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Michael Korda »

December 12, 2009

He was the greatest coach who ever lived; he could take his'n and beat yourn and then he'd take yourn and beat his'n
Bum Phillips

Korean Girl
Click images for desktop size: "Korean Girl" by Unknown
Tired. Just tired.
Need a break. I'm not going to get one. Just have to keep soldering on.JSA
Big fight at work. I had to work Thanksgiving Day. To my chagrin the place was packed. I'd hoped it would be empty so that the bosses would think it'd be worthless being open Christmas. But it was packed.
When the paychecks came was when there was the hassle. All my co workers worked 4 hours shifts and got paid for 12 hours. I worked an 8 hours shift and got paid for . . . 12 hours. To the bosses this was fair. They claim I got paid the same as everybody else. I don't see how anybody but a boss could make that math work.
I took the day off to prevent me from freaking out and quitting. I bought a TV.
It's a decent enough TV. I'd have liked bigger and better but I could afford this one. I got a 42" Panasonic plasma for about $400. Lots of searching and coupons. I wanted plasma for the brighter picture and the wider viewing angle. Looking for now and into the future. After the LCD price fixing came to light today it also made sense.
For content I got a Western Digital TV Live. It lists for 120 but I got it for 50 from ebay. It's okay. Adding on an external hard drive makes it compare okay to the AppleTV.
It's a dense path to compare them. The AppleTV is simpler, has a more elegant interface and greater accessibility to internet content, mainly via hacks with Boxee and XBMC. The AppleTV is notoriously underpowered and greatly compromised as to formats it can play. Just another way that Apple has decided to compromise the product to appease content makers to the detriment of consumers. This is the new media age, the old refusing to acknowledge the future. Just fighting to gouge money from us while providing inferior product.
THE WDTV Live has a clunky interface, that's fit more for nerds than for ease. With a USB WIFI card Leto by Artemus Rosakis
Click images for desktop size: "Leto" by Artemus Rosakis
it connects to everything on my little network and streams everything less than 1080p without a stutter. Xvid and DivX look cruddy. They're dead end codecs and show it. MKV files look sparkling and breathtaking. The AppleTV used to stutter on 720p mkv files loaded on the hard drive! There's not stutter at all on the WD.
Some content inexplicably gets out of sync on the WD. It makes no sense as I encode everything the same way. I can't figure it out yet. Still with 1080p playback compared to AppleTV's 1080i the WD has a distinct edge.
Of course there's no iTunes integration in the WD. The WD also has a pretty poor access to the internet. It does YouTube, but without the AppleTV elegance. The WD has a nasty Flickr interface and no account sign on ability. One of the niftiest AppleTV features is the Flickr screensaver. The WD offers nothing but a flashing logo screensaver that is brutally ugly, something only a Windows user could tolerate.
I'll write more when I use it. On the flash I'd prefer an AppleTV with 1080p and the versatility of the Souperman WD Live.
I've suffered through work coping with crack addicts in the parking lot (I thought smoking crack was so 90's) attempted robberies and trying hard not to quit. I need to work. I need money, even small amounts.
On Wednesday I had my EMG test. I really wasn't prepared for it. I got 5 separate calls urging me to show up, constantly reconfirming. I guess that should have been a clue as to what to expect. When I arrived at the clinic 3 people recognized me. One as the fellow with the black dog and 2 saw me as the man from "the casino".
The test was pretty arduous. It lasted 3 and a half hours . . . The first part was attaching electrodes to various body parts and then shocking the hell out of me. On the computer this produced a pattern that looked like pink noise in an aiff editor. Just a block of jagged lines.
The next part was sticking needles into the nerves and then recording the electric pulse. This all hurt.
There was apparently three levels of damage to my nerves that had to be worked through. The first was from the neurotoxin laden chemo therapy from years ago. This was an abrupt sort of one time damage. The second is the nerve degeneration caused by diabetes. This is chronic but slow. The final one was limited to my right frozen shoulder, here the damage is from my "guarding" the arm so much as to have compressed and damaged the ulnar nerve. There is also traumatic damage. I was hurting to much to explain this was from the torture inflicted on me by the Canadian authorities.
The neurologist will examine the results and decide if there's a fix. I'll see him this Friday.
Lara Croft by Adam Hughes
Click images for desktop size: "Lara Croft" by Adam Hughes
All in all its been a rough couple of weeks. The only saving grace has been my puppy who never tires of delighting and caring for me. She's a good girl who tolerates my shortcomings and endures my oafishness.
My puppy and thinking about football.
I'm concerned about USC. I think Pete Carroll is a brilliant football coach. I have no desire to see him leave the program. I want him to prosper again and I feel confident in him. Which doesn't lessen the sting of this incredibly dire season. I think Carroll's meltdown about Mark Sanchez leaving early is explained pretty much by the poor play of freshman Matt Barkley. The kid has talent but this year he showed nothing that would let me think he could take USC to the National Championship in 2010, 11 or 12. I now have higher hopes for stud QB Jessie Scroggins. I think he'll press Barkley more than Corp or Mustain.
As the season progressed I saw no improvement in Barkley's, footwork, his reads or his forcing of passes. He still locks onto his primary receiver and recognizes the outlet pass too late. As opponents got more film of him he was easy to adjust to.Star Wars in Concert
USC was victimized with far too many crippling injuries, starting with the devastating near fatal loss of Stefon Johnson. With the bizarre nature of Stefon's injury coupled with the way the O and D line were pushed around its apparent to me that Carroll needs a new, invigorated Strength and Conditioning coach.
We also need a better O Coordinator. If Charlie Weiss hadn't been an ass and made his scandalous actionable comments about Pete Carroll I fantasized about him being the O-Coordinator. He'd actually have been a good fit and would have aggravated Carroll as much as Norm Chow had, and that partnership produced Championships. But with his criminally cruel lies I honestly think the man should be banned from football for life.
Jeremy Bates did nothing to develop Barkley and his play calling was far too NFL and completely dull and unimaginative.
The Emerald Bowl is too soon to see if there will be any chance for this group to rebound next year.
A to the NFL it's getting shocking in its mediocrity. Two weeks ago I was a very good 14-2 in my picks. Last week a not so stellar 10-6. I also got myself bounced out of the Survivor game by picking New England over Miami!

