the ReTweetBot account (for everyone following there to see) and not clutter up your main feed.

So you send the tweet like this…
And it will appear like this…
With no duplicates in the feed!

So, that is the basic method behind posting to a group.
A few more pointers and tips:

  • Your name will be added to the front of your tweet (along with a colon and a space), so make sure to leave room – you can’t post a full 140 characters. If your username is 11 characters long (like mine), your message to the group can only be 127 characters long (11 for username + 2 for the colon and space + message).
  • If you want to tweet “at” someone in the group using the @ reply method, make sure you still start with the ReTweetBot group name first, otherwise it won’t post. Saying “@predfans @pwnicholson blah blah” will post to the group. Saying “@pwnicholson @predfans blah blah” will not post to the group.
  • Same principle aplies to DM posting method. “d predfans @pwnicholson blah blah” willpost to the group just fine. “d pwnicholson @predfans blah blah” or “d pwnicholson predfans blah blah” will not post to the group.

When everything is working right, you’ll end up with a twitter stream that looks like this:
A bunch of people with a common interest who don’t have to follow each others’ every tweet to have a conversation about the topic they all care about.

If you have any questions or feedback for the groups, please let me know in the comments of this post. We hope to be either launching either an online service, open to all, or make the code available so others can start their own groups soon as well. For now, the test groups that are up and running are:

@PredFans – the first group, created for Nashville Predators fans. Already up to 160+ followers with many regular participants.
@TitanFans – for fans of the Tennessee Titans
@GoLeafs – For fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs
@OilFans – For fans of the Edmonton Oilers
@MotorcycleFans – For fans of two-wheels
@BOLOEastNash – “Be On The Lookout” Crime watch group for the East Nashville neighborhood

Ian Nicholson

In Christy, Family, Me on November 7, 2008 at 6:12 pm


Ian Nicholson

It’s a boy! He’ll be making his first appearance in public on March 24th (give or take a bit)It’s a boy! He’ll be making his first appearance in public on March 24th (give or take a bit)

Daily grind

In East Nashville, Me, Nashville on July 28, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Don’t get me wrong: i love relaxing and letting someone else drive, i love saving money, and love helping to save the environment. But losing an hour and a half of my day to extra commute time (over driving), feeling unproductive because my blackberry can only do so much, and watching disfunctional families abuse their kids while waiting at the bus terminal are all starting to wear on me today.

Today we do have the added entertainment of a Black Muslim evangelist spewing what i would call white-hate speech (about ‘the man locking away kids’ and saying that ‘white Christianity ruined Africa’) to anyone that doesn’t immediatly tell him to go away. He hasn’t tried me so far.

The funny part to me is that the buses are fine. i never see any trouble makers or problems on the bus, don’t feel uncomfortable, and generally have a nice time. You’d assume from stereotypes that my buses should be the worst: i take the #4 past the projects in East Nashville, and the #15 past the projects off LaFayette. They are really nice though. But at the station… You have to spend too long here and it needs to be cleaned up (of trash) and monitored better. I really may start waiting a few blocks up each route from here on out.

I also need to get my Sansa working again (if Rhapsody would get their act together) and remember that i can use my BlackBerry with Opera to make blog posts like this one. Helps pass the time for sure, though my readers may have to suffer through more grumpy rants about my day rather than read mostly about the Preds. :-)

Thoughts from a show

In Entertainment, Me, Music on July 13, 2008 at 8:02 pm

Feeling especially contemplative at the Sixpence None The Richer show at 3rd and Lindsley, so rather than continue to clutter Twitter, just gonna run a bit of a random thoughts blog. Enjoy.

  • Many indie/rock musicians are still following the fashion (hair and clothes) example set by Nirvana (and to a lesser extent some punk bands from the earlier) nearly 18 years ago. i find that remarkable.
  • I know from experience, the stage at 3rd and Lindsley looks and feels small from the audience but is deceptively big. The whole venue feels like a tiny club, but the stage accommodates a 5-6 piece band with ease and the place must have 300-500 people in it right now. Good balance. Very good sound guys too. Unlike some venues in town (*cough*Exit/In*cough*).
  • Of course, the 8 person band (yes – eight people!) that Sixpence has on stage is a little cramped. Sheesh!
  • Apparently Sixpence None The Richer is still drawing pretty much the same people they used to. Not the same crowd – actually the same people. In the last 6-8 years they’ve gone from drawing 20-somethings (and a mixed crowd) to drawing 30-something women – almost exclusively. At least at this show. Not that that’s a bad thing. Though this does feel just a little like the shows that the Hugh Grant character in ‘Music and Lyrics‘ was doing, but less pathetic.
  • Really random thought: Blogger’s examples for the types of words to use for tags have been “scooters, vacation, fall”. One day I’m going to take a vacation in the fall and ride a scooter just so i can write a blog post about it. :-)
  • The electric guitar player for Sixpence (not Matt Slocum or the all acoustic all the time guy or the bass player – the other one) has dreads, a black shirt, s bandanna hanging out of his back pocket, and his guitar is slung low (resting on his knee from a standing position). He’s very good, but looks like they found him behind the punk/metal stage at a festival and decided to keep him. He’s now playing an electric mandolin. Image/sound conflict, but it works.
  • The keyboard player (edit: whoa, that’s Sam Ashworth) on the other hand looks like he should be in a lounge on a cruise ship. A cool lounge, but still there’s a big shift from stage right to stage left.
  • While we’re on the topic of band dress: Christy and i used to comment how Leigh Nash was always really good at dressing very stylish, but very modestly. Tonight…let’s just say i could describe an undergarment to you in detail. Distracting much?
  • The percussionist (not the drummer, the other one)(edit: whoa, that’s Steve Hindalong!) is using two tambourines simultaneously throughout the evening. When one tambourine just isn’t enough…
  • Aside from being an amazing songwriter, Matt Slocum is a deceptively good guitarist. Wow.
  • Seeing live music always makes me want to play more, and get a chance to play out. i got only a very small taste of it, and was never a good enough drummer (or took the time/money to do the gear like a pro) to do it in the past. Sometimes I think about selling my drum kit for the nice cash it would bring, but i still want to play sometime. As long as i have it there is a hope that I’ll either play with Nick and/or Jamie sometime again. Someday it may be like my dad’s old saxophone in the closet.
  • Before the show, the house mix played a pop cover of “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat“. Love the song, but that one i wouldn’t have called as cover-worthy. It worked though. (Looked it up after i got home and apparently Don Henley covered it. Eeww. I don’t think that’s what we were hearing tonight though.
  • Matt Slocum must know his pedal board and the floor of every venue he’s ever played very well. He never looks up through the whole show. Not looking at his guitar or feet board most of the time. Just studying the floor.
  • 3rd and Lindsley’s chicken tenders are surprisingly good. Their bathroom is also too nice for a bar/club like this. They need to take out the nice vinyl floor and stucco walls and replace them all with thinly painted plywood. That would fit much better. Thanks.

Ok, the show is wrapping up, so i guess i will too. Thanks for letting me spew random thoughts at ya for a while.

PS: i could see the set list- they planned an encore (“Eyes Wide Open”) but the audience didn’t ask for one, probably because it was broadcast on the radio and the announcer ‘signed off’ the air. Oh well. It was a great show.

The Faux Brummles

In Entertainment, Me, Music, Videos on June 7, 2008 at 10:09 am

A few friends of ours dropped us an email a saying “A friend of Allison‘s (from work) husband is playing as part of a band on Friday night, do you want to go see them. The band is: Phil Keaggy, Dave Perkins, Lynn Nichols, Rick Cua, Mark Williamson, Mike Radovsky, Tom Howard, and several other players. Playing nothing but covers. Small cafe venue. $5 cover. Do you want to go see them?”

My response was essentially: “ARE YOU KIDDING?!”

And apparently i was so excited i completely neglected to invite Jamie, my dad, or anyone else who would appreciate seeing Phil Keaggy play with half of Chagall Guevera (and half the band that played on his amazing “Crimson and Blue” album) with some of the other best musicians in Nashville.

So, i’m a jerk.

Not only that, but i neglected to adequately test my Canon S3IS’s ability to record REALLY LOUD music. It handled it better than my Sansa, but not quite as good as the old tape recorder in my pocket used to when i bootlegged every show i saw. Oh – and i also didn’t think to take two SD cards, just a single 2GB job that could hold about 70min of video tops.

But at any rate, i recorded what i could. But i missed the last 3 tunes (including Rick Cua’s one and only amazing bass solo) and the audio quality is poor.

However, even though the audio is fairly trashy, it unfortunately gives you an accurate feel for the sound that evening. REALLY LOUD and unbalanced. The drums and organ were way too loud, and you could barely hear Phil Keaggy’s or Dave Perkins’ guitars, or Phil Keaggy’s and Mark Williamson’s vocals. But all-in-all it was still pretty amazing.

I recorded video when i felt like i could. I didn’t have a tri-pod and i wasn’t sure they really wanted the whole thing video taped, so i just left it sitting on the table recording the lens cap and sound most of the show, and occasionally would pick it up and pretend to take still photos and shoot video of the band. I realized after the fact that they probably would have been fine with me setting up a tripod in the corner and recording the whole thing… lessons learned.

Anyway – here’s a rough version of them covering the Beatles’ “Get Back”. I’ll try to clean up the audio and post the whole show later.


The Faux Brummles from Paul Nicholson on Vimeo.

Note about the band name: They were the Faux Brummles…named after the Beau Brummels, a ‘fake’ British Invasion band that was really from the ‘States. Since these guys weren’t really a band, they figured they’d be a fake-fake-band. I took the misspelling of “Brummles” from the marquee out front, but who knows if that was a typo or intentional. They said if they ever play again it’ll be under a different name, so don’t look for them too hard in the future.

I’m on Google News!

In Cool Tech, Hockey, Me on May 21, 2008 at 11:51 am

For those that don’t know, Google News pulls stories from major news sites, but also pulls stories from blogs as long as they are authored by more than one person (like say, ghia’s blog).

There are also a number of sites such as Bleacher Report and BallHype that aggregate sports blog stories and republish them together. The practical upshot is that post that a person makes on an individual blog now show up like they are posted to sites authored by many people, so Google News will search them.

You can also setup Google News to search for certain terms and display those results for you next to the pre-set categories (such as Sports, World News, etc). I have it setup to search for Nashville Predators news and guess what just showed up…


Look familiar?

Not that big a deal, i know. But i just think its cool that something i wrote would come up on Google news :-)

Bus riding again

In East Nashville, Me, Work on May 16, 2008 at 5:52 am

I love taking the bus, especially the afternoon trip home. Very relaxing, and they are surprisingly clean. (And for all you sheltered suburbanites, the ridership isn’t scary.)

It’s great to let someone else drive and i get to sit back and channel surf the radio or mess with playlists on my Sansa. But getting up just 30 min early is, well, tough to say the least. Especially when it’s raining. But even the morning rides are well worth it. For instance, i get to make blog posts on my way to work. :-)

Of course, it is ridiculous that it is more efficient in time and money for me to drive from my house into downtown, park, then ride the rest of the way in to work. Not having any transfer fares makes the full system as a whole nearly untenable.

basic building blocks

In Entertainment, Games, Me on March 6, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Thanks to Brittney for posting a pic of this great new Lego ad:

click to en-biggen

Fabulous ad that shows Lego as they are meant to be used.

Too bad that the company’s product group has forgotten what their ad agency knows so well.

It is getting harder and harder to find buckets of raw pieces in stores. Only Lego fanatics, willing to go online and take time to custom order parts, can find them anymore. If you hit Wal-mart looking for a quick Lego fix, you’re only going to find these ridiculous sets that border on basic modeling kits.
I always ignored the directions showing all the different houses and things you could make with the generic kits anyway. That is the fun. Gimme a buck-o-pieces and make me use my mind. But when half the pieces have decals and designs on them and are custom molded nose-cones, it just ruins the fun.

Having said that…the more custom character pieces can be fun…especially when i can have my favorite character from the Star Wars Lego video game on my desk at work.

Preds Viewing Party reminder

In Hockey, Me, Sports on March 3, 2008 at 10:22 pm

Just a quick heads up that Beyond the Edge is hosting another viewing party for the Predators game this Friday night. This game will not be on Fox Sports South, so unless you have the Center Ice package at home, you’ll have to head to one sports bar or another if you want to watch it live.

So, why not check it out at a cool bar in East Nashville with a bunch of other Preds fans – oh, and have a chance to win swag (hats, t-shirts, etc) and tickets to an upcoming game!

Time Change: This is a west coast game, so it starts late – 8:30pm. But hey, it’s the weekend, so why not stay up a little late?

Predators vs Calgary
Friday, March 7th, 8:30pm
Beyond the Edge
112 S 11th St., Nashville, TN 37206

Note: Friday also happens to be my birthday, so i think this is kinda turning into an unofficial birthday-related party-type thing for me. Just be warned. And bring me stuff. Or something.

GrandCentral

In Cool Tech, Me on February 26, 2008 at 9:24 am

I just signed up for the latest cool tech to come into an open “Beta” from Google: GrandCentral. Really cool concept, pretty solid execution. Can’t wait to see what it turns into eventually (or how they monetize it in the future).

The basic concept is this: Signup. Get a new phone number. Setup all your real phone numbers to tie to your account. Now, when someone calls your GrandCentral number, it actually rings any of your numbers.

For instance… if you were to call 615-823-1734, it would ring my work number, cell number, and home number simultaneously. I would then have the choice of answering, forcing the call to voicemail, or screening it…you’d start leaving a voicemail and i could “pick up” if i wanted to. I would be able to access your voicemails from any phone, or from the web. I can also set rules to direct different callers to different numbers at different times of day, and even have custom voicemail greetings and rings for different people.

The fabulous thing about this, is the people calling my number will never see my real phone number. I can even call into my GrandCentral number and then dial out to someone – the GrandCentral number would show up on caller ID, not my real number.

And it’s all free…for now anyway. I could easily see a time when in between my witty custom ring sounds callers would have to hear ads, or something similar.

But for now, this is pretty sweet.
It is a semi-open beta, and i have 7 more invites i can send to people (leave a comment if you want one), or you can just hit their site and try to sign-up yourself.

And gimme a ring if you want: 615-823-1734 :-)

milestones

In Blog Stuff, Me on February 22, 2008 at 12:21 pm

Wow. That went fast. 400 posts in 499 days.

It took me just over 3 months to get to 100 posts (from 10/11/20061/16/2007). I tried really hard to at least average a post a day for a long while there, and got pretty darn close. It tapered off after a while though, and it took 6 months to get to post #200, thought i didn’t even realize it at the time. Still not a bad post rate i guess. Now i just realized a few days ago i was coming up on 400. We’re here…yay!

What’s kinda funny, is that i also just crossed my 5,000th picture on Flickr, which happened to be of Dan Ellis making a save against the Coyotes.

So, in celebration of both milestones, instead of repeating the strongbad-esque repetition of the word “blog”, or better yet, a Stargate-style parody of myself, i’m going to make this a good-old fashioned best-of blog. That’s right. Like bad sit-coms of the 80’s and 90’s, you’re getting a clip show!

I think i’ll make this more of a superlative to start with. For Flickr that’s easy – this whole photo set is nothing but my “most interesting” pictures (a formula Flickr uses based on views, comments, favorites, and other factors). My most “interesting” picture according to the Flickr masses is by far my miniature version of the Preds playoff game against the Sharks last year (at right). Although my single most viewed photo is, for some bazaar reason, a picture of a jack-o-lantern i did with my co-workers two halloweens ago. It’s cool, but i have no idea what drives the views on this thing. I don’t even thing that’s the best picture of it. The most favorited picture is one that i personally love – a miniature of the commuter rail train in downtown Nashville, and the most commented is of a funny church sign in our neighborhood.

As for my most “interesting posts”, that’s a little harder to nail down. The most comments i’ve ever had on a single post is 8, and that’s happened several times (Bad news for Preds, name change, and bad movies. As for traffic driving posts… The first major traffic driving post i had was, well, post #100, oddly enough. I went from having 10-15 unique visitors a day to 123 that day. The next post is where i really hit it big – the predators what?!?! was one of the first post on the entire interwebs to break the story that the Predators were being sold to Jim Balsillie. It was posted late on the 23rd and drove 523 unique visitors within 48 hours. Other posts have driven good traffic too, including other updates on the Preds sale and a post about the new “megatron” screen in the Sommet Center.

The posts that by far has the best continual traffic draw are this one because of the images of vintage hockey masks shows up in Google Image Search a lot, and this one because AOL’s Fanhouse linked to it (and used my picture).

I also just have to point out some of my personal favorite posts… like the one where i predicted (using evidence that only i had) that Peter Forsberg would be staying in Nashville for the 07-08 season (which of course, didn’t happen – i don’t mind), and my post about couldn’t/could care less.

And the torture will last no longer… i’ll wrap up with some of my favorite Flickr pictures…

LAN Party!!!!

In Cool Tech, East Nashville, Entertainment, Friends, Games, Me on February 20, 2008 at 11:13 am

It’s that time of year again: My good friend Matt and I are celebrating another trip around the sun (my birthday is March 7th, his is March 1st). So, we’re going shoot each other. :-)

Yes, we are throwing another LAN party!

dark picture from last year’s party

This year we’re going to try to make things a little more coordinated. For the sake of simplicity, we’re going to base the day’s gaming around the Valve Orange Box and games distributed through Steam. Specifically, mods for Half-Life 2, but we’ll probably throw some Team Fortress 2 in there, and may break out Quake 3 Team Arena, Battlestations: Midway, or any of the other free demo games on Steam.

Depending on who is there, we may end up playing some Tribes 2 (now free online), or some RTS or other (Battle for Middle Earth?) and we may even devolve into playing some console games (like 8-player NHL 08 on my shiny new PS3). But we’ll mostly stick to stuff on Steam.

The party will be March 8th at my place in East Nashville, from 1:00pm to… late (probably around 10:00pm or 11:00pm…)

Here’s the fun part – you’re all invited!

What you have to bring:

* Your own PC (with monitor, keyboard, mouse, and headphones!)
* A running copy of Steam and Half-Life 2 installed – before you arrive if possible
(the full Orange Box package is a plus, but not needed)
* $5 for pizza

We’ll provide snacks and drinks, as well as seating, tables, power, and network connections.

If you are interested in attending, then let me know by either commenting on this post or direct message me on twitter (just post to Twitter “d pwnicholson: i want to come to your cool LAN party”) and i will get you directions. If you are some really random person i’ve never heard of before, i may want to at least…ya know…talk to you first. But all my rad blogger buddies are certainly invited, male and female alike (of course, be warned: to have fun at this party there is something of a requirement to be a gaming geek at some level).

If you can only come to part of the party, that’s certainly fine. Several people are already planning on being there for “only” 4-5 hours. It’s cool.

meme: me, me, me

In Blog Stuff, Friends, Hockey, Me, Movies on February 10, 2008 at 8:41 am

Christy just tagged me (and i guess Matt would have if i hadn’t been already) so…

Rules: Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you. Post the rules on your blog. Post 7 random or weird facts about yourself on your blog. Tag 7 people and link to them. Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.

1) I took 7 years to get through college and only took 2 semesters off the whole time (including summer sessions). I attended 3 Universities, changed my major 5 times and minors 7 times. My eventual degree required 120 hours, but I attempted 177 and attained 152 (only actually failed a few, but dropped many). But i did finish, dang it! My degree is a B.S. in Recording Industry Management (Music Business emphasis) with a Marketing minor. I sell printers for Dell as a living right now and don’t use any of it (for my day job anyway). [slaps forehead]

2) Unlike my wife, i have seen Titanic (hated it). What is interesting is that i saw it with a bunch of college buddies (4 of us if i remember correctly). No girls in sight. We went to a midnight show that didn’t get out until after 3:00am. I still don’t know how they talked me into it, but we all regretted it later.

