Blah Blah Blog


Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

Woulda blogged this week about some new soda I sipped, but canned the idea for fear of over-vouching. (The Pepsi Summer Mix was pretty good though.)

Coulda blogged this week about a case of eBay fraud I had to deal with... seems limited to that so far, which is a relief. But both eBay and Discover were so cooperative that I'm satisfied sparing the details.

Shoulda blogged this week about how a "Just Played" feature is a must-have on all jazz radio station web sites. When Alan Jackson is on country radio, by golly I know it's Alan Jackson even if I've never heard the song before. I'm not sure how to make that distinction when a song's lead "vocalist" is a jazz guitar. So if I hear a song in the car that I like but do not catch the DJ tag, I have nowhere to begin my follow-up. Seems simple enough to archive titles played within the previous 2 hours of airplay at any given moment.


While I Was Out... PNC Park

Todd, Travis and I embarked on our biennial journey to PNC Park for a Pirates game last month. It's always fun to dig into our collective 80's baseball memory during the car ride, no matter how many inaccuracies we find later on

Once again the guys were kind enough to settle on a Pirates/Braves tilt and this year the Braves actually pulled out a W for me. Chuck James took a no-no into the 6th and Scott Thorman highlighted the offensive attack with a shot over that short-porch in right. Chipper Jones led the team in signatures as he began an untimely stint on the DL.

The Bucs first of many mistakes was benching Ronny Paulino on Ronny Paulino bobblehead night. Their 2nd mistake was rolling out the Ace of Diamonds to make what would be his second-to-last start of the season (career?). Base-running mistakes, fielding errors and the general hilarity of Jason Bay navigating left ensued.

I slapped some of my photos from the game behind the artwork of the 1985 Topps baseball card design because, well, I can get bored. Interestingly enough, when researching the dimensions of baseball cards, I discovered a shout-out to York, PA on Wikipedia's baseball cards entry... something about York Caramel producing cards in 1927. Point #1: Not a bad year to have a Yankees team set, eh? Point #2: York... it's a baseball town!

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I'll Vouch For That

  • On the tube, I've got to vouch for Lil' Bush. I think the voices clinched it for me (see Behind-the-Scenes clip).

  • In my car, I'll vouch for the iCarPlay FM transmitter. When tuned to 106.3, I can scoot from Hanover to The Institute with clean SnyPod sound.

  • In the kitchen, I'll vouch for Joe Corbi's Southwest Queso Kit. Many preparation options are highlighted, but this meal's best designed by MJ; first implementing the Queso Pizza solution, then adding her own flair, and finally rolling the whole thing up into a wrap.

  • Web-wise, I'll vouch for SwitchPlanet. The concept is air-tight, but the interface and usability could be improved. Bonus points for the use of made up currency.

  • In the playroom, Mallory will vouch for a wet washcloth, a wicker basket, a set of coasters and a 1/2 TSP measuring spoon. What is it about toys that kids just don't like?

  • I hope to one day vouch for... setting my vinyl free. A tip of the hat to Old Man Kirby for passing along a link to the Ion USB Turntable.

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Rev'd Up?

From what I heard, the Revolution won't be televised. So thanks to free passes from Mr. Dietrich, my dad and I headed to Sovereign Stadium last night for a look at the ball park and the team. Turns out, I've got a few bullets:

