November 27, 2008

Enjoy the holiday weekend as you prepare for the final push toward the end of the year.


November 20, 2008

I'm not a doom & gloomer... it's tough out there and it's going to get tougher. But there are opportunities aplenty. Keep your head up so you see know when they present themselves.

It pains me to say it while I still bask in the euphoria of the World Series, but the Phils have to part with Pat Burrell. While the 2-year, $22MM offer is reasonable, I think the money can be better spent in arbitration. The Phils may have to go to arbitration with Hamels, Howard, Blanton, Madson, Werth, Victorino, Condrey, Durbin, Bruntlett, and Dobbs. I think the Rocco Baldelli rumor being floated makes a lot of sense, especially given his part-time limitations and who is already on the Phils bench.

The Flyers are driving me bonkers at the moment. The offense has been humming along (and it's a threat even on the penalty kill). The defense and goaltending have not been solid, and the defense appears to be afraid to hit anyone. This is a good team, and John Stevens has all my confidence, but they need to go on a run to start building some momentum.

The Sixers are struggling to learn each other. Have to hand to Cheeks thus far because the talent looked good on paper, but Brand is still getting healthy. This is a young team that runs; Brand doesn't run... yet. Last night's Minnesota loss is frustrating; no way they should give us 100+ to the T-wolves.

And the 49ers... the Rams win doesn't count. The AZ loss was brutal - that was just a terrible example of coaches being overwhelmed by the game. Martz has no excuse - he's been there before. I'm not a big believer in Cassel yet, but he could be an option in the off season. As for the D - Willis is getting killed by linemen who shrug off the d-line. Where, oh where, are you BY?

"Quantum of Solace" was good, but far inferior to "Casino Royale." "The Dark Knight" is coming out in a few weeks - this might prompt me to actually get a Blu-Ray player.

About to wade into "East of Eden." Haven't read Steinbeck in a long while; kinda excited to do so again.

Jack is back... almost. "24" for those of you not into very long days.

"At 20 years of age the Will reigns; at 30 the Wit; at 40 the Judgment." Ben Franklin. Well, after last week, I have just two years to wait until my judgment kicks in.


November 13, 2008

Cloud computing. This is the new hot phrase in technology (no doubt developed by a marketing guru). Essentially, cloud computing is the delivery of hardware or software services via the Internet (aka, the cloud). Google Apps, Office Live, hosted Exchange, VOIP - all are examples of cloud computing. In the late 90s/early 00s, they would probably have been called an ASP (application service provider). Today, we refer to them as SaaS (software as a service) or HaaS (hardware as a service) providers.

The value proposition is enormous - no infrastructure required (hardware or software); no worries about storage or backup; accessible from virtually any Internet connection. The potential costs savings alone make these services almost a must-buy. But like anything that's too good to be true, there are still issues with these services.

Security remains at the top of most lists; if you're storing sensitive data on a provider's servers, how do you best protect that info? Same goes for your users having access to these services; without diligent oversight, unauthorized access can become a major concern. What about the viability of the service provider? If they go out of business, then what? Where does that leave you and your data?

There is also the question of Internet connectivity. If you require always-on access to these service providers, what cost do you incur to make that happen? Speed of your connection becomes a factor as well. I could go on.

You can educate yourself further by reading up on the topic. Here is a results page for a Google search on cloud computing.

November 05, 2008

OK, after 2+ years we can finally decompress from the election. Congratulations to both Barack Obama and John McCain - a decent race (for the most part) run by decent men. Best of luck President-elect Obama.

THE PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES ARE 2008 WORLD SERIES CHAMPS! I will not tire of saying that - though I won't bludgeon you with it. Still reveling in the victory. Apologies to those who took my Phils in 6 prediction to their bookie. This team has room to improve and the nucleus is young. I see Burrell moving on and Dobbs becoming and everyday left fielder. They'll probably offer Blanton a contract (possibly 3 years); Hamels will go to arbitration (unless Amaro, Jr. wants to dispense with that process and sign him for the next five years at $8-$12MM per). Howard will go back to arbitration (it's his final year but I think the Phils try to wrap him up, too). Spring training will have a much different feel next February.

OK, what part of defense don't the Flyers understand? Even with a modicum of effort this team would be 7-2-1-1 (they've given up 41 goals, only Atlanta and Toronto have given up more). Goaltending is not the glaring issue; lack of toughness down low and on the boards. The D is afraid to hit people - it's hockey, hit someone!

Sixers are doing what I thought they'd be doing early in the season - figuring out who they are. They've put big numbers in wins; not so big in losses. They run with great success, but the breaks haven't come consistently. Defense looks OK at the moment (Iguodala must be more consistent; Miller runs the team, Igs drives it). Brand has settled in nicely and Thaddeus is growing into a real talent.

"The Stranger" is the nihilist's bible. Not a favorite but a compelling story; would be interested to see where it would go if Meursault were in prison for years on end. Already moved on to a new read "The Innocent Man" by John Grisham. Not a Grisham fan, but the first 60 pages of this book are engrossing (almost missed my bus stop last night).

Innerpartysystem... push play, hit the treadmill, and don't look down until the album's over.

Life has intruded heavily on my movie viewing (and the lack of true must-see films). TV has filled the void, and I highly recommend the new season of "Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives" on the Food Network. Going to plan all future vacations around the places Guy Fieri visits.