Wow, it’s been a whole year

Every January for the past  4 or 5 years, I resolve to write a blog post. I like writing. I don’t think I’m particularly great at it, but I do like it. And I perceive writing to be something I can improve at if I simply actively write something every day. That’s why I want to write a blog post every day.

It looks like this upcoming January is going to be no different than the last. Another new year, another resolution to write a blog post every day. Because it’s been exactly one since I last posted something here. Sigh.

Interesting enough, that year has coincided with my first year as a resident of the state of Massachusetts and living out in the Boston suberb of Sudbury. There’s much to tell about that. Maybe I’ll get around to it one day.

So yeah, let’s see if I can reboot my postings here. Related to writing on a daily basis, my latest attempt to build good habits in that area is 750words.com. Check that out if you’re interested in evolving your writing via the practice of daily composition.

Collapse 2011: Prelude

Before 2004, being a Red Sox meant expecting the worst possible outcome for your team. And even when you were expecting, the manner of the outcome still managed to exceed what’s in the darkest recesses of your mind and annihilate your spirit. The Bucky Dent home run. Game 6 of the 86 worlds series.  Grady Little in 2003.

1978 one game playoff - Bucky Dent

Then Dave Roberts stole a base in the ninth inning of game 4 of the 2004 ALCS.  And that was the moment when everything flipped.  Immediately, bounces stared going our way. Umpires reversed calls in our favor.  The 2004 Boston Red Sox never lost a game after Dave Roberts steals that base.  It was the beginning of an amazing era in Red Sox history and being a Red Sox fan.

Dave Roberts steals second

Suddenly, the team was an annual winner.  Organizationally, they did things you always hoped for.  Like develop young players.  They spent tons of money and outbid other teams for free agents you wanted.  Fenway Park was turned into this perfect cathedral of baseball.  Packed every night with overjoyed people.  They had lots of likable players.  They had a likable manager.  We had a general manager who hung out with Pearl Jam.  A second championship came in 2007.  It was a time of bliss for fans of the Boston Red Sox.

The 2011 team was absolutely stacked. There was no reason to think that competing for another world series championship was realistic. I started telling anyone who would listen that the team was so complete that it would not only win 100 games, but the Sox would also challenge the single season record for most wins.  They got off to a horrible 2-10 start.  But even then, I never worried.  I figured it was just a matter of time before they figured things out and started winning.  And I was right.  After that 2-10 start they were the best team in baseball.

Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez

Until September came.

I’m not exactly when the Red Sox ship reversed course.  It seems like it was Hurricane Irene.  When September came, they were no longer that stacked team that would win the whole thing.  They were something else.  What they were didn’t reveal itself right away.  Instead, it was reveal slowly over a month of disastrous baseball.  They were the worst team in baseball in September.  They became the worst team I’ve ever watch play the game.

And on the 28th day of September, they played game 162.

David Ortiz in the dugout after game 162

 

The Collapse of the 2011 Boston Red Sox


It’s going to take me a few days to write a post about the #redsox game 162 and the 2011 collapse. Lots of thoughts to pull together.Thu Sep 29 20:51:39 via TweetDeck

 

That’s what I tweeted on September 29, 2011.  The day after the Red Sox lost game 162 in Baltimore and eliminated themselves from this year’s playoffs.  It’s actually taken me longer than I thought because the collapse with my beloved Sox wasn’t just on the field, it was throughout the organization. And the fallout keeps coming.  First, the manager quits1Then the GM walks away.

It’s a lot to take in. And everyday, us Sox fans learn a little bit more. None of it good.

All of this has been filling my mind with thoughts.  I want to rant.  I want to analyze.  I want to cleanse.

And it’s going to take some time.  What I first thought was a lengthy post is now probably a 3 or 4 parter.  There’s THAT much ground to cover .

  1. Or gets fired, depending on who  you ask []

Gruber Gets Us

An by “us”, I’m referring to my family.  In writing about the recent iPhone 4S announcement by Apple, John Gruber writes:

As for the argument that Apple has failed because the iPhone 4S, however nice an improvement overall, is not enough to entice iPhone 4 users to upgrade — so what? Normal people don’t buy brand-new $700 smartphones each and every year. In the U.S. they buy them on two-year contracts, and they don’t shop for new ones until their old contracts are over. So the iPhone that the 4S needs to present a compelling upgrade for is the 3GS, not the 4. And the iPhone 4S absolutely smokes the 3GS. It’s crazy better than the 3GS. 2009 3GS buyers who skipped the iPhone 4 — which I’m guessing are most of them — ought to be delighted by the iPhone 4S.

We saw the same criticism with the iPad 2 — that it wasn’t a compelling upgrade for existing iPad owners. In a way, those critics are right — the iPad 2 is not a compelling upgrade. But it wasn’t supposed to be — Apple expected iPad 1 owners to keep using the iPads they already own. Normal people don’t replace $600 gadgets annually — and they rightfully expect their $600 gadgets to remain useful and relevant for more than 12 months.

I read that and pretty much saw how my mind (and wallet) think when considering new Apple products.  I really don’t want to be an annual iPhone upgrade cycle.  So the iPhone 4S really should be compared to the iPhone 3GS in my purchasing decision making.

Similarly, there’s no way I’m dropping $499 every year on the latest iPad.  That’s just insane.  I can only hope that the next iPad product line iteration smokes the first generation iPad.  I still haven’t decided what the cycle should be for upgrading the family iPad.  My current thinking is $499 every two years seems a bit steep for what is not a critical piece of computing hardware within the household.  I imagine as Mason and Jude get older, the importance of the iPad will rise within our family.  In fact I expect them to have their own iPads as their primary computing device for school well before they have laptops or desktops.  Even when they get to the point of having to write reports and research papers, I’m thinking they’ll be more inclined to use another computer they have access to, such as at a library, instead of having their own tradition laptop or desktop.

Lastly, another great thought from Gruber is his comparison of the iPhone 4 design to the Porsche 911 design.  I think it’s spot on.

Apple pursues timeless style, not fleeting trendiness. This iPhone design might be like that of the Porsche 911 — a distinctive, iconic, timeless, instantly-recognizable representation of the product’s brand itself.