Wednesday, August 31, 2005

New Orleans Info

I've been pretty glued to the news and scenes in New Orleans today...

I picked this off of Boing Boing, but check out Tulane's main page from the University website. It's evolved into an info blog.

Supposedly, the school is going to be shut down for the next three months...That's a whole semester, son! I had a lot of good times in this town, and I hope you have as well...I can only hope that federal dollars will be pumped in to rebuild The Crescent City.

To keep your thoughts hopeful, I can only refer to Charleston, SC as a model for revitalization after the Hugo Disaster in '89. Old towns and buildings can be revitalized, but not if they're blown down...The good thing from the helicopter shots is that a lot of the historical structures still seem to be standing.

Peace,
IronDog

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Google Talk..."GTalk?"

Gmail...GTalk...What the hell, GLove?...

Well, try out GoogleTalk. I'm working on it right now, and let's see how it works. I'm still very upset at AOL for blasting my old IM address that I had for over seven years this past Spring. So, I'm always open to explore new ways of messenging people. Click on the link here to do the short download and registration process.

After you're done, hit me up on the GoogleTalk at bret.dougherty. It's the same username as my email address moniker. I'm still feeling bad for our boys at Skype. They did a great job...ON principle, Google should buy them out...That's if they'll sell because that service and interface is the ill wham bango...This looks like it's going to be quite similar.

Hit me up,
IronDog

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Will You Switch?...

I switched my permanent email address last spring...Yet, with Google's announcement of a new IM service, it made me wonder...Will people switch over from AOL or Yahoo?

Well, there must be a great plan to unleash it.

I'm still stunned by the popularity that Gmail generated from word-of-mouth promotion, and I'm amazed by how great of a tool it's been for my use of email. With that said, I'm prepared for the switch. I just hope that a lot of people join in with my new preference because I can't get people to switch from AOL IM over to my new YahooMessenger.

What I find interesting is that it seems the new Google IM service is going to be a lot like Skype, an open-source IM/Chat/communications service that I think is an incredible service. I absolutely love it. But It's going to be a shame to watch Skype battle for users and popularity...Looking at the past growth of gmail and the snobbery that surrounded Gmail's growth, there's no doubt that Skype is going to be in a dog-fight to keep users in this part of the world.

Here's the Reuters release on the new Google IM
. Independent tech journalist, Om Malik is suggesting via his blog, Giaom, that the service is going to be released on the open-source system known as Jabber.

It looks like I'm going to have to add a third IM to my GAIM service. Drop me an email with your new Google IM address, and let's catch up.

Ping me,
IronDog

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Michael Jordan Interview in Cigar Aficionado

Peeled through a few mags this past weekend. I don't know if you've checked this out, but the MJ interview in Cigar Aficionado is a good one...

Now don't get this mag because of the cover...Yes, that blazer is tight, right?...But what makes the interview a solid one is because Cigar Aficionado editor and publisher Marvin R. Shanken is pretty humble and he's also fairly unaware of Brand Jordan and the roots of the Jordan legend. That lack of familiarity seems to allow him to get some open answers to simple questions that the Black Cat has diffused in the past at times.



Here are a few excerpts that I pulled from Shanken's interview for you. Drop the dollars and pick one up at your local newstand, cigar store, or wine cellar. You may also pick up Cigar Aficionado online at cigaraficionado.com.

Damn, Mike loves Carolina...And I still think he got shafted with the Wizards, but that's a hot topic that you can always get me steamed at...'Nuff said, here you go.

MRS: Did you ever regret missing your senior year?
Jordan: Yeah, because I had a great time in college. It was the first time I'd been away from home. I'd met new poeple and made new friends. It was an exciting time. It was just fun.

MRS: What was the rush to jump early?
Jordan: It was Coach (Dean) Smith's call. I relied so much on his knowledge. The NBA was an area where I wasn't too knowledgeable. My parents weren't knowledgeable about it, either. And it was a great opportunity. Coach Smith felt that it would be the best opportunity for me to make it in professional basketball. Once he researched the situation to find out where I would go in the draft, then I started weighing the pros and cons.

MRS: Wasn't that pretty unselfish of him, because it meant he would lose you the next season?
Jordan: That was totally unselfish. It's the kind of person that he was. He could have said, "You should stay for your senior year. We have a great team with some great new recruits." Kenny Smith and Brad Daugherty were coming on. Our team was going to be good. But he felt like for me, personally, going to the NBA was the best thing, and it was the best opportunity.

