Friday, March 27, 2009

MS Silverlight gets hopping endorsement

This is truly a great sign of Microsoft technology moving in the right direction: up and coming! (I really, really, could not help myself!)

Article here.

I love this part:

It's also possible to search the full text of the articles -- which is no doubt the feature that gets the most use.

HEEHEE (snickering like a 12-year old)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Obama on Leno

He was funny! The interview was ok, though. Did anyone else notice Obama says "look" and "listen" a lot?

So this morning, I hear that Obama apologized to the Special Olympics people because he likened his bowling play to Special Olympics. I say, oh grow up people.

Obama was making a funny statement that everyone laughed at, and he didn't mean any disrespect to anyone. I don;t think he meant anything offensive by that remark. I guess because he's the POTUS he should be more considerate, but he's human and he thinks the same way we all think.

Now I'm not saying that Special Olympics are a bunch of nitwits or half-wits. Not at all, actually, I love the fact that there is a venue, an international venue, to showcase people with all kinds of disabilities show thw world how much they try and put in an effort to compete and showcase their talents and strong wills. Bless their hearts, I feel proud whenever I see people competing in Special Olympics because I know that they are doing for the pure enjoyment of the spirit of the sports and competitiveness. They don't grandstand when they win or pout when they lose. They are what the non-Special Olympics should strive to be.

In any case, I applaud Obama for his apology, although I don't think it was warranted.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bad Driver Story

So I was driving, minding my own business the other day on a four way freeway (two lanes each way). I was in the left lane, and traffic was backed up, so we were moving at a really slow pace. A car in front of me but in the right lane looked like they wanted to merge to the left, and made a move that almost caused an accident with the car in front of me directly. Then the driver, who was a woman, and this by no means is a representation of how I view women drivers, so don't butcher me on this, she went back to her lane and then gave a turn signal. So I slowed down and let her through. Once she was in the lane, she didn't acknowledge me or thank for stopping and letting her in. When we got to the traffic light ahead, we stopped next to each other and I looked at her and she gave me the meanest look as if I was the one who did anything wrong. Mind you, I surely did not give her a mean look at all. Worse, she was on the phone. Worst, she had two kids in the back while she was driving and talking on the phone. So:

1- Very rude
2- Very dangerous
3- And illegal

Whoever that lady is, hope you have a great time passing through this life as you. Oh, and get over yourself.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Return of Junior

This is a sports related post, so if not interested, then move along. Nothing for you to see here!

If you haven't heard, the Seattle Mariners are just signed a new player. His name is, if you haven't heard, Ken Griffey, Jr. Yes, the Prodigal Son returns to Seattle.

See, about 20 years ago, Griffey, or as he affectionately known around these parts, Junior, broke into Major League Baseball with the Mariners when he was 19 years old. he was an exceptional talent. The game only saw a handful of players of his talent throughout its long history.

Griffey remained a Mariner for 10 years, until he demanded a trade to a different team so that he can get close to his family that lives in Florida. The management of the M's at that time were able to work out a trade to Cincinnati in exchange for a couple of good players, so it kind of worked out.

Griffey's time with the Reds was spent on the Disabled List, pretty much. He was hurt so much and so often, that him being in the lineup was the surprising thing. Call it a curse, of just bad luck, that's what happened to him.

In the last year of his 10-year contract with the Reds, he was traded to the Chicago White Sox and played the last couple of months with them and was on their playoff roster and played a few games in the playoffs, but nothing spectacular, really.

He said that he had knee problems and during the off-season he had a procedure to clean out his knees, which he claims was a success and he's feeling much better now.

Then the drama started happening. A few weeks ago it was rumored that he might sign with the M's again, so that he can finish his career where it started, and where the fans still love him. There was a lot of back and forth negotiations, it seems, and just when it was very clear that he was going to sign with the M's, what does he do?

According to the Atlanta Braves' Chipper Jones, Griffey called him and asked about him coming to the Braves. Naturally Jones was happy and told his management who started a dialogue with Griffey and his agent. Why he did that, nobody knows. Maybe he wanted to start a bidding war between the M's and the Braves. Maybe he really thought about coming back to Seattle and remembered that he would be too far away from his family, again. I don't know. Only he knows.

According to Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, two baseball legends, they talked to Griffey and told him to think about his legacy and what it would mean for him to sign with the Braves, and basically end his career in a whimper, rather than a splash in Seattle (where he still has a helluva lot of credit with the Seattle fans and media).

So, he changed his mind again, and ended up signing with Seattle.

