Blog slowdown

The pace of posting has slowed down around here lately for a perfectly good reason: blogging was ruining my health. OK, a bit of an overstatement but I decided back in August to forgo my morning workout and concentrate on blogging like a fiend for a few months to get some attention, find an audience, etc.

Now the doctor says it’s time to get my fanny back on the Stairmaster. Last month the doctor’s office called to remind me I was due for a cholesterol test, which I dutifully submitted to a few days later. The test has a particular piece of data that measures a) time not spent exercising; and b) how much sweets/snacks/booze is in your diet. I failed that baby with flying colors.

So, one of those hours I had been spending blogging every morning will be devoted to, well, adding years to my life.

It’s funny how you never think about that stuff till you get past 40, then you can’t stop thinking about it.

(I do have some stuff to blog today, though, so stick around).

Packers-Eagles wrapup

Upcoming star vs. outgoing legend, ending about how you’d expect it.

The Favre magic wasn’t quite enough to stop the Eagles, but the Pack came extremely close. Eagles proved they are scrappy as hell and able to respond to having their fannies handed to them early in the game. But when they had the momentum going their way after evening the score at 14, they faded a bit. Not the kind of letup you want from an eventual Super Bowl champ.

Gotta figure they have a solid chance to take out Carolina next week, but I wonder if they can beat the best AFC team. Now everybody can hope for a McNabb- Manning matchup, which might create the kind of karma Carolina needs to pull the upset.

Gonna be a fun weekend, for sure. Not sure if I’ll blog it … probably won’t do play-by-play like I did this week; the constant updates throw my rhythm off. A fun experiment though.

Packers-Eagles second half

First half wrap: Eagles have a shot but haven’t convincingly stopped Favre. And they gave up a second grinding drive, which could be fatal late in the game (though the Eagles had a week off, so their legs might have something left)…. they stopped the Pack (mostly because Packers runner Ahman Green bumped into a lineman and fouled up his forward progress on fourth-and-1) at a time when the Pack was willing to be stopped. Favre and company proved they could get to the goal line just about any time they wanted.

(Hit refresh & scroll down for updates; each paragraph is an update).

Now I see another reason why the Pack went for it on fourth and goal: they get the ball first in the second half. Ahman Green runs for 7 on first down. Gets another 10 or so on third and 3. If Green keeps this up, he and Favre could be fatal for the Eagles.

Wow, major sack as the Philly defense sends six guys. I won’t say Philly needs to score on the first drive of the half, but a few first downs would be huge. Donovan McNabb has been getting plenty of time to pass but his receivers aren’t getting open. So far anyway.

Eagles still can’t stop Pack’s runners, though they are getting some pass rush on Favre. None of that gets ’em into the end zone, though.

OK, I will say Philly needs to score on this drive. Otherwise the Packers know they can stop them. Hmm. Holding penalty probably dooms ’em. Whoah, think again. McNabb rifles a bullet for a first down, and lofts one for nine yards. Could this be the turnaround?

Holding call thwarts ’em again. Ouch. Completion to Chad Lewis for about 12 yards… looks like the Eagles might’ve found a chink in the Pack’s armor. Big McNabb run to close the third quarter, with momentum shift favoring Philly.

Whoah, huge McNabb scramble and pass to Todd Pinkston puts Philly in the end zone. Tie game, first play of the fourth quarter. Interesting start after a mundane third quarter.

Hmm, Eagles starting to look decisive on defense. Those big guys in the Packers’ offensive line might be getting tired out.

Ouch, that drive gave the Pack defense a nice rest. McNabb sacked twice. Favre and company get the ball back at midfield. Times like this are when Favre shines. And guess what: he make a 44-yard completion. First & goal.

Third and goal: Favre tries a shovel pass inside that goes nowhere. Field goal is good; 17-14 Packers.

Eagles possession goes nowhere. Penalty nullifies good field position after punts. A few Pack first downs could put the hurt on the Eagles. Third & short and the Eagles need a stop right now.

Green runs for a few yards and a first down. Time isn’t on the Eagles’ side now. Those big drives they gave up in the first have could be taking their toll now. Huge offensive line surge carries Ahman Green to another first down on third and 2. Eagles stop ’em at midfield.

Seconds slipping away from the Eagles. McNabb has the ball at his own 20 with 2:21 left. Whoah, Duce Staley pops off a 20-yard run. All the Eagles need is to get into field goal position for a tie, though the way this game is going, they’d be well advised to go for the end zone.

