Friday, May 24, 2013

Full Stop

I feel so scattered right now. Between the internet being out for most of Wednesday night, spending four hours at the car dealership yesterday waiting on a repair, and Memorial Day weekend sneaking up on me . . .

I had plans! I just never actually DID anything about them . . .

All of which to say is, this is as much of a blog post as you get today (instead of the Star Trek post I had planned), and I was totally going to write something and have it ready to go for Monday (another specific topic which I'll probably push to Wednesday), and my "bring back the words" campaign comes to a grinding halt.

Maybe for June I'll aim for two posts a week.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Brian Urlacher Redux

A couple months ago, Pat wrote a bit about the Brian Urlacher situation, how he and the Bears couldn't agree (some might argue, didn't really try to agree) on terms to bring him back. His future's been up in the air since then, but this morning he announced that he would retire.

I'm sure this isn't the way he wanted to end his career, despite ending his statement by saying that he has no regrets. I think there's a difference between having regrets and dwelling on regrets. There's nothing wrong with saying that you wished things could have happened differently.

I suppose only he knows how he truly feels, but I certainly wish it would have happened differently. Still, though, I'm (somewhat selfishly) glad he's not going to play for another team. I say "somewhat selfishly" because it feels wrong to say that I wanted his career to be over. But he's one guy I expected to see retire a Bear, and while you can argue the timeline and the semantics of that statement, at least now I can always think of him as a Bear.

(Not that I wouldn't have anyway, but it would have been a lot harder if he'd worn a different uniform for a couple years.)

There are already a ton of stories floating around with various takes on the news: recapping his stats, discussing his Hall of Fame future, comparing his career to that of other great Chicago linebackers . . . and so on and so forth. I'm not going to start collecting links or I'll never stop, but at the very least, here's a short article on, including a highlight reel, and a collection of responses from Twitter. Twitter is, of course, where I first saw the news, and watched reactions roll in. There are a couple tweets worth pointing out on their own though. The first is a look back to thirteen years ago:

And the second, well . . . if you don't get it, don't worry about it. But if you do . . . enjoy a laugh.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Another Season Down

So, all of my TV shows (well, most of them) had their finales last week. Here are my thoughts:

(This will get spoilery. If you haven't seen the finales of Castle, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, or The Office yet, and are planning to, you should probably just leave now.)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Three Quick Points

Between Wednesday's post and now today's, I've been totally slacking on this "bring back the words" thing. In my defense, Bout of Books has been taking up most of my blogging energy. Next week I'll start writing posts of more than a hundred or so words. But in the meantime . . .

1) Star Trek Into Darkness!!! We're planning on seeing it possibly tomorrow but more likely Sunday morning. (Yes, morning. We don't like crowds.)

2) Drunk Harry Potter tonight!!! (Also known as the reason we're probably not seeing Star Trek tomorrow morning.)

3) All the finales!!! I only watch a handful of shows, and this week most of them ended for the season (or altogether, in the case of The Office). I'll be sharing my thoughts on all of these next week.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mental Health Blog Day

I just learned that today is Mental Health Blog Day. I could get into my own stuff here, but it's nothing I prepared for or planned on, so I just don't think I have it in me right now. Instead, I'll share a couple links that fit the theme.

Brain Knows Better - This is one of my favorite new blogs. Today's post is a little outside the norm for this author, but I think it's an important one, and I'm so glad that he shared his story.

Hyperbole and a Half - This is a blog I didn't discover until after the author had been gone from blogging for a while. (I instantly fell in love with her post about the 'alot,' a magical creature that keeps her grammar rage in check.) She recently returned to blogging with an amazing post chronicling her issues with depression. I think everyone should read it, because even if you can't relate to any of it, I guarantee that you know someone who does.

I know there are WAY more amazing posts out there, in fact there might be some written specifically for today, sitting unread in my feed reader right now (I am SO behind on reading my blogs, I feel terrible), but these are the two I have to share today.

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Look at oneQube

Phew, okay . . . I think I'm recovered.

I'm participating in Bout of Books this week. It's a read-a-thon, and you can read all about it at my other blog.

But, since I have to write something for today here as well, I figured I'd use the opportunity to sort out my chat experience. See, the first Bout of Books Twitter chat was this afternoon, and it was . . . overwhelming, to say the least. I saved a transcript on oneQube (I'll get to that in a second), and while unfortunately it can't tell me how many participants we had, it does say that in the 65 minutes captured, there are a total of 1,969 tweets. That's roughly 30 a minute. Even given the fact that tweets can't be more than 140-characters and therefore are relatively short, that is a LOT of information coming at you.

So, how did I survive?

Well first of all, I was using oneQube's SmartStream to manage the chat. I know TweetChat is usually preferred (I've used it in the past myself), and is technically still up and running, but it's been glitchy lately, and is soon going to be going away entirely, so I wanted to take this new chat manager out for a spin.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Chicago Sports

So, the Bulls and the Blackhawks have both made it through the first round in the playoffs. Meanwhile, the White Sox and the Cubs are both at the bottom of their divisions.

The Bears are the only team I really pay attention to, and of course the only team not currently playing. So, since football is currently in the off-season, I've been trying to keep up on at least the very basic news for the other teams.

