Archive for August, 2007

Washington clobbers Syracuse

Friday, August 31st, 2007

The Washington Huskies were supposed to win tonight’s season-opener at Syracuse — one of the few times they’ll be favored this year, given their brutal schedule — but a 42-12 shellacking of the Orange? That’s pretty impressive, and bodes well for their chances to at least make a bit of noise this season, even though they’re clearly going to lose a lot of games.

More broadly, this is good news for the Pac-10, which saw Oregon State beat Utah 24-7 yesterday, and now this. The big test, of course, is tomorrow night at 8:00 PM, when Cal hosts Tennessee. Five other Pac-10 teams are in nonconference action tomorrow too, including Wazzu at #7 Wisconsin and, of course, Idaho at #1 USC. The Cougars can lose (hopefully they’ll keep it close), but all the others had better win for the sake of the conference’s BCS reputation, as Chris Dufresne pointed out in the L.A. Times yesterday.

Tomorrow is, of course, college football’s real opening day, as reflected in my countdown bar at left, notwithstanding the dribs and drabs of made-for-TV mismatches that have been played in the last two days. (Average final score: 38-10.) Not that most of tomorrow’s games will be much better, what with such thrilling matchups as East Carolina at Virginia Tech, Appalachian State at Michigan, and Western Kentucky at Florida — and those are all before 1:00 PM! :) But still, 54 games in 12 hours is enough to get any fan excited, especially after the wilderness of the offseason.

Alas, my opening-day football-blogging will leave something to be desired, thanks to our visit to Buffalo and, specifically, the baby shower. It’s at 1:00 PM, and yes, I’m going: I’ve been informed I have no choice. :) Notwithstanding the stereotypically girly character of such occasions, there will actually be at least four males in attendance — and the shower is apparently going to be held in the TV room, so there’ll be no sneaking off to watch football. Hopefully it’ll be over in time to catch the Notre Dame-Georgia Tech game at 3:30 PM…

Speaking of which, I almost forgot… time for my ritualistic weekly incantations…
GOOOOO IRISH! BEEEEEAT JACKETS! (Suck it, JT! :)
FIGHT ON, TROJANS! BEAT THE VANDALS!

P.S. Over at ND Nation, an ‘SC fan dropped by to wish the Irish good luck against Georgia Tech, and throughout the season… except on October 20, of course. “AZDomer” responded: “I hope the earth opens up and swallows your entire school.” To which another Domer, “The Flash,” replied:

This world would lose one tremendous count of hot women were it to do so. It would not be worth it just because we have lost a few football games to their university.

Heh. Well, at least some ND Nation posters have some sense. ;)

My first Iridium flare

Friday, August 31st, 2007

I just saw my first Iridium flare, caused by Iridium 65, with Becky and Barb from the parking lot of the UB Anderson Gallery in Buffalo. And of course, I got a photo:

Wide view here (2592×1944 pixels, 616 KB).

It wasn’t terribly dramatic to the naked eye, but that’s because it was a relatively weak flare from this location (magnitude -2, about the brightness of Jupiter, whereas some flares can get up to -9, about the brightness of a half moon) and we were in a rather well-lit parking lot, so there was lots of light pollution. I definitely look forward to seeing a lower-magnitude (i.e., brighter) flare from a better location sometime soon. But as a “starter flare,” this wasn’t too bad. :)

D’oh!

Friday, August 31st, 2007

Proto-Felix?

Friday, August 31st, 2007

Tropical Depression 6 has formed. The forecast track takes it into the southern Caribbean.

Dr. Jeff Masters and Eric Berger have more.

It’s Brendan, with an A

Friday, August 31st, 2007

Last fall, a company called Bombo Sports & Entertainment contacted me about a documentary they were making on the 2006 Notre Dame football season. They wanted to know if I had any suggestions about things like fan rituals and gathering places for them to film, and they also wanted to interview me, to include the perspective of the “Irish Trojan” in their movie. (I’m sure this will go over very well with the ND Nation crowd. … In fact, I warned them that some die-hard Domers would hate them for including me. But they wanted to anyway.) They ended up interviewing me several times, and micing me up during the North Carolina game…

…and filming me, and the people around me in the student section, from afar. I thought the whole thing was a little silly, frankly — I’m hardly the best representative of your typical ND fan, if that’s what they were looking for — but I didn’t see any compelling reason not to go along with what they wanted to do, so I did.