This week I've dreamed about the games and pondered them as I've walked and stalked the neighborhood with my puppy.
My picks are in bold.

Pittsburgh at Cleveland - Talk about a dire season. From SuperBowl Champs to getting hammered Little Men
Click images for desktop size: "Little Men" by Unknown
by the Browns. The Steelers are missing only one player, former Trojan Troy Polomanu. Without him it seems they are less than ordinary.

New Orleans at Atlanta - I've idolized Drew Brees since his days at Purdue and now he's proved its all worthwhile. Undefeated and looking indestructible, the little guy still finds time to be one of the major charitable rebuilders of the still devastated New Orleans. He's a great player who easily wears the demigod symbolism overcoming the suicide of his mother with his commitment to his community and his teammates. He is becoming legend and I want him to propel himself into history. The Falcons season is destructing with the injuries to Matt Ryan and Michael Turner. Ryan might come back this week but there's no word on Turner. The Falcons need the duo to compete.

New York Jets at Tampa Bay - Mark Sanchez is squawking? He's just a game manager right now Strange Invaders who needs to make a couple of plays a game. He's a good kid who listens and learns. The Buccaneers are showing life and getting competitive but now there's enough film for Ryan to adapt and fire up his under talented D.

Carolina at New England - The Patriots could be the biggest disappointment of 2009, except the Steelers seem to want that honor. They're at home and Brady is a new father. That should be Natalie Wood
Click images for desktop size: "Natalie Wood"
enough for some inspired play. Carolina is . . . 52 men strong or something.

Cincinnati at Minnesota - Game of the Week. The Vikings need to rebound. They were totally dismantled by Arizona last week. The Bengals need to win to keep their confidence up as they continue to over achieve. The Vikings have to prove that last week was a blip. They may have lost home field advantage in the playoffs but they still need to win the division. I'm taking the Bengals because of Carson Palmer and my love for Chad Ocho Cinco. I wish I could force the NFL to let Chad celebrate his scores. His antics and tough play are the highlight of any given NFL week. This one will be a burner.

Buffalo at Kansas City - Cruddy game of the week. I don't care that both teams are coming off of huge upset wins they stink.

Detroit at Baltimore - The Lions have decided to spare Matt Stafford a beating and sit him sown for this one. The Ravens will just be happy to get back onto a winning track I can't see the Lions Lonesome Cowboy
Click images for desktop size: "Lonesome Cowboy" by NFL Films
stopping them from doing anything they want to do.

Green Bay at Chicago - The Packer D is real and solid. I wonder if the Bears have anyone checking Jay Cutler's blood sugars. He is not as bad a player as he has looked. (I'm serious about the blood sugars)

Seattle at Houston - The Ho Hum game of the week. Two teams with nothing to play for. Why are we subjected to this?

Denver at Indianapolis - This could be interesting but probably not. The Colts are turning into monsters and the Broncos are working to stumble to finish the season at 500.

Miami at Jacksonville - This is a game that fails to fire the imagination. The Dolphins will be high off their stunning win over the Pats and the Jaguars will be desperate to save their jobs. It could prove interesting but won't produce much good football.
Swamp Thing
Washington at Oakland - Cruddy game of the Week II. The Redskins couldn't beat the Saints even though New Orleans was missing 4 starters. The Raiders beat somebody. We were all amazed.

St Louis at Tennessee - The Vince Young Titans hit the reality wall but the fantasy should start rolling again against the hapless Rams. Has Steve Jackson demanded a trade yet?

San Diego at Dallas - The Chargers are playing some decent football while the Cowboys are still pretending the NFC East is the toughest division in football . . . Philip Rivers or Tony Romo? Does Romo really think holding for field goals is going to spark the team? The HC agreed??

Arizona at San Francisco - The Cardinals look like they're ready for another run deep in the playoffs while the 49er's keep playing good football but just have too little talent to make it all work.

Philadelphia 27 at New York Giants 24 - The Giants look like a train wreck. The Eagles less so. I resent them allowing Michael Vick to contribute while not forcing him to honestly fulfill his promises to the community.

Comments

If you were still interested, you might take a look at using a Mac Mini in place of an Apple TV. The price is a little bit much, but it does have some interesting options for use as a media center. :)

Love your site - the random pictures sucked me in, your writing style kept me around.

Best, Rose

Rose, stick around. I've been following this for ages and you will learn that the pix tell their own story and aren't random at all.

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