Bring it On

Texas Tech’s loss to West Virginia last night in the Sweet 16 means only one thing to me: Bring on Baseball. I’m trying to not let a lot of the negativity surrounding baseball affect my love of the game. The biggest issue I’m reeling with right now is the Cubs loss of Joe Borowski — for about 6 weeks.

I bought a new iPod yesterday, and I’m really getting into podcasting. I spent an hour today listening to Bicyclemark’s Audio Communique, he discusses his world journeys the past several years, and explains how he ended up in Amsterdam. Very interesting.

iPodder is great software. The interface allows you to look through directories of podcasts by interest or popularity. I even found some aviation-related podcasts. Here’s how it works: you subscribe just like you would an RSS news feed. The podcasts you subscribe to automatically download and go to the media player of your choice (mine is iTunes), and updates to your iPod when you sync. Right now I’m subscribed to Adam Curry’s Daily Source Code, BicycleMark, MacCast, The Inside Mac Radio Show, and Illinoise!.

I spent a good portion of the evening looking at online job databases, and it’s a bit discouraging to see the quality of jobs available. I graduate in May (pending the passing of my MATC portfolio) and it’s easy to get discouraged about jobs in technical writing and technical editing, at least in the Texas market.

Lubbock has been kind to me in many ways, but the town has a way of making one feel constricted — like something is happening everywhere but here. I have my heart set on Austin or Dallas if I stay in the state. Both communities have a lot to offer, and both show positive growth in the technology markets. If any tech writers read my blog, post comments or drop me a line, I’d like to discuss the employment outlook where you’re at.

Bonds Submits

I was a bit disappointed to read today that Giants slugger Barry Bonds may not finish the rest of the season:

“I’m tired of my kids crying. You wanted me to jump off a bridge, I finally did,” Bonds told reporters Tuesday, shortly after returning to training camp. “You finally brought me and my family down. … So now go pick a different person.”

Bonds is on the brink of shattering both Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron’s home run records. The fact is, the media is not responsible for the hooplah surrounding Bonds, despite what he says. Stop hiding behind your kids, stop blaming the media. Admit what you did in the past, and move forward and prove you can hit home runs without steroids. This is the time to do it. Do it with a knee injury, and allow yourself to be a great athlete who was always an athlete, one who simply made some mistakes in the past. Don’t play the babe in the woods. Don’t find scapegoats. Don’t be the guy who took a lot of steroids and was a great player as a result.

Barry, you were in line to become the greatest baseball player of an entire generation, if not all time. Why would you let media coverage of steroid abuse in baseball allow you to cancel the most important season of your career if you have nothing to hide?

Personally, I would welcome media scrutiny if I stood accused of something I had not commited. I would use media coverage as my vehicle for proclaiming the truth. Unfortunately, the truth about Bonds is not so flattering. Baseball has taken an impotent stance on resolving the issue from the inside, and even a panel of congressmen firing questions at former sluggers about drug use ultimately didn’t produce much results.

Saira Shah to Speak at Texas Tech

The Texas Tech Department of English has booked Saira Shah for the 2005 Convocation. If you’re within 300 miles of the United Spirit Arena in Lubbock on August 30, you should be there. If it’s not enough that at the age of 21 Shah crawled around on her belly covering the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan as a freelance journalist, consider the fact that she followed that up by being a mainstay on the scene of nearly every major (read: bloody) conflict since then, including the Balkans, Algiers, Palestine, Congo, Iraq, Columbia, Northern Ireland and Sudan. Shah is the author of The Storyteller’s Daughter, in which she compares the Afghanistan of her father’s time with the modernday one that is wartorn:

His wild black eyes fix themselves upon me. There is no way I can describe the power of another human being concentrating all his force upon you in utter desperation. It feels as though I am looking into my own tormented soul. My eyes veer away. Behind him is a grass bank. It is full of people, sitting, lying, writhing. Everyone has lost a limb, or is clamping a hand over a bleeding wound. The further I raise my eyes, the further I can see — they stretch beyond the boundaries of this garden, this city, this country, this age. In that instant I understand that normally our senses are scattered, divided. At rare moments we catch a glimpse of what is real; we are the same, we are all connected.

It seems that Google is getting one step closer to launching Gmail. While surfing this morning, I saw the a link below the search field inviting me to the service (see image). Here’s the word from Google:

Since we launched Gmail in April 2004, we’ve been focused on improving the service, relying on our users to spread the word and invite others to try it out. The response has been great, and now we’re ready for some more Gmail users. …

As we make room for more Gmail users, we want to first extend invitations to Google users. We’re still working to make Gmail better, so for now, we’re just inviting a small number at random. Looks like that’s you! We’re really excited to share Gmail with you and we hope you like it.

I’ve been using Gmail for almost a year now, and it changed that way I use e-mail. If you’re not lucky enough to get an invitation from Google to try Gmail, e-mail. I have plenty of invitations to go around.