Friday, May 26, 2006

Sampson

Did you read Bob Kravitz's column this morning? Quite scathing assessment of Greenspan and Herbert. Course the whole article is based on the assumption that we could have had any coach we wanted to.
Mom

Saturday, May 20, 2006

They say admitting you have a problem...

...is the first step to recovery.

Well, we have an XBox360...


... and a Sony PS2...


... and a Nintendo Gamecube...


... and a Sony PSP...


... and a Nintendo Gameboy...


... and a Nintendo DS...


... and we have two laptops and a desktop computer that also get used for games.

Clearly, we have a problem. What problem, you ask?

Why is it taking so long for the Sony PS3 to come out!!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Worth two minutes of your day

Click here:

http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/honda.php

Here's the background on the commercial:

People that set up roomfuls of dominos to knock over have great patience. But how about this: a two minute Honda advertisement that doesn't use no computer graphics, digital tricks or fancy film editing. Everything you see
happened in real time ... exactly as you see it.

The film took 606 takes. Usually, on the first 605 takes, something very minor didn't work. The film crew and engineers would then have to set the whole thing up again. The crew spent weeks shooting night and day. By the time it was over, one would think they were ready to change professions.

The cost to film this ad ran six million dollars, took three months to complete (including full engineering of the sequence) and lasts two minutes.

Every time Honda airs the ad on British television, they're shelling out enough money to keep any one of us in clover for a lifetime.

However, this Honda Ad is fast becoming the most downloaded advertisement in Internet history. Honda executives figure the ad will soon pay for itself simply in "free viewings" because Honda doesn't paying a dime to have you watch this commercial on the Internet.

At the time of filming, there were only six hand-made Honda Accords in the world. To the horror of Honda engineers not working on this project, the filmmakers disassembled two of these priceless cars to make this film.

Everything you see in the film (aside from the walls, floor, ramp, and one complete Honda Accord) is parts from those two cars.

When the ad was pitched to senior executives, they signed off on it immediately without any hesitation and commented on how realistic computer graphics have become.

When they found out the entire ad was real (i.e. no editing, computer generated graphics, or trick photography of any kind) the Honda execs were stunned! They had to watch it again and again to see how amazing their product and this commercial really were.

And how about those funky windshield wipers? On the European Honda Accords the windshield wipers have sensors designed to start working automatically as soon as the sensors detect water. (There's a cut off switch to use when entering a car wash).



Monday, May 15, 2006

Home page

I just added Blogzeffer to my home page. Aren't I the technological wizard? Have you tried Zillow.com yet? It's a lot of fun if you can overcome your guilt about being so snoopy.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Football game and basketball practice

Still no definitive word on when we're going to the beach.

On a separate topic, we're thinking about flying up in October for the first basketball practice and the Indiana-Iowa football game. As luck would have it, this year's midnight madness is on the same weekend as a home football game, so I figure we should take advantage of that and come up to see Josie as well.

Sound good? Anything going on in October that would make that a problem? (Like a fishing trip)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Carsie's 6th Birthday Party






We had it at Build a Bear. Good times.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Rebuilding Indiana - Part 2

Here's a link to "Rebuilding Indiana - Part 1" from awhile back. Basically I laid out what I thought it meant for Indiana to be considered "rebuilt". My summary was this:

Based on the above, being the best team in the B10 means:
- Winning B10 titles about every other year
- Making the NCAA tournament every season (with perhaps a once-a-decade miss)
- Making the Sweet Sixteen about every other year
- Making the Final Four every 4 seasons or so
- Winning a title every decade or so


I expected to get to Part 2 much quicker, but hey, I've been busy.

Anyway, the second part is asking how long it should take for Indiana to get there. The first problem with the question is that being the best team in the Big Ten is something that you measure over time - not in a single season. So no matter how well Indiana does the next two seasons, we won't be able to conclude that we're back. But since this is all conjecture anyway, I'll just blaze ignorantly along, as usual.

First, what's in store next season.

