The Last Thing the Internet Needs Now


This was inevitable
May 10, 2008, 2:17 pm
Filed under: Daily life | Tags: , ,

I am going on blog hiatus. You can still read the old shite in the archives.

Between two jobs and some other crap that has happened in the last few weeks, I’ve not really had a hell of a lot of discretionary time, something I hope to have back next month when some things have settled down.

I would encourage everybody, though to click on the “Sites I Visit and You Should Too” and visit some of those for a while.

Later.

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Did Kern Get Death Threats or Not?
March 13, 2008, 9:37 am
Filed under: Media, Oklahoma, Serious stuff | Tags: , , , , ,

The Tulsa World (amazingly, a major metropolitan newspaper in Oklahoma not owned by anyone named Gaylord) is reporting that the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is now sifting through the thousands of e-mails Kern has received in the wake of her homophobic tirade released last week by the Victory Fund via YouTube.

[OSBI Spokeswoman Jessica] Brown said Tuesday, “There are a lot of e-mails to the representative that say, ‘You ought to die,’ rather than, ‘I am going to kill you.’

“I wouldn’t characterize them as death threats,” she said.

But Brown said OSBI computer analysts are working to find the senders and that some might be interviewed to assess their intent. She said it’s possible that the OSBI will refer some to district attorneys for prosecution.

So, what was it? An unintentional exaggeration to rally her side to her cause? Kind of a disproportionate version of a little kid telling her parents that the big mean bullies were out to get her? Who knows, but — if I’m reading the Tulsa World correctly, if she wasn’t wholly forthcoming about receiving death threats, I think that’s kind of sorry.

But keep firmly in mind: Death threats are in and of themselves inappropriate, even if they’re aimed at someone like Sally Kern. Sad to say though, that which should take place of death threats and other petty bullshite — i.e. open communication and rational adult dialogue about issues — are things that I seriously doubt that Kern and those of her ilk would have any interest in seeing as how their minds are pretty much made up and absolutely positively nothing will change them.

(Hey wait — rational adult dialogue? Does someone who equates homosexuality with terrorism sound like a rational adult? What the hell am I saying?)

I felt like poking around sites such as the American Family Association, the Eagle Forum, and Focus on the Family to see where Kern lifted some of her talking points … but I had just eaten a (rather lousy) chicken parmesan TV dinner and I felt it starting to come back up, so I stopped, not wanting to exascerbate the nauseated feeling.

What’s really sad for me is that I’m so caught up in the Kern thing that it’s diverted my attention from that which keeps me going in March: The buildup to the NCAA Tournament. All five of my dear readers know how much I love the roundball. But it’s hard to ignore this state embarassment in light of how badly Oklahoma wants to play with the big boys (including the possible acquisition of an NBA team whose Oklahoma City-based ownership group wants to move them here). Remarks like Kern’s don’t make the rest of the nation want to let go of those dated, negative stereotypes about Oklahomans that have nauseated me and so many others for years. The timing is just horrible on a lot of levels.



Thematic Break: sterrapin vs. MySpace, Part Deux
November 18, 2007, 2:46 am
Filed under: Internet | Tags: , , ,

I will beg and plead now.

WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE GO HERE:

My Profile

And please report it for abuse so that my account may be terminated.

I have gone through the appropriate channels more than once to cancel this account, they still have not cancelled my account. I am through being nice about it but I’d like to stop short of posting nudie pictures (a surefire way to get tossed) because I really don’t have time to look for any and I’m certainly not going to post any of myself (sorry).

And BTW, I put the remarks about Fox News there in an attempt to infuriate MySpace’s parent company … while I tend to be liberal-leaning and yes, abhor the Fox News Channel, I do actually consume more sources of news and try to make up my own mind about issues.

So come on please, you’d be doing me an incredible favor. I’m so sick of that site I can’t stand it anymore.

I also don’t want to junk up my new computer (the reason I’ve not been here lately — yes, being a bad Blog Mom again) with all that crap that permeates MySpace that makes my computer slooooooow.

Thank you kindly.

–sterrapin.



“Will spikes impale my butt if I sit there?” Or: At least making Lloyd Noble Center look fuller.
November 13, 2007, 9:23 am
Filed under: Sports | Tags: , , , ,

Here and here (Sooner fan forum discussion of some issues at recent OU basketball games).