Here's Mike's opinion of opting for the NBA Draft, is it good for the players?

Is that good? I can be biased from the outside looking in. I'm very supportive of the university, and I would like to see them have the opportunity to defend the championship. In that respect, I think the players should have stayed in school. Just from a selfish aspect, I wanted to cheer for my university. But I don't have the understanding of what the family situations were for these players, or what motivates them. Sometimes you have to follow your dream...

MRS: Are these early exits from college good or bad for the NBA?
Jordan: That depends, too. I'm a firm believer htat a player should be 20 years old or older before going to the pros. Anything less than that is potentially bad. You've got a lot of things you have to take into consideration. The lifestyle. Just the mental and physical demands of the NBA htat these kids are going to be dealing with are tough.

And their whole maturity level, not only fo basketball but on the personal side, too, has to be taken into account. If I had been a freshman or even a sophomore, no matter how good I was, I don't know if I would have been ready for what I had to deal with in the professional ranks...

As an NBA executive, if you have to invest in a player, you wnat to see more of the porduct that you are going to invest in...But the impact is even spreading down into the high school ranks. Kids there are not really looking at academics. They just want to get good.

If they can't get into a college, the first thing they're going to say is, 'Well I"m not going to go pro.' That may not be the best thing for them. So this trend trickles all the way into high school.

MRS: Who in your mind is the best shooter you've ever seen?
Jordan: Best shooter. Oh boy. that's a great question. Pure shooter?...I would say Brian Winters...He had the most beautiful stroke of all the people whom I can think of. You could go, too, with John Paxson, who was next to me in the backcourt in Chicago.

(IronDog Note: My choice as well...Damn Frank McGuire from luring Brian Winters away from Chapel Hill to South Carolina)

MRS: Best rebounder?
Jordan: Moses (Malone)...No doubt it was Moses.

(Irondog Note: I'd love to be in this conversation.)

MRS: Cigars? We're sitting here. We're smoking a Cuban Monty No. 2. Nothing wrong with that. I went through your humidor here; you have a great selection. When did you first get into cigars?
Jordan: I smoked my first cigar in 1991, when we won the championship. Up to that point, I had never smoked a cigar, never smoked anything. We won the championship, and Jerry Reinsdorf gave me one of his cigars. He's a big cigar smoker.

The next time I received a cigar was from my good friend, Ahmad Rashad. He used to get these Churchills from Las Vegas that were dipped in rum. I wouldn't smoke them, but I owuld sit there and chew on them. I got to the point where it became very relaxing.

In Chicago, I tell people this, and they have to understnad the context of what happened. We had to be to the stadium at 6 o'clock for home games, and traffic was so bad it would take us an hour and 15 or and hour and 30 minutes to drive. So now I'm sitting in a car for almost an hour and a half, and I'm very tense. I'm worried about the traffic. So I started smoking a cigar going to the games. In 1993. It became a ritual for every home game.

MRS: What cigar?
Jordan: At the time, I started out with the Hoyo de Monterrey Doubla Corona.

MRS: That's a good hour smoke.
Jordan: Taking my time. I never rushed. As soon as I walked in, Phil (Jackson) would say 'Ok, you had a long drive.' It became such a relaxing thing to do...I wanted that feeling of success, and relaxation. It's the most relaxing thing...

Irondog Note: Damn...Now that's playin'...So there you have it...Go pick the rest up at a newstand near you. I'll throw you another excerpt in soon...

23 Still Smokin',
Irondog

Thursday, August 11, 2005

A Day in the Bronx

Back in the Bronx...

I treated myself to a summer delicacy today, by heading uptown to Yankee Stadium to watch the Yankees/White Sox game. In between watching Freddy Garcia's gem...Yes, I pulled hard for the "Go-Go" Sox today...I had some great conversations with several fans in the Club and Tier sections.

What surprised me are more than a few times the same subjects were touched upon.

Note: The conversations were part of "Unfocus" group discussions...

1.) "Yes" on the 'New Yankee Stadium' - I have heard more complaints over the past 15 years stemming from people yearning for days of yesteryear, but I'm quite surprised at the reactions of fans toward the new stadium development that will be neighboring the current Yankee Stadium.

