My Bracket Is Frakked

So when the sun rose on a new work week, I was greeted with only one of my Final Four picks still intact.  Fortunately, it IS the one that I picked to win the national championship, so I guess I have a prayer.  I thin, wispy, glimmer of a prayer.

Yesterday, Michelle hung out at my place to work on some work-related stuff, and we also watched a little “Best of the Price Is Right” on DVD.  Two words– huh.  Larious.  The contestants from the 50s and 60s, as well as the prizes and prices were just unbelievable.  I’m sure the same thing will be said about… oh, I dunno, American Idol in 30 or 40 years.  People will wonder how the hell we ever watched it.

Busy day lined up at work, so I best get to it.  Need to start planning for a big adjustment in our availability schedule as well as regular day-to-day stuff…

How was your weekend?

Upgrade City

The podcasting plugin that I use on the blog here finally upgraded late yesterday. That was one of the two still holding me back from upgrading my blog to the latest version of WordPress, and I’ve been waiting patiently (more or less) to get there.

So, I completed the upgrade on WP, even though I didn’t end up with the latest version of podcasting; I did find an older release that works just fine w/ this version of the blog, so I guess I’ve been waiting around for nothing. 😛

Anyway, there are a couple other things I’ve been kind of anxious to try in this newest version, so keep an eye out for a new feature here or there… nesting comments works a lot better now (or at least look nicer). If you register on the site, you can also customize a user avatar.

There was also a new version of the photo gallery plugin, and it seems to have a bunch of new features to try out.  I added an RSS feed for photos, and I’m going to try to figure out how to reinstate the “public gallery” so if you have pictures you’d like to share, you can.  So there’s a number of little things.

Hope your weekend is going OK.  I’m back to tinkering…

Folders Are Tags That You Don't Have To Guess At

Crotchety Old Internetter here:

Back in my day, we didn’t have TAGS!  When we bookmarked a website, it got added to a big list and we sorted it out into predefined categories, or FOLDERS, within that hierarchy!  Sometimes we would nest those folders, and sometimes we wouldn’t!  Sometimes we just let those bookmarks pile up until they got unruly, and we’d either sort ’em out into our folders, or we’d just get rid of ’em, and we LIKED IT!

These TAGS don’t seem all that convenient, anyway.  It’s a whole lotta folders you can’t see, the way I look at it.  So if you wanna sit there and dream up a bunch of WORDS to describe that LINK every time you mark one, g’head!  I ain’t gettin’ rid of my FOLDERS, no-HOW, for no-BODY!!

The Spring Homestretch

The Journal-Sentinel featured a post on the Brewers blog yesterday speculating on how the roster would shake out for opening day on April 7 in San Francisco.  As I page through some older posts, working on my little updating project that I mentioned yesterday, I’ve become more curious than usual about the accuracy of my various predictions.  I wonder how Haudricourt’s list stacks up against the one that I made back in October, right after the Crew was eliminated by Philly…

A quick overview:

  • Agreement on “locks” – 13
  • My “good bets” that TH says are locks – 6 ((One should note that in October, I had people like Prince and Billy Hall noted as only “good bets,” mostly because the possibility existed they could be traded…))
  • My “good bets” that still have a shot – 2 ((Lamb, Gwynn))
  • My “locks” that will not be on the team – 1 ((Who saw Solomon Torres’s retirement coming???))
  • My “good bets” that will not be on the team – 5 ((Mota, Capuano, Shouse, Escobar, Kapler))

I think I’ll revisit it again when they annouce the 25-man…

Present In Absence

I just realized that I haven’t posted in a couple days.  It’s not for lack of work on the site, though.  I’ve been slowly and surely updating some tags and categories on posts that were imported from the old tikiwiki blog (or earlier).  My hope is that those updates will make searching the blog by tag, etc., a little more useful.  Hey, even if it doesn’t end up that way for you, I think it will for me  😛

I am also desperately hoping each day that one of the plugins I use that is holding me back from upgrading to the latest version of WordPress with drop with an update, already.  There are some features in the next iteration that I’m anxious to implement, but it just wouldn’t be senible to do so at this time.  Hence, I check, refresh, check again, and I wait…

Outside of the metablogging, though, what can I tell you about the most recent weekend?  The big BSG finale was on Friday night.  I went over to Jason H’s place to see it with him and Brian.  Jason has the 42″ flatscreen and HD cable, so… it was kind of worth it.  I took a look back at my ‘Final Five Questions‘ from January, and without completely rehashing them, check this out:

  1. Check
  2. Check
  3. Check
  4. Adequate checkitude
  5. Check

I was really satisfied with the finale and didn’t feel like any mysteries were left forgotten or issues left unanswered.  Yes, it is entirely possible that there is something I’m forgetting, but not going to change my mind about the fact that I had a good time with the end of the series.

For those of you that are even kind-of interested in sci-fi and you missed this show, I highly recommend going back to the beginning and checking out the DVDs.  I think you’ll find that it was one of those rare shows that was really solid from top to bottom and start to finish.

Federal Government Acknowledges Existence of Science!

Trying to keep up on my daily news feeds for a change, I ran across a link to a new publication being put out by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  It’s a “Climate Literacy” piece designed to be accessible for a variety of ages and backgrounds.