3) I am, technically speaking, a member of the Bar Association. I was part of a special debate-team-kinda thing in Middle School back in Texas and was made a junior member of the Bar Association. I still have the membership card in a box somewhere. Unfortunately this does not afford me better pay at work.

4) I learned to love hockey in Huntsville, AL. I attended the Univ. of Alabama at Huntsville for one semester only (worst 4-5 months of my life). There was absolutely nothing to do for out of town college students in that town if you didn’t like drinking (i could only go to the NASA exhibits so many times). But UAH did have a hockey team, and Huntsville had a minor league team. Attendance was so bad they used to let UAH students in free to both games (frequently back-to-back). I spent many nights watching 4-5 straight hours of hockey (which i had never seen live before) that was mostly filled with lots of scoring and fights. The games frequently finished with 6-8 scores. It wasn’t great hockey, but it was good enough to win me over.

5) My wife Christy and i have been married for about 5.5 years, but we started dating Sept 23rd…i think it was 1994 (maybe 1995). Homecoming was our first date (everyone say “awwwww”). I only really dated two other girls my entire life (though i ‘went out’ with 2 more in middle school). We waited until one of us graduated (as you can guess from #1 above, that was her) to get married (no, we never lived together before that). So we dated for about 8 years, were engaged for a year and half, then got married. If i have my math right, we’ve been a couple for nearly 15 years.

6) I don’t consider myself a fearful person, but i do have one issue that borders on a phobia: bugs. Especially if they surprise me by being where they shouldn’t be. I can handle water, crowds, snakes, small woodland creatures, and can survive heights (though i don’t love them)… but if a bug suddenly shows up on our bedroom wall: Christy gets to handle it.

7) Rote memorization has never been a strong point for me. Always had trouble studying for tests and memorizing Bible versus. But two things i can remember: movies and song lyrics. I can pretty much recite every line in three Star Wars movies, any Pixar movie, most of the Indiana Jones trilogy, and the movie version of Much Ado About Nothing…and tons of other movies – if i am watching them. I can lip-sync (or speak) right along with them. Exact timing of the lines and everything. Same with most songs: if i listen to it more than a few times and like it, i’ll pick up lyrics very easily (usually) and can sing along with it later. But, if you asked me to just write out the script of lyrics on a sheet of paper from memory i’d be hurting for all but a few movies and songs.

Ok. That’s it.

I guess i’ll go try to tag a couple of people.

not-so-secret ballot

In East Nashville, Funny, History/Politics, Me, Nashville on February 5, 2008 at 11:45 am

I vote at Stratford High School in East Nashville. A politically active area, and one with a polling place that is very efficient. I have rarely had to wait more than 3-4 minutes to vote, but the area usually has a pretty good turnout.

However, the last three times i’ve voted, i have also had the pleasure of watching those before me cast their votes. It gives you that tight community feeling you understand…

You see, they setup the voting booths in the front lobby of the school, in front of the mirror-backed trophy cases. That’s right – they setup the secret ballot voting booths right in front of a WALL OF MIRRORS! They have a blue tape line marking where you can’t walk any closer to give people privacy while they vote. Problem is that i can actually see what they are doing better by standing back than if i was standing closer!

I’ve diagrammed (pardon the quick/sloppy artwork) the setup below:

I could see clearly what the guy was doing in the far left booth (as face the booths waiting in line). The fact that the booths were at an angle just made it that much easier to see.

When i mentioned it to the officials, they went over to the one person who i couldn’t see (in the far right booth) and interrupted him in the middle of voting and asked him to stand a little closer – like he was doing something wrong!

All it would take is draping some butcher paper, posters, or sheets over the trophy cases. I’ve mentioned it every time i voted in the last three elections and nothing has been done.

I finally just looked up the contact info for the election commission – they don’t have EMAIL!?! So, i just spend 15 minutes on hold on their general call in number (the pre-recorded message at the beginning wanted to make sure i knew they would be closed on Jan 21st for the MLK holiday). Finally i spoke with a general worker who was very polite and transferred me to Ms. Joan A Nixon’s voice mail. I was assured that she would return my call. Her email is listed on the commission’s website, so if i don’t hear back from her soon i’ll probably drop her an email.

I will update this space if they do ever contact me back or anything comes of this.

Cruise Pictures

In Christy, Family, Me, Pictures on January 18, 2008 at 8:22 am

Well, finally back to posting. The holidays were great and i pretty much totally took time away from the PC for a while (though i did get a new Blackberry so i can’t exactly claim to be totally unplugged)… and then of course i was out of town and then on a cruise for quite a while. Internet on the cruise was slow and $0.75 per minute – so you didn’t get updates. Yeah. Sorry about that. Or not.

Anyway. Pictures from the cruise are starting to go up!

I took a lot of pictures. A whole lot. Like…around 400 i think. While not all of them are keepers (bless you digital camera technology), i still have a lot to sort through, crop, stitch panoramas, etc. So slowly but surely i’ve been uploading them, one “day” of the trip at a time.

First 3 days of the trip are now up – New Orleans (where my sister Amy was helpful in tagging and mapping pictures after showing us the town), boarding the ship, and the first day at sea. Go check them out!

Here are a few of my favorites for those of you too lazy to actually visit my Flickr site to see ALL 112 PICTURES i’ve uploaded so far:













published pictures

In East Nashville, Me, Pictures on December 14, 2007 at 10:27 pm

Eastwood Neighbors just came out with their 13 month calendar, featuring not one, but two shots by yours truly. Now, i haven’t seen the calendars, so i can’t speak to their overall quality and such. (I certainly am not responsible for the proofreading ability of whoever posted the announcement) But i’m pretty proud of having pictures selected just the same.

These two shots were selected for the calendar:

and

By the way: If you’re interested in buying one, you can visit their site for info. But don’t buy one on my account. I won’t see a dime and it’s not that big a deal for me.

While i’m on the topic, i’ll go ahead and brag some more that my pictures have been used a few different places. Two other print-based tour guide books have contacted me about using my pictures (though neither has sent me a copy yet) and two other web-based sites use my shots. One is a shot of the railroad bridge over the Cumberland River in Shelby Bottoms Park (at the right) featured on Schmap!’s sports grounds page, another is a picture of downtown (focus on Broadway) that serves as the shot of Nashville for an international based tour site, Geoglob. That one i am particularly happy with, though i don’t think either of these sites is particularly well trafficked or famous, it’s cool just the same to have my pictures singled out. I’ve also had a bunch of my Predators photos grabbed and posted all over the place, particularly the Predators Fan group on Facebook and on the Predators message boards… though they generally don’t ask permission.

And while i’m on the photos topic, i love that Flickr finally, FINALLY started including real stats for pictures and photo streams. It still isn’t as deep-dive or robust as i’d love it to be, but it is better than nothing. Enough that i can brag that since Flickr started keeping stats my 4,426 photos have been viewed 47,814 times, and that on Nov 30th alone, i had 916 views of my photos. Yay :-)

communal viewing

In Christy, Entertainment, Me, Movies on December 11, 2007 at 7:35 am

We own lots of DVDs. Not nearly as many as some people i’m sure, but we have quite a bit. Not just movies, but a lot of TV shows too. We also subscribe to Netflix, which in addition to the DVD’s through the mail we get, allows us to instantly stream movies over the web (from a rather limited selection). We also frequent Hulu and other online content sources. In light of all of this, we do not have cable. No need. More than enough entertainment and not enough time in the day as it is. The only TV show we’re huge fans of and “have” to watch is Stargate and we just go over to a friend’s house every Friday for that (which is more fun anyway)… So, that’s your background.

I want to continue my process of ripping content from DVDs on to our big network drive. Have any and all of our media instantly accessible. Then my goal is to get a PC hooked up to the HDTV upstairs (already have one driving the projector-home theater downstairs) and just be in media heaven. Never have to watch “TV” again outside of live sporting events.

I love all this. My wife however, does not love it as much.

She’s fine with me ripping the content, and fine with watching shows occasionally and we watch movies frequently. But she still insists on occasionally watching TV. We have a good ‘ol set of rabbit ears and she’ll end up watching re-runs of sitcoms on fuzzy broadcast TV with…with… commercials included. I don’t understand this. She tries to explain it as wanting a “communal viewing experience”. She likes knowing that there are thousands (if not hundreds) of other people watching the same thing she is at the same time. I comprehend the facts of that statement, but it isn’t something I’ve ever felt compelled to partake in myself. What I really don’t get is how she’d often rather watch the fuzzy, broadcast, commercial filled version of Scrubs than just boot up the PC and watch the near-commercial-free version that is much higher quality on Hulu. I would way rather have a nice, clear, perfect version of my entertainment, starting and stopping when I darn well please, than have to be on someone else’s schedule for an inferior product. (wow, that sounded more harsh than I meant…)

But now it looks like there is something for both of us.

According to Cinematical, the new Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix HD-DVD allows for “Live Community Screening”. Basically if you have a web-connected HD-DVD drive (which most allow for), when you hit play under this feature the movie doesn’t start immediately. Playback is controlled by a single “host” user, who initiates the invitation-only viewing, and can control the film by pausing and playing the feature on everyone else’s machines. Participants can also text between their remote devices, creating a virtual “live chat” environment while they watch. High quality, great presentation, but the knowledge that someone else in who-knows-where is laughing at Harry and Ron at exactly the same time you are is still present.

Kinda cool…I guess. This is a strange, strange world we live in.

Oh – and in related news: Warner Brothers is backing off HD-DVD and it looks like the Blu-Ray/HD-DVD lines are going in favor of Blu-Ray. The HD-DVD version of Order of the Phoenix also comes bundled with a standard DVD, and for the first time Harry Potter movies (or any Warner Brohters movie as far as i know) is being pressed to Blu-Ray as well (I don’t know of Blu-Ray’ers get the above mentioned “communal experience” though). Actually, it looks like they are Blu-Raying all the Harry Potters.

vocational issues

In Me, Work on December 4, 2007 at 1:42 pm

I know how he felt:

citing artistic differences
the band broke up in may
and in june reformed without me
and they’d got a different name
– Ben Folds, Army

About a year ago I worked in a department that was a lot of fun, had the feeling of family, and just generally rocked. The work was very hard, much worse and more stressful than what I’ve had to do for the last year, but it was tolerable because of the group. About a year ago many of us, myself included, dispersed and found jobs in other departments around the company, feeling it was time to move on. Apparently those left back in the old group were frustrated at how things “changed” but things weren’t too bad…

I just found out though, that most of the people who had left, including a great friend who had actually left the company, are back in a newly formed/changed version of the old group I used to work in, but with promotions all around. My three closest friends in the company actually, with another one likely about to join them. Meanwhile the job I had been doing for the last year just got eliminated and was demoted back doing a job that, while not “bad” is one that I had done for 3 years and was ready to move past, but in a group that (though again isn’t “bad”) isn’t the old gang.

I know wasn’t shafted on purpose. Or excluded on purpose. And my employer has, all things considered, been pretty good to me.

But I feel very left out.
And frustrated.
[sigh]

Net is down

In Blog Stuff, Me on December 3, 2007 at 5:20 pm


I think my faithful 6 year old DSL modem may have finally died. Connection is down and doesn’t seem to be coming back. Thank goodness i added the internet plan to my cell recently.

UPDATE: It’s back. I think Bellsouth AT&T just had a hiccup. Can’t complain too much. First one in a looooong time and still way more stable than cable ever was for me or my parents back in the day.

i is smart

In Blog Stuff, Funny, Me on November 5, 2007 at 9:37 pm

Hee hee.
I wonder what specifically justified my humble recreational sports and personal introspective online journal a “collegiate level” evaluation?

(note: do not just blindly copy all the HTML for your blog they have to embed it in your site – it includes links for loan spam)

rock band hero

In Entertainment, Games, Me, Music on October 29, 2007 at 11:07 am

The “final” list of songs for Rock Band (minus the unlockable songs) just got released. Here are the ones i’m the most hyped about playing (full list is here):

Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter”
The Who “Won’t Get Fooled Again”
Boston “Foreplay/Long Time”
David Bowie “Suffragette City”
Blue Oyster Cult “Don’t Fear the Reaper”
The Ramones “Blitzkrieg Bop”
The Clash “Should I Stay or Should I Go”
Foo Fighters “Learn to Fly”
Metallica “Enter Sandman”
Weezer “Say It Ain’t So”
Garbage “I Think I’m Paranoid”
Soundgarden “Black Hole Sun”
The Hives “Main Offender”
OK Go “Here It Goes Again”

Great stuff.
This got me thinking the other day… If i could make a list for Rock Band (or Guitar Hero) what would it include… Here’s what i got so far (in no particular order):

Booker T and the MG’s “Green Onions”
Ben Folds “Rockin The Suburbs”
Jimi Hendrix “All Along the Watchtower”
Jimi Hendrix “Foxy Lady”
All Star United “Big Rock Show” (or maybe “Theme From Summer”)
U2 “Beautiful Day”
Rolling Stones “Paint It, Black”
Smash Mouth “Road Man”
Earth Wind and Fire “September”
Electric Light Orchestra “Four Little Diamonds”
Electric Light Orchestra “Birmingham Blues”
Dandy Warhols “Bohemian Like You”
Santana “Oye Como Va”
The Clash “Train in Vain”
POD “Boom”
Simon and Garfunkle “Mrs Robinson”
Foo Fighters “My Hero”
Foo Fighters “Everlong”
Robbie Williams “Let Me Entertain You”
Weezer “Buddy Holly”
Weezer “Keep Fishin”
Sum 41 “Fat Lip”
Jamiroquai “Feels Just Like It Should”
Jamiroquai “High Times”
Johnny Cash “Folsom Prison Blues”
ZZ Top “La Grange”
Beach Boys “Good Vibrations”
Felming and John “I’m Not Afraid”
Stevie Wonder “I Wish”
Bob Marley “Jamming”
The Monkees “Last Train to Clarksville”
Switchfoot “Chem 6A”
Switchfoot “The Loser”
Cake “Short Skirt, Long Jacket”
Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody”

While we’re at it, whole albums i’d love to see:

Weezer [Blue album]
Switchfoot “New Way To Be Human”
The Clash “Combat Rock”
Nirvana “Nevermind”

Of course, many of these would be better (and this would be much longer) if there was a keyboard/piano/organ controller.

And i’m leaving tons off…i am going to be embarrassed when i come back and look at this later, i know. But hey, i’m just doing this on my lunch break for fun. Sue me.

woot (with a british accent)

In Blog Stuff, Me on October 25, 2007 at 10:14 pm

According to my low-tech cheesy ClustrMap, i just passed 100 unique visitors from England. First over-seas local to pass 100 viewers (Canada passed it long ago with all the hockey talk, though i think Toronto will probably pass 1,000 soon.)

are you still there?

In Blog Stuff, Family, Me, Work on October 23, 2007 at 7:26 am

I know, i know. It’s been a while. I’ve been busy working with my wife on ghia shows. And watching Preds games (which are hard to write about after losses, especially 5 in a row).

But mostly i lost my blogging mojo because

A) I’m tired of spending too much time in front of a computer, don’t feel like blogging
B) I’ve had a lot of mess going on at work, don’t feel like blogging
C) I’ve been spending time with family, etc, as i just found out my sister has some pretty bad ovarian tumor/cysts that has the doctors pretty worried.

A) With the release of the Orange box, i spent the early part of last week/weekend playing games with most of my free time near a PC (more of a review on that later hopefully. In short: Portal= Great but disappointing end, TF2= Amazing, Episode 2= Just more HL2, nothing special)(for those that don’t know, the title of this post is a reference to Portal). I’m also just getting burned out with my PC at work, since my job has been shifting away from working with reps face to face and more to working with them over the phone (at my desk, in front of my PC)

B) Which leads me to work… I do still enjoy my job, but we’ve been going through some major changes. Our focus is changing from being a high-level coach/trainer/motivator to being sales closers. I’m not thrilled about that, but the part that kinda goes with it that i am the most unhappy with is that they are moving us from salary to commission. I hope i don’t get burned by talking about work on my blog, I usually shy away from it. But hey, this thing was started as a bit of a journal for me, so… there it is. Life will go on, but all this uncertainty at work has just been draining on me.

C) And last of course is that my sister, Amy, just found out she has two ovarian tumor/cysts. She found out on Thurs, and fortunately Christy was able to be there with her. They don’t know for sure if it is cancer yet, but one of the tumors is pretty big (12cm) so the doctors seemed pretty worried. She’s already done some extra scans, and is getting scheduled for a biopsy sometime this morning. Just all kinda stress and craziness there. It’s been great to have some extra time to hang out with Amy though, since she’s delayed heading back to New Orleans for a while.

So, there’s the update. I’ll hopefully be blogging a bit more. I also just added the mobile internet to my phone plan, so we’ll see if I can be a little more active by doing random blogging ‘on the go’. I normally don’t like micro-blogging that much (no offense to Brittney or others) but if that’s what i can do, that’s what I can do.

The funny thing is that through this ‘drought’ of posting i’ve still been pulling 20-40 unique visitors to my site and 25-30 reads from my feed every day. Cool :-)

Pictures of Me

In Friends, Me, Pictures on October 13, 2007 at 12:43 pm

At first i was thinking this would be a post in poor taste. A little too self-centered. Then i remembered that the entire concept of a blog is pretty self-centered and, well, being self-centered isn’t something i struggle with – i give in regularly. So here goes.

My friend Jeff just posted some pictures he snapped of me at a Preds game. Wanted to share.

This one is of me talking to the NHL refs, down from Toronto to watch the game.

And this one is of me taking pictures.
So now you know where all these come from.


THANKS JEFF!

Trying a new church

In Christy, Me on October 7, 2007 at 5:14 pm


Trying a new church

Base a sermon on one verb from one translation w/ no orig language reference, then pray out loud for 5 min and you’re pretty much gonna lose me.

New Feed Options

In Blog Stuff, Cool Tech, Hockey, Me, Sports on October 6, 2007 at 9:41 am

So, i just realized that in addition to the normal RSS/Atom feed services that Blogger provides, there are also feeds just for certain labels (the subject keywords i tag posts with).

The practical upshot of this, is that it solves my problem of really running two blogs here. One (which is the majority of posts) is about sports (mostly hockey). The rest us just my random ramblings about cool technology stuff, movies, or whatever.

Well now all those who just want to read the terribly wonderful and insightful things i have to share about sports, but don’t want to know about the latest cool items on thinkgeek.com can just subscribe here.

http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/GeekThoughtsSports

(I also added the link down on the left-hand column).

To be clear for those who don’t know how these things work: Don’t worry, my normal feed will still include the sports stuff. If you subscribe to the main one already, you don’t need to subscribe to the new sports feed. It’s for people who only care to know when i post things about sports.

Enjoy!

Let the games begin

In Blog Stuff, Hockey, Me, Sports on October 3, 2007 at 5:57 pm

After a pretty crazy summer of following the news about the Predators purchase/sale/lease/contracts/etc. i am burned out. Done.

And boy am i glad that hockey season is finally really upon us.

As of now, i am no longer going to go out of my way to post updates about the off-ice business of the team. I’ll still be reading the news, so if something burns me up or gets me excited (like an actual sale going through) i’ll post about it i’m sure. But in the meantime, the only play by play you’re going to get from me is game related.

The product is on the ice. I’m going to support the team this year, hope they stay for next, and just watch hockey.