I used to watch basketball as a kid, back in the Michael Jordan era. I can rattle off the years of our championships without even thinking about it ('91, '92, '93, '96, '97, '98). I know that the '95-'96 season was the year we went 72-10 . . . it was a record at the time, I don't know if it still is. But after the second three-peat, the team went downhill, and I lost interest in watching the games. By the time they started getting good again, I'd lost interest in sports altogether.

I've never really been a hockey fan, not really sure why. It's actually kind of ironic, since hockey (well, floor hockey) was one of the few sports I liked to play in gym class. I guess that never translated into watching the games.

I've never been much of a baseball fan either. As far as the Cubs vs. Sox rivalry, I've always been more of a Cubs fan, even though I can't really consider myself a fan at all. And no, it's not that I'm not a fan because my team sucks. Take a look at the Bears; even when they're doing well, they can never seem to pull it together and go all the way . . . just like the Cubs. (Though I guess the difference is, it's been just under 30 years since the Bears won the Super Bowl, not over a century . . . and 6 years since we've been there, not almost 70.) So, no, it's not that I can't put my support behind a team that doesn't win. It's just that baseball is extremely boring to me.

But really, watching the games is only part of what I like about football . . . and even that is a relatively recent development that originally had more to do with socializing with friends than any real love of the game.

I also like learning about the rules, and why teams might choose one play over another. I like following the stats and the standings. And I like what sports mean to people, even if they don't mean as much to me. Looking at all that . . . there's really no good reason why I follow football but not any of the others. There's no reason I couldn't follow baseball, even if I don't care about the games themselves. And at the very least, you'd think I could get into basketball and hockey, since those games are more exciting to watch.

For all you sports fans out there, what is it that makes you drawn to one game over the others?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Yet Another Iron Man 3 Response

So, we saw Iron Man 3 on Saturday. It's going to be hard to discuss what specifically I liked or didn't like without being all spoilery. Maybe I'll do another post on this in a month or so, after more people have had the chance to see the movie. But for now, here are just some general thoughts.

Overall, it was . . . okay. It was decently entertaining. It had some scenes, some bits of dialogue, that I did enjoy. But I didn't love the movie the way that I loved the first one. Of course, I didn't love the second one the way that I loved the first one either. The first one has an unfair advantage in that I love origin stories. I love seeing characters evolve, and there's usually no more dramatic evolution than when they decide to become a superhero. (Batman Begins remains my favorite of the new trilogy for much the same reason.)

Iron Man 3 had a lot of potential to tap back into that whole character development thing, since one of the plotlines . . . and I don't think this is giving too much away since it was mentioned in at least one trailer that I saw, but if you really don't want to know ANYTHING about the movie. . . well, then why are you even reading this? But I'll still give you the chance to turn around now . . .

Monday, May 6, 2013

Blargh . . .

It would figure that as soon as I make a statement that I want to be more active in blogging again, that my computer would decide to up the intensity with which it's trying to ruin my life (and yes, I'm positive that it has a personality of its own, and that it's doing this to me personally).

I know I've mentioned my computer issues before. Some here, some on Twitter. The main problem is that it decides to shut off with no warning and for no apparent reason. No pattern to it as far as I can tell. This has been ongoing for a couple months now, and we've slowly been eliminating possible causes, but unfortunately every time we think it might be fixed, it'll go a week or so without incident, and then start doing it again, at first sporadically, and then with increasing frequency. It's currently at Staples awaiting the next fix, and as frustrating as it is to have a computer that isn't reliable, it's almost worse not to have it at all. Mainly because I have zero confidence that they're actually going to solve the problem, so I'm giving it up for however many days for no good reason.

So . . . I have to make a point of doing my blogging (not to mention anything else I want to use a computer for) when Pat's not around, or at least not using his computer.

And yes, I know I'm lucky that we have a second computer at all. For that matter I'm lucky that I'm not starving in a third world country somewhere. But that perspective really doesn't make this situation any less frustrating.

Guess I'll just leave it at that for now. Gotta pace myself if I'm going to keep up this three times a week thing, and hopefully things will be going a little better in a couple days.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Bring Back the Words

So, earlier this week, Ginger over at Ramble Ramble decided she was going to post every day in May. (I didn't read it till today because we were out of town for the weekend, so I had a ton of blog posts to catch up on, and while I was slowly working through those, people KEPT WRITING, what is UP with that?! So . . . basically I'm still behind, but at least I'm down to like 30 unread posts, instead of almost 100.)

Anyway, I was just complaining on Twitter the other day how I have all of these ideas for posts, but when I sit down the words just won't come out. And I've been focusing A LOT on my book blog, and part of this frustration is me still not really knowing how to write a satisfying book review (I'm working on it, really), but . . . okay, so if I'm having issues with a review, why can't I jump over here and write something? I've been neglecting my readers here (all two of you) and it's time to stop it.

So . . .

I think every day is a bit much for me, and would only cause me to burn out again once the month was over, so I'm going to focus on posting every MWF. In May. And maybe/hopefully beyond. We'll see. But for now, May.

See you on Monday.