Jackson Obscura – Pointing Out Some of Jackson Mississippi’s Best Little Spots

Found, The Internets /

23 March 2012


I came across http://jacksonobscura.wordpress.com/ today while browsing the /r/jacksonms subreddit. Anyone know who writes it?


Bob Rathbun – Hawks Announcer & Full Time Victim

Sport / , ,

8 March 2012



Chance and I were excited settle on the couch and watch a little Miami Heat basketball last night. We don’t have an NBA cable package so each time we can watch the team is special to us.

We picked up the Hawks broadcast through Fox Sports South. I’ve lived away from Miami for a few years now. Watching games from the opposing team’s home network usually means a few marginally biased comments. Last night’s play-by-play by Bob Rothbun was something I hadn’t experienced before.

The Hawks played the Heat tight – taking advantage of an overall dismal Heat performance. Bob Rathbun however felt the need to paint the contest into some sort of David vs. Goliath affair in which the lowly Hawks not only were competing against one of the best teams in the league, but against one of the best teams in the league with help from the refs. Some of the more salient examples include:

  • Blaming the officiating for a lack of first half free-throw opportunities
  • Accusing LeBron James of inciting a technical foul
  • Blaming the officiating for a lack of three-second calls against the Heat offense
  • Accusing numerous Heat players of ‘traveling’ something that is largely not called in the NBA home team or visitors

I understand the need to align with the home team and portray an ‘Us vs. Them’ tone – but the nauseating victim stance that Bob Rathbun took during last night’s broadcast was too much. Looking at the NBA Playoff standings today, there seems a good chance that Miami may have an opportunity to play the Hawks. I hope this happens and I hope I get a chance to listen to Bob Rathbun whine some more as his Hawks get thrashed by the Heat.

PS – nothing against ‘Nique – I appreciate his insight and am happy for him being a Hawks VP.


Information Visualization – Netflix Instant Watch History

Me, The Internets / ,

21 February 2012


Wordcloud - Netflix Instant Viewing History

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Login to your Netflix account.
  2. Hit up this URL: https://account.netflix.com/WiViewingActivity?all=true
  3. View Source
  4. Copy/Paste table into WYSWYG editor or favorite spreadsheet program
  5. Delete all columns to right of movie title
  6. Consider doing a global find/replace for char strings such as Ssn (Season) or Ep (Episode)
  7. Copy/Paste resulting text over at http://www.wordle.net
  8. Play w/ various configs, colors, layouts, etc. until satisfied w/ the result.


VW Rabbit Stuck In The Mud

Me / , ,

7 February 2012


VW Rabbit Stuck In The Mud

VW Rabbit Stuck In The Mud

I got my car stuck in the mud in my own front yard. I had to ask my brother in law to pull me out w/ his truck.

I have no statement as to what came over me that tempted me to drive my car over my front yard. I make fun of the rednecks that live across the street who habitually park their cars on their front-yard. At least those rednecks don’t get stuck in the mud.


People Management ProTip – Avoid The Word “JOB” Whenever Possible

Editorial, Me /

2 February 2012


I received this bit of advice today from someone I respect at work and felt it worthy of documenting here in hopes of helping others encoutering similar obstacles to great work in their work lives and quite possibly as a personal reminder for myself.

When dealing with people at work, it is best to avoid the word “Job.”

Why? The word Job simply has too much attached to it at an emotional level. There’s a saying here in the U.S. that reads: We are what we do. The connotation is that my personhood, identity, self-worth, etc. all are somehow connected to how I make my living from 9-5 (or 7:30-evening in my case). Thus My Job gets wrapped up with all sorts of extraneous stuff that can get in the way of accomplishing larger goals.  The consequence of referring to one’s job too often brings up a slew of questions such as:

  • What is my job?
  • Am I getting paid enough for this job?
  • Why does it seem my job has more attached to it than other peoples jobs?
  • Why am I being asked to add task a, b, c, etc. to what I think in my mind is my job?

These types of discussions, while having a place and time (and certainly warrant thought and discussion), by and large get in the way of reaching fundamental business goals and accomplishing tasks.

The Play:

Consider relaying requests at a more personal level in a tone that conveys the fact that for Task A, I am counting on you to do it to the best of your abilty.

This removes Job and all the latent baggage that so often makes the trip.


