Oct 162017
 

the Cubs are AwesomeI know a lot of Cubs fans are really frustrated right now as they are down 2 games in the NLCS against the Dodgers. Since the middle of the regular season it was clear that the Dodgers are going to be a tough team to beat. I do want to see the Cubs rally again and eliminate the Dodgers again; but I don’t think LA is going to let that happen twice in a row. The Dodgers are just too tough of a team, even when Kershaw was injured. I think, as Cubs fans, we are all going to have to prepare to accept an inevitable fate; the 2017 season will end in elimination. Regardless of the outcome, the fact still remains, the Cubs are awesome.

Avoid History Repeating Itself

To be honest, it’s probably better this way. The last time the Cubs won back-to-back championships, it was 108 years before we won again. Perhaps it would behoove us to avoid history repeating itself. We are no longer that “Cinderella team”. While I know Chicago wants another championship, I think there are others that want it more this time. Don’t get me wrong, I am not abandoning hope or my Cubbies. I just want to maintain some perspective. The Cubs have proved to the MLB and the world that they are a tough team. Three years in a row they won 90+ games and made it to the NLCS. Their aspirations of becoming a dynasty are fulfilled.

We have come a long way Cubs fans. We have endured a lot. Now is not the time to get greedy; otherwise we start looking like Cardinals fans. There are no more goats, black cats and curses.  We love our Cubbies and, win or lose, the Cubs are awesome!

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I could accomplish so much more if I only had minions!

 

Oct 132017
 

10 year wedding anniversaryFerries Bueller is right, life moves pretty fast. It’s hard to believe that this is my 10 year wedding anniversary. It has been a decade since entering into the sacrament of marriage. I think what really makes those 10 years go so fast is that I believe we have a good marriage and a healthy relationship. A relationship that started at Purdue; thus why we were married on campus with all of our Purdue friends in attendance. After all, they are the reason we were brought together.

We shared the alter with 14 other people; we had a large wedding party. Those people were important influences in our lives and it was an honor to share that moment with all of them standing beside us. The following 10 years I would move to another state and change jobs twice. Apple and Google barrel in like bulls in a china shop and knock Microsoft off their pedestal. The Chicago Cubs finally break their World Series curse. Star Wars becomes bigger than it ever was before. Social media first becomes an amazing phenomenon then a cesspool of deplorable human behavior.

I’m glad I got to share all of that with my penguin.

I Found My Penguin

According to scientific research, it is true that most penguins do mate for life. It also, just so happens, that penguins are one of my favorite animals in the animal kingdom. Isn’t that ironic. In the last 10 years I may have developed a few regrets but I do not regret standing at that alter. In the words of Lee Brice, I’m “hard to love / I don’t make it easy”. I’m stubborn, I have a bad temper and I’m a massive nerd but it’s humbling to see that none of that ever matters. It’s rare to find someone who just rolls their eyes instead of hiding their face when your nerd is showing.

Honestly, I hate clichés and there are so many clichés that describe finding your perfect partner. You’ve probably heard them all and maybe you know some I haven’t heard of. “Soul mates”, “marrying your best friend”, “finding ‘The One'” and these are all applicable, but I like “penguin”. I found my penguin. It’s simple. It’s not an overused cliché and its 100% accurate.

Oct 092017
 

We have all been waiting, very impatiently, for several weeks now for the next official Episode VIII: The Last Jedi trailer. Then, in late September, the Internet and Star Wars fans everywhere exploded with a tweet from Mark Hamill that alludes to the next trailer. It’s hard to tell if he meant to tell us or if he, inadvertently, let something slip. We don’t know if Disney’s original intention was to release the trailer during tonight’s Monday Night Football but you can’t say something like that and then take it back. The Internet won’t let you. If Disney’s intention was to postpone it, then we heartily thank you Mark Hamill!!

So here it is; in all its fantastic glory!

My hands are shaking. My heart is beating out of my chest. I’m pretty sure I was holding my breath for the entire 2 minutes of that trailer. Now lets go watch it again!

The Force. It calls to you. Just let it in.

 

Sep 142017
 

Today’s Random thought is probably more pertinent to a specific group of people. Particularly to those who work in IT related fields. I call it a curse of professionalism that we can never turn our brains off. In my case, and it’s possibly true for others, I solve many a coding conundrums when I’m not sitting at the computer. I often have moments of clarity while out on a jog (which is the most recent of my epiphanies); I even solve problems while walking back to my car just after leaving work.

Our subconscious solves problems because our minds are distracted or when we are feeling relaxed. Apparently it’s called “incubating the problem” and it’s because our subconscious continues to solve problems long after we stop working on it. Of course the most annoying thing is that I am rarely near a computer when I solve the problem. It then becomes an exercise in memory retention. This also often happens to me when I’m in a completely unrelated conversation. I have been known to stop mid-sentence with a light bulb above my head. I think, probably the most unusual place this happens to me is while I am taking a shower.

How often does this happen to you? Where is the most unusual place it’s happened to you?