Holy Toledo! McNabb converts on fourth and 26. Now in field goal range, 34 seconds left. Hmm, McNabb makes a few yards on an ugly option play. Pinkston completion at the 20 with 22 seconds left. Scary throw into the end zone almost picked off.

Field goal unit on the field with 10 seconds left. 37 yard try straight through. Overtime.

Philly wins the toss and will get the ball first. Did I call this one or what?

McNabb stopped tree times in a row. Penalty nullifies nice punt return.

Favre throws an interception, Eagles return it to the Packer 34 yard line.

McNabb hits Todd Pinkston at the Packers 22. Pack’s in trouble now.

Duce Staley pounds out an amazing run down to the 15. Now the Packers need a miracle. Kicker David Akers is 95 percent from this distance.

Akers bisects the uprights. Eagles win 20-17.

Packers-Eagles first half

Great matchup of two of the marquee quarterbacks in the league. (Hit refresh & scroll down for updates).

Fox just ran a skit of a pretend Rush Limbaugh gloating over putting the fire under Donovan McNabb’s fanny. Then a guy dressed as McNabb comes in and pummels him. Howie Long astutely notes the actor is a southpaw. Actually a bit funny.

Betcha didn’t know: James Brown of Fox Sports played basketball for Harvard.

Nice Fox piece on Brett Favre … a guy who’s been at his best when he can get beyond emotion and put his talent to work. He talked about being unable to think during the Oakland game, when he shredded the Raiders’ defense. Early in his career, Favre took huge chances that went wrong almost as often as they went his way. But he was always so damned talented, it was just a matter of getting his head (and maybe his heart) right. It’s the Michael Jordan-with-the-flu phenomenon … he plays better precisely when you think some distraction would, well, distract him up. There’s a parallel in photography I’ve noticed: if you want to get a good action shot, you click before the action happens because if you wait till you see it in the viewfinder, it’s over before the camera captures it. Getting the shot is instinctive, reactive. Success in sports is much the same.

OK, game time. Pack defense tough so far, forcing McNabb to burn a time-out. Three-and out, now it’s Favre’s turn. His first pass was nothing to write home about. ‘Nother 3-n-out. This is gonna be a brutal scrum that’ll probably go to the last series of downs.

Whoa, the ref with the fly stuck open was a hoot! (A Bud ad, not the game).

Favre’s playing with this splint on his thumb… his passes are looking rough. Advantage Eagles?

Know what? Coors Lite ads infuriate me because it’s the worst excuse for a beer on earth. That this weakass pisswater is even on the store shelves is annoying proof that propaganda works.

Whoah, Donovan chokes on a third and one! Fumble goes to the Packers.

Holy Shit! So much for Favre’s passes being shaky. He just passed for a 50-yard touchdown. Amazing.

Wild, McNabb just tore off a 42-yard run down to the Packer 15. Now the Packers defense has to think about McNabb running. Eagles are gonna have to settle for a field goal… score a moral victory to the Pack defense. Field goal misses.

Farve just did it again. Wonderful TD pass from about 20 yards out. Wow. 14-0 Packers.

About the only hope for the Eagles so far is that their defense gave up only one sustained drive in the first quarter. Usually if a team falls behind by two TDs in the first quarter, its defense has given up a couple of grinding drives and won’t have any legs left in the fourth quarter. Or maybe Favre will fracture his other thumb.

Well, that HP ad with the dolls on the city streets was way cool. But I wonder how many people thought it was an ad for Toys R. Us.

Eagles just got a crucial defensive stop … a long drive here would’ve been killer late in the game. Now, can they have their offense express-mailed to Philly in time?

McNabb nails a 44-yard strike, Duce Staley takes it in for the touchdown through a hole so big I could see it without looking at the TV. Talk about getting what they really needed when they needed it most. Hopeful turn for Eagles faithful.

Six minutes left in the half. Packers need to answer here at least with a field goal to prove they’re still in charge. Great run for Ahman Green down to the Eagles 4. Two-minute warning: Fourth and inches, Packers looked poised to go for the TD — a good call because even if they fail, they’ve got the Eagles pinned way deep.

Eagles defense holds .. a key stop that could be nullified if the Eagles offense can’t get something going (unlikely given the amount of time left: 1:47).

Blogging the playoffs

This is an experiment to see if I can follow along here with running commentary on the NFL playoffs from the couch.

OK, so there’s only one game left this weekend… I missed the double-overtime win by the Panthers yesterday. Can’t really cry over St. Louis being ousted. Right now the Chiefs are running out of time and two touchdowns behind.

