Saturday, December 7, 2013

Things I Didn't Know The Marine Corps Taught Me

I am currently creating a project plan using BAMCIS & SMEAC. It has take 23 years to realize that 03 small unit leaders are fully qualified project managers. Don't believe me? Use MS Project to plan a raid.

It's unlikely you'll hear this during TAP, so if you're an 03 Platton Sergeant or below on your way out and don't feel like defaulting to Police Officer, pay heed.

Monday, August 5, 2013

You'd Better Thank Your Lucky Stars Frank Boulton Blessed Your Town With a Team

This is not a baseball blog. I'm just not that kind of fan. But I am a homer, and I do know when my team sucks because ownership doesn't give a damn. From time to time you'll see some of that. Sometimes about the Mets, but mostly about the Bridgeport Bluefish.




This evening there was a lively conversation about the recognition of Luis Lopez, Bluefish third baseman for the last 22 years, with a paper certificate. This got me going and my sister, Bluefish fan blogger Vivianna (her blog), and eventually the above pearls of wisdom spilled from the face of one Michael Pfaff, the general manager of 'fish cross-sound rival Long Island Ducks. Basically his contribution was "you'll eat your dirt, and you'll like it".

I'm having a very difficult time doing this without working blue, but I wanted to expand on what 140 characters wouldn't allow me to fully express. So here goes.

Mike, I don't enjoy baseball in Bridgeport. None of us do. It's not what you think though. We want baseball in Bridgeport. We love baseball in Bridgeport. But what Frank Boulton has left us with in Bridgeport is not baseball.

Don't get me wrong. We all breathed a giant, if cautious, sigh of relief when we heard he was buying the team; we didn't want to lose our beloved 'fish. But for the last 5 years, we've seen nothing to indicate that he did anything more than keep that 8th team around for a balanced schedule. We watched in agony as Tommy John drew a paycheck while watching the game from the dugout. We tore our hair out as we watched Boulton's Long Island Ducks sign big name after big name while the 'fish became less and less relevant. We've watched Willie Upshaw, still the only manager with a title, perform every coaching function in his 2 year slide into mediocrity.

I'm not sure what exactly you think it is I should be kissing Frank Boulton's feet for, Michael Pfaff, but your version of events differs greatly from what we have witnessed firsthand in the Park City since 2008, and the only thing we'll be grateful for is Boulton finding a buyer or group of buyers who know how to run a ball club, because what he continues to put on the field in Bridgeport is an insult to the fans, the Bluefish staff and grounds crew, and the city of Bridgeport.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Motorola X: The Android Phone for Everyone Else

"OMG! I hate this Honda Accord with all the options that runs so smoothly and is so easy to use! I'd rather have that car I put together myself with a Ferrari engine, because the engine is so much better than the Accord engine. But I need this gas pedal this other guy designed because his is much better than the one I have. And this other guy put together a much better braking system, let me put that in too. Ok, now my car is better than that POS Honda Accord that... Hey, where'd it go?" - Every idiot who thinks what's inside a phone is more important than the phone actually working.

Have you ever noticed the way an iPhone responds instantly to what you do. No, of course not, because the iPhone was designed with that in mind. It was designed to do what you want when you want it to. You don't notice it because it's what you expect to happen. I have not used a single non-iOS device that responds as quickly & smoothly to user input. How 'bout battery life? How many phones not named iPhone have that kind of battery life at that size? None, that's how many. Until now.

Motorola X is that nicely appointed Honda Accord. HTC One, Samsung GS4, etc, may have that engine under the hood, but the experience is nothing like the smooth responsiveness of iOS, which, 6 year on, is still the gold standard of user experience. Moto X gives you that by engineering the hardware & the software as one (sound familiar?), resulting in a user experience where you're not waiting for things to happen, they're happening.