My guess is that Calloway, Wilmont, AJ Ratliff, DJ White, and Ben Allen will start. That's a decent lineup, but not great. Calloway showed flashes last season, but didn't even play starter minutes consistently until the last 3rd of the season. Wilmont is tough, inspiring, and streaky. Ratliff struggled a LOT. DJ is the star, but obviously we have to worry about his health. Allen didn't play much and was a big defensive liability.

Off the bench we'll have Armon Basset and Erek Suhr as ballhandlers -- Basset is a frosh and Suhr is a former walk-on. I think both will be positive contributers, but not major contributers. On the wing will be Joey Shaw and Xavier Keeling - both freshman, and neither should be expected to be difference makers their first season. In the post we'll have Mike White and Lance Stemler -- both are JUCOs and it'll be a bit disappointing if both of them don't see plenty of minutes inside with DJ and Ben Allen. Which is fortunate because we desparately needed depth inside (kudos to Coach Sampson for effectively filling that hole).

I'm really excited about next season, but mostly just because it's the start of the Kelvin Sampson era, and that'll make it interesting. But I really don't expect Indiana to be anything more than "pretty good". I think we'll make the NCAA tournament, but we'll spend some time on the bubble and I don't think we'll really be in the hunt for the B10 title - or a danger to advance much in the NCAAs. In other words, Indiana will not be "back" next season.

Given that we'll be starting two seniors in the backcourt and our other guard/wings are not especially well-regarded, I suspect that the following season will not be a B10-title-type season either. After that, it comes down to recruiting, and if Indiana is ever going to be back, Sampson has to recruit well. Assuming he does, I think we'll start to see the Indiana teams we desire in Sampson's third year. If not, I'll start to wonder whether we'll be back anytime in the next decade.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A word from our sponsors...

And just when I thought my punk rock music days were over, Green Day puts out American Idiot, which is absolutely brilliant. Idiot is one of those rare albums that is so incredible that it leaves you in awe that such a thing was even possible.

Like Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Everclear's Sparkle and Fade, or U2's All That You Can't Leave Behind, it reminds me that there's still a lot of great music left to be made.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Big Three-Seven

Okay, so that was sarcasm. On the list of notable birthdays, 37 is pretty close to the bottom, I'm guessing. Other than being a prime number, 37 is as forgettable as, um, you know... whatchamacallit? Hold on, it'll come to me.

On the other hand, I'm at an interesting stage in my life. At work, I've finally reached the point where advancement is not given. Throughout my time at IBM, my strategy has been simple. I figure out what is expected of the band above me and I try to do that job. Eventually IBM realizes that I'm performing at the next band level and they promote me. But now I look at the people in the bands above me and I'm not sure how to do that job. Those folks can be pretty amazing. They are either smarter, more driven, more knowledgeable, more politically savvy, or better leaders than I am - and sometimes all of those things at once. Plenty of good employees end their career at my current band level. To be honest, it's kind of a nice feeling. If I do make it to the next band, it'll be an accomplishment that I'd be genuinely proud of.

(Aside: Speaking on dangling prepositions, it reminds me of a good story. A freshman at Harvard stopped an upperclassman and asked, "Excuse me, can you tell me where the library is at?" The upperclassman sneered back at the frosh and replied, "This is Harvard. We do not end our sentences in prepositions here." The frosh thought for a moment and said, "Okay, well, can you tell me where the library is at, asshole?")

And of course in Real Life, Tyler and Carson are both in school now, which is an exciting and scary time. Exciting because you can see them growing by leaps and bounds, and scary because it's relinquishing a level of control over them, and we all know that kids can be mean to each other (except our kids, who are angels, needless to say). Tyler is almost 8 years old. In another 8 years, he'll be driving. That's hard to get my head around. Time to start saving for the 2014 Volvo Impervio.

So 37 might not be noteworthy, but it's not a bad place to be.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Las Vegas!

There are worse places to be sent for a business conference, no doubt.

My room at the Rio is approximately five times as big as my room in Lisbon. I love America. Live free or die! Live mostly free or get a bad cold!