The things that go through my mind when I’m alone with nothing but my thoughts for entertainment is dangerous. Some might even say eccentric. Consider this your warning about today’s Random Thought of the Day

 

Aug 242017
 

The Florence Freedom are an independent baseball team in Florence, Kentucky (obviously). If you live around Cincinnati or Florence and you have not been to the UC Health Stadium, you should check it out some day. It is an extraordinary stadium, especially for independent baseball. On August 19th I was there for the first ever Florence Freedom Legends Game. This particular Legends Game brought back players from the Reds and the Chicago Cubs. There were autograph sessions and a 7 inning baseball game. If you timed everything right you could get all of the players autographs. It was also really cool to see some of those guys get back in the batters box but the crowd was pretty small, and that is very unfortunate.

The Legends In Attendance

As I said, there were former players there from both teams; obviously I was there more for the former Cubs players than the Reds. The players that were in attendance are:

Kyle Farnswoth at Florence Freedom Legends Game

Me with one of my favorite players from the 2003 season, Kyle Farnsworth

I was lucky enough to get to see Farnsworth and Patterson play when the Cubs almost made it to the World Series back in 2003. However, I have never seen the other guys swing a bat. I think, of all the guys there, the most surprising was Lenny Harris. He still has some quick moves and he can still make the throw from 3rd to 1st.

Something else that made the game entertaining was watching these former players give each other a hard time. Lenny Harris and Bill Madlock were especially entertaining. Madlock would take up the position of 3rd base coach and give meaningless signals to the batter and Harris would try to stall the base runner until the ball was thrown to him.

Take Me Out to the …. Crowd?

The total capacity of UC Health Stadium is approximately 4,500 seats; however it seemed as though there were barely 500 people there. I was surprised by this considering the caliber of the former Reds players as well as the free autograph session. During the game, someone who works for the Florence Freedom came down by our seats and sat across the aisle from us. He commented about how they “were expecting twice as many people”. They thought that by bringing together two teams with a long rivalry would attract more fans. I certainly understand his conundrum.

On the other hand, I feel like this event lacked sufficient advertising. I only heard about it because I have a friend on Facebook that “liked” the Florence Freedom page which was advertising the game. I never saw anything about it on the local stations nor on the radio. I was even more surprised by the latter since they had two radio DJs as pitch hitters for the Reds. One of them is a DJ for a station I listen to every day, thus my confusion as to why the game was never mentioned on the air.

Granted this was the “first ever” Florence Freedom Legends Game so perhaps one of their lessons learned was to advertise more. I hope there will be a “second ever” Legends Game. I’m even considering attending a couple of Florence Freedom games as well. They are in first place in the Frontier division and UC Health Stadium really is a beautiful ball park. I highly recommend getting out there for a game and keep your eyes and ears open for next years Florence Freedom Legends Game.

(Coming Soon: A gallery of pictures from the game)

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I could accomplish so much more if I only had minions!

 

Jul 312017
 


If you are living under a rock then you are probably unaware of the fact that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Star Wars: A New Hope. The movie that created an unstoppable franchise and an endless universe. Perhaps the anniversary is why I am seeing a lot of talk about the “despecialized movies”. If you are unfamiliar with the “despecialized editions“, they are a version of the original trilogy before the Special Edition re-release in 1997. Obviously these were not created in an official capacity; it was Petr “Harmy” Harmáček, an English teacher in the Czech Republic that created them using a series of fan edits. He alleged that the altering of the movies for the Special Edition was “an act of cultural vandalism“. Whatever.

Troglodytes Unite!

On Star Wars Day (May 4th) I celebrated in typical fashion by watching the original trilogy. I was asked on three occasions if I was watching the “despecialized” movies. My reply was simply “I own the Blu-ray editions”. Apparently that drew some sneers which was confusing. I own a big screen television with surround sound, of course I will watch the Blu-ray versions because that will provide the best viewing quality. It’s baffling that 20 years after the release of the Special Editions and people still whine about the changes to the films. The digital enhancements of the movies are necessary to accommodate the advancing technology.

The feeling of nostalgia is a product of the story, the music and the characters. As someone who embraces home theater technology, I want to watch the movies that also embraces that technology. I’m not so old-fashioned that I will seek out hacked together fan edits that some troglodyte English professor created. The color adjustments alone are pivotal (i.e. correcting magenta tones), especially if you are watching the movies on bigger screens. Darkening the tones of some scenes creates a more ominous scene thus adding to the drama.

I Don’t Support All the Changes

Most of the technical changes I fully support because I believe it adds cinematic value to the movies. However, I don’t fully support all of the changes; I’m just not butt-hurt by them. The one that everyone keeps going nuts about is the infamous “Han Shot First” controversy and I agree changing this scene is ridiculous. George Lucas’ reasons make sense but the man is labeled as a “scoundrel”. A scoundrel doesn’t politely wait for the other guy to shoot first. However, this little change does not ruin the special editions for me.

There are really only two other changes that slightly bother me and it’s actually on the DVD release of the movies, and they occur at the end of Return of the Jedi. I did not like that they removed the Ewok Celebration song and replaced it with the Victory Celebration track. I understand why it was done. The music wouldn’t match the victory montage but I still prefer the Ewok track. Second, why did they remove Sebastian Shaw as the Anakin Force Ghost and replace him with Hayden Christensen? I prefer the image of the man who found his way back to the light, as opposed to the man who lost his way.

Everything else is just too petty and minute for me to care let alone allocate approximately 25 gig of hard drive space to store them. I’ll stick to the ones that are professional edited and produced. I just don’t agree at the despecialized movies are special enough for me.

The Force. It calls to you. Just let it in.