I want the Predators to stay because i really like watching hockey and love my Preds. I’m going to do what the players need to do and not let the distractions off the ice get in my way of doing my job – yelling myself hoarse at games and spending far too many nights up late listening to the radio or watching them at Beyond the Edge (which i really hope is smoke free) .

Go Preds!

And to that effect, if you haven’t watched this, go check it out: Predators Snapshot (a 20 min intro video/show for this season).

zzz…zzz…

In Blog Stuff, Me on September 4, 2007 at 8:38 am

I had a fabulous weekend. Lots of fun stuff i want to blog about (reminder: music, fajitas…something else…i forgot…shoot).I also have product descriptions to tweak and blogs to post over at Ghia.

But just crossed the 24-hours-without-sleep line.
So none of that is getting done.

And i just realized i forgot to pack my lunch today.

I’m not actually having what i would call a bad day. I just have to type everything 3 times because my fingers aren’t doing what my brain tells them to, or my brain just falls asleep and my fingers keep moving…

I think i may have to call my mommy wife, tell her i need to go home, and have her come pick me up from school work.

Cool stuff from Think Geek

In Cool Tech, Me on August 23, 2007 at 11:25 am

If you haven’t caught on by now, i’m a pretty big fan of Think Geek.
Some recently added goodies that i find interesting, fun, or just gimme-inducing.

Clearly ThinkGeek has been ramping up for Christmas. Lots of new stuff has been added in the past few days. My wish list is updated :-)

random updates

In Christy, Hockey, Me, Movies, Sports, Work on August 20, 2007 at 9:32 am

I feel like i’ve been so poor in blogging lately. Not that i’m one of those people that feels i have to blog everyday. I know the masses of you that hang on my every word can live without hearing from me for a few days. No – i’m missing blogging because i have so much i wanted to blog about but have been to busy with all of said things to actually get around to doing it.

So…let’s play a little catch-up:


New Business Blog
Coming out of Barcamp, Christy and i talked a lot about what she/we’re doing with Ghia. Among other things, i’m going to start blogging on the Ghia corporate blog. First entry: here!

I’m really excited about how the business is doing so far, and looking forward to pushing it further. As much as i ragged some of the presenters at Barcamp in my last post, i really did learn a lot. Christy’s working on our Google Local entry and we’re thinking of doing a site re-design soon. Christy has done an amazing job with the business so far, but she’s been working largely by herself. I’m pumped about getting more involved and getting the rust off my web and marketing skills.

We already spent some of yesterday shooting pics for the new inventory we got in last week. Check for it on the site soon!


Blockbuster Trade
Just a couple of weeks ago i posted about how happy i was that Blockbuster had bought MovieLink. I was already very happy with the value we were getting with Blockbuster Online (we locked ourselves into a great rate many months ago) and i was looking forward to them adding the downloadble movie features.

Well, last Friday i got an email from Blockbuster titled something along the lines of “Changes to your Blockbuster Account”. I was excited. I was ready to open it up and find out that they were going to give us the option to do downloadable movies instead of in-store exchanges, or better yet both. Um….no. Nothing about downloadable movies was mentioned, but they did explain that my previous plan of 7 movies (4 in store, 3 in the mail) per month for $7.99 was being discontinued (in reality they stopped offering this to new subscribers months ago) and i would have to choose another plan. The offer they made instead was 4 movies (2 in-store, 2 in the mail) for $7.99 – what a deal! Same price, 40% fewer movies!

So half out of looking for a better deal, and half out of anger/spite, we switched to Netflix this weekend. Just after i’d starting swapping recommendations and stuff with my sister and my friend Amber on Blockbuster. Oh well. Now we get to find friends that have Netflix. Anyone? Click here to set us up as friends on Netflix.


Predators and the City
There has also been a lot going on in the world of the Predators.
For more reading i advise the Forechecker. He continues his marvelous assessment of the situation.

Essentially the local ownership group is asking the Metro government for $3 million more per year (according to them this is being required by their creditors) and a guarantee of 14,000 in paid attendance (so the team doesn’t lose on league revenue sharing). In exchange they are offering to donate the first $3 million in profits every year (if/when there are any) to local charities and groups, and are promising to take fuller advantage of the Sommet Center as a facility and increase the number of events (tax generating events) held there. Sounds fair enough to me. Much ado made out of very little last week, i think.

Post-Barcamp Nashville Post

In Blog Stuff, Cool Tech, Me on August 18, 2007 at 7:56 pm

Just got back from Barcamp.

Most of my random comments are with my many pictures on my Flickr stream. Check it out…then come back here.

First: I love that R2D2 showed up and presided over the whole thing. What more do you need to establish geek cred than to have ‘the Dome’ in attendance?

I am upset because i made another really intelligent post from my phone about this guy’s presentation (thanks to Kerry Woo for the pic) and it totally got lost. And i already deleted it off my phone to clear some memory (not that i was short, just an old habit). Dang it.

To sum up, he said that the iPhone rocked because it didn’t have an SDK and couldn’t run 3rd party native apps (though people are hacking their way in anyway). He said this was great because that way if your phone crashes the apps are all online anyway so you don’t loose anything. Apparently Mac people don’t back stuff up. He then said that the iPhone was cool because it was the first phone to support web-based applications, and it does it through the Safari browser. Um… Treos, Crackberries, my wife’s MDA… lots of phones have had browsers for years. With full support for Flash, Java, and AJAX i might add – all of which are lacking in the iPhone. So…not sure how that works… Then he made jokes about how bad AT&T’s network is. If all the applications are web based, then doesn’t a crappy network pretty much make your applications crappy too? If you don’t have signal, you don’t have apps. Anyway…

Most of Barcamp was pretty good, Mac Fanboy and a few others excepted. It was great to just be around all that geek-ness and soak up all the ideas and just think about random stuff for a day.

The only other comment i want to go out of my way to make about Barcamp was regarding the last presentation i saw…Penelope Trunk. Her presentation was like a lot of other ones. Not that informative, a little simplistic, and had more than a few self-contradictory statements. I was hoping everyone would just take Brittney’s sound advice and not feed the trolls. But no, several people had to drill her on questions, including a pointed question about “what happened at BlogHer”. Just let it go people. Move on and quit giving her your time and attention, and she will move out of your life.

But like i said, overall it was a great day. I would have gladly paid money (not too much mind you) to do something like that. Instead it was free and we got free food out of the deal. How sweet is that!

And great to finally meet all of you – well, a lot of ‘you’ anyway. I somehow missed a few. Now having you as friends in Facebook doesn’t feel as much like a loser ploy to just stack it with people that i am just aware of, but people who are actually friends :-)

The Gimmies

In Cool Tech, Games, Me on August 17, 2007 at 5:19 pm

If Rock Band wasn’t enough to convince me i wanted a PS3 this Christmas (it is already on my wish list), this just sealed it.

Not that i am likely to get one, mind you. We are going on a cruise for our Anniversary/Christmas this year (our anniversary is in June, yes), so not exactly a lot of loose change flowing.

Taking donations to the Paul-and-Christy’s PS3 fund now though :-)

random musings

In Me, Movies, Pictures on August 9, 2007 at 6:57 am

Movies
I’m happy to hear that Blockbuster just bought out Movielink. Christy and i subscribe to Blockbuster online (i dig the cheaper rates we got, plus the games we can rent in-store, not just movies). This will hopefully just add to the goodness. I wonder if we’ll have to choose between an mail+store package or a mail+online package, or if they will just crush Netflix with a wonderful mail+store+online package. I can hope. No news so far.

Of course, what i’m really waiting for is an online HD movie service so i don’t have to shell out cash for a BluRay or HD DVD player that may or may not be worth anything in a few years. Just skip it all and download the straight to my PC, which is what i use for all my media anyway. I’d just rip any DVD i own to my network share anyway.


Dental Talk
I got my teeth cleaned earlier this week (actually, i clean them on a daily basis, but i got them professionally cleaned at a dentist office this week). Why is it that dental hygienists (the ones that actually clean your teeth) are insanely talkative. I had a more complex conversation and was asked more questions and given more advice during my cleaning than i have in the last 5 haircuts combined.

I’m not much for chit-chat, but i don’t mind a little banter during my service calls…but at the dentist? Have they ever noticed it is a little difficult to hold on a conversation when you keep sticking things in my mouth…namely…their hands? Conversely, have they noticed it is harder to clean my teeth while i’m talking?

I would have been in and out of there waaaay faster if she’d just let me watch the cool TV they have positioned above my head through the whole thing. Don’t get me wrong, my dentist is really good, and the hygienist was very good at what mattered. Clean teeth, no pain, good stuff. But man, she was chatty.


Famous Pictures
I’m still waiting for the AP to call. My pictures have now been used in tourist guides for Nashville, two for a calendar for East Nashville, posts on AOL’s sports page, and now a few have been personally requested by Andrea Conte (millionaire) and her husband…who happens to be the Governor of Tennessee.

The funny thing is that the pictures that have been chosen are, of course, not my favorites. I’d love someone to use something like this picture, or this one, or the one shown here to the right. For that matter, any shots in either of these two sets: Artsy and My Favs. But alas, these haven’t been what they are looking for.

I don’t flatter myself to be the photographer that Chris Wage is…or dozens of other people for that matter. But i’m glad that some appreciation is being shown. I need to get used to carrying my camera around with me more. When i first got it, i carried it everywhere with me “just in case”. I need to get back in that habit.


Biking in Nashville
A short message to the people who’ve been complaining about biking issues in East Nashville.
  1. If you want me to respect you and yield to bikers as equals on the road when i’m in my car – then obey the freaking rules of the road! You can’t just pull past me at an intersection while i’m at a red light, glance both ways, and run the red light because it’s clear. If you’re on the road, obey the rules. If you’re not going to, then get on the sidewalk and use the zebra crossing.
  2. As for the concerns about people parking in the bike lanes along Eastland: if you want the police to ticket people for parking in the bike lane, you’ll probably have better luck if you can first convince the police to not park there themselves. The picture at the right was taken at the East Nashville “Night out against Crime”. Nice.

new old phone

In Cool Tech, Me on August 3, 2007 at 7:12 pm

Well, that didn’t take long. Already got a “new” phone. Exactly the same model actually. About to try to copy the data over (using the new battery…the phone still boots up believe it or not).

Turns out we were actually a couple of months over our contract time limit so we could get a discount on a new phone. So this one’s going to end up costing me $50. But it is worth it to not have to carry around the Nokia 6800 that was my backup.

It is also worth noting that the woman who helped us was actually really helpful. I threw all kinds of geeky terms and questions at her and she didn’t flinch. She even knew about new phones that were coming soon and weren’t out yet. I really wish i was seriously thinking about replacing a phone and spending real money on it. She would have actually helped. Too bad this time i just wanted to replace my currently wonderfully small, light, thin, fast, durable, well featured T519.

All is well with the world.

labs and phones don’t mix

In Cool Tech, Me on August 3, 2007 at 3:04 pm

My 18 month old lab puppy Cameron just got a hold of my cellphone. I was playing with him in the backyard, apparently dropped it and didn’t notice. My wife went out just a few minutes later to feed him and found this:

We were very lucky that the lithium-ion battery was well built and didn’t explode, despite being dented by no fewer than about 20 teeth marks on both sides.

This was a really awesome phone. I’m very sad to loose it. Thankfully i still have my old phone and the SIM card appears to have been undamaged. I wonder if the chess game i bought for $6 for this phone can be downloaded to my old phone, or whatever phone i might eventually get next? Or did i just lose it?

For the record: though my sister has a bad reputation and regularly burns through phones, this is the first phone out of…at least 6 or 7…that i have owned that i have ever had damaged or lost. I’m usually really good about these things.

Man this sucks.

many me

In Blog Stuff, Me on July 24, 2007 at 11:50 am

Through my wife’s new corporate blog, i was introduced to yet another social/blogging/photos/videos/my-online-self site: VIRB.

You know a site is a little on the mod-artsy-emo-30-something side when Fightclub and Death Cab for Cutie are more popular tags than Star Wars and The Beatles.

Just how many of these things do i have to sign up for before it is too much?

blurred vision

In Funny, Me on July 24, 2007 at 7:05 am

Since i woke up this morning (which is actually still a process i am working through) my eyes have been blurry. Yes, even after i put in my contacts. I think it’s time to throw these out and start new ones. I’m horrible about remembering when 2 weeks are up.

Anyway…then i come in and check all my sites this morning…and i see this.
It didn’t help.
But it is funny.

i am now stuck in 1996

In Funny, Me, Work on July 20, 2007 at 8:35 am

Most of my co-workers that sit on the row of cubes with me discovered last week that you can set a sound file to play when you get an email. Apparently they all missed out on this when “You’ve Got Mail” was the standard in the mid-nineties.

So i am now repeatedly (and i mean over and over) bombarded with “You’ve got mail, baby, yeah!” from Austin Powers, “There is a message for you” by HAL, and “Message for you sir!” from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

I also just overheard someone saying someone might need to enable “micros” to correctly view an Excel spreadsheet they were being sent.

Kill me now.

twitter

In Blog Stuff, Me on July 19, 2007 at 10:47 am

I did it. I finally succumbed to the peer pressure and signed up for a twitter account.
This post about all the ways this guys uses his text messaging on his phone convinced me. So last night, in prep for the rally tonight, i setup a twitter account and setup my phone to be able to upload pictures straight to my flickr account.

Now all of my fans can follow and know what i am doing every second of the day.
There is huge demand for this you understand. I have to satisfy the needs of the people.

x-files weird

In Christy, Entertainment, Me, Movies on July 16, 2007 at 10:40 am

Check this out:

I have watched maybe 10-12 episodes of the X-Files in my life. I have seen the movie, thought it was cool, and moved on.

But i had an X-files dream last night. I was Mulder, Christy was Scully. I don’t remember much more than that.

Then i find this news story published this morning. New X-Files movie being planned.

Cue the creepy music.

engadget

In Cool Tech, Funny, Me on July 12, 2007 at 10:35 am

I just needed to share the wonders of Engadget.

Established facts: I need to know about cool tech. I am a geek and i have to know what is going on in the geek world.

I used to be a Slashdot addict (which peaked when i actually got posted), then switched over with most everyone else to Digg a few years ago when that came on the scene. But more and more both of those sites got distracted by random, only partially tech-related news. I was only interested in real “cool tech” news and related points of interest. I didn’t need to read long rants about civil rights or know about funny videos of diet coke and mentos. Not that mentos civil rights aren’t important to me, but that isn’t what i look for in a tech news site.

But i have recently re-discovered Engagdet. Great site. To the point, editor driven (keep out the hoi polloi) and so very well written. Today they are in particularly good form (i think they are all hyped up for their E3 coverage).

Here’s a sampling of some of their hilarious writing from today:

Nyko Wii Party Station:
Yeah, you thought you were living the high life with that pair of rechargeable batteries and tennis racket attachments you ponied up for — too bad you weren’t even halfway to awesome…Best of all is the completely superfluous score board to make your smack talk so much more effective, and the hand cooling fan really seals the deal. For $25, if you don’t have one of these 12 seconds after they hit store shelves, we can’t be friends anymore.

Terrifying bike helmet filters bad air, increases fear:
If you’ve been worrying that small children weren’t frightened enough when you pedaled your bike down the street, 22-year-old Luke Pannell…is here to help. The young inventor has created a biking helmet that he’s dubbed “Breathe Air,” which in addition to looking like a cross between Michael Myers, a Storm Trooper and The Predator, also features a filtering “shield” over the mouth and nose, which cuts particles and dust…Now all it needs is an attached Bluetooth headset so you can communicate back to the Death Star without taking your eyes off the road.

I laughed out loud at both of these. Makes my lunch break so much better.

gaming update

In Cool Tech, Entertainment, Games, Me on July 8, 2007 at 8:30 am

Time for an update on my favorite games that i haven’t even played yet.

The Half-Life 2 Orange Box is coming out soon. Soon-ish anyway. October 9th. I finally actually believe this date because they have at least released the cover art, as well as just put up a new site to cover it.

For those that don’t know, the Orange Box is what you need to buy. It is Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode 1, Half-Life 2: Episode 2, Portal, and Team Fortress 2.

Of course, the irony is that 90% of those that that do know what the Orange Box is, you won’t be buying it. You already own HL2 and HL2:Ep1, so you will do like i will and buy HL2:Ep2, Portal, and TF2 over Steam. Why Valve isn’t releasing each of those games in their own retail boxes too, i’m not sure. It is a battle for shelf space at Christmas guys – get with it!

Anyway, i am really pumped. Especially when i saw this new screenshot from Episode 2 that is on the new site (at right, click to enlarge). Will the character animations really look like that when you croutch and shoot over a wall? What are those little glowing things on the ground? Are they coming from the Hunter (the thing in the background)? Is the Hunter shooting that electricity? Or is that a Vortigaunt shooting at it?

Yeah, i’m a fanboy and i can’t wait for these games.


In related news: Playing a new game.
Insurgency.

Basically it is yet another awesome, free, user-made mod for Half-Life 2. This one takes the Coutner-Strike (terrorist/counter-terrorist) in to a real-world situation (Iraq) and makes it much more realistic (iron sites instead of crosshairs, etc). It is also based on real-world locations in Iraq. Real cities and the layouts are supposed to be fairly accurate. It is very well made and a lot of fun, but boy do i suck at it. It goes for realism, so it is very much a one-shot-kill game. Not an arcade game by any means. (New patch just got released this morning). Go check it out.


Last, the other game i’m waiting for is Left 4 Dead.
Normally i don’t go for the tons-of-Zombies genre of games, but the new elements they are putting in this game are really cool. The work they did on the AI isn’t in the enemies (they are zombies after all) but rather in the game layout. Everytime you play through will be different. The game moves where traps, zombies, etc are located withing the level. The buildings don’t change, but the experience does every time.

It also very much encourages team-based play (not just shooting everything on your own), and it introduces some really cool elements that make it more cinematic. Example: When you are hurt you start limping, then when you are really hurt you can only lie on the ground in one place until a friend helps you up. You can still shoot, but you can’t move. It looks really cool. Just like something out of a movie.

Enjoy video here (if you like lots of gross zombies in video games)

real deep thoughts

In Family, History/Politics, Me on June 28, 2007 at 8:12 pm

I recently decided to change my blog title. It used to be “sthguoht peed”, and someone suggested “Deep Thoughts” as an alternative. Aside from not liking the implied SNL reference, i didn’t think my blog had really lived up to the standard.

This latest post from my sister does.
Go read it.

Really great post Amy. You’re dead on. Even with all this stuff back and forth with different people about hockey in Nashville – such a shallow topic – it amazes me how quickly people can get thrown into mad bouts of insults. Conversations that should be civil and general get really personal and vicious.

I am reminded of a thought in Rob Bell’s book Velvet Elvis (which i just started reading). I certainly don’t agree with everything i’ve read so far, and i haven’t even gotten half-way through. But early in the book he discusses people with intensely fixed, immovable, inflexible beliefs that they fell can not be challenged without risking the loss of their whole belief system.

He describes a letter he had received from such a man at a seminary asking for support and trying to recruit badly needed “defenders of the faith”. He said he realized that so many Christians (and people in general i think – pick your topic) get so caught up in talking about how right their fixed ideas are, which of course after a while leads to talking about how wrong everyone else is, which then leads to defending their own belief system and a vicious cycle is started. He provides the alternative that, rather than attack and defend, why not focus on your living life the way you feel it should be lived, and occasionally ask people to join you? I think the idea is that 1) no one idea should be that important to your existance and 2) if you have a good thing, you shouldn’t have to attack/defended others to get them to see that. Twelve steps groups have a similar theory. They never actively promote themselves because they believe in attracting other people who want what they have, and when someone is ready to accept it, they will come on their own.

