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Showing posts from February, 2004

Cassius Clay ---> Muhammad Ali

Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of Cassius Clay defeating Sonny Liston to become boxing's heavyweight champion. If my Ali history is correct, then that makes today the 40th anniversary of Cassius Clay publicly announcing his joining of the Nation of Islam and becoming known as Muhammad Ali. It wouldn't have meant much without winning the title, but in hindsight it is the event that now allows us to see Ali as an icon - something much greater than boxing or of sport. Feelings about the Nation of Islam aside, Ali's step into the civil rights controversies of the 1960's, his refusal to be drafted into the Army on the basis of his religious beliefs, and the faith he still carries with him today puts him into rarefied air. Some suggest his lifelong contribution is equaled only by Nelson Mandela, and most agree that the fact Ali was never assassinated is a miracle. For a time Ali was one of the most hated sports figures in American history, but attitudes toward Al…

Maddux

I'm guessing that I"ve checked ESPN.com 20 times a day the past month (I know that sounds like a lot, but when I'm home hitting the refresh button is somewhat habitual) and the first thing I've looked for is the news that Greg Maddux was going to the Cubs. I just got my wish! Yeah, he's in the twilight of his career, but there aren't too many other guys out there who can almost guarantee you 15 wins a year. This offsets Houston's acquisition of Roger Clemens and relieves me of the grief I'd felt had Maddux gone to the Yankees.

Speaking of the Yankees, I think their trade for A-Rod is a good thing for baseball based on the fact that it puts one of the best players in a major market and frees up a lot of money for the Rangers. There might be reasons to hate the Yankees, but when it comes down to deals like this I agree with what Jason Giambi said after he went to the Yankees - "The boss wants to win." Hard to argue with that. Now the Yank…

Rebuild Finished

Last night was one of those nights where you just start working on something and then suddenly realize, "Wow...is it 5 am already?" I finished all my major code alterations today and got everything uploaded. Like I said, it doesn't look all that different, but I'm much happier with what's going on behind the scenes. It didn't all go perfectly, of course - I broke some links by moving and renaming my archives, but it wasn't all that often that I linked to myself anyway.

I've spent a little time rebuilding the pages for my 1998 trip to the Superior Hiking Trail. That was my first real web project - I remember being in the dorms that summer, scanning photos and making the pages in Word. I figure that if I'm choosing to rework the code from my trips because I'm not satisfied with the job done by Word and FrontPage, then it's only fair to remove all the Microsoft-generated graphics as well. I have to admit that some of the sites look pret…

Site Progress

The improvements to this website that I mentioned a few posts ago are going pretty well. All my pages are PHP and XHTML 1.0, I've stripped out the layout tables in favor of CSS positioning, and the main task that remains is to polish this page and the archives. My moving the archives to their own directory I may be creating a number of problems, but those will just have to be dealt with. Perhaps the most visual change to the site is my changing of font sizes - now, instead of specifying fonts in pt values, I'm using the generic "medium", "large", "x-large" values in CSS. Anybody using Internet Explorer will certainly tell a difference - your fonts are now bigger and their size is controllable by your browser. Oh well, you should be using Mozilla anyway...

Thoughtsbrief

Meet The Press - On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd say President Bush's performance Sunday on Meet The Press ranked about a 5. I can't say I really learned anything, or have a keener insight into our president's decision-making processes, but it was good to see him take the questions. His responses were consistent, if not repetitious, and his appearance took back some of the attention lost to John Kerry and the other Democrats trying to put him out of a job. He may have survived Tim Russert, but he'll have some work to do when real debates come around.

NFL Pro Bowl - I passed on the Grammys this year to watch the Pro Bowl, and I'm very glad I did. Instead of being the usual "Let's Hope Nobody Gets Hurt Bowl", this one featured some great individual performances and was a great game to watch. Plus, being an NFC fan, I was greatly pleased with the outcome. The NHL All-Star Game was also yesterday, but I'm just not a hockey fan. Given that the Av…

Ah, so that's how you compete against the "Lingerie Bowl"...

The Super Bowl was a great game, but nevertheless overshadowed by the halftime show. I can add this incident to the already long list of reasons to dislike Justin Timberlake, N'Sync, boy bands, lip syncing, MTV, and The New Kids on the Block. (Yeah, I've been around this block too many times already.) All you need to know about Justin Timberlake's musical ability is that he cancelled a concert due to a sprained ankle. Bet that never happened to Al Green.

I came in dead last with my Super Bowl picks. Blame it on a "wardrobe malfunction", whatever that means. I got the dome being closed right, and then it kinda went downhill from there. Next year we'll have to bet on more non-game related items, like the over/under on the length of the national anthem and the result of the coin toss.

Since I'm not really an NBA fan, I don't find much to follow in the world of professional sports during the month of February. February is a good month for college …

Super Bowl Sunday

I don't have any particular interest in this year's Super Bowl, but you can bet I'll be watching. This will be the first year in a long time that I won't be watching with my college buddies, Chris and Ecker. Chris was my college roommate, and Ecker (that's Dr. Ecker to you) is a professor in the math department. Every year we'd get together for the Super Bowl, the NFL Draft, and other random occasions, but now that I'm 800+ miles away that's not going to happen this year. We still keep in touch and make our sports picks, and I've put this year's Super Bowl picks for all to see:

ChrisEckerMeFirst 1st DownCarolinaCarolinaCarolinaFirst FGCarolinaCarolinaNew EnglandFirst TDCarolinaNew EnglandCarolinaFirst PenaltyNew EnglandCarolinaCarolinaFirst TurnoverNew EnglandCarolinaCarolinaA Safety?YesNoNoTotal Punts131010More Offensive YardsNew EnglandNew EnglandNew EnglandMore PenaltiesNew EnglandCarolinaCarolinaMore TurnoversNew EnglandCarolinaCarolinaA…