I Love You, Uncle Bob

I’m not one to pour out my real emotional thoughts on the Internet, but this is an exception.

My Uncle Bob passed away on Wednesday. Uncle Bob was my Dad’s only sibling; his younger brother. I haven’t taken my Uncle’s passing very well for various reasons. It was sudden. Uncle Bob wasn’t sick, so we didn’t have time to prepare ourselves. When all four of my grandparents died, their health had been deteriorating. I’m incredibly thankful that Monica and I had the chance to visit him while we were in Chicago three weeks ago. He was his same old self; exactly how I remembered and knew him.

Uncle Bob was a good man, and I pray that everyone affected by his passing finds comfort that he’s in a better place.

If you’re a religious person, I ask that you pray for my Uncle Bob and my family.

I love you, Uncle Bob. May you rest in eternal peace with the Lord our Savior.

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Zac Maloy

Okay, so one of my New Year’s resolutions is to post here more. So, away we go. I’m going to be posting about music, movies, television, technology, and the like.

Today’s music exposure: Zac Maloy.

Zac Maloy was the front man for the 90s band The Nixons. You may remember their most popular song, “Sister”. I first heard The Nixons in 1994 and have loved them ever since. I never got the chance to see them live though. A couple of friends and I almost skipped a Friday night football game (remember – I’m a band nerd) to go see them in Deep Ellum, but we didn’t. Part of me regrets not going.

Zac is now out on his own making music and running a recording studio. His most famous song is probably “Early Morning Phone Call”. To this day that song reminds me of OJ.

His style is pure rock in my opinion. Many people compared The Nixons to Pearl Jam (my favorite), but I never saw it. If you like pure rock, I think you’ll enjoy Zac Maloy.

iTunes Links
Zac Maloy
The Nixons

Texas Tech Tuna

So Texas Tech vs. Texas.. DAMN what a game with a piss-poor ending. My take? Classic Texas Tech football. The team played their asses off and still wound up with the loss. Why? No, not the officiating – although that was horrendous. I place “blame” on two things: bad play calling and a lack of discipline.

Bad play calling – Mike Leach calls a timeout in the 4th quarter with (I think) around six minutes remaining. Why? The offense had momentum. They were driving the field with exceptional poise. Maybe Leach saw something he didn’t like in the defense; I don’t know. But let your quarterback, who has played an outstanding game, run the offense. That leads into the actual play selection. Throughout the game, the fade wasn’t working. What WAS working were the 10-15 yard slants, the curls, and the screens. So why in the fourth quarter did we start throwing fades? Doesn’t make sense.

Discipline, or lack thereof, was huge on defense. The four facemask penalties for 50 yards KILLED us. Period. Overall we had twelve penalties for a total of 127 yards. That’s unacceptable.

The fix? In my opinion, Leach’s time is over. While he has taken Tech to the next level from where Spike Dykes left off, he’s not the one to take us to the next higher level of play. I still don’t think he understands that defense wins games. This Texas game definitely impressed me on how all three sides of the ball played. But I don’t think it’s here to stay. We have a problem on our team in that we don’t have a team. We have a group of student athletes playing football together. Too many egos. Playing four square in the locker room won’t make a team. It starts at the top, and I don’t think Leach is the man to lead this team.

My solution? Approach Bill Parcells and persuade him to come back to Tech. After the year the Cowboys have had, and the fact that Jerry Jones is a moron, I don’t think Parcells will take too much more of it. He wants to win and has the drive to make it happen.

We got Bob Knight to come here; why not Bill Parcells?

On a happier note, Tuesday marks the beginning of a new era of Lady Raider basketball. Marsha Sharp retired and Kristy Curry has the reigns of the most storied sports program at Tech. Monica and I will be there again this year with season tickets. Go Lady Raiders!

Chicago Here We Come!

Looking back at my last few blog entries, I can’t believe I overlooked posting this..

Monica and I are traveling to Chicago for New Year’s! Aside from our trip to Arlington, TX this past summer, this is our first true vacation/trip since our honeymoon to Las Vegas two years ago. We’re very excited about heading to the Windy City. Planned activities:

  • Visiting family and showing Monica where I was born. I haven’t seen my Aunt Chris and cousin Kelly in over five years, and Monica has never met either of them. We’ll be able to meet Kelly’s husband and see their kids for the first time too. Plus we’re going to go visit my grandparent’s gravesites.
  • Chicago Bears game! We’re going to see the Chicago Bears play the Green Bay Packers! For those who don’t follow the NFL, the Bears and Packers rivalry is pretty big; probably the Bears’ biggest. Not only that, this game may be Brett Farve’s (quarterback for the Packers; one of the all-time greats) last. I’ve never been to Solider Field, so needless to say I’m VERY excited about this.
  • Blue Man Group. If you’ve never heard of the Blue Man Group, check out their website. It’s amazing what they do. We didn’t get a chance to see the Las Vegas show, so we’re not missing out seeing this one in Chicago.
  • Wicked. This musical is about the witches of Oz. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about this, and Monica was eager to see it.

We’re staying at a Radisson in Northbrook; we got an amazing rate through my company’s connections.

I’ll be sure to post an entry and some pictures once we get back.

Is it Decemeber 28th yet?

RIP Maynard Ferguson

Maynard Ferguson died this past Wednesday. For those of you who don’t know who he is, Maynard is one of the most popular jazz trumpeters. He’s been known for his cover recording of the Rocky theme, Gonna Fly Now.