How do I feel? Meh. It's cool that he's back, I guess. But not if it means taking away playing time from some of the youngsters that need that playing time to give them a fair chance at seeing if they do have a future with the major league team or not, so that they can continue with their development.

If Griffey accepts a lesser role of being the Designated Hitter against right-handed pitching, which means him playing 4 of 5 days a week, and no playing in the field for him (because all he would is a defensive liability) then I'm all for Griffey's return. If he's an everyday player who's hitting .190 with 2-3 homeruns by the end of May, this will not end good. For either party.

I did smile though, when I saw his infectious smile under a Mariners cap! What a softie, huh?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Follow Up on Last Blog Post

I really do recommend everybody use Twitter. It is a very simple and easy way to stay in touch and a fun way to let everyone know what you're up to, and quick thoughts, all within 140 characters. Come on, you know you want to. You've heard all about it, all over the TV, radio and internet. Check it out. It's fun. The coolest thing about it is that there a lot of celebrities and companies that have signed up to Twitter that you can follow and communicate with, because there are no restrictions. Of course you can block a few people from following you, if you so choose, but otherwise it's pretty wide open.

I myself had a back and forth communication with David Gregory of NBC's Meet The Press, and I felt giddy! So try it out. It's cool.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Are we Human, or are we connected? REDUX

