Friday Notes: August 10, 2007

School starts in Hamilton County this weekend, which means it’s my wife’s last free weekend before things really start getting crazy.  I also have a fantasy football draft coming up next weekend and plenty of work to do for that.  Here are some notes:

  • I’m always looking for solutions to improve my productivity online and on my computer.  My time is very important to me, and I’d like to waste as little of it as possible.  Google has typically given me the best options for this, allowing me to consolidate most of my web searching, reading, etc. into one neat package.  I use Gmail, Google Reader, Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Google Notebook, and have iGoogle set as my homepage, all in the interest of maximizing my web efficiency.  Where Google lacks a solution I need, I typically have found a way around it.  The most common example of this is file storage.  I can put photos online, but with Docs & Spreadsheets, you lose a bit of the Excel functionality I’ve come to depend on, so I often use my website storage space as an online hard drive.I say all that as background for my consideration of Windows Live SkyDrive as such a solution.  I can’t always use my USB drives (most notably at work), and the interface for uploading files to my website leaves a lot to be desired (since I can’t use a program like FileZilla if I can’t use my USB drive).  Windows Live SkyDrive is a free service that requires only a Windows Live ID (which I already had for FOX fantasy sports), and it has a pretty good interface for organizing your online files.  A lot of people I know would rather use Gmail for this, and I have done so in the past, but this system seems to have bigger potential for its file-sharing ease across all file formats.  Google is already countering with their for-pay storage upgrades, but until that becomes free, this will be my service of choice.  It’s only 500MB right now, but I think it will do the trick.
  • I thought this was a great candidate for the “most obvious headline of the week award” courtesy of WDEF News 12: “Chattanooga Doctor Warns Current Weather Increases the Chance for Heat Illness.”  We’ve had 100-degree heat this week, so I suppose that would make sense.  Interestingly, the report comes from my late-childhood pediatrician.
  • The writers at Fire Joe Morgan do a great job detailing the Hall-of-Famer’s shortcomings as a broadcaster and analyst.  They’re of the opinion that he should actually form conclusions based upon research and facts rather than gut feelings, and I would tend to agree.  While I don’t have the patience to follow the guy and ridicule everything he does wrong, every now and then he says or does something that I feel like passing along.  This week, there are two such instances.First, during last week’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast, Joe explained that new Mets 2B Luis Castillo might have trouble fielding at Wrigley Field because he’s unfamiliar with the park from having played his entire career in the American League.  Of course, this is total nonsense, because Castillo actually played his entire career with the Marlins in the NL before signing with Minnesota before the 2006 season.  Castillo is actually somewhat famous for hitting the ball that Steve Bartman infamously caught during the 2003 NLCS.  FanNation has a pretty good recap of the whole exchange here.Second, in this week’s JoeChat, after a fan had already slyly brought up Luis Castillo, another fan asked the following:

    “Rick SD: Do you think there is often too much weight and kudos given to individual stat data accomplishments in what is supposed to be a team sport?”

    Joe’s response:

    “Joe Morgan: Finally somebody that understands the game. You’re right. Statistics are overrated. What you do to help your team win is what it’s all about. These stats like OPS, it doesn’t tell you what you do for the team. To my opinion, to help the team, you drive in runs or score runs. That helps the team. That’s how you should be judged.”

    Of course, in Joe’s mind, runs and RBIs aren’t statistics at all.  In reality, they depend on what everyone else does and actually don’t show you how well a player has produced for his team.  That may be what Joe and the rest of the anti-sabermetric crowd are after, but measuring an individual player’s runs scored and RBI really won’t tell you much about the player’s performance, regardless of what they tell you.  OPS, on the other hand, is a fairly precise measure of overall production.  I didn’t really expect Joe to acknowledge this because of his history, but rarely does he come out looking so ridiculous.

 Those were some long notes, I guess, but you get the idea.

My goals for this weekend:

  • Spend some time with Melissa, since she’s about to start school 
  • Projectinate the football countryside
  • Possibly see The Bourne Ultimatum or another movie I’ve missed this summer
  • Play some NCAA Football 08
  • Watch the Braves beat the Phillies

That is all.

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