This is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it hurts like hell to see what looks like a young and VERY exciting men’s team playing their games in what seems like an empty house.

On the other hand, someone DID pay for those seats — paid big money for them, and in the off chance the owners of those seats decide to lend their moral support to the young Sooners by actually showing up to a game, then they should rightfully sit there (I say “actually showing up to a game” as opposed to, oh, just buying basketball tickets so they can get better football tickets — which is what they really want, or just being typical rich people and having their cake and eating it too).

But it would be nice to see those seats filled.

I would like to have an answer to the following question as I believe it to be an entirely justified one:

WHAT IS THE HARM IN LETTING THE PEOPLE MOVE DOWN FROM THE UPPER LEVEL TO THE UNOCCUPIED LOWER LEVEL SEATS AFTER THE FIRST TIMEOUT? If the real occupants/owners of those lower level seats happened to arrive and demand their seats, then those individuals could move to other seats — it isn’t like there aren’t a lot of them to go around. I remember being extremely irritated that I was not allowed to move down to the lower level for the two exhibition games Halloween week. Damned irritated. IT WAS AN EXHIBITION GAME FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

Apparently Oklahoma is getting the message. For Monday’s game versus Alcorn State, fans WERE allowed to move from the upper level to the lower level. Good. Now let’s do this for games that will have high television exposure so that TV viewers don’t notice all those empty chairs behind the scorer’s table.



Thematic Break: Remove Me From Your Space. NOW.
November 9, 2007, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Internet | Tags: , , , ,

Need to vent about this, in the form of an open letter:

Dear (Popular Social Networking Site) Kahuna, Whoever the Hell You Are:

WHAT PART OF PLEASE CANCEL MY ACCOUNT DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?

I submitted a “Cancel” on my account last Sunday. According to your own website if a user cancels his/her account, the comments they’ve posted, blog posts, bulletins they’ve posted (lots), pictures (a grand total of one and that was of a tiny tiny turtle held on the fingertip of a zookeeper), whatever — poof — all gone. Supposedly.

So why are my comments still visible on the pages of a pair of friends (online friends and real-life friends as well) still visible? Is this because you’ve yet to vaporize me? What’s the holdup?

Look I understand you probably don’t get why someone would want to actually *leave.* But trust me, I can come up with them because I’m just anti-friendly enough to do that.

First of all, the tacky and ridiculous (and no doubt unkind to dialup users, which I am thankfully not) Flash ads screaming “YOU HAVE THREE NEW CRUSH ALERTS!” or “HOW _________ ARE YOU?” (insert Evil, Emo, Dumb, Horny, or whatever in the blank space, it’s probably just another obnoxious flash ad). Somebody pays for this crap, right? Yup, usually companies deeply desirous of clogging your inbox with, um, unappetizing-looking canned processed meat products. Before I signed up with another e-mail provider I just adored sifting through the hundreds and hundreds of messages in my inbox encouraging me to buy products to enlarge my non-existent penis.

And really, if something were about to crush me I’m not sure that an Internet warning would suffice. It isn’t like I take my computer *everywhere* and, well, if I’ve been crushed to death I’m probably not going to be checking e-mail. I really don’t see why this warrants more screaming, ugly advertisements.

Oh, you mean THAT kind of crush. Oh yeah I forgot, (Popular Social Networking Site, hereinafter styled “PSNS”) is the middle school of the Internet, rife with ugly, awkward 13 year olds with raging acne AND hormones who don’t have a clue how swiftly life is about to screw them front, back and sideways in every cavity that God drilled into them. Um yeah like I really want to go back to those days (but I’ll tell you what: No two television programs illustrated those awkward years better than Freaks and Geeks and The Wonder Years).

And sorry, not all your users were a) looking for a hookup, whether illegal/illicit or not; b) wanting to post their drunken party pictures or c) wanting to post gigantic, slow-loading, byte-choking .jpgs of Every Single One Of Their Favorite Rock Bands They Ever Listened To In Their Entire Life on their profile page. C’mon, you know who you are, there are a whole bunch of you on (PSNS), you’re like an army or something. While waiting for your pages to load I forgot why I went to see your pages in the first place. And please, I’m not a music hater at all. I don’t even hate *your* music (unless you listen to country music or something, in which case we have problems). Sorry if I misused my (PSNS) account for, oh I don’t know, other stuff?

