July 30, 2009

So, the Phils were so excited by the Cliff Lee trade (as was I) that they decided their offense should take the day off last night. Called 3rd strikes, swinging at balls 18 inches off the plate, watching hittable fast balls; Mr. Lennon's mom was right... days like these.

Regardless of how Lee does in Philly (or how long he stays), kudos to Reuben Amaro for balancing win now/protect prospects mentality. You can't do it any better at the trade deadline. Bill Conlin's take on things (Bill is a Philly legend).

Training camps are open for business. Someone want to tell me why Crabtree isn't in camp if Sanchez is already signed? The labor uncertainty is going to be a bane this season and next; yet the NFL and NFLPA meet about once a month. Come on fellas.

Sympathies to the Eagles on the passing of Jim Johnson; you just couldn't help but like a man like him.

Haven't really seen any movies lately. As for TV, "Better Off Ted" is ridiculously funny - luckily ABC didn't upchuck and cancel it (like they did "The Unusuals"). "Diners, Drive-ins & Dives" remains must-watch TV.

You want a brilliant 80's flashback, get Peter Murphy's "Wild Birds 1985-1995." Great listens. And for those of you who know, VNV Nation was as good as ever; in fact, they played the best live song I've ever heard. Three encores.

Just finished "The Short History of Nearly Everything;" great fun for a science book. Now onto "Killing Rommel" - if you're into historical fiction this is a must read. Visceral take on the early North African campaign of WW II.

Quick work note - government clients are the worst. They think schedules are jokes and that you should have the capacity to meet every whim to change said joke-schedules. And we want to give this group more with our health?

OK, who out there can believe we're two days from August?

"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." Groucho Marx


July 22, 2009

As I'm heading on a 5-day holiday with the Brawling Brunette starting tomorrow (we're celebrating 5 years of togetherness - see the symmetry?), I thought our faithful readers needed any early posting present. Here it is.

I mentioned this on a Twitter posting yesterday (yes, we're on Twitter, too; @Syzygy3). Can you imagine if Apple or BlackBerry went onto your device and deleted an application? Can you imagine in doing so they accidentally wiped your device or caused an issue with the primary functionalities? Even Apple would have a tough time overcoming that type of incident. So why isn't Amazon being skewered more vigorously for surreptitiously erasing George Orwell's "Animal Farm" and "1984" (see the irony?) downloads from users' Kindle devices? No warning, no announcement (until they got caught), nada.

Stop with the Kindle is "just a reading device" nonsense; that is besides the point. The Kindle is a PERSONAL device; I don't want anyone accessing my personal electronic devices without my knowledge - EVER. I'm a cynic and a realist, so I know it happens all the time and Google can track everything I do online. But that's just it - I voluntarily go online knowing I can be tracked; how many Kindle owners knew Amazon could access their devices as such?

You know what the deafening silence tells me? We've abdicated our self worth to corporations (and our various governments). We no longer matter - our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness our but at the whims of others we deem more powerful (or smarter, which is a joke if you take a good look).

Can you tell this struck a cord with me? For your sakes, I hope it struck one for you, too.

"The only thing worse than a man you can't control is a man you can." Margo Kaufman


July 16, 2009

That's right, we're going great guns on this writing thing (it's what we do best, right?). Follow us - @Syzygy3.


July 16, 2009

I admit, I have fallen prey to the don't's of e-mail (#1: don't send something via e-mail you don't want the rest of the company or world to know about). We tend to forget an e-mail doesn't disappear once read; a copy remains somewhere just waiting for the right moment to spring up and bite you in the nether region. Someone once told me that he saves every new e-mail and response as a draft until he can determine the appropriateness of any e-mail. Sage advice I try to follow (w/ varying degrees of success).

But the above is just a preamble to the main event (relevant, but still just an opening statement). A friend forwarded me an e-mail she wrote in response to a co-worker's sniping about her work. I've never met the co-workers, but I have my friend's back on this one. We all have a nemesis who just pushes our buttons and doesn't deserve the benefit of existence. This is an IMAGINARY response; it was written purely for cathartic reasons. Still, you dream of sending something like this to that gnat buzzing in your ear.

NOTES: Names have been changed to protect the annoying and aggrieved. The language is PG-13.

"Hey there, Sunshine!

"Glad you're just now getting around to griping at me for something I edited all the way back in February! Especially since text for that very CR has already been sent out on several packages, WHICH YOU CLAIMED TO REVIEW before I promoted. Guess somebody should've pulled the red pen out of his azz a little sooner, eh? (Ha, ha!) But seriously, [NAME], I must confess that I am a bit of a r'tard when it comes to the English language. That's why I am cursed with but a laughable four-year undergradutate degree, plus a two-year Master's degree in it, whereas people like you are pooped out of DeVry in 16 to 24 months and immediately considered God's gift to the human race. Some turds just need more polishing than others, I guess. Please have mercy on my feeble soul for misinterpreting your Holy Word as entered in [COPY TOOL]. Did you know that in some cultures (really back-azz-ward ones, of course - not ones as advanced and socially genteel as your own), the phrase you entered, No known allergy may be dipalyed, can be interpreted in the following ways:

"(1) as containing a nonsense word, unless you've received a Jesus-approved edition of the Merriam-Webster dictionary in which dipalyed actually means something (in which case, please forgive me for being unworthy of possessing said edition);

"(2) as containing a spelling error, which, 90 percent of the time when imbeciles like me are merely DOING THEIR JOB CLEANING UP SH!TTY TEXT LIKE YOURS, is a decent indication that there's some wiggle room in the rest of the text, in terms of grammatical correctness and the like;

"(3) as meaning roughly the same thing as the phrase I entered, Known allergies may not be displayed.

