How the AZ Cardinals and HP Printers are likely to break your heart. [1/4/09]

Regardless of how pathetic the NFC West was this year, the Cardinals made the playoffs for a reason.

Turns out the Cardinals are one of the oldest pro sports franchises in the country, and the oldest continuous pro football franchises. Founded in 1898 as an outgrowth of the Morgan Athletic Club in Chicago, their “continuous” and “professional status began in 1918, and they would be a charter member of the American Football League (the direct predecessor to the NFL) in 1920. They won an NFL Title in 1925 (by virtue of having the best record) and an actual championship in 1947 – the last time the franchise hosted a playoff game until yesterday.

Everything in a football stadium is farther away than you think.

If you’re ever labelling giant banners to hand across a football stadium, use compass directions instead of “left/right”.  Most stadiums and arenas use compass directions routinely anyway (north tunnel, west loading dock, east elevators, and so forth). That way, no-one guesses wrong about which way you face to determine left or right, and you don’t end up hanging two 30′ square banners backwards – like we did.

You can print about 125 pages with an HP 21 ink cartridge in an HP 4315 printer – kinda disappointing when the cartridge costs $25-30. I had two copies of my 170 page book made at Fedex for $33 – and I didn’t have to punch my own holes.

Now you know.

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Bill Gates Ain’t Scared [10/4/08]

Another brief Sunday morning round up. My ritual is to watch – in order Meet the Press on NBC, This Week on ABC, then Late Edition and GPS on CNN. By the end of GPS, there’s either sports on, or I have to get on with my supposed life.

Typically, though, as I did today, I sleep through most of Meet the Press, and the first half of This Week. But I was on my second cup of coffee by GPS, where the guest was Bill Gates.

Bill Gates is more worried about the state of US high school education than he is about the financial markets. He sees that thing as a short term correction, and believes the actual economy, drive by ideas and innovation, shows signs of recent improvement.

Besides, he did not say, regardless of how you think derivatives should be marked for accounting purposes, you’re still going to do that with Excel.

(Say what you will about Microsoft, for my money, Excel si still the most functional spreadsheet program on the market, and the only reason to plunk down $$ on MS Office. If it doesn’t come bundled with XL, you might as well download OpenOffice.)

Having played around some with Open Office, I can tell you that I have to go back to Excel to make complex character sheets, and the word processor has an annoying habit of trying to finish my words for me. Whatever algorithm they’re using to guess what I’m trying to type has poor luck predicting the syntax of roleplaying game rules. The outline functions are frustrating me too, but that may still be a learning curve issue.

Hey, Pakistan has a new head spy. Amidst all the drama about the financial meltdown and the antics of Sarah Palin, the post which may have the most direct impact on the battle against al Qaida changed hands. Who knew? Well the AP, of course, and the Sepia Mutiny, for those who don’t want to rely upon CNN for the 30 seconds of coverage the most volatile and heavily armed region of the world gets in the average US 24 hour newscycle.