Blogging and Responsibility

I’ve been blogging off and on for over ten years now. I’ve never been able to make a living off of writing, but I have – on rare occasions – gotten some form of compensation for it. It hasn’t always been actual money; I’ve written for free swag, webspace, and beer, among other things. This shouldn’t be surprising for someone who signed up for three-and-a-half years to potentially enter burning buildings in exchange for “free t-shirts and beer.” But 99% of my writing/blogging has been for no compensation outside of the thrill of seeing my name online and hearing someone say that they read my post and that I got a handful of hits on the website.

Anyway, I’ve kind of talked about this in the past when I rambled about Puck Daddy, but that post was about visibility and opportunity. Today’s rambling is about responsibility.

SBNation is a network of about 40 bazillion individual sports blog websites, kind of united under one banner. Every team has a website, as does every sport, with SBNation kind of operating as a grand overseer, promoting the best posts of its individual websites (one of which I’m very fond of) on its central SBNation website. Most (if not all) of these websites existed before SBNation came along and SBNation-alized them, so content and editorial quality can vary greatly.

Which brings us to today. Continue reading Blogging and Responsibility

Today’s Internet Lesson: The Rub

Monday, Yahoo’s Puck Daddy blog posted its latest 1 in their “Summer of Disappointment” series, where fans of each team write up a post going over the most disappointing aspects of their beloved team – seasons, coaches, uniform choices – that type of thing. Greg Wyshynski, editor and founder of Puck Daddy sent out a request on Twitter to get someone from each team for a then-unnamed project.

I didn’t apply, mainly because there were two guys who were better suited for the project than I was, and they run a certain website. And, well, they were interested:

So that was that. I really expected the boys to get the gig, whatever it was. So when we got the Carolina Hurricanes “Summer of Disappointment” post, I realized 1) that was the “project”, and 2) 328 wasn’t doing it, otherwise we would have heard about it already. I read it anyway, because things like this are always good for discussion, and during the offseason, any Canes article is a good article, right?

Right?2 Continue reading Today’s Internet Lesson: The Rub

Bobby Flay – Embracing Celebrity Cooking’s Biggest Heel

There was a time I really didn’t like Bobby Flay.

I was an Iron Chef fan – the original series, with the dubbed voiceovers and the subtitles and the fortune teller judges and the endless supply of bonito flakes and daikon radish. It was fascinating to me (and lots of others, hence Food Network still being a channel and Iron Chef America has been running for 11 seasons and 205 episodes) and it became an 11PM ritual. It was interesting to see non-Asian chefs on the show, especially with the occasional American. Flay was one of those Americans, challenging Chef Morimoto in a battle in New York City at Webster Hall. The two had a hard, evenly fought battle, then, well, this…

It wasn’t so much the cutting board thing – I mean, who’d know that? – as much as it was Continue reading Bobby Flay – Embracing Celebrity Cooking’s Biggest Heel

Battling for better bills – Part 1

I think I’ve always been cheap. My wife and I have joked that we’d be those rich people that everyone hates, still using coupons and shopping at Goodwill. This is just something that we’re used to, and it makes you feel better to not only save money, but to “get that bargain” and feel like – in the battle of consumer v. merchant – you’ve won a round. You know that you’re probably paying way more than you should for some things with markups and margins and all that, so any opportunity to “stick it to the man” gives you a little bit of a rush.

I mentioned coupons before, and food shopping is one of the easier places to “save money”, whether it be by using coupons, buying store brands, taking advantage of sales, buying in bulk, or various other methods of saving. If you’re lucky enough to live in a major residential area like I do, you have stores competing to get your business, which leads to big savings. Within a few miles from my house, we have three supermarket chains, a Target, and a Walmart, all competing for my dollar.

That’s all well and good, but what about utilities? Most utilities don’t have competition (how many electric companies do you have?) but some do, namely television, phone, and internet. Often, this unholy trinity of “luxury utilities” gets bundled together for “one low price”, but like any “bundle” or “combo”, you have to look carefully to see whether or not you’re really saving anything, or if it’s worth the hassle. Personally, I prefer to have everything separate; that way, if you have an issue with one service, you’re not obligated to stay just because that same company has your other services, and you don’t run the risk of breaking a contract (which generally any “bundle package” entails.)

