Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, December 26, 2020

Still going strong on Tampa International Airport’s wi-fi Internet access. And my notebook’s battery still has something like 40 percent of a charge left.

TIA’s access does have an annoying re-confirm to it, though. I guess every 15 minutes or so, it sort of cuts you off; you don’t get dumped, exactly, but you do get redirected to the airport’s terms and conditions agreement page in order to keep surfing. It hasn’t adversely affected me yet, but I’ve had a couple of nervous minutes where I’ve finished typing out a post, then crossing my fingers while the publishing action times out (of course, based on past experience, I always save the finished post to the clipboard, just in case).

Still haven’t seen any women passing by that are worth approaching. Gravely disappointed. Remind me to never go cruising in airports on a late Monday again…

I think I’ll have to sign off anyway. Kirby’s arrival time is fast approaching. And besides, I have to go to the bathroom. And my buzz from my vodka tonics earlier tonight is starting to subside. Til tomorrow.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/26/2005 11:55:50 PM
Category: Florida Livin', Wi-Fi
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the party's over
Yes, tonight’s the night: Monday Night Football, the NFL’s signature show, is leaving broadcast TV after 36 years. Appropriately enough, the final game, between New England and the New York Jets, is as meaningless as MNF has become.

I didn’t particularly make time for tonight’s game. I caught the beginning and the first quarter at The Hub — luckily (or not), the place was empty enough that I could actually hear the game while sipping my booze. But once I saw the archival footage of Howard Cosell, I was set.

I’m too young to have seen MNF in its glory days, when the Cosell-Meredith-Gifford troika made the show an event regardless of what happened on the field. The proliferation of satellite packages, ESPN’s Sunday Night Football, league expansion, and general oversaturation of the NFL led to the Monday night showcase becoming beside the point. As much of an NFL fan as I am, I’ve found myself passing on the week’s final game more often than not over the past few years; it’s simply been overkill, in my mind.

I will note, though, that it’s still a ratings powerhouse, even as it bows out. As is often the case, so much has been made of the decline in ratings over the past half-decade that people forget that the numbers are still better than most of what’s on the air. Sports programming is still as close to a sure-thing prospect as television has.

I’d also point out that part of what made MNF such a success was the way ABC branded it as its own little football universe, almost apart from the rest of the NFL. Chief way this was branded: Note how often the booth announcers referred to various Monday Night player performance records: Who had the most rushing yards in Monday night games, who appeared in more MNF games than anyone else, etc. Every time I heard one of these milestones announced, it struck me as sort of phony; and yet, I saw how effective it was to highlight these. You couldn’t really do that in any other sport. It punctuated how much MNF was an entity unto itself, that it could claim proprietary historical landmarks. Really, part of what sustained it for so long.

The game goes to ESPN next year, whilc the broadcast TV sheen shifts (somewhat) to NBC’s Sunday Night Football venture. In realistic terms, not much changes: ESPN and ABC are practically indistinguishable corporate sisters, so the money and infrastructure aren’t shifting much. And it’s not like the cable/broadcast divide is particularly significant anymore. Still, it represents something of a change. The uniqueness is gone, and I’m interested in seeing what will supplant it in the future.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/26/2005 11:47:48 PM
Category: Football, TV
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It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but the quantified numbers should still give everyone pause: Electronic devices now account for 15 percent of the average American household’s energy bill, triple what it was 10 years ago and roughly half of what it’s projected to be in another decade.

I take note that many of those gadgets are media devices. Thus, you can add this bill to the overall increased media expenditures that we seem to be taking on. The price of being a more “connected” society.

It’s funny how some power myths have persisted:

Yet even there [EPA Energy Star communications manager Denise] Durrett runs into a baffling myth. Some people think, she said, that “it takes more to power the computer up than if you leave it on 24 hours, seven days a week,” she said. “That’s utterly insane to me.”

The always-on computer practice has more to do with hard drive performance, I think. That school of thought holds that you put less strain on your system by keeping the computer running all the time, rather than put it through the rigors of daily start-stop spinning. But I’m sure it’s also pitched as an energy efficiency issue. Both theories being bullshit — I’ve always turned off my computers, and they’ve always lasted for several years. There’s no reason to keep your machine running all the time (especially when you live in Tampa Bay, where regular electrical storms will probably fry your motherboard if you keep it plugged in 24/7/365).

The thing is, I’d bet this myth has its roots in the similar lightbulb theory: That it expends more energy to turn a room’s lights on and off than it does to keep them burning for hours on end. Devised by someone too lazy/forgetful to turn off the lights whenever s/he was supposed to, no doubt.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/26/2005 11:10:16 PM
Category: Tech
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So as part of my haphazard farewell tour of the Bay area, I visited Tampa Theatre for probably the last time. I caught everyone’s 2005 indie fave, The Squid and the Whale.

Spoiler alert: The Squid won.

Kidding, of course. It wasn’t a competition — unlike that between the python and the gator.

Squid was a pretty good flick. Although, for a film set in 1986, I kept thinking it had more of a distinctly ’70s feel to it. Not so much that I was completely convinced it was temporally displaced by a decade, but almost.

Probably the best running joke in this Brooklyn-set story is quintessentially New Yorkish: The father’s cursing fits when his neighborhood parking spot would get taken — which was, of course, every time he would pull out.

I would rather have caught Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic at this particular venue. But I guess it was there only over the holiday weekend, for some strange reason. As it was, Squid was a very good pinch-hitter.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/26/2005 10:48:37 PM
Category: Florida Livin', Movies
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Nothing like killing some time on an airport pickup by blogging, courtesy of Tampa International Airport. I’m posting this via TIA’s free wi-fi access (which, coincidentally, was just pimped over the PA system as I started typing this).

My friend Kirby is coming in from Detroit at around 12:30AM, so I’ve got plenty of time to kill. I’ll amuse myself via computer for as long as the battery holds out; I think it should last a solid 2 hours. I was hoping to check out some fine ladies arriving and departing, but so far, it’s been disappointing. But the night is young…

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/26/2005 10:36:14 PM
Category: Bloggin', Florida Livin', Wi-Fi
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pope stylin'
And Gucci, too. Despite insistence by his aides of fashion-agnosticism, Pope Benedict Benedict XVI has been sporting some stylin’ papal garb early in his reign, perhaps compensating for his charismatic shortcomings.

As for what he was wearing on his lid:

The bright red Santa cap certainly has a distinguished papal pedigree. Called a caumaro, the long forgotten head-covering dates to the Middle Ages and figures in many famous papal portraits, including one of Julius II by Raphael. It was last worn by John XXIII, who was pontiff more than 40 years ago.

I knew there was something I liked about this guy. And it’s got to be better brand identification for Prada than the book from which I based the title of this post.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/26/2005 06:30:57 PM
Category: Celebrity
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Yow. For some reason, the early-morning (if you consider 9AM “early”) sunlight sorta stung me this morning. The entire drive down to the office, the glare was really disorienting me. I almost felt like Count Dracula getting out of his coffin a tad early.

Maybe a cup of caffeine will set things right. It has in the past!

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/26/2005 10:04:30 AM
Category: Florida Livin', Weather
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