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330nbalogo.pngI've previously noted that, "I didn't watch a single game of the [NBA] playoffs," last season. After what happened this week, I now have no intention of watching any games this whole season.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Lakers' accused rapist Kobe Bryant was suspended for two games without pay for throwing an intentional elbow to the throat of Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Miller. Bryant explained the reason for his actions in an ESPN Sports Center interview:

"If somebody comes down the lane, you have to hit them...that's just basic NBA basketball."

331kobebryant.jpgWell Kobe, that may be basic NBA basketball, but it has no place in the game of basketball that I know and love. Here's an idea, how about playing a little defense and moving your feet or, heaven forbid, taking a charge instead of committing assault and battery on a player who's gotten the best of you. The NBA with the acquiescence of its owners and commissioner, David Stern, have allowed the game to become such a perversion that I can't stand to watch it anymore.

And, in case there was any doubt about whether Kobe had any remorse, he stated in an interview:

"I wish I could go back in time and take that foul back knowing what I know now, getting two games for it," he said. "No way in my mind did I think it was going to be a suspension or something like that. No way."

Take it back how?

"I'd just hit him a little softer," Bryant said.

332davidstern.jpgJust like a small child, he has no concept that what he did was wrong and he'd only consider altering his behavior slightly to avoid the punishment. If I were the Commissioner, I'd have every player sign a statement that hitting someone is never a part of NBA basketball. Anyone who doesn't sign, doesn't play. Anyone violating the agreement or saying to any person, any media or anyone anywhere, anything to the contrary doesn't play.

David Stern, it's time to take the thugs out of the NBA. Until you do, it's college ball only for me.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Dec 29 2005

Hand Me the "Clicker"

329remote.pngPC World recently listed their 50 Greatest Gadgets of the Past 50 Years. The list is a little too heavy on cell phones (five), too few on calculators (one) and omits some ground-breaking gadgets like the Mattel Electronics handheld LED games of the 70s or any mention of a GPS device. One gadget that brought back memories and made me think of a trivia question was the Zenith Space Command which is ranked ridiculously low at 21st since its progeny is probably more used by more people than anything else on the list. And, the question is:

Do you know why old people sometimes call the TV remote the "clicker"? Because, the first untethered remote literally clicked:

Zenith Space Command (1956)

Zenith's Dr. Robert Adler suggested using "ultrasonics," that is, high-frequency sound, beyond the range of human hearing. He was assigned to lead a team of engineers to work on the first use of ultrasonics technology in the home as a new approach for a remote control.

The transmitter used no batteries; it was built around aluminum rods that were light in weight and, when struck at one end, emitted distinctive high-frequency sounds. The first such remote control used four rods, each approximately 2-1/2 inches long: one for channel up, one for channel down, one for sound on and off, and one for on and off.

They were very carefully cut to lengths that would generate four slightly different frequencies. They were excited by a trigger mechanism - similar to the trigger of a gun - that stretched a spring and then released it so that a small hammer would strike the end of the aluminum rod.

The device was developed quickly, with the design phase beginning in 1955. Called "Zenith Space Command," the remote went into production in the fall of 1956, becoming the first practical wireless remote control device.

While you couldn't hear the high frequency sound that was being emitted, you could very much hear the striking of the aluminum rod which is why remotes used to sometimes be referred to as the clicker. Interestingly, if you threw your keys down on a table near a TV controlled by one of these remotes it would sometimes cause the TV to change channels due to just the right sound being created.

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (1) |

327memorexdvr.pngSanta brought Mary and me a Memorex DVD16+/-DL4RWlD2 double layer, dual format DVD recorder. The drive supports 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW and 4x DVD+R9 writing technologies which allows burning of double layer discs with a capacity of 8.5GB. Are you lost yet? If not, just wait.

It records: DVD+R, DVD+R9, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD-R DA, CD-R, CD-RW.

It reads/plays: DVD-ROM, DVD-VIDEO, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW,, CD-EXTRA, CD-I, CD-ROM, AUDIO CD, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-ROM XA, CD TEXT, PHOTO CD, HYBRID CD, VIDEO CD, ENHANCED CD.

And, it writes in the following modes: TAO, DAO, RAW DAO, RAW DAO 16, RAW DAO 96, SAO, RAW SAO, RAW SAO 16, RAW SAO 96, Multi-session, Packet Writing.

I'm so glad technology is making life easier.

328computeropen.jpg

Since we bought our Dell Dimension 8200 desktop in 2001, we've made five internal upgrades now: (1) increased RAM to 1GB, (2) upgraded the graphics card to an ATI Radeon 9800Pro, (3) increased the hard drive to 120GB, (4) installed a USB 2.0 PCI card, and (5) swapped out the DVD-ROM drive for the double-layer DVD writer. The old gal still has some life left in her.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Dec 25 2005

Christmas 2005

Happy Birthday Jesus

326drewnativity.jpg

And Merry Christmas to All!


"'Is the Christmas spirit still alive?' some ask. Well, you bet it is. The Christmas spirit of peace, hope, and love is the spirit Americans carry with them all year round, everywhere we go."

Ronald Reagan - Radio Address to the Nation, December 24, 1983.

Posted by Don | Comments (6) | TrackBacks (0) |
Dec 21 2005

Christmas Carols

The following are all titles of well-known Christmas carols. Can you guess what they are? Answers appear after the jump.

