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It’s the final countdown…

Some therapeutic blogging before tomorrow’s AI exam steals my soul away.

  • In politics, the big news is the primaries tomorrow in Indiana and North Carolina; Hillary is up in Indiana, while Obama is up in North Carolina. A couple controversies the last few days and weeks have made this pretty much a deadlocked race.

    First, Rush Limbaugh is calling for all Republicans to vote Hillary Clinton, in what he calls “Operation: Chaos”. I agree with Rush Limbaugh a lot of the time (definitely not all the time), but Operation: Chaos seems destined for disaster. Anytime you try and influence your opponent without worrying about yourself is a bad idea – although, Rush may realize that John McCain doesn’t really have much to brag about, so this may be his only move.

    Second, the gas tax holiday. Totally agree with Barack Obama on this one – it’s a classic Washington move that’ll save us maybe $5, once. Instead of worrying about a gas tax holiday, let’s figure out how to keep gas prices down. I’d much rather pay $3 for gas all the time than $3.50 most of the time and not have to pay tax once.

  • The Indians are struggling, and it looks like they’re finally going to take my advice and call up Ben Francisco. If it were me, I’d try and package Andy Marte and Jason Michaels in a deal for some single-A prospects and call up Francisco and Josh Barfield to take their places. Ben Francisco may not be the ideal situation, but it’s better than having career role players Jason Michaels and David Dellucci handle left field – Michaels is a liability offensively, and Dellucci is a liability defensively.

    I hope Travis Hafner watches Baseball Tonight, because for the first time since last year I’ve seen video evidence as to why Travis Hafner is struggling. Steve Phillips (I know, right? Second time he’s said something smart… like, ever) pointed out that Hafner’s stance is incredibly spread out at the plate and that instead of keeping his hands up and driving the ball for line drives, he’s dropping his hands before he swings and thus either hitting fly ball outs or rolling over top and hitting grounders. He needs to get it going, particularly with Victor Martinez’s power outage of late.

Sorry about the lack of updates lately – hopefully after tomorrow (or maybe the next day, got a lot of stuff to move), I’ll be able to update more regularly.

Early Friday tidbits

It’s March 14th today (Pi Day, for those who are unaware) and as I write this, it’s 43 degrees outside! I hope we’ve seen the last of winter, but I doubt it. Anyway, onto the the musings:

  • ESPN.com is running a nice piece on Travis Hafner. I’ve said for a while that Hafner is just as good as Jim Thome on the field, if not much better, and as this article shows, Hafner is just as good off the field. There are many reasons he’s my favorite player on the Indians and his sense of humor is just one of them. (The fact that he never struck out used to be, until last year, when he, you know, struck out a lot. Hopefully that changes this year.)
  • Got some new business cards at Lazorpoint. They’re nice, although it just says “Jimmy Sawczuk”, not “Jimmy Sawczuk, Programmer Extraordinaire” like I requested.
  • I got around to updating my website, http://www.jimmysawczuk.com/, today. There’s a little link to the blog in the navigation bar and everything’s a different shade of blue than it used to be. Also…
  • Google Calendar now syncs with Outlook! This is the main reason I don’t keep a calendar because its mostly a tremendous pain to update and actually use, but now that I can use Outlook and Google Calendar concurrently, maybe I will. There’s a link to my calendar on JimmySawczuk.com for everyone looking to plan their Jimmy time.
  • The delegate war between Obama and Clinton continues. Florida has apparently come up with a plan to “redo” their primaries, and not surprisingly, it was rejected. Seriously, a mail-in primary? Are you kidding me? Dear Florida: Make a website at http://www.voteinprimary.fl.us/. Open some public computer labs, or allow people to vote from home, people would log in using their SSN or Driver’s license ID and pick a candidate. And guess what: counting would not only be instantaneous, but it would be accurate! That would be a huge step up for Florida who has had problems doing arithmentic for years. I’ll even help you write some of the code, for the counting:

    SELECT CandidateChosen, COUNT(VoteID) FROM tblVotes GROUP BY CandidateChosen

    Ah, the power of SQL. (See? I blogged about something technical!)
  • Quote of the day (and this has been my away message before, but it’s worth repeating):
    I left the comedy club there and walked down the street. On one corner, there was a Starbucks. And across the street, from that Starbucks, in the exact same building as that Starbucks, was a Starbucks. At first I thought the sun was playing tricks on my eyes. But no, there was a Starbucks, across from a Starbucks. And that, my friends, is the end of the universe.

    Lewis Black
  • By the way, Lewis Black may be my favorite comedian to listen to, especially about politics because while I may have a calm demeanor on the outside, Lewis Black does a good job of showing the rage I sometimes feel on the inside.