How rare is that kind of thinking though? There are whole industries – and political systems – based around the idea of one set of people being right and everyone else being wrong and the arguments that ensue.

This is one of the things i really like about the ‘old’ Everlast song “What It’s Like” (video, lyrics warning: mature language)(i know nothing of the artist other than this one hit wonder) It’s a very impactful song about people on the other side of hot issues. Homelessness, abortion, drugs…they are all very personal issues that we have a tendency to turn into blanket, altruistic ISSUES.

But particularly these types of situations are really never that simple. But it is so easy to look at someone from a distance and assume they are an issue. Ask a homeless person how he became homeless. The answer will not be simple. But it is so easy to look at a panhandler and assume he is a lazy bum that chooses to drink liquor instead of do something better (i know – i’ve done it). But it is never that simple. Same with any abortion. I have never heard of anyone that liked abortion, never talked to a woman that went through it that said “that was great, you should all try it”. But so many times there are people who believe abortion should be illegal who have no compassion for people in those situations. The are unable or unwilling to look at the person and realize that they are not just an ISSUE. Now ability to show the person compassion and save the argument another day.

The amazing to watch people cross the line, too. People so fixated on an ISSUES that when someone they know as a friend crosses the line, they are shunned. Rarely are they embraced as imperfect, wounded humans. They are now one of “them”.

Like Amy said. People are not ideas. We should react to the people and the circumstances, not the ideas and ideals that we may prize or hate.

If my idea is that great, people will follow. But i’m ok even if they don’t. It doesn’t lessen my belief or happiness. Not if i don’t let it.

new name

In Blog Stuff, Friends, Me on June 26, 2007 at 8:00 am

It is done. My friend Jim made the suggestion. I think it fits well. Thanks Jim!
I wonder how long it will take for the RSS feed to update the title? (Answer: about an hour.)

name change?

In Blog Stuff, Me on June 25, 2007 at 9:49 am

When i started this blog several months ago, i think rushed my title selection. I wasn’t sure what i would end up writing about most of the time (ends up it has been Predators, movies, and technology – surprise). So i just gave it a silly name, “deep thoughts” spelled backwards.

In part i selected it because it is unpronounceable. Like many words and terms online, there is no preset way to pronounce it, it exists primarily in written form and not verbal*. While i kinda like this, and the challenge and uniqueness it provides, it is also kind of annoying. For one thing, while looking at an alphabetized list of blogs, i look for mine in the D’s or in the T’s (i pronounce it “thoughts peed” in my head for some reason).

Anyway, i am trying to think of a new name for my blog. The good news is i can change it without changing my URL, so you will all (3 of you) still be able to find me.

Ideas?

In other my-blog news: i was planning something special for the 200th post (like i did for my 100th) but there was so much chaos going on with the Predators (and other stuff) last week that i passed it up. This is post 211 for those keeping track at home. I’ll have what was supposed to be my 200th post up soon.

* Other example: LOLCat. Is that “lowel cat” or “L-O-L cat” or “lawle cat”?

not alone in our fight

In Blog Stuff, Friends, Hockey, Me, Nashville, Sports on June 24, 2007 at 9:08 pm

I just received a fabulous note from Jim Henshaw (Canadian TV writer/actor/etc). In short, it was his response to the pending sale of the Predators and the mess surrounding it – and he ties in lessons he learned when he had a chance to hear Fred Rogers (as in “Mister Rogers”) speak years ago. As a huge fan of Mister Rogers, this really hit home for me.

His note really made my day, and his piece on the Predators gave me hope. With the chaos that has been happening lately, i was really starting to get fatigued defending my fandom and my city. And though i keep telling all my friends ‘we have a chance’ and ‘we control our own destiny’, in my heart i was beginning to get discouraged. This piece reminded me that, while reality is still what it is and we have an uphill battle, i can at least rest knowing that not everyone outside of Nashville is against us. Thanks Jim.

His writing is superb (surprise), if a little long. So from here, with his permission, i’ll just let Jim do the talking:

Paul,
I finally posted my thoughts on Jim Balsillie. It’s part of a much longer post on Canadian TV, but I wanted to give you the chance to share it with Nashville fans… All my best on the fight to keep the team. Believe it or not, a lot of Canadians are with you.


HOW RICH BOYS BREAK THEIR TOYS

A cold snap hit New Orleans on the opening day of The 1997 NATPE Convention. Within hours, the trendy men’s wear store across from the Convention Center had sold out its entire stock of overcoats, sweaters and gloves as the California contingent snapped up anything they could find to fend off the bitter chill.

Inside the cavernous meeting halls, attendance was slim for the early morning panels and lectures, as attendees opted to breakfast in the comfort of their hotels before venturing to the icy banks of the Mississippi. Television luminaries from franchise showrunners to network heads found handfuls instead of hoards awaiting the insights and information they had come to deliver.

All except one.

Fred Rogers took the stage at the final breakfast meeting, accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award to a standing ovation from several thousand television execs who had either grown up or watched their children grow up in his neighborhood.

Wearing his trademark sweater and sneakers, the man who once said, “I went into television because I hated it so.” was as gentle and ego-less as he had been for more than 30 years in the public eye.

But “Mr. Rogers” didn’t want to talk about making television for children or share anecdotes from his career that morning. He wanted to talk about the people in that room — and what was wrong with us.

Arriving at New Orleans airport, he’d noticed the squadrons of private planes parked on every spare patch of runway. He’d seen the long lines of limos outside and had toured the lavish sales displays of the world’s networks and studios. He wondered what any of it had to do with making good television.

As the hushed room hung on his every word, he read a poem. I don’t know whether it was something he’d penned some time before or on the spur of the moment. But it was about kids defining themselves and their status by their toys, instead of sharing the best that was inside them. It concluded with a wonderful line…”Remember your toys aren’t you — your toys are beside you.”

Two events of the last couple of weeks got me thinking about that speech. The first was the sale and subsequent dismembering of the CHUM/CITY empire. The second is the ongoing hockey soap opera as Canadian Billionaire Jim Balsillie attempts to buy and move the Nashville Predators to Hamilton.

It’s far too early to know for certain how either of these events will finally play themselves out. But in both cases, they feel like the triumph of money, power and ego over something that was special and good and more important to the future.

[Here, again with Jim's permission, i will skip over the discussion of Canadian TV mergers, etc. While it is of no small importance in its impact, even here in the US, most of you won't know the background. I encourage you to read Jim's original piece to get the full story - he has a lot of good things to say. Sufficed to say, large media companies are buying up others and programming could/may/will suffer.]

My big fear is that they’ll beat each other up acquiring US programming that comes with a more or less quantifiable return; rather than invest in programming they can actually own and fully exploit in the future.

But then Guys with money wouldn’t have money if they didn’t know what they were doing and success always breeds success, right?

Which brings me to Jim Balsillie, Billionaire owner of Research in Motion, creator of the Blackberry and aspiring NHL owner.

Jim (and I can call him Jim because we Jims are informal that way) bid on and backed away from purchasing the Pittsburgh Penguins a few months ago. Depending on which story you believe, either he or the NHL killed the deal over his plan to move the franchise to Hamilton.

Now he’s bidding $50 million more than the Nashville Predators are worth with the same plan in mind. The conventional wisdom is that his offer vastly increases both the paper value of all current NHL franchises as well as what can be charged bidders for expansion teams. Therefore, Jim’s made all the other owners a ton of money just by turning up with his wallet, so how can they say “No” to him?

His first move after over-bidding for the franchise was to tell Commissioner Gary Bettman he wasn’t moving the team and his next was to sign an arena deal in Hamilton and start selling season tickets.

This puts him in conflict with the League’s bylaws, the Commissioner, the Fans of Nashville as well as the two current franchises (Toronto and Buffalo) whose local jurisdiction intersects the city of Hamilton. In layman’s terms, this means Jim can’t move there without infringing on their existing fan bases, television penetration and God Given right to print money without interruption.

According to what passes for wisdom on Sports radio stations, this may all sound duplicitous and dumb when Jim doesn’t even own the team yet. But he’s “a real smart businessman who doesn’t make mistakes”, and “has pockets deep enough to win this fight”.

In other words, he’s the richest guy, so he should get to make the rules.

Well, for starters, Jim’s a really smart businessman who paid $450 Million to another software firm a couple of years back for patent violations in the design of the Blackberry. He dragged that suit out, because he was the big dog, when he probably had the option to settle earlier and for much less. Only when a federal court in the US began considering a ban on Blackberry service did Jim cave — and then the patent holder turned the screws a little more to maximize his own profit.

Somehow, all that doesn’t strike me as the mark of a smart businessman.

I heard a friend of Jim’s interviewed this week, relating a story that was also quite telling. By all accounts, Jim’s a real nice guy (his name’s Jim, how can he not be) but after losing a $20 bet on a golf game, he apparently was almost beside himself. The friend told him to relax, it was only $20. Jim’s heated response, “No! It’s not!”

Rich guys. Money buys deference. But it doesn’t make you something you’re not.

And if you look at the big picture, selling a team to Jim and moving it to Hamilton could be one of the worst things that could happen to the NHL.

Maybe hockey isn’t thriving in Nashville, but it’s doing better than it was 10 years ago. New fans are constantly finding the game. They may not provide the immediate gratification an owner would find in Hamilton, Winnipeg, Halifax or anywhere else in Canada. But to grow, a sport needs to cultivate new fans, not just keep preaching to the same choir.

The NHL is hoping to expand to Houston, Kansas City and Las Vegas, where producer Jerry Bruckheimer wants to place a team. None of those are hockey hotbeds. But they are large and viable markets that can further expand the fan base and make a major American television deal for the NHL more likely.

One has to wonder how much that TV deal is jeopardized if the Nashville market is lost by Jim moving the team. And one also has to wonder if expansion to the cities mentioned makes sense at the current $190 Million price tag, but much less if the price cranks up (because of Jim’s overbid) to $220 or $240 Million.

More kids are playing hockey every year in the US. This year the top picks in the Junior draft were all Americans. These kids are going to need new places to play or all that hard work, training and growth of a fan base will have been for naught.

But the Canadian fan who just wants a local rooting interest doesn’t care about those things. Hell, as a frustrated Leafs fan, I wish Jim would move the Predators to Toronto. It’s been a long time since we had a real NHL team in this city!

But here’s what money talking in this instance could mean…

Atlanta sees Hamilton do well in the hockey mad Golden Horseshoe and moves to Niagara Falls. Tampa decides to set up shop in Mississauga; both places offering access to larger markets than Winnipeg or Quebec City.

Given the rule changes Jim would have to force to make his move, neither he nor the league would be able to prevent these eventualities. And suddenly, Jim’s team isn’t making money either — and what the nets are paying for TV rights becomes as fragmented as the local market.

If you want an example of where this already exists, look at Australian Rules Football, an incredibly wild and exciting game that was born in Melbourne. Today, Melbourne is home to 9 of the AFL’s 17 teams. That’s right. Half the league is in one city. And while Melbourne has more than enough crazed fans to fill its stadiums, when half the games are only of rabid interest in one location, there’s no money in National broadcasts. So the game has never grown as it should have.

Adding another team in the Ontario TV market can only further fragment already declining audience numbers for the Leafs and the Sabres. God knows what it’ll do to Ottawa, who have been the poor cousins for 12 years in a local market already splintered by Montreal and Toronto.

So if Jim gets what his money says he should have, he may actually hurt the financial base of two Canadian teams that are currently making money and a team in Buffalo that’s on the bubble.

I can’t believe I actually agree with Gary Bettman on something! I might be required to turn in my passport.

The problem with our world is that it’s all about money, numbers and market share. Too many good things wither because people with money can’t see an immediate return.

Which brings me back to Fred Rogers…

Through the 1950’s, Mr. Rogers wasn’t very successful with his concept of using television to “nurture” those who watched it. Then in 1963, he moved to Toronto, where he had been contracted by the CBC for a 15 minute children’s program entitled “MisteRogers” (sic) in which he made his on camera debut.

The show was a hit with kids, but 3 years later, the CBC decided it knew better and that its money was better spent elsewhere, canceling the show. Fred moved back to Pittsburgh, launching the identical concept as “Mister Rogers Neighborhood”. Four decades of children later, his sweater and sneakers reside in a place of honor in the Smithsonian Institute along with the trolley, Eiffel tower, tree and castle that were created by CBC Designers.

The Guys with the Gold will always make the Rules. But money is short-sighted and rarely gives worthwhile endeavors a chance. What endures and makes a difference in life does not come from the toys. It comes from people who care about more than that.

“Remember. Your toys are not you. They are beside you.”

Great piece Jim.
Thank you so much for sharing it.

the nick hilscher quartet

In Friends, Me, Music, Videos on June 19, 2007 at 6:54 pm

We did it. We got the band back together!

One of Nick’s friends was getting married, and asked him to play for the wedding. Nick called us up, we practiced a few times, and played the reception. Much fun! This time we also were able to add a bassist (Allan Douglas) and it really helped our sound. (Getting our piano tuned for practices didn’t hurt either). So the Nick Hilscher Trio, grew into the Nick Hilscher Quartet.

I was really really happy with how this came together. We actually only had one practice with all four of us present, but we were able to establish a really good groove (it helps with the bassist grew up obsessed with Stax Records and Motown). This is a really good group of guys and i’d love to play with them more.

Nick is obviously an amazing talent but also a really good friend. I’m always blown away when we play – he’s a great vocalist but an amazing pianist. I think he’s a lot like Nat King Cole (or maybe Diana Krall): make a career out of singing, but all the musicians and jazz fanatics love his piano work just as much. I really wish him well in getting his band going, though i want to put out the vote again for him to really work on the smaller combo stuff. (For those that don’t know, Nick used to sing and play piano for the Glenn Miller Orchestra and recorded an album with them.) It might be my personal preference, but as much as he’s great in front of 20+ people, his personality and amazing talent are better showcased in a small combo setting. But maybe that’s just me.

Jamie is a great friend and a great musician. We were just talking and realized that he and i have known each other about 10 years now. The longest i’ve known anyone outside of my wife and blood relatives. He has an extremely wide breadth of musical knowledge that overlaps mine quite a bit, and we’ve known each other and played so long together i feel like we can really mesh well together, but we also know what we are capable of and when and how to push each other. We (almost) always have fun playing together too. It only takes one of us playing a few notes to start right in to a song like we’ve practiced it. He’s also a better improviser than he’ll usually admit.

Allan i haven’t known nearly as long, but our first conversation was about obscure early 90’s alternative Christian music bands and their production style. And it went up hill from there. He grew up playing and listening to Booker T and the MG’s (who you will find in my playlist on the right panel of this blog) – which is exactly the background i would want any bass player to have. He also has an album of his own about to be released. Go check out his MySpace page for details and clips.

So anyway, back to the gig.

Christy took some pictures and videos during the wedding. Unfortunately, due to an strange accident with a network attached storage drive that decided to go wonky on us, only one video survived. It’s really a pity because Christy took some great photos and captured some good video too. Fortunately i think the one video that survived is one of the better ones, as it was recorded near the end of the reception when we were more relaxed. For the record: the strange off-beat splash cymbal stuff i randomly start doing at the 1:15 mark was in response to someone who was being goofy and doing the can-can. Gotta work the crowd.

So, here’s that video. Don’t judge too harshly: the piano was horribly out of tune and we were there to be a dance band, not putting on a jazz concert (in other words: having fun, not making art).

We all want to play together more, and we already have one invitation to play for a friend’s parents’ anniversary party coming up in another few months. Hopefully Nick moving to Atlanta won’t prevent us from playing some more. I think (hope) they are planning on coming back to visit occasionally, so hopefully we can jam some and keep our chops up. Who knows, i might actually practice and feel confident enough to use sticks instead of brushes on more than one song this time :-)

(Note: the phrase “Nick Hilscher” is already the most popular search term people hit my site with)

Five years of Christy and Paul

In Christy, Family, Me on June 15, 2007 at 8:40 am

Happy anniversary my beloved Christy.

Our licenses tells us this is 5 years, but we know its really more like our 12th wonderful year together. The best part is, we both know they have improved year after year. Which by this point means it’s pretty dang awesome.


Oh…wow. Not just me and Christy, but apparently some other Nashville bloggers tied the knot 5 years ago today.

Happy anniversary Josh and Ashlee!

let the shopping begin

In Christy, East Nashville, Family, Me, Nashville, Work on June 11, 2007 at 9:14 pm

I am happy to announce the opening of my wife’s online retail store:

The mission of ghia is to provide socially responsible shopping at an affordable price. Many of their products are made by independent artisans located in the Middle Tennessee area, while other products are fair trade imports from Asia.


Go check it out!

I really am very proud of her and this store. Though in my former life i was a web designer, she did this almost entirely on her own. Its a killer site from top to bottom, and she tackled the full intricacies of secure e-commerce, which i never did.

I love that her goal here really is to be socially conscious (fair trade, supportive industries, local artisans, etc) but affordable. And with lots of research and hunting, she found suppliers that let her pull it off.

I also can’t wait until more of her own designs get to be put on the site. She’s still wrestling with some printers for getting those made and on her site, but they will be coming soon.

Now seriously, everybody go buy something.

getting nothing done today

In Entertainment, Funny, Me, Work on June 8, 2007 at 6:41 am

Someone in the group next to ours brought Guitar Hero 2 and two controllers to work today and hooked it up in one of the training rooms.

I am getting nothing done today.

And my hand is already cramped from playing through Jessica on medium. Got a 92% :-)

This is a good day.

avoid me for a while

In Blog Stuff, Family, Friends, Me, Nashville, Work on June 6, 2007 at 4:35 pm

Everyone may want to avoid me for a while.

Not because i’m angry or violent or anything. I just feel like i have one of those little personal rain clouds following me around.

First the whole mess with the Predators being bought and likely possibly moving.

Then i went out and did a bunch of yard work over the weekend a while back and ended up with so many bug bites of various kinds that i had to work from home (couldn’t put shoes on) and take Benadryl for 72 straight hours. Thanks to work policy, still had to take PBA time for staying at home, but couldn’t afford not to work a little. I was glad to find out that chiggers don’t actually burrow into your skin as i’ve frequently heard. But man it feels like it sometimes.

Then my company announces that they are laying off 10% of their global workforce, which is between 4,000-8,000 people depending on who’s article you read. My job is reasonably secure, but less so than when i was a normal old sales rep. The perils of promotion.

Then i start getting myself all worked up over stuff in the news and things i’m reading online. Just good old tilting at windmills kinda stuff too. Like our Political system being horribly broken. Yeah. I’m gonna fix that one alright. But of course, they aren’t the same things everyone else is upset about, so not many people join in the conversation with me. They are all too distracted with even more explosive debates that i don’t even want to get caught up in. People are just mean.

Then i find out that Brittney’s quitting NiT and who knows what is going to happen to that site now. It really is a cool site. Good sense of community. Good place for me to find other bloggers and photographers around Nashvegas. (and the link love, don’t forget the traffic and the TV time!).

And now i come home and read that Market Street Pub, a place that i didn’t exactly frequent but was a sentimental place for me, is closing. Or rather, changing over to a…chain. I shudder at the word.

Many times i’ve gone there with my dad or friends before going to a Predators game. There was just something right about going to a place like that and ordering fish and chips before going to a hockey game. It was especially fun on nights against the Red Wings because large groups of both fans would sit in various parts of the bar and start chanting at each other. Whenever anyone would enter the bar wearing a sweater (read: jersey), which of course i always was, one side would cheer wildly while the other booed. It was great.