The Stadium
  • Parking at Small's Field cost $3, but was certainly close-by and hassle-free.
  • It may not have looked like a construction zone to the extent I was expecting, but they've got plenty of work to do and hardly wowed fans with anything close to a finished product.
  • The home team's RP's get the brunt of the sunlight, while the visitor's bullpen is tucked neatly in the shade.
  • Obviously then those with seats on the 3rd baseline do not have the sun issues those along the 1st baseline have for the first half of evening games.
  • The video board was pretty large actually, something I wasn't expecting.
  • The grass was too long... not sure if that is by design since this team is supposed to be built on speed or if it just needs a fresh cut.
  • The inundation with advertising wore me out by about the 3rd inning.
The Team
  • Danny Bautista (former Brave) and Peter Bergeron are the active Revs to have once played in the Majors. Statistically Bergeron seems to be struggling while Bautista is putting up decent numbers.
  • Kaz Tanaka has the inside track on being the fan-favorite. At 5'5", he's scrappy, bunts, steals and plays a reasonable LF.
  • RP Jason Olson was my game MVP. The first 3 innings took an eternity to complete due to an abundance of hits, walks and errors. Olson came in to get the Revs out of the 3rd and then pitched 2 more timely, shut-out innings.
  • No one drew the ire of the crowd more than 3rd base coach Ryan Minor who held up a base-runner rounding 3rd when it seemed apparent that he would score. His presence makes me feel old as I remember a Slam Magazine article in high school about an Oklahoma Sooner shooting guard titled "Minor Threat."
  • York committed a fare share of errors (fielding and on the base-paths), but thankfully theirs were not as embarrassing as Newark 2B Javier Colina's... a slow-rolling grounder sneaked through his legs and he dropped a throw from the catcher that would have nailed a potential (slow-footed) base-stealer by about 5 steps. That Bear was a goat.
  • Revolution closer Franklin Nunez made the 9th inning exciting by not making the 9th inning exciting: 3 batters faced, 2 Ks.
Here are some pics. I'd say that the experience is worth a few trips per summer.

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SMC: DangerMouse

Wiki DangerMouse
DangerMouse - The Greatest Secret Agent in the World



Weekend Reading

  • "What began as a witheringly accurate account of modern American business incompetence and interpersonal awkwardness (following the lead of its British progenitor) has been shanghaied and derailed by this fixation on love." She's preachin' to the choir.

  • Coming soon to a MacBook near you: Madden!

  • Nothing quite like minor league baseball promotional shenanigans.

  • Getting closer to pickle pop.

  • Winnie Cooper likes all that adding and stuff.



A Blah, Blah, Blog Mixclusive

"... I'll stir-fry you in my wok..."

Oh, sorry. I was just listening to the Blah, Blah, Blog Mixclusive Fremix of the Beastie Boys' Intergalactic.

The Beasties conveniently enough feature an "A Capella Download Page" on their web site - complete with BPMs. After several hours of GarageBand dragging and dropping I think I finally got a beat that's popping. I struggled mightily with the post-export volume level, so an adjustment might be necessary... for which I apologize profusely.

Listen/Download (thanks for the ZShare tip Todd): Intergalactic (SnyPod Mix)



Scottie's Been Deadspun

It's rarely a positive thing to be Deadspin fodder, which was the case today as Scottie Pippen was featured on the cynical sports blog. The foundation of the post wasn't really anything new, but the entry allowed the Deadspin community to dip into their stash of SP pot-shots. Admittedly, some were funny:
Stev D says:
You could make good money doing the opposite of whatever Scottie Pippen does.

Camp Tiger Claw says:
The only reason he can grow anything is because Michael Jordan owns a farm next door and fertilizes everything.

Get Him A Body Bag, Yeah! says:
I heard that he got into the farming life so much that he joined a country band. He's the second fiddler.
As for the Toni Kukoc/sidelines/pouting themed cracks... too soon! Those are some deep wounds. I mean it was finally Pip's team and the Master of the Zeniverse decoyed him. Treacherous!

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Home Makeover

Sometimes the SnyPod likes to relax on the dining room table... it reminds him so much of home. By the way, he likes what they've recently done with the place.

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Pandora the Explora

As my week without an office-mate winds down, so does my Rose Radio independence. Pandora, it's been a blast:

Old Man was right...
The best thing about Pandora is exploring/discovering new music. I've also realized that I'm much more receptive to discovering new music while listening at work, since solid background sound is the main objective and singing along to familiar tunes ain't happening. I took the most artist/song notes (Palmer would be proud) while listening to my Kaskade Radio and Consequence Radio stations. The former for some house stuff, the latter for some bearable contemporary rap.

