Thursday, December 20, 2007

Read it all

"THE INFINITE POSSIBILITIES EACH DAY HOLDS SHOULD STAGGER THE MIND. THE SHEER NUMBER OF EXPERIENCES I COULD HAVE IS UNCOUNTABLE, BREATHTAKING, AND I'M SITTING HERE REFRESHING MY INBOX. WE LIVE TRAPPED IN LOOPS, RELIVING A FEW DAYS OVER AND OVER, AND WE ENVISION ONLY A HANDFUL OF PATHS LAID OUT AHEAD OF US. WE SEE THE SAME THINGS EACH DAY, WE RESPOND THE SAME WAY, WE THINK THE SAME THOUGHTS, EACH DAY A SLIGHT VARIATION OF THE LAST, EVERY MOMENT SMOOTHLY FOLLOWING THE GENTLE CURVES OF SOCIETAL NORMS. WE ACT LIKE IF WE JUST GET THROUGH TODAY, TOMORROW OUR DREAMS WILL COME BACK TO US.

AND NO, I DON'T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS. I DON'T KNOW HOW TO JOLT MYSELF INTO SEEING WHAT EACH MOMENT COULD BECOME. BUT I DO KNOW ONE THING: THE SOLUTION DOESN'T INVOLVE WATERING DOWN MY EVERY LITTLE IDEA AND CREATIVE IMPULSE FOR THE SAKE OF SOMEDAY EASING MY FIT INTO A MOLD. IT DOESN'T INVOLVE TEMPERING MY LIFE TO BETTER FIT SOMEONE'S EXPECTATIONS. IT DOESN'T INVOLVE CONSTANTLY HOLDING BACK FOR FEAR OF SHAKING THINGS UP.

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT, SO I WANT TO SAY IT AS CLEARLY AS I CAN:"

Monday, November 26, 2007

50mil and a boatload of pics

'Eli the Terrible' was the first headline I saw, only minutes after walking out my front door. That was to be the theme for the rest of the day. In the worlds of internet sports, local papers, and the blogosphere, Eli was relentlessly trashed.

He deserved it for the bullshit performance he put up yesterday. But that was only a footnote in most of the writing. The real point was that Eli is a bust after being drafted number one overall in 2004.

I'm a big Eli Manning fan. He's a large part of why I'm even a Giants fan these days. I normally react defensively when he's getting badmouthed. But he is often very difficult to defend. In nearly 3 and a half seasons of starting, I don't remember any game where Eli played well from kickoff to final whistle. I do believe that some of that blame lays at the feet of the coaching staff. How much, I'm not sure of, but I do think that its more than they're getting now.

I want to see Eli become one of the greats. That doesn't mean winning a superbowl, he doesn't have to (a la Marino), and in fact it wouldn't be enough. What he needs to do for that is play very well on a consistent basis.

Below, I compared Eli to most of the quarterbacks in the league right now. What it came down to was that, in my opinion, Eli Manning is in the upper level of mediocrity. He's definitely 'good enough.' But thats not what the Giants and all their fans thought they were getting in 2004. We either have to admit he is what we see now, or hold on to hope that he can still get better. I'm in the latter camp for now.

The three columns below are:
Players name / Better than Eli / Would trade Eli for

Tom Brady Y/Y
JP Losman N/N
Kellen Clemens N/N
Miami N/N
B Roethlisberger =/N
D Anderson N/N
Carson Palmer Y/Y
S. McNair N/N
K. Boller N/N
Peyton Manning Y/Y
David Garrard N/N
Vince Young N/N
Matt Schaub N/N
Philip Rivers =/N
Jay Cutler N/N
Brody Croyle N/N
McCown/Culpepper N/N
Tony Romo Y/N
Donavan McNabb N/N
Jason Campbell N/N
Brett Favre Y/N
Jon Kitna =/N
Tavaris Jackson N/N
Rex Grossman N/N
Jeff Garcia =/N
Drew Breeze Y/N
Carolina N/N
Atlanta N/N
Matt Hasselbeck Y/N
M. Leniart N/N
K. Warner N/N
Alex Smith N/N
Mark Bulger N/N

QBs that I consider better than Eli, but would not trade for, are either a) not that much better, or b) not yet proven over a long enough period of time.

It is somewhat encouraging to see that only Brady, Manning, and Palmer would I rather have than Eli. Although I will say that Romo is getting closer, as his consistently good play continues.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I know its NY, but ...

"They're cheering because Pennington's going out. I don't care what anybody says." Phil Simms, during the broadcast of Sundays NY Jets game.

