Month: April 2017

2016 NHL Playoff Predictions (1st round edition)

NHL 2017 Playoff Predictions It’s that time of year again, where the NHL regular season has ended and the playoffs are about to begin. As is my tradition, it’s also time for me to publish my predictions for the playoffs, so we can all look at them and laugh as I show just how wrong I got it. Again. As I have been going back to the 1990s. My prediction this year: there’s going to be a lot of great hockey, and potentially epic hockey. Some of the matchups might be historic — for the first time in almost forever, there’s a legitimate chance for a Montreal-Toronto series, for instance. And both brackets look to be incredibly tough paths to get to the Cup Final. By the way, I should mention how absolutely thrilled I am to see five Canadian teams in the playoffs this year. That’s a great thing for the game. And congratulations Edmonton and Toronto for joining the post-season again. This is gonna be fun. So without further ado…. First Round Western Conference Chicago/Nashville: Chicago in 6 If you stop and think about it, Nashville being the second wildcard team says a lot about how hard the West is. It’s hard to see them beating the Blackhawks; fast and physical vs. not so fast and physical, but I do think the Predators are good enough that...

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Project start: Updating my online presence (again)

I’ve decided it’s time to revamp the site again, even though I did some updates about a year ago when I started the sabbatical. It’s almost like spring cleaning, I guess, that over time I become very aware of the shortcomings and want to fix them. The thing that triggered my thinking about this is Occam’s Fireaxe, the podcast I started. The existing site design really doesn’t allow me to tweak it to build in a good landing page and promotional space for the podcast, especially on the front page. When I did the last design I made the front page all about photography and set up the blog landing page as the front page for all of my writing, but I know believe the front page would better serve my needs if I could call out and feature multiple things on it. One option would be to create some web presence specifically for Occam’s Fireaxe, but I want to keep everything consolidated and besides, that would mean I’d have yet another thing that would get me wondering if I need to redesign it to get away from whatever’s bothering me about it. Having decided that this actually made sense and wasn’t just an excuse to do something fun to avoid real work, I’ve been spending the last week thinking about what I want to accomplish and evaluating...

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I have no frigging idea

I’ve been having some interesting conversations about Apple in the last few days. One was with Ina Fried, who is now writing at Axios, and she asked a question I struggled answering: “Are you planning to buy a desktop?” As you can see in her daily newsletter, she summarized my ramble with my final comment on the issue, which was I have no frigging idea Here’s why it takes me five minutes to answer that question with “I don’t know”; I have long been a laptop-centric user and with the 2016 MacBook Pro, and for about 95% of my work, it’s all I need or want. But that other 5% — when I dive into Final Cut Pro, for instance, or when I start doing serious panorama stitching in Lightroom — I can see the laptop struggle. It’s usable, but once in a while, I could really use more horsepower. I’ve really been thinking about whether I should add an iMac 5K to the mix, but I don’t really need or want the monitor, since I have a very nice, very big monitor already. What I could really use is a nice, mid-powered, updated Mac Mini, but, well. Sigh. So I think about Apple’s announcements this week about the new Mac Pro, and it gives me some hope. Will the low end of that product line be priced and...

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The Mac Pro lives: Apple promises new gear

So I wake up and fire up twitter, and see that John Gruber has dropped a bomb on my twitter feed and twitter blew up. I had errands to run and a doctor’s appointment this morning, so I’m just now able to sit down and write about this, but it’s given me a chance to sift through what people are saying and get my head around it. My general reaction is this is great but also that the devil is in the details and we don’t know many details yet. What we do know is that Apple has been working on what’s been called the iMac Pro by the pundits, a higher end iMac designed to fill most of the gaping hole power users see when they look at Apple’s current product line. But what we found out is that they’ve also decided to work on a next generation Mac Pro, because they realize the iMac Pro solves many, but not all, of the needs of this power user market niche. From the timing of when we’ll see these products — the iMacs later this year and the Mac Pro next year — I’m inferring that the iMacs have been under design for a while, but may have been taken back for component tweaking and upgrades, while this new Mac Pro has been under internal argument and the group...

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A nice milestone hit for me at the end of March; I finished the month weight under 370, the first time I’ve been this low since sometime in 2005, and which puts me a full 45 pounds below my high weight. I’ve lost 15 pounds in 2017, which matches my weight loss for all of 2016, and I’m ahead of schedule on my plan to lose 50 this year. All of those numbers make me feel good. So did cleaning out the closet and drawers and bagging up a lot of stuff for donation, because most of the clothes I wear no longer fit. Where I was wearing mostly 5XL pants, I’m now easily into 3XL sizes and the old stuff simply wouldn’t stay up without enthusiastic use of the belt and a couple of prayers. All the old stuff is going away, which if you think about it, is a commitment to myself that I’ll never go back there — even as I buy replacements in the new, smaller sizes. All of which makes me happy, even though buying clothes isn’t high on my list go life goals. And knowing that if this continues, I’ll likely have to do something similar again within the next year. At least, I hope so. It looks like I’ve taken about four inches off the waist, and I can feel the difference....

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