Thursday, September 30, 2004

... and Calling ... and Calling ... and Calling

My copy of London Calling- Legacy Edition arrived at Casa Cap'n while I was out on the west coast, so I finally got a chance to spin it up at work today.

And I realized that with this purchase, I now own the song "London Calling" many, many times over.

I have:

• "London Calling" on the London Calling LP
• "London Calling" on the London Calling CD (original release)
• "London Calling" on the London Calling Legacy Edition CD1 (original album)
• "London Calling" on the London Calling Legacy Edition CD2 (the Vanilla Tapes)
• "London Calling" on the Story of The Clash CD
• "London Calling" on the Clash on Broadway CD
• "London Calling" on the Live: Here to Eternity CD
• "London Calling" on the The Essential Clash DVD
• "London Calling" on the Westway to The World DVD

I think that's all the "London Calling" I own, but I could be wrong. I don't have The Essential Clash on CD or the The Singles CD, so I'm missing a couple of opportunities to approach the "I own a dozen instances of 'London Calling'" category.

[editor's note: In researching this piece, I realized that I never went through with my plan to buy all of the Clash CDs in their "remastered" versions. Among the original albums, I own "The Clash" (US release), "Give 'em Enough Rope", "London Calling" and "Combat Rock" on CD, but all of those are in original, non-remastered forms. And I never got "Sandinista" on CD (I have it on LP, of course). Maybe I should get on that.]

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Another trip through LAX security

I'm sitting at LAX this morning, waiting for my flight home to Atlanta.

Loyal readers of The Wisdom will recall that about a year ago there was an incident here that I call "the LAX meltdown" (I'm Blackberrying this in, so you'll need to search for that post if you're not familiar). The meltdown was prompted by the TSA hassling me about my shoes.

Well, it happened again this morning (shoe hassles, not a meltdown).

As I'm coming through security, the guy in front of me goes through with his shoes on, and the machine goes off. He takes his shoes off and goes again.

Then it's my turn.

TSA Moron 1: "Sir, you might want to remove your shoes."

Me: "These shoes are fine. I came through Atlanta in them." (In fact, my super-fly Steve Madden sneaks are my standard airport shoe, because I know they won't set off the machine)

TSA Moron 2: "It doesn't matter if they set off the machine. That's not what we're looking for."

Me: (pondering the appropriate reaction for a responsible U.S. citizen fed up with the ridiculousness of airport security but who also doesn't have his wife along to drag him away from the TSA area and who wants to get home today ...)

TSA Moron 2: "You don't have to remove your shoes ..."

Me: "But if I don't, you'll search me ... (takes off shoes)"

Now, I'm a pretty smart boy, and I know what's happening here. The fact that the TSA mentioned that I might want to remove my shoes (prompted by the guy in front of me setting off the machine) means that I become "suspicious" if I decline to do so. Fair enough. But what pisses me off is that they won't tell you that. They are programmed to defend their actions without reason. The TSA attitude is "We're protecting you, dammit. Don't question how we do it."

So it was the exchanges I had after going through the machine that really got me.

Me (to TSA Moron 1): "You know, I came through Atlanta in these shoes, and they didn't make me take them off."

TSA Moron 1: "Every city is different."

TSA Moron 3 (over where you pick up your bags): "Sir, the supervisor can answer any questions you have."

Me: "I doubt it."

Me: "Look, I appreciate what you guys are trying to do, but this stuff is ridiculous."

TSA Moron 3: "The rules vary by city, just like with police departments."

Me: "But you're a federal agency! The rules should be the same everywhere!"

TSA Moron 3: "No, they vary by city."

Me: (grabbing my shoes off the conveyor) "That's ridiculous."

I walk over to a chair to put my shoes back on, and I overhear TSA Moron 3 chatting with TSA Moron 2:

TSA Moron 3: "I mean, in some cities, I don't have to wear a helmet on my motorcycle, but in others I do. That's no different."

