Hey! My new website is Section 411. It's a lot like this site, except it's about 100% newer. Click here to check it out!

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose

Jim Thome

Last night, Jim Thome clubbed his 600th career home run into the bullpen at Comerica Park. As he rounded first base, the man who has almost 100 more home runs with the Indians than any other Indian, the man who is tied for the all-time lead in walk off home runs, the owner of the 17th- and 34th-best career OPS and OBP, respectively, and the man with the eighth most home runs in baseball history, Jim Thome simply pumped his fist in the air and ran around the bases. As he got to home plate, it was tough to tell who was happier: his teammates or his family. Thome smiled too, but it was one of his trademark, humble smiles that really embodied his chase towards 600 home runs: just a great guy who happened to be a great hitter that stuck around for a while.

Codenamed “The Experiment”

New look, same brilliant writing! ... Oh, don't make that face. It's not like you were paying for it.

New look, same brilliant writing! ... Oh, don't make that face. It's not like you were paying for it.

Welcome to the new Cleveland, Curveballs and Common Sense, codenamed “The Experiment”! Go ahead and take a look around, then come on back and I’ll show you around.

Last year, around this time, I started thinking about redesigning my blog. I was working on implementing a WordPress theme from scratch at work; with Stephen Stanton (and his boss Josh Laney) providing the graphics and creative vision, all I had to do was write the code that powered a new WordPress site for our Chasing Trophy Whitetails brand. On my end, there were some neat technical things with the theme like an HTML5 image gallery and automatic generation of OpenGraph tags. It seemed pretty fun and pretty easy at the time, and so I quickly became eager to write a theme for my own blog and transfer some of that new knowledge over.

But it’s not even close to that easy: it takes skill and talent to create and execute a WordPress theme design, and so I flustered for almost a year, coming up with various ideas but nothing good enough to make me want to switch.

A challenger appears

If you look on my company’s team page, you’ll find my picture captioned “Overrater”. I take this caption somewhat in stride, because being involved in developing many of the analytic algorithms at our office means that I’m spending a lot of my days “rating” client’s Facebook Pages and presences. The reason the caption is there though, is that I have a strong tendency to not be impressed with things most people seem to like (“Shark Week”, “Avatar”, “Top Gun”, college football, to name a few) and call them overrated.

Which brings me to Google’s new, much touted social network called, simply: Google Plus. Google+ isn’t Google’s first entry into the social arena, but it’s their newest and inarguably their strongest. And while Google enjoyed excellent early reviews as well as an early influx of 10 million enthusiastic users, my impressions of Google+ are much less enthusiastic. My initial impressions of what’s wrong with Google+, after the break.