Today I decided to partake in Sirius’ online streaming for my daily musical entertainment. The standard free service sounds pretty good, and the premium subscription sounds even better. I’ve got the premium service thanks to a class action settlement that I knew nothing about before getting a letter from Sirius telling me I was getting free premium online listening for the rest of my subscription year. Fabulous! Now I can stream CD-quality music online anytime. Very helpful when one finds the need to work under a cone of silence.

While the service sounds great, I do have a couple complaints. One of my favorite things about satellite radio is that you always know what song you are listening to because it’s displayed right on your receiver at all times (I believe HD radio does this as well). As someone with no capacity to remember song titles or artists, that feature helps me figure out what I’m listening to. This is also something we have all gotten used to for internet radio stations. In fact, I can’t think of any online music services that don’t tell you the current song. The good news is that you can sign up for an internet-only Sirius subscription for just $13/month! (Yay?)

I had noticed this failing before, and never really looked into the reason until now: Continue reading


Couching the Olympics

Hope Solo will kick your ass.

Hope Solo will kick your ass.

Even though I prefer the Winter Olympics, overall, it’s been hard not to tune in to NBC every night to catch the mostly tape-delayed Olympics broadcast. With events in almost 40 different categories, you would think there would be something different on every time I tuned in. Well, you’d be wrong. I am so tired of seeing diving, that I can’t even explain it. I thought I liked diving, actually. It’s a beautiful and artful sport, but between the sheer amount and the low quality of the NBC coverage, I am just sick of it. And the coverage was pretty poor — I never knew what the heck I was watching at any given time. First it was women doing syncronized diving off of a low spring board. Is that event called something? I expected the announcers to maybe share that with us at some point during the coverage. Another day it was younger women doing syncronized diving. What was the difference? Are their age groups? I have no idea. It just seemed to always be on, and I’m sick of it. I don’t want to see any diving again for a long time.

Gymnastics is always fun to watch. The things those men and women (or little girls, as the case may be) do are just incredible. I don’t think I could float through the air like that in zero gravity. I feel bad for Nastia Liukin. She just couldn’t catch a break.

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GRTC Frustrations

Like everyone, I’m feeling a pinch from the slow economy and rising gas prices. I also happen to live quite near a commuter lot for Richmond’s bus system, GRTC. I also work downtown, which is where, I imagine, most of the buses are headed each day. So, I thought I would look into the cost and convenience of riding the bus.

GRTC System Error

GRTC System Error

Unfortunately, the GRTC doesn’t post any useful information on the routes, that I could find. I tried the trip planner, but that failed with an unhelpful error message.

After downloading their route map, I made a guess at a suitable route number (Route 27, Glenside Park and Ride). This PDF helpfully had a nice clear map and a trip schedule. Unfortunately, it seems as though my only choice for arriving at work by 8:30 is to catch a bus at the park and ride at 7:32, to arrive at 14th & Bank (one block from my office) at 7:52. There is a bus that departs the Park and Ride fifteen minutes later, but it goes to the garage after stopping at 9th & Marshall at 8:14 — two stops shy of the stop nearest my office. The trip back posses less problems, though the last 27 bus departs my office stop at 5:20, so if I needed to work late, I’d have to find another route. Continue reading

What's in a name?


Real Salt Lake logo

Real Salt Lake logo

Why do U.S. soccer teams have names like Real Salt Lake? First of all, isn’t it a little random to have a Spanish word in the name of a Utah professional sports team? Spanish has less to do with Utah than jazz does (but at least the Jazz have the excuse of merely keeping the name when they moved from New Orleans). Second, “real” means royal. I just don’t see the connection. Real Maryland F.C. has the same issue, in my mind, though they claim the royal connection (the team is known as the Monarchs) hearkens back to the state’s colonial roots. I suppose they are just continuing the trend of cribbing names from successful European teams. A trend set when MLS was founded by my own favorite team, D.C. United.

Time for a change

This site has been through a number of changes in the few years I’ve had it; going from plain HTML to versions using off-the-shelf PHP CMSes, to a home-rolled, Django-powered blog. It was a lot of fun to build all of those sites. Well, OK, some were more fun than others, but I always learned a lot. While I really like Django, the most recent version of my site was frustrating, because I didn’t have time to add the kind of features I wanted the site to have. Continue reading