It is really strange, but i’ve formed a lot of friendships, and had some really deep conversations there. I’ve only been there maybe…10 times. But every time was somehow loaded with something deeper. For no particular reason. So i think this is hitting me harder than some other places closing.

It was where Christy and i really started to get to know Brett and Anne, old co-workers of mine who we go to Preds games with now. I went to dinner with a friend there and we had a good heart to heart about some hard stuff the guy was going through, and never really recovered from (as far as i know) before he left his family and friends and ‘gave up’. I don’t know where he is now. It was one of the places where Jamie and i had dinner together after not seeing each other for nearly a year, renewing our friendship for the 3rd (or 4th) time.

A lot of stuff happened there for me. And i just now realized it. Strange how it matters to me so much all of a sudden.

…oh, and now i also can’t get Amy’s xanga login info to work, so i can’t post her latest entry about her trip to Moscow. (My sister is in Moscow, and i have her blog login so i can post her emails about her exploits). She did upload a lot of really cool pictures to Flickr though. Everyone go check them out! Apparently there are silly girls and cats in Moscow too. Great pictures Amy!

Anyway…i’m not really that grumpy or angry or anything. Just down.
It’s been a rough few weeks and i’m drained.

Update: Wow. It felt really good to write that post. Not that i feel a ton better, but it is amazing how cathartic that was.

Update 2: My wife and i watched Hellboy tonight for the first time (Blockbuster online lets us watch all sorts of mediocre movies we’d otherwise never see). Really strange movie, but oddly enough, i think i was in the perfect mood to watch it. Really weird, dark, and kinda…happy…i think…? Oh – and there’s an example of yet another sequel coming your way.

i’m on tv!

In Blog Stuff, Entertainment, Hockey, Me, Sports, Videos on June 1, 2007 at 8:10 pm

Well, kinda.

For those that haven’t checked out Nashville is Talking yet, it is one of the few professional blogging sites in Nashville that i know of. It is owned by WKRN (channel 2) and is run by Brittney Gilbert. It is about as well run as it could be given its impossible mission of trying to make interesting and legitimate news and entertainment out of a bunch of amateurs ramblings on every topic that passes in the space between their ears.

Anyway, once every few days she gets to do an on camera piece. I think its on the afternoon news broadcast. I pretty much never watch the news (i listen to NPR in the car and read online) so i’ve never seen it (sorry guys). She reads on-line quotes from blogs on a given topic. Yes, even here everything has to be a sound bite.

Her most recent on air piece was about the Predators. I got quoted:

I couldn’t help but notice she didn’t pronounce the title of my blog.
Don’t worry Brittney, i don’t really know how to pronounce it either.

I think i’m going to have to start sending Brittney some talking points and suggested clips the way politicians and musicians do, though. I think i’ve had much better lines than what she quoted:

“The marketing, especially to businesses, needs to improve. Can you think of someone better to market to businesses than a billionaire…who happens to be the head of the Blackberry empire?”

I’d also quibble with the first quote she picked, simply as inaccurate. As there has been much discussion around lately – money is not all that is required to move the team. It takes the consent of the other owners, the league office, and a city – and oh yeah, a lack of support here. I guess that was the point i made, huh? Good choice Brittney. :-)

be there!

In Blog Stuff, Friends, History/Politics, Hockey, Me, Sports on May 30, 2007 at 4:33 pm

According to SaveThePredators.com there will be NO “Save The Predators” fan rally for June 16th. That’s is the weekend for the Bonaroo festival. If you see any on-line fliers, etc. just disregard them.

There IS a huge rally in the works for mid-July that 104.5 The Zone and the Chamber of Commerce (among others) are putting together.

Stay tuned.

Also – go sign the petition

Having said that…i don’t think the Preds are in that much trouble. Don’t want to seem too desperate. But hey, even if the team hadn’t been sold and sold out every game last year – i’m always up for a party supporting the team!

Oh, and a great post from Paul McCann (who should really be on NiT’s roll – hint hint Brittney). Best quote:

[Hockey] is the only sport that I can think of who’s fans believe that it doesn’t “belong” in certain places. Could you imagine a die-hard football fan in Chicago saying that football doesn’t belong in Seattle… Maybe a big hoops fan in Philly saying that the NBA shouldn’t be in Phoenix… Perhaps a crazed baseball fan in St. Louis saying that baseball doesn’t belong in Toronto? It truly boggles the mind to think that hockey fans wouldn’t want more hockey fans in more places.

Amen brother.

aftermath

In Blog Stuff, Hockey, Me, Sports on May 24, 2007 at 8:46 am

I am so dead tired. Stayed up too late last night reading about the Predators.
Tired of thinking about it. Most of all tired of reading other people talk about it.

I have to say though, i am a little surprised that the topic hasn’t come up much at work. When we got knocked out of the playoffs, it was 3 weeks before people quit stopping me in the halls and asking me “What happened to the Preds?”. I haven’t had anyone proactively ask me about the sale today. But like i said, at this point, i’m done thinking about it too much so i am kinda glad people aren’t bugging me.

What has been interesting about this is that i was a fairly early blogger to blast the story, and i posted links to my post on many other sites (in comment sections of other posts and articles, etc). This has by far been my biggest traffic drawing post. Already 261 303 hits in the last 13 14 hours (since 9:00pm last night). My previous 24 hour record was 180 hits. We’ll see where this one ends up.

Update: final count was 422 unique hits, 535 page loads, and best of all – 69 return visitors. Usually i average 7-10 return readers per-day.

Interesting though: statistically Nashville is Talking is my biggest link source. However,
it took Brittney forever to post a story about the sale, and she linked to two other blogs – and not mine. Though i’m a little miffed about this, especially given the general lack of information or content in the other posts (thought they are good posts over all), i am consoled by the fact that i was the only blog chosen to be linked by the freakin Wall Street Journal!

Oh, and NiT did apparently link to my story about grammar. Thanks Brittney.

couldn’t care less

In Me on May 23, 2007 at 3:58 pm

Your grammar lesson for today is…

You: I could care less.
Me: Really? Why do you care so much about this topic?

I am normally not a huge stickler for grammar and all that. I am not good enough at it myself to really complain. I would sound (and look) like a complete idiot if it wasn’t for spell check. For instance, my use of the word goto. Those of us that learned BASIC in school growing up (for me it was 1st grade) learned that “goto” is a word. Spell check constantly reminds me that it is not, in fact, a word. But that hasn’t stopped me in 20+ years of writing. To this day, i have to go back and put in a space at least 5-10 times every single day at work. Basically every time you see me say “go to” on my blog, i have had to do it there too. So, i am not really one to preach on rules of grammar and syntax.

But there are several pet peeves i have. This is one of them. The worst. And one that i have seen violated lately by several bloggers that i otherwise would regard as fairly intelligent writers.

Think about it.

“I could care less”
Do the math here. If you could care less, then that means you do care. In order to be able to care less, you have to care some to start with.

Of course, what people mean to say is “I couldn’t care less”. That is, i care as little as i possibly can.

Come on people.
Get your act together.

I really don’t know why this bugs me so much, but boy it does.

And as another note on writing: Yes, i intentionally use a lowercase ‘i’ for my personal pronoun through all my blog posts, with the exception of the beginning of sentences. I think of it like all those artsy writers and poets that don’t use punctuation unless it confuses words (he’ll and hell). My shrink can tell you i don’t have an inferiority complex, so it isn’t about that.

rivalry renewed

In Basketball, Me, Sports on May 22, 2007 at 6:55 pm

I called it back in November (see #3).
And now it’s here.

Trouble is, the Jazz aren’t even putting up a fight.
I really wish they were better. Kinda.

I don’t think this series is going to even be a contest, and the Spurs are going to march right through them. Normally, i’d be ecstatic about this. I guess in reality i am. I’m a big Spurs fan and i can’t wait to watch another championship. And i really love that we are doing it against the Jazz. But i wish they were putting up more of a fight.

Here’s where i’m coming from.

Since i became a Spurs fan in 1989 (the year we moved to San Antonio, but also David Robinson’s rookie year), here’s the Spurs playoff history:

2006 — defeated Sacramento, lost to Dallas
2005 — defeated Denver, defeated Seattle, defeated Phoenix, defeated Detroit
2004 — defeated Memphis, lost to LA Lakers
2003 — defeated Phoenix, defeated LA Lakers, defeated Dallas, defeated New Jersey
2002 — defeated Seattle, lost to LA Lakers
2001 — defeated Minnesota, defeated Dallas, lost to LA Lakers
2000 — lost to Phoenix
1999 — defeated Minnesota, defeated L.A. Lakers, defeated Portland, defeated New York
1998 — defeated Phoenix, lost to Utah
1997 — [did not make playoffs - drafted Tim Duncan]
1996 — defeated Phoenix, lost to Utah
1995 — defeated Denver, defeated LA Lakers, lost to Houston
1994 — lost to Utah
1993 — defeated Portland, lost to Phoenix
1992 — lost to Phoenix
1991 — lost to Golden State
1990 — defeated Denver, lost to Portland

We were major rivals with Utah for a long while. Regular season. Playoffs. Didn’t matter. It was one of the strongest rivalries i’ve ever been in the middle of. We also developed a big rivalry with Lakers, especially with Phil Jackson. And to a lesser degree we had rivalries with Portland and Houston for a while early on there.

But with all of those other teams (and many others of course) we have gone on to beat them in the playoffs. Since i started watching, we have beaten every team that ever beat us (except Golden State who doesn’t count, and Houston who we never had a major rivalry with…too friendly). I specifically remember when we beat LA in ’99. Monkey off the back.

Portland, Phoenix, LA Lakers, Seattle, Memphis, Denver, Sacramento.

We’ve handled them all at some point.
Except Jerry Sloan and the Utah Jazz.
We’ve never “gone through” the Jazz.

Though no Spurs player was a part of the team that lost to Utah so many times long ago, the fans know. The fans remember. I can bet you the players know it too. This series is important.

This is redemption.

Note: I also have to say, i understand that Utah needs to change uniforms occasionally like all teams, but the fact that these guys are wearing powder/pastel/columbia blue and not the old Utah Jazz purple (or even black), makes it seem like a totally different team. Not quite the same. As my wife Christy pointed out, they look like a college team. Pro teams don’t wear powder blue.

pop quiz

In Family, Funny, Me on May 19, 2007 at 7:50 pm

I just tried to log in to my insurance company’s website to pay our car insurance online just like i always do, and after i entered my username and password, i was prompted with a demand to select 3 security questions and type in the answers before i could proceed.

Frustrating, but ok.
Trick is, i couldn’t write my own questions as i have been able to do on other sites> I had to pick from a relatively short list. As i looked through the list, i realized i didn’t know the answers to most of them. As a matter of fact, i was only certain of one answer on the whole list.

Pick one:

What was the name of the city your mother was born in?
What was the last name of your first teacher?
What was the name of the company where you had your first job?
What was the name of the city you visited on your first childhood vacation?
What was the make & model of your first car?
What was the destination of your first airplane trip?
What was the last name of your first boss?
If you were in the military, what was the name of your Drill Instructor?
What is the middle name of your youngest sibling?
What was the last name of your first girlfriend/boyfriend?

The next thing that struck me was that if you were an orphan/only child, never owned a car, never had a girlfriend/boyfriend, and were never in the military, then you are going to have serious trouble with this website. Or in my case, you should have answers to most of these questions but don’t because your memory of childhood is like swiss cheese.

I am pretty sure i remember where my mom was born. But if i’m right, it was one of those great cities that straddles a state line, and i don’t remember which side!

I have no idea who my first teacher was. Who qualifies as “first” anyway? I remember my first grade teachers name, but not how to spell it…and i know i had teachers in kindergarten, so strictly speaking she wasn’t my first.

As far as the city i visited on my first vacation… how the heck am i supposed to know? I was probably 3 months old. If you’re asking for the first one i can remember… don’t. Cause i know that i went on lots of vacations when i was a kid, but have absolutely no frame of reference for how old i was when i went on them, so i don’t remember if Disney World came before or after the many ski trips we took – and i don’t even remember where we went skiing, i just know it wasn’t in the flat Texas pan-handle where we lived at the time. Not to mention: does visiting family and grandparents count as a ‘vacation’, cause that opens up a whole different can of worms.

And i sure as heck have no idea when the first time i rode an airplane was or where we were going or how old i was. See above regarding vacation.

I have no clue who my first boss was, because i can’t even remember what my first job was for sure. I think it might have been my big-box-store job in high school, but then again i did a lot of free lance computer work back then too…and i think i’m forgetting something, so i’m really not sure.

Never in the military. Unless band camp counts. Which i don’t think it does.

I know my (only) sister’s middle name, but can’t remember how to spell it. Sorry sis. I can tell you the story about how even my parents weren’t sure how to spell it and they had a contest among their church youth group on how to spell it, but i can’t remember which side won!

And as for the boyfriend/girlfriend thing. I know it was a girlfriend. I’m good on that part. Otherwise…come on…this gets really complicated. Was the little girl in first grade where we said we were boyfriend and girlfriend count? If so, i sure as heck have no idea what her name was. From there it was an amorphous group of girls that i liked…i don’t think many liked me in return until some girl i met on one of my mystery vacations (visiting family, so is that a vacation?) in 5th grade, but i have no idea what her name was either. First girlfriend in middle school…i think her name might have been Amy, but all i really remember about her is that i was a jerk and dumped her for a popular girl who then dumped me a week later. I have no idea what that girl’s name was.

I tried selecting the one question i was sure i had an answer to and put it down for all three times. No go. So after a while i realized i could select any random question and then just use some of my normal high-security, hard to guess passwords as the answers.

I much prefer what my bank did for its online service. It randomly asks me things from my personal data, but never had me pick out insane questions. Its just good normal stuff like what the middle 2 digits of my social are and things that are easy for me to remember, but not commonly used.

The other frustrating thing about my insurance online stuff is that i log in for one reason. To pay my bill every month. So i log in, click on bill pay, say “pay bill” – then i am immediately prompted to enter my username and password again. They say this is for extra security. I just entered it 5 seconds ago. Literally. All you’re doing is giving someone who may have missed stealing my password by looking over my shoulder or sniffing packets online, another stab at it. If someone already has my password, all this does is frustrate them as much as it does me as the enter it again.

Inconvenience does not equal security, and security should not necessitate inconvenience.

stop learning, you’re in my way

In East Nashville, History/Politics, Me, Nashville on May 17, 2007 at 10:20 am

Warning: this is about a steamed as i’ve been about any issue in a while.

Yet another story you’ll see on the front page of the City Paper and i can’t find anywhere from the Tennessean:

The Nashville Public Library … this week approved a toughened version of the library system’s loitering policy, explicitly prohibiting people from “congregating” inside library buildings if perceived as unsafe or intimidating and preventing truants from loitering in public libraries during school hours.

The new policy, in addition, explicitly references gangs, prohibiting “the display or possession of gang symbols or paraphernalia, gang recruitment, gang initiation, gang fighting and gang intimidation.”

Now, unless i’m wrong, “unsafe or intimidating” behavior, as well as truancy was already against the rules in pretty much any public building. Perhaps more so in libraries.

But these new rules seem, well, stupid.

Heaven forbid that teenagers would feel comfortable around a library, or want to hang out there. We’d never want them to feel like the library was a place to spend time after school. Once school is out, we full expect them to wander out on to the streets, and hang around the bars in 5-points down the road, not hang around a place of learning where there is good lighting, visibility and security cameras guarding the area. Learning time is clearly over once the school bell rings. Oh – and if a student is involved in gang activity, we want them to stay away from the library and on the streets. We don’t want them to rub off on the librarians or other good citizens that are in the library and taint them. Imagine if the librarians started being recruited by gangs.

Just stupid.

What really blows my mind is that this policy change came about as a result of a few kids hanging around the East Branch library after school. They come across from East Literature High and hang out (it is directly across the street). This is an extremely visible, populated area. I’ve been around there when school gets out some days. I live near there. Lots of people around.

Commander Bob Nash of the East Nashville police precinct said in the article:

“When East [Literature] lets out, some of the students were going over to the library waiting to be picked up or just to congregate … and sometimes they would kind of block the doorway — I don’t think intentionally, but some people found that uncomfortable. They’d have to walk through a whole group of kids, so we’ve been trying to help them”

and his response regarding the speculation of gang activity:

“there has been some speculation of some a gang presence outside the library but nothing confirmed”

The article goes on to say that:

“According to NPL, teenage roughhousing at the public libraries has not become a huge problem”

And…

“At the downtown library, high schoolers have begun gathering more frequently this year in the youth section. They have caused no severe problems although have sometimes been warned to quiet themselves.”

Oh no! We better just shut down the whole library system right now!

So because some stuck-up person doesn’t feel comfortable walking through a group of kids hanging out at the library – we’re going to tell the kids to go elsewhere? What?!

Maybe i’m wrong, but every good teacher or librarian i’ve ever known (i come from a family of teachers) was willing to deal with cleaning up a little graffiti and asking kids to be quiet occasionally if it meant getting kids in the building and having a chance to get them excited about learning or reading. I know a lot of the kids aren’t there to read and study – but wouldn’t we rather have them in the library on the off chance that someone could have a good influence on them. It is certainly better than the alternatives like the mall, clubs, bars, or just out on the street.

In response to this post (Update: this is the woman that home-schools her kids, but got herself appointed to the school board, and was then voted out by the public in East Nashville as quickly as possible):
Should we always ask for good behavior from students? Of course.
We already did that. If kids are creating problems, there are already rules and policies in place to ask them to leave. With these policies, we are telling kids they can’t come in to the library if they are still wearing clothes that could be associated with gangs. Why?

This article clearly states that they have just had a handful of isolated complaints from a few patrons. Not the staff. Not the police.

It is the job of parents and teachers and librarians and the everyone in the community to help these kids. It is not the kids job to stay out of our way and teach themselves.

This is a horrible policy and should be rescinded immediately.
They should be begging these kids to hang out at the library.

playing to the crowd

In Christy, Entertainment, Family, Funny, Hockey, Me, Sports, Videos on May 11, 2007 at 11:27 am

Here it is.
Our 3 minutes of fame.
Christy and i running around on the ice in front of 17,113 fans during game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

We were selected at random as we walked in to the arena.
It was pretty cool.

FYI: The Predators crew felt so bad about the way things went (we were clearly ahead when the official got in my way) that they loaded us up with as many things as they could find and cram into two Predators duffel bags. So we have bobble heads, towels, trading cards, and drinking cups galore now – all of which went into the bathroom downstairs that was already decorated in 90% Predators / 10% Spurs :-)

I was also able to snag the puck that Christy played as we left the ice.
Quite an experience.

And a special thanks to Paul McCann, the Predators PA announcer (and fellow Dell employee during his day job) who was able to secure us the DVD of the “show” – it is a raw feed from what was shown on the scoreboard.

coming soon: update

In Entertainment, Me, Movies on April 26, 2007 at 10:59 am

So i’m not going to make a massive list like i did last time.

This time i am just going to share with everyone the large list of movies that i “have” to go see this summer/year. As i pointed out last time, it is amazing how many of these are sequels.

Movies i am for sure going to check out:
May 4th – Spiderman 3
May 25th – Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
June 8th – Ocean’s Thirteen
June 29th – Ratatouille
July 4th – Transformers
July 13th – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
August 10th – Rush Hour 3
August 17th – Fanboys

Others of note that i am going to wait to rent or borrow:
May 18th – Shrek the 3rd
June 15th – Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
June 22nd – Evan Almighty
June 29th – Live Free or Die Hard
July 27th – The Simpsons Movie
August 3rd – Underdog
August 3rd – The Bourne Ultimatum
August 17th – The Invasion

Yes, out of the 16 movies that i am interested in this summer, 2 – that is TWO – are original movies (not sequels or remakes or based on TV shows or whatever). Either something is wrong with me, or something is wrong with the movie industry – or both.

