Monthly Archives: May 2007

The silence is deafening…

A lot’s happened since I last had a few spare seconds to breathe and blog. I turned 23, Facebook opened up, and I have some…erm…”baseball” news to share. How about we work backwards, starting with…

The “Baseball” News*

Let’s see here…so there’s this batter that I’ve been having some trouble putting away. It’s been like a 20-pitch at-bat in the bottom of the 9th with the score tied and the bases empty. We ran the count to 3-2 about 10 pitches ago, and it’s been nothing but foul tip after foul tip ever since. All this time, I can’t help but think there’s been someone getting loose in the bullpen in the event I can’t retire the hitter — and sure enough, the manager had me intentionally walk the batter and is going for the righty warming in the ‘pen to try to finish it off. Yep, I’m done — maybe next game, whenever that will be. I really don’t want to be sent back to the minors to work on my…erm…”mechanics” again.

Reflecting on this pitch sequence, I must work harder to not lose batters so early in the count (especially if I get ahead), and I have to throw more sinkers to induce ground balls so I don’t lose an inning’s worth of effectiveness on one hitter. This is definitely a problem I’ve had throughout my career.

I exited the game to the tune of “I Will Lead You” by Filter. Oh, how I wish it had been “Fair Weather” by Trammell Starks instead.

* Where “baseball news” is actually something a little more abstract, but nonetheless an epic struggle, that was discussed at the Lowcountry Blogs meetup last Sunday.

The Facebook Platform

The new Facebook platform, which launched overnight Thursday, solidifies Facebook as much, much better than MySpace. I can now let people preview Days of the New and Ryan Farish tracks on my profile, I can show them what I’m listening to thanks to the unofficial Last.fm plugin (they were asleep at the wheel and usurped by a high school freshman — how ridiculous is that?), and I can FINALLY rearrange the Notes feature to a more prominent location so more people will read The Blog. (At least, when I update it.)

If you had asked me a year ago whether Facebook was going to be a “social operating system” as some have called it, I would have said you were nuts. These people are creative as hell, folks, and I applaud them for remaining independent. They are a real shining star in the Web 2.0 ecosystem.

$age++;

I turned 23 on Tuesday surrounded by good friends and great times. The beer flowed a’plenty and it was a great night. Age 23 is already ushering in some exciting changes — more on these when I get a little more leeway to talk about them.

There’s more going on, though. Today I got my birthday present from my parents installed — new speakers all the way around in The Cougar. It’s nice to finally be able to listen to my music in the car cleanly. I rarely drive, but when I do, it’s typically for a decent distance, so it’s nice to get away from those OEM speakers (21 years old, FTW!) that were blown to shreds. Let’s hope they’re up to the task of pumping out a steady stream of Days of the New, Ryan Farish, and whoever else decides to grace my series of mix CDs. This kicks off a summer of the work on the car. The next step is to get the air conditioning replaced, then replace the exhaust system and get a new paint job on it. It won’t be cheap, but I can swing it. Owning a car is cool when you actually own it (and the taxes are $10, lol). And people wonder why I don’t go buy a new one…

Happy one-year anniversary to my weather station. A year ago today, I started reporting conditions from my old place on Felix St. as a test run. I learned a lot that day — particularly the bit about not putting the thermometer in the sun. It was kind of funny when I rushed the thermometer back in the house at about 12:45 that day in order to cool it off. (You’ll see the unusual dip on the graph.) Needless to say, it did NOT get to 99 that day. :) The station began serving conditions from my current place on Ashley shortly thereafter, and has done so since, and will do so into the next year. It’s been a very, very useful tool over this last year, and I’m hoping to expand my capabilities very soon — I think we’re just at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this whole weather thing.

The goal is to get back to a more regular blogging schedule in the next few days. May has been a traditionally light blogging month — the weather’s usually nice, so I’m usually out a lot — kind of like I hope to be out at the beach tomorrow, this time armed with much more sunscreen than before. But yes, you’ll be hearing more from me soon.

My thanks to our troops past and present — your sacrifices will be remembered and honored on Memorial Day.