So let’s attack these three one by one. Continue reading Battling for better bills – Part 1

Pressing Your Luck

I think most of us go though financial issues at one time or another. It could be something minor, like an unexpected bill, or something major, like the loss of a job. Regardless of the severity, it never feels good. Personally, I get this knot in my stomach, usually when I get the email from my bank about a “low balance”. How we react to that knot affects whether or not the knot will come back, and its frequency.

Some people make well thought out decisions, carefully looking at options, making minor changes in lifestyle and choices to make things easier as a whole, despite perhaps making it a little harder in the short term. “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” applies to both Cinderella ballads and stuff like instant Netflix. Choose carefully. Cancelling a service may seem good on paper, but once its done, it often can be more difficult to bring back and you can incur “reactivation fees” on top of restoring the service.

Some people take a more drastic route, electing to do things for money that they never thought they’d do. We get to see this a lot in the entertainment industry, where there’s a great deal of money to be had, depending on what level you’re willing to embarrass yourself or “sell out”. It might be as simple as a commercial in Japan, or something like the show Splash. The actors in these cases are generally doing these jobs with an ulterior motive; while the money is often the main reason, exposure to the public can often be the real reason the actors take the jobs. This exposure can occasionally be taken too literally. But hey – if you’re an actor “lowering yourself” to do a commercial, remember that those commercials are where you probably started, and where tons of actors would give anything to get the commercial you have. Oh, and a word of advice? Read the script first:

For a lot of people though, there’s the lottery. Just a little bit of hope against a mountain of odds. Lets face it – anyone playing the lottery knows that chances are more likely that they’re not going to win it than win it, but it’s that glimmer of hope – that one in a million chance – that keep people going to websites like to see if their numbers came up.

Whatever way you have to do it, I wish you the best of luck.

(And if you do hit that jackpot, I’ll take a cut. It was my idea, remember?)

Pairing Up Part 2 – The EPL Search Continues

About three months ago, I set out on a quest to find a Premier League soccer team. English soccer was coming on channels that I actually received in the States, and after enough time playing Football Manager to actually adopt a Scottish team (Celtic) and an Italian team (AC Milan), I figured it would be easy enough to adopt an English team.

I was wrong. Continue reading Pairing Up Part 2 – The EPL Search Continues

Pairing Up – A Yank Tries To Adopt a Premier League Team

I’ve been threatening to become a soccer fan for a couple of years now (thanks, Football Manager 2012) and now with news that England’s Premier League has a full-blown American TV contract with NBC Sports, it might be time to pick a team there. I’ve thrown my support behind a few teams (usually thanks to FM) such as Celtic in the Scottish Premier League and the local Carolina Railhawks, but I’ve let to get behind a team in a “major” league. With other sports, there’s always been some outside influence that made me a fan of the team, whether it be my mom’s brainwashing at birth (New York Yankees), my grandparents not wanting to use a catalog (Miami Dolphins), or proximity (Carolina Hurricanes). But not here. I’m flying (relatively) blind going into this. I will do this the way that people were meant to support sports teams – for petty, ridiculous reasons.

This seed got planted in my head a while back by Bill Simmons, eons ago when he used to write about sports and be entertaining. He wrote his post(s) back in 2006, and had the help of a huge readership that sent him thousands of emails to give his reasoning for picking their team. Email would be obsolete (and I’d be long dead) before I reached 100 emails about the subject, so I don’t have the benefit that he did going into this. All I have is Wikipedia and a few facts I’ve gotten from the handful of soccer fans that I know. Continue reading Pairing Up – A Yank Tries To Adopt a Premier League Team


Our home internet went down yesterday morning sometime, and by the time I woke up this morning, it still wasn’t back up, which meant contacting my provider, Time Warner Cable, to bitch and moan about the service. Mind you, I’ve been a TWC customer since we moved down to NC almost seven years ago, and I’ve been quite happy with them; outages have been few and far between, usually resolved within the hour. I’ve always been a fan of cable internet over DSL, and from other experiences friends & family have had in the area with DSL, I’ve never felt I made the wrong choice.

That isn’t to say that I love Time Warner Cable. I love cable internet. The company behind them? Notsomuch. Continue reading ONE OF THE LUCKIEST CUSTOMERS OF TWC

Est. 2000, which is like 1947 in Internet years.