Other interesting movies coming in the not too distant future…
His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass
I Am Legend
National Treasure: Book of Secrets
Speed Racer – by the Wachowski brothers
The Incredible Hulk – didn’t we just do this one?

Other movies coming that are worth noting but don’t have set release dates set yet…
The Dark Knight
Bond 22
Superman: The Man of Steel
Indiana Jones 4
John Rambo
Shrek 4
Puss in Boots
The Hobbit

Now i have to go work some more…

i’m famous

In Blog Stuff, Me on April 24, 2007 at 6:35 pm

After much patience (and sometimes a lack of it) i am finally starting to draw some good linkage from blog rolls and other sites.

Of course it helps that i have started posting comments in lots of places linking back to my blog. Funny how i always complained about few people commenting on my blog, but rarely bothered to comment on anyone else’s. Strange how this works out.

Anyway…i am now a featured blog (kinda) on nashvilleistalking.com, and was just selected as the Quote of the Day there.

One Paragraph in this post also prompted an entire entry in response on an AOL Sports official blog. Even if he did call me “Paul Richardson” (he has since corrected it).

Many more visits from comments i made on James Mirtle’s blog (well known hockey writer from Toronto) and other places.

Yay!

wdjd

In History/Politics, Me on April 24, 2007 at 6:54 am

Tennessee is about to lift it’s moratorium on the death penalty (how much irony is in that phrase). This got me thinking again over the weekend about the death penalty in general.

Now, this is actually not an issue that i was raised with a strong opinion about. I was raised with an evangelical church background- Abortion: no, Drugs: no, Gay Marriage: no, etc, etc…but the death penalty wasn’t discussed much.

I think this is largely because most of the politicians that the “right wing” church back, support the death penalty. The leaders of the political evangelical movement (Pat Robertson, Richard Land, James Dobson, etc) have tied themselves to political parties and partisans instead of to issues. I don’t blame them too much honestly. We aren’t interested in middle-ground in the US. It is a two party system. People like me that are fiscally conservative, socially liberal, morally conservative, and a fairly strict constructionist – have no place in US politics. In order to have some of their issues address (abortion, etc) and to gain political power, they had to align with someone. They found they aligned more with “R” than with “D”, so they did.

However, that forces them into a position on the death penalty that is, to me, totally untenable in light of their professed religious beliefs, so they keep quiet about it. (Though some try to defend it)

As i said, this is one of the few issues i didn’t have a pre-conceived opinion about. So i was able to go all CS Lewis on it and Reason my way to the answer…

To me, the death penalty is one of the few times you Christians shouldn’t have to ask “what would Jesus do?” – they can ask “what did Jesus do?”. This is one of the few issues that is clearly addressed with a specific situation in the Bible. When Jesus came upon a group about to stone a woman to death, he flatly declined to participate, and show the woman compassion.

Jesus wasn’t about condemnation. He was the exact opposite. He was about hope and 2nd chances (and 3rd, and 4th…)

Who else still has the death penalty? Is this the crowd we want to be a part of?
(click for larger version, here for original)

I don’t see any reason to have the death penalty in this day and age. The only possible reason I could see defending it (though it would be amazingly cruel and immoral) would be if it saved money. If we didn’t have to pay as much to keep people around in prison. But it actually costs more, so even that horrible, inhuman position is indefensible.

It just doesn’t make sense.

post-mortem

In Hockey, Me, Pictures, Sports on April 22, 2007 at 9:11 am

I was planning on posting about the end of the Predators season at some point, but i just read the horrid article over at the Tennessean that 2-bit writer John Glennon did. Most of the article was calling the Forsberg trade in to question…that got me riled up enough to post a response on their message board…so that, with a few modifications and pretty pictures, will be my blog post for the season ender:

One of the things Nashville needed this year (besides playoff wins) was respect around the league and in Nashville. Peter Forsberg paid off in that respect before he even put on a Nashville sweater. Much like the LA Galaxy with Beckham, I would be willing to bet that the Predators made back what they paid for Foppa’s salary in the flood of merchandising and extra tickets that he brought in, not to mention the flood of media coverage and respect it garnered from national media and fans. The trade was worth every player and draft pick we gave up for it. Having said that, i wouldn’t make the smallest effort to re-sign him. He will command too much money for the 40-game seasons that his body has left in it.

As for all the free agents (Kariya, Hartnell, Timmonen): Kariya i’d love to keep, but if we do, we MUST get another trigger man, even if young/cheap, to go with him. Kariya, Sullivan, Forsberg, Kimmo…they are all great assist guys. Amazing passing and puck moving skills. We need more guys like Radulov (and to a lesser extend Dumont and Hartnell) who have a shoot-first mentality. There were far too many games this year where D-men lead the team in shots on goal. To that point – keep Kimmo. Don’t over pay him, but he’s a strong offensive d-man and we’ve had too much success with him and Zidlicky playing that style. Back to the trigger man issue: i think it is worth it to keep Hartnell as well, even with the extra salary he will demand. He’s also a fan favorite, so that helps soften the blow for…

The coaching staff. I love Trotz. He is Good People. But he obviously can’t make the adjustments needed in the playoffs. After game 4, he said during his post game interview that what they were doing should be working (which i couldn’t argue with), and will work, they just have to keep trying it and wait for a different result. Last time I checked, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Trotz is a great coach at doing a lot with a little, but given an all-star roster, he couldn’t win 2 home playoff games, much less a road-game or the series. We need a coach that can make adjustments and motivate the team. While we’re at it – a captain that can motivate as well. Kimmo is a fabulous player and I want him back on the blue line, but he and Trotz both are almost too even keeled. I don’t know about the European captain curse (I’d take Foppa as captain) but Kimmo didn’t fill that role well.

And as for all the worry about the city supporting the team if we don’t succeed – our best season attendance-wise was the 2000-2001 season, when we went 34-36-9-3 and missed the playoffs for the 3rd straight year. We’ll be fine. We just need Dell to step up and sponsor the Arena to complete the San Jose rivalry (they play in the HP Pavilion). Then all discussion of them ever leaving town would cease.

Lastly, the Tennessean needs to hire a real hockey reporter that hasn’t just been watching the NHL as long as we’ve had a team. The fact that most of the media covering the Predators (Pete Webber, Terry Crisp excepted) are not hockey people is making the community involvement level worse. The coverage is horrible, so only people that actually make it to a game and fall in love with the play on the ice ever get excited about it. Fortunately, there have been a lot of those people, especially in the last few years. But the media coverage MUST improve. (Note: I think Channel 5’s coverage did improve dramatically and I give them full marks for the effort. They are about 80% of the way there now, which is better than the 40-50% for the rest of the TV, newspaper, and radio in town.

Here is Christy’s post on the end of the season.

more videos

In Blog Stuff, Me, Videos on April 21, 2007 at 11:54 pm

Just a quick note to all – on the left side of the page i have made several recent additions, including a new link to “My Videos“. This will take you to a list of all my videos that i have uploaded to Google Video.

All sorts of random things, but like most of my dealings lately, much of it is Predators related for now. More non-Predators stuff is coming shortly though, i assure you.

Enjoy.

random updates

In Christy, East Nashville, Me, Pictures, Sports on April 19, 2007 at 8:33 am

First, just a note that i’ve uploaded yet more pictures (not hockey this time) to my Flickr page. Christy actually took a lot of these this time. And if you hadn’t noticed, i created a set that is nothing but pictures taken by Christy.

A few highlight pictures that i thought were interesting:

This is a piece of tire tread that somehow got embedded in the road on Woodland Street near I-24. I’d really love to know how this happened and how someone let is stay this way – but i love that they did.

I have always disliked above-ground power lines- but now that i am taking pictures around town and having to frame shots around them – i positively hate them. It is impossible to frame decent shots around them. So here i just gave up and shot a picture of the mess at Main and 5th.

This one i took while just messing around while waiting for Christy to come out to the car. I think it’s cool cause i got the camera to focus so that the stuff in front of the car and in the rear-view mirror were both in focus, but the mirror frame and my hand aren’t.



In totally unrelated news:
I won first place in my basketball fantasy league!

It went down to the wire – first i was way ahead, then way behind, then in the final day i pulled back to a dead tie and i had the tie breaker! The fact that so many teams (especially the Spurs for me) sat their start players for the last few games of the regular season (since playoff standings were secured) really threw things for a loop.



the game that was

In Basketball, Hockey, Me, Pictures, Sports on April 15, 2007 at 6:31 pm

I kinda feel like this represents the state of basketball in my life right now.

It’s a shot of a goal nailed up to a tree across the street from my friend Jamie‘s old place (just helped him move)

2 years ago I would have listed basketball as my number one sport, and i still love to shoot hoops on my own when no one is looking – but the last time i did that was more than a year ago. and now that i’ve gotten so in to hockey, and we have a team in town, i haven’t been following my Spurs most of this year. maybe when the NBA playoffs start up i’ll get back in to it again.

I was talking with my dad about this at the last Predators game. It really makes me sad. I just like hockey better right now. I guess that’s ok. That doesn’t make me bad right? I just grew up cheering hard-core for the Spurs for so long, i played basketball as a kid (in church leagues and pick-up games).

But the current version of the game, the way the refs call things and the way most teams play…the way the league is so unbalanced…it just doesn’t grab me the way it used to.

I am sure a lot of it has to do with the fact that i am going to hockey games live, and live a couple of hundred miles away from the nearest NBA town (500+ if you are looking for a team that actually wins games). We don’t have cable and i almost never get to watch Spurs games anymore. Here at the end of the season and in the playoffs that should change since ABC broadcasts games…but now i don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know who’s who. I couldn’t even tell you off the top of my head who plays center for the Spurs most of the time right now.

I still have a Spurs flag next to the Predators flag on my desk at work. And i still have an autographed David Robinson poster, “Go Spurs Go” sign, and a few other cool Spurs items in the sports-themed (Predators dominated) bathroom downstairs.

But alas, basketball is not the game it once was for me.

I have to say there is the teenie tiniest part of me that hopes that if the Predators don’t win it all this year that they just get knocked out early so i can have more time to watch the Spurs in the playoffs. Of course the same could go in reverse. I don’t even know if the Spurs are strong enough to guarantee our usually deep playoff run this year.

pictures, lots of pictures

In Blog Stuff, Christy, Funny, Hockey, Me, Pictures, Sports on April 14, 2007 at 6:11 pm

I haven’t blogged on pictures in a while, but for those who have been following my Flickr site, i have been posting a TON (several hundred in the last couple of weeks, actually).

I certainly wouldn’t expect most (if any) of my loyal throng of readers (i think i’m up to 4 or 5 now if my mom has been able to “make my blog work”).

So, here is a quick summary of what i think are the better and more interesting pictures, as well as the stories behind some of them. (for all of these pictures, just click to see the full view on my Flickr page)

First is a series of pictures taken with long exposure times. Basically the “shutter” (it is a digital camera, so no real shutter) is open for a full 15 seconds. The result is brilliant lights, colors, etc, as well as streaks/stretches anything that moves.

One of the down sides to the long shutter time is that if the camera doesn’t stay perfectly still, it totally blurs the image. Sometimes the results are kinda cool though. I’ve started doing it on purpose occasionally:

Of course, many of the hundreds of pictures i have posted recently have been of hockey related since we’ve been going to so many games.

Here are some pictures i was able to grab of a tradition that i have noticed that i think is really cool and i doubt most people have seen. Many teams in the NHL just have a bucket of pucks they pour on the ice for free skate (warm ups). Others (like the sharks) have a guy throw them all out on the ice. However, the Predators have someone meticulously stack them in a pyramid shape on the edge of the boards by the tunnel. Then when Vokoun comes out (he almost always leads the team out the tunnel) he knocks them off on to the ice.

Anyway, that’s it for now.
Many more on my Flickr site, and i’m sure i’ll post more soon.

fantasy hockey results

In Hockey, Me, Sports on April 9, 2007 at 10:22 am

Sweet! I won!

Honestly i didn’t rig the league (i was the commissioner and controlled settings) but i think i did win largely because i was one of the only people that remembered to check on it on a regular basis.

It was a very close final 2 weeks (the finals went for 2 weeks instead of one).
I didn’t take the lead until late in the final week. Here’s the final scoring summary.

Congrats to all my fellow players and thanks everyone for playing!

Final standings:

1. Predators (Paul)
2. Preds Baby (Ryan)
3. Knuckledraggers (Jason)
4. Puck It Up (Brice)
5. Sabertooth Diago (Brett)
6. Nashville Starcats (Christy)
7. Frog Feet (Danielle)
8. Mandos (Kevin)

Update: I also made it to the final round of my Fantasy Basketball league (Someone else is the commissioner for this one). This one will be over April 18th

pictures and videos

In Blog Stuff, Christy, Hockey, Me, Pictures, Sports, Videos on April 2, 2007 at 4:40 pm

Just a quick update on lots of new pictures I’ve posted to Flickr
I’ve included some of my favorites below, but as usual, just go to my main Flickr page to see the latest pictures.

Also – I now have VIDEO!
I’m starting to upload videos shot with my new camera (and probably some other random ones eventually too) to Google Video.

As a demonstration of the exciting videos you have to look forward to, here is a video that Christy shot at the Predators open practice recently. It is Vitaly Vishnevski doing puck drills. Thrilling i know.

I have to run now, but WAY WAY WAY more to come.

hockey championship

In Christy, Games, Hockey, Me, Sports on March 26, 2007 at 12:24 pm

It has come down to this.

Our Yahoo Fantasy Hockey league’s championship game is this week. I am proud to say i beat the odds (and my friend Brice) to get to the championship game.

This has really been a lot of fun. Christy did it with me, as well as a bunch of friends from work (and my friend Kevin, and my friend Brice’s wife Danielle). It did what i hoped it would, and gave me a view of the rest of the league. Christy and i (especially Christy) drafted heavily from the Predators, being the fans that we are, but it made us pay attention and at least notice when major players in the rest of the league got hurt or got a hat trick, etc.

Here are the final regular season standings (click to enlarge):

And here’s the way the playoffs went down (click to enlarge)


I have to also say that Christy made a great run for the playoffs and despite her team being made of 40% Predators players, she did very well – until the Predators all got hurt. The string of injuries that hurt the Preds have just about killed her in the standings. I think she would have won at least one round in the playoffs the way she was going, if it wasnt for the injuries.

Even if i don’t win this week, i’m very happy with my outcome. I figured i’d end up in the middle of the pack.

new camera, new photos

In Blog Stuff, Cool Tech, Family, Me, Pictures on March 20, 2007 at 6:07 pm

For those that haven’t heard, thanks to my parents generosity, i was able to buy a new camera recently. A Canon PowerShot S3 IS.

This thing is sweet. All sorts of amazing features, not to mention spectacular quality. It is basically a non-SLR digital SLR. I can get add-on lenses for it (wide-angle, tele, IR, etc). It has a mode just for shooting panoramas. And it shoots video at 640×480 at 30fps – with stereo audio.

So, here are some of the cooler pictures i’ve taken with it recently. Just made a big update to my Flickr page, so make sure to check it all out (and request to be my friend on Flickr to see WAY more pictures).




we don’t count

In Cool Tech, Entertainment, Me on March 14, 2007 at 5:29 pm

Christy and i were recently selected to be a Nielson family. That is, we were going to be one of the families who’s TV watching habits were monitored to see who is watching what. Those numbers are then analized to see what the number one show on a given night was, etc.

My family got a chance to do this when i was younger, so i was excited to get the chance. Even though we don’t have cable, we were looking forward to being able to ‘pad’ the ratings for hockey and Stargate, etc. that are still occasionally on broadcast TV.

However, you will note i am using all passed-tense verbs.
The guy came out this afternoon and determined we were a no-go.

Normally, they need a phone jack near every TV. We don’t have one upstairs. But they said they have a ‘wireless’ model that would work. The problem came in with the computers.

We have a normal TV upstairs with a tuner. However, there is a PC hooked up to it that we watch things from occasionally. Downstairs there is a 19″ LCD TV with a tuner we use sometimes, a VCR with a tuner we use sometimes, and a computer with an HDTV tuner that can display on the 19″ screen or on the full projector system. They don’t have any way to measure people with TV tuner cards. The guy said they just got the ability to measure content coming from DVR’s and DVD players… wow. They are YEARS behind. It is amazing to me that the company that all TV advertisers and networks use to measure the success or failure of a given show don’t have the ability to measure even the most basic of PC-based TV tuners. Not to mention all the watching of content we see streamed over the web (like Christy watching Ugly Betty).

As a result – if they can’t measure every TV in the house, they don’t measure anything.

It really makes me wonder just how under-represented geeks are. Giving in to stereo-types, i wonder how that affects the ratings of shows like Stargate, etc. At the very least i now know that my demographic (young, techno-savvy, upper-middle class, etc) are not being represented and as a result, our shows are not getting their due.

Oh well.
Another reminder that the world is not perfect, despite my best efforts.

Note: They did say they are working on being able to measure PC-based tuners. They are supposedly testing some methods in other markets. They said that we will still be selected as a ratings family when they can measure us, which will be 9 months to a year from now. So, if you will pardon the pun: stay tuned.

wake up, sir

In Funny, Me on March 12, 2007 at 2:12 pm

This is awesome.

An alarm clock that awakens you with one of 50+ messages voiced by Stephen Fry (Jeeves of “Jeeves and Wooster

For geeks like myself, this serves the wonderful dual benefits of being awakened both by the worlds most famous butler and the voice of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Can you think of a better way to wake up?

My favorite wake-up message (of the samples listed):

“I am so sorry to disturb you, Sir, but it appears to be morning. Very inconvenient I agree. I believe the rotation of the Earth is to blame, Sir.”

Very well may be something I spend some of my birthday money on :-)
The version for the ladies is supposed to be coming soon.

Update: Ok, I won’t be buying it. As awesome as all of that is, it doesn’t support 24 hour time – as in – it goes off every 12 hours! That isn’t cool. If it went off at 2:00 in the afternoon while i’m not home that might be ok (though it would annoy my wife i’m sure), but going off at 6:30pm as i’m eating dinner and asking me to wake up is just dumb. Not to mention – that means that the 50 messages would not actually last 3 months before repeating (as advertised), they would only last a month and a half. Oh well. Maybe I can just buy all the messages on CD and use them in the CD alarm clock i already own an use. :-)

Update 2:
For those who haven’t had the joy of experiencing Jeeves and Wooster, check it out, someone uploaded it to YouTube. Most of the time content owners pull these things down pretty quickly, so i have to assume that its ok with them. Anyway, here’s part one. Links to all 5 parts are below.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

happy birthday

In Family, Me, Pictures on March 8, 2007 at 9:40 am

Yesterday was my birthday. Had a good day. Got some awesome presents. Had a great dinner with Christy at Mafioza’s last night and with my parents on Tues. And we’re going to the Predators game tonight.

And check out the awesome cake my wife made me!


Christy got me a Dremel, too, which is fun. So now i just have to find out what I want to spend my awesome birthday cash on…

been a while

In Blog Stuff, Family, Me, Pictures on March 6, 2007 at 10:57 am

I guess i’m busy. At least that’s my excuse.

Honestly i wish i had been blogging more. It helps me vent frustrations (which is why this tends to look like a negative rant) or share cool stuff (which is why i talk about the preds a lot).

Anyway, one of the things i have been spending time on that i used to use to blog is my/our new Flickr account.

