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Monthly Archives: April 2005

photos for the masses

Since it is the last day of the month, I used up my remaining monthly quota on flickr and built a new photoset, The Evolution of Oscar, which has 10 photos over the past 6 months documenting my cat Oscar’s life so far. Hard to believe he’s only about 6 months old, given that he seems to be almost full size now. He seems to have stopped getting longer, but is still growing wider. Sometimes I wish he was back to being the tiny kitten we brought home that would fall down if he tried to take more than a few steps at a time.

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when did speech become free?

Just got back from a wasted trip to the doctor’s office that will probably end up costing me a couple hundred bucks, only to hear that I should take some Advil and get some rest. So I’m not in a great mood. And here’s the news of the day:

– Wal-Mart flexed it’s corporate strongarm today in shutting down this parody website. Since when did satire become illegal? Apparently ever since the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) was passed. It seems to be one of those vague laws that powerful corporations can use to screw the little man who doesn’t want to enter an expensive, multi-year legal battle.

– While on the subject of Wal-Mart, I encourage everyone to sign up for the “Love Mom, Not Wal-Mart” campaign here and let them know that their pattern of discrimination against women will not continue to be tolerated.

– On a better note, I stopped off at my local Giant Eagle grocery store today to pick up a couple things, and see at the bottom of my receipt that I’m entitled to 20 cents off every gallon of gas at their gas station! Their gas was the same price as the other local stations, so that 20 cents off made it a no-brainer. I’m sure they’re still making money off me, but it feels good to be rewarded in some way. For more info, check out their FuelPerks site here.

dug out

Things are finally back to normal from the big storm. I read in the paper (link) and saw on the news that the city I call home, Broadview Heights, had 21 inches of snow between this past Saturday and Monday morning. Meanwhile, downtown Cleveland which is a mere 12 miles away, had not an inch of snow on the ground. All of the snow was of the “wet and heavy” variety, which does not bode well for things such as trees & powerlines. We lost power Sunday afternoon at 3:30pm, and it did not come back on until 8:30pm Monday night. So I was able to get some reading done, and hang out with friends who were nice enough to let me use their power.

Whatever happened to April showers?


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Originally uploaded by thespacerace.

I woke up this morning and looked out the window, and just wanted to crawl back into bed for the day. Earlier this week we hit 80 degrees for the first time this year. And now this, our second straight day of snow, enough to cover the ground, down some tree limbs and power lines, and make everyone in Northeast Ohio reconsider their reasons for living here. Apparently we’ve gotten snow as late as early May, but nothing of the measurable variety. And they’re saying we could get another 6 inches today? Good thing the Indians are out on the west coast. This might have caused them to go further into hibernation, which they have not fully gotten out of yet…at least not the batters.

UPDATE: Power went out at 3:30, and has been out for now 3 hours. Thank goodness for girlfriends with computers for their nerdy boyfriends.

Everything has a price these days

I ran across this story the other day about the zoo in San Francisco and how it plans to auction off the naming rights to two grizzly bears. I’m sure they hope an individual wins the auction, but I’m sure there are plenty of companies chomping at the bit to get in on this. Maybe ‘Coca’ & ‘Cola’? Is nothing safe anymore from advertisers money? Next thing you know they’ll strap some ads on their back and make them walking billboards.

Google maps

By now, everyone knows about Google’s recent addition, it’s new Maps tool, complete with satellite images (if you click the ‘Satellite’ link along the top right toolbar). Well, given that people have had some time to play with it, there have been plenty of interesting things to be found. Wired recently posted this article which includes a slide show of some interesting finds, including pictures of the Tsunami when it was happening. There are also some interesting finds on this site, including my favorite, the White House and it’s “erased rooftops”. Also, there is this new blog dedicated to highlighting some of the more interesting map finds.

BlogPulse

A few weeks ago, I came across Intelliseek’s BlogPulse site, and have been hooked ever since. By it’s own definition, it is “an automated trend discovery system for blogs and a portal into the blogosphere.” In more simple terms, it tracks what people are blogging about (giving top keywords, links, people), and also provides a very good search engine for blogs, with nearly 10 million in it’s index. However, I am still a big fan of Technorati since you can enter a URL and find all of the sites which link to it.