And that price tag? Well, that price tag created 2,000 jobs in Ft Worth, Texas. I personally have friends from that area that will directly & indirectly benefit from the boost to the local economy. Those are 2,000 less American jobs shipped overseas for corporate gain without benefit to the US. That price tag makes it so, for the first time, you can make your phone to order, with personalized color options never before seen in the industry. If you think that's minor, take a look at the billions of different protective case options on any street in the US from people just walking by. People will pay $60 dollars for a case the reflects their taste, you think there may be a market for making your phone itself do that? That price tag makes it so you don't sit there looking like an idiot waiting for your camera app to open, so you don't miss that one shot you'll never have another chance to take.

In short, there is a VERY small, VERY vocal minority out there who don't actually use their phones for what it was meant, and to them the Moto X is a disappointment. They will let you know, loudly, and often. Do not take their criticisms as advice. Ask one simple question: "Can this phone do this thing that I need it to do, do it well, and do it in a way that brings me joy?" If the answer is yes, than that is the phone for you.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Star Wars: Rebels "Hurray! A New Show! Crap! A New Show!"

Very exciting news from Star Wars Celebration Europe, peppered, of course with really crappy news.

We all knew Disney would be making a lot of marketing/licensing decisions we weren't going to like, but let's not kid ourselves, we knew we'd let them have a hundred Phineas & Ferb crossover episodes if it meant just one new, good property for us.

Well, be careful what you wish for. We are, in fact, getting a new TV show after CW ends on Cartoon Network, and while that is joyful news, it should be tempered by the knowledge that Disney is going to make us pay for it. Stating during the panel that the pilot on Disney Channel "will be followed by a series on Disney XD channels around the world", Disney let us know many of us would have to upgrade our cable packages in order to enjoy it.

Don't get me wrong, when I read the show was using McQuarrie's stuff for reference I was immediately on board, but sadly I will not be paying Comcast AND Disney to watch this. So waiting for "other" options, usually available the next day.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Karen! Why Have You Forsaken Us?!

I refuse to watch "Star Wars: The Clone Wars".

I'm sure it's a good show, with excellent writing and all that other stuff that makes a television show good. What I can't abide is the mockery that has become of the period between Episodes II & III.

I am, by definition, not a purist, devouring every last morsel the EU has to offer, from the origins of Jabba the Hutt's relationship with Han Solo in the trilogy of novels named after him, to novelized accounts of marginal movie characters that played a much larger role as the EU grew exponentially with each new tome. This was my canon. Intricate, diverse, fleshed out.

Sadly, that world was rent asunder when Lucasfilm decided to completely revamp what it meant to be Mandalorian. Mandalore went from thousands of years of warrior culture as the backdrop for the origins of Jango and Boba Fett, the Cuy'val Dar, and the clones themselves, to a pacifist society trying to recover from nuclear near-annihilation on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. "But Sarge, you don't watch the show, why worry? The novels haven't changed" you might say. True enough, as I said, I'm not a true purist, who eschews everything save the 6 cinematic ventures committed to celluloid, but there's one problem. That TV show is now part of canon. Everything that happens on the show, from Asajj Ventress suddenly being Dathomiri and a Night Sister to boot, to Boba Fett being "raised" by Aurra Sing and a gang of bounty hunters, instantly impacts every novel, short story or comic ever written.

Karen Traviss, author of the Republic Commando series of novels that introduced many of us to the Mandalorian culture on a level never before explored, had everything she'd written in those novels essentially wiped out by that one short story arc on the show. We will never know what happened to happened to Niner and Dar, never delve into what happened to the rest of the Skirata clan on Mandalor. She bailed out of the sequel to "Imperial Commando: 501st" and will not write another Star Wars novel.

Finally, the very reason I wrote this, actually, is that at the end of the current season, arguably one of the most loved characters in the history of the franchise, a young Wookiee named Chewbacca will be introduced the show. I cringe at the possible changes this may bring to the Expanded Universe. Will Han and Leia's visit to Kashyyyk be retconned out of the Thrawn trilogy? Might Han be found aboard the Purge with Nien Nunb instead of the walking carpet?

Who knows, perhaps this may be the one thing Lucas doesn't mess with... I certainly hope so. But I doubt it.