Check it out – http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulnich

There is also a “Flickr Badge” in the lower right part of my blog if you haven’t seen it)

Right now i don’t have very many pictures out for public consumption, but i have over 1,500 uploaded and most of them mapped. You can sign up for your own Flickr account and request to be my friend (or family as the case may be). Then you can view all of our photos.

Also, make sure to check out the Mapping feature. I have placed pictures on a map where they were taken. Check it out.

v-day

In Christy, Me on February 14, 2007 at 8:37 am

Happy valentines day to all.

Especially to my wonderful wife who made me a really cool mix on Rhapsody that i have been enjoying all morning.

Good stuff.

downer

In Entertainment, Me on February 8, 2007 at 7:48 am

This just isn’t the kind of news i like to wake up to.
I’m not shocked. But i am bummed.

still here

In Blog Stuff, Me on February 7, 2007 at 6:51 pm

Just a quick note to let “everyone” know that i’m still here. I’m working on new additions to my internet presence, while also working with Dell’s tech support to get my XPS 400 desktop replaced (it just died…they’ve already sent me a new motherboard, powersupply, heatsink…still busted).

More to come soon.

picture time

In Blog Stuff, East Nashville, Family, Funny, Me, Pictures on February 2, 2007 at 7:22 am

It’s been a while since i used any of the pictures i’ve been taking with my cool new phone. But today’s snow cover prompted me to finally bluetooth the pictures over to my PC.
So here ya go…


Pictures of our front- and backyards this morning. In the backyard pic you can see a little bit of our new driveway that is being worked on. Yay!

This is a picture of what Cameron (our 7-month old lab puppy) did to his dog house. It used to have a front…and a bottom. Fortunately a little plywood and a few screws and its as good as new – functionally at least.

I find this really funny. It’s a gas station on Gallatin Rd. near Briley Pkwy. It is a BP gas station, with a Mapco convenience store and the pumps serve Amoco fuel. I think they are a little confused.
You can’t see it very well from this picture (taken on Church St downtown while stuck in traffic), but this is a fleet of police scooters (which i do think are kinda cool) all parked in a row – in a 24-hour no parking zone. Christy said she used to see them every day parked there on her way in to work.
And last but not least, a dark, fuzzy picture of the menu at the Cheesecake Factory. I was pretty disappointed in this place. Forget the fact that i’ve had better cheesecake at mexican-food joints, and that the wait was way too long, and that the food was only mediocre… Their menu’s have full page ads on every page of the menu! This is supposed to be a “nice” restaurant! I can take the ads in the bathrooms. I think those are actually kinda cool. But on the menus! And we’re not talking nice ads for a wine that they carry – we’re talking cheap car dealership ads! I don’t plan on voluntarily eating there ever again.

mtsu alum the next nhl comish?

In Entertainment, Hockey, Me, Nashville, Sports on January 31, 2007 at 5:40 pm

That’s right. Apparently MTSU alum (my alma mater) Eddie Gossage is the short list for the NHL commisioners job when Gary Bettman’s contract expires after the 07-08 season.

I’m not a 100% Bettman basher the way some are – i think the new collective bargaining agreement and new rules, etc have been great for the sport. However, under Bettman’s watch there have been 2 lockouts, one season lost all together, and the league has all but disappeared from the national radar in the US. Attendance is up, showing that hardcore fans in NHL cities are supporting the sport, but TV, radio, and other coverage around the rest of the US is paltry at best. I definitely think he needs to go and conventional wisdom is that the league owners agree.

At this point, no official inquiries have been made. Gossage is denying that he is going anywhere or that he has officially talked to anyone with the NHL. He has said he is commited to heading the Texas Motor Speedway as he has sucessfully done for a few years now. But he is a known hockey fan (gotta figure he’s a Preds fan right?) and is apparently frequently courted by other sports entities for his marketing prowess.

my favorites

In Blog Stuff, Entertainment, Family, Me, Music on January 27, 2007 at 8:23 pm

My sister just made a fun post on her blog listing a lot of her favorite bands.

I am both too lazy and too compulsive to try to really put together a comprehensive list of my own, but i can copy and paste from Rhapsody…

This is a copy/paste from Rhapsody – these are my “top rated” artists. Not everyone i like/love is on Rhapsody, and even those that are, i haven’t rated all of them yet. But anyway…here’s the list, roughly in descending order, but don’t put too much stock in that.

Enjoy.

Jamiroquai, Queen, Chagall Guevara, Dave Brubeck, Steve Taylor, Sixpence None the Richer, Leigh Nash, Weezer, Ella Fitzgerald, Relient K, The Sounds, Venus Hum, Imogen Heap, The Postal Service, The 77’s, The Beatles, Radiohead, Stereolab, Santana, Annie, All-Star United , Ladytron, Garbage, Mr. Scruff, Smash Mouth, Tony Bennett, Zero 7, OK Go, Death Cab For Cutie, Fleming & John, Daft Punk, Louis Armstrong, The Beach Boys, Electric Light Orchestra, Stevie Wonder, The Clash, Ben Folds, Kylie Minogue, Nat King Cole, Wax Poetic, Brand New Heavies, Robbie Williams, Sufjan Stevens, Franz Ferdinand, Cool Hand Luke, Joy Electric, Benny Benassi, Goldfrapp, Fischerspooner, Switchfoot, Coldplay, U2, Dido, Frou Frou, Led Zeppelin, Everclear, Glenn Miller, Cake, Sum 41, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, The Ramones, Johnny Cash, Blondie, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bodyrockers, Chuck Berry, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Telepopmusik, Diana Krall, Earth, Wind & Fire, Chumbawamba, Duke Ellington, Michael Jackson, Vince Guaraldi, Frank Sinatra, Starflyer 59, They Might Be Giants

summer festivals

In Blog Stuff, Entertainment, Me, Music on January 22, 2007 at 6:20 pm

Well, i think this will be the first time since i started blogging, but it was inevitable:

Sorry it’s been so long!

Not that it really matters. I’m only averaging 6-8 a views a day, most of which are random hits or people looking for hockey stuff. Based on the great response from my request for comments, and the best i can tell, the remaining 2 of you are my wife and father-in-law. Thanks guys.

Anyway, just wanted to tell everyone about the two awesome festivals i’m not going to this summer. I am a big music fan, and love live music, but i mostly enjoy massive festival shows from the comfort of my DVD. I prefer my live music in groups of 200 or less. 200,000…not so much. However, these line-ups give me pause. Several of these bands don’t actually exist anymore and a reuniting for these shows – or better yet – are cool, current acts that rarely if ever play live shows, much less play them in the US.

Anyway…you can see the full line-ups other places. Here’s the listing of bands that i would actually want to see at each show:

:::Coachella:::
Rage Against the Machine
The Police

Depeche Mode
Daft Punk
Franz Ferdinand
Sigur Ros
Ladytron
Imogen Heap
Massive Attack
Madonna
Paul Oakenfold
Coldcut
Los Amigos Invisibles
Jazznova

:::Bonnaroo (from a rumored line-up, not official):::
The Police
Bob Dylan
Willie Nelson
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
Modest Mouse
Medeski, Martin and Wood
Four Tet

Now, many of these “bands” are electronic acts that consist of one or two people and whose stage shows consist of them pressing play then running cool light shows. I know this because i used to be the guy that pressed play in another band (whoa, flashback). So in reality i don’t think i’m probably missing amazing shows as much as the chance to say that i saw Ladytron.

Now, i do think some of them will be great live (Medeski, Bela Fleck, Daft Punk, Sigur Ros), and one i have seen live and know they will be great (Imogen Heap). But over all it is definitely not worth the time, money, discomfort, and general hassle of dealing with the trips to cali or even just down the road to ‘roo (man i’m hip…check me throwin’ the slang). But i’ll probably look to buy the DVD if they sell them.

100

In Blog Stuff, Christy, Entertainment, Family, Friends, Funny, Me on January 16, 2007 at 7:52 am

Well this is it.
My 100th blog post.

I know you were all keeping track and waiting in anticipation.

In grand tradition, i will now say “blog” 100 times.

Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog

(…you know, that doesn’t look as big or long as i thought it would. And now to the actual post….)


Two issues:
  1. Many of my posts, especially recently, have been about the Predators, or hockey, or at least sports.
  2. None of you are commenting!

Point 1) I am considering branching off and making a Predators/Sports blog. Not that there aren’t enough good forums and even a few decent blogs…but more than a few have gone silent. OK…even the official blog is pretty poor. Predators’ PA announcer Paul McCann‘s is the only really solid, consistent one I have found.

Point 2) I know that many of you that read my posts may be new to this ‘blog’ thing, but it is traditional (or at least common) for people to actually comment on my posts. Can be as simple as “Amen brother!” or as long as the comment my dad posted when i ticked him off about the Billy Graham statue. My wife is the only person to comment more than once i think (thank you sweetheart).

So – your assignment…

USING THE COMMENTS FIELD – ANSWER THE QUESTION:
DO YOU THINK I SHOULD SPLIT OFF A SPORTS/HOCKEY BLOG, OR JUST KEEP POSTING EVERYTHING IN ONE PLACE?

Thank you for your time and attention.

skin deep

In Cool Tech, Me on January 13, 2007 at 10:45 am

For those that haven’t seen these, i think it’s pretty cool. Good selection too.

http://www.skinit.com

You can pick just about any logo out there for any sports team, college, or product you like. Then pick the device you have and you can order a skin for it. One of my friends at work just got a Predators skin for his Razr.

These images are a couple of examples i am considering buying…one for my work laptop, one for my Axim…maybe. We’ll see. Prices aren’t bad, but they aren’t free either.

random philosphy

In History/Politics, Me on January 12, 2007 at 7:37 am

Spiritual beliefs should be found by the individual.

If you believe what another person suggests, you haven’t found religion or God, you’ve found a leader to follow.

random

In Funny, Me, Work on January 5, 2007 at 4:30 pm

I am so glad that i have the phone i do with the camera it has…it lets me share things like this with the world…

On my way out from the office today i passed by a “team room” that i pass by almost every day. Today – it was a little different…
Keep in mind the scale here – this is a 4’x 6′ white board.
My guess is someone’s kid here as free day-care did this.

Isn’t your life better now?

peace in the format wars

In Cool Tech, Me on January 4, 2007 at 12:19 pm

Several years ago i was big into media. OK, i still am – but i used to be really into it. I had a website design company, and was working on a media transfer company. I would charge people to transfer old home movies to DVD, records to CD’s, etc.

To do this i needed a DVD recorder for my PC. At the time, DVD recordable formats were unsettled. There were 2 competing formats (+ or -) and no one knew who would win out. However, based on past history (beta/VHS, etc) it was conventional wisdom that only one format would win.

So, in order to ensure that I would be able to record to whichever type of DVD survived the war, i talked my wife into letting me shell out nearly $400 for a four-format external DVD recorder. I could have spent $200 on one that just recorded one of the two formats, but i wanted to make sure i was good for years to come… Within months, four format drives were standard and going for less than $150. I still occasionally apologize to my wife for that one. by the Way…no format won out as i thought they would. We now exist in a world with more than 6 formats existing quite nicely together.

So…keeping that story in mind, check this out:
LG to release hybrid DVD player for Blu-ray and HD-DVD

(For the record, i am not planning on purchasing any HD or Blu-Ray players for some time. At this point there aren’t enough titles. That and i’d rather just wait a few months for the online services to offer the movies for download, since i always rip my movies onto my network drive anyway.)

christmas update

In Family, Me, Pictures on December 29, 2006 at 11:49 am

I know Christmas is, strictly speaking, just one 24-hour day. However, in the modern age of defining Christmas by seeing family and the present giving/receiving, Christmas for us usually lasts from a few days before, all the way until New Years day.

For us this year, it started by Christy and i going to see some of her extended family in KY. We saw her aunts and uncle and grandmother. It was a good visit. And a it was made a little nicer this year by the recent removal of toll booths along the route. The trip now cost us $2.80 less than usual. Yippie!

Christmas day itself was just Christy and i. Rather nice really. Just got to hang out and relax. OH – and open Christmas presents for each other of course :-)

Day after Christmas we did with Christy’s mom/dad and brother (sis-in-law was too sick to come). That was a lot of fun. Only bad part was this was the first time we had to give envelopes as gifts… Our order from Amazon (made two weeks prior to Christmas) did not arrive until later. So had to give several people envelopes with pictures of what they will be getting. (Note to all who await presents: They have arrived. Our house/pet-sitter got them for us. They will be mailed out to you all as soon as we get back to TN) The funny thing this time was that we actually had Becca’s gifts, but she was the only one not there. The three who were there (mom/dad/Matt) just had to open envelopes. Oh well. We (ok… i) spent the rest of the evening playing Guitar Hero (which Matt was kind enough to bring up from Birmingham). That game is fun! He got Guitar Hero II that night, but we just played Guitar Hero I for now.

The other attention getting present for that evening had to be Christy getting her Rhapsody edition Sansa. I was quite jealous, though excited. She played with it a little, but i then proceeded to steal it and play with it more as she worked on other people’s presents (she crocheted several gifts this year – very proud of her, they looked great). I am sure this drove her crazy. I didn’t mean to steal her present, but these things are cool and i didn’t have one…yet…

The 27th we drove. A lot.
We actually made really good time and drove straight from Nashvegas to north San Antonio in one shot. Wasn’t too hard at all really. Having a TDI (diesel) car that is really comfortable helps. We did the whole thing on a tank and a half of gas and rarely had to stop.

The 28th we hung out at my Mom’s sister’s place for a while and played on their new Wii. That thing is a lot of fun, though you do have to be careful that you don’t smack your friends in the face while playing.

That afternoon we did Christmas with my dad’s family in San Antonio. Much fun. Ate lunch, did presents, and then played board/card games together for…oh…4 hours or so i think. After a while we realized it was 8:30pm (thanks to my cool new watch) and we hadn’t eaten dinner and we were all getting a little tired. So we packed up and headed to Taco Cabana for our first major dose of Texas tex-mex. Good stuff.

Then we headed back out to my mom’s sister’s and did presents with my mom’s side of the family and my parents/sister. Much fun and many good presents there… and i got my Sansa! I congratulated Christy on biting her tongue and not giving away that i had one coming (she knew).

We also got a ton of DVD’s (from many different people) and video games and board games, etc, etc, etc… I’m not going to try to name or comment on them all (hope no one is offended). I really have enjoyed (or will enjoy) all the gifts so far. I honestly feel very blessed and grateful. We have a lot of generous family!

More important than the gifts, of course, is getting to see everyone. We’ve had great fun this year visiting and playing with everybody…and more of that to come. For the first time in several years, we are going to be here tomorrow for the big “family Christmas” with my mom’s family. Expected numbers are somewhere near 40-50 i believe. Should be much fun.

Anyway…last note is to say that the pictures included in this post were courtesy of my cousin Carly’s new camera. It is equipped with WiFi and she can email straight from her camera. How insanely cool is that! When we got back to the hotel last night and checked our email, we had pictures waiting for us that were less than an hour old. Cool. Thanks Carly!

squish the buffaslugs

In Christy, Funny, Hockey, Me, Pictures, Sports on December 20, 2006 at 10:27 pm

Christy and i have free tickets to the Predators game against the Buffalo Sabres tomorrow night. They are very good seats, just a few rows from the ice.

So Christy got a great idea for a poster…we just made it:

For background reading on what a “Buffaslug” is, check here, here, and here.
Watch for us on TV!


Update: We had fun at the game, but obviously it didn’t turn out the way we wanted. We were very surprised by how many Buffalo fans were there, too. And apparently many of them came from Buffalo – just for the game. I think Christy had a good idea: Hold a Red Wings vs. Sabres exhibition game in Municipal Auditorium, then lock the doors.

Anyway – here are a couple of pictures from the game. We did get on the jumbotron with the sign in the first intermission, but i didn’t think fast enough to pull my phone out and take a picture then. Oh well. We were still cool. And the seats were great.



my new phone

In Cool Tech, Me, Pictures on December 18, 2006 at 7:26 pm

So, i am finally getting around to tell you all about my new phone.
It is the Samsung t519 “Trace”

Pretty awesome little phone. Emphasis on little.
This thing is small. Really small. And light. Very very light.

I had decided to go for a phone that was as low profile as possible this time. Gone are the days when i was known for wearing cargo pants at all time and carrying around a geek survival kit. With the new job and just style changes, my technology has to move with my style. I needed something super-light and thin (i hate the tale-tell cell phone bulge). Enter the t519.

To try to show you how small/thin this thing is i took a few pictures…

Anyone want a phone that is only as thick as a No. 2 pencil? Shorter than a standard mouse? As for weight: It weighs basically the same as two AA batteries – 2.7 oz. Lightest phone i’ve ever owned. What is great is it doesn’t feel too light or cheap. It feels very sturdy. It also feels good while talking, good ear-to-mouth length.

Besides its size – oh yeah, it’s a great phone. Large, bright, high-res screen. Bluetooth. 1.3MP camera. Does great stills, decent video. Oh – and the feature i have barely used – MP3 player…with expandable MicroSD slot. That’s right – expandable memory. I could have 2GB plus in this thing if i wanted. Though honestly, with Rhapsody and my Axim, i don’t really use the MP3 function, and i don’t think i’m going to bother getting an expansion card at this point.

Frustrating thing about it, is that it is so new, no one has really hacked it yet. The downside of this is that T-Mobile ships it pretty locked down. You can only install games and ringtones bought through the T-Mobile store. So i can have MP3s on it, and use them to listen to, or use as alarms – but not as ringtones. I also can’t install any 3rd party games or applications unless they go through the T-Moible store, which is a pity since there are a ton of free ones on the web. There has to be a way around this, i just can’t figure it out yet.

I like :-)

new toy…er…tool

In Cool Tech, Me, Work on December 18, 2006 at 6:27 pm

One of the coolest perks in my new job: i get a laptop! I finally got it today (though i am so grateful and happy to get it i hate to say “finally”).

Latitude D620 with 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo processor and 2GB of memory. That part is awesome. I also have a docking station, and extra AC adapter (thank you Dell!) and some other toys. That is where the cool list stops. It’s kinda downhill from there if you want to geek out… “Just” a CD-ROM (no RW or DVD), “just” a 30GB hard drive, no bluetooth, etc. But it does have WiFi (802.11b/g), battery life is great (3.5+ hours with wireless on!), and it does everything i need it to for work, plus some. I will certainly take it, gladly.

I think the guy thought my reaction was a little funny when he brought it to my desk. I probably looked like i was practicing for Christmas in a couple of weeks. Oh – and i got a decently cool (and very functional) case too. :-)

phone pictures

In Blog Stuff, Cool Tech, Me, Pictures on December 17, 2006 at 2:54 pm

Yet another place for my fan club members to bookmark: MyAlbum on T-Mobile.
http://www.t-mobilepictures.com/pwnicholson

Basically its a place where i can auto-upload pictures to a website straight from my phone. Don’t worry, i’ll make sure to post on here if there is ever anything really interesting. The best reason for me to use it though will be to avoid all the issues of cost and incompatibility when trying to take a picture and send it to someone. Now if i see something really cool and want someone to see it, i just have to take the picture or shoot video, “send to MyAlbum”, then call and tell them to go to this site. They can view it for free and so can lots of others, all for no extra cost to me or them. Oh – and i can upload pictures from my desktop and add captions, etc too.

Its not as cool as i’m making it sound (i do sound like a commercial right now i know), but it is neat.

Enjoy.

oops

In Family, Me, Videos on December 17, 2006 at 2:36 pm

You remember that DVD i was putting together for my cousin?
Well, the release date just got pushed back a bit.

I was installing another new hard drive in my machine (because 3 drives and over 500GB is not enough, you understand) and was having problems with it. It was an older drive and i was having issues with the partition on the drive. Well, i was moving too fast and accidentally nuked the partition of my video project drive. 117GB and a couple of months of work – poof!

