Archive for March, 2006

I like me a deal (part deux)…

March 27, 2006

We had friends over for dinner a few weeks ago and I learned something that I will pass on to you now.Don’t pay for movies at RedBox. What is RedBox? It’s the McDonald’s DVD rental machine and it’s really cool technology. You’re only going to get new releases at RedBox, so it’s no replacement for NetFlix, but with these codes¬†you won’t get charged for the first night. If you want it more than a night, you only pay another buck for each.

These codes will likely go away slowly as they get people to buy into the technology. Realistically, I’ll pay a dollar for a movie. I still like the idea of NetFlix, but as a supplement or a way to just get the new movie you want on a whim, it beats the hell out of paying $3 at your local Ballbuster.

NOTE: the kids movies are supposedly pretty trashed, so beware.

I like me a deal…

March 26, 2006

And I got one with this baby. I needed (or at least wanted) a new bike. It’s a 2005 Schwinn Fastback Comp. My oldie wouldn’t have been a fun ride in the MS150 again this year. I thought I’d need a wrist transplant after the last one. It’ll be nice to have a bike that fits — and it’s a nice bike. All Shimano 105, which is fine for a guy who weighs 196. A few extra ounces of weight is certainly not going to matter. I saved $550 off the price of this bike last year or the 2006 version.

Can’t wait to get out late this week. I’m riding the Ironman ride out of Lakeville to Northfield at the end of April (either the 62 or the century — not sure yet).

“Jump on board, bitches! I’m going to carry us tonight.”

March 6, 2006

It’s been reported that Kirby Puckett announced, “Jump on board, boys! I’m going to carry us tonight,” prior to Game 6 of the 1991 World Series. This may have been the “clean” version. Kirby was known at the time to use the “B” word pretty liberally. Three innings later he robbed Ron Gant of extra bases and with Terry Pendleton on first, probably saved a run with an amazing leaping grab in left center. A few innings later he pushed a run across with a sac fly. And then, in the bottom of the eleventh when the rag-armed lefty Charlie Liebrandt came in, he told Al Newman and pitching coach Rick Stelmaszek, “I got this guy! It’s over.” When the ball sailed over the wall, Jack Buck exclaimed rather calmly “And we’ll see you tomorrow night!” Kirby Puckett is was the most dynamic player I’ve ever seen and all information is pointing to his death this evening after a massive brain aneurysm. What a blow. I heard the preliminary announcement at about 11:05AM on Sunday morning on the radio. I went numb.

I spent hundred of nights listening to Twins games on the radio and watching on TV when Kirby was playing. It took me a couple of years to really get my heart back in the game after his career was suddenly cut short by glaucoma. We never got a chance to say goodbye. Never got a chance to see him one last time in the pinstripes he, Hrbek, Viola, Gaetti, Laudner, Lombo, Brunansky, Blyleven, Senor Smoke and Larkin ushered in.

Kirby’s life started to unravel after his retirement, but from what I knew of him, he will forever be the player to who all others are compared. A true Hall of Famer and the greatest player in Minnesota history (in my mind and many others). There will never be another “Puck.”

Goodbye. Which way is it to Cooperstown?

Your Training Will Begin Next Week…

March 6, 2006

So Ang, God love her, got a new job. She’s been a Health Unit Coordinator (HUC) for the past year or so at a big local hospital. She needs to do something patient-facing along with her CNA certification to strengthen her resume for nursing school. This new position as a Psych Associate will fit the bill nicely and will add even more of a challenge to her life. I’m proud as hell of her. The bonus of this, is that it works pretty well around our schedule. I come in early on Mondays and every other Friday and leave early and she works a half-time position in the evenings. There is very little child care we need to coordinate. She accepted the position a few weeks ago, middle of February I think. She starts next week — 6.5 days from now.Today… Let that sink in for a second… she get’s a notice with her training schedule. FULL TIME DAYS FOR TWO WEEKS — starting, as I’ve mentioned — in 6.5 days.

Full-time days… for two weeks. Holy shit, how are we going to deal with that? And wouldn’t a little more time have been nice to set something up? So, our options right now are paying a small fortune to someone to watch the kids for a couple of weeks during the day, making the fruits of her labor for the training minus the childcare costs plus the inconvienice of finding someone to watch the kids for a couple of weeks during the day equal a big negative number, OR having me watch the kids at a time when we’re trying to wrap up a project at work and then trying to backfill at night.

This is tough — and could have been avoided had someone alerted Ang to this “situation” a bit further out than 6.5 days.

Malcolm Gladwell is turning my mind inside out

March 6, 2006

I’ve read Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point and Blink in the past few months and cannot speak highly enough for the profound change to my brain this has made. If you read these books you can’t help but to see things in a very different light. I read “The Tipping Point” late last year after I had what I thought was a good idea for a web-enabled product (I still think it’s a good idea and hope to some day find the way to”tip” the idea — as well, and probably more importantly, my partner). Gladwell has a knack for writing on sociology in such a way he crafts every bit the page-turner that (insert latest Oprah Book Club Selection here) is. This is unusual — and makes me hope he’s around for a very long and productive time. Please don’t die Malcolm.“Blink” is a fantastic book. In it, Gladwell looks at how we make decisions and the value of those instantaneous initial flashes we have when we see a thing or situation for the first time. Why do we make these choices? Are they valid? How do we get to the point where we can make them? The book is filled with cases that defy conventional thinking — something he is exceptional at. The expert who can determine whether a marriage will last based on only a few moments of taped, seemingly innocuous conversation, the kouros that wasn’t quite right, and the time Paul van Riper kicked the U.S. Military’s ass in war games in the Gulf, by not relying on the voluminous data.

There are also the cases where the “thin-slicing” (get the book, everyone will be talking about “thin-slicing” in the next year or so) didn’t work. The Amadou Diallo killing is covered in much detail. I’ve never felt so much a part of a shooting since I saw “Resevoir Dogs” in the third row of the theater.

This is the kind of book that makes you need to read more about the individual cases presented — and keep checking (his now blog is a good read) for news of upcoming releases.