April 30, 2009

1-0, 2-0, 3-0...3-1, 3-2, 3-3, 4-3, 5-3. Unbelievable. The Flyers tightened their own nooses and threw out the trap door. Painful Saturday afternoon. And as much as it pains me to say, I LOVE watching Ovechkin play hockey. For the NHL's sake I'm rooting for the Capitals to make the Stanley Cup finals.

Speaking of painful... way to take one for the team, Dalembert. With both Howard and Lee out for the Magic, the Sixers have their best shot of forcing game 7. Let's see if this Philly playoff team can capitalize on the opportunity. Though I have to say, NBA basketball is incredibly painful to watch; it's boring (except for the Nuggets right now, and that's b/c Billups knows how to play basketball).

The Phils finish an erratic April at 11-9 (they were 16-13 last year). Nothing to write the Hall of Fame about but still above .500. Starting pitching has been a killer - the bullpen has logged a lot of innings already - and they can't keep the ball in the ballpark. It's a testament to Moyer's unique gifts that at 46 he continues to be the rotation's best option. Lidge's knee is a question mark (I think it's been a factor in his poor start). Still, it's just one month into the season, so there is plenty of time for things to fall into place. They're a good team still waiting to get into a groove.

I like Crabtree (reminds me of a quicker Art Monk), but still don't know who's going to throw him the ball. Nate Davis is an intriguing prospect, but he's a serious work in progress. Great arm, decent decision skills, but from what I watched, no real feel for the game or the variety of passes needed at the NFL level. I think McKillop and Pascoe are two guys who can have an immediate impact; still not totally sold on Coffee, but we'll see. Camp is just 2 1/2 months away.

P.J. O'Rourke is not a direct relation, but you can tell we're from the same clan. Regardless of your political leaning, Parliament of Whores is a hysterical take on the dysfunction of our dear federal government (and how it's mostly our fault as voters).

Let the popcorn flow - summer movie season gets into high gear starting tomorrow with "Wolverine" (already have my tickets). Kinda funny that "summer movie season" gets started about seven weeks before summer actually starts.

VNV Nation returns to the states (specifically NYC on 7.18). Already scheduled to buy my ticket (Brawling Brunette is not a big fan). One of my top 10 musical acts of all time.

"The true civilization is where every man gives to every other every right that he claims for himself." Robert Ingersoll


April 23, 2009

Technology is like nature - ever evolving. The consequences of technological advancements - for the most part - catch us by surprise (again, much like nature). Nowhere is that more true than the Internet. The Internet is a humanity-altering tool - from the way we interact and communicate, to how we transact business, to how complex we can make our fantasy football leagues - the Internet holds powerful potential. That's why the two articles highlighted below caught my attention.

Employers Watching Workers Online Spurs Privacy Debate Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2009

The Internet has surpassed solitaire as the biggest distraction of users at work. The law firmly comes down on the side of employers when it comes to employees' use of work computers, e-mail, Internet and phone access, etc. But the case referenced above physically moves the argument to a home machine, but in the virtual world where does it leave the employer/employee relationship? And is anything on the Internet "private?" Has the explosion of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and the such eroded privacy standards, most especially for non-users (e.g., I don't have a Facebook page but my pictures are on the Brawling Brunette's page and other friends' pages)? I think it's a simple answer but the law is never simple. Be interested to read your thoughts on the subject.

Bill Would Grant President Unprecedented Cyber-security Powers eWeek, April 2, 2009

"Who watches the watchmen?" For us who worship at the alter of "Watchmen" (the brilliant graphic novel) this line evokes images of Rorschach, Dr. Manhattan, and the Black Freighter. For the Internet, it's more a question of "who's in charge?" At the moment, no one, and many say that's why the Internet has become such a transforming tool. To others, it's an invitation for dirty deeds, especially given the significance of Internet access to the daily operation of almost everything. So the feds are proposing the President be put in charge. So, one person would have the authority to annihilate the planet and shut off access to the world's most powerful information tool. There are numeral other provisions of the bill, but the central tenant is control (wrapped in the "security" blanket). What say you?

"It may be that the old astrologers had the truth exactly reversed, when they believed that the stars controlled the destinies of men. The time may come when men control the destinies of stars." Arthur C. Clarke


April 16, 2009

Tax Day has come and gone - the damage has been done. On with the show.

