Announcement Archives

April 30, 2008

Web site maintenance to begin

FYI. For anyone who cares. Don't be surprised to see some interesting "features" on the web site as I begin a maintenance project to upgrade the blogging software from MT3.33 to MT4.1 and mySQL4 to mySQL5. A template redesign and additional tabs will appear. But as this is only my night job, this may take some time. Thanks for your patience.

April 29, 2008

City of New Orleans

Check this video out. Willie and the Highwaymen at their best!

March 24, 2008

How to toss a club

A friend of mine sent me this video done by Charlie King found on providing a detailed explaination on the proper technique to utilize when you are finally DONE with one of your clubs. Another friend of mine noted that the wind plays a significant role when throwing a club. In particular, when throwing into a headwind (as Charlie was doing in the video), a lower trajectory should be employed. This will also reduce the "boomerang effect" and will therefore lower the risk of the club returning to the thrower.

February 27, 2008

Bonds as a Devil Ray?

Some think Barry Bonds could be in Tampa Bay this year. Might not be a bad thing for the francise. It would give people a reason to go see a Rays game this year.

February 25, 2008

Cheers for Obama

Check this video out. Kenyans are renaming their local brew.

Is this enough to sway your vote?

Brad Lidge's phirst impressions as a Philthy

I see that Brad (meltdown) Lidge is off to a distinguished start as a Philly! One pitch is all it took.

February 20, 2008


And so it ends. Blu-ray has won the HD-DVD v. Blu-ray format war. Could Dvorak be correct regarding the reason. The size of the player is still a little too tall for my tastes. I will wait until I can get a 1" tall Blu-ray player before I take the plunge.

February 15, 2008

Schwag at the new Ballpark this year

Looking over the Nationals home schedule for the first half of the year, the following dates pop out to me:

Thu., May 1 Pirates
Dmitri Young Bobblehead to the first 15,000 fans

Thu., Jun. 5 Cardinals
Ryan Zimmerman Bobblehead to the first 15,000 fans

I LOVE BOBBLEHEADS! I have a Chad Cordero bobblehead from 2006 on my desk. Coolness factor is way up there.

Nat's pitchers and catchers report today

Spring is starting! My sister sent me an email yesterday that made me think about this baseball classic...


February 13, 2008

Land Shark Lager available near you

Got the following email in my inbox today....

Fin's Up! The refreshing, drinkable island lager is now available not only in coastal resorts and Margaritaville Restaurants, but also at a local watering hole near you.

Leveraging the true meaning of Margaritaville, Land Shark Lager instantly transforms you to an island lifestyle where good friends, good times, good food and great beer are a way of life.

Put yourself in an island state of mind and visit to find a retailer near you!

Let the Fin begin!

So I went to the web site and typed in my zip code... Closest places to get it are in Fredricksburg and Charlottesville, VA. What up with that?

HRH The Duke of York visits SAIC

SAIC in the news. HRH The Duke of York visits SAIC. See the following article. I think he was expecting to meet with Beyster. I wonder if Dalhberg offered him iced tea. He should have taken him to Shakespeare's or the Princess of Wales for a pint! Here's a picture commemorating the event.


February 7, 2008

Craft Beer at Ruby Tuesday's ?

Who would have thunk it? Will it make you change the places you dine out? Not me... I'll stick with Sweetwater Tavern and their on site brewpub.

January 30, 2008

Johnny (don't call me Erik) Estrada to join Nats

Here's the announcement about Johnny Estrada joining the Nats. Another catcher. Apparently Jesus Flores will now be moved to minor leagues to get more playing time. And I can't believe that Ryan Zimmerman still doesn't have a contract for this season!

January 29, 2008

Exercise and Drink Up

I read a Time Magazine article about the benefits of a little exercise with moderate alcohol consumption. If I could only get myself to exercise just a little. Here's my favorite quote from the article:

"You shouldn't even think about doing it until age 45 or 50. There's absolutely no proof of a preventative and protective effect before age 45."

Ah... The benefits of old age!

January 24, 2008

New Great American Restaurant

While looking at the Great American Restaurants (the parent company of Sweetwater Tavern) web site this morning, I noticed a news announcement regarding a new restaurant they are opening this fall.

We are thrilled to announce Jackson's Mighty Fine Food & Lucky Lounge is opening Fall 2008 in the expansion phase of Reston Town Center. Named after Bill Jackson, our favorite chef, Jackson's will feature outstanding quality without pretense...just like Bill. Our 10th restaurant will be comfortably upbeat in a 1940's casual dinner house style. Our outdoor bar's name, the Lucky Lounge, says all that needs to be said. Our menu will include the best from Coastal Flats with new twists like sushi, fresh hand cut fries, prime rib, macaroni & cheese and deviled eggs.

Bill Jackson is the Executive Chef at Great American Restaurants and also suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS). I would bet that has something to do with the name of the outdoor bar. I'll work to get myself invited to the mock service that happens a couple days before the restaurant officially opens.

January 23, 2008

How much REST do we need?

I read an interesting article on REST vs WS-* in SD Times by Sanjiva Weerawarana. He attempts to inject some reason into the rhetoric being spewed by both the REST vs WS-* camps.

SAIC Layoffs

Read this today in the San Diego Union-Tribune. This is the first layoff I have ever heard about while at SAIC.