"... rip the tar out of Jets fans for cheering when Chad Pennington got hurt ... What a sickening, shameful display." - Peter King, in his MMQB column.

I like when Simms calls games, I consider him one of the better football broadcasters on TV right now. And I read Peter Kings stuff most days on SI.com. But I have to disagree with them on this.

I was watching the Jets game when Pennington went down. I didn't get any impression that the crowd was cheering because he was hurt. Instead, I thought they were cheering for him because he was eventually able to get off the field on his own strength. I was surprised when Simms made his comment, and as the rest of the media took the same viewpoint I figured I probably just missed something.

But I've since spoken with three different people who were at the game (and not together). All three said they were cheering for Chad, not for him getting hurt, as I had originally thought. I gotta believe that my initial reaction combined with what these three game-goers say is the truth. I can't imagine the fan that would boo a player -- Pennington in particular -- while he's writhing in pain on the field, let alone a stadium full of them.

And this business of making some story out of the crowd cheering for Clemens? OF COURSE they're cheering for Clemens, he's a backup QB coming into the game to relieve the injured starter! They BETTER be cheering!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

9'1

I paddled out into the waves again this past weekend. I had almost given up after my last attempt, but since I was at the beach and the surfboards were there too, I figured I'd try one more time.

I spent an hour and a half paddling out, not catching waves, and paddling out again. Paddle to the left, paddle to the right. Paddle into waves and don't catch them. Paddle back out again. Eventually I gave up and paddled back to shore. But after giving up for a second time, I was disappointed with myself, and felt like I had let my brother down. So after lunch, I tried again.

This time, with a longboard.

Amazing. My first few tries I was riding the break of waves, in the whitewash. When I stood up, I felt like everything was in slow motion. I was very aware of the distinctly different feeling of the board under my feet, which until then had spent the entire morning under water. I felt every little vibration coming through the board from the water against the bottom of it. I looked in the faces of the people I surfed past and saw them watching me. Watching from the viewpoint I had taken all morning, watching everyone else.

After a few rides like this, I started dropping in on the face of waves. Real surfing! I was ecstatic after my first real ride, and looking back over my shoulder I saw my brother going absolutely nuts with excitement for me, slapping the water and screaming after me. I went back out and did it again. And again. Eventually my brother went in to take a nap on the beach, and I kept surfing. When my brother came back out a little later on, he said it was 3:30 and he had to get to work.

I had been out for 4 hours straight, and wasn't nearly ready to leave. But I had to, and I'm now left with the itch to get back to the waves this weekend. I can only hope that the longboard is there. And pray for surf.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Twisted

I've twisted my ankle. Again. For years these things have been twisting, spraining, and breaking. On trampolines, basketball courts, and football fields I have fallen to the ground grimacing. It has even gotten me a few times when I was daring enough to walk down the street!

This time I saw a doctor, which I normally don't do, but there's one right across the street from me. Its been in a soft cast for a week now, and will probably come off this weekend. Walking up to my fifth floor apartment has been outstanding. I try to avoid my stairs whenever possible, and it hurts to walk too far still, so I've been couped up in my apartment most nights. I have finished Feast for Crows, watched the Big Lebowski 3 times, played every song I know on the guitar twice, cleaned my apartment and eaten delivery every night.

This is getting freakin' old.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Sicko

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlDAUKSh9CQ

Michael Moore's newest film promises to strike a particularly resonant chord with me. I grew up without health insurance, my brother still doesn't have any, and my uncle is dying from a disease that he can't afford to treat. Meanwhile every other friday i look at the $1000 that the government takes from me, and wonder why they can't help my family.

I can't even hold a conversation with people about the topic because I get so disgusted with the state of things. Dennis Kucinich made some statements in the last democratic "debate" that seemed to indicate he favors an approach to universal health insurance that I'd agree with. I need to learn more before I can get behind it though.

Friday, April 20, 2007

For which it stands

I spent the morning in Central Islip Courthouse the other day. I was there for two minor offenses. The courtroom opens around 9, and session starts at 930. At 915 the place was packed with people who had taken off work to come to this place, most of whom were nervous about how much money this was going to cost them for their offenses.

"Offenses." What a bunch of bull. More like "excuses for the state to collect money from the people." I was annoyed before I even got there, but my aggravation was to grow. At 950, when the judge still hadn't arrived, I was thinking to myself how he would address a defendant who showed up to court half an hour late. Behind his chair, across the wall and in large letters, were the words "In God We Trust."