Cleveland Indians home opener


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Originally uploaded by thespacerace.

Today I attended the home opener for the Cleveland Indians for the second time in two years. I love baseball, especially the Indians, so the home opener is a celebration of the new season and the hope that comes with it that the team can win it all. Unfortunately, for quite a few people it’s just an excuse to skip out on work and get drunk in the middle of the day. Fortunately, a lot of those people usually end up spending more time at the beer stand or in the bar than they do in their seats.

I assumed it was going to be pretty warm, since it was in the mid 60s when I left work at noon. But by the time we got downtown near Lake Erie, they was a stiff 30mph constant wind, and the temperature was about 48 degrees. If you were in the sun, you were warm. Otherwise, it was pretty chilly. Fortunately, our seats were a little on the 1st base side of home plate, which received sun most of the game. Unfortunately, the Indians could not pull it out and lost to the Chicago White Sox 2-1, as their offense has yet to really get going so far this season.

I’m not overly optimistic about the team’s chances this year. They are going to be competitive, but I do not think they have what it takes to make it to the playoffs and beyond. Everyone has been looking for a solid offense, but there has been no signs of that so far this year. I’m excited about the addition of Kevin Millwood and the stability of the starting rotation, but I really think that Bob Wickman is far from the closer a winning team needs. Hopefully we do not see many repeats of his horrible debut this season, but I’m not holding my breath that it won’t happen again.

A night out on the town

Being the old man that I have become, it is not often that I spend a night out on the town. However, this past Friday was an exception to that rule. Having secured a pair of tickets to the sold out Black Keys show at the Lime Spider, I decided to make it an Akron appreciation night.

First off, Kristy and I stopped by Square Records where I picked up a couple CDs from old bands that I’d had on my want list. We then wandered next door to Revival, a cool vintage clothing store that, among other things, features the latest shirts from the Rubber City Clothing Co, which sells Akron-themed shirts.

After our brief shopping stop, it was off to get some food. And what better place to eat in Akron than Luigi’s. We had to wait in a line that went well out the door for about 15 minutes, but it was a nice day, so we didn’t mind. Once inside, the obvious choice for dinner was a large pizza. After a brief feast of bread, we quickly took care of the pizza and did not feel like doing much else. But we had a show to go to!

So we headed over a few blocks and found a prime parking spot in the garage next to Canal Park, and best of all it was free! We then headed to the Spider and sat through some horrible, horrible local bands that had been picked for this benefit show. I would say the average age of the band members of all the bands was darn close to 50, as was most of the crowd. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it was just weird to feel like the young ones at a show for once. Finally, around 1 am, the Black Keys hit the stage and tore it up. You can check out my review (and some pictures) here.

So thank you city of Akron for providing me with an enjoyable evening in your fair city.

Should be a holiday

Today is quite possibly my favorite day of the year…opening day for baseball. It’s pretty much the unofficial harbinger of the end of winter (for those of us who live in places that have seasons). Back in college, I would literally stay inside all day and watch hours upon hours of games from noon until midnight. Unfortunately, being a working man now, I only was able to watch a few hours after I arrived home this evening as all of today’s games were early starts. The Indians lost 1-0, but the Mariners won, so it was a so-so day. Can’t wait until I take the afternoon off work next Monday to watch the Indians home opener. I just hope it’s not 30 and snowy like it was last year.

Although baseball is considered to be our “national pastime”, it is hard to find true baseball fans these days. Most people I talk to prefer football or basketball and merely tolerate baseball as the “other” major sport, saying it’s too slow and boring to watch. While it might not be wall-to-wall action like some other sports, I personally find it the most enjoyable to watch. I can even listen to a whole game on the radio and enjoy it as much as if I was there. Hopefully a time will come again when people of my generation can come to enjoy baseball as much as I do.