From my chair, I say in a semi-shout: "But you're a federal agency!"

He didn't hear me, and I honestly don't think he understands why federal rules are different than state or local rules.

And this is the guy keeping us "safe."

Monday, September 27, 2004

Anne McCue Showcase

The wife and I were up in NashVegas this weekend with three tasks at hand - 1) visit the wife's granny, who hasn't been feeling too good; 2) get me introduced to little sister's new man (I approve) and 3) see Anne McCue at an Americana Music Association showcase Saturday night at Mercy Lounge.

Loyal readers of The Wisdom will recall that McCue is the amazingly cool Australian singer-songwriter-guitar goddess that I caught opening for Dave Alvin out in Hollywood a couple of months ago. I first wrote about her because she was cute and I put her on my "I can-do-her" list of celebrity women because I knew I'd be in the same room as her that night (yes, very piggish thing to do).

I feel really bad about that now. "Hey, a hot Australian rocker chick - I'll put her on my list!". As it turns out, she's an amazing musician who deserves more than my stupid little bit about putting her on "the list".

In my defense, I recognized how great she is about two minutes into her show at The Troubadour, and I think I've redeemed myself over the past two months. I bought her album ('Roll') at the Hollywood show, I've converted the wife into a huge Anne McCue fan, I've written about her a couple of times, I've told at least half a dozen friends about her, I've signed up as a "street team" member at her label's website and I've even exchanged a couple of emails with Anne herself (I know, I'm special).

And we timed this NashVegas trip specifically to catch her at the showcase. The wife, as I mentioned, has become a huge fan, but no matter how many times I make her listen closely to the live-in-the-studio version of Hendrix's "Machine Gun" on Anne's album, it's impossible to get a full appreciation of McCue unless you see her live.

We rolled into Mercy Lounge around 9:45 Saturday night and caught about half the set of a guitar/drum act called "Hosty Duo" from Oklahoma. Entertaining.

Because of conflicting reports about the schedule, we got there in time to see the 10:30 act, which turned out to be Asleep At The Wheel (or as the wife calls them, 'Asleep At The Bar'), not Anne. I understand those guys have been around for 30 years and have won a bunch of Grammys, but there's nothing interesting in their roadhouse boogie, and what the hell are they doing in the second spot of a four-act showcase after all these years?

But we suffered through.

And before Asleep At The Wheel could even drag their stuff off stage, Anne was at work getting set up. You could tell she was determined to make the most out of her 45 minutes in front of Nashville industry types. She was setup and ready to go about five minutes after AATW cleared out.

I dragged the wife up by the stage, right smack-dab in front. I think I was one of the few people in the room who knew what was about to happen.

She comes out wearing a black silk cowboy shirt with red rose detail (nice touch for a Nashville show) and some super-fly rockstar shades, straps on her black Les Paul, sells hello in her Elle McPherson accent and breaks in to the title track from "Roll". By the second riff, she's got photographers crowding in front of her, trying to get shots of this little Aussie girl hammering away like Hendrix.

During her all-too-short set, Anne managed to work in time with her lap-steel and 12-string guitars, showed off her songwriting (she played the wife's favorite - "I Want You Back" - and my favorite - "Tiny Little Song") and closed with an abbreviated version of "Machine Gun" to make sure nobody forgets her anytime soon.

In a crowd that was probably 90% Nashville music industry types, I saw mouths agape, people shaking their heads in disbelief and lip-read more than one "holy shit" reaction around me (including from the wife). She got an enthusiastic standing ovation from the Americana Music Association president and his gang, who were sitting on the sofas next to the stage.

She sold all of the copies of "Roll" she had brought along, which is a good sign. We picked up her live album, which is her rocking out solo.