"God." Never mind entirely that it is illegal for God to play a role in US court decisions. Is that meant to imply that the court is on Gods side? As if they sit up there together and judge me? Because God is so pissed about my petty little "offense." I do not buy that. Their God is more annoyed at their corruption than he'll ever be at anyone for doing 75 in a 55, or burning a plant and inhaling.

We sat there well past 9:30 waiting for The Honorable Justice Shitbag to show up. During this time we got to watch the half retarded court reporter and a couple of former straight-D students (aka cops) joke around about "at least we get paid to be here," and refer to us as "these people" with a noticeable sneer on the last words.

At one point the idiot reporter said "Checked once, checked twice. Naughty and nice... well more naughty in this room," and then shared a laugh with her moron coworkers.

At 10:13 the judge strolls in right on time and court gets under way. All the attorneys go first. Even attorneys that show up at 10:30 after the rest of us sat there for an hour plus. The attorneys have disinterested conversations with their clients and kiss the judges ass while he talks down and completely disrespects anyone in front of him. I always thought that Judge Judy was just an asshole on TV who got ratings, but in my experience judges really are like that.

The attorneys get their piece, the state gets theirs, and the people get pounded.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Principle

Some people are very upset with a specific post on this blog. I won't mention the people or the post, so as not to raise its Google rank even higher. I am tempted to remove the post, since it is not at all important to me, and offends people I never intended to offend. It was done in jest, and only offers my personal viewpoint. I am very hesitant to censor any content for any reason, though. So while I would rather have never posted it in the first place, it will remain.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I have a huge monitor

Joost looks like it could be fun. I like the shots I see on the website, and I like the idea in general. For someone without cable who only watches DVDs and VOD on my PC, this could be great.

Along those lines, Netflix has rolled out its VOD service to some users, and I am lucky enough to be one! The streaming video has been seamless in my experience, and my only complaint is the limited selection of movies. I do hope this selection is growing.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Shut me down

The only thing thats brought me close to wishing I believed in a Heaven was the loss of people I really loved. I had previously thought that the main catalyst for faith was for people to give themselves some solace that their lost family, friends , and lovers were actually in a better place.

Another point of view to consider, and one which I have considered before settling on the aforementioned thought, was that people are driven to faith in order to believe that they themselves are going to a Heaven. I entirely agree that self-interest is part of faith, but I don't think that it motivates people to adopt a faith in the first place. Most of our lives we are not worried about death or the afterlife, whereas we are witness time and time again to the deaths of those whom we do not believe should die.

Anyway, in finally finished A Brave New World, there was a conversation between two characters which offers a new insight to these considerations. Quoting from Maine de Biran, the character Mustapha Mond reads: "... religious sentiment tends to develop as we grow older; to develop because, as the passions grow calm, as the fancy and sensibilities are less excited and less excitable, our reason becomes less troubled in its workings ... whereupon God emerges as from behind a cloud; our soul feels, sees, and turns towards the source of all light, turns naturally and inevitably..."

Still, it could always just be mental conditioning.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Not Quite Better

Several days ago I took on my second day of snowboarding in as many weeks. Everything I learned the first day came back to me quickly, and I was able to take it to the next level. Or try to. This resulted in another week of bruises, aches, and pains.

But this time, it gets worse. I had to take Nyquil to get to sleep after my long day of snowboarding, which was surprising to me considering the extreme physical effort I had exhausted on the mountain that day, as well as the pathetically few hours of sleep I had the night before. But I felt crummy and could not get comfortable, and just attributed it to the brutal day of lessons.

The next morning the truth was revealed. I awoke with a fever of 102, and a sore throat that turned out to be strep. I have spent the last 4 days on the verge of delirium, burning with fever and unable to eat or even drink much at all because of the pain in my throat. With my snowboarding bruises to top it all off, it has been a miserable week.

Lying on my couch to avoid the street noise, I have seen what it is to be really alone. All the phone calls in the world do not make up for the moment when you need your medicine, a different blanket, a small glass of water, or a tiny meal -- and you have to get it yourself. If not for my very close friend, who sacrificed the whole of her evenings to care for me, my sick week would have been infinitely worse.

If you find yourself burning and bruised and desperately in need of help, appreciate the people in your life that give it to you.

Friday, February 09, 2007

SUI

Napster has the shittiest user interface I have ever used. It is difficult to tell the name of the song that is currently playing, it is entirely unintuitive how to queue up songs, and it logs you out after a "long period of inactivity." A friend of mine today remarked "why would they possibly give a shit how long you've been inactive???" When you log back in after this inconvenience, it freezes the shitty user interface until it finishes whatever processing it needs to do. When it completes it then performs, in rapid succession, any actions you tried to do while it was frozen. Maximizing, minimizing, moving... all rapid fire. Its also impossible to use with keyboard shortcuts (as there are none), and has a limited selection of music.