The Voice of the Phillies, Harry Kalas, passed away this week. He died almost 10 years after another legendary Philly voice, that of Gene Hart (play-by-play man for the Philadelphia Flyers), was silenced. Harry had "Outta here;" Gene had "Good night and good hockey." Well, Gene couldn't have said that after the embarrassment of game 1 last night. Penguins totally outclassed the Flyers in every aspect of the game. Where I initially thought the Flyers would go down in 6, this is looking like 5 games at most; then again, with how inconsistent the team's been the last three weeks, the Flyers could just as easily win the next one by five goals. As much as I like Stevens's calming influence behind the bench, he needs to light into these guys and make them accountable for such poor play.

Speaking of pathetic - the Cavaliers hold out there three top players (which includes LeBron), and the Sixers still need overtime to avoid their 7th consecutive loss. Way to close out the season strong! The Magic are going to have a field day with this team. I think the Magic come out fired up and win this in 5.

Rough start to the Phils title defense, and I'm not just talking about the baseball being played. It'll be interesting to see how the team responds today (last night's game was rained out). Friday and Saturday at CBP will be a heavy atmosphere; maybe the whole process will help with team focus (especially those who pitch for their paychecks). A repeat of October magic would be a great way to honor Harry.

P.J. O'Rourke is not directly related to me, but I wish he were. The man knows how to write funny; just started "Parliament of Whores," his take on the federal government. What was true in 1991 is even more so now; realized we can no longer complain about the government because we - the voter - continue to put the same people in charge. Nothing changes if you don't change the players.

"Diners, Drive-ins & Dives" is my travel guide. The Brawling Brunette and I are planning a few extended weekend trips this summer strictly around cool eateries Guy Fieri visited. I've written about the show before but I think this is a great way to plan a vacation. (And why does Salt Lake City have such a high concentration of cool food joints?)

And I want to make one business pitch - sign up for the Syzygy 3 Newsletter. We like to have fun with the once-a-month e-mail and you might actually learn a thing or two (maybe). We'd like to grow our audience to where we become a national phenomenon - or at least a favorite among our fan base. Second Tuesday of every month; good way to spend 10 minutes of your time a month.

And one final shout out to Harry the K. Check out some of his highlights from the 2008 playoffs at Phillies Nation.



April 14, 2009

I haven't lived in the Philly area for almost 10 years, but every year I bought the Phillies audio package just so I could hear innings 3-4-5 when Harry Kalas would take over play-by-play. It's impossible for those not Phillies fans, or from the Philly area for that matter, to appreciate the sorrow at Harry the K's passing. Harry received the loudest ovation during the Phillies World Series parade last year; you know you're doing something right when a city as passionate about its players as Philly is gives the broadcaster top spot on the totem pole.

Scientists tell us smells elicit the greatest number of memories. Well, if you're from Philadelphia, The Voice triggers your memories like nothing else.

Harry Highlights.

April 09, 2009

Three articles caught my attention this week.

Power & the Environment
Power & Security
Power & Jobs

"All power corrupts, but we need the electricity." Unknown

When was the last time you were wowed by flicking the light switch in your house? Or marveled your laptop battery could last six hours without a charge? Or how bright New York City is at night? Probably not often enough. Power is now just behind air, water, and food in its importance to our daily lives. In terms of technology, power is everything. So why is it that so little attention is paid to your technology's power requirements?

True story - we were at a meeting with a potential client. As we were leaving someone yelled "@$#%!" After the initial embarrassment (theirs not ours) we inquired about the issue. Apparently when someone sent print jobs to the large multi-function copier their server would reboot and no one could figure out why (including their current IT provider). We asked to look at the server - lo and behold, the server and multi-function copier were plugged directly into the same outlets; not even a battery backup in between the devices and wall outlet. The copier drew so much power that the server re-boot to protect its systems (consequence of power surges). No one believed that to be the issue because they had "enough" power. We simply plugged the copier into another jack we guessed wasn't on the same circuit, and miracle of miracles, no more rebooting. (Yes, we got the client.)

It's impossible to overemphasize the importance of proper power setup. If you're not familiar with right-sizing your power requirements, ask (and not an electrician). You will save yourself a great deal of time and headaches.


April 07, 2009

Me, in one pool (2nd in another). Glad UNC decided to take the drama out of the game early - allowed me to enjoy the sweet taste of victory. Been awhile since I actually won one of these things so wasn't sure how to react (upend a car? torch a vacant building? get into a brawl?); going to sleep seemed like a perfectly acceptable celebration, so the old man did just that.

Until next March - thanks Tar Heels!