Well, the movie is out. It’s called “Tradition Never Graduates: A Season Inside Notre Dame Football.” Bombo contacted me last week to get my address so they can send me a copy. I haven’t seen it yet, but one of my NDLS professors e-mailed me this afternoon to tell me that someone had sent her a copy, and it lists me as one of the DVD’s “bonus features” … but the description spelled my name in MSNBC style: “The Irish Trojan: Brandon Loy explains what it’s like to be on both sides of the Notre Dame vs. USC rivalry.” [UPDATE: Confirmed here.]

Between the numerous e-mails we exchanged and the fact that my website’s primary domain name is BrendanLoy.com, you’d think they’d have been able to get the spelling right. In fact, the e-mail they sent me was addressed to “Brendan.” But I guess whichever department does the printing missed that memo. Oh, well.

In other ND/USC news: staying in South Bend for the ND-USC game in October is a wee bit expensive:

In South Bend, the nightly rates at the Marriott hotel — normally in the $169 to $189 range — run up to $649 the night before a game. When top-ranked Southern California visits Oct. 20, guests must stay a minimum of three nights. The story is similar at other hotels.

(Hat tip: Andrew Leyden.)

Craig may resign

Friday, August 31st, 2007

Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID), he of the “wide stance,” may resign today.

In other political news, Fred Thompson will announce his candidacy for president on Thursday. Though I must admit, I’ve always been a little unclear on the distinction between the announcement and the announcement-of-the-announcement. If you’ve announced that you’re going to announce something, doesn’t that mean you’ve actually already announced it?

TypePad blog crisis resolved

Friday, August 31st, 2007

It seems the problems I was having with TypePad on Wednesday and Thursday have been solved. My stylesheet and other files are no longer intermittently refusing to load. Here’s what a TypePad support rep said about it: “We were able to confirm that we did experience a brief issue yesterday with domains not resolving correctly to the associated weblog. However, this has now been resolved and you should no longer see the unformatted text on your weblog when publishing. … Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.”

So that’s good news. If the blog still looks screwed up (i.e., like this instead of this), you may want to load my stylesheet file, refresh/reload it on your browser, and then refresh/reload the blog itself.

I’m still not 100% sure whether I’ll stay with TypePad or not, and I appreciate everyone’s comments on comparative blog and comment options. But for now, I’m just happy the blog is functional again. That said, if anyone has technical difficulties or other problems, please let me know. I’m particularly interested in hearing from people whose comments double-post, or post on the wrong thread, for no apparent reason. That seems to have been happening more often than usual since I switched to TypePad, and I’m wondering if there’s something about the interface that’s causing more user error — or if it isn’t user error at all, but is actually TypePad getting things scrambled on the back-end.

I’m also interested in any suggestions from the “regulars,” and anyone else really, about the new style and formatting of the blog (which is really a separate issue from the identity of the blog platform).

In addition to the TypePad trials and tribulations, my brendanloy.com and irishtrojan.com accounts — including all my images, my old blog archives, my photo galleries, etc. — were moved early this morning from a WestHost dedicated server to a WestHost shared server (which was, after all, the whole point of the move to TypePad — so I could shift the bulk of the traffic load away from WestHost and thus enable myself to stop paying for the dedicated server). There was initially a problem with the MySQL applications, including WordPress and Gallery, not working because of an IP address issue, but that has now been resolved, and everything seems to be working fine for the moment.

Reason #3,178 why USC is awesome

Friday, August 31st, 2007

Researchers at USC have developed a method for displaying 3-D holograms using a high speed rotating mirror that is simply incredible.  Take a look for yourself in the video below:

Hat tip: Engadget

T.D. 6?

Friday, August 31st, 2007

The tropical wave 250 miles east of the Windward Islands may be developing into a tropical depression. Hurricane hunters are heading out to investigate.