If you want a music service, use anything but Napster.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Crunchy Kind

Using the crunchy kind is actually a recent shift for me. Variety is the spice of life.

I've started a tech blog. Watch out world.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Sin-e

Live music inspires me to get back to my guitar and write my own stuff. It'd be awesome to have originals to play at local bars. No pipe dreams of being a rock star here, just hope to play a live show again someday. I am similarly stimulated after spending last night in the East Village watching some local musicians do their thing.

A friend of mine invited me along to check out Alec Berlin, whom he knew from years back. Alec is a hell of a guitarist, and has a good stage presence and fun songs as well. It was a good show, check him out if he's going to be around your area.

Coincidentally, a guy from my high school was also at the bar that night. His coworker was playing, and had good stuff. He sang with a deep voice; acoustic with good lyrics -- Johnny Cash style.

The last band was Mook, and was like nothing I had heard before. Very weird sounds and strange lyrics, but it all worked together and I ended up staying for their whole set. Their only guitarist and singer (though he said nothing in between songs and mostly didn't face the crowd) was Paul Dano. His movies are great. All two of them!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Avant

I've been using the Avant Browser the last few days, mostly just to try something different. The reason I chose to actually download, install, and use Avant for the past few days was the mouse gestures. By clicking anywhere and moving your mouse in a specific way you can close the browser, open a new tab, go Back, Forward, or do a bunch of other common browser functions. Overall, I've been disappointed. I find the browser cumbersome to use (even with the gestures), and it seems to take noticeably longer to load pages compared to Firefox.

Oh well, worth a try. Maybe next I'll revisit Opera to see the changes its undergone since last i used it in college.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Brilliant insights on classical music

Goldfrapp has released the same song under two different titles and is selling them BOTH! "Strict Machine" and "Ooh La La" are both the same friggin thing with slight variations on the lyrics. Luckily I like both and occasionally listen to them in succession.

Beanie Man's "Hmm hmm" has a good reggae beat and the vocals flow in a catchy way. After reading the lyrics, I can't help but laugh when I see young women bobbing their head to this song. It reminds of the comedy bit that talks about girls dancing and signing along to the "sweat drop down my balls" song.

"Angeles" is another great one from Elliott Smith. I need to start listening to more of his stuff instead of picking and choosing songs I hear elsewhere.

"Hide and Seek" by Imogen Heap is outstanding. I mentioned this awhile ago but the suggestion was met with sharp rebuttal. I repeat it here for the world to see.

Death Cab For Cutie have great lyrics, but the way they deliver them gets old fast.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

What fun

The upper portion of my ass hurts. This, in conjunction with my wrists and underarea of my forearms, is the worst pain in my body. That is not to say that the pain in my toes, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, elbows, shoulders, and neck is not worth mentioning. Its just worse in my wrists and forearms. And upper ass.

This is the sweetest pain I have ever felt. I got a lot out of my trip to Windham Mountain today. The one time i tried snowboarding years ago was a half day spent on my own trying to figure out how to stand up. Today, my brother selflessly sacrificed his much anticipated day on the mountain to spend the whole time on the easy trails (and 1 medium!) teaching me. And a great teacher he was. I intend to do this again.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Soreass

In two days I will tie my feet to a long slippery board and try to navigate myself down a mountain. I've only gone snowboarding once before, and it was a terribly unsuccessful outing. I'm committed to giving it one more go 'round. Last time I just took the lift up and tried to find my way down, hoping to figure it out as I went. This was a bad idea. This weekend, I'm willing to put enough time in on the bunny hills to make it worthwhile.

I'm going with my brother, who has said he'll show me the ropes (or the slopes). But since a few of his friends are now going to be there I feel obligated to have a speedy learning process. I'm sure he'll appreciate every minute he gets on the real mountain instead of watching me fall on my ass.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Its Simple

Today John Maeda visited us at Oxygen. We spent the morning discussing our company and my teams product, and over lunch listened to a presentation John gave about his life and his most recent book. John is really an interesting guy, and although I didn't really buy into his book, we all had an excellent conversation with him. He's an entertaining guy too, which was a pleasant surprise considering I could hardly keep myself awake while reading his work. Anyone interested in finding out more about John should read his blogs, or check out some of his stuff at his online studio.

His Darfur work was particularly touching. He introduces it with a comment saying "You will feel nothing -- thats the problem." I disagree. The longer I scrolled down the page, the more affected I was.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

torpid

I really want to start writing on this thing again.