"Clearly, we have established that I am from one of those inferior cultures in which one or more of the above assumptions is common. Perhaps I should educate myself more thoroughly on the culture of acadaemia from which you descended to bless the working world with your presence. Tell me, Philip, where you are from, do they spell Douchebag with one g or two? Any information you can provide for my research into your advanced plateau of knowledge is much appreciated!

"Anyhootle, I'm going to go out on a limb (you see, it's all I can do, since you freely b!tched about my changes without really explaining the problem or suggesting how to fix it) and assume that what you meant to say was 'No known allergy' (a specific phrase coded into the application) may be displayed (an actual word). I can see how it's really hard for you to spit out a couple of sentences in a private e-mail to me explaining my mistake and politely asking me to change it, and how it's instead much easier to snarkily point it out and include three additional people who don't seem terribly involved in the situation. Had DeVry taught any courses in TardSpeak (a.k.a. English), you'd probably know that crude, undereducated people such as myself often use makeshift symbols called punctuation (punk-choo-AY-shun) marks to separate words and phrases into more meaningful strings of information. The concept is quite pedestrian, I'm sure, to someone with your far-reaching mental capacities, but nonetheless, when you're faced with the challenge of working in diverse environments (i.e., around a bunch of dummies), an awareness of communication barriers and other such issues that may present themselves from time to time helps you to proactively prevent misunderstandings just like this. Don't think I'm putting this all on you, though; I've also got a part to play in bridging this gap. This is why I pledge to you that, from now on, when I am editing Navigator descriptions, I will select random word groupings and assume that, given the struggle between your infinite wisdom and your overwhelmingly important and busy schedule, you meant to include more punctuation. Better punctuation. Punctuation everywhere, all the time. Just because you didn't put it there does not give me permission to fail in SEEING it there. For my prior transgression I am truly and forever sorry, but rest assured that I will not let it happen again.

"On the other hand, I suppose there's an inkling of possibility that this was no misunderstanding at all, and I am instead an evil genius who is out to ruin your entire life, one mundane, work-related mishap at a time. In which case, watch your back, buddy, because to paraphrase the sweet, melodious words of The Carpenters, I've only just begun, beeyatch."



July 09, 2009

Yesterday's date - 07.08.09 - it's a fleeting wow, but still kinda cool.

So, didn't do a special posting as mentioned last week, but I'm back at it today on the regular schedule. So, what's happened since we last talked? Robert McNamara died - one of the few remaining from that era. See "Fog of War" to get a sense of his thinking when it came to Vietnam (and the world in general); a brilliant man with ideas that didn't match reality on the ground (could say that about a lot of people in government).

So, as mentioned previously I bagged on "Cryptonomicon." Swore after "East of Eden" that I wasn't going to suffer through books that scream "look at how many words I know." Neal Stephenson is obviously brilliant - and I will try another of his books - but no more reading for the sake of saying I read something; I have to enjoy it. One I did enjoy was "Triptych" by Karin Slaughter (how great a name is that for a writer of serial killer novels). Fast, engrossing, and despite the stale ending, worth the read.

Speaking of "s"laughter - always meant to write about this but kept forgetting (typical mental lapse). One of my favorite parts of "The Dark Knight" (which I watched for the 8th time a few weeks ago) was chase scene on "lower 5th." The Joker sprayed an "S" in front of the phrase "Laughter is the best medicine" - which was painted on the side of the semi. Classic.

Chris Pronger - 34 - is still a top 10 defenseman, but not sure he was worth the booty the Flyers gave up. Unless you can trade Briere, you're going to have an old team very quickly without those draft picks. Dingle was a throwaway in the deal, but you never know what a change of scenery might do. Losing Knuble to the Capitals hurt a lot.

Still not talking about the Phillies despite current homestand success. Still so frustrated about the previous 3 1/2 weeks.

We cannot stop talking about "The Hangover." Brawling Brunette actually saw it twice - she NEVER sees movies twice.

Currently reading "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson. It's a science book that reads like a novel - highly recommend it.

Phillies vs. Pirates on Saturday - VNV Nation following Saturday - Myrtle Beach the Saturday after that. Not a bad way to go through July.

OK, I finally gave into the peer pressure. Syzygy 3 is on Twitter - @Syzygy3. Not into a rhythm with it yet, but working on it. It's a lot of work to keep updating that damn thing.

About 20 days until NFL training camps are in full swing. Playoffs is what I expect out of the Niners this year; I'll be disappointed with anything less.

OK, so you can now follow Syzygy 3 here, Twitter, monthly e-mail, and by simply visiting our web site. Don't say you don't know what's going on with us.

Until next time... "Outtaheeeeeere!"


July 02, 2009

I'll throw in a special post early next week, but taking a break to celebrate the good ol' US of A's birthday (plus, the Phils have me totally depressed; the Flyers did get Pronger, though; and I had to drop "Cryptonomicon" - more on that next week).

Hope you all enjoy the weekend - be sure to respectfully salute the Flag at least once on Saturday.