I hope the "right people" were in the crowd to help boost her career, and I hope they looked past her lack of crowd play and the one spot where she had to ask Dusty the bass player for the next line of a song. Over the past few months, she's been going between gigs opening for Heart in the U.S. and club gigs in England and hadn't played a full-band show since I saw her in Hollywood. She's working hard, so I can forgive her for being a bit frazzled.

And, yes, she will remain on my "list". Before we went over to the show, the wife - who's been feeling just a bit jealous - said I had to take Anne off because she's too cool. But after it, the wife told me she could stay. I think her comment was something to the effect of "Dude, if you ever get the chance, you have to go for it."

More football poll logic

I'm off to L.A. this morning (Hurricane Jeanne notwithstanding), but I saw a piece in The Advocate (the Baton Rouge daily, not the national gay newspaper) this morning that does a good job of exposing the "logic" of the football polls:

Iowa began the season ranked No. 13 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll. The Hawkeyes were No. 12 after winning their first two games.

Last week, after unranked Arizona State improved to 3-0 with a 44-7 victory over Iowa, the 61 coaches who comprise the USA Today/ESPN poll panel combined to rank Iowa at No. 24. Arizona State remained unranked.

Auburn defeated The Citadel 33-3 and gained 29 points in The Associated Press Top 25. Auburn moved up one spot to No. 8, trading places with Florida State, a 41-22 winner over Clemson.

LSU defeated Mississippi State 51-0 and lost two points. LSU remained No. 13.

Auburn moved up one spot to No. 9 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll, gaining 44 points and trading places with California, which didn't play Saturday.

LSU lost 10 points but remained No. 13.

You might have noticed the coaches dropped Iowa out of the poll Sunday after it lost 30-17 to Michigan. That helped unbeaten Arizona State, which defeated Oregon State 27-14, to crack the poll for the first time this season -- at No. 25.

Had Iowa defeated Michigan the Hawkeyes would probably still be ranked ahead of Arizona State, which beat Iowa by 37 points.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Ivan's track

I finally had time this afternoon to seek out a map of Hurricane Ivan's overall path. It's some crazy stuff.


(click the image to get their full-page view)

It's almost like Ivan got to Virginia and was like "Dude, I was supposed to go through Florida like everybody else, wasn't I? Crap, I guess I have to go back."

Network exec explains bias formula

There's an ESPN.com piece about TV and college football that finally puts some structure around media bias and why USC is the darling of AP writers, broadcasters and the Average Joe football fan.

According to Loren Matthews, who's in charge of ABC's college football programming, the TV guys root for teams who have:

• Broad national appeal
• A major TV market
• Sensational individual players

When a team that meets those criteria starts winning, Katie bar the door ... we've got a runaway smash!

Or, as Matthews says of USC: "When I say my prayers at night, I include USC in them. But it wasn't too long ago that I didn't have much interest in USC. We're with them win or tie."

Hmm. The guy in charge of football programming at the network that carries BCS games prays for USC to win? Interesting.

That explains why last year's Rose Bowl (TV-perfect USC vs. Broad National Appeal, Decent-Sized Market Michigan) was given more play by ABC than the Sugar Bowl (Broad National Hatred, Small Market Oklahoma vs. No National Appeal, Small Market LSU), where the actual national title was decided.

I'm glad we now have a BCS-type formula to apply to college football bias (National Appeal x TV Market Size x Star Power x Winning Percentage).

So here's this week's Top 25 teams, based on the Cap'n Ken Bias Calculation Standings (CK-BCS):

1. USC
2. Miami (FL)
3. Ohio State
4. Virginia
5. California
6. Texas
7. Georgia
8. Michigan
9. Florida State
10. Oklahoma
11. Tennessee
12. Florida
13. Fresno State
14. Auburn
15. Maryland
16. West Virginia
17. Utah
18. Purdue
19. Wisconsin
20. LSU
21. Arizona State
22. Minnesota
23. Oklahoma State
24. Louisville
25. Boise State

The ESPN piece (it's old, but just came through my RSS reader this morning).

