Friday, November 13, 2009

giving thanks.

Today, I'll be getting persuasive essays from my students. They'll find a kindred spirit in this tweet from Scott Baio, since many of them will be writing about how abortion is the worst sin known to mankind and also using inappropriate quotation marks. Thanks to Rachel for pointing this out to me originally and then even sending me the new link when that silly Scott protected his tweets. The world wants to share in your wisdom Mr. Baio.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

technical problems - google vs. exchange.

I want to sync my iPhone's calendar with my Google Accounts calendar. In order to do this, this page tells me that I can set up an Exchange account. However, when I go to do so on my iPhone, it tells me that I already have one Exchange account set up (which I do, for my work account) and that's all I can have. So, I'm thinking that I could delete my work account from my phone, set up the calendar through Exchange and get all my work emails forwarded to my GMail account. Piece of cake, right? Well, Google has this deal where they put a stamp on my emails that are sent via GMail as under my work account. I don't want to be sending work emails from my personal account, especially when people are going to be able to see both accounts. There's a way to get around it, which is described here at Lifehacker but when I try to take those steps via GMail's Settings, I get a message that reads, "Your other email provider is responding too slowly. Please try again later, or contact the administrator of your other domain for further information." I've tried at all sorts of hours and I'm really not sure who's in charge of the APS domain. I could write an email to the Service Department, but I'm fairly sure they'd come back with something like, "We don't support those sorts of actions," or, "It should work with that information. Try it again." (I know, I know, I shouldn't just assume. All right, so I banged out an email right now. We'll see if they can solve my problem.) However, even with last parenthetical addition, I'm still turning to the wisdom of the masses to try to resolve this issue for me.

Monday, November 9, 2009

this is our concern, dude.

Health Care Reform Legislation passed the House of Representatives! Hooray! Buuuut... I can't help but feel like... something like this has happened before. (By the way, despite the fact that that post was written more than four months ago, literally nothing has happened with the bill since then. It's been place on the Senate Calendar. But, I mean, really? We can't get a little action?)

To return to the math of the last post, the Affordable Health Care for America Act (AKA 3962) passed 220-215. There are 258 Democrats in the House, which means we had a defection rate of 15%. On the other hand, there are 177 Republicans in the House, one of whom voted for 3962, which means they had a defection rate of 0.5%. Half a percent. ONE of their party members voted the other way. THIRTY-NINE of ours did. Now, obviously, there's more room for dissension in our party (I mean, obviously, in general; Democrats are, after all, the party of acceptance) and in this case, we have a sizable majority, so there's more wiggle room to be expected.

BUT.

This is ridiculous.

Republicans are able to coalesce over an issue in a way that we can't even fathom. No one in the Democratic Party was willing to filibuster an illegal, immoral war (except maybe Kucinich?) but the Republicans have threatened such a move over a measure designed to save lives. People should be ashamed.

And speaking of shame, what's up with newly-elected New Mexican official Harry Teague not only voting no on the bill, but yes on the Stupak-Pitts Amendment? (If you don't know what this is, use Google, or stay tuned. I'm not sure if I'm going to devote a whole post to it, but damn!)

I'm just saying...the hard work is not done. We've got a lot more ground to cover. Let's take a moment to celebrate the historic passing of a bill that's intended to help people and save lives as opposed to the normal garbage we get from Washington, but let's make sure that we not let up this fight.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

the get busy committee.

Yes, yes, it's lazy blogging, but I'm just getting back into it.

First of all, if you don't read Ian of Topspin's personal blog you missed this great post on a new group he's managing:

The Get Busy Committee

Luckily for you, me, and everyone we know, Ian's a brilliant dude and he gets that people want to hear the music before they buy it. So you can listen to this good stuff right here with this streaming player.












If you like what you hear, go to the group's site and support them by purchasing a USB stick that's shaped like an Uzi! You can't go wrong with that.

Monday, November 2, 2009

the nba is back.

Here, some thoughts:

I'm not worried about the Lakers in any way, shape, or form just yet. To those who say that exchanging Ariza for Artest (essentially) was a bad move, I say: have you watched basketball over the last four years or so? Ron Artest in undoubtedly one of the better players in the Association. There's no question about that. He won Defensive Player of the Year a mere five years ago and I know that we're not looking for a declining player, but I'm not worried. This is still a team with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol (the love of many lives), and Lamar Odom, not to mention the old stalwart Derek Fisher and the promising youth of Andrew Bynum. With Shannon Brown on the bench looking to take over Farmar's place, pushing both of them to be better when it comes to overtaking Fisher, I don't see a lot to worry about. Those who forecast doom and gloom have put waaaaaay too much thought into it. It's just basketball; these guys are professionals - they'll be all right.

Boston, on the other hand, looks strong. Worryingly strong. I don't want to get into it too much other than to say that the last team that beat us when I thought we were stacked had Rasheed Wallace on it, too. (I mean, don't get me wrong: I thought we were going to win in 2008, but that Celtics team was beastly. Rasheed, on the other hand, has a way of sneaking up on you.) I don't even want to talk about them too much, out of fear.

The Cavs look almost exactly like I thought they would. Which is to say, they look fine. I know they started 0-2 and some of the pundits wanted us to freak out over that and start talking about LeBron and the summer of 2010 and his imminent leaving, but I just don't think that's the case. Yes, I'm now willing to admit that my scenario is less than guaranteed, but so what? Nothing is guaranteed. I still stick by my guns that the Cavs will not win the title this year, but that LeBron will not leave. The Cavs and Lakers are just way too stacked for the Cavs to win this year, but there's not any place that is going to give LeBron a better chance. It's ridiculous.

On the other hand, the Spurs have looked just all right. I really thought their grabbing of Richard Jefferson was going to be the move of the summer, and the acquisition of DeJuan Blair has been covered plenty enough already - the kid's a beast and teams were silly to pass him up. However, all this being said, the Spurs look just all right so far. They spanked the hell out of the Hornets, but Chris Paul and Co. looked crazy out of sync. Then they took an L against Chicago, which was weird. And then, of course, they beat the Kings as every team in the League should. But, I mean, in reality, they haven't looked crazy strong at any time.

Vince plus Orlando equals Magic. I really thought the Magic kind of lucked their way into the Finals last year, even though they could have easily won some of those games. However, I wasn't sure how they truly stacked up against the Celtics, especially with the wild ride the Bulls took them on last year, and Garnett being out. But... They took down a Philly team that might be worth something this year. They beat the Nets, as every team in the League should. And then they took down the schizophrenic Raptors, which I'm not sure how to really interpret.

That's the upper tier.

After that, there's a lot of room to kitsch and complain and commiserate, but we'll leave that for another time. Suffice it to say that I wanted to end this brief re-intro to blogging for me by saying that I'm currently watching the Memphis Grizzlies. They might be my favorite team to watch this year. Yes, seriously. I'm not sure that I've ever been this interested in a collection of talent that seems so singularly minded, devoted, one might even say, to getting their own. Let's just look at some of the great names on the roster: Zach Randolph. OJ Mayo. Hasheem Thabeet. And, of course, making his debut tonight, Allen Iverson.

I am not being sarcastic or trying to talk trash when I say that I am truly fascinated by the Memphis Grizzlies team of 2009-2010.

There are many things to be grateful for, some of them mentioned above. But as I said to my students last Tuesday, the NBA is back. Life is worth living again.