December 16, 2014

Pass

I was listening to this episode of the B.S. Report today (I know, I know, I’m waaay behind) and after finding myself surprisingly interested in some of the more obscure NBA talk, something hit me like a ton of bricks: I don’t really follow any sport or segment of sports (college, professional, amateur, etc) with any sort of depth or attention. The NFL (because of fantasy football) or, shockingly, MLB because of the resurgent Orioles are probably the closest thing to a sport I follow. And so what hit me is that I think I’m ready to start following a sport again, and I’m actually seriously considering making it the NBA.

Here are my ridiculous reasons why:

– When I do listen to the B.S. Report, NBA basketball is usually my favorite topic.

– Since Michael Jordan retired from the Bulls for good, I haven’t really had a team that I cheer for passionately. This means I’m slightly less prone to get so heavily invested in one team’s success that the ebbs and flows won’t have as great of an impact on me emotionally (this is the reason why I have to distance myself as much as I do from college sports).

– I love the Spurs and Popovich and the way they play/win. I sorely want Brad Stevens to give up on the NBA and come to Raleigh to coach the Wolfpack (i.e. I’m intrigued by his story as well). And I’m so glad to see Steve Kerr succeeding so far with Golden State (though his success comes at the expense of no longer appearing on the B.S. Report regularly).

– It’s expensive, but not so outlandishly expensive as to be completely out of reach on Apple TV.

So that’s my first pass at a persuasive argument in favor of buying NBA League Pass. What say ye? Am I crazy?

November 19, 2014

Don’t Just Give Them the Business

Every year around this time, I pay extra close attention to what’s going on at my favorite logistics provider and former employer1. After last year’s debacle I expect – no wait, I demand – that they come back in a big way this year. It seems like they’ve made a serious commitment in that direction, but I have to admit this opening paragraph from a report by Reuters gave me a bit of pause:

United Parcel Service Inc’s chief executive officer said on Monday the company’s closer collaboration with major retailers should bring a smooth holiday season, but he said UPS would charge customers more or even refuse packages if last-minute sales by a major customer threaten the company’s system.

So, in other words, “if you threaten our business by giving us your business, we’re going to give you the business.”

Tough, but fair. I guess?

  1. I am, after all, still a shareholder.
October 11, 2014

Fighting Fair

As of yesterday, Malala Yousafzai, age 17, now owns the distinction of being the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Her humble response, via Medium:

I believe the Nobel committee didn’t give this award to me. I believe they have done this because they believe education is the best weapon through which we can fight poverty, ignorance and terrorism.

I can’t say I remember ever hearing or reading Malala’s name before yesterday, but her words have been inspiring since. I’ve been especially impacted by this clip of her appearance on The Daily Show from a year ago.

September 27, 2014

How Beautiful If Nothing More

Coinciding with my peak obsession for music was the arrival and (mis)education of Lauryn Hill. But maybe it’s time, as Stefan Schumacher suggests in a piece on Medium, to just let her go be who she is and let what she already gave us be what it is:

It occurred to me that, as great as Miseducation and The Fugees’ The Score are, they’re part of a distant past. Lauryn Hill was a great artist. She’s not anymore and it’s time we stop holding her in that regard, waiting for her to pay off on a promise that’s long since expired.

In fact, accepting this makes me appreciate what she’s already given us even more.

Update: Talib Kweli Greene chimes in with a poignant artist’s perspective, “In Defense of Ms. Hill“.

September 8, 2014

Watch This

Relative to all of the things that are going on in the world today, tomorrow’s Apple announcement is really quite small. I have to admit, though, I’m enthralled. The event is shaping up to be bigger than any other in recent memory and that’s exciting for Apple fans to say the least.

Lots of people think they know what to expect in terms of a new phone, and they’re probably right. Others expect a wearable of some sort to be announced, probably a watch-like device. I don’t know that a wearable is a must have for me, but if it is a watch and if I can run, record my route (GPS), listen to music via Bluetooth headphones, and track my heart rate without my phone, I’m sold. Anything else and I make no promises.

Update: it gives me a small amount of hope that my wish list for an Apple wearable is not unique.

August 24, 2014

Two Years In

I’m two years into my lifetime undergraduate degree education for fatherhood. It goes without saying, though it very often is said, that it’s the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever encountered. Every day, I’m learning more and more how to be a better follower of Christ, a better husband, a better son, a better friend, a better employee. Often, improvement in one area may cause a decline in another. It is the balance of life, a goal that isn’t unique to any of us even though our path to achieve it may be. Though we can share the things we learn, I find most often I’m learning by trial and error. Painful as it sometimes can be, trial and error gets results. More importantly, trial and error practically forces you to be present in the moment; make sure you’re paying attention.

I’m not batting a thousand in this, but in the moments when I’m feeling frustrated or aggravated, I try really hard to remind myself to just be present; to stop worrying about what I have to do later or what this moment is keeping me from. I try to remember that I won’t have this moment forever, that though it doesn’t seem like it right now, I might one day regret not cherishing this moment more. I think about the hundreds, possibly thousands of pictures we’ve captured, and the millions more we didn’t capture, moments exactly like this one, this one in a million moment and we’re only two years in.

August 22, 2014

The Simpsons

FXX is celebrating the launch of cable syndication of The Simpsons with a 12 day non-stop marathon of every Simpsons episode ever. Inevitably, the launch set off an avalanche of best-of episode and quote posts.

The episode archive is too rich and my memory too short to pick even a few favorites, but the quotes that stand out for me are Ralph’s “My cat’s breath smells like cat food” and Rainier Wolfcastle’s proclamation of his enormous SUV’s “one highway, zero city” gas mileage.

July 16, 2014

Don’t Change Your Plans Over Nothing

A week ago, the forecast suggested that our beach mini-vacation would be filled with a 100% chance of rain two of the three days and 80% on the last day. Now, the forecast looks like this1. Yes, please.

  1. You’re looking at the forecast if it’s a future date, actual weather if the date has past. Hopefully, there aren’t any significant changes in the next 48 hours.
July 12, 2014

Compacting Music

Two Mondays ago I loaded 80% of my entire CD collection into the back of my car and headed over to a used books and music store to see what they’d take off my hands. I walked out of there only 68 CDs lighter than I walked in, and I’m not quite sure the $1 per CD really made the entire exercise worth my effort and gas. And then, a week later, Steven Hyden writes The CD Case for Grantland, kicking off an ongoing inner conflict of regret and resolve.

As for the CD format, I can’t imagine listening to, say, Green Day’s Dookie any other way. Dookie is to CDs what Creedence is to vinyl. It is a record resting eternally in the collective memories of aging music fans, a lost piece of data tucked inside scarcely used multidisc changers and laundry baskets full of shit leftover from collegiate apartments. The Beastie Boys’ Check Your Head is like that, too. So are Odelay, Siamese Dream, and Exile in Guyville. You can’t hear those records without anticipating the parts where the disc is scratched to hell and won’t stop skipping.

He’s right. And worse than that, I think my copy of Dookie might have been in one of those boxes.

July 9, 2014

A Pick Me Up Too Late

Somehow I missed this from three months ago:

Pair with UP by Jawbone to find out if afternoon pick-me-ups keep you awake at night, by how much, and what you can do to sleep more soundly.

I had an afternoon pick-me-up today and I’m 95% certain it will not be keeping me up tonight. Still, a neat idea.