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Tedy Bruschi (2) Fri, Dec 28, 2007
Tedy Bruschi, allstar linebacker for the New England Patriots and hero to many for his recovery from a stroke following the 2004-2005 season, bears a remarkable resemblance to CHiPs star Erik Estrada. 

[Image: tedybruschi-erikestrada.png]

I think about that every time I see him play. #entertainment

Onion fantasy football Fri, Dec 28, 2007
The Onion has a great fantasy football league called Shattered Expectations
You get a chance to win big by picking the biggest losers of the week every week. If you can pick the biggest bunch of disappointments, let-downs, and general losers-of-the-week from our pre-picked pool of underperforming superstars, you win $500. Predict a perfect train wreck of a season - 17 weeks' worth of overpaid fumbles, over-hyped interceptions, and dismal underproduction, and earn $5000. All it takes is a cool, calculated sense of cynicism, a discerning eye for the overrated, and a willingness to trust that sinking feeling in your gut.
It's too late in the season to get anywhere with it at the moment, but I'll definitely be participating next fall. #sports

New housing developments are ugly (6) Fri, Dec 28, 2007
Having grown up in an old house, I can appreciate the idea of a brand new house.  However, I can't appreciate the look of new housing developments.  They're ugly.  Butt ugly.  And I'm wondering why more people don't agree with me.  On the one hand, I don't know a single person who drives by one of those 20-McMansions-per-acre developments and says, "Wow, that's beautiful.  I like how you can reach out the window of one house and touch the house next to it."  But on the other hand, these crowded developments wouldn't exist if they weren't financially successful.  People are buying these huge houses and moving into these crowded neighborhoods.  And I just don't get it.  I understand the logic of maximizing the number of houses per square foot and even the number of square feet per house.  What I don't get is the logic of the buyers.  Who wants a huge house with no yard?  Who wants a house that looks exactly like the 47 other houses in the development?  I often don't care much about aesthetics and originality, but come on. #lifestyle

Tom Brady minifigure Thu, Dec 27, 2007
In the brouhaha over the NFL Network being stupid, the Consumerist said something unrelated yet quite funny:  "...Tom Brady's hair makes him look like a Lego."  How true.  To demonstrate, I created a comparison picture using Lego's own Digital Designer

[Image: tombradylego.png]

He's a beautiful man and a perfect football player, but he does look like a Lego minifigure. #sports

The importance-vacation paradox Thu, Dec 27, 2007
I'll define the importance-vacation paradox as follows: 
The more important an employee is, the more vacation time that employee will earn, and the less time that employee will be able to use it.
I've known about this concept for a while.  My dad would tell me about all the vacation time he had to burn up by the end of the year, and I would think, "Burn up?  How can you possibly have trouble using vacation time?" 

As a working stiff, I see this more and more, especially around the end of the year.  But I haven't been in the game long enough to experience it.  Or, more accurately, I'm currently experiencing the other end of the paradox, i.e. "the less important an employee is, the less vacation time that employee will earn, and the more time that employee will be able to use it."  In other words, I don't get as much vacation time as my co-worker who's been here for 20 years, but I can think of about 10 million different ways to use it, the least of which even includes the word "vacation".  It's because I'm not important.  I haven't been working here long enough that everything would fall apart if I wasn't here every day.  On the other end of the spectrum, my co-worker who's been here 20 years is literally too important (or so he thinks) to take any time off, fearing the economy will collapse and the world will end. 

Even though I know about this paradox and understand it to an extent, I can't fathom it ever affecting me in any reasonable way.  I doubt I'll ever be so important as to be unable to stay home from work.  I doubt I'll ever run out of things to do when I'm not at work.  I don't know ... maybe I'm a little short-sighted at the moment.  But I have a hard time believing I'll ever be unable to use my vacation time. #business

Log file analyzers Thu, Dec 27, 2007
For my future reference, here's a brief listing and comparison of server log file analyzers: 
  • AWStats - The one I currently use.  Written in Perl.  Not too ugly.  Unconfigurable.
  • Webalizer - Kinda ugly.  Looks to be configurable.
  • Analog - The one DreamHost uses.  Kinda ugly.  Looks to be configurable.
  • WebTrends - The one that costs money.
I might try Analog again.  DreamHost added a bunch of configuration options that seem to fix what I thought was wrong with it. #technology

