Link to the HUMV blog

It is a bittersweet moment when something is finally done. However, I will be continually updating the HUMV blog for many moons. The blog is always evolving and will grow in time just as I do. Click here to go to the HUMV blog. (Notice the guy in the Sarah Palin t-shirt)

Punch out 2.0

Have you ever wondered if you could beat up your friend in a real fight? Well thanks to googlefight, you can now have a battle on whose name has the most entries on Google. All you have to do is enter two different searches. These can be either names or inanimate objects. It doesn’t matter. Then there is a stick figure battle. After the battle, the results are displayed and the winner is announced. It is good for wasting 10 minutes if you are bored. Have fun and good luck in all your battles!

To my hero Mark Baydek

Project nearing completion

Here is the slideshare presentation for my project.

My Television Needs to Stop Ringing

Media convergence seems to be everywhere now for better or worse. I have been a Comcast customer for two years with mixed results. Recently, Comcast has offered an amazing new experience that was described in the article for the week. That is when the telephone rings it shows up on the TV screen with the caller’s name and number. I may be different from everyone else in the world but I don’t give out my home phone number to anyone. I never use it. The only reason I even have one is because I can get a discount for being a “Triple Play” member. So the only people who call me are telemarketers and people who want money for charity. The two options that show up on the screen are snooze and exit. Neither one of these hangs up the phone! This means I have to get off the couch, walk up to the phone, tell the person no thanks, hang up the phone and sit back on the couch. If you give your number out to people this service may be invaluable but for me it is a reminder that seven rings on the phone is annoying.

Like I said before, the only reason I even have a home phone is to get a discounted rate for the other services. It is nice to only pay one bill once a month and be done with it. My parents are a good example of people who benefit from bundling. They used to pay a separate bill for TV, home phone with long distance and an ISP for dial-up Internet. This was not even three years ago! Well the bill went from around $155 to $95 a month for switching. They also got more channels, faster Internet and free long distance phone calls.

The article did a surprisingly good job at predicting the future. In America, companies are fighting for customers using bundling as their main weapon. The prices keep going down and the services get better (faster Internet and more channels). My TV does ring but I wish it would stop or at least have the ability to hang up. Now it seems that the next big thing is the dominance over the smart phones. Every day on TV Verizon and AT&T are showing maps and claiming they have better service for 3G. I don’t have a smart phone yet but I feel that in a few years it will become inevitable. If Comcast joined the cell phone market and offered a discount for bundling, I would be there in a heart beat. For now I will just wait with my aging Gravity phone until smart phones become cheaper.

Questions (Last time!!!)

1) What are the advantages and drawbacks for a one-stop-shop home phone, Internet, TV and mobile phone service company.

2) With technologies like Skype and others, why do people even need a home phone?

3) What are some reasons behind which party (consumers or providers) you think wins when bundling?

Battle of the Ah-lain-ah’s

Entry to the competition

For my last subject matter post I will revisit the battle royale theme that was started way back in October. This time there are only two contestants. They are Alana Garcia and Alayna Lim. When spoken they both sound like Ah-lain-ah but they are quite different. I will look at both subject matter posts and decide who is having the better December for blog dominance.

Alana

Alana Garcia blogged about Tiger Woods. The post was on a topic that didn’t really interest me because it was beaten to death over the whole week on radio, TV and in print. It was relevant to this weeks news cycle which earns one point for being current (tip #3). The writing was good but the link at the bottom was better. Having the link there was a good use of source material which gets two points (tip #10). The original reason why I was interested in reading this post was the title. Using cheatah instead of Tiger gets five points for originality and being catchy (using title effectively). Having a picture of Tiger/cheatah Woods under the title let the reader know who this post was about even if the name didn’t ring a bell. For the use of an image one extra point will be rewarded (tip #5).

