Monthly Archives: December 2007

Best of The Blog

Jared W. Smith Dot Com Best Of Volume I

I’ve struggled to come up with a good 2007 post that’s reasonably concise and has some brevity (the number one thing Twitter has taught me in my month or so of using it). A ton happened this year — most of it was good, but there were always speedbumps along the way. I’m really proud of my continued progress in getting on my own two feet this year, and am really looking forward to taking off like a rocket in 2008.

A couple months ago, when I began doing some renovations on jaredwsmith.com (which continue, in a big way, in case you haven’t noticed), I created a “Best Of” category with the intent that I would start tagging posts that really stood out to me or others to keep tabs on what people liked best for a compilation later on. The category laid dormant for months.

Then, earlier today, I caught a post at Patrick’s Place, where he ran down his best posts of 2007 by month…and bam. Inspiration. While I don’t think I can locate a post for every month of the year that stands out (my blogging comes and goes in cycles — some months, particularly high-impact school months, are almost dead with very pithy posts while others have a cornucopia of novels to choose from), I have located quite a few that I thought were special in some way, whether for comedy, historical impact, or other judgement calls that come with the power of having your name on a Web site.

And so, the category finally got some love, and The Best of JaredWSmith.com, Volume I was born, complete with Van Halen ripoff artwork. In the future, the category will receive posts before and beyond 2007’s postings — and I’ll try and do a better job of categorizing them by date as well — but in the meantime, enjoy. And Happy New Year. :)

Firing Squad

The NFL regular season has concluded, so that means a fairly unhappy New Years’ Eve for a few underperformers. The shakeup begins — where else? — in Miami: general manager Randy Mueller is Bill Parcells’ first casualty in what promises to be a tumultuous offseason for the 1-15 Dolphins. Brian Billick, the coach of the Ravens who lost to the Dolphins, found out what happens when you lose to a 1-15 team enroute to a nine-game losing streak: you lose your job. Billick didn’t have a chance; the Ravens were undisciplined and sloppy the last few weeks of the season. Meanwhile, many believe coach John Fox and GM Marty Hurney are on the hot seat in Carolina. Fox expects to be back, but owner Jerry Richardson hasn’t decided yet. I say give Fox another run at it with Jake Delhomme or Matt Moore at quarterback, but by all means, fire Hurney. The Panthers have had a few substandard drafts (no more USC receivers, please!) and the David Carr signing turned out to be an atrocious $6 million disaster.

A step backwards for phishers

Phishers, desperate for personal information that can be used to steal your identity, have been crafting more and more authentic-looking messages to attempt to fool people. Some of the specimens are really, really good. And then there’s this intrepid attempt, which appears to have set back phishing by at least five years with its outlandish, completely non-Google fonts (and a mention of Gmail Premium — unreleased feature?). It’s comical…but still dangerous. So, if you see an outrageously ridiculous-looking message from “Gteam Accountverifier,” do the right thing and report it as phishing.

Twin Beds and Badassness, Revisited

Well, 2007’s about 26 hours away from being a memory. On January 7 of this year, I made a spirited defense of my twin bed as it related to my overall Badassness Quotient. (If you are lost, you MUST read that post.) In defending the bed, I cited the lack of a need to expand the space because of the bed’s ability to hold up to the traffic demands placed upon it. I also made a 2007 projection of traffic based on numbers from 2006 and general trends.

How’d I do? Let’s let the actual 2007 numbers tell the story (day 365, while it has not technically happened, has been estimated):

Graph:  Ladies Romanced In Perfectly Adequate Twin Bed in 2007

In analyzing these traffic numbers (or lack thereof), I determined that trends that began to manifest themselves in 2006 continued strong through 2007. 2007 was also complicated with an ever-decreasing amount of time available for advertising availability and other items. (Frankly, I had other things on my mind.)

Traffic numbers, combined with an ever-higher Badassness Quotient (as evidenced by the graphic used as my Twitter background), indicate that the twin bed will serve at least half of 2008. With the anticipation of moving in mid-2008, however, there is a chance that the twin bed may actually be replaced by something larger in a proactive move, in the event the high Badassness Quotient should begin to attract traffic again. 2008’s theme is slated to be “Preparedness,” and it would be in line with this theme to upgrade mid-year…but you never know.

One game left…

One game to go in the regular season, and it’s pretty important for the Chargers. While their seeding is set (they’re #3 by virtue of their defeating the Raiders today), it’s unclear who they’re going to see in their playoff game next weekend. Whoever they see won’t make it easy.

If the Titans beat the Colts tonight — a real possibility, as Indy has nothing to really play for in terms of seeding — then they travel to San Diego to see the Chargers. You might recall a few weeks ago the Chargers needed a furious comeback and a LaDainian Tomlinson score in overtime to escape the Titans. However, the Chargers of late have realigned themselves and began playing the kind of furious defense that they were known for last year. They’ve also started involving Tomlinson, the newly-crowned NFL rushing champ, in the offense again, something that utterly failed to happen in the first few weeks of the season. I think the Chargers can win this rematch, but it won’t be easy. Titans coach Jeff Fisher knows what it takes to get a team ready to drive far in the playoffs and to a Super Bowl.

The Chargers would need to really rely on their defense to come through if they end up getting the Browns — they’ve got a pretty furious offense. Derek Anderson has been surprisingly good this year (except in the would-have-been clincher against Cincinnati last week). Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow are both legitimate receiving threats, and Jamal Lewis is running the ball as well as he has in his career. Cleveland’s also given up 382 points this year, so their defense is suspect…that would be a pretty high-scoring affair, and I get the feeling with the way the Charger defense is playing, Derek Anderson would have some issues.

The Titans are on now…we’ll know before the day is out.

16-0

The New England Patriots have just completed the first undefeated 16-game regular season in NFL history. The Giants gave ’em a game for the first half, but the Patriots pulled away and really won it in the way that they do it — aggressive, always attacking, never relenting. Unbelievable. The Patriots won by forcing mistakes, like they have all year.

Unbelievable. Time will tell if they make it through the playoffs, but Brady is unflappable…it will take a titanic effort to topple the Patriots in the playoffs. But the AFC is an unbelievable conference — you never know. Any given Sunday (or Saturday), anything can happen.

But tonight is historic. I recorded it — glad I did. Amazing.

P.S. A note about the Giants: they came out and played a very aggressive first half, pressuring Brady and not making it easy for him. Eli Manning played some of his best football of the year. But where did it go wrong in the second half? What is it about the Patriots that brings about ridiculously bad clock management in NFC East teams? How do you burn almost a minute trying to get your guys to the line in the two minute drill? Those little things separate the wheat from the chaff. They won’t go far at all with a disaster like that when it counts. Expect Tom Coughlin to really ram the two-minute drill down his players’ throats as they prepare for their wild card game next weekend.

Pats/Giants Observations

The Giants are sure bringing it, aren’t they? Their defense, in particular, is doing a great job repelling the Patriot offense. And at the end of that first half, Eli Manning put together a gorgeous drive. There’s a lot of football left to play, though…