E-gad, Brain…

Wow, I haven’t blogged since Monday. Maddening, indeed. It’s just been a maddening week in general. Where do I begin?

  • Monday was somewhat stressful. I got a haircut and throughout the day I was fairly nervous for…
  • Tuesday. Tuesday, I slipped on a suit and interviewed for the second Webmaster vacancy at the College. I felt good about the interview afterwards, and I’m approaching the wait with cautious optimism.
  • Wednesday brought along a lot of work to do and a lot of craziness. I got home promptly at 5:37, changed, and by 5:40 I was in the backyard working on tweaking my mechanics to get my velocity up a bit. (LOL.) About 75 pitches later, I go inside and text my friend Sarah, who is, naturally, going to a Riverdogs game and invites me along. Three innings later, I cram into an already overloaded two-door Civic and manage to make it to the ballgame sans breakdown or traffic citation. It was epic. We enter the game in the fourth with the Riverdogs holding a 2-0 lead and Sgt. Slaughter, the ’80s and early ’90s WWE and later G.I. Joe icon signing autographs. Naturally, I blew it bigtime and didn’t get an autograph from him. I do, however, manage to reach 60 on the radar gun. Not only that, the ‘Dogs pulled out a 5-2 win over the Rome Braves. Sweet. I then have some post-game beers at Sarah’s and call it a night around 1:30.
  • Thursday was one giant ball of madness. The morning was somewhat reasonable, but the afternoon…yikes. My dad signed my car over to me, so I decided that yesterday would be the day I got the re-registration of the car in order. I go to the DMV on Lockwood with all the stuff I need…except a tax receipt, which meant a trip to The Four Corners of Law to pay the Charleston County Treasurer a visit. I got that straightened out (though they absolutely butchered my name on my tax bill — who the [EXPLETIVE] is Jerad?) and rolled back up to the DMV. I will say this much — I don’t know whether it’s because I went at 4:30 or what, but the DMV seems to have really improved over the years. Getting the registration was actually a pretty painless process and went well. They even had screwdrivers for me to pull my old tags off and put the new ones on. Very cool. However, it’s what happened between drives, with the assault of phone calls from work and from a very persistent telemarketer who was on the voice equivalent of getting on his knees in order to get a sale (he eventually hung up on me, lol) — that’s what made it really stressful. That, and the whole driving downtown in the rain with people who don’t know what they’re doing thing — that also bothers me a bit. But that’s all squared away now. I get home at 5:15 and promptly kick off my shoes and begin working in Photoshop…and that brings us to…

FRIDAY. Thank God. One more day of work and I’ll be free. Tonight I’m seeing an old friend from high school and the plan is to catch a movie and stuff, but I’m kind of hoping she might be persuaded by a ballgame, but we’ll see. Hehe. She’s moving soon, which completely blows, but oh well. Gotta make the best of the time she’s got here.

I’m listening to the symphonic version of Bleeding Me by Metallica now. I’ve been listening to a lot of stuff like that lately — Mark Mancina’s Twister score is fantastic, particularly the track entitled “Cow.” It’s intense, and I always love when a composer mixes in a symphonic arrangement with wailing guitars, and Mancina did that perfectly. I do wish, though, that the portion of the score that segued to “Humans Being” by Van Halen was on this album. That was probably my favorite part of the movie. Twister really is great — I mean, Van Halen and tornadoes, swirled together. Jared bliss, in a nutshell. I should pop in the Twister DVD and watch the end credits before I go to bed, with the clouds in motion and such.

There’s a lot going on. Summer thus far has been quite a wild ride. Don’t think I’d have it any other way.

Mother’s Day

Yeah, I’m quite late on this, but I hope every mother out there had a lovely Mother’s Day! Sadly my mother was a bit under the weather today, but having my brother and I both home is always a treat for her. :) We watched Borat and all the deleted scenes together — what a ridiculously insane movie. Love you Mom.

