That’s not defense, Bruce

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Dear Bruce Bowen,

I know you tried really hard to foul the crap out of Dirk and get away with it. So sorry you and your team of muggers couldn’t hack your way to another championship at the expense of a better team.

I read your website, which is almost entirely dedicated to the “art of defense”. You spent all that money making a pointless flash site that didn’t have anything about defense except, “eat your greenies” and “train hard!”.

I was disappointed to find out that even on your website, when you’ve had time to think about it all, you don’t seem to understand anything about defense.

You have career averages of 7.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. You average 0.9 steals a game, shoot a horrible percentage on offense and are pretty much a non-factor in every statistical category.

In 10 years, you have not learned how to shoot free throws. You’re a 6’7″ small forward/shooting guard who can’t shoot free-throws or score effectively from outside or inside. You don’t steal the ball and don’t pass very much.

So you did what you had to do, I can dig it. You made a living off of frustrating the hell out of the other team’s best offensive player. It’s honest work.

But as I watched you tonight in game 7, shamelessly holding and slapping at Dirk, I just felt sorry for you. You have been framed as a defensive specialist but when your team needed real defense all you had was a 6’7″ frame and hope that Dirk would miss.

Better luck next season, Bruce. Let’s hope the refs don’t catch on to your strategy. I’d hate to see you try to earn a starting spot on any team based on any other part of your game.

<3,
Mike

PS – The Spurs sure cry a lot for a team who won championships on blown calls (also, I’m a jackass for writing this post).

Americano Bizarro

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<rant>

Bizarre. That’s about the only way I can explain things. Baseball players are required to testify under oath in front of senate judiciary committees, but oil executives and district attorneys aren’t.

who cares about bonds?
Sure enough, Mr. Specter, maybe you should have rethought how much you can trust people nowdays — especially people involved with the white house — and especially the ones who deny they were.

Although, I don’t think you thought very much at all about it. You probably just did what you were told. Either way — shame on you for not holding people accountable for telling the truth.

This crap has been building up for a while — so let me get some stuff off my chest. Let’s see — things our congress has focused on:

  • Steriods in baseball (who gives a shit)
  • Building a WALL — A FRICKING WALL — between the US and Mexico (didn’t work for Germany or China; way to regress 200 years guys; done for political gain in November)
  • Discussion about gay marriage (robbing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness from US citizens based on an uncontrollable part of their nature; again, way to regress 200 years; didn’t work for slave owners or restricting women’s voting rights; didn’t work for Hitler either)
  • Janet Jackon’s nipple (not something to ban from TV — embrace it!)

Things that were pretty much ignored:

  • Domestic wire-tapping (national security, shh, it’s so secret nobody is accountable for it)
  • Constitutional checks and balances (wtf?! there are limits to presidential power?)
  • Safety regulation in mining operations (oh, people can die from underregulation that benefits rich business owners?; no lobbyists for saving lives?)
  • Health care reform
  • Social security reform
  • Budget deficit
  • Lobbying reform
  • Election reform
  • Shit, well, pretty much everything they should have been instead of building walls and working on conservative (and pointless) legislation

So my response to this stuff — including Barry Bonds hitting seven-hundred-something home-runs? Get a grip, people. The country is going down the tubes and you’re worried about baseball records and steroids? Wake up.

Congress does a lot of great things, but lately I just don’t know what those things are.

</rant>

Open Source Undefined

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Most persons do not see the sun. At least they have a very superficial seeing. The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and heart of the child.
- Nature, Emerson

Open source can be any number of things, depending on who you’re asking. To the hacker it’s about teamwork, comradery, IRC, CVS or SVN and great flamewars. To the CEO it’s risky, and often times very dependent on highly-skilled staff who may or may not be here tomorrow. To Wall Street it’s a non-commodity with high risk and low returns. To mom and dad it’s a mysterious concept you’ve asked about many times but never quite understood. To my cats, it’s what makes me sit at the glowing rectangles for hours on end.

To all of us, though, it’s the future. Most of us agree on that much.

In my time here at OSU in Central Web Services and the Open Source Lab I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about open source, because I’ve been in the middle of it. Working with the Mozilla community has also taught me a lot about the masses and community development. I learned over the past three years that it’s less about the masses and more about individuals who care a great deal about where we’re all going.

So the #1 question people ask me is, “What is open source?” To be honest, I’ve stopped worrying about defining open source. Instead I’ve tried to appreciate it.

Does it really matter what open source is? If it’s an ideal, a business model, communication style, natural progression, another step in our evolution — I’ve stopped caring about trying to outline it and present it in a bulleted list.