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Today in history ...

The photo below was taken 25 years ago today (Sept. 21, 1979).



If you don't know what this photo is, you may be culturally deficient.

And if you don't know what the above photo is, but do know who the guys below are ... you have real problems.

Monday, September 20, 2004

I guess this makes Jessica my ho

The existence of Jessica Pivik in this world really presents The Cap'n with a dilemma.

On the one hand, Jessica’s "sex column" is just so pointless and boring that I find it hard to justify writing about her every week.

But on the other hand, The Wisdom continues to own the market for Jessica Pivik Google searches (and it brings in steady traffic), so it’s hard to turn down the blogpimping opportunity.

I guess it’s kind of like a convenience store owner who hates having bums traffic the store, but continues to stock Thunderbird because he can sell a case a week.

Today, Jessica writes about technology and sex. I know what you’re thinking – the whole "cybersex" thing is sooooooo 1998. And you’re right.

The best part of this week’s piece is that she actually cites a TV commercial as a “source” for her fascinating insight.
Dr. Neil Clark Warren, founder of the popular online dating service eHarmony, says in his commercial that there are 29 dimensions that create compatibility and play a key role in the most successful relationships. Warren says eHarmony uses these dimensions to find the right matches for clients.


Jessica also explains the "two forms of cybersex" – quick, can you name them? – and drops what may be the two lamest technology-meets-sex jokes ever printed.

• Highly not recommended – On Top with Jessica Pivik

Weekend randomness

There was so much happening at Casa Cap'n Ken this weekend, I think bullet points are in order:

• Damn kickers. Actually, in watching LSU / Auburn, I think I know what the big difference is between the 2004 Tigers and the 2003 National Champion Tigers. With Chad Lavalais and Marquise Hill gone from the D-Line, we've lost about a half-second on our blitz pressure, which is how Auburn was able to get off that 4th-down pass. And the secondary is weaker without Jack Hunt. In 2003, the Ole Miss game, the SEC Championship Game and the Sugar Bowl were all wrapped up on 4th-down sacks. We're just slightly slower to the QB now.

• Georgia has to be the worst team to ever be ranked 3rd in the country. 13-3 over Marshall? That's pathetic, dude. I like our chances against them on Oct. 2 better each week. And UGA should be absolutely terrified after watching LSU / Auburn and Florida / Tennessee game - and knowing they have to play all four of us.

• I don't know that there's any point in playing the rest of the season, given that USC (No. 1) and West Virginia (6) will coast to undefeated seasons. Georgia (No. 3) will lose a game for sure. Oklahoma (2) and Texas (5) play each other, so scratch one of them automatically and Miami (4) has a tough road left. Unless the Texas / Oklahoma winner and/or Miami goes undefeated, go ahead and pencil in a USC rout of West Virginia in the Orange Bowl.

• On the Ivan front, I gotta give big props to Georgia Power, BellSouth and even the City of Atlanta. The tree went down at 7:45 PM Thursday. We had power back at 4:30 PM Friday; phone service back at 10 AM Saturday and the entire tree was gone by 2 PM Saturday. Except for the city's failure to do anything to stop people from running into the tree at night, it all went pretty well.

• I discovered Friday (when we learned that the phone was NOT back on yet), that we've been poaching on a neighbor's wireless network for God knows how long. Seems my router hasn't been broadcasting its wireless signal for some time. I got a new one yesterday, but I've yet to get the configuration right to connect through to MindSpring.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Progress?

Have I mentioned how much this tree / power line thing sucks? The good news is that Ga Power is here, and we should be powered again sometime this afternoon.

The bad news is that in order to get to the power lines, they had to chop the tree all to hell, and now I have most of somebody else's big-ass tree sitting in my driveway and yard.

The power guys only cut down enough of the tree to allow them to work, so there's still a big trunk blocking half the street. But that's a good thing, because it means the city will have to get out here ASAP to remove it.