I had the honor of meeting Maynard in either January or February of 1998. He came to Lubbock my freshman year at Texas Tech for a concert at Lubbock High School. The concert was simply amazing. At one point, Maynard went offstage during a medley of his most well-known hits: Birdland, MacArthur Park, Gonna Fly Now, and others. I figured he went to get some water or something. Nope. After three minutes the man appears at the back of the auditorium and began to mingle and talk to people in the audience as the band kept playing. He didn’t come near my seat unfortunately.

After the concert which lasted about an hour and a half, my friends and I went backstage hoping to get the chance to meet him. To our surprise, not fifteen minutes after the concert, the man comes out from his dressing room and actually began talking to those of us backstage. Class act. A real class act.

Now before the “jazz purists” start having a hissy fit. I’m not saying he was the best jazz trumpeter. Granted I don’t have a music performance degree, but I do know that his style wasn’t textbook. But damn.. the man could play. Not many people can hit a double high C like he could and sustain it. It wasn’t perfect, but even Stan Kenton recognized the talent.

Read more about Maynard: www.maynardferguson.com

Are you ready for some football?

I sure as hell am. Tech’s going to kick butt this year (hopefully). With Graham Harrell taking the reins of the nation’s most prolific passing offense for the umteenth year straight, I’m actually quite optimistic of our chances of finally taking the Tech program to the next level.

For those Tech alums and fans who don’t live in Lubbock, Jones Stadium (it’ll always be Jones Stadium – not that Jones SBC/AT&T Stadium crap – but that’s another rant in itself) has had its seven year old astroturf replaced with the ultra-trendy field turf. The sideline has also been “enhanced” with a brick wall as seen in the picture below that I took a couple weeks ago from the top of the West Ramp.

Looking good, isn’t it?

We’ve got season tickets again, but we moved seats. This past year we had the two most annoying guys sitting behind us who complained about everything. Let’s just hope those guys didn’t move too!

Go Tech!

Interesting Numbers

50 billion: the number of e-mails dispatched every day wordwide; in 2001 the traffic was less than 12 billion

88 percent of e-mails are junk including about 1 per cent which are virus-infected

32: The average number of e-mail messages received per person per day. This is rising by 84 per cent each year

440 million: The number of electronic mailboxes in use, including 170 million corporate ones, growing by 32 per cent per year

1,035 million: The total number of mobile phone text messages sent each month in Britain

37: The average number of texts a user sends per month compared with 21 in 2001

1 million: The number of children aged under 10 in Britain – one in three – who own a phone

8: The average age at which a child gets a mobile phone in Britain

From: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2270472,00.html

Restart! Reboot!

So my boss got back from a business trip yesterday and proceeded to tell me the most hilarious story I’ve heard in a long time.

He was on the tarmac waiting to liftoff and the cabin depressurization system was malfunctioning. People onboard we clinching their ears due to the pressure changes.

The captain said that the crew was just going to run the system on manual and if adjustments needed to be made, simply tell a flight attendant. Fine and good.

Some time later before takeoff (don’t remember how long my boss said), the captain came back on the intercom saying that they weren’t going to be allowed to take off with the system on manual and that an IT technician was on his way.

The IT guy told the pilot to shut the entire plane down, let it sit a few minutes, and turn it back on..

Yep.. you guessed it: the pressurization system now worked!

Ha.. rebooting planes fixes problems too.

West Texas Storm… A Dust Storm

For those of you who have never had the pleasure of witnessing a West Texas dust storm, here are some pictures from yesterday’s doozy.

How to Please Your IT Department

1. When you call us to have your computer moved, be sure to leave it buried under half a ton of postcards, baby pictures, stuffed animals, dried flowers, bowling trophies and children’s art. We don’t have a life, and we find it deeply moving to catch a fleeting glimpse of yours.

2. Don’t write anything down. Ever. We can play back the error messages from here.

3. When an I.T. person says he’s coming right over, go for coffee. That way you won’t be there when we need your password. It’s nothing for us to remember 700 screen saver passwords.

4. When you call the help desk, state what you want, not what’s keeping you from getting it. We don’t need to know that you can’t get into your mail because your computer won’t power on at all.

5. When I.T. support sends you an E-Mail with high importance, delete it at once. We’re just testing.

6. When an I.T. person is eating lunch at his desk, walk right in and spill your guts right out. We exist only to serve.

7. Send urgent email all in uppercase. The mail server picks it up and flags it as a rush delivery.

8. When the photocopier doesn’t work, call computer support. There’s electronics in it.

9. When you’re getting a NO DIAL TONE message at home, call computer support. We can fix your telephone line from here.

10. When you have a dozen old computer screens to get rid of, call computer support. We’re collectors.

11. When something’s wrong with your home PC, dump it on an I.T. person’s chair with no name, no phone number and no description of the problem. We love a puzzle.

12. When an I.T. person tells you that computer screens don’t have cartridges in them, argue. We love a good argument.

13. When an I.T. person tells you that he’ll be there shortly, reply in a scathing tone of voice: “And just how many weeks do you mean by shortly?” That motivates us.

14. When the printer won’t print, re-send the job at least 20 times. Print jobs frequently get sucked into black holes.

15. When the printer still won’t print after 20 tries, send the job to all 68 printers in the company. One of them is bound to work.