Saturday, December 10, 2011

on rutgers football

am i a rutgers football fan?  in a semi-detached way, i guess i sort of am.


for sure, i am pretty happy for the scarlet student body of the 21st century and the added dimension a strong football program brings to the college experience.  these students have a legitimate contender to cheer for, or at least a team that's at least semi-competitive against any top-ranked team, year after recent year due to greg schiano's leadership and nj-heavy recruiting.


i'm definitely a football fan in general, but for the most part the nfl, and specifically the new york giants.  and, along with my father and sister, we are season ticket holders.  which is pretty cool since he waited a few decades on the waiting list so we can't give'm up now.   


as for college football, eh, i guess i never got into it.  i mean, i went to rutgers in the 80s, and while the scarlet are the only division i-a college football team in the nyc metropolitan area, the largest media market in the usa, let's face it, if you roamed the banks of the ol' raritan in the 20th century (or even a good part of the 19th) most of us were pretty much trained to not care too much about college football.  around the time i was paying tuition, whether or not rutgers ended up with a winning or losing record in any given year pretty much came down to how many division i-aa versus i-a teams were on that year's schedule.  the less of the latter, the better they'd come out in the end.


for those who don't know, one of the things rutgers can be proud of football-wise is that what's now the college avenue campus is the birthplace of college football. i won't bore you with trivia, but it was some pickup game against some princeton students back in 1869.  


there weren't any uniforms, so the rutgers men tied red rags around their heads, which further solidified scarlet as the school color.  sure, princeton can claim part of that heritage of that first game, but let's face it, it was a home game in new brunswick and who won that game?  rutgers.  (as the story goes, there was a rematch the next week and princeton plowed the scarlet team.  


so... that one week late in 1869 was pretty much the last time rutgers was ranked #1 in the country.)
  


it's been fun to keep up with how they've been doing, and kinda cool to see a whole bunch of players are making it into the nfl every year.  but the fact is i feel pretty detached from the whole wave.  and, being a good sports fan in general, i resist the temptation to jump on bandwagons, despite the fact that in this case i might be excused for it, but mostly due to the fact that the number of games i went to while i was an undergrad i could count on one hand, with a finger or two left over to throw a dart down in the basement of the chi, which i might add is probably what i was doing on game days, most of the time blissfully unaware that a home game was actually being played across the river at the time.  hey pledge, pour me another.


the company i work for here in california contains a lot of transplants from all around the usa (and many other countries around the world), and many of those folks did go to schools with solid football programs, and as such actively supporting their school's team was a big part of their cultural experience there.  schools like penn state, wisconsin, washington, auburn, south carolina, etc., and a few years back when rutgers started doing well, it was those folks who kept me in the loop monday morning on how my own school's team fared the previous saturday.   when i didn't know how rutgers did, or if they even played, yeah, from these folks i got quite a few strange looks.


so, in the end do i support rutgers football?  it a detached way, sure.  all in all i'm pretty pumped up about it, now that it seems it wasn't just a one season flash.  in a way the scarlet are still underdogs of division i-a, but it's got to be good for the state.  


i mean, jersey has a population of about 8 million, but with two halves in the shadows of nyc and philadelphia, the team and its success has pulled the halves together, watching their red team go upstream. rah rah rutgers rah, indeed.


so it's been announced that rutgers will play iowa state in the pinstripe bowl huh?  looking forward to it.  and with the game being in the bronx, i'll expect to see the stands a sea of scarlet.



Friday, September 16, 2011

using twitter: just grab and keep the stuff you want

even if you don't use twitter, or won't use twitter, you still might find this stuff useful.


as you know, twitter is a live firehose of information.  it comes in, it's there, then it's gone. you can't pay attention to all of it because there's too much and most of it is pointless, really.  but, if you want to keep track of a person or a topic, and save that stuff for later, for reading, for searching, for ever, for whatever, i'm gonna show you how.


if you want to hear jimbarry "talkstory" about the ins and outs of it, keep reading, else if you just want to set it up for yourself, just jump down the page and GOTO LINE 1000


ok...  i had this long drawn out 4-paragraph diatribe written up in my blog draft bucket that went into everything i know about twitter's history with saving or searching tweets, because they've never done it in any organized way.  in short, they've never really cared much about it, they don't really do it themselves, and while that created a void for some clever folks to put a business model around it, now twitter changed their terms of service to keep folks from archiving.   is it due to legal liability? geotweet data? (meaning, if you tweet, haha, i know where you are), lack of any court decisions regarding the ownership of tweet content? (you might think tweets are all in the public domain, but twitter's position is that a tweet is the copyright of the one doing the tweeting) who knows?  point is there are no web apps anymore that let you archive tweets by username, keyword, or hashtag.


my favorite used to be twapperkeeper.  you setup a filter and it catches only the stuff you want.  you can then export it to a spreadsheet and run queries and analysis on it.  good stuff.  but... they've been pretty much locked out by twitter for a few months now.  the site is still there (why, i don't know) but it doesn't work well anymore.  twitter themselves offer very few organizational tools in their web client, the best one are "lists".  but a few weeks back, twitter has limited the ability to go back more than 72 hours on tweets that dump in your list.  before that--poof--they're gone.  the only way left that twitter provides to look at a really old tweet is if you have the exact url to it.  and who knows that if you didn't store it.  catch-22


ok, let's move along...


