Archive: April, 2007

Saint Louis Cardinals tickets

Does anyone know how to get some decent tickets to a Cardinals’ game, barring a miracle?

For most of my adult life I have been trying to get within 20 rows of the field (preferably infield). In the beginning, I pinned my hopes on winning a contest on the radio or something. Then, I realized that was like winning the lottery. I did manage to win some tickets to Holiday World though, that I gave away to some family that wanted to go there for a vacation.

That brings me to where I am now – married, great wife and kids, mortgage, bills, etc. I keep trying to find tickets everywhere, the way grown-ups do, with cash. Unfortunately, the wait for season tickets is outlandish. I’m sure that a some of them are owned by real people who waited their turn or got lucky and scored some good seats, but I’ve read/heard that most of them are owned by corporations. WTF?

Sure, companies need to entertain clients while in town, and maybe drop them on employees from time to time. Wasn’t baseball built on the average guy taking an afternoon off to go see a game with his buddies or his son? How fair is it to the millions of fans across the US to have no hope of seeing a game from closer than 200 feet? It is so bad, one needs binoculars to see what is actually happening.

I guess I could also jump on and find something on there. If I do that though, I run the risk of paying 100-400% more than their face value. I know, we are in a capitalist society and the dollar runs everything. I just wish that I could happen across some decent seats, take my family to a game, and be able to see the action from a decent perspective.

Yeah, I’m whining. Yeah, I’m almost 30 and wishing for good seats to a baseball game. I just love the game and my Cardinals. Perhaps someday I will be able to afford tickets from a scalper, catch BP, and take my son to a game that he’ll actually be able to see and enjoy. For now, I’ll keep going to a few games each year in the nosebleed section, cheer on my team, and enjoy as best I can from my seat.

Oh, and I’m still entering ticket contests like a madman.

Dilbert is mocking blogs, but its right

This strip from the Dilbert comics page seems to be accurate in what executives think of blogs. To a lot of people, it is something to jump into and do just because it is hot at the moment. Unfortunately this is what I have witnessed more often than not in the blogosphere.

Don’t think that all blogs are bad and don’t do positive communication, a lot of them are great.

Bloggers have been around forever, they just were called “freelance reporters” or something similar. I am not saying all reporters are or should be bloggers, and most bloggers should NOT be reporters. However, there are definite similarities between reporters and bloggers. Some reporters are bloggers, and some bloggers are reporters, but one does not dictate the other automatically.

Blogging is simply an online outlet for your writing. It could be that you are reporting/commenting on news or your profession. Perhaps you are an executive and want to connect on a more personal level with your customers or employees.

Whatever your reason, blogging is an effective way to get your message out however you feel. Unfortunately this toon illustrates what so many executives do instead of actually using a blog to communicate. They have a person post some drivel and sign their name.

I’m new to this game as well, but I couldn’t imagine being so fake as making someone else imagine something to put on here.

Google is establishing another server farm

Google is going to have some major incentives thrown at it from Iowa. Why can we not get one of these in Illinois? Specifically, down here in the “poor” area of southern Illinois?

The requirements for a site would seem to be land and electricity. We have LOTS of land, and I have yet to find somewhere (recently) that doesn’t have electricity or pretty close access.

This is a great opportunity to bring major construction dollars and continuing employment of a white-collar industry to our area. Our government should be chomping at the bit to get an industry like this to move into our area, but I haven’t heard anything yet…

Pitiful “Help Wanted” ad in our local paper

I was scanning our local paper’s website to see if they had updated for today yet (they had not), when I came across this ad in the sidebar:

Day Labors

Part-Time -doing dirty work for long hours with low pay. Yard work, cleaning out houses, cutting logs and a 101 other things. Must be able to work alone and with others without goofing off. Driver’s licenses with clean record required.

Granted, this is honest work, and people will pay to have others do this work for them. Unfortunately, with the job climate around here, the person will probably have more calls than positions. (I omitted the phone number in consideration of the person placing the ad.)

I just found this entertaining and thought I would share it with everyone.

TalkDigger and the Semantic Web

First, what is the “semantic web“? For my purposes here I will describe it as “humanizing” the web. It stands to relate information on the internet in such a way as related articles/music/video or anything else can be found easily. It will also aggregate in a way that will make it easier to ask a question of a search engine in plain English and get a proper response.

As searches go now, one primarily gets vague results based on words in an article or description. The semantic web seeks to simplify searches and bring them together more cohesively. Here is a good description pulled from Wikipedia:

Humans are capable of using the Web to carry out tasks such as finding the Finnish word for “car”, to reserve a library book, or to search for the cheapest DVD and buy it. However, a computer cannot accomplish the same tasks without human direction because web pages are designed to be read by people, not machines. The semantic web is a vision of information that is understandable by computers, so that they can perform more of the tedium involved in finding, sharing and combining information on the web.

In short, the semantic web is mostly a vision (that is being evolved) to allow computers to search information more accurately and without as much or any evaluation by humans. It is a web for computers.

Recently, I came across a site, TalkDigger, while doing a vanity search on Google. I was concerned that the posts from my blog were being reproduced without permission or attribution, so I emailed the creator/owner, Frederick Giasson.

After emailing Mr. Giasson and chatting via email, he helped me understand how TalkDigger works and I figured out that I was an idiot like the congressman that said the internet is a “series of tubes”. Thankfully, Fred was very nice and helped educate me about his projects and their uses.

In case you are wondering, TalkDigger is a “semantic search engine” for the web. It is still in the early stages of its life, but looks very promising and useful.

THANK YOU, Fred, for educating me and turning me on to the semantic web!