D’oh!

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

Just get a Mac for crying out loud

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

Well, I’m the lone Mac in my office, and everything else hanging around is a Dell product with Windows XP SP2.

Today, my secretary was working when her Dell spontaneously shut off.  Not shut down, not blue screen of death, no "Windows needs to shut down,"  just a stone cold, power off.

Hmm.  That’s weird, so restart, which it does back to the main Windows screen, same thing in just a few seconds. 

Any of you PC types have any idea what could be going on here?  I’m thinking it’s likely a hardware failure of some sort, possibly a power supply.  But, then again, I know just enough to be dangerous around children and animals.

BTW, I told the attorney I work with that he should replace it with a Mac and he looked at me like I was crazy.  Oh well.  Live and learn.  Die and forget it all.

You got enchilada in my Kung Pao chicken

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

The former owner of a now defunct Chinese buffet in Knoxville has been sentenced to one year in federal prison for knowingly employing a staff of illegal Mexican immigrants at his establishment.

I’m torn about what to think about this, upon first glance.

Part of me thinks that it’s certainly a reasonable response to a violation of existing law.  Then, I look at the defense strategy, which was likely the only real thing that the attorney could have argued in such a case.

"Everyone else does it, and the government doesn’t do anything about it.  What’s the big damn deal?"

Certainly, I feel as though our immigration laws aren’t being enforced to the degree necessary and our borders aren’t adequately protected from the influx of illegal immigrants.  While I don’t feel a need to stem the tide of immigration to our country, I do believe that it is important to require/demand that our policies on immigration be followed.

However, a law not enforced is essentially a nullity.  It’s similar in theory to real estate law, and the adverse possession of someone else’s land.  If you build a fence over someone else’s land, and they do nothing to remedy the situation within X number of years, then it’s no longer their land, it’s yours.

With our immigration laws, it would seem that a similar logic should apply.  When does the government have an affirmative obligation to start enforcing the laws on its books consistently in every such case?  When do (or should) they lose the right to do so if they fail to enforce those same laws?

How do you arbitrarily pick this particular guy to prosecute when there are hundreds or thousands of others out there doing the same thing?

I’m really torn about how to feel about this case, and would like to see what you all think.

Memory lane

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

While culling several old photo boxes recently, I discovered a bunch of used film rolls that hadn’t been developed. Not knowing what they were, I took them into Walgreens to get them developed. I figured there would be a mixture of interesting photos and total duds, but actually, as it turns out, those undeveloped rolls were a real gold mine of fun memories, recalled by never-before-seen pictures, most of them from 2003. For example, here I am in my headier, more confidently pro-Iraq-war days, at a "Support the Troops" rally sponsored by the USC College Republicans:

Say what you will about the war, but that was a damn nice sign I made. :) Anyway, later in 2003, here’s me and Shannon in Rockefeller Center:

And then there’s these adorable shots of Butter and Sasha when they were just little tiny kittens:

Aww! They were so little!

I also developed a much more recent roll of film, a throwaway camera that I used during Andrew and Bea’s wedding when Becky had my digital camera. Check out this wonderful picture of Andrew’s dad and Bea’s dad, all smiles just after the ceremony:

And here’s a shot of Bea’s maid of honor, Pardis, frantically scribbling last-minute notes in preparation for her speech, just minutes before the reception started:

An eventful August

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

Man, we’ve had quite a eventful month in terms of visiting friends, haven’t we? Last week, Adrienne came to town, and then we met up with Brian Merrell (a.k.a. Briandot) for dinner — the fourth "blog friend" we’ve met in person after becoming acquainted through the Loy-o-sphere. Cue the photos:

Now we’re en route to Buffalo — again! — to hang out with friends and family, and to be showered with gifts and attention on Saturday. (Well, really it’ll be Becky who’ll be showered. My job is to sit there and oooh and ahhh. I know my place in the world. :)

Pick ’em contest reminder

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

This post will remain on top of the homepage for a while: Enter the 3rd annual Irish Trojan USC & ND pick ’em contest!