well, bob's your uncle and google's your friend, i found some info from long ago that still works.  good old rss.  and if you don't know what rss is, no worries, i'm gonna walk you thru it step by step.  i suppose you could use any rss reader client you want, but i'm finding the best way for my purpose is to setup some rss feeds in microsoft outlook.  what you end up with is a bunch of new folders, one per feed, that look, act, and work just like your email folders.  you can sort them, search them, read them, just like your email, and rss like clockwork just dumps new ones in every few minutes.  and once it dumps into your outlook, it's right there on your machine (or cloud) and you can store it forever.  i imagine some other email clients can do this too, like thunderbird, but i don't have time to figure all of that out.


so i hear you saying:   
but jimbarry, look i'm not a techie, not a nerd, not a geek, i don't even know what rss is.  you've confused me.  i'm giving up.


no, no, don't give up.  if you have outlook i'm gonna walk you through this.  you don't have to know what's going on under the hood.


(ok lookee lookee... exactly the 4 paragraphs i was trying to avoid.  good thing i gave you a GOTO way up there.)


LINE 1000:


1.  start up microsoft outlook
2.  to see what steps 3-8 below look like, see the graphic below.
3.  in your "mail folders" pane, find the folder labeled "rss feeds"
4.  right click on that "rss feeds" label.  that will pop open a menu.
5.  in that menu, left click "add a new rss feed...".  that will pop open a new little dialog window.
6.  in that "new rss feed" window type in: "http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/jimbarry.rss".
7.  or replace the "jimbarry" part with the twitter name of whose twitter feed you want to store.  in the graphic below i replaced it with "glengilmore". (he's my second favorite social media expert and a great guy to jump out of aircraft with)
8.  click the "add" button
9.  at this point you'll get a new little popup window asking if you're sure you want to do this, and blah blah stuff about "...sources you know and trust", whatevs, just click the "yes" button.


i've included some examples below.  keep scrolling a little more.


































if you want to save tweets from a person:
   http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/[twitter_username].rss


if you want to save tweets that contain some keyword or hashtag:
   https://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=%23[some_hashtag]
   https://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=[some_keyword]


here are some real examples you can copy-paste and use as-is:
   http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/jimbarry.rss
   http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=%23nygiants
   http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=beer


what's the "%23"?  It represents the pound-sign character (#) that hashtags typically start with.  there's a technical reason for this, but it'll take another short blog post to explain it and it's not really important.  but if you ask me in the comment section below, i'll get into it.

ok, let me know below if you get stuck on any of this, or have any questions or whatever.

here's what it should look like at the end.   check out the search box yo!:




Monday, July 18, 2011

literally...

ok folks... don't know why this gets under my skin a bit, but misusing the word "literally" is really unnecessary.  so sure, you know and i know it means "actually" or "non-figuratively", but to me it's more than that.

here goes... jimbarry's 3 rules for using the word "literally".

rule #1:  what you said must be true in actuality, based on the common and standard definitions of the phrase "literally" is modifying.

my eyes were literally pinned to the tv.  
ouch, no 
(no kidding, i once found this one on dictionary.com as a *proper* use of literally)

rule #2:  the phrase you just said is quite often used figuratively.

it's literally so cold in here.  
ok so it is, but that's not normally a figurative expression. 
(i overheard someone say this while sitting at an airport gate)

rule #3:  there's a reasonable chance that the person you're talking to might not know whether you mean it literally or figuratively.

i literally just took out the trash.  
good, if you work at a bar and the person you're talking to didn't see you toss empties into the dumpster out back versus toss drunks onto the sidewalk out front. 
(this one i just made up)

so... in the end, if what you're going to say doesn't fit all three rules, there's really no need to use the word literally.  i really don't know how it became this general intensifier, but you don't need it to sound more serious.  

how about this:
if you've got a good point, we'll get it.  
and if you're full of it, we probably already know.


comic unmaliciously yet still improperly lifted from toothpastefordinner.com without expressed permission from them nor major league baseball.



Saturday, June 25, 2011

no posts since april?

i should get back at this blog thing.  
...not that anyone's reading this anywho.

so...  while i think of something to say, have some pizza


Thursday, April 7, 2011

cheers

this is where i was a week ago. when i close my eyes i'm still there. had a nice relaxing week, and even got some running in, prepping for a little 5k next week.

thanks mauna lani! cheers yall.

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

13 goals!

nice set of highlights for the caps v ducks game ckd and i went to a couple weeks back in anaheim. i don't think i've ever seen a game with so many goals. probably won't again either. great seats too. let me put it this way, we were sitting about 3 feet below the camera that made this video. oh, and club level at the honda center is saaweeeet...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

new york, great city, and you must respect

especially the football giants...

i really dig this video. directv has a few other good ones.