Sunday, January 29, 2012

Novak beats Rafa in epic 5-set final at the Australian open

Congratulations to Novak. I have a begrudging respect for how he has overcome his inner demons, thereby allowing him to walk like a colossus among men in tennis. Unfortunately, this post is not about the winner; it is about the loser.

My heart weeps for Rafael Nadal. Though he will live to fight another day, I wonder how he can recover from this. Andy Roddick and Fernando Verdasco are not the same after their epic losses in the years gone by. In fact, they have faded into oblivion since their epic matches in 2009 - Wimbledon final for Andy and Australian open semi-final for Verdasco. For that matter, two of the greatest tennis players of all time could not overcome such defeats - Federer has not beaten Nadal in a grand slam since he lost the 2008 Wimbledon to him, and Bjorn Borg retired prematurely after John McEnroe beat him in the epic Wimbledon final of 1981.

So let it be with Rafael. If this is how it ends, it will be a fitting final chapter to a storied grand slam career.

Or, can he use this loss, like he used his 2007 Wimbledon loss to Federer, to realize that he can beat his nemesis? Belief is half the battle. The rest is preparation, perseverance and practice. The latter are Rafa's signature moves. He lacked the former against Novak.

I hope this isn't "all she wrote" about the man from Mallorca.

Monday, January 16, 2012

FMGG - definition

(noun) - Abbreviation for Fece Master Go-Go.
(definition) - Typically used to address a person that is either adding negative value or completely not living up to their potential.

Tebow is such an FMGG; Brady had more touchdowns than Tebow had completions in the 2011 NFL Divisional Playoffs.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The East Coast freeways SUCK!!

1. Apparently, I-95 in Pennsylvania is not I-95 in Jersey. Go figure.

2. Every freeway has multiple toll booth(s), but the quality of the roads does not reflect the exorbitant tolls charged to drive on them. Tolls between Philly and Jersey amount to about $15 one-way. Caveat driver.

3. There is no, repeat NO, public transport system that provides a practical alternative to driving. Refer #2 to understand why if you have to drive, you're almost signing up to be waylaid by the toll booths. State sponsored daylight and night-time robbery at its insidious best. I said "practical"; Amtrak is neither practical - train schedules and trip durations are from an era that passed in 1975 - nor cost-effective.

4. Did I say something about tolls yet? Another point of reference - NYC congestion tax is now $12, but the roads into the city are 10 times worse-for-driving than the 520 bridge at its worst!

5. Finally, I mean I can go on but for the purposes of brevity, you might argue that there are state roads that are not toll-ways. Right these exist; wrong if you think they are viable alternatives. Expect to drive for at least 45 minutes longer and stop at ludicrously out-of-sync stop lights if you choose state routes. And oh yeah, people can join these roads from side-rights on the right, cut you off as they take left turns into side roads, or do both at the same time with impunity.

But wait, this is the right coast. Or whatever.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Great line from a Steve Ballmer interview

Read in Bloomberg Businessweek:
They talk about fast twitch and slow twitch muscles, and I forget, long-distance runners have one and sprinters have the other,” Ballmer says. “Well, in some senses all product teams kind of need a bit of a fast twitch and a bit of a slow twitch, because there are bigger innovations that take longer and there are other things that you can do in shorter periods of time.
Bloomberg's involvement in Businessweek has turned that magazine around. Their issue dedicated to Steve Jobs a few months ago gave me goose bumps. This interview with Ballmer provides a unique insight into the mind of Ballmer. Visit the link for the full story, and start reading half-way through for the interesting bits.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Samsung is a great artist

Great point by Gruber at Daring Fireball:
If you want to defend Samsung, don’t do it by arguing that they don’t copy Apple. Go with the “good artists copy, great artists steal” argument. Argue that Samsung may be shameless but they’re not stupid; that it’s no coincidence that the Android handset maker that’s selling the most phones and growing the fastest is the one most closely mimicking Apple.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Defense contractors are fat cats

This NYTimes article opens with the statement:
The wellspring of this prosperity is not just the Defense Department’s vast payroll, nor just the fat profit margins of its contractors.
I am honestly glad that military spending is being cut over the next 10 years because heretofore, my tax dollars are lining the pockets of these purveyors of death and destruction. Defense budget reduction aside, this system of reaping profits from government contracts seems odd to me. My ideology is slightly different: For me doing anything as a citizen of a country is not about making profits. Representing the country is a noble cause, an honor even. Mixing profits with a cause so pure tarnishes its virtue.

Then again you can argue that precious little is pure in this world. Look no farther than the infractions of <insert religious body here>.