Category Maintenance

Just a heads up: I’ve done some pruning to the categories. The “Time Warner” category is gone, and all posts that were in that category have been moved to “Geek Stuff”. I also killed the “Life On Mars” and “Hotel Babylon” categories and moved those posts to “TV”.

– Jim

DOWNLOAD: Georgia Tech 2012 Football Schedule for Outlook!

The ACC released the official 2012 football schedule today, and I’ve created downloadable versions of Georgia Tech’s schedule that work with both Microsoft Outlook and Gmail or iTunes.

If you follow college football, you probably know that game times and TV coverage aren’t sometimes known until a couple of weeks before the game. So, unlike my famous Steelers schedules (which include the kickoff time and the network airing the game), this schedule has the games starting at 8AM and lists the location of the game instead of the network (so, “Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, GA”, instead of “ESPN2”). A reminder is scheduled for 13:00 (1:00PM ET) the day before each game.

The download is available two formats: the traditional CSV format (used by Microsoft Outlook and Yahoo! Calendar) and the iCalendar format (used by Google Calendar and iTunes\iPhone). So be sure to choose the correct version when you download!

The CSV version of the schedule is compatible with Microsoft Outlook 98 or later. It might also work with Google Calendar or any other calendar app that can import calendar events from CSV files. However, it has only been tested with Outlook 2010.

The iCal version of the schedule has not been tested at all. I used this handy online tool to convert the CSV to iCal format, so if you experience any problems with it, please take it up with the converter’s webmaster and not me! I did, however, open the iCal file in Outlook and it appears to be correct.

So… pick your poison:

GT 2012 Football Schedule (CSV format)

GT 2012 Football Schedule (iCS format)

*     *     *

Outlook users may follow these simple instructions to import the schedule. Make sure to read the all the directions below before you begin, as there are some options you may wish to change before importing the calendar:

  1. Download the appropriate file to your desktop and unzip.
  2. OUTLOOK 2007 and earlier: In Outlook, select “File” > “Import and Export” > “Import from another program or file”, then click “Next”.
    OUTLOOK 2010: In Outlook, select “File” > “Open” > “Import” > “Import from another program or file”, then click “Next”.
  3. Choose “Comma Separated Values (Windows)”, then click “Next”.
  4. Use the “Browse” button to select the CSV file you unzipped in step 1.
  5. On the next screen make sure to select “Calendar” as the destination then click “Next” and “Finish”.

DISABLING REMINDERS: If you wish to disable the reminders, open the CSV file and change the value of “reminder on/off” (column G) to FALSE for each game before you import the Calendar into Outlook.

CHANGING “SHOW TIME AS”: By default, the entries will display their time as “Free” on your calendar. If you wish to change this to something else, change the value of each entry in Column V (“Show Time As”) from FREE to “1″ (Tentative), “2″ (Busy), “3″ (Free) or “4″ (Out of the Office) – without the quotes.

TROUBLESHOOTING: If you try to import the schedule but don’t see any of the games listed in your calendar, shut Outlook down completely (open Task Manager to make sure that OUTLOOK.EXE is not running) and re-open Outlook and try the import again. If you’re still having problems, leave a comment below and I’ll try to help!

VERSION INFORMATION: These files were tested on February 27, 2012 on a computer running Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and 32-bit Microsoft Office 2010. It was scanned with Microsoft Security Essentials 2.1.1116.0 and found to be virus-free. It’s the exact same file I’ve used for all prior versions of the schedule, so it should work for just about everyone.

Top 10 Tunes

From the home office in London, here’s the Top 10 song chart for the week ending February 26, 2012:

1) Marsheaux – “Ghost”
2) Marsheaux – “Thirteen/True”
3) The Ting Tings – “Silence”
4) Marsheaux – “Stand By”
5) Teddybears – “Punkrocker (feat. Iggy Pop)”
6) Marsheaux – “The Promise”
7) Two Door Cinema Club – “Something Good Can Work”
8) Marsheaux – “Radial Emotion”
9) Cheap Trick – “Dream Police”
10) Discovery – “Missing”

Quote of the Day

“The poor girl, Star, had been brought up by a stepmother with three children of her own, one an almost grown boy who had taken advantage of her in such dreadful ways that she had been forced to run away and find her real mother. Once found, her real mother had sent her to various boarding schools to get rid of her. At each of these she had been forced to run away by the presence of perverts and sadists so monstrous that their acts defied description. Thomas could tell that his mother had not been spared the details that she was now sparing him. Now and again when she spoke vaguely, her voice shook and he could tell that she was remembering some horror that had been put to her graphically. He had hoped that in a few days the memory of all this would wear off, but it did not. The next day she returned to the jail with Kleenex and cold-cream and a few days later, she announced that she had consulted a lawyer.

It was at these times that Thomas truly mourned the death of his father though he had not been able to endure him in life. The old man would have had none of this foolishness. Untouched by useless compassion, he would (behind her back) have pulled the necessary strings with his crony, the sheriff, and the girl would have been packed off to the state penitentiary to serve her time. He had always been engaged in some enraged action until one morning when (with an angry glance at his wife as if she alone were responsible) he had dropped dead at the breakfast table. Thomas had inherited his father’s reason without his ruthlessness and his mother’s love without her tendency to pursue it. His plan for all practical action was to wait and see what happened.”

– Flannery O’Connor
“The Comforts of Home”

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-02-26

Continue reading “Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-02-26”

My One Camping Trip

My dad was in the Boy Scouts and the U.S. Army, so by the time I came along he’d done enough camping for one lifetime. To this day, the closest dad comes to “roughing it” is staying at a Courtyard by Marriott. And so, aside from a couple of grade school summers when my folks let me “camp” in a tent in the backyard, I managed to reach adulthood without camping before.

By the late 1980s, most Georgians who knew about Cumberland Island learned about it from local shows like PM Magazine or local TV sign-offs. Atlanta’s public TV station, WGTV, in particular had a sign-off which featured scenic scenes from around the state set to Ray Charles’ version of “Georgia on My Mind”. The once grand old homes, the wild horses and the beautiful, unspoiled beaches of Cumberland Island featured prominently in the sign-off, and so one day, in late 1990, I got the idea to go to there.

Of course, this was a lot more difficult then than it would be today. I had to send a letter to the National Park Service, who is in charge of the island. In return they sent me a form to fill out, which I returned. Several weeks later, I received passes which would allow me and two friends to spend no more than 72 hours on the island on Memorial Day weekend 1991 (it’s a nature preserve, so access is strictly limited). I went to the Georgia State University library to find a phone book for St. Mary’s, the town closest to Cumberland. I saw a hotel I liked and made reservations. Almost everything was done except the waiting.

As the date approached, I spent around $400 on a tent, ground cloth, sleeping bag, a nice flashlight\lamp combo, a camping stove, fuel, plates and flatware, an armful of dehydrated camping dinners, water purification tablets, a 5 gallon collapsible water jug, eco-friendly toilet paper, cans of insect repellent, a sweet Swiss Army knife, and a giant backpack to put all that crap in. Oh, and I got a shiny new pair of Doc Martens, too. I considered them “necessary camping supplies”, you see. And, to round out the ensemble, I had an of-age friend get me a bottle of tequila, since I was only 20 at the time.

Continue reading “My One Camping Trip”

ShareThis Updated

Hi Folks!

Just wanted to let you know that I have updated the ShareThis options at the bottom of every post. I’ve changed the look from large buttons to small icons, and did so because I also added support for Pintrest, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, and the Google+ “+1” feature.

Note that you can choose from dozens of other sharing services including Orkut, LinkedIn, Digg, Xing, Technorati, by clicking the green “ShareThis” icon at the bottom of each post.

Over the Top

I was never a Whitney Houston fan. There was just waaaayy to much melisma (“Sounds like a disease? It is a disease, my friend!”) in her music for it to be of any pleasure, as if Whitney were being paid by the syllable. Which kind of makes her the Charles Dickens of American pop music. But I’m not the only one who thinks this way. Check out this blog post, excerpted below:

Thus, her take on Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”. Take a moment to recite the lyric in your head. Has ever a piece of popular verse been more deserving of the epithet ‘love song’? ‘Love’ as in selfless regard for another, a heartbroken protagonist realising there’ll be more suitable partners for their beloved further down the line, and so exiting stage left to leave the way clear. It is, to say the least, a melancholic state of affairs. And like Nick Cave said in The Secret Life of the Love Song, “Melancholy hates haste and floats in silence. It must be handled with care.” Accordingly, Parton’s reading of the song is dignified, restrained, a handwritten note quietly pushed under the back door.

By contrast, Houston alerts all local news stations of her paramour’s address, lands a gold-plated helicopter on his front lawn, stops and poses for pictures, has a quick “No, don’t talk me out of it, I have to go through with this!” session with a shrink on the driveway, blinks back tears in a to-camera piece about ‘My journey’, briefly consults her full-time mascara assistant, knocks on the door, and hands over a giant factory-written Hallmark card when it opens. Meanwhile, melancholy lies bleeding somewhere in an adjacent block, having crashed to earth when its quiet floating was cut to shreds by rotor blades. Poor bastard. It never stood a chance.

Amen, my brother. Amen.

Quote of the Day

Kevin: “I need to you teach me [whispering] how to be a liar.”

Ruxin: “[whispering] You don’t need to whisper… we’re at a law firm… [loudly] lying is encouraged here. Look, I’m not your guy for this. You need a low-level maintenance liar like Pete. ‘No, I’ve never been married before.’ ‘Yeah, I definitely own my own home.’ ‘No, this isn’t a cold sore.’ I’m the guy who you come to when you’re ready to perjure yourself to protect an Australian mining consortium.”

Kevin: “Ruxin, you are the best worst person I know.”

– Stephen Rannazzisi and Nick Kroll as
Kevin MacArthur and Rodney Ruxin
on The League