Also, I’d like to extend my congratulations to all those who graduated from College of Charleston today. Folks, welcome to the first day of the rest of your lives. :) In another unfortunate Mother’s Day note, thunderstorms formed and dumped some rain on the ceremony. It seems like the past two years have just not been good weather-wise for the traditional Cistern ceremony. I certainly hope that two years of wet conditions don’t totally put the damper on over a hundred or so years of commencement tradition, though.

I took something of a computing hiatus this weekend. I really only used the PC to watch the newly-rereleased Major League DVD and do some forecasting and radar analysis for some friends. As a result I have a lot of e-mail to sift through, but it was nice to get away from the screen for a change. It was, at least Friday night and Saturday, a nice weekend to get away and do stuff. Friday I did a couple laps around the peninsula and went to a friend’s house for the remainder of the evening. Saturday was the day I finally watched the Major League DVD and did a cubic crap-ton of laundry, as well as threw the ball around 100 times or so. It was something to do other than stare at a screen, and it was nice to get something of a workout. I think my new upstairs neighbors think I’m crazy for throwing a ball at a wall out of a full windup for no purpose, but oh well.

Quote of the Weekend

Overheard at Norm’s Pizza and Subs, corner of Smith and Calhoun:

Hey man, do you know what PBR stands for?
Pabst Blue Ribbon?
No, man. The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

Epic Maneuver of the Weekend

Looking at a giant line of showers and thunderstorms creeping southward with a cold front last night at around 10:00. I’m craving Arby’s at this time, and am about to go when my buddy Tom IMs me. I tell him that there’s rain coming, and he begins to panic, as he had just painted the floor of his porch. I rush over to help him put up plastic around his porch (and I get Arby’s in return). It didn’t rain that night — the front had stalled out around Orangeburg, though it was good that the plastic went up because it did rain today.

It’s going to be a nutty week ahead…a lot going on, some of which I’ll be able to detail more after it’s all finished. Between the ever-present work stuff, getting my car’s registration into my name, and trying to figure out a reasonable plan for how to celebrate my birthday so I can actually celebrate it with people…it’s going to be a nutty one. So far, summer hasn’t quite been a bastion of laziness — not in the slightest! In a way, that’s good, despite it hurting my blogging frequency. Such is life, though.

Catch you all later.

New Charleston.net

Looks like Charleston.net finally launched its Ellington redesign, and it is gorgeous. Many congratulations to the Charleston.net team — it looks fantastic.

Major props to them for using Weather Underground to power their weather apparatus, as my weather station is first on the list of personal weather stations if you scroll down. :) Too bad it doesn’t do the automatic updating like the main Wunderground page does, but hey…

Also, does anyone know what happened to Lowcountry Blogroll? Looks like it just disappeared overnight.

Helloooooo Andrea!

This rainstorm has a name — Subtropical Storm Andrea. It’s packing 45 MPH winds and is going to come in between Florida and southern SC on Thursday. Dr. Jeff Masters is on it, and pretty excited.

Andrea’s brought some impressive gusts upwards of 23 mph at my house, which is pretty intense considering all the things that break the wind before it reaches the anemometer. Whew.

Jim Cantore was on Folly Beach yesterday, BTW. I wonder if The Weather Channel will fire up their Storm Alert coverage — after all, it is a named storm now. ;)

A travesty at The Weather Channel

First, a quick game of What’s Wrong With This Video? Keep in mind, it’s not altered in any way, shape, or form, other than being compressed to a manageable size and put on YouTube.

In terms of Weather Channel history, May 7, 2007 is a day that will forever live in infamy. Sometime in the evening, The Weather Channel shut off the computer-generated narration (the robot voice that I imitate oh-so-well) on the IntelliStar and Weather Star XL units nationwide and switched their Local Forecast playlist to — shudder — vocal music. Is this the demise of the smooth jazz that has marked the 8s of every hour for the last decade? It’s unfathomable. The last known true vocal song to air on The Weather Channel was a Willie Nelson song around Christmas 1983. 23 years later, there have been reports of Nickelback being played on the Local Forecast. Freaking NICKELBACK. And after watching a couple forecasts with the new vocal playlist, it becomes plainly obvious why TWC has played instrumental music — this new stuff just totally overwhelms the presentation! Music for The Weather Channel is designed to simply be background music, because the important part is the forecast, not necessarily what’s in the background (though they play some pretty nice jams, I must say). The common thread, though, is that the music is not supposed to overwhelm — and Chad Kroeger barking out over the forecast certainly does.

