When I Was Young...

When I was young (7th Grade), I was confident that I could capture the essence of myself in a book length autobiography.  I never got around to penning that memoir, and it is probably a good thing. I have since learned that I am too complex to capture fully in any medium, regardless of the context or size.  At the same time, my views constantly change with age, life experiences, etc.  In that way, I really am not the same person today that I was 5 years ago, and probably will be much different in another 5 years.  I am certainly not special; I think almost everyone reading this passage would agree with me.  With that said, I still try to capture pieces of "me" in short snippets in a diary, in blog posts, in articles, in message board and Facebook posts, in photos and other multimedia renderings, and via other means.
When I was young, I believed that my society was a meritocracy.  I thought that television shows contained the best actors; the songs playing on the radio were the best ones available; etc.  I realized later on that while meritocratic values do influence our country's corporations, schools, societal organizations, contests, etc., other factors, such as luck, marketing ability, looks, etc. play a significant role as well.  Nonetheless, I think that the "me" of today would agree with my naive, younger self in stating that I'd rather live in today's society than, say, in any part of the world during the Middle Ages.  :-)

When I was young, I was focused on the present.  I didn't worry too much about the past or the future.  I also was not as aware of how my actions impacted others.  The me of today is much more self-aware.


Perhaps It Is Time to Change Up My Fantasy Football Drafting Strategies

This article from Yahoo (by Jason Cole) got me thinking about fantasy football drafting strategies.  In previous years, I have always picked a running back (or in my first year playing in a fb league using a snake draft system--a wide receiver) in the first round.  In fact, on many occasions, I would opt to choose the best available running backs in Rounds 1 and 2.  I would often wait until the 4th or even 5th round to snag a QB.  I changed up that strategy last year and snagged Drew Brees in the first round in one league.  I went ahead and picked up either Stafford or Brees for my other leagues in the 2nd or 3rd rounds (in 2 leagues I had both Stafford and Brees; however, he was a later round pick in those two leagues).  At the same time, I tended to focus more on picking up quality wide receivers and less on snagging top-tier running backs.  I would, for instance, snag a tier 1 rb (Adrian Peterson for instance) and a Tier 2 guy with potential, like Beanie Wells or Darren Sproles.  In one or two leagues, I didn't have any tier 1 backs on my team at the start of the season.  Despite this fact (or maybe because of it), I enjoyed the most success I've ever had in fantasy football in the 2011-2012 season.  

Given how much success I had in fantasy football last year, I will probably be even more likely to pick-up a Tier 1 QB in the 1st round of this year's fantasy football drafts (depending on draft position).  I think my days of prioritizing running backs (and sometimes wide receivers) over quarterbacks is over.


An NBA Team in Las Vegas? First Reaction to the News about the Sacramento Kings

I was tuning in to ESPN radio and heard that the stadium deal between the City of Sacramento and the NBA franchise, the Kings, fell through.  According to the announcers on ESPN, the Kings are the ones who are responsible for this snafu.  A couple of weeks ago, the franchise gave its okay to a tentative deal with the city to build a new stadium; however, Kings are now trying to renege on some of the promises they made to the city as part of the agreement.  

The ESPN announcers stated that the Kings might move to Seattle or Vancouver if the franchise can't strike a deal with Sacramento soon.  However, the first thought that came to my mind is, "Why don't the Kings move to Vegas?"  I mean the Maloof family, which has a majority ownership stake in the Kings (or at least I think they do), are part owners in The Palms casino (though I guess they own a little bit less of that casino now: see story).  Las Vegas might not be a great T.V. market, but it certainly has enough tourists and locals to fill a good sized arena each night.  Heck, maybe Las Vegas would be a better T.V. market.  It doesn't have anywhere near the population as California; however the Kings also won't have to compete with several other teams for Nielsen ratings/shares.  Finally, I don't think the NBA has to worry about a Las Vegas team ruining its brand.  No one in L.A. is going to stop watching the Lakers or Clippers because the NBA chose to allow a team to move to Sin City.  The same thing goes for the fans of the other NBA franchises. 

The Maloof family and Nevada could even save some money and build a stadium adjacent--or perhaps connecting to The Palms.  That could be a win-win for everyone.

Now the Sacramento Kings franchise might want to change its name if it does move to Vegas.  The Las Vegas Gamblers probably wouldn't work.  How about the Kings of Hearts or, err, perhaps the Vegas Boardwalkers, or maybe the Vegas Rain (irony there).  The sky's the limit for this one.

Of course, it is highly unlikely that the Sacramento Kings will ever move to Vegas.  I doubt if any NBA team would...But it is sometimes fun to speculate...

Disclaimer: the author usually goes to Las Vegas once a year, so his views may be biased. ;-)

Photo is from Wikimedia Commons.  The photo's author/owner is Photos by flipchip /  It was taken on September 27, 2007 and placed in the public domain via a  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.  Thanks again to for positing this photo in Wikimedia Commons.


Thought of the Day

Ah, if only the SPAM bots who are visiting my site would follow me.  I would go from 54 followers to 5400 followers in no time.  :-/


Musings of a Blogger

I hope everyone is having a great day. While I have a few minutes, I thought I would posit a few random thoughts.

Over 100 Views in a Day

The good news is that my blog received 101 views yesterday; it is the first time I have ever had 100 or more visits in a day. The bad news--well, most of those visits were from SPAM bots. In fact, at least 80-90 of the visitors were probably not human. Oh well, at least I had a moment to enjoy the number before the reality set in (that my visitors were not "real people").

Oh, How I Wish Academic Journals Were Open Source

If I ever strike it rich, I will likely donate to several causes, including funding scholarships for my undergraduate institution (Roanoke College), sending money to the SENS Foundation (research on aging and age related diseases), and creating a trust that buys academic journals and provides them free of charge for public viewing.

In the late 1800s and into the 1900s (if I recall, perhaps someone with a better knowledge of American history will help me out on this one), philanthropists donated millions of dollars to help fund the building of new libraries. One of their chief goals (and the most altruistic one) was to provide everyone (well, almost everyone), whatever their station in life, with access to knowledge. The philanthropists believed that people needed ready access to information/knowledge if they were to be able to carry out their duties as citizens.

In the same way, I think it is vital that the public have ready access to the information stored in peer reviewed journals. They may sometimes need to review this information if they are going to make a well-reasoned decision on an issue which is dear to them or which impacts their lives. Granted, many people may never even make use of this information; however, some individuals will utilize it, especially when they believe that none of the advocates for a certain issue are being straightforward with them. People might also want to review information in a journal when they procure unbiased information from news sources and they are unsure which Internet blogs or sites to trust.

How about a fictional real world example: I want to determine whether the local natural gas company's fracking plans will provide a net benefit to my community. I listen to both sides discuss the issue at the local town council meeting. The gas company uses an article in a peer reviewed journal to support its case that fracking is safe and environmentally friendly; I want to back-check the company's claims, so I look-up the article on-line, and learn that it would cost me $65.00 to purchase it--ouch. I check with my local library, but it doesn't carry a subscription to that article and doesn't have the resources to procure a copy for me. I ask the gas company, but I get nowhere....Hmm, wouldn't life be better (and wouldn't it be easier for me to fulfill my role as a good citizen) if the journal was open source.

Clip Art courtesy of Microsoft Office.


Part 2 of It Is Kind of Odd How Technology Both Enslaves Us and Sets Us Free

Happy Easter All.  I've finally managed to get around to writing the second part to my technology piece...

While technology enhances or enlarges our freedom(s), it can also diminish our autonomy.

1) As several posters have mentioned--see comments under "(Part 1 of) Its Kind of Odd How Technology Both Enslaves..."--we seem to be wedded to some of our gadgets.  How many times have our friends, family, co-workers, or even ourselves said that we can't live without our television, smartphone, computer, tablet, etc.  Heck, even if we haven't said, it is still probably true for many of us.  However, just because we can't "live without" a piece of technology does not necessarily imply that our autonomy has been limited.  A company may "not be able to function" without a certain employee, but we don't necessarily think that the company is a slave to the worker.

The added worry for many of us (who want to be as autonomous as possible) is not just that we can't live without technology; it is that we adjust our lives to fit our technology instead of vice verse.  Instead of using a piece of technology as a tool, which is wholly devoted to serving us, we instead change our habits, views, etc. to fit that technology.  As an example, we change our methods of emailing, writing, etc. to conform to whatever new technologies (ie. a new version of Word) that come along.  If a new IT system demands that we learn a new series of processes, we do it.

In other words, instead of forcing technology to fit within our proscribed routines; we change our routines to fit the technology.

2) We have lost control over our basic information.  I'm sure that my name, address, dob, favorite foods, etc. are floating out on the Web somewhere.  More importantly, I didn't put (some of) them on the Web, nor did I request that it be done.  Nevertheless, it is out there somewhere on the Web for everyone to see.  More importantly, I am not alone; most of us are probably in the same boat.  Whether we care about it or not (I personally am not overly worried about it), we have lost control of our information.  We do not necessarily determine what people see and when they see it.  The growth of the Internet and social media have set us free in many ways; however, it does come with a cost--some loss of privacy and personal control of information.

3) We have always had to worry about "big brother" to some extent.  Even before the invention of cameras, I'm sure that people had to "watch their backs" to make sure that no one was spying on them.  With the invention of cameras, video cameras, recording devices, etc., it became easier for governments/people/companies, etc. to keep an eye on people (either in public or in private).  The advent of things like Google Maps has made that task much easier.  Granted, this might not be a bad thing in some cases; I'm sure that city managers the world over love having the ability to look down on homes from on high to see if they can spot any city-code violations.  Nonetheless, the more advanced this type of technology becomes, the greater its potential for invading our privacy and otherwise denying us the freedom to dictate who sees/hears our private moments.

Clip Art Courtesy of Microsoft Office.


Sorry If I Haven't Visited Your Website in a Few Days

To All of my followers...I apologize if I haven't visited your website in a few days.  I have been a little busy of late. :-(

Also, I will try to sit down and write Part 2 of my technology post(s) in the next couple of days.


PS.  I think I'll change the background again.  The desert scene is getting a little blasé.