Monthly Archives: September 2007

Bonds, LOL.

I can’t believe it’s such big news (by big news, I mean the top headline at CNN.com!) that Barry Bonds won’t be playing for the Giants next year. He is such a defensive liability it borders on the ridiculous. Conventional wisdom states that the only teams sane enough to sign him would be American League teams in need of a (very good) DH. He will never play in the National League again, save for a few interleague matchups in NL ballparks, in which the team may stick him in left field so they can get his bat in the lineup.

Where might he end up? I might be able to see Oakland as a possibility if they cut Piazza loose. It’s a hop, skip, and a jump across the bay (though he is most decidedly not a Moneyball-esque transaction considering what he would command), so he wouldn’t have to uproot much. I can’t think of too many other teams that might take a chance on him, though. There aren’t too many American League teams hurting for a DH that I know of (admittedly, both of my favorite teams are in the National League so I will generally follow that league more closely).

And just think, if it weren’t for the DH, he’d be able to retire a year sooner and he’d probably spill the beans about just how he grew three cap sizes in a year…

Perks of the job

Mac OS X Desktop

I got a MacBook Pro through work, and I am in love. I’m in love so much, in fact, that I can’t possibly see my next computer being a PC. After spending several days working in Mac OS X, going back to Windows seems like stepping back in time ten years. Perhaps it’s the excitement of regular exposure to something different, like an exciting new girl or something. I dunno. Windows definitely seems antiquated, though. This Mac blazes, and gets me to a login screen within 10 seconds on a cold boot. Try getting Windows to do THAT. (I don’t think the 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo inside hurts.) The Mac resumes much faster and much more reliably. For a laptop, I just don’t think you can beat a Mac. I’m using GeekTool to display the system log, kernel version and load average, running processes, and disk usage on the desktop.

With the Vista debacle being what it is, and Linux just not ready for prime time on the desktop, the Mac truly is the way to go. Guess Steve has ensnared another one…

My comm professors would shoot me if I said this on air

The big loser is O.J. What else do I need to say? On the very day his confession-to-murder book comes out, he decides to pull off an armed robbery. Does he want to go to jail? Seems like it.

— John Gibson, The Big Story (FOX News), Friday, Sept. 21

I know Juice isn’t a popular guy, but this is one of the most blatant examples of the media convicting someone before they’ve even been tried. Gibson plays judge, jury, and executioner here, and that is just irresponsible. This is a line I see in my broadcast news textbook that I would have to edit out for ethical reasons. Amazing.

Somebody Set Us Up The Bomb (Threat)

Charleston PD is checking out a suspicious package in the parking lot of the AT&T building conveniently located right behind my office building. Amazingly, we’re not being asked to evacuate. A bunch of news crews are out there right now…don’t worry, I’m fine. Somehow, though, I’m going to have to go to class…this ought to be interesting.

Update: This update is quite late, but warranted. After briefly venturing out to see which way would be the easiest to get to class, I decided that a 25 minute walk to hell and back was not warranted, especially since it was quite possible that I wouldn’t have even been permitted to reenter the building. So, I decided to stay put. I notified my professor, and that was that.

They detonated the package at 12:08. I haven’t seen whether it was anything actually threatening or not — early reports from the street, though, is that it was harmless. Needless to say, that was a distraction that was just uncalled for. Shame on whoever planted that, especially if they decided to just plant a hoax. Not cool.

Testing day at the National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has been testing new flash flood warning products, interlaced all over the place with the word TEST so that nobody will actually take action on them, throughout the day here and up in Washington state. Their test warnings have been the ultimate in worst case scenarios, and are somewhat amusing if not a little chilling considering that these things could actually happen:

BULLETIN – EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TEST…FLASH FLOOD WARNING…TEST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHARLESTON SC
1124 AM EDT FRI SEP 14 2007

…THIS MESSAGE IS FOR TEST PURPOSES ONLY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CHARLESTON HAS ISSUED A

* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR A DAM FAILURE ON
THE SANTEE RIVER BETWEEN THE SANTEE DAM AND U.S. HIGHWAY 52 IN…
NORTHERN BERKELEY COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST SOUTH CAROLINA…
NORTHEASTERN CHARLESTON COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST SOUTH CAROLINA…

* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. UNTIL THE FLOOD SUBSIDES AND EMERGENCY
OFFICIALS DECLARE THE AREA SAFE.

* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. AT 1121 AM EDT FRIDAY MORNING A FAILURE
OF THE SANTEE DAM ON THE SANTEE RIVER WAS REPORTED.

* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. IF YOU LIVE IN THE LOW LYING AREAS ON THE
SANTEE RIVER BETWEEN THE DAM AND U.S. HIGHWAY 52…YOU SHOULD MOVE
TO HIGHER GROUND IMMEDIATELY.

THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. FURTHER STATEMENTS WILL BE ISSUED AS
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE.

THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. DO NOT TAKE ACTION BASED ON THIS MESSAGE.

Here’s out of Washington state blaming global warming (haha):

BULLETIN – EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TEST…FLASH FLOOD WARNING…TEST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SPOKANE WA
1235 PM PDT FRI SEP 14 2007

…THIS MESSAGE IS FOR TEST PURPOSES ONLY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SPOKANE HAS ISSUED A

* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR A GLACIAL LAKE DAM
OUTBURST IN…
CENTRAL LINCOLN COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL WASHINGTON…

* UNTIL 230 PM PDT

* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. AT 1235 PM PDT…A GLACIER AT DAVENPORT
HAS MELTED…RELEASING LARGE QUANTITIES OF IMPOUNDED WATER AND
CAUSING FLASH FLOODING.

* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. AFFECTED LOCATIONS INCLUDE DAVENPORT

THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. DO NOT TAKE ACTION BASED ON THIS MESSAGE.

Watch out for that volcanic ash, too…

TEST…FLASH FLOOD WARNING…TEST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
1131 AM PDT FRI SEP 14 2007

…THIS MESSAGE IS FOR TEST PURPOSES ONLY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SEATTLE HAS ISSUED A
* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE.
FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR VOLCANIC SNOW MELT IN…
SOUTHWESTERN KING COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL WASHINGTON…
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF…PALMER…KENT…FEDERAL WAY…
ENUMCLAW…AUBURN…COVINGTON-SAWYER-WILDERNESS…
NORTHEASTERN LEWIS COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL WASHINGTON…
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF PACKWOOD…
PIERCE COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL WASHINGTON…
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF…TACOMA…SUMNER…SPANAWAY…ROY…
PUYALLUP…ORTING…LONGMIRE…LAKEWOOD…KAPOWSIN…GREENWATER…
GRAHAM…EATONVILLE…BUCKLEY…ASHFORD…SUMMIT…

* UNTIL 130 PM PDT.

* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. AT 1131 AM PDT ADDITIONAL VOLCANIC
ACTIVITY ON MOUNT RAINIER AND WAS CAUSING RAPID SNOWMELT ON ITS
SLOPES AND GENERATING FLASH FLOODING.

* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. AFFECTED LOCATIONS INCLUDE
COVINGTON-SAWYER-WILDERNESS…SUMMIT…ASHFORD…AUBURN…BONNEY
LAKE…BUCKLEY…CARBONADO…EATONVILLE…ENUMCLAW…FEDERAL WAY…
GRAHAM…GREENWATER…KAPOWSIN…KENT…LAKEWOOD…LONGMIRE…MAPLE
VALLEY…ORTING…PACKWOOD…PALMER…PARKLAND…PUYALLUP…
RAVENSDALE…ROY…SPANAWAY…SUMNER…TACOMA AND WILKESON.

THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. DO NOT TAKE ACTION BASED ON THIS MESSAGE.

It’s not every day you see doomsday being tested…

Never underestimate the power of unchecked vegetation

Joan from Walk This Way gives us a gentle reminder that it is important to trim the hedges every once in a while, and put down that weed killer, for otherwise, you may have to battle the vine that ate the house.