Indianapolis is starting to look like the team of destiny all the sudden. Late in the season the Colts got spanked by Denver. I saw parts of it and wondered what the hell. But they returned to form last weeked and blasted Denver when it counted. Missed that game too. Seems like Peyton Manning has all his good games when I’m not watching.

Touchdown chiefs!

38-31 Indy. Onside kick to come, no doubt.

It’s all riding on this kick… ooh, they faked the on-side, now, can the defense hold after having failed all day?

Peyton just got a killer completion. Chiefs need a miracle now.

Nope, no miracle. Colts win, but do they have enough defense to take it all?

Sets up an intriguing AFC championship next week against the New England Patriots. No-Name Pats vs. the No-Luck Colts. Manning’s had two great games but I’m guessing he’s got his dad’s ‘Aints genes and will be denied.

In gizmo heaven

New iBook. New digicam.

Gadget nirvana.

I’m sitting on the living room couch, and across the room this flying-saucer-looking thing called an Airport Extreme Base Station is beaming the Internet to my iBook laptop (notebooks they call them these days). It’s also beaming the contents of my Itunes music library. so I can take my tunes with me anywhere within range of the base station. About 50 feet or so.

The camera is a Canon A70. It’s a nifty little thingy … has scads of controls. It used to be you had to buy a camera that had either aperature priority or shutter priority; this has both. It’ll shoot automatically but you can also adjust shutter and aperature manually, or use the “priority” mode to choose the best aperature to go with whatever shutter speed you set, or to choose the best shutter to go with whatever aperature width you set. Plus the ability to make quickie videos up to 3 minutes long. Very nice.

I’m planning to take some fresh photo-fetching roadtrips in the next couple months and post the results here.

Casual Friday

Today I’m playing with my new iBook so don’t expect much blogging.

Come to think of it though, this should be a good opportunity to put this little bugger through its paces.

I was up till the wee hours getting my wireless network set up, only to wake up this morning, boot everything up and find it not working. Another hour’s fiddling got it going again.

OK, here’s an actual blogging experiment:

Cincy paper dumps Boondocks. What a bunch of babies.

And for those outraged that the low-rated Doonesbury survived while Boondocks didn’t, we made the decision to drop Boondocks because we did not want to keep publishing a comic that we regularly needed to censor. During the past year, Boondocks was substituted a number of times because it was deemed inappropriate for a family newspaper. And not just this family newspaper. Editors across the country were making the same decisions.

Well, editors across the country who were scared of their own shadow.

(Hey, it works!)

Now I’m blogging from the couch in the living room. Look Ma, no wires!

Just to show that my geekery is unmatched around our house (well, it’s only me and Melissa), I unwired myself and took this thing to the kitchen, had Melissa load her favorite baking Web site and printed out a recipe from across the apartment. Way cool.

First rule of laptopery: the keyboard is your friend. The touchpad has personal space issues and wants you to stop poking it all the time.

OK now this is way cool: my optical mouse works fine when moving across the fabric of the couch.

Year of the gadget

OK, so within 24 hours of placing my order for my new Mac laptop, I learn of two people who also bought new Mac laptops.

And yesterday I’m at work and I notice one of the guys on the National Desk has this shiny new digicam in his hand.

Me: “Hey, what kinda camera is that?”

Him: “A Nikon Coolpix.”

Me: “Wow, I just bought a new Canon. You know, if you ever need a battery pack for that thing, let me know. I found real good one.”

Him: “Why, do people have battery problems with these?”

Me: “No, but they all go through batteries super fast, so the battery pack is nice to have. How’s that one doing?”
Him: “I don’t know, I’ve only owned it for four hours.”

Everybody’s got the bug these days, it seems.

Sorry for the dearth o’ posts

I’ve been busy buying a bunch of new toys (Mac iBook laptop, Canon A70 digicam), but I do have a couple links of note:

Hiawatha Bray of the Boston Globe has a nice piece on the promise & peril of blogging and the workplace. Bottom line: It can be good for business, so long as you don’t criticize the business, which can be bad for your career. Oh, and you should blog on your company’s behalf off the clock, not on the company’s dime. Another way of saying your boss welcomes all the free positive publicity you can generate, but you have to keep the rest to yourself.

Jay Rosen has a thoughful (if long) treatise on inside baseball and horserace reporting.

Mars rover lands safely. First thing I thought when I saw new pictures of the Martian surface: looks just like Iraq. You have to be a pretty hardened soul not to appreciate the coolness of one of our little devices crawling around on Mars.