I was never a fan of the narration on the Weather Star XL or the IntelliStar, but this is most definitely not the way I wanted to see it retired. Let’s hope TWC is back to their senses tomorrow morning…

Update: As of the 1:08 Local Forecast, things are back to normal. I hope TWC never does this again.

The inevitable weather post

So here it is, only a couple days removed from scraping the bottom end of 90 degrees…and it’s 56 degrees out…and falling. Who could have seen this one coming? That cold front that slipped by here Saturday night into Sunday morning not only ruined a potential beach trip, it also cooled us off to very unseasonable temperatures. The good thing, though, is that it brought a little bit of rain — something we desperately need more of. In any event, enjoy the break, because it’s not going to last long before we’re back to unbridled warmth.

Unusual coldness aside, there’s also a very interesting little cyclone spinning up offshore of Hatteras. It’s going to slowly migrate to the west over the next few days, and it’s going to churn up some impressive surf. There’s even talk of it acquiring some tropical characteristics if you can believe that one. Check out what Brian’s got on it — his worst-case scenarios are actually somewhat exciting in the meteorological sense. Could we have Andrea knocking on our door a month ahead of schedule? Yikes!

This should be an exciting week for me and the Super-Dee-Dooper-Doppler

Cry Me a Frickin’ River

So in case you have been avoiding the media (a good thing, sometimes), you’ll have seen that Paris Hilton’s going away for a month and a half. Unsurprisingly, she and her parents are throwing quite the hissy-fit about it. Paris is calling it “cruel and unwarranted,” and her mother is calling it a “waste of taxpayers’ money.” (If the elder Hilton is so worried about the taxpayers’ money, then why is she wasting more by having Paris’s lawyer try to appeal the sentence?) I find it utterly disgusting that these people, who are clearly completely out of touch with reality, believe they are above the law. Good on the judge for not letting the celebrity hoopla get in the way of his ruling and sentence. I mean, it’s 45 days, not life, for crying out loud. I also think it’s hilarious how one of her fans wrote the Governator asking for a stay on her sentence, almost as if she’s going to Death Row or something. What a crock of crap.

Paris’s inability to own up to what she did based on the fact that she won’t get to take her chihuahua behind bars with her makes her a deplorable person for people to look up to, and I quite frankly have never seen her allure. Sadly, young girls will continue to look up to her as a role model…for what, I don’t know. Sigh, society.

Smokin’!

As you all probably know, it barely rains here anymore. (Except for the three inches or so that just dropped on Goose Creek, but I digress.) With the relative lack of rain and above-average temperatures for this time of year, fire danger is definitely out there.

Right now there’s a giant cloud of smoke hanging low over Downtown and the rest of the Lowcountry. This smoke is coming from some wildfires burning south of Georgia, and the southwest winds are blowing the smoke up this way. Needless to say, air quality sucks right now. It’s pretty nasty out. Last night, I was walking to a friend’s house, and the moon was bright orange from all the smoke in the atmosphere. Ugh.

Let’s hold out hope for some rain that doesn’t come from a severe thunderstorm (my parents reported extremely heavy rains and quarter-size hail — NEXRAD backed them up on that) that can make things a little bit better, because right now, it seems like late June versus early May. Next week should bring relief with a cold front set to come through during the day Sunday.

Registration now closed

I’m getting a lot of spam registrations, and since I opened comments without registration, I decided to go ahead and end registration on the site. Between Akismet and Bad Behavior, the site is quite well-protected from spammer comments, so I’m not worried much about it. I’ll update the verbiage in the template shortly.

I am considering adding TypeKey or OpenID support to the site. I can see how that can be quite valuable — what do you all think?