I see that house daily, and I never even noticed. It just looked like part of the normal vegetation. That’s scary and really impressive all at the same time.

The (Attempted) Summer of Love

So over this summer I decided that I was going to try to get back “out there,” so to speak — where “there” is the wonderful world of dating. Because I am incredibly shy and somewhat geeky, I turned to the trusty Internet(s) as a potential method of at least meeting people that perhaps I wouldn’t normally meet. It worked the first time I got involved with it, so logic followed that I should try there again. I found, however, that the landscape of dating on the Internet(s) has significantly changed over the last few years. From that point on, this evolved as less of an attempt to meet girls as it was a true study of online dating as a whole. Continue reading

Phantom of the Opera (Web Browser)

…and no, I’m not joking, either. The Opera browser is an amazing piece of software; it’s achieved what Mozilla could only dream of — true portability. While Gecko was notable in that it would render largely the same on Mac, Linux, or Windows, Opera takes it a step further and ensures compatibility over a wide variety of devices, including phones, other embedded products, and even the Nintendo Wii. If you visit jaredwsmith.com on a Wii, you’ll see that everything — including the dropdown menus — renders with complete fidelity. This is amazing to me; devices other than Windows PCs used to be a pain to develop for.

It’s not only the portability of Opera that makes it stand out — it’s also the fact that it does not suffer from the performance problems that absolutely dog Firefox in the latest releases. Firefox constantly likes to get on this kick of consuming 100% CPU every five seconds, stalling my typing and general progress in the application. I don’t have many extensions installed, either, so that makes it difficult. Opera just seems snappier, too, and it gives detail about page activity that no browser has given since the days of oldschool Netscape.

It has its downsides — there are far too many Web developers who ignore its presence, so some portions of the Web (particularly those that are not standards-compliant) appear funky. Luckily, though, people have finally embraced the W3C’s standard versus Microsoft’s standard, so this problem is alleviating itself. Opera’s UI also needs some toning down (though that’s easy by switching to the native OS theme).

It’s a great browser. I’d recommend giving it a shot.

The Worst Drive-Thru Ever? (Or: More Faith in a Snail)

During the third quarter of the Chargers-Bears game, I had the lovely idea of going to Taco Bell for a quick fix of crunchy tacos (on Sundays, crunchy tacos are a mere 49 cents at most locations). So, I ventured to the Spring St. Taco Bell Slash KFC.

The trip, overall, sucked. It’s bad when

  1. everybody has the same idea as you, and
  2. the drive-thru is more dysfunctional than the Manson family.

I was in the line for at least a half hour. I probably could have gotten out of my car and gotten the food faster standing there, but I’ve done that and waited a half hour. And damnit, I wanted cheap tacos. I wasn’t going to spend twice as much going somewhere else for food I wasn’t really craving. So, I stuck it out in the car listening to Ryan Farish and Default (why I’m back to listening to Default all the time, I’ll never know).

After waiting in line for about 15 minutes, I finally reached the order area, where I was met with “One moment.” They must time moments like football games, with timeouts and clock stoppages for change of possession, incomplete orders, etc. because it was about six minutes before I actually got to put in my one line order. I was greeted with “Drive around for your total.” I drove around, where I was stuck behind this giant truck for 20 minutes — they were literally sitting there while the worker held their card hostage for what seemed like forever. When I see them getting their DRINKS after 20 minutes, something is wrong. In the meantime, cars were scattering left and right, saying “F this.” But you know, I was on a mission for taco goodness. I was not going to be discouraged. I was continuing to follow the Chargers game by using the play-by-play function of their mobile website. In this time, they scored another touchdown to seal the deal.

Finally, I got up there to the window, saw my glorious total of less than $5, and waited some more. Hey, if I got this far, what is five more minutes? The actual getting the food went fine, but man…it took nearly a half hour for this ordeal. Ridiculous. I got home and the game was ending. At least I wasn’t abandoned at the ordering area, though — that has actually happened to me before. “One moment” became ten minutes which became “[EXPLETIVE] this.” I hope they get it together up that way.