Most appropriate track...
"Busy Doing Nuthin" was played yesterday on my Special Ed Radio station. We know this simply as a Biz Mark album cut from the early 90's, but the Genome knows it as:
Features Of This Song
east coast rap roots
swingin' beats
consistent rhyme patterns
clean lyrics
acoustic drum samples
an electric bass riff
prominent horns
the heavy use of funk samples
a dry recording sound
thin orchestration
lyrics by a famous rap artist
These are just a few of the hundreds of attributes cataloged for this song by the Music Genome Project.
Poppin' the hood...
The only list letdown I experienced was my 3rd Force Radio station. Looking to smooth things out a little, this didn't quite peg my brand of jazz. I wish you could pop the Genome's hood and take a look at some checkboxes. Since most level-headed music fans dig thick orchestration, what if "thin orchestration" in the above features list could be unchecked to further refine your station's mix?

Speaking of the Genome...

Isn't creating a New Edition playlist like giving the Genome a day off? If I create Keith Sweat Radio will all the songs be sung through a pinched nose? Is there a group putting more stress on the Genome attributes database than the Beastie Boys?

I miss the wrap...
Pandora's design used to feature full-site ad-wraps, which I actually liked. These were usually appealing designs that would refresh the look-and-feel every few songs. I wonder if their backers pulled given the cloudy future of Pandora and similar sites.

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While I Was Out... The Ken Howell Table

Next time you're at Ruby Tuesday's - the Galleria Mall edition - be sure to request the Ken Howell table, if only because there is one.

MJ surprised me by stopping by The Institute on my birthday and treating me to lunch at Ruby's. As we perused the menu, started feeding Mallory, and began discussing the spectacular plans she had in store for the rest of the weekend, I became distracted by the wall decor next to our table. The Tommy Greene autographed 8x10 I reluctantly accepted since he threw a no-hitter for the Phils in the early 90's. But that other photo, I couldn't even remember the guy's name. Ken Harvey I kept thinking, but realized he was a more recent player. I recognized him as a late 80's Philly arm... Ken Holland maybe? Ken Dixon?

The first order of business upon returning to the office was a trip to where Ken Howell appeared on the '89 Phillies page. Not a bad season either - he led all Phightin' starters in wins, ERA, strikeouts and innings pitched, and set a team record for wild pitches in a game with five... numbers undoubtedly making the famous Ken Howell worthy of wall space at Ruby Tuesday's... 18 years later.

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Word Up!

Here's the challenge: What is the longest word you can come up with using only one magnetic alphabet? Can Mallory's eleven-letter word be topped?

How about this twelve-letter puzzle from last night's Wheel of Fortune: whippoorwill? Webster hyphenates it, but Sajak's wordsmithery is king in my book.

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I Was Watching When...

Wow. What a performance by Lebron James tonight in the Cavs 2-OT win. This was Marv's recap:
  • Lebron scored the Cavs last 25 points;
  • 29 of last 30 points;
  • Last 11 field goals made
This includes 2 unheard of dunks within the final minute of regulation and bombs from various spots on the Palace floor. Reggie was getting beat-up by the Jet and Chuck post-game, but I think he had a point. Many of Lebron's shots down the stretch were well-contested including those drifting 3s he drained.

Still Detroit had to throw more aggressive double and triple teams at him to force more of those awkward Sasha Pavlovic moments. Lost in going bonkers for the King is how Flip Saunders further cemented his standing as an awful playoff coach.

But the story was The Lebrons, and it's a development that I certainly welcome. I was prepared for and accepting of a Spurs/Pistons final, but that's up in the air now. This Cleveland team has provided the drama TNT craves - I think it is important to highlight the word team as it was an incredibly effective team effort on the defensive end. And knowing your roles on the offensive end demonstrates teamwork as well in my opinion.

Now I don't watch the ESPN around here, but I imagine the hype following this game is going to get out of hand. I beg you GSW bandwagoners not to re-hitch to these Cavs. Except Todd, because he wore a Cavaliers tee to my birthday party. Also except Witt, because he has a John Bagley rookie card. If you were too busy watching "1 vs. 100" before the Lebron James game, then you should stay busy watching "1 vs. 100" after the Lebron James game.

I'll continue to witness.


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