By that time, I plan to have moved most of the crap in my yard onto the blocked side of the street for the city to deal with.

Ivan, The Bastard

The wife and I are in the dark - again. Ivan smacked us hard.

But at least this time we know what made our power go out - the 40-foot tree lying across our driveway.

When we got home yesterday afternoon, the tree (which belongs to our neighbors across the street) was leaning, and we knew it was coming down (I believe the wife blogged about fear of the tree before it fell yesterday).

I took some "before" pictures and did some quick eyeball calculations to tell if it was going to hit the house (it wasn't). The big rain came and all was fine ... But around 8pm the big bastard fell. Down came the power lines and transformer, and one of my little maples got smashed.

I'll leave the color commentary to the wife when the power comes back on (she has no Blackberry blog access).

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Dang these newfangled gizmos!

Remember the good old days when hooking up a television was a one-step process? Screw a coax cable into the TV and you were done.

Of course, that simplicity came at the expense of video quality and programming choices. But after spending the last couple of nights mucking around with the new TV, I'm kind of longing for that innocent time before set-top boxes, DVRs, Progressive Scan, Dolby Digital and all the rest.

Here's the current state of my new TV's setup:

• The DishPVR 721 is outputting S-Video and standard RCA-Jack audio into the Video2 input of the TV.

• The Progressive Scan DVD player has been reconfigured to output in 16:9 mode. It's outputting Component Video and RCA-Jack audio to the Component Video1 input of the TV. Separately, it's outputting Toslink Optical Audio to the A/V receiver for Dolby Digital output.

• The PlayStation 2 has also been configured for 16:9 output and is outputting RCA-Jack video and audio to the Front Video input of the TV.

• The DVD Recorder / Player is receiving an RCA-Jack video and audio signal from the DishPVR but is currently not outputting anything to the TV.

• The TV is outputting an RCA-Jack audio signal to the A/V receiver to pass through audio from all video sources without having to change audio sources on the receiver. But this doesn't carry Dolby Digital.

And here are the next tweaks on tap:

• The DishPVR will get the Toslink Optical output to the A/V receiver. It'll still have its RCA-Jack audio connection to the TV.

• The Progressive Scan DVD player output to the A/V receiver will switch from the Toslink output to Digital Coaxial Audio (the DishPVR only has a Toslink output, but the DVD has both).

• The PlayStation 2 will switch to Component Video output to take advantage of its Progressive Scan capability.

• The DVD Recorder / Player will get an RCA-Jack video/audio connection to the TV's Video1 input.

And, lastly, I'll screw a coax cable from the $8 VHF/UHF antenna I bought today into the back of the TV.

Ah, simplicity.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Always planning ahead ...

Well, I hope Himmicane Ivan stays to the west of Atlanta, because last night we bought one of these instead of one of these.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

A job for the LSU Season Ticket Revocation Squad

I checked out The Advocate (the Baton Rouge daily, not the national gay newspaper) this morning to catch up on LSU news. And there's plenty of good stuff:

• Auburn won't allow RVs on campus this week because of hurricane Ivan. I guess they figure there will already be enough trailers blowing around Alabama.

• ESPN has bailed out of bringing GameDay to Auburn because of hurricane Ivan. Again, there will already be enough aluminum in the air, so they didn't want to add their set to that.

• Nick Saban has decided on an official two-quarterback system to end the (Ja)Marcus controversy. That worries me.

• The school's first "online pay-per-view" broadcast (they streamed the radio broadcast and showed "coverage" from the in-stadium cameras used for the JumboTron) was a flop because the company didn't have enough bandwidth to deliver the streams to a flood of subscribers. Or, as the SID guy said "The success of this was the ultimate failure of this."