There was a lot of talk that started a while back, and still ongoing, about something called Web 2.0. As soon as I heard that I was thinking, great! Another upgrade that we have to pay for! Turns out, it wasn’t an upgrade, but in reality it’s a redistribution of wealth, in a sense.
See, in the old days of the internet the users, the people who surfed the World Wide Web, were cruisers. Passers-by. It was the big companies and outlets and newspapers and sports sites that ruled the internet. People would check out the websites, and move on to the next website, and then the next, and so on. True, we did bookmark a few websites that we went back to more often than others. The New York Times. ESPN. Yahoo! Hotmail and later Gmail. Of course, many, many others also, that I’m not going to mention them all.
There were other people who were more internet and technology savvy, who hacked other websites! But, not all of them were hackers. Other started experimenting with things like MSN Groups and Geocities, to present themselves to the world. There was an industrious group that started doing something strange. They started writing what was called a web log. Basically, accounts of what they were doing, their thoughts, their aspiration, observations. Any topic they wanted to talk about. And they shared all of those thoughts with the rest of the world, or, anyone who was interested in following those people.
Slowly but surely, that community started growing. The web blog became a blog. Those pioneer bloggers saw their communities grow daily. People became celebrities, just by blogging and having a following on the internet.
There isn’t a watershed moment, probably, that ushered the world into Web 2.0. But what is exactly Web 2.0? It’s social networking. What’s social networking? Good question that I am hardly competent to answer. But, I’ll give it a go! That’s just the kind of person I am!
Social networking, ladies and gentlemen, is your life on the web. Although it’s called social, but it’s beyond that; it’s you socializing with the world. You put yourself out there, literally. You present to the world the essence of you. You share everything. As much, or as little, as you want.
When Web 2.0 was happening, it almost passed me by. I thought it was a fad, that was going to fade! Then something peculiar happened. I changed my job. After spending almost 7 years with the same people at the same job, I moved on to greener pasture. And those people I left behind, some of them, started adding me to something called LinkedIn. I figured what the heck. Why not? I wasn’t going to share my personal email with all the folks that I worked with, and this was a nice, impersonal way to keep in touch, if I felt like it. So I joined up and got the occasional update from those people.
And my network on LinkedIn started growing. All of a sudden, I had more than 100 people connected to me, and growing. I liked that feeling. It made me feel like, hey, I know people! I’m not alone! Webwise, that is!
I wanted more.
LinkedIn didn’t let you do a lot of things with the people in your network. I heard a lot about MySpace. Unfortunately, too much of what I heard was from the press, and almost all of it was negative. It felt as if it was Predators R Us. A lot of teens used MySpace and it showed as soon as you logged on. I even felt like I was a dirty old man just by checking it out! One is for sure, though, I’m not old.
Lo and behold, the next big buzz was around Facebook. So I checked it out. And I liked it. You know who I found on Facebook? My wife. My sister. My cousin. My brother-in-law. My college buddies. My other college buddies! Yeah, like so many others I had to go to two different colleges, one a party school, the other to get my degree from! Who else was on Facebook? My high school buddies. My grade school buddies even! Wow! The memories came flooding in.
Seeing those folks’ pictures after all those years was a blast. Seeing their families was even more of a blast. We shared pictures, exchanged pleasantries, commented on how we all looked, how beautiful our families were and how much we had changed, or not changed. Then Facebook added the ability to write a status and to comment on other peoples’ statuses. Life couldn’t get better. You knew, at any instant, what people were doing, or thinking, and you could add your own thoughts on top of that.
Eventually I started logging on to Facebook to check out peoples’ status updates and new photos that they upload.
I wanted more.
I wanted to share my ideas and observations with the rest of the world, not just the select few friends on my Facebook account. I thought I’d start a blog. Yeah, I know, that ship had long sailed! But, it’s a great big ship, and there are still plenty of seats left.
I saw that Microsoft had something called Live Spaces. So I checked that out and started a blog there. It was alright, but it wasn’t the big ol’ community I was looking for. One of my other friends started a blog as well, and it was on Blogger. I tried that, liked it, signed up, and here I am! My wife liked the blog idea as well, so she started creating her own blogs. She has five or six to her name already! One of them is a family type blog on Wordpress, which is also pretty cool. I tried it too, but I stuck with Blogger because I think it is more user friendly, especially for non-high-traffic blogs, such as mine (although I would LOVE LOVE LOVE for my blog to be a high traffic one! How does one achieve that?). Besides, with one Google ID, I can share any Youtube video with my Blogger blog with one click of the mouse. Now that’s cool!
Problem is, I thought that I would always have ideas on what to write and what to share with all y’all. But I don’t. However, I think that I would be encouraged to write even more if I saw that there was a lot of traffic to my blog. There were a couple of weeks where I didn’t even write a single post to my blog. But now I’m back at it. But guess what?
I wanted more.
The thing that I enjoyed the most lately from Facebook was the status updates. So where can I find a place where all it does is encourage people to write about what they were doing, in a very short and simple format?
Twitter! I had heard about it, and I thought, what in the world is Twitter? Well, it’s a website that you sign up with where all you have to do is write an answer to a simple question: what are you doing? Wonderful! Just what the doctor ordered. Added bonus: you only get 140 characters to type in. Cherry on top? You can add anyone that’s on Twitter! Yes, I’m following a few celebrities, and one of them is following me back! How cool is that? I am now completely addicted to Twitter. I even added a feed from Twitter to my blog on Blogger!
So now I see my Twitter updates on my Blogger blog. Then I signed up with Twitterfeed! What is that? Well, anytime I post a new entry to my blog, Twitter lets people who follow me know about it! So my Twitter feeds my Blogger, and my Blogger feeds my Twitter! In any other context, that last sentence sounds dirty, doesn’t it?
More, you say?
Ok, try this on for size. Just today, I signed with for something called So, here’s the deal. You sign up, log on, add any social network you are part of, then you can update all of those networks from this one place. One update, and it goes to your Facebook, Twitter, Blogger blog, Wordpress, LinkedIn and any other network you can think of. And then some. And here’s the kicker, you update from your cell phone by SMS/texting, or your Live Messenger or Yahoo! Messenger or AOL IM or iGoogle Gadget or even web mail. You don’t even have to log on to to make those updates. Hell, you don’t even have to be on the net to make those updates, if you use your cell phone! helps you join your disjointed social network, a one-stop-shop deal in this vast, vast 2nd coming of the web.
So there you have it. That’s Web 2.0! It’s something, isn’t it? What’s in the future? Well, nothing but the demise of TV, DVD, Blu Ray and anything that is not digitized and available at the tip of your fingers on your laptop. TV, what is that? My 18-month old son will be asking me when he’s 10!
Don’t let the revolution pass you.
Join us.
Welcome to Web 2.0.

Are we Human, or are we connected?

I wanted to write a big post about what the internet has become today, but I'm afraid I have to go pick up my parents and head home after a long (too long) Friday! I'll get to that post later, but I wanted to post this so I remember!

Enjoy the weekend. I will be back.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

We are sick

With my son being 18 months, almost, a new dynamic was introduced to our household: the chain disease. One person in our family gets sick, then it rotates amongst the rest of the family members.

I hate that.

I am sick, the last one to get sick. First was my son, then my wife, who's also pregnant, and lastly, me. It's not fun, and there's almost no getting out of it. Once the sickness enters our door, it's going to stick around for a while. At least it's Equal Opportunity.

Anyway, that's why I haven't been blogging much lately. I wanted to put in some thoughts on Obama's first press conference, but I was totally out of it. Maybe if I remember some things that I wanted to blog about, I'll post some stuff.

Until then, I have a virus to kick out the door.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Seriously, DC

Is anyone, ANYONE in Washington, DC paying their taxes and/or not involved in an investigation?

