Category Archives: Random Rambling

ONE OF THE LUCKIEST CUSTOMERS OF TWC

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

A lifestyle change – for the better

Through my life, I’ve always had issues with my appearance, mainly my body. I can remember being young – pre-teen age – and being concerned that I was fat because I had a “gut”. We would play shirts-and-skins basketball and I hated taking off my shirt because of that “gut” that I saw myself as having. I knew that I wasn’t “fat” in that I saw people who were overweight and I knew that I wasn’t built like them, but that I also wasn’t packing six-pack abs or anything like that. I was self-conscious about my body, like probably 95% of the world. When I graduated high school, I was still self-conscious about my “gut”, but I didn’t have a weight issue; I was six-foot-two and a hundred and sixty-three pounds. There’s a team picture of my varsity basketball team and I’m standing in the middle holding the basketball, and I’m thin as a rail. I still didn’t see myself that way, but in hindsight, I was. Continue reading A lifestyle change – for the better

Defending Manti Te’o… Sort Of

We’ve all had our fun with the Manti Te’o story. If you’re new to this, Te’o is a star linebacker for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, finished second in the Heisman Trophy race, and is a projected first round pick in the next NFL Draft. This season, as Notre Dame was making a run towards being the #1 ranked college football team in the country, stories began to run about the team in major publications, including one about Te’o fighting through tragedy after learning about the death of his grandmother and his girlfriend within the span of six hours, only to have a great game against then tenth-ranked Michigan State, on the road, giving the Fighting Irish their best start in ten years.

Except that his girlfriend didn’t exist. (His grandmother did, though, and she did die – that’s not crap.) Deadspin.com broke the story yesterday, sending millions scrambling to think of some clever reference to girlfriends in Canada, George Glass, or something else I don’t feel like finding a link to. Notre Dame says that Te’o been duped by someone on the Internet, while Deadspin implies Te’o may have been part of the ruse, noting a connection between Te’o and the person believed to be behind Te’o’s fake dead girlfriend’s Twitter account.

What we’re left with now is trying to sort everything out. If Te’o was in fact duped, how does that happen in 2012? Supposedly in a relationship for three years, how does Te’o not ever see his girlfriend in person? Notre Dame plays Stanford every season, and played there twice – 2009 and 2011 – and the ’09 game was when they supposedly met. No Skype? No webcam? No meeting in 2011? She couldn’t have come to the USC game in 2010? Is Te’o that naive? Was he being used for money?

Or, if Te’o was part of it, why would he do it? Was it an attempt for more media attention in his senior season to improve draft position? Was it something cooked up by Notre Dame PR to give their highest profile player some more exposure and a Heisman run in a weak field?

All of these seem a bit dubious. A college athlete isn’t exactly the best target for money, boosters be damned. A pro athlete you could see, but college? Not so much. And as for PR, it would have been just as easy to just push the “dead grandmother” story (which was legit) as it would have been to push the dual deaths. Tragic is tragic, and adding an additional death to one that actually happened seems like (pardon the wording) overkill.

So I’ve been going over “what if” scenarios in my head, and one keeps sticking over and over, and would make all the jokes all the more empty and kind of turn the accusing finger on society a bit.

What if Manti Te’o is gay? Continue reading Defending Manti Te’o… Sort Of

Back on the wagon

Look at that – I’ve broken through the combination of bitterness and writers block and self-doubt to make a post, and at 2400+ words, it was one of my trademarked rambling posts. That said, I don’t think I rambled too much, especially since I really could have written more – I think ADHD meds tend to be misunderstood due to those that choose to abuse them, so a little insight can be a welcome thing.

I’ve gotten some nice feedback on Twitter too:

“That…was INCREDIBLY interesting. And I’m not even following this story. Very well done!” – Lindsay Beaton, former Pop Bunker collegue

“An excellent article/blog, Tom. Thanks!” – Fred Schulcz, guy

“…I really liked the column. Thoughtful and well-written.” – Peter Krause, star of Parenthood & Sports Night comic creator [Irredeemable, Insufferable] & artist

“Great piece. Very informative.” – Steve Bennett, guy with a Far Side cartoon in his avatar

“[N]ice article. You oversimplified the [TUE] process…” – Will Carroll, sports injury expert, writer for Sports Illustrated, Internet curmudgeon

“I look forward to reading it later when I have more time.” – Wendy Thurm, ex-Long Islander, San Francisco Giants fan, writer for every baseball blog ever

You get the idea. Well, I hope you do since I’ve got no more quotes left – spread the word, people!

I’ll come up with something with more meat tomorrow. Maybe.

Me vs US Airways

I’m a complainer. I’ll admit that. Being a cheap bastard, when I do actually spend money and don’t get what I pay for, I’m going to complain. The drawback of that was that I generally hate confrontation, but hooray for the Internet, allowing us to complain through things like email and social media. It’s actually very effective (well, usually it is) and very therapeutic, as long as you don’t overkill it. Most companies want to hear if something goes wrong and will bend over backwards to make it better. Those that don’t – well, they end up getting blog posts written about them. Continue reading Me vs US Airways

Why I Write (and why I don’t)

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now – not just during the two month hiatus, but really ever since I got back to somewhat regularly writing for the blog. I wanted to give an idea as to what brought me back regularly, taking time out of my day (some more than others, thanks to my need to research things that don’t need to be researched) to do something that wasn’t making me any money, wasn’t making me famous, wasn’t helping with my job (hell, probably hurting my job more than anything, but not really), and really had no apparent benefit. It’s a question you could ask of a lot of bloggers, I’m sure, and they’re bound to give you a variety of answers ranging from providing a service, honing their skill, or out of pure enjoyment.

There is that, I guess, but I think most bloggers deep down want what I wanted – an audience. Continue reading Why I Write (and why I don’t)

The Sports Butterfly Effect

Today, Kyle Williams is learning the hard way that the Internet is an ugly, ugly place. Williams is getting death threats on Twitter due to his fumble during overtime in last night’s NFC Championship Game between his San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants. The Giants recovered the fumble, putting them in ideal field goal range, and three plays later, the Giants’ Lawrence Tynes kicked the game-winning field goal to win the game and send them to Super Bowl XXXXIIIIII 46.

I say “ideal field goal range” because those aren’t always guaranteed shots. Billy Cundiff and Baltimore Ravens fans know this first-hand, as Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal – one yard longer than Tynes’ kick – that would have tied their game with the New England Patriots and almost certainly put the AFC Championship game into overtime. Cundiff doesn’t use Twitter (to our knowledge) so he at least doesn’t get to see the threats from people who talk without fear of repercussion, hiding behind an alias behind a computer keyboard or smartphone.

Or worse, maybe they’re not showing false bravado. Maybe they would physically attack Williams or Cundiff because of those plays. “Fan” is short for “fanatic” for a reason. Continue reading The Sports Butterfly Effect

Great Moments In Disney-based Editing

ESPN.com has an article on the LA Clippers by Mike Downey that is featured on their front page as of the time I write this. It’s one of those wacky “I write the way that I talk!” articles that only I think I’m good at, talking about how the Clips are an actual team that could potentially do well instead of being the inspiration for the Washington Generals. Despite the fact that I don’t really like pro basketball, I’m reading through it anyway, and I get to this part: Continue reading Great Moments In Disney-based Editing