BTW, this blog was born on (PSNS); the Greg Oden “birthday party’s over” and Maryland basketball uniform rant posts were originally posted there. Thankfully I wised up and opened a WordPress account, ’cause all I wanted to do was write anyway.

And oh yes, how could I forget this one: You can do all the fun custom crap and be able to use the more advanced features that PSNS has to offer … provided you are using MS Explorer and, as is the case frequently, a Windows PC. Gee, way to be really be inclusive of users who prefer different operating systems (hello Mac and Linux), or to use browsers like Firefox which, well, don’t suck. And that cute little message on one such custom feature: “Mac and Linux users — we’re working on it!” does not suffice. It’s been there a while. You just don’t care.

Yes I knew exactly what I was getting into when I started a (PSNS) account. I’m a dumbass. But you offer users the opportunity to cancel their accounts. By not honoring my request to cancel my account, why I think that’s bad faith.

So please get off your ass and zap my account. Thanks!

Love always Bite me

— sterrapin.



Early Season Observations: Portland Trail Blazers
November 6, 2007, 11:18 am
Filed under: Sports | Tags: , , , , ,

(Since the season has begun I suppose it’s too late for parts 3 and 4 of the intended previews that would have rounded out the “Scoping Just the Teams I Remotely Care About” thing. Sorry, real life got in the way).

Anyway, the Blazers, who as of now are off to an 0-3 start. Martell Webster, LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy are the best things going for that team right now (and Roy, the reigning Rookie of the Year, got off to a slow start). The first game at San Antonio — on Ring night — was actually impressive because the young Blazers for the most part kept up with the defending champs and wouldn’t go away. It was an encouraging loss, but a loss nonetheless. Then the Blazers got pwned at New Orleans and fell on the short end of an 80-89 loss at Houston.

Coach Nate McMillan started the season with incumbent PG Jarrett Jack at the 1, a decision that he might now rue as he considers lineup tinkering ahead of another game against the upstart Hornets which will open the Blazers’ home season.

Jack is an incredibly talented player who is mired in a slump at the worst possible time, and it seems that point guard play is a sore spot early in this season.

Here’s the deal, and perhaps a recap of Portland’s wealth of point guards as I view them:

Jack — entering his third season in the NBA — is a combo guard who is probably more suited to the 2 (and backing up Brandon Roy for now). It is possible that Jack might not be adapting to McMillan’s new up-tempo offense, or it might be possible that there is something in Jack’s head that is eating him, but one thing is certain — he is in a slump and perhaps a change is in order for Jack’s good and the good of the Blazers as this young season wears on. Two other things to consider: 1) Jack’s success last season was when McMillan was employing a more deliberate type of offense and 2) There was still Zach Randolph down there to feed.

Sergio Rodriguez is a terrific second-year player from Spain. He can give the Blazers a spark when he’s out there, but excess turnovers (also a knock on Jack AND Steve Blake in the preseason and early in the real season) and deficient D seem to keep him on McMillan’s bench. The rub is that Rodriguez is widely regarded as the Blazers’ future at PG, and well, he’s gotta get his minutes *somewhere* and have the opportunity to learn from his mistakes.

Finally, this brings us to Steve Blake, technically the newest Blazer guard (because he came this season as a free agent), but not at all a new Blazer: He played the 2005-2006 season with Portland and started most of that season’s games at point guard from December 2005 on following an injury to Sebastian Telfair, who at one time was regarded as the Blazers’ future at point guard. Former Blazers GM Steve Patterson traded Blake (along with Brian Skinner and Ha-Seung Jin) to Milwaukee in August 2006 for Jamaal Magloire. When Kevin Pritchard became the Blazers’ GM last spring, one of his objectives was to get Blake back. Mission accomplished, no aircraft carrier, flight suit or well-placed banner necessary.

I know the following is unpopular sentiment on some Blazers blogs and forum communities (such as Blazer’s Edge), but it’s my sentiment, I’m entitled to it, and don’t think for one minute this has anything to do with my allegiances to a certain ACC school whose mascot is a turtle.