I mean, seriously. Come on, people. This is just embarrassing.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Super Bowl Recap

That was a great game, wasn't it? Well, I guess that's what they're saying. It was entertaining, exciting to the very last second. But one of the best? I'm not so sure. We are so quick to pass judgement, and we want everything that witness to be the greatest ever. To me, of the Super Bowls that I have followed and seen firsthand for the last ten years, nothing can come close to the Super Bowl between the Tennessee Titans and the St Louis Rams. Now THAT was a game! Literally, one yard stopped the Titans from tying the game and going into OT.

Anyway, the game started out with both teams being a bit tentative, then the Steelers put together a nice drive that looked like it ended with a TD run by Roethlisberger. But, after a challenge and review, the call was overturned because the runner's knee hit the ground before the ball crossed the goal line. The funniest part was when Al Michaels said: and Mike Holmgren is saying NOW??!! I thought that was hilarious. It hurt, but it was hilarious.

So instead the Steelers kicked a field goal. 3-0 Steelers.

Then the Steelers did really score a rushing TD. Although it was kinda funny because when the runner, Gary Russell, made it into the end zone, an Arizona defender ran him out right away, so from one camera angle I wasn't sure what was happening until the referees signaled touchdown! 10-0 Steelers.

Then it was the Cardinals' turn to answer, and they did. Warner connected with Tight End Ben Patrick for a 1 yard TD. Good catch, good hands, good throw, even though Warner tripped on his Center's foot! Talk about composure. That's what experience gets you. 10-7 Steelers.

Then what happened was amazing. The Cardinals were driving to a go-ahead TD, and it looked as though they would be able to do just that, when it happened! Knocking on the end zone doors, Warner threw a pass into the end zone, only to have James Harrison intercept the pass at the goal line and run it all the way the other way for a 100-yard interception return TD, the longest in SB history. So what did happen? The Steelers ran an all-out blitz, except that Harrison showed blitz but then dropped back and got into the passing lanes, where he was in position to make the play. Warner has always been lauded for his quick release, but that is exactly what may have led to the interception. 17-7 Steelers at the half.

The teams exchanged possessions and eventually at the end of the 3rd quarter, the Steelers kicked another field goal. The only interesting thing about this drive is that the Cardinals were tagged with 3 personal foul penalties, the third converting a made field goal on 4th down into a new set of downs after Wilson ran into the place holder. Dumb mistake. I thought that the Cardinals were beginning to unravel at that point. But the rallied and made a great comeback, below. 20-7 Steelers.

Midway through the 4th quarter, the Cardinals again were right at the doors of the end zone when Warner lobbed a pass at Larry Fitzgerald. That's what I would 10 times out of times! I don't care who is on Fitzgerald, how many defenders are on Fitzgerald, I would just call for a lob at his direction, and just sit back and watch him go up and make the catch. He is just the best at that. Madden made the point that I was contemplating myself: there is nobody better than Larry Fitzgerald at timing his jump and getting to the ball at the highest point. He has the best hands to ensure that he makes the catch and comes down with the ball. 20-14 Steelers.

After a Steelers punt, the Cardinals punted away too, but the coverage team was able to pin the ball at the Steelers 1 yard line. After it looked like the Cardinals stonewalled the Steelers in their own end zone (replays showed they didn't), it looked as if they were going to get out of that crummy field position when Holmes made a great catch for a new 1st down, but wait a minute, holding, offense, in the end zone, Safety! Two more points for the Cardinals AND they get the ball back! 20-16 Steelers.

My wife was, for whatever reason, rooting for the Cardinals. She asked me if they still had a chance, and I said: Just one pass to Fitzgerald, he breaks loose, and the Cardinals are in control. As soon as I finished this sentence, Warner hit Fitzgerald in stride up the middle for a 64-yard TD. Made me think two things. 1. It made look prophetic in front of my wife. 2. If I knew that, why didn't the Steelers defense know that too? What happened?

Well, the call was magnificent. It was exactly the most perfect call for the defense that the Steelers were showing on the field. The safeties were playing a deep Cover 2. The Conrnerbacks were playing man-to-man, and the Linebackers, and this is the most important part of the formation, were crowding the line of scrimmage, playing close to line, which meant that the middle of the field was essentially empty. Here's how the play progressed. At the snap, all receivers, except Fitzgerald, ran an out route, they ran a few yards up the field and turned towards the sidelines. The Cornerbacks playing them man-to-man turned out with them. the Safeties bit and each one took an angle towards the sidelines as well. Except Fitzgerald. He ran towards the middle, went by his defender, and Warner hit him in stride dropping the ball behind the Cornerback. All Fitzgerald had to do was make the catch and run up the empty middle towards the end zone before the Cornerback and Safeties, who had by then realized the colossal mistake they had made and turned to try and catch him. Done and done! Great, great call! 23-20 Cardinals, their first lead, with 2:37 left.