But buried in the pay-per-view story was this bit about a frustrated fan who bought the online stream:
LSU fan Kinny Haddox of Bastrop, a longtime season ticket holder who said he and his wife now wait until cooler weather to attend games, said he was frustrated by the problems with the Web broadcast Saturday.
A longtime season ticket holder who waits until "cooler weather" to attend games???

Jesus, Kinny, grow some balls, man! Don't let the wife push you around. Get your sweaty ass up off the sofa and drive down to Baton Rouge, you wuss. And if you are going to be such a pansy that you skip games because of the heat, don't tell the freaking newspaper about it! Tell them you got sick or something, dude. That's just embarassing.

P.S. It's "Kenny" (or preferably "Ken"), not "Kinny". What the hell is the matter with you?

Monday, September 13, 2004

Ah, Jessica

Well, Jessica Pivik is back (online) at The LSU Reveille. Her big shocker this week? The size of sexual organs (female and male).

I'll save you the time it would take to read her 517 words. Here's the column in a nutshell:

A lame "shocking" joke ... a brief gynecology lesson ... a fake quote from "a friend" ... a Googled stat ... another Googled stat ... another fake quote from "a friend" ... pointless wrap-up.

If you're having a bad day and need to feel a little smarter; read Jessica Pivik.

Thanks again to the J-Man for the heads-up.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Will UGA drop?

Heck of a weekend for college football, no? I'm curious to see if the pollsters will treat UGA (and Ohio State) as harshly as they treated LSU after our squeaky win over Oregon State last weekend.

Consider:

LSU played poorly - on a waterlogged field in the season opener - and barely beat Oregon State, who at the time was rated No. 35 in the Billingsley rankings*. For that, the AP dropped us from 4th to 6th, despite the fact that the two teams who were moved in front of us didn't play (and hadn't even played a game yet).

Yesterday, UGA played poorly - on a nice, dry field in their second game of the year - and barely beat South Carolina, who at the time was rated No. 55 by Billingsley. Behind No. 3 Georgia, No. 5 Miami beat No. 4 Florida State and No. 6 LSU and No. 7 Texas played and won.

Down the rankings, No. 9 Ohio State barely beat Marshall (Billingsley No. 63) at home on a dry field. Will they drop behind West Virginia and Florida?

It's 10:25 a.m. now, so the AP rankings haven't come out yet. My guess is that the AP writers go back to the old "rule" that if you win, you don't drop. That rule, of course, doesn't apply to LSU.


* It's hard to get accurate ratings/rankings for non top-25 teams. Billingsley seems to have the better all-team ratings right now.

Friday, September 10, 2004

The Streak

OK, I don't know if it's a Web exclusive or not (I haven't seen them anywhere yet), but thanks to my mole J-Man at LSU, The Wisdom is proud to bring you photos of the streaker who came out during the rain delay before last Saturday's LSU / Oregon State game.

LSU
Running the post pattern ...

LSU
He breaks into the open field ...

LSU
Nice tackle in the secondary ...

LSU
And he's driven out of bounds ...

On a semi-related note, Jessica Pivik's column apparently didn't appear in print version of The Reveille yesterday. I'm not sure if this spells the end of Jessica's career as the world's worst sex columnist. Stay tuned to The Wisdom for Jessica updates.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Aren't those Beaver fans cute?

A piece came across my Yahoo - LSU Sports feed this morning that was a narrative of tailgating at LSU written by an Oregon State fan.

The child-like innocence expressed by this LSU tailgate virgin was quite sweet.

Elaborate barbecues included stuffed pork on skewers, jambalaya, shrimp, alligator, deep-fried rice balls (mmm), and would you believe this: deep-fried pork fat, which is called cracklin. The ‘gaters had multiple beverages, many with kegs of beer, and televisions for college football viewing. But, what I will never forget is the “Tiger Bait”, “Tiger Bait”, “Tiger Bait” chant and their warm hospitality.

...