SAIC lays off 70 workers

Science Applications International Corp. laid off about 70 people who were working in corporate support organizations in San Diego, McLean, Va., and elsewhere. SAIC spokeswoman Laura Luke said the company has no other personnel actions planned at this time. The San Diego defense contractor has about 44,000 employees, including 5,000 in San Diego. SAIC advised Wall Street that it was making some head-count reductions in a broader cost-cutting effort to raise profit margins.

Luke recently joined SAIC in Virginia as the company's primary spokeswoman. She worked previously as director of corporate communications for SRA International.

Nick Johnson or Dmitri Young?

I keep wondering why the Nat's gave Dmitri Young a contract extension and not Nick Johnson. This article attempts to explain some of the thinking. Not that it's right...

January 22, 2008

Wii wins Christmas season console sales

I read today that the Wii out sold both the Microsoft XBox 360 and the Sony Playstation (both 2 and 3) sales during the holiday shopping season.

We love our Wii And Guitar Hero III !

Laws of Golf

LAW 1:
No matter how bad your last shot was, you should have inner peace knowing that a worse one is yet to come. (This law does not expire on the 18th hole, since it has the supernatural tendency to extend over the course of a tournament, a summer, and, eventually, a lifetime.)

LAW 2:
Your best round of golf will be followed almost immediately by your worst round ever. The probability of the latter increases with the number of people you tell about the former.

LAW 3:
Brand new golf balls are water-magnetic. (Though this cannot be proven in the lab, it is a known fact that the more expensive the golf ball the greater its attraction to water. Expensive clubs have been known to be partly made with this most unusual natural alloy.)

LAW 4:
Golf balls never bounce off of trees back into play. If one does,the tree is breaking a law of the universe and should be cut down.

LAW 5:
No matter what causes a golfer to muff a shot, all his playing partners must solemnly chant "You looked up," or invoke the wrath of the universe.

LAW 6:
The higher a golfer's handicap, the more qualified he deems himself as an instructor.

LAW 7:
Every par-three hole in the world has a secret desire to humiliate golfers. The shorter the hole, the greater its desire.

LAW 8:
Palm trees eat golf balls.

LAW 9:
Sand is alive. It will swallow your balls.

LAW 10:
A golfer hitting into your group will always be bigger than anyone in your group. Likewise, a group you accidentally hit into will consist of a football player, a professional wrestler, a convicted murderer and an IRS agent - or some similar combination.

LAW 11:
All 3-woods are demon-possessed. (Your Mother-in-Law, does not come close)

LAW 12:
Golf balls from the same "sleeve" tend to follow one another, particularly out of bounds or into the water (See LAW 3)

LAW 13:
A severe slice is a thing of awesome power and beauty.

LAW 14:
The person you would most hate to lose to will always be the one who beats you.

LAW 15 :
The last three holes of a round will automatically adjust your score to what it really should be.

LAW 16:
Golf should be given up at least twice per month.

LAW 17:
All vows taken on a golf course shall be valid only until the sunset.

LAW 18:
Since bad shots come in groups of three, your fourth consecutive bad shot is really the beginning of the next group of three.

LAW 19:
When you look up and cause an awful shot, you will always look down again at exactly the moment when you should have continued watching the ball if you ever want to see it again.

LAW 20:
The less skilled the player, the more likely he is to share his ideas about your swing.

LAW 21:
If it ain't broke, try changing your grip.

LAW 22:
Golfers who claim they don't cheat, also lie.

LAW 23:
A golf match is a test of your skill against your opponent's luck.

LAW 24:
It's surprisingly easy to hole a 50-foot putt when you lie 8.

LAW 25:
Counting on your opponent to inform you when he breaks a rule is like expecting him to make fun of his own haircut.

LAW 26:
Nonchalant putts count the same as chalant putts.

LAW 27:
It's not a gimme if you're still away.

LAW 28:
The shortest distance between any two points on a golf course is a straight line that passes directly through the center of a very large tree.

LAW 29:
You can hit a 2-acre fairway 10% of the time, and a 2-inch branch 90% of the time.

LAW 30:
Every time a golfer makes a birdie, he must subsequently make two triple bogeys to restore the fundamental equilibrium of the universe.

LAW 31:
If you want to hit a 7-iron as far as Tiger Woods does, simply try to lay up just short of a water hazard.

LAW 32:
There are two things you can learn by stopping your backswing at the top and checking the position of your hands: i.e. how many hands you have and which one is wearing the glove.

LAW 33:
Hazards attract; fairways repel.

LAW 34:
You can put "draw" on the ball, you can put "fade" on the ball, but no golfer can put "straight" on the ball.

LAW 35:
A ball you can see in the rough from 50 yards away is not yours.

LAW 36:
Don't buy a putter until you've had a chance to throw it and determine if it can swim.

January 21, 2008

Do you owe someone a beer?

Then head to this site to maintain your list of financial obligations.

Happy New Year!

For anyone who cares...

Sorry for the haitus. School started for the kids and I fell off the planet. But it's a new year, and I resolve to try to post more often again.

September 2, 2007

Robin Williams on golf...

and of course, I love Robin Williams' commentary on golf. [Highly explicit]

Amazing Fuzzy Zoeller golf shot

A friend of mine sent me this video of Fuzzy hitting a hole-in-one.

Washington Post article about Sen Isakson (R-GA)

It's called In Georgia, Voices of Reassurance and it discusses one senator's struggle with the war in Iraq. I have also quoted the article here. It includes a reference to LT Noah Harris (my first cousin once removed or second cousin). The paper article included a picture of Lucy (his mother, my cousin) that I can't find in this web article. Here is a link to other pictures taken for the article. They include one of Lucy with the Senator (number 5) and you can see her Harris dogtag. I still wear mine every day to honor his sacrifice. You will have to suffer through a short commercial first. Sorry.

In Georgia, Voices of Reassurance

By Shailagh Murray
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 2, 2007; Page A06

COLUMBUS, Ga. As the Rotarians dined on fried chicken, Sen. Johnny Isakson shared a few thoughts about Iraq.

"Today, the news that comes back is pretty good," the Georgia Republican said from the podium to the packed downtown ballroom. "We're making progress on the military side and the security side. It is my sincere hope that we can, as soon as we can, reduce our troop forces, turn more over to the Iraqi army. But we should only do that when they are ready."

This is not a slice of electorate that is holding its breath, waiting for Congress to end the war. When Isakson suggested that the U.S. military could have a presence in the region for "a long time," no one flinched. They nodded at his depiction of the conflict as "the ultimate war between good and evil." And they put down their forks and applauded when he exclaimed, "To lose, all we have to do is quit. And I know the men and women of the United States military, and I know the heart of our country, and we don't quit!"

While many lawmakers have faced antiwar protesters over the past month's summer recess, in the heart of Georgia there are reassuring voices talking of a mission to accomplish and a victory that must be won. Many of the 21,500 new troops that President Bush ordered shipped to Iraq in the spring had come through nearby Fort Benning, and Isakson has shared the quiet but firm resolve of many of his constituents.

Congress will return to Washington on Tuesday and the following week will hear from the top American commander in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus, on the progress of the war. As he spent three days traveling through northern Georgia last week, Isakson predicted that Petraeus and the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan C. Crocker, who will report on political developments, would provide "real tangible evidence that the surge has worked, that there's more stability, a lack of satisfaction with the progress, but some progress on the political side."

That view highlights the challenge of the debate over the war's future. While the strongest opponents are demanding a firm timeline to begin troop withdrawals, many lawmakers remain ambivalent. They want to end the conflict but are leery of moving too soon if there is any sign of progress in Petraeus's report.

Isakson's brief tour around the state seemed to reinforce his sense that it is not time to give up. Democrats, he said, can count him out of any effort to force Bush's hand. "This date certain to withdraw and declaring failure and whatnot is unacceptable, if you believe in what we're doing. And I believe in what we're doing."

The senator's cautious optimism brought a wave of relief from voters he spoke to - along with a touch of skepticism.

"I think a lot of our elected officials don't know what to do," said Marquette McKnight, a local businesswoman, after Isakson's speech to the Rotary Club. "I'll be really interested to hear the general's report. When we hear about the surge - that means numbers to people in Washington. For us here in Columbus, who know those young men and women, it takes on a different tone. You're wondering, what is the truth?"

After the luncheon, Isakson visited Fort Benning, escorted by base commander Maj. Gen. Walter Wojdakowski. Their first stop was the site of a new infantry museum, still under construction.

References to Iraq came infrequently and passed quickly.

"We have 200 wounded soldiers right now in our wounded unit," Wojdakowski said as he outlined plans for a new hospital. He boasted of positive feedback he has received from the field about the camp's basic training regimen. "They're pretty happy with the guys they're getting and those guys' ability to go to war pretty quickly, which is what's happening to them today," Wojdakowski said.

Later, Isakson toured an indoor shooting range, where new recruits fire simulated bullets at a theater-size video screen that showed scenes from typical Iraq combat situations.

"In the last two years, we have really refocused our soldiers on their capability to use their weapons, more so than when we weren't at war," Wojdakowski explained to Isakson. "We learned that lesson with Jessica Lynch and some other things that have happened in Iraq and Afghanistan, that every soldier needs to be comfortable with his weapon. So we shoot twice as many live rounds as we did two years ago."

A film showed actors staging a "small arms struggle" after a makeshift bomb blew up a Humvee. "Friendlies, hold fire!" the soldiers shouted. They shot and reloaded, paused and shot again. The tally was 106 shots fired and six lethal hits.

Isakson quietly took in the scene, clearly moved by the soldiers' youth and determination. All Georgians, they were assembled especially for his visit. When the young men lined up to say goodbye, Isakson shook each hand. "Hi, I'm Johnny Isakson. Where are you from? Where did you go to high school? Thanks for all you do; God bless you." Looking at Wojdakowski, he added, "Good bunch."

The next day, as he traveled through northern Georgia, Isakson rattled off a series of recent developments in Iraq that suggested to him that the tide may be turning. Even a recent wave of suicide bombing that killed more than 400 people in northwestern Iraq, he said, is an indication that insurgents have become desperate, having been squeezed out of Baghdad and al-Anbar province.

Isakson added: "Whatever the case, I think you'll see some amendments in the mission" by the administration. "We all know we can't sustain the surge levels passed April 1, so you're going to have a troop change, anyway.

"I can't say what General Petraeus is going to say. But it may well be that you have a lot of sound and fury, and you get no legislative action, because of the relative success of the surge."

One touchstone for the senator on Iraq is Lucy and Rick Harris, parents of 1st Lt. Noah Harris, a former University of Georgia cheerleading captain and star student who struck up an e-mail friendship with Isakson. In June 2005, Harris was killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack.

"Our presence here is not just about Iraq," Harris wrote in his first missive to the senator, six weeks before he died. "It is sending a message to the people of the world that freedom can be a reality."

"This is wonderful, it's democracy, it's what it's all about," Lucy Harris, a retired teacher, told Isakson over barbecue. She said that she had followed the war debate closely through news reports and blogs. She remains a strong supporter of Bush and the Iraq mission. But the feuding over policy, she said, "makes us more wise all the time - even though it sometimes seems as though we are not. I try to look at the whole picture, every day."

"Aren't they amazing?" Isakson said. "Some of those days when I have a sinking spell, I pull up a Lucy e-mail."

In three days on the road, not one Georgia resident urged Isakson to go back to Washington and end the war. Far more typical was the pleading of Richard Monroe, the Clarkesville city manager, who approached the senator at a reception and said, "As a Vietnam veteran, I hope we don't publish a withdrawal date." Isakson shook his head and answered reassuringly, "Oh, no, that won't happen. This thing's turned around."

August 31, 2007

Naked beer stealers?

Ever wonder what happens when you don't Respect Beer. This (you may have to suffer through a Yahoo commercial first - sorry). And just between you and me, that clerk kinda scares me.

August 30, 2007

Michael Jackson dies :(

No, not that Michael Jackson. But the King of Beer. Here is a link to the article announcing his death. His books inspired me to start making my own beer and stinking up my house 20 years ago. Back then, brew pubs had not yet started. I need to add a link to his Beer Hunter web site. His last article about beer was posted on the All About Beer page.

Beer as CPU coolant?

What will they think of next?

Check out this article from the Beer Advocate. Just don't attempt to try this at home. I just wish someone would tell me why they are using a flower vase to hold the beer supply?

August 29, 2007

SAIC closes above $18.00

For the first time since July 23. I wonder how long it will last? SAIC recently announced that the 2008 2Q earnings release and conference call will be happening at 5:00PM EST on Thurs Sep 6. Hope you all get to listen in.

What teachers make...

Sarah discovered this video of Taylor Mali discussing "what teachers make". I found it fascinating viewing. Teachers don't get enough respect in American society and need to be paid more. Enjoy all the other Mali videos also posted on YouTube.

Summer is almost over...

so I will attempt to make more regular posts to this blog in the future. The family had a great time this summer with the performance of CATS and our time at the beach. These will be the subject of future posts in the coming weeks.

June 13, 2007

1Q 2008 SAIC Earnings Call

Here's a link to the 06 June 2007 Earnings Conference Call. More boring stuff unless you are a stock holder. SAIC stock was down $1.62 the next day. Not exactly the best quarter.

June 3, 2007

SAIC 2008 1st Quarter earnings call

SAIC earnings call is scheduled for Wednesday this week. Listen in and enjoy the ride! Details can be found on the SAIC investor's web site.

Padres v. Nationals

Tyler and I went to the Padres game today. Weather was terrible with a driving drizzle throughout the day. We left after 5 innings and went to Sweetwater Tavern dry off. By the way, the Nats lost 7-3. The only consolation was being able to see David Wells pitch. That was fun. He's a big boy!

April 12, 2007

AppleTV commercial

I think I might like one of these gizmos. But I'm going to wait until they come out with HD iTunes content and an HD iPod & HD AppleTV.

SAIC Earnings Conference Call

Here's a link to the 11April2007 Earnings Conference Call. Boring stuff unless you are a stock holder. SAIC stock made a nice 5% move today. Let's hope it sticks.

April 8, 2007

Google "My Maps" launched

Another interesting idea from Google. With Google My Maps you can create custom maps and link to them from your web site. Now I just have to find a cool use for this.

PC Magazine Article Date: 04.05.07

By Brian Heater

Google launched its My Maps service today, an added feature of the company's popular Maps application, which gives users the ability to create personalized, shareable map mash-ups with a few clicks. Among My Maps' features is the ability to view the map in Google Earth (including the Hybrid and Traffic map views); mark locations on maps using various icons; trace shapes, paths, and areas; add HTML code; and add text, images, and YouTube/Google Videos.

My Maps can either be kept private, or made public and searchable through Google Maps' search feature. Both private and public maps are assigned a URL that can be shared via e-mail or Web site. Current examples of public My Maps include maps of the 2004 presidential results, and monster sightings across the world. The service is available in 10 countries at

Copyright (c) 2007 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

March 22, 2007

Baseball page added

I simplified access to my baseball resources. Click on the Baseball link in the header. In the process, I discovered that they held the draft in my brother's private league without sending an email out to all the managers. So, my draft was less than I had hoped. Not enough pitching (weak starters and relief). So, now on to the waiver wire!!

Angelos Says Plenty

From Tuesday's Washington Post, Tom Boswell had a great column bashing the Orioles' Peter Angelos. Here's a link to the column. A copy of the text is provided below. My favorite part is where he actually says Brian Roberts (.286/10/55) "is just like Cal Ripkin". He's beginning to remind me of George Steinbrenner back in the 70's - 80's.

By Thomas Boswell
Tuesday, March 20, 2007; E01

It's better to remain silent and be thought a meddlesome nightmare owner than to speak and remove all doubt. Now the Orioles and their fans know the truth. Peter Angelos hasn't changed. His silence in recent years, the claims of his organization that he no longer holds every major decision hostage to his whims, means nothing. He's just gone underground.

The Baltimore owner still vetoes major trades to keep his favorite players in town regardless of the preferences of the men he has running his team. He'll still blow up any deal, free agent signing or draft pick if he feels like it. And he'll do it for any reason that pleases him. For an owner who inherited a great franchise and turned it into a disaster with nine straight losing seasons, no confession is more damaging. All of baseball will read Angelos's latest words and shake its head in pity for the O's.

"I just thought that Brian [Roberts] should stay an Oriole, not that the front office didn't think so. They were looking at it from a standpoint of improving the ballclub," Angelos said Sunday, confirming that he nixed an offseason deal for slugging first baseman Adam LaRoche. "And they may have been totally right. I looked on it as the retention of a player that came through our system and who is of such great value to the club for all the things that he does out there with the public and in the hospitals and so on.

"This is a special kind of player, just like Cal Ripken was for the Orioles. And the kind of player you want to keep as part of the organization. And so there's an area where one might say that I have interfered, but I felt impelled to do that from the standpoint of keeping a player that I thought was critical."

It's almost hard to imagine where to start. Did Angelos think he'd be hailed a hero because he saved a popular second baseman from being traded?

For a trial lawyer who is accustomed to speaking extemporaneously and being accountable for every word, this must be a career-worst summation to the jury. In the offseason, team executives Mike Flanagan and Jim Duquette were considering a deal to "improve the ballclub." But Angelos squelched it because Roberts is a fan favorite who's great for the Orioles' image?

Roberts has great value to the club "in the hospitals and so on"?

LaRoche hit 32 homers in 492 at-bats last year and, at 27, is just entering his prime. The Orioles have no first baseman. Okay, they have people who own large gloves and can stand near first base. But they don't have a smooth-fielding, left-handed hitting first baseman who, if he got 600 at-bats a year, might be the 40-homer anchor that the Orioles need in the middle of their lineup behind Miguel Tejada.

Roberts is a special player but he's not "just like Cal Ripken." However, that's the sort of bizarre comment you'd expect Angelos to make. He's precise and analytical in business and law, yet he never seems to get anything exactly right in baseball. His view of the game is tilted, warped, just not quite right.

In other words, as brilliant as he is in other fields, his gifts don't translate to baseball. The verdict came in long ago: He doesn't have it. Just because Angelos made a billion dollars and bought a team, that doesn't mean he understands the sport it plays. He's still a baseball dope. That's okay. It's no sin - if he'd stay out of the kitchen. But he won't. He has to give orders to his chefs.

So when an owner says that blowing up a trade for a possible cleanup hitter is "an area where one might say that I have interfered," you just want to slap your forehead until it's black and blue.

What Angelos refuses to grasp, no matter how many times he is told, is that the issue is not the merit of any particular trade, free agent signing or draft pick. The problem, and it is absolutely central to the Orioles' organizational disaster, is that Baltimore is cursed with a billionaire who is constantly injecting himself at the last minute to reverse decisions that have been made after long labor and best judgments by his baseball people.

This is a perfect recipe for dysfunction and the Orioles repeat it year after year. Why do you think so few superior free agents want to sign with Baltimore? Why do others in baseball say that the Orioles try to compete using "Confederate money"? It's because precious few stars are going to pick a town where a 77-year-old plays favorites among his athletes and ultimately makes any goofy decision he wants. No matter how capricious, even if he's comparing home runs to hospital visits.

"It's just another Angelos story to add to the list," one baseball executive said. "He affects everything they do. They may never overcome him. Why would they want a first baseman when they can overpay for middle relievers and have four DHs?"

What elite high school draft pick, choosing between the Orioles and a career in college, wouldn't be swayed to stay in school by the universal mocking of Angelos's reputation for meddling? The grapevine buzz was dwindling about the draft day when Angelos reversed his scouting director and changed the team's top picks at the last minute. Now it'll get new legs.

What rival GM wants to spend his time, especially in trading-deadline situations, working on a complex deal with the Orioles when it's known how often Angelos has erased all the work at the last minute? How will Roberts now feel about Flanagan and Duquette? And how enthusiastic will the Atlanta Braves feel about working up another big deal with Baltimore?

What Orioles star, in his walk year, wants to put his faith in Baltimore's ability to negotiate a new contract during the season? After all, from Rafael Palmeiro to Mike Mussina, the Orioles' owner has dawdled for months on big contracts - paralyzing all parties - as his asbestos-wrangling background misinforms him that more time off the clock equals more negotiating leverage.

"I would like to give our fans a winner. That doesn't mean upon that happening that I would then sell the team. I have no real interest in selling the team," Angelos said. Of course, he doesn't. He wants to be vindicated - on his terms.

"I really want to take away all that criticism you guys are able to lob," Angelos said amiably to reporters Sunday. "It's my way of getting even. Of course, it bothers you. No one likes to be criticized, but you have to deal with it. I am the managing partner, so I have to take the heat. And I make the decisions, so I should take the heat."

Sigh. How sad can it get? For the Orioles, their fans and Angelos, too. He's finally got it half right. He is the person to blame. But he doesn't understand why. His curse is that he wants to win so much, be loved and cheered so much, that he simply can't loosen control. He's the boss, so he thinks he has to rule his own fate, "make the decisions."

But he doesn't have to. And he shouldn't. He's no good at it. That's been proved. It's never going to change. Angelos doesn't have to sell his club. But he has to take his hands off its throat because, as we see again, he's still strangling to death the team he loves.

March 21, 2007

Have a Messy Desk? Congrats, You're More Productive

I came across this article in PC magazine and now I don't feel so bad about the disaster area known as my office and more specifically "my desk"...

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Karen Jackson would be the first to admit her desk looks like a disaster area.

Her stacks of papers and photographs are so sloppy that the Texas schoolteacher won first place in a contest to find America's messiest desk.

Sponsored by publisher Little, Brown and Co., the competition promoted "A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder," by Eric Abrahamson and David Freedman, a new book that argues neatness is overrated, costs money, wastes time and quashes creativity.

"We think that being more organized and ordered and neat is a good thing and it turns out, that's not always the case," said Freedman.

"Most of us are messy, and most of us are messy at a level that works very, very well for us," he said in an interview. "In most cases, if we got a lot neater and more organized, we would be less effective."

That's true, said Rochelle Wilson, 57, of Moville, Iowa, whose messy desk earned her a runner-up spot in the contest, in which 50 entries were judged by the book's authors.

She says she hasn't recovered since an incident when members of her family tried to clean up her mess.

"I still haven't really found where the stuff really is," she said. "There were some Girl Scout cookies from last year in that room. Now it's time for some new cookies, and I don't even know where my old ones are."

Barry Izsak, head of the National Association of Professional Organizers, disputes the authors' claims, saying they oversimplify and confuse mess with disorganization.

"The bottom line is, the average person feels negatively affected by disorganization in many ways: increased stress, missed deadlines, lost opportunities, that sinking, drowning feeling," Izsak said. "For the average person, disorganization and chaos simply doesn't feel good."

The group also argues that messes are costly, citing research showing that a company employing 1,000 knowledge workers, who primarily handle information, wastes $48,000 per week, or nearly $2.5 million per year, due to an inability to locate and retrieve information.

"When you're disorganized, it's an expense you have no control over, the cost in lost productivity," Izsak said. "You're losing money if you're not organized."


Freedman argues that it is neatness that is expensive.

"People who are really, really neat, between what it takes to be really neat at the office and at home, typically will spend anywhere from an hour to four hours a day just organizing and neatening," he said.

Yet messy people are often cast in a negative light. In one study cited by NAPO, two-thirds of respondents believed workers with messy desks were seen as less career-driven than their neater colleagues.

"If you walk into my office at home, you would think, 'Oh my God, something just exploded in that room,'" said Jackson, the contest winner. "But it's an organized mess. It's a mess I made, and I know where everything is."

Messiness has overtaken neatness as modern lives have changed, the book argues. Many women used to be at home, cleaning up, rather than working outside the house, while jobs used to be simpler and more linear with less multi-tasking.

Hunting through messy piles has its value, Freedman says.

"You discover things that, if you had filed things or containerized them or purged them, you never would have seen them again. It becomes a natural reminder system," he said.

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March 18, 2007

The reason for time

The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.

Albert Einstein

2007 FCS Spring Concert

Emily sang a solo in the 2007 FCS Spring Concert. Follow this link to theMeiburg's blog to see the video.

March 15, 2007

Reston National

It was 80 degrees here yesterday. Bill and I went out and played a round at Reston National. I shot a 100, Bill a 97. His excuse was that he was using brand new clubs and hadn't figured his distances out. I got a chance to use my new Taylor Made R580 driver that I got for my birthday last year. Had two drives that I just NAILED! We played with Lloyd and Gail (whom we had never met before) from the Black tees.

Afterwards went to Sweetwater Tavern, Centreville for a couple pints of Rusty Roadrunner Ale. Bill and Edna were there. First time we had seen them this year. Guess the warm weather had brought them out of hibernation.

March 8, 2007

Winning Golf Strategies

Got this TidBit from a friend of mine.

Here is the Table of Contents from a new book I bought, "Winning Golf Strategies", which I believe gives the reader valuable playing tips and insider information. I have seen a lot of different instruction books, but this seemed to have the greatest value.

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1 - How to Properly Line Up Your Fourth Putt
Chapter 2 - How to Hit a Nike from the Rough When You Hit a Titleist from the Tee
Chapter 3 - How to Avoid the Water When You Lie 8 in a Bunker
Chapter 4 - How to Get More Distance Off the Shank
Chapter 5 - When to Give the Marshall the Finger
Chapter 6 - Using Your Shadow on the Greens to Maximize Earnings
Chapter 7 - When to Implement Handicap Management
Chapter 8 - Proper Excuses for Drinking Beer Before 9:00 a.m.
Chapter 9 - How to Urinate Behind a 4" x 4" Post Undetected.
Chapter 10 - How to Rationalize a 6 Hour Round
Chapter 11 - How to Find That Ball That Everyone Else Saw Go in the Water
Chapter 12 - Why Your Spouse Doesn't Care That You Birdied the 5th.
Chapter 13 - How to Let a Foursome Play Through Your Twosome
Chapter 14 - How to Relax When You Are Hitting Five Off the Tee
Chapter 15 - When to Suggest Major Swing Corrections to Your Opponent
Chapter 16 - God and the Meaning of the Birdie-to-Bogey Three Putt
Chapter 17 - When to Regrip Your Ball Retriever
Chapter 18 - Use a Strong Grip on the Hand Wedge and a Weak Slip on the Foot Wedge.
Chapter 19 - Why Male Golfers Will Pay $5. 00 a Beer From The Cart Girl and give Her a $3 Tip but Will Balk at $3.50 at the 19th Hole and Stiff the Bartender.......

I think I got Chapters 2, 8 and 16 covered. Just gotta work on the rest of my game.

March 6, 2007

New video links posted

I added some video links on the right sidebar of the [Home] page and the [Beer] page to assorted videos / movies that I find particularly entertaining. Enjoy.

February 7, 2007

The state of our education system

Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for $1.58. The counter girl took my $2 and I was digging for my change when I pulled out 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies, while looking at the screen on her register. I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried.

Why do I tell you this?

Because of the evolution in teaching math since the 1950s.


1. Teaching Math in 1950:

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?


2. Teaching Math in 1960:

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?


3. Teaching Math in 1970:

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?


4. Teaching Math in 1980:

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.


5. Teaching Math in 1990:

A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way to make a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers.)


6. Teaching Math in 2007:

Un hachero vende una carretada de madera para $100. El costo de la producciones es $80 ...

February 2, 2007

At Microsoft, a Sad Software Lesson

My buddy Bill pointed out this article to me. The interesting part is near the end where Scott writes

[Software] has proved uniquely resistant to engineering discipline
Idealistic software developers love to dream about world-changing innovations; meanwhile, we wait and wait for all the potholes to be fixed.

I got two or three "idealistic software developers" working for me. It's a lot like herding cats to try to get them to work on what they should be working on. They would rather tackle interesting problems instead of just getting the simple things to actually work. As my boss is always telling me: "I can't believe that they call this a science". Guess I'm beginning to agree with him.

By Scott Rosenberg
The Washington Post, Tuesday, January 30, 2007; Page A17

Today, Microsoft finally offers consumers Windows Vista, the version of its operating system that's been gestating for five years. When Microsoft's engineers started this project, U.S. troops hadn't yet invaded Iraq, Google was still a relatively small private company, and my now-7-year-old twins were just learning to talk in sentences.

Why did it take the world's biggest and most successful software company so long to revamp its flagship product - the program that controls the basic operations of roughly 90 percent of the country's personal computers? And what do Microsoft's delays tell us about our growing dependence on balky software products?

The troubled saga of Vista's development is a matter of public record. Microsoft began work on Vista (then called Longhorn) in 2002 and trumpeted ambitious goals in 2003, including a plan to revamp the file system - the innards of computers' information storage - so we could actually find things.

A year later, the company announced it was scaling Vista back, dropping the file-system upgrade and delaying the release. At that point, we now know, Microsoft essentially pressed "reset": It threw out most of its work on the operating system and started over.

"In my view, we lost our way," Vista's manager, Jim Allchin, wrote in an e-mail (later posted online) to Microsoft founder Bill Gates and chief executive Steve Ballmer. "I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft."

Ballmer swears that there will never again be a five-year gap between versions of Windows. Perhaps, as some observers predict, Vista will turn out to be the last ever big release of Windows as we know it, and Microsoft will embrace the software industry's new orthodoxy of small upgrades delivered via the Web.

But Vista's tale is not just a headache for Microsoft's managers or a source of delight for the company's legions of critics; it's a portent for all of us who rely on software to manage our financial dealings, our public business, even some aspects of our private lives. The sad truth is that Microsoft's woes aren't unusual in this industry. Large-scale software projects are perennially beset by dashed hopes and bedeviling delays. They are as much a tar pit today as they were 30 years ago, when a former IBM program manager named Frederick P. Brooks Jr. applied that image to them in his classic diagnosis of the programming field's troubles, "The Mythical Man-Month."

The tar pit has regularly engulfed large corporate efforts to introduce comprehensive software "solutions." Private firms aren't the only ones getting trapped. Both the IRS and the FBI, for instance, have failed in multiple attempts to modernize the software they depend on, at a cost to taxpayers of hundreds of millions of dollars.

The software business remains full of optimists who, bless them, think they know how to fix their field's problems and overcome this dismal record. Their confidence springs from the computer industry's experience of the exponential growth in the capacity of its semiconductor-based hardware. Computer chips have reliably doubled in capacity every year or two for the past few decades, and that has made the increased power (and decreasing cost) of personal computers feel like magic.

But unlike computer hardware - the microchips and storage devices that run programs - software isn't rooted in the physical world. It's still written, painstakingly, line by line and character by character; essentially, it's all made up. Software straddles the wide-open realm of the imagination, where it's created, and the fixities of everyday reality, where we expect it to work. And so far, it has proved uniquely resistant to engineering discipline.

Without that discipline, too often, software teams get lost in what are known in the field as "boil-the-ocean" projects - vast schemes to improve everything at once. That can be inspiring, but in the end we might prefer that they hunker down and make incremental improvements to rescue us from bugs and viruses and make our computers easier to use. Idealistic software developers love to dream about world-changing innovations; meanwhile, we wait and wait for all the potholes to be fixed.

The writer is a co-founder of and the author of "Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software."

January 27, 2007

Site best viewed with FireFox or Opera

Discovered today that the site does not look the same when viewed with Internet Explorer 7.0. Recommended viewing client is FireFox 2.0 or Opera for now. I have not discovered why IE wants to put the sidebar all the way at the bottom of the content. Until I can discover what CSS directives that IE is ignoring, live with it. Or switch to FireFox.