However, in Football terms, that's a helluva lot of time for an offense! And, as it turned out, truer words were never spoken! The Steelers started at their own 22, and a holding penalty moved them back to their own 12. But, a series of short passes and short runs were punctuated by a 40-yard reception by Santonio Holmes, a total busted coverage on the Cardinals' behalf. That set up the Steelers at the Arizona 6 yard line, one shoe to the left of the end zone didn't work, so run the same play, same personnel, same receiver, tot the other side. Perfect throw, great catch, two feet down, Touchdown Pittsburgh! 27-23 Steelers. 35 seconds remaining.

Warner then made a couple of nice plays to move the Cardinals up the field, but the very last play for Arizona was a fumble. And yes, they could've reviewed it, and maybe they should've reviewed it, but I don't think it mattered. It looked to me like it was a fumble, and the Steelers recovered the loose ball. Victory formation, kneel down, ball game! Steelers the 6th Super Bowl in franchise history, a record.

So, all in all, a pretty entertaining game, through and through, and Santonio Holmes was named the MVP. But one of the best ever? Drop the hype already.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Super Bowl Madness

So, all hyped up? Not me!

Yes, it's the Super Bowl and all, but I'm just not too excited about it. I was trying to latch onto all the stories that came out in the media for the last couple of weeks, but, nothing. I guess if I have to dig real hard, I am very impressed by Larry Fitzgerald. He seems to be a throwback, a player's player, as they say. He seems to have the team's best interest in mind, even claiming that he is willing to change his contract if that means the Cardinals can keep free agent-to-be WR Anquan Boldin. The cynic in me says: OK, thanks Larry, even though the Cardinals don't need that offer from you, since they will be $40 million under the cap next year! But, I think his offer is genuine, which is refreshing in a me-first sports culture these days (which is why College sports is WAY better than the professional type).

So, I guess that kind of drew me in, but not too much to get me excited about the game itself.

I don't really understand the notion that I HAVE to root for a team. I cannot root for either team, for understandable reasons (which I listed in an earlier post below). I am going to watch the game, not really caring who ends up winning. That's just how I feel right now. Maybe closer to the game, or during the game, something happens and I start to pull for one team, like a dirty hit or some egregious officiating (*ahem* I'm looking at you SB XL). But, right now, nothing!

Anyway, the game is on Sunday at 3:28pm PST (why :28 beats the hell out of me!). NBC's coverage starts, well, now, I guess!


And Go Seahawks!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Paul Krugman

I had the privilege of going to a Q&A session with Paul Krugman who is a well known economist, s Nobel laureate and a syndicated columnist for the New York Times. Ten years ago he wrote a book called Depression Economics, that he has since updated and republished, predicting the current financial mess that we're in.

It was an informative session, with good questions being asked, and some good insight given throughout. The main thing that he was advocating was to increase the stimulus that the Obama administration is pushing through Congress, to at least 1.2 trillion dollars, claiming that what is needed is a full out remedy to fix these issues with the economy, rather than a half-hearted one. He said he's not "panicky" but is rather "uneasy."

I'm not sure if I agree with that. If anything, I am all for having the "free market" run its course, and have bad assets liquidated, which would give an opportunity to new entrepreneurs to come in and take a look at the market and perhaps eventually build new companies from those opportunities. Professor Krugman didn't agree with that, though. Spending is the way out of this mess, he says, and if there is no private spending, then the government should do that.

Professor Krugman was entertaining though. He had a couple of nice stories and some quips. Good wit, and very engaging. A nice close to the Q&A was a member of the audience asking him where his money is these days, and he answered "lots of cash," which was met with some laughter. But then the audience member came back and asked, "what currency?" And that brought the house down!

Like I said, interesting dialogue, and a very good event.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is upon us.

The two teams to meet in SB XLIII are the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers. I can absolutely say: meh.

I cannot root for either team. The Steelers stole away the Lombardi Trophy from my beloved Seahawks in SB XL, with the help of the NFL and the referees.

The Arizona Cardinals are division rivals. I cannot even imagine rooting for them. When the Yankees fans start rooting for the Red Sox, because, you know, they are in the same division, then I’ll start rooting for the Cardinals.

I’ll be watching, it is the Super Bowl, after all. Hope the ads are entertaining!

Jon Stewart