To me it’s just chaos, and it’s wondrous. I’m so caught up in it. It’s intoxicating and pulls me in some undefined direction. Like riding in an airplane with an unknown destination. You don’t know the pilots or where you’re going but you’re still excited about the possibilities. Like stepping forward onto a stage, lights blinding, and having an act but still not being entirely sure about how the show is going to turn out.

Or maybe it’s an emotion. You can’t quantify sadness or jubilation. How do you explain the color yellow to a 5-year-old? You can’t. How do you explain happiness to a rock? You can’t.

So I’m done trying to draw blueprints for the stage, or profiling the pilots and passengers. I’ve given up and put down the pen.

Because no matter how many times I fill a whiteboard or flowchart, I leave the audience thirsty. They are given a little sip of an idea — ephemeral and slight as something like the American Dream. It’s something we all whisper about and pull for but can’t really define. It’s something driving us that seems so strong and powerful yet at times, in its tiny fissures and failures, it all seems so fragile and brittle.

It is what it is — whitewash pitted with valleys and riddled with amazing plateaus. It’s us reflected in code which is scary and unpredictable but it’s alright if we remember we’re in it together.

It’s life, and you can’t define life — you just live it.

Something doesn’t have to be intricately defined to have meaning.

Mark Cuban Kicks Ass

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mark cuban rocks chuck norris Okay, I’ll admit it. I initially didn’t like the guy. He sat in the front row at Mavericks games, all riled up, fists pumping and emotions swaying with every call. He just seemed pretty obnoxious, which makes me hastily throw you in my “oh no, not him again” category.

Be careful about who you dismiss.

I spent a few hours last night replacing much-needed sleep with a complete tour of Mark Cuban’s life, courtesy of Google, Wikipedia and blogmaverick.com.

Sure enough — I was wrong. Somewhere behind the fist pumping, shouting at refs and NBA fines there lies a fricking brilliant man who I find terribly interesting and inspiring.

Inspired by Fountainhead, driven by something that is a lot like the open source “itch” we all know in the programming world, Cuban has gone from successful enterprise to successful enterprise by fixing things that piss him off.

It takes a tremendous amount of courage to reject the norm, and even more to recreate it. Don’t like what you’re doing today? Change it. Dante and Randall would have agreed. If you want to blame somebody for your situation, blame yourself.

Mark Cuban never let his situation control him. He wasn’t the guy at the kwik-e-mart saying, “…but I’m not even supposed to be here today!!”

WWMCD? He would have started up his own kwik-e-mart that put the other one out of business. Or, he would have moved on to something completely tangential that sparked his interest. He would have succeeded there, too.

Why? He’s a rare combination of grit, determination, preparation, research and luck. Obviously nowdays he is a bit blessed with a large bankroll, but before it took some cajones to step up to the plate and pitch the ideas he had. It took a lot of faith and determination in himself to make them succeed. That is what separates him from the rest of the rich slugs. He has great ideas, sure, but he also follows through on them.

And he eats his own words gracefully, too. Ask the people at Dairy Queen.

In a time when we don’t have leaders or good examples of Americans, I think Mark Cuban serves as a good icon. He’s worlds better than crooked senators or anybody in the White House simply because he’s a multi-billionaire and he still takes the time to keep up with blogs, speak his mind freely and uses his money for good causes. He is also not stopping his pursuit of what’s right, or at least what’s cool.

You don’t see Mark Cuban crying for the people he might hurt or upset because what he is saying may not necessarily be something they agree with. He isn’t constantly weighing media reaction to the truth before he speaks it. That makes him genuine. It makes him the most human billionaire I’ve seen or read about. It makes him someone I can believe and relate to regardless of how much money he has or what he’s done. He’s a guy with ideas and feelings, not some larger-than-life self-absorbed asshole. Well, a normal guy with a $40M jet he bought online.

He’s a guy who:

  • Created a fallen soldier’s fund (Fallen Patriot Fund) to help injured or fallen soldiers’ families cope with their loss
  • Supported P2P networking in the Groklaw v. MGM case
  • Created an internet radio broadcast site because he thought not being able to listen to college basketball games over the internet was annoying
  • Created an HDTV network because HD programming from regular cable companies was crappy
  • Brought the Mavs back from extinction because his friends dared him to
  • Founded a company that helps people sift through the blogosphere because he recognized how important blogs are long before the rest of us
  • Started up 2929 entertainment because he thinks waiting for movies to come out on DVD is bullshit

So, thanks Mark, for bringing back the Mavs (though I’m a Suns fan, I appreciate the Mavs too), and showing that being yourself and believing in what’s right (for everyone, not just yourself) can take you as far as you’re willing to go. Keep it up, dude.

Mark Cuban kicks ass. Chuck Norris ain’t got shit on this guy.