Wednesday, December 24, 2003
Okay, I know that spell-checkers are not the smartest programs. But I still find it amusing every time Blogger's spell-checker tells me that "Blog" isn't a word. You'd think they'd have added that to everyone's standard dictionary. More interesting is the fact that it only balks at it when the first letter is capitalized. Though that may be because I added the lowercase word to the dictionary myself. I don't remember.
Well, probably not. But I did sign up for the three free years of web-hosting that Greg mentioned here. Problem is, I'm not so tech savvy, myself. So it may be a while before I figure out how to get this blog transferred over (since I have barely enough time for this one as it is, I'm not starting another separate one). Or until I get frustrated enough to ask my techie friends for help. Anyway, address might be changing at some point.
Sunday, December 21, 2003
Last week Joe Horn, of the New Orleans Saints, made a call on cell-phone he'd stashed in the endzone after scoring his second touchdown. Cost him 30 grand. So what do I think? I think it's a problem. Now that Terrell Owens got the ball rolling, so to speak, by bringing a non-football object (a Sharpie) on the field to assist him with his touchdown celebration, it's starting to get out of hand. Joe Horn's cell-phone, Chad Johnson (Cincinnati Bengals) had a pre-printed sign hidden near the endzone is too much. It's no longer about a team, nor even really about football, but about the individual. I think that's a bad thing. It's an excess of individualism. I'm all for the rights of the individual, but when that goes to excess, it's the first step on the road to anarchy.
And no, I don't think that our society will fall apart because professional football players are celebrating too much, but you have to draw a line. Is it about the team or the player? Which is more important in this instance? And I think it's indicative of our larger society, people are out to get theirs without counting the cost to others.
The wife had some friends over and they made chocolate truffles this weekend. One batch has cayenne and a dash of Dave's Insanity Sauce added to the mix. The result is surprisingly good. Never tried chocolate with some spice? You should.
Neat site where you can submit digital photos in a contest. Don't think there's a prize beyond having your picture posted on their site, but they've got a bunch of neat pictures. Get a lot of desktop backgrounds here. They're usually smaller than my resolution, but the quality is high enough on most that stretching them works fine.
Saturday, December 20, 2003
Friday, December 19, 2003
Been a while since I got a post up. What is it? Ten days? Decided it wasn't wise to blog from work. Well, at work I have an ultra-fast connection that only have to share with about 2 other people because of the hours I work. Anyway. I can still write from work (which is where I wrote this post) and then post it from home. I just need to be a bit more disciplined about doing that.
That and I've been doing more reading lately. Finally finished C.S. Lewis' The Problem of Pain, got through a short book on Tolkien called J.R.R. Tolkien by Deborah Rogers, Robert Patterson's book on Clinton called Dereliction of Duty and another Nero Wolfe book titled And Four to Go. I'm about half-way through Pilgrim's Regress by C.S. Lewis and a bit more than half-way through Margaret Thatcher's Statecraft. When I work through the current crop of books on my reading list, I'm thinking that I'll reread the Horatio Hornblower series and start on the naval series by Patrick O'Brian. Saw Master and Commander in the theaters and it was rather good. Certainly good enough to pique my interest in the books since the books are almost invariably better than the movies.
Speaking of that movie, I thought it was quite well done except for the character of Stephen Maturin in certain places. Maturin seemed to have sensibilities that were more modern than contemporary with the setting. And the final scene of the movie seemed to have been played for laughs in a way that was discordant with the rest of the film. On the whole, however, a fine film.
Tuesday, December 09, 2003
So, how 'bout that college bowl game situation? Watched Kansas State whup up on Oklahoma this past Saturday and my was that ever sweet. Now, I have nothing against Oklahoma and no particular love for Kansas State, but I think the BCS is the tool of the devil. Or something like that. So now that this mess has happened (Quick summation for those not in the know: Top three teams all have one loss, the BCS has Oklahoma and LSU ranked 1 and 2. But the AP has USC ranked 1 while the BCS has them at 3.) the BCS is under fire. Several reasons for this.
1. The Pac-10 is the conference that is always being left out. The BCS acts (whether it is or not) as if it were skewed against the Pac-10.
2. Some of the computer rankings that are combined to make the BCS are screwy. See Texas ranked above Oklahoma in the NYT poll. This despite Texas being pummelled by Oklahoma 65-13 in Texas and having one more loss.
3. The front runner for the BCS championship isn't conference champion.
4. The one loss for USC was by a field goal in the third overtime. The loss for LSU was by twelve points. Oklahoma lost by 28 and, after scoring an opening touchdown in the first quarter were shut out the rest of the way while giving up 35 straight points.
The solution? Controversy is nothing to fear, but the bowl games need to go back to their traditional opponents. I'm pleased that the Rose Bowl will feature Michigan and USC, and I'm pulling for USC so that more damage can be done to the BCS because I want it gone. We got along fine with disputed champions from different polls for years. The BCS (obviously) does nothing to solve this "problem", but instead is all about ensuring bigger bowl game paydays for power conferences and colleges.
I've read Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra in the last week or so, and it was an interesting experience. I had never read these books before and didn't really know what they were about, beyond the fact that they are commonly referred to as the first two installments of Lewis' "Space Trilogy". Which is true, but possibly a bit misleading.
The first book is an examination of what a world might be like if it were inhabited by unfallen, pre-Messianic creatures. The second is an examination of an unfallen post-Messianic world. Probably an oversimplification, but there it is. The first book is more of a straight-forward fictional tale exploring interactions between fallen men and unfallen beings. The second is more of a philosophical exploration of temptation and a musing on the intended nature of man prior to the fall. I haven't read the third book, That Hideous Strength, yet, (though it's sitting on the floor a few feet away and I'll get to it in the next couple weeks) but I'll try to remember to post a thought or two about it here when I have read it.
On a side note, I finished another two Nero Wolfe mysteries this week as well: Second Confession and Death of a Doxy
Monday, December 01, 2003
Read another three Nero Wolfe mysteries this weekend. (The collections come in sets of three.) Too Many Clients, Might As Well Be Dead and The Final Deduction. These were solid, nothing really stood out about them, except that they seemed to include a touch more profane and vulgar language than the other books I've read. I'm not sure why this was. They were published a few years later than some of the other books, but earlier than some others I read. Neh.