Sorry about the lack of updates this week. When I’m working there’s not as much to talk about because I try to keep the specifics of what I do at work confidential, but hopefully I’ll be back to my usual pace next week. Until then, have a good Friday and weekend!

Musings from KSL

A couple little tidbits from high atop Kelvin Smith Library (which, if you’ve seen Air Force One, is adjacent to the Presidential Palace of Kazakhstan):

  • Picked up a half pound of Schuil Coffee‘s “Michigan Maple”. Wow. What an unbelievable smell! I fully recommend this product to anyone who likes the smell of maple syrup and the taste of Einstein Bros. Vanilla Hazelnut coffee.
  • Finished my paper on Kim Philby, who I had never heard of before last week and now am convinced is the coolest spy ever.
  • Anyone hear Hank Steinbrenner (owner of the New York Yankees) yesterday? I think he simply said what a lot of us have been thinking for years (including me – see this entry from last fall).
  • I think its interesting that politicians (in general) talk about what they have done and compare their record to someone else’s. Does that really matter? What do I care if Obama smoked marijuana in college (which I think he admitted to) if Hillary’s plan for peace in the Middle East involves killing all men? I don’t want to hear about what you have done, I want to hear about what you plan to do.
  • That goes for blaming others too (ahem, Obama): regardless of whether or not you feel Bush was right to go into Iraq, to support NAFTA or whatever, it’s done. You can’t do anything about it, why make excuses? I’m pretty sure no one has forgotten who invaded Iraq.
  • Before you decide to not vote on March 4, take a moment and think of all the people who have died so that you have that right. I abstained from voting once, a couple years ago, and then talked with a veteran who reminded me of that – no matter how frustrated you are with the political system, it is by the grace of God and the blood of our forefathers that we have the right to choose a new political system instead of simply having to deal with it.

You may have noticed the “Morning Coffee” add-on on the right hand side of the page. I plan simply putting whatever coffee I have in my cupboard in that box – I think I’m turning into a coffee junkie, maybe.

Blogger vs. Blogger

So it looks like we’ll have another platform war, albeit this time we’ll probably be arguing about Linux vs. Windows, Democratic vs. Republican as opposed to vJournal vs. McJournal. Anyway, welcome back to the blogosphere, Mike. (And you’re welcome for linking my 11 visitors/day to your site, by the way.)

Watched the debate last night. As our favorite Stanley Hudson would say, “This here is a run-out-the-clock situation. Just like upstairs,” and that’s what Obama did. It was pretty interesting to watch Hillary try to feel out her best strategy kind of as she went – she came out swinging but pulled back a little bit later on. Another thing I noticed, when Tim Russert asked Obama about the anti-Semintic supporter who “endorsed” Obama, Clinton tried to take that opportunity to make Obama mess up but Obama was able to correct himself in time. (For the record, he was right – it’s a free country, whoever wants to support him should be able to support him, he can’t stop them.)

I’m getting pretty sick of these endorsements, on that topic. I read today that Senator Sherrod Brown is not going to endorse a candidate. What a huge loss! First of all, anyone know who Sherrod Brown is? If you do, does anyone care who he supports for President? Are we all on pins and needles like, “Whoever Brown endorses is sure to work directly with him every day to make sure what Sherrod Brown wants gets done…this could be huge”?

Maybe for some of you the answer is yes, but for me, I couldn’t care less who Sherrod Brown, Oprah Winfrey, Jon Stewart, or Chris Rock wants to be president, and it must be annoying to CNN and Fox News to analyze these meaningless trivialities. That’s not to say there aren’t meaningful endorsements: Madeleine Albright (Bill Clinton’s former secretary of state, supporting Clinton), Ted Kennedy (Senator, supporting Obama), Rudy Giuliani (ex-presidential candidate, supporting McCain) or Chuck Norris (Dr. Awesome, supporting Huckabee… okay, maybe that last one is a little meaningless, but still cool). My point is that I don’t care who Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, 50 Cent, Terrell Owens, or Peyton Manning wants to be president.

Campaign Finance Reform

I don’t know if anyone noticed this, but I put some ads on this blog because a) it was easy, and b) it’s a great way to earn an extra 30 cents a month. Google AdSense, which handles those ads as well as a lot of others you see around the web, looks at the content of the page currently being viewed and generates ads that match keywords in that text – so AdSense on www.indians.com would probably serve baseball-related ads.

Anyway, I find it somewhat humorous that as I view this blog today, all of my ads are related to the current presidential campaign. Campaign finance reform, eh? I think every candidate should tell every voter to visit my blog for more information regarding who to vote for.

P.S. I just thought of this – what would happen if Google AdSense was installed on Google AdSense’s website? My theory is that the Internet would blow up.