Tuesday, June 24, 2008

USA Men's Olympic Basketball Squad

So, I know most of you don't care about hoops. Even less of you care about Team USA. The roster (barring injury) has been announced and I don't like it. The good news is that the roster is a group of committed players instead of a "throw them all together like a summer league and hope they can play." The bad news is there's only one true center, Dwight Howard. Howard is a force and international play is a more wide-open game, but I don't like it.

The confusing part is that the team has 3 point guards and several other players who can effectively run an offense. LeBron James has competed in the skills test during All Star weekend. Dwyane Wade is a shooting guard that has played the point position effectively. So, essentially half the team are ball-handlers.

I expect Carlos Boozer and Chris Bosh will have to both split time as the 2nd Center. This leaves a team that could easily have 3 guards on the floor with no true center & James or Melo playing in the 4-spot.

Not sure how I feel about this team. It's probably because I believe in defense & solid paint play.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Sound of Silence

Posey just emailed me asking why I haven't posted in nearly 2 weeks. I was admittedly confused at first. I haven't written anything since the 12th? WTF? I looked in my notebook & my google documents folder. Not much there either. Usually, I have scraps of story ideas or blog post ideas.

The lack of posts hasn't been intentional. Honestly, I just lost track time. Nothing noteworthy has occurred in my life. I swear, I'm in limbo this month. It's been alternating between too hot or too rainy to work in the yard. I've been in too much pain or too much fatigue to get into any significant projects. There hasn't been anything in the news that has made me just rush to the computer and type.

I have been reading a lot, but it's mostly Cooking Light, Marvel Digital Comics, Blogs. No real books. I can post about these activities, I just haven't been...for no apparent reason. The most interesting stuff has been occurring with my World of Warcraft crew, but that's not a soap-opera I care to write about right now. Yes, large disfunctional social group dynamics are blog-worthy, but no...

So, there you have it. Not much of an excuse for those of you who are on the constant go.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's Log

This limb was lying between my shed and my fence

At about 5:30PM EDT on Wed a massive storm with cheerios-sized hail and tree-snapping wind came rushing through my neighborhood. This sizable tree-branch landed inches from my fence and feet from my back shed. Broken branches littered the street this morning and several of my neighbors reported fallen limbs but no property damage.

The storm was bad enough that the hail was hitting the windows on all 4 sides of the house. But, it was the sounds of wood snapping that sent the dog and I downstairs to sit by the closet under the stairs. Trust me, if you had heard that noise and felt the house shake like I did, you would have done the same thing.

Slick was driving home at the time and hit the hail-storm at the edge of town. Thankfully, she wasn't coming down the street when the wind was knocking over trees. Still, I quickly moved the ladder and tools from the middle of the garage so she could park. Major thunderstorms rolled through all evening long, but none of it was as bad as those first 10 minutes.

Monday, June 09, 2008

It's So Hot...

I'm going to complain about the heat. (And yes I know my friends and family up north got hit with the heatwave over the weekend. So, I know you sympathize.)

Triple-digit temperatures for several days straight is just painful for the beginning of June. I think that the online temp topped out at 103-deg today. Both the internet & my bedroom thermometer tell me it's 102 outside now at 5PM. My deck thermometer gets late afternoon sun and it's reading off the scale (it stops at 120.) I went out to walk the dog at 8:30 and it was already in the upper 80's. I guess it's time to start exercising at dawn.

I had yard-work planned this week, but I'm not doing squat until the heat breaks. It's hot enough that the AC is running non-stop just to keep the house at 78-80. I've taken to lounging in my shorts drinking iced-tea. The dog has discovered that the guest bathroom floor is cool. I'm half-tempted to join him (or give in and lower the thermostat a few more degrees.)

If this is what the whole summer's going to be like, I'm moving to Maine or Alaska.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

NVidia vs ATI

I was going to go into one of my signature rants but I've decided to keep it simple. Most of my readership doesn't care about computer stuff anyway...

Slick and I are running nearly identical Dell Inspiron 530 computers. The key difference in the model of video cards. She's got the NVidia 8600 GT & I've got the ATI Radeon HD 2400. Both are 256 Meg cards. Both support dual DVI inputs. I'm here to tell you that hers works better.

The NVidia card allows for a dual monitor (digital & analog) setup at their maximum resolution & refresh right out of the box. It ran perfectly out of the box, even on a Vista machine.I could even run World of Warcraft (windowed) on one monitor while streaming video on the other.

The ATI card has required me to do 2 complicated reinstall of the drivers to fix mouse pointer problems and refresh issues. At maximum resolution of 1680x1050 on my Samsung 20" Wide SyncMaster 205BW, video will blink off and on occasionally. This was especially painful in the middle of playing a video game. When a second monitor is added in this config, the on-card cooling fan immediately becomes over-taxed. Even though the monitor and card are rated for 1680x1050 (note that the monitor works fine on her NVidia card) the only viable fix is to lower the Samsung to 1280x768.

The Control Center for ATI crashed after one of the driver patches and I could not restore it. After hours of research on their tech forums (it's a known issue) I learned that the easiest solution was to uninstall their center and just use the driver and the regular video control panel.

It's not that the ATI is a bad card. Now that I've finally (hopefully) got everything working, I'm satisfied. I'm just more impressed with the NVidia card. Everything I've read suggests that it's the best "low-end" performance graphics card out there. (I wanted to link the article I saw comparing it's performance to more expensive cards but I can't find it now.)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Dumb, Stupid & The DNC

So, the DNC has finally decided how to deal with the Florida & Michigan delegate issue by seating 1/2 the delegates. This thing was a cluster-f&#k from the word go. If the morons running the show in Florida & Michigan had simply stuck with the schedule, their respective state voters may have had a major impact on the nomination choice. Instead, they have successfully given us a mess that solidifies Florida's place in voting history...and not in a good way.

I for one think that all these votes are tainted. For all practical purposes, Clinton ran unopposed in Michigan. How is that fair and democratic? And if I lived in Florida, I would have skipped primary day. Why waste my time? This is situational dynamics tainting results in the worst way. If this were a scientific study, these states would have been scrapped as sources of bad data. Instead, this is politics and we're somehow stuck with them. It almost makes me miss the good old days of the hanging chad.

Even if I were a Clinton supporter, I would not want these votes counted. Yes, the party-faithful in these states got screwed. Yes, an angry mob should run their committees out of town with pitchforks & torches. I recommend driving them into the Gulf & Lake Michigan. Rules, last time I checked, are rules. They were told not to vote early but they did anyway. The whole thing makes "us" look bad. We do want to win the election in Nov, right?!?

The only fair and just way to count these votes was (and still is) a recount. Yes, even a recount would be skewed by the events causing a different mix of voters. But, it's a lot better than the tainted, partial vote & divisive compromise we have now.