So anyway, we start walking down Highlands Street across from ESPN Gameday, literally only about 20 feet and Tiger fans started to yell the “Tiger Bait!” chant. Doing our homework and knowing the drill, we approached the group and started listening to these good ole’ boys razz us for a few minutes and then promptly ask us what we wanted to drink. The best part is that my buddy aka “BeaverBobe” has it all on videotape. These fellas had huge accents, were extremely drunk, and definitely entertaining. When we finally decided to wander on they left us with one small request, “Y’ all do us a favor!” “Y’ all beat USC !”


Somehow, the piece read like a Mormon teenager's first visit to a strip club.

I know LSU Football is special, and I've seen first-hand (thanks to the wife) how the uninitiated can be really overwhelmed by the experience. The food, the people, the drinking, the music ... it's unlike any other pre-game scene.

And I can see how Oregon State fans would think they'd entered some kind of Twilight Zone. Anyway, it amused me.

Read the whole story

In the dark

It turns out we didn't need to worry about Frances while we were driving back from Mississippi on Monday, but it's put the big hurt on us here in Atlanta.

Our power went out at 5 a.m. Tuesday and is still off as of 1 p.m. today. I blame Georgia Power more than Frances, though. There's really no noticible damage - trees down, power lines toppled, etc. - in our neighborhood, yet we're more than 24 hours in to the outage.

I've yet to even see a Georgia Power truck in East Atlanta, and the wife just got off the phone with them. They say midnight tonight before the power comes back on.

Meanwhile, food's rotting in the refrigerator, the dogs are growing ever more restless, and we're missing the return of Ken Jennings on Jeopardy.

I think maybe instead of one of these, I should be thinking about buying one of these.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Hey, at least we won it ...

Loyal readers of The Wisdom are no doubt itching for my take on the ugly, ugly, ugly LSU win over Oregon State on Saturday.

In short - we won. And all things considered, that's the only thing I care about. When I saw the rain coming down, I knew the night would be about survival. And we survived.

Not the best night to be the only Top 25 team playing any team from another BCS conference with your defense slowed by the slop and your offense being led by a fresh new QB. It took a lot, but we survived it. And that's fine.

Of course, the pollsters didn't see it that way. The AP poll dropped us from No. 4 to No. 6, putting two teams who haven't played ahead of us (of course they must be better than us!). We should get back one of those spots next week, as No. 4 Florida State is playing No. 5 Miami on Friday, but take note that a precedent has been set to drop a team two spots after a victory and moving up two teams who had open dates that week.

Anybody remember December 6, 2003? No. 1 Oklahoma loses to No. 13 Kansas State; No. 2 USC soundly beats unranked (and 7-4 at the time) Oregon State and No. 3 LSU soundly beats No. 5 Georgia. Sure, Oklahoma has to drop. But was there any consideration among the voters that maybe the No. 3 team that just beat the No. 5 team - instead of the No. 2 team that just beat an unranked team - might deserve to be No. 1? Of course not. And did I mention that the No. 3 team played one more game than the No. 2 team? And that No. 3 had a harder schedule?

Back then the idea that the AP writers would actually consider anything other than "did the team ahead of them lose?" when ranking top teams was completely dismissed. But when it comes to LSU - sure, drop 'em two spots when they win and the two teams behind them didn't even play!

But that's all academic. All us LSU fans know there's a bias against us. We just have to keep winning, and it'll all be fine.

I'm glad Arkansas State is coming to town to provide JaMarcus with some target practice. He needs is.

Friday, September 03, 2004

The Cap'n sells out

You'll notice new ads appearing at the top and in the left rail of The Wisdom. Google has opened Blogger up to the AdSense program, so I'm cashing in!

I'm not saying you should click on the ads just to generate some pennies for The Cap'n, but if an ad for Bibles or something is triggered by my rantings and you find it compelling, clicking through isn't the worst thing you can do.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Happy Netiversary to me

Today marks the 7th anniversary of Cap'n Ken becoming an Internet Professional. On September 2, 1997 I made the leap (and leap of faith*) from the safe, conservative world of print journalism into the wild frontier of Internet content.

