Vanderbilt Football

Vanderbilt football is a lesson in humility. The team is just never that good and seems to be the official Homecoming team of the SEC, since opposing teams can count on a win against us. Mom invited me to come up to Athens to watch the Vanderbilt-UGA game on Grant’s TV, but why would I want to sit through hours of agony as my team loses? This week Vanderbilt plays Arkansas, ranked No. 10 in the country. I wasn’t even paying attention to football today until about 3:00. Flipping through channels I was surprised the Arkansas game was on TV, but there was a commercial so I got online to check out how bad we were losing. Very much to my surprise Vanderbilt was up 28 to 20 over Arkansas at the end of the third quarter. Of course, I checked it again to see if I had read it correctly and yes, that was the case.

I flipped back to the TV and Vanderbilt even had the ball. The first play I witnessed was a screen pass to the left and Vanderbilt got a 30-40 yard gain to get inside the Arkansas 20 yard line. Holy cow. The next play the quarterback kept the ball and ran straight ahead into a wide open field, getting a first down inside the 10 yard line. A running play tacked on another few yards, now inside the 5 yard line. Vanderbilt is about to go up 15 points over a ranked team! How can they mess this up, I’m thinking? How about fumbling the ball? Next play, Vanderbilt fumbles the ball. I turned the TV off before the Arkansas player could run it all the way back into the end zone. For a Vanderbilt fan, this is good defense: turn the TV off before the other team can score. Turns out Arkansas went for a 2 point conversion and tied the game. The game is still on, but the ending is certain. I only had to watch 3 plays.

UniqueFire UF-2100 3-mode

Reviewer’s Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Uniquefire UF-2100

Summary:

Battery: 18650
Switch: Reverse tail clicky
Modes: 3 (can be modded to 5)
LED Type: Cree XM-L T6
Lens: Glass
Tailstands: Yes
Price Payed: $14.95
From: DinoDirect
Date Ordered: 26 Sept 2011

Pros:

  • Bright!
  • Functioning mode memory
  • Only 3 modes
  • Optional 5 modes

Cons:

  • Not regulated
  • Gets hot on High
  • Needs a Medium (instead of strobe)
  • Rough threads

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Sunwayman V10A

Reviewer’s Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Sunwayman V10A

Summary:

Battery: AA or 14500 li-ion
Switch: Forward clicky
Modes: 1 infinitely variable
LED Type: Cree XP-G R5
Lens: coated glass
Tailstands: yes
Price Paid: $53.68
From: DinoDirect
Date Ordered: 19 Sept 2011

Pros:

  • Forward clicky
  • Infinitely variable output
  • Very low Low
  • Nice quality build
  • Cool looking
  • Good throw

Cons:

  • No preset modes
  • Gets hot on li-ion batteries

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Domain Expiration

This week I got an email notice that the domain flashlightwiki.com (I originally misspelled it in case this post affected the renewal process) would be expiring soon. The sender noticed that I had a similar domain, flashlight-wiki.com, and thought I would be interested in entering an auction for the hyphenless domain name. It was written as if it came from a person, but it had to be automated. My wiki has done pretty well since I started it almost a year ago, just a couple of months after the flashlightwiki.com domain had been registered by someone else but never used (honestly, how many people are interested in a flashlight wiki?). I put some minimal ads on my wiki, but despite 12,000 page views a month, I get maybe $1 a month from the ads.

Right now I pay about $8 per year to register the domain name. Other than that cost, WikiMedia’s software is free and I am hosting the domain on my igirder account that I was already paying for. I don’t really want to pay much more and I am wary of changing the domain after the debacle of changing my ipod battery site from its original home on speedfactory’s personal web pages to my own igirder domain and losing my page rank and essentially all the money I had been making at Amazon and AdSense. However, it might be worth an extra $8 a year to keep this new domain registered and make the switch someday.

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Michael Lewis Articles

Michael Lewis was on The Daily Show this week. He has a book out called Boomerang about the global financial crisis. Essentially it is a compilation of feature articles he wrote for Vanity Fair about Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Germany, and California. He also wrote The Blind Side which was made into a movie with Sandra Bullock and Moneyball, another non-fiction book turned into a movie that has just come out and stars Brad Pitt.

For each article he goes to the country and reports on what he finds out. It is a pretty funny picture of each country (I’ve read the Iceland and Greece articles so far) plus gives you a lot of details about their economic troubles. Nothing complicated or technical, but still good information, if a little superficial (which he admits). The articles are almost more of a travelogue than news article. He says about two Greek tax collectors that although they are both whistle blowers fearing for their jobs, they can’t stand each other. He writes “This, I’d be told many times by other Greeks, was very Greek.” In Greece the government workers were making 3 times the average private sector wage. However, he also points out that in the private sector most people list themselves as self-employed and report almost no income in order to avoid taxes. If the tax agency investigated, you could just bribe them to leave you alone or fight the charges in court which would take forever. Knowing the court battle would take forever, the tax agency generally would just give up.

He started the series with Iceland where he talks about these really aggressive Icelandic fishermen giving up fishing to become investment bankers and ruining the country by taking the same kinds of risks as investment bankers that they took as North Atlantic fishermen. He points out that Iceland is just this really, really sparsely populated country and everyone knows everyone else. He asks a guy if he knows Bjork. He says of course he does. Everyone knows everyone in Iceland. And the guy adds that not only is Bjork a bad singer, but so is her mother.

He has also covered Germany who loaned out most of the money and are now stuck with paying most of the bills. Ireland is another place where the speculative bubble burst in a big way. And just this month he has written about California where the people insist the government stay in operation but also keep refusing to allow the government to collect taxes.

Vanity Fair only gives you a teaser of the first article on Iceland. But I found a PDF version here and a web version on a Congressman’s website, though it is missing the last paragraph.

Stanza and ePub

This week I was looking up some long magazine articles and I thought this would really be better to read on my iPod than while sitting at the computer. There are choices on the iPod including Instapaper and Browse Later for saving web pages to the iPod, but reading articles in the browser is not one of the iPod’s strong suits. You wind up having to scroll left and right to read each line.

Instead I figured I could just get the text of the article and read a text document. But you don’t just put files on the iPod and open them like you do on a computer. I have a free eReader called Stanza on my iPod. It is pretty good, allowing you to customize the text size, color, background, etc. and it is easy to flip through pages with just a tap (as opposed to scrolling by brushing your finger on the screen).

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