Bill Weye

Category: My Life (page 2 of 12)

Not much really, just things about me that you might find interesting . . . or not.

Craving a pepperoni pizza

Pizza Before
Creative Commons Licensecredit: A.Currell

I’m in the midst of a radical shift in my relationship with food. I’m doing a modified cleansing fast that will hopefully help break my addiction to sugar, then create a new base and standard from which to work towards being a healthy person. It’s not easy.

Today has been the first tough day, number four. Actually yesterday was hard too, the first day that I started craving my old comfort foods, which are unhealthy, but nonetheless comforting. There are a lot of fast food commercials during sports on television, and reading the food and dining section of the New York Times online didn’t help much either.

But a nice greasy pepperoni pizza is what I really started craving after seeing a photo on Flickr. Dam, you Flickr!

Steve Nash – He’s got balls

Watching this ad directed by Steve Nash, professional basketball player and a pretty good soccer player (he grew up playing soccer), it made me wonder whether there has been any other person who’s had a ball either in their hand or on their foot more than Steve Nash? Think about it: the guy is always playing basketball and soccer; that’s a lot of time with a ball in his grasp.

Early Sunderland, Massachusetts

Holding the horses in the dooryard, Sunderland, Mass.I live in a dinky little town: Sunderland, Massachusetts, though it’s weird sort of town. It’s a farm and bedroom community for a college town (Amherst and UMass). There’s still many farmers in town, and I live on a farm. You can check out some photos from Sunderland on my Flickr group. And for more old-time photos from around Western Massachusetts, you can check out the Digital Treasures project.

How do you like your major league baseball players?

I just wrote a post about the best Red Sox blogs, so this is kind of redundant, but Yanks Fan vs. Sox Fan has this great post with a proposed record book annotation system in response to the Mitchell Report and other general baseball nonsense. Here are some of my favorites:

! = Amphetamines
$ = Gambling
|| = Cocaine
~ = Alcohol
. = Dead ball era
? = Wore glasses
† = Crazy religious freak
¢ = Lousy tipper
Æ’ = Womanizer
Â¥ = Asian fetish
Å“ = Funny accent
? = Ass kisser
X = General douchebag

Photo Share Podcast #2 Is Live

photo from flickrCreating a podcast involves some heavy lifting! This is our second podcast . . . which we only had to record twice. Seems there were some technical glitches that just couldn’t be edited out with Audacity.

Lesson number 1: make sure you have your microphone cables under control when recording, because they sure make a lot of noise if they’re knocking around.

One thing our second podcast features, and that I want to talk about more of in the future, are applications (and mash-ups) that people are creating using the Flickr API.

Check it out, along with links to our Flickr group, at Photo Share

Theo Epstein’s Steroid Problem

Theo Epstein’s Steroid ProblemKnowing what we know about Eric Gagne, his horrible pitching record, his clear inability to pitch under Fenway pressure, and now his steroid use as detailed in the Mitchell report, WTF was in Theo Epstein’s head when he acquired the reliever with weird glasses?

On November 1, 2006, Epstein emailed his scout, Mark Delpiano, “Have you done any digging on Gagne? I know the Dodgers think he was a steroid guy. Maybe so. What do you hear on his medical?”

Delpiano replied:
Eric Gagne, not celebrating

Some digging on Gagne and steroids IS the issue. Has had a checkered medical past throughout career including minor leagues. Lacks the poise and commitment to stay healthy, maintain body and re invent self. What made him a tenacious closer was the max effort plus stuff . . . Mentality without the plus weapons and without steroid help probably creates a large risk in bounce back durability and ability to throw average while allowing the changeup to play as it once did . . . Personally, durability (or lack of) will follow Gagne . . .

Right there! Epstein’s own scout told him Gagne was soft, that he “lacks the poise and commitment to stay healthy”. Now, why would Epstein, putting the steroid issue to the side for a moment, take a chance on Gagne, giving up major league pitcher Kason Gabbard and outfield prospects David Murphy and Engle Beltre. That was the trade of a crazy person!

Unfortunately, the craziness didn’t end there. The Red Sox also signed the free agent and suspected juicer, Brendan Donnelly; that is, the Red Sox themselves suspected him of being a juicer before they signed him, but did it anyhow. From the Mitchell report:

In considering whether to trade for Donnelly in 2007, Red Sox baseball operations personnel internally discussed concerns that Donnelly was using performance enhancing substances. In an email to vice president of player personnel Ben Charington dated December 13, 2006, Zack Scott of the Red Sox baseball operations staff wrote of Donnelly: “He was a juice guy but his velocity hasn’t changed a lot over the years . . . If he was a juice guy, he could be a breakdown candidate.”427 Kyle Evans of the baseball operations staff agreed with these concerns, responding in an email that “I haven’t heard many good things about him, w[ith] significant steroid rumors.”

Theo should be made to wear his gorilla suit in the office for a week, after these revelations. It’s one thing to make decisions blindly, without information, but Epstein’s staff was giving him information that players he coveted, both of whom turned into busts, were juicers.

