Nothing like music

You would think that being an alumi of an university radio station would make me very interested in discovering new bands and be obsessive with collecting music. For some reason, since I graduated, I have hardly put any effort into discovering bands. Boycotting local radio stations doesn’t help, but who needs corporate radio these days with iTunes and streaming audio. The problem is I haven’t even invested time into checking out new artists on iTunes or listen to streaming audio.

Not surprisingly, additions to my music collection have gotten pretty sparse over the past 7 or so months, to the point where I only buy music from bands I am already a fan of.

Why is this the case? Working a lot plays a huge part into it. Seeing how I am not in the office much, I am unable to take advantage of my time at the desk and listen to streaming audio of some net radio station. Since I am in the car a lot, I refuse to listen to corporate radio stations, which narrows down my listening habits to a pretty good sports radio station…which doesn’t help too much when it comes to discovering new bands.

Then there is iTunes. Great for listening to 30-second clips of unknown artists, but it is tough to form an opinion of a song with just 30 seconds of a song, especially when the 30 seconds isn’t an interesting part of the song. Seeing how money doesn’t grow on trees, it seems pretty foolish to throw $0.99 around on bands I don’t know a thing about. I could find the band on iTunes, then visit their web site and hope they offer at least full streaming versions of a couple of their songs. However, that takes time and time is in short supply these days.

Back in the day (what, 3 years ago? Man that is sad…), MP3.com was pretty decent for trying out new bands, because there was no risk (note: this was before they sold themselves out and lost what rebellious nature they had). I could listen to a full song of any song of any band/artist. I could then download that said song for free and listen to it on any MP3 player to figure out if I really liked it. You know how much music I went through during that time? I estimate I probably listened to close to 500 unknown bands. Assuming I did like the band, I was willing to purchase that band’s CD.

How to solve this issue is really bugging me. The classic albums I love are great and I will never give them up, but at some point there is only so many new and inspirational things you can hear the 1,000,000th time “Losing My Religion” hits ones’ eardrums…I need to diversify and find new bands.

Fantasy Baseball 2005 review

As owner of the Jolly Green Giants, a fantasy baseball team in the GFBA, I attended the annual draft yesterday. Like I said, the draft was held live in person for the first time ever and we had decent turnout as well. It was a blast and I am already looking forward to next year’s draft.

Let me say this, if my team turns out to be close to its projected numbers, I think I will have a very good year. While I don’t have many standout stars outside of Pujols, I do have a lot of young players who are due for spectacular seasons. I also have a lot of quality depth…there isn’t a real dropoff anywhere on my roster. I took some quality risks I believe in the later rounds with rookies and other players who have shown promise.

Here is who I drafted…

Catchers (2): Joe Mauer (Twins), Chris Snyder (Diamondbacks)
First Base (1): Albert Pujols (Cardinals)
Second Base (1): Jose Vidro (Nationals)
Third Base (1): Mike Lowell (Marlins)
Shortstop (1): Bobby Crosby (Athletics)
Middle Infielder (1): Jason Bartlett (Twins)
Corner Infielder (1): Dmitri Young (Tigers)
Outfielders (5): Milton Bradley (Dodgers), Miguel Cabrera (Marlins), Coco Crisp (Indians), David Dellucci (Rangers), Nick Swisher (Athletics)
Utility (1): Adam LaRoche (Braves)

For pitchers, my staff looks like this…

Starters (5): Rich Harden (Oakland), A.J. Burnett (Marlins), C.C. Sabathia (Indians), Javier Vazquez (Diamondbacks), Joe Blanton (Oakland)
Relievers (4): Billy Wagner (Phillies), Jose Mesa (Pirates), Mike Gonzalez (Pirates), Brandon League (Blue Jays)

Finally, on my bench and ready for action the second half of my team goes on the DL…

Position Players (1): Placido Polanco (Phillies)
Pitchers (2): Tom Gordon (Yankees), Scot Shields (Angels)

My main focus now is to see if I can improve in any positions. I definitely could use another power bat and I would like to find another starting pitcher to eat up innings. Might be able to trade some of my bullpen arms for help in that area.

This year should be much better then last 🙂

Draft day

Today is the my fourth fantasy baseball draft as a member of the Gagnon Fantasy Baseball Association, a league put together by my friend Brian. It is a head-to-head league and the most competitive I have ever been in. The first two seasons in the league, I did extremely well, making it to the semi-finals in both seasons.

Last season was an utter disaster, with me landing in a three-way tie for last place in the league. That I blame squarely on myself, as I didn’t put as much effort in the past as I previously did and I had a horrid draft as a result.

This year will be different. I have put together several lists/guides to use in the draft, making it easily the most prepared I have been going into a draft. Taking no prisoners this time around 🙂

The cool thing about the draft this year is that we are doing it live, with almost everyone meeting up at a room at SNHU and doing the draft in person. This is simply going to rock and is going to be quite hilarious.

My three keepers this year are:
1B Albert Pujols
OF Miguel Cabrera
P Javy Vazquez

As you can tell, my team last year was not too good to look at outside of Pujols. However, this year, I expect big years from all three.

I will post on how things went in the draft later tonight.

Feeling better

Well I slept more this afternoon and that seemed to help me out a lot. Feeling a lot less congested and I know it isn’t the medicine talking since I didn’t take another dose. My temperature is back to normal, which is good news.

If there is one thing I learned today, that is there is nothing on TV outside of horrible attempts at TV news and bad shows.

Home sick

Not at work today due to having a real bad case of a cold and fever. Fun stuff. I slept a lot this morning after taking some more medicine and forced myself to eat even though I really didn’t feel hungry.

Turned on the TV news and lasted about 5 seconds before turning it off. The news sucks, more of the “let’s get the most extremely opposite people possible and throw them on the air to piss off everyone else while calling it news” method of giving us people news that matters (yawn). So I’m laying on the couch and using my laptop for a little bit to catch up on everything.

I am going to try to study for my CCNA test later this afternoon if I feel up to it. I do feel slightly better, but that might be the medicine talking. I’ll find out when it wears off…

No more zip builds

Apparently Mozilla.org is not releasing zip versions of its Firefox and Thunderbird releases anymore. It looks like there are a lot of problems when zip versions are installed and then an installer version is installed ontop of them.

I should note first, I don’t use the zip builds, I use the installer. However…

This is a very very very bad decision, as the zip builds have a ton of uses. These are the ones I can think of just off the top of my head:

  1. Those who hate installers and don’t like anything installed on their computer using an installer.
  2. Those who like to have different versions on their computer
  3. The Portable Firefox and Portable Thunderbird projects
  4. Those who don’t have the rights to install Firefox and/or Thunderbird on their computer (such as at work)

Mozilla.org made a huge mistake here. They took the easiest way possible to solve their issues with zip builds, instead of making it a little harder for those who shouldn’t use zip builds to find them.

Why not just create a sub directory just for zip files? I don’t understand the logic of getting rid of zip builds.

Also, don’t get me start on the fact that no one from Mozilla.org announced this big change beforehand. You would think after past communication issues they would be smarter about big changes like this.

Chase’s blog has a (late) announcement of the change, while the MozillaZine forums has a Firefox thread and a Thunderbird thread dealing with the topic.