Every fan conversation that I had was emphatically in favor of the new stadium, and each fan stated that the reality that a new stadium is sorely needed...The only caveat is...Throw some of the nuances of the rennovated Yankee Stadium in the new stadium.

2.) "Down on Posada" - Man, Yankee fans can quickly forget what a guy has brought to the table time and time again...But I guess that's what a .249 average will do for you.

Even though perennial All-Star catcher, Jorge Posada, is 34, and he's having a tough year, I was surprised at how many Yankee fans stated that it may be time for Posada to move on...Not that they didn't love him...But the buzz was that he's not what he used to be.

Damn, give me a switch-hitting catcher, who can still spray it and who can man a staff like he does...Tough town.

3.) "More Fire from Torre" - Should be suprised with this one, but how could I when the Yankees are squandering in second place behind Boston, right?...I've never been a big fan of Yankee manager, "The Maharishi", Joe Torre. However, I can't argue with his Ws and World Championship rings.

Yet, people were on Torre to get thrown out of the game when he argued two questionable calls during today's game. I can understand that fans want the Yankees to play with more fire than continue their business-like personality, but if this team doesn't make the playoffs, watch for "Maharishi" exit.

Leaving today's game, I walked away very impressed with the public recreation facilities surrounding Yankee Stadium. Over the years, I've heard the legendary stories of Rod Strickland laying-up soft one-handed jumpers and Rod Carew roping line-drives in the neighboring basketball playgrounds and baseball diamonds.

What's great is that the new Yankee Stadium will contain the same facilities in the planned development, which receives huge "Big-Ups" from this chief blogga...Most likely, on my next Yankee Stadium visit, I will be bringing my running gear for a run on the incredible track that lies adjacent to the No. 2 subway line.

With that said, I'm back to hitting keys again...I'll be back with some more updates from the Westside...

From the BX,
IronDog

Monday, August 01, 2005

Blue Ribbon Sports Review...

I'm sitting here checking out Allen Iverson on Stephen A. Smith's new show, "Quite Frankly," right now, and here something that stirred my attention two weeks ago in Chicago...

***I stopped through NikeTown on Michigan Avenue. To those who know me, you'll understand...I almost...that's almost...dropped a lot of loot on the several retro "Blue Ribbon Sports" T-shirts that are available through Nike's new vintage line.

The collection is very cool, and I hope that Nike brings out more...The shirts are reversible, but the numbers were just a little too big for me right now. So, I halted. Here's my review of the Ts available at a NikeTown.

Exeter 71 - Shirt designed for the famous New England prep school...If I were an alum, I would definitely rock this T, but I can't sweat a bunch of snotty Dead Poets Society alums like that...just can't...However, dope design.

Blue Ribbon Sports 62 - Came close to this T because of my love for the early days and roots of Nike, but I couldn't do it because who the hell would ever know what the hell, Blue Ribbon Sports is...The shirt could leave you on the "Herb" tip.

Beaverton 64 - This is the one that I rolled with, but I faded because of the "Beaver" thing...I know the roots, and you probably do to about Beaverton, Oregon. Yet, there are a lot of people, especially, women who are way overserved on the P.C. tip, and think you're going for the comedy tip with the Beaver mascot...It's a shame.

The T represents the Beaverton Track Club of 1964. Several runners from Oregon and Oregon State were part of this running club when Blue Ribbon Sports was fledging company based out of Portland, and the blue and orange vintage look is incredible....But I just couldn't do it.

Here are some more insights on the Nike's Blue Ribbon Sports line from Rich Tomaselli of AdAge...I picked it off of my man from AdPulp.

After you check out that article for the reasoning behind Nike's foray into the upscale urban fashion market, keep in mind that Nike is keeping up with the rest of the boutiques with producing limited edition T-shirt runs that are infiltrating urban life across the country.

With that said, here's to hoping that Nike continues it's White Label line of Ts that were released in 2004...Now those were classic gear!

For those of you who are not near a major metro city or near select boutiques and shops like Barney's New York or Fred Segal, keep it simple, and pick up a new T from Oregon Track Club in Eugene...Plus, your purchase supports the local Eugene, Oregon Running Club.



Cross the Blue Ribbon,
IronDog