Swarming Nano Quadrotors Are So Badass I Can’t Put It To Words

Culture, Found / , ,

1 February 2012



Jan 18 Internet Blackout Displays Democratic Power Of A Web-Enabled Populace

Editorial, The Internets / ,

19 January 2012


I took part in a protest of sorts yesterday along with millions of other citizens against some legal measures that, if enacted, would likely severely limit what websites I have access to. This post is not to hash out the arguments for and against. Rather, its meant as a testament to the incredible Power (with a capital P) we may wield when joined together in a common cause.

The internet represents a completely new, non-physical realm. Much of what I do on a daily basis in my work life takes place on the internet in some way shape or form. As someone who builds things that run on the internet, it’s tremendously pleasing to me personally that I am part of an emerging population of individuals that can coalece around an objective and make something happen.

Some Preliminary Results:

Fight for the Future reports about 75,000 websites took part in the protest Wed. Wikipedia says 162 million people viewed the blackout landing page, 8 million U.S. visitors looked up Congressional representatives and 12,000 people posted comments on Wikimedia Foundation’s blog post announcing the blackout.

The Los Angeles Times says Google confirmed that 4.5 million people signed the company’s petition to protest SOPA and PIPA, while 350,000 emails were sent to representatives via SopaStrike.com and AmericanCensorship.org.

Twitter reported over 2.4 million SOPA-related tweets between 12 a.m. and 4 p.m. EST on Jan. 18, with the top five terms being SOPA, Stop SOPA, PIPA, Tell Congress and #factswithoutwikipedia.

According to the White House, a combined 103,785 signed a petition to kill the bill. About 24 U.S. Senators have now come out against the bills, including former co-sponsors Ben Cardin, Marco Rubio and Roy Blunt.

SRC: http://www.forbes.com/sites/shenegotiates/2012/01/19/in-praise-of-wikipedia/

This sort of action makes me wonder what might be possible if this same group of indivdiuals decided to move towards forcing political goals on a larger scale. Whereas our elected representatives often answer to business lobbies, what if we could force an answer to a progressive citizenry?

Or as Jeff Jarvis put it so well:

…we’re all lobbyists now, and that’s just as it should be. This movement didn’t need influence peddlers. It didn’t need political commercials. It didn’t need media. It needed only citizens who give a shit. Democracy.

Bravo Mr. Jarvis. Bravo Internet. Bravo Democracy!


Koi To The World – Funny Holiday Video From Mad Genius

Me, The Internets / ,

21 December 2011


(I make my cameo at the end and get to show off my vocal chords.)


Why Is Kenya Being Such an International Relations Badass Lately?

Editorial / , , , , ,

5 December 2011


Kenya has really been flexing their muscles lately! With more than tacit support from the U.S. and presumably the UK, Kenya launched a cross border invasion to expel Al-Shabab fighters from the lawlessness of southern Somalia. (I find it interesting that the U.S. sent some 150 U.S. Marine advisors to neighboring Uganda only a week or so before operation Linda Nchi began.) Within a couple weeks of the start of the action, Kenya met with the Israelis to discuss financial assistance and cooperation in the anti-Al-Shabab action. These are all significant actions on the part of a government with lots of its own problems.

Last week, I learn that the Kenyan High Court has taken the unusual step to issue an arrest warrant for Sudan’s Bashir. Now this is a generalization, but for much of the post-colonial era, African countries have by and large strayed from messing with the internal affairs of their neighbors.  African political elites tend to not want to cast stones as most have homes of glass. Kenya joining the ICC in issuing warrants for Bashir is a significant action.

The West, I believe, is most likely presenting lots of carrots to the Kenyans. The U.S. in particular is probably attempting to forge long-term ties with what it eyes as the most powerful (economic / military) nation in the region. After Pakistan and Yemen, the horn represents the best base of operations for Al-Queda and the like. Having a foothold / sympathetic partner in the area is important. Additionally, there is no way the U.S. can physically have boots on the ground in Somalia again. Backing the Kenyans and providing air support / drones is probably the best move the U.S. can muster.


Photo With University of Miami President, Donna Shalala

Me, Sport / , , , , ,

29 November 2011


Donna Shalala

The Rubinoffs had our photo taken with University of Miami President, Donna Shalala in front of the All Canes store in Coral Gables, FL.

Go Canes!


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