324carols.png          1. Quadruped with crimson proboscis
          2. 5 p.m. to 6 a.m. without noise
          3. Miniscule hamlet in the middle east
          4. Ancient benevolent despot
          5. Adorn the vestibule
          6. Exuberance directed to the planet
          7. Listen, aerial spirits harmonizin
          8. Monarchial trio
          9. Yonder in the haystack
          10. Assemble, everyone who believes
325carols.gif          11. Hallowed post meridian
          12. Fantasies of a colorless December 25th
          13. Tin tintinnabulums
          14. A dozen 24-hour yule periods
          15. Befell during the transparent bewitching hour
          16. Homo sapien of crystallized vapor
          17. I merely desire a pair of incisors
          18. I spied my maternal parent osculating a fat man in red
          19. Perambulating through a December solstice fantasy
          20. Aloft on the acme of the abode

          1. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer
          2. Silent Night
          3. O Little Town of Bethlehem
          4. Good King Wenceslas
          5. Deck the Halls
          6. Joy to the World
          7. Hark the Herald Angels Sing
          8. We Three Kings
          9. Away in a Manger
          10. Come All Ye Faithful
          11. O Holy Night
          12. I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas
          13. Silver Bells
          14. The Twelve Days of Christmas
          15. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
          16. Frosty the Snowman
          17. All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth
          18. I Saw Mama Kissing Santa Claus
          19. Walking Through a Winter Wonderland
          20. Up on the Rooftop

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |

After we saw Santa Clause on Friday night went to see RHEMA Bible Church's Christmas Lights Extravaganza. It's a holiday must see in Tulsa. The 110 acre Broken Arrow campus is covered with millions of lights each year. Admission is free and carriage rides are available. Here are three pics, six more after the jump.

rhema1.jpg

rhema2.jpg

rhema3.jpg

rhema4.jpg

rhema5.jpg

rhema6.jpg

rhema7.jpg

rhema8.jpg

rhema9.jpg

Posted by Don | Comments (3) | TrackBacks (0) |

323drewsanta.jpg

We went and saw Santa Clause tonight! Drew asked Santa for, "Car Zoom!" I'll bet Santa knows exactly what that means. This was one of the best Santa's we've ever seen. In fact, we think he might not have even been one of Santa's helpers but, rather, Santa himself!!!

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Dec 15 2005

Maintenance Outage

321maintenance.jpgDanzfamily.com will be down for maintenance for a few hours sometime late this Friday night through Saturday due to my hosting company switching datacenters. The upside is that by Saturday morning this site should load even faster and have even greater reliability.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

317pickingouttree.jpgToday we picked out our Christmas tree. I squatted down for a picture with Drew and he squatted down with me. We are both wearing our University of Illinois hats. Go Illini!

Now, you'd think all the commotion associated with bringing a ten foot Christmas tree into the house would scare away Joey our cat, otherwise known as Mr. Run-Cowering-Under-The-
Bed-At-The-Slightest-Sound-Of-Distant-Thunder. However, to say he was very interested would be an understatement. Immediately, upon dropping the tree down into its holder, he was underneath sniffing and...mapping a route up!

318catscoping.jpg

Click "continue reading" to see what happened next [updated].

319catintree.jpg

Joey worked his way about six feet up and laid his head down just as happy as he could be. He used to be an outdoor cat in the middle of nowhere and tree climbing was one of his favorite activities. It wasn't uncommon to see him race 20 or 30 feet up a tree, sniff around a little, climb down, sprint across the ground to another tree and repeat the process. Now, he's afraid to stay outside more then five minutes at a time before he's crying at the door to be let back in. I'll bet the tree brought back great memories for him. I just hope he's gotten the need to climb this one out of his system. (The picture quality is low because it is a video frame.)

320catladder.jpg

After we hung lights on the top of the tree using a ladder, we put the ladder aside, and Joey took the opportunity to use it as a perch for watching our activities. We've had a tree with Joey around before but it's been a few years due to a number of circumstances. I'm sure things will calm down and the tree and cat will get along fine...*fingers crossed*.

322cattreeskirt.jpg

[Update] Joey has not thought about climbing the tree since we put the lights on. He's happy just to sit under it and dream about the treats and toys that Santa will bring him.

Posted by Don | Comments (3) | TrackBacks (0) |

316lafortune.jpgThis past week, Tulsa's Mayor, Bill LaFortune, spoke at his "Mayor's Night In" meeting for neighborhood leaders. During the meeting he argued against the "panacea" of having more police officers because, as everyone knows:

"More police officers, means more arrests, means a higher crime rate." - Bill LaFortune

Unbelievable! Never mind the fact that the crime rate is wholly unrelated to arrests. I could possibly even give him the benefit of the doubt that he just slipped up on the statistical concept except for the fact that there is no excusing the basis of his argument, that more police officers could possibly lead to any negative consequence involving crime. What rational person, not pushing some agenda, thinks this way?

Here's the audio (0:03, 28KB, wma). In case you think Mayor LaFortune is being taken out of context, here's a four minute clip containing the quote made by Mayor LaFortune (3:55, 464KB, mp3). The pertinent discussion begins at 2:55 and culminates with the Mayor's words of wisdom at 3:15.

I took the time to photoshop Mayor LaFortune to (try to) appear as if he came from a comic book for the reason that, only from a comic book character would one expect such incompetent leadership.

Thanks go to Tulsa Topics for the clip.
Bates Line for the question asked the Mayor.
MedBlogged (candidate for mayor) for transcript and analysis.

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |
Dec 7 2005

No News

315busy.gifA friend bugged me for not having posted in a week. All is well. I've just been busy with work, the holidays, and playing with Drew.

Ya gots to have priorities in life...and bloggin' ain't one of dem.



Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |