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Monday, March 26, 2007

hockey championship

It has come down to this.

Our Yahoo Fantasy Hockey league's championship game is this week. I am proud to say i beat the odds (and my friend Brice) to get to the championship game.

This has really been a lot of fun. Christy did it with me, as well as a bunch of friends from work (and my friend Kevin, and my friend Brice's wife Danielle). It did what i hoped it would, and gave me a view of the rest of the league. Christy and i (especially Christy) drafted heavily from the Predators, being the fans that we are, but it made us pay attention and at least notice when major players in the rest of the league got hurt or got a hat trick, etc.

Here are the final regular season standings (click to enlarge):

And here's the way the playoffs went down (click to enlarge)

I have to also say that Christy made a great run for the playoffs and despite her team being made of 40% Predators players, she did very well - until the Predators all got hurt. The string of injuries that hurt the Preds have just about killed her in the standings. I think she would have won at least one round in the playoffs the way she was going, if it wasnt for the injuries.

Even if i don't win this week, i'm very happy with my outcome. I figured i'd end up in the middle of the pack.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

romeo without juliet

I have to do a little mini-rant. Mostly just pointing out something i think is silly. A good idea gone just slightly wrong.

The local Yellow Pages around here have an add that plays about 10 times during every Predators game on the radio (which i listen to a lot since we don't have cable). It is meant to promote their Companion Directories. Basically mini-versions of their normal dead-tree phone books (does anyone use those anymore?). The idea is that the two books work best in combination.

The premise is simple enough - imagine famous people in history without their famous partner.

Lewis without Clark...
Lewis: "Man are my feet tired, any one want to go further?"
Crowd: "Nah"

Orville without Wilbur...
Orville: "I will make history! Man will fly! Can someone give me a push? Anyone?"

... Funny enough. But then they go off the deep end...
Romeo without Juliet:
Friend: "Romeo, you doing anything tonight?"
Romeo: "Just staying at home, working on my tapestry"
Friend: "Romeo, get a life."

The irony in the last statement is priceless. Romeo without Juliet would have lived longer! He wouldn't have killed himself. He'd have had a chance to work on a lot more tapestries. I think all-in-all you'd have to say Romeo without Juliet would have been a generally improved situation.

Funny commercial, but i think this is just evidence of how many people read the first part of the play in high school, got lazy, and never got around to finishing it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

new camera, new photos

For those that haven't heard, thanks to my parents generosity, i was able to buy a new camera recently. A Canon PowerShot S3 IS.

This thing is sweet. All sorts of amazing features, not to mention spectacular quality. It is basically a non-SLR digital SLR. I can get add-on lenses for it (wide-angle, tele, IR, etc). It has a mode just for shooting panoramas. And it shoots video at 640x480 at 30fps - with stereo audio.

So, here are some of the cooler pictures i've taken with it recently. Just made a big update to my Flickr page, so make sure to check it all out (and request to be my friend on Flickr to see WAY more pictures).

blog issues

For those using IE6: sorry about the blog not displaying correctly.

I custom wrote the theme i am using for my blog and it turns out that though IE 7 and Mozilla (and Opera) all render it just fine, IE 6 (which most people use) does not render it correctly.

I'll get it corrected as soon as i can, but in the meantime, try upgrading - either to IE 7 or the real upgrade: Mozilla.





It isn't actually for sale but supposedly it will be about $1,500 when it does hit the market.

Check it out.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

green d-men

Just a quick note to make sure everyone checks out the great article on ESPN.com about the Predators young defensemen. Great article.

Also, though i can't attend tonights game, i do want to encourage everyone to NOT give in to the St Patrick's Day temptation and wear green to the game tonight. We are playing the Dallas Stars tonight and their colors are green and gold. So wear green underwear if you must for St. Patrick's Day, but don't paint the Nashville Arena green and let the Stars feel at home.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

we don't count

Christy and i were recently selected to be a Nielson family. That is, we were going to be one of the families who's TV watching habits were monitored to see who is watching what. Those numbers are then analized to see what the number one show on a given night was, etc.

My family got a chance to do this when i was younger, so i was excited to get the chance. Even though we don't have cable, we were looking forward to being able to 'pad' the ratings for hockey and Stargate, etc. that are still occasionally on broadcast TV.

However, you will note i am using all passed-tense verbs.
The guy came out this afternoon and determined we were a no-go.

Normally, they need a phone jack near every TV. We don't have one upstairs. But they said they have a 'wireless' model that would work. The problem came in with the computers.

We have a normal TV upstairs with a tuner. However, there is a PC hooked up to it that we watch things from occasionally. Downstairs there is a 19" LCD TV with a tuner we use sometimes, a VCR with a tuner we use sometimes, and a computer with an HDTV tuner that can display on the 19" screen or on the full projector system. They don't have any way to measure people with TV tuner cards. The guy said they just got the ability to measure content coming from DVR's and DVD players... wow. They are YEARS behind. It is amazing to me that the company that all TV advertisers and networks use to measure the success or failure of a given show don't have the ability to measure even the most basic of PC-based TV tuners. Not to mention all the watching of content we see streamed over the web (like Christy watching Ugly Betty).

As a result - if they can't measure every TV in the house, they don't measure anything.

It really makes me wonder just how under-represented geeks are. Giving in to stereo-types, i wonder how that affects the ratings of shows like Stargate, etc. At the very least i now know that my demographic (young, techno-savvy, upper-middle class, etc) are not being represented and as a result, our shows are not getting their due.

Oh well.
Another reminder that the world is not perfect, despite my best efforts.

Note: They did say they are working on being able to measure PC-based tuners. They are supposedly testing some methods in other markets. They said that we will still be selected as a ratings family when they can measure us, which will be 9 months to a year from now. So, if you will pardon the pun: stay tuned.

Monday, March 12, 2007

wake up, sir

This is awesome.

An alarm clock that awakens you with one of 50+ messages voiced by Stephen Fry (Jeeves of "Jeeves and Wooster"

For geeks like myself, this serves the wonderful dual benefits of being awakened both by the worlds most famous butler and the voice of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Can you think of a better way to wake up?

My favorite wake-up message (of the samples listed):

"I am so sorry to disturb you, Sir, but it appears to be morning. Very inconvenient I agree. I believe the rotation of the Earth is to blame, Sir."
Very well may be something I spend some of my birthday money on :-)
The version for the ladies is supposed to be coming soon.

Update: Ok, I won't be buying it. As awesome as all of that is, it doesn't support 24 hour time - as in - it goes off every 12 hours! That isn't cool. If it went off at 2:00 in the afternoon while i'm not home that might be ok (though it would annoy my wife i'm sure), but going off at 6:30pm as i'm eating dinner and asking me to wake up is just dumb. Not to mention - that means that the 50 messages would not actually last 3 months before repeating (as advertised), they would only last a month and a half. Oh well. Maybe I can just buy all the messages on CD and use them in the CD alarm clock i already own an use. :-)

Update 2:
For those who haven't had the joy of experiencing Jeeves and Wooster, check it out, someone uploaded it to YouTube. Most of the time content owners pull these things down pretty quickly, so i have to assume that its ok with them. Anyway, here's part one. Links to all 5 parts are below.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Thursday, March 08, 2007

happy birthday

Yesterday was my birthday. Had a good day. Got some awesome presents. Had a great dinner with Christy at Mafioza's last night and with my parents on Tues. And we're going to the Predators game tonight.

And check out the awesome cake my wife made me!

Christy got me a Dremel, too, which is fun. So now i just have to find out what I want to spend my awesome birthday cash on...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

been a while

I guess i'm busy. At least that's my excuse.

Honestly i wish i had been blogging more. It helps me vent frustrations (which is why this tends to look like a negative rant) or share cool stuff (which is why i talk about the preds a lot).

Anyway, one of the things i have been spending time on that i used to use to blog is my/our new Flickr account.

Check it out - http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulnich

There is also a "Flickr Badge" in the lower right part of my blog if you haven't seen it)

Right now i don't have very many pictures out for public consumption, but i have over 1,500 uploaded and most of them mapped. You can sign up for your own Flickr account and request to be my friend (or family as the case may be). Then you can view all of our photos.

Also, make sure to check out the Mapping feature. I have placed pictures on a map where they were taken. Check it out.