My first assignment as a second-shift (3 - 11 p.m.) Content Producer was monitoring message boards and posting pictures in the aftermath of Princess Diana getting up close and personal with that Paris tunnel. It wasn't exactly what I saw myself doing at 30 years old, but it was a start.

My plan was simple. Get in the door, learn how Internet publishing works, then leverage my five years of journalism experience to move quickly up the ladder.

And - not withstanding the dead time at TWMBIC, where they hand unqualified people promotions based only on time served - I've made the plan work.

Within four months at my first Internet job, at I was "Senior Producer" for a little niche site the company owned. I survived its shutdown that summer by managing the rollout of a new company initiative, then returned in the fall to the "flagship" site I had begun with as its "Senior Producer." I'd nearly doubled my salary in just over a year. Hooray for me.

From 1998 to 2002, I rode the ups and weathered the downs, rising in the ranks as the company shifted people around and ultimately began laying people off. As Senior Producer in 1998, I had 14 people working for me. As Site Manager in 2002, I had 4.

Then I got the call from TWMBIC that summer. As bad as that place is, they did pull me off a sinking ship and keep me in Maker's Mark and Kenneth Cole shoes. So thanks. And I managed to massage things to get myself "laid off" from the old job, thus grabbing a nice severance. Hooray for me again.

You all know the story of my time at TWMBIC, and now I'm six weeks in to The New Internet Job. So far, so good here. And so far, so good in my life as an Internet Professional.

During these seven years, I've grown from being just a "content" guy to being (I think) a pretty talented "product" guy. I'd stack my experience and knowledge up against most Internet product people now.

My days as a journalist are long, long gone. I've successfully made the career leap, executed my plan for world domination (phase 1), managed to not get laid off in the Bust (except when I wanted to be), become a cool East Atlanta guy and somehow landed a hot little wife (herself an Internet Professional with even more industry experience than me) in the process.

Not bad, all in all.

*[editor's note: "leap of faith" is a relative term. Although I took a lowly second-shift job, it was with the Internet arm of a huge media company, not a shaky start-up, and the job actually paid more than my "prestigious" journalism job had.]

[editor's note ii: Sept. 2 is also the birthday of the Internet itself. How'd this thing get along for 28 years without The Cap'n?]

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Gmail's got ads

I don't know exactly when it happened, but those much-talked-about contextual ads are now showing up in Gmail (look for the story on Slashdot around October).

I figured it might be fun to open back up some of my messages and see what kind of ads my conversations attract. Here's what I got:

- The email I got from Anne McCue (mmm ... Anne McCue) yesterday thanking me for signing up for her mailing list out in L.A. is displaying two ads for "Cheap Dave Matthews tix". Good targeting, but sorry, not interested.

- The purchase confirmation sent to me from Alton Brown's store has two ads for "Salt Cellars" and one for "Canadian Gift Baskets". Good work placing a Salt Celler ad there, but that's what I just bought!

- The confirmation mail for my United frequent flyer account has two travel-related ads (good targeting) and one "Increase Gas Mileage" ad.

- The email string between my sister and me when I gave her a Gmail account has ads for computer system monitoring ("Detect Instant Messaging").

- One of the many instances of people sending me links to Jib-Jab displayed ads for "Funny & Unique T-Shirts" and "Meatandcheese Clothing", apparently because the word "funny" appeared in the message.

- The offer letter from my new employer has three ads for data acquisition solutions, apparently because the recruiters here are called "talent acquisition", which was in the signature.

All in all, I think the Gmail targeting system leaves something to be desired. I'm not sure what advertisers are paying in CPC rates, but there's a big difference in relevance between "Anne McCue concert = Dave Matthews tickets" and "Word in email sig = Data Acquisition Solutions".