Blake SHOULD be Portland’s starting point guard. His calmness, steadiness and maturity on the floor is exactly what these young Blazers need to get them over the hump. At 27 he’s still young enough to still have his best NBA years ahead of him, and just mature enough to be a rock for what is one of the NBA’s youngest teams. Furthermore, he’s one of the few Blazers that has been to the NBA Playoffs (DC, 2004-2005 season; Denver, 2006-2007 season), so he has some experience on what its like to be THAT situation as well.

He isn’t going to be the next Steve Nash, and that might be the rub in his case: Blake does everything well — although he has his bad nights, everybody does — but “well” is what you get with him. Not “spectacular” or “stunning,” just “well.” Because you can’t look at Blake with goggly eyes and murmur, “ooooh, shinyyyyy” like a small child transfixed by the Christmas decorations, he’s apparently beneath the bar in a league that is all about flash over (and sometimes at the expense of) substance.



The Exceptionally Short Sunday (err, Monday) Laundry List
October 29, 2007, 10:13 am
Filed under: Sports | Tags: , , , ,

He may be a little nuts, but its sort of difficult for me to disagree with Rasheed Wallace here. (Detroit News)

“I still don’t think they (Cavaliers) beat us, we beat ourselves,” Wallace said. “And I think we also fell victim to that personal NBA thing where they are trying to make it a world game and get (television) ratings. They wanted to put their darling in there (the NBA Finals) and they did, and look what ended up happening.”

The league’s darling, according to Wallace, was LeBron James, and what ended up happening were the worst ratings in the modern history of the NBA Finals.

“This game ain’t basketball anymore, it’s entertainment,” Wallace said. “It’s starting to get like the WWF. There ain’t no real wrestling anymore either. It’s all fake.”

It’s starting to get like the World Wildlife Fund? Obviously ‘Sheed is referring to the WWE, but it remains — I thought the last NBA Playoffs were a wee bit fishy — the Donaghy thing only emboldened my belief and in general, what for me is a love-hate relationship with the National Basketball Association: I love that its some kind of basketball. I hate that it increasingly appears phony in order to cater to casual fans and folks who only know who Bron-Bron and D-Wade are from reading People magazine.

****************

It’s one day — or so — before the Blazers open their season versus San Antonio, and Nate McMillan still hasn’t decided who his point guard is. (The Oregonian)

Candidate One is incumbent Jarrett Jack, whose preseason statistics (12.0 ppg, 3.9 apg, 43.5% FG; 27 assists to 15 turnovers) are … decent. Candidate Two is Steve Blake, a free agent who returned to Portland, where he played — and started at PG — for a chunk of the 2005-2006 season before being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks the following summer and then the Denver Nuggets midway through last season. Blake’s numbers from the preseason (7.0 ppg, 3.5 apg; 35.9% FG; 21 assists to 13 turnovers) aren’t as good as Jack’s but could still be worse. My observations only here, but I’ve viewed the two like this: Jack is the better shooter, Blake perhaps a little better on the defensive end. It probably is a difficult decision for McMillan and I wouldn’t want to be him right now.

Since it is a day or so before Halloween, might I offer a tip from the world of the bizarre here? I say the Blazers’ next point guard will be some guy named Jarrett Blake (or Steve Jack?), who would be engineered from DNA samples collected from the locker-room shower from both guards and then taken to a mad genetic scientist. Surely Blazers owner Paul Allen — a nauseatingly rich man — could afford this, and, well, it would be a big deal to have the first cloned player(s?) in the National Basketball Association, no?

Unfortunately of course, one day probably isn’t enough time to teach the petri-dish PG things like speech, social graces and fundamental basketball, so my gut feeling is that PG might be determined by matchups and could be either guy. The article I linked made mention that Coach is a little bugged by how big a deal the media has made of this. The way I view it, this is a good problem for Portland to have — two quality players WITH STARTING EXPERIENCE who can handle the most important position on the floor (the Blazers also have Sergio Rodriguez and rookie Taurean Green that can play PG too, but are less experienced than Jack and Blake. Yet another PG, rookie Petteri Koponen, is fullfilling a military commitment in his native Finland).

UPDATE HERE: Jarrett Jack will start at PG in the season opener @ San Antonio. For what its worth, McMillan reportedly agonized over this … I reiterate my position as above: This is a good problem for Portland to have.