I tried restoring the partition with PartionMagic and some other tools but no luck. Fortunately i have the raw footage backed up on another drive, so i can start all over again. This also isn’t all bad, since i was probably going to go back and re-do a lot of it anyway. I had gotten some new ideas and was going to re-cut most of what i had already done.

Sorry Kelly!

updates

In Friends, Hockey, Me, Work on December 7, 2006 at 9:22 pm

Wow, for a while there i was on a pace of better than one post a day. It’s been a crazy week though, so, not much lately. Hopefully i’ll get to post more over the weekend.

BABY:
Quick update though on Annie Hilscher. She and mom Sarah (and dad Nick) are all doing fine. Last update i heard she is actually off oxygen and doesn’t have to be under the anti-jaundice-lamp-thing anymore. She may actually get to come home relatively soon, which is amazing to me. I was assuming she’d be in the hospital for a month or more at least.

JOB:
In other news, my new job is going really well. It’s a lot of fun and really hits my strengths and comfort spots. But don’t get me wrong, it is definitely a challenge. My new group’s numbers are very low by the standards of the group i came from, so there is a lot of room for improvement. It is great to feel like i might actually be in a position to do something about it though, as my last few jobs often felt like great places for ideas, but no resources for follow-through. It is also going to be very challenging in learning the new organization (i use that term very loosely). This group is BIG and complicated. I have about 30 names and faces i need to learn fast (managers) and several hundred people i support overall. I am certainly better at names/faces than i used to be, but it is still a challenge.

PREDATORS:
I think the NHL board of governors needs to not only fix the schedule back so we can play all the teams, but they need to change the game to just two halves. The whole three-period thing is quaint, but it is costing the Predators games. We have been ahead or tied at the second intermission in almost every game we’ve played lately – and in the last several have either given up a lead we’ve had to re-earn, or lost the game entirely. Even in the blow-out against the Ducks the other night, we were competitive until the 3rd, then gave up a lot. The thing that is odd is that i don’t think it is a conditioning thing, which would be my first guess. We are a team built for speed and endurance and i haven’t noticed us slowing down in the 3rd. Just getting sloppy.

Plenty more to post about later (my new phone, East Nashville happenings, computer issues, etc) but that is all for now.

later

movin’ on…

In Me, Work on December 4, 2006 at 9:57 am

Just a quick note updating everyone on my personal life.

Today i officially start my new position at Dell.
I am moving from working with Higher Education accounts selling software and peripherals, to working as a printer specialist in the Small Business group. Its a good move for me, but i am sad to leave my old group. We’ve been together a long time (especially some of us) and it’s been a great time.

But hey, this new job is a definite promotion, and a great new job (no quota!).

And the best benefit of all will probably be that i am now on the 3rd floor: more stairs = more workout! I need it!

best seats in the house

In Hockey, Me, Sports on December 2, 2006 at 10:51 pm

(Blogger is having some problems with its posting interface. Can’t do any formatting or image inclusion through the normal methods…good thing i know HTML…)

I just got an awesome new phone (more about that later). With it, i took these pictures. First is the view from our seats, second is the view up the row of our seats.


Section 304, last row, seats 24, 25.

We are in the cheering section for the Preds (Cell Block 303) and the seats are great. You can see all the action and all the plays develop. Being on the back row has two major advantages too: 1) i can stand through the whole game if i want to (stiff back, exciting game, etc) 2) there is a concrete shelf behind us where we can put our coats, programs, etc. They are also cheap. Just $12 a game as season ticket holders (just a 13-game pack, not all 41 home games). Last best thing – they are on the aisle. Really quick to get up and down during the game if needed, and no one walking past us, etc…and we get to stretch our legs out.

Seriously, if anyone is considering getting season ticket seats to anything, back row, on the aisle is the only way to fly.

better late than never…

In Me on November 26, 2006 at 4:06 pm

Raking half an acre of leafs sucks.

Just an FYI.

blogging

In Basketball, Blog Stuff, Me on November 26, 2006 at 9:37 am

I am beginning to understand why some bloggers do the “which LOTR character am i?” blog entries. They are filler. There are days (and days in a row) where i want to post, there are things to post about, but i am just too lazy.

But here’s a quick synopsis:
1) I think this is stupid.
2) I think this is frustrating, but almost funny.
3) My fantasy basketball (“Spurs”) and hockey (“Predators”) teams are doing nearly as well as their real-world counterparts. It helps when i stock my fantasy teams with players from my real-world favorites. I’m in second place in basketball after two weeks, and have climbed from last (8th) to 4th over the past few weeks in hockey.

Of course, i’ll also throw out there that one of the reasons i’ve been unmotivated to post, is that i’m doing tons of other things online and on the computer right now, so after a while i just have to get up. I’ve been moving all of my (and my customers) websites over to a new host, and creating a new websites. More on that later…

End of line.

soundtrack to the next 2 hours

In Entertainment, Family, Me, Music on November 24, 2006 at 10:26 am

My sister just did this on her blog. Normally i steer away from these things, but this one seemed fun. So here it goes…

SOUNDTRACK TO MY LIFE:
Here’s how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Rhapsody, Winamp, Media Player, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, For the first 16 songs, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button Write them down.
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool…

(note: My Rhapsody playlist has 983 songs at the moment and is 2.9 days long)
(note: If you want to see what the “stages of life” were supposed to be you can hit my sisters blog, but i just decided to make this what it really is – 16 random songs from my playlist. The correlations to “stages of life” just turned out boring anyway.)

The Sounds, Much Too Long, Dying To Say This to You
James Horner, Too Many Secrets, Sneakers (Score)
A-Ha, The Sun Always Shines on TV, Hunting High and Low
Ratatat, Cherry, Ratatat
The Golden Sounds, Up and Away, Wings or Horns
Relient K, Let It All Out, Mmhmm
Robbie Williams, Bongo Bong, Rudebox
Stevie Wonder, Higher Ground, Innervisions
The Beach Boys, Good Vibrations, Smiley Smile
The Mosquitos, Juju & Blue, Mosquitos
Telepopmusik, Breathe, Genetic World
Switchfoot, I Turn Everything Over, New Way To Be Human
Donald O’Conner, Make ‘Em Laugh, Singin’ In The Rain (Soundtrack)
Natasha Bedingfield, Unwritten, Unwritten
Death Cab For Cutie, Someday You Will Be Loved, Plans
Wax Poetic, Della, Nublu Sessions
Annie, No Easy Love, Anniemal

coming soon…

In Family, Me, Videos on November 23, 2006 at 12:11 am

For oh, the last many months i have been working on an off (mostly off) on a video for my cousin. More accurately, for my aunt. My cousin Kelly got married, and my aunt ‘hired’ me to come down and be the videographer. Well, unfortunately i can’t say too much for my skills with the camera (or the camera itself), but i am pretty happy with what i am being able to do on the post-production side. (FYI: I use a great set of programs from Pure Motion)

Well, today i had the day off, so i decided to put together a teaser trailer for all my relatives down there to see over Thanksgiving. My goal is to have the full DVD in time for Christmas.

Without further ado…

where is my space?

In Blog Stuff, Me on November 22, 2006 at 5:22 pm

I finally caved in.
I have a MySpace page.

http://www.myspace.com/pwnicholson

I personally agree with UserFriendly: MySpace is Geocities a la 1997 – only slower. It’s such a horribly designed and executed site it baffles the mind. It is really painful as a former/amateur web designer to visit anyone’sMyStupid” page. But as some friends at work recently pointed out, it is fairly ubiquitous, and great for driving traffic and for social networking.

If you want to invite me as your friend, you can.
But all the page does is point you to this blog.

Enjoy.

introducing…

In Friends, Me, Music, Pictures on November 17, 2006 at 10:59 pm

Tonight was the first performance of what could be many, by (what is now unofficially known as) the Nick Hilscher Trio.

My friends Nick and Jamie agreed to play with me for a friends birthday party Friday night. We just did a small jazz/swing combo. Lots of fun. We were all out of practice, but really did sound pretty good. We are probably going to keep playing together for fun at least, if not possibly more…

Anyone know a good jazz bass player?

The Trio

Nick Hilscher
vocals, piano
Jamie Tyson
guitar

Paul Nicholson
drums

gimme

In Me on November 13, 2006 at 9:19 pm

I’m too tired to think up a fun post right now. Lots of ideas of things to post on, just no motivation to write.

In the meantime, anyone who wants to know what stuff i’d like to get (for Christmas, birthday, whatever) to go along with all the other insane amounts of stuff i already have, check this, and this, and maybe even this.

Thanks in advance :-)

do i matter?

In Basketball, Hockey, Me, Sports on November 11, 2006 at 3:21 pm

Last night when Christy and i went to the movie, it meant not watching or listening to a Predators game for the 2nd time this year. The last time i didn’t watch/listen was when we went to the opera, which i think was the last time the Preds lost in regulation.

Over the years i have grown up in a family that taught me that whether i watched a game (or attended) DID impact the result of the game. I have a cousin an aunt who are forbidden from going to Spurs games together because every time they do, the Spurs loose at home, which is rare.

However, for last night i had finally convinced myself that it really didn’t matter. Even though it was the first game of the year against Detroit, i decided i could go enjoy myself at the movie, and find out who won or lost the game later.

Don’t worry. I wont let it happen again.
My dad and i are going to the game tonight. In person.

Update: Predators won the game 1-0 against Colorado. Mason was amazing in goal.
Update 2: I will be watching the game on Wed night on the Center-Ice package at Batter’d-and-Fried.

perfect shave

In Me on November 10, 2006 at 2:42 pm

Several of you have probably heard about my shaving reformation a few months ago. Here’s the article that go me going on it. (Here’s a the original with tons of MSN ads)

In Summary:
1) Use real, glycerine based shaving cream (this is my favorite)
2) Use a good brush
3) Use as simple 2-blade cartridge razor with no extras (if not a DE Safety razor). These are my personal favorites. You really don’t need the extra plastic guards and extra blades.
4) Shave wet (wet face, wet blade)
5) Shave hot (hot water, hot blade, warm skin)
5) DO NOT PRESS DOWN – AT ALL – EVER. Just drag the razor over your face. I wish someone had told me this earlier. I always figured a closer shave meant pressing harder. How wrong i was…

(Oh – and all this goes for the women too. My wife uses a brush and the same kind of cream. It’s the only way to fly.)

ch-ch-ch-changes

In Blog Stuff, Me on November 9, 2006 at 11:15 am

So last night i spent way too long hacking apart this new Blogger Beta template that i am using, and added some new features, moved some stuff, etc…

Here’s the “changelog” such as it is for the latest version:

1) Modified Profile
* Added picture (my wife and i in the elevator of our hotel on vacation in San Francisco)
* Added “favorites” (movies, books, etc)
2) Added Feed feature links
* Its now easy to add my blog to your Google homepage, MyYahoo, or MyMSN.
* Also have the raw Atom feed link if you want to pull it into AvantGo or any other news aggregator you want to use.
3) Share It
* Added Email This! – links to a form for sending a story to friends
* Added Digg This! – links to Digg submission form
4) Search
* Added a search function through Technorati down on the bottom of the right tool bar. Still have to make some changes to that…it may or may not stay.

For those that have never used Google or MyYahoo to customize pages and pull in blog posts, it can really be nice. Here’s my current Google page, on my blogs tab (click to make larger):

superconducting workers

In Me, Work on November 8, 2006 at 11:58 am

Computers (and most electronic equipment) run more efficiently (faster with less energy consumed) when chilled. The colder the better. The extreme of this is “superconductivity” – when electronic resistance is actually brought to zero (it takes temps of -200º C to do this though).

So, the computers in our work area are probably working more efficiently than they ever have before. Too bad the same could not be said for the people operating the computers.

We are all having to take frequent breaks to walk around and get blood flowing. I have gone to run my mouse hand under hot water twice in an effort to stop the stinging feeling in my fingers. You’d think that packed in here like we are, we’d be complaining of it being stuffy and hot – but not so much.

We finally got a thermometer to put up near by. The temperature has started to come up a bit today, so we don’t know what the low was yesterday, but it is currently 63º F on our row.

cramped quarters

In Me, Pictures, Work on November 6, 2006 at 10:30 am

Dell has recently announced that they are increasing the number of people employed in our Nashville office from 2000 to 3000. In order to pack in an additional 1000 worker bees, they are putting the building through “densification”. (Insert joke about us being “dense” here).

As a result, we had to move. We just finished settling into our new digs. Let me tell you – deoderant and ear plug sales in the area will probably be going up. HighEd has always been a tight group, but now we’re packed in to match.

Here are the pictures as proof… (click on the pic for full size)

This is the picture from last week’s Halloween party. Aside from Mumbo looking cool, you can see that the row was so wide, the other half didn’t even show up in the picture. You can barely see my chair on the right side of the picture.

On the other hand, we have our new row. The row literally went from about 7 feet between desks, to about 4 feet. We have to go up and down the row one at a time. Elevator rules apply…people leaving go out before people coming in can enter.

On the plus side, the number of people served by Anna’s little space heater has just gone up 10 fold.

punkin stuff

In Me, Pictures, Work on October 31, 2006 at 11:12 am


And here’s our pumpkin for the contest at work…

For those wondering…i put my red LED light from my costume inside the pumpkin. Nice effect eh?

working holiday

In Me, Pictures, Work on October 31, 2006 at 9:19 am

So here it is. My group at work (the software and peripherals group) decided to dress up as our key products. A little dorky, but we had fun with it.

(click on pictures for full-sized image)

Here’s the crew…
Back row from left:
Bill (CRT monitor), Mary (color toner), Alysha (printer), Mumbo (printer)
Front row from left:
John P (old HP printer), Me (optical mouse), Scott (projector), Anna (cables), Daniel (flat panel)

And here are some feature shots…

movie/costume party

In Christy, Me, Movies, Pictures on October 28, 2006 at 12:12 pm

My wife and i are hosting a movie party tonight. Normally this is the kind of thing i would post on our ViewingParty site, but i think that site (as well as many of my other sites) is about to be taken down. The site was cool, but we didn’t do enough parties, and no one really ever used the site.

Anyway, we are watching the lack comedy Arsenic and Old Lace then the suspense thriller Wait Until Dark starting at about 6:00pm tonight. If you know us, you probably know our cell numbers – call us for directions. If not, you can try emailing.


Update: The “party” went well. A member of the US Army (Matt) and a peace protester (Ariana) showed up. As did Indiana Jones (Jamie) and a…safari girl/person (Hannah) My costume didn’t really come together. I ended up just being a generic, black USB device (which will come together into a USB optical mouse by Tues for my custume at work…don’t ask). Christy was great – she did a bollywood outfit, which really turned out awesome. And even better – she gave me permission to post a picture:

Of course, the movies were good. Wait Until Dark was as good as I remembered, and thankfully I couldn’t remember the ending exactly, so I was very drawn in. And there was one moment where all three girls screamed outloud. Yeah. Good stuff.

hip shirts

In Christy, Me on October 27, 2006 at 6:28 pm

www.starcat-designs.com

Just a quick post to brag on my wife.
She just posted two new shirt designs on her store.
I think these are both pretty awesome and think everyone should buy a dozen…or at least one.

Really, if any of you want to comment this entry to give some feedback, i’m sure she’d love it.

good/rough night for Kariya

In Hockey, Me, Sports on October 27, 2006 at 11:35 am

So i was at the Preds game last night for a great win over San Jose.
I was going to just talk about a few elements, but then i hit the Preds site and they had some great pictures of everything

First, Radulov scored his first goal..

and delivered what i think was his first big hit…

Poor Paul Kariya had a rough game though.
First he got decked while scoring a goal…

Then he got cross-checked by Thorton after the play was dead…

Then he got decked by a hard cross-check right into the boards and Toskala at the end of the game by McLaren…


In related news, I just found out that Paul McCann, the official PA announcer for Predators home games, well known hockey blogger, and commentator on WNSR 560 – actually has a day job working with me! Well, not exactly with me, but in the building. He works in consumer sales, I work in higher education sales, but hey – i saw him in the cafeteria. I’ll have to go up and talk with him sometime.

welcome

In Blog Stuff, Me on October 21, 2006 at 9:37 pm

Up until now i haven’t really promoted my blog. My wife is basically the only person that knows about it. She posted something on her site a few days ago, but as she will admit, not very many people read her site anymore because she updates it so infrequently.

Funnily enough, my lack of promotion hasn’t prevented me from getting hits. I’ve had quite a good number actually. In fact, i’ve already had visitors from Turkey, Canada, Brazil, the UK, Portugal, Finland, etc etc. Here’s a map showing the location of the last 10 visitors to my blog.

Most of them are just random hits from people using the “Next Blog” feature on the toolbar, but a couple actually came from people searching for “Tootoo”. So i guess if i want to drive traffic i need to talk about him and link to him more.

Web geek break: For those that don’t know, most search engines don’t rank pages based on content, but rather what links are on your page and what pages link to you. For instance, here is Google’s PageRank algorithm:

PR(A) = (1-d) + d (PR(T1)/C(T1) + … + PR(Tn)/C(Tn))

where

  • PR(A) is the PageRank of page A,
  • PR(Ti) is the PageRank of pages Ti which link to page A,
  • C(Ti) is the number of outbound links on page Ti and
  • d is a damping factor which can be set between 0 and 1.

So i’m finally going to tell some friends about my blog. Most of you seeing this are probably here for that reason. Enjoy your visit. I already have more posts than will fit on one page, so make sure to check out the archives for all of October if you don’t want to miss anything.

And no, i am not trying to make this a Predators blog, or hockey blog, or even sports blog. I’m just writing whatever. It happens to be the start of the hockey season and i’m a fan. Don’t worry. I dont think it will be about hockey this often.

Oh – and don’t forget to comment when you feel like it. You don’t have to signup for anything to do it.

report

In Me on October 14, 2006 at 10:36 pm

So…we got the patio done, got the stairs fixed, dumped the sofa, and saw an opera.

Tired.

But it was a good day.
Fun stuff.

Pictures of fence/deck/patio/puppy still to come.

…oh and the Preds won. 4-1 vs Phoenix.
So it was a good day.

working on the weekend

In Me on October 14, 2006 at 9:20 am

Just a quick note to keep myself in the blogging habit.

Today’s going to be a working day, but i’m looking forward to it. We went to bed really early last night (about 10pm) after making our first fire of the winter in the fireplace and got up early this morning (early on a Sat for me is about 8:00am). Now we’re about to run grab my father-in-law’s truck and clean out the garage…finally going to haul away our old sofa. Then we’re going to ‘da Hood Depot to get some lumber to fill in the gaps in the stairs of our new deck that our new puppy keeps escaping through. Of course, i’m also planning on cooking lunch on our new grill too, if the times permits. (mental note: post pictures of new deck and puppy). We’ll see. More to do after that…

After all the chores, we’ve got tickets to the Nashville Opera’s performance of Aida that a friend of ours is in. She’s “just” in the chorus, but it should be very cool.

So, busy day. But hopefully it will be one of those good, productive, fulfilling days too.

me?

In Me on October 12, 2006 at 7:56 am

So after creating a blog i decided to google myself to see where i show up. It’d been a while since i’d done this. Turns out, i am a former hockey player! …besides also being an egyptologist, photographer, classical music conductor, silent movie actor, and a small engine aircraft hobbyist with a really bad webpage.

I’m pretty into the first 5 things – so maybe its my destiny to get into flying small aircraft…though that’s more my friend Matt’s area than mine.

Besides, with the news from yesterday I don’t think my wife would be too enthusiastic.