January 13, 2007

Pictures Added

Added badge on home page to flickr site to display our recent pictures. Enjoy.
Also added link to a movie with Emily singing. It will take a couple minutes to download (unless your using FiOS!). Not the greatest sound quality and some kid makes a real LOUD noise at the end. Dad isn't happy...

January 9, 2007

Comments enabled

OK. I finally figured out how to turn comments on. I have to "moderate" them before they show up on the posts. I'll keep it that way for now until it becomes too cumbersome to approve each comment. Enjoy!

iPhone anyone?

What started as rumor, is now real. Are you gonna get one? This concept ad shows what it looked like in March 2006. It looks like Cingular may be the first network to make the phone available. But with a MSRP of $500, it better be a pretty good phone! Here's the actual phone.

January 6, 2007

Nissan Commercial for Independent Front Suspension

Whoever came up with this concept had to be a guy.

January 5, 2007

SAIC Stock Price

Ouch... Down to 17.55 today :(

January 4, 2007

Mac - Make The Switch Parody

Just found a Macintosh ad that you won't see on TV.

January 3, 2007

Star Trek: TOS Season 1, on iTunes!

WOO WHOO! Check out what's new at the iTunes store! I better watch my wallet. At only $2.00 a show, I could be get into this deep. No "The Trouble with Tribbles" show yet. It came out in season 2. Guess I'll have to keep checking for new shows!


From the 03 January 2007 Washington Post Editorial page. For those of you who have an account, click Fumeless. For those who don't, here is a copy of the article.

NIGHTS OUT in Washington just got a whole lot healthier: The District's long-awaited smoking ban in bars and clubs finally took effect on Tuesday.

Predictably, not everyone is happy about it. As in other localities that have considered smoking bans, jittery bar and club owners fought the restrictions when the D.C. Council debated them a year ago. They continue to complain that the ban will hurt the city's hospitality industry as smokers take their business to Virginia, which does not enforce a smoking ban. Former mayor Anthony A. Williams considered vetoing the ban last year on those grounds. But other cities' experiences with bans even more restrictive than the District's suggest a different outcome.

In New York City, bars and restaurants have flourished since smoking was banned. Surveys in the city have shown that residents are now more likely to go out. Tax revenue from the hospitality sector there has increased, as has demand for new liquor licenses. Studies in other localities confirm that smoking bans have little effect on, or even increase, bar and restaurant revenue.

The health benefits of smoking bans, meanwhile, are enormous. The American Heart Association published a study late last year on Pueblo, Colo., which found that emergency room visits for heart attacks dropped 27 percent in the first 18 months of that city's smoking ban. No such drop occurred in adjoining jurisdictions. Across the country and around the world, the weight of public health research has shown that smoking bans save the lives of both customers and hospitality employees.

So here's an invitation to Northern Virginia's beer nursers, clubbers, nighthawks and other assorted bar patrons. If you'd prefer a night out that won't leave your hair and clothes smelling like ash -- and your lungs and blood vessels filled with toxins -- take a trip across the Potomac. Until, that is, Virginia's politicians come around to approving a smoking ban of their own.

I endorse the opinion of the writer. My only question is...

What the hell is a "beer nurser"??

January 2, 2007

Cart Wars Redux

Guess what...

As I was walking into work today, I was behind one of the Wegmans cart warriors. He works at SAIC! Horrors! We exchanged a flash of recognition, then he started babbling to me about how great Fresno State played in the Fiesta Bowl. What a moron. Everyone knows that any team that plays on a blue field is destined for mediocrity...

V vs X

No... Those are not roman numerals. It's Vista vs. Mac OS X.

Watch NYT's David Pogue discuss why Microsoft did not rip off Mac OS X in construction of Vista.

January 1, 2007

Cart Wars in Wegmans

Shopping for New Year's Eve dinner at Wegmans we witnessed one guy driving his shopping cart into another at the head of an aisle. That then escalated into name calling, then the two antagonists bull-rushed each other. Each one calling for witnesses and saying they were assalted. How quickly we lose that Christmas Spirit. I stayed out of the way and offered some choice words in attempt to further escalate the festivities. But they broke it up on their own accord.

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2006

Twilight Zone Marathon

Instead of watching those boring Dick Clark New Years Eve broadcasts, I will be watching a few episodes of TheTwilight Zone during the TZ marathon on the SCI FI Channel.

December 30, 2006

Should I Twitter ?

Have you checked out twitter? It answers the question "what I am doing right now?"

But if I join, who would care? Perhaps I don't want to know... But it is certainly simplier than blogging.

December 15, 2006


Welcome to the new I will post periodic musing as time allows. Merry Christmas to all.

December 13, 2006

Christmas Bunko

Tonight was Bunko night. Not just a regular bunko night, but "Christmas Bunko". No dice tonight, just lots of talking and good cheer. Tyler and I had to leave the house and went to Sweetwater Tavern for dinner. Very tasty dinner. Tyler had Ozzy rolls. Ham (the waiter) spilled a beer on the bar in front of us and under our food. We would have received a free dessert had we stayed longer.

When we got home, Marcia Lyle was right behind us. She was late cause her Christmas tree had fallen over while she was decorating it. Just fell over. I think the Lyle's need a new tree stand. This was the second time in three years...

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