Alayna

Alayna Lim wrote about copyright infringement in England. It is a topic that is getting more interest among people who make laws (apparently more so in the U.K.). The use of a skull-and-crossbones symbol at the bottom of the post was a great use of imagery and gets one point (tip #5). Underneath the image was a credit for where the photo was from. This gets four bonus points for not infringing on a copyright (tip #5). The red font stood out to me from the beginning. Everything else was black but the quote from the article was red; the color of pain and agony. Using a quote in the post nets three points (tip #4). The post was short and to the point. Two points are awarded for quickly relaying information (tip #8).

Showdown

It was a close battle and the score came down to a singly point. Both did an excellent subject matter post and should be applauded for their efforts…(short pause for applause break). Now to the scorecards. Alana scored nine points in the battle and had a decent shot of winning. However with ten points which was aided by a credited photo, Alayna wins the battle and gets the crown Top Ah-lain-ah of December!

Stupidest thing I have ever done

I would like to open up this blog post by asking a question to the viewers of this blog… What is the stupidest thing you have ever done?

Well my answer to this question happened yesterday from 8:15 in the morning to around 1:30 in the afternoon. You may be wondering what kind of stupid thing lasted 5+ hours. I thought that running a marathon would be a good decision. I was horribly wrong.

I originally signed up for the Seattle marathon in March when I was in semi-good shape. I was working out a few times a week and thought it would be a good challenge. Also I saw the people of “Biggest Loser” do it and was motivated to beat their times. Especially Tara’s time of 4 hours and 55 minutes which ended up being my target goal.

I have always wanted to do a marathon, it was on my bucket list. I started training pretty seriously in May and blew out my knee finals week in June. This sidelined me for all of summer. I had almost forgot about the marathon until my dad went into the hospital after a stroke. He used to run marathons when I was little and gave me inspiration to train again. Did I mention that this was less than two weeks ago?

After spending the night watching my dad sleep in the hospital I started to train Thursday of last week. I ran two miles in 19 minutes and felt very winded afterwords. On Friday I ran four miles. On Saturday I did six miles and wished I had more time to train. Sunday I rested my body and then ran 8 miles on Monday. Once again, having 10 days to train for a marathon is not the smartest things ever.

Tuesday I ran four and a half miles because my legs felt like Jello. Wednesday I ran from UW to Bothell or 12 miles in the pouring down rain. Thursday was Thanksgiving and I ate way too much to try and run. Friday I had to get up for the deals at Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target and other places so I napped the day away. Saturday was tailgating at the Apple Cup, once again not smart and yesterday was a day that I will remember forever.

Miles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 were a piece of cake. I was running in the 11 minute per mile group and had a good pace going. Miles 8 and 9 I hit the wall hard. I lost the group and had to walk a bit to gain more energy. Most of miles 10, 11, 12 and 13 were spent trying to find ways to quit. I had my bus pass in my pocket and I was thinking of routes that were in the Mount Baker neighborhood that would take me to downtown Seattle. Miles 14, 15 and 16 had a lot of people on the sidewalk cheering. I can’t walk in front of cheering people so they picked me up. Mile 17 was ugly. Barefoot Todd passed me and I lost all will to run. This guy has no shoes on and is motoring passed me. Mile 18 had a water/ Gatorade area which I happily took four cups. Miles 19, 20 and 21 were half walk and half jog. Mile 22 was straight uphill which drained my energy just walking up it. Miles 23 and 24 were downhill and I zoomed down them just glad to be almost over. Mile 25 I saw Barefoot Todd in my sites a minute ahead of me and convinced myself I would pass him. Mile 26 started out with a long 1/2 mile downhill stretch where I breezed passed Todd, two guys in reindeer outfits and a giant lobster. As I ran into the stadium with 100 yards to go all I could think of was don’t stop and don’t fall down. To do both was a minor miracle. The announcer said my name and my girlfriend was cheering me on. I crossed the finish line 5 hours 17 minutes and 14 seconds after I started and my legs were on fire. I did not stop, although I walked quite a bit, during the race. I wanted to stretch and rest from mile 9 on. Barefoot Todd finished 4 minutes behind me and I still feel sore at 8:43 the next morning.

So once again this was the stupidest thing I have ever done but at least I can say I ran a marathon and have a medal to prove it.