Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chris Mueller on how to fix what went wrong in last night's Pirates-Braves game

In lieu of a half-assed rant from me about home plate umpire Jerry Meals' bad call that cost the Pirates a win in a 19-inning game, just read what 93.7 The Fan's Chris Mueller has to say about it.  Chris rants with his whole ass, and I mean that sincerely.  Also, follow Chris on Twitter and check out his call-in show.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The battlefield at Gettysburg

We spent the weekend in Gettysburg, PA, at a friend's wedding.  We arrived late on Friday night and left Sunday afternoon, so we didn't have time to spend a full day at the museum and battlefield.  So we opted to drive around the site and see as many landmarks as we could before driving back to Brooklyn on Sunday evening.

The battlefield is a national park surrounding the town of Gettysburg.  (I highly recommend looking at that link for details on the places in my photos.)  You can't walk five feet without stumbling into a memorial or monument or plaque that commemorates a regiment or a civilian hero of the battle.  But many of the key events of the battle took place on the hills and fields outside the town itself, and most of the open spaces are preserved much as they were in July 1863 when the battle occurred.  For example, when you stand on Little Round Top and look across the field at Devil's Den and the tree lines, it's not impossible to imagine what the scene must have looked like on those three days.

I want to return to the battlefield after virtual reality technology has advanced to the point where I could see an overlay of the scene in 1863 on the current landscape.  No matter how much I read about the Civil War, I'll never know what it would have felt like to be present on the field that day.  I suspect I don't really want to know.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Once again, I want to write something about my job, and once again, I will not.  You never know who's reading this thing.  It's a great job but there are times when I find it exasperating.  I shouldn't need to parse my emails as much as I do sometimes.

Friday, July 08, 2011

This week on House of PUNTE...

I'm a "special guest" on this week's House of PUNTE, AKA the KSK podcast. I talk about the Tour de France and laugh at everyone else's jokes. Please give it a listen.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Articles like this one by Justin Davidson make me happy to be a New York Philharmonic subscriber.  At the same time, I'm even more upset I passed on the chance to hear Magnus Lindberg's Kraft this past season.  What was I thinking?  I should have been there.

I know I should have posted a full review of the orchestra's season finale, Leos Janacek's opera The Cunning Little Vixen.  It was delightful, a spirited woodland fairy tale with creative costumes and set design.  The music was fantastic, of course, but it was almost secondary to the costumes and the set.  It was another triumph for Alan Gilbert, Douglas Fitch and his Giants Are Small production company, and the Philharmonic.  They're not doing an opera next year, but I'm confident that Gilbert and the orchestra have an impressive season ahead of them.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Who are these data-abusing monsters?

Gizmodo had this article about cellular carriers abandoning unlimited data plans.  In the comments, several people bragged about being grandfathered into unlimited data plans and how they used 17 GB of data last month, or in one case, 22 GB.  Who are these people?  Do they not have Wi-Fi anywhere in their immediate vicinity?  I'm the rare customer who actually likes AT&T's network, and I've rarely had problems with 3G coverage in New York.  It's slower than Wi-Fi, but it's fairly reliable.  Even so, I'd rather wait to listen to streaming radio until I'm in my apartment or office (both of which have abundant Wi-Fi coverage on fat Internet pipes) than listen to a stream while walking around outside.  And forget downloading music or apps while I'm out: I do that stuff indoors, in Wi-Fi, too.

The problem, as always, is that a small number of network users consume the most bandwidth, making it harder for the carriers to support the rest of us who use our phones sensibly.  I hope that these carrier issues will someday be a thing of the past, as Wi-Fi and WiMAX and other broadband wireless technological advances make it easier to get online anywhere.  Until then, if you believe Gizmodo, guard your unlimited data plan with your life.  Or if you're like me, get a home Internet connection, leave the house with all the music you'll ever need, and don't worry about it.