Medical myths debunked Thu, Dec 27, 2007
The British Medical Journal recently exposed seven common medical myths: 
  1. People need to drink eight glasses of water per day
  2. Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight
  3. Shaving makes hair grow back faster or coarser
  4. Eating turkey makes you drowsy
  5. We use only 10 percent of our brains
  6. Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death
  7. Mobile phones are dangerous in hospitals
Some of the reasoning for the debunkage is a little tricky (e.g. stubble appears courser because it doesn't include the taper of normal hair), but otherwise it's pretty interesting. #health

Miller-Coors vs. Bud Thu, Dec 27, 2007
Important beer news:  Miller has agreed to merge with Coors by mid-2008 in order to compete with Bud.  This is big news, unless you only drink snobby New England beers or Yuengling. #food

Ironic advertising Tue, Dec 25, 2007
Apparently, AT&T advertises its "works in more places like..." network in places where it doesn't even work. 
The ads are appearing in the tunnels and trains of Washington DC Metro, a real place, where AT&T really doesn't work.

I think before ATT works on getting their wireless network in places that don't exist, they should focus on getting their cell phones to work in places where they advertise cell phone service.
It's kinda like when I went to Walmart last week and waited in long lines for one of only THREE checkout people while Walmart's own commercial was playing on the TVs in the checkout lanes, saying, "This holiday season, we're employing more checkout people so you don't have to wait in long lines."  Thanks, jerks. #entertainment

Tell on me (1) Wed, Dec 19, 2007
Yesterday, I received an email at work that looked like this: 
Subject:  URGENT Safety Alert
To:  Everyone
Attachments:  Safety.doc

Please read, post and execute immediately. 
Thank you.
Like I've said before, if you don't take the time to write a good email, I won't take the time to read it.  If you tell me to read an attachment for some "urgent" or "important" information, I'll ignore it simply because it's in an attachment. 

Just for fun, I looked at the attachment.  It was about ice on the sidewalks and how we should be careful to not break our skulls open so nobody gets sued.  Appropriate, yet stupid.  The contents of the message could have been easily summarized in one line:  "Watch out for ice on the sidewalks."  Done.  Again just for fun, I replied to the email and said this: 
Subject:  RE: URGENT Safety Alert
To:  Original Sender

If it's that urgent, why put it in an attachment?  People are less likely to read an attachment than the actual body of an email message.
I phrased it in such a way as to come across as a semi-criticism while not sounding too mean (since I don't even know this person).  I also only replied to the original sender because it wasn't appropriate for a reply-all.  I sat back in my chair and snickered. 

About an hour later, I got a response: 
Subject:  RE: URGENT Safety Alert
To:  Me
Cc:  My boss; my boss's boss; her boss; her boss's boss

The reason for sending an attachment is that [some group] in [some department] wanted to accentuate the urgency of the matter with descriptive lettering.  Also, our e-mail system does not allow us to use anything other than Rich Text format. 

Since you have taken the time to ask the question, I've taken the time to answer it.
My heart stopped when I read the Cc line.  She told on me.  She replied to not only my boss, but to my boss's boss, a person I haven't even met because he's too important.  People lose their jobs for less than this.  I was a bit scared to say the least. 

But then I thought about it.  I hoped to get a reply from my boss's boss saying something like, "Yo lady, what's your problem?  You're telling on this guy for some petty little bullcrap?  Grow up."  I didn't get a response from anybody (yet).  Feeling proactive, I went to tell my boss to expect the email in his mail box, but he had already read it.  And he was laughing.  He said to not worry about it and proceeded to tell me a story about a guy who sent an angry email to the biggest boss in the place, and even he didn't lose his job.  I was relieved.  I said, "If I knew I was dealing with a child, I wouldn't have sent that email." 

In conclusion, a great way to get me to hate you is to tell on me. #technology

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