Word of caution to anyone who feels that climate change is just some sort of liberal-hippie ruse designed to take your 4.0-liter, V-12 trucks off the road: they admit that human activity affects Earth’s climate.  But, they do so in a way that is not too heavy-handed– the reader is presented with facts and conclusions drawn through research, and is given a sort of personal measuring device to assess one’s own climate literacy.  Hence, the approach in presenting scientific findings is very… scientific.

I guess I like the fact that this publication doesn’t offer any judgment of the reader (as opposed to mass media outlets, who have a clearer position on everything).  It seems to be less about positing an opinion regarding climate, and more how to MAKE a sensible and informed assessment; nearly the entire first half of the book talks about how conclusions are reached via research, and what the process of peer review is all about.  For someone who knows about science, it’s pretty basic stuff, but for a person that has long since forgotten (or maybe never knew) what research processes are, it offers a firm foundation on which debate and explanation can be built.

The thing that has really bothered me on the climate issue is an attitude I’ve seen from some people: that we should change NOTHING without absolute, certain proof that human activities are affecting the planet.  The truth is, our species has been on Earth for such a brief part of its history, we can’t be ONE HUNDRED PERCENT sure of anything; it’s no excuse for inaction.  Taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect the water supply from pollution, and preserve our forests, jungles, and other ecosystems is not going to HURT anything, so let’s do it.

Anyway, I read the pamphlet, and it’s a worthwhile read.  Give it a look if you have a chance, even if you have a well-established attitude about climate change.

Stick to That Schedule

My hour-to-hour scheduling has been going OK, but the weekends are still a mess (my fault), and I have missed days here and there with getting enough writing accomplished.

You may wonder how this factors in with a new blog I started reading this week– it’s called Digital Photography School, and my friends at Lifehacker clued me into it.  I picked up that new camera at the end of January, and I’ve taken it out a few times to shoot, but I would like to get better, and in order to do that, I need to shoot a lot more.  I would also probably benefit from some reading on photography in general, and without going out and buying a new book, I figure the Internet is a good place to gather up some tips.  Or I could try a library.  They still have those, right?  Do they still offer books for free?  AMAZING..!

Anyway, I should try to find a spot in the schedule to add shooting time in.  I could probably get by for the time being on an hour or two per week, so it shouldn’t be that tough.  Maybe add that in to give my weekends some structure…

Hope you’re either recovering from St. Patty’s Day, or laughing at those that are.

A Slowdown

I’ve noticed that when things are particularly slow at work (they have been the last couple days), it actually makes blogging more difficult.  I think my brain might’ve gone on spring break.

Speaking of the break, things have sure changed here in the ol’ UW System– Osh Vegas will be rokkin class in full effect on 3/17, but here in Pantherville we will be quasi-shut down for a software upgrade during the break.  I wonder if there is anyone left IN Oshkosh to tell the students the legends of the riots and the reason it was “students verboten” on St. Patty’s for such a long time.  I know Jim Droste is still there, but probably would not care to fan those flames  😛

Other than that, Michelle and I and a couple other friends are going to give skiing one last go on Sunday, before the season ends for good.  It’s not looking that great, even up in Mt. Morris where we’re planning to go.  It’s gonna be cheap, though, so we’re looking forward to it.  I had my bike out once and rode to work at the end of last week, though, so I’m thinking spring is right around the corner.

Scrobbling Your Pandoras Update

The Firefox extension that I mentioned the other day seems to be working.  Here is the homepage for it, if you’re interested.

At first, I thought that this little mother wasn’t doing the job, either, but as it turns out, it won’t submit a song until you’ve reached the end of it and the next one has started.  Makes sense, really, since you only wanna submit tracks that you’re listening to, but slightly different behavior than some other scrobblers.

Scrobble is a great word.

In random unrelated news, how is it that yesterday I had a bowl of Peanut Butter Crunch for breakfast and was barely hungry by 12:30, but today I had a hearty bowl of Grape Nuts and right now I AM STARVING.

Easy Way Out vs Frustrating Hobby

Had a bizarre sort of set of issues with my home server setup during the course of the day that had me frustrated to the point of wondering if it was worth it to even run the damn thing.  I caught myself thinking, I don’t really need to have my own server.  I could pay for hosting and run something like Google Apps for mail.  Why am I doing to this to myself?

But the real reason is: I enjoy the frustration, I guess.  By the end of the day (before I went to sleep, anyway), I had everything figured out put back together again.  All’s well that ends as such.  I learned a couple more things in the process and might not spend as much time on a similar problem the next time through.

People have asked me more than once how or why I could enjoy all the inherent tinkering and tweaking and troubleshooting that comes along with this sort of setup.  In my mind, they system is never perfect; it’s never working exactly as well as it should.  There is always something extra I could be doing, and that voyage of discovery is what I enjoy and what makes this a hobby.  Make no mistake, it is one that drives me nuts and keeps me up nights on occasion, but I don’t think I’ll actually be selling out to Google and giving up on it any time soon.

… Just don’t ever ask me the same question while I’m the middle of an upgrade (!!!).