Top 7 Boston Red Sox Related Blogs

Rick “the rooster” BurlesonIn honor of #7, The Rooster, here are the 7 best Red Sox related blogs. What makes them the best? I said so, that’s why! Just kidding. These are the best blogs not because they are reporting any new information, but because they offer a unique perspective, are funny, or both. The bottom line is that these Red Sox blogs are entertaining, and they’ll make you think or smile. In no particular order:

  1. For overall reflection of the Red Sox Nation culture and cutting, insightful humor, Soxaholix might be the best blog. Without question, with its comics format and regular characters, its the most original of all the Red Sox blogs.
  2. 38 Pitches, Curt Schilling’s blog has to one of the best Red Sox blogs because . . . he plays for the Red Sox! There is also the fact that he breaks news, talks about more than just baseball, is a prolific writer, and seems willing to teach interested fans about the mechanics of throwing a baseball professionally.
  3. Allan Wood is an author with a published book. He also writes the blog The Joy of Sox. It’s a good blog because he writes regularly (in my book, that’s a must to be on this list), but there are some weird things about his blog: even though he’s a published author, it’s kind of tough to find his name anywhere; also, he points readers to his book website with the heading “Except for my book”. Rewrite! Where’s rewrite?!
  4. As its authors write, Surviving Grady is “like catching your mom making out with Rick Burleson. But online.” Not sure what that means, but it’s pretty funny, no? I’m partial to funny Red Sox blogs that realize they’re driving off the Zakim Bridge with their obsession. I dig the obsession, though I wish they weren’t trying to extract every last dollar from their site.
  5. Here’s one for you: Misery Loves Company. What a screwy idea: some Sox and Mets fans write a blog together, talking about their favorite teams and baseball in general. I like it! And they’re no fly-by-night operation: they’ve been writing since 2003.
  6. The House That Dewey Built gets mentioned because it has my favorite title, has been written continuously for a long time, has a clean design without advertising, and has a steady stream of Sox news. I wouldn’t say this is the most creative of the blogs, but it’s a good tool to have in your Red Sox tool box.
  7. Am I a sucker for gimmick blogs? Maybe, but I like to be entertained when I’m reading a Sox blog, and Yanksfan vs. Soxfan does that (hey, shouldn’t that be Soxfan vs. Yanksfan?!).  One thing that I like with just about all of these Sox blogs: they give you a list of other Sox blogs in their sidebars. Giving props to the rest of Red Sox Nation is a good thing.

Am I missing any good Red Sox blogs? What’s flying under the radar, or maybe some new blogs?

How to stop working for free?

dollar signHave you noticed that if you show a bit of aptitude at either web design or computers in general, most people will just assume that you’re on call 24/7 for every one of their questions? These people never take into consideration whether you might actually like to get compensated for your work, even if it’s just through barter or trade. Lately I’m feeling like an ATM machine, I get so many withdrawals but very few deposits.

This morning I received an email from someone I hardly know asking how to rid of his computer of virus’. I wanted to tell him to first drop the computer on his foot, break the foot, get the insurance money, PAY ME, then I’ll tell you what to do!

There are hundreds of articles like “how to get people to work for free“, but hell, somebody give me advice on how to stop this!! Everybody is looking for computer and design labor, and there are trains full of people who are skinflints, but nobody with 2 nickles to pay my fee!

Pay the monkey! Pay the monkey! He’ll dance all night long!

UPDATE:  Another thing that’s astonishing are the number of people who ask you for free help or advice, then never say “thank you”.  That’s happened three times just this week . Are you telling me that in addition to not paying me, you’re going to be rude to me?

MORE UPDATES: Why would anybody send me a link in an email with no explanation? I thought the purpose of the link was to trigger action on my part (more free labor, of course), but it wasn’t. It was only a friendly email to make me aware of a flash mp3 player that I’ve known about for two years. Here’s a good rule the thumb: unless it’s some particularly tasty, free porn, do. not. ever. send me a link without explanation.

Go away Microsoft, and take your Zune with you!

stupid zune logoI‘m in the process of trying to get a new podcast off the ground (if you haven’t heard it yet, check out Photo Share Podcast), and part of that means spreading the word to listeners of podcasts, or people who might be interesting in the subject of online photo sharing (like Flickr!). And I want to help users of both iPods and Zunes to hear my podcast. But . . . Microsoft won’t let me contact users of the Zune because I’m a Mac person and can’t install their special podcast submission software (it’s PC only). If you want to submit a podcast to their “marketplace” for consideration you’ll need a PC, thank you.

I put a special button on my site for Zune users to quickly add my podcast to their stupid brown machine, but Microsoft can’t give me any love back? Truly, a screwball company.

What I learned about community radio from Chris Teskey and WPKN

photo from flickr
On Saturday morning Chris Teskey from the community radio station WPKN in Bridgeport, CT visited some of the members of Valley Free Radio in Northampton. I went expecting a sobering reality check, given that WPKN has been around for 30 years, and VFR a little more than 2 years. They must have their shit together, being professional, not in crisis mode all the time, right? Ah, not so quick.

Chris reassured us that putting out fires and keeping the latest crisis in check is what running a community radio station is all about, that what many of the people at VFR feel is normal. That was great news, I think, and it seemed like the round table discussion helped the VFR folks in a couple of different ways: 1) reassuring us that crisis in not the end of the world, that we just had to be consistantly there for the community, and 2) giving us some specific glimpses at what kind of work that’s needed to build a long lasting community radio station.

WPKN is a much bigger station than VFR (10,000 watts compared to 100), but I believe VFR has the potential to match their donor database number of 7,000. It’s going to take a lot of work, and it won’t happen in the next year, but if VFR can survive 30 years then I think it can find 7,000 people willing to contribute to its community radio station.

If you’re interested in listening to some of the round table discussion, check out the sound files on the Community Radio Hour blog.

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